This means, of course, that the first month of the 2010-11 prep sports season will soon officially go down in the books.
While the first 31 days of a nearly three-month fall sports season can never define what a team will be like come October, it does offer enough of a glimpse of which teams stand a great chance of playoff contention in addition to other interesting storylines.
The Woodland High softball team appears ready for another state playoff berth after a nine-win month. The Lady Wildcats reached No. 4 in the GaPrepCountry.com coaches' poll last week before losing their final two games of the month.
Woodland, however, finds itself in a tough sub-region (Region 7A-AAAA) with the likes of Sequoyah, Northwest Whitfield and Cass -- which handed the Lady Wildcats their first loss of the season Thursday -- so making it to the playoffs will not come without a workmanlike effort.
As Woodland got off to its 9-0 start, the Lady Colonels (6-4-1, 2-1) had a few more stumbles, but find themselves just one region win behind the Lady Wildcats for first place. Cass hosts Sequoyah today and Northwest Thursday as the Lady Colonels seem to be primed to repeat last season's state playoff berth.
The final Bartow team from last year's three state qualifiers in softball, Excel Christian, also has looked like a playoff contender thus far. The Lady Eagles, who made it all the way to the state quarterfinals in Class A, sit undefeated at 3-0, but have yet to play a game in Region 6A-A as today's home game with Darlington offers the first opportunity.
For the next best bets for playoff contention among local sports teams, you have to look toward the two winners in Friday's football season openers -- Cartersville and Cass.
The Purple Hurricanes turned back a physical team in Pepperell, 14-10, in one of the toughest games on their schedule. The Canes face just two more teams the rest of the way -- Darlington on Friday and Ringgold Sept. 17 -- who had winning records last season, with neither team in its sub-region, Region 7B-AAA.
But Allatoona, which won a big game at Class AAAAA's Kennesaw Mountain Friday, may be much improved in the school's third year.
The Colonels, one of 11 teams in Region 7-AAAA, face more hurdles than Cartersville, but gave themselves a great start with a 42-12 region win at county rival Woodland. Cass' region foes include Sequoyah (Sept. 17), Northwest Whitfield (Oct. 1) and Creekview (Oct. 15), which each finished with a winning record last year, and Lambert (Nov. 5), a first-year varsity program that shut out the Bruins in Tunnel Hill.
The beauty of August, however, is that you're not yet out of playoff contention, so any of the local volleyball teams could put themselves in the equation as could the cross country teams, which have only just begun with a couple of meets Saturday.
By the end of September, this column could look as outdated as an abacus.
And that's something any playoff hopeful can take solace in.