A good first impression can mean a lot

Only 17 Class AAAAA teams will be in action on the first weekend of the high school football, including just four (No. 2 Tucker, No. 7 Whitewater, No. 8 Kell and No. 9 Thomas County Central) that were ranked in the GHSF Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution preseason top 10. Still, there are some teams that will kick off the season that could really benefit from a strong start:

*Bainbridge: Jeff Littleton will make his head coaching debut when the Bearcats host East Gadsden, Fla., looking to avenge last year’s 33-14 loss. Littleton, formerly the defensive coordinator at Cairo and previously an assistant at Worth County, Dooly County and Tift County, replaced Ed Pilcher, who took the head coaching job at Berrien. Bainbridge went 7-3 in the regular season last year before losing to Union Grove in the first round of the playoffs. Of the four losses, only the East Gadsden game was by more than seven points.

*Jenkins: The Warriors pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the first week of the 2012 season when they defeated defending Class A champion Savannah Christian, sparking a 4-1 start. The Warriors faded down the stretch and failed to make the playoffs, but their 5-5 record was just their fourth non-losing season in 27 years. This non-region rematch won’t affect Jenkins’ playoff chances, but a victory on Thursday night could give the Warriors a confidence boost that could keep them in the playoff hunt.

*Kell: Big things are expected from the eighth-ranked Longhorns this year. Kell went 10-2 in 2012, losing only to Class AAAAAA Lassiter and AAAAA champion Gainesville on its way to a 10-2 season that included a 19-8 victory against Chattahoochee in the opener. Kell and Chattahoochee will meet again at the Corky Kell Classic at 9 a.m. Saturday, and a Longhorns victory would help confirm their status as the heavy favorite in Region 7-AAAAA.

*Paulding County: The Patriots reached the semifinals in 2001 and followed that up with consecutive 8-3 seasons in 2002 and 2003. Since then, they are 20-71 and have not won more than four games in a season (although they did reach the playoffs in 2007 despite a 3-7 regular-season record). Last year, the tone for a 1-9 season was set in the opener, when Paulding lost 23-20 to a New Manchester team playing its first full varsity season. A playoff berth probably isn’t in the cards, but a victory against New Manchester on Friday would give Paulding County a chance to at least improve on that 1-9 mark.

*Whitewater: The seventh-ranked Wildcats have one of the more challenging tasks of the opening weekend, traveling to Douglas to face Coffee of powerful Region 1-AAAAAA. Last year, Whitewater was crushed 41-3 at home by the Trojans, but it didn’t lose another game until it fell to Gainesville in the state semifinals. No telling what the Wildcats might accomplish if they make a better showing on Friday.

44 comments Add your comment

JAB

August 22nd, 2013
9:31 am

Lets get this HS Football season underway!

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

Dekalb23456

August 22nd, 2013
12:18 pm

Miller Grove is hungry for a ring this is the year #WeLiveIt

Camden74

August 22nd, 2013
4:12 pm

JAB…….Get a grip! The SEC of HS Football is GA. Region 1, 6A…… :-)

JAB

August 22nd, 2013
6:13 pm

@ Camden74 you guys probably will never win another state championship! Gwinnett County teams got AAAAAA all locked up! Take a chill pill dude…:)

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

JAB

August 22nd, 2013
6:19 pm

@ Dekalb23456, High hopes is good. I can respect that since we are brothers and in the toughest region in the state; but you guys will never get passed TUCKER, MLK & STEPHENSON is hungry to play you again. You will be in a dog fight for 4th place with SWD, ARABIAN MTN., & MAYBE DUNWOODY…!!! Wishful thinking though…

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

Jusfellofftheturniptruck

August 22nd, 2013
9:41 pm

Yo. Whiteh2o fans. Although gainesville lost to three teams during the regular season, if you talk to the players, they all say the game against yawl was the toughest in the playoffs, followed by the kell game.

Nuff lookin back, captains, coin toss and kick it!!

oleballcoach

August 23rd, 2013
7:38 am

Growing up in the original Region 1AAAA(now 1AAAAAA), we all know that it is the TOUGHEST and most TRADITIONAL region in the state of GA. I’ve coached in both 6AAAAA and 1AAAAAA and it can never compare. Yes, Region 1AAAAAA will win again. Remember what happened to to Stehenson in the Dome a few years back. The last team to win on from that region was a AAAA team. We know where the REAL SEC of high school football is.

rwdekalb

August 23rd, 2013
9:16 am

@JAB. It remains to be seen who will be battling for 4th seed in region 6.

Johnny

August 23rd, 2013
9:24 am

Look out for south Paulding this year

TuckerDAD

August 23rd, 2013
9:40 am

Tucker just had our annual kickoff dinner last night and you know what that means….. It’s on!!!! Football season has started. We will have to turn the SAINTS of Cedar Grove into the A’INTs.

Reg 6 is the toughest of all regions in the state. You can talk about reg 1 6A being tough but that’s a 5 year old story. That dog don’t hunt anymore. Coffee is not as relevant as in years past, Colquitt is good but not great and Camden is still CAMDEN. But in region 6 5A we have 7 legit teams that could beat you literally on any given Friday night. Arabia Mountain hung with Tucker for 2 and a half quarters last year. Miller Grove beat Stephens last year and neither of these teams even smelled the playoffs last year! Southwest Dekalb is always talented, and Mays High can beat any team as well. It took us 4 quarters to beat Mays last year and they didn’t make the playoffs either. Final score was 14 – 7. Then of course you know the big three, Tucker, Stephenson, and MLK. Nobody, and I do mean NOBODY wants to see either of these teams going into the playoffs.

Our region is so stacked that we sway the playoff brackets. Last year as a 3 seed Tucker went to Cherokee county to face a 2 seed Creekview team and I’m sure they would have opted to play any other 3 seed in 5A than Tucker HS.

We are the new region 1 6A. We have what you don’t anymore…. DEPT of teams. 7 teams that will give any team in the state a competitive game.

Region 6 football is SEC FOOTBALL!!!!

We are TUCKER!!! We are TUCKER!!! We are TUCKER!!!!

rwdekalb

August 23rd, 2013
11:23 am

Tucker by 25-30 points tonight.

oleballcoach

August 23rd, 2013
11:51 am

HaHa……..SEC football but couldn’t and would never be able to stay on the field with a 1AAAAAA team. Not even the worse team

oleballcoach

August 23rd, 2013
11:52 am

Oh yeah, my bad……MLK has the biggest win of their schools history

5AReg6Fan

August 23rd, 2013
3:58 pm

Usually, I don’t get into comments regarding 6A, but in support of my class and region brethrens – 5A region 6 is the most competitive, athletic, well coached, and the top level college recruiting classification and region in the state of GA…hands down. With much respect, from days gone by, 6A region 1 does not and will not have the level of region competition that 5A region 6 has currently and in the future. Unfortunately, there can never be an on field comparison of this claim, but a matchup of 6A region 1, four playoff teams, who will be the same year after year, against 5A region 6 four playoff teams, would be something special. Guarantee this, 6A region 1 will not dominate and would be the best non region games that 6A region 1 would have on their schedules. 5A region 6 is nothing to be JOKED with and respected, when regarding being TOP in GA HS football.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

JAB

August 23rd, 2013
4:57 pm

@ oleballcoach 6A region 1 is an has been, Gwinnett County teams got your number and have had it the last several years in winning the State. Stephenson played NG in a scrimmage game, they scored and had a touch down called back on a bad call by the refs. Then there defense stopped NG on 4th and long but another penalty set them up to kick a field goal, the final score end up NG 9 -0 and Stephenson had to alternate qtr. playing their JV; the JV did score on NORTH GWINNETT JV but it didn’t count. They will fix those errors penalties in practice this week. Stephenson & MLK is use to playing in the state highest classification, with that being said they bring that much experience to region 6AAAAA, Tucker, Mays & SWD already was touch with Marist dropping down making way for the big dogs.. “ENOUGH SAID”, LETS PLAY SOME FOOTBALL…!!!

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

JAB

August 23rd, 2013
5:06 pm

@ oleballcoach, when Stephenson & MLK was up in the highest classification MLK beat Valdosta & Stephenson beat Tift twice home & away, Stephenson lost to Lowdnes 7 to 6 on a QB break away score 2 years ago in the playoffs. @ both Stephenson & MLK have been beating Gwinnett county teams teams which are better than any one of your teams in region 1AAAAAA, they beat Parkview, Brookwood, Peachtree Ridge, & South Gwinnett. “ENOUGH SAID”

JAB

August 23rd, 2013
5:06 pm

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

oleballcoach

August 23rd, 2013
7:02 pm

There is a reason Gartrell wouldn’t move up to AAAAAA ball. Every dog has it’s day and that’s what Gwinnett Co. schools are going through. They have always have the most talented athletes and they are just now winning. So that makes your region 3-FOREVER against Region 1AAAAAA. How many state titles are in that region? Oh yeah. Region 6AAAAA….the best 2nd tier region in the state

oleballcoach

August 23rd, 2013
7:02 pm

Beating Meadowcreek and Shilo really don’t count for much

itsonlywrite

August 24th, 2013
4:12 am

the smack talk has already begun… lol Smh GO BIG RED!!!

#ELEPHANTNATION

Chase

August 25th, 2013
12:26 am

Region 5 AAAAA is a close second in regional toughness in the AAAAA class

JAB

August 25th, 2013
8:59 am

@ oleballcoach, what planet are you on, Stephenson has always been in the state highest classification until last year, they were forced to move down because of enrollment! Gwinnett teams are good, I agree but the best talent in the state “FALSE!” History has shown that it has always been in the rural Ga. schools but now have moved to the metro Atlanta areas… Years ago Gwinnett County was just a small country town that could win a game if you spotted them points.

CoffeeC100

August 25th, 2013
4:12 pm

Whitewater is Huge and talented this year. It was tight for a while but Coffee’s conditioning took over in the third and forth. I truly hope Whitewater IS the #7 team in 5A this year. If so it says a lot more for Coffee. Good game Whitewater. You young men were true sportsmen.

Chase

August 25th, 2013
6:11 pm

Everyone is talking about Tucker… Stephenson is the one to beat! Tucker’s running back transferred there and they are huge. The one thing I hate most about playing them in the playoffs is that field.. It’s horrible!!

JAB

August 25th, 2013
6:43 pm

Right Chase…:)

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

"THE CANNON RULES"

August 26th, 2013
9:28 am

Monday Morning and the new rankings have EAST as #10 even though the season opener is THIS Friday in “THE BONEYARD”…EAST starts with NORTH PAULDING and finishes with ALLATOONA so Friday’s game is HUGE to getting the season off to a good start!

Class AAAAA
1. Gainesville (0-0)
2. Tucker (1-0)
3. Stephenson (0-0)
4. Northside (Warner Robins) (0-0)
5. M.L. King (0-0)
6. Ware County (0-0)
7. Kell (1-0)
8. Thomas County Central (1-0)
9. Flowery Branch (0-0)
10. East Paulding (0-0)

TICK…TICK…TICK…BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!
GO RAIDERS!!!!!

MIGHTY LION KING

August 26th, 2013
1:42 pm

@Chase- as far as 6-5A goes, the team to beat in the region is the team that came out on top last yr in which everybody is scared to mention.. But everybody does respectfully have their own opinion,but me, i wouldve said the team to beat this yr is M.L.KiNG!! Until beaten by a region foe, they will remain the team to beat..Yes TUCKER has been the talk and been ranked as #2 in the class and yes STEPHENSON now has DALLAS RIVERS and a strong veteran coach but on top of all those odds,M.L.KING remains unbeaten in our region!!! Might wanna rethink those odds, by now EVERYBODY knows how dangerous we are….

LION NATION/ THE DOMINATION!!!!!

JAB

August 26th, 2013
3:14 pm

@ MIGHTY LION KING, MUCH RESPECT & LOVE FOR MLK. I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR THE KINGS OF HS FOOTBALL, BUT WE ARE IN A DOG FIGHT THIS YEAR, YOU STILL ARE A TOP TEAM! STEPHENSON HAS STRENGTHENED THEMSELVES AND ARE SO HUNGRY FOR A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP,; I MUST SAY THAT YOU LET US DOWN LAST YEAR BY LOOSING TO ALLATOONA IN THE PLAYOFFS, YOU MUST REBOUND FROM LOOSING SO MANY GOOD PLAYERS AND A NEW COACH. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN IN TOUCHEST REGION (6AAAAA) IN HS FOOTBALL/

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

Chase

August 26th, 2013
4:07 pm

@MIGHTY LION KING, MLK won “The toughest region” and got beat by our second seed. North Paulding took it to Flowery Branch and FB beat Gainesville and won that region. Stephenson did kick East to the curb like nothing in the second round.. Tucker beat North Paulding, they just couldnt stop Dallas Rivers and it didn’t help by turning the ball over so much.

MIGHTY LION KING

August 26th, 2013
5:21 pm

@ JAB,CHASE- You guys are very correct, we did fail to Alatoona in the 2nd rd of playoffs last yr and in doing so we not only upset you guys but ourselves as well, but they say if you must lose go out swinging with a fight in which we did when we controlled majority of the game until that point of the last few mins of the 4th qtr, which made the ending result 20-19 (1 point difference.) Mind you that was our only loss of the yr so basically the whoe yr we only lost by 1 point!! Even in not winning the championship thats still making a BIG STATEMENT in a region and class of many contenders that are STRONG and competitve!!

@ JAB- Appreciate your love and respect!! Your actually one of the few that does actually spot our talent from the other side of the ball!! Like i told you a year ago or probably 2 yrs ago STEPHENSON is my 2nd favorite team of the state as far as hs football go.. And i know its hard to believe being that we have a BIG RIVALRY come gametime,but truth be told Stephenson is one of the state’s finest and JUST LIKE M.L.K who ever says differently usually find out the hard way how serious those boys on the mountain are!!

LION NATION/ THE DOMINATION!!!!!

RealisticFan

August 26th, 2013
7:37 pm

@chase

So your prediction on the North vs East opener at the Boneyard. ? Please speak with honesty and reality not just blind loyalty.

Chase

August 26th, 2013
10:11 pm

@ RealisticFan, North.. its going to be a game! East just isn’t the East from last year. Don’t get me wrong East is still damn good

JAB

August 26th, 2013
10:23 pm

@ MIGHTY LION KING the feeling is mutual & more so this year because I have a relative attending MLK, My 2nd best team. I truly believe that we can have an all 6AAAAA state championship showdown just like Tucker and Marist had a few of years back! With Stephenson winning Lol., One of us need to win it this year, so tired of hearing people say that Stephenson & MLK haven’t won a state championship yet, and some of the one’s that have won, it took them 20 + years to finally win one. Stephenson & MLK are still a relatively new schools, but have established themselves as one of the elite in HS sports…:)

GO STEPHENSON JAGUARS & REGION 6AAAAA THE SEC OF HS FOOTBALL BEST IN THE STATE…

RealisticFan

August 26th, 2013
10:59 pm

@Chase ….. I certainly wish you and your teammates well. The offense looks poised to be improved even from last year. The issue as always comes down to North”s lack of defense. The secondary looks to be the strongest of the bunch, however another year of the safety leading they way in tackles does not bode well for stopping ground attacks like East, Allatona and Tucker. I personally see a valiant effort by North but a bit too much strength in the trenches resulting in East putting it away late. I agree East isn’t what it has been, and Noeth is on the rise. Depending on how North plays South and Rome (I assume both Nkrth wins), I see North ending second in the region behind Allatoona, and slipping ahead of East and lack of depth on their team resulting in 2 and possibly 3 losses down the stretch.

Could be a great historic night in the Boneyard Friday for your Wolfpack, but as my name indicates, I think realistically the full shift from East to North dominance is a year away still.

Best of luck, and stay, safe, and don’t throw late down the middle.

RealisticFan

August 27th, 2013
12:26 am

Just some facts about head to head matchups between Reg5 and Reg6 the past 3 years.

2010
Playoff Record: R5: 5-4, R6: 4-4
H2H: R6 1-0 over R5 (Tucker over Hiram)

2011
Playoff Record: R5: 4-4, R6: 5-3
H2H: R5 3-1 over R6. All met in first round, (East over Swd, Kelly over Marist, Pope over Mays and Tucker over Sprayberry)
Tucker wins championship

2012
Playoff Record: R5: 4-3, R6: 5-4
H2H: R6, 2-1 over R5, 3 second round match ups (Tucker over North, Stephenson over East, Allatoona over MLK)

Overall
Playoffs Reg5: 13-11, Reg6: 14-11
H2H, Reg5, 4 wins, Reg6, 4 wins

Big difference is Tucker won a Championship

So what can you deduce from the facts…..granted not a lot. Both regions play complete in region schedules which is somewhat unique. You could argue that Reg6 is stronger because of the state championship and that’s fair. You could also argue that aside from Tucker that Reg6 typically bows out earlier in the playoffs then Reg5 and that is fair also. What you can’t argue is the fact that they are 4-4 against each other. Now I’m not saying Reg6 isn’t the best, baddest and whatever else you Reg6 fans say, I’m just suggesting your so called dominance and superiority…..might be a little bit over stated. And yes I know all about the D1 athletes of Reg6, but apparently that hasnt mattered significantly when going head to head against Reg5 the past few years.

Just keepin it REAL.

Queen's of Halftime Mom

August 27th, 2013
7:41 am

MLK ALL DAY, is all I’m going to SAY!!!! :-)

rwdekalb

August 27th, 2013
9:18 am

@RealisticFan. The grouping of teams in region 6 are in their second year as a region. The best is yet to come.

5AReg6Fan

August 27th, 2013
9:21 am

@Realistfan – Good information on the last few years of head-to-head stats, on region 5&6. You have always been a fair and REALISTIC (LOL), poster. One of the biggest difference IMO, moving forward, between the two region, playoff matchup, is that region 6 has TWO newly added players and they are at the top of 5A – Will be interesting to see the stats, a few years down the road. By the way, 2011really made the difference in this head-to-head matchup.

@ THE CANNON RULES – I told you in a previous blog, that your Raiders would break the TOP TEN. Now it’s up to all of us in the TOP TEN, to prove the rankings are correct. Good Luck to EAST, this week against a raising team in your region. Will be looking for the outcome and information from region 5 posters.

@ MIGHTY LION KING – Tucker Nation does and will have a lot of respect for MLK. I would agree, until someone in region 6 knock off the LIONS, they are sitting at the TOP of region 6. It is Tucker goal to claim that position, at the top of the BEST region in 5A. For a long time, and rightfully so, Stephenson & MLK have been rival and friends, but reclassification has added another BIG TIME player in the game and I don’t have to tell you who that player is. Good Luck this weekend with the Florida team – Tucker will be cheering the Lions on to victory, then the following week it’s time for this year’s 2013 run at the state championship.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

MIGHTY LION KING

August 27th, 2013
12:12 pm

@5Areg6fan- Though TUCK hasnt officially dugg in MLK and STEPHENSON behinds yet, i must say much respect is being added from me..Although i havent mention them as much, do not think for one sec i havent thought about our matchups with the POWERFUL TUCKER TIGERS..I sweat just thinkin about guud they are looking this yr!! I was really impressed with them last yr and this yr when i saw their game against CEDAR GROVE.. I know u probably saw my comment sayin i love STEPHENSON , but with our colors being almost identical, and players being on the same level talent-wise , and good production of college -draftees, how could u not love the BIG -3 outta 6-5A???.. MUCH LOVE N RESPECT GOES OUT TO YOUR TIGERS!!!! But the seat for the KING , is only meant for the M.L.KING!!!!

Lets go BIG 3 and 6-5A football!!! / STATE’S MOST RESPECTED!!

LION NATION/ THE DOMINATION!!!!

Chase

August 27th, 2013
12:35 pm

@ RealisticFan, yes our defense as never been very strong against the run. This year will be much better against power teams. Our defense will still be a pass defense but getting stronger against the run game. The offense however can keep up with any team.

5AReg6Fan

August 27th, 2013
1:19 pm

Will 5A have the surprises in the Top 10 after this week as 6A had in week one?

A few points that could potentially shake up the polls – NSWR/Flowery Branch and E. Paulding/N. Paulding. Will a victory by the FB Falcons, knock a LONG time POWER out of the rankings, and push the region 6 teams at #2, #3, and #4? Will a victory by NP Wolfpack, put them in unfamiliar spotlight and add another player to region 5 list, along with EP and Allatoona? Both will be games of the week within 5A. Also, another game to be reviewed, in south GA, Ware County/Coffee. Will last year’s 5A runner-up bring down one of the MIGHTY 6A region 1 team and give 5A fans some boasting leverage between the two top classifications in GA HS football? As a 5A supporter, I’m pulling for the GATORS.

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

rwdekalb

August 27th, 2013
3:29 pm

@5AReg6Fan. Will you be attending any games this week, since Tucker is off.

5AReg6Fan

August 28th, 2013
8:31 am

@rwdekalb – Yes Sir, plan on supporting our region brethren, Stephenson & MLK, as they redeem GA against FL. After this weekend, NO support, for the Jaguars on 10/11 and the Lions on 11/1, but much RESPECT. (LOL)

“WE ARE TUCKER”

REGION 6, the best in GA 2013 5A Football……

RealisticFan

August 28th, 2013
4:42 pm

Reg5 predictions

East will begin to fade from the high of the Reid era. Qb Mitchell Webb’s leadership and arm keep it interesting for the fist half of the season, but the dwindling numbers will expose the lack of talent behind the front line guys and injuries and fatigue will set in. Look for the proud program have one last playoff hurrah. They will be a wounded yet still dangerous animal going into the playoffs. East fans, hold on to the memories of being ranked now, as it may take years to get their again.

Allatoona, loses talent on both sides of the ball but all around the program is on the upswing. With the decline of East they will need to hang on to beat North at the end of the season I order to secure the conference title.

North is the mini bully on the block. Score with anyone, but a defense that is small, a bit slow and not overly physically gifted or athletic makes playing the, a crap shoot. Hangimg 60+ on Fowery Branch was not a fluke last year. If you like the spread and like lots of points they are a must see during your bye week.

South has a new coach but the program always plays tough nosed football. The South/North game winner should get a home playoff game.

Allatoona – 10-0
North – 8-2 ( loses to East and Allatoona)
South 7-3 (loses to Allatoona, Rome, North)
East 7-3 (loses to Allatoona, South, Rome)
Rome 6-4 (loses to Allatoon, North, South and Hiram)