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  Welcome to AAAA week as we preview some of the top teams
from the classification as well as featuring our preseason top 10 poll.
 Today, we feature traditional powers Carrollton and Statesboro,
two programs that have combined for 12 state championships.
See the left panel for the preseason rankings and the
Carrollton and Statesboro schedules.
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In This Issue
Football Schedules
Class AAAA Football Rankings
Carrollton Preview
Statesboro Preview
Elite Junior Classic
Score Poll
Best Stories From Around the State
What Carrollton football star committed to UGA after weighing more than 20 other scholarship offers?          

Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!

Friday's Answer:
Auburn hired former head coach Dell McGee away from Carver-Columbus.



Carrollton Trojans


8/30        At Oxford, Ala

9/06        Chapel Hill

9/13        Calhoun

9/27        Columbus

10/04      Fayette County

10/10      At Troup

10/18      Shaw

10/25      At Alexander

11/01      Sandy Creek

11/08      LaGrange



Statesboro Blue Devils


8/30        Lakeside, Evans

9/06        Richmond Academy

9/13        At Tattnall County

9/20        Burke County

9/27        At Butler

10/04      Swainsboro

10/11      At Liberty County

10/25      At South Effingham

11/01      Wayne County

11/08      Region Play-In





  1. Sandy Creek
  2. Burke County
  3. Carrollton
  4. Cairo
  5. Marist
  6. Griffin
  7. Statesboro
  8. Westside-Macon
  9. Stockbridge
  10. Monroe Area

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Monday, June 24, 2013

By Jennifer Ballard
Trojans loaded for state title run


Carrollton has been a consistent football powerhouse over the past 10 years thanks to head coach Rayvan Teague. The Trojans have appeared in the state playoffs every year since Teague came aboard in 2002 (according to, but have fallen short of the state title each year.


"I think we have a group this year that has some capabilities," said Teague. "I don't know if we are the best team in the state but I know we will be one of the best and hopefully we can put it together and stay healthy and make a good run in the playoffs."


With nine starters returning on offense and six on defense, the Trojans have experience, speed and commitment to lead them into the 2013 season.


"With the speed and the knowledge coming back this season, we were able to expand and explore a little bit more and hopefully that will show up in points scored," said Teague.


The Trojans have also been working hard in the offseason. They have incorporated winter and summer workouts to prepare them for the tough schedule ahead. The team is committed and it is seen through the various athletes who have been successful on the gridiron.


"We try to demand a lot out of our kids as far as practice goes and as far as commitment to the weight room," said Teague. "We had a really good winter workout. Then the coaches are always evaluating our plan and we are hopefully making the right adjustments to give our kids the best opportunity for the season."


The goal for the Trojans will be to win a state championship this year. Defensive tackle Dontavius Russell will be returning for the Trojans. He received over 23 offers from various Division I schools, but committed to the University of Georgia. Along with Russell, TE Brandon Walton, TE Cole Cook and kicker Tyler Newsome have also received various offers from Division I schools with no commitments.  


The Trojans also returned three starters from the secondary.


"Our strengths will have to be our experience back on offense," said Teague. "I think we have really good size on the starting line. Our strength on defense would have to be that we returned 3 out of 4 starters in our secondary."


The Trojans' season-opener is on Aug. 30 at Oxford (Ala.).

By Chris Neiman

Blue Devils aim high in 2013



At Statesboro, winning is a top priority. Anything short of that is considered not living up to expectations. Under the watchful eyes of head coach Steve Pennington, the Blue Devils have done just that: win. In his nine years of experience at Statesboro Pennington has clearly lived up to expectations, having guided the Blue Devils to nine consecutive playoff appearances and also accounting for a perfect 15-0 record and state title in 2005.


This season, Pennington has emphasized that his preseason No. 7 squad has high expectations and the team's eyes set on the prize-another state title.


"We have a theme here at Stateboro about our outlook and expectations--we expect to contend for a state title," said Pennington. "And I say that not in gist or lightly, but that's our expectations regardless of what we've got coming back or what we've lost last year. That is our mindset and so we go into the year with the expectations and the outlook that is very positive."


Pennington clearly expects greatness out of his players and it just so happens that the Blue Devils will be returning quite a few seniors this year. Statesboro will also be welcoming back seven starters on offense to run the same power wishbone formation as well as returning six starters to partake in the 50 defense.


"We have one of our best senior classes that we've had in quite awhile," said Pennington. "Best in the sense that we've got good numbers, we've got people in key positions, but more importantly the quality of people and the quality of the character of the seniors that we've got. That gives us optimism to meet those expectations."


Leadership is an intangible that many teams lack. In the case of the Blue Devils, they definitely have a true leader in offensive tackle John Underwood, who stands at a staggering 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. Underwood is a player who only played in one offensive play in 2012 before tearing his ACL, so he has much to prove in 2013.


Underwood is a player that Pennington raved about.


"He kind of characterizes what our team is all about. In essence if you could ever have an assistant coach as a student in high school, he would be it," said Pennington. "He's the anchor of our offensive line and our inspirational leader."


D-1 schools like Georgia, Clemson and Auburn have shown interest in Underwood, but no offers have been sent his way. Pennington believes that these programs want to see how Underwood's knee holds up this season.


It may seem somewhat clichéd, but many teams, at least the great ones, want to treat every game on its schedule like it is their last. With the Blue Devils, they will essentially do just that, approach each game with same mindset and mentality. However, Pennington did address the game at No. 2 Burke County on Sept. 20 as a measuring stick in order to gauge where the team is and what the team must improve on; win that game and the sky is the limit.



By Score Atlanta

Players who score on and off-the-field 



Atlanta will host a new high school All-Star football game on Dec. 28, 2013, when the Georgia Elite Junior Classic kicks off at McEachern High School Stadium at 1 p.m. The game, featuring 70 of the top high school junior prospects in the state, will be televised live regionally and broadcast locally on radio. Media partners will be announced in August.
The head coaches for the inaugural Elite Junior Classic will be Walton's Rocky Hildalgo and Berrien's Ed Pilcher, who won five state football championships as the head coach at Thomas County Central. Each team will have five assistants and an administrative assistant, and the coaching staffs will include North Gwinnett's Bob Sphire, Corey Jarvis of Mays, Lamar County's Franklin Stephens, Brookwood's Mark Crews, Centennial's Jeff Carlberg, Valdosta's Rance Gillespie, Walton's Tripp Allen, Lowndes's Christian Hunnicutt, Northside Warner Robins's Kevin Kinsler, St. Pius X's Paul Standard and Ware County's Ed Dudley.
Selection to the game will go well beyond the athlete's exceptional performance on the field. Candidates will have to meet a certain academic requirement as well as demonstrate integrity and respect in the classroom, community and at home. A selection committee of coaches, high school administrators and recruiting experts has been chosen to begin the process of picking these elite players immediately. Invitations will be sent out in early July and rosters will be announced in August.
The players, coaches and their families will be housed at the Marietta Conference Center and the two All-Star teams will work out at McEachern High School's state-of-the-art facilities. The coaching staffs will each consist of a head coach, five assistants and an administrative assistant. The players will check into the Marietta Conference Center on the morning of Dec. 26 and will practice as a team for the first time that day. The importance of being a strong community ambassador for their hometowns, teams and schools will be stressed as players learn first-hand by participating in a community event that evening. The team will work out twice on Dec. 27, with a two-hour combine for high school and middle school players being hosted between the practices. That evening will culminate with a banquet where these players will be recognized for their outstanding reputation both on and off the field as we celebrate together their impressive high school careers thus far.
The 1 p.m. game on Dec. 28 will be televised live and is expected to draw a large number of college coaches, media and recruiting experts as Georgia has become one of the nation?s top hotbeds for recruiting. The game will be supported by a full-service website at, on Twitter @EliteJrClassic and on Facebook.
The Dec. 27 combine will be held at McEachern High School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature all of the coaches and players participating in the Classic. Athletes will be able to sign up for the combine beginning in August on the website.
The principals and organizers of the Elite Junior Classic are Dave Hunter (Hunter Athletic Consulting), I.J. Rosenberg (Score Atlanta) and Jim Dorsey (McEachern High School) among other strategic partners in television production, marketing and sponsorship acquisition.

For more information, go to or contact Melanie Snare at Score Atlanta at 404-256-1572 or at





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