It’s nice to daydream sometimes. At The List, we do it a lot. Mostly about unicorns and pie, but high school football also often finds its way into our hopes and prayers.
This week, we’ve been looking week by week and fantasizing about which games we really wish we could see played out this season.
Realignment took some of these precious games away from us, but others are matchups we think would be darn fun to watch.
10. Lincoln County-Bowdon
The two winningest active coaches in Georgia (Lincoln County’s Larry Campbell and Bowdon’s Dwight Hochstetler) have a combined 882 wins and 14 state titles in 76 seasons. Who knows how many years we have left to see these two legends roaming the sidelines? They’ve only played twice over the years, including a state finals clash in 1989. They split those two games. We want to have a rubber match.
The shine has gone off the Grayson rose just a bit after last week’s loss to Parkview, but this is still one of the best defenses in the state. The Panthers’ 22 points will probably be one of the highest numbers of the year posted on them. Meanwhile, on the subject of “irresistible force vs. the immovable object,” Class AA Calhoun has scored 42, 55 and 46 points in its first three games – all against Class AAAA teams, if the points weren’t enough on their own. Maybe the Yellow Jackets should try a very good AAAAAA team on for size.
8. Camden County-Alpharetta
It’s not too often we get to see two national top-25 quarterbacks face off around here, but this would give us that shot with Camden’s Brice Ramsey and Alpharetta’s Joshua Dobbs. Both are committed to major FBS schools, and they’re both bound to put up big numbers this year. We do love a good shootout.
7. Tucker-Northside (Warner Robins)
They’ve only played each other twice in the past, but both came in the state semifinals, and both were wild, close games that we want to keep watching over and over. They split those two, and they’ve combined to win four of the past six Class AAAA titles before they moved up a classification this year. Let’s just make this an annual thing. What do you think?
6. Walton-M.L. King
OK, so it appears nobody Walton has played so far had much chance of stopping running back Tyren Jones, who has 807 yards in three games. After two straight 300+-yard games to open the year, his mere 172 against North Cobb seemed downright pedestrian. But MLK has size and speed all over the field on defense. We think they might have a chance of keeping up with Jones. Or, well, at least holding him to 150.
One of the best rivalries in the metro area has always been enhanced by the fact that, for whatever reason, Tucker just kept beating Marist when no one else could do that. Particularly at Marist. Of the Eagles’ eight home losses since 2001 (Yes, they only have eight home losses since 2001), half of them came at the hands of Tucker. Let’s hope this rivalry doesn’t completely go away.
4. Avondale vs. anybody
Driving by Avondale High is sort of sad, and we really try to stay positive ‘round The List HQ. But we can’t help it. This was such a proud program for almost 40 years. But after having just two coaches while winning three state titles over 38 years until 1988, they had 10 coaches in the next 22 years before the school shut down after the 2010 season. We’d just like to see them on the field again.
3. Valdosta-Lincoln County
They have a boatload of state titles (24 and 14, respectively), but they’ve never been on the same field at the same time. Yeah, they’ve always been pretty far separated by size and geography, but it just seems like the high school football gods would have to be calling out for this one, if for historic value alone.
2. Marist-St. Pius
Did this one fall off the calendar just as St. Pius finally got the edge back? Yeah, we’re not gonna go all conspiracy theory on you guys, but the Lions had finally won two straight in this series just as realignment took it off the schedule. Marist won 21 straight between 1982 and 2002, then four more from 2004-07. I think the Pius kids would like another shot, and we want to see it.
Yeah, they’re in different classifications now, but we just want to see these guys play again. Who plays in four straight state title games? Let’s just say that’s pretty unusual. Knowing we won’t see a fifth rendition sort of hurts. It really does. Why can’t we just schedule these two one more time? Could Calhoun repeat last year’s long-awaited breakthrough after losing the previous three? The world aches to know.
There have to be a lot more, though. Which games would you want to see this year if you could put them together? Are you more interested in history or matchups? Could your team hold Jones to fewer than 200 yards? We want to know. Give us your thoughts in the comments here or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.