But, as it turned out, seniors and experience were two factors that did not guarantee a winning season.
In fact, this was a year when it was a junior and a sophomore who guided their respective teams to the Class AAA state playoffs.
“What you are seeing are more underclassmen excelling at the varsity level who are used to winning,” outgoing Adairsville coach Jim Kremer said, “which in turn shows you how important it is to have the right junior varsity coach.”
Brooks Barden, a 6-foot-3 junior, was named the region’s offensive player of the year after leading the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes to a perfect regular season, 10-0 record, the Region 5-AAA championship and to the Class AAA state semifinals. Barden threw for 2,870 yards and 39 touchdowns, and rushed for 417 yards. Equally impressive was that Barden and teammate T.L. Ford were the only two juniors representing Bartow County schools in the third annual AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
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