By Sam Crenshaw
The first weekend of high school football in Georgia is in the record books. Here in the Metro Atlanta area we have an event that annually marks the season’s start, it’s called the Corky Kell Classic. Named in honor of the late Cobb County coach, educator, and community leader, this year’s classic featured 7 games over a 2 day period. The gridiron festival was played in 2 locations, McEachern High School’s Walter Cantrell Stadium, and the Georgia Dome.
The reason I know all this is because for the second year in a row I was a member of the broadcast crews on Sports Radio 92.9TheGame, and on Fox Sportsouth. While I feel it an honor to have been invited to be the sideline reporter for 6 of the 7 games, my feet might argue that point. Dr. Scholls take the wheel!
You see, the cool thing about the start of the football season is that everybody has the same record 0-0. That means everybody can have the same dream of finishing the season at the Georgia Dome lifting the state championship trophy. There is a lot of football to be played between now and December, but week one could give us a pretty good idea of who will be making a return to the Georgia Dome.
One win does not a season make , and neither does one loss, or two losses, or even three losses. Just ask the folks at Archer who saw the Tigers start the 2014 season at 0-3 and still ended up in the state championship game. This time Archer left nothing to chance in a dominating performance against North Paulding 49-21. The bigger, faster , stronger Tigers look like their number one preseason ranking is on target.
McEachern is ranked second in AAAAAA and showed everybody why with a 50-14 shelling of Tucker. I have to admit, this outcome surprised me. I felt like this game could have been the best game of the weekend.Sam Jackson ran through a Tucker defense that was missing several starters due to injury.
Next big text for McEachern comes next week when the Buford Wolves visit Powder Springs for one of the most anticipated games of the season.
Another neat thing about the Corky Kell Classic is seeing the big crowds that come to town following the teams from South Georgia. Archer and McEachern may have looked impressive, but don’t expect Colquitt County to give up the AAAAAA crown easily.The Packers had a difficult off season, but it didn’t show in their 45-14 win over North Gwinnett. With play makers on offense and a swarming defense,Rush Probst’s crew could make it back to the Dome in December.
By far the best game of the weekend was Norcross and Valdosta.This one had lots of everything from exciting touchdown runs, and thrilling kickoff returns to fumbles and silly penalties that could have sent both coaches scrambling for the Maalox. Norcross won it 34-31 and while I’m not sure that either will make it to the dome, both will be in the playoffs.
The other Corky Kell winners were Sandy Creek, Kell and Mill Creek. The Longhorns are stocked with talent, the Patriots seem ready for another state title run, and the Hawks will try to make back to back playoff trips for the first time in school history.
Other impressive winners in week one were the Roswell Hornets who stung Lowndes 35-8, Etowah over Marietta 54-21, East Paulding 17 Allatoona 10, and Pace Academy showing they may be the new boss of Buckhead with a 24-0 win over Lovett.
Games to watch this week include Peachtree Ridge at Archer(ESPNU), Tampa, Plant at Colquitt County, Gainesville at Grayson, Eagles Landing Christian at Stockbridge,St. Pius at Blessed Trinity… Don’t forget to tune in for the High School Football Power Hour Saturday Mornings at 7am on Sports Radio 92.9TheGame.