GHSA Football Programs with the Most State Championships

The GHSA Football Programs with the Most State Championships

Accomplished high school football programs abound throughout Georgia. Some have found success more recently, while others have a storied program history and decades of excellence. Following are the five GHSA football programs with the most state championship victories.

1. Valdosta Wildcats (24 Championships)

The Wildcats are one of America’s most recognizable high school football programs and for good reason. Valdosta has raked in six national titles and won 21 of its 24 state championships in a span of just 45 years. That includes 14 titles under legendary head coach Wright Bazemore and seven more under Nick Hyder. The Wildcats’ most recent championship came in 2016, when Alan Rodemaker led Valdosta to a 14-1 record and a 10-point defeat of Tucker.

2. Buford Wolves (14 Championships)

For the first 58 years of the school’s existence, Buford managed to win only one state title. That changed in 2001 under head coach Dexter Wood. After a championship game loss in 2000, Wood’s Wolves rattled off 47 consecutive victories, collecting three undisputed state titles in the process. That success continued under Jess Simpson, and Buford won seven titles in eight years. The Wolves also three-peated to begin the Bryant Appling era, but their quest for four consecutive titles fell short at the hands of Walton last season.

3. Lincoln County Red Devils (11 Championships)

Former head coach Larry Campbell is the sole reason for Lincoln County’s historical success. The winningest head coach in Georgia high school football history spent 42 seasons with the Red Devils and won 33 of the school’s 34 region championships. He also can claim all 11 GHSA football titles, which places Lincoln third on this list of most state championships. Five of those came in a span of six seasons in the late 1980s, eight of Campbell’s title-winning teams finished the season undefeated, and eight held opponents to fewer than 100 total points in a season, a stunning mark of defensive dominance.

T4. Clinch County Panthers (8 Championships)

The Panthers’ title victories have spanned four decades, with the first coming in 1988. That marked just the second ever 10-win season for Clinch County, and the Panthers made it count. Head coach Donald Tison won another title three seasons later, but it would be 11 more years before the Panthers won a third. The tenure of Jim Dickerson brought five titles to Clinch County, including three in four years from 2015-18. Now, it will be up to Tison’s son, current head coach Don Tison Jr., to win another state championship for the Panthers.

T4. Savannah Christian Raiders (8 Championships)

Few people likely know the Raiders are among the GHSA football programs with the most state titles. Prior to Savannah Christian’s 2011 crown, the last championship for the Raiders came in 1984. That culminated an era of true supremacy in private school football. In just the school’s fourth year of existence, the Raiders won a state championship. Then, from 1977 to 1984, Savannah Christian won six titles under Bubba Attwood and Doyle D. Kelley. The Raiders dominated the private school landscape in the late 1970s.

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