Reviewing The 2010 Jefferson Football Season.


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November 5, 2010

Musing with Cecil Buffington

Reviewing the 2010 Jefferson football season

The Jefferson Dragons closed out the 2010 season with a 49 - 0 whopping of the East Hall Vikings. This was not unexpected with the obvious weakness of the northern division of region 8-AA.

The Dragons also had wins over Commerce, Dawson County, Oglethorpe County, Jackson County and East Jackson as they concluded a 6 - 4 season.

Losses were to North Hall,  Hart County, North Oconee and Elbert County.

As I watched the Dragons close out their season, I couldn’t help but play the “what if” game as that final game of 2010 wound down.

What if Jefferson had Union County, Riverside and Rabun County on their schedule instead of North Hall, Elbert County and Hart County? The Dragons would have undoubtedly recorded three more relatively easy wins. We also had Union County and Fannin County on our schedule  during those two undefeated seasons in 2008 - 09.

During the current regular season, the north side winner --- Fannin County ---  lost to Dawson County 24 - 17. They were then blasted by Elbert County 45 - 7 in the Region 8-AA title game. We were able to defeat Dawson County 35 - 14 early in the season when we weren’t playing very well.  We were stomped 51 - 7 by Elbert County in a game I still have trouble understanding. The non-proportional strength of the two sub-regions is, however,  easy to understand and is without question.

There are several points that come out of all this “what if” thinking. The Dragons have been undefeated the past two seasons with the weaker schedule. This year only a loss to a very strong North Oconee squad ( 35 - 22 ) would go down as a loss if we played the same schedule of the past couple of years. The second point is that the Dragons were again a very good football team, although somewhat inconsistent, that could have finished second in the sub-region with a 9 - 1 record with the weaker schedule. The main point of all this is that the north side of the region is composed of all the weak sisters and the south half has probably the top four or five “best” teams in the region.

Logic would dictate that Hart County should have went into the north side of the region since they are about as far north as any team in the region. East Hall could have been placed in the south side to maintain the number of team balance. Unfortunately, the Georgia High School Association is not always prone to logical thinking when it comes to sub-region and region placement.

Now what would have happened if Hart County had been in the north side of the region? The Dragons would have finished third behind Elbert County and North Oconee. Since the number one team from the weaker north automatically secures a first or second place in the playoffs, the 2010 region 8-AA standings concluded with Elbert County number 1, Fannin County number 2, North Oconee number 3 and Hart County number 4. This means that if Hart was in the north side of the region, the Dragons could have finished number 4 in the region. You say, that’s great! But then you look at the first round opponent for the fourth place finish and it’s the defending and perennial state champion Buford Wolves. I don’t know that a fourth place finish would have had great value, even in experience,  in playing the very strong Buford team. I have never been a proponent of four teams making the state playoffs. I understand the profitability importance of this set-up, but I feel it waters down the achievement of making the state playoffs. With that said, I don’t expect Hart County to stay close to Buford.

We could have beaten Hart County ( a 27 - 17 loss ) with a break here or there.

We brought a young team into the season that has played more to it’s capabilities late in the season. We should be more competitive with the big three, Elbert County, North Oconee and Hart County in 2011.

In rising junior quarterback Bryant Sherriffs, we have a youngster with the potential to become one of the top signal callers in Class AA and possibly the state of Georgia. Many of our youngsters have gained valuable experience over the course of this season and will be much improved next season.

As for Coach Tom McFerrin and his staff, we again saw a well coached squad that fought hard and displayed good sportsmanship over the course of the season. The coaches and team represented Jefferson well. That’s all a true Jefferson fan will ever ask or want from it’s high school football program.

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