High school football: GSWA Poll Hits for Oct. 9

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerOctober 9, 2013 

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Class AAAAAA

1. North Gwinnett (19) 5-0 190 1

2. McEachern 6-0 170 2

3. Colquitt County 5-1 151 3

4. Lovejoy 5-1 120 5

5. Camden County 5-1 99 6

6. Hillgrove 5-0 93 7

7. Norcross 4-2 52 8

8. Peachtree Ridge 5-1 39 4

9. Collins Hill 5-0 36 NR

10. Valdosta 4-1 35 9

Others receiving votes: Etowah 18, North Cobb 16, Archer 11, Mill Creek 10, Lowndes 3, Marietta 1, Tift County 1.

How I voted:

1. North Gwinnett

2. McEachern

3. Colquitt County

4. Lovejoy

5. Hillgrove

6. Camden County

7. Peachtree Ridge

8. Valdosta

9. North Cobb

10. Archer

Thoughts…

Ah, time for a mea culpa. See if you notice what it is. Do you see it? Notice the consensus rankings: Peachtree Ridge is No. 8, while Collins Hill is No. 9. Why is this a problem? Because Collins Hill is 5-0 and has a seven-point win over Peachtree Ridge last week to its credit. Sigh… Given their three-point difference and the fact that Collins Hill is nowhere to be found in my top 10, you can lay the blame solely at my feet. It was certainly an oversight, and Collins Hill will certainly find its way into my rankings next week if it beats Norcross. After pointing out that mistake, it seems silly for me to critique anything, but I will say that I don’t know that Norcross has earned its way back to No. 7 as the other voters seem to believe. It has a win over Mill Creek to its credit, but its other wins have come against Parkview, Duluth and Habersham Central (combined 1-16).

Class AAAAA

1. Northside-W.R. (15) 5-0 186 1

2. Tucker (3) 5-0 172 2

3. Stephenson (1) 5-0 151 3

4. Kell 6-0 129 4

5. Gainesville 5-1 112 5

6. Thomas County Central 5-1 101 6

7. Warner Robins 5-0 78 7

8. Lee County 6-0 42 8

9. Ware County 5-1 31 9

10. Creekside 6-0 21 NR

Others receiving votes: Allatoona 8, MLK 6, North Paulding 5, Whitewater 2, Harris County 1.

How I voted:

1. Northside-W.R.

2. Stephenson

3. Tucker

4. Gainesville

5. Warner Robins

6. Kell

7. Thomas County Central

8. Ware County

9. Lee County

10. Harris County

Thoughts…

Look out for Region 1-AAAAA, am I right? Thomas County Central is No. 6, Lee County No. 8 and Harris County is certainly deserving of consideration, as well. It’s tough to break into that top four this year. Still, the top half of the rankings seems to have a big jump on the rest, in my opinion. From Northside-Warner Robins down through Gainesville, I think you have a clear collection of state title contenders.

Class AAAA

1. Sandy Creek (18) 4-0-1 189 1

2. Carrollton 5-0 169 2

3. Griffin (1) 6-0 152 3

4. Monroe Area 5-0 127 4

5. Statesboro 6-0 113 5

6. Mary Persons 6-0 89 7

7. Cedartown 6-0 64 8

8. Stockbridge 5-1 58 9

9. Marist 3-2 33 10

10. Wayne County 5-1 25 6

Others receiving votes: Burke County 15, Liberty County 6, Northwest Whitfield 4, Eagle’s Landing 1.

How I voted:

1. Sandy Creek

2. Carrollton

3. Griffin

4. Statesboro

5. Monroe Area

6. Mary Persons

7. Stockbridge

8. Cedartown

9. Marist

10. Liberty County

Thoughts…

Don’t get me wrong, Griffin’s win over Stockbridge was very impressive. And, yes, Sandy Creek has shown some vulnerability on the defensive side of the ball. But I still don’t see a reason to drop a team that has lost only once this decade and three times since 2008 (that is a 71-3-1 record if you’re keeping count). I’ll use college football to explain the situation. Alabama, like Sandy Creek, has won three championships in the past four seasons. Also like Sandy Creek, Alabama has had some moments that make it appear this edition of its team isn’t quite up to par with the previous few seasons. There are a handful of deserving teams in college football nipping at the Crimson Tide’s heels (Oregon, Stanford, Clemson, etc.) which may have been more impressive over the first half of the season. Still, Alabama is the clear No. 1 because, at the end of the day, it has a proven track record as the best program in the state. Sandy Creek is the Alabama of Class AAAA football. Until another team proves otherwise, it is the best team in the state in my book.

Class AAA

1. Buford (18) 5-0 189 1

2. Cartersville (1) 6-0 170 2

3. Washington County 5-0 149 3

4. North Hall 5-0 135 4

5. Jefferson County 6-0 102 5

6. St. Pius X 5-1 96 6

7. Carver-Columbus 4-1 77 7

8. Hart County 5-0 61 8

9. North Oconee 4-1 44 9

10. Cedar Grove 5-1 10 NR

Others receiving votes: Central-Carrollton 3, Ringgold 3, Appling County 2, Pierce County 2, Blessed Trinity 1, Callaway 1.

How I voted:

1. Buford

2. Cartersville

3. Washington County

4. North Hall

5. St. Pius X

6. Jefferson County

7. Carver-Columbus

8. North Oconee

9. Hart County

10. Callaway

Thoughts…

See: Class AAAA. Buford beat the defending Class AAAAA champs, holding arguably the state’s best offense and best offensive player to only 14 points. Since that game, it has won 63-0 in three straight over Hancock Central (3-2), Banks County (0-6) and West Hall (4-2). I’m really not sure how much more we could possibly expect from it.

Class AA

1. GAC (8) 6-0 175 2

1. Lamar County (8) 5-0 175 3

3. Lovett (3) 5-1 147 1

4. Washington-Wilkes 6-0 128 5

5. Calhoun 4-1 114 4

6. Benedictine 6-0 99 6

7. Brooks County 5-1 82 8

8. Vidalia 5-1 48 9

9. Bowdon 6-0 31 10

10. Jefferson 3-2 28 7

Others receiving votes: Rabun County 12, Fitzgerald 3, Cook 2, Macon County 1.

How I voted:

1. GAC

2. Lamar County

3. Lovett

4. Calhoun

5. Washington-Wilkes

6. Benedictine

7. Brooks County

8. Bowdon

9. Vidalia

10. Jefferson

Thoughts…

Eight voters, including myself, ranked Greater Atlanta Christian at the top following Lovett’s three-point, overtime loss to Class AAA No. 3 Washington County. Eight people chose Lamar County. Three stubborn holdouts refused to drop the Lions from their perch. And you know what? I think the latter may be right. Sometimes we feel obligated to drop a team that loses simply for the fact that it lost a game. I wavered back and forth over whether to elevate GAC and Lamar County and, at the end, decided they were deserving, as well. Part of me wishes I had stuck with Lovett, though. It’s hard not to like what it has done this year: wins over Woodward Academy, Blessed Trinity, Marist and St. Pius X. Only one loss, and that came by three in overtime to the third best team in a higher classification. Lovett certainly shouldn’t go lower than No. 3 for that.

Class A

1. Eagle's Landing Christian (19) 4-0 190 1

2. Landmark Christian 5-0 170 2

3. Aquinas 5-0 141 3

4. Seminole County 5-0 121 4

5. Irwin County 4-0-1 109 5

6. Prince Avenue Christian 5-1 95 6

7. Johnson County 5-0 76 7

8. Marion County 5-0 52 9

9. Mt. Paran Christian 4-1 40 10

10. Darlington 4-1 16 NR

Others receiving votes: Mt. Pisgah 15, Savannah Christian 9, George Walton 3, Lincoln County 3, Heritage Christian 2, Emanuel County Institute 2, Pacelli 1.

How I voted:

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian

2. Landmark Christian

3. Aquinas

4. Prince Avenue Christian

5. Irwin County

6. Seminole County

7. Marion County

8. Johnson County

9. Mt. Paran Christian

10. Mt. Pisgah

Thoughts…

Notice Pacelli down there in 17th place in the rankings, one vote to its credit. I’d like to point out that I, the hometown reporter, was not the one to give the Vikings their top-10 nod. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely considered it. Their win over Brookstone was impressive. With that said, I decided to wait to see what they did against Marion County this Friday. If Pacelli pulls another one out there, then it will certainly have captured the attention of myself and the other voters.

Who do you think should be ranked? Where did I mess up? Any other teams in the area that deserve more attention? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @leprepsports, and come back each week to see the new polls.

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