Archive for August, 2009

Fired McNair coach watches Mustangs lose 42-0 in opener

Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell

McNair High School, which fired its football coach two days before the opener, dropped a 42-0 decision to Stephenson on Saturday.

The team’s former coach, Roderick Moore, sat in the crowd at Hallford Stadium and observed McNair’s worst loss to Stephenson since the two DeKalb schools began playing in 1998.

PHOTOS: Take a look at former McNair coach Roderick Moore over the years.

Stephenson, ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAA, led 21-0 after the first quarter over the unranked Mustangs, which are directed by interim coach John April.

“It was painful to watch, and I felt every ounce of the boys’ pain from up there in the stands,” Moore told the AJC on Sunday.

Moore, 40, was abruptly fired last Thursday after four seasons as McNair’s coach by the school’s principal, James Jones over “some issues, some concerns”, according to DeKalb School spokesman Dale Davis.

No further details were provided by the school; Moore said he was initially called to the principal’s office over …

Continue reading Fired McNair coach watches Mustangs lose 42-0 in opener »

Tucker is No. 1 in AAAA; Georgia is No. 1 in GA vs. AL

First full-week observations:

So how does Georgia football compare to that in Alabama? North Gwinnett was impressive in its victory over Prattville. Hold on just a minute … . Nevermind, that was just Sam Gibson being sacked again. Now if Camden County can just whoop Hoover again on Sept. 11, Georgia will turn westward and thump its chest for a good year.

North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire tells me that Peachtree Ridge is the best team in the state. (Of course, you don’t want to say Grayson or Lowndes is the best when P’Ridge is the one in your region, but I think the coach was sincere.). I’d love to see P’Ridge at Lowndes this week. It will be hard not to rank the winner No. 1 next week, especially if it’s decisive.

Southwest DeKalb’s Buck Godfrey says he still thinks SWD will win state. He told Chip Towers that after SWD’s loss to MLK. Remember that MLK is a Class AAAAA team, and SWD’s quarterback went down on the first play. If it were me, I’d still guess SWD or Griffin …

Continue reading Tucker is No. 1 in AAAA; Georgia is No. 1 in GA vs. AL »

Free-For-All Friday: Georgia high school football Week One scores, updates, photos and chat – LIVE!

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Chat live on Fridays with the AJC's Michael Carvell

It’s Week One of FRIDAY NIGHT HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Whenever possible on Friday nights, AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell will try to blog live and take your questions about high school football and related topics.

We are here to talk football, football and more football. Going to a game? Take the cellphone or PDA and let us know what’s going on at YOUR game. Got a score update, see a killer play or have a shout-out? Keep it clean and POST IT HERE. And SEND US YOUR GAME PHOTOS.

Here are the Week One games you can find stories and photos from on ajc.com…

Photos: M.L. King vs. Southwest DeKalb | Game story
Photos: Peachtree Ridge vs. Harrison | Game story
Photos: St. Pius vs. Marist | Game story
Photos:Collins Hill at Parkview | Game story | Feature: Parkview’s glory years past

And look for these Week One game stories on ajc.com…

Lovett vs. Woodward
Riverdale vs. North Clayton

SURPRISE! Extra game / fan photos …

Continue reading Free-For-All Friday: Georgia high school football Week One scores, updates, photos and chat – LIVE! »

McNair fires football coach two days before opener

Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell

McNair High School fired its football coach two days before the team’s season opener.

Roderick Moore, coach of the Mustangs for the last four years, said he was informed of his termination by McNair principal James Jones on Thursday.

“[Jones] said he wanted to ‘move in another direction,’” Moore told the AJC. “I was disappointed. I told him I felt like it was not a wise decision, considering the boys.

“The kids are the most important thing. We’re here for the kids, not because of personal things between adults. It’s about the children, and I think along the way, that message got lost in this situation.”

Roderick Moore (AJC)

Roderick Moore had three playoff appearances in four years and helped place nearly 60 McNair players in college. (AJC)

Jones and DeKalb County athletics director Ron Sebree declined to comment on Moore’s removal, referring all inquiries to county spokesperson Dale Davis.

“There were some issues, some concerns that led to the decision,” Davis said, declining to …

Continue reading McNair fires football coach two days before opener »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Week One’s 10 Best Matchups

Clinch County at Charlton County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, at Indian Field (The Swamp), Folkston
Records, rankings: Clinch County (9-3 in 2008) is No. 3 in Class A; Charlton County (9-2 in 2008) is unranked in AA.
Last meeting: Charlton County won 28-7 last season.
Three things to know:
1. Charlton has won six straight in the series, called the Swamp War, and leads 24-22-1.
2. Charlton County returns only eight starters from a team that failed to get out of the first round for the first time since 1994.
3. Clinch County brings back an all-state candidate at quarterback in Vintavious Cooper, a 1,000-yard rusher in Anthony McNeil (1,169 yards rushing) and the team’s two leading tacklers, LB Zack Thomas and LB Trey Richardson.

Dalton at Calhoun
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Phil Reeve Stadium, Calhoun
Records, rankings: Dalton (7-3 in 2008) is unranked in Class AAAA; Calhoun (12-3) is No. 2 in Class AA.
Last meeting: Dalton won 30-7 in 2008.
Three things to know:
1. …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Week One’s 10 Best Matchups »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Inside the Super 11

Stephenson defensive tackle Michael Thornton tells the AJC’s Chip Towers that he’s miffed at his snub from the GHSF Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Super 11 team. “It kind of ticks me off a little bit, yeah,” Thornton says in Towers’ AJC blog. “I felt I deserved to be in there.”

Our response: We don’t blame him. Picking a Super 11 or an all-state team accurately is almost impossible because it’s subjective, and no one has the time or resources to analyze every candidate fairly. For the 2009 GHSF Daily Super 11 team, we considered the recruit’s high school production and his projected abilities at the next level. If it were simply college potential, we’d just tally the opinions of the recruiting services (which we’ve done below) and be done with it. But we don’t want to choose players who are just OK so far in high school but who have tested off the charts in summer camps and combines.

Below, we look at the top 40 recruits in Georgia based on a consensus of Rivals (R), …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Inside the Super 11 »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Teams on the rise and those falling off in 2009

Who’s up? Who’s down? Which teams do you feel are going to be up this year? Which ones are going to be down?

The GHSF Daily staff has come up with our list for each. We’ve got no explanation for it, just our gut feel. It was chosen mostly among teams that have been pretty good in the past. We’d love to hear your list.

UP
Brookstone
Carrollton
Clinch County
Grady
Hart County
Hillgrove
McEachern
Peach County
Roswell
Washington County

DOWN
Coffee
Dublin
Dunwoody
Eastside
ECI
Harrison
Milton
Ridgeland
Rome
Villa Rica

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Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Teams on the rise and those falling off in 2009 »

Poll Talk: MLK to test Southwest DeKalb’s No. 1 ranking

Grayson had something to prove with its No. 2 ranking (and even a No. 5 ranking in one national poll) against defending Class AAAAA champ Camden County. Grayson did pretty well, winning 14-10. Linebacker Terry Williams looked like the best player on the field, but I don’t want to digress.

Now, it’s Southwest DeKalb’s turn to validate its ranking. SWD is No. 1 in AAAA, and its opponent this week is M.L. King, the No. 8 team in AAAAA. Should be a great game just to watch the running backs – SWD’s Ken Malcome and MLK’s Mack King.

Here are some questions for you:

Should Grayson be No. 1? The Rams beat Lowndes (our No. 1) last season, and they just beat the champs.

Of course, Peachtree Ridge beat Grayson last year. Should P’Ridge be No. 1?

Did anyone notice that Cobb County was 2-0 in the Corky Kell Classic? Walton and McEachern each were underdogs.

Class AAAAA

1. Lowndes (0-0)
Next: Friday vs. Woodland, Stockbridge
2. Grayson (1-0)
Next: Sept. 4 vs. Warner Robins

Continue reading Poll Talk: MLK to test Southwest DeKalb’s No. 1 ranking »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Predicting the 2009 Class AAAAA State Playoffs

Below are GHSF Daily’s projections for the 2009 postseason. Team’s ranking is indicated.

Observations:
The bottom quarter of the draw is the weakest. The winner of Region 2-AAAAA or 6-AAAAA or a sleeper team (GHSF Daily likes Creekside in that role) could be in good shape to roll into the semifinals.

If Grayson can win Region 8-AAAAA, that’s a good quarter of the draw to be in.
The winners of Region 1 and Region 7 will meet in the quarterfinals. Will that be Lowndes and Peachtree Ridge? GHSF Daily might cover the tossing of that coin to determine which has home-field advantage. That could be big.

FIRST ROUND
#4 Camden County over Luella
#7 Northside (Warner Robins) over Westlake
#9 Etowah over South Gwinnett
#6 North Gwinnett over Lassiter
#10 Newnan over Tift County
#8 M.L. King over Johnson (Savannah)
#2 Grayson over Woodstock
Norcross over Roswell
#3 Peachtree Ridge over Walton
East Paulding over Parkview
#1 Lowndes over East Coweta
Union Grove over Bradwell …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Predicting the 2009 Class AAAAA State Playoffs »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Cairo No. 5 on Ga. Sports Writers Association rankings

Four defending champions are ranked No. 1 in the Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings released Wednesday night by the Associated Press.

The only 2008 champion that is not No. 1 is Cairo in Class AAA. The sports writers have Carver of Columbus on top (matching the GHSF Daily/AJC rankings. Cairo is tied for No. 5 with LaGrange.

The other No. 1 teams are Camden County (AAAAA), Tucker (AAAA), Buford (AA) and Wesleyan (A).

Class AAAAA
1. Camden County (2) 44
2. Peachtree Ridge (1) 42
3. Lowndes (1) 41
4. Grayson (1) 35
5. Northside (Warner Robins) 25
6. Newnan 18
T7. North Gwinnett 16
T7. Stephenson 16
T9. Lassiter 7
T9. Woodstock 7
Others receiving votes: M.L. King 6, Norcross 6, Etowah 3, Kell 3, Harrison 2, Collins Hill 2, Union Grove 1, Warner Robins 1,

Class AAAA
1. Tucker (3) 47
2. Southwest Dekalb (1) 39
3. Rome 37
4. Marist 31
5. Griffin (1) 27
6. Sandy Creek 21
7. Westside (Macon) 20
8. Statesboro 14
9. Hillgrove 11
10. Brunswick 8
Others receiving votes: Thomas …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Cairo No. 5 on Ga. Sports Writers Association rankings »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Impact players who have transferred for the 2009 season

Talk of transfers is more prevalent in high school basketball, but impact players make moves in football, too. The Georgia High School Football Daily staff has compiled a list of 10 of the better players who have transferred for the 2009 season. Did we miss anybody?

Milton Artis, Westlake: A quarterback, Artis led North Clayton to the Region 4-AAAA title in 2008. Now he’s playing for a contender full of talent in 4-AAAAA.

Steven Atwater, Peachtree Ridge: Atwater, the son of the former Denver Broncos safety of the same name, left Greater Atlanta Christian. He’s a Division I-A prospect with at least one offer from an SEC school. Atwater Jr. is more of a cornerback.

Tanner Burch, Savannah Christian: Burch was a first-team all-Savannah-area linebacker at South Effingham in Region 2-AAAA. Savannah Christian is a top 10 team in Class A.

Daunte Carr, Gainesville: Carr, one of the top-rated safeties in the class of 2010, left Buford for Gainesville. He has committed to Stanford. …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Impact players who have transferred for the 2009 season »

Poll Talk: Lowndes, SWD, Carver, Buford, Wesleyan are No. 1

Rankings don’t mean anything in high school football, but until toe meets leather for the first time this season Friday, it’s all we’ve got. So have at it with these.

Some think the defending champs should start No. 1, but I figure we’re ranking 2009, not 2008, so three state champs with heavy graduation losses — Camden County, Tucker and Cairo — won’t start in first place.

But I do think all three will be very good by the end of the season.

Lowndes (AAAAA) and Carver of Columbus (AAA) are safe choices, but I’m sure picking of Southwest DeKalb will cause some skepticism. But SWD was a Top 10 team last season that returns more marquee players than any other in AAAAA.

Todd Holcomb is co-publisher of Georgia High School Football Daily, a free email newsletter. To join the mailing list, go here.

Class AAAAA

Lowndes

Grayson

Peachtree Ridge

Camden County

Stephenson

North Gwinnett

Northside-Warner Robins

M.L. King

Etowah

Newnan

Class AAAA

Southwest DeKalb

Continue reading Poll Talk: Lowndes, SWD, Carver, Buford, Wesleyan are No. 1 »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: The GHSF Daily chooses its Class AAAAA Super 11

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in partnership with Georgia High School Football Daily, will release its 25th Super 11 team, a preseason list of Georgia’s 11 best senior football players.

This week, GHSF Daily has been selecting its Super 11 for each classification. Today we conclude with Class AAAAA. (Note: These selections are not the AJC’s.)

Remember that these are seniors only:

RB Mack Brown, M.L. King: The state’s best running back, according to most observers. Brown, who has committed to Florida, rushed for more than 1,600 yards in 11 games last season. He’s real fast.

OL/DL Ed Christian, Lowndes: Christian made GHSF Daily’s list of the best five offensive linemen in Georgia. That was before Lowndes coach Randy McPherson told us he was moving Christian to defense. Christian, who has committed to Florida State, is a three-year starter for a team that’s won a few games in that time.

QB Hutson Mason, Lassiter: Mason threw for 3,705 yards in 12 games last …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: The GHSF Daily chooses its Class AAAAA Super 11 »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: The GHSF Daily chooses its Class AAAA Super 11

On Sunday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in partnership with Georgia High School Football Daily, will release its 25th Super 11 team, a preseason list of Georgia’s 11 best senior football players.

This week, GHSF Daily will select its Super 11 for each classification. Today, it is Class AAAA. (Note: These selections are not the AJC’s.)

Remember that these are seniors only:

DB Ryan Ayers, South Paulding: Ayers is a two-way player who had 16 receptions and four interceptions in 2008. He runs the 40 in 4.34 seconds. Ayers has committed to Georgia Tech.

T Morgan Bailey, Loganville: Bailey averaged three pancakes and five knockdowns per game last season. He has committed to Georgia Tech.

QB/DB Synjyn Days, Hillgrove: Days was not GHSF Daily’s choice as preseason all-state at quarterback in Class AAAA. That spot went to Hardaway’s Marcus Smith. But Days is the better all-around player. He rushed for 1,037 yards, passed for 398 and returned kicks and played free safety. He’s …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: The GHSF Daily chooses its Class AAAA Super 11 »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: A look at the state’s top kickers and punters

As part of an ongoing series, GHSF Daily has been listing the best five players in Georgia at the following positions – quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebacker, defensive back and kicker/punter.

Today, we finish up with kickers and punters. In making these choices, we value a history of production over potential (listed in alphabetical order).

NOTE: These picks are made by GHSF Daily, not by the AJC or its staff.

Austin Breed, Dunwoody: Breed was the first team all-state kicker in Class AAA after making all 13 of his field goal attempts in 2008.

Conner Hawk, Norcross: Gwinnett’s best all-around kicker last year, Hawk made 14 of 19 field goals and averaged 38.8 yards per punt.

Richie Leone, Roswell: Leone averaged 42.2 yards per punt, made seven of 11 field goals and put 28 of 35 kickoffs in the end zone in 2008. He has committed to Houston.

Joe Mansour, LaGrange: Mansour, who has committed to Kentucky, averaged 41.0 yards per punt …

Continue reading Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: A look at the state’s top kickers and punters »