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Top Performers Week 1: Names To Know Going Into Week 2

The high school football season is officially underway in Cherokee County, and the playmakers showed out on Friday. Let's take a look back at the top performers from Week 1!


The Warriors weren't able to pull off a win against heavily favored Cartersville, falling 27-14, however the Warriors showcased their improvement over last season. The entire offensive line was impressive against a stout Hurricanes front. Tanner Savasir impressed with his awareness in the pocket and his ability to scramble as he was responsible for both scores, one passing and one rushing. Gracen Sexton caught a TD pass and proved to be a reliable target for Savasir, especially along the sidelines. On defense, Andy Debaker seemed to have a hand in every play on his side of the field, including some big hits on Cartersville skill players. Weston Bergman was able to block a kick, showcasing his athleticism.


The Grizzlies dominated in their first game of 2023, with a 41-14 win over Cambridge. Austin Guest was responsible for four of the touchdowns and 280 yards, with over 150 coming on the ground. Mason Munn didn't score, but was impressive and showed his ability to find the open hole. Fernando Zurita was a key piece of the offensive line, as he was the lead blocker on multiple long runs. The defense was just as impressive, with Andrew Adams, Reed Anderson, and Andrew Hammond all helping to limit Cambridge to one score in the first three quarters. On both sides of the ball, Nigel Agyemang made his presence felt, collecting his first rushing touchdown as well as delivering a big sack early in the game.


The Eagles beat Lassiter 63-14, setting a new school record for points scored. With that said, you can pretty much pick anyone on the offensive side of the ball. However, Xavier Mahoney with four scores, including one receiving, and Reece Wehr, who had over 200 yards and two rushing touchdowns in the first half deserve special mention. The offensive line was phenomenal, new names like Slade Ponder and Terrell Mensah have bolstered an already impressive Etowah front. Also worth noting, transfer WR Tyson Lewis was a big boost to an already explosive Eagles team, along with Jack Strickland reprising his role as an effective passer when needed. The defense continued their good work from the scrimmage, keeping Lassiter scoreless until the game was out of hand, and the starters were pulled. Notably, Vinny Pacini is a bruising safety that will give opposing wide receivers nightmares on middle routes. Ethan Weidner has switched to CB this year, and the transition appears to be going well. Just like the offense, you can pretty much give props to the entire defense.

River Ridge

The Knights were able to pull off a late victory over Hillgrove by a score of 9-6; thanks to a punt return touchdown by Andrew Hand. The offense had some trouble getting going, but Camden Cox was able to break off some nice runs throughout the game. Defensively, holding a team to just two field goals is certainly an achievement. A few players who stood out were Mason Gotsch on the defensive line, and Wyatt McCarty who was tasked with covering the slot. In case the punt return for a touchdown wasn't enough, Andrew Hand also made multiple touchdown saving tackles to keep Hillgrove out of the end zone all night.


The Chiefs locked horns with the Lambert Longhorns, eventually falling 42-28, even though the score was much closer for most of the night. Notable offensive performers include Will Rajecki who was Kolby Martin's favorite target of the game, along with Tyler Bell who caught a 57 yard touchdown pass. Brady Curl has developed into a top LT in the county, helping an already impressive looking offensive line. Defensively, Anthony Santana was able to take an interception to the house. Playing both ways this year, Ean Marria was in the backfield on multiple plays, forcing early throws.


The Wolverines fell to Osborne 56-7 to start the 2023 season. Despite a disappointing result, there were some bright spots for Woodstock fans. The offense was able to pass the ball effectively off the arm of Peyton Lynch. Receivers like Luke Renninger and Elijah Wadsworth proved to be reliable targets that the Wolverines can turn to. The defense was able to recover a couple of fumbles from Osborne, one from Trenton Sallee and another from Drew Burmeister. Braedy Sommerville was able to force Osborne to throw the ball early a handful of times as well.

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