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Sports

Week 1: Pickens @ Sonoraville

With the end of the dog days of summer comes the hint of cool weather, and though there are certainly more ninety-degree days in the forecast, one can’t help but look forward to the crisp chill of fall on the horizon. Along with the welcome fall weather comes the much-anticipated football season. Though college teams and the NFL have yet to play, football fans in Georgia can officially kickoff the season this Friday as the Georgia High School Association [GHSA] teams return to the field for the regular season.

On the field is exactly where you’ll find the Pickens Dragons on Friday nights this season, which unofficially began last Friday with a scrimmage bout against the Rockmart Yellow Jackets. The Jackets were no walk in the park for the Dragons, bringing with them five consecutive regional titles and ranking seventh in Georgia High School Football Daily’s Class 2A polls. Living up to those credentials, the Yellow Jackets outscored PHS 63-0, exposing the Dragons to perhaps the toughest competition they will face this season—that blowout loss will almost certainly light a fire in the team as they head west to take on the Sonoraville Phoenix of Calhoun for this Friday’s season opener.

Both Pickens and Sonoraville are among the 129 GHSA teams that found themselves in new classifications for the 2022 season, with Pickens moving from Class 4A to 3A and the Sonoraville Phoenix taking the opposite route, jumping up from 3A to 4A. With the new classification, Sonoraville took the place of the Pickens Dragons in Region 7AAAA and will face many of the same teams that the Dragons went head-to-head with last season. Both teams also return to the field with a nucleus of players with ample varsity playing experience. Like the Dragons crew of juniors including QB Sam Streicher, RB Miguel Santo, WR Marcus Pike, and TE Isaiah Williams, Sonoraville’s ones to watch on offense include QB Jaxon Pate, RB Zach Lyles, WR Brant Bryant, and TE Ridge Redd as they each have experience at the varsity level.

Can the Dragons bounce back from their scrimmage loss and break through to the win column as they officially start the season this Friday? With each team posting a near .500 record last season, a win for the Dragons is absolutely within reach. Historically, the record between the two teams favors the Dragons 2-0 in matchups nearly a decade ago. Friday’s face-off is sure to be a tough competition with many fans looking forward to the performances of two of the area’s best tight ends: Pickens’s Isaiah Williams and Sonoraville’s Ridge Redd.

To hear Friday’s game live, tune in to WPGY 93.7 FM/98.1 FM or stream online at WLJAradio.com for the pre-game show at 7:00 p.m. and kickoff at 7:30 p.m. as the Tri-State Communications broadcasting team returns to bring you the play-by-play action all season long.

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