The 2013 high school football season is well under way, so let’s open up the ol’ notebook to take a look at what we have seen so far.
Fans around the southeast got as much action as they could handle in the first of our Atlanta Falcons High School Football Friday Nights for this year. We were all treated to a tremendous doubleheader from Cobb County in suburban Atlanta. The biggest take away from me from the two games was the blazing speed of the offensive playmakers for McEachern (Powder Springs, GA). Running back Taj Griffin may already be a name you know, but if you saw the game you certainly had to have been impressed with quarterback Ty Clemons as well. They form a potent combination for the Indians and it wouldn’t be surprising to see coach Kyle Hockman’s team compete for the state championship in Georgia.
Staying in the Peach State for a moment, I also want to mention the Bulldogs of North Gwinnett. This has been one of the most impressive programs in the Atlanta area for a while, but that may be doubly true this year. Has anybody beaten a pair of opponents as impressive as the two teams coach Bob Sphire’s bunch has already knocked off? They got a week one win over perennial-power Camden County and they took care of defending state champion Grayson last week. The Bulldogs come in at No. 6 this week in our CSS High School Football Southeastern Top 25. My prediction is they will keep climbing the ladder from there.
Of course, it wasn’t all good news for Georgia teams last week. Russ Propst took his Colquitt County team into Alabama for a homecoming of sorts to play the team he used to coach at world-famous Hoover High School. The Packers from Moultrie got off to an early lead, but it was all Bucs in the second half. The win for Hoover is enough to make them No. 9 in this week’s poll.
In the state of South Carolina, the new boss is the same as the old Boss. Byrnes continues to pile up huge performances against, not just the best of the Palmetto State, but also against all the best this region has to offer. They are much more of a passing team now than they were when Marcus Lattimore was dominant for them years ago, but the results are very much the same.
Finally, let’s turn our attention to the sunshine state where there are a couple of games that merit a mention. First of all, we’re going to have a terrific game for you on television this week as we showcase American Heritage-Plantation hosting American Heritage-Delray.
If you are a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs you are especially not going to want to miss this one as Plantation features an early commitment for the Dawgs’ 2014 recruiting class in running back Sony Michel. If you watched the digital games this past week on CSSsports.com you know that Michel was somewhat held in check in his most recent game vs. Miami Central. He’ll be looking to break out in a big way against Delray on Friday night.
Fans of the Miami Hurricanes may already know that Michel is coached by a former standout of The U in Mike Rumph. He’s in his first year as head coach at Plantation and is in control of one of the best programs in Florida, but his team faces some stiff competition in the season’s early going. After last week’s game vs. Miami Central and this week’s game vs. three-time defending state champion American Heritage-Delray, Plantation still has to play Columbus (Miami), Mainland (Daytona Beach) and Bolles (Jacksonville), all before the middle of October. That is as tough a schedule as anyone will play in the southeast.
They will certainly put on a show on TV this Friday night, but fans in Florida can be forgiven if they also take a moment to sneak a peek at the other big game in the state. Booker T. Washington vs. Miami Central is one of the most anticipated matchups of the season and everyone is looking forward to seeing which of those teams is able to add to what is already a very impressive resume to start the season.
I will be back next week to recap everything we see this weekend. Until then, keep the conversation going on twitter using #HSFBTalk.