THOMASVILLE — The quarterback battle at Thomas County Central will linger into fall practices. How long it takes to determine Kalique Guyton's successor will be up to senior Will Dean and junior Sam Brown.

Central head coach Ashley Henderson said his preference would be to name a starter as soon as possible.

“We would like to settle in on one, especially once you get into the meat and potatoes of your schedule,” Henderson said. “They're competing well with each other. They get along great. I think each one is the other's biggest cheerleader. It's genuine, too.”

The Yellow Jackets have some time to determine who their starter will be before their first Region 1-AAAA game. Yes, their season opener is Aug. 27 against cross-town rival Thomasville. But their first region game is not until Oct. 1 at home against Monroe. It provides Henderson and his offensive coaches plenty of time to evaluate each player's development during the summer, into fall practice and early part of the season schedule.

“Both of them bring a different skill set,” Henderson said. “Both of them can get the ball down the field. Both of them are looking really good. I'm excited about both of them. They have done a good job of picking up everything and being a great teammate first and foremost.”

Both are similar in stature. Brown is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, while Dean is 6 foot, 185 pounds. 

Both are trying fill the quarterback spot on the Yellow Jackets that had been manned by Guyton for the past two seasons.

“You can't replace that Friday night experience,” Henderson said. “The amount of reps under the Friday night lights, there's no substitution for that. There will be a little bit of a learning curve. It'll be interesting to see how they react.”

Central and other Georgia High School Association teams will start fall practices on Aug. 1.

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