First and Fisher: Our first story in 2004

marist high school football 2004Marist School (Atlanta, Georgia) offensive line during 2004 fall camp.
gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

Over the last couple of First and Fisher columns, I’ve been turning back the clock to the early days of High School Football America. Today, I go back to 2004, our first year.

I ventured to Marist School in Atlanta, which was coming-off the school’s second state championship in 2003. That title came with current Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay as the War Eagles’ quarterback, which was the focus of the story that you can see below from July 28, 2004.

Marist looks to go back-to-back

Written July 28, 2004

The sign near the high school football practice field on the campus of the Marist School, in suburban Atlanta, says it all. The 2004 version of the War Eagles are hoping to win back-to-back Georgia state high school football championships.

Marist School

Last year, Marist captured the AAAA state title with a 21-6 defeat of Statesboro. It was the school’s second state crown. The first came in 1989.

The biggest job during the fall camp is finding a replacement for quarterback Sean McVay, who has moved-on to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. McVay was in the middle of everything during the 14-1 championship season.

In the championship game, McVay ran for a game-high 110 yards. His 6-yard touchdown run gave the War Eagles a 7-0 first quarter lead.

The War Eagles were hit hard by graduation. Head coach Alan Chadwick only returns five starters from last year’s squad.

In addition to McVay, two other players moved on to Division I. Chris Davis and Matt Rumsey are enrolled at Duke.

Chris Ashkouti will take-over the reigns of the Marist offense. Chadwick told me that Ashkouti will be a capable replacement for McVay in the team’s option offense.

Chadwick, who has led the War Eagles since 1987, expects running back Anderson Russell to have a big year as he becomes the program’s feature back.

The strength of the team will be the offensive and defensive lines.

Below are some photos from yesterday’s workout.

The defending state champs expect to be strong up-front
Marist War Eagles getting coached up
Marist War Eagles working for 2004 season
Marist offensive lineman workout

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.