Class AAAA - Region 6

2004 Georgia High School Football Preview

2004 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 6

It was an exciting season for Marist last season on the way to the state championship. The War Eagles didn't let a loss in their regular-season finale to St. Pius X stop them. Instead, they knocked off then top-ranked Shaw in the quarterfinals, then disposed of state power Thomas County Central in the semifinals. They pounded Statesboro in the championship game. Marist lost a lot of talent off last year's state championship team, but the War Eagles have enough to make a run at winning the region title and defending their state title. Overcoming the loss of 35 seniors is detrimental to most programs, but Marist should be fine. Some interior linemen have to be replaced on both sides as well as 2003 All-State quarterback/defensive back Sean McVay. Senior running back Anderson Russell (6-0, 205) gives the War Eagles a Division I-A prospect on offense. Meanwhile, senior linebacker Andrew Dete (6-0, 200) returns to lead the defense.

Tucker, the Region 6 runner-up to Marist last season, should make the playoffs again. The Tigers fell short of playing the War Eagles in the state championship game when they lost to Statesboro in overtime in the semifinals. But to approach last year's success, Tucker must replace players such as quarterback D.T. McDowell, running back Thomas Brown and linebacker Brandon Lang. Senior running back/defensive back Brandyn Young (5-11, 180) took over in the offensive backfield midway through the season and played a key role in helping the Tigers to the semifinals. Young has verbally committed to Maryland. Linebacker Tavares Kearney (6-1, 190) gives Tucker something to build around on defense.

St. Pius X held the distinction of being the only team to beat Marist last year. The Golden Lions used that momentum to make it to the third round of the playoffs before losing to Statesboro. St. Pius might not be quite as talented, but they have enough to challenge for a playoff spot. Safety Brandon Echols (6-1, 183) is a solid prospect.

Lakeside-DeKalb moves down from Class AAAAA, just missing the playoffs last year. But the Vikings could be a team to watch for. They ended last year with a big win over Southwest DeKalb. Lakeside hopes to carry that momentum into this season.

Etowah is also moving down and should benefit. The Eagles just missed the postseason in 2003.

North Forsyth is also a team to watch for. The Raiders showed signs of turning the corner last season but finished 4-6. With its entire offensive line returning and several talented underclassmen, North Forsyth is expected to be much improved.

Chamblee played well in a win over St. Pius X and losses to Marist and South Forsyth, but poorly in a loss to North Springs. If the Bulldogs can stay consistent, they could make a run at the playoffs.

North Springs and Forsyth Central struggled last season and aren't expected to play roles in the postseason race. Alpharetta plays its first season and will struggle in a very competitive region.

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