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Thursday December 11, 2014

TCA All Sports Report on the State Championships

 

Championship Game Previews

Class AAAAAA

Archer vs. Colquitt County

When, where: 8 p.m. Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Archer is 11-3, the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA and unranked; Colquitt County is 14-0, the No. 1 seed from 1-AAAAAA and No. 1.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Archer and Colquitt County are the highest-scoring pair of finalists, based on points per game in the playoffs, since the GHSA went to a 32-team field in 1996. Colquitt County has averaged 53 points in its four playoff victories, up from 44.7 during the regular season. Archer is averaging 50.5 in the postseason after scoring 30.1 per game in the regular season. 2. Archer, playing in a final for the first time in the program's six-year history, is trying to extend Gwinnett County's streak of championships in the highest classification to five. The Tigers are led by QB Gabe Tiller, who is 175-for-287 passing for 2,864 yards and 30 touchdowns. Archer has a 1,000-yard rusher (Randy Nails, 1,055) and 1,000-yard receiver (Kyle Davis, 1,138). The Tigers have won 11 consecutive games since an 0-3 start. 3. Colquitt County's Sihiem King was the leading rusher in Region 1 in the regular season with 1,350 yards and 20 touchdowns, but he has stepped up his game in the playoffs, averaging 152.8 yards and four TDs the past four weeks. But the Packers also pass for 195.8 yards per game. QB Chase Parrish has completed 72.7 percent of his passes and has 2,648 yards and 26 TDs. His top targets are Qwazavia Lee (48 catches, 826 yards, 11 TDs), Kiel Pollard (59-771-7) and Marquan Green (40-605-5).

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Colquitt County by 16

 

Class AAAAA

Mays vs. Northside (Warner Robins)

When, where: 8 p.m. Friday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Mays is 12-2, the No. 3 seed from Region 6-AAAAA and No. 7; Northside is 13-1, the No. 1 seed from 2-AAAAA and No. 8.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Mays, which had never advanced past the second round, is the first Atlanta Public Schools team to reach the state finals since Brown in 1991. The last Atlanta public school to win a title was Southwest in 1973. Northside is in the finals for the first time since 2009 and sixth time overall. The Eagles were 2-3 in their previous appearances, winning titles in 2006 and 2007. 2. Mays has a balanced offense that averages 192.7 yards rushing and 166.3 passing. QB Asahnia Aderhold has passed for 1,821 yards and 18 touchdowns, but almost half has come in the playoffs (858 yards, nine TDs). In a 44-41 victory against Jones County in the quarterfinals, he had a season-high 352 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner on the final play. Natrez Patrick has 103 tackles and 19 sacks for a defense that held nine opponents to 15 points or less. 3. Willie Jordan is the focus of a Northside offense that rushes for 332.4 yards per game. Jordan has set school records this season with 2,173 yards and 31 touchdowns rushing. QB Tobias Oliver, who passes 10 times per game for an average of 88.1 yards, is the Eagles' second-leading rusher with 754 yards and nine TDs. T.J. Anderson has 591 yards and 11 touchdowns. Northside is tough against the run, as well, allowing just 61.4 yards per game.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Northside by 3

 

Class AAAA

Buford vs. St. Pius

When, where: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Buford is 14-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 8-AAAA and No. 1; St. Pius is 12-2, the No. 1 seed from 6-AAAA and No. 7.

Last meeting: Buford won 10-3 in the 2012 Class AAA championship game.

Three things to know: 1. Buford has won 39 consecutive games and is playing in the final for a state-record eighth consecutive year. The Wolves are 6-1 in the finals during that stretch and have won 10 state titles overall. St. Pius won its only state title in 1968 and did not play in another championship game until 2012, when it lost to Buford in Class AAA. 2. Buford has followed its usual formula of running the ball and playing great defense. The Wolves rush for 256.1 yards per game, led by Joshua Thomas (97 carries, 763 yards, 19 TDs), Xavier Gantt (55-671-10) and Evyn Cooper (79-556-2). Buford has 10 players with at least 100 yards for the season and 30 players with at least one carry. Defensively, the Wolves are allowing just 5.4 points, 41.6 rushing yards, 118.9 total yards and 7.2 first downs per game. Buford has held 10 of its 14 opponents to a touchdown or less. 3. St. Pius runs the ball even more than Buford, averaging 291.0 yards while attempting about five passes per game. Dalton Wilson (856 yards, 15 touchdowns) and Joey Connors (779, 10) - who are two-way starters - are the leading rushers, but eight players have at least 23 carries, 152 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Fannon (10 catches, 247 yards) is the only player with more than six receptions.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Buford by 24

 

Class AAA

Washington County vs. Calhoun

When, where: 4:30 p.m. Friday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Washington County is 14-0, the No. 1 seed from Region 3-AAA and No. 1; Calhoun is 14-0, the No. 1 seed from 6-AAA and No. 2.

Last meeting: This is the teams' first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. Washington County is in the championship game for the second consecutive season after losing to Buford in 2013. The Golden Hawks won state titles in 1994, 1996 and 1997. Calhoun is in the finals for the sixth time in seven seasons. The Yellow Jackets won state titles in 1952 and 2011. They lost in the final to Buford in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and Jefferson in 2012. 2. Washington County is the highest-scoring team in state history with 717 points (51.2 average), breaking the record of 707 points set by Buford last season. The offense revolves around QB A.J. Gray, a leading candidate for state player of the year. Gray has almost 4,000 yards of total offense this season (2,236 rushing, 1,668 passing) with 37 touchdowns rushing and 21 passing. LB Will Coneway leads the defense with 162 tackles (29 for losses), nine sacks and seven forced fumbles. 3. Calhoun w+ds and 23 touchdowns and is the team's second-leading rusher with 701 yards and 13 TDs. Austin Bennett (82 tackles, 70 assists) and Jireh Wilson (76, 72) lead a defense that is allowing just 9.4 points per game and has not allowed more than 18 in any game this season.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Washington County by 10

 

Class AA

Benedictine vs. Greater Atlanta Christian

When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Benedictine is 12-2, the No. 2 seed from Region 2-AA and No. 4; Greater Atlanta Christian is 14-0, the No. 1 seed from 6-AA and No. 1.

Last meeting: Greater Atlanta Christian won 24-21 on Aug. 22.

Three things to know: 1. Benedictine and GAC are two of the five teams playing this weekend that have never won a state championship. Benedictine is in the final for the first time after losing in the semifinals in 1957, 1978 and 2013. GAC's only other trip to the final came in 2002, when it lost to Buford 34-10. 2. Benedictine likely has the state's most balanced offense, averaging 224.5 yards rushing and 220.7 passing. The Cadets have a 1,000-yard rusher (John Kennedy, 1,066) and receiver (Brad Stewart, 1,244) and a 3,000-yard passer (Stevie Powers, 3,090 yards, 30 touchdowns). Kennedy also has 607 yards receiving. Stewart leads the Cadets in interceptions with five. 3. Darius Slayton caught eight passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns when GAC beat Benedictine in the teams' season-opener in August. He is the team's leader in receiving (46 catches, 760 yards, 13 TDs) and interceptions (five). Micah Abernathy is the leading rusher (127 carries, 1,340 yards, 18 TDs) for a team that runs about 67 percent of the time, but QB Davis Mills has passed for 2,046 yards and 26 touchdowns. LB Paul Carothers has 108 solo tackles and 41 assists. K Will Kenworthy is 8-for-10 on field goals and kicked a game-winning 21-yarder on the final play of a 44-41 win over Fitzgerald last week.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Greater Atlanta Christian by 6

 

Class A (public)

Hawkinsville vs. Irwin County

When, where: 1 p.m. Friday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Hawkinsville is 12-1, the No. 4 seed and No. 5; Irwin County is 11-1-1, the No. 2 seed and No. 6.

Last meeting: Hawkinsville won 21-12 in the 2009 regular season.

Three things to know: 1. Hawkinsville is seeking its sixth state championship. The Red Devils won Class C in 1953, 1954 and 1959 and Class A in 2003 and 2004, sharing the last title with Clinch County. Irwin County is in the championship game for the first time since 1997. The Indians won their only state title in 1975, when they beat Jefferson in the Class A final. 2. Hawkinsville gets about 80 percent of its offense from a running game that gets a lot of players involved. Reginald McDonald is the leading rusher with 628 yards and seven touchdowns on 121 carries. QB Dakota Sloan, who has passed for 651 yards, is the second-leading rusher with 458 yards and 10 TDs on 98 carries. Five other players have run for at least 234 yards. Hawkinsville is also known for its defense. The Red Devils are giving up just 7.4 points per game and haven't allowed more than 14 points in a game this season. 3. Irwin County's running game averages 319.1 yards and is led by Region 2 player of the year Jakyron Young and all-region FB Robert Moore. Young has run for 25 touchdowns and has 133 carries for 1,563 yards, including 205 in a 28-7 victory over Commerce in the semifinals. Moore has 1,342 yards and 12 TDs on 195 carries. Linebacker DJ Pollard, the region's co-defensive player of the year, has 49 solo tackles, 93 assists and seven tackles for losses.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Hawkinsville by 1

 

Class A (private)

ELCA vs. Mount Paran Christian

When, where: 10 a.m. Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Records, rankings: Eagle's Landing Christian is 7-6, the No. 5 seed and unranked; Mount Paran Christian is 13-0, the No. 3 seed and No. 3.

Last meeting: Mount Paran Christian won 31-14 on Aug. 23.

Three things to know: 1. Eagle's Landing Christian is the first team in state history to reach the finals after an 0-6 start. The Chargers won the championship in 2012. Mount Paran Christian started its program in 2008 and is in the state final for the first time. The Eagles are trying to become the first Cobb County-based state champion since Marietta in 1967. 2. ELCA has scored 36.3 points per game during its seven-game winning streak after averaging 11.3 in the first six games. QB D.J. Hammond, who became the starter in the fifth game, has been a key, passing for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for 431 yards and nine TDs. He had touchdowns rushing and passing in a 14-7 victory over Calvary Day in the semifinals. Josh Mays (123 carries, 782 yards) and Trevor Gear (99, 706) are the leading rushers. LB Chase Burdette has made 120 tackles, including 20 for losses. 3. Mount Paran's Dorian Walker and Emoni Walker are perhaps the best pair of playmakers in Class A. Walker has rushed for 2,037 yards and 31 touchdowns, has nine receptions for 146 yards and two TDs, and leads the team with three interceptions. Williams is the leading receiver with 555 yards and seven TDs on 22 catches and has rushed for 650 yards and 11 TDs. Walker had 147 rushing yards and 70 receiving yards and scored twice in Mount Paran's victory over ELCA in the teams' season-opener.

Maxwell Ratings' projection: Mount Paran Christian by 16

Four Questions Presented By Georgia Farm Bureau 
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GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We'll report from a different head coach each day.

 

Mark Crews, Brookwood

(Crews, who won a state title at Brookwood in 2010, retired after the 2014 season.)

1. Who is/was the most influential person in your coaching career? "Any coach will tell you that most everything we learn in this business is what someone else is generous enough to teach or share with you. I've been fortunate to be associated with great coaches throughout my 38-year career. I worked with and learned from Crawford Kennedy (Avondale). T. McFerin (Peachtree) and Dave Hunter (Brookwood). All were state championship coaches. Also, Ray Allen, whom I worked with since 1980. Ray is maybe the best X's and O's guy I've ever been around, Along with Tom Jones, who coached me in high school at Columbia and has been with me at Brookwood since 1988. All of these guys have been instructors and inspiration to me through the years."

 

2. Who is the best Georgia player you ever faced? "We've faced so many great players over the years, it's really hard to pick just one. Many were dominating type players that were fun to watch. Go way back ... Stacey Driver, RB (Griffin 1980), Warren Newson RB (Newnan 1981), Jamal Lewis at Douglass of Atlanta. All great players, but I think the most savvy player, the one who had an uncanny way of taking over a game and helping his entire team play at a higher level and win football games was Jeff Francoeur at Parkview."

 

3. What is the best team you ever faced as a coach? "Again, over the years, we've played so many great teams that all deserve their due recognition, but the team that Cecil Flowe put together at Parkview from 2000-2002 was about as powerful as any high school team I've ever seen. They won 46 consecutive games and three consecutive state championships in Georgia's largest classification. I hope people realize how awesome a task that was for them to accomplish. I am also proud to remind my good friend, Cecil, that it was us at Brookwood that finally won and broke the streak at 46 early in the 2003 season."

 

4. If you were Gary Phillips, the new head of the GHSA, what would be the first rule that you would try to change? "One of the biggest issues that I believe must be confronted in Georgia high school football is the issue of recruiting, attendance, transfers and eligibility. The current rules create a distinct competitive advantage for some, along with a lot of confusion and loopholes. The rules are poorly enforced, if enforced at all. I don't profess to have all the answers to this very difficult problem. Perhaps an investigatory and enforcement department within the GHSA would help, but I believe a complete overhaul of the rules in this area is overdue."

 

Georgia Farm Bureau is the presenting sponsor of the GHSA football playoffs/state championships, Georgia High School Football Scoreboard Radio Show and state championship awards. Learn about GFB insurance products and many other services at www.gfb.org.

All-Region Teams

Please send all-region teams to GHSF Daily at ghsfdaily@bellsouth.net. We will publish any team that we receive. GHSF Daily encourages those selecting and providing all-region teams to include each player's year in school. All-region players who are recognized as underclassmen have a better chance of being recruited and getting recognition on preseason all-area or all-state teams in 2015.

 

5-AAAAA

Player of the year: Russell Halimon, Allatoona

Offensive player of the year: Conner Larson, Allatoona

Defensive player of the year: Jonathan Greenard, Hiram

Defensive lineman of the year: Brandon Ballard, Paulding County

Offensive lineman of the year: Conor Brumfield, Allatoona

Newcomer of the year: Tyre Shelton, Chapel Hill

Coach of the year: Gary Varner, Allatoona

Assistant of the year: Troy Peterson, Allatoona

 

Offense

QB - Conner Larson, Allatoona

QB - Tabashi Thomas, New Manchester

QB - Whitfield Baylor, Alexander

RB - Russell Halimon, Allatoona

RB - Joshua Bettistea, Allatoona

RB - Tae Ray, East Paulding

RB - Tyre Shelton, Alexander

WR - Kris Ballinger, Villa Rica

WR - Zach Nichols, Allatoona

WR - LJ Pope, South Paulding

WR - Isaac Zico, Alexander

WR - Antonio Golden, Paulding County

OL - Conor Brumfield, Allatoona

OL - Tanner Holcomb, South Paulding

OL - Quenton Powell, Hiram

OL - Trevor Patrick, Allatoona

OL - Brandon Sutherland, South Paulding

OL - Eli Hicks, South Paulding

OL - Nick Lane, East Paulding

K - Brittany Havenner, South Paulding

 

Defense

DL - Keith Knight, East Paulding

DL - Taquan Evans, South Paulding

DL - Landon Stephens, Villa Rica

DL - Jonathan Greenard, Hiram

DL - Ryan Santos, New Manchester

DL - Brett Duncan, Allatoona

DL - Ty Turner, South Paulding

DL - Brandon Ballard, Paulding County

LB - Mikel Lands-Davis, Alexander

LB - Will Kemp, Allatoona

LB - Jarred Weaver, Villa Rica

LB - Thomas Sieh, Paulding County

LB - Dawson Mitchell, South Paulding

LB - Sonny Smith, East Paulding

DB - Kameron Pena, Allatoona

DB - Tykal Petty, New Manchester

DB - Trevon Simmons, South Paulding

DB - Taeron Brown, South Paulding

DB - Casey Hightower, Paulding County

P - Andrew Chandler, Alexander

 

7-AAA

Coach of the year: Tony Lotti, West Hall

Player of the year: Kwon Williams, West Hall, Jr.

Offensive player of the year: Devin Watson, East Hall, Sr.

Defensive player of the year: Tyquan Statham, West Hall, Jr.

Specialist of the year: Malcolm Mitchell, Banks County, Sr.

Lineman of the year: Will Bryan, Franklin County, Sr.

 

First-team offense

QB - Brad Davis, Fannin County, So.

FB - Dylan Smith, Franklin County, Jr.

RB - Tyler Beaver, Fannin County, Sr.

RB - Jaques Ash, East Hall, Sr.

RB - Bradley Womack, Lumpkin County, Sr.

WR - Dalton Edwards, Dawson County, Sr.

WR - Daniel Lange, Fannin County, Sr.

WR - Junior Lee, East Hall, Sr.

TE - Rex Purgason, East Hall, Jr.

OL - Cody McPeek, Fannin County, Sr.

OL - Drew Akin, Franklin County, Jr.

OL - Blaine Satterfield, West Hall, Sr.

OL - Jacoby Jackson, Lumpkin County, Sr.

OL - Garrett Gray, Lumpkin County, Sr.

P - Anthony Lotti, West Hall, Jr.

ATH - Zach Matthews, Lumpkin County, So.

 

First-team defense

DL - Trent Cape, Banks County, Sr.

DL - Justin Derico, West Hall, Jr.

DL - Allen Silva, East Hall, Sr.

DL - Hosea Jackson, East Hall, Sr.

LB - Luke Martin, Dawson County, So.

LB - Jared Petty, Fannin County, Jr.

LB - Ty Statham, West Hall, Sr.

LB - Jacob Taylor, West Hall, Sr.

DB - Jacquen Hopkins, East Hall, Jr.

DB - Tristian Hester, West Hall, Jr.

DB - Logan Hubbard, Banks County, Jr.

DB - Jack Roper, Fannin County, Jr.

DB - Gunnar Wood, Lumpkin County, Sr.

K - Brad Hodgson, West Hall, Sr.

ATH - Trevae Cain, Banks County, Jr.

 

Second-team offense

QB - Coey Watson, Dawson County, Fr.

FB - Kyle Hayes, Dawson County, Sr.

RB - Conner Williams, Franklin County, So.

RB - Andrew Goley, Dawson County, Jr.

RB - Demetrius Walker, Banks County, So.

WR - Cooper Earls, Fannin County, So.

WR - Jiel Vargas, East Hall, Jr.

WR - Hunter O'Neal, Fannin County, Sr.

TE - Isiah Rowe, West Hall, Sr.

OL - Corbin Thomas, Dawson County, Sr.

OL - Tyler Jones, Fannin County, Jr.

OL - Will Griffin, Banks County, Sr.

OL - Tommy Peebles, East Hall, Jr.

OL - Steven Bowen, Lumpkin County, Sr.

P - Noah Cromer, Lumpkin County, Sr.

 

Second-team defense

DL - Brett Whalen, Dawson County, Sr.

DL - Daniel Jarrell, Banks County, Sr.

DL - Daniel Kinser, Fannin County, Jr.

DL - Tyler Duckett, Franklin County, So.

LB - Zach Lehotskey, Banks County, So.

LB - Brandon McGarity, Franklin County, Jr.

LB - Ronnie Peebles, East Hall, Sr.

LB - Brandon Tate, East Hall, Sr.

DB - Triquere Ware, East Hall, Jr.

DB - Will Ledford, Banks County, Sr.

DB - DaKendrick Teasley, Franklin, Sr.

DB - Dylan Nix, Dawson County, So.

DB - Hunter Mitchell, Dawson County, Jr.

K - Cesar Villa, West Hall, Jr.

 

Honorable mention: QB Tyrique David, Franklin County; RB Jay Crawford, West Hall; TE Zach Samples, Lumpkin County; WR Clark Gaines, Franklin County; WR Cody Jacobs, Fannin County; WR Jeffrey Partain, Dawson County. OL Will Davis, Fannin County; OL Logan Galloway, Banks County; OL Joby Poole, Banks County; OL Chris Kidd, West Hall; OL Cole Davis, West Hall; OL Jesse Winters, East Hall; OL Ulises Andrade, East Hall; OL Brock Starrett, Frankin County; OL AJ Maner, Dawson County; OL Cameron Hudson, Dawson County; DL Marteze Shannon, Franklin County; DL Abraham Sepulveda, East Hall; DL Devin Hicks, West Hall; DL Jared Slaton, Banks County; DL Justin Cantrell, Lumpkin County; DL Logan Ledford, Fannin County; DL Cody Branch, Lumpkin County; LB Dakota Queen, Fannin County; LB Andrew Pavao, Fannin County; LB Lane Smith, Lumpkin County; LB Cole Smith, Lumpkin County; LB Tyrese Osbourne, West Hall; LB Cameron Millsap, West Hall; LB Juwon Merritt, East Hall; LB Jesse Peterson, East Hall; LB Colby Padgett, Dawson County; LB Conor Woodbury, Dawson County; LB Noah Baugh, Banks County; DB Phoenix Roberts, Franklin County; DB Jacob Brown, Franklin County; DB Austin Pierce, Lumpkin County; DB Cal Thrailhill, Lumpkin County; DB Hunter Rice, Fannin County; DB Dylan Frank, Fannin County; DB Jeremy Whalen, Dawson County; DB Colin Glover, Dawson County; PK Kai Russell, Fannin County

Classifieds

Oglesby Kicking Academy 

The Cedric Oglesby Kicking Academy, run by Georgia native and NFL place-kicker Cedric Oglesby, has trained more than 40 specialists who have gone on to play college football. For more information on the the Academy, see its website at www.kickdoctor.com or e-mail camps@kickdoctor.com.

 

Georgia High School Football Daily
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OKGeorgia High School Football Daily is a free e-mail newsletter produced by Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye. Holcomb is a former lead high school football writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and co-founder and primary researcher behind the Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Saye is a 25-year veteran of the newspaper industry who has covered high school sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Athens Banner-Herald, Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and Gwinnett Daily News.

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List Presented By
First Commercial Real Estate
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"Marketing your property around the clock, and around the world."

Scoring machines

Washington County last week set a state record for most points in a season with 717. Colquitt County has scored 659 points this season, which is three behind Camden County's record of 662 for the highest classification. Below are teams that have scored more than 650 points in a season and those that have averaged more than 47.0 points per game in a season.

 

717 - Washington County 2014

707 - Buford 2013

682 - Dublin 2006

681 - Buford 2007

680 - Gainesville 2012

668 - Washington County 2013

666 - Burke County 2011

662 - Camden County 2011

660 - Sandy Creek 2012

659 - Colquitt County 2014

657 - Carrollton 2013

657 - Calhoun 2011

655 - Gainesville 2013

652 - Tucker 2011

 

51.21 - Washington Co. 2014

51.00 - Southeast Bulloch 1972

50.92 - Camden County 2011

50.92 - Dublin 2005

50.50 - Monroe Area 2013

50.00 - Gainesville 1925

49.54 - Miller County 1997

49.00 - Mount de Sales 1971

48.82 - Griffin 1942

48.38 - Valdosta 1971

47.71 - Washington Co. 2013

47.25 - Miller County 1996

47.23 - Warner Robins 1976

47.13 - Buford 2013

47.07 - Colquitt County 2014

 

Sources: GHSFHA and Loren Maxwell

 

First Commercial Real Estate - Commercial & investment real estate brokerage in Valdosta-Lowndes County & South Georgia since 1982. Scott Alderman, Broker/

President 229-245-1328

www.firstcommercialrealestate.net 

Trivia

Washington County holds the record for most points in a season (717) but needs to score at least 49 points in the state final to break Southeast Bulloch's per-game average record of 51 points set in 1972 (see Daily List.) Who was the head coach of that Southeast Bulloch team? Hint: His son is the head coach at Thomas County Central. (Answer Friday)

 

Answer to Wednesday's question: Roswell, in 2006, was the last team not from Gwinnett County or south Georgia to win the highest classification. Southwest DeKalb, in 1996, was the last to win it outright. Roswell shared the title with Gwinnett County's Peachtree Ridge.