Friday advance: Will Stockbridge’s home-field atmosphere get under Carrollton’s skin?

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Judging by online chatter, Stockbridge’s home-field atmosphere–announcer, crowd and officials–have gotten under the skin of a few visiting fans bases, including Griffin’s.

“I’m not sure we got under Griffin’s skin,” said Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley. “They beat us 35-14.”

Whitley is hoping for a different result Friday, when No. 4 Carrollton visits in a AAAA quarterfinal matchup. Stockbridge was just beginning its rise, when the Tigers traveled to Carrollton in 2011 for a second-round game against the Trojans. The Trojans would overwhelm the young Tigers, 35-10.

“We were shell-shocked. It was just our second time in the playoffs, and it was very intimidating to our kids,” said Whitley. “Even our coaches were saying, ‘Look at this stadium, look at the weight room.’ It was more like a vacation than a business trip.”

Whitley hopes his home atmosphere also will have an impact this week, but knows, with school out, the crowd might not be at full strength.

“I hope they show up,” he said.

They should, because Whitley has transformed this program from perennial pushover to perennial power.

Stockbridge had never won more than seven games, before Whitley arrived in 2009. The Tigers are 39-13 in Whitley’s five seasons and are making only their second appearance in the state quarterfinals.

The Tigers’ only loss this season came against No. 2 Griffin. Carrollton’s only loss came against No. 1 Sandy Creek.

No. 1 vs. No. 2: Defending champion Sandy Creek has won 14 consecutive home playoff games, but will get one of its sternest tests from a tough Griffin team this week. The second-ranked Bears held Statesboro to just 147 yards of offense in last week’s win. Griffin has outscored opponents, 529-97.  The top-ranked Patriots pasted Chestatee, 55-7, last week to advance to the quarterfinals for the sixth straight season.

Road woes: Marist has lost six of its last seven road playoff games and is 10-17 on the road in the postseason since 1987. The War Eagles will try to rectify those struggles at Burke County. The game features a matchup between dynamic Burke County quarterback Donquell Green and Marist defensive lineman Kendall Baker. Green has rushed for 1,506 yards and passed for 1,198 yards. Baker leads Marist with 10 tackles for loss.

Upstart: Alexander heads to Wayne County looking to become the 14th fourth seed to reach the semifinals of the state playoffs, according to Georgia High School Football Daily. The Cougars, the fourth seed out of Region 5-AAAA, are making their first appearance in the state quarterfinals. Wayne County hasn’t reached the semifinals since 1976.

Notes: The guys at Georgia High School Football Daily have another encompassing preview of the AAAA quarterfinals right here.

18 comments Add your comment

Bear_Backer

November 26th, 2013
11:19 am

I am the one who started all that “chatter”. It was just a friendly heads up to the Carrollton fans that are heading to Stockbridge. Maybe all this chatter will get that announcer to pipe down a tad, but I highly doubt it. Heed the advice Trojan nation….take some good headphones or ear plugs. You can thank me after the game. Good luck and safe travels.

Trojan Nation

November 26th, 2013
12:23 pm

@Bear_Backer…I remember reading your post. You did alert us to this. What is it about the announcer and atmophere are we heading to? I know the team will be just fine as we’ve played at Marist, at Sandy Creek, and a few other venues. From a fan standpoint is what I wanna know? Visitor’s stands? proximity to the field? Cowbells??/ LOL

yawner

November 26th, 2013
12:52 pm

The link above goes to a previous roundup not “another encompassing preview of the AAAA quarterfinals”

ED

November 26th, 2013
7:18 pm

Sandy Creek 31 Griffin 13

Bear_Backer

November 26th, 2013
10:31 pm

@ Trojan Nation – As I posted earlier, the visiting stands are nothing special, but kind of low, so best view is up top. the facilities are decent at best, but then again nothing in the state can compare to you guys palace in Carrollton. The announcer is just atrocious with all his stupid ,loud, obnoxious comments. You will see what I mean when you hear him. He is an embarrassment to high school football for sure. I recommend you get there early because that area will be grid-locked Friday afternoon. Good luck and safe travels

Pot meet kettle

November 27th, 2013
9:06 am

A Griffin fan calling another team’s PA guy obnoxious. Hmmm …

Momamoon

November 27th, 2013
9:40 am

The Trojans fans shouldn’t have any problem. They can be obnoxious themselves .At the Monroe game friday as we were trying to rally our Canes back into action Someone they had in their press box would yell out Go Trojans.. So I think they have a handle on it. I would like to wish them luck to the finals. They are a great football team. I would also like to wish the Griffin Bears luck against Sandy Creek Friday.

1bighammer

November 27th, 2013
10:23 am

does the Grip’s PA guy still shout “dare go dat man!”

Go Trojans!

November 27th, 2013
10:29 am

Unless the announcer jumps on the field to make tackles, I think the Trojans will be fine. Stockbridge is a good team so we’ll welcome the challenge of traveling to their field. No one here is taking the game lightly, I can assure you of that.

Good luck to The Creek and Alexander as well! Have to pull for our Region brothers until we play them again!

Bear_Backer

November 27th, 2013
12:08 pm

I do know that Stockbridge is a good team, although Griffin beat them earlier this year. I wish them good luck against the Trojans because they are our region brethren. Just because I loathe that announcer does not mean any disrespect toward the team and coaches AT ALL. They will have their hands full dealing with Carrollton’s mighty Trojans for sure.
Griffin has its hands full also facing those awesome Sandy Creek Patriots on their turf. What a team they have put together over the years in Tyrone. No matter what happens Friday night, I know I am sure proud of our area teams. Since I am such an avid fan, I will keep going to whoever wins and plan on going to the dome again this year for the whole day of games when AAAA plays. Good luck to all, and PLEASE DRIVE SAFE. Ü

BBell

November 27th, 2013
1:54 pm

@Bear_Backer why does everyone go after our PA announcer. He’s just very supportive of the players since he knows most of them. I will admit it that at times he gets a little annoying, but when you go to the games so many times you start to appreciate his energy cause most people think he’s annoying till you go to away games and notice that their announcers are very similar.

Creek Rising!!!

November 27th, 2013
5:39 pm

I don’t believe the announcer can be a homer in the quarter finals. Ours is not even allowed to yell, “FIRST DOWN CREEEEEEEEK!!!!”

mrcvsjr

November 28th, 2013
10:13 am

My football association was assigned a game in Stockbridge at the end of the season, because there association was at best sub par. The crowd they had was below average. Outside of the announcer, you may as well think you’re playing on a neutral field. Even the coaches acknowledge they do not get much support.

dawgs01

November 28th, 2013
11:04 am

i can tell you this anyone going to stockbridge on friday night leave early traffick is a freaking nightmare over there.

Bear_Backer

November 28th, 2013
7:59 pm

@dawgs01 – Yes for sure, I have been telling all the Carrollton travelers all week about the traffic in Stockbridge. And this is BLACK FRIDAY too….WHEW. Good luck with all that.

@Creek Rising!!! – I did not take that into consideration so thanks for that info on announcers not being allowed to be so “over-the-top” at this stage of the tournament. Oh , and if Griffin beats Sandy Creek Friday, are you going to change you name to “Creek Drained!!!” ??? Ü GO BEARS!!!!

Maxx4955

November 29th, 2013
10:50 pm

We are Griffin. Sandy Creek 26 Griffin 32. Go Bears….

Old Bear

November 30th, 2013
3:43 am

No.1 versus No.2, but you couldn’t be bothered to put a photographer at that game. WOW!

Old Bear

November 30th, 2013
3:48 am

@ ED – Sandy Creek 31 Griffin 13. WRONG.