Archive for March, 2010

Let the mythical national championship talk begin for Milton and its boatload of major-college prospects

Now that talent-loaded Milton has a state championship on its shelf, let’s ask mastermind coach David Boyd the BIG question:

All 14 Milton players will return for 2009-2010 season (AJC photo)

All 14 Milton players will return for 2010-2011 season (AJC photo)

With all 14 players on the roster returning for next year, including a starting lineup of major-college prospects … Can Milton win a mythical national championship next year?

Boyd talked a little bit about it earlier this season, and it backfired on the team. But it will be an inevitable topic of discussion for next year. Milton will square off against some of the best teams in Georgia and the USA next year.

Will Milton contend for next year’s mythical national championship in high school basketball?

  • Yes. How can they NOT with that roster?
  • No way, are you kidding me?
  • GAC will be Georgia’s best team next year, not Milton

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Coach? “I think we will have as good a chance as ever to go for …

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Former UGA and NFL RB Robert Edwards offers his opinions of the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs, including the RBs (Updated)

Former UGA and NFL running back Robert Edwards is the new head football coach at Arlington Christian, a private school located in Fairburn. It is the first coaching job for Edwards, 35, who was picked in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.

Edwards blew out his knee in the NFL All-Rookie Flag Football game before the Pro Bowl, and didn’t play again until the 2003 season with the Miami Dolphins. Edwards played three seasons in the CFL before retiring in 2007.

former UGA RB Robert Edwards scored five touchdowns in a game vs. South Carolina (Photo courtesy of Arlington Christian)

Former UGA RB Robert Edwards scored five touchdowns in a game vs. South Carolina (Photo courtesy of Arlington Christian)

Q. What made you want to coach?

A. I wanted be around kids. I wanted to be around the game because I’ve been around football my whole life. I pursued the avenue of trying to coach college ball. But with no experience, that was difficult … I thought it was going to be as an assistant, but (the principal) asked me to be the head coach. I told him to “let me think …

Continue reading Former UGA and NFL RB Robert Edwards offers his opinions of the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs, including the RBs (Updated) »

All-State Basketball Teams: Which picks do you like? What would you change? Voice Y-O-U-R opinion

Thanks to GHSD for selecting the AJC’s 2010 All-State basketball team. Now it’s YOUR turn to VOICE your OPINION. Which picks do you like? Which ones would you change?

Note: We have one request. Please state your case in a reasonable and professional manner. Feel free to offer your evaluation of ANY player in the state, as long as you talk about the player’s performance on the basketball court. No personal attacks away from the court. This discussion is supposed to be productive and fun, therefore let’s keep it that way. Anyone making inappropriate comments will be banned.

Now let the debate begin …

Class AAAAA
• Player of the year: Trae Golden, McEachern
• Coach of the year: David Boyd, Milton
First team
• G Trae Golden McEachern 6-3 Sr.
• G Ryan Harrow Walton 6-0 Sr.
• G Jeremy Lamb Norcross 6-4 Sr.
• F Julian Royal Milton 6-8 Jr.
• F Marcus Thornton Westlake 6-9 Sr.
Second team
• G Derrick Henry Newton 6-2 Jr.
• G Jelan Kendrick Wheeler 6-6 Sr.
• G Jay …

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Memphis-bound basketball star talks about being Georgia’s lone representative in All-America game (UPDATED)

Jelan Kendrick is Georgia’s lone representative in the McDonald’s All-America basketball game on Wednesday. The 6-foot-7 Kendrick, who has signed with Memphis, began his illustrious prep career at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, played at Westlake High as a junior, and finished out this past season at Wheeler High.

Q. What are your realistic goals for Wednesday’s game?

A. It’s a great accomplishment to be the only player from Georgia to make it, and to represent the state I love so much … No. 1, I want my team to win. Who wouldn’t want to break a record in the McDonald’s All-America game? You know, to let everybody know you are a great player and deserved to be in the game. Why not?

Jalen Kendrick addresses misconceptions (AJC file)

Jalen Kendrick addresses misconceptions (AJC file)

Q. How did you feel about your senior year at Wheeler?

A. It wasn’t what I was used to, so I had to adjust. It didn’t work out as I had thought at the end (with winning a state championship), but it was a great learning experience. It …

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Whatever happened to former North Springs basketball standout Rico Sanders?

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Rico Sanders was one of the state’s top high school basketball talents last year, earning All-State honorable mention honors at North Springs.

Whatever happened to Sanders?

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound guard is at Alabama Southern Junior College, and averaging nearly 27 points per game. Sanders was named NJCAA National Player of the Week earlier this season after finished with 40 points, six rebounds and four assists in a win over Gadsen State.

Sanders is getting looks from UGA, South Alabama, UNLV, Missouri, Sam Houston State, and Middle Tennessee State, among others, according to his high school coach, Ryan Koudele.

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Hines Ward, Champ Bailey, Jon Stinchcomb and other ex-UGA football stars in Friday’s celebrity basketball game

Former UGA and NFL RB Robert Edwards is the new coach at Fairburn's Arlington Christian (Photo courtesy of Arlington Christian)

Former UGA and NFL RB Robert Edwards is the new coach at Fairburn's Arlington Christian (Photo courtesy of Arlington Christian)

Former UGA and NFL running back Robert Edwards needed a little help from his friends.

Edwards is the first-year head football coach at Arlington Christian, a GISA school located in Fairburn. (Click for directions)

Champ Bailey, Hines Ward and Jon Stinchcomb (member of the reigning Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints) are among the former UGA and NFL standouts scheduled to participate in the celebrity basketball game at 7 p.m. Friday at Arlington’s gym. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, with the doors opening at 6. Other celebrity team members expected to play include D.J. Shockley, Boss Bailey, Teresa Edwards and Chamique Holdsclaw, among others.

Autographed jerseys will be raffled at halftime. The event is being held to raise money for Arlington’s football program.

“The football field needs repairing,” Edwards told the AJC. “It …

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Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall compared to Charlie Ward, former NBA player and 1993 Heisman Trophy winner

The AJC will announce its All-State basketball teams on Sunday.

Anytime you talk about the best players in Georgia, Wilcox County superhero Nick Marshall has to be mentioned.

Everyone knows about the Nick the football player, who won Class A Player of the Year honors while leading Wilcox to the state championship.

Wilcox.Ftb.NickMarshall

Will next year be the last year that we'll see Nick Marshall (blue jersey) play football? He might be better in basketball (AJC file)

However, Nick first made a name for himself in basketball after leading his high school to the 2009 semifinals. He played AAU basketball last summer with the Georgia Blazers out of Columbus, earning his first college scholarship offers — again, in basketball.

What did Nick do this year in basketball? The 6-foot-3 junior guard led Wilcox again to the semifinals, averaging 27.5 points, including a 52-point performance in the playoff opener against Montgomery County.

“I’d say Nick is one of the best I’ve seen in high school basketball, …

Continue reading Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall compared to Charlie Ward, former NBA player and 1993 Heisman Trophy winner »

Milton High basketball star is topic of discussion in NBA locker room

You’re a pretty big deal if you’re in high school and NBA players know about you.

Milton High’s Shannon Scott is a pretty big deal. The reigning state champions in basketball were invited to attend the Atlanta Hawks’ practice session last Sunday morning. A few of the Hawks knew about Scott.

It wasn’t because he is one of the nation’s best point guards, committing early to Ohio State.

It wasn’t because his father is Charlie Scott, a former five-time NBA All-Star.

Milton.basketball.ShannonScott

Milton junior PG Shannon Scott (AJC photo)

Nope, Scott got NBA-level props because of his infamous celebration after Milton’s win over Westlake in the Class AAAAA finals.

“Some of the guys started asking ‘Where’s the guy who slipped and fell?’” Milton coach David Boyd said. “They had seen it on YouTube or TV and thought it was funny.”

Scott said Josh Smith playfully nudged him in the head and asked “How’s your head feeling? What happened?” They shared a laugh together.

In the post-game celebration, Scott ran and …

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Collins Hill ranked No. 1 by two national polls for high school soccer (Updated)

Josh

Josh Fancher (left) is scheduled to undergo a medical procedure on his heart (AJC Photo by Hyosub Shin)

For a soccer team ranked No. 1 in the nation, this season couldn’t have started off worse for Collins Hill.

Minutes before the opener, Collins Hill lost its back-up goalkeeper in a freak injury in warm-ups. During the game, the No. 1 goalie broke his leg, while a top defender collapsed with a heart problem called “Wolff-Parkinson-White” syndrome.

“It was any coach’s worst nightmare,” Collins Hill coach Drew Prentice said. “It got to point where it was like, ‘OK, what’s going to happen next?’”

Fortunately, ambulance sirens haven’t been heard at any other games, and all players are expected to make full recoveries. The Gwinnett powerhouse is off to an 8-0 start, while shuffling around personnel to fend off a few upset bids.

The Eagles have also ascended to the No. 1 spot in two national polls for high school soccer — ESPN The Rise and the National …

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Norcross first-year standout picked as Parade Magazine All-American as freshman (Updated)

michael carvell

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DeShieldsthe daughter of former major-leaguer Delino DeShields, has been selected as Georgia’s lone representative for Parade Magazine’s All-America high school basketball team, which will appear in Sunday’s AJC.
“Wow, I had no idea, that’s really cool,” said DeShields, who turned 15 years old earlier this month. “That wasn’t one of my goals, but it motivates and lets me know I’m doing some of the right things.”
The national honor completes a mind-boggling varsity debut for DeShields, who averaged 17.7 points and 10 rebounds while leading Norcross to the Class AAAAA state championship last weekend.
“I think it’s an incredible accomplishment to make All-America as a freshman,” Norcross coach Angie Hembree said.
Ironically, Hembree also had the opportunity to coach Moore for two years at Collin Hills. Moore, who is a junior All-America guard at UConn, is the most accomplished girls basketball player in Georgia history.
“Maya was an incredible young woman, and just …

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North Gwinnett basketball coach leaving to take job at Gwinnett’s new high school

Tony Watkins is leaving North Gwinnett for Lanier High School (AJC file)

Tony Watkins is leaving North Gwinnett for Lanier High School (AJC file)

North Gwinnett girls coach Tony Watkins has accepted the boys job at the new Lanier High in Gwinnett County. Former Collins Hill coach Billy Wells will be Lanier’s football coach.

Watkins has been at North Gwinnett for four years, posting a 75-37 record with three trips to the stat playoffs. In his first season, North Gwinnett was 22-7, winning the Powerade and Jared Cook holiday tournaments.

“I have always thought it would be exciting to start a program from the ground up … designs on the court, in the locker room, selecting the first uniform, organizing the tipoff club,” Watkins said. “Just establishing the tradition of hard work and doing the right things.  I love North Gwinnett and it was very hard decision but it is exciting to be the first people at a school.  I was a boys head coach for 24 years before coming to North to coach the girls.”

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NBA or UGA? Travis Leslie gets some basketball advice from his high school coach (UPDATED)

UGA.hoops.TravisLeslie

Travis Leslie aka "The Human Highlight Film, No. 2" (AJC Photo)

UGA basketball coach Mark Fox claims Travis Leslie has informed him that he is returning to college next year. Leslie hasn’t revealed a final decision to the media.

What does one of his best friends think? That would be Phil McCrary, basketball coach at Columbia High. Those two are tight. How close? Leslie made the furious drive to Macon last Saturday after returning from the SEC tournament to sit in the stands and watch Columbia win the Class AAA championship.

The coach has some advice for his prized pupil: “I’m for Travis returning to Georgia for next year. I think that’s the answer that everybody wants. I don’t think he would (declare for the NBA) this year, but you never know. Travis will make the final decision … I would advise him to stay.”

This year, Leslie developed into one of college basketball’s most electrifying players with his high-flying dunks. It’s the things of ESPN highlights. McCrary says he …

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Let’s talk Dunwoody football: The ex-head coach, the new head coach, and future of the program

michael carvell

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Dunwoody has hired a new football coach, and the school’s athletics director did his best to provide a glimpse on why the last one was dismissed.

Last month, Michael Youngblood was fired after one season as Dunwoody’s head football coach. Youngblood said that he was terminated because he “didn’t see eye to eye” with principal Kevin Harris. Youngblood speculated that his firing was related to an incident between the two men at at halftime of Dunwoody’s homecoming game against Cedar Grove on Sept. 25. Harris entered the team’s locker room and directed several players to leave the team meeting to participate in the halftime activities.

At the time, school officials declined comment, and Youngblood’s point of view got a huge reaction from the AJC’s readers.

This week, Dunwoody athletics director Steve Fortenberry welcomed Jim Showfety as the new coach, and briefly addressed Youngblood’s departure.

Where is the best place to coach football in the …

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Georgia’s No. 1 senior basketball prospect still hobbling after bizarre injury on championship night

Clemson recruit Marcus Thornton (AJC file)

Clemson recruit Marcus Thornton (AJC file)

The pain hasn’t gone away for Westlake’s Marcus Thornton, who suffered one of the most bizarre injuries in the history of the state’s basketball tournament.

The 6-foot-7 Thornton was diagnosed with a severely sprained left ankle after jumping in the air to bump chests with a teammate and accidently falling on a basketball during warm-ups last Friday. Thornton hobbled around to score Westlake’s first basket, then sat out the remainder the Class AAAAA state championship loss to Milton.

“I’m definitely still very frustrated,” Thornton told the AJC. “I was looking forward to one of the biggest moments of my life, and I couldn’t play. There’s nothing I can do about it now, and I’m trying to move forward, but it’s hard.”

Thornton returned to school with a walking boot and crutches. He was examined by doctors on Monday, and has at least a high-ankle sprain. Thornton will undergo an MRI later this week to see if there are any torn ligaments.

Steroid investigation had nothing to do with Calhoun’s athletes or sports programs, says coach (Updated)

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The Calhoun High School student arrested earlier this month for allegedly selling steroids on campus had no connections to the school’s athletic programs, according to one school official.

Are steroids a problem with high schools around Georgia?

  • Yes
  • No

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“He was not an athlete,” Calhoun athletics director and football coach Hal Lamb told the AJC, “and it had nothing to do with the athletic programs of high schools in this area. When it first came out, it was rumored that there might be a lot of schools involved with it, and (police investigators) have found nothing.”

Calhoun has one of state’s most success football programs, reaching the Class AA state championship games in each of the last two seasons under Lamb.

According to the Calhoun Times, the Calhoun Police Department found numerous vials and pills of suspected anabolic steroids after searching the car of a student, who was a juvenile and whose named was not …

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