However, some teams have the added pressure of becoming a cohesive unit with their new head coaches as well.
Every high school in Bartow, Douglas and Paulding Counties has changed regions. Bartow County schools are in three different regions, with Adairsville and Cartersville being the only ones to face each other in Region 5-AAA. Woodland will compete in Region 5-AAAAA, and Cass will be in Region 7-AAAA.
Douglas County schools will be split among four regions, with Lithia Springs and New Manchester going at it in the same Region 5-AAAAA. These two schools will also play all of the Paulding County high schools within the same region.
There are four new head football coaches this season, two in Douglas County and two in Paulding.
In Douglas County, the new whistle blowers are former McEachern assistant Geoff Pastrick at Chapel Hill and Jason Respert at Douglas County. In Paulding County, new head coaches are Chuck Goddard at East Paulding and former North Cobb assistant Scott Jones at North Paulding.
Last season, Douglas County went 2-4 in region play while North Paulding went 1-5. Chapel Hill and East Paulding both went 5-1 in their regions.
Joining a team that had a winning season last year, Goddard, former defensive coordinator at Walton High School in Cobb County, said he is not concerned about what region his team will play in.
“East Paulding has had a great tradition for the last five to six years. We will keep with great defense and establishing the running game. Changing of the region isn’t going to change how we do things,” Goddard said.
The Raiders have moved up a classification from Region 5-AAAA to 5-AAAAA — moving from playing in only six region games to playing its entire season against region oppenents.
Douglas County had a losing season in region 5-AAAA in 2011. However, Respert — a former high school all-American and assistant coach at three Georgia high schools — does not appear concerned with the regional change either.
The Tigers are moving to the highest classification in Region 3-AAAAAA. Respert said he is focused on his team’s improvement.
“Being a first-year coach, me and my staff came to change the culture. We have great athleticism. I know that my experience has taught me to have my kids dedicated and hard working. Our slogan this season is ‘all-in.’ We will focus on Douglas County and improving Douglas County,” Respert said.