By now, things should be a little clearer. Or should they?
Two weeks into the high school football season, Forsyth County teams have begun to weave their narrative. North Forsyth and South Forsyth are off to strong 2-0 starts. Lambert, Pinecrest Academy and West Forsyth are 1-1 but coming off nice rebound performances after big season-opening losses. Forsyth Central is 0-2.
This is one of this generation’s great temptations with sports. One loss and a season already is in distress. One victory and playoff tickets start getting printed.
When, really, we should be smarter. Sports fans have years and years of history to prove our snap judgments of teams, players and seasons can be woefully miscalculated.
There were plenty in Forsyth last season. At one point, Lambert was 5-0 and North and South were 3-0. They eventually finished 5-5, 3-7 and 4-6, respectively.
Each provided hints that a promising season was underway. Lambert showed it could win the close ones against Etowah (14-7) and Roswell (19-17) and run up the score (55-27 against Northview). North proved it could come from behind, erasing a three-touchdown deficit against Dawson County. South looked as balanced as any team in the area, scoring at least 40 points in three straight games.
Then everything changed. Lambert started losing players to injury. North and South started losing region games. Whatever identity had been built up during the non-region schedule was completely distorted by the season finale.
"I believe every team has an identity," Forsyth Central coach Shane Williamson said. "We need to find that identity."
Indeed, each team is developing an identity during this non-region portion of the schedule. Here’s my assessment of what that identity is for every Forsyth team. But be warned – as the past has shown, identities can often be deceiving.
Central: Rebuilding. This year is going to be spent refining Williamson’s new spread offense.
Lambert: Retooling. Longhorns started to figure things out last week against Roswell.
North: Darkhorse. First-year coach Jason Galt’s Double Wing offense has caused fits so far for opponents.
South: Darkhorse. Experience has shown in both close (Northview) and blowout (Central) wins.
Pinecrest: Retooling. Defense looks like it’ll carry team while the offense works out the kinks.
West: Contender. Lots of newcomers shined in last week’s win at No. 10 Class 5A Flowery Branch.
Brian Paglia is sports editor at the Forsyth County News. He can be reached at 770-205-8982, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BrianPaglia.