Archive for December, 2010

GPB’s TV plans for state championships

GPB Sports Central will have a live one-hour special at 7 p.m. Thursday from the Georgia Dome on the upcoming state championship games. The GPB crew will preview all five of the games, and GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin will be on the show, which can be seen on Channel 8 as well as

GPB will telecast all five state championship games live, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday with the Class AA game between Buford and Calhoun.

– Michael Carvell

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Hotel special for fans of state championship football games

Are you a fan of Colquitt County, Savannah Christian or Clinch County? You may want to consider renting a room within walking distance of the Georgia Dome, site of this weekend’s state championship football games.

The Omni Hotel at CNN Center welcomes teams, bands and fans to the GHSA Football Finals on Dec. 10-11. The Omni is offering a special GHSA room rate available for December 9-12.

Rooms must be booked by Dec. 8. Click here for reservations and more information.

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Atlanta’s Greatest Heisman Trophy winner — Cam Newton vs. George Rogers?

The better of the two college greats from the Atlanta area?

  • I’m going old school — George Rogers
  • Are you kidding me? Cameron Newton

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Cam Newton vs. George Rogers.

Who is the greatest Heisman Trophy winner from the Atlanta area?

Yes, yes, we know, Newton hasn’t won the coveted award yet. But he has this blog’s unanimous vote. Therefore, just for fun, we’ll let the debate begin.

Rogers was an All-State tailback from Duluth High, later playing at South Carolina. He won 1980 award after leading the nation in rushing with 1,781 yards.

Newton is from College Park and played at Westlake High. He signed with Florida out of high school, and may be the greatest first-year transfer in college football history with his eye-popping numbers at Auburn this season.

YOU MAKE THE CALL. Who gets your vote? Duluth’s Rogers or Westlake’s Newton?

Note: Since many of you young bucks have probably never seen a highlight of George Rogers, here’s some …

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Guess what Milton has to say about losing the USA’s No. 1 ranking in high school basketball?

The coach of the former No. 1-ranked high school basketball team in the USA says he saw the drop from the top spot coming from a mile away.

Milton High, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA TODAY before the season, dropped a 71-61 decision to Miller Grove last weekend. Miller Grove led by as many as 24 points in the second half.

“We did not handle the preseason accolades very well at all,” Milton coach David Boyd said. ” It started as far back as conditioning.   We’ve had our heads in the clouds — forgetting what it took to be a champion last year.   As a 27-year veteran coach, I could see the Miller Grove smackdown coming a mile away.”

Even in the team’s win this season, Boyd hasn’t been happy. “We trailed McEacern 23-20 with 2:30 to go in the half; we trailed Norcross and needed a 28-point and a 23-point effort by individual players to win; and we were outrebounded by West Forsyth despite being bigger at every position.  To Miller Grove’s credit, they handed …

Continue reading Guess what Milton has to say about losing the USA’s No. 1 ranking in high school basketball? »

GPB’s TV coverage of the football state championships at the Georgia Dome

From the GHSA …

GPB Sports is also excited to announce five different broadcasting teams for the games. The Class AA 4:30 p.m. game on Friday will be handled by Matt Stewart and Chuck Oliver of Comcast Sports Southeast while Noto will be on the sidelines. The Class AAAA game at 8 will be done by state championship broadcast veterans Charles Ward and Jeff Van Note with Nelson on the sidelines. Saturday’s lineup will begin at 1 p.m. with the Class A game handled by WSB-TV’s Zach Klein, Score Atlanta’s Fletcher Proctor and Nelson on the sidelines, followed by the Class AAA game at 4:30 by Ken Rodriguez and Buck Lanford of FOX 5 with Noto on the sidelines. The Class AAAAA finale will be done by veteran play-by-play man Dave Garner and former NFL player Harper Lebel with Nelson on the sidelines.

GPB will have a special edition of Sports Central XL on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 7-8 p.m.. Sports Central XL is a live video chat and will feature interviews with coaches …

Continue reading GPB’s TV coverage of the football state championships at the Georgia Dome »

Whatever happened to former Peachtree Ridge two-sport star Zach Graham?

Whatever happened to former Peachtree Ridge High superstar Zach Graham? Graham was one of best two-sport standouts to ever come through the state of Georgia, starring in both football and basketball.

Here is an update, courtesy of the Ole Miss sports information department …

By Mike Swartz
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Student Assistant

Like any other college athlete, Ole Miss Hoops senior Zach Graham could have played sports at a number of other schools in the country. However, unlike most others, it could have been a different sport entirely.

Not many know that the Rebels’ 6-foot-6 shooting guard was a high school championship winner, in football.

As the record-setting quarterback for the Peachtree Ridge High School Lions, Graham led his team to the 2006 GHSA Championship Game, where they came back from a 14-3 deficit at halftime to tie the game, becoming Georgia State Co-Champions. He also set nearly every school passing record during his time there.

“It was …

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Did you ever see this coming for mega-prospect Isaiah Crowell?

Your thoughts on No. 1 Carver being upset

  • I’m still shocked about it.
  • I saw it coming a mile away
  • Calhoun is the REAL deal

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Once upon a time, Isaiah Crowell — an AJC Super 11 selection who is considered by some to be the nation’s No. 1 college football prospect at tailback — had planned to announce his highly-anticipated college decision after Carver-Columbus won Friday’s state championship at the Georgia Dome.

At the time, some may have interpreted Crowell’s confidence in his team as, well, overconfidence. Don’t count me among them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking your high school football team will win it all. Actually, there may be something wrong if you don’t think your team will  have a chance at winning  it all.

Most players — whether they say it publicly or keep it to themselves privately — feel that way about their team anyways. Crowell’s comments of confidence are very well known … not for …

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Miller Grove knocks off No. 1 team in the USA (Milton High)

Milton High’s hold on the No. 1 ranking in several national high school basketball polls may be short-lived.

Milton dropped a 71-61 decision to Miller Grove on Saturday. It was the first lost of the season for Milton (4-1), which was ranked No. 1 before the start of the season by USA TODAY, among other polls.

“It was great — not only because Milton is No. 1 in the nation, but also because they have tremendous program with an outstanding coach and players,” Miller Grove coach Sharman White said. “It was great for our kids to get that kind of win this early in the season.”

Despite Milton’s national accolades, it would be hard-pressed to call it an upset. Miller Grove, after all, is the two-time defending state champion in Class AAAA and has several elite college basketball prospects.

Miller Grove’s Tony Parker had 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Thomas Marshall finished with 14 points and 6 assists. Miller Grove’s Devon Provost scored 14 points and was in charge of guarding …

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Biggest surprise? Starr’s Mill is the undefeated Cinderella

On to the Dome …

It’s been a fun playoff season, especially in Class AAAAA, where there are probably 10 teams that could’ve won the title.

Three questions today:

 1. What does it take to win Class AAAAA this year? I’m convinced it’s not raw talent. Several teams have that. I’d like to say coaching, but I think just about all the major players are well-coached. How does Grayson shut out Valdosta but can’t stop Colquitt when it counts? . Let’s take Rance Gillespie. Could be the coach of the year, but his team gets shut out in the QF.

2. Who will win? I’ll take Brookwood, Chattahoochee, Sandy Creek, Buford, Clinch County. I can’t recall a year where there’s not an overwhelming favorite in any of the five classes. The ones that I’m tempted to be confident about are Buford and Clinch, but Calhoun beat Carver (which beat Buford), and Savannah Christian beat Wesleyan (which when healthy might be better than ELCA, which nearly beat Clinch.)

3. Which finalists …

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Blessed Trinity football coach resigns, to stay on as AD

Blessed Trinity’s Ricky Turner, the only football coach in school history, has resigned and will serve as athletics director only.


Turner started the Blessed Trinity program in 2001 and had a 50-46 record. His teams made the playoffs four times. Blessed Trinity was 6-4 this season and scored a victory over Class AAA quarterfinalist Grady.


“Putting in 80-something hours a week for 11 years, it’s like I’ve been doing two full-time jobs,” Turner said. “I’ve got a son who was a senior this year and got three little kids, and I’m missing out on a lot of what they’re doing. It’s going to be good for my family.”


Turner said the school will be taking applications through mid-January with hopes of naming a head coach before spring practice.

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Kell’s Randolph named Gatorade player of year

Kell running back and safety Brian Randolph has been named  as the Gatorade football player of the year in Georgia.


Randolph rushed for 1,068 yards and 16 touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 414 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, he had 162 tackles – 98 solo – and four interceptions. He led his team to a region title and 12-1 finish.


Randolph, who has committed to Tennessee, has a 4.1 GPA, another factor in his getting the award.


That’s the first of at least three major statewide player-of-the-year awards that Georgia players will receive this year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Associated Press also have their awards.


Aside from Randolph, here are five other top candidates for those awards. Are there others?


lTim Byerly, Chattahoochee: Byerly has been the Cameron Newton of Class AAAA football. He is 140-of-205 passing for 2,332 yards and 29 touchdowns and has thrown only two interceptions. He has rushed for 1,263 yards and 19 touchdowns. …

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History lesson: No. 3-4 seeds are 5-18 in football semifinals

This is the second time in history and the first since 1997 that at least two No. 4 seeds have made the semifinals. Lovett and Savannah Christian are trying to join Peachtree Ridge as the only No. 4 seeds to win a state title.


Also, there are two No. 3 seeds in the Class AAAAA semifinals for the first time since AAAAA was formed as the fifth classification in 2000.


Colquitt County and Grayson – which play each other Friday – are trying to join 1997 Parkview and 1999 Lowndes as the only No. 3 seeds to win (or reach the final) in the highest classification. Parkview and Lowndes won AAAA.


Here is a look at all 35 teams that have made the semifinals as No. 3 or No. 4 seeds since 1996, when the state playoffs were expanded to 32 teams in each class and gave third- and fourth-place teams a chance. The No. 3 seeds are 5-18 all-time in the semifinals. The No. 4 seeds are 2-6.


The seeds for each team are noted at the left, and the result of their semifinal game is on the …

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Semifinal caps: Previews of all 10 games


Colquitt County at Grayson

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Grayson Community Stadium, Grayson

 Records, rankings: Colquitt County is 8-5 and the No. 3 seed from 1-AAAAA; Grayson is 10-3 and the No. 3 seed from 8-AAAAA. Neither team is ranked.

Last meeting: This is the teams’ first meeting.

Three things to know: 1. The winner of this game will be the first No. 3 seed since Lowndes in 1999 to reach a state championship game in the highest classification. Lowndes and 1997 Parkview are the only No. 3 seeds to win state titles in the highest class. 2. Colquitt County QB Tyler Brown (2,762 passing yards), RB Tevin King (1,778 rushing yards) and WR Tommy Hudson (1,086 receiving yards) have set single-season school records this year. 3. Grayson – led by sophomore DL Robert Nkemdiche (15 sacks on the season) – has led 31-0, 23-0 and 20-0 entering the fourth quarters of its three playoff victories, all on the road.

Winner plays: Collins Hill/Brookwood winner


Collins Hill …

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Weekend Forum: Talk Georgia HS Football Semifinals Playoffs LIVE!

michael carvell


It’s the semifinals of HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS. This week, AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell is out while recovering from surgery but welcomes discussion about the playoff semifinals of high school football.

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? Keep your comments clean, respectful, limited to FOOTBALL TALK and POST THEM HERE. Personal insults won’t be tolerated and could get you banned from the board.

SEMIFINALS SCOREBOARD: CLICK HERE to see the semifinals playoff results.

Here are the semifinals playoff games you can find stories and photos from this weekend on…

Lovett-Buford | Photos
Colquitt Co.-Grayson | Photos
Collins Hill-Brookwood | Photos

Don’t forget to check out these high school football semifinals gamers…

Starr’s Mill-Tucker
Peach Co.-Sandy Creek
Savannah Chr.-Wesleyan

In the …

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Tucker High’s semifinals success in football causes minor changes

Tucker High’s success in football will cause a couple of other school events to be switched around.

In football, Tucker plays Starr’s Mill in the Class AAAA high school semifinals on Friday night. The winner advances to the state championship match at the Georgia Dome.

According to DeKalb County Schools, the Lakeside at Tucker basketball games scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3 will be postponed to Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

Also, the Dunwoody/Tucker swim meet has been moved up from Friday, Dec. 3 to Thursday, Dec. 2 at Chamblee with a 5:30 p.m start time.

Continue reading Tucker High’s semifinals success in football causes minor changes »