Head coach Lee Coleman’s third year as head football coach at GMC Prep will look quite similar to his second opponent-wise, but there are a couple of notable changes for when the Bulldogs take the field in 2021.
The program saw its first state playoff action in nearly two decades last year, finishing the regular season at 6-4 and third in Region 7-A Public. The ‘Dogs earned that third-place finish by defeating Wilkinson County for the first time since 1965, and it was also their first region win since 2014. The 2020 campaign ended after GMC lost its postseason opener 56-0 to Gordon Lee.
Looking ahead to this fall, the Bulldogs’ 10 regular season opponents were a combined 30-45 a year ago, which comes out to a .400 win percentage. Here’s a look at those opponents week-by-week, including how they finished last year and how GMC has performed against them historically.
The season kicks off Friday, Aug. 20, versus the same opponent as last year — GISA AAA school Creekside Christian Academy out of McDonough. The Cougars handed the ‘Dogs a 51-0 loss in that first-ever meeting, so the Bulldogs will be looking for revenge on Davenport Field in the ’21 opener. Creekside finished last year 6-4 and had its season ended by John Milledge in the state playoffs.
Next up for GMC is a trip to Central-Talbotton, which came as a 34-0 win for Coleman’s ‘Dogs last year. Central is one of two teams on the GMC schedule that finished 2020 winless. The Bulldogs get an early off week following the matchup at Central.
Coming off the bye the Bulldogs get Riverside Military Academy, who chose to forego football last year due to the pandemic. GMC filled that hole in the schedule with AAA Cherokee Bluff, but Riverside is expected back this year to renew the military school rivalry. Riverside holds the all-time series lead against GMC 17-10-3 and has won the last three meetings, the most recent of which came in a 2017 35-7 decision. Riverside was 5-5 the last time the team competed in 2019.
That will basically end the Bulldogs’ 2021 non-region schedule as they are slated to hop into Region 7-A Public play at home Sept. 17 versus Hancock Central. The Bulldogs of nearby Sparta went undefeated in their shortened 2020 schedule, including a 36-7 home win over GMC. Hancock (7-1 last year) went on to be knocked out in the second round of the postseason by Lincoln County. The Sparta school is 8-3 versus GMC and hasn’t lost in the series since 2014 discounting a 2019 forfeiture due to having fielded an ineligible player. Hancock has lost a lot to graduation, but never seems to be short on athletes for such a small school.
Region play for GMC Prep continues Sept. 24 with another home game against Twiggs County. Like Riverside, Twiggs opted out of the 2020 season. The Cobras were 1-9 in the 2019 campaign, and that sole win came in the season finale versus the ‘Dogs. Twiggs also holds a commanding 8-1 lead all-time against GMC with the only loss coming in a 2013 56-0 drubbing.
The month of October kicks off with GMC facing Wilkinson County on the road. The Warriors wearing blue-and-yellow have to be looking forward to this matchup after having lost last year’s meeting 7-6 on Davenport. Wilco had won 16 straight games versus the Bulldogs until that loss. The Warriors (2-7 last year) made the playoffs as the fourth seed thanks to their 2-3 region record, but fell to Bowdon in the postseason opener 35-6.
The other 2020 winless team comes to town Oct. 8 as Crawford County is set to make the trip from Roberta. The Eagles were cumulatively outscored 92-473 a year ago, which includes the 46-18 home loss to GMC. That was just the seventh meeting between the two schools who are now region foes, and the Bulldogs will look to level the all-time series 4-4 this season.
Next is a step back out of region competition with the Oct. 15 game at Glascock County, who is actually a member of Region 7-A Public but opts to play a non-region schedule. The Panthers of Gibson were 4-6 last year and lost to GMC Prep 42-0 for the Bulldogs’ homecoming. GMC is 25-3-1 all-time versus Glascock, and hasn’t lost in the series since back-to-back losses in ’07 and ’08.
The competition level takes a big step up from there with the Oct. 22 matchup versus last year’s region runner-up Warren County. The Screaming Devils (9-3 in 2020) may have finished second in region, but made it further in the playoffs than any 7-A Public team as they lost to Metter in the quarterfinals. Former GMC Prep head football coach and current Warren County head Steven Simpson will bring his Devils to Davenport in search of something similar to last year’s 44-0 win over the ‘Dogs.
The regular season closes out Oct. 29 against ACE Charter of Macon. GMC has yet to lose to the Gryphons (3-0 all time), and will look to keep that streak going in what Coach Coleman’s team hopes will not be its last game of 2021.