Pictured: GCA quarterback Austin Amor
By SAM McGAW
Grace Christian Academy enters its third season in TSSAA with a senior-heavy group that has its eyes set on playing in November.
GCA went 2-7 last season, but its record doesn’t tell the complete story. Five of its losses were by eight points or less. Three of those were by one point.
This year, the Lions are ready to take the next step with their 15 returning starters.
Third-year head coach Rusty Smith leads the group.
Offensively, GCA will lean on dual-threat quarterback Austin Amor to guide its spread attack.
Amor recorded 2,076 passing yards, 1,043 rushing yards, 38 touchdowns (17 run) and seven interceptions last season. He’s garnered interest from Berry College, Birmingham Southern and other Division III schools, according to Smith.
His top weapon in the receiving corps is Kolby Alonzo.
Alonzo hauled in 31 catches for 712 yards and three touchdowns last season. He’s the only returning receiver that produced in 2016, following the departures of Gavin Ford (Morehead State) and Nick Whitson.
Alonzo has received interest from Columbia University, Davidson University and other Division II schools, according to Smith.
Caleb Fish and Cole Scott are the team’s tight ends.
The Lions have four returning starters on the offensive line in Ben Cannon, Cole Chapman, Oliver Hunter and Noah White. Chase Keller is also expected to see time up front.
Hunter is being recruited by Richmond, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and other Division II schools, according to Smith.
Defensively, GCA will operate out of the 4-4. Last season, the unit gave up 38.11 points per game. It surrendered 54 points or more on three occasions.
Hunter is a returning starter at defensive end. White, Chapman and Keller will also battle in the trenches.
Fish, Scott and Kitch Cash are expected to make an impact at linebacker, while Alonzo will play safety.
Sam McGaw is the sports editor for Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page and Spring Hill Home Page. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGaw_.