Football: Grayson ranked No. 2 in preseason poll

It’s been 20 years since a Georgia high school football team has won a national championship. Grayson, a returning state champion in Georgia’s highest classification, is poised to make a run.

This week, the Rams were ranked No. 2 in preseason by MaxPreps in the first major national poll. Grayson was 15-0 last season and finished in the top five of several national rankings. This season, 10 of 11 defensive starters return, including defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the 2011 all-classification player of the year.

‘’Grayson should have the country’s best defense, and their offense, with the amount of skill it returns, will be just fine,’’ said Stephen Spiewak, editor of MaxPreps’ national football rankings. “I do expect them to return to a more run-based offense to which the program has been more accustomed. Not to mention, no matter which team Grayson plays, it will always have the single best player on the field [in Nkemdiche].’’

Ranked No. 1 is Manatee of Bradenton, Fla. Grayson and Manatee will have one common opponent – Central of Miami. Grayson plays Central on Aug. 31 at Grayson.

Another Georgia team is in MaxPreps’ top 25. That’s Colquitt County at No. 18.

‘’Colquitt seems to have a good blend of veteran leadership and talented youth,’’ Spiewak said. “I really think Cole Segraves is going to have a huge senior season. It came extremely close to beating Grayson last year and would give them a game this season as well. Overall, I think it’s going to be a very good year for high school football in Georgia.

The most recent Georgia team to win a national title was Valdosta, which was selected in 1992 by the National Prep Poll and the National Sports News Service.

229 comments Add your comment

Bulldawgforlife

June 2nd, 2012
4:13 pm

Talent in Georgia says they are overdue for NC

Camden74

June 2nd, 2012
6:29 pm

Georgia has always had great football talent! Now, it has the Coaching talent to match……..Go Camden County Wildcats! :-D

freddie

June 2nd, 2012
10:51 pm

go north gwinnett bulldogs

FridatNightLightsFan

June 2nd, 2012
11:07 pm

Todd,

When should we be seeing your preseason polls?

iTiSi

June 3rd, 2012
12:31 am

Camden County will finally get to see what it’s like to play a “real” schedule for a full season.

5- Time

June 3rd, 2012
2:44 am

Lowndes won back- to- back State Titles in “04″ and “05″

Camden won back- to- back State Titles in “08″ and “09″

Can Grayson win back-to- back State Titles to join an elite group??

I don’t know, but this is what I do know….I don’t like Grayson!! Not
one bit!! But, Grayson is representing Georgia High School Football!!

OLD DAWG

June 3rd, 2012
5:08 am

I must be getting old. I can remember when Wright Bazemore and Nick Hyder led the Valdosta Wildcats to 23 state titles and 6, count em, 6 NATIONAL TITLES. Great coaching is what makes a good team a great team. Those Wildcat teams were truly great teams.

tidbit78

June 3rd, 2012
12:08 pm

Georgia has the best teams in the nation hands down. Grayson, Colquitt,Burke County, Camden, and Buford could play with anybody in the nation period.

Roll Tide

June 3rd, 2012
5:32 pm

Best high school football in the country.

1.) Texas
2.) California
3.) Georgia
4.) Pennsylvania
5.) Alabama

Camden74

June 3rd, 2012
6:06 pm

IMO….. In NO particular order: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois……..etc. With Texas, California and Florida having more good athletes and teams because of population………The top five for producing college football players are as follows: Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Alabama. Top five for producing NFL players are: California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and Georgia….. :-)

BcS2010

June 3rd, 2012
8:05 pm

Tucker should be ranked in the nation..Went15-0 last season..won state and they are returning there 2 leading rushers..there QB who is ranked in the nation and alot of talent..This is stupid!!

Dewayne

June 3rd, 2012
9:09 pm

How in the hell do you actually rank High School teams across the country?

WarEagle

June 3rd, 2012
10:04 pm

According to one publication, best high school football last season was in Georgia: http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1290345

DOSTA DAWGS

June 4th, 2012
7:13 am

Region 1AAAAA or excuse me Region1AAAAAA must be a really tough region, because every year Colquitt is ranked nationally but hasn’t won the region title since 1994!!!!!

schmeckdawg

June 4th, 2012
11:53 am

Dewayne

June 3rd, 2012
9:09 pm
How in the hell do you actually rank High School teams across the country?
*************************************************************************************************
It gives football geeks like me something to read and talk about.

Golden Isles Fan

June 4th, 2012
12:57 pm

Brunswick Ga. is going to be in trouble the nest 2 yrs…….having moved to saint simons ga from Fitz. it is going to be a big transition…….still curious to how Coach Pruitt is going to fare at Coffee High…I guess I will be going to Brunswick and Camden games this year……..Calhoun will be the team to beat this year in AA…….I wish Fitzgerald all the luck in the world with their new coach…. I just hope their following backs him and not go to coffee games………

jim dog

June 4th, 2012
2:33 pm

Please everyone don’t forget the mighty sandy creek.

G-dub

June 4th, 2012
2:56 pm

@tidbit78… Have you ever been outside of Georgia to watch a high school game

WILDHAWG2012

June 4th, 2012
6:48 pm

region 1-AAAAAA is the SEC of Ga highschool football period!!!!! Camden Co,Valdosta,Lowndes and This years region champs Colquitt Co Packers!!!! And in a couple of years don’t sleep on Coffee Co with their new head coach.Yeah Grayson is the class of Ga right now but to get a national championship they are without a dought going to have to go thru at least two 1-aaaaaa teams in the playoffs again and their defense is a year older and will be very tough but Colquitt’s offense is a year older too. And this offense scored 31 points on Grayson including 17 straight at one point!!! As a matter of fact we have scored 31 points the last two times we have played them. Well i can’t wait it will be fun.

FridatNightLightsFan

June 4th, 2012
10:36 pm

I for one am looking forward to all the out of state games to show the rest of the country how great Georgia HS football is again.

@WarEagle – I remember reading that when it came out. Lets do it again this year!!!

Wildcat tradition

June 5th, 2012
7:51 am

I was fortunate to attend VHS 1984-87, when 2 state and 2 national title were won by the ‘Cats. The 86 version has to be ranked as one of the most dominant high school teams in history: after dismantling every team they played – including crushing a smack-talking Bradwell Institute team by 40 in the playoffs – they won the state championship with a 28-0 beat down of a good Clarke Central team. Love knowing that high school football in south Georgia is still being played at such a high level.

5- Time

June 5th, 2012
9:05 am

That is so true. I think that “71″ squad was the best Valdosta Wildcat’s team ever. They averaged 40+ points a game, and defeated Avondale-Atlanta 62-12 in the title game. Valdosta Wildcat’s put Georgia High School Football on the map!!

tim

June 5th, 2012
10:45 am

yes georgia won back to back national tiles…1991 usa today national champs lagrange high school…next year valdosta

Fred

June 5th, 2012
11:46 am

So @5- Time, why do you hate Grayson so much?

5- Time

June 5th, 2012
12:12 pm

Honestly,because the 5-Time champs are 0-2 against the 2011 champs. And Valdosta is 0-1 against the 2011 champs. Hopefully, the 5-Time champs will finally defeat the 2011 champs one of these days. I may dislike them at the moment, but they are Representing Georgia High School Football!! That doesn’t mean I don’t favor ya’ll to win against out of state opponents either.

MC DAD

June 5th, 2012
7:11 pm

I will admit Grayson is good, but they do have a game on August 25. IJS!!!

the real #1

June 5th, 2012
7:24 pm

Tucker should have never beat Northisde It took a fumble recovery in the endzone Northside shut them down

sportsnut

June 5th, 2012
11:00 pm

There is a lot of talk of Colquit County and their chances of winning it all this year. Even the author of this blog will call it that way, depending on who’s asking. If a Grayson fan is the questionaire, then the answer would be the Ram’s. If you are from Moultrie, the answer is the Packers. It will be very interesting to see who stands where when it counts. Many teams do not have room for failure as they will face stiff competition early in the season. The C.K.Classic will put some teams in the hole early in their class races and some will face non-region games in the early going that will give measure to just what they are made of. Do not make any mistakes or be off your game at any point this year with the reclassification as there are sure to be some surprises. Back to Colquit, they have a week 2 date with the runner-up in AAAA from last year in Lovejoy. This game will go a long way in determining much on the entire season for both teams. Both had excellent seasons a year ago and return a nucleus of talent that should take them both far. On Sept. 7th, in Moultrie, this one should give the picture a little clarity as far as two of the contenders for the State Crown. Other than those games at the Classic, this is a very big early regular season game, with heavy implications for later in the year. 87 days until it begins and all will be back to normal.

i'mjustsayingwhati'msaying

June 6th, 2012
10:33 am

Big games for AAAAAA contenders
Grayson-Only have Central Miami on schedule. Schedule favors them to get to state
Camden-Colquitt,Valdosta,Lowndes, PTR
Lowndes-Colquitt, Valdosta,Camden
Colquitt-Lowndes,Valdosta,Camden,Carver,Lovejoy,TCC, North Gwinnett(Formidable schedule)
Valdosta-Lowndes,Colquitt,Camden,North Augusta
I know that it looks crazy, but based on schedules these are the schools with a hill to climb during the season. Grayson gets the nod as the favorite by schedule. If they get by Central, they will win out in the region and if the playoff schedule favors them, they could win state. But there is an “IF” that is their offense has to produce, the defense may carry them through the regular season, but come playoff time, the offense has to give them something. Region 1 AAAAAA as good as it looks, there can be only one. Hard to say at this point, the nod has to go to Colquitt based on accomplishments last year. There is an “IF” there, same as Grayson, the offense has to give them something. Lowndes and Valdosta can make some noise. Don’t see anyone from this region going undefeated. That leaves Camden, they will face challenges this year, not because they are in a new region, but the talent may not be what it has been. Yes they have talent,but they lack size as in the past. In fact they are opposite of the others, the offense will be there, the defense has to give them something. Lovejoy,Brunswick will be interesting to see how they adjust to bigger programs. Looking forward to another spectacular year of high school football in Ga.

5AReg6Fan

June 6th, 2012
1:38 pm

It’s just AMAZING how SOME NSWR fans live in the past. Please, if memory serve me right, NSWR had 3 opportunities, following the Tiger fumble recovery for TD, to win the 2011 Tucker/NSWR match up and what happen?…GOOSE EGG and let’s not forget a couple TD called back on the Tigers. Let’s move on, there is about to be another GREAT year of GA HS football. Since, some Eagle fans want to live in the past, then let it be known…”NSWR shouldn’t have beaten Tucker in 2007 (period)!” The series is tied 1-1 and based on the history of both of these 5A POWERHOUSE programs, there will be collusion and as history goes, it will be played with MUCH at stake. Good Luck to all the NSWR Eagle fans for a very successful 2012 season…DeKalb will be waiting.

Also, noticing a couple of post around 6A region 1 being the SEC of GA HS football, well there is a region in 5A, that showcase SEC like talent and play, as well, with just as many spectacular Friday Night highlights . If you don’t know, then look at the last line of my post.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

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

5AReg6Fan

June 6th, 2012
2:11 pm

Oh, forgot to mention, much success to the Grayson Rams on their upcoming season, at this moment in time, they are the team that is carrying the torch for ALL of GA HS football and their success will mean success thru out the state…I hope they beat the brakes off of Central of Miami!

GA was #1 last year and will be #1 in 2012…How you like us FLA, Texas, Cali, Ohio, bama HS fans. (LOL)

Thanks WarEagle, my old region and rival buddy, for the link.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

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

sec?

June 6th, 2012
2:46 pm

you are right about sec talent in 5a but its the little sec..6a is where the real sec at and where the big boys play.at the highest level. Dont get it confused. 5a is more like d2 level lol.you want to be considered sec then move up. 6a is the sec..

5AReg6Fan

June 6th, 2012
3:45 pm

@sec? – Dang, you just throw 5A region 6 under the bus…D2 level? (LOL) At least you could have given us top level FCS, or even the Big 12…can we get the Big 10. I’m sure you are meaning 6A region 1 and not all of 6A…Right?

Since it’s impossible to settle this comparison on the field, maybe we can use an off field approach? Let’s compare the number of student/athletes that sign D1 scholarships in February 2013? That at least provide us bloggers the high degree of talent that both regions have to offer to MAJOR programs at the next level. Because I would bet, there will be the same number of D1 college representatives at our little D2 HS football games as there will be at the mighty 6A region 1 SEC games. (LOL)

“WE ARE TUCKER”

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

sec?

June 6th, 2012
4:35 pm

Lol. i didnt mean it in a bad way i just think that you have to play at the highest level to be considered sec football. 5a has really good talent. just look at wr vs colquitt last year. okay maybe not d2 but you know what i mean..

5- Time

June 6th, 2012
5:56 pm

What other region in 6A can say they have 4 elite prograns that could win the region title? All of which has won state titles. Some, multiple titles. That sounds like SEC football to me!! The finishing order in the region at the end of 2012….

1. 94 state champ Colquitt Co.
2. 5-Time champ Lowndes
3. 23-Time champ Valdosta
4. 3-Time champ Camden Co.

5- Time

June 6th, 2012
6:05 pm

And this all based on who left due to graduation, and who is returning….

Camden74

June 6th, 2012
7:22 pm

Camden graduated 36 seniors, but I still believe they will finish better than 4th in Region 1. They’ll be able to score points, just not quite sure about the defense. If memory serves, the only Region 1 team to consistently slow/stop Camden in the past is Lowndes. Don’t see any other team doing the same! :-)

5- Time

June 6th, 2012
8:37 pm

I think Valdosta could slow Camden down. They want pay-back!! They really didn’t like the way you guys stole their 24th state title from them. Valdosta slowed Colquitt Co. down enroute to a region title last year, while Colquitt Co. stunned Camden Co. in the playoffs. So….that’s the game I’m waiting for. Battle of the Wildcats. Hard hitting, and good tackling is what I’m looking for in that game.

Camden74

June 6th, 2012
9:21 pm

I have that 2003 State Title Game on DVD, Camden didn’t steal it, they TOOK it, in full view of everyone! It was one of the hardest hitting games I’ve ever seen! I’m looking forward to the coming season, it’s going to be WILD! :-D

5- Time

June 6th, 2012
9:57 pm

Lol….Yeah, y’all took it, I’ll give you that. That was a good one. Before I go for the night, you stated earlier that Camden would score points, but you wasn’t sure about the defense?? Well, you know what they say, offense wins you games, but defense wins you CHAMPIONSHIPS..!!

Packers97

June 7th, 2012
7:31 am

I have really gotten a thrill out of reading about our football again the past few days.

Here is what I see.. Yes Grayson is one heck of a ball club, they deserved and earned last year’s state title. However I believe the final game would have been a lot different had the playoff brackets been set up better. You had (4) teams on the same side of the bracket that were state contenders.

North Gwinnett, Colquitt, Camden, & Grayson.

Unfortunately for us (Colquitt Fans) we had to play them all. Beating out N.G., & Camden “on the road” and nearly taking Grayson. I hope this year’s playoff brackets are set up to where the top teams can somehow make their way to play each other in the final game. Would make for a much more exciting state championship game. No disrespect to the Walton fans, but I do not believe they would have been able to do any better than they did against any of the teams I listed above.

BcS2010

June 7th, 2012
12:15 pm

@5-Time…region 6 in 5AAAAA has 3 powerhouses in Tucker, MLK, Stephenson and they have to very good programs in Southwest Dekalb and Mays so I would say this is the SEC of high school football

impeich

June 7th, 2012
3:31 pm

Grayson is over rated. Their championship from last year is a fluke and this fact will be evident when they lose at least 2 in their region alone. Not a 8-5A fan nor a Brookwood fan, but I predict Brookwood will win that region.

Colquitt Supporter

June 7th, 2012
3:52 pm

Not sure how one can say Grayson’s championship was a fluke last year. If I had to bet, my money would be for them to win it again this year. They were and still are a solid team.

Camden74

June 7th, 2012
4:13 pm

5-Time……The only reason I didn’t pick Camden straight out to win the region is because of not being sure about the defense. But who knows, sometimes teams get lucky! :-)

Fred

June 7th, 2012
4:33 pm

I continually hear/read people say that the brackets were set up all wrong last year and I just don’t get it. The brackets were established before the season started and anyone had any idea of who might wind up where. The brackets weren’t slanted to favor anyone because who knew? Brookwood was defending state champs. Would anyone at the start of the season predict they would be #2 in the region? Likewise, had Colquitt won their region, they would have been in a totally different place in the brackets and the outcome might have been different or it might have been the same. The only guarantee is that a #1 will be playing a #4 and a #2 will be playing a #3 in the first round and that if a #1 wins they get at least the first 2 games at home. After that, all bets are off! Look at the number of 3 or 4 ranked teams that have done quite well in the past couple of years.

5- Time

June 7th, 2012
7:20 pm

Whatever you say man. You’re entitled to your own opinion. I think you guys are the little SEC, and that’s my opinion. Have a good one….

5- Time

June 7th, 2012
7:26 pm

The 3-Time Champs “DEFENSE” is questionable this year. I kinda figured that’s why you said that. We’ll find out real soon.

Camden74

June 7th, 2012
9:25 pm

As long as Camden scores 40 and the opponent scores 39, they’ll be fine! :-)

DOSTA DAWGS

June 8th, 2012
7:33 am

Valdosta will have one of the most diverse offenses in Region1AAAAA. They return 9 starters of offense and can run/pass. The defense will be a work in progress as they lost 7 starters.

Valdosta High sports had a great 2011. The CATS won the region title in 2 of the 3 major sports. FOOTBALL/BASKETBALL. To all the region1AAAAAA teams for 2012- “To be the man, you will have to beats them CATS!!!”