Welcome to Week 1 of the Hall County Power Ratings for this season. It’s a little early to be able to tell about proper placement for these teams in the ratings, but I thought I’d go out on a limb and place the defending Class AAAAA state champion, Gainesville, at No. 1. As a non-partisan high school fan, I’m mighty proud of the terrific effort by last season’s Red Elephants, but don’t forget the great jobs that North Hall, Flowery Branch and Chestatee did. This looks to be another fine season for local football fans.
I use a simple formula to rate these county teams. It’s just the ratio of points scored to points allowed. For example, if a team scored 20 points and allowed 10 points, their power rating is two. As the season goes along, I deviate from the formula some to allow for the quality of the opponent.
1. Gainesville (0-0): I am putting Gainesville at No. 1 right now because of their status as defending Class AAAAA state champion. Gainesville football practice last week reminded me greatly of Woody Hayes’s style of practice. Gainesville players are required to practice at championship levels. When I was the national recruiter for Ohio State at one time, Deshaun Watson was just the type of quarterback I would have been looking for.
2. Flowery Branch (0-0): The Falcons open the season tonight, but based upon their performance last year, I feel they deserve to be No. 2 to start the season.
3. North Hall (0-0): Ever since Bob Christmas began coaching at North Hall, he has consistently put a competitive football team on the field. Every opponent the Trojans face will get the full 48 minutes of effort from this team.
4. Chestatee (0-0): The War Eagles have begun putting quality football teams on the field each week in recent years, and this team always shows up ready on Friday nights.
5. West Hall (1-0): Power Rating 35.0 — Last Friday night, I saw the Battle of Oakwood, and West Hall is clearly an improved team and could be competitive with any of the teams rated above them. They emptied the whole bucket against Johnson and played a fundamentally sound game.
6. East Hall: Power Rating 0.93 — The Vikings’ power rating suggests that they should be a competitive team this season. I’ve never seen an East Hall team that didn’t play hard for the full four quarters. They gave Dawson County a heck of a game, only losing by two points. This year’s team won’t be an easy win for anybody.
7. Johnson: Power Rating 0.03 — This is a Johnson team that is going to get better if they keep working hard. They are tough and resilient but tend to hurt themselves with their own penalties.
Chuck Clausen is a Hall County resident who coached high school, college and professional football for 28 years. His Power Ratings column appears each Thursday during high school football season.