Pinecrest Academy received preseason recognition for two of its star football players on Monday.
Rising seniors Ryan McCarthy and Garrison Winter were named to the Georgia High School Football Daily’s preseason all-state team for Class A-Private.
McCarthy’s selection as a linebacker might be surprising considering what he accomplished as a quarterback in his junior year. An FCN all-county first-team selection last season, he rushed for 1,284 yards on 168 carries and scored 22 touchdowns as the team’s centerpiece in a flexbone attack. He was recruited heavily as a linebacker but committed to The Citadel as a quarterback on July 19.
Defensively, McCarthy amassed 77 tackles a year ago—just four for a loss—but added two sacks, seven pass breakups and returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns.
Winter, the son of Pinecrest head coach Todd Winter, led a powerful offensive line as a junior. The team carried 522 times for 3,237 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and 39 total touchdowns. Winter, named to the FCN’s all-county second-team, graded out at 88-percent with 114 pancake blocks—the most in the county.
Pinecrest went 10-2 last year and won Region 6-A by defeating defending state champion Mount Paran Christian in the de facto region title game. The Paladins will scrimmage Wesleyan Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will host Holy Innocents for an exhibition next Friday, also at 7:30 p.m., before preparing for the season opener Aug. 26 at South Forsyth.
The FCN will announce if any players from the Class 7A schools make the GHSF Daily’s all-state team.