It's good to be the king.

Five football teams that finished the 2022 season with a state championship will begin the season ranked No. 1 in the GPB Sports poll. 

Defending champions Hughes (6A), Ware County (5A), Benedictine (4A), Thomson (2A), and Prince Avenue Christian (Class A Division I) will each start the new season in the top spot.

The others who earned the top place in their classifications are: Class 7A Buford; Mill Creek was the 2022 champion; Class 3A Cedar Grove; Sandy Creek was the 2022 champion; and Class A Division II Schley County; Bowdon was the 2022 champion.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how Buford handles all the attention of having all these highly-rated prospects and answering questions from the entire country all season long,” said GPB’s Jon Nelson. “Class 7A is totally stacked and I know everyone is looking to see if Hughes can chase the back-to-back titles because everyone will be chasing them in 6A.”

There are plenty of new faces in the preseason rankings. Among the most intriguing is Hiram, which looks to compete against traditional powers Cartersville and Calhoun in Class 5A’s Region 7.

“I consider the Hiram Hornets as a legitimate dark horse team this season,” said Matt Stewart, the longtime play-by-play voice of Football Friday in Georgia. “Only Creekside has more ranked prospects than Hiram in 5A. That was backed up this week when five Hornet players were named AJC Sports preseason first-team all-state.”

You can also keep up with our rankings and team movement up and down the pool on a weekly basis here


2023 GPB GHSA Football Rankings Week 1

Class 7A

  1. Buford
  2. Carrollton
  3. Colquitt County
  4. Mill Creek
  5. Walton
  6. Milton
  7. Grayson
  8. Westlake
  9. North Cobb
  10. North Gwinnett

Also receiving votes: Parkview, Camden County

Class 6A

  1. Hughes
  2. Gainesville
  3. Roswell
  4. Rome
  5. Lee County
  6. Woodward Academy
  7. Houston County
  8. Marist
  9. Northside Warner Robins
  10. Brunswick

Also receiving votes: Thomas County Central, Alpharetta, Blessed Trinity


Class 5A

  1. Ware County
  2. Creekside
  3. Warner Robins
  4. Cartersville
  5. Coffee
  6. Calhoun
  7. Kell
  8. Jefferson
  9. Dutchtown
  10. Hiram

Also receiving votes: Mays, Jones County, Cass


Class 4A

  1. Benedictine
  2. Cedartown
  3. North Oconee
  4. Troup
  5. Perry
  6. Bainbridge
  7. Stockbridge
  8. Burke County
  9. Trinity Christian
  10. Spalding

Also receiving votes: Holy Innocents’, Central Carroll, Starr’s Mill, Stockbridge

Class 3A

  1. Cedar Grove
  2. Peach County
  3. Calvary Day
  4. Carver Atlanta
  5. Sandy Creek
  6. Oconee County
  7. Carver Columbus
  8. Thomasville
  9. Savannah Christian
  10. Stephens County

Also receiving votes: Adairsville, Hebron Christian, Mary Persons, Monroe Area


Class 2A

  1. Thomson
  2. Fitzgerald
  3. Appling County
  4. Callaway
  5. Rockmart
  6. Pierce County
  7. Fellowship Christian
  8. Northeast
  9. Eagle’s Landing Christian
  10. Athens Academy

Also receiving votes: Spencer, Putnam County


Class A Division I

  1. Prince Avenue Christian
  2. Swainsboro
  3. Irwin County
  4. Brooks County
  5. St. Francis
  6. Lamar County
  7. Bleckley County
  8. Elbert County
  9. Dublin
  10. Trion

Also receiving votes: Rabun County, Metter, Heard County, Darlington


Class A Division II

  1. Schley County
  2. Bowdon
  3. Wilcox County
  4. Clinch County
  5. Early County
  6. Johnson County
  7. McIntosh County Academy
  8. Charlton County
  9. Lincoln County
  10. Manchester

Also receiving votes: Jenkins County, Dooly County, Telfair County,