The high school football season, as it usually is in our state, has been terrific. There have been exciting, close games and terrific individual performances throughout the season.
But things are about to get even better.
The playoffs begin, in full force, this week (the GISA Class AA playoffs began last week), and this is always a wonderful time of the year for high school fans.
And it could be a special ending for some Middle Georgia teams, including many of the usual favorites.
Look at GSHA Class AAAAA. Warner Robins and Northside are again right there in the hunt, and both could make a deep run into the playoffs, although Northside would face a much tougher bracket with Ware County and Tucker as possible opponents in the second and third rounds, respectively. Houston County is under the radar a bit, but the Bears have had a terrific season in head coach Von Lassiter’s first season with the program, and they have a winnable game at Mundy’s Mill in the first round.
In Class AAAA, Veterans has had a special season as it makes its first playoff appearance and has a bracket that could lend itself to success in the next few weeks. Mary Persons finished second in Region 2-AAAA, and the Bulldogs, if they’re healthy, could do some damage, as well. Westside and Rutland have some work to do and will have to pull off some upsets, although both have plenty of offensive weapons to make them scary.
In Class AAA, Peach County is again set for a home game, but the Trojans have a tough possible task waiting on them in the second round in Washington County. Joel Ingram’s Golden Hawks look like they should be considered among the favorites for a state title with the kind of season they have had, winning games in dominant fashion.
In Class AA, Lamar County is certainly one of the top teams in the state and appears poised to be right there at the end. The Trojans have plenty of talent with Lance and Lawrence Austin and Quay Searcy leading the way, and that trio will be hard to stop.
In Class A, FPD proved it could play with the state’s elite in close losses to Lincoln County and Aquinas (both should have been wins), so while the Vikings will be on the road, they know they can play in those types of games. They just need to get over the hump as they take part in the private school playoffs.
In the public school playoffs, Johnson County is our best bet to move deeply through its bracket.
The GISA Class AA playoffs are already a game into their brackets, and John Milledge looks like it could be headed to state title game appearance at Mercer in a couple of weeks.
Joining the Trojans there could be several other Middle Georgia teams. In Class AAA, Stratford, Tattnall Square and Westfield are among the favorites, and Mount de Sales has a shot at an upset Friday at Deerfield-Windsor.
That Saturday at Mercer University Stadium (Nov. 30) could be a lot of fun with three GISA championship games. And a couple of weeks after that, the Georgia Dome will host the seven GHSA games in a weekend of fun.
And it’s going to be a ton of fun getting to that point, as well.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org