Frederica Academy Knights 2020 Season Preview
By: Kipp Branch
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Brandon Derrick enters his 8th season as head football coach of the Frederica Academy Knights this fall.
Derrick has built Frederica into one of the elite programs in the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) by winning the State Championship in 2018.
The Knights finished 4-6 in 2019 as they rebuilt from losing so many seniors from the championship team, but made the playoffs and lost in the first round to Southland Academy.
The 2020 Knights have 14 starters returning from last season and are experienced across the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage.
Depth could be an issue because the Knights have a total of 31 players on the entire roster. Derrick says “We have a chance to develop and be good if we can avoid injuries”.
Garrett Squires will anchor the offensive line. Derrick says he is versatile and is a team leader in the locker room.
Jacob Triplett will play plug in at right tackle. The defensive line has experience with Will Thompson and Will Counts returning. Counts is a three-year starter at nose guard.
The Knights will run a spread offense that will be more run based. Thomas Veal looks to be the QB and looked good in limited reps in 2019 after he returned late in the season from a preseason injury.
Kyle Perez is up to 185 lbs. and will get the bulk of carries at running back. Watch for Jordan Triplett to break on to the scene this fall at WR/RB.
Josh Meadows and Josh Elliott will lead an experienced linebacker position. Jayden Rose will be one of the better corners in the region.
The schedule/My Predictions/ * Region Game
9/11 @ Valwood: Valwood might as well be the third public school in Lowndes County.
The Valiants cherry pick Valdosta and Lowndes and that makes them a state title contender every season. These two schools have developed a great rivalry over the past 4-5 seasons.
Beating Valwood on the road will be very tough. The Knights play well but fall short 27-20 to go 0-1 on the season, but could see Valwood again in the postseason.
9/18 Calvary: Calvary always has one or two very talented players, but in the home opener Frederica gets it done 28-22 to even its record to 1-1 on the season.
9/25 @Tiftarea: The Knights travel to Chula, which is 10 miles north of Tifton to play the Panthers who went 8-4 in 2019.
This could be another playoff preview game for Frederica. The Knights come up a little short in this one 17-14 to fall to 1-2 on the season.
10/2 Brantley County: The Herons come to St. Simons to play football instead of the entire county coming over for 4th of July Fireworks. Highly anticipated matchup between the schools.
The public school Herons take the private school Knights for granted and get beat 24-18. The Knights go to 2-2 on the season.
10/16: Long County: Long is awful in football. FA wins 27-14 to go to 3-2
10/23: Memorial Day: The Matadors roll to SSI and get blistered 34-6. FA goes to 4-2 on the season.
10/30 @ Bulloch Academy *: The Gators, I’m told, have been recruited hard by Benedictine and lost key players.
The Knights find a way to win the region opener on the road 28-26 to set up a battle with Pinewood for the region crown in two weeks. FA goes to 5-2.
11/6 St. Andrews *: The Knights handle the Lions 34-16 to go to 6-2 and 2-0
11/13 @ Pinewood: The Patriots are loaded and the Knights gave the game away to them in 2019.
FA can win this game in Bellville, which is near Claxton. Due to factors out of their control, if you get my drift, the Knights fall short 27-23 and go to at 6-3 and 2-1 in region play.
11/20: Trinity Christian: The Crusaders roll into St. Simons and crusade out with a 28-14 loss. FA finishes the regular season with a 7-3 record and finish 3-1 in the region.
Frederica is a solid playoff team barring a rash of injuries in 2020.