2006 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 4
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From top to bottom, this region could be the toughest in the Class AAAA classification. Three teams which will compete in this region during the next two years - Baldwin, Griffin and Northside-Warner Robins - made the state semifinals last season. Just making the postseason in this region will be a statement. The A subregion will consist of Forest Park, Griffin, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Mt. Zion-Jonesboro, North Clayton and Riverdale, while the B subregion is made up of Baldwin, Eagle's Landing, Jones County, Northside-Warner Robins, Stockbridge, Upson-Lee and Westside-Macon.
Griffin, which competed in Region 3 last season, caught fire in the postseason and made its first appearance in the state semifinals this decade. The Bears return a strong nucleus that could have them approaching last year's success. The only weakness appears to be finding some interior offensive and defensive linemen. As many as five Division I prospects return at the skill positions, including wide receiver Sidney Harris (6-0, 165) and running back Bobby Rainey (5-8, 180).
Griffin's biggest obstacle in subregion A could come from Riverdale, which is dropping down from Class AAAAA. The Raiders have a wealth of talent, including wide receiver Rashad Tukes (6-3, 170) and defensive lineman Jonathan Muhammad (6-3, 230), both seniors. The Raiders took Class AAAAA powerhouse Valdosta to the limit in the first round of the state playoffs before falling.
North Clayton and Mt. Zion-Jonesboro will also contend, however, some underclassmen will have to step forward to approach last year's success. Lovejoy, which had success in Class AAAAA, is dropping down and should also contend. Forest Park and Jonesboro will continue to struggle.
Northside-Warner Robins has had its share of success this decade but has yet to win a state title. The Eagles should once again go deep in the postseason.
Baldwin could give Northside a run, especially if some offensive and defensive lineman step forward. There is plenty of skill talent returning, including senior wide receiver Wayne Bonner (6-4, 180) and senior running back Darius Marshall (5-10, 185).
Look for Upson-Lee, which finished 9-3 last year, and Westside-Macon to contend. Eagle's Landing went 6-4 last season but will find competing in this subregion a bit tougher. Stockbridge and Jones County won't figure into the subregion race.
Class AAAA - Region 4 Football Preview
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