Cherokee County schools Creekview, River Ridge and Sequoyah failed to make the playoffs last season in difficult Region 6-AAAAAA, which produced state champion Harrison and runner-up Allatoona, but expect at least a couple of them to be factors in the playoff race this year.
Creekview, in its first season under head coach Trevor Williams, finished in fifth place and was denied a playoff berth by a 27-21 loss to Sprayberry in the next-to-last game of the regular season. The Grizzlies were region champions in 2018 and finished with a school-best 12-1 record.
Sequoyah went 5-5 in 2019 and missed the playoffs for just the second time in eight years. The Chiefs went 10-3 and reached the state quarterfinals in 2018.
River Ridge, which opened in 2009, is still seeking its first playoff berth since 2012. The Knights struggled in their four seasons in Region 6, winning just five of 30 region games and posting a combined overall record of 11-29.
The other three returning members of the region – north Fulton County schools Cambridge, Chattahoochee and Centennial – finished among the bottom four teams in the final standings. The fall was biggest for Centennial, which was 0-10 in its only season under coach Shane Sams. The Knights had been region runners-up the previous three seasons, going 21-3 in region play and 23-11 overall. New coach Sean O’Sullivan turned the North Atlanta program around, posting a 12-9 record in two seasons and leading the Warriors to the playoffs last year for the first time since 1996. North Atlanta was the third-place team in Region 7 last year but has moved to Region 4.
Cambridge made the playoffs as a No. 4 seed in 2016 but finished in fifth, seventh and sixth place the past three years. The Bears were in the playoff hunt until the final week of the regular season in 2019, when three of their five region losses came by three points or less. Head coach Craig Bennett started the Cambridge program in 2012.
Chattahoochee won a state championship in 2010 and went 10-2 in 2011 but has not been able to recapture the magic. The Cougars have had just two playoff seasons since, most recently in 2017, but bottomed out at 0-10 the following year. Coach Mike Malone improved the team to 3-7 last season. Returning wide receiver Jordan Palmer was a first-team all-region pick in 2019 after finishing with a team-high 1,057 yards and 14 touchdowns.
2019 Region 7-AAAAAA standings
Team / Overall record / Region record / Playoff result
Johns Creek / 10-2 / 8-0 / Lost to Valdosta 28-24 in second round
Alpharetta (moving to 5-AAAAAAA) / 7-4 / 7-1 / Lost to Creekside 28-0 in first round
North Atlanta (moving to 4-AAAAAA) / 7-4 / 5-3 / Lost to South Paulding 41-27 in first round
Northview (moving to 5-AAAAA) / 6-5 / 5-3 / Lost to Mays 39-7 in first round
Pope (moving to 6-AAAAAA) / 5-5 / 4-4 / Did not make playoffs
Cambridge / 4-6 / 3-5 / Did not make playoffs
Chattahoochee / 3-7 / 2-6 / Did not make playoffs
Dunwoody (moving to 7-AAAAAAA) / 3-7 / 2-6 / Did not make playoffs
Centennial / 0-10 / 0-8 / Did not make playoffs
(Teams moving in)
Creekview (from 6-AAAAAA) / 6-4 / 4-4 / Did not make playoffs
River Ridge (from 6-AAAAAA) / 3-7 / 2-6 / Did not make playoffs
Riverwood (from 6-AAAAA) / 11-1 / 7-0 / Lost to Dutchtown 31-7 in second round
Sequoyah (from 6-AAAAAA) / 5-5 / 4-4 / Did not make playoffs