Athens Academy LB Len'neth Whitehead (4) takes down Eagle's Landing Christian Academy QB Brayden Rush during a class A Private high school championship football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018 in Atlanta. (John Amis/Special)

Preseason all-state: Whitehead, Vandagriff, Ratledge head Class A-private team

*Best player: That's a tough one. Prince Avenue Christian QB Brock Vandagriff passed for more than 3,000 yards, rushed for more than 1,000, and had a hand in 61 touchdowns. Not to mention, he's the No. 1 QB prospect in the country among juniors. But he's just one player. Darlington OL/DL Tate Ratledge is essentially two. He's a top-50 national recruit, perhaps the best left tackle in Georgia, and contributed seven sacks and another 16 tackles for losses on defense. And he blocked three extra points. But he doesn't have the ball in his hands that much. How about Len'Neth Whitehead of Athens Academy? He's a four-star LB recruit who rushed for 1,481 yards and 25 touchdowns for a school that has made the finals each of the past two seasons.

*Best position: There's such a glut at running back that a third spot was added for the position at the expense of tight end. Whitehead was slotted at the athlete position, and Darlington's Kolin Rogers (1,429 yards rushing) didn't make it at all. The chosen three were Murphy Reeves (1,710 yards rushing), Michael Cox (1,625) and Keaton Mitchell (2,509). 

*Highly recruited: Ratledge is the consensus No. 5 player in Georgia, No. 35 player nationally, and No. 4 left tackle. He is committed to Georgia. 

*That's interesting: Two offensive linemen have older brothers who were starting left tackles in college football last season. Colby Quinney's brother, Zach, is a sophomore at Georgia Tech. Trey Bedosky's brother, Steven, is a junior at Coastal Carolina. 

*Snubbed? Mount de Sales QB Dexter Williams was the Region 7 player of the year last season, when he passed for 1,023 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 1,544 yards and 18 touchdowns. Williams is committed to Indiana. With Williams edged out, none of the four Macon private schools are represented. 

*What else is new? Athens Academy and ELCA have four selections each, but that's not new. ELCA has played and beaten Athens Academy in the finals the past two seasons. Meanwhile, Aquinas has three picks, all on defense. Might be a good year for the Irish. 


QB - Brock Vandagriff, Prince Avenue Christian, Jr. 

RB - Keaton Mitchell, Eagle's Landing Christian, Sr. 

RB - Murphy Reeves, Fellowship Christian, Jr. 

RB - Michael Cox, Holy Innocents', Sr. 

WR - Deion Colzie, Athens Academy, Jr. 

WR - Justin Robinson, Eagle's Landing Christian, Sr. 

OL - Trey Bedosky, Landmark Christian, Sr. 

OL - Tanner Bivins, Wesleyan, Jr. 

OL - Colby Quinney, Savannah Christian, Sr. 

OL - Tate Ratledge, Darlington, Sr. 

OL - Shedrick Rhodes, Eagle's Landing Christian, Sr. 

ATH - Len'Neth Whitehead, Athens Academy, Sr. 

PK - James Williams, Athens Academy, Sr. 


DL - Marquis Black, Eagle's Landing Christian, Sr. 

DL - Jaden Blount, Aquinas, Sr. 

DL - Cade Brock, Darlington, Sr. 

DL - Andre Miller, Savannah Country Day, Sr. 

LB - Nate Moon, Savannah Christian, Sr. 

LB - Jaquez Dew, Whitefield Academy, Sr. 

LB - Davis Ridings, Prince Avenue Christian, Jr. 

LB - A.J. Williams, Aquinas, Sr. 

DB - Cam'Ron Dabney, Riverside Military, Jr. 

DB - Kurt Knisely, Athens Academy, Sr. 

DB - Sharmari Reed, Trinity Christian, Sr. 

DB - Joseph Welch, Aquinas, Jr. 

P - Marshall Nichols, Holy Innocents', Jr. 

Coming Monday: Class A (Public) 

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