Scouting Georgia's defending state football champs

All of Georgia's five state football champions won't have the opportunity to repeat their accomplishments this year. Sandy Creek, which won last season's Class AAAA championship, has dropped to AAA. Here's a quick look at the title defenders:

Class AAAAA: Camden County lost 18 of 22 starters, but no one is counting out the two-time champions after what they did last year -- starting 0-2, then reeling off 13 wins in a row. "It's too early to tell about our chances, but our kids believe we can do it, and our community expects it," coach Jeff Herron said. "We're young, but we have a lot of talented kids, no doubt about it. We feel like our program is in a position to have a chance every year, and we'll give it our best this year." Herron said no players on his team have been offered major-college scholarships.

Class AAAA: Sandy Creek lost several of its star-studded offensive weapons, most notably all-state tailback Rajion Neal, who signed with Tennessee. However, the Fighting Patriots return 11 starters, including Ronnie Bell, a rising star at quarterback. "We feel like we have a good team," coach Chip Walker said. "There are a lot of things that go into making a run like we did last year, like staying healthy. Those are going to be more important this year in AAA because we're not as deep as in the past." The AAAA championship race is wide open after Sandy Creek switched classifications. Griffin, Northside-Warner Robins and Tucker are among the favorites to win.

Class AAA: Peach County coach Chad Campbell doesn't want to hear any talk about "repeating" -- at least not now. "We're not very good at this time," he said. "We have three sophomores on the offensive line and an inexperienced quarterback that's a question mark right now. We can't stabilize the line. We've had people out with injuries. It seems like every other day we have somebody new up there. " Peach County returns 11 starters, including eight on defense.

Class AA: It's hard to pick against Buford, which has won three championships in a row. "To compete for the championship this year, it will be how our offensive and defensive lines progress," coach Jess Simpson said. "Those are the two spots we didn't really have a lot of quality snaps for the younger guys last year. We started seniors on the offensive line at every position except for left tackle. If you look at our D-line, all those guys are gone. And they were some high-level players for us. That's the biggest concern for us." Buford plays at Carver-Columbus on Sept. 3 in what some consider a preview of this year's championship game.

Class A: There were concerns about Wilcox County after they were blown out in a scrimmage against Fitzgerald. However, things aren't looking so bad after Fitzgerald upset Class AAAAA's Tift County in last week's season opener. Wilcox's biggest threat likely will be Charlton County, which moved down to Class A. The two teams play Oct. 8. Wilcox County will count heavily on all-state quarterback Nick Marshall, a AJC Super 11 selection who has committed to Georgia.