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November 12, 2012

Irwin, Turner still unsure, but Fitz, Cook and Worth in playoffs

TIFTON — It’s not often a pair of high school football coaches get to feel like college basketball coaches, but that’s the case this week for Irwin County’s Jon Lindsey and Turner County’s Erik Soliday.

Due to the split of Class A into public school and private school divisions, the Class A playoff brackets will not be officially released until Wednesday. The brackets will be set up by the classification’s power rankings. Only the region champions are guaranteed spots, while the other teams are in the process of being seeded due to their power rankings.

Going into last week’s game with Charlton County, Irwin County was sixth in the power rankings. After defeating Charlton, 55-34, Friday, Lindsey is expecting his Indian squad to remain sixth.

“I am looking for us to be sixth and to get a home playoff game against Trion,” said Lindsey. “That’s what everyone I have talked to seems to think.”

Lindsey does not mind the wait, which will extend through the rest of the week as the Class A playoffs will not begin until Nov. 23.

“I sorta like it,” said Lindsey. “It’s definitely better than having the private schools involved.”

While Irwin is all but assured to be involved in the state playoffs, Turner may be considered a “bubble” team.

Soliday’s Rebels defeated Clinch this past Friday, 30-20, but the Rebels entered that game 18th in the power rankings, two spots away from a guaranteed playoff spot.

Clinch was ranked 14th, and some other squads also lost, so Soliday said, “I think we are pretty much in, we just have to figure where at.”

Like Lindsey, Soliday did feel strong about his possible ranking.

“(When all is said and done) I think we will be 12th. I think we could face Dooly or Irwin in the first round,” said Soliday.

“But I won’t know anything until the GHSA tells us.”

While Soliday is going through what he calls a process that is “definitely different,” three other local teams know they will open up their state playoffs this Friday.

The Worth County Rams will open up the Class AAAA playoffs on the road at Stockbridge. Worth is the No. 4 seed from Region 1, while Stockbridge was the champions of Region 4.

In Class AA, the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes will be hosting Northeast Macon, while the Cook High Hornets will be on the road at Lamar County. Fitzgerald is the No. 2 seed from Region 2, while Cook is the No. 4 seed from the league. Northeast Macon is the No. 3 seed from Region 4, while Lamar County was the league champions.

The Class AAAAAA brackets has Region 1 facing off against Region 4.

Camden County, the Region 1 champs, will host the No. 4 team from Region 4, Hillgrove. Lowndes, the No. 2 seed from Region 1, will host Marietta, the No. 3 seed from Region 4.

McEachern, the Region 4 champions will play host to Colquitt County, the No. 4 team from Region 1, while North Cobb, the No. 2 team from Region 4,  will host Valdosta, Region 1’s No. 3 team.

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