High school football starts for real this week, with nine ranked teams in action. Among those getting started are defending Class AAA champion Buford and St. Pius, last year’s runner-up, who begin competition ranked No. 1 and No. 2. Buford hosts Elbert County, while St. Pius hosts Westminster on the first week.
A few things to look for this weekend:
Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin goes for his 100th career victory this week when his No. 7-ranked Titans host Lovett. Blessed Trinity opened the season with an 18-0 win over Westminster last week. McFarlin is 17-8 in three seasons at Blessed Trinity after spending 10 seasons as head coach at Roswell, where he won a share of the state championship in 2006.
Bill Ballard, the coach at White County, goes for his 100th career win this week when the Warriors host Habersham Central in their season opener. Ballard is 10-11 in two seasons at White County. He was at Tucker from 2002-06 and Peachtree Ridge from 2007-2010.
Joe Kegler will make his debut as head coach for No. 4 Carver, which plays Shaw at Memorial Stadium. Kegler spent the last two years as offensive coordinator and was hand-picked by Dell McGee to succeed him.
No. 3 –ranked Cartersville will look to extend its dominance over Class A Darlington. Since the series resumed in 1981, Cartersville has won 14 of 16 games. The Purple Hurricanes have won the last six, including 28-7 in 2012.
No. 8 Peach County has dominated its series against middle Georgia rival Perry. The Trojans have won the last five meetings and have won 18 of the last 19 games. Peach leads the series 28-9, but last year’s 21-14 win was a nail biter. In a non-football item, Peach County had to spend nearly $9,000 to save its concession stand from being swallowed by a sink hole.
Perhaps No. 6 Washington County can complete an entire game. The Golden Hawks, as well as No. 10 Thomson, had openers wiped out last week by storms that stopped play before the games could be completed. Washington County was beating Class A No. 1 Eagle’s Landing Christian when the game was called in the second quarter. Thomson has getting hammered 21-0 by Burke County when lightning intervened. Washington County hosts Grovetown, while Thomson takes the week off.