Football: Is Grayson Georgia’s top team in 2011? One national poll thinks so

Brookwood is the defending champion in Class AAAAA football. Camden County and Lowndes are programs that have won three titles apiece since 2003.

Which will be the team to beat in 2011?

None of those, according to MaxPreps, which released one of the first national preseason polls on Wednesday.

Instead, Grayson – the only AAAAA program that has reached the quarterfinals or better each of the past four seasons – is the choice of Steve Spiewak, who coordinates the MaxPreps’ top 25.

Grayson, which returns about 11 of 22 starters, is the only Georgia team ranked, coming in at No. 25.

“The more I looked into Grayson, the more I liked them,’’ Spiewak said. “They have a quarterback [Nick Schuessler] who can allow them to expand out of their Wing T offense. Korey Jones [a running back] seems like a legit athlete that can be used a number of ways. Devin Gillespie and Terrius Watson will also benefit from an experienced offensive line. On defense, [defensive lineman] Robert Nkemdiche might be the best defensive player in the country next year, and I expect Zach Barnes to have a breakout season on the defensive line as well. If the offense comes together as expected and the linebackers can mature quickly on defense, this could be the best team Grayson has ever had.’’

Grayson, a Gwinnett County school that opened in 2000, has never won a state title. In 2010, the Rams upset No. 1-ranked North Gwinnett and then Valdosta on the road last year before falling to Colquitt County 31-24 in the semifinals.

Don Bosco Prep of New Jersey is MaxPreps’ No. 1-rated team.

MaxPreps Preseason Top 25:

http://www.maxpreps.com/news/B4_jCIulEeCkhgAcxJSkrA/preseason-top-25-high-school-football-early-contenders.htm

205 comments Add your comment

BcS2010

June 1st, 2011
11:18 am

AAAAA MLK Lions will be a title contender!

4Awin

June 1st, 2011
12:59 pm

I heard this type of talk last year before their opener at the Dome in the Corky Kell Classic. Apparently some little AAAA team named Kell took them out and ended their 22 game win streak last year. Maybe they will have better luck this year……………….

TJ

June 1st, 2011
1:26 pm

Losses for Grayson last year were due to injury. They made it deep in the playoffs and it was not a fluke. This will be their best year. Mark my words….the name talked about more than any other this season from Grayson will be Wayne Gallman, a transfer from Florida. Defense has always carried Grayson, think it will be offense this year…..

Max Sizemore

June 1st, 2011
4:17 pm

That comment on the QB suggests that the MaxPreps’ guy doesn’t know that much about the wing-T, which is as much of a philosophy as it is an offense.

WarEagle

June 1st, 2011
6:01 pm

Very interesting, but where are the rest of the spring previews the AJC promised?!

dekalbfootball1

June 1st, 2011
6:32 pm

I agree totally BcS2010. MLK will be better b/c of the returning players and another year in the system. Nobody gave them a chance with a new coaching staff along with new offensive and defense schemes. They replace over 30 seniors. Please word of advice to all opportnets. You better score TD’s and not FG’s; definitely no punts!!!!

Double Winner

June 1st, 2011
10:51 pm

Grayson is not the best team in Gwinnett County. Buford is the best. I hope Buford loses because of their almost perfect situation. But, make no mistake about it, in any given year Buford is the best team in Georgia regardless of classification. You AAAAA boys crow all you want, but none of you seem to want to play them.

ghs class of 2012

June 1st, 2011
11:18 pm

grayson isnt even running the wing t this year. They switched to a spread offense.

BD

June 2nd, 2011
1:24 am

Buford best team in Gwinnett….. what a joke!!!! Thanks for the laugh Double Winner

Stick to the subject

June 2nd, 2011
7:04 am

I look forward to a competitive AAAAA season this year. Grayson sticks out becuase of Ndemkiche. The QB has talent, but then again Grayson has always relied on a stingy defense to keep them in games. I expect them to have another good defensive squad, if they can put an offense with that defense, then I agree they will be tough. There are a lot of if’s though. Their schedule is favorable to a possible undefeated season. Parkview if they can get it back together may be a challenge, Brookwood may have graduated too much, but will be task, Kell has the same issues as Brookwood. Other than those 3, don’t see anyone really challeneging them in the “Gwinnett Region”.

WarEagle

June 2nd, 2011
9:15 am

@Double winner — If Buford would simply choose to play up, then we’d get to play them. Buford is a great program, no doubt, and their team would be successful at a larger classification, but playing against AA competition each year is not the stiffest test in the state.

Lowndes96

June 2nd, 2011
3:02 pm

WarEagle buford is not interested in a stiff test, only filling their trophy cases. If you ask them they will tell you they are right where they belong, in AA. Even though I think they are on at least a 3-peat in 3 different sports, I think that shows just how unlevel the playing field is for them in AA. But they would tell you it would be unfair for them to play up, I hear this on a daily basis on another message board. I laugh every time.

Lowndes96

June 2nd, 2011
3:06 pm

@ghs class of 2012 grayson is going to go from the wing T straight into the spread huh? You don’t think this will hinder your chances at winning the state title this year? Seems like there would have to be some fall off with the new offence and all. Honestly grayson had a golden opprotunity to play for a state championship last year. It still baffles how the worst defense in the state stopped grayson twice to win the game.

68 Viking

June 2nd, 2011
3:28 pm

man i sure like being under the radar I believe the vikings will do very well this yr, but mostly looking forward to playing teams that defeater us in earlier seasons,,,at any rate good luck to all participants

ghs class of 2012

June 2nd, 2011
4:59 pm

yeah, they switched. It will only hinder the team if the line has trouble, because Watson and Jones both have good hands. Look for Austin Meadows and Casey Gaines too emerge this year. I doubt they will use Nkemdiche on offense before the playoffs.

TJ

June 2nd, 2011
7:32 pm

I went to Grayson Spring game, look like Wing T to me with a few spreadlike wrinkles. Do not think that coach would retool everything. If it aint broke don’t fix it!

ghs class of 2012

June 2nd, 2011
7:42 pm

Devin Gillespie told me they were switching (new offensive coordinator). Either they did not implement it all in the spring or that they are just putting wrinkles in.

zippy the clown

June 2nd, 2011
7:47 pm

Buford played out of state a couple of times (Herbstreit Classic) during the last decade against teams in much bigger classifications and Buford beat them quite handily………scheduling for Buford IS a problem because a bigger school stands to lose much more to Buford than Buford does to them – there was an article 2 years ago talking about this situation………nobody wants to play Buford outside of their region and in higher classifications, and Buford has beaten the bigger teams so they’re not the joke many want to make of them……….yes, Lowndes96, you might beat Buford, but you’ll definitely know you’ve played a tough team when its finished………….

zippy the clown

June 2nd, 2011
7:49 pm

btw, folks, Buford has been ranked nationally in the MaxPreps football rankings over the last decade so don’t under estimate them……….

Lowndes96

June 2nd, 2011
8:24 pm

zippy i didnt say a word about playing buford. What i said with every word of my post is they dont belong in AA. If you think im wrong about that you are entitled to your opinion. I honestly dont understand why they dont move up, and show everybody in this state how great they are. I read posts on another message board every day that read just like this, “yes we (buford) have a big advantage over all of AA, there aint nothing you can do about it, they said the only thing AA could do about it was bend over and take it like the whiny b**** that you are.” Now i just not 20 minutes ago read a post almost exactly like that. Those are truly the words of a champion dont you say? Thats my last post on buford this thread is supposed to be about grayson and i got off topic. I apologize for getting off topic.

One On One With The Great One

June 2nd, 2011
8:47 pm

For now the best team in the State of georgia in my eyes are the Brookwood Broncos until they are beatedn no can claim fame to that in 5-A. Buford is the best team in there classification no doubt about that. Until the champion is deefeated then they are still considered the best I thought? Did I miss something? I been saying for years yes Buford has nothing else to prove in AA. They should play up. Yes they might be good that first or second year in playing up, but I can assure you that they will not be as dominent as people think after coaches see them on a regular. But until then the State Champion is the best until knocked off in my opinion.

BcS2010

June 3rd, 2011
2:03 am

I no in 6AAAA this is a region this year with no real favorite to win it. I love Tucker of course but i can honestly say that Tucker,Marist,SWD,Mays,and Redan will be competing for the 4 playoff spots. I still think it will be the same 4 teams from last season. Tucker wins the region!

EWE2

June 3rd, 2011
7:02 am

Lots of upcoming talent for Grayson. Look for an unknown “Chaz Hutcheson” to make an impact. Should have won it all last year but in my opinion, their talent was not used correctly. It sometimes hard to the trees because of the forest.

WarEagle

June 3rd, 2011
9:41 am

@BcS2010 — Good to talk Region 6AAAA with you again. Your list is missing Dunwoody, and that team will be a contender to win the region this coming season. Tucker sure has a lot of great players to replace, and the best players from last year’s teams for Redan and Mays (both QBs) are gone. Hard to say who will come out on top in this region. But we know for sure, it will be a tough region and the winner will be a contender for the title in AAAA!

BcS2010

June 3rd, 2011
12:06 pm

@WarEagle…yea football is back!! but yeah Mays lost alot of talent but still has an ok team coming back. Redan has some talent athletes on this years team i just think they will give teams problems. Tucker lost alot of there key players but still have enough good players to contend for state. I feel like there backfield this year will be almost impossible to defend and there defense is fast again! There only problem will be and this may not be a problem is there new QB..he is bigger than there last but faster and more athletic and this may cause alot of problems. SWD will be a good team again there tight end is ligit and there defense looks better than last year. Marist team looks like they can also be good. I like the safties that yall have and of course yall coaching!.

topper

June 4th, 2011
7:40 am

What happened to the 30 teams in 30 days preview?

Trojan94

June 4th, 2011
8:51 am

Greyson!??? great program but not on that level yet. camden or buford would be my choice

KMHS

June 4th, 2011
1:17 pm

What about those Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs?

justsaying

June 4th, 2011
2:10 pm

Dunwoody will be a contender in the 6AAAA region, they have at strong returning senior class and have put together a great coaching staff. This senior class was a freshman team that got to move up and play during the 2009 season that Dunwoody made the elite eight run. Watch out for those Wildcats.

BcS2010

June 4th, 2011
4:09 pm

Dunwoody plays Mays in the 1st game of the season if im not mistakin. This should tell a little something if they are a serious contender or not! I cant wait this looks to be the best 6AAAA region with 6 teams fighting for 4 playoff spots!

for the record

June 4th, 2011
7:35 pm

@ Double Winner…. The truth is that Buford does not want to play Gwinnett’s top AAAAA teams. This is more than evident after Buford turned down North Gwinnett’s offer to play them the last two out of four years, preseason and regular season. The two used to play every season with Buford running the table always, so what is Buford scared of? It is also noted that former Peachtree Ridge coach Ballard and Mill Creek’s coach have asked Buford to join their schedules in recent seasons and every time the answer has been no.

Aside from all that, it makes no sense for anyone to complain about not playing Buford or for having to play Buford. If a AAAAA team beats them, then everyone will say, “that’s what is supposed to happen because they have more students.”…and if a AAAAA team lost to them then it would be a big dissapointment to the AAAAA school’s program and fan base.

No matter what side of the fence a fan is on regarding this topic, it is a fact that Buford fields top tier talent from ALL OVER Gwinnett and from surrounding counties. Honestly I think Buford does not want to play any top ten AAAAA teams like Grayson, Camden, Lowndes, Colquitt, North Gwinnett, Brookwood, or Mac and Stephenson because if they lose they will be laughed at and spectators will jump all over that program.

I always cheer for Gwinnett so i am on both sides of the fence quite often, but saying other teams deny the so called “invite” to play Buford is absurd.

hold on a minute folks

June 4th, 2011
7:44 pm

this is one man’s opinion, nothing more….no way the AJC would out right stand by this so far from opening kickoff.

Gwinnett...of course

June 4th, 2011
7:50 pm

Grayson is a powerhouse for sure. I am a North Gwinnett fan at heart and have immense respect for coach Conn and that program after they whipped us last fall. Great character and class by everyone. Grayson has beat just about every top ten team in the last five seasons. The names are big ones too in GHSA football. I like Grayson, North Gwinnett, Buford, Brookwood, and yes Peachtree Ridge to contend this year. The title will come back to this great county one way or another.

inside I-285

June 5th, 2011
8:59 am

Dunwoody may be a contender, but they have some major gaps to fill in the offensive and defensive backfields. They have some very fast players for these positions, but without any experience. If these gaps are filled, Dunwoody will be a very strong team.

hammerhead

June 5th, 2011
9:03 am

Hilarious how quickly this devolved into a Buford Blog.

yo

June 5th, 2011
10:45 pm

Stephenson already has 9 players committed to SEC and ACC schools and Grayson is considered the team to beat next year? Go figure….LOL.

camden3peat

June 6th, 2011
1:04 am

Camden’s coaches are starting to pay attention to the offense this offseason instead of the defense first mentality they went with last year. Oh, oh Georgia … they’re back!!!

CamdensFinest

June 6th, 2011
1:08 am

Amen to that 3peat

GoPackGo

June 6th, 2011
9:53 am

All I can say is LAUGH OUT LOUD!

Stick to the subject

June 6th, 2011
10:39 am

Gwinnett…of course. How is Grayson a Powerhouse? How many state titles do they have? Are they nationally ranked year in and year out? Do they compete for the state title year in and year out? Do they seek out the some of the best programs in the stae as well as the country? These are some of the qualities of a powerhouse program. Would have, could have, and should have makes for good conversation. Just saying. Yo…. lets not start with the Stephenson talent and signings already.A talented teams does not make them the best team. The talent on the team that is willing to sacrifice for the team makes the best team.

RealTalk

June 6th, 2011
1:34 pm

@ Yo, Stephenson has D1 talent every year and cannot come close to a title, how is this year any different?

From Where I Sit

June 6th, 2011
4:17 pm

Buford couldn’t beat Lambert!

ghs class of 2012

June 6th, 2011
5:39 pm

stick to the subject, answer to the first question is none, after that though, all answers are yes

CamdenMark

June 6th, 2011
7:52 pm

Hahahahahahahahahah………Ahahahahahahahahahahah!

CamdenMark

June 6th, 2011
8:26 pm

Why don’t one of the north Ga schools man up and go up to the Herbstriet Classic with us to open up the season in Sept.
Camden vs Glenville (Cleveland)Ohio, 5 Sept, noon on ESPN TV
We intend to win this thing and bring that trophy back to GEORGIA!

The Realist

June 7th, 2011
10:35 am

Why does the AJC continue to overrate these grayson teams every year? Ever since they beat lowndes they have been living off of that. Some of you idiots have the nerve to call them a “POWERHOUSE” how are you a powerhouse with no state championships? Colquiitt came in their house and beat them last year! To be honest, they are basically living off of that one win against lowndes high! ask yourself this were you talking about them before that win? Lowndes, brookwood, or colquitt will be the teams to beat this coming season.

Pecan

June 7th, 2011
10:50 am

Let’s see about that schedule, CamdenMark. After the Corky Kell Classic, North Gwinnett plays two powerhouse teams from Floria and Grayson plays one. That ain’t too shaby.

Eagle dad

June 7th, 2011
10:50 am

I guess the spring football previews were labeled “30 in 30″ by mistake…we’ve been sitting on 20 for a couple of weeks now.

Eagle dad

June 7th, 2011
10:57 am

Pecan, my guess is that North Gwinnett will find their Corky Kell opponent is not too shabby, either.

ghs class of 2012

June 7th, 2011
6:19 pm

the realist, continue to overrate?????????????? Maxpreps said this STUPID! How about you read the article next time?