In conjunction with the seventh annual Cobb Senior Bowl, the Georgia Northwest All-Star Bowl will be held for the first time Saturday at 10 a.m. at McEachern High School in Powder Springs.
Players representing 19 high schools in Bartow, Cherokee, Douglas and Paulding counties have been practicing throughout the week. The Titans, comprised of players from Bartow and Cherokee, have been practicing at Etowah under the direction of Creekview coach Terry Crowder.
They will be facing off against the Giants, a team comprised of seniors from Douglas and Paulding.
Crowder is no stranger to all-star games, having coached in one while at his previous post at Chattahoochee. Still, he’s particularly excited to see what this group of players can do.
“I feel real good about the talent that I’ve seen,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting.”
Crowder, who first met with Etowah quarterback John Oliver to go over plays Sunday, said he’s looking forward to having other players run a scaled-down version of Creekview’s offense.
“There is no way we can get everything in,” Crowder said. “We will get in what we can and just try to highlight some of the kids. Once we evaluate some of what they can do, we will make adjustments.”
The Giants will be coached by North Paulding’s Scott Jones, who, like Crowder, runs a spread offense with his program. Since North Paulding quarterback Chase Noonan is on the Giants’ roster, there’s a good chance the spread offense will be run by both teams, which could make for an exciting game for the fans.
“We will run our (spread) offense and throw it around. See what can happen,” Crowder said. “I’m excited to see Etowah quarterback John Oliver in that role.”
Among the receivers Oliver will have at his disposal are his Etowah teammate, Ben Rowell, and Cherokee’s Blace Brown, who led Class AAAAAA in receiving yards during the regular season.
The running game won’t be hurting either with Creekview’s Isaiah Rodgers, Etowah’s Brandon Engle and Cherokee’s Blake Johnston on the roster.
Also on the roster from Cherokee are Devon Mercer, Jordan Freeman, Calvin Mayo, Alex Riggins, Logan Witherow and Aubrey Sharp. Creekview’s Nick Fahrnbauer, Logan Ridings, Michael Shaw and Ben McClellan will also be playing, as will Etowah’s Keith Gordon, James Arnold, Preston White, James Varley, Chandler Steele and Nathan Parrott
Sequoyah has sent D.J. Austin and Gilberto Terrientes, while Woodstock will be represented by Blake Jacobs, Austin Biggers, Tyler Baggett and Will Stumpf.
As excited as Crowder was, so were many of the players as they practiced Thursday. Among the popular topics were the uniforms they will get to wear and the college scouts they might to get play in front of.
Crowder said the scouting aspect is another highlight of the game.
“This kids get to show their skills a bit against other kids that are really talented,” Crowder said. “That’s going to be fun.”
The Titans will have to make up in skill for what they don’t have in depth. The Giants’ roster has nearly a dozen more players — many of whom went deep into the state playoffs this fall.
Tickets for Saturday are $10, which also includes admission to the Cobb Senior Bowl, which will kick off at 2 p.m.