2006 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 1
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Unlike the remaining regions in Class AAAA which feature anywhere from nine to 14 teams, Region 1 has just four schools, meaning all four make the playoffs regardless of records. However, the same quality football this region has been known to produce will continue in 2006.
Thomas County Central rebounded from a dismal 4-6 season in 2004 and finished 10-2 last year, falling to Lee County 42-41 in their meeting which cost the Yellow Jackets the region title. Some holes have to be filled but TCC should make a deep postseason run. The Jackets' nonregion schedule includes higher classification schools Colquitt County and Tift County and neighboring rival Cairo, a Class AAA powerhouse, which should have the Jackets prepared by the time the region schedule begins on Oct. 20 at Americus-Sumter. TCC plays all of its region games on the road.
Bainbridge had a solid team last year but ran into eventul state champion Statesboro in the first round of the playoffs. The Bearcats lost talented fullback/defensive back Daryl Gamble to graduation, but there is enough talent to make a run at the region title. Like TCC, Bainbridge plays a rugged nonregion schedule which will have them prepared for the region slate. The Bearcats don't play Thomas County Central until the final game of the season in Bainbridge, which should decide the region title.
After TCC and Bainbridge, the final two positions are a toss up. Lee County, last year's region champion, graduated more than 30 seniors after posting one of its better seasons in school history. The Trojans feature one of the state's top offensive line prospects in Steve Sutton (6-6, 265), who has drawn considerable interest from schools such as Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU and South Carolina.
Americus-Sumter has yet to prove it can compete at the Class AAAA level. The Panthers, who went 3-8 in 2004, slipped to 1-9 last year and dropped their final seven games. Americus-Sumter lost all of its region games by a combined 166-65. The Panthers are expected to improve.
Class AAAA - Region 1 Football Preview
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