GHSA football schedules finalized for 2012 season

By DOUG GORMAN
dgorman@newnan.com
Spring football practice hasn’t even started yet for local high school teams in the Georgia High School Association, but after months of juggling to find non-region games, East Coweta, Newnan and Northgate finally have their schedules set for the 2012 season.
The GHSA’s decision to move from five classifications to six and revamp the regions created several openings for all three schools.
East Coweta and Newnan jump to the five team Region 3-AAAAAA, while Northgate leaps to a subdivided Region 3-AAAAA starting this fall.
The five-team region left both East Coweta and Newnan searching to fill five openings that will come at the beginning of the season.
Among the most intriguing games comes on Sept. 28 when East Coweta travels across the state line to play Central in Phenix City, Ala.
Central finished 11-3 last season and was ranked in the Class AAAAAA poll in Alabama.
Newnan opens the season against two powerhouses when it travels to Marietta on August 24 and then opens the newly renovated Drake Stadium against LaGrange on Aug. 31.
Last year, Newnan went 6-6 and upset Valdosta on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
Northgate, which enjoyed its best season ever last year with an 11-1 record, finishing with a perfect regular season and a Region 3-AAAA title, opens at Heritage-Conyers on August 31.
The Vikings then come home to play traditional powers Griffin (Sept. 7) and North Clayton (Sept. 14). Northgate knocked North Clayton out of the Class AAAA playoffs with a first-round victory last winter.
East Coweta is coming off a 7-4 record and trip to the playoffs last year. After a long drought, they rallied in the last game of the regular season to beat rival Newnan.
The Indians non-region games also feature games at home against Henry County (Aug. 31) and Archer (Sept. 7), before traveling to Sandy Creek (Sept. 14). East Coweta faces Lovejoy at home (Sept. 21). The Wildcats posted a 14-1 record a year ago, and lost to Tucker in the state finals at the Georgia Dome.
Newnan will face Sandy Creek at home (Sept 7) for its third straight game against a traditional state power. A year ago, Sandy Creek won its first 12 games, before losing to Gainesville in the quarterfinals of the Class AAA football playoffs.
Newnan closes out the non-region portion of its schedule with games at Troup (Sept. 14) and Hardaway (Sept. 28).
The Cougars then face region games at Tri-Cities (Oct. 12), Hughes (Oct. 19), Douglas County (Oct. 26) and Westlake (Nov. 11).
East Coweta plays non-region games at Westlake (Oct. 12), Tri-Cities (Oct. 19), at Langston-Hughes (Oct. 26), at Douglas County (Nov. 2).
The rivals renewal of one of the state’s biggest rivalries is set for Nov. 9
Northgate begins its region schedule with two crossover games against 4A-AAAAA opponents as they travel to Ola (Sept. 21) before playing host to Union Grove.
The Vikings then take play subregion games at Whitewater (Oct. 5), at Creekside (Oct. 12), at Starr’s Mill (Oct. 26). Northgate plays McIntosh at home (Nov. 2).
The Vikings will continue to finish the season with a region playoff game as they have for the last two years in 3-AAAA.
•••
2012 FOOTBALL SCHEDULES
EAST COWETA
Aug. 31 – Henry County
Sept. 7 – Archer
Sept. 14 – at Sandy Creek
Sept. 21 Lovejoy
Sept. 28  – at Central Phenix City
Oct. 12 – at Westlake*
Oct. 19 – Tri-Cities*
Oct. 26 – at Langston Hughes*
Nov. 2 – at Douglas County*
Nov. 9 – Newnan*
(* Region 3-AAAAAA Game)
NEWNAN
Aug. 24 – at Marietta
Aug. 31 – LaGrange
Sept. 7 – Sandy Creek
Sept. 14 – at Troup
Sept. 28 – Hardaway
Oct. 12 – at Tri-Cities*
Oct. 19 – Langston-Hughes*
Oct. 26 – Douglas County*
Nov. 2 – at Westlake*
Nov. 9  – at East Coweta*
(* Region 3-AAAAAA Game)
NORTHGATE
Aug. 31 – at Heritage, Conyers
Sept. 7 – Griffin
Sept. 14 – North Clayton
Sept. 21 – at Ola*
Sept. 28 – Union Grove*
Oct. 5 – at Whitewater*
Oct. 12 – at Creekside*
Oct. 26 – at Starr’s Mill*
Nov. 2 – McIntosh*
Nov. 9 – Region play-in
(* Region 4-AAAAA Game)


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