The 2017 Georgia Prep football regular season is now complete; but the second season begins this coming weekend. The annual title chase begins in earnest as 32 teams in seven classifications make a five-week run to a hoped for title game win in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
There are several early favorites heading into this week’s first round of play, but there are a few teams playing this week that are worthy of mention and their 2017 regular season turnarounds.
Last season the Warner Robins Demons finished the regular season at 3-7, fell in the first round of the playoffs and ended the 2016 campaign at 3-8. Here in 2017, Coach Mike Chastain’s team is heading into the first round of the playoffs at 10-0, Region one 5A Champions, and one of the early favorites to challenge Rome, Buford, Stockbridge and several other teams for the Class 5A crown. The Demons open playoff action this week by hosting South Effingham.
Another 5A contender is Wayne County, now 8-1 on the season, after finishing the 2016 year at 3-8. New head football Coach Ken Cribb took the job in the spring; installed a high-powered offense, and the Yellow Jackets were off to the races. Wayne County hosts Thomas County Central in Jesup this week in the opening round of play.
Sean Pender took over the Brunswick Pirates head coaching position, and they finished the regular season this year at 7-2, after finishing the 2016 season at 5-5. The Region Two 6A Pirates host Northside-Warner Robins in Brunswick in a tough opening round matchup.
One other remarkable turnaround came in Class A, where Head Coach Charlie Waters led Jenkins County to a 7-3 mark this season after they went 4-5 a year ago, with a last place finish in Region 3A West. The Eagles have clinched a Class A power-ranking berth in the statewide playoffs here in 2017.
There are top matchups in each classification this week as the Title chase begins. In Class 7A, Parkview hosts Newton, Mountain View travels to South Forsyth, Walton meets North Cobb and in the GPB-TV football Friday night game this week, it’s West Forsyth at Mill Creek.
In Class 6A, Dalton plays at Douglas County, Langston Hughes is at Allatoona and defending 6A Champion Valdosta plays at Glynn Academy in Brunswick.
Class 5A finds Dutchtown at Starr’s Mill, Harris County at Ware County, and a couple of championship type games are on the opening round schedule; Kell plays at Flowery Branch and Griffin at Jones County.
In Class 4A, some of the top games find Troup at Heritage-Catoosa, Northside-Columbus at West Laurens and Baldwin at Eastside-Covington. In another game of note, it’s the Howard Huskies of Macon at Americus-Sumter.
There are several top games slated to open the playoffs in Class 3A as well. Bremen travels to Lovett, Jackson is at unbeaten Jenkins of Savannah, Pike County travels to Brooklet to meet Southeast Bulloch, and it’s North Hall on the road at Monroe Area.
Class 2A top games has Douglass-Atlanta at Callaway, Coosa at Elbert County, South Atlanta at Heard County and the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes play the Toombs County Bulldogs at “The Pit” in Lyons.
Football Friday’s in Georgia’s, Inside Edition, moves outside this week as we bring you live coverage of West Forsyth at Mill Creek this Friday night at 7PM.
Join Matt Stewart, Jon Nelson, Nikky Williams, Sam Crenshaw and me for all of the action.
Enjoy the 2017 playoffs…