Archive for March, 2010

Clearing up the confusion over Georgia’s No. 1 QB’s early departure from state basketball semifinals game (UPDATED)

michael carvell

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Among the Georgia’s high school juniors, Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall may be the No. 1 football and basketball player. When is the last time that has  happened?

As with all great players, especially those being recruited as intensely as Marshall already is, there are always rumors circulating. There is a rumor going around that Marshall was ejected from the Class A semifinals because of a bad attitude.

That’s just not true, but we’ll let Wilcox County basketball coach George Kennedy clear it up:

“The (Wesleyan) kid was right there on him, and (Marshall) elbowed a little bit and the referee saw it and called a technical foul. I think it was a little bit of frustration from Nick about the second half (about fouls not being called). It was a close ballgame, and then it started slipping away in the third quarter, so some of it was frustration, which is no excuse. I’m not making excuses for him. There is no excuse for that.”

What is Nick Marshall’s best …

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It’s report card time for the high school referees during state championship week (UPDATED)

Did you see it during the basketball state championships on Saturday? It was something that some people are calling the “Milton vs. Norcross rule.”Referees

In the Class AAA state championship game, a Columbia player was whistled for an offensive charge as the halftime buzzer sounded. There was no time on the clock. What did the referees do? They put time back on the clock, or tried to do so. Some veteran high school coaches sitting in the stands chuckled. You kind of knew what they were thinking.

The scoreboard operator reset the clock to 60 seconds and let it tick down, with both teams standing around. Unfortunately, the clock person whiffed, as time expired again. Rather than hold up TV, the referees restarted play and did a hand count for the final second as LaGrange missed a shot.

If you recall, Milton pulled off a miracle in its controversial win over Norcross in the quarterfinals. Norcross celebrated an apparent win, but one referee ruled that Milton’s Julian Royal had been …

Continue reading It’s report card time for the high school referees during state championship week (UPDATED) »

Greater Atlanta Christian adds wrestling legend to staff

Greater Atlanta Christian has announced the hiring of Cliff Ramos, perhaps the greatest wrestling coach in  state history.
Ramos recently retired at Collins Hill after winning nine state championships in 16 years, along with the last three Class AAAAA tournaments in both traditional and dual championships. Collins Hill also finished this season with the No. 9 ranking, the highest ever for a Georgia team.
At GAC, Ramos will serve as the private school’s director of wrestling, working closely with head coach Jeff Harsh.
“We were looking for a dreamer, a director, a leader who could help us grow our program,” GAC athletics director Tim Vick said. “Cliff has that kind of vision and the spiritual focus that will advance GAC’s mission of touching lives for Christ.”
Collins Hill promoted assistant Josh Stephen to replace Ramos.

Greater Atlanta Christian has announced the hiring of Cliff Ramos, perhaps the greateest wrestling coach in  state history.

Cliff Ramos (AJC file)

Cliff Ramos (AJC file)

Ramos …

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Lithonia assistant Marcus Jelks promoted to replace fired head football coach (Updated)

Coach.Lithonia.MarcusJelksHiring from within seems to be a popular trend among high school football programs.

Lithonia High has switched Marcus Jelks from interim head coach to the permanent position. It is his first head job.

Jelks, 27, was offensive coordinator the past two seasons at Lithonia, and took over the team in the middle of last season when Lithonia head coach Earl White was fired for using ineligible players.

Jelks has strong connections to Stephenson, playing football in 2000 and later serving as an assistant coach for three years at Stephenson before moving over to Lithonia.

“It’s a tremendous honor to get the opportunity to be a head coach,” Jelks said. “I’m up to the challenge. I still talk to (Stephenson coach) Ron Gartrell every week or so, and he’s a mentor to me.”

Is Marcus Jelks the right man for the job at Lithonia?

  • Yes
  • No

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Collins Hill stays within the football program for its new head coach

michael carvell

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Collins Hill looked within its own football program to find its new head coach.

Kevin Reach, 43, was offensive coordinator and strength coach the last two years at Collins Hill and succeeds Billy Wells, who took a similar position with Lanier High.

“I’m excited because I think it’s the job I always wanted,” Reach said. “It’s a big-time job on the biggest stage. It’s a great region we’re in. I feel like we have a seasoned bunch of (rising) seniors, and we’re ready to keep the ball rolling forward.”

Is Kevin Reach the right man for the job at Collins Hill?

  • Yes
  • No

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Reach said he intends to remain calling plays for Collins Hill, while he is seeking to hire a few new assistants after two members of the football staff left with Wells for Lanier.

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GHSF Daily Spotlight: Plenty of high school football coaching changes around Georgia

Lakeside of Evans promotes Troxler

Lakeside of Evans has promoted offensive coordinator Jarrett Troxler to replace Jody Grooms, who took the Wayne County job last month.

Troxler previously coached with Grooms at Anson County High in North Carolina and was interim coach for two games in 2008 when Grooms was suspended.

Haralson County’s Vohun retiring
Frank Vohun, a 122-game winner in 19 seasons as a Georgia head coach, is retiring.

Vohun has been a head coach at Villa Rica (1990-97), Washington-Wilkes (1998-2001) and Haralson County (2005-09).

Though his record was poorest at Haralson (19-33), it was there that he did some of his best work. Haralson County had not won more than three games in the 11 years before Vohun arrived and never made the state playoffs and frequently played a non-region schedule.

Vohun’s 2005 and 2007 teams had winning records and made the playoffs. The 2009 team bottomed out, finishing 0-10.

Vohun reached the Class AA final in 2000 at Washington-Wilkes …

Continue reading GHSF Daily Spotlight: Plenty of high school football coaching changes around Georgia »

Final rankings: Why did metro Atlanta win all 10?

For the first time in history, metro Atlanta teams have won every state championship in basketball.

Before asking why, let’s look at how times have changed. In the 1990s, metro teams won only 28 percent of the state basketball titles. In the last five years, metro teams have won 76 percent of the titles. In the 1980s, there were four years where metro Atlanta won ZERO state titles (1981, 1985, 1988). Metro boys teams failed to win a state title in 1991, 1993 and 1998.

Here are some things that have happened to change that (in no particular order):

1. The state’s highest classification is more than 80 percent metro Atlanta, and the Savannah schools (which still play great basketball) insist on playing in Class AAAAA with AAAA-AA enrollment. The only non-metro schools in AAAAA are either too few students or too much football.

2. Private schools are putting an emphasis on basketball and attracting top talent, both in players and coaches (Wesleyan, GAC, SWAC, Whitefield …

Continue reading Final rankings: Why did metro Atlanta win all 10? »

2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: You pick the state’s best player and No. 1 teams (UPDATED)

Hey, the 2010 high school basketball season is over (click on the brackets below for final results).

What are your thoughts on the 2010 season? Out of the five boys state champions, which team is the state’s best? Is it Milton? Or what about GAC? And which team is No. 1 out of all the girls champions?

Perhaps, most importantly, who is the state’s Mr. and Mrs. Basketball? Is it Wheeler’s Jelan Kendrick, the only Georgia player picked for the Parade All-America game? You may disagree, but I think not. My “lock” was Westlake’s Marcus Thornton, before he missed the state championship game with an ankle sprain from warmups. I like Fayette County’s Adam Smith, and GAC’s Malcolm Brogdon.

What about the No. 1 girl? Pick any of the NBA daughters.

Note: Stick to basketball talk. Personally insulting other commenters will not be tolerated. Thanks. - AJC Sports

LATEST UPDATES & NEWS

Final rankings: Why did Metro Atlanta teams win all 10?
Photos: Class AAAAA-AAAA finals
State championship …

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M.L. King ends search for new head football coach, hiring away Avondale coach

M.L. King will be without Florida-bound Mack Brown for next year, but new coach Michael Carson has plenty of talent left around (AJC file)

M.L. King will be without Florida-bound Mack Brown for next year, but new coach Michael Carson has plenty of talent left around (AJC file)

M.L. King has hired away Avondale’s Michael Carson as its new football coach.

Carson is a former assistant at M.L. King, and has been the head coach the last two years at Avondale.

Carson went 7-14 at Avondale, leading the Blue Devils to a 6-5 record last year, including the DeKalb County’s school first playoff appearance since 1989.

Carson will begin teaching at M.L. King in August, but will oversee spring practice for the Lions. At M.L. King, Carson replaced Corey Jarvis, who was hired by Duluth High.

Your thoughts on M.L. King’s new football coach?

  • Michael Carson has a history at MLK, he’ll be fine
  • I don’t know. We’ll see.

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More on Avondale: Blue Devils Touchdown Club website

More on M.L. King: Lions football website

Continue reading M.L. King ends search for new head football coach, hiring away Avondale coach »

2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: Talk semifinals, finals; Milton coach David Boyd goes for hoops history (UPDATED)

michael carvell

E-mail the AJC

Hey, the 2010 state high school basketball tourney is ON. AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell will take your questions about high school basketball and related topics.

We are here to talk hoops, hoops and more hoops. 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.

Note: Stick to basketball talk. Personally insulting other commenters will not be tolerated. Thanks. - AJC Sports

Which of the boys will win the Class AAAAA championship?

  • It’s Milton’s to lose
  • Newton will shock the world
  • Westlake is No. 1 and there to stay
  • Central Gwinnett: Did you know about our sophomore superstar?

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TONIGHT’S SEMIFINALS: WHERE WE’LL BE
Look for game stories from Gwinnett and a roundup from Macon later on AJC.com.

Gwinnett Arena
Girls — Westlake vs. Norcross, 4 p.m.; Redan vs. Milton, 7 …

Continue reading 2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: Talk semifinals, finals; Milton coach David Boyd goes for hoops history (UPDATED) »

When basketball powerhouses run up the score, does anyone really win? Texas’ Yates High coach Greg Wise says yes

Columnist Rick Reilly from ESPN The Magazine says he’d like to clock him.

Danny Davis of The Austin American-Statesman says his team’s action were classless.

But Yates High coach Greg Wise couldn’t care less what those guys say. His Lions routinely rout lesser teams with a singular purpose — they’re looking for another state basketball crown.

Here’s what Reilly writes about Wise’s blow-’em-out coaching philosophy:

“Coach Wise is the hammerhead who believes it’s his right to toast other basketball teams by 100 points. Sometimes more. He thumped Lee High School this season by 135 points, 170-35. Wise’s team was up at the half, 100-12. And full-court pressed to the very end!

“Wise is to sportsmanship what tsunamis are to beach chairs. So far this season, he’s beaten teams by 135, 115, 99 (twice), 98, 90 and 88 points. Trying to get to 100 points in a crushing of Westbury, his players intentionally fouled to stop the clock.”

Davis says …

Continue reading When basketball powerhouses run up the score, does anyone really win? Texas’ Yates High coach Greg Wise says yes »

2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: Let’s talk about the semifinals and state championship games (UPDATED)

michael carvell

E-mail the AJC’s Michael Carvell

The 2010 state high school basketball tourney is ON. AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell will take your questions about high school basketball and related topics.

We are here to talk hoops, hoops and more hoops. 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.

Note: Stick to basketball talk. Personally insulting other commenters will not be tolerated. Thanks. - AJC Sports

LATEST UPDATES & FEATURES

TOURNAMENT INFO: PAIRINGS

2010 Georgia State Tournament brackets
BOYS: AAAAA | AAAA | AAA | AA | A
GIRLS: AAAAA | AAAA | AAA | AA | A

Talk hoops: Which …

Continue reading 2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: Let’s talk about the semifinals and state championship games (UPDATED) »

Is Derrick Favors ready for the NBA after one year? His high school coach weighs in (UPDATED)

Is South Atlanta High legend Derrick Favors ready for the NBA after one season of college?

Is South Atlanta legend Derrick Favors ready for the NBA after one year of college? (AJC file)

Is South Atlanta legend Derrick Favors ready for the NBA after one year of college? (AJC file)

That’s what we asked one of the members of his inner circle, South Atlanta High basketball coach Michael Reddick.

What was Reddick’s response? “I haven’t really thought about that. At the moment, Derrick needs to focus on Georgia Tech and how they can improve. He needs to help Georgia Tech make the NCAA tournament and do well.

“You know, when the season is over, you can sit back and think about where things stand. But right now, I wouldn’t even want to speculate on (going to the NBA).”

Perhaps no one knows Derrick like his high school coach. Together, Favors developed into one of the most accomplished prep basketball players  in state history. Has he met expectations as a college freshman?

“It depends on whose expectations you’re looking at,” Reddick said. “Some people thought he would come in …

Continue reading Is Derrick Favors ready for the NBA after one year? His high school coach weighs in (UPDATED) »

The Georgia High School Association takes questions about the controversial ending to basketball playoff game (UPDATED)

  • Believe it or not? Milton defeats Norcross with time expired. Click here.

The state’s basketball community is still buzzing about the controversial ending to Milton’s 52-51 win over Norcross in the state playoffs. A referee determined that Milton’s Julian Royal was fouled while attempting a rebound at the same time as the final buzzer sounded. Royal was awarded two foul shots with time expired and sank both, with the second one winning it for Milton.

Ernie Yarbrough, the GHSA’s director of basketball officials, spoke with the AJC’s Michael Carvell on Monday:

Q. How can you have a foul called with no time left on the clock?

A. Here’s the problem with high schools. You don’t have a TV instant replay like you do in college where you can go back and look at it. (On time being expired), in high school basketball, the rules do allow for …

Continue reading The Georgia High School Association takes questions about the controversial ending to basketball playoff game (UPDATED) »

You be the referee and make the call in the controversial ending to the Milton-Norcross playoff game

You be the referee.

We have video of the the final seconds to the controversial ending to the Milton-Norcross game from Saturday’s Class AAAAA quarterfinals.

Let’s set up the scene: Norcross was winning by a point with 10.2 seconds left in regulation. Milton drove down the court and missed two shots, and Norcross celebrates as if it has won. However, a referee determined that Milton’s Julian Royal was fouled while attempting to rebound somewhere around the time of the final buzzer.

You know the rest of the story: Royal makes both foul shots to give Milton the 52-51 win and, more importantly, a berth in the state semifinals.

YOU BE THE REF. What was your call at the buzzer of Milton-Norcross?

  • It was a gutsy call, but the right call by the ref.
  • No way I make that call
  • Are you kidding me?

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YOU BE THE REF. You’re wearing the striped shirt, and this call has …

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