Region 2: Teams in this league have played under Region 4 for the past two years. There remains a Henry County league heavyweight with Dutchtown, Eagle’s Landing, Locust Grove, Ola, and Union Grove, as well as regional champion Jones County. But the biggest addition is two-time defending state champion Warner Robins, who brings back another loaded team. Departure: Stockbridge, Woodland. Overall, it’s a very solid league.
Region 3: The five-team league is the smallest in the standings and is made up mostly of teams that played in Region 2 last season: Harris County, McIntosh, Northgate and Northside Columbus. Only Drew played in Region 3 last year. Out: Griffin, Starr’s Mill, Region 2’s Whitewater, Forest Park, Jonesboro, Mundy’s Mill, and Region 3’s Woodward Academy. This league is significantly weaker than a year ago but should create an interesting playoff run.
Region 4: The DeKalb County league was Region 5. It retains Chamblee, Cross Keys, Decatur, Lithonia and King and adds Arabia Mountain and Tucker. Departure: Southwest DeKalb, Northview, St. Pius, Stone Mountain. This league seems to be very balanced but doesn’t seem to have a big team that can compete for a state championship.
Region 5: This is a combination of Region 3 and Region 6 teams. Banneker, Creekside, Maynard Jackson and Tri-Cities come from Region 3, with Chapel Hill, Lithia Springs, Midtown and Villa Rica coming from Region 6. Mays goes Class 4A to join in the fun. Exit: New Manchester. Creekside will be the heavy favorite in this league, with the others dropping out for the other three spots.
Region 6: This league has a whole new look. Only North Springs and Northview played in Class 5A last season. Descending from 6A are Cambridge, Centennial, Chattahoochee and Kell. Greater Atlanta Christian was kicked out of two rankings because of the new GHSA multiplier. Cambridge has won nine games, returned 18 starters and will be the preseason favorite Kell is expected to bounce back under new coach Bobby May, who has turned Westlake into a state powerhouse.
Region 7: Mighty Cartersville, who lost to Warner Robins in the second round, and Calhoun, who reached the championship game, both return to lead this region. Everyone is loaded – as usual. They are joined by Region 7 survivors Cass, Hiram and Woodland and newcomer Dalton, who descends from Class 6A. Exit: Holy Trinity. The Calhoun-Cartersville game should once again determine the championship.
Region 8: This league is perhaps the toughest in the state from top to bottom, as four of the seven teams have won more than eight games in 2021. Returning is three-time defending champion Clarke Central, perennial contender Eastside and Loganville. The newcomers are Flowery Branch and Jefferson, both powers rising from Class 4A, and Heritage and Winder-Barrow, both descending from Class 6A. Departure: Apalachee, Jackson County, Johnson and Walnut Grove. Greenbrier remained in Class 5A but moved to Region 1 in search of a better travel arrangement.