1. Even after a defeat, Laney should still be considered one of the area’s best teams. Westminster is a top-10 contender in Class AA – just like the Wildcats – but Laney looked like the better team. The Wildcats put up 464 yards and always seemed to be threatening to score.
The next step for Laney? Finish those drives.
2. Congrats to Glenn Hills, who was a 29-point victor against Josey. Among the Spartans’ accomplishments:
-At 1-0, they’ve already matched 2011’s win total.
2. Washington County-3-0
3. North Augusta-3-1
4. Strom Thurmond-2-1
5. Burke County-1-1
6. Silver Bluff-3-0
10. Lincoln County-1-1
No surprise at the top as Thomson remains my No. 1. The Bulldogs looked impressive offensively -- 328-yards-from-Chris Jordan impressive -- in a 51-27 win against Lakeside.
Aquinas at George Walton Academy
Here’s an early test for Aquinas. The Irish lost some veterans from 2011, but with Brendan Douglas leading the returning players, Aquinas was seen as a threat to have another playoff run. But George Walton Academy is home and went 8-3 a year ago, losing in the first round to Wilkinson County (a team the Irish beat 24-21). I think Aquinas wins a thriller.
Hephzibah at Burke County
2. Strom Thurmond-1-1
3. Washington County-2-0
4. North Augusta-2-1
5. Burke County-0-1
6. Lincoln County-1-0
7. Silver Bluff-2-0
10. Augusta Christian-2-0
There’s only one small change in my poll, as the top nine remain the same. But Augusta Christian does replace Lakeside after the Panthers lost to Statesboro. However, it’s possible Lakeside could play well at Thomson this week and lose and still be considered one of the area’s 10 best even at 0-2.
Evans at Richmond Academy
This week’s Thursday game has Columbia County vs. Richmond County. The Knights have dominated the series, winning 16 of 19. Evans hopes its no-huddle offense wears out the Musketeers defense.
Butler at Laney
What a great early-season game with two Augusta schools hoping to start 1-0. While Butler coach Myron Newton makes his debut, consistent Laney hopes for another non-losing season under coach Lemuel Lackey. The Wildcats have beaten the Bulldogs six consecutive times.
2. Strom Thurmond-0-1
3. Washington County-1-0
4. North Augusta-2-0
5. Burke County-0-1
6. Lincoln County-0-0
7. Silver Bluff-1-0
You gotta love the early part of the season. It always gives us a few surprises, and this past week Burke County was the upset victim to Thomson. Just proves, again, that anything can happen in football, especially for the first game of the season (Fear the 'Dores, Gamecocks).
Welcome to another great season for GHSA football. Sure, it’s a light week, but football is back – that’s what matters. This week we’ll see which schools get off on the right foot in the quest for a state title.
Aquinas at East Laurens
Some local GHSA-member schools begin football practice tomorrow, so I thought it would be a good time to start thinking about the Power Poll.
Here’s what I came up with less than four weeks until the start of the season:
My Preseason Power Poll
1. Burke County
2. Washington County
3. North Augusta
5. Strom Thurmond
6. Lincoln County
8. South Aiken
Before each football season – be it for high school, college or pro – it’s fun to look back at what happened in past seasons. For the Augusta area, this year is an anniversary for some state championship teams (Thanks, Lincoln County).
One year ago…
2011: Burke County
In case anyone needs reminding, the success started with an impressive season-opener against Baldwin, included ridiculous winning margins in region play and didn’t end until a two-touchdown win in the state final. This team was strong, fast and dominant. Very dominant.
Imagine you’re in an alternate world, one where Nickelback doesn’t exist and that guy does in fact call Carly Rae Jepsen. In this world, a new high school pops up in the Augusta area, and you’re free to take any local head football coach to be the leader of the new program. Whom do you choose?