AA in brief: New reclassification rule to bump Hapeville Charter 2 classifications?


Correction: Under the current proposal, Hapeville Charter would move up just one classification, not two.

Welcome to the first edition of the 2019 “AA in brief.” There’s a lot to get to, but first we’ll take a look at the new top 10. Surprisingly, there is a lot of shuffling in it because both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams lost, with top-ranked Callaway losing on the road to Opelika (Ala.) and Hapeville Charter to AAA’s No. 2 Cedar Grove, though Hapeville kept its ranking based on the quality of opponent.

Here's a look at your new top 10, with each team's previous ranking in parenthesis:

1. (6) Rockmart (1-0)
2. (2) Hapeville Charter (0-1)
3. (1) Callaway (0-1)
4. (3) Fitzgerald (1-0)
5. (4) Dublin (1-0)
6. (7) Rabun County (1-0)
7. (8) Washington County (1-0)
8. (9) Brooks County (1-0)
9. (5) Heard County (0-1)
10. (10) Swainsboro (0-0)

As you can see, no new teams entered the rankings, as there was only a shuffling among the preexisting ones. The Rockmart Yellow Jackets made the biggest jump, moving from No. 6 into the top spot after beating AAAA’s Cedartown. The defending state champion Heard County Braves dropped four spots to No. 9 after losing 29-4 to AAAA’s unranked LaGrange.

In brief

  • The No. 1 Rockmart Yellow Jackets defeated Cedartown 31-12 led by a monster effort from new starting quarterback Javin Whatley, who takes over for graduated Dylan Bailey. Whatley finished with 151 yards on 23 carries, completed seven of his 12 passes from 54 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. NwGaFootball has the highlights.
  • The No. 2 Hapeville Charter Hornets fell 26-16 to defending AAA state champions and No. 2 Cedar Grove. Though the Hornets' offense was bottled up most of the night, their always-stout defense came through with a touchdown from Jaden Clark's pick-six.
  • AJC Super 11 selection Tank Bigsby rushed for No. 3 Callaway's lone touchdown inside the game's final minute as the Cavaliers lost 10-7 to Opelika. The LaGrange Daily News' Kevin Eckleberry and OAnow.com's Jordan D. Hill have write-ups on the game.
  • The No. 4 Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane rolled to a 46-3 win over Bacon County, with Mario Clark scoring three first-half touchdowns.
  • The No. 5 Dublin Fighting Irish shut out Emanuel County Institute 21-0 in a game that barely lasted a quarter before lightening called it off with 11:51 left in the first half.
  • The Jaybo Shaw era is underway at Rabun County and the No. 6 Wildcats looked sharp as ever in a 34-13 win over Bremen, avenging a loss in the previous season opener to them in the Erk Russell Classic. Quarterback Gunner Stockton rushed 16 times for 254 yards and three touchdowns while completing eight of his 11 passes for 211 yards and a score. The Blitz has the write-up and highlights.
  • The No. 7 Washington County Golden Hawks earned their win and a good night's sleep with a 42-7 win over Baldwin that didn't start until 11 p.m. and ended at 1 a.m. Malyk Carter rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns, with the Golden Hawks amassing more than 400 rushing yards.
  • The No. 8 Brooks County Trojans won a shootout over A-Public's No. 8 Mitchell County, 63-50. They were led by Devin Edwards (143 yards, five touchdowns on 20 carries).
  • The No. 9 Heard County Braves face the same opponents this year as they did in their 2018 championship season. Then, they started 1-2, beating LaGrange in their season opener before losing to Hapeville Charter and Rockmart. However, is an 0-3 start on the horizon this year? LaGrange beat the reloading Braves 24-9. The LaGrange Daily News' Kevin Eckleberry has the write-up.
  • The No. 10 Swainsboro Tigers saw their game against Jefferson County postponed until Monday, when they beat the Warriors 37-14 behind senior quarterback Kade Yeomans, who was 27-of-39 passing for 315 yards and four touchdowns, and senior running back Robert Allen (27 rushes, 123 yards, two scores), per the Savannah Morning News.
  • AJC top performers for Week 1 include Dodge County running back Daylon Gordon (322 rushing yards and four touchdowns of 22, 69, 82 and 82 yards); Screven County running back/linebacker Gary Hawkins (219 yards, five touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring run); Brooks County running back Devin Edwards (143 yards, five touchdowns and three two-point conversions); Chattooga running back Lashaun Lester (141 yards, two touchdowns and two-point conversion); Rabun County's Gunner Stockton (see previous bullet); Rockmart's Javin Whatley (see previous bullet); Rabun County's offensive line (lines of distinction).
  • Chattooga, Lamar County and Rabun County were AA schools that avenged Week 1 losses from the prior year according to this list compiled by Todd Holcomb.
  • Here are photos by Simeon Kelley from the Hapeville Charter-Cedar Grove game.
  • Here's a recap of Coosa's 26-14 loss to Trion from AllOnGeorgia.com's Casie Bryant.
  • Armuchee is dealing with the loss of  senior quarterback Devin Pledger to a season-ending injury that required surgery. He suffered the injury in Armuchee's 30-12 loss to Murray County, but the good news is that he's expected to make a full recovery and he's receiving an outpouring of support from the community.
  • The GHSA held a classification meeting on Monday, and it could have huge implications for Hapeville Charter if a multiplier which would make a school move up two classifications is passed and then applied toward charter schools. Per the official GHSA minutes log,  "After some discussion, (reclassification committee chairman Curt) Miller made a motion to treat Charter Schools exactly the same as Private Schools in that their zone for reclassification would be the same as the public school's zone in which the Charter School resides. Williams seconded the motion and the committee passed it unanimously. Stay tuned. Correction: Under the current proposal, Hapeville would move up just one classification, not two.
  • The Bleckley County Royals, led by nationally-coveted lineman Amarius Mimms, shut out Hawkinsville 48-0 in a game they led 42-0 at halftime. It was their first season-opening shutout since 2012, when they beat Hawkinsville 31-0 and finished 8-3, and their first overall shutout since they beat East Laurens 29-0 in 2017. WMAZ has the highlights.
  • Model dropped a close game, 18-16, against LaFayette. Jeremy Stewart of the Rome News-Tribune has the write-up.
  • The Screven County Gamecocks are off to a winning start after beating Bluffton (S.C.) 44-41 in overtime on a game-ending field goal from 22 yards out. Lance Williams of Bluffton Today has the write-up.
  • WTOC has scores and more for Dodge County, Fitzgerald, Toombs County and Dublin.
  • Josey, Screven County and others are mentioned in WJBF's football recap.
  • Pepperell came up just short, 17-7, against Darlington, the No. 4 team in A-Private. The Rome News-Tribune's Jonathan Blaylock has the write-up. Dragons coach Rick Hurst was proud of his team's effort.
  • WMAZ featured Dodge County's Jamal Mahan in its "Ribrocker" segment.
  • Toombs Now has extensive coverage from Toombs County's 14-0 win over Twiggs County.
  • Here are audio highlights of Jeff Davis' 42-12 win over Glenn Hills.
  • AugBball's presentation of Hephzibah's season-opener against Richmond Academy — which was cancelled after it began due to weather — can be watched here. Richmond was leading 10-7 with four minutes remaining in the first half when the game was called.
  • Callaway coach Pete Wiggins was a guest on the West Georgia Football Podcast last week.
  • The Swainsboro Tigers offered condolences to Irwin County coach Buddy Nobles, who was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer.
  • Here's a statistical breakdown of Dodge County's 49-37 win over Bradwell Institute.
  • Here's a season preview for 6-AA's B.E.S.T. Academy.

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