FOOTBALL RANKINGS: Newton's next opponent moves up a spot in latest poll
Newton DE, Dre Butler gets coached up in between plays during last week's win at Peachtree Ridge. The Rams are scheduled to face No. 3 Lowndes Friday at 8 p.m. - photo by Anthony Banks

COVINGTON, Ga. -- Newton football coach, Terrance Banks, calls his team's next opponent "the best team in the state." And based on the latest Georgia Sports Writers Association High School Football Poll, there may be some credence to that. 

Newton is slated for an 8 p.m. kickoff Friday night in Valdosta against No. 3 Lowndes, despite the fact that damage from Hurricane Irma has caused school cancellations across much of the state -- including at Newton and Lowndes. When school cancellations happen, also nixed are all school activities, including games, practices, etc. 

With schools in both areas cancelled for a third straight day Wednesday, that likely means both teams, at maximum, will have only Thursday to practice in preparation for Friday's game. 

Newton assistant coach, Josh Skelton said the Rams had been in touch with Lowndes coaches and were told that everything should be good for Friday's non-region matchup of Class AAAAAAA schools to continue as planned. 

If it happens, Lowndes will be the first of three top five opponents remaining on the Rams' schedule. No. 4 Archer moved up three spots from No. 7 after knocking off then-No. 3 Mill Creek 16-13 Friday. Archer will pay a visit to Homer Sharp Stadium on Friday Oct. 6 for a Region 8-AAAAAAA matchup. 

Then two weeks later, Newton will play host to top-ranked Grayson, which will also be a region game. 

The only forseeable way Friday's game could be cancelled is if either school is still not back in session by the time Friday comes. If the game were to be cancelled, since it is a non-region game, it would likely not be rescheduled. 

Either way, while Banks acknowledges that the Lowndes game is a big one, he also said that it's still just another chance for his team to get ready for region play.

"This game will be a measuring stick for our guys, and one more chance to get ready to start the real season when region play begins," Banks said. 

Here is the entire GSWA Week 4 high school football poll for all classifications:


Georgia Sports Writers Association High School Football Poll 


Class AAAAAAA

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Grayson (14) 140 1

2. Colquitt County 122 2

3. Lowndes 110 4

t4. Archer 89 7

t4. North Cobb 89 5

6. Parkview 49 8

7. South Forsyth 40 10

8. Mill Creek 36 3

9. Tift County 25 NR

10. McEachern 15 NR

Others receiving votes:  Lassiter 9, Walton 9, Roswell 7, Marietta 5, Newton 5, North Gwinnett 5, North Paulding 5, Norcross 4

Dropped out: Norcross (6), Roswell (9)


Class AAAAAA

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Lee County (11) 136 1

2. Coffee (2) 122 2

3. Tucker (1) 112 3

4. Mays 98 4

5. Northside-Warner Robins 78 6

t6. Dalton 56 8

t6. Harrison 56 7

8. Langston Hughes 46 5

9. Winder-Barrow 25 NR

10. Douglas Co. 20 NR

Others receiving votes: Lovejoy 7, Alexander 4, North Atlanta 4, Bradwell Institute 2, Allatoona 1, Greenbrier 1

Dropped out: Lovejoy (9), Valdosta (10)


Class AAAAA

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Rome (12) 138 1

2. Buford (2) 126 2

3. Stockbridge 110 3

4. Carrollton 93 4

5. Jones County 76 5

6. Warner Robins 69 6

7. Griffin 61 7

8. Starr’s Mill 36 9

9. Wayne County 17 NR

10. Woodland-Stockbridge 12 NR

Others receiving votes:  Arabia Mountain 9, Flowery Branch 6, Kell 4, Carver-Atlanta 3, Ware County 3, Bainbridge 2, Clarke Central 2, Banneker 1

Dropped out: Arabia Mountain (8), Kell (10)


Class AAAA

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Cartersville (14) 140 1

2. Thomson 125 2

3. Woodward Academy 102 3

4. Sandy Creek 87 4

5. Jefferson 80 5

6. Ridgeland 67 6

7. Blessed Trinity 55 7

8. Mary Persons 49 8

9. Burke County 33 9

10. Cedartown 18 10

Others receiving votes:  Heritage-Catoosa 7, Marist 3, Northwest Whitfield 3, Northside-Columbus 1

Dropped out: None


Class AAA

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Cedar Grove (10) 135 2

2. Crisp County 117 3

3. Greater Atlanta Christian (4) 114 1

4. Peach County 100 4

5. Jenkins-Savannah 83 5

6. Calhoun 71 6

7. Dawson County 56 7

8. Bremen 42 9

9. Monroe Area 22 10

10. Liberty County 11 8

Others receiving votes: Sonoraville 7, Pace Academy 4, Pierce County 3, Windsor Forest 2, Union County 1, Westminster 1, Westside-Macon 1 

Dropped out: None


Class AA

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Benedictine (14) 140 1

2. Callaway 119 2

3. Screven County 103 4

4. Hapeville Charter 100 3

5. Rabun County 81 5

6. Jefferson County 67 6

7. Thomasville 63 8

8. Brooks County 37 9

9. Heard County 20 t10

10. Dodge County 18 t10

Others receiving votes: Swainsboro 7,  Bacon County 2, Toombs County 2

Dropped out: Fitzgerald (7)


Class A

School Points Last Week

(First place votes in parentheses)

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian (14) 140 1

2. Prince Avenue Christian 115 2

3. Manchester 104 4

4. Clinch County 87 5

5. Macon County 67 6

6. Irwin County 66 7

7. Wesleyan 44 3

8. Mount Paran Christian 39 8

9. Tattnall Square 34 NR

9. Emanuel County Institute 26 NR

Others receiving votes: Calvary Day 25, Fellowship Christian 7, McIntosh County Academy 7, Charlton County 6, Taylor County 4, Mount Zion-Carroll 2

Dropped out: Calvary Day (9)


Publications participating: Albany Herald; Athens Banner-Herald; Augusta Chronicle; Times-Georgian, Carrollton; Cherokee Tribune, Canton; Covington News; CowetaScore.com; The Daily Citizen, Dalton; Douglas County Sentinel, Douglasville; Gwinnett Daily Post, Lawrenceville; Macon Telegraph; Marietta Daily Journal; Savannah Morning News; Walker Co. Messenger, LaFayette.