We are a few weeks into region play and a pecking order is beginning to emerge in many of the classification’s eight regions. Here’s how things stand entering this weekend:
Region 1: Cook County and Monroe are undefeated (1-0) and will face tough schedules moving into the next few weeks. No. 6 Crisp County won the region last year and has yet to play a region game, but it will be Crisp’s region to lose. The Cougars will travel to Monroe this week, which should give an indication if Crisp is ready to repeat.
Region 2: Liberty County, Pierce County and Appling County are 1-0 and will face each other during the next four weeks. Those games will determine a front-runner. Liberty, which won the region last year, will host Appling County this week, and Pierce travels to Long County. Pierce will host Appling and travel to Liberty in the final two games of the regular season.
Region 3: No. 5 Jenkins, which won the region last year, is 3-0 through region play and leads the standings at the moment. Windsor Forest, Beach, Savannah and Southeast Bulloch are all 2-1 and chasing. Jenkins defeated Southeast Bulloch on Sept. 22 to give the Yellow Jackets its region loss. Jenkins will play Groves on Friday before a three-game run against Windsor, Beach and Savannah in the final games of the regular season. The Warriors are favored to win the region again.
Region 4: No. 2 Peach County and Pike County are the two unbeaten teams remaining in Region 4, both with 2-0 records. The Trojans won the region last year, and there is very little evidence to support the claim that they will not repeat. Peach, which will play at home the rest of the season, will face Pike on Oct. 27 and Jackson on Nov. 3, the final game of the regular season.
Region 5: What can you say about this region? Tough? Does that describe it well enough? Cedar Grove, the defending state champions, have not been beaten through three region games and will face Pace Academy on Friday. Three teams are 2-1 in region play – Pace, Westminster and Lovett. Westminster and Lovett both lost to Cedar Grove, and for the race to become a battle, Pace must win Friday to make the race for the top interesting. Westminster won the region last season after a flawless 7-0 record. The Wildcats defeated eventual state champions Cedar Grove 42-21 in the regular season which led to the title. So Westminster won the battle, but Cedar Grove eventually won the state title … and the war.
Region 6-North/South: Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe is 2-0 and leads the North ahead of 1-0 North Murray. LFO will face North Murray on Oct. 27 before the Region 6 play-in game Nov. 3. Fourth-ranked Calhoun, which won the region last year, is 2-0 in the South and will have to prove it deserves a region repeat in its next two games — Sonoraville and No. 7 Bremen — before the Region play-in game.
Region 7: Should we go ahead and give Greater Atlanta Christian the trophy? The Spartans, off a 59-0 victory against East Hall, are 3-0 and will face Lumpkin, North Hall and Dawson County in their last three regular-season games. Last season, GAC defeated these three teams by a 133-42 margin and seems to be a shoe-in for a region title repeat.
Region 8: The eighth-ranked Purple Hurricanes of Monroe Area have moved past Jackson County and East Jackson in region play and lead the standings at 2-0. Last season’s region champion, Morgan County, is 1-0 after a 56-6 victory against East Jackson on Sept. 29. The Bulldogs will face Monroe Area on Friday, and that should help determine the front-runner.