HS Football Team Previews: Lincoln poised for strong season; Zedaker continues to build legacy

As an encore to a region championship-winning season, Lincoln is looking to take the next step in 2019. Following a 1-9 season in 2017, Lincoln head coach Matt Zedaker had his team back in the playoffs a year ago, and now, entering his third season as head coach, he has an exciting core of players building a program in Talladega County.

Last season, Lincoln finished 7-4, losing to Alabama Christian 18-14 in the first round of the playoffs. The Golden Bears won the region championship for the first time since 2014. The defense locked down opposing offenses during region play, only allowing 12.2 points per game. The offense, led by quarterback Javion Surles, averaged 29.8 points per game in region play.

Key Unit: Defensive line

At Talladega County High School Football Media Day, Zedaker said his defensive front returns all but one player, and the unit has added depth. A veteran group, the defensive line led a defense that stifled opposing offenses all-season long, allowing fewer than 23 points in eight of 11 contests. Zedaker described his defense as nasty, and with the speed the Golden Bears field, Lincoln shouldn’t have any problems getting to the football in 2019.

Key Player: Javion Surles, senior, quarterback and cornerback

A player that Zedaker said he calls “Cyborg” because of his quick recovery from an ACL tear at the end of last season, Javion Surles is an athletic, dual-threat quarterback with the ability to take over a game. Surles was the 2018 Talladega County Player of the Year. At media day, Zedaker said his expectation for Surles is to be the offensive leader of his team. With the football in his hands, Surles is a threat, and at the high school level where good quarterbacks are hard to come by, that is an advantage for the Golden Bears.

Key Game: October 11 at Handley

Following a home game against Holtville, the Golden Bears will travel to Roanoke to play Handley. Last season, Handley finished second in the region, and the Tigers still look to be a formidable region opponent. If Lincoln can take care of business against Handley on the road, the Golden Bears should be in a good position to repeat as region champions with the final two games of the region schedule left against Childersburg and Elmore County, who Lincoln outscored 69-8 a year ago.

Lincoln Head Coach Matt Zedaker talks fall camp and White Towel Scrimmage.

2019 Lincoln Golden Bears Schedule


8/23 at Southside Gadsden

8/30 vs Walter Wellborn

9/13 vs Leeds*

9/20 at Talladega*

9/27 at Munford

10/4 vs Holtville*

10/11 at Handley*

10/18 vs Childersburg*

10/25 at Elmore County*

11/1 vs Montevallo