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This week: High school football season ready to launch
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The high school football season kicks off in earnest Friday night with games spread out over the entire area.

While many schools start with non-region games, or in Region 7-AAA’s case non-subregion games, one school dives right into the thick of things. In Region 8-AAAA, the regular season schedule is comprised of 10 region games, so Habersham Central’s opener against Cedar Shoals in Mount Airy is as important as the rest of the games on the schedule.

In Region 7-AAA, the early weeks of the season are designated for crossover action. Friday’s Region 7-AAA matchups include Chestatee at Gainesville, and North Hall at Johnson. Flowery Branch, Lumpkin County, West Hall and White County are all Region 7-AAA teams that will open the season with non-region opponents.

Commerce visits Jefferson in what is the biggest rivalry game of the season for these two schools. They play on the opening week, since the Dragons are now no longer in Class A with the Tigers.

Other opening weekend games include, Banks County against Washington-Wilkes, Jackson County at Our Lady of Mercy, Riverside Military at Elbert County, Towns County at Rabun County, Lakeview Academy against Fellowship Christian, Union County faces Hayesville (N.C.), and North Georgia Christian faces Grace Baptist. Buford and East Hall have the week off since opening the season last weekend.

While the football season is just cranking up, the Major League Baseball regular season is starting to reach its peak. The Atlanta Braves are still in the thick of the race for the NL wild card. The Braves have a three-game home series against the San Diego Padres starting on Tuesday at Turner Field. Following that series, Atlanta visits Philadelphia for three games.

On Tuesday, Jair Jurrjens (10-8, 2.99 ERA) takes the mound for Atlanta against San Diego’s Matt Latos (4-3, 4.82). The remainder of the regular season schedule provides ample opportunity for the Braves to make the playoffs with a pair of series still remaining against both the NL East frontrunner Philadelphia Phillies and also the Florida Marlins.

The Triple-A Gwinnett Braves are starting to wind down their regular season. The G-Braves wrap up a series tonight against the Charlotte Knights at Gwinnett Stadium. After a day off Tuesday, Gwinnett heads out for a three game series at Charlotte. Then this weekend, the G-Braves visit the Durham Bulls.

The Atlanta Falcons play host to the San Diego Chargers in the third game of the preseason at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

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