There was never any doubt that Deshaun Watson would be ready for the occasion. Playing on the state's biggest stage made him an even better leader as he guided the Red Elephants to the Class AAAAA state championship on Friday in Atlanta.
I think one thing that makes high school football so appealing to such a broad range of people is that it's such a great diversion from real life. In some cases, thousands of fans pack the stands to see the high school gladiators of fall duke it out on Friday nights.
First-year West Hall coach Tony Lotti roams the school's practice field wearing a shirt that speaks volumes to his vision for the program. The shirt itself isn't the eye catcher. It's a standard gray T-shirt with the Spartans logo imprinted near the top. However, it's what is below the Spartan head that everyone will notice. Pressed in black numbers that are big enough to see from a distance, it reads 11-16-12.
Friday is going to be a special night and festive atmosphere for Gainesville's football team, especially its seniors.
There's probably going to be very similar feelings flowing through the locker rooms at Gainesville and Flowery Branch this week with state quarterfinal games looming against their respective classifications No. 1-ranked team Friday.
At Friday's high school playoff games, talk about region realignment may be just as regular as a look ahead in the bracket for Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Buford fans, the only three local schools still alive in the playoffs. If projections hold true, all three of these programs will be on the move up and competing against a new group of schools in the coming years.
Every team fortunate enough to extend its season to the postseason should be extremely proud of its accomplishment.
The Georgia High School Association has taken a firm stand against any move deemed to be ineligible by a football player, or what we call transfers in everyday language. Twice in the current month, a pair of member schools (Dalton and Athens Christian) had to vacate wins and in both cases seriously hampering their chances of making the state playoffs.
Out of all the schools in Northeast Georgia playing in a subdivided region, North Hall (4-4, 3-1 Region 8-AAA North) probably has the most riding on this Friday's game. The Trojans are one of three teams that are in the running for the North subregion title, but as a result of last Friday's loss to Franklin County (4-4, 3-1), will have to get some help to make things fall their way.
The beautiful part of this time of the high school football season is that a couple of big football games have such a drastic impact on an entire region. It happens every year and gives the best football teams the opportunity to control their own playoff fate. Huge end-of-the-season games are inevitable, regardless of whether a team is in a subdivided region or plays a straight region schedule. Last Friday, there were two games ...
I can only imagine what the energy is like in the West Hall locker room right now. After an 0-4 start to the season, it was shaping up to be more of the same for the Spartans, who have averaged three wins over the last five seasons, but are suddenly in a playoff race in Region 8-AAA after back-to-back subregion victories. For a program that hasn't seen the playoffs since 2002 under then coach Tim ...
Since most high school football teams are at the midway point of the season, here's some of the biggest stories to follow for the second half of the regular season. There have been some minor surprises so far this season, making the next five weeks probably even more exciting for fans in Northeast Georgia to follow.
What is the perfect high school offense? Is it a ground game that can control the clock best, or a spread offense that can sling it around and score in a hurry? Obviously, a good high school coach is going to mold the offense partially around personnel, but most have a core belief system as to what works best. I got caught thinking about this last Friday night while watching Gainesville's (3-1) almost unstoppable ...
It all makes sense now why Gainesville coach Bruce Miller didn't seem concerned or worried after his program lost 49-0 in Week 1 against Class AA's top-ranked Buford (5-0).
The North subregion in Region 8-AAA is looking like it will be the most interesting to follow when the playoff race picks up this season, as four quality teams will be in the hunt for playoff spots.