In recent years, several Chattahoochee sports programs have been in decline, both in terms of wins and production of players. The football program, in particular, has hit a bit of a rough patch, as they are coming off of their worst record in school history. One looks at a historically successful high school like Chattahoochee and expects a time-tested gridiron program that should be able to quickly bounce back from a down year, but currently, this is not the case.
An atrocious record speaks to more than just the quality of players; rather, it is an accumulation of the mishaps that have led to the downfall of the Chattahoochee football program. There are two main issues that plague the school at the moment, and although one is more difficult to fix because of its intangibility, the other can be directly pinpointed and dealt with.
In the past few years, Chattahoochee has gotten a reputation as a school from which players cannot be recruited. From the class of 2016 alone, four former Chattahoochee football players have gone to other high schools in order to get the college offer they desired. Defensive end Josh White transferred to Walton High School and eventually committed to Georgia Tech, as did cornerback Jair Anderson after transferring to Northview High School. Both of these players were major Division 1 recruits, but the other two losses that Chattahoochee football has suffered sting just a bit more.
Middle linebacker Tre Lamar was a four-star athlete who had tremendous success at Roswell High School before committing to Clemson, and tight end Isaac Nauta won multiple state championships with Buford High School before going to IMG Academy for his senior year. Isaac Nauta is currently the best tight end in the country and the eighth best football player on ESPN’s top 300 list of recruits. These losses have significantly hampered the reputation of Chattahoochee as a football player factory, but recruits are still having success finding places to play in college. Just this year, Bryce Folsom (Sr) committed to play Division 1 football for NC State, which shows how Hooch has not lost its touch with recruiters.
The main reason the program has been suffering, however, is because of lack of funding. In the past several years, fundraising efforts and corporate sponsorships have dwindled, which has led to an overall decline in the quality of the program and influence in the area. In order to bring fans back to Chattahoochee sports teams, athletic director Mr. Crooks has sponsored several new events. One of the events that our athletic board has planned has been wanted by students for several years now, as they would look to neighboring schools like Northview and wonder why we didn’t have this type of thing at Chattahoochee too. However, this year the Hooch Football team is sponsoring the first ever Girls’ Choice Dance. This dance, also referred to as a Sadie Hawkins dance, mixes up the typical routine of guys asking girls to be their dates by having the girls ask instead. In addition to this dance, the Hooch staff is putting together events such as a dodgeball tournament that will hopefully give our school’s athletic programs a boost. These innovative projects are the lifeline that Chattahoochee needed, as they are starting to pave their new path to glory.