MACON -- I promised some predictions Monday for Region 2-AAA, but they are a little late. I got a tad bit behind working on the resignation of Anthony Hines at Central. I’ll try to provide a little more information later this week on the Central story.
You can read my complete story on the Hines situation by going to www.macon.com/highschool.
I guess it’s appropriate to make some picks from this region after the turmoil at Central, so here they go:
1. Peach County – It’s tempting to pick Baldwin to win the region. Peach County’s coach Chad Campbell believes the Braves are the favorites after all. I just think 10 weeks of regular season play should get the Trojans ready for their showdown with Baldwin.
2. Baldwin – I like Baldwin a lot. Dexter Copeland is a very good coach. DeAndre Thomas is a very good quarterback. Ronnie Baker is a very good defensive coordinator. They could very well win the region.
3. Mary Persons – The Bulldogs return more than 30 seniors. Most of the skill position guys are back. MP could also make a run at the region title.
4. Perry – I think the Panthers got a nice taste of winning last year, and they’ll be back in the playoffs again, although as many as four teams could be in the mix for this final spot.
5. Westside – The Seminoles lost some talented players, and coaches around the region believe this could be a down year for them. There is still some talent there, and Sheddrick Risper will do a good job of selling his team on the underdog role.
6. Rutland – The Hurricanes are a pretty trendy pick to finish it that last playoff slot. It could happen. This is the best Rutland team in head coach George Collins’ four years. They might be one year away though.
7. Veterans – The Warhawks could surprise a lot by contending for a playoff spot. There is a lot of positive buzz coming out of Kathleen.
8. West Laurens – The Raiders have a new coach in Stacey Nobles. Stability is key here, but there are enough good players that could push the Raiders to a nice season.
9. Central – I just can’t see how the Central players are going to focus with all that has gone on with Hines. Interim head coach Brent Thornton has his work cut out for him.
10. Howard – David Cape has a monumental task in front of him in year one. Wins are going to be hard to come by in a region this tough.
Baldwin and Peach are absolute locks for playoff spots unless a score of injuries strikes either team. I think Mary Persons is in as well. Obviously, my rankings show I believe Perry gets the No. 4 slot, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Westside, Rutland or Veterans landed there.
Coming Tuesday: Region 3-AA, Region 4-AA