Poll Talk: North Gwinnett ascends to No. 1; Sandy Creek holds top spot despite tie

- North Gwinnett is the new No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA, jumping Colquitt County (24-10 loser to Hoover) and Lovejoy (blowout winner over Munday’s Mill).

- This is North Gwinnett’s first No. 1 ranking by the AJC since the 9-0 start in 2006. North Gwinnett was upended that season in Game 10 by Norcross, which is North’s next opponent on Sept. 13.

- Don’t like to let a  No. 3 jump a No. 2 (Lovejoy), but it’s hard to ignore North’s impressive wins – blowouts of Camden County and Grayson.

- No. 2 Lovejoy plays at No. 4 Colquitt County on Friday. Was Colquitt’s ‘punished’ enough for losing to Hoover?

- Speaking of little punishment, Sandy Creek remained No. 1 in AAAA despite the 27-27 tie to Plant of Tampa. Two reasons – SC was a dominant state champ last  year, with solid wins over No. 2 Carrollton and No. 3 Burke County, and is thoroughly loaded again. Plant is the No. 3 team in Florida’s preseason Class 8A rankings. (Plant’s loss to Godby was a preseason game, btw.) Plant would be a AAAAAA school in Georgia with enrollment of 2,500.

- This week’s schedule is headlined by a game between No. 1-ranked teams as Buford (AAA) travels to Gainesville (AAAAA). Gainesville won 19-15 last season, and both teams went on to win state titles.

- Six other games match ranked teams: Lovejoy at Colquitt County, Marist at Thomas County Central, Washington-Wilkes at Lincoln County, Prince Avenue Christian at Savannah Christian and George Walton Academy at Aquinas. Pretty good week to be a Class A fan. (Wilkinson also plays Landmark Christian.)

- Ten teams entered the rankings this week. They were Peachtree Ridge (AAAAAA), Allatoona, Warner Robins and Bainbridge (AAAAA), Wayne County, Mary Persons and Westside-Macon (AAAA), Jefferson County (AAA), Benedictine (AA) and Seminole County (A).

- Moving out were Lassiter (AAAAAA), Ware County, Flowery Branch and East Paulding (AAAA), Cairo, Ridgeland and Monroe (AAAA), Blessed Trinity (AAA), Early County (AA) and Dooly County (A).

This week’s rankings (with last week’s in parentheses):


1. (3) North Gwinnett (2-0)

2. (2) Lovejoy (1-0)

3. (4) McEachern (2-0)

4. (1) Colquitt County (1-1)

5. (5) North Cobb (1-0)

6. (6) Norcross (0-1)

7. (7) Lowndes (1-0)

8. (9) Mill Creek (1-0)

9. (10) Camden County (1-1)

10. (NR) Peachtree Ridge (2-0)


1. (1) Gainesville (1-0)

2. (2) Tucker (1-0)

3. (3) Stephenson (1-0)

4. (4) Northside (Warner Robins) (1-0)

5. (5) M.L. King (1-0)

6. (7) Kell (1-0)

7. (8) Thomas County Central (1-1)

8. (NR) Allatoona (1-0)

9. (NR) Warner Robins (1-0)

10. (NR) Bainbridge (1-0)

Class AAAA

1. (1) Sandy Creek (0-0-1)

2. (2) Carrollton (1-0)

3. (3) Burke County (0-0)

4. (4) Marist (1-0)

5. (5) Stockbridge (1-0)

6. (7) Monroe Area (1-0)

7. (8) Griffin (1-0)

8. (NR) Wayne County (2-0)

9. (NR) Mary Persons (1-0)

10. (NR) Westside, Macon (1-0)

Class AAA

1. (1) Buford (1-0)

2. (2) St. Pius (1-0)

3. (3) Cartersville (1-0)

4. (4) Carver (Columbus) (1-0)

5. (5) North Hall (1-0)

6. (6) Washington County (1-0)

7. (8) Peach County (1-0)

8. (9) Callaway (1-0)

9. (NR) Jefferson County (2-0)

10. (10) Thomson (0-0)

Class AA

1. (1) Calhoun (1-0)

2. (2) Lamar County (1-0)

3. (3) Jefferson (1-0)

4. (4) Greater Atlanta Christian (2-0)

5. (5) Brooks County (2-0)

6. (6) Lovett (2-0)

7. (7) Vidalia (1-0)

8. (8) Fitzgerald (0-1)

9. (10) Washington-Wilkes (1-0)

10. (NR) Benedictine (1-0)

Class A

1. (1) Eagle’s Landing Christian (1-0)

2. (2) Prince Avenue Christian (1-0)

3. (4) Lincoln County (1-0)

4. (5) George Walton Academy (1-0)

5. (6) Wilcox County (1-0)

6. (8) Athens Academy (1-0)

7. (9) Aquinas (1-0)

8. (NR) Seminole County (1-0)

9. (10) Savannah Christian (0-0-1)

10. (7) Wilkinson County (0-1)

118 comments Add your comment


September 1st, 2013
12:17 pm

@Todd. Are you guys gonna start up the live chat blog on fridays like in previous years. It was a great way to keep up with scores from around the state.


September 1st, 2013
12:40 pm

Why should Colquitt(the “woodchoppers”) be “punished” for losing to an out-of-state team that was ranked #1 in their state? I was chastised yesterday for saying that AL high school football is much better than GA football, based on this game, especially the second half. You would have thought I had kicked somebody’s dog, based on the reaction of this AJC writer and another poster. You can’t have it both ways. BTW, the Packers played the second half without two starting defensive backs, and Propst has already said the loss was his fault for taking the team on that long trip on THURSDAY in non-air conditioned buses. Poor babies, guess they didn’t have a full day to recover!


September 1st, 2013
12:41 pm

keep an eye on those boys from Brooks County High, they will be rising to the top of class AA. Bring the Hammer!!!


September 1st, 2013
12:49 pm

Ah, guys……Camden is 1-1 and if I’m not mistaken, Gainesville is in 5A, right? Also, right now, North Gwinnett and Lovejoy are probably the two best teams in Class 6A……… :-)


September 1st, 2013
12:57 pm

FarTrain…….What the heck are you smoking? Alabama has NEVER had better HS Football than Georgia! Probably NEVER will. Camden went to Hoover in 2008 and literally ran Hoover off of it’s home field! Colquitt, in the second half of the game was out coached, which lead to their problems on the field. I saw two of the exact same scoring plays run against Colquitt that were run against Camden in 2009. Someone didn’t go back far enough in the film library! :-)


September 1st, 2013
1:14 pm

@74, yes, Todd isn’t normally so error prone.


September 1st, 2013
1:20 pm

North Gwinnett has a nice team. They have what it takes to win it all. Grayson and Camden are not what they were. No where near. Those two wins are what is used as justification for jumping Lovejoy? I am not going to argue or complain. I just want to make sure I understand the rational.

Todd Holcomb

September 1st, 2013
1:25 pm

rwdekalb – We did our first Live Chat on Friday. We’ll be there every Friday night.

FairTrain – The reason that I responded so strongly to your assertion about Alabama vs. Georgia football was not because of your conclusion, but how you came to it. Hoover beating Colquitt or any single team in Georgia doesn’t mean one state’s football is better than another’s. If Buford beats Gainesville on Friday, that won’t prove that Class AAA is better than Class AAAAA. It would just mean that Buford is better than Gainesville. Hoover dominates Alabama – seven state titles since 2000. That says a lot for Hoover, but also a lot for the depth of really good teams in Alabama. Georgia has had seven state champions in the last seven years in the highest class. Football in Georgia, Alabama and Florida is very strong. It’s all about population in those states. Florida has more good teams than Georgia, and Georgia has more good teams than Alabama, IMHO.


September 1st, 2013
1:33 pm

Enter your comments here


September 1st, 2013
1:50 pm

Colquitt played one of the top teams in the Nation…….North played two rebuilding programs……Not taking anything away from North , they look better than they ever have……..Lovejoy played the also powerful Mundy’s Mill .We can understand this jump, but not over the Paka’s

Marietta fan

September 1st, 2013
1:55 pm

I’m just a little shocked that Marietta isn’t ranked yet. We will have our chance though, after a bye this week we have Hillgrove and Mceachern back to back. We’ll see how good we really are these next 2 games


September 1st, 2013
2:42 pm

To ALL! There’s one thing that can’t be denied. If your team is still standing in the final 4 of your classification and they were ranked low or not ranked at all during the regular season, then everyone will know there were errors made early on. If your team is as good as you think they are, it will play out on the field. In the end, the PRETENDERS will be separated from the CONTENDERS……RELEASE the CATS! :-D


September 1st, 2013
3:21 pm

todd…..what happened to the fri night live chat that we have grown used to? that chat this fri night is not the same as we are accustomed to . it said mobile chat and i think several of us like the way we used to chat


September 1st, 2013
3:56 pm

Ok I’ve seen both carrollton and sandy creek and both seems to be the team to beat this year the rankings don’t matter right now anyway because they will settle who’s number #1 on the field nov.1 What a game the sandy creek plant game was both teams played lights out the refs was absolutly terrible and the curfew rule is a bunch of crap to me those kids played their hearts out don’t play the game on a thursday then. One last thing that delvin weems kid had one of the greatest run I have ever seen on a high school level stiff arming three guys on the way to the end zone wow!


September 1st, 2013
3:59 pm

Though I am a staunch North Gwinnett supporter, I am not yet ready to say they are the best team in the state. It is week 2 for goodness sakes! A lot more will be known this week; six weeks from now we’ll know better who the real contenders are. I remember Norcross thumping Dacula by the same score a couple of seasons ago about this same time, only to get ousted by that same Dacula team on their home field when it mattered. I will say this – barring injury North will be a tougher out than last year…as for anything else – the jury hasn’t even started deliberations yet. But reading the opinions of everyone else makes for some good entertainment at this point….Oh, and just because Norcross laid an egg on the National stage doesn’t yet mean they are out of the picture this year. In two weeks we’ll have a better idea if they are really going to be contenders or pretenders – I’ll hold my thoughts on that one for now.


September 1st, 2013
5:14 pm

Was Will Gardner Coffee’s QB last year or the year before? :-)


September 1st, 2013
5:34 pm

Hey Camden74, Who won the rematch when Hoover visited Camden in 2009? I’m sorry I can’t hear you…………….

Todd Holcomb

September 1st, 2013
6:21 pm

”todd…..what happened to the fri night live chat that we have grown used to? that chat this fri night is not the same as we are accustomed to . it said mobile chat and i think several of us like the way we used to chat”

Yes, it was different. It’s something that AJC.com believes is a better platform. How was it different from a reader’s point of view? For me, it wasn’t much different. I was commenting and passing along info as usual. Your feedback is welcome and appreciated.

”Though I am a staunch North Gwinnett supporter, I am not yet ready to say they are the best team in the state. It is week 2 for goodness sakes!”

I know what you mean, but somebody’s got to be #1. :)

”I’m just a little shocked that Marietta isn’t ranked yet”

We went back and forth between Marietta and Peachtree Ridge. Marietta is unranked but not unnoticed.

re: N. Gwinnett – Grayson is rebuilding, but I don’t know if that’s true about Camden County. When have they ever been rebuilding? Not saying Camden is as good as last season. That remains to be seen. But I think that was a pretty good team. I also think Grayson is pretty good. Perhaps not a QF type team, but one that could win that region.


September 1st, 2013
6:30 pm

@ Mundy’s Mill will beat Grayson right now. So would Rockdale and East Coweta. Camden is also beatable at this time by many who could not last year.

74 was right. In the end, maybe before, it will all shake out. It has the past couple years and there is no reason to think otherwise this year.


September 1st, 2013
6:45 pm

Region 4 AAAAAA teams are putting huge numbers on their nonregion foes.It will be interesting to see what happens when the region games start.

Carver Panther 1

September 1st, 2013
6:50 pm

@ Todd how far down is Carver Atlanta on the AJC AAAA list? According to Maxpreps we should move up to number 10.


September 1st, 2013
6:54 pm

Hooverbuc……Hoover won in 2009 on a last second field goal. If you were honest about the situation, you would have said, Hoover won in 2009 because Camden’s HC decided to sit on a lead and continue to run against 9 men in the box and play prevent defense (which everyone knows, only prevents the team with the lead from winning)! Instead of burning your DBs the way they did in the first half! Now, let’s talk about the 2008 butt whipping Camden put on Hoover. Let me see, was the finally score, Camden 44, Hoover 16? If I remember correctly, Camden called off the CATS in the third quarter, right? How many rushing yards did Camden have? Let me see, somewhere around 400! With 3 running backs over 100 yards. My memory isn’t what it used to be, but weren’t there a few Camden TDs called back? I know the last second defeat of Camden made Hoover’s year in 2009. But it also did a lot for Camden. It made the team realize that if they were going to win, they would have to play the best players, they would have to win as a team, and that included the coaching staff. From that point on, Camden ran the table with 12 straight victories, culminating in a second straight STATE TITLE! Oh, by the way, Hoover decided NOT to continue the series! Wonder why? RELEASE the CATS!!!! :-D

Todd Holcomb

September 1st, 2013
7:34 pm

re: Carver – Teams that we considered ranking that didn’t make it are Carver, Statesboro, Eastside, Cairo, maybe Jonesboro. I’d put Carver in that group. I think Carver is better than last season. But Carver faces a pretty light schedule until November. Their ranking could depend on what Mays does because Carver doesn’t play anyone else for a while that is a good measuring stick.

Chill Dude

September 1st, 2013
8:03 pm

“pretty light schedule” — understatement of the night


September 1st, 2013
8:12 pm

I just hope the Pack can get over the injuries they had last Friday night before Lovejoy comes to town. Also hope Lovejoy brings some fans.


September 1st, 2013
8:17 pm

For those of you who think since Hoover beat the Packers in this one game that Alabama ball is better than Georgia ball, well I guess you now think the ACC is better than the SEC because Clemson beat Georgia in this one game. Sounds a little stupid doesn’t it?


September 1st, 2013
8:55 pm

@ PackGATA == There are some of us who don’t miss a game. I am one. There will be enough of us to let the guy’s know they are not alone. We are coming.


September 1st, 2013
9:08 pm

Cool Sportsnut I’m glad ya’ll are coming. Didn’t mean to make that sound negative, Sorry. Its just always more fun and exciting when that side is full too. Have a safe trip!


September 1st, 2013
9:23 pm

todd…i would be interested to see what the poll results would be if you asked everyone on here who likes the new fri night chat forum. I for one do not like it.

sanders for colquitt must not have had a bad fracture if he is already about to start playing again. that is good for the pack though


September 1st, 2013
9:31 pm

bksmith14. I didn’t like the new chat format either


September 1st, 2013
9:39 pm

Grayson’s defense is very good and their opponents will soon find that out. Their offense, however, is a mess. If they get the offense playing at the level of their defense then I don’t see any reason why Grayson won’t go on one of their annual playoff runs. Plus their whole team is sophmores and juniors. This season will be similar to their 2010 season and then they’ll be murdering everyone the next two years.

Camden just had first game jitters and also the atmosphere under a “new” coach. They have a solid defense and 3 RB’s that can score from any distance on any play. They’ll be rolling come playoff time.

I don’t care where NG is ranked at all this season. The coaches and players don’t either. They want the state title. The atmosphere and focus changed in 2011 from reading their own headlines to being willing to do what it takes to win a state title. All NG has to do is stay healthy and stay focused.


September 1st, 2013
9:41 pm

Just examine what Grayson’s defense did to Colquitt on offense and special teams. They held NG in check all night as well. Their VERY good with a ton of underclassmen. It’s 2010 all over again for them I’m telling yal. We all know what they did after 2010.

Carver Panther 1

September 1st, 2013
9:58 pm

@ Todd thanks for your response.

However using that logic there are at least 4 Teams that are or we’re just ranked by you with lower SOS according to the preseason maxwell rating for AAAA dated August 15th. The bottom line is that when humans are involved biases come in. We had to go 9-0 last year before you’ll ranked us. You put Chamblee and Washington ahead of us (We beat Washington and they beat Chamblee who didn’t even make the playoffs) I assume that was based on past performance but this year after paying our dues we should not have to be hazed again. We can only play who is on our schedule just like everybody else. When the dominoes begin to fall again please don’t let it take multiple weeks to gives us our recognition. A win is a win and nobody knows which schools will be good again this year versus last. Let’s stop making excuses for teams losing. If they are that good they should win.

It’s a new day at Carver. Top players from other schools, eighth graders choosing schools, recruiters, and more are noticing we have a good thing going. It would be nice if the hometown paper would.


September 1st, 2013
10:02 pm

Todd, being an old dog, I don’t adjust to new things very easily, especially when it comes to blogs and stuff. I much preferred last year’s format.


September 1st, 2013
10:23 pm

57Cat…..They might be trying to bring in new blood and get rid of the old dogs!…LOL :-)

Todd Holcomb

September 1st, 2013
11:03 pm

Carver Panther 1 – The only Top 10 teams in AAAA with a weaker schedule (according to Maxwell) are Burke County and Monroe Area. Burke made the QF last season and won a state title the year before that. They’ve proved themselves. Monroe Area made the semifinals last season. They’ve proved themselves. Carver hasn’t won a playoff game in six years.

We could rank teams based on their W-L record. But that’s what standings are for. We know their records. Rankings are a subjective look at how good the teams are despite their records. We saw last season that 9-0 doesn’t mean you’re one of the best 10 teams in your class. Carver lost to Dalton in the first round. And frankly, nobody was shocked. When you don’t have recent playoff wins or signature victories, you aren’t going to get into the Top 10 easily.

Todd Holcomb

September 1st, 2013
11:05 pm

”They might be trying to bring in new blood and get rid of the old dogs!…LOL”

I hope not. I’m an old dog.

But for those who don’t like the new dog park (aka Friday night chat), what specifically don’t you like?

Todd Holcomb

September 1st, 2013
11:07 pm

btw, I love Carver. Hope I didn’t sound harsh. Corresponded w/ Coach Myles a couple of weeks ago. He thinks he’s got a better team and could make some noise. I hope so. But we can’t rank on hope.

Suwanee 0wns

September 1st, 2013
11:16 pm

I have to agree with you sportsnut, Lovejoy should be rated higher for reasons I have stated elsewhere. Don’t worry about it. Lovejoy only has to beat Colquitt and a bunch of weak Region 2 teams to enter the playoffs undefeated. North would have to beat Norcross, Collins Hill, Mill Creek, and Peachtree Ridge to be unbeaten entering the playoffs. I would say that Lovejoy has a much better chance of running the table than North. It will work itself out. Maybe as soon as this Friday when North faces Norcross.

It is very surprising not to see a Region 8 team in the rankings for 6A. I am pretty sure at least one of them will go deep into the playoffs, but I could not say which one. It will be very interesting to watch the season evolve and observe which of those veteran coaches gets their team to gel.

Camden is a better team than they showed so far. They are loaded with talent, and their first game may have turned out completely differently with Coach Heron at the helm. Few people handle a Lamborghini well in their first test drive, but Coach Coffey will get the feel for it by the playoffs.

Thank you for making a reasonable attempt at the rankings, Todd. Everyone knows things will change as the season progresses and the games are played. I feel pretty good that Suwanee has 3 strong teams.

I did not really like the Friday night format. Then again, anything that keeps the Lowndes fans from blathering away, as they squeak a game out against Luella, is probably an improvement.


September 2nd, 2013
12:46 am

todd talk to the powers that be about goin back to the old blog…seems most everyone on here did not like the new chat.

Lowndes beating luella 42-2 was not squeaking out a win. Luella has a few good athletes and they were big and physical on the d line. our defense held them to 61 yds on 49 plays. our d shut them out…last year they scored 23 on us , this year our d held them to 0 points. they had a safety on us bc of miscommunication on a handoff when they had us pinned deep inside the 1.

our defense is going to wreck havoc on anyone we play…and if we can get the offense going we have a chance to be very dangerous.


September 2nd, 2013
12:49 am

@NGHS 09 – Please don’t take this wrong because I believe NG has a good team, a very good team made all the better with the addition of Andrews as DC. (I hate the way things worked out for him because he deserves a head coaching job.) We shot ourselves not in the foot but in the head all night long. We had some guys that I believe lost their situational awareness and in an effort to make the big play forgot where they were on the field. You just don’t reverse direction and run back into the end zone against a defense like NG. It cost us dearly! Your D scored I think either 18 or 20 points between the touchbacks, pick 6 and fumble recovery turned into a touchdown. You D line and linebackers were getting real good penetration and it is oh so hard to make the offensive play when the D is in the backfield that much. There were other issues/plays but there is no need to rehash it all.

I appreciate the sentiments because I too think there is a ton of talent there. We are a diamond in the rough that needs a lot of polishing.


September 2nd, 2013
5:01 am

Too much concern about #1 and #2. North beat 2 teams that were ranked, and also have championship pedigree and 1 or both may be in the playoffs. Lovejoy played Mundy Mill. When was the last time they won a championship? When was the last time they won anything? There is still a lot of football left to play. The Gwinnett programs still have to run their gauntlet of death, region 1 teams have their gauntlet of death and the Cobb programs. No offense to Lovejoy, but your region looks like Camden’s old region 3. You are the only team with championship pedigree.


September 2nd, 2013
6:24 am

@ Camden74 – Will Gardner, Coffee’s pre-season all stater went down with a
season ending ACL in the first quarter of his first game as a senoir. Louisville honored his scholorship offer and he is now Louisvilles #2 quarterback, He has grown an inch to 6′4″ and bulked up to 245. The Louisvillee quarterback coaches describe him as a “Star in the making.”

Keegan McGovern who was in-line to be Coffee’s big gun this year went down in the spring game with the same injury. He has already committed to the Bulldogs as a baseball pitcher and is sitting out this football season. We are OK though, Let’s play some fakk


September 2nd, 2013
6:27 am

I an not going to attempt to pst aagin/ As yo can see the old man is habing problems.


September 2nd, 2013
7:21 am

Carver has 3 non-region games. Could have chosen to schedule 2 or 3 tough opponents. Did not. Carver is a good team and I predict at least one playoff win for them this year. But need to prove they can win against quality teams. Hope they start with game 11, not game 10.:-)


September 2nd, 2013
7:42 am

I’m not overly fond of the Lowndes bloggers, either, with the exception of AVikingDad and maybe a couple of others – ok, bkmith14 drives me up the wall – but I miss the volume and the variety of the posts/posters that the new method seems to have cut out. That’s my main beef.

Okay, I’m an old dog, but I’m a nice dog. At least my wife still loves me…… I think.


September 2nd, 2013
8:41 am

Lovejoy may play in a “powderpuff” region, but it didnt stop them from beating everyone up until they got to the dome last year with the exception of a 14-7 loss to coffee. They are a top 5 team until they prove diff


September 2nd, 2013
8:54 am

Sandy Creek look horrible until about seven minutes in the second quarter. All of Plant’s scores came off special teams, turnovers or penalties. Not mention SC lost their best defensive lineman along with another starting DL and still held their own. SC will dominant the rest season and roll to another state title.

First TD penalty on roughing the kicker on FG attemp
Second TD fumble on punt return
3rd TD 98 yard kick off return
4th TD Cole Garvin fumble

Todd Holcomb

September 2nd, 2013
9:01 am

bksmith14 – I’ll pass that along. But it would help if I could answer the question, ‘What did they not like about it?’

Oh Danny

September 2nd, 2013
10:06 am

@Creekrising — “dominate the rest of the season” — let’s see what happens vs Newnan …