Archive for the ‘2ABlog’ Category

AA blog: Here’s what we learned Friday

Here’s what we learned Friday in Class AA:

  • There were no major upsets in the opening round of the playoffs, with all eight No. 1 seeds advancing, though the Laney Wildcats (Region 3) slipped past Cook by the skin of their teeth, 18-13. Overall, the top seeds outscored the opposition 364-120. No. 1-ranked Lamar County rolled, 58-15, over Metter and No. 2-ranked Lovett handled Union County, 56-21. No. 4 Washington-Wilkes rolled to a 46-14 win over Wesleyan. The most lopsided win by a top seed was Benedictine defeating Macon County, 63-12.
  • Only one No. 3 seed has topped a No. 2 thus far. Kendrick, a 3-seed out of Region 5, shut out Dade County (2-seed, Region 7), 12-0. There’s still one more 2 vs. 3 seed matchup remaining, however. Dublin (Region 3, No. 2) and Fitzgerald (Region 1, No. 3) will play Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
  • There will be some Round 2 matchups very critical to the state championship landscape, the most notable being the Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans at the …

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AA blog: Here’s what to look for Friday

Here’s what to look for Friday:

Who will win it all?

  • Lamar County
  • Lovett
  • Calhoun
  • Washington-Wilkes
  • GAC
  • Brooks County
  • A team not on this short list

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  • The playoffs start Friday, but for three AA teams, the postseason has already begun. In Region 1, Cook, Early County and Fitzgerald each ended the regular season in a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots. As a result, those teams played a “Mini-Playoff Game” on Monday at Worth County to determine which two teams moved on. Fitzgerald beat Cook, 3-0, in the first half, and Cook defeated Early County, 7-0, in the second half. Fitzgerald earned the No. 3 seed since it defeated Cook in the regular season, and Cook took the No. 4 seed. Cook will travel to play Laney, the No. 1 seed from Region 3; Fitzgerald travels to Region 3’s No. 2 seed, Dublin.
  • The No. 1 seeds are Brooks County (Region 1), Benedictine (2), Laney (3), Lamar County (4), Heard County (5), Lovett (6), …

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AA blog: Girls basketball – teams to watch

We’re switching gears from football to basketball. Next Tuesday: Boys basketball – teams to watch

Will Wesleyan win a seventh consecutive state title?

  • Yes
  • No

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Is it too early to crown the Wesleyan Lady Wolves the AA champions of girls basketball? It’s definitely not too bold to predict so. By defeating Laney last season, 76-43, the Lady Wolves won their sixth consecutive state title. That incredible run is a state record matched only by Hart County (1989-94), according to GHSA.net. No Georgia high school girls team has won seven in a row, so another championship run by Wesleyan this year will have the Lady Wolves in historic company of one. That’s a lonely number they won’t mind keeping to themselves.

During the Lady Wolves’ historic run, the title games haven’t even been close. Their average margin of victory is 28.7 points.

And the usual pains most defending champs go through doesn’t seem to phase the Lady Wolves. Player turnover …

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AA blog: Here’s what we learned Friday

Here’s what we learned Friday in Class AA:

  • The Lovett Lions have once again defeated a top 10 team. But this time, it counted for something more than irrelevant regular season rankings. The No. 2 Lions went on the road and took Region 6 and a No. 1 seed for the state playoffs by defeating the No. 3 Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans, 17-14. Challenges have been nothing new for the Lions, who have played and beaten four of the five top 10 teams they’ve played from higher classifications. GAC hadn’t been challenged all year, but it’s not like the Spartans laid down. Both will head into the playoffs as legitimate contenders to win the whole thing, but the Spartans may have the tougher road ahead, as they’ll likely face Lamar County in the semifinals if both teams get that far.
  • The unenviable dilemma of having to play a three-team “Mini-Playoff Game” has happened in Region 1. Because Cook defeated Early County, there is now three teams tied for the final two playoff spots. Cook, …

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AA blog: Here’s what to look for Friday

Here’s what to look for Friday in Class AA:

  • In Region 6, the winner of the Lovett Lions-Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans game will not only determine the region championship, but could possibly lay the foundation for how the entire Class AA state playoffs shape up. The loser will be lumped into the other side of the bracket, where No. 1-ranked Lamar County awaits as Region 4’s top seed.

    Is the “Mini-Playoff Game” a good tie-breaker system?

    • Yes
    • No

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  • In Region 5, the No. 9-ranked Bowdon Red Devils travel to the Heard County Braves to decide the region. The winner of Friday’s contest gets Region 7’s No. 4 seed, the loser gets Region 7’s No. 3 seed. And about Region 7…
  • The only seed determined in Region 7 is No. 1, which Calhoun has clinched. The rest of the region is complicated, however, and the end result could be a dreaded “Mini-Playoff Game.” If second-place Model beats the Dade County Wolverines – Model has beaten the Wolverines …

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AA blog: Greater Atlanta Christian, Lovett to decide Region 6

On Friday, the state’s No. 2 and 3-ranked teams will come together in Norcross when the host Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans (9-0, 3-0 in 6-AA) and the Lovett Lions (8-1, 3-0) play for the Region 6-AA championship. Lovett owns the No. 2 ranking ahead of GAC despite having a loss on the season, because pollsters have given an edge to the Lions for their strength of schedule, which includes ranked opponents from higher classifications.

The Lions played AAA’s No. 10-ranked Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity (AAA, No. 7), Marist (AAAA, No. 4), St. Pius X (AAA, No. 2) and Washington County (AAA, No. 3), losing only to Washington County, 36-33, in overtime.

Does the quality of opponent Lovett has played thus far give them an edge over GAC?

  • Yes
  • No

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“Lovett and coach (Mike) Muschamp did a great job,” Spartans coach Tim Hardy said. “They had a brutal schedule and they navigated it. That’s very impressive.”

The Spartans, on the other hand, …

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AA blog: What we learned Friday

Here’s what we learned Friday in Class AA:

Who will win the Lovett-GAC game?

  • Lovett
  • GAC

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  • Region 3-AA was decided when the Laney Wildcats traveled to the Dublin Fighting Irish and shut them out, 26-0. The Wildcats improved to 7-2 overall and 5-0 in region play, while the Fighting Irish fell to 6-3 and 4-1. The Wildcats have won their first region championship since 2004.
  • The No. 5-ranked Calhoun Yellow Jackets traveled to the Model Blue Devils and handily won the 7-AA title, defeating Model 41-9. The Yellow Jackets (8-1, 6-0 in 7-AA), have now won 10 straight in the series over Model (7-2,5-1), continuing a dominant run in which they have outscored Model 409-62 during the streak. It’s the Yellow Jackets’ 13th consecutive region title dating back to 2001.
  • The No. 1-ranked Lamar County Trojans locked up Region 4-AA when they played Macon County. The Trojans (9-0) improved to 6-0 in the …

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AA blog: What to look for Friday

Here’s what to look for Friday in Class AA:

Does Model stand a chance against Calhoun?

  • Yes
  • No

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  • Region 3-AA will be decided when the Laney Wildcats travel to the Dublin Fighting Irish. Both teams are 6-2 overall and 4-0 in region play. The Fighting Irish will be playing for the 21st region title in program history according to GHSFHA.org, and second in three years. They have rebounded from last year’s 2-8 season, when the Wildcats beat them 38-7 on the way to a state playoff appearance. If the Wildcats win, it will be their first region championship since 2004. Dublin owns a 7-2 edge in the all-time series, which dates back to 1998.
  • The No. 5-ranked Calhoun Yellow Jackets will travel to the Model Blue Devils to decide the 7-AA title. The teams have identical records (7-1, 5-0 in 7-AA), though the Yellow Jackets have won nine straight in the series, outscoring the Blue Devils 135-0 the …

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AA blog: Dublin back on track, region title in reach

Losing seasons aren’t something a Roger Holmes-coached team endures often. But when they do, they bounce back. Since Holmes arrived at Dublin in 2002, only twice have the Fighting Irish finished a season below .500. Following Holmes’ first season with the Fighting Irish in which they reached the state finals, they went 3-7. But the following season in 2003, they went 10-4, advanced to the state semifinals and began an eight-year win streak that included a state title in 2006 and five region titles.

Who will win 3-AA?

  • Dublin
  • Laney

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Then, last season, Dublin hit a snag with a 2-8 season.

“It was miserable,” Holmes said of the 2012 season. “Discipline was an issue on a weekly basis. There were several young men that didn’t make it through the season for various reasons.”

Holmes said a handful of those players were dismissed from the team. The Fighting Irish’s would-be starting quarterback moved shortly before the season. Injuries to key …

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AA blog: What we learned Friday

Here’s what we learned Friday in Class AA:

  • No shockers occurred in the top 10 Friday, with the eight teams that played going 8-0. The closest game was between the No. 10 Vidalia Indians and Bacon County, though the Indians pitched a shutout, winning 14-0. No. 1 Lamar County squared off against the only other team with an undefeated 1-AA record, Bleckley County, but coasted to a 44-7 win to all but take the region for a third year in a row.

    Will GAC win it all?

    • Yes
    • No

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  • So much for a rivalry. The No. 8 Bowdon Red Devils made easy work of Bremen at home, winning 48-22. Bremen had a 5-2 edge in the series since 2005 heading into the game and prevented Bowdon from completing an undefeated regular season in 2008. Now, the Red Devils (9-0, 7-0 5-AA) are just one win away from their first 10-0 season since 1995 and their first region title since 2005. However, the title won’t come easy – after a bye they’ll play the Heard County Braves, …

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AA blog: What to look for Friday

Here’s what to look for Friday in Class AA:

  • Will the No. 1 Lamar County Trojans be challenged this regular season? No opponent has come any closer to them than 21 points, and they’ve outscored the competition 305-88. They’re 7-0 and 4-0 in Region 4-AA. This week, they’ll visit the only other team with an undefeated 4-AA record, the Bleckley County Royals (6-1, 4-0). Should the Royals pull off the upset, there would be a three-way tie atop the region should Macon County (5-2, 3-1) also beat Monticello (3-4, 1-3). However, it’s more than worth noting the Trojans beat the Royals, 39-7, last year.

    Will the Lamar County-Bleckley County game be close?

    • Yes
    • No

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  • The Bowdon Red Devils, ranked No. 8 out of 5-AA, have breezed through their schedule thus far, putting up 385 points while surrendering just 114. Now it’s time for a challenge. The Red Devils (8-0, 6-0) look to further cement their hold on the No. 1 seed against their rival, the …

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AA blog: Bowdon, Hochstetler seeking 10-0 season

Bowdon is a small city about an hour west of Atlanta and three miles from the Georgia-Alabama border. With a population of a little more than 2,000, it’s known for two things – 1) being “The Friendly City,” and 2) Bowdon Red Devils football under coach Dwight Hochstetler, who is a fixture in the program in his 26th season. Since his first season with the Red Devils in 1988, Hochstetler has compiled a 230-84 record according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, including 12 region titles, 24 playoff appearances and a state championship. Only once since Hochstetler has been at Bowdon have the Red Devils missed the state playoffs.

Will Bowdon finish 10-0?

  • Yes
  • No

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With the Red Devils’ 40-8 win over the Spencer Greenwave Owls on Friday, they clinched the 25th postseason berth under Hochstetler – along with home field advantage through at least the first round – while taking control of Region 5-AA. At 8-0 (6-0 in …

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Class AA blog: What we learned Friday

Here’s what we learned Friday in Class AA:

  • Region 5-AA has shaped up to be a two-way fight between the No. 9-ranked Bowdon Red Devils and the Heard County Braves for the No. 1 seed. The Red Devils (8-0, 6-0 in 5-AA) defeated the Spencer Greenwave Owls – who were looking to tie Bowdon at the top of the standings – by a score of 40-8. The Braves (6-1, 5-0) defeated Jordan, 56-13. The Red Devils and Braves will meet in the season finale on Nov. 8 in Heard County. The Braves beat Bowdon last year, 28-13, on their way to the region title.
  • The No. 10 Vidalia Indians edged Bryan County, 34-27, to seize control of the No. 2 seed in 2-AA. The Indians improve to 7-1 and 6-1 in the region, while Bryan County – which entered the game No. 3 in the region standings – drops to 5-3 and 4-3. The Region belongs to the No. 7-ranked Benedictine Cadets (9-0, 8-0), who won, 56-0, over Bacon County.
  • The No. 4-ranked Washington-Wilkes Tigers …

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AA blog: What to look for Friday

Here’s what to look for Friday in Class AA:

Of the three top 10 teams who play opponents with winning records, who has the greatest chance of losing?

  • Washington-Wilkes
  • Bowdon
  • Vidalia

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  • Only three top 10 teams play opponents with winning records this week, and one of them is the No. 4 Washington-Wilkes Tigers, who are 7-0 and 4-0 in 8-AA. They’ll play the Rabun County Wildcats (5-1, 2-1) in what is likely the last challenge standing in the way of their first region title since 2006. Though the Tigers beat Rabun County last year, 41-12, the Wildcats are a different team. They had a lead against defending-state champion Jefferson last week before narrowly falling, 26-20. Things will become interesting should the Wildcats pull off the upset, as there will be a three-way tie atop the region between Washington-Wilkes, Rabun County and Jefferson.
  • The Bowdon Red Devils introduce themselves to …

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AA blog: Brooks County, Freeman rolling in the face of adversity

Maurice Freeman is coach of the Brooks County Trojans, ranked No. 8 and hailing from Region 1-AA. He is – at least with the media – a man of few words.

Is Brooks County a state title contender?

  • Yes
  • No

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“Everything,” Freeman said after being asked what his team still has to work on at this point in the season.

“Ourselves,” his response to the biggest obstacles in the Trojans’ way of the No. 1 seed.

The Trojans are 6-1 overall and at 3-0 in 1-AA, are the lone undefeated team in the region. On Friday, they knocked off perhaps their biggest challenge in the region, beating Fitzgerald, 39-21, on the road.

It’s easy to understand Freeman’s guarded approach to the media. A little more than a month before the season began, he and his program endured everyone’s nightmare when a car wreck took the lives of three football players. The wreck occurred near the school, which is located in south Georgia 17 miles west of Valdosta and just 10 miles …

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