The Mill Creek High School football team watched its season come to a close last Friday night against North Cobb High School. Six turnovers fed a hungry North Cobb team that eventually went on to win 42-35.
Mill Creek Head Coach Shannon Jarvis noted that penalties crushed his team but he was glad they kept a decent score in a situation that could have been a lot worse.
“We had six turnovers. You can’t turn the ball over. You’re not going to win if you turn the ball over,” said Jarvis. “It wasn’t a lack of effort. I was pleased with the execution most of the night.”
Despite being knocked out of the semifinals, the Hawks have a lot to be proud. Jarvis achieved his first nine-win season with Mill Creek; however, it hasn’t sunk in yet.
“I haven’t had time to reflect [on that yet]. We are still hurting over the loss. Maybe after Christmas I will have time to reflect. It was a pleasure to coach them. I’m still in the process of getting over the loss,” Jarvis said.
At every home game, the student section, along with other MCHS fans, piled into one of the most decorated high school football stadiums in the state and Jarvis said he is pleased with their dedication to the football program.
“This is a very close football team. By the middle of the year, I think our fans could see that as well. It was a fun team for them to watch and follow. We saw kids play with great intensity and passion. The student section played a great role in supporting our team,” said Jarvis.
The Hawks had their fair share of ups and downs during the year, but Jarvis noted that a tough loss in the middle of the season was the turning point that helped elevate his team.
“I think our turning point was the North Gwinnett loss,” said Jarvis. “After that, we had some words in the locker room. We were pretty upset. We had a few players stand up and say a few words. [It] was a critical time. We have kids that were not caught up in self-promotion.”
Asked about the biggest highlight of the season for him, Jarvis said, “I think it [was] being a part of the process. These kids have worked tirelessly; they have worked since January and February. There are some special boys on this team. They had unselfish attitudes.”
The Hawks will lose a host of seniors including defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin, who is committed to the University of South Carolina. Running back Jacorey Lewis has received interest from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi but is still undecided. Linebacker Patrick Dike and wide receiver Michael Cheeks are other keys losses for the Hawks.