Creekview’s Ethan Dirrim and John Williams celebrate a touchdown during Friday’s game against Cambridge. The play was later called back after a penalty. (Photo: Emily Selby)

Creekview opened with a win over Cambridge last year, en route to the best season in program history.

While the Grizzlies lost a lot of experience in the offseason by way of graduation, they do bring back several talented players at key positions.

The biggest void the Grizzlies need to fill will be the one left by all-state running back Cade Radam, who is now at Kennesaw State.

Despite losing Radam, who amassed more than 2,000 yards rushing last season with 24 touchdowns, the Creekview offense was impressive in last week’s scrimmage with Cherokee. Quarterback Brody Rhodes connected with Ethan Dirrim for a long touchdown in the first quarter, and both will likely be key offensive weapons for Creekview this season.

Clemson commit John Williams will again anchor the offensive line for Creekview, as the unit showed little signs of slowing down following last season's success. The Creekview defense also looked strong, pressuring Cherokee quarterback A.J. Swann into making quick decisions.

Cambridge returns sophomore quarterback Zach Harris, who toward the end of the season last year displayed an ability to push the ball downfield. The Bears lost their top three leading receivers, but they do return Hayden Gardella, who hauled in five receptions for 67 yards against the Grizzlies last year.

Cambridge running back Phillip-Michael Collins, who tallied 57 yards on 17 carries against Creekview game last year, also returns as the primary weapon for the Bears. Collins led Cambridge in all-purpose yards last season as a sophomore with 965, while adding 11 rushing touchdowns.

First-year Creekview coach Trevor Williams said he will primarily guide the defense this season. During a preseason radio interview, he said that despite the increase in passing at the high school level, running the ball and stopping the opposition’s run game is still paramount.

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