Archive for February, 2011

UGA recruit recovers from serious injury in time for state basketball playoffs

When Chattahoochee High’s Erika Ford was diagnosed with a possible season-ending leg injury, her coach tried to remain upbeat about it.

“Erika went from what I considered the best basketball player in Georgia to the best cheerleader in Georgia,” Chattahoochee’s Eric Herrick said, referring to Ford’s support of her teammates from the bench.

Chattahoochee SG Erika Ford signed with UGA (AJC photo)

Chattahoochee High SG Erika Ford signed with UGA (AJC photo)

The cheerleader has transformed back to a player, just in time for the state playoffs.

Ford, who signed with Georgia, will start when Chattahoochee plays host to Loganville at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs.

“I think our goal going into the year was the state championship,” Herrick said. “With Erika back on board, that’s clearly in our sights and our goal.”

Tuesday’s game will be only the fifth of season for the All-State guard. She was cleared for limited play in the final two games of the region tournament, and had 20 points and 8 rebounds in the …

Continue reading UGA recruit recovers from serious injury in time for state basketball playoffs »

Most intriguing quarterfinal? Start with Wheeler vs. Norcross

Let’s update this blog for the quarterfinals. Miller Grove beat Sequoyah fairly easily Tuesday in our ”most intriguing” second-round game.

I’m sitting in Fort Valley waiting for Fayette County to tip it off against Lovejoy in one of the top QF games of the weekend. Eager to watch Adam Smith, one of the state’s premier scorers. This should be a good one.

On Saturday, the top game is Norcross vs. Wheeler at West Georgia. These are the only teams in AAAAA that can challenge Milton. There, I said it. Not sure I’m going out on a limb with that.

Speaking of good QF’s, I see that Kentavious Caldwell scored 40 in Greenville’s 2-point win over Wilcox County, the team I picked to win Class A. Nick Marshall had 16.

As far as girls go, I don’t think there’s a better team in Georgia than Fayette County. Just saw them hammer Warner Robins. hard to defend a 6-4 post w/ skill, plus a UConn signee. The sophomore PG is smooth. We need an all-clas tournament.

OK, got to go. Smith just hit a 3 …

Continue reading Most intriguing quarterfinal? Start with Wheeler vs. Norcross »

Midnight deadline to vote in the AJC Slam Dunk Contest!

We’re down to the final hours of the 2011 AJC Slam Dunk Contest. Voting will end at 11:59 p.m. Monday (tonight). We’ll announce the winner at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Editor’s Note: Vote totals are not displayed because  we love the idea of “suspense” as much as you do. Come back Wednesday at 6 p.m. to see who won!

Then there were four.

We’re down to the final round of the AJC Slam Dunk Contest.  We’ve got four finalists, and one of them will win the prestigious 2011 honor.

I think it’s safe to say we’ve never had this much overall talent in the AJC Slam Dunk Contest. You’ve got many of the nation’s top college basketball prospects. Here are the four finalists:

  • Brandon Morris, Miller Grove (UGA, Forida, offers, etc.)
  • Matt Citron, Woodward Academy
  • Kenneth Gaines, Whitefield Academy
  • Corey Heyward, Peachtree Ridge

Here are the details of the 2011 AJC Slam Dunk Contest: (1) You can vote once per hour, (2) voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 7, and (3) you need to click on this …

Continue reading Midnight deadline to vote in the AJC Slam Dunk Contest! »

5 of Georgia’s top college basketball prospects to watch during the state playoffs

The state of Georgia is loaded with talented players and college prospects. Here are five boys from the metro area that could turn the state tournament into their own personal showcase:

Nick Jacobs, South Atlanta: The Alabama-bound Jacobs gets major props from Miller Grove coach Sharman White: “Nick is a true brute in the paint. He’s like a man among boys in the post area.” The 6-foot-8, 260-pound Jacobs averages 23 points and 13 rebounds despite rarely playing much after halftime in recent blowouts. Jacobs had a triple-double against Buford with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 11 blocked shots.

Milton High PG Shannon Scott signed with Ohio State (AJC photo)

Milton High PG Shannon Scott signed with Ohio State (AJC photo)

Marcus Hunt, North Clayton: The 6-5 junior averages 25 points, including a season-high 47 against Jonesboro. Hunt has early offers from Alabama, Miami, Florida State, Auburn, South Carolina, and Nebraska, among others. Said coach Martisse Troup, “The colleges like his overall athletic ability, his basketball IQ and …

Continue reading 5 of Georgia’s top college basketball prospects to watch during the state playoffs »

Roswell High School promotes Justin Sanderson to head football coach

Roswell High stayed within its football program to find a new head coach.

Justin Sanderson, who has been an assistant at Roswell since 2003, was introduced as the school’s new coach on Wednesday morning. He served as the team’s offensive coordinator last season.

“I was very humbled and excited to be presented with this opportunity,” Sanderson said. “It has been a great day. I love these kids and I love this community.”

Sanderson, 30, was hired at Roswell in 2003 by then-head coach Tim McFarlin, who returned as Roswell’s quarterbacks coach this past season after retiring a few years ago. McFarlin was recently hired to be Blessed Trinity’s new head coach.

Sanderson was offensive line coach on Roswell’s 2006 team that tied for the Class AAAAA state championship. He played football at Lassiter High School and Valdosta State. Sanderson replaces Leo Barker, who resigned because of family reasons after posting a 22-12 record in three seasons, including two appearances in the state …

Continue reading Roswell High School promotes Justin Sanderson to head football coach »

The rankings are out for high school soccer (boys and girls)

2011 Georgia High School Soccer Coaches Poll

Boys AAAAA

1. Collins Hill (123)

2. Lassiter (89)

3. Brookwood (72)

4.   Walton (62)

5.   Harrison (60)

6.   Milton (49)

7.   Peachtree Ridge (39)

8.   Parkview (37)

9.   Dacula (32)

10. Centennial (23)


Girls AAAAA

1. North Gwinnett (70)

2.   Milton (38)

3.   Mill Creek (34)

4.   Collins Hill (33)

1. Parkview (32)

6.   Etowah (24)

7.   Brookwood (21)

8.   Walton (19)

9.   Harrison (18)

10. Northview (16)

Boys AAAA

1.   Starr’s Mill (104)

2.   McIntosh (88)

3.   Marist (82)

4.   Habersham Central (74)

5.   Lakeside (73)

6.   Lambert (65)

7.   Chattahoochee (64)

8.   Lakeside, Evans (49)

9.   Greenbrier (41)

10. Tucker (20)

Girls AAAA

1.   Starr’s Mill (106)

2.   Whitewater (85)

3.   Marist (74)

4.   McIntosh (62)

5.   Pope (49)

6.   Heritage (47)

7.   Glynn Academy (33)

8.   Greenbrier (19)

9.   Northgate (18)

10. Lakeside, Evans (17)

Boys AAA

1.   Gainesville (83)

2.   Woodward (69)

3.   St. Pius (59)

4.   SE Whitfield (44)

5.   …

Continue reading The rankings are out for high school soccer (boys and girls) »

VOTING DAY: What’s your plan for GHSA reclassification?

Cast your vote for Reclassification

  • Keep things just the way they are
  • 5 classifications with minor tweaks
  • 4 classifications, then subdivide in playoffs for 8 state champions
  • 3 classifications, then subdivide in playoffs for 6 state champions
  • 6 classifications
  • I’ve got a better idea (see my remarks below)

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

Let’s pretend we’ve appointed you to be on the GHSA’s Reclassification Committee. What’s your best plan? Do you like the existing system of five classifications with minor tweaks? Or do you want to go to something more radical, such as expanding to six classifications?

Then there is the idea of downsizing to 3-4 classifications with 6-8 state championships. Teams would play schools closer in proximity in the regular season and schools close in student enrollment during the playoffs (For example, if you had 100 teams in Class AAA, they would play each other in the regular season. At the start of the playoffs, the …

Continue reading VOTING DAY: What’s your plan for GHSA reclassification? »

GHSA considers all options for reclassification

Geographical and population concerns could prompt the Georgia High School Association to make the most radical change in more than a decade over how it divides its schools for athletic competition.

The vote is a month away, and nothing has been decided.

The GHSA’s reclassification committee could submit a proposal that has minimal impact — tweaking the existing five-classification structure — or the state governing body for high school sports could initiate significant change, including expansion to six classifications.

Another idea is to reduce to four classifications, with each divided in half for the postseason and offering eight state championships. That concept would allow members to play schools of closer proximity during the regular season, and schools of closer student enrollment during the playoffs.

As to which proposal will be submitted, it’s a big guessing game at this point.

“Right now, this far out, I wouldn’t wager which way we’re going to go,” said Dr. Ralph …

Continue reading GHSA considers all options for reclassification »

State playoff predictions: Expect more metro ATL domination

Metro Atlanta teams won all 10 state basketball championships in 2010. Don’t expect another sweep, but most of the champions in this year’s tournament – which begins Friday – should be from the metro area again.

Below are my predictions for the semifinals and the eventual champion.

Milton (AAAAA), Miller Grove (AAAA), Columbia (AAA) and Greater Atlanta Christian (AA) are clear favorites in the boys draws, although SWD’s win over Miller Grove in the 6-AAAA final opens the door in AAAA. The hardest to pick in Class A, where defending champion Wesleyan, runner-up Whitefield Academy, No. 1-ranked Wilkinson County and No. 2 Greenville are top contenders along with my pick, Wilcox County, led by Nick Marshall.

With the girls, Wesleyan (A) is a virtual lock.

The others are much harder to establish a team to beat. Norcross is the defending champion but had to avenge two losses to North Gwinnett to win Region 7-AAAAA.

In AAA, Columbia is No. 1 but lost to St. Pius in its region …

Continue reading State playoff predictions: Expect more metro ATL domination »

Longtime Georgia basketball coach posts career win No. 750

Vidalia High's Chunk Reid reaches No. 750 (Photo by John Conner)

Vidalia High's Chunk Reid reaches No. 750 (Photo by John Conner)

Vidalia High School’s “Chunk” Reid is pictured with his players after Vidalia’s 56-29 victory over Pierce County in the Region 2-AA semifinals on Friday. This victory gave the longtime Vidalia coach 750 during his career.

On Saturday, Reid got No. 751 with the win over Tattnall in the region championship.

According to Vidalia officials, Reid ranks 10th in victories among girls coaches (still active) in the U.S., along with 22nd on the all-time list.

Vidalia is 27-0 this season after finishing a 30-1 season last year as runner-ups to Class AA state champion Buford.

Continue reading Longtime Georgia basketball coach posts career win No. 750 »

No. 1-ranked Columbia High among four DeKalb basketball teams to win region championships

Four DeKalb Schools’ basketball teams won region basketball titles on Saturday night and earned the No. 1 seed going into the state playoffs that begin on Friday.

The No. 1 ranked Columbia Eagles got a seven-point play from point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen to end the third period to break open their Region 5-AAA championship victory over Woodward Academy at Riverwood on Saturday night.

Shamsid-Deen was fouled with 4.9 seconds to play in the third period and an ensuing technical gave him four three throws which he nailed to give Columbia a 50-36 lead. The technical also gave the Eagles possession for the final 4.9 seconds and Shamsid-Deen dribbled to the top of the key and hit nothing but net sending Columbia to a 53-36 lead to start the fourth quarter.

He added a pair of free throws to open the fourth quarter and Jarmal Reid put in a layup to extend the lead to 57-36 and the Eagles held off for the 64-48 victory. Columbia will host first round play that is scheduled for Saturday, …

Continue reading No. 1-ranked Columbia High among four DeKalb basketball teams to win region championships »

Midnight deadline to cast your final votes for AJC Slam Dunk Contest

The winner of the NBA Dunk Contest? Blake Griffin. What about the winner of the AJC Slam Dunk Contest? That is to be determined. Round 2 tipped off on Saturday and features some of the nation’s top college basketball prospects.

Note: Voting for Round 2 ends Friday at midnight …  go here to vote

I think it’s safe to say we’ve never had this much overall talent in the AJC Slam Dunk Contest. You’ve got many of the nation’s top college basketball prospects, including:

  • Shaquille Johnson, Milton (committed to Auburn)
  • Brandon Morris, Miller Grove (UGA, Forida, offers, etc.)
  • Algie Key, Columbia
  • Matt Citron, Woodward Academy
  • Kenneth Gaines, Whitefield Academy
  • Corey Perkins, South Atlanta
  • Corey Heyward, Peachtree Ridge
  • Roger Perkins, Campbell

Here are the details of the 2011 AJC Slam Dunk Contest: (1) You can vote once per hour, (2) voting ends at MIDNIGHT on Friday, Feb. 25, and (3) you need to click on this link to both see the dunks and vote … The top 4 will move on to Round 3 …

Continue reading Midnight deadline to cast your final votes for AJC Slam Dunk Contest »

Former Georgia coach Tubby Smith offers Miller Grove’s Henry Brooks a Minnesota basketball scholarship

Ex-Georgia coach Tubby Smith is likely the first of many big schools to offer Miller Grove's No. 22, Henry Brooks (AJC photo)

Ex-Georgia coach Tubby Smith is likely the first of several coaches from big schools to offer Miller Grove's No. 22, Henry Brooks (AJC photo)

Miller Grove’s Henry Brooks emphasizes his school grades as much as he does defending opposing basketball players.

Brooks maintains a 3.9 GPA in college prep classes and is being recruited by Ivy League schools Harvard, Penn and Cornell.

On the basketball court, Brooks is an ace defender for No. 1-ranked Miller Grove, which is the two-time reigning Class AAAA state champion and favored to win the championship again next month. Miller Grove (24-1) opens the Region 6-AAAA tournament against the Carver-Lithonia winner at 4 p.m. Thursday at Tucker.

Brooks, who moved with his mother and three older siblings to metro Atlanta from the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, is a role model at the DeKalb County school for his athletic and academic excellence.

“It’s a tribute to Henry and his desire to be the best at everything,” …

Continue reading Former Georgia coach Tubby Smith offers Miller Grove’s Henry Brooks a Minnesota basketball scholarship »

Fayette County hires Clark Atlanta assistant as new football coach

Fayette County High hired Michael Davis to be the school’s new football coach.

Davis, who was an assistant coach at Clark Atlanta last season, will begin his coaching duties immediately, overseeing Fayette County’s winter workouts and spring practice.

Before the college job, Davis coached at a pair of Florida high schools, including a five-year stint as head coach of Bayside High. Davis also has worked as an assistant coach at Carson-Newman College, where he earlier played on three NAIA national championship football teams.

Continue reading Fayette County hires Clark Atlanta assistant as new football coach »

VOTING DAY: First round of AJC Slam Dunk Contest

It’s time for one of our biggest events of the year — the AJC Slam Dunk Contest. Here’s a sneak peak and then read below for more info on the voting process …

Let me tell you this … We’ve been honored to have a lot of great participants in past years, including schoolboy legend Derrick Favors. However, I think it’s safe to say we’ve never had this much overall talent in the AJC Slam Dunk Contest. You’ve got many of the nation’s top college basketball prospects, including:

  • Shaq Goodwin, Southwest DeKalb
  • Shaquille Johnson, Milton (committed to Auburn)
  • Brandon Morris, Miller Grove
  • Kevin Ware, Rockdale County, (signed with Tennessee)
  • Algie Key, Columbia
  • Matt Citron, Woodward Academy
  • Kenneth Gaines, Whitefield Academy
  • Corey Perkins, South Atlanta
  • Corey Heyward, Peachtree Ridge
  • Roger Perkins, Campbell

Here are the details of the 2011 AJC Slam Dunk Contest: (1) You can vote once per hour, (2) voting ends at MIDNIGHT on Friday, Feb. 18, and (3) you need to click on this link to …

Continue reading VOTING DAY: First round of AJC Slam Dunk Contest »