Rough opening week for Region 7-AA

It was not the opening weekend of football that the teams of Region 7-AA had hoped for. All 7 of the teams in the Region took a loss Friday.

North Murray lost to Dalton 49-27. The Mountaineers struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the soggy field conditions. North Murray also struggled with Dalton’s Tyson Greenwade as he racked up over 300 yds and 6 touchdowns on the evening. Dry field turf will definitely be a welcome sight for the Mountaineers when they host Pickens for their home opener next Friday.

Murray County lost to Coahulla Creek 49-7 on the road Friday. A talented senior heavy Colt team spoiled the coaching debut For Murray County’s Kurt Napier. The Indians will look to break into the win column when they host Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe next Friday.

Fannin County lost to Union County 14-7. The Union County Panthers earned their first victory since 2019 in the Border War rivalry. The Fannin County Rebels will look to find their offensive identity on the road next Friday at Gilmer.

Rockmart lost to Cedartown 27-14 in the Battle for Polk County. Cedartown’s Harlem Diamond proved to be to much for the Yellow Jacket defense. Eli Barrow and the Cedartown defense took away the sting of the Yellow Jacket offense. The out-of-region schedule doesn’t get any easier for Rockmart, next Friday they will travel to Cass.

Haralson County lost at home to Rabun County 49-3. Rabun’s Keegan Stover picked apart the Haralson secondary on his way to a 5 TD performance. The Haralson offense struggled to find the same groove from last season. The Haralson County Rebels travel to Bremen next Friday.

Model was shutout by Cherokee County (Al) 20-0. Model fell behind early and lacked the Offensive production to climb back into the game. The Blue Devils will look to change that when they welcome Pepperell next week.

Gordon Central struggled offensively as well in their 10-6 loss at Armuchee. The Warriors only managed 203 yards of offense and only points came on a 61yd TD pass with under a minute before halftime. Gordon Central will welcome Southeast Whitfield next Friday.

A New Rivalry Begins

When North Murray and Dalton meet next Friday, it will mark the first time in over a decade that Dalton has faced a team from Murray County.

Gone are the days of the Indians and the Catamounts being the biggest show in town for one fall Friday a year. The older folks remember the rivalry quite well, the younger generation may not be aware it existed at all.

The rivalry wasn’t always kind to the Indians. The two first met in 1953– it took Murray County until 1977 to notch their first win. Dalton holds a convincing series advantage at 44-9. A record that includes a forfeit by each team.

The yearly matchup became most competitive in the 1990’s. In a stretch from 1991-2000, the two teams fought to an even split at 5-wins apiece.

Both Murray County and Dalton played in region 7-AAA at the time, together they dominated the Region. During the decade, Dalton won 5 region titles and Murray County won 3.

Murray County faithful remember those days as some of the best years for Indian Football. Then Head Coach Bill Napier led the Indians to 3 region titles, a run to the quarterfinals in 2000, and a win over Dalton in 1999 that Indian fans know simply as ‘The Comeback’.

Many are wondering how this new rivalry will fare. Will the Mountaineers and Catamounts revive the emotions and competitive spirit of the past?

Only time will tell.

What is certain, is that this game will benefit both schools, teams, and communities. For those reasons, I hope this new rivalry catches on.

Catching up with Bremen Head Coach Davis Russell

CARROLLTON GA- On Gradick sports media day I had the chance to sit down with Bremen Football Head Coach Davis Russell. Coach Russell gave us some insight on the Blue Devils as they prepare for the upcoming season.

When asked about changes to the offense and the offensive line:

“One of the reasons we went to this offense is we got tackles like Evan Brown who 6’1” or 6’2” that are 200 pounds and start on our basketball team, so they can really run, gap-down-backer and run. Barrett Greenhaw and Doc Pearson who played fullback and tight-end last year, they’re playing tackle, and those guys can run.”

“We got a couple kids in Logan Mann and Watson Hembree, that didn’t play last year that are big guards. Big punching guards.

“Another Lineman that is just phenomenal, he’s going to be our next D1 player, a division-1 offensive lineman in my opinion is Cole Norred. He’s just a sophomore. David Norred, who was head coach at Villa-Rica a couple years ago, it’s his son. Cole is 6’3” or 6’4” and 265 lbs. and he’s just a sophomore. He’s going to be a phenomenal player.”

“We got a good group of offensive lineman and Sam Robison is leading the charge there. He’s my co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. He’s won a State Championship as OL coach with Calhoun and played in this offense, it’s a good group.”

Coach’s thoughts on the Bremen Defense:

“Doc Person and Barrett Greenhaw, both play edge for us, they’re great players. Parr Folsom plays mike-backer, he’s really good. “

“We got a team of corners; I’ve got about 6 corners. They play hard and their good kids to. Cayden Sweatt is really good on defense to, we’re going to play him in spots because he will be running the ball a bunch, but he’s a really good defensive player. Cam O’Neal is a D-lineman that’s another great player. I could name a bunch of them”

“Nobody stands out as far as there’s just one guy better than the other. Just a bunch of blue-collar kids that work their butt off. That’s what we prided ourselves on.”

When asked about last season’s 5-6 finish:

“We hit the reset button in February, people think when you have a bad football season that you need to do more football, we did less. We started focusing on being great teammates, being great people, being great leaders, being great workers, and being un-common. That’s our thing this year, we’re going to be uncommon. We’re going to be real with one another, and this is the most fun summer I’ve ever been a part of.

This team is an ultimate team, and that’s been our focus. That’s what we always wanted at Bremen, Tough hard-nosed kids that get after it and don’t want to let their teammates down. We got away from it at spots and we aren’t going to let that happen again.”

On Cayden Sweatts move to fullback:

We were doing this thing called Devil Games, and at the end of one of the mornings we were running pro shuttles and he just started whipping everybody. He was out running our skill guys.”

I called our Offensive Coordinator Coach Tim Hanegan and our Co-OC Sam Robison and I said one of y’all is going to love me for this and one of you is going to hate me, but I think Sweatt needs to play fullback.”

“Our quarterback is going to be a great player, he’s 15 years-old—he’s a lefty that throws a baseball 88 mph. He’s a really good player named Aiden Price. He’s going to be outstanding, in 3-years he’s going to be the talk of this whole place, but we got a bunch of small guys to. Our running backs are great players, Parr Folsom is an outstanding player. Trent McPherson, outstanding player, outstanding. Cleaned 290, he was our Iron Devil, he’s just a sophomore, he’s a stud.

Our problem was we didn’t have that big fullback that dotted that flexbone, so what we did was we just put Cayden there. Coach Hanegan and Coach Robison said I think we just got a lot better, and you know Cayden’s happy, he ain’t quit smiling yet.”

Bremen will have a scrimmage at Rockmart August 5th and will open Regular season play on the road against Heard County August 19th.

New Challenges await North Murray and Murray County this season.

Don’t worry Football fans, the wait is almost over.

Folks all around the State are gearing up for another season to enjoy the grandeur of the Friday Night Lights. For the fans here in Murray County, this season could be especially exciting.

This years GHSA reclassification has landed both Murray County and North Murray in a new Region for the 2022 Football season. Both teams will be joining Region 7-AA this fall. The schools that comprise the new 7-AA are: North Murray, Murray County, Rockmart, Fannin County, Haralson County, Model, and Gordon Central.

Several local pundits have already dubbed this region ‘The SEC of AA football’.

This star-studded Region now has three teams that won Region titles last season: Fannin Co. (7-AA), Rockmart (6-AAA), & Haralson Co. (5-AA).

Not only is this new Region filled with great teams, it also features great Coaching. The Past four Coaches of the Year, as voted on by NwGaFootball will now face-off in region play this season. Rockmart Head Coach Biff Parson won the award in 2018, North Murray Head Coach Preston Poag won in 2019, Fannin County Head Coach Chad Cheatham won in 2020, and Haralson County Head Coach Scott Peavey took home the award for the 2021 season.

Although North Murray didn’t bring home a Region crown last season, they do have a returning Region Player of the Year in Sr. QB Seth Griffin. Griffin earned the 6-AAA Region Player of the Year last season after Passing for more than 2800-yards and accounting for 32 total touchdowns.

North Murray has ridden a wave of success under seventh-year Head Coach Preston Poag. The Mountaineers have reached the playoffs for 6-straight seasons and will be looking for number 7 this fall.

Excitement at Murray County is growing as new Head Coach Kurt Napier is looking to return the Indian Football Program to a perennial Region contender. Murray County has struggled in recent years, they haven’t had a winning season since a 6-4 campaign in 2016. Indian Faithful are hoping that the recent changes will be the spark the team needs to notch their next winning season.

The Rockmart Yellowjackets return to Region 7-AA after a two-year hiatus. The Jackets have won 5-straight Region titles: 2017-2019 in Region 7-AA and the past two seasons in Region 6-AAA. With a large number of returning starters, they are seen as the early favorite in the Region.

Fannin County is the 2-time defending 7-AA champion. The Rebels are coming off of the first back-to-back 10-win seasons in School history. The road to a third-straight Region Title for Fannin now seems much more Challenging.

Haralson County will be joining 7-AA this season after competing in 5-AA the last two seasons. The Rebels are coming off a 10-win season which brought home the first Region Title in school History. Haralson County has become a perennial playoff-team under sixth-year Head Coach Scott Peavey, and will look to continue that trend this season.

Model is coming off a disappointing 3-7 season where the Blue Devils missed the playoffs for the first time under fourth-year Head Coach Jeff Hunnicutt. With several standouts returning this season, Model looks prepared to reclaim their spot in the postseason this year.

Gordon Central enters their seventh-season in 7-AA. The Warriors have not matched the success of their fellow Gordon Schools Sonoraville and Calhoun. Head Coach TJ Hamilton will be entering his fourth season as Head Coach after posting a 6-24 record in his first three seasons at the helm.

Regardless of whether you wear black & yellow or green & white, one thing is certain, great Football is heading your way. Grab your season tickets and get ready, the season is about to get underway.

GHSA releases playoff brackets for the 2022 Football Season. Single A playoff preview.

Earlier this month, the GHSA released the playoff brackets for the 2022 football season.

This years pairings will feature Region 5 schools playing Region 6 Schools and Region 7 S

For the Northwest Georgia coverage area, some of these matchups look favorable, some however do not.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential Schools that our local teams could face this season.

Local schools Christian Heritage, Bowdon, and Mt. Zion will represent Region 7 DivisionII when they match up with Region 8A Division II in the first round of the playoffs.

Region 8A Division II is a 10-team Region with only seven of the member schools playing football. This Region includes four schools who made the playoffs last season including: Aquinas (A-Private), Lincoln County, Warren County, & Washington-Wilkes.

The three other teams in the Region, Towns County, Greene County, and Lake Oconee Academy failed to reach the playoffs last season.

Greene County has not reached the postseason since their 7-A Region Title season in 2018.

Towns County has not qualified for the playoffs since their only appearance in 2017.

Lake Oconee Academy will begin their second season of playing Football after a respectable 2-4 opening campaign.

Last season, Aquinas had an early exit from the postseason with a first round 21-14 loss to First Presbyterian. The First Presbyterian Vikings avenged a regular season 27-2 loss to Aquinas. The Vikings would run out of luck soon after and fell to soon-to-be runner up Prince Avenue Christian.

Washington-Wilkes advanced to the second round with a 28-7 win over Gordon Lee. The Tigers bowed out the next round in a 61-28 loss to eventual Champion Brooks County.

Warren County made the longest playoff run making it to the Elite-8 before also falling to eventual Champion Brooks County 51-30.

Local schools Armuchee, Chattooga, Coosa, Dade County, Darlington, Pepperell, and Trion make up Region 7A DivisionI. They will have a first round meeting with Region 8.

Region 8A DivisionI is a six-team Region with 4 member schools participating in football.

Although this Region may only have four teams, the four teams they have are pretty good.

Athens Christian, Elbert County, Rabun County, and Commerce are all perennial playoff teams.

Elbert County lost in the first round 26-14 to Columbia last season.

Commerce also had a first round exit last season when they lost to Bowdon 35-0.

Athens Christian made it to round two of the A-Private playoffs last season.
The Eagles downed St.Francis 42-39 before falling to Trinity Christian 48-14.

Rabun County enjoyed the longest playoff run of the current Region 8 teams.
The Wildcats Exited in the quarterfinals to a tough Thomasville team 49-24.

With the GHSA voting to end the separate Private and Public classifications, this years playoffs will be especially interesting.

The year of the Quarterback in NwGa

As Northwest Georgia gears up for The Friday Night lights this fall, one thing is quite clear with many Football fans in the area.

There’s a lot of great Quarterbacks this season.

Of the returning QB’s from last season, six of them threw for over 2000 yds with many coming close to that number.

This season could see double that.

This years group of QB’s could not only spell doom for many Schools passing records, they could also lead to the fall of many receiving records as well.

The abundance of great arms could be a huge boost to the guys with the great hands.

North Murray’s Jadyn Rice and Rome’s Martel Hight were the areas only 1000-yard receiver’s last season. They will be looking to repeat that feat this season and could also gain some company in the 1000-yard club.

Henderson to White, Brooker to Gray, and Pate to Bryant could become phrases you hear frequently this season.

Listed below are some of the Top returning QB’s from last season and a few looking for a breakout season this year. (In no particular order)

South Paulding: Kasen Wiseman (Sr) 2035 passing, 289 rushing, 25 total TD’s.
North Murray: Seth Griffin (Sr) 2883 passing, 319 rushing, 32 total TD’s
Rome: Reece Fountain (Jr) 2312 passing, 64 rushing, 20 total TD’s.
Sonoraville: Jaxon Pate (Jr) 2193 passing, 658 rushing, 31 total TD’s.
Northwest Whitfield: Owen Brooker (Sr) 2902 passing, 624 rushing, 36 total TD’s
North Paulding: Boone Anderson (Sr) 2080 passing, 179 rushing, 14 total TD’s
Cass: Devin Henderson (Jr) 1562 passing, 855 rushing, 25 TD’s
Rockmart: JD Davis (Jr) 958 passing, 507 rushing, 20 TD’s
Central: Devan Powell (Jr) 1461 passing, 459 rushing, 21 TD’s.
Adairsville: Jonathan Gough (Jr) 1244 passing, 283 rushing, 16 TD’s
Heritage: Kaden Swope (Sr) 1069 passing, 737 rushing, 18 TD’s
Calhoun: Trey Townsend (Jr) The talented Junior will move into the starting role and will look to take this team back to the title game.
Dalton: Parker McClurg (Sr) The 6’4” 200lb Senior has plenty of talent around him and will be looking to lead The Catamounts back to the Playoffs in the new Region 7-AAAAA
Bowden: Robert McNeal (Sr) 1961 passing, 749 rushing, 31 TD’s
Coahulla Creek: Kace Kinnamon (Sr) 1532 passing, 317 rushing, 14 TD’s
Temple: Cam Vaughn (Sr) 1356 passing, 575 rushing, 14 TD’s
Pepperell: Matthew Waddell (Sr) 1394 passing, 300 rushing, 11 TD’s
Pickens: Sam Streicher (Jr) 1353 passing, 155 rushing, 14 TD’s
Trion: Kade Smith (So) 785 passing, 7 TD’s
Dade County: Brody Cooper (Sr) 1342 passing, 324 rushing, 16 TD’s
Mt. Zion: Stanley Cross (JR) 862 passing, 11 TD’s
Armuchee: Chandler Desanto (Sr) Desanto will be looking to build off the success from his junior campaign that led the Indians to their first 5-win season in 10 years.
Murray County: Judah Woodall (Jr) After a productive spring, Woodall will be looking to lead the Indians back into contention in the new 7-AA region.

Several Teams in the area are still looking to fill the Role of QB1. With only weeks remaining before the season kicks off, we’ll all know soon enough just who will be their 2022 Signal callers.

Twitter takes on the GHSA Championship games location.

6-AAA All-Region teams.

A complete list of the Region 6-AAA All-Region Teams.

6-AAA Player of the Year
QB Seth Griffin (JR), North Murray
192-298 for 2,883 yds. & 32 TD’s & 252 yds. rushing

6-AAA Offensive Player of the Year
RB Kori Dumas (SR), Ringgold
179 rushes for 1,376 yds.16 TD’s

6-AAA Defensive Player of the Year
S/DB Kyle White (SR), Ringgold
169 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recovered, 4 Int.

1st Team Offense


QB Jaxon Pate Sonoraville 10

QB/ATH JD Davis Rockmart 10

QB/ATH Mason Parker Ringgold 12

RB Jaylon Ramsey Lafayette 12

RB/WR Zach Lyles Sonoraville 11

RB/WR Chris Roper Adairsville 11

WR Jadyn Rice North Murray 11

WR Jakari Clark Rockmart 12

WR Brant Bryant Sonoraville 11

WR Malachi Hill Ringgold 12

WR Justin Baker Coahulla 12

WR Evan Sanders Adairsville 11

OL Coy Pendergrass Lafayette 12

OL Jaxx Knight Sonoraville 12

OL Austin Johnson North Murray 12

OL Levi Gunn Ringgold 12

OL Montreas Simmons Rockmart 11

OL Bobby Campbell Adairsville 10

OL Ashton Hinnard LFO 12

OL Clayton Floyd Rockmart 12

ATH Eli Agnew Adairsville 12

ATH Taylor Carrell Murray 12

ATH Judson Petty North Murray 10

K Jose Alegria Rockmart 12

K Landon Eaker Ringgold 12

1st Team Defense


DL Brandon Orman Ringgold 12

DL Lane White Lafayette 12

DL Devin Hunte North Murray 12

DL Robbie Wiggins Coahulla 11

LB Tokyo Gordon Adairsville 12

LB Cole Carlock Ringgold 12

LB Tristan Mullins Sonoraville 11

LB Terrion Webb Rockmart 12

LB Jordan Carson Adairsville 12

LB Liam Rogers North Murray 11

LB Brent Washington Rockmart 10

DB Devin Pryer Adairsville 12

DB Dennis Sims Rockmart 11

DB Brant Bryant Sonoraville 11

DB Chris Roper Adairsville 11

P Owen Hannah North Murray 12

2nd Team offense


QB Jonathan Gough Adairsville 10

QB/ATH Kace Kinnamon Coahulla 11

RB Ethan Dempsey North Murray 12

RB Cam Ferguson Rockmart 11

RB Tyler Locklear Coahulla 12

RB Peyton Williams Ringgold 11

RB Brent Washington Rockmart 10

WR Carson Weaver Murray 12

WR Sam Hall Lafayette 11

WR Nicholas Beddington Sonoraville 12

WR Dennis Sims Rockmart 11

TE Grant Lisk Rockmart 11

TE/H Ridge Redd Sonoraville 11

OL James Foster Adairsville 11

OL Draven Peppers Sonoraville 12

OL Zay Middlebrooks Rockmart 11

OL Taylor Frady LFO 12

OL Carson Manis North Murray 11

OL Mason Tordup Adairsville 11

OL Logan Goldsmith Ringgold 12

OL Hugo Rangel Rockmart 11

OL Triston Ware LFO 12

OL Carson Gibson North Murray 11

OL Tifton Worthington Adairsville 12

ATH JoJo Haynes Rockmart 11

K Owen Hannah North Murray 12

K Jacob Brown Lafayette 11

2nd Team Defense


DL Tyler Frady LFO 12

DL Jackson Moss Adairsville 12

DL Brady Gray Ringgold 11

DL Carson Gibson North Murray 11

LB Austin Tucker Lafayette 11

LB Jebb Knight Sonoraville 12

LB Benji Valdes LFO 12

LB Aaron Flood Murray 11

LB Ross Martin Lafayette 12

LB Dre Morris Ringgold 12

LB Mason Phillips Rockmart 12

LB Ethan Dempsey North Murray 12

LB Will Douglas Coahulla 11

LB Wyatt Springfield Sonoraville 11

DB Trevon Gott LFO 11

DB Tyson King Coahulla 11

DB Jaden Morris Lafayette 11

DB Malachi Hill Ringgold 12

DB Gabe Helton LFO 11

DB Chase Jarvis Murray 11

DB Isaac Linley Adairsville 12

DB Deidric Gibson Rockmart 12

DB Judson Petty North Murray 10

DB Keyshaun McCollough Rockmart 12

P Bryson Sullivan LFO 12

Honorable Mention



QB Alex Slatton LFO 11
RB Chase Rizzo LFO 12
FB/H Ty Brown Sonoraville 10
WR Michael McDade North Murray 12
WR Aiden Patterson Coahulla 11
WR Jamillion Womble LFO 12
OL Teague Bickford Coahulla 12
OL Dakota Catlett Lafayette 12
OL Caleb Jones Murray 10
OL Slade Blankenship LFO 12
OL Ryan Maton North Murray 11
ATH Keenan Walker LFO 12
ATH Will Carroll LFO 12
ATH Nahzir Turner Rockmart 10
K Al Hastick LFO 11
K Ivan Agua Sonoraville 11
LS Hayden Ross Sonoraville 10



DL Caleb Peden Murray 12
DL Ashton Clark Ringgold 12
DL Will Bates Coahulla 12
DL Carter Wilson LFO 11
DL Bobby High Rockmart 10
DL Carter Sanford North Murray 11
LB Zach McAfee Sonoraville 11
LB Nyreon Cooper Rockmart 11
LB Mason Turner Coahulla 12
LB Logan Gray North Murray 11
LB Cam Hunter Murray 12
LB Charlie Ray Adairsville 11
LB Braylon Jones Rockmart 11
LB Taylor Frazier North Murray 10
LB Jeremiah Payne Sonoraville 12
LB Daquan Banks Rockmart 12
DB Eli Agnew Adairsville 12
DB Bryson Bethune Ringgold 11
DB Marcus Fortson Ringgold 12
DB Ty Gilbert Ringgold 11
DB Kevin Kremb Lafayette 12
DB Jacob Garnica Ringgold 11
DB Walker James North Murray 11
DB Ladarius Bunch LFO 11
DB Jevon Coney Ringgold 12
P Caleb Hooker Murray 12

Region Alignments (A-AAA)

A look at the preliminary alignments for our 50 NwGaFootball Teams: Lateral appeals, movement from Region to Region, will be heard next week but the classes are set. 5AAA Bremen Carver, AtlantaCedar GroveDouglass, AtlantaSandy Creek 6AAA AdairsvilleCoahulla CreekLaFayetteLakeview-Ft. OglethorpeRidgelandRinggold 7AAA Dawson CountyGilmerLumpkin CountyPickensWesleyanWest HallWhite County 7AA Fannin CountyGordon CentralGordon LeeHaralson CountyModelMurray CountyNorth MurrayRockmart 4A D1…

Region Alignments (A-AAA)