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Calhoun’s deadly weapons a nightmare for opponents on the football field

Right now in Calhoun, Georgia, there is a small identity crisis that produces wry smiles on the football field and creates utter chaos for opponents.

Quin Smith and Cole Speer often get confused on and off the pitch – something the Calhoun high school kids don’t care about – but it’s no laughing matter for the opposing coaches, who would be fine if they didn’t. didn’t even have to face any of them.

The two, who rarely leave the field, play the same positions: receiver in attack and cornerback in defense. They are both 6 feet tall and weigh around 190 pounds, can travel the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds, and are more than willing to throw their bodies away.

Entering Friday’s AAAAA GHSA class semi-final against Blessed Trinity, a Region 7 rival Calhoun beaten by five points in the regular season, Smith and Speer will once again feature high in the game plan. by Yellow Jackets coach Clay Stephenson in front of the home crowd at Phil Reeve Stadium.

“When we need a big game, No.5 (Speer) or No.9 (Smith) seems to do it,” Stephenson said. “They’ve been like that their entire careers. They mean so much to our team, and they do it on both sides of the ball and in special teams. We give them the ‘Going The Extra Mile’ and ‘Heart’ awards after every game. , and they get it pretty much every week. “

The statistics speak for themselves. Speer, who heads to the University of Georgia next year, has 43 catches for 1,043 yards, 14 touchdown receptions and three rushing scores. He also has 58 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles, as well as kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns.

Smith, a future Air Force Falcon, has 31 catches for 641 yards and nine touchdowns, plus two rushing scores and one touchdown pass. He leads the secondary with 74 tackles and has several big hits with three interceptions.

Photo gallery

Calhoun football stars Quin Smith and Cole Speer

They’ve played up to 130 snaps in a game this year and consistently top 100, but none of them would have done it any other way.

“I feel like it starts with spring and summer,” Smith said of the couple’s ability to be iron men. “We’ve been preparing for games like this in the playoffs since the end of last season, really. We’ve been doing constant weight training every day; we’re doing it away from the pitch as well.”

While not overly competitive with each other, they use their similarities and friendship to push each other. They understand the impact their similar skills can have on a game, and neither is compared to the other.

“We look a lot alike on the pitch,” said Speer. “There’s nothing I can do that he can’t do. It makes it very difficult to have two great receivers on the pitch at the same time which are difficult to cover. We can also throw and throw the ball.

“On and off the pitch we just feel comfortable with each other.”

Opposing defensive coordinators, however, are never comfortable. Led by quarterback Christian Smith – whose accuracy has allowed him to perform 70% of his passes this season – the Yellow Jackets’ offense is packed with screens and fast lanes designed to bring out their many playmakers in space with the ball.

At the same time, however, any defense that begins to tighten cover can quickly be scorched by the deadly weapons of Calhoun, Smith, and Speer. Each have a touchdown this season of over 90 yards, and each have produced highlight-worthy playoffs in Calhoun’s last two games.

On the road against frontrunner Ware County in the second round of the playoffs, Smith recorded a backhand for a touchdown, passing several defenders to reach the rim, then preparing to enter the end zone. Last week at Clarke Central, Speer picked up a deep ball and trapped it with one hand, rocked his defender, then took the distance to help organize an unbalanced quarterfinal victory.

“They do things like this all the time, and we’re blessed to be able to train them,” said Stephenson. “I don’t want to think about having to replace them and luckily I haven’t yet.”

Contact Lindsey Young at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @ youngsport22.

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