Tucker is No. 1 in AAAA; Georgia is No. 1 in GA vs. AL

First full-week observations:

So how does Georgia football compare to that in Alabama? North Gwinnett was impressive in its victory over Prattville. Hold on just a minute … . Nevermind, that was just Sam Gibson being sacked again. Now if Camden County can just whoop Hoover again on Sept. 11, Georgia will turn westward and thump its chest for a good year.

North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire tells me that Peachtree Ridge is the best team in the state. (Of course, you don’t want to say Grayson or Lowndes is the best when P’Ridge is the one in your region, but I think the coach was sincere.). I’d love to see P’Ridge at Lowndes this week. It will be hard not to rank the winner No. 1 next week, especially if it’s decisive.

Southwest DeKalb’s Buck Godfrey says he still thinks SWD will win state. He told Chip Towers that after SWD’s loss to MLK. Remember that MLK is a Class AAAAA team, and SWD’s quarterback went down on the first play. If it were me, I’d still guess SWD or Griffin will win state.

Having said that, Tucker is the new No. 1 in AAAA. I agree with Franklin Stephens that Tucker right now is not the best team in AAAA. But with no obvious successor, let’s let the defending champions stay put. Tucker wasn’t the best AAAA team in the state this time last year, either.

What were the most surprising things you saw this weekend? Here are mine:

Roswell 42, Tift County 7

St. Pius 28, Marist 3

Charlton County 38, Clinch County 0

Worth County 39, Turner County 0

South Gwinnett 49, Norcross 28

And I probably should’ve ranked Charlton County.

Todd Holcomb publishes a free weekly email newsletter called Georgia High School Football Daily. To sign up, go here.


1. Lowndes (1-0)

2. Grayson (1-0)

3. Peachtree Ridge (1-0)

4. North Gwinnett (1-0)

5. Camden County (0-1)

6. Stephenson (1-0)

7. Northside, Warner Robins (1-0)

8. M.L. King (1-0)

9. Newnan (1-0)

10. Etowah (1-0)


1. Tucker (1-0)

2. Griffin (1-0)

3. Southwest DeKalb (0-1)

4. Westside, Macon (1-0)

5. Statesboro (1-0)

6. Sequoyah (1-0)

7. Rome (0-1)

8. North Clayton (1-0)

9. Banneker (1-0)

10. Hillgrove (1-0)


1. Carver, Columbus (1-0)

2. Gainesville (1-0)

3. Flowery Branch (1-0)

4. Baldwin (1-0)

5. Peach County (1-0)

6. St. Pius (1-0)

7. Carrollton (1-0)

8. LaGrange (0-1)

9. Cairo (0-1)

10. Washington County (1-0)


1. Buford (1-0)

2. Calhoun (1-0)

3. Thomasville (1-0)

4. Fitzgerald (1-0)

5. Jefferson County (1-0)

6. Pepperell (1-0)

7. Lovett (1-0)

8. Brooks County (0-0)

9. Callaway (0-1)

10. Jefferson (1-0)


1. Wesleyan (1-0)

2. Wilcox County (1-0)

3. Lincoln County (1-0)

4. Wilkinson County (1-0)

5. Emanuel County Institute (1-0)

6. Brookstone (1-0)

7. Savannah Christian (1-0)

8. Miller County (1-0)

9. Johnson County (1-0)

10. Bowdon (1-0)

226 comments Add your comment

skee bo

August 30th, 2009
5:51 pm

Why did Sandy Creek drop out the top ten when you had Rome and SW Dekalb losing also.Sandy Creek lost 2 a team in class 5A as did SW.Look for Creek to run the table and RB Rajion Neal to have a huge year. GO CREEK!!!!!!

Drew Ragland

August 30th, 2009
6:02 pm

When the rankings for AAAA were determined, was B.E. Mays High considered? Mays was 8-2 last year, losing their QB and RB, but this year they have an Even better QB that’s a junior and even better RB’s that are sophomores and seniors. They defeated Therrell 70-3 in the preseason jamboree @ Lakewood Stadium and defeated New Schools of Carver last night (which was not covered in your Sunday paper – you actually ran another article on SWD) 42 – 21 and it should have been worse. Mays’ passing game is is much better and running game is even stronger.


August 30th, 2009
6:35 pm

If the AJC thinks that Jefferson County, Pepperell, Lovett, Brooks County, Callaway and Jefferson are better that Charlton County, please stop with the top 10 rankings.. Time will tell and at the end of the year, I bet Charlton will be in the think of things for the last time in AA, before moving back to A ball next year.

The Grove

August 30th, 2009
6:57 pm



August 30th, 2009
7:11 pm

SWD is very overrated. Not to take anything from MLK, but SWD hasn’t been a legitimate State Title Contender since the 1990’s.

I also think Tucker is a little down this year. They didn’t exactly blow Brunswick out of the water. They’ll still blow Lakeside out, but Tucker isn’t the team they were last year or in 2007. I thought that 2007 Tucker team was better than the State Title Team last year.


August 30th, 2009
7:16 pm

The lack of attention paid to Mays High School this offseason and now into the regular season has to be a joke. The team returns most of its starters from last years team that climbed to #2 in the polls late in the season. The senior class has been a part of wins against Tucker, Marist, and St.Pius while remainging undefeated in the city over the last 4 years. We hear so much about the so called premiere athletes in the city at Washington, Douglass, and Carver, how about recognizing the premiere TEAM in the city at Benjamin E. Mays High School where you will also truly find the premiere athletes as well.


August 30th, 2009
7:35 pm

Be aware that Chattooga County (NW Georgia) has the best team they’ve had in over 40 years. They could give Calhoun and Buford everything they can handle in AA. Ask Darlington (Rome).


August 30th, 2009
7:42 pm

Carver-Columbus, best in the state

bee shabazz

August 30th, 2009
7:57 pm

Drew Ragland I don’t care what that dumb sign in front of the school says but can we please refer to Carver High as just CARVER! The New Schools thing sounds dumber than the kids in the neighborhood of EAST ATLANTA telling people they go to SOUTHSIDE COMPREHENSIVE. Maynard Jackson good choice! New Schools at Carver, BADDDDDDDDD!


August 30th, 2009
8:06 pm

Todd, interesting that you think Griffin is so good. The Griffin starters lost 14-7 to the Marist starters, though the game ended 14-14 after the Griffin second team scored against the Marist second team in the teams’ pre-season scrimmage in Griffin. Griffin is physically big with fast ends on defense, but very undisciplined on offense. Southwest Dekalb has historically been out coached in big games and usually lacks discipline. I will take Tucker’ superior coaching and quality athletes over SWD’s undisciplined “studs.” Take a look at the past few years and good coaching and team discipline trump “athletes.” In Region 6-AAAA, for example, scholarships did not equate to team success last year.


August 30th, 2009
8:12 pm

Shabazz call it what you will. The end result is your panthers got spanked by a far superior team on Saturday night in a game where the score could have easily been worse.


August 30th, 2009
8:26 pm

LSJU82. Marist vs Griffin was a scrimmage game. Neither team played to their full potential. The games actually count now. Is Griffin the Number 2 team in 4A i’m not sure but Griffin seems to have great players on both sides of the ball. Hopefully they can cut down on the penalties and continue to play good defense


August 30th, 2009
8:31 pm

mays also has the best band in the state…anyone there last night saw that. Mays is defitnely top ten in the state


August 30th, 2009
8:32 pm

in football…that is

Old Towner

August 30th, 2009
8:33 pm

I wouldn’t be suprised if North Cobb gives MLK a great game next Friday night. They are young but very scrappy and extremely well coached! Couldn’t believe it when they beat them last year either.

Pridge senior

August 30th, 2009
8:39 pm

Nice job on putting N Gwinnett ahead of Camden.


August 30th, 2009
8:56 pm

Do you honestly think there are 10 AA teams in Georgia better than Charlton County? One nine win season (after a record 13 years with 10+ wins) and you disregard Charlton as a second rate team. You will find out. We may not win a state championship this year but we will give it a run. Probably a better run than most of your top ten.


August 30th, 2009
9:13 pm

Thomasville beating Thomas County Central, North Gwinnett winning over Prattville & South Gwinnett rolling over Norcross. South has a very good chance of being a playoff team in Region 8. Outside of Grayson, no one is really impressive. The real measuring stick for South will come Sept 18th when they travel to Grayson.


August 30th, 2009
9:43 pm

Griffin is loaded this year with talent and experience….very gifted players on defense…very physical….im not even a griffin fan but they are loaded….


August 30th, 2009
9:50 pm

ECI is not even the best team in its own region (3A)–Savannah Christian and Johnson County, both of whom are also in the top 10, are better teams, and Savannah Country Day had ECI on the ropes this weekend before fumbling a punt return to allow the Bulldogs to escape 14-10 with a miracle TD with 50 seconds left in the game. SCPS and ECI meet this weekend. We’ll see where that leaves your rankings.


August 30th, 2009
9:51 pm

Marist will rise again. Same as last year — lost to St. Pius, which treats the Marist game like it is a state championship, while Marist treats it as a tune up to the AAAA season. Marist’s disciplined offense improves throughout the season every year.


August 30th, 2009
10:12 pm



August 30th, 2009
10:17 pm

Glad to see that at least 1 team from the feared Region 5AAAAA could manage to sneak in. Good thing they don’t do only a Top 9…huh!..fofl

Todd Holcomb

August 30th, 2009
10:19 pm

Ed: I’m not counting out Marist, but this year’s loss to SPX was much more decisive than in 2008. Of course, Tucker was beaten decisively at one point last year and did just fine in the end.

SouthGARules: I probably should’ve included the NG-Prattville game among the bigger surprises. Thomasville beating TCC didn’t surprise me, though I might’ve picked TCC. Can’t remember.

Joho: Are there 10 teams in AA better than Charlton? Probably not. But I don’t think any of the teams in the Top 10 deserved to be kicked out to make room. Remember that Charlton was not a Top 10 team last season and lost most of its starters, so that’s why Charlton didn’t start in the Top 10. Perhaps they should be there now after what we saw last week.

re: Marist-Griffin scrimmage: The Detroit Lions were 4-0 last season in scrimmages.

re SWD being overrated: Most teams that start No. 1 are overrated. It’s hard to live up to rankings that high. And it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the team was a legit state contender. Tucker hadn’t reached a state title game in years until last season.

re Mays: I like Mays, but there are a lot of teams that were good last season that returned a lot of starters. Mays hasn’t finished in the Top 10 very much. Good team, though.

re: Sandy Creek: Good point that SC lost to a AAAAA school, just as Rome and SWD did, but Rome and SWD were ranked higher to begin with, and they teams that beat them — MLK and East Paulding — are significantly better than East Coweta, IMO. It’s a long season, though, and I still think SC can be very good.

Todd Holcomb

August 30th, 2009
10:24 pm

re: Region 5-AAAAA. Too early to judge ‘em. I almost traded Woodstock for Etowah.

blu eagle

August 30th, 2009
10:31 pm

Hey Todd, I think you do a good job despite some posts. If Northside stays undefeated until Lowndes game do you think they have a chance of
beating at the Mac this year? I think homefield advantage is a big plus
for them as they seem to have 2 good QB’s and good running backs again.


August 30th, 2009
10:34 pm

Not from there but Griffin is loaded with more speed (which is scary) than they’ve EVER had. Their O-Line and D-Line will dominate. They are scary good.

Dawg Gone

August 30th, 2009
10:47 pm

Ed – if it’s no big deal to Marist who wins the game with St. Pius, then why did the Marist Booster Club pay for an airplane circle campus towing around a banner with last year’s score (21-10 in case you forgot) on it? Maybe they’re having a little Pius Envy?


August 30th, 2009
11:09 pm

Shock of the year Dutchtown High School!!!!!!!!!

Jon Megrue

August 30th, 2009
11:41 pm

1. Union Grove


August 30th, 2009
11:57 pm

Ed…I have a friend who is a coach at Pius and they treat every game like it is a championship game. I am sure Marist will have a good year but maybe if they approached every game the same way Pius does, they might have a better start!


August 31st, 2009
12:23 am

North clayton returned 5 starters on both sides of the ball and made it 2 the 2nd round lastyear…but dnt pay us any attention..we love making the unexpected the expected


August 31st, 2009
1:10 am

PRATTVILLE, HOOVER, and VIGOR are overrated teams from the STATE of ALABAMA. Last year, CAMDEN COUNTY beat HOOVER 42-21. This year in a scrimmage UNION GROVE dominated VIGOR last year STATE CHAMPION in ALABAMA. Then NORTH GWINNETT beat PRATTVILLE , ALABAMA 6A state champion..These teams are coming to The State of GA. playing our average teams and losing. I would have loved to seen BUFORD play BYRNES of SOUTH CAROLINA last year or this year.. The best football is played in the PEACH STATE.


August 31st, 2009
1:36 am

I agree with you true blue, I seen camden last yr run right thur hoover. Hopefully they can do the samething again this year. Camden secondary is not as good as it was last year so hopefully can put pressure on the QB with their front 7.Good win North Gwinnett the state of Alabama will stop sending their top schools to play Georgia top schools cause they cant win!!! Only if UGA could beat Bama everytime they play each other. I think thats why Nick saban stays recruiting in the state of georgia cause we have better talent hands down. Central Gwinnett had no business playing Brynes yea I would have love to have that seen them play one of our better schools like Grayson, Camden, Lowndes, even Buford anybody besides central gwinnett.


August 31st, 2009
1:42 am

I no Flower Branch is good, question is Stephens Co. that Bad? I went to the game & It was dominated by the Falcons. R the Indians N 4 along season?


August 31st, 2009
2:08 am

Ed – This whole first game of the season garbage only started last year, because Marist decided to stay in AAAA. Otherwise, the game would be played when it was before and when it should be – the end of the year. Though we’ve had some good results playing it the first game of the year – maybe we should keep it that way.


August 31st, 2009
2:12 am

Yea Todd Charlton Co should have crack your top 10 poll. Clinch Co was ranked #2 in class A in the coaches poll last week and charlton man handle them. I was surprise as you were with the way S. Gwinnett defeated norcross. Is S.Gwinnett just that good this year or Norcross just that bad this year??? I asked the same thing about Marist I know St.Pius usually have a pretty good team, but man did marist looked terrible in the highlights shown on the TV. Not the Marist I’m used to seeing. I wish some network will televise that Peachtree Lowndes game this friday I hate to have drive all the way down to Valdosta to see a good game this friday. We will really see if Lowndes is good as advertise without Greg Reid to bail them out when they get into trouble. Went to the MLK and S. Dekalb last friday the game went as I thought especially after S. Dekalb lost there QB on the 1st play of the game. Hopefully when they get there startin Qb back maybe they can get there offense going and be able to pass the ball If not they will not win state.


August 31st, 2009
2:47 am

Hey Sports Fan 31313, I see Bradwell barely beat Glynn academy this past week!!!! How do your boys look this year I know its early in the season but what do you think about them???? And how do you think they will fare against Camden this yr??? 40-0 this yr maybe???? Or you think they will actually score a touchdown this yr against them??? Bradwell should blowout wayne co this friday so know worries there!!! Camden is very young this yr!!!! So this yr might be Bradwell yr

bee shabazz

August 31st, 2009
3:03 am

Miami Northwestern, Miami Central, and St. Thomas Aquinas would mop the floor with Lowndes, Camden County and any other garbage WING-T running’ team in the state of Georgia. Grayson and Buford are not even on the same level as these Miami-Dade and Broward powers. You can’t compete in S. Fla runnin that garbage! Teams are too fast and disciplined to fool with misdirection and no passing game. Oct. 8th on ESPN real football will be played Miami NW vs. Miami Central. For those that like Big Time high school football this will be one worth watching! And the halftime show will definitely be exciting!


August 31st, 2009
3:05 am

Trying to find me a good game to watch this week, looking at this week schedule and the games that caught my eye besides the Lowndes vs peachtree. Highschool fans or Todd help me out with this Grayson vs warner robins or north cobb vs MLK. I know what grayson will bring to the table but I dont know about Warner Robins. Warner Robins blowout cream puff wheeler last week, Todd or highschool fans do you think this will be a completive game or will grayson blow them out?? North Cobb vs MLK was a great game last yr I guess it wouldnt hurt to see Mack Brown two weeks in a row??? What game will you attend this week Todd??

Joe Hale

August 31st, 2009
3:16 am

What happen to Jackson in the top 10 in AAA?


August 31st, 2009
3:24 am

Bee Shabazz are you crazy???? St. Aquinas are good I respect them, but Miami Northwestern and Miami Central yea right. Miami North western was good two yrs ago when they had all that talent. Last yr Northside warner robins mopped the floor with Booker T Washington of Miami and there so call spread offense. The same team Miami Northwestern stuggle with last yr. I will put anyone of our top team against them. Yall havent seen a good defense team like Camden, Grayson, Peachtree, Lowndes, or Buford. They will run they ball down yall throats. I will admit St.Aqunias is very good team and I like the way they play ball. But Miami Northwestern QB didnt show me anything last yr when I seen him play. Pahokee a class AA school will beat Miami Northwestern and Miami Central!!! You will have to come with something better than that.


August 31st, 2009
3:37 am

Bee Shabazz if you got any pull with Miami Northwestern or miami central coaches or AD. Tell them to sign up there team up for GA/ FL Border War games next yr that happens in Camden every year and we will see then. Camden is going to beat the brakes off First Coast this weekend!!!! Any Florida team is welcome to play no matter what class there in. Put up or shutup


August 31st, 2009
3:46 am

Stay with your sorry AAA school New Schools of Carver!!!!

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bee shabazz

August 31st, 2009
4:32 am

BD are you buying your medicine on BANKHEAD, Miami NW QB was in 10th grade last year and still lead them to there 3rd straight championship game. NW has just as much talent if not more than Aquinas and there QB is a lot better PLUS there not a private school like Aquinas. Face it dude the Wing-T is a garbage offense ran by coaches with atheletically challenged players or lazy coaches with no creativity. Wing-T teams don’t run it down your throat, they get you chasing people who don’t have the ball with misdirection and NW, STA, and Central are too good, too disciplined, and wayyyyyyy too fast to fall victim to that garbage. Nationally NW and STA are rated higher than every team in Ga. In Miami they have another name for the WING-T, S.W.B.O., BELIEVE DAT!

Not Disappointed

August 31st, 2009
4:45 am

No Washington-Wilkes in Single A? Oy! Come on Tigers!

bee shabazz

August 31st, 2009
5:04 am

BD i’m from Zone 3 Atlanta home of the Defending State Basketball Champs S. Atl. Hornets that’s my school, but we suck at football. The majority of my family lives in Fla. so I get to watch football in both states and what i’ve seen in Dade County is like nothing else. You mentioned First Coast which is in Duval Co, basically a suburb of Valdosta does not compare with Dade, Broward and those rabbitchasers in Muck City, Palm Beach County. North Fla. football is kinda like Ga. with Wing-t teams here and there but they don’t win State Championships like the multiple ones won by NW and STA.


August 31st, 2009
5:17 am



bee shabazz

August 31st, 2009
5:32 am

BD, be honest with me you say you repect St. Thomas but not NW? Why? St. Thomas is an ELITE CATHOLIC PRIVATE SCHOOL that recruits the best inner-city talent that money can buy to play football for them. The LEGENDARY MIAMI NORTHWESTERN BREEDS TALENT from ONE NEIGHBORHOOD and has been one of the top programs in Fla for over 30 years and a national powerhouse for probaly the last 20. People preach about doing stuff the RIGHT WAY, well that’s MIAMI NORTHWESTERN, you should at least respect that!