In his three years at Carrollton, coach Sean Calhoun has helped the Trojans return to prominence. The team has won at least 10 games in each of those seasons, but has been stopped in the third round of the playoffs each time. That’s a great accomplishment for most programs, but the Trojans want more.
“Three straight years going to the quarterfinals is good, but we’ve got to find a way to be great,” Calhoun said. “We’ve got to find a way to get over the hump. I think of all the hard work that’s got us moving in the right direction.”
Each year Calhoun chooses a word or phrase the team can use as a rallying cry during the season. This year he allowed the seniors to select the word. They came up with “seize.”
“The definition is something we have to overwhelm or take by force something you want,” Calhoun said. “What they want is a state championship, so that’s what they’re doing every day. That’s our mindset. Nobody is going to give it to us – other people want the same thing we want – and they know they have to continue to do the work.”
The community is so determined to win that it built a state-of-the-art indoor practice facility. The project includes an auxiliary gymnasium and a 9,000-square foot weight room. It was funded partially through a SPLOST and partially through private funding.
It's all designed to help the program win its eighth state championship and the first since 1998.
The Trojans are known for their high-flying offense that produced 471 points last season. Three starting offensive linemen graduated, including first-team all-state selection Ty Murray, who signed with North Carolina.
The team will be directed by strong-armed junior Myles “MJ” Morris.
“He’s the real deal,” Calhoun said. “The good Lord said, ‘Your right arm is going to be special.’ Some guys are football players who play quarterback and others are quarterbacks who play quarterbacks. He’s a quarterback … 24/7 … 365 … He walks it, talks it, leads it, watches film. As he continues to develop, gets bigger, he has a chance to be special.”
Top running backs are led by Mecose Todd, who backed off his earlier commitment to South Carolina and is being recruited by the likes of Florida, Michigan, Ole Miss and Alabama. Others in the mix are dual threat Brandon Marenco, who rushed for 944 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, and Kodee Brewer, who rushed for 600 yards.
The defense has two of the best linebackers in the state in Kevin Swint, who has committed to Clemson, and junior Chaz Chambliss.
“Our defensive backs are inexperienced, not a lot of Friday night reps,” Calhoun said. “But they’re athletic and good football players. Everywhere else we feel good about.”
The Trojans open the season on Aug. 30 against East Coweta.