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High school football in the state of Georgia has been, is, and will be king. Some of the top collegiate players and professionals came from the Peach State.

But this isn’t about those players. It’s about the teams they played for. With the 2019 season rapidly approaching, we take a sweep through our local programs to see which teams have had the richest history. This list includes the local 11 in our coverage area, in order from least history to greatest.

#11 – TOWNS COUNTY

  • RECORD: 70-354-1
  • WIN %: .166
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 0
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 1
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 0-1
  • BEST STATE FINISH: ROUND ONE (’17)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 0
  • HEAD COACHES: 15
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 1
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 0 TIMES

Towns County’s top coach in terms of wins was Kyle Langford (17 wins) going all the way back to 1969. The program recently made its first playoff run in 2017, and Shea Underwood is the lone All-State player in Indians history. The top season Towns has had was under Langford in 2008, when the boys went 7-3 overall.


#10 – LUMPKIN COUNTY

  • RECORD: 182-387-14
  • WIN %: .324
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 0
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 5
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 0-5
  • BEST STATE FINISH: ROUND ONE (’00, ’01, ’02, 03, ’14)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 0
  • HEAD COACHES: 18
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 11
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 6 TIMES

Lumpkin County has one coach to garner over 30 wins, but none has lasted more than seven seasons (Tommy Jones holds that distinction). The Indians are nearing 200 wins overall, but still search for a 10-win season, a region title, and a playoff trip past the first round.

The program’s height came between 2000-03, when the Indians made state four straight times under coach George Hoblitzell, winning 25 games over that span. Wesley Wells, Jonathan Gilreath, Taylor Guthrie, Brian Raber, and David Richardson highlight the standout All-State players in the history of the program.

#9 – BANKS COUNTY

  • RECORD: 213-307-3
  • WIN %: .410
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 0
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 6
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 1-6
  • BEST STATE FINISH: ROUND TWO (2016)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 0
  • HEAD COACHES: 15
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 13
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 8 TIMES

No Banks County coach has won over 55 games (Dennis Marlow holds that mark). The Leopards have churned through coaches in recent years, and have a .410 win percentage. In six playoff trips, they’ve won a single game (by forfeit in 2016). The program still seeks a 10-win season and region title. It has been ranked eight times by the AJC, and has featured 13 All-State players, including Justin Beasley (c/o ’08).


#8 – UNION COUNTY

  • RECORD: 277-322-10
  • WIN %: .463
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 2
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 6
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 0-6
  • BEST STATE FINISH: ROUND ONE (’01, ’13, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’18)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 0
  • HEAD COACHES: 12
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 21
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 11 TIMES

Brian Allison is the program’s all-time winningest coach (107 wins and counting), but the Panthers still search for that first-ever playoff win and a modern-day region title (won a pair in ’72-’73). Union has been ranked 11 times by the AJC, and have posted 21 All-State selections, highlighted by Joseph Mancuso, Blake Gowder, Robby Rogers, Luther Jones, and current/recent stars Pierson Allison and Cole Wright.


#7 – WHITE COUNTY

  • RECORD: 291-324-10
  • WIN %: .474
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 0
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 8
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 2-8
  • BEST STATE FINISH: ROUND TWO (’10, ’13)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 0
  • HEAD COACHES: 14
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 19
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 12 TIMES

White County, going back to 1958, has had plenty of solid seasons, including a handful of 9-win seasons. The things that have eluded the Warriors are 10-win seasons and region titles. The program has gone 2-8 across eight playoff trips, reaching the second round twice, both in recent years. They’ve had just one coach stay for 10 years (Wicky Loudermilk), and he won 46 games, which is still the most for any Warriors coach.

Nine more wins will give White County 300 all-time, and would get them closer to the .500 mark. The turn of the decade in 2010 ushered in what has been the best stretch of football in the history of the school, as the Warriors have made six playoff trips in that span, including three in a row from 2012-14, where the guys won 22 games under coach Bill Ballard.

The Warriors have been ranked as high as #6 in the state, and ranked 12 times overall. There have been 19 All-State players, headlined by recent great Ashely Lowery and former greats Glen and Jesse Dorsey.


#6 – DAWSON COUNTY

  • RECORD: 178-304-9
  • WIN %: .372
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 1
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 8
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 5-8
  • BEST STATE FINISH: QUARTERFINALS (2015)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 1
  • HEAD COACHES: 14
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 26
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 29 TIMES

Dawson County has come on strong in the last eight years. Since 2012, the program has had six winning seasons, won its first region title, made its first quarterfinals game, and put up its first 10-win season. Most of that has happened under the current legendary coach Sid Maxwell.

From 2015-18, the Tigers won 34 games and going to state all four years so far under Maxwell. That’s the best run in program history going back to 1967. The team has been ranked in the top-10 nearly 30 times, and has 26 All-State players, including guys like Coey Watson, Sevaughn Clark, Tyler Dominy, Luke Martin, Mike Turner, and Chad Cunningham among many others.

Crump GIF 2018
2019 Jacky Jones GIF

#5 – HABERSHAM CENTRAL

  • RECORD: 261-254-2
  • WIN %: .501
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 5
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 8
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 7-8
  • BEST STATE FINISH: SEMIFINALS (1973)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 5
  • HEAD COACHES: 9
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 22
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 43 TIMES

50 years of football has been played at Habersham Central going back to 1970, which equates to 517 games. The Raiders have gone 261-254-2 overall, and have laid claim to five region titles (’73, ’84, ’90, ’06, ’07). The school has had few head coaches, and perhaps one of the greatest was Larry Black, who from 1984-94 went 75-45 and winning two region titles. However, Habersham made the playoffs just once in that span (prior to the current format). In 1990 they made the quarterfinals, and Black orchestrated a pair of 11-plus win seasons (’84, ’90).

Habersham has five 10-win seasons, and a 7-8 playoff record across eight playoff appearances. Perhaps the most thrilling three-year span was the 2005-07 run under Gene Cathcart, where All-State players Tavarres King and Bo Hatchett led the Raiders to three straight playoff trips, including 21 wins from 06-07 alone (winning region titles in both of those seasons) and making the quarterfinals both times.

King, Kevin Ellison, and Anthony King are some of the most dominant in program history. All told, there have been 22 All-State players and the team has been state-ranked in the top-10 on 43 occasions.

2019 Bob & Teds GIF

#4 – RABUN COUNTY

  • RECORD: 376-330-13
  • WIN %: .532
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
  • REGION TITLES: 6
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 9
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 12-9
  • BEST STATE FINISH: RUNNER-UP (2017)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 5
  • HEAD COACHES: 15
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 32
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 79 TIMES

Rabun’s history has been rich since the Shaw family has headed up the program. The Wildcats hold a .532 overall win percentage and 376 total wins, including five straight region titles (6 total) and four straight 10-win seasons (5 total). That includes a State Runner-Up finish in 2017 and four consecutive quarterfinal berths.

The Lee Shaw era has ended, but Jaybo Shaw now takes over and the program shouldn’t miss a beat under his watch. All told, Rabun has nine playoff runs and a 12-9 record. Of the 15 head coaches, Frank Snyder’s 91 is tops, followed by Lee Shaw’s 70. Of the 32 times the team has been ranked in the top-10, twice that’s been a top overall ranking. And of 79 All-State players, some of the GOATs include Charlie Woerner, Gunner Stockton, Bailey Fisher, Austin Jones, Peyton Backer.


#3 – JEFFERSON

  • RECORD: 463-289-22
  • WIN %: .612
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1
  • REGION TITLES: 8
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 22
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 23-21
  • BEST STATE FINISH: CHAMPIONS (2012); RUNNER-UP (1975 & 1977)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 10
  • HEAD COACHES: 19
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 66
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 133 TIMES

Jefferson is up there among the best programs in the state all time. The Dragons are creeping up on 500 career victories and have a .612 win percentage, which is ridiculous. That includes a state title in 2012 under legendary coach T McFerrin. The program also finished as a state runner-up in 1975 and 1977, and all told have gone to the postseason 22 times for a 23-21 record.

Ten times the Dragons have won 10-plus games, including a mind-boggling six times straight from 2012-2017, which resulted in five of the eight region titles the school holds. Since the turn of the century in 2000, Jefferson has made the playoffs in all but one season (2010). While McFerrin wasn’t there long enough to accumulate many wins, the program has some other greats in there like Jim Lofton (70 wins) and Stooge Davis (85).

Being ranked 133 times overall in the top-10 by the AJC includes one time as the #1 team in the state. Among the 66 All-State players, some of the most remarkable include Bryant & Evan Shirreffs, Colby Wood, Dontae Wilson, Michael Shields, Wesley Simonton, and Caleb Chandler.


#2 – STEPHENS COUNTY

  • RECORD: 492-331-17
  • WIN %: .596
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1
  • REGION TITLES: 14
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 29
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 20-28
  • BEST STATE FINISH: CHAMPIONS (1958); RUNNER-UP (1988)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 15
  • HEAD COACHES: 13 (KNOWN)
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 56
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 166 TIMES

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more illustrious program in the state. With a .596 win percentage and closing in on 500 wins, the Indians have rich history dating back to as early as 1923. While not many records are found in the 20s and 30s, Stephens County still has been a great coaching gig, with only 13 known coaches in the program. That includes Rodney Walker (’86-’93) and his 78 wins, as well as Travis Noland (’05-’13) and his 73.

The Indians have been in the playoffs 29 times, going 20-28 overall, including a state title back in 1958 and a runner-up finish in 1988 (14-1 record that year). They made the postseason every year from 1996-2008 (13 straight), and after missing in 2009, made it again from 2010-16 (7 straight). There have been 15 10-win seasons, including three in a row from 2005-07, which resulted in regiont titles each year. Overall, the Indians have 14 of those.

Being ranked 166 times overall in the top-10 by the AJC includes 31 times as the #1 team in the state. Among the 56 All-State players, some of the most remarkable include Ben Cleveland, Chaz Thornton, Tauren Poole, and Eldorado Cochran.


#1 – COMMERCE

  • RECORD: 610-306-21
  • WIN %: .662
  • STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2
  • REGION TITLES: 17
  • STATE PLAYOFFS: 34
  • STATE PLAYOFF RECORD: 43-32
  • BEST STATE FINISH: CHAMPIONS (1981 & 2000); RUNNER-UP (1976, 1973, 1965)
  • 10-WIN SEASONS: 23
  • HEAD COACHES: 18 (KNOWN)
  • ALL-STATE PLAYERS: 101
  • AJC STATE RANKED: 446 TIMES

There are literally only 14 schools in the state with more all-time wins than Commerce (610). The .662 win percentage is elite, as are the two state titles in 1981 and 2000. The program has 17 region championships, and has made the playoffs 34 times, going 43-32 in such games. The current playoff streak entering 2019 stands at 22 seasons going back to 1998.

Ray Lamb (190 wins) and Steve Savage (181) are followed by Michael Brown’s 53-and-counting. There have been some legends coaching on the Tigers sidelines. The Tigers have been top-10 ranked 446 times (not a typo), and ranked #1 35 times. There have been 101 All-State players. With too many to mention just a few, the still-record holding rusher RB Monte Williams stands atop that list.

Commerce has 23 10-win campaigns, and have played in the state title game five times, winning twice.

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2 comments on “Which team has the richest history?

  1. Pingback: White County Football #7 On Blitz Rich History List – WRWH

  2. Don Hill

    We have been blessed, at Commerce, to have been led by some of the all-time greats in Ray Lamb and Steve Savage. Current Coach, Michael Brown, should join that list as his win totals continue to pile up. While this is the key to our success, one cannot discount the unwavering support of a great community. It is small-town football the way it ought to be. Like Coach Savage has always said, “There ain’t nothing like running down that hill in a Friday night!”

    Like

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