DASHER –– Christian Johnson returns to Georgia Christian this fall as a kid that made all-state last fall. He is looking for more of the same in 2020.
Micah James anchors the defense at safety, and he is looking to make a similar impact to what Johnson has.
Both kids have been in the program for nearly their entire high school career. Both have seen a number of different head football coaches. Generals head coach Chuck Knapp stands out among the rest to these seniors.
“Coach Knapp is just different,” Johnson said. “Knapp is a great coach to us. But on the other side of that, ‘The Brotherhood’ we all talk about, that, that is real. Knapp is an all-around coach and an all-around guy. He gets us. He is one of the guys. The Brotherhood.”
James echoed, “I feel that way as well. Coach Knapp brings a lot of experience that we had not had before. I have had several head coaches. Christian has had more than I. Knapp, he just makes us feel like we belong.”
Hearing two seniors buying into what a new coach has brought in certainly strengthens a program looking to establish itself as a future football power.
While both young men have had several different head coaches, it is easy to catch the vibe that not much changes on the field. Both play a huge role on defense and both are the top wideouts on offense.
“My plan for us is to win state,” Johnson said. “I feel like this is our year to do it. We have to continue to work hard and we will get there. I want to get more vocal. I’m more of a quiet leader but I feel I need to be more vocal to really get us over the hump this year. Being a leader is really important to me.
“This is our last ride as seniors. This is it for us. The last season with my brothers. I want to go out on a high note. I know that I have to continue to apply what I’m taught. Be coachable. Then, we will make it.”
“I feel like this is our year, also,” James said. “We have the bond. The Brotherhood is in full effect. I see us going to the state championship and walking off as champions. I have to continue to read the field better at safety and run better routes to help us get to state. We took some lumps the first two games, but soon, we will start to see guys in our league, our region, and we will run the table, I feel.”
“This team is very close,” Johnson added. “I feel this is the closest team we have had in my four years. A bunch of us go out to eat every Thursday night before the Friday night games to strengthen that bond. I really enjoy this team.”
Johnson added all-state honors to his resume last fall as he played wideout and defensive end. While he enjoys both, he feels like defense is where he can really shine.
“My length and speed really help me on the defensive side of the ball,” Johnson said. “I may not have the weight, but my speed makes up for that. I like defense a little more because of the physicality of it. I love when we get team tackles and we are all in on the stop. It gets me fired up.”
James is an athlete in every sense of the word, as he plays basketball, football and soccer for the Generals.
“I play all over for the Generals, even off the football field,” James added. “I love playing safety on the football field. It’s my favorite. I enjoy being able to be over the top and I love being able to read and see the entire field.”
Newly-hired middle school coach, Austin Morrison, had great things to say about James.
“Micah is a kid that you just never hear complain,” Morrison said. “He is very coachable. He always listens. I have never heard him complain about anything asked of him. He’ll do everything you ask him to do.”
True leadership qualities.
Both young men have a desire to play football at the next level, if it comes their way, of course.
Johnson states that he wants to get into marketing and earn a degree in that field in college. James sees himself playing safety at the next level, due to his ability to see plays develop and helping his team succeed on the field.
“I feel like I would be best on the defensive side of the ball if I were to continue football after playing for Georgia Christian,” Johnson said. “I just feel like that is where I get used the best and I see my fullest potential.”
While both young men feel that they are best on the defensive side of the ball, Seth Copeland was glad to have them back out wide.
Both seniors were out against Valwood and you could see Copeland was missing his top targets.
Dante Sacco did a great job in the game to relieve some of that pressure with some hard-nosed running and great pass-catching ability.
Still, Copeland was very excited to have his brothers back on the field.
“Johnson is just a hard worker off the field,” Copeland said. “One the field, he is a big-time target for me with very dependable hands. ... Micah has taken a huge step forward from last year. He is just super energetic. He will definitely be a go to go for us this fall.”
The Generals (0-2) are looking to end the losing streak that they have thus far this season. With top wideouts to go to like Johnson and James, Copeland looks to light up opposing defenses the rest of the way, hopefully, in route to a state championship at the end of the year.