Since the 2008-09 season, we have covered some amazing teams! The following are enshrined in our Hall of Fame forever! Who will be next?
- MUST be in our coverage area: Habersham Central, Stephens Co (since 2014), White Co, Jefferson (beginning in 2018-19), Dawson Co, Lumpkin Co, Rabun Co (since 2013), Union Co, Banks Co, Towns Co, Commerce & Tallulah Falls (since 2016) [a few exceptions to this rule with explanations provided!]
- These are teams of a single season (not a dynasty, although many of these teams were constantly making deep runs that peaked at this time; some exceptions).
- MUST have made it to a State Championship game or Semifinals game, although a Semifinal run doesn’t automatically get them here…a state title game will (For Cross Country, Wrestling, Cheer, etc, teams that were champs or runner-up).
- Teams that win back-to-back or consecutive titles will be grouped together (Commerce wrestling & cheer; Towns girls cross country)
2019 Union County Panthers
The Panthers didn’t have the greatest regular season, especially within region play (5-2), but did just enough to earn the final spot in Region 8-AA to get into the playoffs. Once the boys got there, senior Brian Smith (22 G, 5 A) and fellow star Kobi Robbins took over in what became a legendary cinderella run.
Union County (13-5) used dramatic finishes to get past #5-ranked Lamar County (2-1) and #8 Gordon Central (3-2), both on the road. Then came a rare 4-versus-4 matchup with Jefferson Davis, which saw Smith go for the hat trick in a 4-0 win to punch a semifinals ticket for the first time ever. The 3-0 win over #6 Vidalia (also on the road), advanced the Panthers to the title game. What makes all this so much more special is the fact that the Panthers missed state last year altogether with a 5-8-1 overall record, including going 0-6 in region play. It proved to be one of the best one-year turnarounds we’ve seen.
Union fell 2-1 in the state championship after Smith had scored an early goal in the first half to put the boys up 1-0. Thomasville struck back with a late first half goal. It remained tied at 1, even after an overtime period. That forced PKs, where Thomasville won 4-2.
2019 Jefferson Dragons
The #4-ranked Dragons advanced all the way to the semifinals of the 3A bracket before falling to top-ranked Westminster. Jefferson’s Javy Flores and Roberto Quintal (16 G, 4 A) were unbelievable, and between the pipes Flores had 13 shutouts in 2019.
Jefferson, the 8-AAA Region Champions, went 17-3, rolled through the first three rounds of state without allowing a goal, and made the first Final 4 in school history.
2019 Jefferson Lady Dragons
These Lady Dragons (14-5-1) were ranked #4 in the state and rode to a region runner-up finish. Following that, a sweep through the playoffs to the semifinals occured. This included wins over top-five teams Dawson County (#2) and Pike County (#3). Coach Molly McCarty’s group featured some talented players like Abbey Eison (21 G, 6 A), Margo Perry (13 Shutouts, 0.6 GAA), and many others.
2017-19 WHITE CO LADY WARRIORS
The Lady Warriors have a pair of state championship individual golfers in sisters Caroline and Catie Craig. The latter, won the title with big sister, junior Caroline, finishing sixth overall in ’18. In ’19, Catie finished as runner-up by a single stroke. Caroline, a UGA commit, won the title as a sophomore in ’17, and is ranked the #7 golfer in the state, with Catie at #20. The team finished third, missing second place by a single stroke in both 2018 and 2019. The 2017 group is also included here, as the “dynasty” the girls have built continues to flourish, improving from fourth that year to third in 2018. With both Craig girls, Erin Dorsey (T-10 in ’18), and Grace Jones, this program is now in the Hall of Fame for 2017-19 success. Others who were 2017 graduates Karson Kimsey and her sister before her, Candler Kimsey (2014), as well as Brittan Slaton (2014) and Hannah Wall (2015) who built this program into what it became.
2019 Commerce Lady Tigers
The Lady Tigers, just like White County, finished one stroke off a runner-up finish in Class 1A public in 2019. The girls were led all season by veteran McKenzie McRee (11th-place), and sophomore star Cameron Ford, who finished 3rd as an individual and Kristin Tash (5th).
2019 Jefferson Dragons
The Dragons won the Region 8-AAA title for starters, with five individuals taking the top spot in their events. That was just the tip of the iceberg, as the boys appeared in 14 events at the 3A State Championships, taking the state title as five individuals (including Eli Morris, who won two titles) won state titles on their own.
2019 Commerce Tigers
The Tigers won the area championship and didn’t disappoint at state, with 15 individual events producing 8 Top-5 finishes and a pair of state titles (Tucker Flint & Shannon Segars). Dajuan Wood also placed in the top 5 in four events. The final result was another state title for Commerce, it’s third since 2013 (’13, ’16, ’19).
2018-19 DAWSON CO TIGERS
Coach: Chad Pittman
Accomplishments: The Tigers brought in a flux of talent from elsewhere prior to the season. Nearby Dawson Christian Academy shut its doors, so highly-touted senior Luke Chism, and players like Eli Burruss and Ahmad Kamara joined him. Also, Jefferson’s best player, Jasper Gibson, came over with his dad to Dawson. The group, which included returnees Campbell Reed and Trey Pruitt among others, gelled quickly. The Tigers were ranked as high as #2 in the state, and won 11 straight through the region and state tournament until a Final Four loss. Dawson beat #1-ranked GAC, who were the defending state champions, to claim the Region 7-AAA title, and rolled into the first Final Four in team history. Luke Chism was also named Co-Region and Co-BLITZ Player of the Year.
2018-19 RABUN CO LADY WILDCATS
Coach: DeeDee Dillard
Accomplishments: The Lady Cats were at one point ranked #1 in the state, and rightfully so. The roster was loaded with talent, and went 14-0 in region play on the way to a regular season and tournament Region 8-AA title. The girls pulled off 26 straight wins until falling in the quarterfinals. The team consisted of all-state guard Georgia Stockton, who was coming off a BLITZ Player of the Year junior season, and Brooke Henricks, who was coming off an injury-riddled junior year. The two trended in opposite directions. Henricks had the season of her life, eclipsing 1,000 career points. Stockton battled injuries throughout, but had already hit the 1K mark as a junior. Key players included Laken Stiles, Destiny Deetz, Kaitlin Coleman, and others.
2018-19 JEFFERSON DRAGONS
Coach: Doug Thurmond
Accomplishments: The Dragons made it 18 consecutive state titles when they won the Duals 3A Tournament in January 2019. It was a narrow win over North Hall to give them the top spot. In Duals, Jefferson wasn’t able to win it all, but still placed third in a stacked class. The team had three champions (Ryan Hurd [BLITZ Wrestler of the Year], Mason Mingus, Gavin London) and three finish as individual runner-up.
2018 JEFFERSON LADY DRAGONS
Coach: Kacie Bostwick
Accomplishments: The Lady Dragons averaged over six runs per contest en route to a state title game appearance. Region 8-AAA Champions, 3A State Runners-Up, #2-state ranking. Seniors Emily Perrin and Sam Vinson, along with a slew of other young players were the key cogs driving this machine.
2018 UNION CO PANTHERS
Coach: Paige Dyer
Accomplishments: The Panthers took Class 2A by storm. Despite a second-place finish in Region 8-AA, the boys saved their best for last, winning the 2A State Championship, becoming Union’s first-ever state title winning program.
2018 DAWSON CO LADY TIGERS
Coach: Kim Fleming
Accomplishments: The Lady Tigers earned the 3A State Runner-Up finish and a Region/Area Title to boot! Incredible season by the girls, and Nicole Mulkey, who was named All-State.
2018 RABUN CO WILDCATS
The Wildcats finished with a decent third-place finish overall at their Region 8-AA meet, but found another level when the State Championships came around. Granted, junior Guy Gober (BLITZ Track & Field Athlete of the Year) was a large part of that success with a pair of state titles (1600 & 3200), but others contributed mightily in the efforts that led to the Wildcats being the State Runner-Up in 2018. Think about that…the third best team in their region was suddenly the second-best in the state (to region foes Elbert County). Grayson Mitchem (pole vault), Jacob Barry (400), Justin Wilkes (800) and 4×400 relay, which included Gober, all notched top-five finishes in a record weekend!
2017 RABUN CO WILDCATS
Coach: Lee Shaw
Record: 14-1; 2A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: Undefeated regular season (10-0), 4th straight Region 8-AA title, #1-state ranking, first state championship game in school history, 6th highest-scoring offense in state history (684 pts, 45.6 per game), led by SR QB Bailey Fisher, who tallied over 12,000 yards of offense and 170 total TD in his career.
2017-18 BANKS CO LADY LEOPARDS
Coach: Tony Bowen
Record: 26-9; 2A STATE 3RD PLACE in 2017; 29-10; 2A STATE RUNNER-UP in 2018
Accomplishments: Region 8-AA champions in ’17 and runner-up in ’18, #2-state ranking, Final 4 run in ’17 after not making state the previous year, going from 8-12 in 2016 to 26-9 to the semifinals. Followed that up with a 29-win ’18 season that ended in the state title game. Stars Jaycie Bowen, Tybee Denton, Abbie Bailey, Kya Santiago, and Madison Cronic were the main culprits.
2017 STEPHENS CO LADY INDIANS
Coach: Katie Jo Gentry
Record: 25-10; 4A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: Region 7-AAAA runner-up, #2-state ranking, and the second straight Elite 8 run in school history (back-to-back seasons). Clemson commit Emma Whitfield and freshman Jasmine Lowery led the team to the title game.
2017 DAWSON CO TIGERS
Coach: Charles Beusse
Record: 3A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: Region 7-AAA Champions for the third straight season, #2-state ranking, and a second-place finish at the 3A State Meet. Led by Cody Wood, Ben McGinnis & Christoper Shelp.
2017 BANKS CO LEOPARDS BOYS/GIRLS
Coach: William Foster
Record: BOYS – 2A STATE CHAMPIONS | GIRLS – 2A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: They deserve to go together! It was a dream finish for both programs, Leopards earning the state title and Lady Leopards a runner-up finish. Both of course won region as well. Allison Smith (6th) led the girls; Griffin Stephens (3rd) & Jimmy Cochran (4th) led the boys!
2016-17 RABUN CO LADY WILDCATS
Coach: DeeDee Dillard
Record: 29-3; 2A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: Region 8-AA Champions, #2-state ranking and the first ever state title game appearance. This team, led by Savanna Scott, Georgia Stockton, Brooke Henricks, Tessa Matheson and others, made it nine straight years making the playoffs, which included five quarterfinals runs or deeper.
2013-2019 COMMERCE TIGERS
Coach: Kendall Love
Record: 1A STATE CHAMPIONS, DUALS & TRADITIONAL [6 YEARS RUNNING]
Accomplishments: Perhaps the greatest dynasty of all that we cover is Commerce wrestling since the 2012-13 season and running until now. We’re looking at 12 team state championships, winning both Duals and Traditional tournaments each year. They also have had a pair of four-time individual state champions in Chance McClure and Dalton Flint.
2012-2017 WHITE CO LADY WARRIORS
Coach: Sam Borg
Record: 4A STATE 3RD PLACE (3X), 4TH PLACE (1X), 5TH PLACE (1X) & 10TH (1X)
Accomplishments: Borg’s girls…unbelievable all these years! Starts with Jenna Gearing (five-time state champion & eight-time region champion). Carried on by girls like Kristen Mitchell, Rachel Gearing, Jaelen Alexander and many others! If not for being in Class 4A, they’d probably have won a state title or two.
2016 & 2013 COMMERCE TIGERS TRACK
Record: 1A STATE CHAMPIONS
Accomplishments: Area Champions, #1-state ranking and most importantly, a 1A Public State Title. We lump these two together as the freshman class of 2013 started and ended their career with state title in Class 1A!
2012-2016 TOWNS CO LADY INDIANS
Coach: Jeannie Ledford
Record: 1A STATE CHAMPIONS [5 CONSECUTIVE]
Accomplishments: Area Champions three of the five years, but winning all five that mattered the most, ending with the #1-ranking in the state in 1A Public cross country. This group began with the Ansley Vardeman & Caitlin Sheffield-led years and finished with the Hannah Whitehead-led teams. A true dynasty!
2015 RABUN CO WILDCATS
Coach: Daniel Young
Record: 21-7; 2A STATE SEMIFINALS
Accomplishments: Region 8-AA title, #3-state ranking, 2A Semifinals run with a great senior class! This team was loaded with talent: Colin Grant, Stetson Scott, Alden Wright, Trey Wilcox, Eli Gipson, Jacob Sego and others!
2015 LUMPKIN CO LADY INDIANS
Coach: Don Brock
Record: 17-1-1; 3A STATE FINAL FOUR
Accomplishments: A perfect regular season, capped by a shocking Region 7-AAA title. The Lady Indians’ lone blemish came in the State Semifinals to Blessed Trinity. Alexis Satterfield scored 32 goals on the season to lead the girls to unprecedented heights!
2014-15 DAWSON CO LADY TIGERS
Coach: Steve Sweat
Record: 29-1; 3A STATE QUARTERFINALS
Accomplishments: A perfect regular season of 25-0 was one of the most dominating runs we’ve ever seen. A region 7-AAA title followed, along with a #1-state ranking. The dream season, led by Ashley Parker, Karlie Bearden and Sheyenne Seabolt, along with other key players like Haley Burgess among many others, fell in a heartbreaking loss at Laney in the quarterfinals.
*EXCEPTION: This was only a quarterfinals run, but a #1 team going 29-0 and barely falling to Laney on the road (suffered a coin flip tragedy).
2015 TOWNS CO LADY INDIANS GOLF
Record: 1A STATE CHAMPIONS
Accomplishments: An area title and 1A Public State Championship led by Kenzie Jenkins and Danielle Diehl.
2012-2018 COMMERCE LADY TIGERS
Coach: Dianne Cottrell
Record: 1A STATE CHAMPIONS [3 PEAT ’13-15]; 1A RUNNER-UP [’12, ’18]; 1A 3RD [’17], 1A 5th [’16]
Accomplishments: State titles in Class 1A from 2013-15, runner-up finishes in ’12 and ’18, and two other top-fives in ’16-17.
2014 & 2015 COMMERCE TIGERS
Coach: Michael Brown
Record: 10-3 in 2014 *& 9-4 in 2015; 1A STATE SEMIFINALS
Accomplishments: Back-to-back 1A State Semifinals runs, with a region title in 2014 in 8-A. The 2015 squad allowed only 184 pts all season (14.2 per game allowed). Caleb Brooks, Cole Chancey, J’varius Wood, Will Thomas and Lane Sorrow were the leaders of this special group.
2014 COMMERCE LADY TIGERS GOLF
Coach: Josh Shoemaker
Record: 1A STATE CHAMPIONS
Accomplishments: Area champions became 1A Public State Champions, leading to a #1-ranking in the state. Akyn Trudnak (IND state champion) and Hannah McRee led the girls to new heights!
2012-13 DAWSON CO LADY TIGERS
Coach: Steve Sweat
Record: 27-6; 3A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: A 7-AAA Runner-Up wasn’t what the Lady Tigers wanted, but they stormed through the playoffs on an unforgettable journey to the State Championship game, led by Carly Gilreath, Sheyenne Seabolt, Ashley Parker, and Hannah Porter among others, including Karlie Bearden and Allie Costley. A #2-state ranking was the end result and an incredible season culminating in the state finals.
2012-13 TOWNS CO LADY INDIANS
Coach: Jim Melton
Record: 26-5; 1A STATE FINAL 4
Accomplishments: Region 8-A title, #1-state ranking, and an all-time landmark run to the Final 4. Stephanie Patton and Eryn Cochran were dominating opponents in this magical run.
2012 GAINESVILLE RED ELEPHANTS
Coach: Bruce Miller
Record: 12-3; 5A STATE CHAMPIONS
Accomplishments: Lost the region title to Flowery Branch, but Deshaun Watson wouldn’t allow another defeat. The greatest football player in state history, Watson shattered every passing record by the final game of 2012 in the Georgia Dome, as the Red Elephants emerged as the state champions and undisputed #1 team in the state.
*EXCEPTION: This was one of the few times we stepped outside of our coverage area and followed Watson every chance we could…how could you not?!?
2012 JEFFERSON DRAGONS
Coach: T. McFerrin
Record: 14-1; 2A STATE CHAMPIONS
Accomplishments: McFerrin’s last year, with stud QB Bryant Shirreffs leading the way. This group was phenomenal, winning a Region 8-AA title and rolling through the playoffs to the Georgia Dome, winning it all as the #1-ranked team in the state!
2010 WHITE CO LADY WARRIORS
Coach: John Brown
Record: 30-6; 3A STATE CHAMPIONS
Accomplishments: Stephanie Satterfield smashed 16 homers (a then-state record) and the Lady Warriors went on an unforeseen tear once they got into the playoffs. The homerun power by Satterfield, Callie McDonald, Kristen Mullis and Morgan Jacobson was unreal! It all ended with a 12-11 slugfest win over Alatoona in the championship game, leaving White County as the #1-ranked team in Class 3A.
2010 UNION CO LADY PANTHERS
Coach: Jessica Stewart
Record: 32-4-1; 2A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: Playing in the same region as Buford doesn’t help. While they won the region title (going undefeated in the regular season in region play), they fell in the state championship to…you guessed it — Buford! The Lady Panthers suffered three of their four losses in 2010 to the Lady Wolves. This team was led by star pitcher Angie Hughes, who left as one of the state’s all-time top strikeout leaders.
2008 & 2009 FLOWERY BRANCH FALCONS
Coach: Lee Shaw
Record: 12-3 in 2008 [3A STATE RUNNER-UP]; 10-4 in 2009 [3A STATE SEMIFINALS]
Accomplishments: One of the most fun football groups to watch in the last decade, the Connor Shaw-led Falcons couldn’t seem to win the Region 7-AAA title playing in the same group as Gainesville, but when the playoffs hit, they were true road warriors. Flowery Branch used guys like Shaw, Daniel Drummond, Will Monday, Imani & Izaan Cross and plenty of other talented players to get to the Georgia Dome in ’08, where they fell to Cairo. In 2009, they played maybe the best game of all time at Gainesville in the 3A Semifinals, where the Red Elephants won to get to the Dome on a last-second TD to beat the region rivals in front of some 9,000 people flooding the stadium. What was crazy was that just weeks prior in the defacto region title game at Flowery Branch, Gainesville destroyed the Falcons…Flowery Branch made HUGE adjustments to nearly topple the Red Elephants.
*EXCEPTION: Before we established our coverage area firmly, we had begun by following this team in 2007-2009. It’s where it all started for BLITZ, and this was a fun team to watch.
2009 GAINESVILLE RED ELEPHANTS
Coach: Bruce Miller
Record: 14-1; 3A STATE RUNNER-UP
Accomplishments: Blake Sims, TJ Jones, AJ Johnson, Daunte Carr, need we go on? D-I talent littered the roster, and they lived up to the hype. A Region 7-AAA championship, #1-state ranking and a heartbreaking loss (the only one) going for the two-point conversion with no time on the clock instead of kicking for overtime.
*EXCEPTION: Before we established our coverage area firmly, we had begun by following this team in 2007-2009. It’s where it all started for BLITZ, and this was a fun team to watch as well.