AAAAAA blog: Can Parkview close the deal? … Druid Hills make history? … Valdosta, Coffee, Wheeler stay alive?

Five questions for Class AAAAAA this week:

Can Parkview close the deal? The Panthers’ return to prominence has been one of the best stories of the season in Georgia. Parkview can clinch Region 8 and win its first region title since 2004 with a victory over South Gwinnett. Both teams are 7-2, so it won’t be easy. The game is at South Gwinnett. The Comets can’t win the region unless Brookwood upsets Grayson but will finish no worse than second and host a state playoff game with a victory.

Will Druid Hills break a drought? The winner of the Druid Hills-Rockdale County game will make the playoffs out of Region 2. Granted, it’s a pretty weak league when teams that are 4-5 (Druid Hills) and 2-7 (Rockdale) are getting a chance to make the post-season, but that won’t stop the celebrating if Druid Hills makes it. The Red Devils have not had a winning season since 1993. (And that might not change since Druid Hills would be 5-6 if it won this game and lost in the first round to region champion Langston Hughes.) Druid Hills has not make the playoffs since 1985. And that was the region playoffs. Druid Hills hasn’t made the state playoffs since … 1956! Druid Hills lost to Valdosta in the Class AA championship that year. Fran Tarkenton was still in high school then at Athens High.

Will Valdosta or Coffee be left out? Or Colquitt? The Valdosta-Coffee game might also be viewed as a loser-leave-town match, as the loser is almost certainly going to miss out on the playoffs. But it’s possible that won’t be the case. If Valdosta wins, Valdosta is the No. 3 seed. If Valdosta loses and No. 1 Camden County beats Colquitt County, there will be a three-way tie for third place, with only two spaces available for the playoffs. The tiebreaker will be points allowed against the five playoff contenders. Colquitt has allowed 64 points, Valdosta 96 and Coffee 97. So Colquitt probably would need to give up 40 points or more to be eliminated. In any event, Coffee has the least to lose in the first season under a new coach, Robby Pruitt, who has made positive strides in that program. It would be a real step back for Valdosta or Colquitt to sit on the sidelines next week.

Will Wheeler stay alive? What do Eddie Printz, Tyren Jones and Shamire Devine have in common? First, they are Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11 players. Second, they played in Wheeler’s middle school program before moving elsewhere. The uncertainty of Wheeler’s coaching staff at the time was a factor in the case of Jones and Printz, perhaps Devine as well. Wheeler was 0-10 when those players were in the eighth grade, then went 0-10 when they were freshmen in other programs. That’s when Michael Collins took the job. Wheeler has gone from 0-10 to 1-9 to 4-6 to 5-4 and now perhaps on the verge of the school’s first playoff berth since 2006. The Cinderella story must entail a Wheeler victory over Cherokee, a Lassiter victory over Etowah and a Milton victory over Woodstock. That would force a three-way tie for fourth place among Etowah, Woodstock and Wheeler. The three then would meet in mini-games on Monday to determine the final playoff qualifier.

Who else will make the playoffs? The 32 playoff teams are fairly well known entering the final week of the regular season. Aside from the dramas involving Druid Hills, Wheeler and Region 1, there are two other games that essentially winner-makes-the-playoffs, loser-is-out games. They are Douglas County vs. Tri-Cities in Region 3 and Chattahoochee-Centennial in Region 6.

97 comments Add your comment

Todd Holcomb

November 8th, 2012
12:43 pm

Thanks for the help, RobFromNorcross & sportsnut. …

I deleted your posts just avoid confusion. All should be good in the story.

Really????????????????No surprise here

November 8th, 2012
12:44 pm

Robert Nkemdiche decommits. Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top football recruit in the Class of 2013, has decommitted from Clemson, his high school coach Mickey Conn told ESPN.com’s RecruitingNation via text message.
DHS(Dwight Howard Syndrome).

TItletown USA

November 8th, 2012
12:48 pm

Wow, I think that is terrible timing for him to decommit with the playoffs right around the corner, it is going to be a zoo in Graysonland. He is an 17/18 yr old kid, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I think this guy will have issues on the next level.

Camden74

November 8th, 2012
12:58 pm

Saddle up boys and girls, PLAYOFF time is almost here! :-)

Issues?

November 8th, 2012
1:04 pm

And what will be his issues? and are you assuming that because he decommitted, if so colleges do that to kids all day and all night. Do they too have issues? (yes in the answer to that one). just wondering your thoughts on why he will have issues.

57Cat

November 8th, 2012
2:02 pm

Todd, I want to add my thanks to those expressed by others for the great job you do for us hifh school football fans, especially us AAAAAA bloggers. You provide an avenue for us to express our opinions, show our allegiances, and fuss with those who have the audacity to disagree with us. :-) Thanks!

Really????????????????No surprise here

November 8th, 2012
2:41 pm

Issues? Never said the young man would have issues. ESPN covered it, but did not see it in the AJC. Don’t think that at 17 or 18 you are really ready to make these type of decisions on your own, without consulting with your parents or guardian. When my sons both decided to attend college, they sat with me and their mom and we weighted the pros and cons in each school and we eliminated each accordingly. Does not seem that this young man made that as part of his plans. This is all based on news releases from the media from his mom. Obviously they were not on the same page with the Clemson decision. This affects more than just the school, but it affects other young men, who may had a desire to attend these schools, but due to the lack of scholarships, they were unable to. So now, this young man decommits. It is an issue of integrity and character. Do we teach our young men that it is ok to change their minds and decisions when they gave their word? So I guess he does have issues, they are called committment.

Titletown USA

November 8th, 2012
2:44 pm

Issues?…for starters, let’s say an issue with the expectations of being the #1 rated player and having to live up to the hype…….the issue with having to compete with athletes that he does not have an automatic size/strength advantage…..the issue with already assuming that you will play 2years on the college level and head to the NFL….the issue with your mother living in another country and giving interviews like they do not communicate with each other often…the issue with playing a school that just had riots due to the election of a President that looks like him….enough?

I actually am rooting for the kid and hoping he can stay about the fray…and if you read my comments, I prefaced them with acknowledging he is a teen and benefit of doubt. You stated that all kids have issues (grown up too) but you must admit that the potential for his issues are greater and from the feedback I have received from athletes that have played against him, he is not a high character type dude, which will make him susceptible to…you guessed it….ISSUES!

Titletown USA

November 8th, 2012
2:46 pm

Really???..I think he was directing those comments to me.

Camden74

November 8th, 2012
3:05 pm

Do coaches have “ISSUES” when they recruit these kids and then some other school waves a ton of money in front of the coach in order to lure him to another job and they take the money and run? Therefore leaving the kids they’ve recruited to fend for themselves at a school they may or may not have chosen if it were not for the coach! Do schools have “ISSUES” when they fire a coach after he’s recruited a class? :-)

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
3:22 pm

valdosta has trouble with coffee when they play them in douglas……the cllser this game gets to being played the more i feel an upset happening

57Cat

November 8th, 2012
3:39 pm

BK, I don’t think it will be an upset when we beat Coffee. By the way, why don’t you take the week off with your team and rest up for the playoffs. Or go find some other team to annoy.

redneck viking

November 8th, 2012
3:53 pm

I love our Vikings just as much as anyone, but our BKSMITH fan is looking through rose colored glasses. He thinks that we are the best team in the state, and that is just not the case. Our passing game is horrible. We have a really good defense, but that will not take us all the way. We have to score and you cant win by just running the football. I think we make it to the 2nd or 3rd round, and that will be it. I would love to go all the way, but this is not the year. He would also love to see our arch rival Valdosta lose to Coffee. I in turn pull for the Cats when we dont play them. So I hope the Cats get it done in Coffee. I would love to see another Winnersville Classic, “playoff style” somewhere later in the year. Go Vikings, Go Cats.

the truth

November 8th, 2012
3:57 pm

You guys are reading an awful lot into one player changing a commitment to a college. I don’t know the reason why he did. Until he signs the paper in February he can change all he wants. It is apparent that he and his family are confused on his final choice. He may have decided to change because all the speculation was being a distraction to him and the team. Deciding to wait may make him and his team more focused. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to step away from it for a short time.

sportsnut

November 8th, 2012
4:15 pm

The Vikings better find a pasing game in the next 3 weeks.

Titletown USA

November 8th, 2012
5:08 pm

Camden74(or your highness)…to answer your question…yes they do. The entire system is severely flawed and I could write a book on the issues, especially how it negatively impacts my communityand makes millions for another. Some kids can handle it well, others not so much…I am entitled to my opinion that this kid has a high propensity to not handle them well, I expressed it and respect your right to express yours. Only time will tell…and I hope I am wrong.

Camden74

November 8th, 2012
5:39 pm

Titletown USA…..My point is, everyone has “ISSUES” when it comes to College Recruiting. Most of the kids recruited help their respective schools make millions. But more times than not, they leave with nothing other than the memories of the time they spent in school. IMO, Athletic Scholarships should be binding, you stay until you graduate! Regardless of how long it takes. :-)

how 'bout

November 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

…where was the outcry and damnation when UCLA decommitted to one of our state’s Sr. QBs earlier this year …colleges and universities do it on a regular basis for a myriad of reasons…

GwinnettDad

November 8th, 2012
6:01 pm

Mickey Conn, coach of Grayson, and Dabo Swinney, coach of Clemson, were teammates at Alabama and both spoke together one Sunday, maybe two years ago at the beginning of the season, at the church I attend in Snellville. I have no inside information here, other than to say that both coaches are strong Christians, and that Nkemdiche may have been swept up in the friendship between the two coaches. It’s possible that upon a second glance, there may be other realities that are becoming more important. And, then, there’s the mother, and it was reported that SHE wants her boys to play together.

GwinnettDad

November 8th, 2012
6:07 pm

Parkview can’t pass, their running game was the main factor behind beating Grayson and Brookwood (though both made HUGE mistakes and lots of them), and Parkview’s defense is steady. South Gwinnett has a big QB and a number of good receivers, but their defense is weak and can be exploited. Close call for me, but I’m leaning Parkview.

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
6:56 pm

Gwinnettdad……south gwinnett shut grayson down in the 1st hafl when they played…….it was grayson 7-0 over south at grayson at halftime……..in the 2nd half…graysons defense took over the game and all south could do was 3 and out and grayson got the ball in great field position the entire 2nd half and south just wore out on defense. Plus grayson made a small adjustment in the running game that also helped them . i watched a rerun of the whole game…i know. Grayson will have to win with their d and running game bc grayson is in trouble if they have to rely on their qb to win the game with his arm…..he doesnt have a very strong arm.

Gwinnettdad……….also….i hear that carson for parkview may not play…supposedly he was injured. He is their best rb, so if he cant go then i go with south gwinnett. you know anything?

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
6:59 pm

i actually want valdosta to beat coffee friday……..but i am stating a fact. They have trouble with coffee a lot of the time when they play them and i see it being a close game fri night in douglas…..and lord help the cats if those same refs from last year show up.

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
7:08 pm

sportsnut………i have watched lovejoy vs colquitt……lovejoy vs rockdale….lovejoy vs alpharetta…and i feel really good about lowndes beating lovejoy when and if we play. I have been impressed with lovejoy but lovejoy will have would be lucky to have 50 to 75 yds rushing on lowndes the entire night…….while tucker who runs the wing t had over 300 yds rushing on lovejoy when yall played last december. If yall have not figured out how to stop the wing t then you will be in big trouble in rd 2 if we meet. Lovejoys defense accoriding to you was better and a lil faster last year………so if that defense gave up 300 plus to tucker …..i would not feel to good about having to face a wing t with the speed lowndes has and both lang and burgman have been jogging around at practice this week………..looking like they will be back. Lovejoy has a lot of athletes itself……and you guys are fast……..i just dont think your coaches are utilizing some of the guys on the team the way they should be. I go with experience and coaching when it comes to a big game in the playoffs and this lowndes teams is 9-1……and played in arguably the toughest region in the state and has played what i believe is the best team in the state in camden and held them to 200 yds without our 2 best players in the game and was in the game all night. These boys are big game battle tested,….we have been in the hawgpen and came away with a win………..we have played in the “winnersville” classic and won….we played against the beat “grayson” last year and gave them a fight with an 8-3 team………we will be ready for lovejoy come rd 2 ……and you will go up against the best running attack you have seen all year if lang and burgman are back. I expect a good game but i expect lowndes to win that game

57Cat

November 8th, 2012
7:08 pm

I agree with you, there, BK. Lordy, what is this world coming to. BK is getting smarter! :-)

sportsnut

November 8th, 2012
8:25 pm

Check your stats. Tucker had a total of 271 yards vs. Lovejoy. They had 199 at half time and only 72 in the second half. As far as Lowndes vs. Lovejoy, we both need to get there first. I like our chances a little better than yours. I hope your 2 stars are back so we will not be subjected to what we have been hearing since your loss to Camden. Region 1 has two(2) strong teams and that is Camden and Lowndes. The rest are not as good and there are regions that are better than you in the lower half of the region. Region 8 comes to mind. What you have done in the past is of no consequence now. If this was the case, I could simply say “remember the last time we played you ” ? You do remember, don’t you ? I do.

WILDHAWG2012

November 8th, 2012
8:41 pm

@BK=nice post.Wow did i just say that!! man i guess i did but lets concentrate on Marietta first i mean their defense won’t scare u guys but their QB is a D-1 prospect a dangerous. So lets put them to rest then on to the next bro but nice post

Just Rammin

November 8th, 2012
8:43 pm

bk

Grayson’s quarterback with exception of the Parkview game has made plays with his arm when called upon. No he can’t throw it 60 yards but that is not what he is asked to do. Grayson and all Wing T teams imo rely on favorable down and distance. Camden may be the exception to rule. Should be fun.

yo

November 8th, 2012
8:58 pm

sportsnut out of curiousity how many Wing T offenses has Lovejoy played this year?

LTrojan Fan

November 8th, 2012
9:11 pm

A lot of people were all over Eddie Printz for de-committing from SMU and committing to UCLA. When UCLA pulled their offer, I read things like…”he gets what he deserves for what he did to SMU”. How is it that Robert gets a pass but Eddie does not?

OMacG

November 8th, 2012
9:20 pm

LTrojan Fan- maybe Nkemdiche’s not catching that same heat because it seems his mama had a huge say in the matter.

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
10:21 pm

sportsnut….region one has apparently more than 2 good teams……add colquitt in the mix…a team yall scored 7 points against and lost. Lovejoy has a good team……as does lowndes….and if they play i expect a battle with both teams scroing less that 20 points and the winner being decided by 10 or less. lets leave it at that

Camdenblue

November 8th, 2012
10:23 pm

@LTrojan Fan or maybe it’s because it what you described happening to Eddie hasn’t actually happened to Robert yet. He hasn’t had someone snatch their offer away from him yet. I’m sure if or when it happens there will be posters saying the same

GwinnettDad

November 8th, 2012
10:31 pm

BK – “The Panthers will be without running back Chris Carson, who injured his leg last week against Berkmar. Parkview will rely on a stable of running backs to replace Carson, led by Justis Rosser.” From the Gwinnett Daily Post

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
10:35 pm

just rammin…..graysons defense with almost all seniors is 2nd to none. There are two maybe 3 defenses in the state that are on par with grayson or at least in the same convo……camden….lowndes…and lovejoy is not far behind. There are other good defenses…but the top 3…you have to go with grayson…camden..lowndes

with that said….i believe its a toss up to who has the best wing t between us 3…..if its short yardage…..then you got to go with grayson bc knemdiche is going to fall forward when tackled and he usually gets 2 to 3 yds at least when he touches ball. lowndes held camden to 78 yds rushing on 35 carries while we had 125 yds rushing with our backup running backs and #4 (sophmore) doing all the damage. all 3 teams are very good at the wing t…..

Graysons qb is not ramsey….neither is ours. And in my opinion both grayson and lowndes will run into trouble if either one runs into someone who can completely stop the run ……but i dont think anyone can completely shut either teams running game down. Camden shut lowndes down after drive 1…..but in my opinion a large factor in that was bc our 2 best rbs were injured.

Going to be very interesting in the playoffs……sportnsut…i will tell you this…..if lowndes beats the rd 1 opponent …most likely marietta…..get ready for lovejoy to be one loud place that fri night when lowndes plays yall . Lowndes will bring enough fans to pack the visitor side and we have the loudest…largest and one of the top bands in the state…….we will make it a home away from home from our guys…….lowndes will not be affected by having to play on the road

bksmith14

November 8th, 2012
10:37 pm

lovejoy has not had to play anyone all year with the speed lowndes has….colquitt was the closes thing to it, but even they arent as quik as lowndes

Camdenblue

November 8th, 2012
10:45 pm

Hmmmm I wonder which Colquitt County team will show up on Friday night. The one that held Lowndes to 17 points or the one that allowed Brunswick to score 26? Hmmmmm….

Camden74

November 8th, 2012
10:47 pm

sportsnut…….If the past doesn’t matter, why do you always bring it up? :-)

Camden74

November 8th, 2012
10:52 pm

bk……Did Lowndes have two guys injured when they played Camden? :-D

Heisenberg

November 8th, 2012
11:22 pm

Printz situation is way different here. He only backed out on SMU when June Jones agreed to leave to take another job. When the HC who runs an offense you can thrive in leaves, is that really the kids fault? Eventually Jones ended up not leaving SMU but the damage had been done. So Printz opens up recruitment. The same guy that was his primary recruiter at SMU leaves SMU when he thinks his boss is taking another job and ends up at UCLA. Gets Printz to follow him to UCLA. Then UCLA revokes the offer when they think they can hook up with a prettier girl. So Printz ends up at Mizzou. There is no comparison. Clemson has a stable coaching situation and they did not withdraw their offer.

The only lesson to be gleaned is do not commit too early. If you are good enough they will have a spot for you. If you are marginal, they will drop you for someone else.

Just Rammin

November 8th, 2012
11:24 pm

@ bk

I have watched Lowndes play 3 times this year online and TV and no doubt you have a top 3 defense. I may be a little biased but I believe Grayon has the best defense state. They are almost as you say all seniors and they are very fast and they love to hit. Robert is the short yardage X factor as long as he holds on to the football. Alot of factors come into play in these games and the best team on paper as you know doesn’t always win. You gotta love HS football.

Heisenberg

November 8th, 2012
11:26 pm

And 1 more thing. If you commit to Alabama your junior year and then get hurt as a senior, you may want to re-open your recruitment.

Heisenberg

November 8th, 2012
11:36 pm

I only saw Grayson play once on TV this year against Archer. They showed little respect for the Archer passing game. It looked like they had 16 defenders in the box. Maybe someone has seen them play against a team that can spread the field and has a balanced offense. Grayson looks like they have some speed on defense, but it gets really hard when you have to defend the entire field. I know Camden and Lassiter can make them defend whole field. Maybe Norcross and S Gwinnett could but have not seen them and do not know enough about their offense.

Pack GATA

November 8th, 2012
11:45 pm

@Lowndes fans, I may not have been a fan of your Tyler Hunter a coupe of years ago, but i’m a big fan now, he just saved the game for my Seminoles. Go region 1 in the playoffs.

bksmith14

November 9th, 2012
12:02 am

tyler hunter was a good player for lowndes…..

i remember when tyler hunter was the qb for lowndes in rd 1 of the 2010 playoffs……we beat a good newnan team 38-14….then in rd 2 lowndes opted to go back to cole parker when we played collins hill….and to me it was a msitake…..lowndes wing t has always been better when you have the “triple” threat attack………2 wingbacks who can take it to the house and a qb who can also……not to mention tyler threw 2 td passes against newnan…but cole was a senior and so on and so on. He should have never went back under center after hunters perfromance in that newnan game…..

57Cat

November 9th, 2012
12:18 am

Heisenberg – I know these kids are only 17/18 years old and often they jump at the first really good offer they get. I think a couple of good examples of athletes handling the recruiting process well were Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell. We knew who their favorite was, but they did not commit until signing day. I think Josh Harvey Clemons was the same way, although there was a little drama associated with his signing with UGA. I really don’t like these early commits, especially when the athletes are just playing games, or playing the press.

bksmith14

November 9th, 2012
1:17 am

me and a lot of others will be glad when knemdiche is gone…….grayson will sorely miss him. he is impossible to stop on short yardage and goal line situations……….its really unfair. its like trying to stop a dump truck

battleaxekid

November 9th, 2012
8:02 am

In 2010 we (Lowndes) had a better team than Collins Hill but you can’t lay off of the receivers EVERY down, CH just picked us apart….We played prevent defense almost every snap…….

Fred

November 9th, 2012
8:45 am

@Heisenberg – I’ve seen South play 3 times this year – Archer (our bye week), us and Brookwood (we had the Thursday night game against Archer). South looked very strong each game and Ramey was all over the field. He was throwing and running and making plays – except against us. He spent most our game on the run or looking at the stars. He got called twice for intentional grounding. My point with this is that South is primarily a pass team and we were able to contain them pretty effectively. Sure he a few good passes in, any good QB will. The D was able to penetrate and keep the pressure on which helped the secondary. Against Archer and Brookwood both it seemed as though he had all night at times. If, and this is a big if, you can put the pressure on the QB in a spread while staying with the receivers at least adequately you can stop the pass.

Having said all this, Brookwood has some play makers for sure. I expect a good game tonight.

Just Rammin

November 9th, 2012
9:14 am

@ Fred

To add to your point Grayson’s #1 priority is to stuff the run. If they pressure the quarterback effectively which to this point they have done it is going to be a long night for their opponents offensively. Brookwood may hang in there for a quarter off emotion tonight but at the end of the day Grayson will win by at least three touchdowns. Atmosphere should be good though. Never Satisfied!

GwinnettDad

November 9th, 2012
9:14 am

@Fred – if you saw the Brookwood/South game, as Mickey Conn did (saw him in the Brookwood Stand late in the 4th quarter), you already know the truth. Brookwood doesn’t have the people on D this year. Might be a good warm up for Grayson’s pass defense, but otherwise, Grayson should score a lot. I think, however, Brookwood won’t be shut out.