Each day this week, we’ll look at the playoff draw for one of the five classifications, resuming today with Class AAAA. Here are five interesting facts about each of the 16 games, with an emphasis on playoff history.
Which game this week matches the two oldest public high schools in the South? Find out below.
Best draw: Southwest DeKalb
Worst draw: Tucker
Best first-round matchup: Sprayberry at Marist
Alcovy (7-3) at Thomas County Central (9-1)
- Alcovy, which finished 0-10 in its opening season in 2006, is playing in its first state playoff game.
- All three Newton County teams are in the playoffs this season. The others are Newton and Eastside.
- Thomas County Central has made the state playoffs each season since 1992.
- Thomas County Central has won 32 of its past 35 home games in the playoffs.
- Thomas County Central lost at home in the first round last season to Ware County.
Glynn Academy (5-5) at Richmond Academy (7-3)
- These are the two oldest public high schools in the South. Richmond Academy of Augusta was chartered in 1783. Glynn Academy of Brunswick was chartered in 1788.
- Richmond Academy has not won a state playoff game since its 18-14 victory against Valdosta in the 1970 semifinals. That game, one of the top upsets in state history, ended Valdosta’s 38-game unbeaten streak.
- Glynn Academy has not won a state playoff game since 1968, a 13-6 victory over Laney in the Class AAA quarterfinals. Glynn won region playoff games in 1983 and 1985.
- Richmond Academy leads the series between the teams 11-9-2 since 1948, when Glynn beat Richmond 26-0 in a region final.
- Glynn Academy coach Rob Ridings has won at least five games in each of his six seasons. That’s the first six-year streak of its kind in school history in the GHSA era (1948-present).
Loganville (6-4) at Sandy Creek (9-1)
- Loganville running back Storm Johnson has committed to Miami.
- Sandy Creek running back Rajion Neal has committed to Mississippi State.
- Loganville failed to get out of the first round in its past four playoff appearances (1997, 1998, 1999, 2008).
- Sandy Creek has failed to get out of the second round in all 10 of its playoff appearances.
- Sandy Creek’s all-time state-playoff record is 4-9. Loganville’s is 1-5.
Tucker (8-2) at Dalton (7-3)
- Dalton has clinched a winning season for the 50th consecutive year, a Georgia record.
- Tucker is 30-29 all-time in the postseason, with a state title in 2008.
- Dalton is 52-35 all-time in the postseason, with a state title in 1967.
- Dalton beat Tucker 17-10 in the 1996 first round in the only meeting between these schools.
- Dalton has lost 11 of its last 12 road games in the playoffs dating to 1981.
Harris County (5-5) at Griffin (10-0)
- Griffin is No. 1 entering the playoffs for the first time since 1981.
- Griffin is 39-30-1 all-time in the postseason.
- Griffin coach Steve DeVoursney and Harris County coach Tommy Parks were teammates on R.E. Lee’s 1987 state championship team.
- Harris County has made the state playoffs for the third straight year.
- Harris County has never won a postseason game.
Evans (8-2) at Ware County (5-5)
- Ware County missed a chance to win its region when it lost to Effingham County (3-7) last week.
- Evans missed a chance to host a first-round game when it lost to Richmond Academy last week.
- Ware and Evans were in the same region (3-AAAA) in 2006 and 2007, and Ware beat Evans 8-6 and 37-6 in the only two times the schools have met.
- Evans is 7-15 all-time in the postseason (2-11 on the road), its best finish the quarterfinals in 1987.
- Ware is 17-21 all-time in the postseason (8-8 at home), its best finish the finals in 1961 and 2007.
Starr’s Mill (6-4) at Apalachee (10-0)
- Apalachee is 10-0, state-ranked and region champion this season for the first time.
- Apalachee is the first school from Barrow County to win a region championship.
- Apalachee has made the state playoffs each of the past four seasons (going 1-3) but has never played a playoff game at home.
- Starr’s Mill has won six straight first-round playoff games, but only one of them was on the road.
- Starr’s Mill missed the playoffs in 2007 and 2008 after making them six of the previous seven seasons.
Sprayberry (7-3) at Marist (8-2)
- Marist has won 26 straight (and 44 of its last 45) playoff games at home.
- Marist has reached the postseason each year since 1983 and the state playoffs since 1987.
- Sprayberry, which started football in 1958, has never won a state playoff game.
- Sprayberry has reached the state playoffs for the third straight season for the first time in history.
- Marist has played Sprayberry four times, winning each by shutout (1958, 1959, 1970, 1971).
Chamblee (7-3) at Hiram (10-0)
- Hiram, which started football in 2000, is 10-0, state-ranked and region champion for the first time.
- Monday’s reshuffling of the draw by the GHSA puts Hiram in the same quarter with No. 8 Westside of Macon and not No. 3 Sandy Creek.
- Hiram reached the playoffs in 2001, 2002 and 2006, losing in the first round each time.
- Chamblee has played only one of its previous 10 playoff games at home.
- Although forfeits by Stone Mountain and Lithonia got big headlines last week, it had no ultimate effect on the playoff teams from Region 6-AAAA, as Chamblee would’ve qualified anyway.
Rockdale County (7-3) at Banneker (7-3)
- Rockdale County has won six straight games and as many as seven games overall in a regular season for the first time since 1999.
- Rockdale County is 2-3 in the state playoffs and 2-6 in the postseason.
- Banneker is 2-6 in the state playoffs and 2-7 in the postseason.
- Banneker is playing at home for the second time in the state playoffs. Its first resulted in an 8-6 loss to Carrollton in the 2001 first round.
- Banneker has 20 alumni on college rosters this season, the fourth most in Class AAAA (behind Tucker, Stockbridge, Southwest DeKalb)
Statesboro (6-4) at Lakeside, Evans (9-1)
- Statesboro won state titles in 2001 and 2005. The only other teams in the draw with state titles this decade are Marist (2003) and Tucker (2008).
- Statesboro has reached the state playoffs each season since 1999. Only Thomas County Central (1992) and Marist (1987) in AAAA have longer streaks in the state playoffs.
- Lakeside is playing at home for the first time in the state playoffs. It played a region playoff at home in 1993.
- Lakeside is a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs for the first time. In 1993, Lakeside won the regular season in its region but lost in region playoffs and failed to make state.
- Lakeside’s nine victories are a team record. This is the school’s 22nd year of varsity football.
Mt. Zion, Jonesboro (8-2) at Westside, Macon (9-1)
- Both teams have first-year coaches. Mount Zion’s is Jamie Aull, a former Mount Zion player. Westside’s is Sheddrick Risper, a former head coach of the middle school team. (The only other first-year coach in the draw is Ware County’s Ed Dudley.)
- Mount Zion’s best playoff finish was the Class AAA final 10 years ago against Oconee County. Aull played on that Mount Zion team.
- Westside has made two semifinals (2000, 2003) but never a final.
- Westside is 9-2 at home in the playoffs and 8-0 in the first two rounds at home.
- These schools were in the same region (2-AAAAA) in 2002 and 2003. Westside won their games those years 21-7 and 41-6.
NW Whitfield (7-3) at SW DeKalb (9-1)
- Southwest DeKalb, the preseason No. 1 team in AAAA, is a region champion for the 13th time under coach Buck Godfrey, but for the first time since 2000.
- Northwest Whitefield is 2-5 in the state playoffs and 3-11 in the postseason.
- Southwest DeKalb is 46-29 all-time in the playoffs.
- Both of Northwest’s state-playoff victories were first-round upsets: at North Clayton in 2004 and at Douglas County in 2007.
- Southwest DeKalb is playing only its second home playoff game since 2001. The other nine playoff games during that time have been on the road.
Mays (8-2) at Clarke Central (8-2)
- Mays has never won a playoff game on the road (0-4).
- Mays has played in Athens before, a 37-29 loss to Cedar Shoals in the first round of 2002.
- Leroy Ryals is the first Clarke Central coach since Billy Henderson in 1990-92 to lead his team to three straight seasons of at least seven wins.
- Clarke Central has lost six straight first-round playoff games starting in 2003.
- Despite a seven-game losing streak in postseason games, Clarke is 47-24 all-time in the postseason (not counting a 9-3-1 record as Athens High).
Hephzibah (7-3) at Brunswick (7-3)
- Brunswick won its second straight title in Region 2-AAAA when Ware County was upset by Effingham County last week.
- Brunswick is 10-4 at home in the playoffs, 2-12 on the road.
- These schools have never played each other.
- Hephzibah, which started football in 1954, has played two playoff games in its history, losing both (2001, 2008).
- Hephzibah is assured of back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in its history.
Bainbridge (6-4) at North Clayton (8-2)
- Bainbridge coach Ed Pilcher, formerly of Thomas County Central and Early County, has made the playoffs each season since 1988.
- Bainbridge has reached the playoffs each season since 2002. That’s tied for the fifth-longest streak in AAAA.
- Bainbridge is 4-12 on the road in playoff games since its 1982 state championship.
- North Clayton’s first-round victory last year over Richmond Academy was its first state-playoff victory since 1997.
- Both teams lost their regular-season finale. The only other AAAA matchup of teams that did that is Evans vs. Ware County.
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