GHSA releases 2012 football schedules: Camden gets road schedule of death … First-ever Marist-Lovett game … Corky Kell matchups … and more

The 2012 football schedule was released Tuesday by the Georgia High School Association. Go here to check it out.

Here are 10 things worth noting –

- Camden County, a strong contender in Class AAAAAA with Georgia-committed seniors J.J. Green and Brice Ramsey, got the road schedule of death in newly configured Region 1. The Wildcats must travel to Valdosta (Sept. 28), Lowndes (Nov. 2) and Colquitt County (Nov. 9). Camden are 92-0 in games that counted in the region standings under Jeff Herron, who arrived in 2000.

- Grayson will open defense of its state title at the five-game Corky Kell Classic on Aug. 25 at the Georgia Dome. The Corky Kell schedule was released months ago, but it’s worth repeating.

9 a.m. – Chattahoochee vs. Kell
11:45 a.m. – Grayson vs. McEachern
2:45 p.m. – Colquitt County vs. North Gwinnett
5:30 p.m. – Peachtree Ridge vs. Camden County
8:30 p.m. – Walton vs. Brookwood

- Don’t be surprised if Grayson is ranked No. 1 in some preseason national polls. Aside from winning Class AAAAAA, Grayson must get by Miami Central on Aug. 31 to win a national championship. Central was Florida’s Class 6A runner-up last season and returns Joseph Yearby, who rushed for 2,260 yards last season. Grayson returns 10 starters on defense led by defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, perhaps the nation’s No. 1 prospect.

- East Cobb and West Cobb are developing a rivalry that will play out at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium on Aug. 31. Lassiter (10-4 in 2011) will play Hillgrove (11-1), and Walton (14-1) will play McEachern (10-2).

- Hallford Stadium in DeKalb County should raise prices and take advantage of all the blockbusters slated for Region 6-AAAAA, which features M.L. King and Stephenson moving from the highest classification to play with reigning AAAA champion Tucker and Southwest DeKalb.

Here are six games worth seeing there:

Sept. 8 – MLK vs. SWD
Sept. 28 – SWD vs. Stephenson
Oct. 12 – Tucker vs. Stephenson
Oct. 19 – SWD vs. Tucker
Oct. 26 – MLK vs. Stephenson
Nov. 2 – MLK vs. Tucker

- Reigning Class AA champion Calhoun has won 37 straight regular-season games. That streak will be in jeopardy on Sept. 14, if not before, when the Yellow Jackets play Carrollton (11-2 in AAA last season) for the first time since 1985. That was when Charlie Grisham (five state titles) was Carrollton’s coach. Calhoun also will be at risk early against Ridgeland (Aug. 31) and Dalton (Sept. 7).

- Buford, which moves up to AAA after winning four of the past five titles in AA, has only nine games. Buford coach Jess Simpson said Tuesday he thinks he has a 10th opponent lined up but didn’t want to reveal for fear it would fall through. Buford is not an attractive opponent because of the school’s success, but Simpson said that wasn’t a big reason for the scheduling issues this season. “We’re going to be so young and inexperienced, this is probably the year people want to play Buford,’’ he said. Simpson believes state-playoff tiebreakers that reward teams for winning against same-class opponents are the biggest obstacle to getting willing opponents.As it stands, Buford has a pretty easy slate in new 7-AAA, although a non-region tilt with Gainesville and all-state quarterback Deshaun Watson should be good. After losing 49-0 last season, Gainesville could be favored this time.

- Lovett is playing Marist in football for the first time ever. That’s pretty remarkable for two metro Atlanta private schools that go back more than 50 years. The schools are not that different in size, but Marist typically plays in a higher classification. And they’re on different sides of downtown Atlanta. Lovett also will be playing another Catholic school from DeKalb, St. Pius, for the first time since 1983. Lovett’s new schedule is partly the work of new Region 6-AA, which has only five teams, making it the smallest region in the state. That means that Lovett, GAC, Westminster, Wesleyan and Hapeville Charter must find six non-region games. GAC and Wesleyan are playing teams from Tennessee. GAC is playing Savannah. Westminster is playing Laney of Augusta and Thomasville.

- With all the talk of every region (except 6-AA) being subdivided by the GHSA, that idea designed to save travel time didn’t make its way into football. Only eight out of 48 regions chose the option of subdividing, which is actually down a bit from the 12 out of 40 from the past two years. That’s 16 fewer playoff berths that will be decided by those “region play-in” things. Of course, those are offset by the 24 Class A playoff berths (not counting the region champions) that will be determined by the dreaded power rankings. The GHSA split 47 of 48 regions in half for 2012-13 to allow regions to play as half-regions if they thought it would help with travel. Apparentlly it’s not an issue in this sport.

- There are several intriguing notes and nuggets that might not merit a whole paragraph, but are worth mentioning. For example, Thomas County Central and Marist renew their rivalry on Sept. 7 at Marist. For those who remember their epic games in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, that game should be fun. Northside-Warner Robins plays at Flowery Branch on Oct. 31. Flowery Branch also plays Gainesville in a Nov. 9 game. Good to see those in the same region (8-AAAAA) again. Just because public schools don’t want to compete against private schools in the playoffs doesn’t mean they don’t want to play each other, period. On Sept. 9, Class A state power Clinch County of south Georgia will visit Eagle’s Landing Christian. That’s probably the season’s best public-private game in A. And finally, there are seven schools playing their first varsity games in 2012 – Cambridge, B.E.S.T. Academy, Coahulla Creek, Christian Heritage, Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Providence Christian and Rabun Gap.

525 comments Add your comment

Johnny Too Good

April 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

when will the preseason ranking be released?

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

Todd Holcomb

April 24th, 2012
2:48 pm

Preseason rankings won’t be out until mid-August.

i'mjustsayingwhati'msaying

April 24th, 2012
3:54 pm

I can see Grayson winning a national title if they run the table. They are setup for it. Returning 10 starters on defense is huge. Offense not mentioned, so don’t know what they have on that side of the ball. Miami Central will be a big test for the defense early. Some big games in Ga this year. Can’t wait. A lot of inside drama stories. It would seems that everyone in the state got what they wanted, Camden in AAAAAA. Traveling to Lowdnes, Valdosta and Colquitt in the 1st year, that is a tall order for anyone. MLK/Stephenson,SWD,Tucker, watchout Dekalb County. Buford in AAA, will they rule the roost. Let’s get it started.

iTiSi

April 24th, 2012
3:56 pm

Why is it all of a sudden “the road schedule of death” if Camden County has to do a little long distance traveling? Other schools have been doing it for years. For instance, Warner Robins, Northside/WR in middle GA having to go all the way to Bainbridge, almost in Florida and Alabama. Sorry, no pity or empathy for CCHS here! Poor babies! Maybe they will see what’s a “real” schedule is like now!

OMacG

April 24th, 2012
4:27 pm

@iTiSi – I believe it’s the strength of the opponents Camden has to play, not the trip distance. That’s a “road schedule of death” even if you only had to drive 10 miles to play it.

iTiSi

April 24th, 2012
4:53 pm

I can somewhat see your point, but it’s about time they had to play some strong opponents during the regular season. They have been getting by easier than the rest of the teams and sailing into the playoffs with hardly no injuries and having played a lot of sophomores, juniors, and even freshmen during the year. All the teams would love to be able to do that. Also, one thing TH failed to point out is that those 3 games are their ONLY road games of the year other than the first two non-qualifying games, which is of their own choosing. It seems to me the schedule makers were still good to them if you will check it out. They have the one road game with Valdosta (nothing this year) in the middle of the schedule, and then it’s over a month before their last two games of the season, both road games with Lowndes and Colquitt Co. They should still be in good shape at the end of the year. Look for those last two games to decide the region championship in one way or the other. Then we will see how they fare in the playoffs, after a grueling last 2 games.

2000 DeKalb Defensive Player of the Year

April 24th, 2012
5:09 pm

The realignment of the regions, especially in DeKalb County, is going to make the football season extra exciting. My Jags, SWD, Tucker, and MLK all in the same region!!! Thats just like the SEC!!!

Fred

April 24th, 2012
5:30 pm

Brunswick is the team in 1-6A that appears to have the worst travel schedule of the region! 6 away games.

With all due respect for the S GA teams, there are some pretty good team in N GA as well. There are other regions with tough schedules, both home and travel.

Todd Holcomb

April 24th, 2012
5:33 pm

Coffee also plays valdosta, lowndes and colquitt on the road — but also must travel to camden. So I’d say that’s the roughest road schedule. :)

Fred

April 24th, 2012
5:54 pm

By the way Todd, Grayson v Miami-Central is 8-31, not 10-31. ;-)

Cats & Dawgs

April 24th, 2012
6:13 pm

The Grayson vs Miami Central game will be very interesting. From what I have seen of Grayson however I don’t think they will be able to hang with the Rockets. The South Florida schools just play a different type of ball than we are used too defending. They really know how to throw the ball around. Miami Central will score and from what I’ve seen of Grayson I don’t think they can score enough to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually win pretty easily. Just my opinion. I actually still think they were only the 3rd best team in 5a last year but some breaks went their way.

Todd Holcomb

April 24th, 2012
6:33 pm

Thanks, Fred. Make that Aug. 31 for Grayson-Central.

Miami Central played Camden in 2010. Camden won 45-42.

Fred

April 24th, 2012
7:01 pm

@Cats & Dawgs, who do you think was better? Camden didn’t make it out of their bracket and we beat Colquitt. Who else was better?

glw

April 24th, 2012
7:09 pm

Just took a look at some of the schedules on GHSA, and yes there are plenty of good games out there, but I have one issue that seems to happen year in and year year out. While there are instances when non region games are limited, I dont get the non region scheduling of some schools. It seems from an economic and community standpoint it would be better if teams scheduled non region games against teams from their own area.

For instance, why does East Coweta play Lovejoy, sure it might be a good game, but wouldnt it be more appealing to the teams and communities if East Coweta played Northgate which is a county rival and Lovejoy played one of their Clayton county rivals? Why isnt Marist playing St. Pius? Marist vs Therrell? St pius vs N. Oconee? whats up with that? Cant Douglass play Washington? These type of games would generate more interest and revenue wouldnt you say? Plus you save on gas on some of these trips. Im just sayin…..

iTiSi

April 24th, 2012
7:31 pm

TH, you are correct about Coffee County’s schedule. Now THAT is a tough road schedule. I can feel some sympathy for them!

Cats & Dawgs

April 24th, 2012
7:55 pm

It’s just my opinion not saying they didn’t win the title but I think Camden and Colquitt both were better last year. The officiating really hurt the Camden team and the Colquitt team. I’m not trying to take anything away from them winning the state but I did see where they got many breaks. As far as Miami Central they play a different type of game than any other team in Georgia. It is a difficult team to play when your not used to seeing that type of ball. I know we have some teams that spread the field and pass but not like the Miami schools do.

Todd Holcomb

April 24th, 2012
8:30 pm

Also worth noting is that Warren County will play Hancock Central on Sept. 28. Fights broke out after last season’s game, and Warren County coach David Daniel was severely injured, requiring surgery. Warren later forfeited a basketball game against Hancock rather that have the two schools meet again.

The Augusta Chronicle’s Wayne Staats reports today that Warren will agree to plan Hancock in football only at home, and only if the player who allegedly struck Coach Daniel is not allowed to play. Apparently Hancock is wiling to oblige.

See the Augusta Chronicle story for more.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2012-04-24/warren-hancock-football-teams-play-fall?v=1335290043

Todd Holcomb

April 24th, 2012
8:33 pm

glw – Great points about the local rivalries. I agree.

Cats & Dawgs – Yes, Miami Central plays a different style, but so does Grayson. Florida doesn’t see as much Wing T as Georgia does. Camden’s Wing T inflicted 45 points on Central.

camden74

April 24th, 2012
8:39 pm

Go Camden County Wildcats! :-D

Packer Fan 01

April 24th, 2012
9:08 pm

Ok Todd who do you have taking state this year???

MIGHTY LION KING

April 24th, 2012
9:24 pm

DEKALB COUNTY HERE TO REPRESENT!! ONE THING FOR SURE DEKALB WILL BE CROWNED A 2012 CHAMPION FOR 5A!!

Wildcat Guy

April 24th, 2012
9:26 pm

Camden will show their class on the field this year! A class above the Rest!

CoffeeC100

April 24th, 2012
9:55 pm

Ouch!!! Coffee has Camden, Lowndes, Colquitt and Valdosta on the road in five weeks?? Talk about a baptism by fire for a new coach!

Todd. Maybe the toughest schedule in the Country??

Regardless. I’m looking forward to this season more than any I can remember at Coffee.

wolfbait67

April 24th, 2012
10:11 pm

I see that after 10 plus years that Camden County has finally got a schedule worth watching…..I see the poor mouthing has already started down there…..let us hope that CC fans will show up for class this year also and not poor mouth about officiating….get a life, it is only a game(sure)..no, it is more than a game, it is a way of life…. and all of us can’t wait,,anyway, good luck to y’all down in Kingsland because you guys do have a very good program and lets keep those guys UGA committed…….Yes, BHS still has a bad taste in their mouth over the 15th game and we will have growing pains this year but y’all do have one hell of a schedule in 2012………..Good luck to you

camden74

April 24th, 2012
10:39 pm

wolfie, wolfie, wolfie……….Starting early huh? :-)

BD

April 24th, 2012
10:46 pm

Wolfbait likes to call out Camden soft schedule over the yrs, when Buford schedule is just as soft. New classification same old soft schedule. What games does Buford have worth watching this yr????

freddie

April 24th, 2012
10:54 pm

go northgwinnett bulldogs

BD

April 24th, 2012
10:58 pm

Cats & Dogs your so right, nobody in the state of Ga runs the spread like Miami Central. The speed that team possessive gave camden secondary fits the entire night, but as Todd mentioned Central have serious trouble stopping the wing-t offense. Not many Fla teams run that type of offense, camden vs Miami was a classic game. I would not expect anything less with grayson vs Miami Central I will most definitely will be in attendance. Let’s go Grayson!!!!

cat doc

April 25th, 2012
5:15 am

Miami Central had no defense in 2010, but they could throw that ball around. I hope they beat the tar out of Grayson. Grayson got all the breaks when they played Colquitt in the playoffs. Region 1 in 6A will be the show this year.

hawg 2012

April 25th, 2012
5:37 am

I think camden county got a taste of real football when they played colquitt county in the playoffs.Im sure they will be prepared for the schedule of death. Go HAWGS

Taylor Wooten

April 25th, 2012
8:44 am

Valdosta is loaded.

Taylor Wooten

April 25th, 2012
8:46 am

Valdosta coaches are quietly confident/excited

5AReg6Fan

April 25th, 2012
9:28 am

Must agree, early prediction would say, 2012 5A champion must come thru DeKalb, along with Fulton county Mays. 5A region 6 will be a blockbuster; the field turf at Hallford will be on FIRE Friday and Saturday nights, featuring some of the TOP HS talent and prospects. I’m going to start saving now for the gate at Hallford, especially if they raise the admission LOL.

@Todd Holcomb – What’s up with Clarkston schedule? Don’t see them playing a region schedule…no region opponent, but Arabian Mountain.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2012 5A Football……

Fred

April 25th, 2012
10:26 am

@cat doc – really? Grayson didn’t stop the Packer offense when they needed to and hold them to less than half the yards they had been putting up? The Packers didn’t get the benefit of a center that kept moving his head and shoulders all night drawing the Rams offside? The Packers didn’t lose their discipline and commit errors generating penalties at a time when the Rams kept theirs and marched down the field? Coach Propst didn’t get out coached by the Grayson coaches when it counted? I guess we weren’t at the same game.

topper

April 25th, 2012
11:37 am

Fred I believe Grayson was the best team in 5A last year, they proved it on the scoreboard. But I do believe the 3 best teams in 5A (Camden,Colquitt,Grayson) came off the same side of the bracket.
As for the game with Miami Central You guys will have to be able to put points on the board which I believe you can do. Either way I will be a Grayson fan that night.

wolfbait67

April 25th, 2012
11:41 am

you are right on BHS schedule , kinda remains me of a team that got fat on beating up all those Savannah schools,,,,,wonder who that was………….don’t you just love it though…………..good luck to you guys cause y’all probable got one of the five toughest schedule in Georgia for 2012

BD….maybe the first two or three then it falls off the chart…..still trying to put together a tenth game,,,,,good luck CC

glw

April 25th, 2012
11:50 am

5A Reg6 Fan,

I agree with you this will be an awesome year. Live only a few miles from Hallford, so I definitely will have to take in a couple of those games for sure. Im an APS grad, so got to root for the Mays Raiders, but it will be tough for them getting one of those 4 playoff spots Clarkston, much like Cross Keys in Dekalb is very ethnically diverse and doesnt really get alot of kids that are interested in football. They are having to move up 3 classes and they werent really that good in 2A, if they played in that region, they would be absolutely killed. So playing a non region schedule is definitely a smart move and commend their administration for recognizing that.

Todd Holcomb

April 25th, 2012
12:16 pm

”Ok Todd who do you have taking state this year???”

The Packers, of course. Until a Grayson fan asks! …

I’d like to see how the playoff brackets are going to line up. It’s going to be harder for a Region 1 team to win it because getting the No. 1 seed and home field will be tougher from there. So it would be hard to pick against Grayson at this point.

Oldschool Hawg

April 25th, 2012
12:27 pm

I don’t care how the games are scheduled, the region 1-6A teams have all got to play each other. It’s just a shame that one of those teams has to end their season in November, because without a doubt we will have some super talented kids and great coaches. I myself can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen. There’s no doubt that one of the teams starting in the dome will finish in the dome…maybe even two teams from 6-A.

Marietta fan

April 25th, 2012
12:46 pm

Anthony Jennings and Tyree Harris along with the improved defense will put Marietta back on the map. If we beat Hillgrove and Mceachern, it could be a special season. Good luck to all teams. Football is just 4 months away

Camden74

April 25th, 2012
12:56 pm

If the brackets are set up the way they should be, there will be a Region 1-6A team in each bracket.

Hey wolfie, what happened to 5 straight? Nothing has changed since last year, your team still has weaknesses that a good coach with a good team will exploit! :-)

SGT CHRIS

April 25th, 2012
1:05 pm

Don’t forget the smaller classes. Carver-Columbus will play both Colquitt County and Peach County!! And I can definitely say that my Grangers’ schedule is in the top ten in the state across all classes! BRUTAL!!!

Fred

April 25th, 2012
1:22 pm

@topper – I agree with both the top 3 and the same side of the bracket. There probably was not a lot of difference in the quality of the top 3-5 teams last year. The MC game will be a tough one for sure and I appreciate the support! That night is it GA vs FL, not N GA vs S GA. We all need to be supporting our GA teams in their games with out of state opponents!

5AReg6Fan

April 25th, 2012
1:36 pm

@glw – Thanks for the input on Clarkston and I agree with your assessment of the school’s demographics, much has changed for them/community in the recent years. Also, I’m not excluding Mays from the picture to challenge in the region, if the Raiders can resolve a couple issues, then who knows what is possible for them….a lot of GOOD talent over there in Southwest Atlanta. One early noticeable thing, is the schedule for Mays will be different then in recent past…they will have to meet head-to-head with ALL the top region teams (Tucker/Stephenson/MLK/SWD/Miller Grove)…Mays has been in a position last few years of not lining up against all the top region teams (e.g. SWD), but they took care of business with those they should have. Good Luck to your Raiders…see you down the road.

To the Camden Fans – We Tucker fans appreciate your coaching talent pool, another Wildcat to lead the Tiger Nation(Bryan Love). I guess we Tiger fans will be supporting Camden in 6A…maybe both of us can get a reunion for Coach Love in December at THE DOME.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2012 5A Football……

topper

April 25th, 2012
1:40 pm

5AReg6Fan – My son was sad see Coach Love go, you got a good one with him!!! Best of luck to your Tigers and Coach Love.

topper

April 25th, 2012
1:41 pm

Fred – That is an ESPN game correct?

Lions Pride

April 25th, 2012
2:23 pm

The Battle of South Fulton will be in full swing with Westlake taking all of the other schools in South Fulton including 6A TriCities (Beast), 5A Creekside (Fast), 4A Banneker (Tough) and 6A Hughes (Qucikness). Gonna be fun. Not to mention Hillgrove, S Cobb, Newnan, E Coweta and Douglas Co. Oh yeah Banbridge too.

Don’t expect Comcast CSS, WSB or GPTV to cover anybody live South of Sandy Springs. Maybe an exception will be given for SWD, Tucker, MLK and Stephenson
Our teams can’t get the North Cobb

Fred

April 25th, 2012
2:40 pm

topper – it is supposed to be. It is scheduled for August 31st which surprised me. I thought it would be a Saturday game with the travel require by MC but I guess it is not an issue for them.

sportsnut

April 25th, 2012
2:43 pm

Glw== Lovejoy is playing East Coweta because the caoch wanted to play some tough competition in the non-region games. They also play Colqiut County in the second game of the year and Alpharetta in week 3. The first game of the year is against a Clayton County school that is only minutes away in Mundy’s Mill, who just happens to be our neighborhood rival.

5AReg6Fan

April 25th, 2012
3:05 pm

@topper – Yep, got a chance to hear Coach Love speak to the Tucker community last night, don’t think we’ll be disappointed in his leadership, class act individual. If his success is anything close to our previous coach…well, tell Coach Herron there’s about to be a raid on his staff from all angles (LOL). Good Luck to your Wildcats and your son.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2012 5A Football……