Biggest surprise? Starr’s Mill is the undefeated Cinderella

On to the Dome …

It’s been a fun playoff season, especially in Class AAAAA, where there are probably 10 teams that could’ve won the title.

Three questions today:

 1. What does it take to win Class AAAAA this year? I’m convinced it’s not raw talent. Several teams have that. I’d like to say coaching, but I think just about all the major players are well-coached. How does Grayson shut out Valdosta but can’t stop Colquitt when it counts? . Let’s take Rance Gillespie. Could be the coach of the year, but his team gets shut out in the QF.

2. Who will win? I’ll take Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Sandy Creek, Buford, Clinch County. I can’t recall a year where there’s not an overwhelming favorite in any of the five classes. The ones that I’m tempted to be confident about are Buford and Clinch, but Calhoun beat Carver (which beat Buford), and Savannah Christian beat Wesleyan (which when healthy might be better than ELCA, which nearly beat Clinch.)

3. Which finalists are the most surprising? I’ve ranked them below based on my expectations entering the playoffs. Least surprising is first …

Buford: The Wolves are trying to become the second team in GHSA history to win four straight state titles. West Rome (1982-85) was the first. Buford winning is never a surprise. 

Clinch County: The Panthers are the only No. 1-ranked team to make the finals. Had to beat No. 2 ELCA, so less surprising than Buford.

Carrollton: The most dominant team in the state to this point. Had to beat Cairo, but the thing that really makes it less surprising than Clinch is history. Carrollton hasn’t been in a final in over a decade.

Sandy Creek: The Patriots have won 28 straight games. Had to beat No. 1 Peach County, so less surprising than Carrollton, although after Peach struggled w/ Grady, I thought SC was a slight favorite, especially at home.

Calhoun: Hard to be shocked at a team that reaches the final three straight years, but that was a nice upset vs. No. 1 Carver. Just fwiw, Dustin Christian out-rushed Isaiah Crowell for the season and in the game last week. Should he be the first choice for all-state RB in Class AA?

Chattahoochee: Not as surprised by this as you’d think. I was always high on the Cougars, but the Hooch had a pretty good draw, not to mention a pretty good team. I saw Chattahoochee play, and what I really liked was the linemen.

Brookwood: I feel vindicated for jumping Brookwood from No. 8 to No. 4 and then to No. 3 in the rankings after the Broncos won Region 8-AAAAA. Some said they were overrated. Of course, were I really smart, I might’ve had more than one of the semifinal teams in the final Top 10. I wouldn’t call Brookwood a surprise per se, but it’s just so difficult to navigate through Class AAAA. The odds against this are long for anybody.

Savannah Christian: The Raiders were the runners-up in 2009 but were written off by some for losing to Calvary Day 6-0 in the regular season. Then the upset at Wesleyan. This is a program that I respect, but didn’t see making the finals.

Colquitt County: On one hand, this is the team that I (and many) saw as a sleeper pick in Class AAAAA. Almost anything can happen in this classification, and Colquitt’s draw broke pretty favorably. But still, there’s never been a team with five losses win the highest class.

Starr’s Mill: How can an undefeated team be a surprise in the finals? It’s not that I didn’t think Starr’s Mill was good, but dial back to Nov. 5.  You had Northside, Tucker and Clarke Central in this half of the draw. Starr’s Mill? Don’t tell me you saw this one coming. I didn’t.

296 comments Add your comment

Jefferson

December 5th, 2010
12:57 pm

Why don’t you just get the I T staff to use Buford’s colors on this webpage too. You Wolve lovers are all alike. Go Jackets !!

Trojan09

December 5th, 2010
1:20 pm

I don’t understand how they can say that Carrollton is a suprise. They just killed the Burke County Bears 49-15 in the 4th round. Sandy Creek is if not one of the largest AAA school. They look like a powerhouse, but Carrollton will control the game and win by two scores!

jacketspeed

December 5th, 2010
2:08 pm

Jefferson,

Let’em make Calhoun the under dog, they play better that way. I keep seeing all the reasons that Calhoun won’t win, every week. Then those folks are not posting the next week. Knock em out one at a time, Third time is the Charm…

Attach-You_Trojan

December 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

To you Burke Co. folks that said Carrollton had not played anybody and listed some of the teams Burke Co. had played, I guess we still haven’t played anybody because we beat you just as bad as we have beaten everybody else this season. Go TROJANS! The AJC has ignored Carrollton all year and did not even rank us to start the season. What are you going to do when we are STATE CHAMPS?

Observer 24

December 5th, 2010
2:21 pm

Trojan09…I agree completely. I’ve watched 6 Carrollton games this year and the last 3 playoff games. Carrollton is drubbing. They could have easily put 60 points on Burke County. They made Burke County look like a 4-6 team that missed the playoffs. IT WAS 35-7 AT THE HALF!!! And people think Carrollton is a suprise???? No, not a suprise. A winning tradition at its’ finest. That is an obvious and correct observation by a long time football fan. GO TROJANS

Purple People Eaters

December 5th, 2010
2:32 pm

Trojans have underachieved until this year…It is high time for that breakout season, with all the money spent on the program, facilities, etc…etc.. and being a city school like Buford, they go and get those they want, expecially from poor old Central Carrollton…Can remember when they were a power….Too many nice facilities at Carrollton to hold a kid a Central……GHSA continues to let the city schools legally recruit…..

Trojan09

December 5th, 2010
3:08 pm

To Purple people eaters!-I don’t know of anyone who is starting for the Trojans that you say we have recruited away from Central-Carrollton. I remeber just a few years ago when my friend QB for the Lions and they came within a touchdown of us. Central -Carrolltons problem is the coaching sadley. Teague is one of the best HS coaches in the southeast. Every year that I can recall Carrollton has had a winning season. We are a very underated team and I hope Sandy Creek thinks they can roll through us. BC when we take the field they are going to be in for a rude awakening. Get ready for CARROLLTON to win a championship next Saturday. Go Trojans and to AJ Barge I know your father would be so proud. I love my TROJANS

Jeff in Calhoun

December 5th, 2010
3:09 pm

Buford has had their mind on Carver and redemption all season long. They don’t know what to think now!
They are like “What in the world happened”! We were suppose to play Carver in a rematch for the Championship and show them up. They are about to get rear ended by The Mighty Calhoun Yellow Jackets! I’ve been watching Calhoun since Coach Lamb got there and this QB Landon Curtis is the best in my opinion that they have every had. Too many other great players to mention also. Doubt is a unnerving feeling and Buford has this Doubt in their mind!

SportsFan31313

December 5th, 2010
4:09 pm

Well with all of that being said, here are my predictions:

Class AAAAA State Champions

Colquitt County

Class AAAA State Champions

Chattahoochee

Class AAA State Champions

Sandy Creek

Class AA State Champions

Buford

Class A State Champions

Clinch County

iTiSi

December 5th, 2010
4:31 pm

The only thing worse than an athlete that’s full of himself is a sportswriter that’s full of himself. Not calling any names, but I know more than one.

Cloud 9

December 5th, 2010
7:54 pm

It all hurts when you lose but to lose in the semis is worse thrn at anytime. You just know–one more and I/we play in the dome. How great to be on a field where professionals play. WOW!

Good luck to all teams.

Tellitlikeitis

December 5th, 2010
9:02 pm

Ditto on your predictions SportsFan31313

Calhouh, 3 strikes and you are out (lose)

B-TownWolves4Peat

December 5th, 2010
10:06 pm

Held to the Wolf!!!!!!!!! Shall I say we have never lost in the Dome…… Just like playing at Home!

Copernicus

December 5th, 2010
10:09 pm

Savannah Christian is a 1 loss team, was 1st in their sub-region, but is a 4 seed in the playoffs…..

Can someone explain how this happened? Did they do some weird play-in game to determine their spots in the playoffs?

jacketspeed

December 5th, 2010
10:14 pm

Hey Tellitlikeitis,
This is the way it is, Kirby is coming to the dome for redemtion. I’m not saying they will win, I’m saying there is going to be a lot of people getting hit really hard and if the Jacket offense doesn’t come out flat then it will be a game. Not taking anything from Buford, they seem to have Lambs # every year, but they had better not take these boys lightly this year. It’s the same defense as last year except a year older and bigger.
One at a time, knocking em out. Only one left to go.

B-TownWolves4Peat

December 5th, 2010
10:38 pm

Home sweet Dome! Were backkkkkkk!

Patriot Power

December 5th, 2010
11:11 pm

Trojans use swords. Patriots use muskets. Whose going to win that one? :)

1. Sandy Creek has no delusions that the championship game against Carrollton is going to be easy. We know Carrollton has an awesome team this year and that we will have to bring our “A++” game to have a chance of winning. The AJC may underestimate you, but we certainly don’t. Coach Walker and his coaches will have their team prepared mentally and physically.

2. Carrollton will not win by two scores. I am not so blindly arrogant that I will say that you have no chance of winning because obviously you do. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. I see this game being tight no matter who wins. We have a high-powered offense led by Bell, Chisom, and Hilton. If your vaunted defense can shut them down, then the advantage certainly goes to you. You will have to do better than Peach County though. Our guys were firing on all cylinders in that game.

3. Our players have been here before and are still hungry. They have been on a mission since last season to improve from a 14-1 season to a 15-0 season. They want it bad…

One set of Trojans down, one to go.

Patriot Power

December 5th, 2010
11:12 pm

Who is, not whose

wolf hunter

December 5th, 2010
11:20 pm

knock’em out. one last round.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU3ii_704Ks

be sure to check out the special guest at the end.

Stan Rome

December 5th, 2010
11:48 pm

How does Grayson shut out Valdosta but can’t stop Colquitt when it counts? Umm, maybe Valdosta turns the ball over SEVEN TIMES! Think before you write this stuff, man!

Colquitt holds on to the ball. and Brookwood goes down.

anijahsdad

December 5th, 2010
11:55 pm

Is that the Valdosta great Stan Rome?

Trojan56

December 6th, 2010
12:06 am

For the last time, CARROLLTON DOES NOT RECRUIT PLAYERS! We don’t have to. They decide to come on their own. One starter this year did come from Central. His name is DJ Johnson, he is a fullback. He is the only one and didn’t come because he was “recruited”. He came because he was tired of losing and wanted to be a part of something successful. What kid or parent doesn’t want that? Think about it, if you’re a parent and you have a kid who is a good athlete, are you going to send him to a school where they have won 4 games in 5 years? No. You’re going to send him to the school across the street with 60+ years of a winning tradition and currently playing for a state championship. You’ll pay that whopping $360 a year, yes that’s all it cost for non-residents, and send them to Carrollton. Don’t even think for a minute that you wouldn’t. Kids are not being recruited. It’s not like it cost a fortune for non-resident students. Any lower to middle class and up family can afford that.

Trojan56

December 6th, 2010
12:08 am

Oh and by the way, I was wrong. He is not a starter but does get considerable playing time. But I can tell you he would start for a lot of other teams.

Jefferson

December 6th, 2010
12:39 am

Good point about Dustin Christian, more for the season, more heads to head, I guess would of, could of, should of, favors Crowell. QB Landon Curtis deserves some hard looks at all state QB, monster stats — blew Carver apart. One game left to close the deal.

Observer 24

December 6th, 2010
2:17 am

Jefferson…what are Landon Curtis’s stats?

wolfbait 67

December 6th, 2010
4:11 am

to all you bumble bees(I mean yellow jackets: third time is a charm?…I think you mean third time is a B_tch too..wolf wolfBTW….I did pick Calhoun to beat GWC-Col…14-0 really was not the game…..I am so glad y’all played at home or it could have been diff. .but 14-1 still is not a bad year for y’all bumble bees……woof woof

squirrell

December 6th, 2010
7:18 am

What’s all the amazement? Colquitt Co. was accurately ranked in the Top Ten in the beginning of the season.

1. Win – Lassiter (in scrimmage)
2. Loss – Cook (Cook good team, we had 18 penalties and played horrible)
3. Loss – South Panola (MS) Ranked #1 in Nation
4. Loss – Thomas County Central (rival, good team, lost in OT)
5. Win – Westlake
6. Win – Warner Robins
7. Win – Carver (Ala)
8. Win – Tifton (who beat Lowndes, we put #63 points on’em)
9. Loss – Lowndes (37-27)
10. Win – Coffee
11. Loss – Valdosta (36-29)

(Playoff Wins)….Jenkins…MLK…Mill Creek….Grayson

Jefferson

December 6th, 2010
8:00 am

Observer – Curtis has around 2500 yd passing, 22 TDs, 1 interception all year (Fitzgerald). Only played 1st halfs during regular season (exception:Dalton) 14-0 record, 1st year starter.

Wolfs – Congrads on your last 2 wins over us, that was then, this is now, Calhoun will be ready and look forward to the rematch. Go Jackets.

ArmyRANGERDAWG

December 6th, 2010
8:04 am

I said a month ago that Brookwood was flying under the radar with TWO of the best running backs in the state that you probably never heard of and a TENACIOUS defense… Running game and solid “D” wins championships…. Just sayin!!!!!

pmuckle

December 6th, 2010
8:33 am

COLQUITT STILL SUCKS!!!! LET’S GO BROOKWOOD AND SHUT THOSE CHEATERS COLQUITT DOWN.

Tiger4Life

December 6th, 2010
8:43 am

@Copernicus

I tried to respond on the other blog but it wouldn’t take.
Trust me there are no hard feelings between you and I. The blog had got so bland and boring. I was just stirring the pot a little bit. Coach Crowder was the D Coordinator at Tucker when I was there; I have nothing but respect for him and his program he is building. Good luck this Friday, I maybe in attendance to that QB of yours play in person.

Brookwood BMF

December 6th, 2010
8:46 am

I’d like to congratulate Colquit County on their win over Grayson. Colquit County truely is the second best team in AAAAA this year. Hat’s off to Coquit County, well done boys. That said, I’d now like to say Brookwood will dominate and embarass Colquit County this coming friday. The Broncos will put on a devastating display of football prowess the likes of which Colquit County has not seen. I only hope that Colquit walks away with their head held high and remembers that they were up against an unstoppable force, a machine who won’t be denied their rightful place as the 2010 Georgia State AAAAA champions, The Brookwood Broncos. Congratulations Broncos!

RAIDER FAN

December 6th, 2010
8:52 am

According to the great writer a AJC, Savannah Christian couldn’t beat Mitchell County. They did! Savannah Christian couldn’t beat Charlton County. They did! Savannah Christian couldn’t beat Lincoln County. They did! Savannah Christian couldn’t possible stop the great running back and beat Wesleyan. They did and they did! Now you say Savannah Christian can’t beat Clinch County. They will!!!!!

rwdekalb

December 6th, 2010
9:04 am

No matter how good yout offense or defense is, if you dont have a quarterback that can make big plys with their passing and or running, with the emphasis on “big” plays, you probably wont win a state title. It seems to eventually catch up with a team. Turnovers and lack of a big play quarterback has cut short some otherwise great teams.

KD

December 6th, 2010
9:09 am

Sandy Creek, a AAAA school, playing a AAA football schedule. To Peach County fans, what shape was the field in ? Wet and soggy, I’ve heard it was for the Monroe game, don’t understand why, it hasn’t rained that week.

rwdekalb

December 6th, 2010
9:11 am

Last year it was Clarke Central, and Sandy Creek rising to the top and this year we have Brookwood, Colquitt, Carollton, Chattahoochee and Starrs Mill. Wish there were some surprise dekalb teams but this is still good for high school football in Georgia.

Just The Facts

December 6th, 2010
9:35 am

SportsFan31313

Thanks again for not picking Starr’s Mill. Would not want you to get bright all of a sudden & break our mojo. The Panthers will “Rise Up” one more time to wear the “slipper” this Friday because they are the best TEAM in AAAA. Laskey is going to play, too which will help. Good luck to Hooch. It should be an epic battle. Hope both team come out injury free.

Trojan94

December 6th, 2010
9:36 am

To trojans56 and 09 STOP proving to these haters about carrollton! No matter how many times we say CARROLLTON DO NOT RECRUIT PLAYERS they are still going to hate on us…..If you live in carroll co and say carrollton recruits than you are clearly a hater, If you live outside the county and say that we recruit then you are ignorant because of lack of knowlage. or you could be just a hater too. It really dont matter what anybody says about us because come saturday we have a championship to win.

valleyboy32

December 6th, 2010
9:39 am

all carrollton fans i like yall 1 because yall trojans 2 yall black an gold and 3 sandycreek wasnt the best team that won friday. thee game couldve went the other way but it dont matter now if you all have dicsiplene secondary yall should beat them you here that trojan 94 56 09 oh yeah man yall have a nice feild and our t.v personalities like snoddy

Vegasjs

December 6th, 2010
9:43 am

Never thought that anyone would hold the Hooch under 30 although they sort of did it to themselves with a false start on the 1/2 yard line and a fumble on the 3.

I have not seen Starrs Mill play but I am certain they will be good. Once again – I see no reson that Hooch won’t put up 30+ so Starrs Mill better be ready to score.

squirrell

December 6th, 2010
9:50 am

Colquitt has faced better defenses and offenses (South Panola, Lowndes, Valdosta) than Brookwood and they were not intemmidated at all. We lost those games but we put up #35, #27, #29 points and our defense has improved by %100.

The game will be close, as all state Championships should be.

Who’s gonna win? No one knows!

That’s why they play they game!

TrojanFan

December 6th, 2010
10:15 am

This is way more than winning a football game for these players. This is about honoring a coach and father of 2 of the players, not to mention mentor and father figure to anyone who needed him. Coach AB died in a tragic motorcycle accident last summer and these guys will do whatever it takes to make sure they bring him a State Title!!! Watch out Sandy Creek, this is a team on a mission.

wolfbait 67

December 6th, 2010
10:27 am

Jacketspeed/Jefferson/and any other bumble jacket: had the pleasure on riding thru CHS and looking at your field, looks like the best place to have been last Friday would have been Calhoun xcept I was at the Wolves game….Field looked great and all the banners and posters and packed like a can of sardines, glad to play y’all again, only thing you will find out is that third verse is the same as other two and that is not a charm…good people, good folks, and one hell of a football team…C U at 4:30 Friday at our other home…the DOME (7-0)…still one of the finest lookinf baseball parks around

Copernicus

December 6th, 2010
10:29 am

@vegasjs

Hooch should have been up 31-7 at halftime. Our guys played a little on the sloppy side and we had three Statesboro turnovers where we did not capitalize (especially the fumble on the 2 yard line).

Statesboro had a huge O-line and their running core consist of “Teenage Men.” I said in the other blog that #21 Dequan Daniels is a beast and he is headed for good things.

I do not know anything about Starr’s Mill other than the obvious: They are undefeated, recently beat 3 really good teams to get into the Dome (Brunswick, East Paulding, and Tucker). I will say that they are the real deal and we have our work cut out for us.

The excitement grows here at Hooch!!

Looking forward to Friday night in the Dome….

GO HOOCH!!

Stone

December 6th, 2010
10:41 am

@KD it rained on Monday Tuesday of last week…Where do you live? Stop whinning and come to the Dome for some real football. What do you think the score would be if Sandy Creek played Peach County and/or Monroe in the Dome or a dry field? both teams had to deal with the elements (coaching needs to plan better). The field was probably bad because the Monroe game became a track meet. See ya at the Dome….Go Creek!!

Stone

December 6th, 2010
10:45 am

@TrojanFan…I love the way you talking smack…the last set of Trojans did the same thing. You are giving us just the energy we need…keep it going!!! Go Creek!

Copernicus

December 6th, 2010
10:46 am

@ Just the Facts

What was the diagnosis on Laskey? I have heard everything from a bruise, to broken collar bone, to dislocated shoulder, to just sore.

I am glad that he is going to get to play because it would be heartbreaking to not get to play in the state championship as a senior.

Best of luck to you all at Starr’s Mill and congratulations on making it to the finals for the first time. We are all in the same boat here and it is something great that our kids get to experience.

Patriot Power

December 6th, 2010
11:06 am

KD: Sandy Creek is a AAA school (check our population) playing a AAA schedule. Last year, we were a AAAA school playing a AAAA schedule. It rained very hard almost continuously for two days last week. The field conditions were the same for both teams. Please drop the sour grapes routine. You lost fair and square. Accept it. If and when we play again next year, you might beat us. You guys were a great team and we consider it quite an accomplishment to have beaten you.

SportsFan31313

December 6th, 2010
11:15 am

Tellitlikeitis

That’s the way I see it. :-)

SportsFan31313

December 6th, 2010
11:17 am

Just The Facts,

I’m sorry if I offended you with my picks. Starrs Mill did well this year. But I believe Chattahoochee is the better team as evidence of them beating stronger teams as compared to Starr Mills in the playoffs.