Throughout the decades, these two areas have produced the most winners in the highest classification of Georgia high school football. Since Parkview’s (Gwinnett County) three-peat to open the new millennium, all but four state champions have come from South Georgia schools. Despite Colquitt’s victory in 2014, the recent years have belonged to the schools from Gwinnett. Although they have constantly been a thorn in the side of South Georgia’s elite programs, it is another area of Atlanta that is now trying to demand respect from the historical powerhouses that are Colquitt, Camden, Valdosta, and Lowndes.
With the first round of AAAAAA playoffs quickly approaching, the boys from Region 1 in 6A prepare for battle with the emerging teams from Cobb County in Region 4 in 6A. In the past 5 years alone, numerous epic battles have been produced. From McEachern’s 2010 defeat over top ranked Lowndes, to Camden’s 52-17 redemption victory over Hillgrove in the 2012 state playoffs, instant classics have been generated between these two regions. When these teams meet on the gridiron this Friday, expect no remorse to be given.
First Round Predictions
North Paulding at Colquitt County
North Paulding is not in Cobb County but is right along the border. Playing in a region that is run by a clear-cut top 3 teams, they got their sparse wins at the right time in order to capture the 4th seed. Unfortunately, that leads them into a matchup against the state’s #1 team, the Colquitt County Packers. Expect the Packers to have little problems and roll into round 2.
Colquitt 42, North Paulding 10
Hillgrove at Camden County
In the past five years, these two teams have developed quite the playoff rivalry. Having met 3 times, all in Kingsland, Hillgrove surprisingly holds the series lead, 2-1. Camden will be looking for another revenge victory after their 2013 loss to the Hawks, and they shall get it in a nail bitter.
Camden 30, Hillgrove 27
Valdosta at North Cobb
This may be the most entertaining matchup of the four. It’s a case of which “Jekyll & Hyde” team will show up to play a full 4 quarters of football. The way Valdosta has been grinding out games these past couple of weeks, they might be the safe bet to come back down I-75 with a victory.
Valdosta 17, North Cobb 14
Lowndes at McEachern
Ever since their meeting back in 2010, this has been a tale of two teams. Lowndes has slowly fallen down from its previous position of dominance, while McEachern’s program has risen to power, constantly appearing as one of the top 5 teams in the state. Last Friday, the Vikings had to battle just to secure a playoff birth while the Indians were just waiting to find out who they’d matchup with. History hasn’t been kind to Lowndes in this series and this Friday will be no different.
McEachern 38, Lowndes 14
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Region Rivals Turn to Regional Rivals: South Georgia vs North Georgia
by Lambert Bales