Coaches say 1-AAAAA is even tougher this season -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Coaches say 1-AAAAA is even tougher this season

By Robert Hydrick - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - The high school football season in Georgia will begin on Sunday.

Teams can start practicing in pads on August 1st.

Even though August starts this year on a Sunday, many teams are getting on the field as soon as possible and that is midnight.



Football and good health were the topics at Tift Regional Medical Center's annual 1-AAAAA media day in Tifton.

More than 200 fans turned out to get free health screenings from the hospital.

Then they heard the outlook from each of the five coaches in the region with Lowndes assistant head coach Terry Quinn subbing for Randy McPherson who was taking part in the annual charity golf tournament that supports the Viking football program.

These coaches call this region the toughest in the nation and even though the three Warner Robins schools are gone.

The coaches says the battle for the region title is even harder.


Tift County head coach Jay Walls said. "I think everybody in the region is going to be very good. Every Friday night is going to be a war to get that win and hopefully get into the playoffs.

Coffee High head coach Ken Eldridge said. "I think it puts more emphasis on the region games you do have because you only have four of the them. They are going to be that much more important. You cannot afford to slip up and lose one of them."


New Valdosta High head coach Rance Gillespie is looking forward to his first season with the Wildcats.

Gillespie is back in high school football after spending the last three years working for Chris Hatcher at Georgia Southern.

Before working in Statesboro, Gillespie was head coach at Peach County where he led the Trojans to back to back AAA state titles in 2005 and 2006.

Gillespie says football is football but there is nothing like high school football especially when you are coaching a school that has won 23 state titles.

Rance Gillespie said. "There is just something a little bit different about the emotions and the enthusiasm that goes on a Friday night with Georgia high school. I think in this region and especially at Valdosta High school that is second to none."



Four of the five teams in 1-AAAAA play their first game August 20th.

Valdosta High will open August 27th at home against Brooks County.

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