Newcomers to have impact on AAA

OK, Class AAA football fans. You won’t be able to hate on Buford this fall. The Wolves came roaring into the classification two years ago, won two state championships and left. Now they’ve moved up to Class AAA.

And while Buford has left the building, there are several new programs that will be coming into the classification this year that have great pedigrees. These newcomers are likely to create more competition in their respective regions this season.

Here are five newcomers to Class AAA this year that bear watching:

Cook: The Hornets were third in Region 1-AA last year, but have been a playoff teams the last four seasons, including a 12-1 campaign in 2010. Cook was 6-5 last year.

Westside Macon: The Seminoles are dropping down in classification from Region 2-AAAA. Westside has made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, missing only in 2011. Westside was 7-4 last season.

Laney: The Wildcats are moving up from Region 3-AA, where they've made the playoffs each of the last four years. Last season Laney was 10-3 and reached the quarterfinals before losing to Lovett, the eventual state champion.

Calhoun: The Yellow Jackets won the Class A championship in 2011, moved up to AA in 2011 and won the state championship. Last year, competing in Region 7-AA, Calhoun was 11-2. There's no reason to doubt the program won't carry its success to AAA this year. The last year the program won fewer than 10 games was 2000.

Jefferson: The Dragons are moving on up from Region 8-AA, where they've gone 24-4 over the last two years, including a state championship in 2012. Jefferson should be a nice addition to that northeast Georgia region that includes neighboring schools like Elbert County and Hart County.