Here’s what’s going on with Region 1-5A at the season’s midpoint:
In front so far: Region play hasn’t started, and Thomas County Central and Harris County appear to be the primary contenders for the region title, at 4-2 and 3-2. Thomas County Central welcomes region play after playing Class 6A ranked teams Valdosta and Lee County on consecutive weeks.
The challengers: Veterans has a bye this week and will carry a two-game winning streak into its game with Bainbridge (1-3). The Bearcats, however, have been pretty competitive, their losses coming by a total of 27 points. Warner Robins could be out of the hunt early, opening region play with the top two teams.
Four key players
Rochelle Dinkins, Veterans: A playmaker who missed last season with an injury, Dinkins’ ability to stretch the field helps with the Warhawks’ balance.
Jaylen Dunbar, Thomas County Central: He’s only 5-9, but the sophomore is a playmaker on both sides.
Dalton Hedden, Warner Robins: The offensive lineman-turned-quarterback is struggling, and fair or not, the Demons will ride on his improvement and the offense’s ability to avoid soft turnovers.
Landon Quarles, Veterans: Quarles has emerged as a major offensive piece for the Warhawks, an old-school power back and superb blocker who can wear down a defense. And then plays defense.
Three key games
Warner Robins at Coffee, Friday: It’s a non-region game, but it could be a table-setter for the Demons entering region play, one way or the other.
Thomas County Central at Warner Robins, Oct. 7: The Demons welcome probably the best team in the region, after the Yellow Jackets had a week off to regroup after a tough two-game stretch.
Veterans at Warner Robins, Oct. 28: Odds are Veterans will be playing for playoff positioning and Warner Robins will need a win to have a playoff shot.