Now that all of our invitationals are out of the way, might as well speculate on the upcoming regionals, and possibly get some discussion going...
I'm predicting up to my expected maximum number of state bids (i.e. I don't think any regional will get more bids than the number of places I predict to).
Forsyth County B:
1. Fulton Science Academy - I don't think anyone will seriously contest this. None of the other teams here are close - in fact, all of them who were at Chattahoochee this past weekend were beaten by two of FSA's teams. Despite the tournament size, I expect to see a score under 60 points at least.
2. River Trail - Did well at Chattahoochee despite being split. They seem about as strong as last year, so I think they'll probably hold off most of the other teams.
3. Taylor Road - This is where it gets interesting. Taylor Road had two fairly even teams at Chattahoochee and performed strongly. If not for River Trail's longer history, I might have ranked them ahead, but I expect it will be close regardless.
4. Chamblee - They were hard to place. Although they're coming off of a 4th place state finish, not attending any invitationals tends to mean that they're weaker at regionals. They could easily finish as high as second if they keep up.
5. McCleskey - Had a solid finish at Chattahoochee, and are no longer a first-year team. I expect their road to state will be easier this year, even with the increased competition.
6. Hightower Trail - Another team that could finish significantly higher without much trouble. I sort of feel bad ranking them this low considering they've been top ten at state for the last two years, but I would be less confident about any of the other teams being here.
Other teams within striking range of the lower few state bids include Hopewell and Little Mill, both of whom did fairly well at Chattahoochee, and Kittredge if they manage to bounce back from last year.
Coweta County B:
1. Rising Starr - Here's where I'm going for the long odds. Rising Starr hasn't qualified for state since 2014, so obviously a 1st place regionals finish is going to be a major step up. To me, their performance at Chattahoochee - much better than in the past few years - gives them the edge over the next contender.
2. Five Forks - Though relatively new, Five Forks has won regionals for the last two years - I'm sure being a Brookwood feeder helps with that somewhat. They don't seem as strong as Crews though, so I think it's possible for Rising Starr to supplant them.
3. J.C. Booth - Though obviously far fallen from their heights pre-2015, they've still been able to qualify for state for the last two years. Not that we know anything about the state of their team this year, but I think they'll be able to keep up.
4. East Cobb - I debated between them and Flat Rock, settling on the former because of their invitational experience, and Flat Rock's general decline in recent years.
Georgia Tech C:
1. GSMST - With strong performances behind them this year and a solid history, they should be able to take this spot without much trouble. Not sure about point score - I would be a little surprised if they go under 75 by much.
2. Walton - Although they were stronger earlier in the year, Brookwood results aren't promising. However, they surprised everyone last year; I wouldn't underestimate them. A first place finish is definitely possible.
3. Wheeler - A historically good team that has failed to qualify for state recently due to poor choice of regionals. They can probably manage a decent but very distant third place.
4. Starr's Mill - Seemed stronger than usual at Brookwood, and they do have a history, though they haven't qualified for state in several years. The next closest teams would be North Gwinnett and Woodward, but neither seem to be particularly strong this year.
Chattahoochee High School Class of 2018
Georgia Tech Class of 2022Opinions expressed on this site are not official; the only place for official rules changes and FAQs is soinc.org.