The Georgia High School Association soccer playoffs are still three weeks away but many of the regions in the northeast Georgia area are winding down or wrapping up their region schedules over the next week.
On Tuesday, there are a hosts of key matches spanning nearly all of the eight regions in the AccessWDUN coverage area.
(Check below for the full schedule of matches on Tuesday and Wednesday around the area.)
None perhaps will be bigger than when the Class 5A fifth-ranked Johnson boys take on No. 4 Clarke Central in Athens.
The Knights (10-2-1, 5-0 Region 8-5A) and Gladiators (9-1-1, 4-0 Region 8-5A) are the only unbeaten teams in region play. Johnson is riding a nine-match win streak allowing just nine goals. Clarke Central has won five straight with four shutouts and yielded just one goal.
Johnson boys coach Frank Zamora said they weathered several early-season challenges to put themselves in a position for a title.
"We had some challenges at the beginning of the season, including quarantines and injuries. We quickly realized this season there were some things out of our control," Zamora said. "We focused on the things we can control and it has paid off. Thankfully, we have been able to stay healthy and compete with a full roster the last few weeks. We are working hard and starting to click and playing some good soccer."
Over in Region 8-4A, the East Hall boys (10-1-1, 4-0 Region 8-4A) can clinch a home playoff berth with a win at home on Tuesday against North Oconee (4-4-1, 2-2 Region 8-4A).
There are several other huge matchups, especially in Region 7-3A, where North Hall and White County meet at Lynn Cottrell Stadium and West Hall plays host to Lumpkin County.
The White County boys (10-2, 5-0 Region 7-3A) can clinch the region title with a win over the Trojans (2-7-2, 0-4 Region 7-3A). The North Hall girls (7-2, 3-0 Region 7-3A) can move into first place with a win over the Lady Warriors (10-3, 4-1 Region 7-3A). However, the Lady Warriors can clinch a home playoff spot with a road win.
Region 8-2A also have some big showdowns as Rabun County visits arch-rival Union County and the Banks County boys head to Riverside Military Academy.
The Class 6A third-ranked Buford girls can wrap up a region title in 8-6A with a win on the road against Lanier.
(Rankings are taken from the March 20 eurosportscoreboard.com rankings.)
AREA SOCCER SCHEDULE FOR Tuesday, March 30
(Games listed by visiting team in alphabetical order)
(Area teams highlighted in bold)
(Games begin at 5:30 p.m. with girls match, unless otherwise noted)
Banks County at Riverside Military (boys only), 5 p.m.*
Buford at Lanier*
Cherokee Bluff at Gainesville
Chestatee at Cedar Shoals*
Johnson at Clarke Central*
Lakeview Academy at Dawson County
Lumpkin County at West Hall*
North Oconee at East Hall*
Oconee County at Jackson County
Rabun County at Union County, 5 p.m.*
Shiloh at Habersham Central*
White County at North Hall*
AREA SOCCER SCHEDULE FOR Wednesday, March 31
Towns County at Hart County, 5 p.m.
(* -- denotes region contest)