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MAHONE: Rivalries spark deep emotions

Derrick Mahone

Derrick Mahone

This is sort of rivalry week for many teams in the Southern Crescent area.

With the prospect of facing your chief rival, emotions are guaranteed to be high.

When Ola pays a visit to Locust Grove today, you can double those emotions as these two schools meet for the first time on the football field.

And it’s not because a local fast-food chain has dubbed it the “Backyard Brawl” and will award a trophy to the winner. In addition, the winning school will have its name placed on the restaurant’s marquee.

Ola and Locust Grove share a bond that was forged last season as Locust Grove tried to come to grips with the death of Forest Jones, a sophomore football player.

Locust Grove coach Clint Satterfield said the Ola community was there for them during the initial healing process.

It was no doubt that the Locust Grove community has been there as Ola suffered the same fate last month when sophomore football player Jason Holland died.

Now, they finally meet on the field. Pride and bragging rights will be on the line.

And hopefully another rivalry in the Southern Crescent will grow.

Fresh off its big win over Eagle’s Landing, Ola should jumped to 2-0 for the first time in school history.

Drew coach Jarrett Laws is hoping that his team has a rivalry in the making when it meets Riverdale this evening. It will be Drew’s first official game against another Clayton County school.

It should be a big affair since Drew has pulled students from the Riverdale district.

After an impressive win over rival North Clayton last week, Riverdale should continue its march back to respectability with a win over the Titans.

Morrow and Forest Park renew one of the oldest rivalries in the Southern Crescent when they meet at Tara Stadium. Unfortunately neither team has been much of a force since its glory days.

Forest Park’s only win last season came at the expense of Morrow, which didn’t win a game in 2011. Not sure how the Mustangs will fare this season, but the Mustangs should claim victory this season.

You probably can’t call this a rivalry yet, but the last time Clinch County and ELCA met, it was one of the best high school games during the 2010 Class A playoffs. Some late game heroics lifted Clinch over ELCA in the quarterfinals as the Indians went on to win the state title.

ELCA will likely be without three of its top players, including preseason all-state player Keyante Green. The Chargers, who started the season at No. 1 in the Associated Press Class A poll, had an impressive win over Alabama power Briarwood Christian last week.

Clinch moved some personnel around last week as it picked up its first win of the season against Mitchell County.

The Panthers head to McDonough looking to impress the pollsters since they haven’t been ranked through the first two weeks of the season. Look for that to change when the new AP poll is released on Tuesday.

Lovejoy just entered the AP poll this week while Colquitt County has been tumbling since its season-opening loss against North Gwinnett in the Georgia Dome. The Wildcats are at No. 9 while Colquitt is No. 10. The loser is likely to fall out of the poll.

Good-bye Colquitt County, as the Wildcats look to gain some state-wide respect.

Derrick Mahone is the sports editor of the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald newspapers. He can be reached at dmahone@news-daily.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerrickMahone_.

Week Three Predictions

Winner Loser

Lovejoy Colquitt County

Luella Langston Hughes

Morrow Forest Park

Riverdale Drew

Whitewater Mundy’s Mill

Ola Locust Grove

Union Grove Woodland

Dutchtown Henry County

Lamar County Eagle’s Landing

Upson-Lee Stockbridge

Jonesboro Westover

Clinch County ELCA

Strong Rock Clarkston

Grady North Clayton