By Doug Gorman
Members of the media and high school football coaches aren't always on the same page but at least when it came to picking the best team in Region 4-AAAAA back during a coaches and sports writers preseason meeting in July almost everybody agreed Lovejoy was the team to beat.
As it turned out those who picked the Wildcats to win the region crown knew what they were talking about.
Head coach Al Hughes' team cruised to the region title with a 10-0 season.
Friday night, the Wildcats begin the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs at home in a game against Coffee County at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Kick off is set for 8 p.m.
"This is a new season," said Hughes. "Everybody starts at 0-0.
It's really simple, you win or you go home."
Lovejoy began its march toward a region title and a first-round
playoff contest at home way back in August when it beat Clayton County rival Forest Park 42-18.
That first game was just the start of things to come as Lovejoy led by quarterback Kisan Flakes put up huge numbers throughout the regular season.
Flakes has spread the offensive wealth around to his teammates throughout the season .
Two of his favorite targets are Vernad Hoover and Santini Washington, but he also throws to his running backs.
That makes Mark Peeaway and Aaron Williams likely to be on the receiving end of Flakes' passes.
In each of its victories, Lovejoy put up at least 28 points and its defense pitched shutouts against Fayette County (33-0) and McIntosh (41-0).
Lovejoy finished its regular season a week ago and has spent its time off preparing for a Coffee County team that at times played with a split personality during the regular season.
The Trojans, who play in Region 1-AAAAA, earned the fourth seed out of their regions.
Coffee lost 61-7 to Lowndes midway through the season, and then closed out its regular season last week with a close 25-19 decision to Region 1-AAAAA champion Valdosta 25-19.
The squad also got upended by Colquitt County 21-16 in region play.
Lowndes, Valdosta and Colquitt are the three others teams to make the playoffs out of Region 1-AAAAA.
Despite struggling at times this season, Hughes and his staff came away impressed with the Coffee County during a trip to scout them last Friday night.
"They are very athletic," Hughes said: "They have a lot of speed on both sides of the ball and we will have to contain that, but we can't worry so much about them, we have to go out there and do what we do best."
Game Notes: Fans not wanting to wait for Friday to buy tickets to the first-round playoff opener can purchase them at field house at Tara Stadium during regular business hours.
Students may also purchase tickets during lucheon at Lovejoy High School in the Commons area.
Tickets are on sale for $8.....This is the first meeting ever between Coffee County, which is located in the south Georgia town of Douglas and the Lovejoy.