Preseason football rankings: No. 1 goes to Grayson, Northside, Sandy Creek, Peach, Calhoun, Savannah Christian

Reigning state champions Grayson, Calhoun and Savannah Christian start the 2012 ranked No. 1 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s preseason high school football rankings.

Perennial contenders Northside-Warner Robins, Sandy Creek and Peach County also will start No. 1 for a football season that begins this week with 50 games. Most Georgia teams will open Aug. 31.

Grayson returns nine starters on defense from a 15-0 team led by AJC Super 11 defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s consensus No. 1 college prospect. The Rams are ranked in the top 10 of several national polls and are No. 1 in Georgia’s new Class AAAAAA, as the state has added a sixth classification.

In AAAAA, Northside will start No. 1 as the Warner Robins school bids for a 15th straight season of at least 10 victories. Tucker, the AAAA champion in 2011, is No. 2 under new coach Bryan Lamar, followed by Tucker’s new Region 6 rival M.L. King, a 2011 region champion that dropped into the second-highest class this year.

The top team in AAAA is Sandy Creek, which won state titles in 2009 and 2010. No. 2 is Burke County, the 2011 state champion in AAA.

The AAA No. 1 is Peach County, a state runner-up to Burke last season. Buford, moving up from AA, is No. 2. This is the first season that the Wolves have not started No. 1 since 2006.

Calhoun, which beat nemesis Buford last year to win its first state title in 59 years last season, is No. 1 in AA. Calhoun has won 53 straight games when not playing Buford, which has moved out of Calhoun’s classification.

In Class A, there will be separate state championships played for public and private schools, but they will play in one class during the regular season and be ranked together in one class.

Savannah Christian, a private school that won its first-ever state title in the GHSA last year, is No. 1. The top-rated public school is Lincoln County, at No. 3. Lincoln has been eliminated in the state playoffs each of the past three seasons by Savannah Christian.


1. Grayson
2. Colquitt County
3. Camden County
4. Walton
5. Lassiter
6. Lowndes
7. Lovejoy
8. Alpharetta
9. North Gwinnett
10. Valdosta


1. Northside-Warner Robins
2. Tucker
3. M.L. King
4. Kell
5. Stephenson
6. Warner Robins
7. East Paulding
8. Gainesville
9. Thomas County Central
10. Flowery Branch


1. Sandy Creek
2. Burke County
3. Carrollton
4. Marist
5. Cairo
6. Statesboro
7. Griffin
8. Stephens County
9. Jonesboro
10. Dalton


1. Peach County
2. Buford
3. Carver-Columbus
4. St. Pius
5. North Oconee
6. Thomson
7. Cedar Grove
8. Elbert County
9. Washington County
10. Blessed Trinity


1. Calhoun
2. Fitzgerald
3. Brooks County
4. Cook
5. Lamar County
6. Dublin
7. Lovett
8. Greater Atlanta Christian
9. Westminster
10. Vidalia


1. Savannah Christian
2. Eagle’s Landing Christian
3. Lincoln County
4. Landmark Christian
5. Wilcox County
6. Wilkinson County
7. Charlton County
8. Aquinas
9. Emanuel County Institute
10. Darlington

280 comments Add your comment


August 19th, 2012
4:17 pm

Once again SWD has been disrespected. No need for talk we will see. #PantherNation

Marietta fan

August 19th, 2012
4:22 pm

Watch out for Marietta this year


August 19th, 2012
4:23 pm

No Woodward ACD?


August 19th, 2012
4:26 pm

@DekalbFootball, SWD will be competitive but not a top 10 team and we all know why.

Juss sayin

August 19th, 2012
4:43 pm

I know it was just a scrimmage but it was a game simulation w/refs and the whole 9 in Moultrie.. Norcross beat Colquitt 33-31


August 19th, 2012
4:45 pm

This is just in time for the CK Classic. Some say a loss there will not hurt. Think again ! Five of the top ten will play on saturday. This is the AJC and we know they have their favorites. Maxpreps has it differently, so does everyone who is in the prognostication business. It will be settled on the field.I can understand a top team being 0-1 and not drop but, 0-2 must be addressed. Lets not forget that Lovejoy was ranked 3rd. in the final poll last season although they played for the Championship. There will be some surprises this year and it starts saturday. Contenders vs Pretenders .We will find out soon.


August 19th, 2012
4:53 pm

Peach didn’t look like a #1 Team this past Friday night.


August 19th, 2012
5:08 pm

Even though they are #10, how did Dalton get in the preseason ranking?! What are you basing that off of?

Wildcat Fan

August 19th, 2012
5:09 pm

Well you guys got what you all been praying for, with Camden moving into region 1,but be careful for what u ask for. Now we won’t be knocking each other out in the early rounds of the playoffs
we will each now be in a different side of the brackets, very well could be a all region 1 semifinals. Its a long way off, but I’m just saying be very careful of what u pray for. And you each ranked 1AAAAAAis very capable of doing just that.


August 19th, 2012
5:12 pm

I was hoping Tucker would be number 1 as the reigning AAAA (now AAAAA) champions. Oh well, let’s play some football!


August 19th, 2012
5:17 pm

And why is that @DHI


August 19th, 2012
5:26 pm

MLK has a weak team this year.


August 19th, 2012
5:35 pm

So Hillgrove is left out of the rankings…Wow! It’s a good thing they beat #4 Walton in the preseason scrimmage 21-16 and keeping Waltons RB Jones to 13 yards on 13 carries! Way to do your homework Todd Holcomb…

Tucked OUT

August 19th, 2012
5:37 pm

5A is on point with 1 and 2 ,but after this weekend what MLK and Stevenson had to offer they have a lot of work to do just to be in the running for the the region champ. Cedar Grove seems to be a good match for TUCKER in week 1.”WE ARE TUCKER”, LET’S GO.

Patriot Power

August 19th, 2012
5:41 pm

Wow. Sandy Creek feeling the love. I didn’t think we would start at #1. We lost a lot of players (in particular O-line and D-line) and have a killer schedule this year. We have a great QB and wide receivers, but the other position players are mostly untested. I hope we live up to the preseason billing. Go Creek!


August 19th, 2012
5:53 pm

Wow, surprised at Northside being #1. Tucker really deserves the spot unless they get beaten. Still it’s a nice nod to our program to ranked #1.


August 19th, 2012
6:01 pm

Also I really think it will be Tucker and Northside again this year, not over looking the other teams. Just my gut feeling. I also think gainsville is flying under the radar with the QB they have. Solid program just looking for a break, they could be dangerous if over looked.


August 19th, 2012
6:15 pm

this year there will be an all region 1 final…….lowndes is better than last year……i saw that in the scrimmage we won 52-0 fri night……..loaded at rb…2 backs who both run 4.3 40 yd dashes……a solid fullback and 2 qbs who are better than what we had last year…….o line is better…….secondary is better………lbs are good……..with all that said……..i doubt anyone in region 1 6aaaaaa goes undefeated in region play…….not even us ……we may lose 1 or 2 in region and very well could be 3……….but a 7-3 team out of this region will be very very dangerous come playoff time……

colquitt will be solid…….but they lost a lot of the studs they had from last year……they dont have the size of last year

Juss sayin

August 19th, 2012
6:19 pm

These preseason rankings mean nothing. Like Hillgrove parent said Hillgrove (not ranked) beat Walton who is #4 and Norcross (not ranked) beat Colquitt co who is ranked #2.

East Cobb

August 19th, 2012
6:27 pm

Hillgrove Parent,

Get a life. It was a scrimage. You’re starting to sound like typical west cobbers and almost as bad as some of the south Georgia know it alls. Geez


August 19th, 2012
6:28 pm

Beat them in a scrimmage — who cares

Colquitt Supporter

August 19th, 2012
6:30 pm

Not sure how we were ranked # 2. I guess there will be some adjustments after Saturday:)

SWD 4 life

August 19th, 2012
6:36 pm

got a call from an mlk supporter. big scandal unfolding. might have a head coach vacancy at mlk……. wow


August 19th, 2012
6:37 pm

To “East Cobb”: And you’re sounding like the typical east cobb snob! So I guess Jones must not have been trying because it was a “scrimmage” when he only gained 13 yards on 13 carries. You’re correct. It was a scrimmage. My only point is that Hillgrove was not ranked when they should have at least broken the top ten.


August 19th, 2012
6:44 pm

Is this Buck’s last year?


August 19th, 2012
6:45 pm

@dekalbfootball, because the SWD legend will not open things up, lack confidence in his players and that’s why some leave. In the day he would open up on anybody.

Jarvis Jones

August 19th, 2012
6:46 pm

What about state runner-up Prince Avenue Christian in Class A?


August 19th, 2012
6:47 pm

@WarEagle, you know Buck is not going nowhere. Folks been asking that question for 15 years.

Juss sayin

August 19th, 2012
6:47 pm

Just a Scrimmage who cares? It was a game simulation with refs. Do you think the coaches said OK boys dont go out and play hard after all its just a scrimmage? Please! just a scrimmage..Its how the coaches gauge their team before 1st game. Those coaches are in the film room right now breaking down mistakes from their “scrimmage” before installation begins tomorrow.
If it would counted a few top ten teams would be 0-1. However it doesnt so my point is preseason rankings mean nothing!


August 19th, 2012
6:50 pm

Northgate Vikings will be back taking care of business. Last yr no fluke- Woodward Ac, U R kidding they could not play themselves out of a wet paper bag, Coach left for a single A private school. Problems WA program died when Hixson left , Average at best


August 19th, 2012
6:54 pm

@ Hillgrove Parent -Preseason Scrimmage games are like the NFL preseason games no one cares! Its just to see how some players play in certain situations, game time speed, it helps coaches evaullate individual players! Plus I wouldnt rank yall in front of that other school in Powder Springs! I am sure they are looking forward to that night!!!!

Lol @ East Cobb

August 19th, 2012
6:55 pm

East Cobb calling ANYONE a know it all…….I remember those laffable MchEachern teams that got all the press during the regular season, then got roflstomped by the 1st Region 1 team they faced…..same with SWD in their pitiful region. Facts are facts….its Region 1AAAAAA and Gwinnetts(however u spell it) teams, the rest of u STFU. When u guys get into double digit state championship titles, pst me….we’ll talk……otherwise, keep the dream alive and keep those suscriptitons to the AJC up so ur kids get their press.


August 19th, 2012
6:58 pm

LOL……… Kinda funny! Remember the old saying, it’s not where you start, but where you finish? 2009, Camden County 1-2, out or close to being out of ALL the rankings………Camden County Wildcats, 2009 5A State Champions! There are at least 5 teams in 6A who could win the TITLE! Keep that in mind while basking in the artificial light of RANKINGS! :-D

Cedar Grove Football

August 19th, 2012
6:59 pm

I Think we should move up a bit due 2 our big win over MLK! Ranked #3 in AAAAA They are a very athletic team though. They will beat alot of people.

Lol @ East Cobb

August 19th, 2012
7:03 pm

Derp….forgot about Camden….my mistake…..btw, they should be in 1AAAAAA, but I understand travel is a concern. East Cobb….stick to baseball…….u have the corner on that…..leave football to the big boys.


August 19th, 2012
7:19 pm

@NGVikings…where have you been? WA’s coach left for that A school two years ago. Get caught up with the news before you go writing stuff on blogs. WA got beat last year in the playoffs by the eventual AAA State Champs, Burke County who now moved up to AAAA. Being that Northgate is neither a rival of WA or even in the same classification, you must be drinking that private school haterade…


August 19th, 2012
7:27 pm

Region 1-AAAAAA!! :-|

East Cobb

August 19th, 2012
7:33 pm

Hilgrove “Parent”

Email me and I wil make you a certificate for winning the scrimage and include the new rankings

2. Grayson
3. Colquitt County
4. Camden County
5. Lassiter
6. Lowndes
7. Lovejoy
8. Alpharetta
9. North Gwinnett
10. Valdosta

Golden Isles Fan

August 19th, 2012
7:34 pm

To all 6A teams ……….take Coffee for granted ……PLEASE!!!!!!it is going to be a south Ga. slaughter house in region 1/6A……..Pruitt will DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


August 19th, 2012
7:39 pm

Fitzgerald is ranked #2 in AA, yet ECI who is ranked #9 in single A shut them out in the varsity scrimmage Friday night. Come on man!


August 19th, 2012
7:40 pm

LOL…it’s the last one that counts!!!


August 19th, 2012
7:40 pm

I am an SCPS grad and hate to say but SCPS is not a high powered team this year. They lost half their started from last year’s team and the numbers are down. It will be a rebuilding year unfortunately.

Taylor Wooten

August 19th, 2012
8:00 pm

Valdosta is good. Better than 2010.


August 19th, 2012
8:01 pm

Get used to losing a few games Wolves

Paul Revere

August 19th, 2012
8:02 pm

In 10 years, will it matter?

Ernest t bass

August 19th, 2012
8:03 pm

Northside is loaded again huge offensive line. Awesome defense and big tine playmakers at Qb running back and wideouts. Flowery Branch best be ready to get hit


August 19th, 2012
8:09 pm

Hillgrove Parent, I am also shocked at your omission from the top 10. Marietta could be top 10 as well. But these are just preseason rankings, which mean nothing.

Lassiter and Walton are overrated. HG is the best program in Cobb right now. I would love to see them take care of other Cobb county pretenders and get themselves in the top 10 of the final rankings.

BTW, watch out for North Cobb this year, they have a big time QB and look like winners.

Dome predictions:
Kell over Chattahoochee
Grayson over McEachern
North Gwinnett over Colquitt County
Camden County over Peachtree Ridge
Brookwood over Walton


August 19th, 2012
8:16 pm

Combining the Class A teams into one ranking now that the playoffs are split is just plain stupid. You rank them together because they play each other in the season? That’s the logic? Well, Class A teams also play Class AA, AAA and AAAA teams in the season, should they get ranked in those classes also? Do the right thing and split the rankings. The public schools didn’t want to compete with the privates in the playoffs, so they shouldn’t be ranked with the privates.

Oh, and LOL at the people who want their team to get a ranking because of a scrimmage game.


August 19th, 2012
8:20 pm

Lol @East Cobb………Camden County IS, in Region 1 6A! :-D


August 19th, 2012
8:28 pm

Why would you have Dalton at #10? Never mind guess they brought some more players in to assure that they would have a winning season….