Well, here we are approaching spring break, and the Georgia High School Association reminds us that the start of the 2017 football season is fewer than five months away.
Once again, because of region and classification changes, games that used to come late in the season are now being played as season openers. The storied South Georgia showdown between Lowndes and Valdosta will kick off the season on Aug. 18. A week later, county rivals Griffin and Spalding will start their season by squaring off on Aug. 25.
Last year the region changes were given as a reason for more games against teams from other states. Like 2016, Camden County will kick off the season facing three consecutive opponents from Florida. Colquitt County will face opponents from Florida and California this year. While defending state champion Grayson has a schedule that seems designed to attract national rankings and lure more transfers. The Rams will face a pair of Alabama state champions in Hoover and Ramsey, along with John Curtis from Louisiana, and the International School Of Broward, Florida.
The International School Of Broward is interesting.
In addition to Grayson, the Pumas are on the schedules of Buford and Lowndes for 2017. Last year Buford beat ISB by 40 and Colquitt hung 56 points on them. I did a little research and found that International School of Broward is entering it’s third year of playing football and they are oh for their existence . That’s right, the Fighting Pumas have never won a game. Maybe I should not ask the question, but I will ask anyway. Why are some of our state’s top high school football programs playing a school with an enrollment of right at 300 students with only 35 players on it’s roster? This can’t do much for the Georgia school’s profile, but it could help ISP attract some attention and given the wild west transfer policy in Florida, when their bus rolls up to the stadium, no telling who will step off.
Games that I am looking forward to this season include:
- Newnan vs. Carrollton at University of West Georgia on Aug. 17
- Cartersville at Westlake Sept. 8
- Mays at Stockbridge Aug. 26
- Roswell at Colquitt Sept. 8
- Woodward Academy at Marist Sept. 15
- Lovejoy vs. Tucker Oct. 13
- Brookwood vs. Parkview Oct. 20
The Corky Kell Kickoff Classic will once again feature nine games in three days, from Aug. 17-19. The games that I am looking forward to most are Buford versus Hillgrove, Norcross against Colquitt County and McEachern versus Mill Creek. The question is where will the Friday and Saturday games be played.
In recent years the two Friday games were played at McEachern, with the five Saturday games being played at the Georgia Dome. The Corky Kell’s move to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is not a done deal, and seems to be in a holding pattern. As Georgia State refits Turner Field, look for the welcome mat to be well placed for the Corky Kell, as well as other high-profile high school football games looking for a neutral field in the future.
Once the locations are all set, don’t forget that the Metro PCS Corkey Kell Kickoff Classic can be heard on Sports Radio 92.9 The Game. Be sure to tune in weekend mornings for the High School Sports Power Hour for the latest high school news and updates.
Check out the full list of schedules here: 2017-2018 GHSA Football Schedules