Preseason Power Rankings – Football

Who’s ready for some football? Here is the initial BLITZ Power Rankings, which will be put to the test in Week 1 when Rabun travels to Jefferson.

Revealed first on ‘Armchair Quarterback’ – the official BLITZ Podcast

T #1 » RABUN COUNTY

2020 Record: 12-2; Semifinals; Region 8-AA Champions; #1 State Ranking
Last Ranking In 2020: #2

The Cats’ success in the Shaw era has all been culminating to this exact season. 19 seniors are starting key players. This is the window to win it all. Gunner Stockton and company will look to win an 8th consecutive region championship, and hope to get back to the title game for the second time, and this time bring home the Championship trophy. SEASON PREVIEW

T #1 » JEFFERSON

2020 Record: 14-1; State Runner-Up; Region 8-AAAA Champions; #1 State Ranking
Last Ranking In 2020: #1

The Dragons will seek region title number 3 in a row, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This team is destined to get back to the State Championship and this time, like Rabun, win it all. Malaki Starks, Jordan Perry, Kadin Bailey, and newcomer Sammy Brown are expected to dominate all season long. SEASON PREVIEW

#3 » COMMERCE

2020 Record: 11-2; Quarterfinals; Region 8-A Champions; #3 State Ranking
Last Ranking In 2020: #3

The Tigers move on from coach Michael Brown, who along with All-State son Sammy headed to Jefferson (above). BUT, with Mark Hollars set to take over the program, he has Dreylan Martin back in the backfield, and some great pieces to mix in like Jaiden Daniels and Landon Bunn among others. If Commerce makes the playoffs, it will mark 25 straight years of doing so. SEASON PREVIEW

#4 » WHITE COUNTY

2020 Record: 8-3; State Rnd 1; #4 State Ranking
Last Ranking In 2020: #4

The Warriors should be even better than they were last season when they won 8 games and were considered region title favorites for a little while. The quick start had them ranked #4 in the state, and J Ben Haynes’ injury issues likely was the only thing between winning 8 games to probably winning 10 and advancing deeper into the playoffs (with a better draw). Look for Silas Mulligan and Darius Cannon to do much of the heavy lifting for White Co, and despite who wins the QB battle, this program should be in the region title discussion once again. SEASON PREVIEW

#5 » DAWSON COUNTY

2020 Record: 6-6; State Rnd 2; #8 State Ranking
Last Ranking In 2020: #6

The Tigers under Sid Maxwell (entering 7th season) have never been held out of the postseason. That should remain true this year. After a disappointing end of the regular season last year that cost Dawson its second-ever region title, the boys will be seeking a better beginning (0-3 last year) and better end of the regular season in region play (0-2 last year). Once in the playoffs, they proved who they really were, advancing to the second round despite being on the road. Zach Holtzclaw is back for his senior year to lead the charge. SEASON PREVIEW

#6 » HABERSHAM CENTRAL

2020 Record: 6-5; State Rnd 1
Last Ranking In 2020: #5

The Raiders must fill large gaps after losing such skill players as Joshua Pickett, Jackson Clouatre, and Austin Wood. That won’t be easy, especially because no QB has been named starter yet. However, there are solid players on defense that should take some pressure off the offense and give those guys a chance to figure things out in non-region play. SEASON PREVIEW

#7 » STEPHENS COUNTY

2020 Record: 5-3
Last Ranking In 2020: #7

The Indians didn’t get a true chance to flex last season, as they didn’t get in the full 10 games due to COVID issues. Gone is D-I player Gamarion Carter (Vanderbilt), but the young QB that emerged was Ben Stowe, who should be even better this season. He has plenty of athletes surrounding him, including Cam Lacy, so this team should be able to earn a playoff spot in 2021. SEASON PREVIEW

#8 » UNION COUNTY

2020 Record: 4-6; State Rnd 1
Last Ranking In 2020: #8

The Panthers are set to write a new chapter as Brian Allison has moved on, paving the way for Michael Perry to bring in a fresh set of eyes on a program that is clearly in a “rebuilding” phase. That doesn’t mean they can’t win, as there are several key players back this year. The QB situation is a little unclear, and nearly every playmaker the 10-win 2019 Sweet 16 team is off the roster. This team should still get in the playoffs, and probably should have a better record than it did last season. SEASON PREVIEW

#9 » TOWNS COUNTY

2020 Record: 3-6
Last Ranking In 2020: #9

The Indians might have been the best 3-win team in Class 1A. Just plays away from being 6-3. Unfortunately, a bunch of the key guys are gone, including D-I prospect Jake McTaggart (who went back to Hayesville), starting QB Mason Thomas, and leading WR Hayden McClure. The good news is that Kyle Oakes, who emerged as one of the top RBs in yardage last season in 1A, is back for his senior year. Others will need to develop quickly. The depth on the team has also gotten better, as coach Jason Roquemore has continued to get more kids into the program. SEASON PREVIEW

#10 » LUMPKIN COUNTY

2020 Record: 0-10
Last Ranking In 2020: #11

The Indians have been building this thing up since the arrival of coach Caleb Sorrells in 2019. It was an 0-10 year last season and 1-9 the year before. Expect Lumpkin to show signs of improvement this time around, as it’s getting closer to being fully Sorrells’ team and his players he got to buy in. It’s not necessarily here yet, but we should see some steps in that direction in 2021. SEASON PREVIEW

#11 » BANKS COUNTY

2020 Record: 1-10; State Rnd 1
Last Ranking In 2020: #10

The Leopards made the playoffs out of default last year as the #4 team in a 4-team region. Banks County was absolutely riddled by injuries in 2020, and that left so many players playing out of position. Guys like Bowen Roberts, Roman Haynes, and Cade Herrin, if healthy, will dictate the success of this team in 2021. SEASON PREVIEW

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