Poll talk: Can Lovejoy or North Cobb win it? History says go with Gwinnett, south Georgia instead

Teams from south Georgia and Gwinnett County have won state championships in Georgia’s highest classification each season since 1996.

Roswell of Fulton County shared the 2006 title with Peachtree Ridge of Gwinnett in the famous tie game. Otherwise, it’s been total domination for the schools currently housed in regions 1, 7 and 8.

Those still playing are  Camden County and Colquitt County from Region 1/south Georgia and North Gwinnett, Norcross, Mill Creek and Parkview from Gwinnett.

Out of luck? That would be Lovejoy and North Cobb, if history holds. Lovejoy is trying to become the first Clayton County team to win a state title since 1987 (Morrow). North Cobb is trying to become the first Cobb team to win since 1967 (Marietta).

What’s significant about 1996? Brookwood became the first Gwinnett County Schools team to win a state title that year.  Rapid population growth over the previous decade continued, and the migration of some of DeKalb County’s best coaches to Gwinnett also helped change the landscape of football in the highest classification.

Another thing happened that perhaps was equally as significant. It was the first season that the GHSA expanded the playoffs to 32 teams. This plays into the hands of the strongest regions and those teams that are battled tested in the regular season. With four qualifiers from each region, one door opens when another closes.

It happened in 1997, when defending champion Brookwood was 13-0 but lost in the quarterfinals to Tift County. Third-place Parkview, which would not have made the playoffs under the previous format, wound up with the championship.

In 1999, it happened again with Lowndes, a No. 3 seed. Region 1 champion Colquitt County lost in the quarters while Lowndes won four straight games away from home before beating Brunswick for the title. Peachtree Ridge’s title in 2006 came as a No. 4 seed.

Since 1996, there have been 12 teams seeded No. 3 or No. 4 that made it to the semifinals. Ten of those 12 came from Gwinnett or South Georgia. This year, three have made the quarterfinals – Colquitt County, Mill Creek and Parkview. That’s South Georgia, Gwinnett and Gwinnett.

It’s hard to bet  against them.

118 comments Add your comment

Dum-Bass

November 25th, 2012
1:59 pm

Don’t ever bet against Propst and Colquitt Co. Most people realize he is an “idiot” but he can coach HS football. Colquitt Co. approached him at the right time and got him from Hoover, AL, probably at a lesser cost than he would have been ordinarily. I say that to say this. I see Hoover is now 13-0 this year and headed for another AL state title. Apparently they have another outstanding coach there. Teams like Valdosta, Lowndes Co, and ESPECIALLY TIFT CO. would be smart to “lure” him away if they want to get back to their “glory days”. TD clubs could push their schools for this and do the same thing CCHS did a few years ago. Looks to me like those 3 schools are in a “rut” right now and need to do something drastic. With the right offer bet that coach now at Hoover in AL would leave there in a heartbeat for places like Valdosta or Tifton. What they have now just ain’t working!

Alan

November 25th, 2012
2:33 pm

Dum-bass, your name fits your thought process. While I can’t speak for Tift, Valdosta always hires men of integrity to lead the ‘Cats, and Propst could never measure up to me. Like Hyder, Baze, and Gillespie in that department. Valdosta’s current problem has been a “talent bleed” to the county school that now has a thousand more students than VHS. I’m convinced Gillespie is the right man for the job. I don’t know that any other coach could have done better than 4-2 in R-1 against the mammoth schools Camden and Lowndes. Propst is scum. He is nowhere near good enough for Valdosta. As important as winning is to VHS, it is NOT the most important thing.

Alan

November 25th, 2012
2:34 pm

Sorry meant “men like Hyder…”

fred

November 25th, 2012
4:13 pm

go northgwinnett what a job bob spire has done at that school

Colquitt Fan

November 25th, 2012
4:26 pm

Alan, you know Propst personally? Or are you just rambling?

Max Sizemore

November 25th, 2012
5:24 pm

I’ve only seen about a quarter of play from games against Norcross and Grayson (last Friday), but yes, Fred, North Gwinnett may be the best coached prep team I’ve ever seen. And I saw my first game over 50 years ago.

Elementary My Dear Watson

November 25th, 2012
6:06 pm

@ Max. Wow 50 years, thats a long time. Thats longer than I have been watching. Guess you did not see the Camden vs N Gwinnett games years ago in the playoffs. I hope I have that match up right. I believe Camden was the visitor that night and put a gigantic beat down on NG. Make no mistake and I think of myself as a scholar of high school football. Camden’s program is the envy of the entire state of GA. Well coached in all aspects, respected by all other premier programs in the state. Herron and his staff second to none as far as a well coached and well oiled machine.

hawg88

November 25th, 2012
6:16 pm

Alan says propst is scum because he feels threatened by his coaching ability u can continue to bring up his past at hoover but the packers r marching on to the next round!

waynester

November 25th, 2012
6:45 pm

Propst has kept his nose(and other parts) clean since coming to CC. All the Rush-bashing sounds like sour grapes from fans on the outside looking in. Valdosta has had the region their way for a long time and, yes, they’ve been blessed with good leadership over the 50 years I’ve been watching–this is NOW, though and Camden is the biggest dog in the fight now and CC is the hungriest. Change is constant–some people just can’t accept the new paradigm….

Jake Mule (Peach County Trojans)

November 25th, 2012
6:52 pm

Go Trojans!!!!!!!!!!!!

Max Sizemore

November 25th, 2012
7:03 pm

@Elementary MDW: I never said anything about North Gwinnett’s talent level, which looked to me to be less than both Norcross and Grayson. No I didn’t see that game, but Camden likely had more talent both then and now. No doubt Camden is well coached. I met Herron in late February at a Nike coaching clinic down here in Orlando. He was joking about how his team had to play both ‘Dosta and Lowndes away this fall.

Colquitt Fan

November 25th, 2012
7:25 pm

He will never be liked by people from the surrounding areas. Fact is, he has been a great person and leader since coming to Colquitt. People’s only gripe is that he rides the refs. Big deal, I’m in favor of riding a red if you can get a call her and there.

Commerce GA

November 25th, 2012
7:27 pm

North Cobb is not man enough to beat Mill Creek. Even at home. They are living above their means so to speak. They will be out played and out coached by MIll Creek this Friday. I guarantee it! b42-24 MC.

Blue and Orange

November 25th, 2012
9:27 pm

@commerce- We wouldnt expect anything less than your comment, we love it this way. Valdosta and Langston said the same thing, problem is, and they found out, you still have to play the game, and one thing is for sure, you will be in awe of the athlete’s you’ll see Friday night, you havent faced a team all year as what you will see in 5 days, dont blink. And btw, its to late to try and get in shape, when your big boys are doubled over in the 3rd quarter and NC is running plays, you’ll understand what Im saying, until then, good day.

PackerBacker

November 25th, 2012
9:29 pm

Go Pack Go!!! Rock On!!!

57Cat

November 25th, 2012
10:37 pm

I agree Russ Propst is Avery good football coach. That’s all I’ll say about that. As for Valdosta needing to entice the Hoover coach to come here. No thanks. We’ve got our coach and he is moving us in the right direction. He has beaten Propst three straight times. That’s all I need to say about that.

North Hall Trojans

November 25th, 2012
11:06 pm

Go Trojans!!!!!!!!!!!!

Raiderfan

November 25th, 2012
11:41 pm

I appreciate all the passion for the schools, but at the end of the day this is really just an overwhelming numbers game in 6A. The rest of the classes are fair fights, but the Gwinnett schools and Camden have a massive numbers advantage over all other school districts that have decided not to maintain monster high schools. Lovejoy and North Cobb COMBINED don’t have the numbers that Mill Creek does. The South Georgia schools have talent and passion and great tradition supporting their programs, but they will not compete at the state level the way they did before as their school age population is shrinking like DeKalb county where all the schools are now 5A or smaller. The current playoff format is fun to talk about, but having schools with 1800 students playing against schools with over 3500 students is not competitive overall. Ask Stephenson or Chattahoochee (state champ 2 years ago) what happens when you get to play against schools your own size. Yes the football in Gwinnett is great and i am sure they have some good coaches, but anyone can field a better team if they have twice as many people to choose from as their competition. Colquitt or Lovejoy will now have to beat 3 schools in a row that are nearly twice as large to win the title. That is not going to happen. All this discussion is really just about who gets overwhelmed by the monsters come playoff time and which monster comes out on top this year.

NGHS 09

November 26th, 2012
2:30 am

@Elementary My Dear Watson…For such a “scholar of high school football”, you really sound like a scholar of being pompous and foolish. Max was talking about THIS YEAR’s team, not 2009’s. It never fails…Camden has the obvious respect from the entire state, but for some reason the fans still feel the need to vaunt Camden’s superiority and impose thier will. Your screen name represents the mental capacity of your thought process I think.

NGHS 09

November 26th, 2012
2:36 am

@ Raiderfan…Go join all of the other cry babies in AA that had to player Buford every year. I hear what you are saying, but the only thing both teams can control is how they play on the field. I can provide tons of examples that prove school population doesn’t win games and should not be an excuse for a team’s loss. Although it is a major factor, you still gotta play with what you have. Instead, focus on all the talent that North Cobb has to offer for MC. That’s the only thing that matters. NG plays MC every year with half the students and we always pumble them. Coaching has a lot more to do with a team’s success than the student population size does, even though it is a factor. Trust me on this one, Gwinnett has WAAYYY more challenges per school with talent than most of their opponents. That won’t ever make sense to you unless you experience it first hand.

NGHS 09

November 26th, 2012
2:42 am

And if you don’t believe me, look at the varsity roster size of NG compared to MC, Norcross, Grayson, Brookwood, Parkview, South Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Camden, Lowndes, Colquitt, etc…and tell me what you see. Do not confuse the varsity roster with what you see on the sidelines during playoff games. The ENTIRE JV and freshman teams dress out and travel with NG in the playoffs….but they don’t play.

SnakeW84

November 26th, 2012
4:00 am

Propst was my former head coach and he’s a winner no question ask. Every school hate getting beat but why do people get furious when Propst does it? The man preach playoffs weekend and week out. He study the brackets weekly basis when region play kicks off. He prepare his teams with the hardest schedules instead of going the easier and more attractive cupcake way. People acting like he have undefeated teams but he don’t, he’s just the better coach in GA high school football.

cat doc

November 26th, 2012
5:22 am

I agree Propst is scum. The truth will come out in Colquitt, just give it time. Once a cheat allways a cheat.

Packer Face Blue

November 26th, 2012
6:33 am

F y’all all who don’t like Prost
We don’t care who he screws as long as
we win; matter of fact we need to contract
ass for him to win !!!
Go Pack Goooooo!!!

High 5

November 26th, 2012
6:49 am

Keep sleeping on Lovejoy!

sportsnut

November 26th, 2012
7:12 am

This is nice. I don’t think the coach at any of the other schools feel the way most on here do.
@ Todd == You will become a believer if Lovejoy win’s state, won’t you ? Or will you rank us # 2, like last years # 3 final ranking ? Don’t matter. The Cat’s are for real and come to play every friday night. They have left many of the All-State players at home watching. North Gwinnett will be a test, just as the rest have been. Lovejoy just needs to do what they do. If this is accomplished, they will win come friday. It’s getting closer to the Dome date of December 14th, which is everyone’s goal but we all know there can only be two. I see shock and awe if one of those two is Lovejoy Does your out of luck comment mean you are picking against them ?.

CAMDEN1981

November 26th, 2012
7:51 am

I know we have some crazy fans that eat and sleep Camden. But let me say this Camden wasn’t given what they have. We like everyone on here had our share of ups and downs, having a different coach every three years. It was really bad around here. With this coach things just came together. I hope the Camden fans on here remember where we came from. Yes defend Camden but don’t put down other programs. Camden has the upmost respect for any team we face. We treat the visitors with great hospitality ( food, coffee, etc ), a great view and join us tailgating. Our loyalty is with our R1 Brothers. We just love football on Friday nights.

GATORCAT

November 26th, 2012
8:13 am

Well said CAMDEN1981.

CAMDEN1982

November 26th, 2012
8:20 am

I second that CAMDEN1981 – Respect is essential and that will help to keep us on top. GO WILDCATS!

BrunoBars

November 26th, 2012
8:25 am

@Blue and Orange. Just let Commerce and others keep sleeping on Warrior Nation. We can run, throw and play defense. Sorry people but history doesn’t play defense. TQ, Shade and the crew will be rolling to the Dome.

sportsnut

November 26th, 2012
8:27 am

The student population for the remaining schools. Mill Creek 3005
Camden 2835
Norcross 2736
Park View 2634
N. Gwinnett 2555
N. Cobb 2430
Colquit 2358
Lovejoy 1837

sportsnut

November 26th, 2012
8:29 am

Collins Hill is the largest school in Georgia with 3581.

2fast4u

November 26th, 2012
8:40 am

@sportsunt “You will become a believer if Lovejoy win’s state, won’t you ?”

I think thats what it will take. Lovejoy is currently 2-1 against teams with winning records. Beat NG this weekend and MAYBE you get some credit.

And whats the point about the student population. Lovejoy had 5A numbers in 4A last year. Are you saying they have an advantage over you much like you did last year?

DAWG

November 26th, 2012
8:44 am

The Northside Eagles of Warner Robins GA will face Tucker this friday in a rematch from last year. Guarantees to be a great game. Go Eagles!!!

sportsnut

November 26th, 2012
8:57 am

Has nothing at all to do with Lovejoy. Previous posters were talking numbers and I just thought I would look up the remaining teams so the true comparison can be made without a bunch of speculation. I happen to think it is an advantage but only for the fact that you have more to choose from. I don;t think it makes a difference on the field. That is the coach in me talking. If I were to look at it and let it be an influence on my conclusion, yes I would think they have the advantage. We are not the only ones in this position. Tift is much smaller in comparison to Colquit. Same region, very different numbers. Tift has only 1485 to Colquits 2358. Same in our region with Lovejoy at 1837 and Druid Hills, the smallest 6A school with only 1270.

Smug

November 26th, 2012
9:31 am

Dum-Bass is right, Propst is an idiot.

Colquitt Fan

November 26th, 2012
9:55 am

Dumbass, smug, 57cat, and cat doc, will you ever get over being such little bi*ches? It’s kinda to the point of embarrassing for you clowns. What exactly is gonna come out cat doc? You heard a rumor on a blog or something? Get real. Prolly just mad b your at home during the playoffs

sportsnut

November 26th, 2012
9:55 am

How fast are you, 2fast4u ? Can you keep up with the 35-3 Lovejoy has accumulated since 09′ with a title appearance, 3 Region Titles, 2 undefeated regular seasons, lead the state in D 2 years in a row in 2 different classes, the largest and the next level below, respectively ?

Colquitt Fan

November 26th, 2012
10:26 am

Sportsnut, how many teams have you played with winning records? Serious question bc I don’t know. Do you think your wins would be as impressive if you played a schedule like colquitts?

!!!!!

November 26th, 2012
10:40 am

we all need to email css and try to get this game on the air

NCHS fan

November 26th, 2012
10:44 am

From. Watching the games through out the season. North Cobb wins with their defense. Their defense sets up great field position. The reason their defense is so good is their speed. You can’t pass on North Cobb cuz receivers can’t get seperation and you can’t run for big yards because they catch you. North Cobb overwhelms teams with speed on defense. Valdosta is a tough hard running football team but when they got down and had to pass they had no chance. The amount of speed north cobb puts on the field is unbelievable. I’m not trash talking or anything but I have yet to see a team that can outrun N. Cobb’s D except Mceachern with two former North Cobb players.

57Cat

November 26th, 2012
10:54 am

Colquitt fan – You Colquitt fans are so defensive you don’t recognize a compliment when you see it. Go back and read my post. I said your coach is a very good football coach. I said we like our coach. I said our coach has beaten your coach three straight years. What is it about those statements that offends you?

Packer99

November 26th, 2012
11:12 am

Alright nice little props in the AJC. The 99 Packers were the best team in the State that year, we had a lot of injurys down the stretch that killed us. We beat a Lowndes team with two NFL players that year 21-2. But we will always be Champs. Go Pack peel that orange!!!

Jammer

November 26th, 2012
11:33 am

@Colquitt Fan
We beat Lovejoy early in the season in a game that very easily could have gone either way (as per my question to Sportsnut about how LJ would respond with there backs against the wall now), as they lost discipline in the final minutes of the game against us, IMO.
Now would there wins be more impressive if they had played Colquitts schedule, YES, anyone that played that schedule and was undefeated would be at the top of the list, 4 of the teams on Colquitts schedule are still in the Playoffs. LJ has no control over the records of the other teams in there region

Colquitt Fan

November 26th, 2012
11:42 am

57, I’ve seen plenty on your comments before. I like valdostas coach as well. Keep in mind that wasn’t a Colquitt fan making those comments about a coaching change.

I’m just pointing out that Lovejoy should have those stats with the schedule they played. They are a very good team and has a chance to make a splash though. We will see though

Dum-Bass

November 26th, 2012
11:45 am

***57Cat**** just to refresh your memory the score was what 38-36 Dosta vs the Packers? 3 more minutes longer in that game and that would have been a loss for the Cats. Would have been tied anyway except for a stupid two point conversion call. The way I saw it that is when the Packers woke up and went on a roll the rest of the year. (BTW I’m objective and impartial, don’t have a dog in the fight right now, left GA many years ago).

Dum-Bass

November 26th, 2012
11:56 am

BTW, ***Alan**** your concentration level failed you when reading my earlier post. Nowhere was I promoting Propst for Valdosta or even Lowndes. Read it again and you will see I was referring only to the CURRENT Hoover coach(sorry, don’t know his name) who is 13-0 and going for another state title. They have not missed a beat since Propst left there. From the outside looking in I see Valdosta and Lowndes a couple of notches below where they used to be, and Tift Co. about 5 notches below. The trend is in the wrong direction and they would be smart to lure a coach away like the current one at Hoover, AL.

57Cat

November 26th, 2012
11:58 am

Colquitt Fan – Please point out to me in any of my comments where I have said anything negative about Coach Propst’s coaching. I have said I did not like his antics on the sideline. I don’t like Steve Spurrier’s or Bill Cowher’s antics on the sideline either, but like Coach Propst, those men can coach football. Propst gets his kids to play hard for him and his record speaks for itself. I have also said I really like watching Colquitt play; they are a fun bunch to watch play football. I know nothing about Propst’s personal life, only what I read. I’ve read Colquitt fans’ comments about how he conducts himself off the field, and I accept that.

Dum Bass – Woulda/shoulda/coulda. A loss is a loss. Three in a row, as a matter of fact.

pbt dawg fan

November 26th, 2012
12:15 pm

It not about the student populations it about the number of hard working football players you have on your team, I live close to lovejoy and i follow the tream closely. all the guys own their team contribute they have speed, size, and quickness especailly own defense. if you recall lovejoy went to colquitt earlier this year and only lost 14-7 in. NG beat colquitt in the Georgia Dome on a Last second feild goal. Lovejoy came beat NG in twelve Oaks. If you look at the history Gwinnett County Schools struggle outside of their own Staduim. Also Lovejoy may have the best coaches that nobody knows about.

sportsnut

November 26th, 2012
12:16 pm

It really does not matter how many of the teams Lovejoy beat has a winning record. They have won them. This is just as I said, a continuation of last year and the doubt. No matter how strong or weak your region or non-region schedule is, it is up to you to win them, not just region games. This is why Lovejoy has now played 6 playoff games at home and 1 in the Dome over the past two years. We want to win them all. In terms of the wins being impressive, this season is all that and more. Lovejoy has stepped up a class and has led the state in those area’s that they led the state in in 4A. At the start of the season, I made this comment ” It is not a matter of wheather Lovejoy is ready for 6A but wheather 6A is ready for them”. I still stand behind that. If Lovejoy played Colquit’s schedule, they would fare no worse than Colquit did. Remember that the flags flew in Moultrie with 2 TD’s called back plus 2 missed field goals. Not to mention the desparity in total yardage, 320-210. True we lost but the way we lost only reinforces what we at Lovejoy think about our team. That was the second game of the year for us and Colquit’s 3rd. We got better and have not been challenged since. Colquit went on to lose a couple more and are now on a roll. We have not come off ours from that night on. We know who we are. With the schedule They played is no reason to think they are not ready for this. May I point out Lowndes schedule ? Or maybe Camdens ? We all played some inferior teams and did what needed to be done. Let’s stop looking for and making excuses. You win, you win. You lose, you lose.