2015 Warrior Gridiron Season Signals Hope for Future


Allison Hayes

Coach Jeremy Gainer speaks to his team at the conclusion of the Cass game.

The North Atlanta Warriors were defeated by the Cass High Colonels 43 to 12 on November 6. The unfavorable loss marked the end of the 2015 football season.

Despite the outcome, this year’s season saw reason for Warrior fans to keep hope alive. North Atlanta had only had three wins in the past four seasons. This year, with new leadership starting with head coach Jeremy Gainer, the team notched four victories and ended the season four wins and six losses.

The whole season marked a ray of hope for North Atlanta football. The team has historically struggled for any victories at all on the field, and seasons have been filled with winless suffering. This year’s seniors’ lived through much of that grim history and they worked particularly hard this year so that they could witness the team reach a competitive level in the high-competitive 7-5A Region.

“It was tough but we just knew that if we kept working that eventually we’d see things turn around,” said Robbie Wooten, a senior center and co-captain.

Seniors who led the team were co-captains Wooten and Joel Maldonado, a defensive and offensive lineman. Other seniors were receivers Ezra Naylor, Josh Johnston and Charles Lunsford; linebacker Selah Morgan; running backs K.D. Welch and Julious Washington; quarterback Jordan Davis; cornerback TJ Delaney; defensive end Dartavious Davis, defensive tackle Kevonte Battle; defensive back Harris Perley; and strong safety Wyatt Hughes.

“We’ve been through the 1-9 and 0-10 seasons where we suffered a lot,” said Maldonado. “When Coach Gainer came in he gave us a new attitude and the chance to go in a better direction. We’ve built the foundation for a program that’s going places and we’re all justifiably proud of that.”

Other seniors shared the same sentiment. “I’ve learned a lot of life lessons playing out there on the field and I’m going to miss the group of guys who’ve played alongside me,” said Naylor.

Coach Jeremy Gainer, in his first year leading the Warriors, praised both his players and his coaches for their work. Gainer credited his colleagues for much changing the tone for the Warrior program. “Our coaches have embraced this challenge and succeeded in making a positive impact with our players both on and off of the field,” Gainer said.

He said four wins was one measure of success, but the larger objective is to develop men of character who will win no matter what. “The goal is to give our players lessons that will expand past playing fields and that follow them throughout their lives,” he said.