Photo: AJC
Photo: AJC

Notebook: Harden out after one game as Dooly County coach

Dooly County head coach Ashley Harden is out after one game, Dooly County Schools superintendent Craig Lockhart announced this week. The interim coach is Quinnen Peavy. 

Harden told Georgia High School Football Daily that he stepped down.

"In order for me to do my job properly and be successful, there are certain tools and expectations that must be meet,’’ Harden said. "We didn't have our players in weight training class. I had to struggle to order basic items we needed for the program, taking kids to camp, getting the field house cleaned and sanitized by custodial staff, and the list goes on.’’

In a statement, Lockhart said: "We would like to sincerely thank Coach Ashley Harden for his service to the Dooly County Bobcats and wish him the best in his career. Coach Peavy has worked in Dooly County for several years, and he has coached numerous sports in this county and in other districts. He most recently served as Dooly County School System Interim Athletic Director. Coach Peavy's experience and relationships with Dooly athletes positions him to be successful at DCHS." 

Dooly, a Class A school, lost its opener to Worth County 37-7. 

Harden has a 41-53 record at six Georgia schools, almost all that were chronic losers before he arrived. 

Hawkins validates preseason all-state selection 

Screven County RB Gary Hawkins made GHSF Daily's preseason all-state team as a Class AA running back. It wasn't a slam-dunk choice as there were more highly recruited backs in the classification, but the pick is looking good at the moment. Hawkins rushed for 208 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in a 26-23 victory over Southeast Bulloch last week. The week before against Bluffton, S.C, Hawkins rushed for 219 yards on 21 carries. Hawkins is 5 feet, 9 inches and 240 pounds. He's also a linebacker who had nine stops in the opener. He was second on the team in tackles as a junior, third as a senior. Screven is 2-0. 

Pilcher back on Berrien's sidelines 

There are two good stories going on at Berrien, where winning seasons have not existed since 1995. Gerrick Johnson scored a school-record seven touchdowns last week in a 61-43 victory over Atkinson County. That's one. He also rushed for 205 yards. The other is Berrien offensive coordinator Ed Pilcher, who returned to the coaching staff this season. Pilcher won 250 games and five state titles as a head coach, most famously at Thomas County Central. He was Berrien's head coach from 2013 to 2015. Health issues took him away from football last season, but he's back and running the veer offense for which he has come to be known. Pilcher told the Valdosta Daily Times in preseason that he'd be coaching from the press box during games. "I get tired pretty easy. The heat gets me a little bit, not too bad, but I have to be careful," Pilcher said. 

North Springs QB throws for 459 yards 

North Springs returned only two starters on offense - both guards - so give credit to some fast-learning players that throw and catch for the record-setting night against Clarkston last week in a 38-0 win. Santino Gaudreau, a sophomore, was 18-of-32 passing for 459 yards and four touchdowns. He also scored a touchdown and kicked an extra point. The 459 yards are tied for fourth-most in Fulton County Schools history. (NFL quarterback Josh Dobbs holds the record of 514 set in 2012). "Santino used our system to take what they gave us and let his receivers do the work after he delivered the ball," North Springs coach Scotty Parker said. "He has several checks and reads that have to be made in split seconds, pre and post snap." Keegan Avery had seven receptions for 206 yards. Neriyan Brown had eight catches for 174 yards. 

Cherokee hope to get 3-star RB eligible 

Cherokee, which started 1-2 a year ago, is 2-0 this season with victories over North Forsyth (29-14) and Sequoyah (14-0). More good news could be on the way if RB Ebony Jackson wins eligibility. The transfer from Kell is a three-star recruit committed to Maryland. The GHSA is expected to make a ruling no later than mid-September. To be cleared to play, a transfer must make a bona-fide change of residency or win a hardship hearing. Jackson is the reigning Class AAAAA champion in the 100 and 200 meters. He had more than 718 yards from scrimmage as a junior. 

Updated: NFL players from Georgia 

As expected, GHSF Daily's list of NFL players from Georgia was incomplete. Readers pointed out the omissions of Chargers punter Ty Long (Roswell), Broncos guard Ja'Wuan James (North Gwinnett) and Dolphins receiver Preston Williams (Lovejoy). [See today's Four Questions interview with Long's father, Gary.] Others also pointed out practice-squad members from Georgia. We didn't intend to include those as they require more research and aren't officially team members, but their spots aren't given away lightly. Among those that readers mentioned were Donald Payne (Landmark Christian) and Brendan Trawick (Sprayberry) with the Ravens, James Vaughters (Tucker) and Nick Fitzgerald (Richmond Hill) with the Bears, Kyle Sloter (Mount Pisgah Christian) with the Cardinals, Elijah Holyfield (Woodward Academy) with the Panthers and Terez Hall (M.L. King) and Colby Gossett (North Forsyth) with the Patriots. 

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