Class AAAA - Region 5 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 5

This region may have been the most-balanced of any in Class AAAA last season. With the exception of South Atlanta, North Atlanta and Forest Park, the remaining nine teams had a chance to make the postseason.

The East subregion could almost be a repeat of 2004 with North Clayton and Stone Mountain being the favorites. North Clayton should certainly be the class of the region with a wealth of returning talent from last year's team that went 10-0 before an upset loss in the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles return a talented offense led by junior quarterback Morgan Burnett(6-2, 180), senior wide receiver Greg Ringfield (6-5, 190) and tight end Isaiah Cantrell (6-1, 209). Defensively, Donnell Sanders (6-3, 210) anchors the defensive front. There is enough talent for North Clayton to approach last year's success.

Stone Mountain finished as the East subregion runner-up, but the Pirates are expected to get stiff tests from Southwest DeKalb, Mays and Jonesboro, which finished in a three-way tie for third in the subregion.

South Atlanta's struggles are likely to continue.

Washington should once again be the team to beat in the West subregion. The Bulldogs scored two big playoff wins, including a second round win over 2003 Class AAAA champion Marist, before falling to Ware County in the quarterfinals. Approaching last year's success could be tough, but there are enough returnees to make a run at the postseason. Washington features one of the nation's top safety prospects in senior Rashad Jones (6-2, 180).

Mt. Zion-Jonesboro will always be competitive as long as coach Jackie Green is around. The Bulldogs were young last season but still managed a trip to the playoffs. Defensive back Valin Leggett (5-10, 160) returns for his senior year and is one of the region's top secondary players.

Cedar Grove should challenge for a postseason berth if some younger players step forward. The linebacking position should be solid as juniors Xavier Wyatt (6-2, 200) and Tyler Bass (5-11, 195) return.

Columbia, North Atlanta and Forest Park will rank near the bottom of the subregion.

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