Class AA - Region 8 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AA - Region 8

The Buford Wolves continued their recent successes in 2004 with another trip to the finals and have become one of the most storied football programs in recent memory. However, 2005 will present the Wolves with new challenges with a new coach while many of the experienced players of 2004 have graduated. Former assistant Jess Simpson takes over for legend Dexter Wood, who finished his career with five straight championship game appearances and three titles. However, it is not time to write the Wolves off as they do return one of the better quarterbacks in Class AA if not the state in Justin Roper, the 6' 6" signal caller who is coming off of a very successful 2004 season. Towering junior wide receivers David Hendrix (6' 4") and Chase Burnette (6'3") also return for the Wolves.

Although Buford gets all the attention, Greater Atlanta Christian has become one of the premier programs in Class AA football. Since 2001 the Spartans have played in fifteen playoff games, including the 2002 finals. The Spartans roster in 2004 was evenly divided between sophomores, juniors and seniors so they will be an experienced nucleus in a campaign to overtake a more youthful Wolves' team.

Dawson County's Tigers dipped their feet in the playoff waters in 2004 and are ready for another visit in 2005. They only lost two region games, but were outmanned in each contest. This season the Tigers return with a large group of experienced seniors and will look to host a playoff game for the first time in a while. It will help that most of their home games are against the upper echelon of the region.

The Wesleyan Wolves hired a new coach for the 2005 season. Phillip Deas was the offensive coordinator at nationally known football powerhouse Evangel Christian in Louisiana for the past four seasons and plans to institute a similar high-octane attack at Wesleyan. Deas arrival has energized the program of the Norcross school. The Wolves were pasted in the playoffs by Calhoun 41-0 but now will concentrate on breaking the stronghold that the other Wolves have on 6AA.

East Hall is getting close to the playoffs, but came up short once again in 2004. They avoided the upset bug, but could not find a way to get past the top four teams in the region. This year could be the one, though, as the 2004 roster of the Vikings was young so the 2005 edition will send seasoned players to the field.

The Lumpkin County Indians had a hard time matching up with the region powerhouses in 2004. The closest loss for the Indians to a team that finished ahead of them in the standings was a 42-20 loss to East Hall. Offense will be the point of attention in the summer workouts. In the 2004 region losses they scored about eleven points a game.

Rabun County truggled through their 2004 season, but the Wildcats recorded shutouts in both region wins.

The Union County Panthers have seen nothing but hard times since the 2001 season, when they last experienced the playoffs.

Banks County has won eight games since 2001 and the future is not bright for the Leopards in 8AA this season.


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