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Football springs to life this week
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With temperatures reaching toward 90 degrees this week it's a reminder of what the early part of football season is like.

That's fitting since soon area teams will get back onto the gridiron.

High School teams start spring practices this week with Newton and Eastside kicking things off Monday.

The Newton Rams and Alcovy Tigers prepare for not only a new season but a new level of competition.

Thanks to region realignment, the two teams will jump up to Georgia's new highest class, AAAAAA. Both Newton and Alcovy will also be in the same region, Region 2-AAAAA.

Newton finished 6-4 overall and 3-4 in Region 2-AAAAA in what was the state's highest classification.

The Rams will prepare for one of their most difficult schedules in recent years starting with a cross-town rivalry game against Eastside before traveling to Georgia powerhouses Lowndes and Valdosta for the next two games.

Alcovy reached the state playoffs in 2011 falling 51-28 to Tri-Cities and finished 6-5 overall and 5-1 in Region 3-AAAA. The Tigers open 2012 at home against Jones County and play Newton in their first Region 2-AAAAAA game.

Eastside didn't finish over .500 for the first time since 2006 last season and will look to do so in its new region next season.

The Eagles, which lost four of their last five in 2011, finishing 5-5 overall and 4-4 in 4-AAA host Jackson a week after opening 2012 against the Rams.

Newton and Eastside will play their spring games on Friday, May 11.