The high school football season is right around the corner and the schedules for the three Rockdale County teams have been released.
Heritage is coming off its third consecutive state playoff appearance in 2012, but will be led by a new coach. While Chad Frazier left after six seasons in Conyers to become the new athletic director and head football coach at Villa Rica High School, Mike Parris was named the eighth football coach in Heritage history.
Parris will attempt to tie a program record and lead the Patriots to a fourth consecutive winning campaign when the season opens Aug. 30 at Northgate. The Patriots will play local rivals Rockdale at home Sept. 6 and Salem on the road in the Region 8-AAAAA opener Sept. 13.
Rockdale was perhaps the state’s most improbable playoff team a year ago when the 3-7 Bulldogs qualified as the No. 4 seed from Region 2-AAAAAA. Rockdale, led by second-year coach Venson Elder and sophomore sensation Targee Steele, will open the year hosting rival Salem Aug. 30 at Reid Stadium.
After the Sept. 6 road game at Heritage, the Bulldogs will play two more nonleague games — against Drew September 13 and at Langston Hughes in a rematch of last season’s first round state playoff game — Sept. 20 — before opening league play at Morrow on Sept. 27.
Salem’s struggles continued with last season’s 2-8 finish, the third consecutive losing season for head coach John Starr. After the Rockdale opener, Salem will host Wesleyan in a nonregion game Sept. 6, then play Heritage in the region opener.