Unbelievably, only 4 weeks are left in the 2004 regular season. How are region races shaping up around the Peach State in Georgia's best football action, Class A?
Clinch County will win Region 1. The rest of that region is a mess, with any of 5 teams taking the remaining 3 spots.
Region 2 will be decided in Columbus October 22 when that newly-arrived set of Red Devils, Randolph-Clay, travel from Cuthbert. Both teams should go into that battle undefeated as they are romping over opponents. We always have a hard time picking against Red Devils, so we think R-C may upset the private school boys. Brookstone, Terrell, and Taylor will fight over the other 2 seeds.
Portal may go undefeated and win Region 3, but the Panthers have to get by McIntosh County Academy and Savannah Country Day the last 2 weeks of October. Calvary Baptist should be the fourth playoff team from the Savannah-area region.
Surprise!!! Hawkinsville will win Region 4. OK, so that's not a surprise. But Johnson County IS surprising some folks in middle Georgia. The Trojans' Oct. 22 game at Twiggs County may decide the #2/#3 teams, with Wilkinson County ready to pounce on Johnson County Oct. 15. The loser of this week's Dooly-Telfair game will be hard pressed to make the playoffs.
While Region 4 may be one of the strongest regions in Class A, Region 5 may be one of the weakest. This week's Whitefield Academy versus Eagles Landing Christian will decide the region leader, but Landmark Christian will still be heard from. The winner of Oct. 29's Mt. Zion - Our Lady of Mercy game will finish fourth in the region, and will face the 7-A winner in the first round.
Region 6 is another tough region. Bremen is undefeated after 6 games, but must finish on the road against Bowdon and Trion. The Bremen-Bowdon victor will win the region, and the loser will probably be second. Trion is the favorite for third, with Gordon Lee fourth.
With all due respect to other 7-A teams, the Region 7 title will be decided October 15 on Buddy Bufford Field when Washington-Wilkes visits Lincoln County. The winner gets the title, and the loser will finish second in the region. Aquinas, Hancock Central, and Warren County will slug it out for third and fourth.
Region 8 is another of those regions with 3 good teams fighting for the best playoff seed. Athens Academy nipped Jefferson last week to make themselves a prohibitive favorite, but the Spartans must host those always tough Commerce Tigers October 29. An improved Social Circle team will play the spoiler role, so the Tigers this week and AA and Jefferson later in October had best be careful they don't get scalped.
Keep in mind that the above are just our current thoughts. As our poor record in Shadow's Class A contest shows, our progrosticator brain cells haven't been functioning too well at times this season.
But at least WE didn't pick Aquinas TO BEAT Lincoln County like some PAID sportswriters in Augusta did!!!! We told Jeff Sentell that we would give him a break this time since he's new to the area, but that won't work if he picks against LC October 15!