North Forsyth at a glance
2012: 3-7, 0-7 Region 6-AAAAAA
Key losses: OL Colby Gossett, DL Madison Hoke, LB Eric Fitzgerald, DL Edvin Dizdarevic, K Vince Sciorrotta.
Key returners: QB Harris Roberts, WB Jamal Davenport, QB/WR/S Bailey Muldin, OLB Jerrett Page, CB Trey Smith, CB Luke Slaton, P/QB/ATH Cody Gottberg.
Key newcomers: RB Zach Slaton, OL Michael Carter, OL Derrick Roughton.
Coach Jason Galt says: "To me, all the pieces are in place at North Forsyth. Dutchtown was a total build whereas here it’s more a re-build."
Jason Galt will admit the first time he saw the Double Wing offense almost 10 years ago he was confounded. Here was this offense pulled out of a black and white movie, all tosses and misdirections and run, run, run.
The first-year North Forsyth football coach knew exactly the bewilderment his assistant coaches must have felt during spring practice this past May when they saw it in action for the first time.
"They weren’t quite sure what it was," Galt said. "But after talking to my defensive coaches, by that fourth or fifth practice they were sold, because they saw how hard it was to stop."
Galt and the Raiders spent most of spring practice installing the offense, one that offends the national trend of high schools using the spread offense. Rather than spacing out receivers and offensive linemen to compromise defenses, the Double Wing uses tricky mechanical blocking schemes and the tight space between offensive linemen to lure in defenses at the line of scrimmage.
It’s the offense Galt used at Dutchtown in Hampton, Ga., the last six seasons where he went 36-27 and led the Bulldogs to the Class 4A quarterfinals in 2010.
It’s one North Forsyth’s opponents this season likely have never encountered.
"It’s something that North Forsyth is going to be able to hang their hat on," Galt said. "We run an offense that nobody else runs. For teams to try to prepare for us in four days, it’s going to be kind of difficult."
So the goal this spring was to find the right pieces to run the Double Wing. Galt was impressed with rising senior quarterback Harris Roberts, who Galt said could also be the school valedictorian next year, and running back Jamal Davenport, a physical runner at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds. Galt also was excited about an offensive line led by Michael Carter that "may be the best offensive line I’ve ever had."
More than anything, Galt was sold on the intensity and work ethic he saw from Raiders players.
"For what we want to do offensively," Galt said, "I’ve got the right kind of kids with the right mentality."
Galt saw more of those kinds of players on a defense that will "bring a lot of pressure," he said – cornerbacks Trey Smith and Luke Slaton, who he said were "very physical, strong kids," and outside linebacker Jerret Page, who Galt said is "definitely a team leader. He just flies around and hits people."
Most the defense was installed during spring practice to where Galt said he didn’t have to focus on that unit as much.
Instead, he focused on repairing the mentality of a program that’s had just one winning season since 2005.
But from what he saw in spring, Galt said the Raiders could be a quick fix.
"To me, all the pieces are in place at North Forsyth," Galt said. "Dutchtown was a total build whereas here it’s more a re-build. Here it’s just a matter of changing that mentality. The physical parts are here. We’ve got some good-sized kids. We’re got some kids who are strong. … The expectations are already here."