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Joe Paull jpaull@ledger-enquirer.com First year Smiths Station football coach Jason Dukes stands in the weight room during practice Tuesday afternoon.

Joe Paull

Lithia Springs has named veteran coach Jason Dukes as its new football coach.

Dukes, a former standout at Georgia Tech, coached the last two seasons at Smiths Station High in Alabama.

He replaces Craig Chatman, who resigned earlier this year, after a two-year stint at the school. Chatman was 1-19 during that time but the one win helped snap a 14-game losing streak, the longest in school history.

Dukes, a former offensive line at Georgia Tech, was 11-9 at Smiths Station as he faced a rebuilding year his first season.

Prior to his time at Smiths Station, Dukes spent five years as the head coach at Alpharetta High, leading the team to its first four playoff appearances in his final four seasons.

He has a 45-30 career record, 34-21 in Georgia. At Alpharetta, he coached current Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs.

Dukes will face a major building job at Lithia Springs as the team hasn’t had a non-losing season since going 5-5 in 2010. The Lions have never made the postseason and last posted a winning record in 1999 when they went 6-4.

Because of the Georgia High School Association bi-annual reclassification, Lithia Springs has been placed in Region 6-AAAAA, which consist of teams mostly from the Atlanta city schools, Fulton County and Decutar. It is an eight-team region with Banneker, Carver-Atlanta, Grady, Decatur, Maynard Jackson, North Springs, and Riverwood.

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