“Obviously, Darlington, Gordon Lee, Trion are still in the region. Walker is back. Then we’ve got a couple of new teams coming in — Christian Heritage, which is a private school up around Dalton. Southwest Atlanta is going to be in there with us. Then, of course, we’re going to have a play-in game the last game of the season. We don’t know who that’ll be. Somebody from the other side,” Holloway said.
Under reclassification, the Eagles will play in 6A-A with traditional foes Gordon Lee, Trion and Darlington, along with newcomers Christian Heritage and Southwest Atlanta Christian. The other half of the region includes Fellowship Christian, King’s Ridge, Mt. Paran, Mt. Pisgah, North Cobb Christian, St. Francis, Walker and Whitefield Academy.
And while former Region 6-A stalwarts Bowdon and Bremen have climbed up to Class AA, Holloway expects the region to feature a black-and-blue brand of ball that has been the norm over the years.
“It’ll be competitive. I’m sure as of right now Darlington and Gordon Lee are probably, if you had to pick, would be the favorites. You know, we feel like we’re going to be competitive and we’re looking forward to it,” Holloway said.
The Eagles are coming off back-to-back 0-10 campaigns where the majority of their top players were underclassmen. But with some fresh energy behind a coaching change and the excitement of a new, on-campus stadium, Holloway is hopeful his team can begin to turn the corner in 2012.
The Eagle coach noted that it’s been a busy summer for his players, many of which are involved in multiple sports at Mt. Zion.
“You know, we’re a small school and a lot of our athletes play baseball during June and then they’ve been wrestling at some wrestling camps and you’ve got basketball camps. So now we’re ready to focus on football,” Holloway said. “We’ve got a couple of 7-on-7 games. We’re going to throw against Bowdon in a couple of weeks and then Temple. We’ll be in the Carrollton 7-on-7 tournament. It allows us to work on our passing game and work on our secondary. But we’re just getting ready for July 25th.”
And with one of the first rosters that is predominately upperclass-oriented at MZ in recent years, Holloway is beginning to feel a shift in the program where he is confident his ball club can be competitive this fall.
As for the summer as a whole, the first-year MZ head man believes it’s been a productive one thus far.
“I feel like it has. You know, the kids have been in the weight room and they’ve gotten stronger. I thought we had a really good spring training, so we kind of got started on what we want to implement on offense and defense. So we’ll crank it up this coming week and do a lot more conditioning-wise. We’re going in the evenings three days a week. Then we’ll be throwing some 7-on-7 against ourself and some other schools. So it’s just winding down and getting ready to crank it up,” Holloway said.