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When The End Is The Beginning...

It was one of the weirdest, longest, shortest years in high school football here in the state- if that makes any sense… And here’s what I mean by that… Two hurricanes, a forest fire, reclassification, realignment, and a season that started with a sprint in August is done in mid-December before we know it… This is my official shout-out to everyone and what you have done this year- 421 football playing schools are now on the clock for 2017. Props to Macon County for winning and getting to show K’hari Lane on a state-wide platform. Everyone NOW knows what they were missing on a weekly basis. But props also to McIntosh County Academy for surviving 4 games in 17 days (and everyone on the coast for that matter) for one of the best displays of perseverance (on the field and off) I have seen. Along that same line, a tip of the hat goes to Benedictine- who couldn’t even be on campus for two weeks and won a title and to everyone in Ben Hill County for a great year on the field and a lot of talented players coming back next season. Cedar Grove won in triple-a and we all hope that GAC QB Davis Mills is okay as he heads to Stanford and in Quad-A, we got to see a dominant performance by Cartersville- already the favorite to repeat in 2017 with QB Trevor Lawrence coming back for his senior season. But we also got to see Michael Thomas and Thomson make it to a Game 15. And Iook forward to the Bulldogs coming back next year with a LOT of Sophomores- including tailback Bubba Murray. In 5A, you couldn’t help but be happy for Rome. It’s their silver anniversary season and, for a town that used to be East Rome and West Rome- a town of Gladiators and Chieftains- it’s now a title town with their win over Buford. If you look, the Desoto Theatre in downtown on Broad Street tells the story of the championship- and it will stay up on the marquee for a while, I think. Kudos to John Reid for winning his first title in Georgia after winning two in Tennessee at Alcoa High.

In 6A, I am waiting for a friend of mine to get a tattoo. I “Think” he promised everyone that if Valdosta won (for the first time since 1998), he was getting some artwork. Now, that they HAVE won… I want to see the design. And big congratulations to Alan Rodemaker who kept everyone on the same page in that community and got the trophy. And, how cool was this…??? On the Lowndes Vikings twitter feed, they actually were 100-percent behind the Cats and them bringing a title home to south Georgia…

Massive respect… And, in 7A, the battle of two top-15 teams nationally went to Grayson. And to be on the field with, roughly, 40 or so kids that will be playing Division I football next year was a testament to the idea that Georgia is a top-five state for recruiting nationally. A lot of the schools we have seen this season are sending great kids (not just great athletes) to the next level and we all have a lot to be proud of in every Georgia town that supports high school football. Remember: National Signing Day is just around the corner, too… Be sure to follow along with me on twitter @OSGNelson, on Facebook, and on Instagram at jon.f.nelson as well and we’ll keep the conversation going all year long… Play it safe, everyone… I’ll see you soon…