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#1 THOLCOMB

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 08:32 PM

Class AA team capsules

The following 28 team capsules highlight all state champions from Georgia's third-highest classification since 1967 with the following exclusions: In the case of schools that won back-to-back championships, the better of those teams was selected for the computer tournament. For that reason, 1968 Thomson, 1972 Carrollton, 1978 East Rome, 1983 West Rome, 1984 West Rome, 1986 Central of Carrollton, 1996 Washington County and 2001 Americus are not included. Also, the 2000 Swainsboro and Americus teams are included here because their enrollment numbers would put them in the third-highest classification in there were four classes.

1967 THOMSON BULLDOGS

Coach: Paul Leroy
Record: 12-0
Average score: 26-2
Playoffs: Beat Cook Co. (39-0), Westminster (20-0)
Stars: QB/P Ray Guy, TE/LB Andy Knox, E Glenn Reese, HB Johnny McCarty
Notes: Included on this team were 13 Eagle Scouts, six future ministers and Ray Guy, an eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer whose 47.6 punting average would've led the NFL. Knox, recruited to replace Jake Scott at UGA, led a defense that shut out 10 of 12 opponents. Thomson repeated in '68.

1969 COOSA EAGLES

Coach: Branch Bragg
Record: 12-1 (Lost to W. Rome 12-7)
Average score: 27-8
Playoffs: Beat Carrollton (9-7), Toccoa (38-14), Fitzgerald (28-6)
Stars: QB Gary Graves, FB/LB James Blanton, G Ray Nash, WB/S Wayne Boyd
Notes: Bobby Bishop's 29-yard FG beat Carrollton in the first round, and Coosa rolled from there. Boyd averaged 8.2 yards per carry, led the team in receiving, returned five kicks for TDs and had eight interceptions. Graves, who signed with UGA, became a long-time local high school coach.

1970 ROSWELL HORNETS

Coach: Charlie Horne
Record: 12-2 (Lost to Lithonia 13-6, N. Springs 40-20)
Average score: 28-10
Playoffs: Beat Lithonia (33-0), Carrollton (27-6), Murray Co. (40-21), Warren Co. (28-12)
Stars: QB Jeff Bower, SE/DB Eddie Tate, TE/NG Jerry Summerour, C/NG Danny Mosteller
Notes: Roswell employed a 21st Century passing attack on 1970's run defenses with Bower (now head coach at Southern Miss) throwing for 1,461 yards in just nine games. Tate and Summerour combined for over 100 catches. This is the last North Fulton team to win a state title.


1971 CARROLLTON TROJANS

Coach: Charlie Grisham (261-69-13)
Record: 12-1 (Lost to W. Rome 14-7)
Average score: 23-9
Playoffs: Beat Rockmart (20-6), Roswell (14-0), Turner Co. (31-21)
Stars: HB Jackie Crowder, HB Wesley Brown, DG Steve Daniell, DT Pat Wright
Notes: Grisham won five state titles at Carrollton (1961, '64, '71, '72 and '74) running the Notre Dame Box. Each play started with a long snap to a halfback or fullback. In 1971, Crowder and Brown were the cheif runners, while Darnell Powell and Gregory Mann did what little passing took place.

1973 MT. DE SALES CAVALIERS

Coach: Mike Garvin
Record: 13-0
Average score: 40-5
Playoffs: Beat Monticello (41-0), Seminole Co. (10-0), Irwin Co. (28-7), Commerce (21-8)
Stars: QB/CB Johnny Henderson, FB/LB Ben Zambiasi, TB Robert Slocum, G/DE David Taylor
Notes: Mt. de Sales didn't lose a game that Zambiasi started in his three years at the Macon school. In '73, he was a 1,000-yard rusher as a fullback and later became an All-SEC and All-CFL linebacker. He and Henderson started on defense for Georgia's SEC champion in 1976.

1974 CARROLLTON TROJANS

Coach: Charlie Grisham (261-69-13)
Record: 13-1 (Lost to W. Rome 26-24)
Average score: 30-10
Playoffs: Beat Bowdon (28-7), SE Bulloch (28-8), Seminole Co. (21-7), North Springs (28-21)
Stars: HB Sid Sprewell, HB Bobby Favors, E Ricky Robison, T Billy Howard
Notes: Carrollton's Notre Dame Box was never more potent than in '74. Sprewell was the team's leading rusher and passer. Carrollton had two other rare things for its day: A versatile 300-pound lineman in Howard and a weapon of a kicker in Chuck Ragsdale, who made 54 of 56 PATs.

1975 IRWIN COUNTY

Coach: Mike Battles
Record: 13-0
Average score: 21-6
Playoffs: Beat Carrollton (29-8), Mary Persons (15-14), Jefferson (39-13)
Stars: FB Carlton Jones, HB Michael Cummings, E Henry Mercer, QB/DB Wesley Walters
Notes: Irwin and Turner counties border each other north of Tifton. Irwin won a state title in '75, Turner in '76, both going 13-0. Each had a pair of 1,000 rushers, passed fewer than five times per game and beat a Jackson County team for the championship. And they never played each other.

1976 TURNER COUNTY REBELS

Coach: Joe Wilson
Record: 13-0
Average score: 26-4
Playoffs: Beat Wilkinson Co. (12-0), Vidalia (25-15), Commerce (14-0)
Stars: RB Willie Fred Brown, RB Cecil Williams, LB Calvin Jackson, DE Darrell Odom
Notes: It's probably happened just once, in 1976, that every state champion in Georgia had two 1,000-yard rushers. Turner's were Brown (1,362) and Williams (1,481). It's also never happened since that a state champion threw only 49 passes. And QB Allen Adair was never intercepted.

1977 EAST ROME GLADIATORS

Coach: Jerry Sharp (229-101-9)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 34-4
Playoffs: Beat Bowdon (51-6), Darlington (42-7), North Springs (21-12), Commerce (21-20), Early Co. (35-7)
Stars: QB Sylvester Elkins, RB Greg Gordon, FB/LB Larry Kinnebrew, T/DE Ray Brown
Notes: "Big Brew's Wrecking Crew" needed Elkins' 31-yard TD pass to Willie Wells at the buzzer to beat Commerce but outclassed everyone else. The starting backfield of Elkins, Gordon (2,000-yard rusher) and Kinnebrew (NFL) signed with UGA. East Rome went 15-0 again in 1978.

1979 MODEL

Coach: Wayne Huntley
Record: 15-0
Average score: 34-10
Playoffs: Beat Darlington (44-13), Villa Rica (45-16), Archer (18-7), Lovett (35-28), Lincoln Co. (24-21)
Stars: FB David Stone, TB/PK Norris Allen, QB Gary Stansell
Notes: Model gave Rome its third straight Class AA champion. Against Lovett in the semifinals, Model drove 80 yards in the final two minutes to win. Against Lincoln County, Allen's 22-yard FG with 0:02 left won it after Model had trailed 21-13 at 5:11. Stone rushed for over 1,900 yards.


1980 MARY PERSONS BULLDOGS

Coach: Dan Pitts (346-109-4)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 28-3
Playoffs: Beat Johnson Co. (28-0), R.E. Lee (17-0), Greene Co. (16-0), Mitchell Co. (26-0), Duluth (34-6)
Stars: RB Alvin Toles, FB Charles Wilder, LB Dennis Scandrett, DE Jimmy Lee Davis
Notes: Pitts' lone state championship team shut out 11 teams with a defense whose starting 11 averaged just 5-foot-8, 152 pounds. Toles rushed for 1,663 yards in an offense that averaged barely three passes per game. Pitts retired in 1997 as Georgia's all-time winningest coach.

1981 COMMERCE TIGERS

Coach: Ray Lamb (248-104-11)
Record: 13-1-1 (Lost to Buford 13-6, tied Hart Co. 29-29)
Average score: 30-10
Playoffs: Beat Rabun Co. (40-24), E. Hall (41-14), Darlington (37-6), North Springs (15-7), Greene Co. (28-14)
Stars: QB Bobby Lamb, RB Delano White, WR Hal Lamb, LB Clay Hendrix
Notes: Commerce made up for heartbreaking playoff losses to East Rome in 1977 and '78 with the school's first state title. Bobby Lamb (1,553 yards passing) became a star quarterback at Furman and later the Paladins' head coach. Hal Lamb (35 receptions) now coaches at Calhoun High.

1982 WEST ROME CHIEFTAINS

Coach: Mike Hodges
Record: 15-0
Average score: 39-8
Playoffs: Beat Villa Rica (35-7), Cartersville (35-12), Feldwood (34-0), East Hall (34-0), Mary Persons (7-6)
Stars: FB/LB David McCluskey, QB/S Keith Green, DE Tyrell Wofford, TB Emory Chatman
Notes: From 1982 to 85, West Rome won an unprecedented four straight titles under three coaches -- Hodges, Rodney Walker and Charlie Winslette. In '82, after routing 14 opponents, West Rome survived the final without McCluskey (eligibility expired) and Green (knee injury).

1985 WEST ROME CHIEFTAINS

Coach: Charlie Winslette (209-91-3)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 36-4
Playoffs: Beat Cartersville (31-0), Central of Carrollton (24-19), E. Atlanta (21-12), Washington-Wilkes (28-10)
Stars: TB William Kent, FB Joe McCluskey,
Notes: West Rome had Kent (1,720 yards rushing), McCluskey (1,348 on 10.5 ypc) and a defense that shut out its first 11 opponents. Kent is the only Georgia player to start for four championship teams. West Rome's four-year record was 59-1, losing to Carrollton 7-0 on nine turnovers.

1987 CENTRAL (Carrollton) LIONS

Coach: Ronnie Burchfield
Record: 15-0
Average score: 26-9
Playoffs: Beat Adairsville (35-13), Cartersville (17-0), E. Hall (35-7), Lovett (21-7), R.E. Lee (28-7)
Stars: TB Walt Crowder, QB Mark Holt, LB Scott Boykin, SE/CB Vincent Smith
Notes: The Lions lost three straight Region 7-AA finals to eventual state champion West Rome before breaking through with state titles of their own in 1986 and '87. That gave the region 9 of the last 11 state titles. Crowder surpassed 2,000 yards rushing for both state title teams.


1988 ROBERT E. LEE REBELS

Coach: Tommy Perdue (169-57-1)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 34-13
Playoffs: Beat Manchester (20-14), Mary Persons (41-12), Fitzgerald (41-13), Early Co. (23-6), Washington-Wilkes (17-16)
Stars: QB Doug Stanley, RB Tim Perry, RB Randy Marshall
Notes: Perry and Marshall combined for almost 3,000 rushing, but quarterback Stanley was the state's Offensive Player of the Year. He rushed for 754 and passed for 666 without throwing an interception.
It was R.E. Lee's first state title in over 60 years of varsity football.

1989 MITCHELL-BAKER EAGLES

Coach: Jack Johnson (195-71-1)
Record: 14-1 (Lost to Early Co. 19-14)
Average score: 30-15
Playoffs: Beat Brooks Co. (53-20), Early Co. (25-24), Jeff Davis (21-20, OT), Manchester (25-16), Greene-Taliaferro (15-14)
Stars: QB Al Pinkins, TE Joe Morgan, WR Daron Hodges, LB Vass Gilbert
Notes: The 6-foot-6 Pinkins was the first in Georgia to pass for more than 3,000 yards and broke Stan Bounds' 1971 state record. In the playoffs, the Eagles beat Early County on Robert Williams' last-second field goal, Jeff Davis on penetration and Greene-Taliaferro after trailing 14-0.

1990 PEPPERELL DRAGONS

Coach: Lynn Hunnicutt (144-62-1 thru '99)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 29-11
Playoffs: Beat LaFayette (29-13), Lovett (28-0),Morgan Co. (21-0), Early Co. (21-20), Brown (42-8)
Stars: TB Frankie Fletcher,
Notes: Pepperrell won its state title in 39 years as Fletcher rushed for 1,934 yards. The Dragons had one close call in the playoffs. With 0:45 left in the semifinals, Early County was about to score when Mike Robinson forced a fumble that Brandon Davis recovered at the Pepperell 1-yard line.

1991 CARTERSVILLE PURPLE HURRICANES

Coach: Mike Earwood
Record: 14-1 (Lost to E. Rome 14-12)
Average score: 31-11
Playoffs: Beat LaFayette (7-3), Franklin Co. (19-17), Greene-Taliaferro (13-9), Mary Persons (21-17), Cedar Grove (28-19)
Stars: QB John Woodard, RB LaShon Darby, LB Raymone George, DT John Mauldin
Notes: Cartersville is known for great running backs with Keith Henderson, Robert Lavette, Ronnie Brown among them. But none had a better game than Darby in the championship -- 41 carries, 213 yards. The 'Canes won their first state title despite trailing in all five playoff games.

1992 MITCHELL-BAKER EAGLES

Coach: Jack Johnson (195-71-1)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 32-6
Playoffs: Beat Sumpter Co. (12-7), Houston Co. (26-0), Vidalia (28-6), Lovett (21-7), Washington Co. (27-10)
Stars: QB Jake Rackley, TB Williams Barnes, LB Willie Butler, DB/WR Troy Clayton
Notes: The heir to Al Pinkins, Rackley passed for 2,338 yards and 34 touchdowns, one short of the state record, and was 28-1 in two years as a starter. Seven players caught at least 10 passes; Barnes was a 1,000-yard rusher; and the defense didn't allow a first-half touchdown all season.

1993 GREENE-TALIAFERRO TIGERS

Coach: Charlie Winslette (209-91-3)
Record: 13-2 (Lost to Colquitt Co. 26-15, Washington Co. 7-6)
Average score: 29-7
Playoffs: Beat Washington-Wilkes (7-0), Pepperell (22-0), E. Hall (37-6), Houston Co. (7-5), Mary Persons (24-21)
Stars: RB Kelvin Lawrence, WR/S Andy Glass, LB Brandon Miller, OL Matt Winslette
Notes: Winslette, who also won state titles with '67 Putnam County (player) and '85 West Rome (coach), had only 29 players, but six would play college ball, Miller (Georgia, NFL) the most notable. Kelvin Lawrence (Morehouse) rushed for 1,340 yards; Glass (GMC) caught 58 passes.


1994 WASHINGTON COUNTY HAWKS

Coach: Rick Tomberlin (158-69-0)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 42-6
Playoffs: Beat Greene-Taliaferro (50-7), Pierce Co. (28-3), Mary Persons (30-14), Carrollton (35-7), Screven Co. (31-7)
Stars: TE/DL Takeo Spikes, QB George Askew, RB/LB Edward Swint, OL/DL Jeremy Brett
Notes: Dumped by Lowndes in 1991, Tomberlin is 115-20 at Washington County, a state record for wins in a coach's first 10 years at a school. The '94 team broke '71 Valdosta's record for points in a season (630). Spikes (Auburn, NFL) caught 34 passes, and Swint rushed for 1,715 yards.

1995 ELBERT COUNTY BLUE DEVILS

Coach: T. McFerrin (264-74-4)
Record: 14-1 (Lost to Washington-Wilkes 14-6)
Average score: 28-6
Playoffs: Beat Washington Co. (20-13), Pierce Co. (42-0), Americus (23-7), Lovett (21-14), Washington-Wilkes (27-0)
Stars: RB Ken Hardman, RB Jimmy Watkins, LB Sid Smith, OL Ed Moss
Notes: Hardman and Watkins each rushed for over 1,000 yards and also started on a defense that shut out a school-record eight opponents. Tennyson Rucker, a running quarterback, scored three touchdowns in the title game as Elbert County avenged its only loss.

1997 WASHINGTON COUNTY HAWKS

Coach: Rick Tomberlin (158-69-0)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 38-10
Playoffs: Beat Mitchell-Baker (35-9), Vidalia (21-14), Mary Persons (32-14), Pepperell (42-14), Carrollton (42-28)
Stars: FB/LB Jessie Miller, QB Terrence Edwards, DL Dereck Sanders, WR Derrick Owens
Notes: The Hawks completed back-to-back 15-0 seasons with a pair of Top 100 college recruits in Edwards and Miller (both to Georgia). Miller rushed for 1,668 yards and scored 42 TDs but was prized as a linebacker. Six other Hawks played college ball, including Sanders (Alabama).

1998 CARROLLTON TROJANS

Coach: Ben Scott (158-40-0)
Record: 14-1 (Lost Villa Rica 9-7)
Average score: 31-11
Playoffs: Beat Loganville (21-0), Crim (42-13), Brooks Co. (31-23), Pepperell (26-7), Early Co. (37-18)
Stars: FL Reggie Brown, SE Blake Sabo, QB Mike Johnson, RB/DB Martez Beasley
Notes: Brown was the state's most coveted recruit and the state champion in the 110 hurdles and long jump (state-record 24-9), but, as a matter of trivia, he didn't lead his team in receptions. Brown, who missed three games with a broken bone in his leg, had 63 to Blake Sabo's 65.


1999 CARTERSVILLE PURPLE HURRICANES

Coach: Frank Barden
Record: 15-0
Average score: 37-12
Playoffs: Beat Grady (55-28), Dade Co. (40-13), Dodge Co. (21-12), Appling Co. (30-7), Hart Co. (27-21)
Stars: RB Ronnie Brown, WR Lavada Johnson, DL Albert Turner, LB Cortney Chatmon
Notes: Cartersville had a quick-strike offense that scored at least 41 points in its first eight games. Brown (Auburn) rushed for 1,931 yards, QB Chris Dietsch passed for 1,604 and Johnson caught 39 balls. Barden had revived Cartersville from a 2-8 finish in 1996.


2000 SWAINSBORO TIGERS (Class AAA)

Coach: Rayvan Teague (99-35-1)
Record: 14-1
Average score: 33-5
Playoffs: Fitzgerald (6-0)
Stars: RB Brandon Andrews, QB/S Jason Samples, LB Jonathon Moses, NG Titus Peeples
Notes: Brandon Andrews' 2,815 yards rank No. 3 in Georgia all-time, and he did it on a state-record 404 carries, including an astounding 37 per game in the playoffs. Swainsboro shut out eight teams overall, four in the playoffs, in winning the school's first state title.


2000 AMERICUS PANTHERS (Class AA)

Coach: Erik Soliday (99-52-2)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 38-9
Playoffs: Beat Brooks Co. (60-20), E. Laurens (48-0), Northgate (28-14), Charlton Co. (20-14), Washington-Wilkes (14-0)
Stars: QB Robert Johnson, WR John Harris, TB Franako Smith, DL Eddie Sims
Notes: Americus averaged 442 yards total offense, the most ever for a Georgia state champion, and joined '71 Valdosta as the only state champs to average over 200 yards both rushing and passing. Johnson set the state record for passing yards (3,263) and Harris for receiving yards (1,578).