John Michael Estes doing big things in Georgia


John Michael Estes doing big things in Georgia

Year in and year out, East Paulding High School always seems to put powerhouse football teams on the field. Seven times in the last eight seasons, the Raiders have won at least eight games and advanced to the playoffs.

The near future looks equally promising for East Paulding. This year’s freshman team was a perfect 6-0 before losing to Allatoona in the final game of the season, and the eighth grade Raiders were boosted by the skills of quarterback John Michael Estes.

Already 6-feet tall and 185 pounds, Estes threw 14 touchdowns passes for the eighth graders at East Paulding Middle School. Estes was also selected to play QB on Nov. 23 for the Georgia Middle School Athletic Association (GMSAA) all-star team.

“I think I had a good season, and being taller, I can see over the offensive and defensive lines and that makes it easier to throw the ball,” Estes said. “From the start of the season to the end, I worked hard and tried to get better and better and it was an honor to be picked for the all-star game.”

NFA Duel champion

Estes came into the season ready to play. He’s been attending NFA camps the past two years and last summer he won the prestigious Duel of the Dozens for quarterbacks headed to eighth grade.

“NFA has really helped me a lot,” Estes said. “My throwing motion was kind of messed up and after working with NFA, it’s a lot better now. They’ve helped a lot. And winning the Duel, that gave me a lot of confidence for the season.”

Later this week, Estes has been invited to Troy University in Alabama for an unofficial visit. He’ll get a very early look into what it’s like to prepare for and play college football. “I’m really excited to see what that’s like,” Estes said. “I’m going to watch the game and hopefully I’ll get to talk to some of the coaches.”

Before he seriously starts thinking about possibly playing college football, Estes is going to prepare himself to play for East Paulding H.S. next year. “My goal is to start for the JV team as a freshman and then as a sophomore, start for the varsity,” he said. “I’m going to work out a lot, go to some NFA camps and keep working to get better.”

With four years of playing quarterback under his belt, Estes has gotten better each season. He actually spent the first three years of his football career playing fullback. “I always like running the ball, but playing quarterback, I like when it comes down to the end of the game and you’re able to help your team,” Estes said. “Just helping the team win, that’s what I try to do.”

Along with two of his current teammates, Estes is looking forward to playing in this year’s NFA Future All-Americans Bowl Game in Florida.

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University