Poll talk: Five defending champs start No. 1; all remain top contenders

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

Rome won its first-ever state title in 2016. The Wolves are the preseason No. 1-ranked team in Class AAAAA. (Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com)

The high school football season begins this week, picking up about where it left off.

Five defending state champions are ranked No. 1 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s preseason poll. The other three are ranked in the top four.

Those starting No. 1 are Grayson (Class AAAAAAA), Rome (AAAAA), Cartersville (AAAA), Benedictine (AA) and Eagle’s Landing Christian (A private).

Grayson, which garnered several top-five final rankings nationally in 2016, lost the majority of its starters from a 14-1 team. But the Rams’ 2017 roster features nine of the highest-rated junior college prospects in Georgia. That includes Owen Pappoe, the No. 1 2019 outside linebacker prospect in the country.

The most clear-cut No. 1 is Cartersville, the two-time defending champion in AAAA. Cartersville can become the third Georgia team in history to put together three straight 15-0 seasons, the first since Buford in 2001-03.

Class AAAAAA defending champion Valdosta is No. 2 behind 2016 runner-up Tucker. Cedar Grove is No. 4 in AAA, where 2016 semifinalist Peach County is No. 1. Macon County is No. 2 in A public behind Clinch County, the 2015 champion.

The season begins Thursday with five games, the first of 119 for the week. The season will go 12 weeks of regular season, five of playoffs, culminating Dec. 8-9 with state championships at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Class AAAAAAA

1. Grayson (14-1)

2. Colquitt County (8-5)

3. Roswell (14-1)

4. Lowndes (10-3)

5. McEachern (11-2)

6. Brookwood (8-4)

7. Mill Creek (13-1)

8. Parkview (8-4)

9. Norcross (11-1)

10. Westlake (10-4)

Class AAAAAA

1. Tucker (13-2)

2. Valdosta (14-1)

3. Harrison (10-2)

4. Northside-Warner Robins (11-3)

5. Lee County (8-3)

6. Dalton (13-1)

7. Mays (11-2)

8. Coffee (7-6)

9. Glynn Academy (11-2)

10 Alpharetta (7-4)

Class AAAAA

1. Rome (13-2)

2. Buford (13-2)

3. Stockbridge (13-1)

4. Carrollton (11-2)

5. Ware County (8-4)

6. Kell (11-3)

7. Thomas County Central (8-4)

8. Bainbridge (5-6)

9. Griffin (11-2)

10. Loganville (9-3)

Class AAAA

1. Cartersville (15-0)

2. Blessed Trinity (10-3)

3. Thomson (14-1)

4. Sandy Creek (8-4)

5. Woodward Academy (11-2)

6. Jefferson (12-2)

7. Marist (7-4)

8. Mary Persons (11-3)

9. Cairo (11-2)

10. Ridgeland (9-2)

Class AAA

1. Peach County (12-2)

2. Greater Atlanta Christian (13-2)

3. Calhoun (10-3)

4. Cedar Grove (13-2)

5. Westminster (10-3)

6. Crisp County (13-1)

7. Lovett (8-4)

8. Liberty County (11-2)

9. Pace Academy (6-5)

10. Dawson County (7-3)

Class AA

1. Benedictine (15-0)

2. Hapeville Charter (10-4)

3. Fitzgerald (13-2)

4. Screven County (11-2)

5. Rabun County (11-1)

6. Callaway (13-1)

7. Pepperell (10-2)

8. Brooks County (8-4)

9. Jefferson County (10-2)

10. Rockmart (9-3)

Class A (private)

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian (14-0)

2. Prince Avenue Christian (12-1)

3. Wesleyan (9-3)

4. Landmark Christian (10-2)

5. Fellowship Christian (13-1)

6. Mount Paran Christian (10-2)

7. Darlington (8-4)

8. Tattnall Square (12-1)

9. Aquinas (6-5)

10. Calvary Day (10-1)

Class A (public)

1. Clinch County (11-2)

2. Macon County (12-2)

3. Manchester (10-2)

4. Emanuel County Institute (11-1)

5. Taylor County (10-2)

6. Irwin County (8-5)

7. Commerce (9-3)

8. McIntosh County Academy (10-3)

9. Turner County (8-4)

10. Lincoln County (7-4-1)


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BigChiefWhoopum

BigChiefWhoopum5pts

@BcS2010 maybe Tucker will get it done this year? The team is looking mighty strong, but Valdosta is going to be a beast again. @Marietta Fan region 3 is going to be interesting this year. I think this is the most balanced it’s been in a while.

GO INDIANS!!! GO BIG BLUE!!!

Marietta Fan

Marietta Fan5pts

I really think region 3 may challenge region 1 this year in terms of balance. The MDJ projected Hillgrove, Mceachern, Marietta, and North Cobb as the top 4, but North Paulding is always sneaky and Kennesaw Mountain is primed for a breakout this year. The region will be won in the last 2 weeks with Marietta Mceachern and Mceachern Hillgrove.

BcS2010

BcS20105pts

Tucker number 1 is right! We have a great defense this year and our offense is big plays like every year. Our WR is an animal!

CoffeeTrojan93

CoffeeTrojan935pts

Wait,

Tucker#1??🤔🤔

Valdosta is the defending champs!!

BcS2010

BcS20105pts

Who won when they played last year???!

Kinfols

Kinfols5pts

Friday nights and high school bands this weekend #INYOURFACE! highlights

Marietta Fan

Marietta Fan5pts

It’s about that time! Can’t wait for this season. It looks like the Kell will tell us a lot about these rankings next weekend.

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