The Starr’s Mill football team made the program’s 200th victory very memorable. The Panthers beat New Hampstead 45-27 in the Class 4A playoffs to record the milestone.

Starr’s Mill is 9-3 and has won eight of nine since dropping its first two games of the season. The Panthers will play Central Carroll in the quarterfinals. Starr’s Mill is in the third round for the first time since the 2019 Class 5A semifinal team.

Starr’s Mill has been a model of consistency since the school opened in 1998. The Panthers have had only two head coaches – Mike Earwood, who went 90-48 with three region championships from 1998-2009, and Chad Phillips, who took over and has gone 110-53 with seven region championships in 14 seasons.


Coach Santavious Bryant speaks to the team after its win over North Paulding secured a 10th victory for the 10th straight year.

Grayson gets 10th straight 10-win season

The Grayson Rams beat North Paulding 42-18 in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs to earn their 10th victory. It is the 10th consecutive season the program has recorded double-digit wins. The Rams have won 10-plus games in 16 of the last 17 years.

There have been five different head coaches who have been part of that streak – Mickey Conn, who started the program in 2000 and stayed through 2015 before joining the staff at Clemson, Jeff Herron (2016), Christian Hunnicutt (2017-18), Adam Carter (2019-2022) and first-year coach Santavious Bryant.

Two of the program’s three state championship have come in the last 10 years – 2016 and 2020.

Welcome first-time quarterfinalists

Lumpkin County and Bryan County are in the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history.

Lumpkin County defeated Oconee County 45-42 in the Class 4A playoffs. The Indians (12-0) have been playing football since 1951 and had never won a state playoff game until this season. They are coached by Heath Webb.

Bryan County defeated Pelham 34-8 in the Class A Division I playoffs. The Redskins (11-1) have been playing football since 1976 and had never won a state playoff game until this year. They are coached by Cherard Freeman.