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Category: Sports

Regional Football Preview Week 8 Review/Week 9 Preview

The temperatures and the heat of September have finally started to relax their grip on our area, but high school football in northeast Georgia continues to be a hot commodity as the calendar approaches November. It was a quiet weekend for games in the area, as many teams enjoyed an open date before the race to post season begins.  But even with a limited schedule, there was one location in our area where the action was hot and heavy as Hart County played host to perennial region power Jefferson. To the victor would go the early lead in region 8-AAA’s championship race. Someone once said that there are games that neither team looses, a team simply runs out of time. This was the case in Hartwell. The Dragons and Bulldogs staged a battle in front of a near capacity crowd at Herndon Stadium that was the epitome of what high…

Regional Football Review Week 7/Preview Week 8

The summer temperatures finally began to release their grip across the area this past weekend, but the explosion of high scoring offense did not, as high school football turned to the coroner and high school football is rapidly moving toward time to crown Region Champions and to start the match to Atlanta. This is a great time to go out and enjoy a high school football game. Around our area last weekend, the top game was Elbert County traveling to Blairsville to face high scoring Union County in a matchup of 2-0 teams in Region 8-AA. Elbert County, who had won its last three games, was looking for revenge against Union. Union Co. upset Elbert 29-28 in Elberton to deny the Blue Devils an opportunity to host a play off game. Union County broke open a 14 - 14 tie early in the fourth quarter against Elbert to defeat the…

Regional Football Week 6 Review/Week 7 Preview

While it may be hard to realize, the 2019 high school football season has turned the corner on the midpoint, and the race to the finish and post season is in full swing around our area.  This week, Region 8-AAAAAA  and the Raiders of Habersham Central, join the other regions in our area and begin region play. Region 8-AAAA, the smallest region in our area with the Stephens County Indians will begin play in two weeks for region and post season play. What do we know to date? We know that in Region 8-AA, the first two weeks of region play have separated the region into two groups. Elbert County, Banks County, Rabun County, along with Union County have held serve for the first two weeks and have pulled away to form a lead peloton from the other teams in the region. Now, this week, the lead group begins to…

Regional Football Review Week 4/Preview for Week 5

Mother Nature once again paid a visit to high school stadiums in our area this past weekend, as for the second weekend this season, storms played havoc across our area. Many of the scheduled games for Friday in our area, were rescheduled or postponed. The most unusual of the schedule changes took place down at the Granite Bowl in Elberton, where Elbert was playing host to North Oconee. North Oconee stopped two Elbert County possessions in the fourth quarter, to defeat the Blue Devils 28-24, in a game that concluded after midnight. When asked about the evening and early morning, Brad Waggoner said “We decided that if we did not play the game on Friday night, we were not going to play the game”. He added that the coaches at North Oconee, “wanted to play the game on Friday”, and were willing to wait patiently to see what the weather…

Friday Night Lights Review of Week 3/Week 4 Preview

In 490 B.C. , a greek solider named Pheidippides ran from just outside the city of Marathon Greece to the capital city of Athens, to report on a great military victory over the Persians. The distance was about 25 miles. Over the next centuries, this distance would become known today as “The Marathon”. What does a foot race have to do with the high school football season? This week marks the 1/3 mark for the 2019 season. Most teams, depending on schedules and open weeks, will have completed either three or four of the ten games that are on their schedule, but are still looking at another eight weeks of games before the season completes in early November. A football season is not a sprint, it's a marathon. One that takes weeks to learn the results of. The first weeks of the season have shown that of all of the…

Football Week 2 Regional Wrap-up/Look Forward

After two weeks of competition for high school football, some of the smack talk around the local water coolers are beginning to be resolved. With 2 weeks left before the start of region play, some questions remain to be answered. Who are the teams that have started to separate themselves from the rest as we near the start of region play and who are the teams that have work to do before region play begins? At Toccoa’s Indian Reservation, Stephens County hosted Hart County in a matchup of winners from week one of this season. Hart County used a strong running game and opportunistic passing to defeat Stephens County 26 to 13. This is the first time since 2009, that the Bulldogs have wins over both Stephens County and Elbert County in the same season. The Bulldog ground game was led by junior Malechi Thomas and sophomore J’len Lackey. Thomas…

Regional Football Recap and Preview of Week 2

We’ve had a week to think back on the opening weekend of the 2019 high school football season, and it was a weekend that saw rivals renew their battles and the return of fans to stadiums around our area. From the Reservation in Toccoa to Memorial Stadium in Jefferson, our regions fall passion renewed it’s hold on fans, both young and old. One fan of high school football that made its presence felt in a loud and Boisterous way was the weather this past weekend. A series of thunderstorms in the area added to the fireworks on the field. Multiple games in the area had weather delays which made for late nights for fans and players alike, as multiple games in our area had weather delays from lightning. Across the region, there were two games that brought the attention of fans. In Hartwell, the Hart County Bulldogs snapped a four…

Caroline Van Dora on Sports

Hart County vs Elbert County to open the season.  This was not my first football game.  It wasn’t even my first Hart County game, but I was seeing it through new eyes, as I attended this game for the first time, as a resident of Hartwell, and mother of two small children who will grow up here. Here is some of the backstory. I was raised in Birmingham, Alabama.  I come from a family who are the sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of a sports information director turned conference associate commissioner, and a basketball coach whose career spanned from the NAIA all the way to Division 1 programs. My entire upbringing was steeped in football, baseball and basketball. I fell in love with a man from this quaint, Georgia town.  Jeremiah comes from a family whose traditions also lean in to the game.  He spent his formative years at Hart…

Friday night lights – Opening week

Week one of the 2019 season has finally arrived, and teams around our area and across the state are taking the first steps on a season’s journey that they hope will lead to a chance at being crowned Region Champions, and for the select few an opportunity to compete to be crowned State Champion. Each week, HartwellandBeyond, will preview the games that involve teams in our area. We will look at the game or in some cases best games in our area, in addition to listing all the games so you can know when your local team is playing. Week 1 of the season opens with two of the great rivalries in Northeast Georgia. The Indians of Stephens County will play host to the Franklin County Lions at the Reservation, while at Herndon Stadium in Hartwell, the Bulldogs of Hart County play host to longtime rival Elbert County in a…

2019 Regional Football Preview

Hard to believe that we are at the start of a new school year in our region. And with the start of the new school year, you have the start of a new year of high school sports for fans to follow across our area. What does 2019 hold for our teams? Who will be the top players in the area? Who is poised to challenge for a state championship? Only time will tell us the exact answer to each of these questions. We’re going to take a look around the region at the teams in our area, and ask the question, could they be the one that takes it all the way. Before we start looking ahead, let’s go back and look at the 2018 football season for a few minutes.  In Class AAA, the Region 8-AAA championship went to the Monroe Area Purple Hurricanes. Led by an unbelievable…