Football is Back! A Look at Teams to Watch in Class A

Hello, Class A Heads! Football is BACK!!

Let’s get it started with a look at a handful of teams to watch this season, for various reasons. On Thursday, we’ll come back with a list of the top games of opening weekend. As was the case last season, the blog schedule will feature new posts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings.

Here's to another great season, and it wouldn't be great without your input! Jump in and post your thoughts, or cuss me out in private at  Here we go!

Teams to Watch This Season

Eagle's Landing Christian Academy (Record last season: 11-3).  The defending state champs are the preseason No. 1 pick. The Chargers are led by a bevy of talented players, including the backfield tandem of Trevor Gear and Josh Mays – who combined for over 2.000 yards rushing last season – along with Tre Douglas, Khalib Hood and kicker Alex Usry. All five are preseason all-state selections.

Clinch County (13-1). The Panthers returned to glory last season, winning the school's sixth state title and its first since 2010. Leading the charge this season will be preseason all-state picks Shannon Young (RB), Zebulon Johnson (DB) and Jerrod Jones (DB).

Aquinas (12-2). The Irish is an incredible 38-3 the past three seasons under James Leonard, with one state title (2013) and a trip to the private school finals last season. But this year's team will be without three key players who transferred to upstart Grovetown – D'Angelo Durahm (RB), Justin Gibbs (WR) and Verenzo Holmes, Jr.

Commerce (9-4). The Tigers advanced to the state semifinals for the second consecutive season last year. Three preseason all-state players – Carson Hall (OL), Garrett Ash (DL) and Cole Chancey (DB) – will try to get the program its third state championship, and it's first since 2000.

Wesleyan (9-3). The Wolves were just two points shy of advancing to last season's Class AA state quarter finals for the first time since 2010. This season Wesleyan drops back down to Class A private, bringing with it preseason all-state quarterback Banks Ramsey.

Macon County (10-3). Like Wesleyan, the Bulldogs dropped down into Class A this season after a stellar campaign in 2015. Macon County sports five preseason all-state players:  K'Hari Lane (QB), Jared Daniels (RB), Trey Brown (WR), Christian Meadows (OL) and Kentarius Felton (LB).

Other teams to watch include:  Prince Avenue Christian, Irwin County, Stratford Academy, Emanuel County Institute, Pinecrest Academy, Marion County, Christian Heritage, Turner County, Mt. Paran Christian, Mt. Zion-Carrollton, Our Lady of Mercy, Lincoln County, Landmark Christian, Telfair County.