For 50 days, the AJC will take a look at the 50 best high school football programs in the state of Georgia.
This season the Lions return six starters on offense and seven on defense
With three state championships in the past four years and most of their skilled players coming back, there’s little to indicate the Patriots will slow down this fall.
The Tigers will have a new coach and a new quarterback for the program that has produced double-digit wins each season since 2006.
Defending 4-AAAAAA champion McEachern has won 15 region titles in the past 27 seasons, including three since 2009.
The Vikings return 13 of 22 starters, and several experienced backups return. Expectations will be to improve over the first-round exit of 2012
Since joining the Georgia High Schools Association in 2004, ELCA has become one of the most successful programs in the state.
The Panthers rushed for more than 5,000 yards, a key factor in their 13-2 record and appearance in the Class AAAA state championship game.
North Hall is one of the few remaining teams in the state that runs the wishbone and ran for nearly 4,700 yards last season.
Calhoun has won 12 consecutive region titles, and it will be a major upset if the Yellow Jackets don’t make it 13 in 2013.
Returning are only two starters to an offense that looks for bring the Rams their seventh straight 10-win season this fall.
Look for the Bobcats to be in the thick of things this fall, as rising junior running back Chanin Hamilton will most likely become the next big thing at Dooly, post Montravius Adams (32).
The Tigers’ chances to continue the success of 2012 may hinge on how well an untested quarterback can manage the offense.
Brooks won 12 straight games last year, including an historic win over Valdosta, and finished first in rugged Region 1-AA.
East Paulding has had a winning record in each of the past seven seasons, including five years with 10 or more victories.
Coach Rance Gillespie is still looking for a quarterback and is rebuilding an offensive line that lost all five starters.
Larry Campbell's Red Devils have almost always racked up double-digit wins and made a deep run in the playoffs.
If the Marist War Eagles thrive in the post-Myles Willis era this fall, a small note of thanks might be due those who adopted new helmet rules for the 2012 season.
GAC will be tested before it jumps into region play by an ambitious schedule that includes an opener at Stone Mountain and trip to The Brickyard at Thomson.
Lassiter should again be able to put up some big offensive numbers despite the loss of QB Eddie Printz and three starting receivers.
Expect Brookwood to be in the hunt for the Region 8-AAAAAA championship, as always, but don’t look for them to start as a Top 10 team.