Closing in on halftime

By Anthony Rhoads

The high school football season is just about half-way over but it's certainly been interesting so far.

Here are some thoughts about the season:

North Clayton should be ranked: The North Clayton Eagles are the real deal this year. They've beaten two schools, Riverdale and Lovejoy, that are in a high classification and they're coming off a 56-7 drubbing of Forest Park.

This Friday's game against Mt. Zion is a big one for the Eagles and if they can knock off the Bulldogs, it wouldn't surprise me if they crack the Associated Press Top 10 next week.

Mt. Zion is another team that is getting some respect statewide this year. The Bulldogs are undefeated and even though they haven't been made into the rankings this year, they have been getting some votes in the weekly AP poll.

Mundy's Mill is for real: Mundy's Mill is just in its second year of varsity competition and is in its first year of playing a full region schedule but the Tigers have definitely shown they can play with just about anybody.

The Tigers are 1-2-1 with a win over Morrow, a tie against Jonesboro, a close loss to Mt. Zion and an overtime loss to Riverdale.

Their Region 4-AAAAA slate starts this Friday at East Coweta and I think they will give the Indians a run for their money.

Charging into the Georgia High School Association: The Eagle's Landing Christian Academy Chargers are 3-1 in their first season of competing in the GHSA.

Their only loss this year has been to Bremen, a ranked team in Class A.

The Chargers got a big win Friday against Dutchtown, which was the first time ELCA has played a Henry County school.

I don't expect them to compete against the big schools but it looks like the team is going to be successful at the Class A level.

They have North Oconee, a first year program, at home Sept. 24 and then they play at Glascock County Oct. 1. The Chargers stand a very chance to be 5-1 going into the Region 5-A schedule, which starts Oct. 8 at home against Whitefield Academy.

Even though ELCA has limited numbers, the team has a few guys who can just about play for anyone including quarterback Cole Springer, tight end/linebacker Alec Huber and wide receiver/cornerback/kick returner Tim Waters.

Watch out for Dutchtown: The Dutchtown Bulldogs are in their first year and are naturally taking some lumps but they seem to have a talented group of freshmen and sophomores.

With a solid group of players and veteran coach Mike Creasman at the helm, it looks like Dutchtown is going to be dangerous in the next few years.

Wildcats are back on track: After losing 20-15 to Mt. Zion and 47-0 to North Clayton, it looked like Lovejoy might have a difficult season this year.

But don't count the Wildcats out just yet.

The Wildcats beat Riverdale in overtime two weeks ago and Morrow Saturday to go to 2-2 on the season. On Sept. 24, they travel to Starr's Mill to open their Region 4-AAAAA schedule.

Working overtime: For the past two weeks, the Riverdale Raiders have had to put in extra time on the football team as they have played in two overtime games.

Two weeks ago, they lost to Lovejoy in overtime but Friday, they came out on the winning end of a 27-26 contest against Mundy's Mill.

Nothing wrong with being at a small school: Since I have been in the Atlanta area, it seems like there is almost a disdain for small-school, small-town football.

It seems like a lot of folks thing that if isn't quad-A or quint-A, it doesn't matter.

But there's nothing at all wrong with small-town football.

In a lot of ways, small-town football is better than football in the big city. I come from a small town myself and on Friday nights, the entire town would turn out and when the team was on the road, our school sometimes had more fans in the stands than the home teams. You really can't beat the community spirit and the atmosphere of small-town football.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for the Daily. He can be reached at arhoads@news-daily.com or sports@news-daily.com .