Believe it or not this Friday night marks the end of 2013 high school football regular season. Many of the teams that will play this week already know their post season fates. The Parkview Panthers are one of those teams. The football gear will be packed away after Friday’s game with South Gwinnett. The Panthers will be watching the playoffs from the sideline in 2013, and also saying farewell to their coach, Cecil Flowe , who is retiring after 20 years and 4 state championships..
Others cling to a hope that some how a region rival will become a friend and pull off an upset that would allow them the chance to wake up Saturday morning taking part in a tie breaking process. There is nothing else quite like an entire county holding it’s breath collectively while coaches flip a coin at the Waffle House.
Some of the main events around the metro area include Peachtree Ridge at North Gwinnett, Hillgrove at McEachern, Flowery Branch at Gainesville and Lovett at Greater Atlanta Christian.
For me, the spotlight usually reserved for Gwinnett ,Cobb and Dekalb will be on Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta. There the Mays Raiders, and first year Head Coach Corey Jarvis, will go for a share of the championship in what is always one of the toughest regions in the state, 6-AAAAA. Standing in their way a Tucker team that is a win away from finishing the regular season unbeaten for the sixth time in nine seasons.
Mays is 7-2 over all and is 7-1 in region play after last week’s 13-9 win over Stephenson. Some might be stunned by the Raiders sudden rise in 6-AAAAA, but not Tucker Head Coach Bryan Lamar . “It’s not a huge surprise”, says Lamar. “Every year they are right in the mix. Last year they lost very close games to both Stephenson and ML King. This year Mays is finding ways to win those close games”.
When APS officials saw that the Tucker-Mays game could be for the region title the game was changed from it’s previously scheduled start time of 5:30pm to 8pm, at Lakewood. It’s special for Jarvis who abandoned Duluth in football rich Gwinnett to go back to his roots and work near the neighborhood where he grew up.
“This game is huge for the first step of our program to be considered as a top program in the state”, says Jarvis. “If we want to be mentioned with the likes of Tucker and others, then we have to win a game like this.”.