The 2019 football season has come to an end for schools in Columbia County. While it is disappointing that we did not have a school get past the opening round of the state playoffs, there are plenty of positives to take away from this year’s campaign.

The Evans Knights had a wonderful year. Despite being very young at multiple positions, Evans was able to finish 7-3 over and posted a perfect 5-0 mark in Region 3-AAAAAA. Lakeside had a sensational season as well. The Panthers were a couple of plays away from having a perfect regular season record. Lakeside lost a heart-breaker in the closing seconds to Evans and blowing a 15-point lead in a tough loss to Heritage. Also, Harlem went 7-3 in the regular season including an impressive 7-1 mark in region play. This after losing a huge group of seniors from the previous year, including Columbia County Player of the Year A.J. Brown.

All in all, it was a terrific season that provided some wonderful and exciting moments and on top of that, the future of football seems to be in a great place. Currently, the county has a group of quality coaches and assistant coaches. It seems like several of the school’s administrators have really gotten behind the programs. And perhaps most importantly, the group of young players across the county may be the most talented bunch we have ever had. There are some quality juniors who will be back next year, but the year to watch for will be 2021 when the current group of sophomores are seniors the county will be loaded.

Here are a few names to keep an eye on from this year’s talented freshman and sophomore classes:

Lleyton Lackey, Evans, Sophomore

Kaleb Jackson, Evans, Sophomore

Jourdain Spann, Evans, Sophomore

Joe Hampton, Evans, Sophomore

Chance Taylor, Evans, Sophomore

Malik Leverette, Greenbrier, Freshman

Brooks Pangle, Greenbrier, Sophomore

Gavin Wright, Lakeside, Sophomore

Temarcus Elam, Lakeside, Freshman

Will Hattaway, Lakeside, Freshman

Aidan Richardson, Lakeside, Freshman

Jeremiah Ellis, Harlem, Sophomore

Vandre Thomas, Harlem, Sophomore

Ben Jean, Grovetown, Freshman

Zackery Blackwell, Augusta Christian, Sophomore

These are just a few of the players that have either already shown ability at the varsity level or have flashed potential that makes them a player to watch in the years to come. The county is truly loaded with great players for the next several years. It will definitely be fun to watch as they develop further.

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