Crump GIF 2018

It’s time for the beautiful game! As February ushers in the 2019 season, here’s a quick preview and ranking of our local 10 programs.

#1 JEFFERSON DRAGONS

2018 RECORD: 11-5-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 4A State Round 1
HEAD COACH: Casey Colquitt
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

The Dragons enter 2019 with high hopes, coming off an 11-win season and making the first round of state. Had it not been for a tough first round draw against state runner-up Chestatee, Jefferson could have gone a lot further.

#2 LUMPKIN CO INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 8-9-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 4th / 3A State Round 1
HEAD COACH: Mark Wade
KEY LOSSES: Chris Keys
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Chris Keys was brilliant last year (26 G, 5 A) on his way to winning BLITZ Player of the Year honors. His departure looms large, but he no doubt left room for someone else to step up and fill those shoes. The Indians would love to get back to the playoffs, as they have made it three times in the past five seasons.

#3 HABERSHAM CENTRAL RAIDERS

2018 RECORD: 7-9-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 6A State Round 1
HEAD COACH: Ric Wallace
KEY LOSSES: Grant Farrell
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Alejandro Medina, Edgar Lara, Alex Ramirez, Alan Jiminez, Noah Stephens

The Raiders have long been one of the top-tier programs in North Georgia, and despite a 7-9-1 mark last season, they found a way to knock off some ranked opponents and get into the postseason in what is and will be a tough region once again. History doesn’t matter, but Ric Wallace has taken this program to unforeseen heights in his time at Habersham, tallying 87 wins since 2010, including six state playoff trips in the last nine seasons, two region titles, a Final Four, an Elite 8, a Sweet 16, and two Round 1 appearances.

#4 DAWSON CO TIGERS

2018 RECORD: 6-8-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 4th / 3A State Sweet 16
HEAD COACH: Derek Waters
KEY LOSSES: Dennis Pyetsukh, Nathan Blythe
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Braden Davison

Dawson County made the Sweet 16 in the first year after the unfortunate passing of coach Jed Lacey. The team battled injuries as well, as star Dennis Pyetsukh missed seven games. The Tigers are sure to improve this season, though someone will need to step up to carry the offense.

#5 WHITE CO WARRIORS

2018 RECORD: 8-8-2
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Jeremy Stille
KEY LOSSES: Brett Bardenwerper, David Windmiller
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

The Warriors were probably the best team not to make state in all of North Georgia. Region 7-AAAA was crazy good last year, and probably will be even tougher this year. White County was ranked as high as #6 in the state last year, so they have proven they can be very good. Losing David Windmiller between the pipes is a huge blow, as well as scoring leader Brett Bardenwerper (11 G, 4 A). Who will be the newest Warriors to plug in and perform at a higher level?

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

#6 RABUN CO WILDCATS

2018 RECORD: 6-5
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 3rd / 2A State Playoffs Round 1
HEAD COACH: Andy Mahaffey
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
Tito Diaz

Tito Diaz (16 G, 5 A) leads the pack for 2019 at Rabun. The Cats went 4-2 in region last year, and were ranked as high as #7 in Class 2A. It should be an even better season as the boys look for a fifth consecutive state playoff run.

#7 BANKS CO LEOPARDS

2018 RECORD: 3-14-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 5th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Michael Boomer
KEY LOSSES: Oscar Reyes, Pedro Gonzales, Jose Enriquez
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Losing the trio of Oscar Reyes, Pedro Gonzales, and Jose Enriquez might be a large hole in the roster. The Leopards were able to go 2-3-1 in region last year, falling just short of a playoff spot. Should they trade one of those losses for a win, they can sneak into the playoffs for the first time in at least eight years.

2019 Jacky Jones GIF

#8 UNION CO PANTHERS

2018 RECORD: 5-8-1
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 7th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Tim Hunter
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Union County missed out on the postseason for the second straight season after making it four years in a row. A return to 2013-16 form, in which the Panthers won 32 games and made the Sweet 16 three times, would require some guys to step up this season.

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#9 STEPHENS CO INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 2-11
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 6th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Bob Dillashaw
KEY LOSSES: Andrew Whitlock
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Stephens County had a tough year in 2018. Andrew Whitlock was an all-region defender who will be missed badly, as he did as much off the field as on to lead the team. In this small region, one win gets them into the state playoffs though.

#10 TOWNS CO INDIANS

2018 RECORD: 0-12
FINISH/PLAYOFFS: Region 7th / No Playoffs
HEAD COACH: Jonny Eyrich
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Towns County has gone 0-25 in the past two years, but if the Indians can form a roster that has a bit more depth, hitting a new win-high (record is 2 since 2011) should be accomplishable.

N/A: COMMERCE TIGERS

2018 RECORD:ย N/A; 1st Season
FINISH/PLAYOFFS:ย N/A
HEAD COACH: Robert Knox
KEY LOSSES: N/A
KEY RETURNING PLAYERS:
N/A

Commerce opens 2019 with its first full season of soccer. Time will tell, and we obviously have nothing to go off of until we see these guys play.

Casas en Georgia
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