2004 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 5
A consistent winner while playing in Class AAAAA, Southwest DeKalb should be the favorite to capture the East. The Panthers won their first-round playoff game, defeating Sequoyah, before falling to a very talented South Gwinnett team in the second round. Playing down a class should really help them. The return of senior quarterback Eric Ward (6-3, 180) will be a plus.
Mays annually has excellent speed, as evidenced by the strong showing at the boys state track and field meet each May. As long as the Raiders have size and speed, they'll continue to challenge for the postseason. One of Mays' more-talented players is senior wide receiver/cornerback Ramon McElrathbey (5-11, 180)
Stone Mountain just missed making the postseason last year. The Pirates should make a serious challenge in 2004. They boast two of the top players in the region with Division I-A prospect Cord Parks (5-11, 172) at cornerback and wide receiver Ridge Corbin (6-2, 195).
Jonesboro had a tough time contending in rugged Region 2-AAAAA, but the Cardinals drop a class and should improve.
North Clayton and South Atlanta struggled last season, finishing with sub .500 records. This season shouldn't be much better.
In the West, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro made the postseason as a member of Class AAAAA but drew eventual state champion Camden County in the first round. The Bulldogs should be back in the playoffs. Coach Jackie Green's wing-T offense isn't always exciting to watch, but it wreaks havoc on opposing defenses.
Washington is expected to be much improved after narrowly missing the playoffs in 2003. Major college prospect Duke Robinson (6-6, 325) is back to anchor the offensive front, giving the team a good nucleus to build around.
North Atlanta went 4-6 last season and is expected to challenge for a playoff spot.
Columbia took a step backward last season, struggling to a 2-8 finish after a respectable finish in 2002. Finding consistency will determine whether or not the Eagles contend.
Forest Park and Cedar Grove pulled up the
rear in their respective regions last year. This season should be better
Class AAAA - Region 5
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