The hard work seems to be paying off.
Going into the postseason, Mount Paran was the sixth-ranked team in Class A by the Georgia Sports Writers Association on Tuesday, the highest since the football program was launched in 2008.
The Eagles, who just completed an 8-2 regular season, were No. 3 in the Class A private-school power ratings, and while they’re expected to drop a few slots to account for region champions obligated to be higher seeds, they should host a playoff game next week.
It was a far cry from last season, when Mount Paran finished 3-7.
The most notable differences between this year and last year? The Eagles are faster behind running backs Emoni Williams and Taylor Trammell, and they’re not committing the turnovers they did a year ago.
“I think it’s been a great season in a lot of ways,” Mount Paran coach Mitch Jordan said. “We wish we could have pulled off a couple of more wins. Overall, we’re happy to be hosting our first playoff game.
“We’re moving in the right direction after having a down season last year. We have to continue the momentum, finish strong and continue to have another good offseason.”
McEachern, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAAA going into its game against North Cobb on Oct. 18, has fallen out of the top 10 after losing two of its last three games.
After losing a 28-26 heartbreaker to North Cobb (8-2) — which is ranked No. 9 this week — the Indians (8-2) lost 31-17 to now-No. 8 Hillgrove (9-1) in the regular-season finale.
McEachern will head to Newton on Friday not knowing if quarterback Ty Clemons is going to play this week. He injured his ankle in the second quarter of last week’s Hillgrove game, and his status for Friday is questionable at best.
Kell (10-0) trails No. 1 Tucker in Class AAAAA for the second straight week. The Longhorns kept their season alive Friday night with a convincing 49-6 win at Cambridge and will host Allatoona in the first round of the state playoffs.