Class A Football: Final blog of 2012 season, plus-one talk, high school all star games, early pre-season Top 10s

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Well Class A fans, the 2012 season is officially a wrap. Congratulations to the players, coaches, parents and supporters of Emanuel County Institute and to Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy for winning their respective championships.

And so now the inevitable questions/debates begin. Who’s better? Who’s the “real” Class A champ? And should we have a “plus-one” game to decide the Class A title?

So here in the final Class A football blog for the 2012 season, we touch on that as well as a few other tidbits.

 

“Big guy” says NO to plus-one
After the game, when the question of a plus-one game between the public and private school champs was posed to players and coaches, everyone said yes.

ELCA head coach Jonathan Gess: “Yes!” was his response to a text message.

ECI head coach Chris Kearson: “Let’s do it!” was his response.

ECI senior offensive lineman Gunnar Brown: “Oh yes! I’m a senior. I’m not ready to put the pads up yet. Let’s go!”

ECI senior running back Greg Purcell: “Definitely. We could go out and play it in the (Georgia Dome) parking lot if they want to.”

So there is sentiment on both sides to start the Class A playoffs the same weekend as the other five classes, let the public and private school champions be crowned on semifinal weekend and then play the final in the Dome. But there is at least one voice out there that is against it, and it’s a pretty important voice: Georgia High School Association executive director Ralph Swearngin.

“I don’t think there is a need for a plus-one, and I haven’t heard any discussion about it, frankly,” he said last week.

“I think we can look at the SEC championship game as an example that it’s better to let both [public and private championship] teams have the memory of winning their last game” Swearngin said, referring to the gut-wrenching loss suffered by SEC West champion UGA at the hands of Alabama, the East champion.

So there it is. Though Swearngin said there is a strong possibility that the Class A playoff system, most notably the power ranking system, will be tweaked by the GHSA executive committee sometime this winter or spring, the odds of a plus-one title game are slim to none.

 

Coach Campbell lashes out
Speaking of the split, Lincoln County head coach Larry Campbell said he is tired of being the one “blamed for the split.” He went on a long rant last week in response to blog posts written about him that were mean-spirited at best, small and pathetic at worst.

“When my daughter comes to me and says that someone on the blog wrote that when Larry Campbell dies the world will be better off, that crosses the line to me,” Campbell said. “That just makes me sick to my stomach.”

Campbell admits that he has been one of the loudest and most consistent voices decrying the advantages he believes private schools have over public schools, including unlimited residential zones and the ability to extend financial aid to some families through the publically-sponsored Georgia Greater Opportunities for Access to Learning (GOAL) program.

However, truth be told, he was never an advocate for the split. Campbell was present at many of the meetings held by representatives of some Class A public schools, where bolting from the GHSA was discussed. But he was never one of the leaders of the movement and didn’t push for the split.

“We have competed against private schools for years,” he said. “Some of the finest, Christian men I know are the head coaches of many of those schools. I don’t have a problem with any of them and I never was for the spilt. I just think something needed to be done because of the unfair advantages private schools have over public schools. I’m a public school supporter and always will be.”

For the record, Campbell would like to see one of a handful of initiatives implemented to level the playing field. Among those he mentioned were reinstating the “1.5 multiplier,” limiting the area where private schools may draw student athletes to a specific distance (either within the city or county limits, or within 20-25 miles of the school), and barring student athletes from being able to use GOAL money to help pay their tuition.

 

Playoff system tweaks
As Swearngin has said on several occasions, there is a possibility that some minor changes will be made to the power ranking system used to determine the top 16 teams that advance to the playoffs on the public and private school sides.

One such tweak could be limiting the number of points awarded for playing schools from higher classifications. Presently, a Class A school gets two points for every classification higher an opponent is, win or lose.

As an example of how the current system can skew the system, Athens Christian finished fifth in Region 8 with a record of 4-6, and would have missed the playoffs under the old system. Instead the Eagles were awarded a No. 14 seed with the assistance of 40 points they picked up by going 1-2 against three AAA schools on their schedule – Banks County (22-7 win, 17 points), Jackson County (39-21 loss, 10 points) and North Oconee (44-0 loss, 13 points). Athens Christian was beaten by No. 3 seed Walker in the first round, 28-7.

By contrast, Our Lady of Mercy, which finished fourth in Region 5, played all Class A teams and finished the regular season 6-4. For that the Bobcats earned a No. 15 seed and played No. 2 ELCA in the first round, where they lost 42-14. It was the second time Mercy and ELCA faced each other, as the Chargers won the regular season meeting, 49-0.

 

Want more high school football at the Dome?
Still not ready to let go of the high school football season? If so, you have three more opportunities.

Saturday (Dec. 22) in the Georgia Dome, the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl Senior All Star Games will feature two high school all-star games – the North Georgia All-Stars vs. the Central Georgia All-Stars, at 3 p.m., and the Metro Atlanta East vs. West All Star Game at 7 p.m.

The North Georgia vs. Central Georgia game will feature Northgate receiver/defensive back Brandon Facyson (committed to Virginia Tech), quarterback Josh Harrison (Troy) and defensive tackle DeAndre Johnson (UGA), Newnan defensive back /receiver Trey Matthews (UGA) and Gordon Lee linebacker/fullback Bryce Bailey.

The Metro Atlanta East vs. West game will feature Mays receiver DeAngelo Yancy (Kentucky), Lovejoy rnning back Travis Custis (Georgia Tech) and receiver A.J. Jackson (Auburn),  Jonesboro defensive back Taurean Ferguson (Vanderbilt), Gainesville defensive back Fred Payne (Western Carolina), Tri-Cities defensive lineman Marcus Adams (Western Kentucky) and offensive lineman Dominique Threatt (South Florida).

These are the only high school all-star games in the state held in the Georgia Dome. Tickets are $20.  For more information, visit www.dlscottcoalitionbowl.com.

Also, the AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl, featuring some of the top rising seniors in Georgia, will be held Monday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. at Grady Stadium in Midtown, across from Piedmont Park. Class A athletes in the game include offensive lineman Donald Foster of Savannah Christian, tight end Milan Richard of Calvary Day, running back Stanley Williams of George Walton Academy, punter/kicker A.J. Wells of Marion County, defensive lineman Andrew Williams and defensive back/linebacker Bryson Durden of ELCA, and offensive lineman Buster Dwight of Wilcox County.

 

Never too early for pre-season Top 10s
Let the debate of who will be the best in 2013 begin!

While our Divided Top 5 Lists became wildly popular (not really, but work with me), we’ll do a Top 10 as we ride off into the sunset of the 2012 season. The lists are based on this season’s performance, but also on what teams will have returning next season. Of course, there’s no way to account for any possible transfers in or out. As always, let us know your thoughts:

PUBLIC
1. Emanuel County Institute

2. Lincoln County

3. Dooly County

4. Seminole County

5. Wilcox County

6. Wilkinson County

7. Charlton County

8. Marion County

9. Miller County

10. Irwin County

Trending: Trion, Johnson County, Mt. Zion-Carrollton, Greenville, Hancock Central, Commerce.

PRIVATE
1. Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy

2. George Walton Academy

3. Savannah Christian

4. Landmark Christian

5. First Presbyterian Day

6. Prince Avenue Christian

7. Our Lady of Mercy

8. Holy Innocents

9. Athens Academy

10. Calvary Day

Trending: Darlington, Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Paran, Brookstone, Walker, Aquinas.

Well, that’s all folks! Thanks for reading and the great posts all year. You make this the BEST sports blog on AJC.com, hands down! We can continue the conversation here as long as you want, but starting Tuesday afternoon, we’ll be going full throttle with basketball blogs each week.

And so in the immortal words of Carol Burnett (aging myself a bit), “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or share a song; Seems we just got started and before you know it; Comes the time we have to say, so long!”

Until next season football fans, Peace!

S. Thomas Coleman

55 comments Add your comment

www

December 17th, 2012
12:23 pm

seriously, you’re already starting with a pre-season top 10 for 2013?

YOU, SIR, ARE A MORON!

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
12:56 pm

@www: Is this my wife?

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

LanFan

December 17th, 2012
2:09 pm

Ok I would expect coaches and player to want to play on. I maybe the only one but if the reason for the split is to say it isn’t fair competition then I see no reason to play more games. The dye was in the water when they said it wasn’t fair and we should split. If we are going to plan a Plus 1 then we should play the other state champs to see who it the Big One for the state. But, that isn’t fair so outside of making money what would it do for anyone.

For the 1.5 multiplier my only problem is that it only helps the larger Public schools. I am not going back to find the numbers I pulled up a couple of weeks ago in the blog that showed if you look at the top privates who have made it to the Semi’s the last 2 years I don’t know that it would have effected anything with the numbers as they are and if you did move some larger schools up they would then raise the number allow some others to come down. So you may get rid of a few Privates from A but you would also add back some larger public’s from the AA to even out the numbers. So you would have a few less privates but still most of the ones who have made it deep in the playoffs would still be there.

The argument that got to me on fairness was not the ones on recruiting, transfers, facilities or straight money. All of those get equaled out. What got me were two things. Number one was an article in the AJC about the inequality between the top students at many of these rural schools and metro schools. I never see that and it shocked me. The other was a blogger talking about how much parents care and push there kids at the private’s schools help drive the programs. I see this one today and I saw it as a kid. When we lost the region to Lovett several time almost 30 years ago I remember thinking if I paid that much I would expect them to beat us too. Now that I pay a pile each month for my kids I expect us to do well also. And I think that is a huge point the expectation on these kids is high all around (not just on the field) and I think it makes a big difference that is over looked by many. My family was glad I played and hoped I would go to college. Just getting through isn’t an option for the private school kids. I am amazed at the stress and work they deal with and succeed. I tell you I will pay more for a good math teacher but not a dime for a better tail back.

If it is a fairness issue what can be done to really help the poorer rural schools if that is the real issue.

LoveFridayFootball

December 17th, 2012
2:33 pm

If we use x 1.5 then ELCA stays Class A.. If we use 20-25 mile radius then ELCA is still class A… As far as GOAL money goes, you going to tell a kids parents that cant afford the full tuition and qualifies for the goal he/she can get a better education but he/she can’t play sports??? One word…Ludicrous!

Max Sizemore

December 17th, 2012
2:42 pm

Thoughtful post, LanFan.

Absolutely great job all season, Thomas.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
2:46 pm

@LoveFridayFootball: You are correct on all your points, I think. I could see restricting the attendance zone for private schools to a certain radius, but I don’t think the X1.5 would move that many private schools up to AA. I’d have to look at the enrollment numbers again.

And preventing a GOAL recipient from playing sports would lead to three words: Big Fat Lawsuit.

Thanks for reading and posting all year!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
2:48 pm

@Max: Thanks for the love, even though “www” obviously doesn’t share your thoughts! :)

Thanks for reading and posting this season, Max!

S. Thomas Coleman

CFBFan

December 17th, 2012
3:21 pm

The service area for private schools is already the county in which they are located. Why not make the service area the same for all schools (i.e.- 25 miles radius from the school)? Also, remove the transfer rules. A student should not be prohibited from participating in an extra-curricular activity just because he or she did not make a bona fide move.

MCMBAA

December 17th, 2012
3:24 pm

I’ve already rung the bell regarding the split several times this year (I’m vehemently against it) and I’ll always back ELCA, so rather than repeat myself, I think I’ll end this year’s football blog by saying this…..

Great job STC! I appreciate the fact that you don’t back down from the explosive issues, you cover Single A comprehensively, and you aren’t afraid to smack down those that need it from time to time (yep, including me).

Merry Christmas to all posters, public and private, and my sincere wish is that you all have a wonderful holiday season with your family!

Realist

December 17th, 2012
4:03 pm

STC Great Job this year! More observations to come later on this mess created by South Georgia public schools (Not Lincoln County). Geographic distance limitations would not work in the metro area. You would have kids in North Fulton barred from playing at Woodward Academy down by the airport still in Fulton County. East Cobb to Pace Academy in Buckhead. Would that be too far also? Aside from ELCA this year and Wesleyan several years ago, it is not metro schools winning in Class A. The tuition costs are much too high at the elite private schools to do what the South Georgia schools are complaining about.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
4:18 pm

@CFBFan: The county service area only applies when a kid wants to transfer into a private school after competing in a sport at another school in another county. However, the GHSA has been known to grant waivers in some cases, allowing a kid to compete (and not sit out a year) after transfering to a private school from another county.

Also, if a kid attends middle school in say Fulton County, but wants to attend Walker in Cobb for high school, that kid does not have to sit out because he is starting his high school career at Walker.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
4:21 pm

@MCMBAA: Thanks for the love, and thanks for your great posts and opinions all year! As I’ve said on many occasions, you guys/gals make this the BEST, most thoughtful blog on AJC.com Sports!

And congrats again to you and ELCA Nation! Coach Gess told me that the off season program starts TODAY! Uneasy is the head that wears the crown, I guess!

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
4:26 pm

@Realist: Thanks much for the love and for your takes this season! Your points on the geographic limitations are very well taken. Unfortunately, I’m not smart enought to figure out the best way to bring the public school coaches, AD’s and principals supporting the split back to the table. I’m almost positive we’ll have the same situation next year (maybe some adjustments to the power ranking formula). It will be interesting to see what happens next year when it’s time to realign the regions again.

Thanks for reading and posting all season!

S. Thomas Coleman

jacket

December 17th, 2012
4:56 pm

@S. Thomas Coleman LOL to your response to “www” You did great job covering Class A football. As a Fan and Father. Thank you for the time you spent. Keep it up for basketball and football. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

1-aa

December 17th, 2012
4:57 pm

WITH THE SEASON ENDED–LET IT KNOWN THAT THE NEW SYSTEM DOES WORK–GOOD JOB OF LETTING THE WORK..

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
5:21 pm

@jacket: Thanks for the love, and thanks for reading and posting all season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
5:22 pm

@1-aa: Not sure if everyone would agree with you there, but thanks for reading and posting. We’ll see if the GHSA executive committee agrees with you and leaves everything — present power ranking system included — as is.

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
5:24 pm

@Swamp Lizard: I guess you’re still sleeping off the championship celebration! You beg for one last football blog, I put it up, and you’re nowhere to be found! What’s up with that?!

Congrats, Swamp, on the great season you guys had at ELCA, and thanks for reading and posting all season!

S. Thomas Coleman

bigchipola

December 17th, 2012
6:57 pm

Thanks for all your hard work and we got some juniors in Seminole co. That need to be showcased for in camps n
How do we go about getting them in allstar games?

moto

December 17th, 2012
7:09 pm

@STC — That was a really great final football article, and I appreciate it. Appreciated the 2013 projection also, as all football fanatics are already thinking 2013 Also appreciated the info on the all-star games and who is playing. Didn’t know about that. You’re the best STC.

Good luck with the basketball blog (and watch out for my Holy Innocents’ Golden Bears!)

Al Jones

December 17th, 2012
9:39 pm

I agree with ECI as your Class A #1 for 2013 for three reasons: 1)James Brown is returning; 2)a strong winning tradition; 3)they probably had more non-starting underclassmen with more second half playing time than any other team in Georgia – including in the State Championship Game. Heck! There were games when starters took the entire second half off and the Junior Varsity took over.

GAHSFBFan24

December 17th, 2012
10:22 pm

It has been a great football season and I have enjoyed reading your class A football articles each week @STC. Keep up the good work. I’m proud of my ELCA Chargers. I saw Swamp Lizard at the dome before the game and he looked lost. I hope he found his way out. I’m sure he is somewhere celebrating with his son and his team’s big victory.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
10:58 pm

@bigchipola: Thanks for the love! Go to Risingseniors.com to get contact information for that game. Perhaps some of your current sophomores, who will be juniors next season, can get selected to play in the game. As for the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl All Star Games, there may be a South Georgia component added next year. If not, your current juniors would probably be placed on the Central Georgia squad. Contact the game’s organizers at dlscottcoalitionbowl.com.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
11:10 pm

@moto: Thanks for the love, moto! Those all star games should be pretty good, and at the Dome too. And I admit that I’m not too sure how the extra early pre-season rankings I’ve posted will play out. But it’s always fun to speculate.

Thanks for reading and posting all season, moto, and I’ll make sure to keep an eye on the HI basketball Bears!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
11:36 pm

@Al Jones: Thanks for the love. James Brown and four of the five starting offensive linemen returning are the biggest reasons I have ECI No. 1 on public side again. And ELCA has tons of juniors coming back as well, including their quarterback, Dalton Etheridge, and one of their most productive linebackers, Josh Shockley.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 17th, 2012
11:39 pm

@GAHSFBFan24: Thanks for the love and congrats again to ELCA Nation!

S. Thomas Coleman

CSRA706

December 18th, 2012
5:00 am

Aquinas should be in the top 10, the are only losing 1 player, even though he is the best in class a they still have a lot of talent

Ol Water Boy

December 18th, 2012
6:42 am

@STC : Regarding your 4:18 post ysterday – We wish we had 1 -2 somebodys who play sports wanting to transfer in on occasion . Doesn’t happen . For robotics or math team , yes. Sports , no !!!!!!!!
Thanks for your coverage of all things single A football this fall . We had a memorable year at Walker that rejuvinated football in our school and will pay dividends in that respect for years. Whether we are able to attain such a year going forward again remains to be seen and will likely be a struggle .
Happy Holidays to all !!!

ELCATRAZ

December 18th, 2012
6:45 am

@ STC Great Job this year. I enjoy the banter on here too! @ CSRA706 I think the same thing Aquinas will be strong next year, how about beating LC next year and get the monkey of your back! Good Luck. Rumor MILL or True..Stratford Academy in Macon applying for a GHSA membership,..bring it on boys. I would like to see the AAA in GISA come on in, if this split continues. Merry Christmas boys!! Later.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
8:32 am

@CRSA706: You’re probably right. Aquinas does have a lot coming back, including Reuben Garrett. Losing Douglas will be tough, but I’m sure Coach LeZotte will figure out a way to be successful without him.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
8:41 am

@Ol Water Boy: I’d be willing to bet that you’ll have a handful of parents there in Cobb County with athletic, football playing sons who will now give serious thought to inquiring about Walker. Trust me, in Georgia high school sports one thing is true: If they build it – public or private – they will come! Coach East is building. “They” will come.

And in that same respect, IF DeKalb County loses its accreditation (SACS warned the district today and put it on probation), watch out for Mt. Vernon Academy in a few years. They have a wonderful facility up there. That, coupled with top-notch academics, could attract families in DeKalb County looking for another option. Other than Marist, there are no other football-playing private schools in DeKalb County that are in the GHSA. Mt. Vernon is a ticking time bomb that could go off in 3-5 years.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
8:48 am

@ELCATRAZ: Thanks for the love! I’ve already addressed Aquinas. I think they will be good as well. Will be a huge game at Lincoln County next season, as the Red Devils return a bunch of kids as well, about 16 of their starting 22.

As for Stratford moving to the GHSA, that would be a HUGE blow to the GISA. Stratford has been one of their stalwarts. Losing FPD and Stratford within a 5-year stretch would be tough. If that happens, schools like Deerfield-Windsor, Mount de Sales and Tattnall might not be far behind. Should be interesting to watch.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

Swamp Lizard

December 18th, 2012
9:37 am

@ STC …. I’ve been here, just got busy the last few days. I do want to thank you for the Class A blogs all year …. felt as if I made many friends. There have been times we’ve agreed and disagreed, but I will say, I always had respect for all your takes. Your a good man STC …. wish you & the family a very blessed Christmas & Happy New Year.

Swamp Lizard

December 18th, 2012
11:02 am

I guess this will be my final take on the football season. I’d like to say I’ve enjoyed all our conversations ( blogging this year ). I’d like to start off by wishing ELCA & ECI a big congrats !! Both teams had a great year on the field. I do have a few “bones” to pick with the AJC and Todd Holcomb. Having two #1 teams is a disgrace in the final poll. I do not respect that at all. You either have a Private & Public poll or you have a true Top 10. STC, that is one thing I admire about you. At least you have the backbone to take a stand.
On Larry Campbell … I do not know the man, but the things I’ve heard about him ( if true ) I admire. Love him or hate him, you have to respect what he has done at Lincoln Co … 37 Region Championships, the State Championships, and most importantly, the things I’ve heard of him helping young men out. Some of the things said about him on these blogs are uncalled for. As far as him being the ring leader of the Public / Private split is something he has to answer to. He has said he is a Public supporter, he does think Private schools have advantages … student atheletes getting GOAL scholorships, having unlimited residental zones, and wanting a multiplier. A lot of these things I agree with him on, some I don’t … the SPLIT is not one of them.
The “tweaks” to come by the GHSA …. looking at the “points system” that was used, the Public side worked out to be closer to ranking the teams 1-16 than the Private rankings 1-16. It is not a good way ( system ) to seed these schools for the playoffs … the final Maxwell ratings & a panel of sports writers across the state of Georgia would be my way to go. Writers that see these teams play …. Todd Holcomb, your not invited.
The pre-season teams to watch ( Private ) … like it or not, ELCA will be LOADED again next year !! They are the team to beat with 22 juniors coming back. Sav Christian will be right there with them … this team was young this year and also have “players” coming back. I think Our Lady of Mercy is on track and will be a team to cause trouble in the playoffs next year. Prince Ave will have a very solid team as will Landmark. You can’t overlook George Walton & “Boom” … One final team to look out for on the Private side is First Presbyterian Day …. I feel this team was on the verge late in the season, they do need to replace their QB, but the foundation is there. I would love to hear from our fans on the Public side who they think will be tough next year. Best wishes to all during this holiday season !!

TCDAWG25

December 18th, 2012
11:27 am

@ Swamp Lizard my friend ECI will win it mobile quarterback, running backs, experienced underclassmen, OL and DL. ECI vs Lincoln Co. in finals what everyone has been waiting for a whole lot of red in the Ga. Dome.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
11:41 am

@Swamp Lizard: He lives! Good to hear from you Swamp. As always, thanks for the love and thanks so much for your takes and contributions to the blog. You and others make it the best thing going on AJC.com.

Coach Campbell really was not a proponent of the split. In his heart of hearts, he was not. HOWEVER, he is unbending when it comes to his perception of advantages privates hold over publics, and so because of that he didn’t speak out as loudly against the split as he could have. To be honest with you, I don’t think it would have made a lot of difference. Once the AD’s and PRINCIPALS got behind the idea, there was no stopping it. They are the folks who sign off on writing the membership checks to the GHSA.

And you’re right about First Presbyterian. They should be in the Top 10. I’ll make an adjustment shortly.

Happy Holidays to you and yours and good luck to your son during his off season camp performances!! And congrats again to you and ELCA Nation.

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
11:46 am

@TCDAWG25: I think you’re right. Really impressed with your young offensive line. They took it to Adams and after he got his ankle rolled, he didn’t want any part of them. Outstanding effort by that unit and all of them return except for Gunnar Brown. Hope he gets to play somewhere on the next level.

Speaking of that, Purcell told me he doesn’t have any colleges recruiting him as well. I sincerely hope that changes. It would be a waste of talent for him not to get the opportunity to play on Saturday and get a college education free of charge (or at least at a partial discount).

My only concern is who will play QB for you guys? Pressley was very poised, seasoned. Looked like a senior quarterback should look. Was his replacement on the JV or will someone switch positions? And James Brown is a stud. Not much of a talker, but a stud nonetheless.

Thanks for your thoughts and takes all season, TC!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
11:49 am

@Swamp Lizard: Almost forgot, don’t be so hard on Todd. Trying to cover all six classes is a tough deal. I think he relies on Maxwell Ratings a bit much for my taste, but other than that he does a great job. So please don’t bar him from your “ranking meeting”! :)

And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and everyone else in the “Lizard” home!

S. Thomas Coleman

Ray Goff

December 18th, 2012
12:29 pm

ECI will have a couple of options at QB. First is Boatwright. He will be a senior. Has played DB and is very good there. He has played backup QB and was JV QB for a couple of years with Purcell. They were lethal together. Boatwright can throw and run. Tough kid. They also have a sophomore named Cowart who played WR this year but was backup QB last year. Has a really good arm and can run, too. ECI will be fine with either of these two. I agree that Pressey will be sorely missed. He did a fantastic job running the offense this year.

As always, great job covering Class A this year Mr. Coleman!

Ray Goff

December 18th, 2012
12:32 pm

Boatwright was backup QB this year and actually started and played the entire Wheeler County game this year while Pressey was hurt. I believe that game was something like 66-0. Not sure which guy they will go with, but either will do a fine job. Like Pressey, I believe Cowart’s future may be bright in baseball.

athensbball

December 18th, 2012
12:56 pm

@STC: So we can get a pre-season top 10 in football for a season that wont start for another 8 months…but we cant get a basketball top 10 for a season that has been going for 2 months…come on man! haha

bucket

December 18th, 2012
1:49 pm

@ STC – Thanks for all of your labor this year and for providing a forum for us to sound off. I posted the following earlier today, but this is the blog that is hopping now so I am reposting:

In my opinion not enough consideration is paid to the effect that the Georgia GOAL scholarship program has had on this issue. The private/public debate had subsided to a degree even to the point that the multiplier had been discarded. However, the debate was re-energized in 2008 when low income families were able to send their children to private schools through the use of a scholarship. Let me be clear, I believe that is a good thing for the kids and they are the ones that continue to get lost in this debate as adults are concerned only about their egos and whether “their” team wins or loses. The GOAL scholarships are not just used by athletes and hopefully we will continue to see kids who have little hope for a better future receive great educations and become productive citizens regardless of their career path. However, a byproduct of this program is that it can be and has been used by some private schools to build powerhouse sports programs. (Football is not the only sport, as bad as I hate to admit it!) Therefore, I can understand why some schools were concerned about the future landscape of Class A and ensuring a level playing field in all areas of competition.

cdog

December 18th, 2012
2:15 pm

please, please, when its time, go back to the old system.plenty of deserving class a teams failed to make the playoffs because of the coaches stupid whining.man up and get your team ready to play despite your excuses

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
3:54 pm

@Ray Goff: Thanks for the love, coach! As I said before, I know we’ve got 12 months until the potential game, but I think ECI-Lincoln is the odds on favorite to the be the public school final.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
3:56 pm

@athensball: Fear not, my friend. The Divided Top 5s List will make its debut in January! I got you covered! ;)

The lastest basketball blog will be up shorrtly.

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
3:58 pm

@bucket: Good point. As I’ve always said, the public schools do have some legitimate beefs. They are not just “whining” as many folks state.

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 18th, 2012
3:59 pm

@cdog: See my above comments to bucket.

Thanks for reading and posting.

S. Thomas Coleman

TCDAWG25

December 18th, 2012
6:52 pm

@ S. Thomas Coleman Boatright is our best option because of his strength, mobility and his arm. No disrespect to any other teams in Class A I just don’t see anyone beating them.

Swamp Lizard

December 19th, 2012
7:14 am

@ TCDAWG 25 … I hope the moon and stars line up that I can come down for the ECI / Sav Christian game next year …. that will be a great one !! Congrats on ECI …. don’t be upset with me, but I didn’t like the tie in the final AJC poll … & I do think ELCA is the best Class A team overall …. I’m sure you think other, we’ll just agree to disagree.

Swamp Lizard

December 19th, 2012
7:35 am

@ STC … I’m sorry I was hard on Todd, but I will not wavier on my feelings. The AJC is the largest paper in the South … I know you have the resouces to get the state AP poll ( of writers across the state ) …. at least the wouldn’t be ONE individual “trying” to put a Class A Top 10 together that doesn’t follow it they way it should be. I know ECI looked great against Dooly Co and they even looked like they would give ELCA a run for the money, but YOU & I know better. WaCo put a beat down on them 48-14 … ELCA SHOULD have beat Waco turning it over 4 times ( losing 24-19 ). The only other common team was Sav Christian …. ECI 48-14 / ELCA 42-7. I’ll be the first to say comparing games like this doesn’t hold a lot of water, but it’s my only one of my defenses in this arguement. As far as Todd leaning to heavy on the Maxwell Ratings, he should have looked at them ( Dec 4th ratings ) …. ELCA 65.32 …. ECI 55.63 ….. that’s a difference of 9.69, a HUGH gap between the two teams …. it’s not even close and that’s my point !!