AAAAA blog: Showdown time for MLK-Valdosta, Walton-Lassiter

Some have asked why Valdosta can be ranked nationally in one poll, yet remain unranked in its own state by three human polls, including the AJC’s.

The answer is that Valdosta lost a ton of key players and wasn’t ranked in preseason. Then when
the ‘Cats beat Lincoln, a team that had been ranked nationally, that probably factored in the mind of the national pollster, but in Georgia, there were already teams ahead of Valdosta that hadn’t done anything ‘wrong’ to get replaced.

Further, I’d offer that very little separates No. 3 and No. 11 in the AAAAA state rankings. It’s just one of them deals, as they say in racin’.

Point of all this is this is – We’re fixin’ to find out how some people stand in this state’s highest class, with Valdosta, M.L. King, Walton and Lassiter chief among them.

Five things I’m eager to find out this weekend -

1 – How good are MLK and Valdosta? MLK travels to Valdosta on Friday. MLK is ranked largely because of its strong returning core from last season and the addition of RB JoMonde Hunter and DL Kenderius Whitehead. Can the Lions validate their ranking? Or can Valdosta prove it should’ve been ranked all along.

2 – Who will win the Super Bowl of East Cobb? That’s what Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo has called this week’s Walton-Lassiter game, which matches unbeaten teams from Region 5-AAAAA. Walton is the ranked team. We’ll find out which teams belongs in the Top 10. The team’s marquee players – Walton RB Tyren Jones and Lassiter QB Eddie Printz – are pals from their days of playing rec ball in the fourth grade with the East Cobb Vikings.

3 – Is East Coweta Top 10 material? Another unbeaten but unranked team is East Coweta, which hasn’t played the schedule to get the respect it wants. Newton (3-1), EC’s opponent Friday, is the best team East Coweta will have seen so far.

4 – Who will take charge of Region 6? West Forsyth (5-0) travels to Alpharetta (4-1) in a game between the only Region 6 teams with more than one victory. The winner is in the driver’s seat to win what would be either’s first region title ever. WF opened in 2007, Alpharetta in 2004.

5 – Who is the No. 4 seed in Region 1? It’s assumed that Valdosta, Colquitt County and Lowndes are the top three in this season. Coffee plays at Tift County, and the winner is probably in the playoffs in this storied five-team region. The loser is probably done.

150 comments Add your comment

sirjesusjamesjacksonjr

September 29th, 2011
1:14 pm

cats kill mlk

shy baby

September 29th, 2011
1:31 pm

mlk all the way mlk is going to spank that A—!

I'mjustsayingwhatI'msaying

September 29th, 2011
1:32 pm

I think that the 4th team in 1 AAAAA will be decided when Tift and Coffee play one another. What will be interesting is when these two schools face the rest of 1 AAAAA. Because you only have 5 teams, the margin for error is very slim. That’s why I find 1 AAAAA a good region, you don’t have a choice but to be up every week against the region, 1 slip and you can forget the post season.

Titletown Fan

September 29th, 2011
1:40 pm

I don’t think anyone can rightly criticize Todd and the AJC for not covering South GA football this year, especially considering that we don’t buy many papers down this way!

Football Fan

September 29th, 2011
1:46 pm

The sub-plot of the Walton – Lassiter game is great…Printz and Jones were teammates in rec ball at East Cobb, teammates from 6th – 8th grade in Wheeler middle school program and then HS teammates for 2 years at Lassiter…best of friends and two fierce competitors. Now they face off in a game of significant importance as the stars of their teams and both players define what their team wants to do to win: Walton running the ball and beating you into submission and Lassiter tossing it around the field trying to light up the scoreboard. Great football game for Cobb County to be followed up next week by another epic Cobb battle between McEachern and Hillgrove! Man this is some great stuff.

Good luck to all.

Football Fan

September 29th, 2011
1:49 pm

And just to put it out there – I like Walton to win this game. Give the edge not to Jones and Walton rushing attack but to the Walton defense….senior laden group that flies to the ball and plays very physical. Think they will cause Printz some trouble in pocket and force some turnovers.

Dekalb Watcher

September 29th, 2011
2:10 pm

Will be very interesting to see how MLK vs Valdosta game goes. MLK isn’t really getting a lot of respect from a lot of the Valdosta fans. MLK has proven that they are a team to take serious seeing as how the series between both is tied 1-1. This will be MLK’s first trip in years going further than Coweta County, so will be interested in seeing how they handle the long trip. That’s the only question mark for MLK, but everything else they are good to go. Is one team better than the other, has one played better competition, are both teams as good everyone thinks??? Questions that will be answered tomorrow night, safe travels MLK to and back…

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
2:33 pm

Its going dooooowwwwwnnnnn Fri!! Hope yall do and play better than last year. Our running bck was injured last year and still came bck. Now we got 4 coming at cha!! MLK is going doowwnn!!

Todd Holcomb

September 29th, 2011
3:21 pm

Region 1 is strong, no doubt. But I wouldn’t say the margin for error is that scary. If you split w/ Coffee and Tift, you’re in, right? You can make the playoffs at 1-3.

Football Fan

September 29th, 2011
3:48 pm

@Todd….what’s your call on Walton-Lassiter?

Lions Forever

September 29th, 2011
4:10 pm

To the Valdosta fans, dont underestimate the power of the Lions. We will definitelty bring our A-Game and play hard tomorrow night. Get ready for it, cuz this game is not one to take lightly

Valdosta Alum

September 29th, 2011
4:13 pm

The mighty mighty Wildcats might have something goin this year. Keep in mind they are a 4A team playing up in 5A. But thats because we r good like that!

Valdosta Alum

September 29th, 2011
4:18 pm

Here is a little fact to help you better understand how tough our region is. A team from our region has either won or played for a state championship 40 times in last 52 years……nuff said.

East Cobb Rob

September 29th, 2011
4:25 pm

Lassiter 41 Walton 10(the 10 scored by Waltons Varsity on lassiter JV in 4th quarter)

Pope would cruish both teams!

'96Plowboy#27

September 29th, 2011
4:54 pm

East Cobb Rob, why?

'96Plowboy#27

September 29th, 2011
4:56 pm

why even waste your time putting that garbage in this blog. you say that based on what? nevermind don’t bother answering…..

piodol

September 29th, 2011
4:58 pm

After watching both this year, Valdosta by 10. Their defensive line and backers are smothering. King depends on physical talent, Valdosta on talent plus disciplined coaching.

'96Plowboy#27

September 29th, 2011
4:58 pm

i’d like to take the time to warn my ‘cat counterparts of titletown. i’ve watched this m.l.king team play, they have some good talent assembled on their team. #8 is a playmaker. a couple of decent rb’s. i still have the ‘cats winning because i don’t think that m.l.king has faced a defense like they’ll see friday night, but they’ll come ready to play, be careful & most important be ready.

Football Fan

September 29th, 2011
5:01 pm

@ East Cobb Rob….nah, never mind

AVikingFan

September 29th, 2011
5:03 pm

I read on another blog that Dosta Dawg and some other cat fans were putting down Stephenson and MLK saying they had poor coaching. I hope Dosta Dawg and the other Cat posters remember the head coach for Stephenson used to work for a friend of mine, Coach Butch Brooks at Washington Wilkes and learned everything he knows about coaching from an old Valdosta Wildcat coach (Butch was a long time assistant at Valdosta back in the day before going to Washington Wilkes). Course he went to five title games with ole Butch and lost all five. I heard that is a state record. Maybe that’s why Stephenson can’t too far in the playoffs. Just saying……

Take em to the Woodshed

September 29th, 2011
5:09 pm

86Vike

September 29th, 2011
5:10 pm

@ Valdosta Alum…According to Legion Cat y’all are a 5A school, barely, but do have the numbers. Just saying!!

Titletown Fan

September 29th, 2011
6:12 pm

Valdosta is undoubtedly a 4A school…those numbers are not true when you consider transient, drop-out, and suspensions to Pinevale Alternative. It makes me wonder what happens next year when they start 6A.

cat doc

September 29th, 2011
6:15 pm

I pick the MLK and Walton as winners this week

CoffeeC100

September 29th, 2011
6:36 pm

I don’t feel that Coffee and Tift are as weak in 1-5A as a lot of folks are thinking. Both will have played a part when the region seedings are handed out at the end of it all. Somewhere along the way Tift and Coffee may very well beat one or more of the other 4 teams. That will really complicate things when the powers that be start falling back on tie-breakers to allocate the seeds. The 1-5A head-to-heads should be interesting this year.

Another thought. If all of the seeded 1-5A teams have one or more losses to region opponents at the end of the regular season, will any of them be ranked in the top ten at that point? I’d say the powers-that-be will ignore parity in a strong region and not rank any of them. What are the thoughts out there in 1-5A?

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
6:49 pm

Region 1-5A is tough. A down Coffe or Tifton wit a losing record can beat A Lowndes or Valdosta on any given night believe that buddy!!

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
6:52 pm

Lol… I hope that never happens, but it can and has.

CoffeeC100

September 29th, 2011
7:00 pm

@29straight. Is that a Lol or nervous giggling?

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
7:22 pm

A nervous giggle.

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
7:25 pm

I didnt mean no harm by that statement. I was just stating the facts.

ware co. 2011

September 29th, 2011
8:14 pm

i pick cats over mlk 24-17 valdosta tough @ home

AVikingFan

September 29th, 2011
9:10 pm

Titletown Fan — Valdosta is probably the only school in the whole state who doesn’t count theiralternatice school and suspended students in their attendance figures. Are they artificially trying to look small? Come on! Some kids over there are only there for 2 weeks. If they aren’t at VHS Oct 2 they won’t be counted for the new reclassifaction. However they can return to Valdosta High Oct 3rd. Lowndes for sure counts those students in our numbers and everyone else that I know does also. So I wish the crying would stop about Valdosta really being a AAAA school. Add the Pinevale in-school suspended students and alternative students and they are defintely AAAAA.!

down south fan

September 29th, 2011
9:10 pm

cats21 mlk 7 just saying

Tellitlikeitis

September 29th, 2011
9:23 pm

MLK will get off the bus throwing the ball so turn your air raid sirens. Valdosta will need a strong pass rush with containment because MLK’s quarterback can run the ball. Valdosta’s secondary will be tested by the 3 headed monster (3 very good MLK speedy wide receivers). I have seen MLK play this year but I must say I feel that they were better last year. With that said, Valdosta’s death valley is an intimidating place to play for a young visiting high school football player who will face a talented disciplined storied Valdosta team with plenty of tradition with never say die attitude. I have seen Valdosta this year and they have a good team worthly of a state ranking (AJC: “what were you thinking”). Overall, I think Valdosta will win in a close game mainly due to them being more disciplined and having better coaches. After all, they do not call it Winnersville for nothing!!!!! Sorry DeKalb County but I still luv ya.

2011JAG

September 29th, 2011
9:29 pm

the black and blue jaguars……under the radar……something special this year
stay tuned

Stork

September 29th, 2011
9:33 pm

How tough is 1-AAAAA? Our THIRD seed went to the state finals last year (in other words, nobody from any other region could be our third until the finals).

Lowndes96

September 29th, 2011
10:41 pm

My 2 cents on the MLK vs Valdosta game; Ive seen MLK twice this year, the first thing that stands out to me is their big offencive line, and of course number 8. Deffencinvely their a lot different this year, their not running as much 4 3 D, their running more 3 3. Their stunning a lot putting an emphasis on putting presure on the QB. Their not nearly as explosive on offence this year, but niether is Valdosta. MLK looked a little soft against the run to me, and Valdosta is wanting to run the ball this year. If Valdosta is to win this game, they MUST run the ball, and control the clock. If they can run the ball this will help neutralize MLK’s number 9 if they can push him out wide and run inside of him. this will open up the passing game where they can throw just enough to keep them off balance. If this turns into a track meet Valdosta’s dead they dont have the horses this year. I say Valdosta wins 24-17.

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
10:47 pm

@Lowndes96… Sounds like u been watching Wildcat Tradition.

Tellitlikeitis

September 29th, 2011
11:03 pm

Stephenson is the same this year with alot of talent with pedestrain coaching. They are the mosted talented team in the nation but their coaching always gets them beat early in the play offs with exception of when they went to the semis one year. It is a shame because they have so much talent. In playoffs, other coaches always out scheme them. Their O line is not fundentally sound in technic and ther team is not disciplined as usual.

EastsideGuy

September 29th, 2011
11:12 pm

valdosta will win BIG over mlk, but i dont think either will make a serious run at state this year

Lowndes96

September 29th, 2011
11:15 pm

@Valdosta-Lowndes… No i didnt watch it, what channel does it come on?
i acctualy cut my post quite a bit short… I can see a lot of way Valdosta can lose this game… im trying to play nice this week. What are you saying i quoted coach G word for word or somthing? I highly doubt it. I watch a lot of football games, and from what i saw in the SG game MLK is soft against the run. Valdosta needs to run the ball and control the clock to keep MLK off the field. Thats probably just common sense, since Valdosta doesnt have the Qb or the recievers they need to make this a track meet. V’s undersized defence is gonna have quite a few problems with MLK’s offencive line. They’ll need to play their assignments and not over persue like they’ve dont a lot this year. If you’d like i can give you the keys to how Lowndes is gonig to beat Valdosta next week, im sure they havent had a show on that yet.

ptra

September 29th, 2011
11:27 pm

Like all S. Ga fans they expect to win and talk big but just in case they have the built in excuses. Give Titletown Fan his excuses would you. Valdosta is really a 4a school because the students can’t stay in school “consider transient, drop-out, and suspensions to Pinevale Alternative”. In a few more posts he will tell you that Valdosta is young this year probably with 3 eight graders and a 3 grader starting varsity. All this just in case his team goes down on Friday he is prepared for the disappointment to follow. Oh and Valdosta Alum to make it a little more current since 2000 your region has won 3 titles by one school (just to remind you not Valdosta) Gwinnett has won 5 by 3 different schools. I think Gwinnett is a little tougher. To put it terms you understand, Valdosta ain’t the big dog so, uh, get off the porch.

(MLK-Lions #1)

September 29th, 2011
11:49 pm

Valerie Dosta…hm, hm, well ucan say whatever u like. Just to Kleer this misconception about 2morrow nights game. We are ready…We let you off the hook last yr. The OC was 2 pass happy after 21-0. You want have that opportunity when we are up this time…MLK is a team on a mission(regardless), the outcome of this game will only make us STRONGER when it counts the most…This is NOT 4 the 5A Championship, however when you put all the Marbles in the CIRCLE; MLK has a BRASS Marble DEFENSE that going to HIT U HARD ON EVERY DOWN!!!!(Welcome 2 OUR JUNGLE—ROAR!)BTW we got better players sitting on defense, than what u will have on the field…We watch it everday, that’s Y our “O” is sooooo proficient! Dont know Y #45 for King is not a starter on “D” crazy speed and a play maker…We Ready…RU…Tick…Tock…

Oh!!! just Got A call, Buses R pulling up 2 MLK….Suit Cases placed in the compartment…Boom Boom Boom…Oh No…Air Attack Busting Out…Bomb 2 the L, Bomb 2 the R…CrissCross Pattern…TD…MLK 35-Val 20…U heard it!!!! Lowndes pay attention and the rest of Regions 1,3,4,5,6,7,and 8.

To all the future Lions, we only change Octane every year…We R who we say we R–”Mighty Lions”….Finally 4 the record as a proud follower in Dekalb County…This Program has reach Success in a short period considering the amount of Talent that dilutes many Metro schools. Now if we where a down South school…Valdosta, Lowndes, Coffee, Colquitt, Tift, Camden…all ur talent is homegrown(Camden got them Fla Boyz!!!). Nobody from none of those areas can go and play for another school outside that county. Thats the “BIG” difference between the N. Schools and the S. Schools…BTW 17:30 from kick off…alresdy @ the Hotel been Talking Big Smack since getting here…Peace Lions, Safe Journey Too and From….35-20

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 29th, 2011
11:53 pm

@Lowndes96… I meant no harm to my fellow Viking. Just saying, U sounded like Coach thats all. Hope Valdosta wins!! So they can go undefeated heading to the ” Winnersville Classic”

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 30th, 2011
12:02 am

MLKLions1… Please!!! Thats alot of talk for a school to have accomplished nothing. Lol… Welcome to ur Jungle?? Were at home. Welcome to our Winning Tradition! U was at home last year wit a 21 point lead and blew it. Save that big talk when yall actually win somethn. Rookies…

PopeIsLassiterandWalton'sstepchild

September 30th, 2011
12:14 am

East Cobb Rob…..1) Put down the pipe. 2) Exhale. 3) Step away from the computer. 4) Get gun out of secret hiding spot. 5) Put barrel in mouth. 6) Pull trigger. 7) You just made the world a better place.

PopeIsLassiterandWalton'sstepchild

September 30th, 2011
12:16 am

In you couldn’t tell, that comment was for East Cobb Rob.

Valdosta-Lowndes County (29 State Titles)

September 30th, 2011
12:22 am

(MLK-Lions #1)

September 30th, 2011
12:47 am

Val-Lowndes…Spectacular Is A State of Mine…U Will Be a Witness 2morrow…No Rookies…Just Lions, what makes U think that we just suppose to bow down…What have “U” done lately????? Remember this is not 5a Championship…(YET)!!!
Hit Squad Coming @U…When U have the ball just pay attention, tell erbody tooooo be Q—U—-I—–E——T and then………….BOOM!!!!!!! POP GOES THE WEASEL…..A Scary Cat…

trojan09

September 30th, 2011
12:58 am

TO EVERYONE WHO THINKS REGION 1-AAAAA IS SOFT YOUR ALL IDIOTS!!!! WE ARE LIKE THE SEC OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ON ANY GIVEN NIGHT A TEAM WITH A LOSING RECORD COULD TAKE DOWN THE NUMBER ONE SEED AND FYI YOU MAY ABLE TO.COME DOWN AND PLAY U
S BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE US. VALDOSTA BY 14