MaxPreps recently released its list of Georgia’s top 10 high school football teams over the last decade and it probably won’t surprise Colquitt County fans that the Packers sit atop that list.
With two state championships, three other state championship game appearances – all in the state’s highest classification - and 10-year record of 115-29 (a 79.9 winning percentage), Colquitt is well-deserving of the honor.
The list also includes Grayson, at No. 2, followed by Buford, North Gwinnett, Calhoun, Camden County, Sandy Creek, Lowndes, Norcross and Northside-Warner Robins.
Over that span, the Packers played six of the other top-10 programs.
The Packers have winning records against four of the six and are 20-13 overall against them.
Since 2009, Colquitt is 7-2 against Camden County; 6-4 against Lowndes; 3-2 against Grayson and North Gwinnett; 1-2 against Norcross; and 0-1 against Northside-Warner Robins.
Those records were posted under the direction of head coach Rush Propst, who was relieved of his duties in March.
New coach Justin Rogers will send out his first Packers team against four of those top-10 teams this season, beginning with North Gwinnett in the Aug. 24 season-opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the Corky Kell Classic.
Colquitt also will face Grayson at home on September 27; Camden County on Oct. 18 in Kingsland; and Lowndes on Nov. 1 at Martin Stadium.
Of this and that:
• Former Packer Ty Lee, now a senior at Middle Tennessee State, has been named to the Biletnikoff List for the second straight season.
The award goes to the nation’s top receiver and is named after former Florida State (and Oakland Raiders) receiver Fred Biletnikoff.
In his three years with the Blue Raiders, Lee has caught 213 passes (third all-time at Middle Tennessee) for 2,537 yards (fifth all-time) and 21 touchdowns (third all-time).
• Kiel Pollard, another former Packer receiver, will likely play a prominent role at tight end for South Carolina this season.
Also a senior, Pollard had three starts for the Gamecocks last season, catching 15 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Also in 2018, he received South Carolina’s Unselfish Teammate, Tenacity and Leadership awards for the special teams unit.
• For those wondering, Colquitt County’s Kamaar Bell has reported to Auburn, where he is expected to play offensive guard.
Bell was ranked as the No. 34 guard in the 2019 class last year according to the 247 sports composite ranking.
He reported late while working on his academics.
Bell joins former Packers tight end John Samuel Shenker, who will be a sophomore tight end for Auburn this season.
Shenker is listed on Auburn’s 2019 roster at 6-foot-3, 248 pounds.
• JJ Peterson, a red-shirt freshman at Tennessee, has been issued jersey No. 6.
The 6-foot-2, 233-pounder played in four games for the Volunteers last season, but retained his red-shirt freshman status.
Ja’Quain Blakely, Peterson’s former Colquitt County teammate, has grown to 6-foot-2, 284 pounds and is listed as a defensive end.
Blakely has played in 14 games over the past two seasons for the Volunteers.
Defensive back Shawn Shamburger also is in the mix in Knoxville after playing in 12 games, including two starts, last year.
• Speaking of jersey numbers, it appears high school All-American kicker Ryan Fitzgerald will wear his familiar No. 88 for Florida State this season.
Jay Ward has been issued No. 16 at LSU; Marcus Anderson will wear No. 57 at Georgia State; and Will Rykard will be No. 75 and Rashard Revels will model No. 15 at UAB.
• T.J. Smith will return for his senior season at Arkansas this year.
The 6-foot-3, 293-pounder started 10 games on the defensive line for the Razorbacks in 2018.
Smith was named to the 2018 Fall SEC Honor Roll and received the Community Service Award.
• Daniel Brinson is expected to start at center again at LaGrange College this season.
• Sophomore Cam Singletary is back at Tennessee Tech after a freshman season in which he played in all 11 games, starting one and catching 12 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. He also averaged 19.7 yards on 13 kickoff returns.
• Expected to start again this fall for Lenoir-Rhyne are former Packers Landon Scott and Ian Brinson.
Scott, a senior safety, will be playing his senior season.
Brinson, a 6-foot-4 295-pound offensive tackle, started all 14 games in 2018.
• Ty Phillips is returning to Statesboro to help continue the Georgia Southern resurgence.
Phillips received honorable mention on the All-Sun Belt Conference team last year after starting 11 games for the Eagles.
• Other former Packers expected to be heading to preseason camps soon are Tirise Barge, Tulane; Kaleb Dawson, Appalachian State; Noah Hightower, Marvion McDonald and Kamren Barnes, Shorter; Steven Krajewski, Connecticut; Nathan Lang, Clark Atlanta; Nelson Louis and Tory Ponder, Tusculum; Chase Parrish, Naval Academy; Kyante Rivers and Quan Stokes, Faulkner; Ja’Kobe Shealey, Josh Hadley, Jerick Davis and Kam Woods, University of the Cumberlands; Camari Louis, Kennesaw State; Brian Merritt, Florida Atlantic; Akeem McKiever, Savannah State; JuJuan Williams, LaGrange; and Samari Louis and Ty Leggett, Georgia Military.
Former Packers who will be head coaches at Georgia high schools this season are: Reggie Stancil, Peachtree Ridge; Sean Calhoun, Carrollton; Robert Craft, North Forsyth; Jeff Hammond, Spalding County; Zach Grage, Thomas-ville; and Tim Cokely, White County.