Northside will begin the 2013 season ranked second in Class AAAAA.
The Eagles, who garnered one first-place vote, open the season behind defending champion Gainesville in the Georgia Sportswriters Association preseason football poll. The Red Elephants claimed 11 of the first-place votes. Stephenson received the only other first-place vote in AAAAA.
Northside will open against No. 9 Flowery Branch.
Peach County opens the season ranked No. 4 in Class AAA, behind Cartersville, St. Pius X and unanimous top pick Buford. Washington County, which will open the regular season Friday against Class A’s defending champion and top-ranked team Eagle’s Landing Christian, is ranked eighth.
Never miss a local story.
Lamar County received one first-place vote in Class AA, preventing Calhoun from being a unanimous No. 1 pick. The Yellow Jackets eliminated Lamar County from the playoffs a year ago. Greater Atlanta Christian is situated between Calhoun and Lamar County at No. 2. Fitzgerald checks in at No. 6.
Wilcox County is the top-ranked local team in Class A. The Patriots started the season at No. 6, but they are the second-ranked public school team behind Lincoln County. Class A public and private schools teams are in the same poll, although they don’t play each other for a state title. Dooly County is ranked eighth, and Wilkinson County is No. 9.
Norcross and Sandy Creek were unanimous No. 1 picks in Class AAAAAA and Class AAAA, respectively.