Packers schedule toughest in 6A

Sonny Kennedy

As heated as arguments can be between the top programs, top regions and the age-old South Georgia vs. North Georgia tiff, the debate over toughest schedules is never too far behind. Here is our list of the most difficult schedules in Class AAAAAA for the 2013 season.


5. Brookwood: The Broncos start off with No. 4 McEachern in the Georgia Dome at the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic prior to visiting No. 7 Mill Creek in Week 2. Then, the Broncos have to deal with Region 8, one of the most competitive regions in the state where opponents like Parkview, Grayson and improving Archer await.


4. Walton: The Raiders may not be in the toughest region in the state, but they have proven during coach Rocky Hidalgo’s tenure that they don’t shy away from tough competition. Walton, ranked No. 8 preseason, opens with No. 10 Peachtree Ridge at the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic in the Dome, then faces talented Hillgrove in “The Battle of the Big Chicken,” which is played at McEachern.


Coming to Raider Valley after a bye week for Game 3 is No. 6 North Cobb, which routed the Raiders last season. Then, Walton dives straight into region play with games at Woodstock and Cherokee before eventually facing east Cobb rivals Wheeler and Lassiter.


3. Peachtree Ridge: Coming off a tough 4-6 campaign, the No. 10 Lions will not have an easy road back to the playoffs. “The Ridge” opens in the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic with Walton, then hosts Parkview in Week 2.


After a bye week, coach Mark Fleetwood’s crew has to deal with one of the most competitive regions in the state as No. 3 North Gwinnett, No. 7 Mill Creek, Collins Hill and No. 1 Norcross clog the schedule with difficulty.


2. Grayson: The Rams don’t travel outside metro Atlanta during the regular season, but face the No. 2 and 3 teams in non-region action to start the season. Mickey Conn’s squad opens the season at the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic in the Georgia Dome against No. 2 Colquitt County, then hosts No. 3 North Gwinnett the following week.


After a week off, Grayson hosts traditional-power Parkview as Region 8 play gets underway. Also in Region 8, the Rams have games against Brookwood, South Gwinnett, Central Gwinnett and Archer.


1. Colquitt County: The Packers are not messing around. Coach Rush Propst has his No. 2 squad traveling to Atlanta for the season-opener against Grayson, then facing his old team, Hoover (Ala.) in Game 2. The game against Hoover should get as much media coverage as any inter-state showdown in recent memory in this part of the country.


In addition to those two clashes, Colquitt will host 2012 state finalist Lovejoy in Game 3 and Class AAA-power Carver-Columbus in the fourth game of the year. All four of those games are played consecutively.


After what will probably be a much-needed week off for recovery, Colquitt will travel to No. 5 Lowndes to open Region 1 play, our most competitive region in the state. Colquitt will also host Valdosta before ending the regular season at Camden County.


If Colquitt doesn’t have the toughest schedule in Class 6A, it is not far behind.


HONORABLE MENTIONS: North Gwinnett and McEachern.


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