Tonight, high school football takes on new meaning for three teams in Whitfield and Murray counties. All the work that began during the warm spring months and continued through the scorching summer into the chilly fall is beginning to culminate.
It's playoff time in Georgia.
Dalton, North Murray and Northwest Whitfield kick off postseason play tonight with opening round games. Christian Heritage has a first-round bye.
Here's the full schedule for our local teams:
• Region 6-6A No. 4 seed Dalton (7-3, 5-3) takes on Region 6-8A No. 1 seed Dacula (10-0, 5-0) at 7:30 p.m. on the road.
• Region 6-4A No. 4 seed Northwest (7-3, 4-2) faces Region 8-4A No. 1 seed Oconee County (9-1, 4-0) at 7:30 p.m. in a game in Watkinsville.
• Region 8-3A No. 4 seed Monroe Area (7-3, 4-2) travels to Chatsworth for a game against Region 6-3A No. 1 seed North Murray (9-1, 8-0) at 7:30 p.m.
• Class A-Private No. 8 seed Christian Heritage (9-1, 5-1 in Region 6-A) received an opening round bye and plays its first game next Friday at home.
We've enjoyed following the ups and downs of all seven teams in our coverage area, and we look forward to watching the teams who made the playoffs.
There have been great storylines this season. Dalton running back Jahmyr Gibbs emerged as one of the best players, rushing for a school record 2,347 yards and scoring 40 total touchdowns. North Murray won its first region football title in school history. Christian Heritage continued its progress following a successful season in 2018.
We wish the best of luck to our four remaining local teams as they continue their drive toward the ultimate goal: a state championship.