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.
No. 1: Gainesville at Flowery Branch, Nov. 9
Johnson's players couldn't stop smiling after Friday's 19-13 win against West Hall in the annual Battle of Oakwood. Knights senior running back Cedric Harris felt like beating his team's archrival right out of the gate could serve as a turning point for a program that was winless in 2011.
DAWSONVILLE - The victory flag is up at Tiger Stadium, and the Dawson County football team stands atop Region 7-AAA.
Johnson senior running back Cedric Harris isn't giving away a closely guarded secret when he says Friday's game against West Hall will be the Knights' biggest game for 2012. It's always a big deal when the two high schools in Oakwood play. It even has its own title: The Battle of Oakwood.
East Hall at Dawson County
Georgia Prep Football Preseason Poll
Dawson County is entering the 2012 season with arguably higher expectations than the program has ever experienced.
The past two seasons have strayed from the norm for North Hall under coach Bob Christmas.
Building continuity is an annual struggle for East Hall, which breaks in a number of new players on a yearly basis.
Before most high school football teams in the state hit the gridiron for their first regular season game, the Johnson High football team will have already been tested.
One of the biggest blessings for first-year Riverside Military coach Gary Downs may be a bye week right away on Aug. 31.
It's all anybody wants to talk about, but it's also not until November.
It's shaping up to be an exciting season at Gainesville. The Red Elephants (12-2 in 2011) have one of the state's best high school quarterbacks, Deshaun Watson, along with a handful of receivers with speed, a trio of running backs who can help mix things up on offense and a deep group of defensive backs.
Tyler Dominy likes the pressure that comes with having an offense at his fingertips.
As quickly as Evan Shirreff's final high school football game began, it had ended with a performance worthy of any All-Star contest.
For some, old habits die hard.
ATLANTA - Buford was in unfamiliar territory, but the Wolves refused to stay there long.
ATLANTA - Quarterback Tobias Oliver scored on a 47-yard run with eight minutes remaining and Northside of Warner Robins won the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA football championship with a 25-18 comeback victory over Mays on Friday night at the Georgia Dome.
ATLANTA - Calhoun scored on a 40-yard double-reverse pass from Baylon Spector to Carson Brown early in the fourth quarter and defeated Washington County, 27-20, to win the Georgia High School Association Class AAA state football title on Friday night at the Georgia Dome.
Buford seems so complete heading into Saturday's state title game.
ATLANTA - Warren Singletary scored on a pair of short touchdown runs and Hawkinsville defeated Irwin County, 15-6, for the Georgia High School Association Class A-Public state football title on Friday at the Georgia Dome.
Buford defensive linemen have been harassing opposing quarterbacks all season long. Now the hard-hitting, fast-talking unit is back on a familiar stage: the state championship game.
CARTERSVILLE - Momentum was moving fast in Cartersville's direction. Steven Reese changed that with one play.
Commerce at Irwin County
It's been two years since the Buford Wolves played at Weinman Stadium. But they haven't forgotten the standing-room-only crowd at Cartersville High and the atmosphere surrounding a 21-10 Buford win in the 2012 Class AAA semifinals.
ACWORTH - Gainesville was in it to the very end.
JEFFERSON - The Jefferson Dragons' run at a second state championship in three seasons ended Friday night at Jefferson Memorial Stadium.
BUFORD - Determination helped Joshua Thomas and Buford take control Friday night and punch the Wolves' ticket into the state semifinals for an eighth consecutive season.
COMMERCE - It wasn't a win for the highlight reel, but Commerce coach Michael Brown will take it.