Class AAA - Region 5

2004 Football Preview
Class AAA - Region 5

This metro Atlanta region is also subdividing into north and south subregions. The north consists of Blessed Trinity, Druid Hills, Dunwoody, M.L. King, Riverwood and Westminster. The south is comprised of Avondale, Clarkston, McNair, Southside, Therrell, Towers and Westlake.

The south subregion is made up of several teams that struggled as members of Class AAAA. However, this subregion should belong to M.L. King and Westminster. Both surprised many by making it to the third round of the state playoffs last season. Both teams should have the talent to contend this season.

M.L. King defeated Cedar Shoals in the Class AAAA playoffs, and then upended South Forsyth before falling to Thomas County Central to finish 11-2. Safety Jeffrey Harrison (6-3, 195) will help keep the Lions' momentum going in 2004.

Westminster made a run through the Class AAA playoffs, beating Elbert County and Gainesville before narrowly falling to Washington County in the quarterfinals. Although the Wildcats lost quarterback Mark Olsen to graduation, All-State players Gordon Beckham (5-11, 175), a defensive back, and kick returner/wide receiver Stuart Sitterson (5-8, 156) return for their senior seasons.

Blessed Trinity made the Class AA playoffs last season but was Buford's first victim in the postseason.

Dunwoody struggled to a 3-7 record last season in AAAA, while Druid Hills and Riverwood failed to win a game. Dropping a classification should help the trio.

In the north subregion, Westlake and McNair earned postseason trips as Class AAAA members and won first round games. The two are once again favorites in this subregion.

Westlake always has good speed and experience and that should be the case again this season, especially on defense where the Lions feature a pair of Division I-A players in cornerback Derrick Barber (5-8, 150) and linebacker Taalib Tucker (6-0, 230).

McNair went 10-2 last season and should once again contend, but a talented group of underclassmen must step up.

A team to watch out for is Southside (Atlanta), which narrowly missed a playoff berth last season.

Clarkston went 4-6 as a Class AAAA member last year. Dropping a class will be good for the Angoras.

Avondale, Towers and Therrell all struggled last season, but should improve. However, they likely won't be strong enough to contend for the postseason.

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