Their dreams started last July when they thought two-a-days would never end.
They played hard in non-region and rivalry games, and then the first games that mattered in their respective regions. Then came the first two rounds of playoffs, when many won as expected and others surprised teams that were supposed to make it.
Now only eight teams in Class A still have their dreams of reaching the Georgia Dome in 2002. A win in the quarterfinals this week earns four teams the right to play in the Dome next weekend, just after the crack of dawn Friday or Saturday.
In addition to Lincoln County's uphill climb at Clinch County, three other great games will decide the four Dome teams:
The Hawkinsville folks are saying their Red Devils are a year ahead of schedule, as they will lose few players and were expecting to be good next year. Well, those southern Red Devils are very good right now. Gordon Lee is going to find out how good when they visit H'ville this week. Elijah Clark should have another good night running the ball for those #2-ranked L. Campbell Red Devils.
Metter wants to make consecutive trips to the Dome, but the Tigers must go through Jeffersonville and the Pit full of Twiggs County Cobras. Metter has one 7-point blemish on its otherwise perfect schedule, and Twiggs is spotless. Both teams can pass and run, so look for a high-scoring shootout in this one. (I know, I know - since I said that, it will probably end up 2-0 on a safety!)
Commerce (11-1), still paying for that upset loss to Athens Academy, must travel to Dooly County to take on their 6-6 Bobcats. Dooly best settle down from its big win over Miller County last week, as the Tigers mean business and are intent on making the Dome four straight years. Dooly is one of those borderline teams that seems to bounce between Classes A and AA.