Murray County

Marion County's Ricky Ross directed his first game as a football head coach Thursday night but actually is in his second head coaching job, having succeeded Vic Grider at South Pittsburg but resigning two months later.

Storyline: Class A state finalists a year ago, the Pirates are looking for their sixth season with 10 or more wins in the last seven years.

A down has yet to be played in Georgia Region 7-AAAA football this season, yet each of the league's eight teams already feels like a winner.

Georgia's Region 6-AAA will not be for the faint of heart — or for football fans who enjoy defensive-minded games — in 2014.

The two-night Best of Preps high school football jamboree gets under way tonight at Finley Stadium.

Tickets for the the inaugural Madaris Best of Preps Kickoff Classic on Aug. 21 at Finley Stadium, matching the McCallie and Cleveland high school football teams, are on sale now at www.timesfreepress.com/kickoff. Tickets cost $8 in advance and will be $10 on the day of the game.

TUNNEL HILL, Ga. — It was just a few days ago but the events couldn't have been any more different for the athletes wearing the distinct colors of the Northwest Whitfield Bruins.

TSSAA Division I coaches and athletic directors from high schools in the southeastern part of the state met Thursday at Chattanooga Christian School to discuss football classification proposals and the possibility of a split between public and all private schools.

On the surface it appears Ed Clendenen has stepped back, and while it's true the veteran high school coach will spend the 2014-15 school year in a seemingly lesser role in an unfamiliar surrounding, there is nothing that suggests he's slowing down.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Even though the debate over a potential public/private school complete split was never mentioned openly during the two days of the TSSAA Board of Control meetings, the subject was discussed during the closed-door session, according to one board member.

Coaches and athletes in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia often lament the fact that there is very little in-season competition between area high school programs in the two states. The TSSAA and the GHSA are on different reclassification cycles, so scheduling interstate contests proves difficult.

The biggest issue facing high school sports in more than a decade is still months from being decided, but if the Chattanooga area is any indication there is a clear consensus on the public-school/private-school debate.

New area Georgia head football coaches are Heritage's E.K. Slaughter, Sonoraville's Jim Kremer, Coahulla Creek's Chad Barger and Chattooga's Charles Hammon.

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