15 teams go from winless starts to undefeated in one year

There are 15 teams that were winless on Sept. 10, 2012, but are undefeated one year later, meaning they’ve avenged two 2012 losses.

Below are the 14 teams. The list includes the Maxwell Ratings’ projection of their regular-season won-lost records.

*Bryan County – Bryan beat Toombs County in three overtimes last week as QB Jeremy McClendon passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two. Bryan had not had a winning season since 1991 until second-year coach Mark Wilson led the Redskins to a 6-4 finish in 2011, but they regressed to 3-7 last season. It looks like they’re back.

2012 record: 3-7

Projected record: 6.72-3.78

*Crisp County – Crisp was shut out in each of its first four games in 2012. This season, Crisp has won thrillers against Turner County (14-12) and Cook (20-14, double overtime) under third-year coach Lee Campbell. His son, Witt Campbell, threw two TD passes to Landon Whitman in the latter game, one in the second overtime. Crisp hadn’t beaten Cook since 1968. (For more on Crisp County, see David Purdum’s Class AAAA blog.)

2012 record: 3-7

Projected record: 6.08-3.92

*Harlem – The Bulldogs are off to their first 2-0 start in coach Jimmie Lewis’s 18 seasons and overall since 1981. They’ve convincingly avenged losses to GMC (28-7) and Oglethorpe County (21-7).

2012 record: 2-8

Projected record: 5.77-4.23

*Hart County – Second-year coach William DeVane has the Bulldogs ranked for the first time since the 2010 preseason after avenging losses to Cedar Shoals (39-14) and Blessed Trinity (28-16). Those teams beat Hart 21-0 and 24-10 a year ago.

2012 record: 6-6

Projected record: 8.22-1.78

*Howard – GISA legend Barney Hester is making an instant impression. Howard broke a 24-game losing streak in the opener against East Laurens (20-14) and followed with a victory against Macon rival Southwest (12-6).

2012 record: 0-10

Projected record: 3.52-6.48

*Jefferson County – The 2012 season is proving to be an anomaly. Jefferson County has beaten Fitzgerald and Baldwin by 28-14 scores after losing to them by a combined 56-20 last season. The Warriors have averaged 8.1 wins since 2004, so this is a return to normalcy.

2012 record: 4-7

Projected record: 8.78-1.22

*Madison County – In just his second season, coach Chris Smith has his team 2-0 for the first time since 2006, also the last time the Red Raiders made the playoffs (8-3). Madison County has beaten Oconee County (15-14 after losing 39-7) and Franklin County (28-14).

2012 record: 1-9

Projected record: 4.63-5.37

*McEachern – Vengeful victories over Brookwood (31-10) and Lassiter (42-28) and consistent losses to higher-ranked teams have conspired to lift McEachern to a No. 2 ranking in AAAAAA. McEachern fans should proceed cautiously, however; the Indians last made the quarterfinals in 1999.

2012 record: 8-3

Projected record: 8.89-1.11

*Metter – The Tigers are looking for their first winning season since 2003 (11-2), and the Maxwell Ratings say they’re going to get it with room to spare. Metter has beaten Class A public-school champion ECI (21-20) and Bacon County (14-9).

2012 record: 2-8

Projected record: 7.48-2.52

*Mount Paran Christian – The Eagles are in their sixth season of varsity football. They were beaten easily by Our Lady of Mercy (38-7) and Brookstone (24-6) a year ago but are 2-0 now. Their projected record of 6.7 wins probably would get them a berth in the Class A private-school playoffs.

2012 record: 3-7

Projected record: 6.70-2.30

*Peachtree Ridge – The Lions are ranked No. 9 in Class AAAAAA after victories over Walton (23-17) and Parkview (28-14). It’s not a huge surprise because Peachtree Ridge is full of Division I prospects, led by RB Jordan Ellis (committed to Virginia), DB Nick Glass (formerly committed to Georgia) and OL Orlando Brown (committed to Tennessee).

2012 record: 4-6

Projected record: 7.25-2.75

*Pebblebrook – It was a tough debut in 2012 for veteran coach Tommy Macon as the Falcons were winless for the first time since 1981. Now, they are 2-0 for the first time in 10 years. Pebblebrook beat Southwest DeKalb 17-10 in the opener after losing to the Panthers 23-0 a year ago.

2012 record: 0-10

Projected record: 4.87-5.13

*Rockdale County – The Bulldogs lost their first four games last season, none closer than 21 points. They’ve looked good in wins over Salem (20-0) and Heritage of Conyers (9-7) under second-year coach Venson Elder. Remember that Elder got the job unexpectedly last year when the originally hired coach was let go over recruiting allegations, just as Rockdale was being moved to the highest classification.

2012 record: 3-8

Projected record: 6.79-3.21

*Southeast Whitfield – The Raiders haven’t had a winning season since 1986 (6-5), but victories against North Murray (35-12) and Gordon Central (17-6) have them in position under second-year coach Sean Gray. The projected record doesn’t consider a 10th-game play-in.

2012 record: 2-8

Projected record: 4.28-4.72

*Towers – The Titans are one of only five teams statewide to post shutouts in its first to games — 13-0 over Maynard Jackson and 44-0 over South Atlanta. Towers’ new coach is James Holloway, whose Bethune Middle School teams were undefeated the last three of his seven seasons as head coach.

2012 record: 0-10

Projected record: N/A

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5 comments Add your comment

Dekalb Co Guy

September 10th, 2013
1:43 pm

Towers High was 0-10 last year and is off to a 2-0 start as well.

They lost their 1st 2 games last year to Maynard Jackson and South Atl High by a combined 87-4 score. This season they rebounded to beat them by a combined 57-0.


September 10th, 2013
2:42 pm

@Dekalb Co Guy..That’s some good stuff.

Jefferson County Alum

September 10th, 2013
4:36 pm

Looking for big things this year from the Jefferson County Warriors, last season was a fluke but this year will be much more what the fans have become accustomed to….. Looking for at least four shutouts this season from that ferocious defense. Offense is definitely beginning to click like it should… Week 7 of the schedule should be for the Region crown, both the Warriors and the WACO Golden Hawks should come in undefeated…. I am sure this will be standing room only even like it it use to be… Sportswriters and College scouts, better get your tickets early…

Todd Holcomb

September 10th, 2013
6:02 pm

DeKalb Guy – Thanks for pointing out Towers. I’ve added a blurb on the Titans. I was working off Maxwell’s computer ratings, and he was missing one score from last week – Towers-South Atlanta. So when I did a query, Towers showed up 1-0.

In any event, congrats to Towers and Coach Holloway.


September 10th, 2013
8:01 pm

Great article. I love statistics. Everybody loves a rags to riches story. I think Hart County has the best chances to make a run in the playoffs. This is William DeVane’s 2nd go round at Hart Co. He coached them from 1998 to 2000 where his 3 year record was 38-3. Lost to Cartersville 27-21 I think on last play of the game in the 1999 state championship when they were on the goal line and missed a pass play in the end zone to lose the game.