Class AA - Region 4 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AA - Region 4

The Pike County Pirates find themselves as suddenly one of the teams to beat in Class AA, thanks to the arrival of celebrated coach Buzz Busby. In Busby's first year the Pirates improved from two wins to eight and only lost two regular season games by a combined eight points. If not for the unfortunate circumstance of meeting the best #2 seed in the state, Charlton County, in the first round of the playoffs, there's no telling what kind of damage this group may have done in the postseason. With another year to fully implement Busby's system, they look to claim the region title this season and position themselves for a further run into the playoffs. The Pirates, led by running back Matt Carter, will have to win some tough road games along the way. When all is said and done they should host a first round playoff game.

Pike County's main competition in the region will come from the Macon County Bulldogs and the two teams will once again battle for the region crown in 2005. The Bulldogs have dropped only five region games in the last four years and expect to continue that success under Coach Bobby Hughes in 2005. Running back Okeem McClendon will anchor the returnees of the 2004 team that were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Brooks County.

The Red Devils of Jackson have finished first or second in 4-AA every year since 2001. However, thanks to the loss of several key players, Mike Parris' Red Devils will be hard pressed to repeat that in 2005. Wide receiver John Keye is one returning veteran that Jackson can count on. Last year he caught fifty-nine passes and scored ten touchdowns,

Heard County will look to return to playoffs in 2005 after missing them in 2004 for the first time in three seasons. Braves' Coach Tim Barron will welcome back highly touted quarterback Carlos Brown to command his troops and hopefully lead them to contention for the region crown.

Coach Greg Oglesby's Manchester team will battle for the fourth seed in 2005 but will end up falling just short. The Blue Devils could get back to the playoffs if they avoid the upset bug and pull off a home upset along the way.

The Greenville Patriots missed the playoffs in 2004 and are hungry to return in 2005. The Patriots lost few players to graduation and if they can turn around the four game losing streak that they closed the season with, they might battle for that fourth playoff spot. The Patriots' offense will need to step forward against teams like Manchester and Macon County. The Patriot defense only allowed twenty-four points in those losses (a two point loss and an eight point loss). If you combine that with a 21-20 loss to Heard and those three games turned a 7-2 season into a 4-5 one.

The Lamar County Trojans may end up making some noise but should fall short in a region that is getting stronger each season. Coach Calvin Scandrett's group lost a couple of close ones last season that prevented them from getting in the middle of the hunt. Running back Logan Hooks is among the key returnees for the Trojans who will look to run behind a veteran offensive line. The game at Manchester on October 14th may well decide which team makes the playoffs.

New coach Michael Wiggins takes the reigns for the Callaway Cavaliers this season. The Black and White of Hogansville will struggle to get to the top half of the region standings. Coach Wiggins will look to bolster an offense than was shut out for three consecutive games in the middle of the 2004 season.

The Rutland Hurricanes will enter their third season under Coach Mike Davis.
Improvement for the Hurricanes should be noted not in the final record, but in the in closing the gap in the scoring margins and moving up a spot or two in the standings. Both will be tough to do.

Crawford County's Eagles did not have a 2004 season that will instill much hope in their fans. Unfortunately this season looks little different.

The Eagles of Tri County did not compete in region play in 2004, but did put together a 5-4 season, mostly on the backs of single A teams. It remains to be seen where they will fall in the pecking order of Region 4.

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