LAWRENCEVILLE — The energy and excitement to go compete against another team was palpable. On the sideline, you could see the players’ genuine joy to see their teammates succeed. 

On a cool Thursday May night, expectations for Seckinger’s 2024 season heated up as the Jaguars rolled to a 42-6 win over Discovery to close out spring practice. Head coach Tony Lotti liked the way his team is coming together.

“I like the fact we’ve been able to get a little stronger and a little faster as we are growing,” Lotti said. “The big thing too is how we are executing together. We still have a long way to go, but I feel like we are taking those steps forward.”

Here are four takeaways from the spring victory.

Moving to 5A

After competing in a non-region schedule in their first two years of existence, the Jaguars enter region 7-5A try to build off their three-win 2023 season. The Jaguars will face some stiff competition.

In the 2024 campaign, the Jaguars will have to contend with perennial powerhouses in Gainesville and Roswell, defending state champion Milton and Gwinnett opponent Lanier. 

In order to prepare for region play, the Jaguars will play arguably their toughest non-region schedule in program history which includes games against Gwinnett foes Archer and Mountain View. 

“If there is a tougher region in 5A, I would like to see it,” Lotti said. “Our region is going to take a great deal of physicality to work through that. I have always looked at the non-region as preparing us for what we are going to face in the playoffs. Region is where it matters. It is important to play tough competition to get you ready.”

The run game

Seckinger showed improvement in the run game behind a maturing offensive line Thursday night.  The Jaguars rushed for over 200 yards with seven different rushers.

“I feel like the weight program is making a difference with John Patrick, who I brought in to run our strength and conditioning program,” Lotti said.

Every starter on last year’s offensive line returns for the Jaguars. Lotti praised Harrison Robinson for showing increased acceleration and burst with the help of track coaches Jonathan Williams and David Seawright. 

Quarterback competition

Lotti likes what he sees with three quarterbacks: rising sophomore Chase Montgomery, rising junior Julian Lapene and rising junior Tristen Johnson as they move into the summer. Lapene and Johnson are new to Seckinger and the Wing-T offense. 

“I like how all three of them ran the team tonight,” Lotti said. “I wanted to get a look at all three. I like the way they’ve been competing. I want competitors.”

Stout defensive showing

The defense shined under new leadership holding the Discovery offense to six points throughout the entirety of the game. Through the first half and the first series of the second half, Seckinger allowed 34 rushing yards on 17 attempts. Discovery completed two passes for 11 yards through that period.

New defensive coordinator Scott Rider joined the Seckinger staff from Colquitt County and brings a state championship pedigree along with fifteen years of head coaching experience.  

“The one thing I will always brag about is the guys in the room,” Lotti said. “I’ve got men in that room that are just absolutely wonderful people, great role models for our young people, and really good football coaches.”

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