Posted: 5:32 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Tucker’s gone, but strong teams are moving in 

By Chip Saye

The Georgia High School Association’s biennial reclassification is almost certain to have a big impact on Class AAAAA this season.

Tucker is gone, having moved up to AAAAAA, which should come as a relief to the remaining members of the classification. Over the past seven seasons, the Tigers posted a record of 88-10 with two state championships, one runner-up finish and three other trips to at least the quarterfinals.

But Tucker’s absence will be offset by the addition of a number of strong teams, some which dropped from AAAAAA and others that moved up from lower classifications. Here’s a look at five new Class AAAAA teams that could make the most noise this season:

*Alexander: The Cougars are joining Region 5-AAAAA after an 8-5 season in AAAA that produced the first quarterfinal appearance in school history. They finished No. 10 in the final rankings. Alexander is led by RB Mikell Lands-Davis, who has committed to Georgia Tech. Lands-Davis rushed for 2,374 yards and 28 touchdowns last season and had three games with more than 300 yards. Expect the Cougars to be in the playoff race from a region that includes East Paulding, Allatoona, South Paulding and Villa Rica.

*Carver-Columbus: The Tigers are jumping up two classes from AAA and into Region 1-AAAAA, where they will enter the season as the favorites. Carver went 96-14 the past eight years, winning at least 11 games every season and capturing a state championship in 2007. The Tigers were 11-2 and lost to Buford in the quarterfinals last year. DE Mekhi Brown (Alabama) and DB Khane Pass (Louisville) are committed to Division I schools, and QB Jawon Pass is the No. 5 junior prospect in Georgia.

*Coffee: The Trojans will be one of the favorites in Region 3 this year after dropping from powerful 1-AAAAAA. Coffee finished just 5-5 in 2013, but all five of the victories came against teams that reached the playoffs, including a 38-13 rout of Class AAAAA quarterfinalist Ware County early in the year. Ware County will get a chance to avenge that loss on Sept 12 in the teams’ region opener in a game that could determine the 3-AAAAA champion.

*Statesboro: If Ware County or Coffee doesn’t win the 3-AAAAA title, look for Statesboro to make a run at the championship after moving into the region from Class AAAA. The Blue Devils went 10-2 and reached the second round of the playoffs last season, and they have won fewer than six games in a season only once since 1992. And Statesboro is 17-13-1 all-time against top region contenders Ware, Coffee and Brunswick, which dropped into the region from 1-AAAAAA.

*Stockbridge: The Tigers have made steady improvement in five seasons under Kevin Whitley, going from 2-8 in 2009 to back-to-back 11-2 seasons that ended in the Class AAAA quarterfinals in 2012 and 2013. Now they move up to Region 4-AAAAA Division B, which they will be favored to win. Stockbridge is No. 11 in Class AAAAA in the computer Maxwell Ratings, far ahead of the second-highest-ranked team from the region, No. 29 Northgate.

5 comments
OGTripleOG
OGTripleOG

Tucker will run the table in AAAAAA

JABAJC
JABAJC

Formerly "JAB" checking in.   Who's the best AAAAA region this year?  One can have a valid arguement for it to be region 6AAAAA, as well as Creekside which is the reigning state champion. It has 4 top ten playoff teams that reached at least the second round of the state playoff in 2013 in Creekside, Mays. MLK, and Stephenson.  What do you think????

JABAJC
JABAJC

The battle is on in AAAAA

JABAJC
JABAJC

@OGTripleOG What makes you think that Tucker will run the table?  I agree that they will adapt to playing up there but running the table is a little too much...????

6AReg2Fan
6AReg2Fan

@JABAJC Formally 5AReg6fan, JAB, or should I say JABAJC, but the some old spiritual leader of Jaguar Nation, with the addition of Creekside to region 6, fills the void with departure of Tucker, but as hard it is for me to say this, region 3, just might be top dog.With Coffee County and the addition of Coach Stephens, at Ware, adds new dimension to 5A south GA football.Good luck to your JAGS, my former friend and foe, we’ll be in support of ALL of past region and county programs.


PS  Get it while the getting is good…strong feeling that Tucker will be back, in a couple of seasons (LOL)


"WE ARE TUCKER" – 6A Here We Come…