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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Mount Pisgah dealt with youth among its ranks last season, and 2019 looks to present a similar challenge. The Patriots are even younger than last year, and with only a handful of seniors on the team, the team will rely on juniors and sophomores to contribute.

Head coach Mike Forester’s spirits remain high despite his squad’s lack of experience.

“I’m hopefully optimistic,” Forester said. “They’ve really worked hard. Our only issue is we’re young. We’ve lost a lot of starters over the past couple years.”

Forester expects just six or seven seniors on the team compared to the usual amount of 10-12 of prior years.  

One of those seniors is Chandler Minton, who will suit up for the first time this season and play at running back and in the secondary. He played basketball for three years and was a part of the 4x100 state championship team for Mount Pisgah in 2017.

“He’s one of those guys that we’re looking to have a good year,” Forester said. “He’s got really good speed so we’re just really excited about him.”

Coleman Smith will take over at quarterback after starting on defense as a sophomore last season. He will have a target in returning receiver Nick Speros. In the trenches, defensive lineman Nick Jackson returns along with James Wickline, a starter from a season ago.

Though Jackson and Wickline are back, Forester said the most glaring concern going into the season is the green nature of the team’s linemen. He likes the size and athleticism of his offensive and defensive line, but they lack time under the Friday night lights.

“We have some guys that are really good size and fairly decent athletes, but you’re dealing with the inexperience,” Forester said. “It may take a few games to really get our feet under us just because of our youth.”

The Patriots open up their 2019 campaign at Holy Innocents’ and host Mount Vernon the following week. Then it is on to region play with opponents such as Whitefield, Mount Paran and Fellowship Christian.

“How we compete there will really show us what it’s going to be like once we get into the region,” Forester said. “I really feel if they can get the experience and learn fairly quickly, we’ll be alright heading into the meat of the season. But that’s to be seen.”

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