The 3-A Region 6 football schedule has begun.
Eight of teams played Friday night with each hoping the chase for four playoff spots ends in early November with them being good enough to earn one of those much- sought-after and coveted berths.
“Our region is tough, no question about it,” Sonoraville coach Denver Pate said. “There are a lot of good teams and if you don’t come ready to play every week, you’re probably going to get beat. But our goal is to make the playoffs, especially after we missed out because of everything that happened last year.”
What he was referring to was a five-game losing skid that ended their postseason hopes when COVID-19 issues began to affect the team and the Phoenix had to play a little short-handed at times.
The Region has been very tough early on this summer, with the nine teams going a combined 12-4 through the first two weeks of the season.
Sonoraville, Adairsville, Coahulla Creek, and Ringgold all stood 2-0 going into this week with nothing but region showdowns remaining on the 2021 schedule.
North Murray was also unbeaten but had played only one game to stand 1-0.
Defending Region champion Rockmart, along with LaFayette and Murray County, were each 1-1 while Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe was the only team without a win but the Warriors had only played one game and it was a 21-0 loss to Gordon Lee on August 27.
Friday night’s opening games had Rockmart at Coahulla Creek, Ringgold at North Murray, Adairsville at Murray County and LaFayette at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. Sonoraville was the team with the open date meaning next week when the Phoenix return to the field to take on Rockmart at The Furnace, they will begin a stretch of eight games in eight weeks.
That is what made their game against Fannin County last week so important because originally they were scheduled to go on the road to Chattooga. That game was called off and the Phoenix coaches immediately went looking for a game because had they not played, the layoff between outings would have been 21 days.
“It was really important that we got to play (Fannin County) because if we don’t play them, we’re looking at three weeks between games and that is just too long of a break,” Pate said. “To start the season and play once and then be off for three weeks, that would have been awful for all of us to go through. But fortunately, we were able to schedule a game with Fannin and win the game and now we just focus on getting ready for Region. But had we not played them, that would not have been good for anybody — the kids or the coaches.”
The Phoenix have the best resume of the nine teams in the league so far, having won their games over Model and Fannin County by a combined 53-0 count.
Every other team in the league has been scored on this year, but not the Black-and-Red so far.
If there has been one surprise so far, it may be Coahulla Creek, which is 2-0 for the first time in school history with wins over Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield. But the Colts had a tough task right out of the chute in conference, taking on Rockmart, who rolled through the region undefeated last year.
The Yellow Jackets lost to Rome, 23-7, to start the year but bounced back last week to knock off Villa Rica, 28-21 to get into the win column.