Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Class AAAA Playoff Preview

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.

Favorite: Griffin
Best draw: Southwest DeKalb
Worst draw: Tucker
Sleeper: Westside
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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134 comments Add your comment

SC Fan

November 10th, 2009
10:08 am

Looking foward to Sandy Creek’s Rajion Neal going head up with Loganville’s Storm Johnson. We should see maybe what will come in the future Storm going to the Canes and Rajion maybe to Fla State.

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November 10th, 2009
12:08 pm

Lets go Raiders!!! I really wish our bracket would’ve changed because im really not looking forward to facing SWD if we beat Clarke Central…. But if anybody knows the other road game we lost (35-7 Habersham Central 2007, East Paulding 21-3 2008, Clarke Central 2002..) We always win the frist round because we are always at home. we beat NW Whitfield and Cedar Shoals in consecutive years at Lakewood though


November 10th, 2009
12:08 pm

Dont underestimate Hiram,plan on them making a run deep into the playoffs.


November 10th, 2009
12:28 pm

Wheres your game predictions like you did in the AAAAA article? I wanna see just how wrong you guys are gonna be.


November 10th, 2009
12:38 pm

what about Apalachee there 10-0 and are looking very good and have 4 running backs that can take it to the house at anytime john lee is killing it this year as he did last year but with three other quality running backs he can save a little till late in the game. how come there not geting much respect i understand they have a tough draw this year with a second round matchup with marist.

lion rick

November 10th, 2009
12:40 pm

Norcross HS- Good luck in the state playoffs!! From your friends at the Ridge. ooops….. nevermind.

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Now Clear About GSHA

November 10th, 2009
1:34 pm

Issuing an incorrect playoff bracket maybe helps to explain why the GHSA will not play neutral fields throughout the playoffs. They’re not smart enough to figure out how to implement a simple neutral field playoff format! Come’on folks, Georgia is not that large of a state.


November 10th, 2009
2:38 pm

Why should there be neutral fields throughout the playoffs. That just sounds dumb to me. I think it makes sense to reward the teams who performed the best during the regular season with home games.

Hornet Dave

November 10th, 2009
3:10 pm

Congratulations Richmond Academy – 26-game losing streak to home playoff game in two years! Go Musketeers!


November 10th, 2009
5:32 pm

The only people that want neutral fields are the folks that don’t have a good atmosphere in their own stadiums.

er dude

November 10th, 2009
6:02 pm

Be warned about the schools from 7AAAA, Hiram, Dalton, Sprayberry, and NW Whitfield. It was a tuff region this season. The kids from Hiram have been as lucky as they are good.

Region 6AAAA Fan

November 10th, 2009
6:23 pm

Hey year in and year out teams from 7AAAA always hollering about look out cause they’re gonna go deep into the play-offs and whatnot…trust me that is not that tough of a region…6AAAA is by far the toughest region in AAAA football


November 10th, 2009
6:35 pm

I think lakeside-Evans is the true sleeper. 6 shutouts on the year, including 17-0 over 8-2 Evans. They allowed the least amount of points in AAAA this year.

Region 6AAAA Fan

November 10th, 2009
6:41 pm

Region 3AAAA is a terribile region too


November 10th, 2009
7:18 pm

Have anyone heard that Glynn Acdy might have to forfeit some games for using an ineligable player? Rumor is Statesboro contacted GHSA and it’s being investigated.


November 10th, 2009
7:22 pm

Now Clear About GSHA??? You are not from ’round here obviously…..Have you ever heard of RESEARCH? the Great state of Georgia is THE LARGEST STATE EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER…geez some of you people could’nt pour crap out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel..

Region 6AAAA Fan

November 10th, 2009
7:45 pm

Did a little research, The Dalton Catamounts have actually played a decent schedule…they lost to a AA team 31-28 in the Calhoun Yellow Jackets that went 10-0 (5-0) in their respective region…beat the Sprayberry Yellow Jackets (7B-AAAA) 27-21….lost to the Sequoyah Chiefs (7A-AAAA) 38-16…beat the NW Whitfield Bruins (7A-AAAA) 35-11…lost to the Hiram Hornets (7B-AAAA) 17-14…the Catamounts have a good overall record of 55-45 against their opponents

Region 6AAAA Fan

November 10th, 2009
7:47 pm

Correction, i meant the combined record of the Dalton Catamounts opponents is 55-45

Region 6AAAA Fan

November 10th, 2009
7:56 pm

lol continuing with the research i see the Sandy Creek Fighting Patriots only played three teams with winning records, they lost to the East Coweta Indians (4-AAAAA) 28-27…beat the Starr’s Mills Panthers (5A-AAAA) 31-13…beat the Banneker Trojans (5B-AAAA) 21-9…their opponents combined record is a dismal 43-56


November 10th, 2009
8:28 pm

Your all gonna be Bear Meat.Go Griffin Bears!


November 10th, 2009
8:32 pm

Region 6AAAA Fan
Great job doing your research…
Others should take note.


November 10th, 2009
9:24 pm

Region 6AAAA

Sandy Creek is in region 5AAAA and yea it is a pretty weak region, especially on the A side…. they own that side of the region. there is no one else to play them on that side… On the B side Its always the same three: Banneker, Mays, and Villa Rica.. but I gota admit that we aren’t all that. Mays(8-2) slaughtered Villa Rica(5-5), who creamed Banneker (7-3), who humiliated Mays.. there is really not one team that everyone knows is going to win the subregion.. Last year it was Villa Rica, and this year Banneker, who both got demolished my Sandy Creek


November 10th, 2009
9:35 pm

This one goes out to all the Griffin fans reading from Spalding County and any others around the world…..:-)
We Love (we love) the Griffin Bears
We Love (we love) those Mighty Bears
Deep Down in our Hearts
(ohhhh DEEP, DEEP – ohhh DEEP, DEEP….)

BHS Alum

November 10th, 2009
9:42 pm

might want to look at the film or contact Sandy Creek… Banneker did not get demolished by them… It was 7-3 at halftime and there head coach had a minor heart attack at halftime in which he had to be rushed to the hospital. Thank God he is doing great now. and they held Sandy Creek to there lowest point total and the lowest yardage output all year… Also held rajon neal to 83 yds rushing 31 of those yards came on one carry. it was not a complete domination. please do research before you post things on these blogs…


November 10th, 2009
9:43 pm

WOW! that’s a great line:
“You’re ALL gonna be BEAR MEAT!”
fits great in haiku !!


November 10th, 2009
9:51 pm

GO PURPLE HURRICANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


November 10th, 2009
9:53 pm


This why they play the games

November 10th, 2009
9:59 pm

I appreciate the stats, too. I don’t have the opportunity to keep up as much as I’d like. What are the Griffin stats in this regard?


November 10th, 2009
10:00 pm

my bad BHS Alum.. I was kinda in the zone with my destroying words. let’s not get hostile here.. honest mistake

BHS Alum

November 10th, 2009
10:21 pm

lol…no hostility… I really want our entire region to do well… I am so sick of hearing about other regions and ppl completely disregarding our region… But it is understood why… just gotta go earn the respect of the ppl…

Region 6-A

November 10th, 2009
10:35 pm

Can someone please explain to me why Region 6A considers Darlington to be region champs when they are tied with Bowdon (5-1) and why Bremen is over Trion (4-2) when they are also tied for 3rd and 4th slot.


November 10th, 2009
10:46 pm

Stats, Records, what they did last year or what they did the last 50 years doesnt matter. Its the playoffs. Anyone can lose and anyone can win. So dig up as much info as you want;its the dance.

Friday Nights Lights Fan

November 11th, 2009
12:32 am

Go Hiram! Beat Chamblee..


November 11th, 2009
12:37 am



November 11th, 2009
12:48 am

I have faith in our region to make some noise in the playoffs this year, but i dnt think my Raiders will beat SWD if we end up playin them in the 2nd round


November 11th, 2009
12:51 am

hey black gold!! not to be rude or anything, but this is a AAAA blog! Can u try and wait until thursday until ur classification is highlighted? Not that we dont wana hear it or anything, its just that we get sooo tired of hearing everyone else classes but our own

This why they play the games

November 11th, 2009
3:53 am

@31, perhaps you didn’t notice my handle. I know where the ball games are won. I just happen to enjoy statistics. You can enjoy your “ignorance is bliss” attitude. It suits you.

SC Fan

November 11th, 2009
7:19 am

Everybody is talking how weak region 5 is,but no one has given Creek credit for the season they have had. Te lost to East Coweta should never happened we got out coached.Coweta is a good AAAAA team that played Newnan well until a mental let down in the 4th quarter. Banneker beat Westlake that is a solid team that is also in the same region as Newnan.The other teams have played outside the region and played very competitive.Creek will go deep in the playoffs and have a really good shot at state if we have smart coaching down the stretch.


November 11th, 2009
8:24 am

tucker finna win state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#1 fer now

November 11th, 2009
8:36 am

I’m too stupid and lazy to do a whole lot of research on the matter but here’s what little I’m not too lazy to do…..

Griffin offensively averaged a little better than 37 points per game (high of 51, low of 26) over the regular season while defensively it surrendered an average of 4.8 per contest including 4 shutouts (most ponts given up in any one game: 14, that to #9 North Clayton). Against the 3 teams the Bears faced that reached the AAAA plyoffs—N. Clayton, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro and Alcovy—Griffin won those games by a aggregate total of 93-24.


November 11th, 2009
9:34 am

And I thought AAAAA fans argued! These AAAA people are rabid! Good luck to all of you.

Hornets 2009

November 11th, 2009
10:00 am

er dude

November 10th, 2009
6:02 pm
Be warned about the schools from 7AAAA, Hiram, Dalton, Sprayberry, and NW Whitfield. It was a tuff region this season. The kids from Hiram have been as lucky as they are good.

This is a tough region even though some people do not think so. 4 teams ranked in Top 10 at various times. And one didn’t make the playoffs that could have went deep in the playoffs. Yes Hiram has had what some people call “luck”, I guess they mean our defense making the big plays when it was crutial, getting turnovers and capitalizing. That is just football, good football to be more precise. But this team has heart to go along with 75 teamates that BELIEVE in one family. Just a bunch of solid kids with each week a different player rising to be the star. Just watch them. How many times do you see a back breaking the long one and the first person he looks for to give the credit is the linmean that sprung him. That is what makes this team dangerous to non believers.

All 7-AAAA teams need to take our moto … SHH .. We’re here. and take care of business this week. I’m going out on a limb .. Region 7AAAA 3 – Region 6AAAA 1


November 11th, 2009
10:46 am

I agree with BHS Alum, our region is constanly underestimated. We have some of the best team, and atheletes in the state of Georgia, but year in and year out you always hear of teams like Grayson, NSWR,etc.. What about the AAAA teams like SWD, Mays, North Clayton, Marist, Tucker, Griffin, Sandy Creek, even Banneker. AAAA has many strong teams, where is our recognition?

SWD Panther

November 11th, 2009
12:25 pm

Hornets 2009

All you guy’s up there have done is play against each for the most part. We’ll see how tough you guy’s are against 6-AAAA. I predict we go 3 – 1 against your region.


November 11th, 2009
12:31 pm

I’ve havnt seen region 8 play this year. The last time we played somebody from that region, it was a blow out (they dont put the score on ajc, but it was 40-13 i think), i remember that game. But we will jus have to take care of business in the first round and let Sandy Creek and Banneker and Starrs Mill take over, because due to our coaching situation, we aren’t going to get pass SWD in the second round.. i wish i could say otherwise but I, just speaking the truth


November 11th, 2009
12:34 pm

Bears are goin to the dome baby!!!!


November 11th, 2009
12:39 pm

Hornets 2009

I hope all of your confidence shines thru because Mays has actually played in 6AAAA… that has got to be the toughest region to play in, in any sport. we played against the then “Big 3″: Marist, Tucker, and St.Pius… I cant speak on SWD cuz we never played them.. the only reason these teams lose is because they play themselves. SWD lost to a good MLK team by 4 points. Im sure u would lose by alot more. Marist lost to St.Pius, which used to be a 6AAAA school..and Tucker lost to two 6AAAA teams.. i predict them to go 3-1 against your region.