There are 17 undefeated teams remaining as the Georgia High School Association begins the playoffs this week.

Those teams, each of them a region champion, earned the No. 1 seed from their league and are guaranteed the right to host a playoff game in the first two rounds, if they keep winning.

“I’m pleased we were able to go undefeated,” Jefferson coach Travis Noland said. “That’s not easy whether you’re playing checkers or high school football.”

Teams taking a 10-0 record into the playoffs are: Class 7A – Colquitt County, Walton and Mill Creek; 6A – Thomas County Central, Douglas County and Gainesville; 5A – Coffee, Cartersville and Jefferson; 4A – Spalding, Benedictine, Central Carroll and North Oconee; 3A – Calvary Day; Class A Division I – Trion; Class A Division II – Schley County.

It was the first unbeaten season for three teams: Spalding and Schley County, which both began playing football in 2000, and Lumpkin County, which began playing football in 1961.

It was the second straight undefeated season for Colquitt County, which lost in the semifinal round last year. Walton last went undefeated in 2017 before losing in the second round to Colquitt County. Mill Creek went unbeaten in 2016 and lost to Grayson in the semifinal.

Gainesville and Thomas County Central both completed their second straight unbeaten season; Gainesville lost to Hughes in the championship game and Thomas County lost to Roswell in the quarterfinals. Douglas County’s last unbeaten season was 2002 when it lost to Griffin in the second round.

Cartersville went undefeated in 2021 and lost to Warner Robins in the second round. Jefferson was unbeaten in 2020 and lost to Marist in the state championship game. It had been a longer wait for Coffee, whose last unbeaten season came in 1982 when the Trojans won their two region playoff games and lost to Valdosta in the quarterfinals.

Benedictine’s last undefeated team came in 2017 when the Cadets reached the quarterfinal. Central Carroll went undefeated in 2014 and lost to Westminster in the second round. North Oconee was unbeaten in 2022 and lost to Cedartown in the semifinal.

Calvary Day has gone unbeaten for three straight years. The Cavaliers reached the quarterfinals last year before losing to Cedar Grove.

Trion last went undefeated in 1974 when it won the Class B championship by beating Lincoln County.

No. 250 for Lee County

The Rebels earned the 250th win of the program’s history with its 65-14 win over Tift County. The school began playing football in 1971 and had little success until the arrival of coach Dean Fabrizio in 2009. In his 13 seasons Lee County is 131-48 with six region championships and two state championships. This year’s team is 8-2 and finished second in Region 1-6A.

Big night for River Ridge’s Collins

The River Ridge Knights finished the season with a 50-29 win over Allatoona. And gave coach Michael Collins his 100th victory. It also assured the team of a spot in the playoffs.

Collins, in his fifth season at the school, is 31-22 with the Knights. He previously coached at Wheeler, Chamblee and Pebblebrook. His River Ridge team won the school’s only region championship in 2020.

Fannin County notches 200th win

A 41-14 win over Haralson County was the 200th victory for the Fannin County football program and secured a state playoff spot for the sixth straight year.

Fannin County is 5-5 under coach Chad Cheatham, who is 42-25 with two region championships in six seasons. The program began in 1976 and has won two other region titles – 2007 under Clark Drennan and 1995 under Joby Scroggs.

Josh Lovelady

Three coaches earn No. 50

Three coaches earned their 50th victory on Friday – Josh Lovelady at Mill Creek, Matt Helmerich at Peachtree Ridge and Rob Stowe at Wilcox County.

Lovelady’s team defeated Mountain View 33-7 and won the Region 8-7A title. Lovelady has been at the school since it opened in 2004 and took over as head coach in 2019 when Shannon Jarvis left for Elbert County. Lovelady in 50-12 with a state championship in his five seasons.

Helmerich’s team beat Duluth 42-7 on Friday to finish 9-1 and tie for first place in Region 7. The Lions are the No. 2 seed based on the tiebreaker. Helmerich is 50-26 in seven seasons, the first five at Johns Creek, where he won two region titles. Helmerich is 15-6 in two seasons at Peachtree Ridge.

Stowe’s team beat Wheeler County 30-20 and secured the No. 3 seed in Class A Division II Region 4.  In five seasons at Wilcox County, Stowe is 43-18 with two region titles. He previously spent four seasons at Gilmer.