Region races hardly settled
by Carlton D. White
October 20, 2013 01:07 AM | 3283 views | 7 7 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Receiver Quincy Perdue helped Lassiter beat Milton on Friday, putting the Trojans in the thick of the Region 5AAAAAA championship race.
<BR>Staff photo by Erin Gray
Receiver Quincy Perdue helped Lassiter beat Milton on Friday, putting the Trojans in the thick of the Region 5AAAAAA championship race.
Staff photo by Erin Gray
There were a lot of changes atop the region standings Friday night.

Teams once thought to be in charge of their championship hopes saw mixed results, while others with shaky results through the first half the season are putting themselves in position to contend for their respective region titles.

No better case for a switch can be made following the outcome of the North Cobb-McEachern game.

The second-ranked Indians were 5-0 in Region 4AAAAAA, while the eighth-ranked Warriors were 4-0. The winner would remain as the lone region unbeaten and have the inside track to the region championship at the end of the season.

After beating a ranked Hillgrove team the previous week, North Cobb answered the bell once again with a 28-26 triumph over McEachern, shaking up the region standings in the process.

“Any time you can compete with a program like McEachern’s, you know you’re heading in the right direction,” North Cobb coach Shane Queen said. “They’ve won back-to-back region championships and have had a lot of success. They’re the team that all of the other teams in our region compare themselves to, so to get a win over them was big for us.

“We’ve improved every week and I’m excited about the effort our kids have given over the past couple of weeks. (Friday) night was one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of.”

Another change at the top occurred in Region 5AAAAAA.

Lassiter was a team with questions after slipping to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in region play. But the Trojans have since won back-to-back games over Walton and Milton — teams once ahead of them in the region standings — and received good news when Etowah lost to Cherokee to slip to 3-1 in the region.

With three games remaining on the schedule, including the regular season finale against Etowah, Lassiter has gone from a team with questions to a team in control of its region championship race.

“After the Woodstock (loss), the players really took a stock of where they were,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “If we were going to turn our season around, we would have to be better focused on what we’re doing on the field. I feel like that’s happening.

“We’re coaching the same way, but the credit goes to the kids for hanging in there and understanding why we’re playing better. They’re more focused and not turning the ball over.”

Like Lassiter, Pope also had its share of problems early in the season.

The Greyhounds were 1-4 entering play in Region 7AAAAA’s southern half. However, they’ve done well since region play began and are now 2-0 with two games left, and in control of making a possible region championship game appearance.

It could come down to Nov. 1, when Pope hosts the subregion’s other co-leader, Kell

“These last two wins have been extremely gratifying,” Pope coach Matt Kemper said of the Greyhounds’ victories over Osborne and Sprayberry. “We were off last week, and at the end of practice, I talked to the kids about what we wanted to accomplish and play for. It’s not about how you start, but how you finish.

“We’ve had our hands full these last two games and we can’t give up. The kids have responded. I don’t think we’ve played our best football yet.”

Allatoona played its best football early, with three shutout victories in four games. Then, the Buccaneers lost to South Paulding in overtime, which derailed their region championship hopes.

But South Paulding then fell to North Paulding, making the region race even murkier, with East Paulding also in the mix.

“We could be the region champion, or out of the playoffs all together depending on tiebreaks at the end of the season,” Allatoona coach Gary Varner said. “Our region is a mess. Right now, there are five teams eligible for four playoff spots with three games left, and our final two are against North (Paulding) and East (Paulding).

In Region 6A (B), Mount Paran Christian (6-1, 3-0) will host Mount Pisgah Christian (7-0, 3-0) on Friday for the outright subregion lead.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Walter P.
October 26, 2013

So you're saying someone could make a large contribution to the booster club and, possibly, influence players and/or playing time?
Frank Lee
October 24, 2013

You seem to be confusing high school sports with college sports...a high school coach's livelihood doesn't depend on winning or teenagers. His coaching job might, but his income comes from teaching.
don't let's be silly
October 25, 2013
Income for head football coaches can be more than their teacher income....and I'm not talking about county stipends. Take a look at a booster club annual budget sometime. See new vehicles being driven. You seem to be confusing some of these coaches as honest, hard working men...that teach something....anything....a subject, perhaps in a classroom (or even a gym), with a roster, standards to meet....
October 21, 2013
Would Lassiter even be in the conversation if they had to use their own players? I cannot believe the Lassiter parents allow these players to come in and take the positions from their boys. Should be called the LASSITER TRANSFERS
M. Jackson
October 22, 2013
The problem is that Lassiter's own players don't get the opportunity to play. So the question really needs to be asked of the coaches who make those decisions.

I think the players and parents are somewhat trapped. Even though their kids have put in countless hours, and done all the fund-raisers, and parents have put thousands of dollars into equipment, etc., if anyone speaks up they'll be benched. So they either quit or sit on the bench and hope they get to play.

Unless and until the players do something like at Grambling State, I don't see anything changing any time soon.
October 23, 2013
M. Jackson, your comparison was dead on until you compared Lassiter and high school football to Grambling State and their current situation. They aren't even remotely related. Grambling's situation is clouded by corrupt people in charge. They're flying on jets to the games while the team is bused 14 hours. Money that Doug Williams raised for specific improvements to the locker room and facilities was taken away and spent elsewhere. He protested and was fired for insubordination. That same locker room is decaying and molded and mildewed. Pretty sure Lassiter doesn't have shoddy facilities.

It's hard for a coach to turn down talented players when their livelihood depends on winning and that winning has to be done using 14, 15, 16 and 17 year olds. How many men in the business world have to perform their job relying on teenage boys?

My son is gone from the program but I still follow closely and want them to do well. I am just perplexed at the absolute outcry almost 4 years ago when one player, Tyren Jones, moved with his family to the Walton district. They made the decision based on the accurate fact that Lassiter throws the ball and Walton runs the ball. He was successful and earned a scholarship to Alabama. Lassiter families were vicious and upset, yet the very next year, a total of 7 players transferred to the Lassiter football program and all was right with the world. Why is that?
October 24, 2013
notgrambling-why did you stop using your real name?
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