The Panthers have a talented gamebreaker in Jamel Starks. The senior running back and safety has offers from Nebraska, West Virginia, North Carolina and N.C. State. Wimes will tell you that it starts with the offensive line, led by seniors Jason Stovall (6-2 285) and Antavious Zachery (6-3 315).
Their big test game in the second game of the season against Stephenson, a team that SWD had not beaten in their last eight tries. "They are a physical team," says Wimes. "People felt that we couldn't block Stephenson. Moving the ball on them helped the players know that we could compete with anybody "
Southwest DeKalb beat Stephenson 21-14, on the way to their first 6-0 start since 2006. The unblemished record comes at a time when the school prepares to honor its outstanding athletic heritage. On Saturday the annual Breakfast 0f Champions will include the inaugural class of the Southwest DeKalb Athletic Hall Of Fame. They are four coaches who helped SWD set a standard of excellence: Kathy Walton, Napoleon Cobb, Dewey Alverson and Buck Godfrey.
Walton has led the girls basketball program to eight state finals, winning the title five times. Walton has twice been named Coach of the Year in Georgia.
Cobb coached boys track from 1990-2016, grooming world champions and Olympians while his teams won nine state championships and a national championship.
Southwest DeKalb has a well-earned reputation for winning football. Dewey Alverson, who coached from 1959-1978, won 129 games and the 1972 state championship. Former Atlanta Public Schools Atheltic Director Jeff Beggs was a member of the 1972 state champs. "Dewey Alverson was one of the incredible football coaches I have known," recalls Beggs. "He was tough, yet cared deeply about his players. Most people don't know that SWD was 1-9 two years before we won the title. We went 1-9, 5-5, 13-1. What a ride!"