A look at the top teams in Class A

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Football is back!

Eight months after Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy and Macon County won state titles in 2016, the 2017 season is here and so is the Class A Football Blog. We’ll have fresh posts three days a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Tuesdays, we’ll feature the new MaxPreps/Georgia High Schools Association Power Ratings. The first power ratings lists will be released Sept. 5.

And as always, if you have an idea or comment to help make the blog better, feel free to send it to me at s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com. Now, let’s get started.

Here’s a look at the top teams in the classification, based on the AJC’s preseason top 10, including their season openers:


1.Eagle’s Landing Christian (14-0 last season)

The Chargers are in search of their third consecutive championship and fourth overall. Five ELCA players on the preseason all-state team, including DB/RB/WR Khaleb Hood, who missed most of last season with a leg injury. Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Eagle’s Landing

2. Prince Avenue Christian (12-1)

In his first season in charge, Greg Vandagriff led the Wolverines to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the semifinals, before they were upset by Fellowship Christian. Opener: Aug. 18 at Aquinas

3. Wesleyan (9-3)

Returning to Class A last season, Wesleyan jumped out to a 5-0 start, but struggled a bit down the stretch. The Wolves are led by one of the best players in the classification, senior QB Ramsey Banks. Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Therrell

4. Landmark Christian (10-2)

The War Eagles began the season 9-0 but dropped two of their last three games, including a 49-0 defeat at the hands of rival ELCA in the regular season finale. Last season Joey Blount (now at Virginia) and Lofton Tidwell (now at UGA) carried the load. This year look for sophomore speedster Dalton Colburn and junior Nicholas Toomer to lead the way. Opener: Aug. 18 at B.E.S.T. Academy

5. Fellowship Christian (13-1)

One of the state’s biggest surprises last season, the Paladins hadn’t won more than 5 games since they went 11-2 in 2007. Fellowship took eventual champion ELCA to two overtimes in the state championship game before falling 34-27. Senior linemen Tad Aycock and Billy McCurry are back to make another title run. Opener: Aug. 18 at Atkinson County

6. Mount Paran Christian (10-2)

The Eagles hope to return to their state championship form of 2014. Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Our Lady of Mercy

7. Darlington (8-4)

Senior RB Taj Whatley is one of the state’s best. Opener: Aug. 25 vs. Gaston (Gadsden, AL)

8. Tattnall Square (12-1)

The Trojans were undefeated until a loss in the semifinals to eventual champion ELCA. They have to replace a senior class that went 34-12 in four years. Opener: Aug. 25 at Wilcox County

9. Aquinas (6-5)

After going 38-3 in the three previous seasons, including an undefeated (14-0) championship season in 2013, the Irish slipped a bit last season. Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Prince Avenue Christian

10. Calvary Day (10-1)

Junior DL Nolan Smith, senior DL Taequan Washington and senior Frank Wieczorek lead one of the sleeper teams in Class A. Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Islands


1.Clinch County (11-2)

Seniors Duane Moore (DL) and Charles McClellan (ATH), and junior Trezman Marshall will try to lead the Panthers back to their championship form of 2015. Opener: Aug. 18 at Bleckley County

2. Macon County (12-2)

K’hari Lane, the state record holder for touchdown passes (56), is gone to Arizona, but his favorite target, Trey Brown and his 24 touchdown receptions is back to help the Bulldogs go after the state title. Opener: Aug. 25 vs. Dooly County

3. Manchester (10-2)

The Blue Devils lost just twice last season, both to eventual champion Macon County. Senior LB Johntavious Ferguson is back to lead the way. Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Greenville

4. Emanuel County Institute (11-1)

The Bulldogs lost a ton of seniors from last season’s state-quarterfinal team.

Opener: Aug. 18 vs. Metter

5. Taylor County (10-2)

The Vikings are led by one of the state’s top QB-RB tandems: Gunnar Watson and Lyn-J Dixon. Opener: Aug. 18 at Terrell County

6. Irwin County (8-5)


Aug. 18 vs. Berrien

7. Commerce (9-3)


Aug. 25 at Banks County

8. McIntosh County Academy (10-3)


Aug. 18 at Brantley County

9. Turner County (8-4)


Aug. 18 vs. Dougherty

10. Lincoln County (7-4-1)


Aug. 18 vs McCormick

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Don’t know when you last checked but Toomer is now at Sandy Creek.

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