Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

AJC updates from the world of high school sports in metro Atlanta and Georgia

AAAAAA blog: Camden County’s 25-year playoff streak now on life support

  • 11:16 pm Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Camden County was 5-0 and ranked No. 2 when the month began. Now – after three straight heart-breaking losses – the Wildcats must beat both Lee County and No. 1-ranked Colquitt County in their final two regular-season games or miss the playoffs for the first time since 1988.

Camden’s 37-34 loss to Tift was the third time in three weeks that Camden has lost by six points or less. The others were to Valdosta (7-1, 2-1) and Lowndes (6-2, 1-2).

What really wrecked Camden’s ship Friday was Lee County’s 42-30 victory over Lowndes. That means Camden can’t catch Lee County (6-1, [More]

AAAAAA blog: Ghost of Cleveland Field will howl if Valdosta wins this one

  • 7:47 am Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Third-ranked Valdosta will try to beat a No. 1-ranked team for the first time since 1998 on Friday, when the Wildcats are home against Colquitt County.

The Georgia High School Football Historians, with help from the Ghost of Cleveland Field, came up with some interesting facts this week about Valdosta’s history against No. 1 teams that parallels the rise and fall of the program’s dynasty.

Valdosta is 15-12-1 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution going back to 1952. Wright Bazemore, the legendary coach who won 14 state titles from 1947 to 1971, was 7-2 against No. 1 teams. [More]

AAAAAA blog: Five bold conclusions from Friday, plus shout outs to Hillgrove RB w/ 8 TDs, and South Forsyth PK w/ 56-yard FG

  • 9:19 am Saturday, October 11th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Here are some bold conclusions from Friday night in AAAAAA …

1. There is parity, and there is Colquitt County in Region 1. That is, Colquitt County is far and away the best team. Consider the scores. There are six teams; there have been six games. Four have been very close:

Valdosta 13, Camden 10
Lowndes 27, Camden 21
Lee 24, Tift 21
Valdosta 27, Tift 24

Based on that, you’ve got five teams that can beat each other on any given night.

And then you’ve got …

Colquitt 45, Lowndes 27
Colquitt 58, Lee 14

The writing is on the wall: Colquitt 10-0, 5-0.

2. It’s all but over in [More]

AAAAAA blog: Colquitt faces second 5-0 team in a row … Lowndes-Camden: Who’ll be 0-2 … More good tilts: Milton-Cherokee, P’Ridge-N.Gwinnett, McEachern-North Cobb

  • 11:11 am Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Here’s a look at what’s on tap for Class AAAAAA this week …

-No. 1 Colquitt County beat 5-0 Lowndes last week. Now comes another 5-0 team, Lee County. Despite a 10-2 finish in 2013, Lee was predicted by many to finish last in Region 1 because of the move up in classification and the graduation of all-state QB Stephen Collier, now at Ohio State. But junior Garet Morrell (64-of-112 for 1,130 yards and 12 touchdowns) has done pretty well.

-Then we’ve got No. 7 Camden County at No. 6 Lowndes. The loser of this matchup between teams ranked in the top [More]

Colquitt, Valdosta, Lee survive first Region 1 battle royal … Norcross gets up again … Meanwhile, high drama in Region 5

  • 11:20 pm Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Colquitt County, Valdosta and Lee County are the winners of Region 1’s epic first round of region play.

-Colquitt County’s 45-27 victory over Lowndes was not an upset, but it was pretty significant. Colquitt has its first two-game winning streak over Lowndes since 1994-95. Remember that Rush Propst had been only 2-4 against Lowndes, and that Colquitt hasn’t won a region title since 1999. That’s despite the remarkable success in the state playoffs – five straight semifinal appearances.

-Valdosta’s 13-10 victory ended a five-game losing streak to Camden and made Valdosta 6-0 for the first time since 2010, or Rance Gillespie’s first [More]

North Gwinnett-Norcross: History of state title rematches

  • 6:48 am Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The North Gwinnett-Norcross game tonight will be the 39th rematch of a state championship played in the following season. Norcross beat North 31-14 in the 2013 Class AAAAAA final. The state-final winner is 25-12 in those rematches, although only 5-8 since 2003. The most recent had been Calhoun’s 27-24 victory over Buford in the 2011. Calhoun and Buford met in four consecutive championship games (2008-11), with Buford winning the first three. Perhaps the best-remembered regular-season rematch of a state final was Roswell’s 23-20 victory over Peachtree Ridge in 2007. The two had tied 14-14 in their 2006 Class AAAAA final [More]

AAAAAA blog: Woodstock, Northview make history … Big nights for Cherokee WR, South Cobb QB … R1 is 29-0 … NG brings arena-league to GA

  • 9:01 am Saturday, September 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Woodstock’s 47-44 victory over Etowah on Friday might live as one of the epic games in Cherokee County history. It made Woodstock 5-0 for the first time in history, which dates to 1997, in a game between unbeaten teams.

Woodstock won in the second overtime when Justin Anger threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Josh Loud after Etowah was held to a field goal. Agner passed for 189 and rushed for 66.

“I hope this builds more confidence in them to know that’s a playoff team that we just played,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde told the Cherokee Tribune.

Woodstock has been [More]

AAAAAA blog: Eyes on Cherokee as Etowah plays Woodstock in game of unbeatens

  • 9:52 am Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The Etowah-Woodstock game at Woodstock on Friday is the only meeting of unbeaten Class AAAAAA teams this week. The winner (both are 4-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 5) will emerge as the first-place team, a half-game ahead of Roswell (3-1, 2-0), which is idle this week.

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Woodstock, which opened in 1997, has never been 5-0. Etowah started 6-0 last season but stalled and finished 7-4.

Etowah’s Raishod Devezin is the leading rusher in Class AAAAAA and No. 5 overall, according to GHSF Daily’s Leaderboard, with 854 yards in the Eagles’ four games. He has rushed for 200 yards [More]

AAAAAA blog: McEachern-Lovejoy is final major inter-region clash of regular season

  • 9:07 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

It’s a light week for Class AAAAAA with regions 3, 4 and 5 entirely off.

Here are four of the more intriguing games -

McEachern at Lovejoy – This is the last of the major inter-region games of the season in AAAAAA. We’ve had some good ones. McEachern, the preseason No. 1, made it back in the Top 10 after a 35-21 victory over Peachtree Ridge. With two losses, McEachern was a controversial choice to re-enter the rankings, but some forget that the Indians still have five major D-I recruits even without injured RB Taj Griffin (Oregon). Those would be junior DT [More]

Big winners Friday are Grayson, Lovejoy, McEachern, 1-AAAAAA

  • 8:09 am Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Observations from the fourth week of the season in Class AAAAAA …

-Fourth-ranked Grayson (3-0, 1-0) became the team to beat in Region 8 with a 14-10 victory over defending champion Archer, which had first-and-goal at Grayson’s 3-yard line in the final minute but was turned away. Grayson’s defense is proving to be one of the state’s best. Four major Division I prospects start on that side of the ball for the Rams. Archer, which started the season ranked No. 3 after the 11-1 finish of 2013, has lost to three ranked teams – Sandy Creek, Peachtree Ridge and Grayson, each [More]