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Saturday July 20th, 2019 4:20AM

Toughest football schedule in Georgia? It's not who you think

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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Who has the toughest schedule in Georgia in prep football?

Buford, maybe? Archer? Colquitt County? Pick any team in Region 8-A?

How about...none of the above.

If you had West Hall in the pool, go collect your prize.

The school with the toughest schedule resides on McEver Road in Hall County (according to GHSFHA and MaxPreps), and even Spartans coach Krofton Montgomery admitted he had to do a double-take when he saw the data. The Spartans, with an opponents’ power rating of 82.5 percent and 33-7 overall record has played the hardest schedule in the state, any classification. Fellow Region 7-4A foe White County is tied for second in the state at 78.8 percent (26-7).

"I had no idea," he said. "You figure any of those Class 7A teams like Brookwood or Archer or Colquitt, maybe even Buford, but when I saw the numbers I had to look again to make sure. I never thought we’d have the hardest schedule in the state.”

The numbers apparently backup what many in the area acknowledged was a brutal opening half for West Hall (2-5, 1-2 Region 7-4A). The Spartans opened with still-undefeated Commerce and have played Class 4A No. 1-ranked Blessed Trinity and once-beaten and state-ranked teams Jefferson, Dawson County, and Marist.
 
The Spartans still have ranked Flowery Branch down the road after taking on White County on Friday night in a game that is almost a do-or-die for both teams for any playoff possibilities.

“I think it has a lot to do with Region 7-4A in that you have the reigning state champion (Blessed Trinity) and the state runner-up (Marist) and another team (Flowery Branch) ranked in the top five. Jefferson is always up there, Commerce is a traditional power, and Johnson is having a tremendous year. We have not had an easy game at all,” Montgomery said.

But Montgomery also said they have not shied away from what may still lie down the road. Yes, they have Flowery Branch to play, but with White County (1-5, 0-2) this week and Chestatee (1-6, 0-3) to end the season, he said they have winnable games to grab a playoff spot. And all three are at The Hot Gates. They own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Denmark after knocking off the Danes 48-27 two weeks ago.

“We have three games left, all at home, and we feel we can beat anyone at home,” Montgomery said. “This week is huge for us and Branch is definitely going to be tough. But we feel we’re still right in the middle of things.”

As for other northeast Georgia area teams, Gainesville has the third-toughest schedule in Class 6A, Buford has the sixth-toughest in Class 5A, and East Hall has the seventh-toughest in Class 3A. Lakeview Academy has the sixth-toughest in Class A Private.

Here are the top 10 teams in each classification based on the opponents' records when not playing the team in question (including out-of-state foes):

(Area teams in bold).

Class AAAAAAA
78.1% (25-7) - Marietta
78.1% (25-7) - Hillgrove
76.7% (23-7) - Milton
75.0% (24-8) - East Coweta
74.4% (29-10) - Colquitt County
73.3% (22-8) - Campbell
73.0% (27-10) - Cherokee
71.9% (23-9) - Newnan
70.3% (26-11) - North Gwinnett
69.7% (23-10) - Grayson

Class AAAAAA
75.0% (27-9) - Glynn Academy
66.7% (26-13) - Richmond Hill
66.7% (26-13) - Gainesville
65.6% (21-11) - Evans
65.0% (26-14) - Morrow
63.4% (26-15) - Valdosta
62.5% (20-12) - Alcovy
62.5% (25-15) - Northside (WR)
61.8% (21-13) - Allatoona
59.0% (23-16) - Dalton

Class AAAAA
78.8% (26-7) - East Paulding
75.8% (25-8) - Chamblee
72.5% (29-11) - Bainbridge
69.7% (23-10) - Columbia
69.2% (27-12) - Statesboro
68.3% (28-13) - Buford
66.7% (26-13) - Cass
64.3% (27-15) - Walnut Grove
63.4% (26-15) - Jones County
63.4% (26-15) - Locust Grove
63.4% (26-15) - Harris County

Class AAAA
82.5% (33-7) - West Hall
78.8% (26-7) - White County

75.0% (30-10) - Baldwin
72.7% (24-9) - Blessed Trinity
71.9% (23-9) - Troup
67.6% (25-12) - St Pius
67.5% (27-13) - Cent.(Carroll)
65.9% (27-14) - Upson-Lee
65.6% (21-11) - Luella
65.0% (26-14) - Heritage (Ringgold)

Class AAA
67.7% (21-10) - Windsor Forest
67.6% (23-11) - Peach County
66.7% (22-11) - Appling County
65.8% (25-13) - GAC
64.9% (24-13) - Cook
64.5% (20-11) - Tattnall County
64.1% (25-14) - East Hall
62.9% (22-13) - Westminster
62.5% (25-15) - Crisp County
61.8% (21-13) - Franklin County

Class AA
69.7% (23-10) - Swainsboro
69.2% (27-12) - Brooks County
69.2% (27-12) - Bleckley Co.
67.5% (27-13) - Thomasville
66.7% (20-10) - Monticello
66.7% (26-13) - Bacon County
65.6% (21-11) - Bryan County
65.0% (26-14) - Dodge County
63.6% (21-12) - East Laurens
62.5% (25-15) - Dublin

Class A (Private)
72.7% (24-9) - Stratford Acad.
67.7% (21-10) - Sav. Christian
67.6% (23-11) - Christ. Heritage
67.6% (23-11) - Athens Acad.
65.8% (25-13) - Prince Avenue
65.6% (21-11) - Lakeview Acad.
64.3% (27-15) - Wesleyan
56.3% (18-14) - Pinecrest Acd.
56.1% (23-18) - Trinity Christian
55.9% (19-15) - Darlington

Class A (Public)
78.1% (25-7) - Irwin County
77.4% (24-7) - Clinch County
65.8% (25-13) - Marion County
64.5% (20-11) - Lanier County
64.5% (20-11) - Charlton Co.
60.6% (20-13) - Bowdon
60.5% (23-15) - ECI
59.4% (19-13) - Wilkinson Co.
58.1% (18-13) - Randolph-Clay
57.6% (19-14) - Greene County

Sources: GHSFHA, MaxPreps

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, West Hall football
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