Five fun teams to watch this season in AAAAA

Class AAAAA has a different look this year. Some of the old reliables are still here, but reclassification has stirred the pot and caused some smaller teams to move up.

Here’s what we know: There will definitely be a new champion. Allatoona move up in classification, leaving a void when it comes to the defending champion.

The season starts for many people this week, so here is a look at five of the teams to watch this season in Class AAAAA. Some may contend for a championship, while others may be looking to have a breakthrough season. All five should be interesting.

Bainbridge: The offense promises to be strong behind the running of junior Dameon Pierce, who ran for 2,060 yards and a school-record 33 touchdowns last year. Pierce has committed to Alabama. Offensive lineman Christian Glover is a four-year starter and was named preseason all-state. Quarterback Brett McLaughlin is back for his second season as a starter. The Bearcats are coming off a breakout season that saw them go 13-1, their best since the 1982 state championship team went 14-1. Season opener: Aug. 26 vs. Lee County.

Buford: The Wolves move up in classification and have a loaded non-conference schedule. They'll do it with a team that doesn't have the high number of Division I prospects as in previous years, but with enough experience and potential that make them a contender. The Brothers Roof will earn of attention this season. Quarterback Mic Roof (an East Carolina commitment) and linebacker T.D. Roof (Georgia Tech) will be a big part of the equation if the program is going to earn its 12th state championship. Season opener: Friday vs. Roswell at McEachern

East Paulding:  This could be a breakthrough season for the Raiders, who start their second season under Jon Lindsey. If East Paulding is to compete with perennial powers Kell and Carrollton, it will need stellar seasons from seniors Jalen Browder and Dylan Prater. Browder had 56 catches and seven touchdowns last year and has a dozen D-I offers; he may also play some quarterback. Prater, who threw for 1,411 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for 1,094 yards and 12 touchdowns, will also be ask to start in the secondary. Season opener: Friday vs. Harrison.

Rome: The Wolves are talented enough to make some real noise this season, their second under coach John Reid, who transformed East Pauling in a state power. Rome is loaded with all-star talent, including two all-star caliber running backs in junior Jaylynn Sykes (1,025 yards) and sophomore Jamious Griffin, a physically gifted player who scored 10 touchdowns last year. Throw in quarterback Knox Kadum (2,000 yards and 18 TDs) and older brother Zach Kadum, D-I prospect at left tackle, and you've got plenty of offensive punch.  The defense is especially stout with tackles Jaquon Griffin and Jamarcus Chatman and end Adam Anderson (6-6, 235), a trio of juniors who are receiving D-I offers. Outside linebacker Jaylen Griffin (6-3, 225) had 25 offers before committing to Virginia Tech.  Season opener: Aug. 26 at Harrison

Stockbridge: The Tigers once again plan to use their triple option attack to keep the ball on the ground and grind it out, just like last year when they rushed for 3,598 yards. The centerpiece of the attack is senior running back Jalen Holston, who ran for 1,361 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015. Much pressure falls on senior Kenderick Duncan, who takes over at quarterback for the graduated Malachi Brown. That transition will be helped by the return of all-region receiver Marquez Ezzard. Season opener: Aug. 27 vs. Mays at Clark Atlanta.