AA blog: What we learned Friday

Here’s what we learned Friday in Class AA:

Who will be crowned the 2013 Class AA champion?

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  • The Lamar County Trojans have reached the state finals for the first time in school history, beating the Benedictine Cadets 10-7. The Trojans (14-0) trailed 7-0, but completed their rally of the Cadets (13-1) with a 24-yard field goal as time expired. Trojans coach Franklin Stephens is on the verge of repeating history. If Lamar County wins the state title, Stephens will again have brought a program its first-ever state title in just his second season coaching them. He coached the Tucker Tigers to a AAAA title in 2008 and the Tigers won another in ‘11 for a 15-0 season. For the Cadets, it was the first time they had been challenged this season. Heading into their game against the Trojans, no team had come closer than 21 points, and the Cadets had outscored their competition 613-81.
  • The Lovett Lions will meet the Trojans in the AA title game, which will be played Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. The Lions (13-1) defeated the Brooks County Trojans 35-12 in a game they controlled from start to finish. They’re in the state title game for the first time since 2007 and seeking their first state title since 1970. They’ve played perhaps the toughest schedule of any team in AA, playing five ranked teams from higher classifications and only losing to Washington County 36-33 in overtime. For some perspective, Washington County is in the AAA finals after defeating Ringgold 37-0. The Trojans (12-2) saw their 10-game win streak come to an end.

Before the playoffs started, I posted my predictions. I correctly picked the matchup for the state finals. I picked Lamar County to defeat Lovett for the state championship.

Adam Krohn covers all things Class AA football. Have a question or tip? Want to see more coverage of your team? Want to drop a line to compliment how awesome the Class AA beat coverage is? Send Adam a message on Twitter @AdamKrohnAJC and follow him for the latest in Class AA coverage.

53 comments Add your comment

# 1 TROJAN FAN

December 7th, 2013
1:11 am

Lamar Co. 34 Lovett 14

NYCDAWGFAN

December 7th, 2013
1:15 am

Kudos to Lamar Co. and Coach Stephens.. He’s simply the best coach in the state regardless of classification.

Red and Black til Death

mprice

December 7th, 2013
1:31 am

I commend you for standing by your prediction while others went the other way! We at Lamar County are looking forward to ~Shacking Down The Thunder~ at the dome. Trojans will defeat Lovett!

football guy

December 7th, 2013
4:27 am

BC was big and slow and couldn’t match the speed and quickness of Lamar County. .The trojans were clearly the better team as they moved the ball up and down the field. BC can;t win a game unless the team they play turns the ball over. That was proven in this game. Lamar County will be the state champs!!!!

Jefferson

December 7th, 2013
6:21 am

Lovett wins it all, Lamar like Benni just can’t hang.

Mayretta cubbie

December 7th, 2013
7:23 am

Lovett is too much for Lamar. Lions prevail 27-17.

David

December 7th, 2013
8:38 am

Astonishing that anyone at the AJC has even recognized Lovett. After all, Lovett has beaten teams in higher classifications such as Woodward, Blessed Trinity, Marist, St, Pius, and only lost to Washington County in OT. They have dominated every team in the AA playoffs. If Lovett is not the story of the year in AA football, then there is no story at all. Yet week in and week out there is only the minimum three sentence blurb in the AJC covering their games over the course of such a remarkable season. I’m guessing that Lovett has received more attention from the local community papers of all the out-of-town teams they’ve beaten this year than from the AJC. I am not so arrogant as to predict who will win the State AA Championship; I just wonder if the AJC will recognize Lovett if they do prevail. Regardless, it will be a tough, hard-fought game between the two best teams in AA.

LCLFAN

December 7th, 2013
10:28 am

Lovett should win but don’t count lamar out… IT REALLY SHOULD BE Laney Vs LAMAR BUT LOVETT GOT LUCKY AT THE END

David keller

December 7th, 2013
10:42 am

Lovett Is a very good team but they didn’t dominate everybody in the playoffs, Laney game could Have gone either way.

David keller

December 7th, 2013
10:42 am

Lovett Is a very good team but they didn’t dominate everybody in the playoffs, Laney game could Have gone either way.

budbowl

December 7th, 2013
12:10 pm

WELL done MEN you were outweighed an out manned, but you never gave up, SPEED an DETERINATION,won out you are the CHAMPS

budbowl

December 7th, 2013
12:14 pm

Trojans over came POWERHOUSE to win with SPEED and determination GO LAMAR CO CHAMPS

still a dawg fan

December 7th, 2013
12:16 pm

Football Guy,

You apparently you did not see the game because if you had you would not be making remarks like that. It was a very well played game between two evenly matched teams that were both very well coached.

Adam Krohn

December 7th, 2013
12:45 pm

@David – do you even read this blog? I have acknowledged the Lovett Lions and their accomplishments at every turn this season. And whether you like it or not, there are numerous other noteworthy stories in AA outside of Lovett (Lamar County, Brooks County, Rabun County, etc.). My coverage of the Lions has gone far past the “minimum three sentence blurb,” as I dedicated an entire blog to an interview with coach Muschamp. So I’m not sure what you’re expecting short of us changing the paper’s name to the Lovett Journal Constitution.

One more thing – it’s not arrogant to make predictions of the state playoffs, then update – right or wrong – how my predictions fared. My sole intent behind the predictions was to engage my readership.

If you’re going to complain, make an informed complaint.

GAC Spartan

December 7th, 2013
1:18 pm

I agree. I appreciate your reporting this year. Your writing and predictions have been a good read each week.

GAC Spartan

December 7th, 2013
1:23 pm

One more thing. Congratulations to Lamar Co. and Lovett. Good luck at the Georgia Dome.

aundrea rock

December 7th, 2013
3:23 pm

Let’s. Go Lamar one more hurdle to jump just keep on doing what you have been doing all year. Congrats on an awesome win at Trojan field. I just want Benedictine to know they played a heck of a game but it is just our year to win it all. No slack to Lovett but just our year and I truly believe that and destiny is going to happen and there is nothing you can do about it. Just a great game played by the players and good coaching by the staff. Just and all around good game. We are pulling for the griffin bears also just a skip and hope from Lamar. Lets go get those championships.

An impartial reader

December 7th, 2013
5:21 pm

Adam, with all due respect, I think the AJC’s coverage of high school football is sub-par compared to lots of other newspapers, who devote 2 and sometimes 3 open pages to playoff game coverage and photos and news this time of year. Don’t take this as a criticism of your ambition, it’s more a slap at the AJC, which was great 10 years ago. And the AJC’s coverage of other high school sports, like basketball and track and baseball, is even worse. If the AJC can’t provide ample coverage in the newspaper, there’s no excuse not to devote extra coverage on-line, where space and newsprint isn’t an issue.

Adam Krohn

December 7th, 2013
6:23 pm

@An impartial reader – your criticism is understandable to a degree but of course “other” newspapers (community newspapers) are going to have better community coverage, because that’s the only reason they exist. I wrote for both The Daily Citizen (Dalton) and The Times (Gainesville) and our sports staffs were dedicated only to community coverage, while content for the Atlanta pro/college teams was pulled from the AP. The AJC’s budget goes toward beat writers for the pro and college teams and also pays for their expenses. I’m sure 10 years ago the AJC’s prep coverage was more in-depth, but the AJC’s budget has been significantly reduced since then as the newspaper industry continues to decline. The Internet may provide unlimited bandwidth, but the AJC still has to pay its writers to produce the content. Otherwise, you’d have content produced by unpaid writers, and then you’d really have something to complain about in terms of coverage.

Cadet for Life

December 7th, 2013
6:52 pm

Thanks for the compliments budbowl, but I don’t think you can call a team that has never made the state semifinals before this year a powerhouse. Lamar Co had more speed getting to the edge, but it’s not like your boys ran away from ours. It was good, hard-fought game on both sides. One missed assignment on a fake field goal, one fumbled snap in what would have been 4 down territory, and one fumble that was called down by the refs. Change only one those 3 things and I’d be making plans to go to the dome next weekend.
At collegiate level, bookmakers say home field advantage is good for a three point bump in the spread; exactly the difference in final score here. The game was decided by the coin flip in Dublin.

An impartial reader

December 7th, 2013
6:59 pm

Adam, your comments are duly noted. But: Go see how the Dallas and Houston papers cover high school football playoffs and get back to me. It’s really no comparison. In-depth coverage of high school sports can be done, and is done, by the major dailies. It’s all about editorial priority. Trust me, the AJC, for a big city newspaper smack in the middle of a football-mad area, should do a lot better than it does, especially during the football playoffs! Where are the feature stories, the game-columns? Yes, even the big-name columnists in other cities do high school sports occasionally. Again, go see the Texas papers and the Florida papers during football championship season.

High School Sports Fan

December 7th, 2013
7:46 pm

Impartial Reader, I agree. Maybe that’s why some of the smaller schools in Texas and Florida place so many more players in D1 schools.

aundrea rock

December 7th, 2013
9:27 pm

Cadet for life all this talk about what if don’t count know the game has been decide so you have to take the hand you were dealt and work with it you guys have a good program and loosing is hard for every one can’t change nothing know.

Ben

December 7th, 2013
9:44 pm

Have to agree with Adam that he’s consistently given Lovett their due this year. He’s been a good writer; I do recall early on he predicted these two in the title game.

Football Fan

December 7th, 2013
10:00 pm

Adam, you sound extremely defensive. You guys need to do a much better job with your coverage as a whole and yes, your coverage of Lovett has been poor for the large wins they have had so far. They are not the only one you have neglected. Take this as constructive criticism and try and improve. Thanks.

An impartial reader

December 7th, 2013
10:56 pm

Not trying to pile on here, but if Adam’s reasoning is to be taken as the rule, then Lovett — a city school — is being punished, coverage-wise, for being located in Atlanta and not in a small town where they would receive better coverage by the local gazette. Lovett might win the state championship without ever having a decent story or two all season in the main sports section, and that would be embarrassing for the AJC. You have the brother of the Fla. Gators coach going for a title with Lovett and Lovett also has perhaps the best player in the state (Grant Haley, superb on both sides of the ball). Also, most big-city papers devote Saturday for preps and significantly decrease their pro team coverage for that day. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to go. The AJC devotes nothing but crumbs to prep sports compared to other big city papers, but again, this isn’t Adam’s fault. He’s a loyal soldier. The problem is higher than him.

Jefferson

December 8th, 2013
8:44 am

Cadet if you lost the flip with Calhoun it you wouldn’t have played Friday. Get over it.

Larry Rosenbluth

December 8th, 2013
9:02 am

Lovett is the Vandy or Duke of GHSA Div. 2 football. They are good and SMART. This years performance over higher division competition shows they fear no Div. 2 foe. Good luck coaching any team against Atlanta’s best School. P.S. All of Lovett’s players will be going to good colleges and universities with or w/o football scholarships. In the long run this is the mark of true champions !

David

December 8th, 2013
9:58 am

Adam, my comments were not directed at you or your coverage of Lovett. My comments were based upon the print edition which consistently highlights the bigger impact schools like Buford over schools like Lovett. Additionally, each week on line there are 50 pictures of some of the games but somehow they never quite seem to cover the smaller games. Buford has had two weeks coverage in a row for example. My “astonishing” observation was actually a recognition of the coverage you gave Lovett in the blog and was not intended as a criticism of you. Overall, the AJC’s coverage of high school football in general is limited at best even compared to smaller papers such as the Advocate in Baton Rouge. A city with 6 million residents really deserves more.

An impartial reader

December 8th, 2013
11:07 am

And Buford isn’t even in Atlanta! That makes the AJC’s “coverage” of Atlanta-based schools even more embarrassing. Buford gets coverage in the Gwinnett paper. Lovett should get coverage in an Atlanta paper. Just saying.

Adam Krohn

December 8th, 2013
11:27 am

Be on the lookout for a preview of the Lovett-Lamar County state championship game that will run in the print edition on game day. Also, I’ll be covering the state championship game for the print edition.

Libby Harrell

December 8th, 2013
11:58 am

I am so wanting the Lamar Trojans to trample the Lovett Lions….in the Northern High School Games it just really depends on who has the most money to buy the Refs…..just saying!

An impartial reader

December 8th, 2013
3:10 pm

Adam, your preview would be better off running on Friday, given that the Saturday kickoff is 2:30 and the preview will be outdated by 4 pm. Plus, with the Falcons having a down year and Georgia and Tech football not playing in bowls for weeks, I can’t imagine what would be so important to take place of high school football in the Friday paper. But I guess high school football fans should be thrilled with whatever they get from the AJC.

Always A Fan

December 8th, 2013
5:19 pm

Has Franklin Stephens accepted the job at Parkview yet? This is all over Gwinnett County.

Always A Fan

December 8th, 2013
5:20 pm

The other blogs are running rampant with this news.

God luck Lamar County while the getting is good!

MarySosebee

December 8th, 2013
5:44 pm

We are hearing this news in Barnesville too. I tried calling one of the teachers my husband is close with but he is in Atlanta atending a funeral. We will find out tonight or in the morning at the school. Sad day for Lamar Co. High if this is true. The boys were doing so well.

Ike in Sav'h

December 8th, 2013
7:41 pm

Hey Jefferson – where were you on Friday? Oh yea, at home waitin’ for basketball season while our boys were still playin’. Get a life.

aundrea rock

December 8th, 2013
7:56 pm

You have some really unsmart people in this world just let the young men play the game first don’t put a damper on the asome accomplishment these young man have done when it is time for Stephen to go he will be the first to let us know. That is how so many things in this world get blown out of portion because of here say you ever think the man might just like little old Lamar county and want to build something great so people enjoy this championship that we are going to win people.

aundrea rock

December 8th, 2013
8:20 pm

All way a fan don’t try to start up stuff if you was a person that knew what he or she was talking about you would put your name on it the thing about it Lovett fan it will not help the cause. The plan that you are trying to cause distraction it not going to work it is going to back fire in your face. In the end the egg will be on you”all ways a fan” let go get it Trojans

MarySosebee

December 8th, 2013
8:53 pm

This is not a rumor. Looks like its back to the drawingb board for us in January.

aundrea rock

December 8th, 2013
9:41 pm

Did you get it from the school board or you psychic or did he tell your school teacher friend

Maddrama

December 8th, 2013
10:26 pm

If Stephens leaves Lamar then fine. What ever is best for him and his family is all that really matters. Also, he left his style at Tucker and has transformed Lamar. Tucker is still a Powerhouse and Lamar will be even when he is gone..

Jefferson

December 9th, 2013
9:50 am

Ike, I hoped you got rained on cause you lost too, too bad.

Lovett Alum

December 9th, 2013
9:55 am

Go Lovett Lions. Will be a tough task as Lamar County is a great team. Both should be congratulated on an unbelievable season to get to the finals.

Adam Krohn

December 9th, 2013
2:16 pm

Obviously I read the comments on this thread. The word is Franklin Stephens is leaving Lamar County for Parkview. There are numerous message boards talking about this. AJC readers from Barnesville and Lilburn are commenting about this rumor on this very blog.

Here’s what I can report:

“If I’ve been hired by Parkview, that’s not something I’ve been made aware of,” Stephens said when reached for comment by Adam Krohn.

“Not that I’ve heard.” – Current Parkview coach Cecil Flowe said when reached for comment by Adam Krohn as to if he knew whether Stephens is taking the Parkview job. Flowe recently announced his resignation, saying the 2013 football season would be his last after 21 seasons.

“No such record exist.” – an email response from Jorge Gomez, Executive Director of the Administration and Policy Office of the CEO/Superintendent for Gwinnett County Public Schools – in response to an Open Records Request by Adam Krohn. Krohn asked for the list of finalists for the Parkview High football head coach position.

So, in conclusion – there is nothing to report at this moment. I’m not saying this move doesn’t make sense, or that Stephens isn’t leaving Lamar County immediately following this football season, or that there is no merit to these rumors.

What I am saying is that it’s championship week in high school football, the Lamar County Trojans are playing the Lovett Lions for the Class AA title, and let’s all just enjoy the game.

Old Bear

December 9th, 2013
10:47 pm

If Stephens leaves Lamar I’ll hurt for my neighbors to the south. Griffin went through a long spell before we finally replaced Bohannon. We’ve got a good fit with Coach Devoursney, and I’d hate to start a coaching search to replace him. We’ve been fortunate to have him for 13 seasons. I hope to keep him for a full 20 before he decides it’s time to move on, if he ever does.

Good luck to Lamar County, regardless of what Coach Stephens decides. This is our year to bring the titles home together, though.

Old Bear

December 9th, 2013
11:15 pm

As far as the amount of coverage Lovett gets – it’s proportionate to what other schools in the area get; no more and no less. Truth be known, if Lovett (or any school other than the Gwinnett schools in AAAAAA) want to get exposure, they should pull a page from Tucker’s self-promotion manual. Their fans dominate the blogs, and that guarantees that their school gets publicity. They can be annoying, but they accomplish their goal, which is to get Tucker’s name in the paper as often as possible.

DawgBones

December 10th, 2013
2:44 am

Who would have ever thought Lamar co would be playing for a state title. What an accomplishment for you guys. We will be pulling for you guys over here in Forsyth. Just about everyone I know has ken folk in Barnesville so you all are like family. I really wish we could get you all back on the schedule so we can continue our rivalry. Little brother has grown up! GO TROJANS

Poor Lovett

December 10th, 2013
11:02 am

I feel sorry for the poor folks at Lovett, who are not getting a fair shake in life because they think there is not enough attention given to their football team by the AJC. Just another example of the tough lot of a Lovett student. While their coach has been profiled and their wins praised, that is not what Lovett men and women expect in life — they want to be fawned over again and again, reminding them and us that they are superior. On behalf of the entire blogging community, I apologize to Lovett fans (such as @David) for failing to praise Lovett in every other post and for the AJC’s failure to feature Lovett weekly in half-page articles. That will change immediately, sir . . . please just do not stop giving us bread (cake is too sugary for my system).

Poor Lovett

December 10th, 2013
11:05 am

Have I mentioned lately how great Lovett is. Wow, what a great school and football team. All the players are faster and stronger than the players for every other team. They are smarter too.