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#1 THOLCOMB

THOLCOMB

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:01 PM

The following 34 team capsules highlight all state champions from Georgia's smallest classification since 1967 with the following exclusions: In the case of schools that won back-to-back championships, the better of the two teams was selected for the computer tournament. For that reason, 1970 Mt. de Sales, 1973 SE Bulloch, 1983 Palmetto and Lincoln County teams from 1977, 1986 and 1990 are not included. Also, teams winning state titles in Class B (second-smallest) from 1967 to 1971 were placed here. Class B and Class C were combined in 1972, when Georgia went to a four-classification arrangement.

1967 PUTNAM COUNTY BLUE DEVILS (Class C)

Coach: Al Reaves (217-159-6)
Record: 11-0-1 (tied Greene Co. 26-26)
Average score: 31-8
Playoffs: Beat Wadley 49-7, Davis 33-0
Stars: HB Brent Cunningham, T Charlie Winslette, G Howard McMichael, LB/FB Bill Haley
Notes: Putnam County's first legend was Uncle Remus. Then came Brent Cunningham. The future Georgia Tech star scored 35 touchdowns, and he did it on long runs and receptions, a fake punt, a Statue of Liberty play, and returns of a punt, interception and a fumble, the latter for 102 yards.


1967 WASHINGTON-WILKES TIGERS (Class B.)

Coach: Charlie Davidson (244-96-14)
Record: 11-1-1 (lost to Class A champ Thomson 7-0, tied Statesboro)
Average score: 30-6
Playoffs: Beat St. Joseph (10-7), Manchester (13-7), Lyons (27-0)
Stars: QB Jack Leard, HB Pud Wills, T Tom Nash, E Jimmy Echols
Notes: W-W was a small-school dynasty in the 1960s, winning four state titles. Brothers Pud and Bob Wills were the ball-runners, along with QB Leard. Nash followed his All-American dad to UGA. Against Class A champ Thomson, the Tigers drove inside the 20 seven times but failed to score.

1968 WARREN COUNTY BLUE DEVILS (Class C)

Coach: Hale Burnette (176-98-5)
Record: 11-0-1 (Tied Washington Co. 0-0)
Average score: 30-4
Playoffs: Beat Savannah Country Day (16-0), Georgia Industrial Institute (20-6)
Stars: FB Bobby Thigpen, HB Ronny Duckworth, WB/DB Gary Garner, L Sammy Simons
Notes: Warren Co. won state titles in 1964, '65 and '66 under Ray Lamb and in '68 under his protege, Burnette. Thigpen (Ga. Tech) and first cousin Duckworth were the workhouses on an offense that weighed just 155 pounds per man. Thigpen scored 18 TDs and kicked 7 FGs and 34 PATs.

1968 ROSWELL HORNETS (Class B.)

Coach: Charlie Horne
Record: 13-0
Average score: 21-4
Playoffs: Beat Mary Persons (14-0), Washington-Wilkes (25-13), Irwin Co. (32-7)
Stars: HB Pug Mabry, LB Tom Bower, MG Denny Smith, HB Pug Mabry, E Jimmy Maultsby
Notes: Star runner Mabry was the mayor's son, and by the time Pug Mabry Sr. left office in 1996, Roswell's population had grown10-fold from the rural 6,000 of 1968. Bower, a Rhodes scholar candidate, led a defense that shut out six teams. His kid brother Jeff was the sophomore QB.

1969 SAVANNAH COUNTRY DAY HORNETS (Class C)

Coach: Bill Saunders
Record: 10-0
Average score: 35-6
Playoffs: Beat Mt. de Sales (28-16), Adairsville (16-0)
Stars: QB Bobby Reagan, HB Corky Ormond, TE/DB Steve Ramee
Notes: Reagan was a big, tough kid, Ormond a little, fast guy. In a 92-6 victory over Wheeler County, backup QB George Oelschig was told to throw an interception to keep the score down but failed. "I didn't find one open," he said. SCD moved up in class '70 and made the final, losing to Lovett.

1969 VIDALIA INDIANS (Class B.)

Coach: Buck Cravey (200-91-2)
Record: 14-0
Average score: 30-10
Playoffs: Beat SE Bulloch (22-19), Hawkinsville (40-6), Irwin Co. (45-20), Lithonia (7-6)
Stars: QB Tommy Sasser, SE Lin Hodges, DE/TE Wendell Dixon, FB/LB Ricky Mitchell
Notes: Vidalia scored two TDs in the final three minutes to beat SE Bulloch in a legendary region championship as Sasser completed 13 of 15 passes down the stretch, mostly to Hodges. Both wound up at U. of Tampa. It's Vidalia's only state title. Sasser's son Josh is Vidalia's current QB.


1970 LOVETT LIONS (Class B.)

Coach: Bill Conley
Record: 14-0
Average score: 30-3
Playoffs: Beat Rabun Co. (12-0), Hapeville (20-0), Pacelli (35-12), Savannah Country Day (14-6)
Stars: HB Billy Lummus, QB Scott Crafton, MG Randy Finley, FB/LB Frank Wilson
Notes: Lummus scored 26 TDs, five on kick returns, and was the team's leading rusher and receiver. Lovett shut out eight opponents and won every game by at least seven points, something no small school matched until 2001 Buford. Future Falcons chief Taylor Smith was a backup end.


1971 MOUNT DE SALES CAVALIERS (Class C)

Coach: Mike Garvin
Record: 9-0
Average score: 47-5
Playoffs: Beat Adairsville (28-14)
Stars: HB Sammy DiNardo, QB Tim Jackson, LB Mac McFarling, HB Johnny Henderson
Notes: The Cavs defended their Class C title with seven All-State players, scoring 63 points or more three times and shutting out six of nine opponents. Super sophs Henderson and Ben Zambiasi (both UGA) would win Class A in '73. Billy Henderson (Johnny's dad) was an assistant coach.

1971 BOWDON RED DEVILS (Class B.)

Coach: Ben Perkins
Record: 11-1-1 (Lost to AA champ Carrollton 21-6, tied Haralson Co. 0-0)
Average score: 19-5
Playoffs: Beat Trion (32-0), St. Joseph (33-0), SE Bulloch (20-19)
Stars: HB Willie Beasley, HB/LB Craig Roop, LB Dave Coley, LB Michael Striplin
Notes: The other highlight of the Perkins era at Bowdon was beating Carroll County rival Carrollton three straight later in the decade. The state title was won with 0:09 left when Roop stopped SE Bulloch QB Ray Davis' two-point run attempt at the 2, knocking both players out.

1972 SOUTHEAST BULLOCH YELLOW JACKETS

Coach: Fred Shaver
Record: 12-0
Average score: 51-2
Playoffs: Beat Unadilla (66-8), Adairsville (12-9)
Stars: QB David Miller, RB Terry Reed, WR Don Davis, LB Clifford Harrison
Notes: The only Georgia team in history to average 50 points a game, SE Bulloch hit 70 four times and averaged 67 over a seven-game stretch. On top of that, the Jackets shut out 9 of 12 opponents. SE Bulloch would repeat in 1973, then not win another state playoff game for 20 years.

1974 TRION BULLDOGS

Coach: Clarence Blevins
Record: 13-0
Average score: 30-8
Playoffs: Beat Buford (27-14), Hogansville (27-7), Lincoln Co. (7-0)
Stars: FB/LB Jeff Bowers, HB/LB Randy Peace, HB/DB Tim Perry, QB/DB Jeff Ware
Notes: Trion called its backfield the Four Horsemen. Their real names were Peace (1,250 rushing), Bowers (950 rush), Perry (700 rush) and Ware (1,200 pass). Ware's 21-yard TD pass to David Williams with 1:15 left in the title game won Trion's first state championship since 1957.

1975 LYONS BULLDOGS

Coach: Jacky Jones
Record: 11-2 (Lost to Vidalia 6-0, Jeff Davis 12-8)
Average score: 25-8
Playoffs: Beat Vienna (21-18), Lincoln Co. (26-6), Duluth (20-12)
Stars: HB/DB Eugene Corbett, QB Tim Vaughn, T Tim Mimbs, E/LB Randy Michael
Notes: Lyons' victory over Duluth was a major stunner. George Rogers got his 135 yards, but Lyons made a pair of goal-line stops. Corbett was dazzling in postseason, returning a kick back vs. Vienna and going 77 yards on a screen vs. Duluth. This was Lyons' first and only state title.

1976 LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS

Coach: Larry Campbell (343-57-2)
Record: 13-0
Average score: 33-2
Playoffs: Beat Charlton Co. (36-0), Macon Co. (37-0), Buford (6-0)
Stars: RB Roy Norman, FB/LB Tim Partridge, QB David Edwards, S/WR Jessie Mason
Notes: The first of Campbell's nine state champs shut out their last seven opponents. Norman (1,381 yards rushing) and Partridge (1,027) were All-State. The Devils repeated in '77, though Partridge, a big-time prospect at LB, suffered a career-ending knee injury in the opener.

1978 BUFORD WOLVES

Coach: Ed Cochran (138-63-3)
Record: 10-3-1 (Lost to Cherokee 14-7, Berkmar 24-13, Feldwood 20-14)
Average score: 25-10
Playoffs: Beat Banks Co. (34-6), Hogansville (22-21, OT), Feldwood (21-0), Charlton Co. (7-6)
Stars: HB/QB Michael "Pop" Carson, TE David Cantrell, LB Deano Kilgo, DL Bob Parris
Notes: Playing against bigger schools early, Buford started 3-3-1 but became Gwinnett County's first state champion. Buford dominated the title game, allowing Charlton Co. just one first down, but edged Hogansville on penetration after Carson rushed for 201 yards. "Pop" had 1,552 on the year.

1979 JOHNSON COUNTY TROJANS

Coach: Gary Phillips
Record: 14-1 (Lost to E.C.I. 3-0)
Average score: 29-7
Playoffs: Beat Treutlen (49-0), E.C.I. (32-19), Charlton Co. (21-0), Mt. de Sales (21-0), Feldwood (35-17)
Stars: TB/LB Herschel Walker, L Warren Brantley, DL Del Lee Devero, WB/DB Victor Thompson
Notes: Walker rushed for 3,167 yards and scored 45 TDs, pulverizing Runt Moon's state records. Johnson County, a track power, had some athletes on defense. Walker, a LB, won the state 100 meters and shot put, DL Warren Brantley the high hurdles and discus, LB Thomas Jenkins the 800.

1980 GREENVILLE PATRIOTS

Coach: Dwight Hochstetler (242-65-1)
Record: 14-1
Average score: 28-9
Playoffs: Beat E.Coweta (32-14), Hogansville (43-0), Trion (25-9), Buford (34-13), Clinch Co. (12-10)
Stars: RB Darryl Ogletree, RB Alexander Lakes, L Mark Kitchens, LB Danny Ponder
Notes: Ogletree, just 5-foot-6, rushed for 5,338 yards in Greenville's first three seasons of varsity football. His 2,648 yards as a senior is still fourth in Georgia history, and that effort plus Lakes' 1,422 yards in 1980 make them perhaps the first teammates ever to surpass 4,000 in a season.

1981 D.F. DOUGLASS (Montezuma) YELLOW JACKETS

Coach: Garfield Stephens
Record: 11-2 (Lost to Taylor Co. 14-2, Manchester 12-6)
Average score: 20-2
Playoffs: Beat Clinch Co. (13-0), E.C.I. (1-0), Palmetto (20-0)
Stars: FB Wilbert Cromer, DT Ronnie Smith, FL/CB Darrin Simpson, QB Ken Collier
Notes: Douglass shut out 10 teams, and the defense allowed just two TDs all season, on drives of 16 and 24 yards after turnovers. All other scores came on returns. In the semifinals, ECI had first-and-goal at the 1 with 0:14 left but couldn't score, lost in OT. Cromer rushed for 1,000 yards.

1982 PALMETTO RAIDERS

Coach: Thurston Taylor
Record: 12-2 (Lost to Russell 18-13, Lovett 17-0)
Average score: 31-5
Playoffs: Beat Mt. Zion (37-0), Greenville (37-6), Buford (31-3), Wrens (14-0)
Stars: TB Pablo Williams, QB Johnny Johnson, LB/TE Gaylon White, T Greg Johnson
Notes: Palmetto won 22 playoff games and two state titles in the '80s. The '83 team with future FSU signees Wesley Hardin and Felton Cook in their prime had more pizzazz, but the '82 club dominated the post-season. Williams was a 1,500-yard rusher, White (FSU) was a two-way terror.

1984 GREENVILLE PATRIOTS

Coach: Dwight Hochstetler (242-65-1)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 33-7
Playoffs: Beat Heard Co. (42-14), Pacelli (35-10), Buford (29-15), Palmetto (26-23), Lincoln Co. (19-7)
Stars: HB Sandy Strozier, HB James Parham, LB Alonzo Render, OL/DT Daryl Tigner
Notes: Strozier, Parham and Willie Matthews all rushed for over 800 yards. In the state semifinals, Greenville trailed two-time defending champ Palmetto 23-14 in the fourth quarter but scored two safeties and a touchdown late.

1985 LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS

Coach: Larry Campbell (343-57-2)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 31-6
Playoffs: Beat Wrens (32-0), Louisville (40-0), Wilcox Co. (15-6), Montgomery Co. (42-8), Palmetto (52-20)
Stars: HB Vince Gartrell, QB Van Mason, S/TE Anthony Glaze, DE Ronder White
Notes: The first of three Class A champions, Lincoln Co. in 1985 was a wishbone team with a genuine game-breaker in Gartrell, a player Campbell compares with Garrison Hearst. The senior had three runs from scrimmage of 70-plus yards, and he also ran back four kicks for TDs.

1987 LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS

Coach: Larry Campbell (343-57-2)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 29-8
Playoffs: Beat Warren Co. (34-6), Louisville (7-0), Clinch Co. (14-7), Montgomery Co. (13-0), Brookstone (19-14)
Stars: LB Curt Douglas, LB Dewayne Simmons, HB Garrison Hearst, CB/SE Quincy Brown
Notes: This was the first Lincoln Co. team with several college prospects, Douglas, Hearst and Simmons (all UGA) among them. Hearst, a sophomore, and his cousin, Bernard Hearst, each topped 1,000 yards rushing. QB Greg Leverett's 22-yard TD run with 1:23 left won the Brookstone game.

1988 CLINCH COUNTY PANTHERS

Coach: Don Tison (149-72-5)
Record: 13-0
Average score: 31-8
Playoffs: Beat Lincoln Co. (21-7), Wilcox Co. (32-0), Palmetto (34-14)
Stars: TB HErbert Mingo, QB A.C. Cooper, OL Skip Jones, DE Dewayne O'Berry
Notes: Clinch Co. won state titles in football, basketball and baseball during the '88-89 academic year, and Cooper, FB/LB Jamie Spates, SE/DB Brent James and DE Gregory Calley played on all three teams. In football, Mingo was the star, rushing for 1,930 yards.

1989 LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS

Coach: Larry Campbell (343-57-2)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 32-6
Playoffs: Beat ECI (35-6), Johnson Co. (26-3), Irwin Co. (37-7), Wilcox Co. (25-6), Bowdon (24-7)
Stars: RB Garrison Hearst, LB Anthony Parks, LB Dramell Ware, T John Ludwig
Notes: Hearst's school rushing record of 2,216 yards is deceiving since he missed 10 quarters of garbage time. In the playoffs, he averaged 170 yards and clinched the title game with an 81-yard interception return. The unsung hero was Parks, called by Campbell ''as good as Curt Douglas."

1991 CLINCH COUNTY PANTHERS

Coach: Don Tison (149-72-5)
Record: 14-0
Average score: 27-6
Playoffs: Beat Calhoun Co. (36-20), Wilkinson Co. (22-0), Bowdon (10-7), Lincoln Co. (11-8)
Stars: RB/LB Anthony McNeil, FB/LB Donnel Grady, QB/DB Fred Edmonds
Notes: Winning its second title in four years, Clinch Co. ended Lincoln Co.'s 44-game winning streak, a state record, on McNeil's 36-yard FG with 4:20 left. Grady, McNeil and Travis Rivers each had 800-plus rushing yards.

1992 BOWDON RED DEVILS

Coach: Dwight Hochstetler (242-65-1)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 33-12
Playoffs: Beat Adairsville (35-21), Mt. Zion (42-7), Monticello (35-14), Charlton Co. (32-27), Macon Co. (13-6)
Stars: QB Randall Curbow, RB Richard Wyatt, FB/LB Curtis Cox, DE Anthony Wyatt,
Notes: Hochstetler coached his third Class A champ in 13 years (two with Greenville) with another smash-mouth team that had a 1,000-yard rusher (Wyatt) and three with 500-plus (Cox, Trinnty Daniel, Darnell Thomas). Curbow's 56-yard TD pass to Tony Phillips won the Charleton Co. game.

1993 LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS

Coach: Larry Campbell (343-57-2)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 26-7
Playoffs: Beat GMC (40-7), Wilcox Co. (16-0), Turner Co. (12-7), Armuchee (24-20), Johnson Co. (24-14)
Stars: TB Carl Dorsey, WR/DB Dave Ferguson, DE Tim Ferguson, LB/FB Jeff Smith
Notes: Campbell had no superstars for a change but won on clutch plays. The biggest was Ferguson's 65-yard punt return TD late in the Armuchee game. In the QF, Turner Co. had first-and-goal twice in the 4th quarter without scoring as the Devils won their 53rd straight road game.

1994 BROOKS COUNTY TROJANS

Coach: Maurice Freeman
Record: 12-3 (Lost to Thomasville 13-7, Universal Christain, Fla. 34-21, Charlton Co. 26-6)
Average score: 26-15
Playoffs: Beat Turner Co. (14-13), Lincoln Co. (33-29), Toombs (19-7), Central Talbotton (50-26), Manchester (20-0)
Stars: TB Chris Cole, QB Jerome Smith, DL Marcus Stroud, TE/DL Derrick Cody
Notes: U.S. 84 in south Georgia passes through seven counties from Bainbridge (Decatur Co.) to Waycross (Ware), and now each one had a state title in football since 1980. Freeman was a new coach at his alma mater. Cole rushed for 1,931 yards (6,188 career). Stroud starred at UGA.

1995 LINCOLN COUNTY RED DEVILS

Coach: Larry Campbell (343-57-2)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 31-5
Playoffs: Beat E. Laurens (42-7), Turner Co. (18-6), Toombs Co. (14-7), Buford (14-0), Macon Co. (12-0)
Stars: RB Cherard Freeman, WR Troy Albea, WR Recio Tutt, DB Franklin Brown
Notes: The forward pass came to Lincolnton in the trio of QB Kelvin Leverett (S.C. State) and ends Tutt (Ga. Southern) and Albea (Appalachian State, Indy Colts). Freeman (Ga. Southern) was a game-breaker, too, and scored from the 1 with 0:05 left while trailing Toombs County 7-6.

1996 MACON COUNTY BULLDOGS

Coach: C.B. Cornett
Record: 15-0
Average score: 36-6
Playoffs: Beat Johnson Co. (13-6), Clinch Co. (27-6), Charlton Co. (14-8), Crawford Co. (20-7), Putnam Co. (16-8)
Stars: HB Aaron Jackson, HB Antwon Oliver, G Demorris Clark, LB Antwann Hill
Notes: The Bulldogs entered the playoffs 10-0 for the fifth straight season and finally won it all after losing in the '92 and '95 title games. They didn't allow a second-half TD all season and outscored their playoff foes 61-0 in the fourth quarter. Aaron Jackson rushed for 1,942 yards.

1997 MANCHESTER BLUE DEVILS

Coach: Greg Oglesby
Record: 14-1 (Lost to Taylor Co. 15-6)
Average score: 28-8
Playoffs: Beat Buford (29-3), Darlington (39-0), Trion (30-0), Lincoln Co. (6-3), Irwin Co. (28-7)
Stars: RB Demarquis Terry, Travis Scott, NG Tyler Dunn, DE Jason Newman
Notes: The Devils' run defense (54.4 yards/game) was the best for a small-school state champion in 30 years, and it was even better (49 ypg) in the playoffs. Terry & Scott each rushed for 1,500-plus yards. Newman blocked a punt and scored the winning TD in the title game.

1998 DARLINGTON TIGERS

Coach: Jerry Sharp (229-101-9)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 29-9
Playoffs: Beat Jefferson (41-6), Washington-Wilkes (7-0), Crawford Co. (21-6), Taylor Co. (30-13), Lincoln Co. (16-6)
Stars: QB Robert Hortman, FB/LB John McElrath, NG Sean Atkins, G Hank Johnson
Notes: Darlington fooled many since its usual playoff fate was a rout in the second or third round. But fullback McElrath, even better on defense, rushed for 1,686 yards and epitomized this team's brain and brawn. Sharp had won titles with far more raw talent at East Rome in 1977 and '78.

1999 CHARLTON COUNTY INDIANS

Coach: Rich McWhorter (123-33-0)
Record: 14-1 (Lost to Brunswick 7-0)
Average score: 34-6
Playoffs: Beat E. Laurens (33-0), Irwin Co. (40-8), Bowdon (28-3), Miller Co. (35-19), Lincoln Co. (20-0)
Stars: TE/LB Marquis Elmore, RB Lamar Williams, Bama Adams CB/QB/WR, QB/WR/S Kevin Davis
Notes: Charlton had gone 10 years without a winning season when McWhorter arrived in 1990, then averaged 10 wins for the decade. The Bailey boys (Champ, Ronald, Boss, Kenny) were gone by '99, but 13 players signed to play college play, including Elmore and Adams at UGA.


2000 COMMERCE TIGERS

Coach: Steve Savage (113-45-0)
Record: 13-2 (Lost to C. Forsyth 16-15, Washington-Wilkes 49-27)
Average score: 27-17
Playoffs: Beat Warren Co. (31-14), Trion (34-18), Johnson Co. (34-20), Lincoln Co. (17-14), Buford (27-19)
Stars: TB Monte' Williams, QB/SE/DB Michael Collins, DT Twion Shealer
Notes: Commerce had no passing game and allowed more points than any state champion in history, but Williams, the seventh player in Georgia to rush for more than 2,500 yards, was the most indefensible weapon in Class A since Garrison Hearst. Collins (Tennessee) was good, too.

2001 BUFORD WOLVES

Coach: Dexter Wood (214-90-3)
Record: 15-0
Average score: 37-8
Playoffs: Beat Social Circle (49-12), Mt. Zion (58-22), Johnson Co. (21-6), Clinch Co. (15-7), Bowdon (35-13)
Stars: QB Lorne Sam, RB/DB Webb Aiken, DE Aaron Scranton, OL Jeff Merrow
Notes: The Wolves had a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in Aiken and Darius Walker and an FSU signee at quarterback in Sam, and they scored 40-plus points nine times. Scranton signed with UGA. It was Buford's first title since 1978, the first ever for Wood, who coached Eric Zeier at Marietta.

#2 btaylor

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

Thanks for posting these. I had not read any of this since you originally had them in the AJC.

That reminds me that I need to try track down an urban legend.

Supposedly in the 1968 SCD-Wheeler County game, Wheeler grew tired of the pounding. When SCD kicked off, urban legend has the Wheeler kid catching it ... and kicking it right back.