Adairsville, Cartersville, Cass and Woodland went a combined 25-15 for the best regular season winning percentage by county schools since 1983.
Cartersville went 10-0 for the second consecutive regular season before losing in the second round of the state playoffs.
Adairsville made it three straight trips to state with a 7-4 record for the longest current streak of playoff appearances in the county.
Meanwhile after losing its first six games of the season, Woodland strung together four wins to end the year and Cass won two of its last three to finish with a 4-6 record.
No team finished with more than four losses, which has only been avoided twice in the last 15 years.
Part of the reason was the vast improvement of Bartow teams as the season progressed. Adairsville, Cartersville, Cass and Woodland posted a 10-2 record in the last three weeks of the season.
The key to the success may have been experience, as several teams utilized senior-laden rosters. The four teams averaged 18 seniors and 10 of the all-county defenders are seniors.
One such senior was Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden, whose 40 regular season passing touchdowns led all Georgia quarterbacks.
He and his father had a successful final season together as the longest-tenured head coach in AAA was named the Atlanta Falcons’ Class AAA Coach of the Year.
Adairsville had an excellent quarterback of its own in junior Marcus Childers, who spearheaded the Tigers’ dynamic quartet of runners, including Tristin Smith, Sidnee Johnson and Austin Harris, which rushed for 2,612 yards this season. The success of the ground game came as no surprise in former running backs coach Eric Bishop’s first season at the helm.
It also was the running game, and a stingy defense, that sparked Woodland’s midseason turnaround when Vince DiLorenzo found lightning and thunder in a bottle with the pairing of Quadre Allen and Isaiah Ross in the backfield.
At Cass, it was a different star every night in Rick Casko’s last season as the program’s winningest head coach acclimated a promising talent in freshman quarterback Trevor Lowe.
Of course, all the success Bartow County teams had in 2013 was a direct result of the talent on each team. As a result, the 2013 Daily Tribune News All-County team is loaded with playmakers and game changers.
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