It’s just 15 weeks from the start of the 2009 high school football season, but for gridiron fans in Rockdale County, its 15 weeks of waiting to see which team will reign as the best in the area.
The Georgia High School Association officially sanctioned this year’s schedule with every team in Region 8-AAAA playing an unconventional league-only slate of games for 2009.
Last year, Rockdale County, Salem and Heritage all finished at 5-5 overall and within the region. However, a new season brings an air of optimism with hopes of clinching a berth in the state playoffs.
The season kicks off on Friday, Aug. 28 with cross-town neighbor Salem making the short trip to face Heritage.
This marks the second meeting between both schools, but the town will be divided as bragging rights will be up for grabs. Salem seeks to post its second-straight versus Heritage after beating the Patriots 21-7 in the 2008 opener.
Salem plays at Rockdale the following week and then travels to Loganville (9-2, 9-1 Region 8-AAAA) to play against the defending Region 8-AAAA champions on Sept. 11.
Heritage’s home opener takes place on Sept. 4 when the Patriots host Habersham Central (6-4, 6-4 Region 8-AAAA) on Ring of Honor Night at Evans Memorial Stadium. The Pats face Rockdale on Sept. 11 in their second neighborhood clash in three weeks.
Rockdale is looking to turn the corner this season and hopes to get things started with its week one road match at Madison County (2-8, 2-8 Region 8-AAAA).
The Bulldogs defeated the Red Raiders 24-14 last year and will look to maintain their edge versus their region foe from Danielsville. Rockdale has won four of the five meetings against Madison County.
Also last fall, the Bulldogs defeated both local schools in 2008, beating Heritage 40-38 and Salem 19-0.
Rockdale trails in the all-time series versus the Patriots with Heritage holding a 17-11 advantage; however, the Bulldogs have won the last three encounters.