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.

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.

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

The Shockwave of a potential 11-team region is far Reaching.

The GHSA has recently approved adding Gilmer and Pickens to the already crowded 6-AAA region. If the decision is finalized, the new region will have a total of 11 teams.

The proposed new region schools would be North Murray, Murray County, Gilmer, Pickens, Adairsville, Bremen, Coahulla Creek, Ringgold, LaFayette, LFO, & Ridgeland.

The move could force Region 6-AAA schools to play an all region Schedule, with no out of region games. The games that would be cancelled are some of the areas top rivalries.

Bartow County rivals Adairsville and Cass first met in 1956. This in-county rivalry would now be cancelled for the foreseeable future due to Adairsville having a Region only schedule.

Due to Covid, this years Heritage vs Ringgold game was cancelled. The matchup has taken place every year since Heritage High School has opened. The biggest game in Catoosa County could also be cancelled for the foreseeable future.

North Murray and Dalton have had to scrap their plans for their first ever matchup in week two of next season. A highly anticipated matchup that many projected as a new rivalry in the NW Georgia area.

Whitfield County Schools Coahulla Creek, Southeast Whitfield, and Northwest Whitfield have played against each other for the last several years. The games were relatively close to Home for Coahulla Creek, all within 16-miles of each other. Region 6-AAA school Coahulla Creek, will now replace these games with Bremen and Pickens.

Southeast Whitfield, which is a member of Region 7-AAAA, would be hit especially hard. Southeast has played at least three of the proposed Region 6-AAA schools over the past two seasons. In the seasons prior to 2020, Southeast played as many as six of the schools that will now be in the new 6-AAA. Those games will need to filled on their schedule, but will have to be filled with teams outside of the local area.

Then there comes the playoff spots. Each Region is awarded four playoff spots. If the current realignment plan is approved, Region 6-AAA would have the lowest percentage of teams eligible to make the playoffs in AAA. Regions 1 & 3, which are 5-team Regions would see 80% of their schools make the playoffs. Region 6-AAA would only see 36% of their teams qualify for the playoffs.