With the start of the 2019 high school football season right around the corner, the following is a breakdown of how each of the teams in Region 7-AAA finished last season in order to give some perspective into how the 2019 season might pan out.
In Shane Williamson’s final season as the head coach of the Indians, Lumpkin went 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the region during the 2018 season.
The Indians’ ground attack proved potent against weaker defenses last season, but was no match for some of the more high powered offenses.
Lumpkin averaged 16.2 points per game during their 2018 campaign with the ground-and-pound attack, but with new LCHS head coach Caleb Sorrells implementing a new offensive strategy which should open up Lumpkin’s passing game this season the Indians may see more scoring opportunities in 2019.
The Indians’ biggest challenge will be to strengthen its defense in 2019. Lumpkin gave up an average of 32.8 points to opposing offenses last season. The Indians were particularly susceptible to big plays through the air and will need to tightened up its coverage with its defensive backs and create pressure with its defensive line in order to limit opposing teams’ ability to pass in 2019.
GREATER ATLANTA CHRISTIAN
Since joining Region 7-AAA in 2016, the Spartans, under the coaching of Tim Hardy, have recorded a perfect 18-0 record against region opponents. GAC’s complete dominance in region play has allowed the Spartans to win their third straight Region 7-AAA championship title last season.
The Spartans should prove to be the top dog in the region again this year, barring some major upsets.
The Indians lost to GAC 38-0 last season and will need to find an answer for the stout defense of the Spartans in order to give GAC a run for its money this season. Lumpkin will travel to GAC to face off with the Spartans in mid-October.
The Tigers finished the 2018 season with a 10-2 overall record and a 5-1 region record, allowing Dawson County to finish in second place in the Region 7-AAA standings. The Tigers advanced to the GHSA State Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season in 2018.
Despite losing several key seniors from last year’s roster, the depth of the Tiger’s roster should still make them a force to be reckoned with for region opponents again in the 2019 season.
Lumpkin suffered a 36-3 loss on the road against the Tigers last season. However, the home crowd at the Burial Grounds combined with Sorrells’ new offensive strategy for the Indians might be enough for the Indians to pull out their first win against their long-time rivals since they defeated Dawson 42-19 during the 2014 season. The Indians will get their opportunity to end the losing streak versus the Tigers when the two teams square off midway through the season.
Finishing third in the region standings last season, the North Hall Trojans put together a 9-3 overall record and 4-2 region record during their 2018 campaign.
The Trojans’ strength last season was its offense. North Hall scored 60 or more points in five games and scored 70 or more points twice last season on their way to a State Playoff berth.
One of the teams that the Trojans put 70 points on then scoreboard against last season was the Indians. Lumpkin struggled on both sides of the ball and lost the game by a final score of 70-0.
Finding an answer against the Trojans’ high tempo offense will be key if the Indians hope to reverse their fortunes against North Hall this season when the two teams collide on October 25 at the Burial Grounds.
The Fannin County Rebels proved themselves to be resilient last season. Despite a 4-7 overall record and a 3-3 region record, the Rebels were able to secure themselves a spot in last season’s State Playoffs.
The Rebels’ offense proved tricky to defend when the Indians faced off with Fannin County at the Burial Grounds last season, as Lumpkin fell by a final score of 35-14.
However, this season could prove to be a different story when the two teams face off at the start of November.
In 2018, the East Hall Vikings battled their way to a 3-7 overall record and a 2-4 region record.
The Vikings weren’t one of the strongest offenses in the region last year but still managed to average 20.4 points per game. With several key starters returning this season, the expectation is that the Vikings should improve on both sides of the ball in 2019.
The Indians fell to the Vikings 32-31 in a heartbreaker at the Burial Grounds which ended Lumpkin’s 2018 season. Despite the final score, the Indians held their own and played well during of last year’s loss.
Lumpkin will have the chance to exact their revenge on East Hall when the Indians travel to take on the Vikings in the final regular season game of 2019 on November 8.
It was a rocky start for Cherokee Bluff football program when the Bears went winless in its inaugural 2018 season. The Bears, led by head coach Tommy Jones, averaged 10.8 points per game in 2018 while giving up an average of 42 points to opposing offenses.
The Indians got the best of the Bears in the 2018 season, winning their region matchup with Cherokee Bluff by a final score of 42-19.
The Indians should be favorites when the two teams meet up to battle it out at the Burial Grounds in October this season.
Although they were winless last season, the Bears should improve in their second season. But, with teams like Greater Atlanta Christian, Dawson County and North Hall in the region it’ll be difficult for Cherokee Bluff to battle their way to the top spot in the standings this season.