Varsity football team prepares for region games

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Photos courtesy of Keson Graham

Graham Cattanach

The varsity football team is preparing for its upcoming region games this season in their first year in the 5A division.

The team is already three games into the season, all of which were not region games.

On Aug. 19, the Bulldogs came up short, losing 30-7 to McIntosh, however, they beat Chamblee at home on Aug. 26, 19-6, and lost to Cedar Shoals on Sept. 2, 35-17.

Although the team only won one out of three games, head football coach Scott Jackson takes these first few games as a positive learning experience for his players, as these games do not count towards whether or not the team will make the postseason.

Nothing prepares you for a game better than playing in a game,” Jackson said, “and I think the experience of playing in a full game for the first time helped a lot of the new guys especially.”

 The Bulldogs will also be competing in 5A for the first time. After major growth in the number of students at DHS, Decatur jumped from the 3A to 5A division in one year.

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Senior Terrell Hall carries the ball against Chamblee. Hall is a vital player for the team, scoring several touchdowns.

This change in division will have the Bulldogs playing against much larger schools than they have in the past. Although it is seen as a challenge for many teams to play larger schools, it is a change that Jackson does not think will affect Decatur’s success.

“Nothing’s really going to be new, people are still going to have more players than us,” Jackson said.

Even though the Bulldogs will face larger teams than they did in 3A, varsity captain Temesgen Yohannes has found positive aspects in the change.

“This year in our region it’s really even, so there aren’t any teams that are way better than others,” Yohannes said.

Since the 5A division is known to be more competitive, the team has some realistic goals in mind for the season. Jackson said that one of their main goals is to make the playoffs “for the first time in a long long time.”

With a relatively small team, Jackson still thinks that their biggest strength compared to other schools is the way they work together.

“What this team has that is tremendously better than any team I’ve ever had is team chemistry,” Jackson said.