Class AAA - Region 1

2004 Georgia High School Football Preview

2004 Football Preview
Class AAA - Region 1

Only three teams made the playoffs from this region last year – Cairo in Class AAAA and Monroe and Westover in Class AAA – but all made early exits. The teams in this region used to dominate the rest of the state, but it may be a rebuilding year.

Monroe football fans didn't have much to cheer about until last season when the Tornadoes made the state football playoffs. Even though they were smashed in the first round by Mary Persons, Monroe has a strong nucleus returning. But last year's coach, Venorris Bradley, resigned to pursue administrative duties. The Tornado offense, led by senior All-State quarterback Terrance Ransom (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), should be explosive and score plenty of points. Ranson's two favorite targets, senior wideouts Patrick Brown (5-9, 165) and Jimmy Johnson (5-9, 165), also are back. But there is concern on the offensive line and on defense, where the Tornadoes struggled to stop their opponents from scoring last year. If Monroe can adjust to a new coach and its offensive line can block, the Tornadoes have a strong chance of winning the region.

Cairo always has athletes and should contend as it drops in classification. The Syrupmakers lost two of their star defensive standouts to graduation in Clifford Hammonds at defensive back and linebacker Rico Brooks. If some underclassmen step forward, Cairo should be in the region hunt.

Crisp County lost most of its offensive firepower as quarterback Joe Joe Brown graduated. There wasn't a position Brown couldn't play. But some talented underclassmen return, and the Cougars should challenge for the postseason.

Westover coach Jeff Caldwell, in his second season, guided the Patriots to the playoffs last year. If they can find replacements for Morehouse signee Carlos King at quarterback, and for Albany State signee Demond Daniels at linebacker, they should make a postseason return.

Dougherty and Worth County have struggled just to contend during the past three years. The 2004 season isn't likely to get any better.

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