ATHENS ACADEMY 46, TOWNS COUNTY 8: At Hiawassee, the Spartans – ranked No. 2 in Class A Private – remained unbeaten at 4-0 with a Region 8-A victory over Towns County.
Athens Academy took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 14-yard run by Len’Neth Whitehead and went up 15-0 on a 34-yard pass from Palmer Bush to Deion Colzie. Logan Payne scored on a 34-yard run with 5:46 left in the first quarter and Bush tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Payton Bowles with 2:39 left in the first. Whitehead completed the first-quarter scoring with a 73-yard rush.
In the second quarter, Colzie scored on a 4-yard run with 7:58 left and James Williams kicked a 37-yard field goal to put the Spartans up 46-0.
Athens Academy will host Prince Avenue Christian at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Athens Academy has already had its two off weeks and the school observed its annual Interim Week last week; many of the Spartans were away from campus for the week on a tour of colleges up the Eastern seaboard and others spent the week working on community service initiatives.
“I think we’re different from just about everybody in the state of Georgia because we take a week off and each class has something different that they’re doing that week,” said Athens Academy coach Josh Alexander. “I think it’s good for the kids, good for them to get away. We played a game on Friday (Sept. 7) and I didn’t see them again until the next Saturday. A lot of coaches would be very uncomfortable in that sort of situation, but you do what you have to do.”
As a result of a week away from practice, Alexander said revisiting the fundamentals was paramount.
“It was like starting over on Monday,” he said. “You sort of start over where you’re at, from ball security to throwing and catching and tackling. I treat it as ‘We’re trying to get better.’”
In the last five years, the Spartans have gone 10-3 in the week after a brief respite. Alexander said the team is as healthy as it’s ever been and is ready to get back on the field.
“We’ve got to get back in the groove of playing football,” he said.
Spartans debut at #2 in the GHSA Class A Power Ratings - GHSA
Click HERE to view Week 1 of the 2018 Football Power Ratings for Class A (Public & Private)
Region 8A Teams Ranked (Public & Private are Seperate): 2. Athens Academy (Private) 3. Prince Avenue (Private) 3. Commerce (Public) 5. George Walton Academy (Private) 10. Towns County (Public) 16. Hebron Christian (Private) 20. Providence Christian (Private) 22. Riverside Military Academy (Private) 26. Athens Christian School (Private) 36. Lakeview Academy (Private)
*** Top 24 teams make the playoff at the end of the season ***
After looking at a couple dates to visit Notre Dame earlier this year, Deion Colzie was finally able to get out to South Bend this past weekend and the 2021 Georgia wide receiver is glad he did.
“It was great,” the 6-foot-4, 180-pounder from Athens said. “I had a fantastic time. I’d never been in a stadium that was so electric. The student section and the fans, they were all into it. It was very different from (Georgia). I’ve been to UGA and I can say Notre Dame sold me this past weekend.”
Colzie pointed to the facilities as one difference.
“Notre Dame has a lot of new facilities that’s different from UGA,” he explained. “Plus, the new facility that’s being built right now. And the coaches are different than UGA’s coaches, the playbook is different. They throw the ball a lot, which is really what I like.”
During the trip, the Athens Academy standout had a chance to speak with some Notre Dame staffers.
“Before the game, I was on the sidelines talking to the coaches,” he said. “They were just telling me a little bit about what they do and how things work at Notre Dame.
“They love passing the ball and they love big receivers. I think I would fit in perfect.”
Colzie called the campus in South Bend “amazing.”
“I loved the campus,” he continued. “It’s not that big so you don’t have to walk that much. It’s a private school, so it’s pretty small. I like that it’s faith-based.”
He doesn’t have any other visits locked in right now, but expects to see the hometown Bulldogs play and maybe a game at Tennessee, which has already extended an offer.
And he plans on returning to Notre Dame eventually.
“Right now, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back. I’m pretty sold. My parents like it and I like it. I’ll have to how it goes forward from here.”
Athens Academy annually fields a competitive football team which typically advances to the state playoffs. The program focuses on individual skill development within a team environment. An emphasis is placed on team building through cooperation, discipline, and personal growth. A knowledgeable coaching staff provides athletes with a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental and schematic components of football.