Class AAAAA - Region 5 Football Preview

Most of last year's top teams in Region 5-AAAAA were hurt by graduation, leading to what should be a wide-open playoff race this season.

2006 Football Preview
Class AAAAA - Region 5
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Most of last year's top teams in Region 5-AAAAA were hurt by graduation, leading to what should be a wide-open playoff race this season.

McEachern has veteran players in some key spots, and has the benefit of a senior quarterback, Ron Ward, who has been through the toughest games. The defense is tough and runs to the ball well, with big Ted Laurent, a 6-foot-1, 290-pound Ole Miss commitment, plugging up the middle.

Along with McEachern, subregion A mates Harrison and South Cobb also are coming off playoff seasons. Harrison's young lineup must grow up fast and support key returning players like athlete Darvin Adams and Jermaine Murphy, a small but quick force at linebacker. South Cobb has to rebuild on defense, but its offense is top-notch, with versatile athlete Austin Kelly (6-3, 185) at the forefront.

Campbell, 5-5 in 2005, could be the surprise team in subregion A. Its lineup includes Cobb County's top returning passer in Dominic Tyler (1,407 yards), Cobb's top returning receiver in Torin McCullough (45 catches, 565 yards, 5 TDs) and the team's top tackler in Chris Henderson (117 tackles). That's without mentioning 1,000-yard rusher Hoppo Joseph.

Kennesaw Mountain also was 5-5 last season and has hopes of climbing into playoff contention.
In subregion B, perennial power Marietta saw graduation sap many of its veteran players. But the Blue Devils, fresh off a 10-2 season, hope its young players can maintain the tradition of one of Cobb's top football schools.

Former Valdosta coach Mike O'Brien led Woodstock to a surprisingly successful season in 2005, sporting an 8-3 record after going 2-8 the year before. Murray County was a 7-4 team in Class AAAA, but it remains to be seen if the wins will keep coming in the state's biggest class.

Etowah was 3-7 last year in AAAA, and will be joined in rebuilding by North Cobb, which was 2-8.


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