By Sam Crenshaw

With the start of the 2016 season still months away, this week the GHSA gave high school football fans something to get excited about when the 2016 schedules were released. This will be the first season of the new Class AAAAAAA.

The impact of the new classification can be felt statewide, resulting in the ending of some of your favorite region rivalries. Some of those games will be reduced to pre-season scrimmages of non-region contests, like Lowndes vs Valdosta. The South Georgia , Backyard Throwdown, will now be the season opener on August 19 since the Wildcats failed to make the move to AAAAAAA.

I see a number of games that I am placing on my radar . Let’s start with some of the 2015 State Champions. Allatoona kicks off the season at Cartersville on August 19. I would love to see this one at mid-season, but I guess we have to take it when we can get it. Colquitt County will open the season in the Georgia Dome against Mill Creek on Augusta 20, and come back north to visit Roswell on September 9, in a rematch of last season’s Class AAAAAA Final. Eagles Landing Christian will host Jonesboro on August 26, and that same night Pace Academy will open at West Forsyth. Westminster will open the season August 19 against Woodward Academy .

Other games to watch for are McEachern at Camden County on September 23, Peachtree Ridge vs Mays on September 2, Lovejoy vs Stockbridge on September 3, Buford at Roswell August 19 and Cartersville at Sandy Creek on October 14.

Next fall the growing trend of Georgia teams facing opponents from out of state will continue with some teams actually leaving the country to play, so you may need to pack your Rand McNally on Friday nights. Colquitt County will host American Heritage (Fl) on August 27. Buford will host Bishop Timmons, Buffalo (NY) on September 9, then welcome International School of Broward (Fl) on September 23. Creekside will face Miami Norland on August 20. Then there is Grayson hosting IMG Academy (Fl) on September 26,and traveling to Hoover (AL) on October 28. All fall short of Camden County whose first 3 opponents will be from the state of Florida.

But it gets event better if you follow Marist or Blessed Trinity. Both teams will play in Dublin, Ireland on September 2. B-T will play St. Peter Prep (NJ), while Marist will play Belen Jesuit. It’s all part of a big weekend of American Football in Ireland that will include the Georgia Tech vs Boston College Game on September 3.

Remember that SportsRadio 92-9 The Game is the official radio home of the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic which this year will span 3 days August 18 (Mercer University), 19 (Mceachern HS), 20 (Georgia Dome). Listen for updates and interviews during the 7 o’clock hour on Saturday mornings on SportsRadio 92-9 The Game.

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