Georgia’s top teams set to compete for Eighth Annual Corky Kell 7-on-7 championship

The eighth annual Corky Kell 7-on-7 Tournament returns to and is scheduled for June 17 at Roswell Area Parks.. The single-elimination tournament fields 40 teams from around the state and spans across all seven classifications of the GHSA. While there are no defending state champions represented in this year’s tournament, two teams, Blessed Trinity and Grayson have combined for five championships over the last five years and there are plenty of top contenders.

The teams are split into eight pools with two-time tournament champion, Marietta, in the field. Last year’s winner, Westlake, will not compete in this year’s event.

The structure of the tournament works in two separate parts. The morning session will consist of each team playing each other in each individual pool. The five teams in each pool will be ranked 1-5 according to their record. After the seeding, each team will compete in a single elimination (bracket style) tournament for the crown–guaranteeing that every team will play a minimum of five games.

Alpharetta High School will host Pool A which includes themselves, Maynard Jackson, Peachtree Ridge, River Ridge, and South Gwinnett. River Ridge and Maynard Jackson are the only of the five schools not in Class 7A. Alpharetta, after a tough 3-8 record last season, returns most talent on both sides of the ball including quarterback Ben Guthrie and running back Jake Gil. River Ridge is the only team in the pool coming off a winning record after going 6-4 last year.

Centennial High School will host Pool B and will compete with Kell, Marietta, Monroe Area, and North Atlanta. Kell will feature first-year head coach Bobby May who spent three seasons as the Westlake head coach from 2019-2021. Brett Sloan won 35 games in five seasons with Kell and finished 6-5 last season after a first-round loss to Buford. Marietta finished 7-5 last season with three of those losses coming within five or less points. It lost plenty of talent to college but returns the #43 cornerback in the 2023 class, Jace Arnold (247).

Roswell High School will host Pool C which includes fellow Class 7A member Grayson and class 6A teams Creekview and North Forsyth. Roswell and Grayson met in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs last season where Grayson moved on with a 24-14 win. Grayson would go on to get shutout by eventual champion Collins Hill in the semifinals, 31-0. Both teams return a strong rushing attack yet have question marks at quarterback, as the Roswell football team and community embarks on a new journey after the tragic loss of Robbie Roper in December.

Pool D contains Athens Academy, Creekside, John’s Creek, Walton (1) and West Forsyth competing at Blessed Trinity High School. Creekside is fresh off a trip to the Class 3A semifinals where it lost to 2020 and 2021 champion Warner Robins. Class A Athens Academy reached the second round of the playoffs last season where it lost to Eagles Landing Christian Academy, 56-7. Walton finished the 2021 season, 9-4, and reached the semifinals of the state playoffs where it lost to Milton, 52-17. Walton returns leading passer junior Jeremy Hecklinski, who split reps with senior Zak Rozsman (now at Georgia Southern) as well as 3-star linebacker junior Ashton Woods.

Blessed Trinity, winner of three state championships in the last five years, will also host Pool E highlighted by Walton (2), Cherokee, East Paulding, and a second Walton team. Blessed Trinity advanced to the semifinals of the class 5A semifinals last season, losing to Calhoun 24-7. It must replace both QB JC French, who moved on to the University of Memphis, and 2023 five-star running back Justice Haynes, who transferred to Buford.

Roswell Area Park will host Pool F and G. Pool F contains Carver-Atlanta, Pope, Lambert, Brookwood and Archer (1). Carver-Atlanta headlines this group after losing in the class 3A state championship last season to Cedar Grove, 56-25. Carver returns quarterback Bryce Bowens and leading receiver DeAndre Buchannon. Brookwood is coming off a 10-3 season which ended with a loss to Walton in the quarterfinals of the class 7A playoffs, 52-35. Prior to the loss, the Broncos had rambled off eight-straight wins. Four-star quarterback Dylan Lonergan who is the number nine overall quarterback prospect in the 2023 class, according to 247, returns after a season with 3,392 passing yards and 32 touchdowns.

Pool G houses Chattahoochee, Cherokee Bluff, Archer (2), McEachern, Mays. Cherokee Bluff is a team to keep an eye out for after they went 10-0 in the regular season last year. Head coach Tommy Jones has built the program from the ground up after the Bears’ 0-10 inaugural campaign just four years ago.. Kennesaw Mountain finished 10-2 last season as Region 6 – 6A champions but lost in the second round to Westlake, 45-10. Class of 2023 quarterback prospect Cayman Prangley returns for Kennesaw and 3-star wide receiver Cayden Lee has recently transferred into the program by way of Hillgrove High School.

Pool H, hosted by Fellowship Christian, will Riverwood, South Forsyth, Therrell and Cass. Fellowship advanced the furthest this past playoffs of the pool, reaching the semifinals, where it lost to Prince Avenue, 38-28. Its leading passer, Caleb McMickle returns as well as do-it-all RB/LB Nick Persiano, who rushed for over 1000 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. South Forsyth returns Region 6 – 7A Player of the Year, quarterback Ty Watkins, who has become a leader in all facets for the team.


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