By Mike Goodson
Gadsden City High head football coach Matt Scott found himself and his team in an unusual position at the end of the 2015 football season.
The Titans had just finished a 5-5 season, and for the first time in the program’s 10- year history GCHS finished out of the AHSAA state playoffs.
This season, however, things are looking more on a positive note, and the Titans are anxious to prove themselves on the gridiron.
Gadsden City is a veteran squad with as much, or more, talent than in recent years and an air of excitement is felt around campus with the home opener just around the corner.
“We’ll hang our hat on our defense this season,” said Scott.
Scott will be counting on a rock-solid defense and a well-seasoned offensive front line to carry the load early on against a difficult schedule
Gadsden City has eight starters back on defense, and with the amount of playing time others received last season, said defense should be extremely strong.
“We have talent and depth at all key positions, especially in the secondary and defensive line,” said Scott.
Senior defensive end Trevonte Carter anchored the defense last season with 64 tackles. He was followed by Jatorrius King at the other end position with stops.
Senior defensive back Dewayne Parker led the secondary last season with 57 tackles, followed by senior linebacker Miles Par-ker with 47 tackles.
Others to watch on the defensive side of the ball include Damian Thompson and Lamarcus Harvey.
While the strong point of the Titans’ game this year appears to be defense, opponents could be lulled to sleep expecting a defensive struggle with Gadsden City.
“We return only three starters on offense, but with the amount of playing time others got last season, it is almost like having a veteran squad on offense. “We have an experienced quarterback in (junior) Ryan Sparks and several talented running backs.
Senior Damon Williams had 824 yards rushing last season with 13 touchdowns, while junior Jaelyn Flemming added five touchdowns and 435 yards.
“We have breakaway speed at running back,” Scott noted.
The offensive line is experienced. Anchored by 6’8’, 315 pound senior Tor’que Bateman, it should be one of the strongest front five in Class 7A, Region 4.
Bateman is being heavily recruited by most teams in the SEC.
“With our offense, opponents cannot defend one player but will have to defend all,” said Scott. “We’ll be starting five seniors on our offensive line.
“A host of talented receivers will make it hard for opponents to stop our rushing game.
In regard to the Titans’ rugged schedule, Scott brings the old philosophy to Gadsden City.
“To be the best you have to beat the best. We have to play tough teams to see that we are doing what we need to do.”
Gadsden City opens up with state runner-up Spain Park on Aug. 19, and then hosts perennial 6A power Oxford the following week.
Throw in Montgomery power Park Crossing on Sept. 22, add in Region 4 powers Bob Jones, James Clemens and region newcomer Hewitt-Trussville, and this season could be a very exciting one for the Titans and local football fans.