Heritage Football looks to the future

Heritage Football looks to the future

Rob Grubbs / The Newnan Times-Herald

The Hawks have nearly doubled their team size in the last two years. There will be depth that will allow Heritage to dominate the fourth quarter, rather than just trailing behind like in the past.

In 2020, the Heritage School made the difficult decision to transition from the Georgia Independent School Association to the Georgia High School Association.

The decision was based on distance and travel requirements that dictated longer road trips.

Life as the smallest school by population took its toll on the Hawks. While most sports have enjoyed equal success, football has been the toughest due to the size of the squad and lack of depth.

After the association addressed travel concerns, the Hawks decided to return to GISA, which has renamed itself the Georgia Independent Athletic Association, for the 2022 football season.

While the upcoming schedule will be different, some holdovers are Brookstone and St. Anne Pacelli from their old region. The Hawks have completed spring training and are now focused on the two-month offseason leading to a new frontier.

The future will look different for the 2022 Hawks in other ways. For the fourth straight season, they will have a new quarterback leading the offense. In 2019, Branch Burns was the senior signal caller, followed by Harris Celata in 2020 and Hugh Barbee last year.

In 2022, head coach Jake Copeland will place the offense under the control of freshman Dylan Barber. It should be a position he will hold for the next four seasons. Barber will have guns available with the remains of Mack Mikko and Jamal Chandler-Fuller.

Other returning players on offense include lineman Matthew Tvrdik, Ty Sudduth, Myles Tambro and Jacob Miles.

The offense will get a jolt from new offensive coordinator Chip Seagle. Last year, Matt Neighbors led the offense and Coach Copeland called on the defensive. With the addition of Coach Seagle, Neighbors transitioned to defensive coordinator, and Coach Copeland took on an overall leadership role, mentoring the young quarterback.

Coach Seagle brings experience and a championship pedigree. In his 37-year coaching career, he won two Alabama High School state championships and was named Alabama Assistant Coach of the Year in 2017.

Other new additions to the Hawks 2022 coaching staff include former Southern Miss tight end Ricky Parks, who will coach wide receiver, and Lichon Terrell, who played in Western Kentucky last year. Terrell will train the defensive line. Ed Williams will return to his role as offensive line coach.

The Hawks have nearly doubled their team size in the last two years. There will be depth that will allow Heritage to dominate the fourth quarter, rather than just trailing behind like in the past.

The team will open their 2022 season at their renovated home stadium against St Mary’s Academy, which was previously Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fairburn.

Photos by Rob Grubbs

18.05.2022-Heritage-011.jpg?mtime=20220517145013#asset:75436Heritage Hawk athlete Jamal Chandler-Fuller has been a member of the football team for four years.

18.05.2022-Heritage-010.jpg?mtime=20220517145013#asset:75435The Heritage coaches address the team after their last spring training session. Coaches from left to right include Ricky Parks, head coach Jake Copeland, Ed Williams and Chip Seagle. 18.05.2022-Heritage-012.jpg?mtime=20220517145014#asset:75437Jacob Miles will anchor the offensive line in 2022.
18.05.2022-Heritage-013.jpg?mtime=20220517145015#asset:75438Heritage Head Coach Jake Copeland chats with The Citadel Insider Linebacker Coach John Ward, who was on the recruit lane watching Heritage train.

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