A total of six teams competing
in this region made the playoffs while playing in different regions last
year. More importantly, only four of the 12 finished with a record below
.500. Making the state playoffs in this region will be a challenge. Subregion
A consists of Cedar Grove, Columbia, Miller Grove, Southwest DeKalb, Stone
Mountain and Washington. The B subregion consists of Lakeside-DeKalb,
Marist, Mays, North Springs, St. Pius X and Tucker.
Columbia, Southwest DeKalb
and Washington each won eight games last year, and with the talent in
this region, that may be tough to do in 2006. Southwest DeKalb has to
be considered the favorite in the A subregion. The Panthers return a wealth
of seniors including linebacker Marshall Williams (6-3, 200), wide receiver
Chris Ferguson (5-11, 180), defensive end Morris Council (6-4, 245), linebackers
Terrell Scott (6-1, 215), Tenerio Davis (6-1, 200) and David Davis (6-2,
195). Southwest DeKalb could be looking at its best season since 1994.
Washington won the Region 5
title last season before getting upset in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs should be back in the playoffs again.
Columbia had a solid season before running into Marist in the first round
of the playoffs. The Eagles will also challenge for the playoffs once
Cedar Grove will be looking
to improve on last season's 4-6 campaign. Stone Mountain and Miller Grove,
which is in its second season, won't factor in the postseason race.
Marist returns more than 35
seniors and should make a serious run at the state title. The War Eagles
improved tremendously throughout the 2005 season and made the quarterfinals.
The War Eagle defense will be led by senior linebacker Jennings Hester
(6-3, 215), an early verbal commitment to Alabama.
Tucker always boasts excellent
talent and will be in a rebuilding mode after graduation hit the Tigers
hard. Tucker does return one of the state's top tight end prospects in
senior Brandon Lampkin (6-4, 240). By the end of the season, expect the
Tigers to be in the postseason hunt.
Mays won eight games last season
and returns a wealth of talent including senior running back Cornelius Walker (5-10, 180). The Raiders should challenge for a playoff berth.
St. Pius X will be looking
to improve on last season's 5-5 season and returns a solid nucleus to
build upon. Lakeside-DeKalb and North Springs will continue to struggle.