Seen it happen 1,000 times. This time of year, while teams are trying to excite people enough to plunk down money on season tickets, everybody has the next Brett Favre, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning. Never mind 7 interceptions and a .250 completion percentage later most high school teams cut back on the passing two or three games into season and abandon the pass all together by mid season.
Still — like wishing you owned a 1959 Cadillac — it’s fun to dream. If nothing else, it gets fans excited about the prospects of what could be this upcoming season. And that’s good for ticket sales.
If you attended last week’s passing league games at Griffin High, you saw the promise of a high-flying tomorrow stamped all over the 10-team camp. Spalding High quarterbacks Monquez Sullivan and Trae Moran each put a lot of work in as did Griffin High’s Jaquez Parks and Anforne’ Stroud.
In spots, they all looked sharp.
Led by Parks, Griffin High’s first team went 5-0 in pool play early in the morning before reeling off two more wins in bracket play in the afternoon to reach the finals where it lost to 2011 state finalist Lovejoy 21-19 after missing a two-point conversion in the game’s waning seconds. It was the second time the unit posted a second-place finish in a passing league camp this summer, the first coming last month at an Under Armour Camp in Powder Springs.
Led by Stroud, Griffin High’s second team went 3-2 in pool play last week before reaching the semifinals where they lost to Griffin High’s first team 26-8 to finish the tournament with a 4-3 record. Not bad when you consider the week before Griffin High’s second team defeated Griffin High’s first team in a passing league game at Whitewater.
Spalding High also proved it packed a spark through the air, alternating between Sullivan and Moran to post a 2-3 record in pool play before taking down Warren County 22-0 in bracket play only to be eliminated by eventual champion Lovejoy 27-0 in the quarterfinals.
So much talent. So much potential. One’s left to sit and wonder how much of it will be realized this season on both sides of town.
A few twists add to the drama this fall. Consider, Spalding moves from Class AAA to Class AAAA. Also consider Griffin and Spalding play in the same subregion (Region 4-AAAA, Div. B) — for the first time ever — along with the likes of: Jonesboro, North Clayton, Riverdale, and Upson-Lee and their seasons can be littered with drama.
Non-subregion games for Spalding come against Lamar County, Rutland, Locust Grove and Dutchtown, while Griffin tees it up against Dutchtown, Northgate, Woodland-Stockbridge and Stockbridge in non-subregion play. Before all that, however, Griffin travels to take on Newnan in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 17 the same night Spalding hosts Pike County also in preseason action.
(John Sullivan is the Sports Editor at the Griffin Daily News.)