Class AAAA - Region 7 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 7

On paper, Rome appears to be one of the state's more-talented teams this season. The Wolves have at least two Division I prospects and a strong group of returning skill players, which should make them the South subregion favorite if the not the favorite to win the entire region. Lineman Timmy Smith (6-0, 250) and tight end Toryan Smith (6-1, 240) anchor the offensive front, which should make life easier for wide receiver Brian Watters (6-1, 185), one of the state's top recruits. Smith, one of the top linebackers in the state, as well as senior defensive lineman David McClusky (6-0, 260) will lead a strong defense.

After Rome, the remainder of the South subregion is anyone's guess. Gordon Central made the playoffs last season and features a talented group of returning seniors, including senior running back T. J. Hamilton (5-9, 180). A pair of senior linebackers - D. K. Nicholson (6-0, 220) and Joey Traves (5-9, 185) - anchor the defense.

Keep an eye on Hiram and East Paulding, which also should jockey for a playoff berth.

Hiram lost 18 starters but Hornets' coach Lynn Rowe has a way of getting the most out his players.

East Paulding coach Tim Glanton helped his team to a 6-4 record last year and the Raiders should expect much of the same this year. East Paulding will build around Division I offensive lineman prospect Brett Gloyd (6-1, 265).

Paulding County, which went 2-8, and Woodland (3-7) hope to improve on last season's records.

The North subregion will have good football, but the favorites aren't as clear as the North subregion. Look for Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Northwest Whitfield, Dalton and Murray County to challenge for postseason berths.

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe lost 18 returning starters and the bulk of its skill players. The good news is that senior offensive linemen Nathan Partain (6-3, 270) and Thomas Catlett (5-11, 225) return, giving LFO a chance to make the postseason if some skill players step forward.

Northwest Whitfield lost a lot of talent to graduation but a strong group of underclassmen should help out.

Dalton lost All-State quarterback Logan Coffey and a strong senior class but should be in the postseason mix as well as Murray County, which should rebound from its 4-6 campaign in 2004.

Ringgold, Southeast Whitfield and Ridgeland won't challenge for playoff berths.

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