FIRST MOSS, NOW ROSS — Cartersville senior Devonte Ross announced his commitment to Marshall Friday on his Twitter account.
Ross plays cornerback and wide receiver for the Canes but is expected to stay on the offensive side of the ball for the Thundering Herd, currently a top-15 ranked team in the country.
As a receiver for Marshall — which is located in Huntington, West Virginia — Ross will look to follow in the footsteps of the program's most famous product: Randy Moss.
In 1996, his first year at Marshall, the future NFL Hall of Famer helped the Herd win a Division 1-AA championship. The following season after Marshall moved up to 1-A, Moss racked up 1,820 yards and 26 touchdowns on 96 receptions, finishing fourth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.
Ross hasn't put up quite as gaudy stats at Cartersville, but he certainly has been a dynamic player over the past three seasons. He led the Canes with 521 yards and eight touchdowns as a sophomore. Last year, Ross earned DTN Athlete of the Year after recording 53 catches for 1,077 yards a dozen touchdowns.
Cartersville will look for Ross to have some big games during a potential playoff run that will begin against Jackson (Atlanta) next week at Weinman Stadium.
COMMON OPPONENT — Adairsville will host Dawson County in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs this coming week. It will mark the second trip to Bartow County this season for Dawson County.
In the season opener, Dawson County dropped a 23-7 decision to Cass. A week later, Adairsville traveled to Cass and suffered a 27-17 defeat.
Obviously, both teams — which coincidentally use "Tigers" as their mascot — have changed significantly since then, but it's still rare for postseason foes to have common opponents.
A preseason top-10 team, Dawson County (5-5) dropped its regular-season finale Friday to finish third in Region 7-AAA. Meanwhile, Adairsville (6-3) saw its last game of the regular season canceled by Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe due to COVID-19, securing the local Tigers the No. 2 seed out of Region 6-AAA.
CHANGE COMING — Following a 49-0 loss Friday at Blessed Trinity, Woodland head coach Tony Plott foreshadowed some changes that might be coming to the Wildcats next season.
Plott didn't seem to indicate that he would be leaving the program, but he did emphasize the importance of a normal offseason to help implement the changes.
Asked about the players Woodland will have returning next season, Plott said, “I’m very excited. … There will be some changes to our program. We need the spring practice, we need the summer to get those things done and to get where we’re firing on all cylinders.”
When pressed to elaborate, the sixth-year head coach chose his words carefully, saying, “We’ll have to look at the personnel we’ve got. We’ll have to alter our schemes to fit the kids we have and the kids we expect to be getting in the future.”
PLAYOFF PICTURE — Given the nature of the 2020 high school football season in Georgia, it comes as no surprise that figuring out how the postseason brackets shake out hasn't been a smooth process.
As of late Saturday afternoon, some of the brackets still weren't completely filled out on the GHSA website. However, the two brackets involving local teams — 3A and 5A — were completed.
In 3A, Adairsville (Region 6-AAA No. 2 seed) will host Dawson County (Region 7-AAA No. 3 seed), with the winner to face either Oconee County (Region 8-AAA No. 1 seed) or Westminster (Region 5-AAA No. 4 seed). The other first-round matchups involving Region 6-AAA teams are White County at Rockmart, North Murray at North Hall and LaFayette at Cherokee Bluff.
Cartersville, which landed the No. 2 seed in Region 7-AAAAA, will welcome Region 7-AAAAA's third seed Jackson (Atlanta) to Weinman Stadium. A win for the Canes would mean either a home game against Loganville or a road trip to St. Pius X in the second round.
Elsewhere in Region 7-AAAAA, Blessed Trinity will host Chapel Hill; Calhoun will head to Lithia Springs; and Hiram will travel to New Manchester.
HISTORIC SEASON — While only half of the local teams wound up making the playoffs, 2020 still proved to be a historic year for football in Bartow County.
According to information on the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website, this season marks the first time ever that every team in the county finished with a .500 or better record.
Adairsville is set to enter the playoffs at 6-3; Cartersville ended the regular season 8-1; Cass wound up 6-4 overall; and Woodland finished 4-4.