Of the three teams that advanced to the state playoffs, none managed to make it out of the first round of play. Creekview and Sequoyah both fell to top-10 teams in Tucker and M.L. King, respectively, while River Ridge couldn’t complete a comeback against Grady.
The end of the season also brought an end to Creekview coach Al Morrell’s career.
Morrell decided to call it quits earlier in the year by announcing that this season would be his last as a head coach. And Though Morrell’s final game was a 42-25 loss at the Grizzly Den, he did manage to lead Creekview to the first home playoff game in the program’s history.
Despite the loss, the Grizzlies still finished with an overall record of 9-2, the best record of any team in the county.
Two games behind Creekview was archrival Sequoyah, which finished 7-4 after its 34-14 loss to M.L. King.
The Chiefs won four more games than they did last year, and they made their first trip to the postseason since 2008. They also possessed Class AAAAA’s leading rusher, Blake Ingleton, who finished his senior season with 2,204 yards on the ground.
Though River Ridge finished the season with a losing record at 5-6, the Knights, with their first senior class, made history by reaching the postseason in their first year of eligibility.
River Ridge coach Robert Braucht hopes that the program will be able to rapidly build upon this season’s success.
“Overall, this season was a great starting point for the River Ridge program,” he said.
Though Creekview, Sequoyah and River Ridge all managed to make the postseason, the county’s Class AAAAAA weren’t so lucky.
By finishing 4-6, Etowah’s streak of six years with a playoff appearance was snapped in coach Dave Svehla’s first year in charge.
Woodstock, though it was able to triumph over archrival Etowah for the first time in three years, the Wolverines finished the season 3-7. It marked the second year in a row that Woodstock failed to make the playoffs.
While first-year coach Josh Shaw managed to transform Cherokee’s offense from a run-based system into a more aerial offensive style, the Warriors were unable to better last year’s record of 1-9.
After making the playoffs in 2007, the Warriors have now missed out on the postseason five years in a row — the longest such drought of any team in the county.