The Region 7-AA football schedule begins in less than two weeks.
And based on the earliest of results, Gordon Central has a chance to make a playoff push.
The Warriors, led by third-year head coach T.J. Hamilton, are currently enjoying an open date and will complete its non-conference schedule and a four-game road trip to begin the season this Friday night when they go to Gordon Lee.
They are also coming off a 48-28 loss to Southeast Whitfield County that was much closer than the final score indicates. They trailed just 28-22 in the third quarter but Southeast Whitfield converted a crucial 4th-and-1 on its next drive to score a touchdown that bumped that lead to 35-22 and eventually the Raiders would pull away.
Still, with all the positives that took place, Hamilton believes his team is not that far away.
“If we had just made a few more plays and gotten one or two stops on defense, I believe that it is a different game,” “ Hamilton said. “But we made some plays and had some chances and scored four touchdowns and all of that tells me that we are getting closer to being the type of football team we want to be. We’ve just got to keep working as hard as we can and I believe in my players and I know that we will.”
The Warriors are also very soon about to start playing teams their own size. And other clubs in the seven-team 2A Region 7 have struggled early on and they too are hoping the turnaround starts when region play begins.
Going into Friday night’s action, the seven schools in the league had a combined record of 4-12.
And the Dade County Trojans, with their 2-0 start, have half of those four victories.
They are also only team in the league that has outscored their opponents as they beat Gordon Lee 21-12 after taking the season-opening kickoff back 65 yards for a touchdown just 17 seconds into the first game of the year.
Then last week, they erupted for 51 points to hammer North Sand Mountain High School, 51-0 for their second win. (North Sand Mountain High School is located in Higdon, Alabama.)
That 51-point outburst is the most points any team in the region has put up in a single game this year.
Fannin County was 1-1 but was shutout by Sonoraville 32-0 last week while Model was 1-2 but was also shut out by Sonoraville, 21-0, three weeks ago on the first night of the 2021 season.
Fannin County beat Union County 34-7 for their first win while Model defeated LaFayette, 10-6 in a real defensive struggle for their victory.
After that going into Friday night’s action, the other four teams in Region 7 — Gordon Central, Chattooga, Pepperell, and Coosa — were still searching for their first win.
Every one had at least one final non-region game to go before things actually kick off on Friday, Sept. 24 with three games.
Gordon Central, after beginning the year with four consecutive road games, will finally return to the friendly confines of Ratner Stadium that night to play Fannin County in both their 2021 home opener and Region opener.
The other two region games that night have Pepperell, which is 0-3, going to Dade County and Model traveling to Chattooga to face the Indians, who are 0-1 and played for the first time in three weeks Friday night.
Coosa, which was 0-2 entering Friday night’s games, will have an open date that night and begin Region action on Friday, Oct. 1, at Model.
So with the start of league play less than a fortnight away, this thing looks very wide open and Gordon Central would seem to have as good a chance as anybody to be one of the four teams that get to play an 11th week.