It’s rare for a No. 3 seed to make the championship game in the highest classification, but it’s a guarantee this season as North Gwinnett and McEachern — teams that were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 at one point before winding up third in their regions — play Friday at McEachern in the AAAAAA football semifinals.
Since 1996, when the GHSA first allowed four teams from each region to qualify, only four No. 3 seeds have won their semifinal games in the highest class. They are Colquitt County in 2010, Lowndes in 1999 and Parkview and Tift County in 1997. Lowndes and Parkview went on to win state titles. Only one No. 4 seed, 2006 co-champion Peachtree Ridge, has reached a championship game in the highest class.