Class A: Regular season’s done, time to hurry up and wait on the Power Rankings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Well, the regular season is done.

But while the playoff field is set in nearly every other region in the state from Class AA to AAAAAA, Class A must wait until Wednesday, when all of the points have been counted, appeals have been exhausted and the Georgia High School Association officially “blesses” the public and private school playoff brackets based on the final Power Rankings. So here is a look at how many of the pivotal games went on Friday night.

Darlington 31, Mt. Pisgah 14. The Tigers (7-3, 4-1 in Region 6) rolled up more than 400 yards of offense in the romp over the Patriots (6-4, 3-2). Darlington already had a solid private school Power Ranking (No. 7) and hopes to move up, while Mt. Pisgah, which had a No. 15 Power Ranking, has to sit and wait to see if it can hang on to a playoff spot.

Trion 16, Whitefield Academy 7. The loss by the Wolfpack (6-4, 5-1 in Region 6) means they will have to wait and see if they can hang on to their No. 16 private school Power Ranking. The Bulldogs (8-2, 3-2) finished with their best regular season record since 2003, and hope to improve upon their No. 12 public school Power Ranking.

Our Lady of Mercy 48, Strong Rock 0. The Bobcats (6-4, 3-3 in Region 5) had a private school Power Ranking of No. 17 last week, but appear to have gotten what they needed to advance to the post season. Their dismantling of Strong Rock (4-6, 1-5), coupled with losses by the two teams ranked ahead of them – Mt. Pisgah and Whitefield Academy – should vault Mercy into the playoffs for just the second time in school history. Ironically, Mercy blasted Mt. Pisgah, 42-14, on Sept. 14 and dominated Whitefield in a pre-season scrimmage.

Mt. Paran Christian 35, Mt. Zion-Carroll 14. Kyle Trammell ran 24 times for 200 yards and a touchdown to help Mt. Paran (3-7, 2-3 in Region 6) end their season on a positive note. The dramatic comeback season for Mt. Zion (6-4, 4-1), which was winless last season and includes a sub-region title this year, will most likely come to an end. Mt. Zion held a public school Power Ranking of No. 15 last week.

Walker 21, Gordon Lee 0. The Wolverines (10-0, 7-0 in Region 6) finished undefeated for the first time in school history and earned their first region championship. Gordon Lee (5-5, 2-3), which had a public school Power Ranking of No. 17, must wait until the points have been tabulated to learn its post season fate.

Brookstone 30, Greenville 21. The Cougars (8-2, 6-1) won the Region 4 championship, as quarterback Duncan Fletcher accounted for four touchdowns, two throwing and two rushing, according to the Columbus Ledger. Brookstone was No. 11 in last week’s private school Power Rankings, but will now get one of the top eight seeds and host a first-round playoff game. Greenville (5-5, 3-4) was No. 16 on the public school side and will most likely slide out of post season contention.

Turner County 30, Clinch County 20. The Rebels (5-5, 3-3 in Region 2) had a public school Power Ranking of 18 while the Panthers (4-6, 2-4) were holding on at No. 14. Turner must now wait and see if the win will give it enough points to move into the top 16. Clinch will most likely miss the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

Wilcox County 21, Telfair County 0. Wilcox (8-2, 5-1 in Region 2) claimed its second consecutive region crown, its fourth in six years, and will host a first-round playoff game. Telfair (6-4, 3-3), which had a public school Power Ranking of No. 20, will miss the post season again. The Trojans last made the playoffs in 2004.

And a word about two teams that might be the best in Class A, but won’t get a chance to meet:

Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (9-1, 6-0) dismantled Landmark Christian 43-0 to win its third consecutive region championship.  ELCA’s defense held the War Eagles (7-3, 5-1)  to 2 yards rushing, as standout junior running back Jeremiah Kirkland was limited to 18 yards on 18 carries. The Chargers rushed for more than 300 yards as Keyonte Green and Marquis Griffin each went north of 100 yards on the ground operating out of the wildcat.

Meanwhile, Emanuel County Institute (9-1, 4-0) thrashed defending Class A champion Savannah Christian 48-14 to win the Region 3 championship.

ELCA will roll into the private school playoffs with at least a No. 2 Power Ranking. Athens Academy (10-0, 7-0), capped an undefeated regular season by downing community rival Athens Christian 27-9, and will most likely hold on to its No. 1 spot.  ECI held a No. 3 public school Power Ranking, behind Lincoln County and Wilcox County, and will probably stay in that spot.

But with the public-private split, any  ELCA-ECI, ELCA-Lincoln or ELCA-Wilcox battles will take place between their parents and fans on social media sites, but not on the field.

61 comments Add your comment

Walker Fan

November 10th, 2012
9:32 am

Congrats to Walker. Best of luck in the playoffs.

Really Tired

November 10th, 2012
10:06 am

Walker Fan, congratulations on your team’s season. You guys are the best team in the region and it would be a crime for Darlington to win it. My son plays for Mt. Pisgah so I went to their game against Darlington last night, and the score was not a true indication of how the game was played. Darlington deserved every point they got, but Pisgah could have easily made the game a tight one. They came up about 6 inches short of a first down on their first drive (which ended on the Darlington 3 yard line) and a ref seemed to have missed a pass interference which took place in the final seconds of the first half with Pisgah on the Darlington 10, with the play resulting in an interception in the endzone. I’d bet if you paired up against them on the field, you would take them. I was very impressed with how diciplined and fundamentally sound your team was when we played you a few weeks back. Good luck in the playoffs!

moto

November 10th, 2012
11:41 am

ELCA’s win should put to rest any doubts about their elite status. They totally crushed a very good Landmark team. Lincoln County should thank their lucky stars they won’t have to play ELCA in the dome and be totally embarrassed. I think maybe the game of the year would be ECI vs ELCA. But I guess we’ll have to settle for ELCA against Walker, Athens Academy or, still my darkhorse, George Walton, who, when healthy, is awfully good.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank AJC for their increased and excellent coverage of some of the very best high school football in the country. Kudos!

CSRA706

November 10th, 2012
12:34 pm

Aquinas should is the dark horse to win the private side, they are coming in with class A player of the year, and look to make a run to the dome!!!!!!!!

Rebel Fan

November 10th, 2012
2:04 pm

I echo what moto said. So thankful for the statewide coverage of high school football!

Swamp Lizard

November 10th, 2012
2:56 pm

STC …. very good read !! Thanks for going over all the sernerios, the “bubble” teams, and the teams that will likely be the top seeds. I guess we’ll all be on pins & needles looking for that final Power Ranking and wondering who our teams will be matched up with. Thanks for all the coverage this year! …. looking forward to all the playoff coverage.

Swamp Lizard

November 10th, 2012
3:08 pm

It is a shame we will not see an ELCA vs ECI, Lincoln Co, or Wilcox matchup in the playoffs, BUT that’s what the Public schools wanted …. like I’ve said eariler this year …. it’s a crime when things don’t go your way and you run and cry to change things just to suit you. I feel sorry for the Public schools that didn’t want the split, and those that ran & cried …. I have no respect for you. What are we teaching our kids? …. if things don’t go your way …. take your ball and go home?

TCDAWG25

November 10th, 2012
4:37 pm

@ All why didn’t the GHSA just work over the weekend have brackets completed by tomorrow in Class A public/private. Have opening round next friday, still have four games sixteen teams and the winner of the fourth game is the Public or Private champion. Then on the weekend of the State Championships have a Class A Public vs Private State championship. Does anyone agree or am I not showing common sense.

Swamp Lizard

November 10th, 2012
5:10 pm

@ TCDAWG25 … I hear ya & agree with you 100% !!

ELCA FAN

November 10th, 2012
5:14 pm

@TCDAWG25 i like your idea, that way you have a public and private state champion. then you get the class a champion.

Swamp Lizard

November 10th, 2012
6:54 pm

@ STC …. I would “think” OLM would get in the playoffs with the two teams in front of them ( #15 & #16 ) losing …. do you feel like they are in?

innocent bystander

November 10th, 2012
7:39 pm

@ moto & swamp lizard….. You guys are absolutely right. ELCA would beat Lincoln worse than they they beat Landmark, especially with the best QB in the state back on the field, & everybody knows it !!! ELCA vs ECI would be great & I bet ECI thinks so too. They’ll never know how good they are until they play the best team in 1A…….or 2A or 3A !

S. Thomas Coleman

November 10th, 2012
8:46 pm

@moto: Thanks for the love, moto.

Thanks for reading and posting.

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

November 10th, 2012
8:47 pm

@CSRA: Glad to see Douglas back in the mix.

Thanks for reading and posting.

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

November 10th, 2012
8:48 pm

@Rebel Fan: Thanks for the love!

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

November 10th, 2012
8:55 pm

@Swamp: Thanks! No matter what, the playoffs should be fun.

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

November 10th, 2012
8:58 pm

@TCDAWG25: There’s just one thing wrong with your plan … the public schools didn’t want a winner take all championship game. One public school coach told me, “Why would we want to do that? The whole idea of the split was to have two championships, not one.”

Thanks for reading and posting.

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

S. Thomas Coleman

November 10th, 2012
9:01 pm

@Swamp: You would think so, but I’m not sure. Strong Rock only won four games this season so other than the 10 points for the win, Mercy won’t get much more out of it. But we’ll see on Wednesday.

S. Thomas Coleman
s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com

follow footbal

November 11th, 2012
11:02 am

@CSRA706… I try to follow high school football but did not know that the player of the year for Class A was already decided. Please direct me to the web site or announcement about the selection.

South ga

November 11th, 2012
1:13 pm

Follow football. Douglas is the reigning Player of the year.

TomDawg

November 11th, 2012
3:49 pm

If all your private schools would play home grown players instead of stealing everybody else’s this never would have been an issue. I’m an ECI fan and all our players are home grown down south born and bred. So talk all you want Swamp Lizard, but if ya’ll win it all, i promise it wont be as sweet as ours was in 2007.

LoveFridayFootball

November 11th, 2012
5:23 pm

“Home grown down south”…. What does that mean? As long as “our” players are from our area it’s ok? Obviously from your comment everyone see’s the problem. Since you have the answers tell me this..if private schools didn’t do some kind of recruiting, how would they ever have any students???

Swamp Lizard

November 11th, 2012
6:40 pm

@ TomDawg …. I’m sorry if you don’t like my comments, but I will not take back anything I’ve said … ya see …. I’m a homegrown South Georgia Boy myself. As I’ve said … I’ve seen my son, these players, & coaches work to hard.

… another thing, I will be pulling for ECI on the Public side …. my friend TCDAWG25 has made me a believer in ECI …. wish y’all the best! I have no bones with you, but don’t knock my team.

TomDawg

November 11th, 2012
10:59 pm

I’m sure you don’t know what that means LoveFridayFootball, thats my point. And SwampLizard, your son must be pretty good,and you being a South Georgia Boy and all. ELCA make you an offer to move up that way.

Ree Dic You Luss

November 12th, 2012
2:03 am

If it takes until Wednesday for the geniuses that concocted this mess to figure out who’s in the playoffs,
it’s too complicated.

Swamp Lizard

November 12th, 2012
5:56 am

@ TomDawg …. I wish !! ;) I had to sell my big 4×4 pickup, my 30ft camper, and downsized on my house ….. but the kids are getting a great education, mama is happy, & with a little luck, DADDY’s going to get a ring !!

All kidding aside ( even though all that’s true ), I’ve made great sacrifices for my kids to attend ELCA and get a great education. I’m proud to say my kids have been pushed and have excelled in academics at ELCA. If it were your son and your team, you’d be just as proud as I am ….. as proud as you are of that 2007 Championship. Wish y’all ( ECI ) the best in the playoffs !!

Swamp Lizard

November 12th, 2012
5:57 am

@ Ree Dic You Luss ….. “Classic” !!

LoveFridayFootball

November 12th, 2012
7:24 am

@TomDawg.. My son was “homegrown” in Henry County. ELCA is in Henry County… So what’s your point? Are you accusing us of cheating? Is that your point?
You know the sad part is that it’s so easy for everyone to throw stones at the top of the hill rather than to say..good job! So easy to say.. They are to good they must cheat. They have to many D1’s they must cheat.
.Our team wants to play the best and would never say.. They beat us they must cheat. The comments that are made on here really only “cheat” our boys and coaches that have worked so hard to get where they are…

Single A

November 12th, 2012
8:15 am

@ Swamp lizard. If you are telling your son the playing field was even under the old system in single (A) where private school gets to recruit and the public schools are stuck with what they have, then you are lying to your son and you should be ashamed.

Marcus

November 12th, 2012
8:52 am

I find that the power rankings need to be calculated in a new way. how is that Telfair County is 6-4 and probably will miss the playoffs. While Charlton County who is 5-5 is ranked higher in the power rankings and Telfair beat them. I’m proud of my Trojans none the less.

Swamp Lizard

November 12th, 2012
10:07 am

@ Single A …. I’ve thought my son to work hard and good things will happen ….. AS THEY HAVE !! I could live with Lincoln Co ( 2008 & 2009 ) & Clinch Co ( 2010 ) beating us in the playoffs …. they were good teams. I didn’t teach him to cry and run …. or drop to GISA to win ….. he went to work, just like every other player & coach at ELCA.

ELCA hasn’t had anymore kids transfer into their program than any other Class A school in the state of Georgia. They don’t RECRUIT football players or any other atheletes. Read my comments to TomDawg above.

Hudking

November 12th, 2012
10:38 am

Can’t wait to see who wins the “Varisty” (private) and “JV” (public) championships! Should be fun.

GaNole05

November 12th, 2012
11:32 am

Here we go again about recruiting and stealing players. Let me just say this. I have seen players families move into another “Public” school region so that their kids can play for a particular school. For a private school you don’t have to move, but you have to pay the school tuition.

I have a child that attends ELCA that is a very good athlete but that is not why they are there. They are there to get a good education to provide them what they need to get to college.

I agree with @ Swamp Lizard that we do have to make sacrifices to send them there but it is worth it. I look at it as an investment for my kid.

Nobody cries foul when someone transfers from a Public School to a Public School but if they go to a Private School then it is a issue.

I like the private/public split champions with a final in the dome for the Class “A” State Championship. We have to remember that all of this was started because the Public Schools were left out of the final four last year. This format would make sure that they would be represented. I cannot for the life of me not understand how the GHSA did not do a study on how to resolve this situation before making a change….I guess the old saying is true, “the squeeky wheel gets the grease”

GaNole05

November 12th, 2012
11:43 am

@ Single A…… Please define your defination of “recruit”!

Remember this, if a kid goes to ELCA or Strong Rock that someone has to pay the tuition. There are no scholarships for these kids.

Also please let me know which kid(s) on the ELCA roster were recruited and from where. I think that it is funny that a few of them now that are excelling were there for middle school. So to me that ‘Recruiting Coordinator” that they must have is pretty good to be able to spot talent that young.
And I honestly don’t think that Coach Gess was there when they started. I call that good coaching.

LoveFridayFootball

November 12th, 2012
12:16 pm

Lets clear something up… A highschool athlete DOES have to sit out a yr if he transfers to another school. Public or private! Unless the family moves (or files for hardship). So the private schools play by the same rules as the publics in this rule. Please people before you spew allegations, get your facts straight!

david

November 12th, 2012
12:41 pm

Those of you whinning about private schools recruiting need to do your homework. This year alone, this newspaper has reported recruiting violations against Milton and Shiloh and they have been implied against Buford. The common thread…..they’re all public schools. Don’t let facts get in the way of your propaganda.

cdog

November 12th, 2012
2:02 pm

THIS THE MOST STUPIDEST SYSTEM I HAVE SEEN IN YEARS.BUT LIKE THE SAYING SAYS. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR YOU MIGHT GET IT AND A LOT OF SCHOOLS GOT.2 SCHOOLS I KNOW WAS TERRELL CO. AND RANDOLPH-CLAY. IN THE REGULAR SYSTEM TERRELL WOULS BE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS AS THE 4TH SEED BECAUSE THEY ROUTED RANDOLPH-CLAY BUT INSTEAD OF BEING THE 4TH SEED, THEY WILL BE SITTING HOME BECAUSE OF THIS IGNORANT SYSTEM CALLED POWER RANKINGS BUT THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ASK FOR IT INSTEAD OF MANNING UP AGAINST THE PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND PLAYING THEM NO MATTER WHAT. ALL THE OTHER CLASSIFICATIONS AREN”T WORRIED ABOUT PRIVATE SCHOOLS

observer

November 12th, 2012
2:25 pm

This is a tough discussion to ever be resolved in regards to public and private. Talk about flip-flops and switching, go to Spalding County and watch how certain players will be at Griffin High one year, show up at Spalding the next year and on it goes depending on football or basketball and how the team is doing. Needless to say, they don’t roll over to Spalding much. In regards to ELCA and Strong Rock in Henry County, I graduated from ELCA back in the 80’s used to be MCA and my son graduated from Strong Rock. A sacrifice was made by my parents for me as well as what we did for our son. He took an absolute beating from ELCA, Landmark, OLM, etc on the field. but he was glad he played becasue he said he played against some of the best. No regrets, it taught him many things about leadership, believing in something and giving it your best. Guys, I learned more from my son and the losses he took than any wins imaginable. The wins and losses will fade, but the true character of what we teach our boys will remain a life-time. Our words last much longer, as coaches and parents we can all do better. Good luck to all the teams!

gh2o

November 12th, 2012
3:33 pm

@observer, I have sporadically read this blog, and I have to say that your comment is the first one to which I felt like standing and applauding! The bottom line is this is high school football. I would like to think my son has the chance of moving on to the next level if he so desires. However, he is attending a private school for the education. Sacrifices were made to place him in that situation, as was done for me, by my parents. The character built on the football field is a direct extension of the coaches and parents involved in the programs. If winning and losing is the sole focus, shame on the school which allows such. Sportsmanship is a trait that is seemingly lost in many sports programs. Heck, it’s even lost in discussions on these blogs! No, I’m not talking about the “participation” trophies and such. I’m talking about the player who reaches down and helps up the player on the team they are beating by 4 touchdowns. Or the players taking a knee and praying for an injured player on the other team. The FCA meetings and the coaches teaching life lessons. THOSE are the things that will carry most of these young men into their adulthood. Thanks, observer, continue to encourage these characer-building attributes of high school football!

Ree Dic You Luss

November 12th, 2012
3:46 pm

Swamp Lizard
Here’s to you and you’re selling of all things precious to you to provide for that which is most precious,
your kids. I’ve done the same. Hoping that our Athens Academy kids get to play y’all in the Dome!
Good luck to you…..until we play each other, that is!

another Observer

November 12th, 2012
4:00 pm

ELCA does not recruit! Just by chance every year 2-3 top seniors show up and transfer in for their senior year, most from within the county. How ironic. For all you ELCA dads posting on here, I guess those do not count? Oh by the way, do you think these kids transfer in and pay the tuition? Do you? Some of you “South Georgia Boys” need to check on that swampwater you are trying to sell.

GaNole05

November 12th, 2012
4:39 pm

@ Another observer….. Please give details!!!! I take it you have a name or list of names? I would just like you to verify your information.

Swamp Lizard

November 12th, 2012
7:01 pm

@ observer & gh2o …. You two are so right ….. words and actions as parents ( & coaches ) will take our kids so much futher than any game they will ever play. Thank you for posting and bringing to point what really matters. I can tell that you both are men of high character …. as your kids will be!

Swamp Lizard

November 12th, 2012
7:09 pm

@ Ree Dic Less …. THANK YOU! As you know, it’s been worth it. The goal of any parent is for their kids to have the same …. or better …. opportunities than we had growing up.

I wish you ( Athens Academy ) the best during the playoffs too. Maybe we’ll get a chance to meet at the Dome. I hear y’all have a “nasty” defense over there !!

Swamp Lizard

November 12th, 2012
7:22 pm

@ another observer …. I am an ELCA Dad …. my son is a starter, but he’s not a “star”, no one has ever offered me any help paying his way or my daughter’s way. I don’t want to argue with you over recruiting …. & I’m not one to rub shoulders with the “high brass” … so I can’t answer if anyone goes to ELCA free. I can tell you, I would be over there ( ELCA ) turning things upside down if wrong doing was going on. It just wouldn’t be fair to my son and the other players ( & coaches ) that have worked so hard.

I’m not downgrading you or putting you down by asking you this, but don’t you really think GHSA would be all over ELCA if they caught any word of wrong doing?

Gator

November 12th, 2012
8:23 pm

Enter your comments here

Amabo

November 12th, 2012
8:41 pm

Leave Lincoln County out of you’ll mouth unless you have some where near the number of championship STATE that is that they have. ECLA talk when you get 5 or more if you don’t know the number for Lincoln County check your history. CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG BUT I THINK THE LAST TIME ELCA PLAYED LINCOLN RED DEVILS WON I MIGHT BE WRONG JUST CHECKING. BUT RESPECT THAT LITTLE TOWN FOR FOOTBALL .

LoveFridayFootball

November 12th, 2012
8:53 pm

I don’t think anyone said anything about Lincoln. As far as that goes, I don’t think anyone from ELCA has said anything bad about any other school.

innocent bystander

November 12th, 2012
9:16 pm

@ amabo & single a…..if you guys are telling your kids that every kid that ever played @ Lincoln Co. was homegrown and didn’t pop into town after a few good yrs at the middle school a county or 2 over, you are full of it !!! i guess next you’re going to tell us Valdosta never got a player out of Florida ???? bottom line is, it was fine and dandy when you were on roll & had no competition, but Savannah & ELCA would own Lincoln from here on out and that hurt Larry’s pride. be glad you don’t HAVE to send your kids to private school. a lot of us up here would love to be out in the country where public schools were still safe and decent. amabo…you keep living in the past. those 5 rings from way back wouldn’t save Lincoln from a BEAT DOWN from ELCA !!! you’re probably still wearing your UGA 1980 Nat’l Champs sweatshirt, aren’t ya ???

AJC

November 12th, 2012
9:22 pm

Thoughts on Whitefield Academy? On the bubble, but any chance they will make it to the playoffs?