Class AAAAA - Region 1 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AAAAA - Region 1

It comes as no surprise that the team to beat statewide is the team that looks to be the class of this region.

Lowndes rolled to a 15-0 season and the Class AAAAA state championship last year and enough talent returns - the team only lost 12 seniors - to make the expectations the same. Star running back Lynn Williams, who rushed for 1,385 yards and 15 TDs as a junior, leads the offense while leading tackler Devarious Leonard (65 tackles, seven sacks) returns to lead the defense.

The biggest threat to Lowndes is cross-town rival Valdosta, which made the state quarterfinals last season. The Wildcats, who are mixing the wishbone into their attack, return the bulk of their offensive line along with quarterback Michael Turner, who blossomed in the playoffs as the first freshman signal caller for the Wildcats since Buck Belue in 1974. Senior Steve Dawson will headline the receiving corps.

Houston County also reached the round of eight last season, giving Region 1-AAAAA three teams in the quarterfinals. Houston is led by 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman Terry Hilton and fellow top college prospect, 6-4 wideout and safety Quintin Banks.

The fight for playoff spots should be fierce in this region with Colquitt County, coming off a state-playoff trip, also vying for a berth along with two teams looking to improve on 2004 records of 5-5, Coffee and Tift County. Tift showed its merit with a win over Valdosta last season.

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