ATLANTA -- Defending state Class AAAAA champions Camden County brought a stifling defense and a little luck to the Georgia Dome to kick off the season Saturday afternoon at the Corky Kell Classic.
The Wildcats' 12-10 victory over powerhouse Parkview not only proved that last year was no fluke, it also provided state sports writers with enough confidence to select them as the unanimous No. 1 choice in this week's Associated Press high school football poll.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Parkview punter Mark Veal took a snap high over his head into the end zone. Trying to recover rather kicking the ball out of bounds for a safety, Veal provided Camden's William Johnson with a touchdown and the win.
The Class AAAAA rankings experienced the most significant realignment with four preseason selections exiting after loses. The new members include No. 6 McEachern, No.8 Starr's Mill, No. 9 Douglass and No. 10 Harrison.
Marist remained at the top of Class AAAA with Statesboro maintaining the No. 2 spot. No. 3 Northside and No. 4 Thomas County Central exchanged preseason places with Northside's 14-0 win over Peach County while TCC began the season with an off week. Americus exited the poll after a 37-34 loss to Early County and Southwest DeKalb entered at No. 10 with a 42-27 win over Columbia.
LaGrange continues to be the Class AAA unanimous choice for No. 1 with a dominating 35-7 performance over previously No. 3 Class AAAAA ranked Newnan. Three teams moved out of the poll making way for newcomers No. 8 Carrollton, No. 9 M.L. King, and No. 10 Westminster.
In Class AA, Buford remained No. 1 with 14 first place votes, No. 2 Charlton County remained steady while No. 3 Early County and No. 4 Decatur flip-flopped. Cook's 24-7 lose to Cairo moved them out and made way for Appling County to enter at No. 10.
Hawkinsville remained at No. 1 in Class A after being down 13-6 to Washington County at halftime. After a 45-minute weather delay, the Red Devils rallied to win 27-20. Clinch County moved up a slot to No. 2 after previous No. 2 Lincoln County lost to Greene County 21-6. No. 8 Randolph-Clay and No. 10 Bremen become the newest members after previously ranked Landmark Christian and Dooly County loses.