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SHANNON FAGAN: Still plenty of motivation to go around

In this very space last week, I said my motivation was to post back-to-back undefeated weeks in the high school picks department.

Mission accomplished. Two straight 6-0 weeks brings my overall record to 44-6 on the season.

Now that I’ve reached the feat for two straight weeks, let’s go for a three-peat. Six more games are on the slate for this week, and a few of them could go either way, especially since playoff seeding and postseason berths are on the line.

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s edition of “What In The World Is Shannon Fagan Thinking?”

Geraldine (5-3, 4-1) at Collinsville (3-5, 2-3)

Geraldine made things interesting in Class 3A, Region 7 last week with its 20-19 victory over Fyffe. Now the Bulldogs are in the thick of a region championship race, while Collinsville is relegated to the role of spoiler.

I think the edge goes to the Bulldogs here, since they have more on the line.

The pick: Geraldine.

Cedar Bluff (5-3, 5-0) at Coosa Christian (4-4, 3-2)

Cedar Bluff has already locked up the Class 1A, Region 7 title and will host a first-round playoff game, but there’s a lot on the line for Coosa Christian.

Depending on what happens in region play tomorrow night, Coosa Christian could find itself anywhere from the No. 2 spot in the region and hosting a first-round playoff game to finishing fourth and traveling to Wadley.

The Conquerors have never beaten Cedar Bluff. They’re 0-7 all-time against the Tigers, including last year’s 47-20 loss. I think they’ll be 0-8 following Friday night’s game.

The pick: Cedar Bluff.

Wellborn (5-3, 4-2) at Piedmont (7-1, 5-1)

The Panthers have now won five straight after starting the season 0-3, and in the process, formally clinched the No. 4 playoff spot out of Class 3A, Region 5 with a 66-19 rout of Weaver last week.

Piedmont needs a victory to keep pace with Ohatchee and Saks for the Class 3A, Region 5 title.

Like I said earlier with Geraldine, the Bulldogs have more at stake in this one, which is why I’ll give them the edge.

The pick: Piedmont.

Cherokee County (6-2, 4-1) at Jacksonville (4-4, 3-2)

With Anniston’s upset of Handley last week, the Warriors find themselves tied atop the Class 4A, Region 4 standings with the Tigers and Bulldogs. A Warrior win could secure a home playoff game, but it isn’t going to be easy.

Jacksonville has had Cherokee County’s number lately. They’ve won the last four meetings, and the Golden Eagles are coming off a bye week.

I believe the Warriors realize the importance of hosting a home playoff game in two weeks, which is why I think they’ll find a way to clip the Golden Eagles.

The pick: Cherokee County.

Cleveland (6-2, 5-1) at Sand Rock (6-2, 4-2)

It bears watching how the Wildcats react following last week’s oh-so-close 29-28 loss to Spring Garden. I think they’ll come out strong and give the Panthers a run for their money, but I’m afraid the result might be the same.

If it were any other Class 2A, Region 6 team other than Cleveland, I’d pick them in a heartbeat. But the Panthers’ only loss on the field this season has been to once-beaten Class 4A Oneonta on the road (the other loss was a forfeit to Spring Garden for the use of an ineligible player, which they “won” on the field, 20-13).

The pick: Cleveland.

Southeastern (5-3, 4-2) at Spring Garden (8-0, 6-0)

Spring Garden clinched the Class 2A, Region 6 title last week with its 29-28 win at Sand Rock, but don’t think for a second it’s a chance for the Panthers to ease up on the throttle. They still have a shot at finishing the regular season undefeated.

I look for that to be all the motivation Spring Garden needs against the Mustangs.

The pick: Spring Garden.

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