WEEK 1: Polk County rivalry - Game of the Week

- HIGH 5 Sports returns to Polk County on Friday for 2018's first Game-of-the-Week featuring Cedartown and Rockmart.

Last year the Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets 34-26 in Cedartown- a game that was also featured on HIGH 5 Sports. This time Rockmart will be the host team in a bitter cross-county rivalry that goes back to 1923 according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

It's been seven years since Rockmart has beaten Cedartown, and the overall series record is 48-21 in favor of the Bulldogs. A record crowd is expected at Rockmart Stadium and principal Robyn Teems told HIGH 5 Sports the atmosphere will be electric.

"The community has done a lot to hype it up," said Teems. "We're holding our annual 'Burning of the Bulldog' bonfire in the park on Thursday, but since the game is now played early in the season it's too hot for a bonfire, so we'll tear apart the (paper mâchè) bulldog like a pinata." 

Teems, like Rockmart Athletic Director Barry Williams, grew up in the area and has spent time working for both schools- a common thread in this rivalry. Williams was the defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs before returning to his alma mater to take over the Jackets' athletic program, which finished third in the Double-A Director's Cup competition in 2017.

"Cedartown's had the edge lately, but we won our region last season under new head coach Biff Parson," Williams told us. "It was the first time that had happened in 29 years."

The AAAA Bulldogs come from a larger classification, but the Rockmart faithful think they'll keep the game close. HIGH 5 Sports will feature the Cedartown-Rockmart rivalry prominently Friday night in the season-opening broadcast at 11 p.m.- Bill Hartman and "Super Blaine" Kummet bring you all the action.

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