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High school football schedules are out, and things look a little different
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2010 schedules
Banks County
Aug. 27    at Social Circle
Sept. 3    at Riverside
Sept. 10    EAST JACKSON
Sept. 17    ATHENS CHRISTIAN
Oct. 1    UNION COUNTY
Oct. 8    at Dawson County
Oct. 15    at Rabun County
Oct. 22    FANNIN COUNTY
Oct. 29    EAST HALL
Nov. 5    Region playoff

Buford
Aug. 27    at Gainesville
Sept. 3    at Carver-Columbus
Sept. 10    WESTMINSTER
Sept. 17    THERRELL
Sept. 24    at Lovett
Oct. 1    at Decatur
Oct. 8    CLARKSTON
Oct. 15    AVONDALE
Oct. 22    at Greater Atlanta Christian
Nov. 5    Region playoff

Chestatee
Sept. 3    WEST HALL
Sept. 10    at Johnson
Sept. 17    at Dawson County
Sept. 24    at Monroe Area
Oct. 1    NORTH HALL
Oct. 8    at Stephens County
Oct. 15    FRANKLIN COUNTY
Oct. 22    at White County
Oct. 29    LUMPKIN COUNTY
Nov. 5    Region playoff

Commerce
Aug. 27    JEFFERSON
Sept. 3    at Franklin County
Sept. 10    NORTH OCONEE
Sept. 17    at Washington-Wilkes
Oct. 1    at Athens Christian
Oct. 8    RIVERSIDE
Oct. 15    at Athens Academy
Oct. 22    PRINCE AVENUE
Oct. 29    GEORGE WALTON
Nov. 5    at Social Circle

East Hall
Aug. 27    at West Hall
Sept. 3    JOHNSON
Sept. 10    ELBERT COUNTY
Sept. 17    ADAIRSVILLE
Oct. 1    at Rabun County
Oct. 8    UNION COUNTY
Oct. 15    at Fannin County
Oct. 22    DAWSON COUNTY
Oct. 29    at Banks County
Nov. 5    Region playoff

Flowery Branch
Aug. 27    at Madison County
Sept. 3    WINDER-BARROW
Sept. 10    APALACHEE
Sept. 17    at Cedar Sholas
Sept. 24    ROCKDALE COUNTY
Oct. 8    at Habersham Central
Oct. 15    HERITAGE
Oct. 22    at Loganville
Oct. 29    at Salem
Nov. 5    CLARKE CENTRAL

Gainesville
Aug. 27    BUFORD
Sept. 3    at White County
Sept. 17    at North Hall
Sept. 24    FRANKLIN COUNTY
Oct. 1    JOHNSON
Oct. 8    at Oconee County
Oct. 15    at Monroe Area
Oct. 22    WALNUT GROVE
Oct. 29    WEST HALL
Nov. 5    Region playoff

The theme of the 2010 football season is change.

The region that houses the majority of the Hall County schools is no longer 7-AAA, but 8-AAA, and Flowery Branch, which reached the Class AAA state finals in 2008 and semifinals in 2009 is now in Class AAAA.

The Falcons aren’t the only team to leave the region formerly known as 7-AAA, as East Hall is now playing in a lower class in Region 8-AA.

The big games will start on the season’s opening night, Aug. 27, when last year’s Class AAA state runner-up, Gainesville High, will play host to Buford, which has won three straight Class AA championships.

“I felt like we needed to be challenged,” Gainesville coach Bruce Miller said. “If we want to get back to where we were last year, then we need to be tested.”

Miller isn’t the only coach staring at a tough schedule, as North Hall’s Bob Christmas has three games against playoff teams to start the 2010 season, including Jefferson, which has reached the second round of the Class AA playoffs the past three seasons.

“I thought we had one of the toughest schedules last year and this year it’s considerably tougher,” said Christmas, whose
Trojans will also play host to St. Pius X and Gainesville in the first three weeks. “I don’t think those games are make or break, but if you win those games, you have a chance to go undefeated.

“We’re playing the toughest teams right out of the gate.”

And if North Hall does happen to lose to Gainesville this year, it will be able to get another shot at the Red Elephants.

With new teams and playing in a different region, the coaches decided to make Week 10 of the season a playoff play-in game.

This play-in game will pit the No. 1 seed from subregion A against the No. 1 seed from subregion B to determine which team wins the region championship. The No. 2 seeds from each subregion will compete against the No. 3 seeds from the opposite
subregion to determine the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for the playoffs.

To determine which team gets which seed, the region will adhere to the Georgia High School Association tiebreaker rules, which state that the results of the head-to-head meeting will be the first tiebreaker. If the two teams did not play, then the tie will be broken based on which team has a higher winning percentage in games against teams of the same classification. If there is still a tie, and two teams are vying for two playoff spots, the region will determine which team gets which seed. If there is one playoff spot for two teams, then the two will meet in a GHSA tie-breaker Game. The teams that finish fourth or lower in the subregion standings will play the same seed from the opposite subregion in Week 10.

As complex as that may sound, Chestatee coach Stan Luttrell thinks it’s a good way to seed the playoffs.

“I think it’s gonna be great for the region,” Luttrell said. “Now, we can settle the region championships on the field.

“It’s also a chance to get three teams from one subdivision,” he added. “It’s the next best option besides having a region-only schedule.”

Flowery Branch is making a change to a region-only schedule with its move to Region 8-AAAA. The Falcons won’t have it easy, as three teams from that region went to the quarterfinals of last year’s playoffs. Flowery Branch plays host to Clarke Central, the defending Class AAAA state runner-ups, in the season finale on Nov. 5,

Other games of note are: Commerce vs. Jefferson on Aug. 27; Buford at Carver-Columbus and Riverside Military vs. Banks County on Sept. 3; North Hall vs. St. Pius X on Sept. 10, Gainesville at North Hall and Jackson County at East Jackson on Sept. 17; and West Hall at Johnson and White County at North Hall on Oct. 8.

One other change within the county is at Lakeview Academy, which played in Region 8-A last season and will now be playing a nonregion schedule.
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