Archive for January, 2010

Collins Hill senior runs away with Gatorade award

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Collins Hill senior Nicky Akande has been named Gatorade’s Girls Cross Country of the Year for Georgia.
Akande ran 17:55.01 to place first at the Class AAAAA championship meet in Carrollton on Nov. 7, while helping Collins Hill finish second in the team category behind rival North Gwinnett. She also placed fifth in the Nike Southeast Regionals.
“Nicky demonstrated the ability to win with a variety of strategies,” Collins Hill coach Andrew Hudson said. “She could run hard from the starting gun, or sit in a pack and finish strong. She was adaptable with a wide range of competitive skills.”
Akande is the second Gatorade winner from Collins Hill, following in the footsteps of Amana Winslow from the 2008-09 season.
Congrats to Nicky. What are your thoughts on Gatorade’s choice? Who were some others deserving consideration? Please post it below.

Collins Hill senior Nicky Akande has been named Gatorade’s Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year for Georgia.

Akande …

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Maybe we’ll find out which high school basketball teams are in the best shape?

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Happy 2010 from the AJC's Michael Carvell

Let the games go on.

At least two high school basketball games, postponed from last week because of icy conditions, will be played tonight:

It’s North Springs at Stone Mountain, and St. Pius at Lakeside.

What about other games? The highly-anticipated showdown between the No. 1-ranked Milton boys and No. 3 Centennial (also delayed from last week) will likely be played on Sat., Feb. 6.

What is the Big Picture with all of this? It is going to force a few teams, who already have Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays booked for the rest of the season, to play on a Monday or Wednesday. On the surface, it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, and surely kids would want to play in games rather than go through practices every day of the week. Who wouldn’t?

However, where this is “kind of a big deal” is here: Many of the remaining games for all teams are region games, which affect the chase for the playoffs. You have to wonder if a team that plays …

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GHSA votes for return to two-year reclassification cycle

Georgia’s high schools will go through reclassification every two years, as opposed to a four-year-cycle, after a vote by the Georgia High School Association’s Executive Committee on Tuesday.
“Everybody saw that it was needed,” the GHSA’s Ralph Swearngin said. “Obviously, two years is what everybody is used to doing. It had a lot of support after we explained the factors, including the start of so many new schools, and superintendents trying to balance the student population in their attendence zones.
“The bottom line is that we can’t guess what is going to happen four years down the road. That’s too long.”
The GHSA also did the following:
X Approved the region and classification realignments for the next two school years.
X Upheld the appeal of Glascock County, which has been moved from Region 7-B to 7-A.
X Approved GHSA’s plans to amend the playoff brackets in Regions 5-8 in Class A for softball, baseball, basketball, and tennis.Georgia’s high schools will go through …

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GHSA Executive Committee pulls out the ballots

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Happy 2010 from the AJC's Michael Carvell

Did you vote today?

That’s the question for members of the GHSA’s Executive Committee, who will punch ballots on several proposals, most notably to confirm the new region alignments for next year.

We can only say next year, or maybe the next two years, because another proposal that goes to vote is switching the next reclassification from four years back to the good ol’ two years.

Here’s a look at the latest region standings for 2010-2011. Click on the link, and let us know what you think.

Now it’s your turn to vote: Which region do you think will be the strongest in football and basketball in each classification?

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GHSA adjusts basketball rules due to weather conditions

The state’s high school basketball teams caught a break on Monday from the Georgia High School Association.
Due to the large number of postponed games due to icy conditions last weekend, the sport’s governing body has waived the rule specifying that only one game may be played on a school night each week. It’s an effort to keep on pace for the first round of the playoffs, which are scheduled for Feb. 26-27.
“At this late stage in the game, many schools are already have just about every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday booked up, and most are region games,” GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said.
Several metro counties postponed athletic events last Friday and Saturday, while Swearngin said that some other schools along the state’s northern border are contemplating moving back basketball games scheduled for Tuesday, also due to icy conditions.
However, the temporary change of the rule comes with exception: The schools still have to abide to the “100 mile rule,” meaning they …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Eric Berry leads All-Class All-Decade Team

Eric Berry, a star quarterback and defensive back for Creekside High in Fairburn, went on to become a two-time consensus All-American at Tennessee and might be the No. 1 player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Zeb McKinzey, a tackle from Parkview who in 2002 became the only lineman ever to be named Georgia’s all-classification player of the year, had an uneventful career at the University of Georgia that was ended by injuries.

Jeff Francoeur, McKinzey’s teammate during Parkview’s state-record 46-game winning streak of the early 2000s, didn’t play college football. He became a Major Leaguer with the Braves and Mets.

Georgia High School Football Daily’s all-classification all-decade team contains them all.

The choices were difficult, especially when weighing high school success with how the players performed at the next levels. Calvin Johnson was an all-state wide receiver at Sandy Creek before becoming an All-American at Georgia Tech and eventually the No. 2 overall pick in the …

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Colleges raid Georgia’s high schools for football talent

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Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin isn’t the only coach who has declared a recruiting war in Georgia.

The state produces more than 200 major-college prospects on an annual basis, with every BCS conference represented.

Georgia and Georgia Tech can’t sign them all, and even if they wanted to, they couldn’t, because of well-established pipelines from colleges in neighboring states.

Three starters from Alabama’s newly crowned BCS championship team hail from Georgia.

What’s so appealing about Peach State players to the out-of-state schools? Many things, including the state’s caliber of high school football, the cluster of teams within an hour’s drive of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and a quick glance at NFL rosters.

“The biggest thing I hear about kids in Georgia is that they are well-coached, ” said Scout.com’s Chad Simmons. “I see that with my own two eyes and hear it not only from coaches in the South but across the country.

“College …

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Top Georgia teams head out of state

Not many changes in the rankings this week, partly due to weather-related postponements. Milton solidified itself as No. 1 in boys AAAAA with an easy win over Walton despite missing Julian Royal. Good to hear Ryan Harrow was OK after collapsing from dehydration last week.

This week should be fun for those who follow Georgia’s more elite programs.

Milton is traveling to Springfield, Mo., and will play Missouri’s defending Class AAAAA champion, Chaminade of St. Louis, on Thursday. That’s part of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions three-day tournament. Hope Royal will be back. The game will feature four of the top 30 juniors in the country (according to one recruiting service).

Centennial, Wheeler and Miller Grove are playing in Ohio next weekend through MLK Day.

There’s a big girls event Saturday at GAC. Buford plays SWD, and Parkview plays GAC. Wesleyan is playing a South Carolina team.

I like the games vs. out-of-state teams, but is there a downside to this? Does this …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: All-Decade Team: Class AAAAA

We conclude our all-decade teams today with Class AAAAA. It would be interesting to see how this group compares with other states around the country.

Our player of the decade is Greg Reid. He’s the only player to make first-team all-state three times in the decade. He also was a Parade All-American who won a state title and was the MVP of two postseason all-star games, including a national one.

Here are the GHSF Daily’s picks for Class AAAA all-decade team. Please submit your own selections below. Or tell us what you think of the GHSF Daily picks. (The year in parentheses is the last season played by each player.)

Player of the decade: Greg Reid, Lowndes
Coach of the decade: Jeff Herron, Camden County
Team of the decade: 2002 Parkview
Program of the decade: Camden County

Offense

QB – Hutson Mason, Lassiter (2009)
AP all-class player of the year; state-record 4,560 yards passing
RB – James Davis, Douglass (2004)
2004 AP offensive player of the year; all-SEC at Clemson; NFL
RB – …

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Former Braves prospect has no hard feelings against hometown team

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Happy 2010 from the AJC's Michael Carvell

Tyler Flowers says he has no hard feelings against the Braves.

Flowers, who had his No. 21 baseball jersey retired by Blessed Trinity this week, made his major-league debut with the Chicago White Sox last September.

He was drafted by the hometown (and his beloved) Braves in 2005 and considered one of the organization’s most promising players before being traded to Chicago as part of the deal for Javier Vazquez just over a year ago.

“Being born and raised in the Atlanta area, I was just like every other kid who wanted to play for the hometown team, whether it be baseball, football or even hockey,” Flowers said.

“It was a dream of mine to play for the Braves. It was also a dream to play for the Falcons. But you never know what life has in store for you. Ultimately, (the trade) was a great move for my career.”

However, Flowers admitted that it took a little time to adjust to the shock of the trade.

“It was tough at first. Being a …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Sophomore All-American team candidates

MaxPreps gave us a call on Wednesday asking about sophomores that we might tout for their Sophomore All-American team. Below are 15 names we sent. If you think there are others deserving of recognition, let us know and we’ll pass it along.

RB Tre Beck, Dalton: Rushed for 1,310 yards and 13 touchdowns on 144 carries.

WR Donovan Bolden, Charlton County: Caught 43 passes for 637 yards and seven touchdowns. Also a top defensive back.

DL Leonard Floyd, Dodge County: Touted for all-state, expected to be a top recruit.

PK Adam Griffith, Calhoun: Made 9 of 15 field-goal attempts for state runner-up.

RB Tre Hamilton, Charlton County: Rushed for 1,281 yards and 12 touchdowns on 188 carries for an 11-1-1 team.

LB Mike Hilton, Sandy Creek: Made 89 tackles, 15 for losses, for state championship team.

DL Jordan Jenkins, Harris County: Made 73 tackles and had 8.5 sacks.

RB Shaqeal McAfee, Sonoraville: Had 1,057 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He’s his school’s first 1,000-yard rusher.

DB …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: All-Decade Team: Class AAAA

We’re up to Class AAAA in our rundown of the all-decade teams.

There were lots of future NFL players here. The best players we didn’t recognize are probably Adam “Pacman” Jones and Asher Allen. Jones, the NFL bad boy from Westlake, didn’t have quite the high school career of some of the defensive backs we selected, and Allen, from Tucker, was injured as a senior.

One interesting note: Three former AAAA defensive backs might apply for the NFL draft this year in Reshad Jones of Washington, Morgan Burnett of North Clayton and Eric Berry of Creekside. Berry, who might be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is our choice as AAAA player of the decade, although Northside’s Marques Ivory – who led his school to a pair of state titles – was very tempting.

Here are the GHSF Daily’s picks for Class AAAA all-decade team. Please submit your own selections below. Or tell us what you think of the GHSF Daily picks. (The year in parentheses is the last season played by each …

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Every day is blessing for West Forsyth football player with cancer

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Happy 2010 from the AJC's Michael Carvell

For many of us, the holidays and New Year’s are one of the few times that we pause for a moment to reflect on the year gone by.

For others, every day counts as a blessing.

West Forsyth football player Trey Rood is battling life-threatening cancer (Stage IV metastatic melanoma). This week, Rood is on a family ski trip in Breckenridge, Colo., granted by the “Make A Wish” Children’s Foundation. You can keep up with Rood’s progress at PrayForTrey.org.

How is Trey? “He is still doing well,” said his mother, Cherie Rood. “We know the tumor in his left lung is still there, although we go back for another PetScan on Jan. 19 in hopes we’ll see it shrinking. So basically we’re at an unchanged status, but that could be progress or success when the cancer is not growing or spreading either.”

One of Rood’s passions is football. Once upon a time, he had dreams to play for the University of Georgia. The 6-foot-3,  180-pounder was getting some looks …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: All-Decade Team: Class AAA

We resume our look at all-decade teams today with Class AAA. You’d think we really love LaGrange, Carver and Dublin by the looks of this. Banneker and Gainesville, too. That’s just the way it worked out.

Here are the GHSF Daily’s picks for Class AAA all-decade team. Please submit your own selections below. Or tell us what you think of the GHSF Daily picks. (The year in parentheses is the last season played by each player.)

Player of the decade: Tray Blackmon, LaGrange
Coach of the decade: Steve Pardue, LaGrange
Team of the decade: 2004 LaGrange
Program of the decade: LaGrange

Offense

QB – Blake Sims, Gainesville (2009)
Two-time AP offensive player of the year; 4,500+ yards passing; Alabama
RB – Brandon Andrews, Swainsboro (2000)
Rushed for 2,814 yards on state championship team; Georgia Southern
RB – Tauren Poole, Stephens County (2008)
2007 GACA offensive player of year; 5,000+ career rushing yards; Tennessee
WR – Chris Slaughter, Peach County (2005)
More than 1,000 yards …

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Northside-Warner Robins’ Nix retiring after 41 high school football seasons

Legendary Northside-Warner Robins coach Conrad Nix announced his retirement Tuesday, closing out a 41-season career that spanned two states, the GHSF Daily reports. He exits with 300 wins and Class AAAA championships at Northside of Warner Robins in 2006 and 2007.

YOU TELL US: How will Northside’s football program be affected by Nix’s retirement? And share your favorite Northside/Coach Nix memories.

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