Class AAAAA blog: Five things to watch as the season kicks off

Most of the state’s teams will be opening their seasons next week, but a few get a head start this weekend. Here are some of the things to watch in Class AAAAA in the coming weeks:

*Check back on Nov. 2 for the 2-AAAAA championship game: Can anyone challenge Warner Robins or city rival Northside for the region title? It appears unlikely. Fellow region members Evans, Greenbrier, Grovetown, Houston County, Jones County and Lakeside-Evans combined to win 27 games last season (compared to 24 by the Demons and Eagles) and have an all-time combined record of 12-72-1 against the Warner Robins schools. So look for the region title and No. 1 seed to be on the line when Northside and Warner Robins meet on the first Friday of November. And the race for the region’s other two playoff spots should be a good one.

*Freedom, sort of, for the Savannah schools: The decision by the Savannah schools to not play in the highest classification will allow them to escape the Camden County powerhouse, but it might make it more difficult to reach the playoffs. In the previous setup, eight Savannah schools were guaranteed the three playoff berths not taken by Camden in the old Region 3-AAAAA. Now, Bradwell Institute, Grove, Jenkins and Windsor Forest will have to compete with Effingham County, Glynn Academy, Richmond Hill and Ware County for the four playoff sports in the new 3-AAAAA.

*East Paulding will cruise, at least early: Three of East Paulding’s toughest challengers in Region 5 over the past few seasons – Kell, Pope and Sprayberry – have moved on to Region 7. Hiram remains, however – the Hornets won the Region 5 title in 2009 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 2010. And the region will get two strong newcomers in Rome, which came over from Region 7, and Allatoona, which moved up from Class AAA. We won’t find out much about East Paulding until the second half of the season, because the Raiders will play Hiram, Rome and Allatoona in the final five games.

*A good race shaping up in Region 6-AAAAA: If second-ranked Tucker, No. 3 M.L. King (which is dealing with a coaching turnover) and No. 5 Stephenson live up to early expectations, the region’s top three playoff spots should be locked up. That will leave perennial playoff teams Southwest DeKalb and Mays to battle for the remaining berth. Both teams have missed the postseason just once in the past seven years. Dunwoody and Miller Grove could stay in the playoff hunt for a while, but both will have their work cut out for them.

*The Athens-Gainesville rivalry heats back up: There weren’t many better rivalries in North Georgia than the one between the Athens Trojans (now Clarke Central) and the Gainesville Red Elephants in the 1950s and ’60s, back in the days of Weyman Sellers, Graham Hixon and Bobby Gruhn. Gainesville held a 28-23-2 advantage in the series with the Trojans and then won four of six against Clarke Central in the early 1970s, but the schools haven’t played each other since 1975. Now they’ll be forced to meet again as fellow members of 8-AAAAA, where they are expected to be two of the top contenders for the region title, along with Gainesville-area school Flowery Branch.

24 comments Add your comment

RAIDERFAN

August 23rd, 2012
10:24 am

CLICK,CLICK, BOOM! that sound you hear is the raider juggernaught rolling on , GO EAST PAULDING

TJ Morris

August 23rd, 2012
1:52 pm

Northside going to run that region yall better change that region.

Warner Robins DAWG

August 23rd, 2012
2:13 pm

TJ Morris, you’ve got it figured out!! Ya’ll better ask somebody about them Northisde Eagles.

Eagle Dad

August 23rd, 2012
2:44 pm

Heard that “raider juggernaught” about got run off the field in their scrimmage game last week. Mceachern ain’t Chapel Hill huh? Some of you EP folks are very talented at creating this whole fantasy aura about your team. lol

Northside Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
3:16 pm

@Warner Robins DAWG,

When I saw Warner Robins, I thought you might be a Demon, but glad to see your an Eagle.

WR Demons

August 23rd, 2012
3:49 pm

Whats wrong with Demon Fans?

dekalbcounty1

August 23rd, 2012
3:58 pm

MLK has made wonder adjustments to have a smooth transition to the interm coach. The coach left not the talented players!!!

Northside Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

Nothing wrong with Demon fans and/or Demon grads.

blu eagle

August 23rd, 2012
9:48 pm

Wow this season is finally upon us. NSWR and W.robins still have plenty to prove as things go,cause u just never know NSWR and W.robins going to playoffs one year ranked 1 and 2 only to fizzle out quickly not last year at least but we shall see!

Deja Vu all over again

August 23rd, 2012
10:44 pm

Another great Northside team,
Another weak schedule,
Another 10 win season,
Another Choke in the playoffs,
Deja Vu all over again!

LoL@EAST

August 24th, 2012
2:23 am

CLICK,CLICK, BOOM! that sound you hear is the raider juggernaught rolling on , GO EAST PAULDING

lol wow!!! Where was this team last week at McEachern?? East had better watch their backs for them Hornets, Patriots and Spartans this year, as all three will be much improved.

RAIDER FAN

August 24th, 2012
6:48 am

O.k. someone is trying to steal my screen name. You didn’t space like I do but I was here first.:-) Any way, @Eagle Dad and lol@east. You can’t judge a team by the standards they played under last fri. The whole idea of starting from the 30 even if you run a punt back for a t.d.(and then not counting it as such) was crazy. Of course there was also no official score being kept which a lot of fans disagreed with. If a team turns over on downs at the 4 the other team should start at the 4 not the 30. Also, both teams pulled their starters after the half and maybe sooner in some cases. If you consider that a scale for how a team will play the rest of the season you may get surprised. Now I’m not saying that E.P. is as this other RAIDERFAN(no space)describes them but it would be nice. I am still waiting to see how things will pan out with the new coach considering his past experience as a head coach. So good luck to all the teams this year and GO RAIDERS!!!!

Rowdy Raider

August 24th, 2012
7:17 am

@ Raider Fan and all RAIDER HATERS…..
Raider fan don’t bother with all the haters they just see what they think is a crack in our armour. Just let them keep thinking that.

We all know that ALL of the Paulding County teams HATE US!!! We were not run off the field last week. Pretty funny though we ran a kick off back for a touchdown but it didn’t count and came back to the 30 yd line. That is just one of the several crazy things that occured. That game was the biggest crock of crap I have ever witnessed.

I love that everyone thinks because Reid is gone we are done. I never saw him make not one tackle, score a toughdown, block, or anything else. Yes, it will take a couple of games to work some kinks out considering we have FIVE new coaches and have been without our 3rd year starter,#30, until next week. So, all you haters out there keep on hating. And all of other Paulding County teams want to keep on with the smack talk, I say bring it!!!! It only adds fuel to the fire for us!!!

THE "CANNON RULES"!!

August 24th, 2012
9:00 am

To: Eagle Dad & LoL@EAST…

At least ATTEND the games you try to critique (that means analyze…which means for you it appears watch and then make STUPID comments!) This was SCRIMMAGE – or to help you out PRACTICE! -! NO score was kept, no matter how good either team did on a kickoff or punt return the offense started on the 30 yard line. QB’s wore red shirts and were supposed to be protected from intentional hits. Both teams looked at many JV players as well as their starters.

A lot of trash talking was going on from the start and the ref’s let many plays go much longer than they should have for a scrimmage (practice) game opening the door for potential injury and they let way to many late hits occur especially on the QB’s.

Yes, at the start of the game EAST looked “rusty, out of sync, whatever” EAST did appear to be taking this game for what it was…SCRIMMAGE / PRACTICE…BUT as the game wore on EAST looked better and better as passes were completed, runs broke thru, plays developed as they should, kicks looked good and they played EAST ball with a kickoff return (which as rules dictate in a SCRIMMAGE / PRACTICE game came back to the 30 yd line!

Worry about whoever it is you pull for…the RAIDERS will be fine, they open at NORTH PAULDING and you can count on a packed house FULL of LOUD, ROWDY, CHEERING, BELL RINGING, HORN BLOWING, RAIDER NATION fans as EAST loads the CANNON for another GREAT year of EAST PAULDING RAIDER FOOTBALL!!

SO TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!! GO RAIDERS!!!

WR Demons

August 24th, 2012
9:06 am

HS Football is here folks! Strap it up and get ready.

Tiger4Life

August 24th, 2012
10:06 am

It is Time*

All the dreams and aspirations for a new season will begin tonight. Rankings don’t mean a thing, everyone is 0 – 0

But there is one thing that is for sure…
WE ARE TUCKER
Run With US or Run From Us

eagle1

August 24th, 2012
10:52 am

Can’t wait for Friday Night Football!!! Let’s go BIG BLUE! It’s great to be a Northside Eagle!

rwdekalb

August 24th, 2012
3:22 pm

MLK should roll easily over Stockbridge, the true tests will be when they face contenders.

Bo

August 24th, 2012
5:29 pm

mlk will come out on top.

BcS2010

August 25th, 2012
9:20 am

Tucker 36 cedar grove 14!!! My tigers defense looked great!!! The score was 36 to 6 when we pulled our starters and lets not forget we was going up against the best QB in ga high school history in Mcray.. Our offense looked great also our backfield is stacked! We ran for over 400 yards and our offense should get better In time. GREAT START FOR MY TUCKER TIGERS!!!(1-0)

JAB

August 26th, 2012
8:46 pm

It’s High time that Stephenson finally step up to the tables, if they don’t at least get into the final 4 this year–fire all of the coach’s and start over. There were too much talent that came out of that school.

JAB

August 28th, 2012
3:12 pm

MLK will not live up to their expectations this year, they will not make the playoffs..

TJ Morris

August 28th, 2012
5:07 pm

If yall havent heard but northside average o lineman this year is 6`4 and 330 pounds nobody can compete with that in 5A. Northside is really hungry and they are not going to choke. I believe northside is going to run 5a easy and whoop tucker by 2 touchdowns.

Doc12

August 29th, 2012
9:24 pm

MLK will finish 5th in the region.