Legendary University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant famously said: “It ain’t bragging if it’s true,” a statement that works well when talking about the prowess of high school football in Gwinnett County.
After Norcross defeated North Gwinnett for the Class AAAAAA title and Buford won in Class AAA this past weekend, these facts are true:
• Gwinnett teams have won the past four titles in the state’s largest classification, with Norcross successfully defending its title this year after wins by Grayson and Brookwood the two years before that.
• Gwinnett has won 10 of the last 18 football titles in the state’s largest classification, twice having all-Gwinnett finals.
• Buford has won six state titles in the last seven years, nine since 2001.
• Counting both public and private schools, Gwinnett schools have won 18 state football titles in the past 14 years.
While Buford continued its run of dominance on Friday night, Norcross and North met on Saturday (and played on into early Sunday morning) in the perfect example of Gwinnett’s football success — two teams from the same county — the same region, no less — meeting for the crown.
Norcross played a strong second half to post a 31-14 win, giving Keith Maloof’s squad back-to-back titles. The only negative to the game was how late it ended — it was nearly 12:30 a.m. when the final horn sounded — which kept the game story from appearing in Sunday’s Daily Post but did nothing to diminish the jubilation experienced by the Norcross players, fans and coaches.
The good news is the Georgia High School Association says it is already working on ways to ensure next year’s games don’t end so late. We applaud that move, especially since history tells us another Gwinnett team will be playing for next year’s AAAAAA title.
With so much success over the years, that’s what Gwinnett teams and fans have come to expect. And it’s why, with all due respect to Coach Bryant, Gwinnett football deserves the chance to brag.