Forsyth County News Football media day was the first opportunity for the Pinecrest Paladins to showcase their new Under Armor football jerseys. This year the numbers on the jersey are white and outlined by Vegas gold, the green is more saturated, and they now have the Paladins across the front of the jerseys.
“GAPPS has been very good for us," said Paladins’ strength and condition coach Carson Adams, who filled in for head coach Shawn Coury during media day. "Not only are they more structured for our schools and the size that we are, but they also provide a lot of great opportunities for our [multi] sports athletes so the schedule won’t conflict. It also allows us to focus on their academics.”
Paladins could suit up for home games with an all-green uniform or green jerseys with white pants, and for away games, Pinecrest will rock the all-white look. The program could be among the sharpest dressed teams in the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
The Paladins’ football program has been dominant these last two years, only losing four total games. As far as balancing expectations of greatness and staying focused on the current season is concerned, the Paladins do not think it will be a challenge.
“What can help us continue our streak of winning is not being complacent and expecting it," center Jackson McCray said, "and [instead] making sure we continue to work for it. I believe we can do that."
Adams believes that the Paladins’ team identity is that they are tenacious, and the defensive line will be the particular position group that the Paladins thrive off.
“We’ve been well these past couple of years,” Adams said. "I think this year we’ll be very fast there, but everywhere on the field; we’re going to be fast. That’s the brand of football we bring to the table, and we want to make it a track race."
Said wide receiver Sean McCabe, “We lost a lot of seniors but this year we’ve improved a lot in the sense that our rising underclassmen are very fast, intelligent. Everything they do has a purpose, and I have a lot of faith in us.”
In the grand scheme of things, every player wants to go into a game thinking that he will play his best and win the game. However, the game against Cherokee Christian was one that the Paladins dropped last season, and they plan on avenging that loss.
Pinecrest, which opens its season versus Notre Dame Academy Aug. 19 at home, plans on retaining its offensive rhythm, as it was the highest scoring team in Forsyth County, averaging 29 points per game.
The Paladins will rely on Brock Barbee, a senior who shines on both sides of the ball. In 2021, his versatility allowed him to ground and pound the ball 113 times for 662 yards and eight touchdowns and to disrupt the offensive flow of opponents with his Forsyth-leading 136 tackles.
“What helps us win games is that we’re efficient, we know the play, we’re very smart [and] we can execute very well,” Barbee said. "So if we keep doing that, we will have a great chance of winning a lot of games."