Ed Clendenen’s Gordon Lee Trojans made it into the GHSA Class A state playoff this past season, thanks in part to a pair of college-bound big-men in Andrew Johnson and Cody Cochran.
Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound role player, and Cochran, a 6-foot-5 220-pound big man with a triggerman’s mentality, will suit up for the Bobcats in NJCAA’s Region XVII beginning this fall.
The forwards will join returning Bobcat posts Alex Miller (6-5) and Bu Todd (6-5) on the GNTC roster for the 2012-13 season. Incoming freshmen Jordan Robinson (6-6, Mountain View Christian, Bryant, Ala.) and Terrell Rose (6-9, Global Prep, Chattanooga) will also help keep the front court stacked deep.
Cochran and Johnson helped play key roles in the Trojans' turnaround last season as they amassed 20 wins and a preliminary round playoff win over Commerce.
Ironically, it was the game that gave them their post-season berth that is also Cochran and Johnson’s favorite moment from the prep hardwood.
“Beating Trion for a spot in the playoffs,” stated both GNTC signees. That’s right. Their favorite memory from high school basketball had nothing to do with themselves. But it had everything to do with Gordon Lee teammate Samuel Welsh draining a three from the corner this past February to down the Bulldogs and catapult their own program into the state playoffs.
The question begs to be asked then - how do they plan on working with their newfound teammate from Trion, speaking in regards to signee Hunter Ivester?
“He’s pretty cool off the court,” said Johnson. “It’s just the rivalry between Gordon Lee and Trion is so intense that during those games our teams just really go at it. It’ll be a good mix playing together on the college level."
Cochran plans on entering the college’s Early Childhood Education program in hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher. Johnson plans to transfer in the next two years to pursue an agriculture degree to hopefully become an agricultural missionary.
The three-sport star (basketball, track, and football) says it’s God’s plan.
“I feel like God wants me to use agriculture as a tool to minister to others,” said Johnson confidently.
Both of these new Bobcats are very impressed with the top cat at GNTC.
“Coach Stephenson seems to care more about the player and who he is off of the court,” said Johnson.
"He seemed to care more about what we wanted to do with our lives than what our athletic plans were,” Cochran added.
The Bobcats will have their own season mark to turn around from the 2011-12 campaign. Georgia Northwestern earned an 8-20 overall mark this past season with their sole conference win coming against Southern Crescent Tech in the first round of the NJCAA Region Tournament in Oxford this past March.
Open team workout dates for the men’s and women’s basketball programs are posted at GNTC.edu as they are available. Tryout dates will be posted this summer for spots on the 2012-13 Georgia Northwestern rosters.
Next season will mark the sixth year of student-athletics at Georgia Northwestern.