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Norcross-North Gwinnett: A Game of Political Football For Two Mayors

Norcross and Suwanee mayors make a wager on the state title game.

Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson is betting on the Blue Devils to with the State Championship on Saturday. Photo: Steve Burns
Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson is betting on the Blue Devils to with the State Championship on Saturday. Photo: Steve Burns
By Steve Burns

Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson and Swuanee Mayor Jimmy Burnett find themselves deeply divided on a hot Gwinnett issue -- the North Gwinnett-Norcross game Saturday (Dec. 14).

In fact, they are putting their loyalties to the ultimate test. The two mayors have made a friendly wager on the Class 6A title game, which will take place at the Georgia Dome at 8:30 p.m.

If Norcross wins, Burnette will have to display Norcross' "A Place To Imagine" on the front of his vehicle.

If North Gwinnett wins, Johnson will have to affix Suwanee's new logo to the front of his vehicle.

"We’re imagining the Blue Devils bringing home another state championship trophy to Norcross,” says Johnson.

North Gwinnett losing is "not an option," Burnette said Thursday at a Friends of Suwanee luncheon at City Hall.

Burnette is a North Gwinnett graduate who remembers when the Bulldogs were not the power they have become under coach Bob Sphire.

"We played in so many homecoming games, I think we set a record," Burnette recalled.

Another attendee at the luncheon has torn loyalties -- new North Gwinnett High Principal Nathan Ballentine. He spent 13 years at Norcross before taking over North Gwinnett in November.

"I grew up with those (Norcross) coaches," Ballentine said at the luncheon, but he added that he's siding with the Bulldogs for this game.

One thing’s for sure, the next AAAAAA state football champs will be from Gwinnett County. But will it be the Norcross Blue Devils or the North Gwinnett Bulldogs?

Who's your pick to win, the Blue Devils or the Bulldogs? 

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