AAAAAA blog: It’s a strong – but odd – final four in the highest class

Each of the Georgia’s survivors to the ‘final four’ in Class AAAAAA beat sine odds to make it this far.

Here is a look at how each defied one odd or another:

Colquitt County – The Packers were ranked No. 2 in preseason, so it’s no surprise they are here. But history is still being made. Colquitt is in the semifinals for the fourth straight season. The last school to do that in the highest classification was Valdosta (1968-71). What’s more surprising is that Colquitt is a No. 4 seed and won three playoff games on the road. A fourth seed makes the semis in the highest class more than in any other class, but Colquitt is still just the fifth to do it. The others were 1997 Colquitt County, 2002 East Coweta, 2006 Peachtree Ridge and 2011 Lassiter. Only Peachtree Ridge among those advanced to the final. Peachtree Ridge tied Roswell to share the title.

Lovejoy – Ranked seventh in preseason, Lovejoy also is no  surprise to win its region or make the semifinals. The Wildcats were the Class AAAA runner-up in 2011. It’s rare for a team to move up and into the highest class and reach the semis, although Northside-Warner Robins did it in 2008. Where Lovejoy is making history is in its county. Lovejoy is the first Clayton team to make the semis in the highest class since Forest Park in 1995. No Clayton team has won the title since Morrow in 1987.

North Cobb – The Warriors are in the semifinals for the first time since 1959, when they beat Dade to reach the championship game of Class C. They had a losing season last year at 5-6. Going from a losing year to the semifinals is not so rare recently, as Lassiter did it in 2011 and Colquitt did it in 2009. What’s more unusual is a west Cobb team in the semis (using I-75 as the divider). There are 10 of them. The last west Cobb school in the final four was Harrison in 2000. No Cobb County Schools team has won a state title. Marietta, a city school, won in 1967.

Norcross – Opened in the 1950s, Norcross is playing in its first semifinal. That’s remarkable given the age of the school and the consistency of the football program under coach Keith Maloof, whose 15-year record at Norcorss is 106-48. He’s never had a losing season. Norcross (13-0) played its first game south of metro Atlanta on Friday and beat Camden County to remain the only unbeaten team in AAAAAA.

121 comments Add your comment

paper tiger

November 30th, 2012
11:53 pm

region 1 AAAAAA even with camden county is just a paper tiger.

Chris

December 1st, 2012
12:03 am

Paper tiger?? Colquitt proves that to be incorrect. If you look beyond just they year, then Lowndes, Valdosta, Colquitt, Camden and even Tift prove that incorrect again. 1-AAAAAA has a lot of the states most talented players and coaches.

Chris

December 1st, 2012
12:04 am

Paper tiger?? Colquitt proves that to be incorrect. If you look beyond just this year, then Lowndes, Valdosta, Colquitt, Camden and even Tift prove that incorrect again. 1-AAAAAA has a lot of the states most talented players and coaches.

Camden74

December 1st, 2012
1:20 am

paper tiger……LOL, 4 out of 32 teams and R1 still has just as good of a chance to win it all as any other region! :-)

sportsnut

December 1st, 2012
1:24 am

Hey 74 == Thanks. They are not finished. We will try to still make the “Wildcat’s” State Champions.

Abu Dhabi

December 1st, 2012
1:28 am

Hello Sportsnut. Congratulations, I’m soooo happy for you and your team. Do we meet next Friday night? I do believe we shall meet in 7 days. Looking forward to some great football. Just so you know…we will prevail. We WILL WIN.

Fred

December 1st, 2012
1:35 am

I believe R1 started the playoffs with 4 teams…..just like every other region.

sportsnut

December 1st, 2012
1:42 am

@ Abu Dhabi == Thanks and congrats. Yeah, friday night at 12 Oaks. I am going to have to do some homework and analyze the enemy. I am sure you feel that you will prevail and I don’t blame you. It is the right way to approach it.

Camden74

December 1st, 2012
2:12 am

But unlike every other region, Region 1 still has a shot at winning the Title……. :-)

Camden74

December 1st, 2012
2:15 am

sportsnut….You’re welcome! But, Lovejoy is playing with fire with the discipline or lack thereof. Be careful it doesn’t cost them a shot at the Title! :-)

jimb

December 1st, 2012
6:42 am

watched Mill Creek North Cobb on play on sports good speed on both sides of the ball Mill Creek beat them selves with six turn overs and still had a shot to win.Noth Cobb good luck, ALSO watched Lovejoy don”t see them keeping pace but also Cobb is very weak on the edge, Lewis ran outside and David scampered all nite.Norcross is the best of the four.Camden now believes. Look for a Norcross vs Cobb Final Norcross championship,

TItletown USA

December 1st, 2012
6:59 am

Dangerous underdogs this week.

WILDHAWG2012

December 1st, 2012
7:43 am

Congrats Mighty Packers,we put on a good show in the jungle and the fans showed up as usual cause like i said this is how we do. Congrats to Camden on another great season and another region title.I was looking forward to playing u guys again (ok not really) cause it would have been hard to beat u guys again but if we were to loose then at least it would have been to our region brother but now i guess we just wont loose now.2 more trips to Atl and the mission will be complete

Hawgman's Hawgpen

December 1st, 2012
7:46 am

Us farm boys know a thing or two about pitchforks. Go ahead and stick one in the Blue Devils, they’re done. The Pack will spank them, diaper them, and put them to bed without any dinner.

Bullnuke

December 1st, 2012
8:13 am

Go Pack! Represent Region 1!!

jimb

December 1st, 2012
9:34 am

Pack sorry guys, not this time the Cross is that good, but good luck anyway,

Braselton Packer

December 1st, 2012
9:50 am

Congrats on the win Pack!!! 2 more! Way to reprsent THE best region in the state!!! Good luck against Norcross. Let’s show another group of city boys how we do things down south!!! GO PACK!!!

South Georgia Observer

December 1st, 2012
9:56 am

North Cobb = Cinderella dream ends next week

Lovejoy =Very talented but very poorly behaved (and apparenty encouraged by peers to do so)

Norcross = Probably the best team in the state

Colquitt County = Best number 4 seed in history. Has played the following teams this season (North Gwinnett (loss in Dome), Thomas County Central (won), Lovejoy (won-week 3), Lowndes (loss), Valdosta (loss), Camden County (won), Post season-McEachern (won), Newnan (won) and Parkview(won). I am going to Lovejoy because I have never seen North Cobb play and I want to see just how badly behaved Lovejoy really is. But, the Norcross-Colquitt game may be the best high school game ever played in my opinion. I have already bought a CD.

sportsnut

December 1st, 2012
10:04 am

@ 74 == This has been talked about all year. Lovejoy has overcome any dicipline issue’s with wins. This is not what cost Lovejoy the game at Colquit. We all know what that was but that is old news. Lovejoy is in the Final Four. The same Lovejoy that can’t compete with the 6A schools. The same Lovejoy who has to prove it again. The same Lovejoy that has been downed all year as not good enough. These kids read too and they know what everyone say’s of them. Expect the same style play as they move foward. A middle finger ? Did he call him a bad name ? Did he say something about his mother? Who knows? I am not one to interject race but this happened last season with the fans from Kell as they were not accustomed to playing an all black school. Things are not the same. Just as I told Colquit posters that what was called in Moultrie will not be called in Metro Atl. To those who suggest that 12 Oaks is an advantage for Lovejoy due to officials is just wrong. We have nothing to do with that. From our viewpoint, the officiating was equally O.K. Not the best but certainly not the worst. North got outplayed and Coach Sphire resorted to trick plays to try and get something going. He surrendered in the forth when Veion, #38 gave Haynes a vicious shot. Back-up Qb in the game. I have stated all season about how tough this Lovejoy D is and now all the state knows. I am sure that if Lovejoy was so guilty of all they are accused of, they would have handled it on the field. One poster had the nerve to say the officials were afraid to make calls. Why ? Did you think that they thought they would be shot or something by a bunch of hoodlums? These are kids just like at any other school. They are just hungry, thats all.

True Blue

December 1st, 2012
10:15 am

I watch the Lovejoy and NG game last night and the commentator was for NG. They couldn’t believe how Lovejoy was Manhandling NG Offenslve line. You know you have people quick to Judge our young black men character. But when their kids are being Judge they have excuses for their action. They love to blame people or their parents for what they do. You see it all the time on News.Lovejoy just took it to NG and NG couldn’t understand how an All Black Team played the way they did last night in all fax of the game. Lovejoy is a well coached team. They move up to the highest classification and is trying to finish some unfinished business from last year lost Tucker. They were embarassed on Defense. I would to congrat Lovejoy on reaching the Semi when a lot of blogger didnt think you would still be there.

region4fan

December 1st, 2012
10:17 am

There are no paper tigers or Cinderellas left when we are down to four teams in the largest classification in one of the best football states there is. Just well coached boys who play hard and want to win.

tigonian02

December 1st, 2012
10:36 am

Yeah it’s true that every region has 4 teams, but let’s really break this down. In 6A, Region 1 is the only region outside of metro Atlanta. When it comes to counties, Gwinnett has 2 full regions worth of teams, which equates to 8 teams in the playoffs. Cobb also has the potential to have 8 teams in the playoffs. That’s half the bracket alone. So the people that talk about how South Georgia can’t hang can kick rocks. We play against all of Gwinnett, Cobb, and the rest of metro Atlanta and still get 1 of our 4 teams into the semi finals. Go Colquitt! Represent region 1 well.

Pecan

December 1st, 2012
10:59 am

First of all, there are very few NG fans blogging. So please quit talkig about what we are saying. The comments are coming from everyone. Second of all, there is absolutely NOTHING about black and white that is, or has been said or thought, by the NG fans. Third, NG’s QB broke his leg in the first half of the Mountain View game four weeks ago. That is why he has been hobbling around. He played five games with a broken leg. Our players had a great year, losing to only Norcross in a close game and to Lovejoy. Congraulations to the Dawgs for your work and committment.

NCHS in the Dome

December 1st, 2012
11:17 am

It is truly amazing to hear so much smack talk from Armchair Quarterbacks. It is a great thing to know the final two games have already been played and the state champs crowned. Oh, that’s right they haven’t. Three weeks ago all we heard was how Valdosta was going to teach us how South Georgia play’s football. The results 42-14. Then it was South Fulton and how fast Langston Hughes defense was. The result 42-14 again. Last week it was all about Mill Creek, Jacory Lewis, and how Cobb couldn’t compete with a Gwinnett team. The result 42-35, and that was without a Blue Chip player (Nick Miller). See a pattern armchair QB’s? Maybe you should shut up until the game is played and our poor West Cobb team has been beaten. The only problem with that is that the only team to soundly defeat us this year is no longer playing, and anyone that knows anything about the history of that game knows that there were two former NCHS players that were responsible for more than 1/2 of McEachern’s points. Let the boys play and keep the smack talk to a minimum. Consistency is putting 40 or more points on the board in all but two of 13 games, who else can lay claim to that?

NGnation15

December 1st, 2012
11:57 am

It’s real disappointing to be reading this stuff about whether an all-black school has any bearing on who wins, who anyone is rooting for, etc. I saw the GPB broadcast too, and @TrueBlue if you think the announcers were biased for NG, then you’re just hearing what you wanted to hear. They pumped up LJ all night, and yes it was a surprise that NG was manhandled to the extent they were at the line of scrimmage. No one has really done that too them at all anytime recently, despite NG being undersized – credit to Lovejoy for that.

Props to Lovejoy for a well-played game, and for a well-deserved win. A few other points to make:

1. @sprotsnut, dude I hope you get a thicker skin. Ya’ll need to lose that complex you seem to have and just enjoy having a good squad and a chance to win it all. Lovejoy is new to 6A and so people aren’t as familiar with them. Keep proving it on the field like last night and you’ll have nothing to worry about – but stop acting like everyone is hatin’ on you.

2. NG had to get creative with play calling for a couple of reasons. One was due to the athleticism of the LJ d-line, and another is because we were basically playing with one hand tied behind our back. Haynes playing on a bum leg basically crippled our offense. He’s our leading rusher and we rely on his legs as much or more than we do his arm. Could have been a different game is he was 100% – but injuries are a part of football. Not taking anything away from Lovejoy, though.

3. As a Tech fan, I can’t wait to see Travis Custis in a GT uniform next year. Excellent back, and plays the game the right way. Seems to me that a bunch of the Lovejoy players could learn a lot from his demeanor on the field. I saw way too much posing, taunting, etc. from Lovejoy last night, which should be disappointing for an otherwise well coached team. Not the best way to earn that respect you’re looking for.

Again, congrats to Lovejoy, I’ll be rooting for you to make the Dome. Looks like it’ll be you guys against Norcross for the title (sorry Pack fans, your ROAD will end this week – but congrats on being in the semis again).

Alex

December 1st, 2012
12:00 pm

@TrueBlue, why do you have to make it a race thing? Lovejoy is playing their first year in the largest classification. History is not on their side when it comes to Clayton County teams making deep playoff runs and they were playing a very talented and well coached North Gwinnett team, that had just knocked off the 2-time defending champions. Perhaps it was all the Lovejoy being able to rebuke all of those factors that shocked the announcers of the game. However, to say that its because Lovejoy is an all black team is just asinine and frankly shows your inability to look at the game and the announcing a meaningful way.

NCW

December 1st, 2012
12:04 pm

Go North Cobb!

Piney Woods Pete

December 1st, 2012
12:14 pm

Lovejoy is a joke. Colquitt already brushed them aside without any problems. Thought they taught them some manners, too, but maybe not. Gwinnett? After all the talk, only one team left. So bring on North Cobb! If they don’t think South Georgia knows how to play football, maybe they should ask McEachern who they’ll be playing in the semifinals. Yes, the mighty McEachern that put a 49-27 whipping on NCHS. Whoops! I forgot they were eliminated on their home field.

The Dr Speaks

December 1st, 2012
12:37 pm

Hello everyone,

I am pretty sick and tired of hearing about how dirty the Lovejoy players are because it’s an attempt to diminish their athletic accomplishments. As a teacher at Lovejoy, I personally know several of these kids that have been described by bloggers as being, “undisciplined, dirty, thugs, etc.” Some of you bloggers are pretty judgemental and may have some difficulty recalling your exploits as a 16, 17 or 18 year old football player. I’m 40 and can clearly recall making a good hit and saying, “all night baby, you don’t want none of this, walking over a player after a hit, etc.” It’s not the least bit dirty, but a way of intimidating your opponent and placing doubt in their mind about the next play.

I’m personally vested in these young men and know more about these players than you do. Since several bloggers appear to have problems with how nasty that Lovejoy D is, let me highlight a few things. #40 Nate,#38 Demarques,#2Cinwon, #7Zane, #13 El Malik are excellent student athletes that can attend college academically, although they will all be scholarship football players. The same can be said about several other players not highlighted and/or on offense. Walking the halls everyday, these guys are young, intelligent, and respectful African American men, but when they put the pads on they can be pretty fierce and passionate. When the pads are on, don’t expect handshakes like it’s a business meeting. Instead, expect the passionate D that you saw this past Friday from Lovejoy. I was at the game and didn’t see any middle fingers, late hits, hitting out of bounds, etc, but that all sounds like sour grapes to me, which is unfortunate.

My final point is that the football team reads these blogs and you guys fuel their fire, so thank you for hating. They feel disrespected every week because articles are written about Lovejoy being overrated, not being on the level of Grayson/Camden, and not being ready for 6A competition. In addition to the articles, you bloggers echoe the sentiments of the writers. Well, Lovejoy is back in the Final 4 and believe me the D will be turned up another notch this Friday. I’m praying for another injury free game that is competitive an once again dominated by that Lovejoy D. GO CATS!

Dr. P

Camden74

December 1st, 2012
12:39 pm

sportsnut…….Okay, whatever you say. But the perception of Lovejoy being a THUG team is out there. If you watch closely in the next game or the Title game (if y’all make it), it’s going to make a difference! I actually thought it would have made a major difference before now. That’s one reason I didn’t think you all would make it past the 3rd round of the playoffs. But, time will tell……. :-)

Coffee HS fan

December 1st, 2012
12:40 pm

Good Luck to Packers…making us proud.

Good Luck to North Cobb Warriors..I was there in late 70’s early 80’s…will always be a Warrior at heart.

randy raiden

December 1st, 2012
1:01 pm

watched lovejoy north gwinnett and yes lovejoy did look like a bunch of thugs and that fat boy head coach seemed to be encouraging that behaviour,hope north cobb takes them down

NHS fan

December 1st, 2012
1:03 pm

Well, I don’t know much about football, but I know this: Norcross has already beaten Colquitt Co in a scrimage game at Colquitt Co early in the season. Go BLUE DEVILS!

Camden74

December 1st, 2012
1:38 pm

If I were a Norcross Fan, I wouldn’t look past Colquitt. Propst will do whatever it takes to win. If it means changing his offense to get the advantage, he’ll do it. He will play call to his team’s strength and to your defense’s weaknesses. He is an excellent “in game” play caller. He will try and keep the game close until the end of the 4th quarter in order to give his team a chance to win. :-)

RobFromNorcross

December 1st, 2012
2:03 pm

Norcross doesn’t look past anyone, but thanks for the important advice.

We just show up ready to play and take care of business. Looking forward to playing Colquitt again in Norcross this time… Both teams have improved tremendously since we were down in Moultrie for the scrimmage. Glad we made that trip, it helped us last night when we had to play at Camden.

truetopview

December 1st, 2012
2:55 pm

My heart always pulls for the Panthers but I knew they were in trouble last night. Colquitt was the best team in the state to start the season and they still are. This is a perfect example of how polls are not good for determining a champion. We have a playoff system that the real champion rises up and takes the trophy. I will say that the real state championship in 6-A is unfortunately being played at Norcross this Friday night as there is no doubt that the Blue Devils and Packers are the 2 best teams remaining in the bracket.

G.A.T.A Dad # 2

December 1st, 2012
3:45 pm

sportsnut, Great job on taking up for the Lovejoy nation, My son graduated last season,Jermaine Hough,I have been at Lovejoy for 8 years threw the down and know the Great Times. Lovejoy has been here before,they know how to get to dome. When we get there this season they will win. I will never forget the look in there eyes after Tucker. The Kids are very hungry. No team in the state can totally match up. Don;t forget the south is the RED STATES so Lovejoy will always have some haters. You don;t get to 38-3 with no discpline. Keep up the great blogs.Lovejoy Nation……………

57Cat

December 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

I’ll say it again, North Cobb, act like Lovejoy is Valdosta. Play with the same focus, enthusiasm, and motivation and you will be in the Dome on December 13. Hope you have a good week of practice and take the field Friday night mentally sharp and physically healthy.

PackerBacker

December 1st, 2012
4:07 pm

I totally agree truetopview…. Friday night will be the game to watch!! Go Pack!! Rock On!!!

Stooge

December 1st, 2012
4:22 pm

Norcross deserves every word of praise they’ve gotten but so do we. Bring it

squirrell

December 1st, 2012
4:40 pm

Trutopview, best blog I’ve seen all year!
**********************************************
My heart always pulls for the Panthers but I knew they were in trouble last night. Colquitt was the best team in the state to start the season and they still are. This is a perfect example of how polls are not good for determining a champion. We have a playoff system that the real champion rises up and takes the trophy. I will say that the real state championship in 6-A is unfortunately being played at Norcross this Friday night as there is no doubt that the Blue Devils and Packers are the 2 best teams remaining in the bracket.

squirrell

December 1st, 2012
4:43 pm

“Truetopview”……Sorry!

MHS74

December 1st, 2012
5:49 pm

Three words — RELEASE THE HAWGS!!! :)

THE_ULTIMATE_WARRIOR

December 1st, 2012
6:40 pm

jimb – Are you still talking? Even after we put down your beloved Mill Creek last night you still just won’t give North Cobb any respect. Oh well, no worries. We’ll head to practice, Mill Creek will turn in their uniforms and you my friend can take another bite of that crow. Try it with a dry rub of ground mustard, basil and a little cumin. Enjoy. LOL

sportsnut

December 1st, 2012
6:52 pm

@ 74 == Maybe the reason this issue has not hurt Lovejoy is because it does not exsist..

To all the Lovejoy fans out there. Continue to be supportive of our kids. Let them know that we are behind them and most importantly, beside them. We still have work to do. That is 3 down, 2 to go. Lets make this special, our kids are.

Abu Dhabi

December 1st, 2012
9:37 pm

I have never seen Lovejoy play so I can’t speak to their character on the field. I am fully persuaded that the excuses you hear for teams not making it to the Final Four, are just that…Excuses. We all have had players injured during the year, we all have had tempers fly on the field (although some teams more than others…we like that, that’s when we can get personal foul yards), we all have had questionable calls made during the season, but at the end of the day, these four teams are representing the highest division football in the best football state in America. Say what you will, but I honor all 4 teams from 4 different counties (not just 2 counties), Cobb, Clayton, Gwinnett, and South GA. Stop whinning and give these boys the honor they deserve. Sportsnut, I really like your style…even still, we’ve got to take you down, boo. Let’s play some football!!!!!

Abu Dhabi

December 1st, 2012
9:51 pm

….and if your team is not playing on Friday, why are you blogging? Be nice or be quiet… your team does not have pads anymore. You had your turn, you lost when it mattered. Go Christmas shopping. Sign up for swimming.

Native Atlantan

December 1st, 2012
10:44 pm

Thanks AJC for your pitiful coverage. You don’t even report on the biggest game in the playoffs – Norcross v. Camden County. Your pitiful coverage is why I don’t get the paper any more and rarely check it online. I suggest folks turn to their neighborhood news outlet for better newspaper and online coverage.

bluedevilnation

December 1st, 2012
11:01 pm

Anyone that doubts Norcross’s ability is crazy. We beat Colquitt at home for our pregame scrimmage, who was nationally ranked at that time. We beat Parkview, North Gwinnett (away), Mill Creek (away), Collins Hill (away), Chattahoochee, South Gwinnett twice (once home, once away), and Camden County (away). We don’t overlook any team and we work hard every day, and Colquitt better be ready, because our locker room has been full of buzz because you guys cheated us and played dirty on us away, and by God, you’re gonna see a lot of that in Blue Devil Stadium. We’re not number 1 in the state and 24th in the nation for nothing.

DevilDan

December 1st, 2012
11:39 pm

Bluedevilnation is right on! Colquit cheated and played dirty on us, and we’re going to return the favor Friday! You’ll be sorry you ever heard of us!