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August 8, 2001
So long, dear friends
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.
By Tim Thomas
The Jackson Herald
August 8, 2001
Football 2001: Panthers foretell Dragons' success?
The 2001 high school football season is just around the corner, and there are some very interesting matchups early on that may give some insight into how successful some of our area teams may be through the entire season.
For instance, Jefferson should get some idea of their chances in the season opener against Athens Christian. The Eagles host Apalachee Aug. 24, one week after Apalachee visits Jefferson for a jamboree.
Jackson County opens the season August 31 with Banks County. That matchup, considered along with the Jackson County-Jefferson jamboree a week earlier, will give plenty of insight into Jefferson's second game, against Banks County Sept. 7.
Much more interesting, though, will be the Madison County-Jackson County matchup Sept. 7. Jefferson will host the Red Raiders two weeks later. The Panthers will get a preview of their own battle with the Red Raiders, since Madison County plays Apalachee Aug. 31 and Apalachee meets Jefferson for a jamboree Aug. 17.
Jackson County also faces White County this week in a jamboree. The Warriors' first regular-season game is against Social Circle, who hosts Jefferson for game five Sept. 28.
If you want to stretch this string a little tighter, White County meets Dawson County in week three, and Dawson will play Oglethorpe in week two. Jefferson's sixth game is Oct. 5, against Oglethorpe.
Now are you confused? No? Try this.
For a preview of game seven against Landmark, we've really got to go around the world.
Landmark faces Athens Academy Sept. 14. The Spartans take on Greater Atlanta Christian a week earlier. Here's where it gets interesting. GAC has White County and Banks County back-to-back during the weeks immediately preceding Jefferson's date with Landmark.
Jackson County's Oct. 12 game with Loganville could give Jefferson a preview of its chances against Buford, since the Red Devils will play Buford Sept. 7.
Commerce plays Franklin County (which meets Jackson County Oct. 19) and Athens Academy (remember our link to them earlier?) before coming to Jefferson Nov. 2. And both Commerce and Buford will play Lincoln County before the big cross-county rivalry game.
Another big game of interest to Dragon fans is week one's Landmark Christian-Wesleyan battle. Jefferson hosts Landmark Oct. 12, one month before traveling to Wesleyan to close the regular season. With four teams in Region 8-A, the Jefferson-Wesleyan game will have a huge impact on the playoff picture.
Commerce will give the Dragons a more current preview of the Wolves, though, when they host Wesleyan Oct. 26. The Tigers come to Jefferson a week later.
Now that we've cleared all that up, here's a reminder: nobody really knows what's going to happen until the teams take the field. The team that loses to a nobody in week one just might be the same team holding the state trophy at the end.
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald. He may be reached at the sports desk at (706) 367-2348, or via email at SpeckCh@aol.com.
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