It’s is hard to believe that the 2018 Georgia High School Football season kicks off this weekend. I’m not sure I have fully recovered from last year’s Class 5A championship game but I have to shake it off and turn the page to a new season. For the past two seasons I have had a weekly feature on Georgia High School football. I’m going to do it a little differently this year but I’m defintely going to be tuned in to high school football games on Friday nights again this fall; however, I will have a few weeks that I will miss here in the early part of the season due to personal reasons.
With each season there are three teams I always follow. They are Warner Robins, Villa Rica and Clinch County. Why these three teams?
I’ll start with the first one in my personal timeline – Clinch County. My father used to play football for the Panthers. The first football game he took me too was a Clinch County game and that’s something special to me. Homerville is that typical small, rural Georgia town where they close down the town on Friday Nights to go to the football games. It is a great atmosphere. When I started high school, I attended Villa Rica High School where I attempted to play on the football team. (There may be a blog about this later) Then, years later, I ended up in Warner Robins and from 1984 – 2010 I spent many Friday nights in the fall at International City (now McConnell-Talbert) Stadium in Warner Robins. I adopted Warner Robins as my team and I still follow them today.
So, here’s a little preview of the three teams I follow:
Warner Robins Demons
The Demons’ were my surprise team last season as they rebounded from a 3-8 season in 2016 to 14-1 and an appearance in the Class 5A State Championship game. Warner Robins returns experienced quarterback Dylan Fromm (Yes, his older brother is Jake). Dylan made his own mark on the high school field last season with a school record 3,505 yards and 35 touchdowns. His favorite target is his brother – Tyler Fromm – who had 43 receptions for 529 yards and five touchdowns. The only question mark for the Demons is how they will replace seven starters on defense. The schedule is going to be interesting as well. The Demons open tonight against Tift County as well as Colquitt County on September 14. My gut tells me that the Demons might go 7-3 this season.
Villa Rica Wildcats
The Wildcats finished 5-5 last season and if not for two Paulding County schools (East Paulding and Paulding County), they would have made the playoffs. In fact, the Wildcats started 4-1 but the second half was brutal with losses to Carrollton, Kell and Rome. Villa Rica opens the season tonight at Campbell and they still have Carrollton, Rome and Kell to contend with. Friday Night Football magazine lists Villa Rica as a team on the rise in Class 5A. I’d like to agree with that but this is a tough region. I’m thinking a 6-4 record for the ‘cats in 2018.
Clinch County Panthers
The Panthers are looking to repeat as Class A Public school champions this season and they have a pretty good shot at it with All-State Trezmen Marshall in his senior season. Marshall is the first Clinch County player to be named Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Preseason Super 11. The Georgia commit can do it all – kickoff specialist, inside linebacker, nose guard, punter, quarterback and tailback. The Panthers finished second in the region but defeated region champion Irwin County for the state title last season. The Panthers open at home tonight against Hebron Christian Academy before a challenging three weeks with games against Brooks County, Dooly County and Irwin County but playing these heavyweights at home will help. I’m expecting the Panthers to roll to a 10-0 record.
As we embark on another high school football season, let me share with you some of my resources I use throughout the season:
- Georgia High School Football Historians Assocation
- This is absolutely the best-ever resource for team records, histories and statistical information
- Georgia High School Football Daily
- This has been an amazing resource of information. It is produced and owned by Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye. I’m not sure what’s going on with it this year as it hasn’t been updated since August 1st.
- Score Atlanta
- Another good source of information and stories as well as game reports. I am usually constantly checking the High School Scoreboard on Friday nights.
- Tommy Palmer Media Group
- Tommy Palmer is a legend and I consider him THE expert in Georgia High School football. He does the Georgia High School Scoreboard Radio Show starting around 10 pm on Friday nights. Palmer also does a couple of other podcasts such as “This Week’s Top Ten” and “This Week’s Top Games”.
- GPB Football App
- Georgia Public Broadcasting has improved this app over the years and it is a good place to go.
- Sportsmic App
- This is another app on my iPhone and one I use to listen to Warner Robins broadcasts.
So here are my preseason picks to win state titles in 2018:
- Class 7A: McEachern
- Class 6A: Tucker
- Class 5A: Rome
- Class 4A: Cairo
- Class 3A: Peach County
- Class 2A: Thomasville
- Class 1A (Private): Eagle’s Landing Christian
- Class 1A (Public): Clinch County