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Rivals meet in high school football tuneups

ATLANTA -- It's almost here! The start of another high school football season is just over a week away for many metro area teams.

This week, there are some preseason scrimmages that would make great mid-season classics.

Regions changes and population shifts have changed the status of many area match-ups between neighboring rivals. These match-ups won't count in the record book, but will carry great meaning for the school's supporters.

A classic example happens Thursday night in Fayette County, when Starr's Mill visits defending state champion Sandy Creek.

At the same time in North Fulton, Johns Creek will meet Northview. The two schools are one mile apart, but will not meet in the regular season.

Friday night, Chapel Hill is at Alexander, while East Paulding visits McEachern in match-ups of teams who border each others' communities.

The same will be true in Henry County, with Union Grove visiting Eagle's Landing, and Henry County visiting Ola.

At the newly refurbished Lakewood Stadium, Grady and Mays will meet in a battle of Atlanta's more successful programs.

For me, none of these scrimmages strike me more than Griffin at Newnan. In years past, this game would be for a region title and spot in the state playoffs.

If you want some playoff previews, you might want to catch Parkview at Mill Creek, or North Gwinnett vs Stephenson, at Hallford Stadium. These teams are all in the new AAAAAA class but in different regions.

Saturday's scrimmages have two standout matches. Many of the students at the new Allatoona High School came from North Cobb; the two school will face off. Finally, at Lakewood, Douglass and Washington will take to the field for a scrimmage that back in the day would overflow the stands.

These match-ups are just scrimmages and won't count in the record book, but don't tell the longtime supporters of these schools. They will pick a special place to write the score down. You can count on it.

11Alive's coverage of high school football, "Friday Night Alive," premieres on Friday, Aug. 24. We hope you will join us.


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