Archive for September, 2009

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Players and coaches of the year (so far)

It’s midseason for most teams. It’s premature to conjecture about players of the year. But it’s fun. So let’s do it.

PHOTOS: Vote for which GHSF Daily selections you’d choose in our photo-poll.

Here’s the GHSF Daily’s look at how the awards might fall if they were chosen today:

All-classification player of the year: Blake Sims, Gainesville. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Sports Writers Association select an all-class player of the year, and Sims is the front-runner. Sims, committed to Alabama, is 59-for-95 passing for 895 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he’s rushed for 200 yards (6.25 per carry) and five touchdowns. He has played in the fourth quarter only once, as Gainesville’s closest game has been 42-20. And just as important, Gainesville is ranked No. 1. Anything short of the semifinals would injure Sims’ chances of such a big honor.

Class AAAAA

Offense player of the year: Charles Perkins, Collins Hill. Perkins has rushed for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: The most surprising scores from Week 5

Here are some Week 5 results that the Georgia High School Football Daily staff found of interest:

Marist 32, Tucker 7: The best rivalries are those that are most difficult to predict game to game. The lower-ranked team has won each of the past three meetings. Keys to victory were the play of new starting quarterback Andy Perez and a bunch of long touchdown runs, which was supposed to be Tucker’s calling card. Perez rushed for 108 yards and triggered a wishbone offense that sprung Sam McNearney for TD runs of 81 and 52 yards.

Avondale 14, Blessed Trinity 7: Through 1989, the school’s last winning season, Avondale was a state power. In the past few years, some alumni primarily from the 1960s and 1970s have adopted the modern football program, which was not only losing on the field but had no money to raise itself up. The efforts are beginning to pay off, apparently. This is an upset that no one could fathom in preseason. Blessed Trinity was one of only two teams to come within …

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Griffin takes over No. 1 at AAAA

Griffin is the new No. 1 in Class AAAAA.

Not sure it shouldn’t be Westside, though. That’s a real toss-up. We let Westside jump Southwest DeKalb, so if Griffin slips in its game vs. North Clayton in a couple of weeks, Westside likely would be the team to take Griffin’s place. But I don’t see Griffin losing through the regular season.

Griffin was No. 1 in preseason and for a couple of weeks in 2005. Griffin’s two losses that year were to the AAAA finalists, Northside and Statesboro. The last time Griffin has been ranked No. 1 this late was 1980.

Speaking of Northside, the Eagles have a big game this week vs. Lowndes. I don’t think there’s been a true road team to beat Northside at home since the mid-1990s. I believe it was Peach County in 1996. (I’ll look it up here shortly.)

Meanwhile, Lowndes is crushing its opponents. Lowndes has scored on the first play from scrimmage in three of five games, according to the Valdosta Daily Times. I’m going to ask for a Lowndes volunteer to …

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The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Week Five

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

When you have a child in elementary school, you end up helping with and checking over a lot of math homework. I have to be on my game, because my fourth-grader is doing work that I didn’t have to do until high school.

This week, a lot of kids have missed time at school because of the rain and flooding. So to stay sharp, I’m looking at the picks from a mathematical perspective.

110: OK, so that’s not true mathematically. But it will be true tonight when No. 1-ranked Tucker proves that it’s a little bit better than No. 10 Marist. These teams took their rivalry, the state’s best between a public school and a private school, to new heights last year when they met in the Class AAAA championship game, which Tucker won 15-3. Marist won the regular-season meeting last season; Tucker returns the favor this time around.

7+13+35+12=67: That was West Laurens’ linescore last week in the Raiders’ 67-7 victory against previously unbeaten Telfair County, making them …

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

Appling County at Charlton County
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Indian Field, Folkston
Records, rankings: Appling County is 4-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 2-AA and unranked; Charlton is 3-0-1, 2-0 and No. 10.
Last meeting: Appling County won 14-7 in 2008.
Three things to know:
1. Appling beat Charlton for the first time in five meetings last season, and the two teams shared the region title with McIntosh County Academy. It was Appling’s first region championship since 2000.
2. Appling County is ranked second in Class AA in scoring defense at 2.5 points per game, albeit against opponents whose records together are 3-12.
3. Charlton County’s Tre Hamilton rushed for 311 yards in a 38-36 victory over Pierce County, and Chris Milton was 29-of-44 passing for 392 yards in the 48-48 tie with Columbia of Lake City, Fla.

Bainbridge at Westside (Macon)
When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Bibb County Sports Complex, Macon
Records, rankings: Bainbridge is 4-0 overall, 2-0 in Region 1-AAAA and No. …

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Free-For-All Friday: Georgia high school football Week Five 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 Five of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Whenever possible, 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 Week 5 game? Take the cellphone or PDA and let us know what’s going on. Got a score update, see a killer play or have a shout-out? Keep it clean, POST IT HERE and SEND US GAME PHOTOS.

WEEK 5 SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the Week 5 scores.

ANY FLOOD DAMAGE? Let us know if you, your school or football stadium was affected by this week’s massive rainstorms. And if so, here are some helpful resources for flood assistance or information.

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

Marist vs. Tucker | Photos
North Forsyth vs. Collins Hill | Photos
Grayson vs. Parkview | Photos
Lassiter vs. Wheeler | Photos

Don’t forget to …

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Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings: Little movement as Lowndes, Tucker, Wesleyan stay atop their classes

Here are the Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings, released by the Associated Press, with team, first-place votes in parentheses, record, points in the poll and last week’s ranking:

Class AAAAA
1. Lowndes (9) 4-0 99 1
2. Grayson (1) 4-0 91 2
3. North Gwinnett 4-0 76 3
4. Northside, Warner Robins 3-0 64 5
5. Stephenson 3-0 61 4
6. M.L. King 3-0 49 6
7. Newnan 4-0 42 7
8. McEachern 4-0 29 8
9. Peachtree Ridge 3-1 18 8
10. Camden County 1-2 9 10
Others receiving votes: Lassiter 6, Creekside 3, Warner Robins 1, Woodstock 1, Collins Hill 1

Class AAAA
1. Tucker (8) 4-0 97 1
2. Griffin (2) 4-0 88 2
3. Westside, Macon 4-0 77 3
4. Hillgrove 4-0 71 4
5. Southwest DeKalb 3-1 64 5
6. Bainbridge 4-0 42 6
7. North Clayton 4-0 36 8
8. Sandy Creek 3-1 35 7
9. Apalachee 3-0 15
10. Marist 3-1 7
(tie) Brunswick 2-1 7
Others receiving votes: Statesboro 4, Hardaway 3, Lakeside (Evans) 3, Dalton 1

Class AAA
1. Gainesville (10) 4-0 100 1
2. Peach County 3-0 84 2
3. Carver, Columbus 3-1 75 …

Continue reading Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings: Little movement as Lowndes, Tucker, Wesleyan stay atop their classes »

Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: State’s former prep players populating the college rosters

You like numbers? Stats? Facts? The GHSF Daily staff has them today.

Our friend Steve Slay has researched this fall’s college football rosters and compiled a list of the former Georgia high school players who populate them. We’ve focused on those who play for Division I-A programs and added up which Georgia high schools have the most (and fewest) players in I-A. The reason we didn’t include Division I-AA and small colleges is because that data is harder to find online and not quite complete.

Here are the discoveries that we found most interesting:

* Buford, with 13, has the most alumni on Division I-A rosters. Next are Stephenson and Walton (12 each), Tucker (11) and Peachtree Ridge (10).
* Most surprising with their high numbers of alumni playing I-A are Greater Atlanta Christian (nine, all playing for ACC or SEC schools), Blessed Trinity (eight) and Northview (eight).
* Most surprising with their low numbers are Lowndes (three) and Northside of Warner Robins …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Most improved state and metro teams from 2008 to 2009

It’s almost midseason, enough time to recognize that some teams are much better than they were in 2008. Rather than risk our bias on selecting the most improved teams, the GHSF Daily staff decided to take a scientific approach. We asked Loren Maxwell, who does the Maxwell Computer Ratings, to compare teams from 2008 and 2009 and give us a list of the most improved.

First, a little explanation. We’re going to have two kinds of most-improved. The first is for teams that were below .500 last season. The other is for teams .500 or better. Why? It’s easier to improve on a bad team, and we want to recognize both kinds of improvement.

We’re not giving you the complete computer breakdown, as Maxwell actually quantifies how much better (or worse) each team is. Lowndes, for example, is 8.28 points better than last season.

Congratulations to these teams that appear to be much improved in 2009:

Class AAAAA (.500 or better in 2008)
Roswell
McEachern
Valdosta
Warner Robins
M.L. King

Class …

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Michael Carvell’s Inside High Schools: Football coach of No. 2-ranked Grayson spends rainy day at Walmart

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell

Grayson football coach Mickey Conn prides himself on always being prepared. On Monday morning, he was in an awkward position — he wasn’t sure what to do with his time.

Classes had been canceled because of inclement weather, therefore Grayson’s heralded football team couldn’t practice. The Rams are ranked No. 2 in the state’s largest division (Class AAAAA) and also appear in several national polls.

Conn, like many other metro coaches, works 60-80 hours per week during the season. Mondays are always important, the time to watch film of the opponent and begin to install the game plan. This week’s game is at Parkview.

So what did Conn do with his time? He watched film, of course, in the early morning. Then he called his wife.

“You don’t get many days like this to rest during the season,” Conn said. “I took my family out to eat, and now we’re fixing to run to Wal-Mart … running errands and spending time with my family. I’m just enjoying the break, I reckon.”

Conn …

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Unbeaten, untied, unranked: Where’s Lassiter? Roswell? Hiram?

Before we get to the rankings, which didn’t change a bunch this week, let’s give some credit to those unbeaten teams that aren’t ranked.

In fact, it might be fun if I went out on a line and ranked them:

Class AAAAA: Roswell, Lassiter, Collins Hill, Walton, Creekside, Union Grove

Class AAAA: Hiram, Dutchtown, Lakeside-Evans, Hardaway

Class AAA: Jackson, Grady, Monroe, Mary Persons, Elbert County, Jackson County

Class AA: Blessed Trinity, Swainsboro, Appling County, Chattooga, East Jackson, Benedictine, North Oconee, Berrien

Class A: Greenville, Marion County, Mount Paran

To the real rankings, we jumped McEachern a spot for its fourth straight victory over a 2008 playoff team in AAAAA. Should Peachtree Ridge and Camden County hold on to Top 10 rankings when a half-dozen unbeaten teams are unranked?

Apalachee and Marist joined AAAA in place of Clarke Central and Mount Zion. Will someone bravely post this week that we were right not to rank Mays last week?

In AAA, WaCo jumped a …

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Michael Carvell’s Prep Zone Video Blog: The biggest and baddest football team in metro Atlanta is…?

Chat with the AJC's Michael Carvell

Michael Carvell

Lowndes is the No. 1-ranked team in the state’s largest division (Class AAAAA). But which big metro school is the best?

Grayson is No. 2, and appears in many national polls, along with Lowndes. Grayson got a scare from South Gwinnett in a 27-16 win on Friday. North Gwinnett is probably the next best thing, and not yet is much known about Stephenson or M.L. King.

You could also throw McEachern, Peachtree Ridge, Newnan, Collins Hill and Parkview in the mix. It’s early in the season, and a lot of things are likely to  happen before playoff passes are handed out.

Who is your pick for the metro’s best Class AAAAA team? State your team and your case below.

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Georgia High School Football: Grayson admits it passed tough South Gwinnett ‘test’

Grayson, which is ranked in several national polls and No. 2 in Class AAAAA, survived a major scare on Friday.

The Rams held on to defeat South Gwinnett 27-16 in a battle of unbeaten teams. The game was much closer than the final score indicated.

“Yes, we got tested … would you expect anything else?” Grayson coach Mickey Conn said. “Those guys at South want a region championship just as much as we do.

“I think it’s good when your backs are against the wall near the end of a game and you come away with the win.”

Unranked South Gwinnett (3-1) had the momentum at the start of the fourth quarter. Trailing 20-16 with 11:17 left, quarterback Kent Rollins scrambled and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Chad Ross. The Grayson crowd was silent, but then erupted when it saw a yellow flag on the ground.

The touchdown, which gave South the lead, was nullified because of a holding penalty. It also ended the Comets’ chance for an upset.

“I can’t comment on the penalty, but that was …

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The Georgia High School Football Daily’s Weekend Predictions: Who’s winning and losing in Week Four

By CHIP SAYE
For the AJC

My apologies to Burke County.
Actually, there are 43 teams in the state that I owe an apology, 43 teams that I didn’t believe could win their games last weekend. Sorry, Lakeside-DeKalb. I was wrong, Mays. Those were two of my biggest errors.
But the Burke County pick is the one that sticks with me.
Last week I said “the Bears likely won’t have enough to take down Statesboro.” I took a lot of grief for that, even though I also said, “Burke County has impressed in its first two games.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t think Burke County was good. I just thought Statesboro was better. The Bears proved me wrong 35-17, and now I’m on board. That doesn’t mean I’ll pick them to win every week. The remaining schedule is brutal, but I’ll be picking them a lot more often than not. I know they won’t lose this week – Burke County takes the week off before playing Brunswick on Sept. 25 (sneak preview – I’m going with the Bears).
As for Lovett, it wasn’t so much that I had …

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Free-For-All Forum: Georgia high school football Week Four 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 Four of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. Whenever possible, 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 Week 4 game? Take the cellphone or PDA and let us know what’s going on. Got a score update, see a killer play or have a shout-out? Keep it clean, POST IT HERE and SEND US GAME PHOTOS.

WEEK 4 SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the Week 4 results.

See what AJC high schools beat reporter Michael Carvell says about Friday’s South Gwinnett-Grayson game and who’s looking tough in Class AAAAA around metro Atlanta in his new VIDEO BLOG…

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

South Gwinnett vs. Grayson | Photos
East Paulding vs. McEachern | Photos
Grady vs. Washington | Photos
Lovett vs. Towers | Photos

Don’t forget to check out our …

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