Game: Adairsville (0-0) at Chattooga (0-0)

Last meeting: Adairsville 21, Chattooga 20 (Aug. 17, 2018)

All-time series: Chattooga leads 6-5

The Chattooga Indians have done some hard learning during the preseason and are looking to find their footing through the early part of the regular season.

They start that quest Friday by hosting Adairsville before traveling to Wesleyan and then Heritage in Catoosa County. Head coach Charles Hammon is hoping his players can overcome some adversity on offense and hit the ground running when they begin Region 7-AA play in September.

“We will really use the next three weeks to just try to focus on us and get prepared for this region,” Hammon said. “We hope by the end of it to get some things resolved and get guys some playing time so they’re a little more comfortable.”

The Indians have 10 new starters on offense after several seniors on last year’s team graduated while others transferred.

“We’re trying to find our way a little bit,” Hammon said. “Our game plan is to focus on us. We have to get better at what we do or we’re not going to come out on the better end of the stick against anybody.”

Chattooga lost a heartbreaker at Adairsville last season and still finished the season 9-3 and advanced to the second round of the Class AA state playoffs.

“Adairsville has a good team and coach (Eric) Bishop does a great job with them,” Hammon said. “ We expect them to be just as good as they were against us last year.”

Running back Lashaun Lester is the lone returning starter on the Indians’ offense. He finished his freshman season with 1,006 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns sharing time in the backfield with sophomore EJ Lackey, who is now at Rome High.

Chattooga has defensive tackle Luis Medina back for his senior season. The 6-foot-1, 285 pound athlete and state wrestling champion has been garnering attention from several colleges during the offseason.

“Luis has been there every time the doors are open and the kids look up to him,” Hammon said. “He’s fun to be around and a great football player.”

— Jeremy Stewart

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