West Laurens: The Raiders made significant noise during the 2019 season and posted an 11-2 finish after three-time state champion Blessed Trinity topped the program 31-0 in the quarterfinals. West Laurens' only other loss during the 2019 season came in a 31-30 non-region contest with Class AAAAA South Effingham. The 22.15 average margin of victory posted by West Laurens in 2019 is the best in school history and the offense's 34.08 ppg were also a school-record. Now that Blessed Trinity and other former Class AAAA powerhouses like Cartersville have moved to other classifications, West Laurens is a program that represents what the top tier of Class AAAA now looks like. The challenge, however, will be replacing former starting quarterback and GCSU baseball-commit A.J. Mathis and the production of running back Daniel Dorsey.
Rutland: Rusty Easom had the task of taking over a Rutland program that hadn't posted a victory in three years when he stepped in as head coach this past year. The result was a 2-8 finish that. The Hurricanes allowed a whopping 42.8 ppg defensively in 2018 and only saw a slight improvement with last year's 38 ppg allowed—in large part to the program's 75-0 loss to Peach County in region play that boosted the team's average considerably.
Westside-Macon: The Seminoles carry an 8-season playoff-streak into 2020 that validates the program's potential considering the caliber of opponents that they had to face in the talented Region 4-AAA. As a result, Westside-Macon arrives in Class AAAA with a chance to find even more success. The key for head coach Sheddrick Risper this upcoming season will be replacing first-team all-state selection Jaylon Barden and honorable mention Victor Dixon Jr. Barden hauled in a team-high 68 catches for 1,234 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2019. As for Dixon, the 6-foot-3 passer completed 180-of-285 attempts (63.2 percent) for 2,483 yards, 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while also rushing for eight scores to cap his senior campaign.