Lynn football is back on the map.
The 2017 season left no doubt as the Bears reeled off 11 straight wins to start the season, recording the school’s second perfect regular season in coach Calvin Aldridge’s third season.
Though the Bears lost talent and experience from last year’s team, graduating 14 seniors, Lynn brings back several of the top athletes in the area, including senior running back Jordan Davis, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards, and senior dual-threat quarterback Noah Jackson. Add in Brandon Hill, Trevor Hokett, JT Linley, Micah Cagle and Griffin Lynn and Aldridge has a bevy of options on offense.
“Our skill level is really good. All of our skill guys coming back had considerable playing time,” Aldridge said. “We’ve got some of the hardest working kids. I’m proud of them. I think we will make some noise. How much noise? We will have to wait and see. I thought we were good last year. We could be every bit as good this year, but we don’t have a lot of depth.”
The offense goes through Davis and Jackson, who is 18-3 as a starter.
“Noah is one of the better quarterbacks in the state at any level. He runs a 4.6 (40-yard dash) and has a 50 to 55-yard range with his arm. He can do a lot of things. He can hurt you with his feet. He’s also a tremendous defensive end as well,” Aldridge said. “Jordan Davis is a strong kid. He’s up to 200 pounds. You are talking about a kid that when you hit him it hurts you. He’s rushed for 3,000 yards over the last two and a half years.
“We rushed for over 3,000 yards as a team last year. I think this will be a team that moves the ball any way it wants to. We can run the ball. We can throw and catch the ball. We have a quarterback with the right mind set. When he’s under center, we’ve got a winner right there.”
Lynn averaged 32.3 points a game last year, the highest total under Aldridge.
Brantley Sanford (5-foot-10, 260 pounds), Evan Lamb (6-3, 235) and Justin Cook (6-4, 270) anchor the line.
“I think we will be better on defense. We look really fast on the defensive side and we’ve got some size too. The group we’ve got now is a little quicker. Overall, our team speed is going to be better,” Aldridge said. “This is probably as quick a team as we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
Lynn plays its season opener today at Phillips-Bear Creek. Region play opens the following week at home against Marion County.
“The schedule has gotten harder. We are playing six teams that made the playoffs, including the two that played for the north (in the state semifinals),” Aldridge said of Pickens County and South Lamar, who made the move from Class 1A, Region 6. “We’ve got stronger opponents. Somebody will represent the north from this region.”
Along with Pickens County, which finished as the 1A runner up last year, and semifinalist South Lamar — Marion County, Meek, Hubbertville, Berry and Brilliant make up the region foes.
“We’ll have to play our best football to compete. Our skill level is as good as anybody’s, we will just have to execute,” Aldridge added.