Archive for March, 2011

UGA or Georgia Tech? Rockdale’s Kevin Ware granted release from Tennessee basketball scholarship

Kevin Ware prediction

  • Louisville
  • UGA
  • Georgia Tech
  • Rocky Top again
  • Other school

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Let the recruiting sweepstakes begin for Kevin Ware, who instantly became one of the nation’s top free agents in college basketball on Thursday.

On Thursday, Ware said he was granted a release from his Tennessee basketball scholarship. The 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School is ranked as the No. 56 prospect in the nation by Rivals.

Louisville, UGA, UCLA, Kansas, Georgia Tech, LSU, Florida State, Central Florida and Syracuse are rumored to have interest in Ware, who said he has yet to talk with any college coaches. Ware will begin making contact with colleges within the next few days.

However, Ware said if he had a wishlist, he’d love to take official visits to Louisville, UCLA, Georgia and Central Florida.

“I’m happy about the release and to see how my whole recruiting process will go now because I really didn’t go through it the …

Continue reading UGA or Georgia Tech? Rockdale’s Kevin Ware granted release from Tennessee basketball scholarship »

It’s official: Milton High’s Julian Royal to remain with Georgia Tech under new basketball coach

Big win for the new coach. Brian Gregory told Julian Royal that he "made his day" after deciding to stick with the Yellow Jackets (AJC)

Unofficial "first win" for the new coach? Brian Gregory told Julian Royal that he "made his day" after deciding to stick with the Yellow Jackets (AJC)

Georgia Tech’s new basketball coach Brian Gregory is off to a good start with recruiting.

On Thursday, Milton High’s Julian Royal called Gregory to say that he was sticking with the Yellow Jackets. Ex-Tech coach Paul Hewitt had convinced the 6-foot-8 forward to sign with the Yellow Jackets over archrival UGA last November.

“I told Coach Gregory that I wanted to keep my commitment and that I wanted to be a Jacket,” Royal told the AJC. “He sounded like he was happy. He said that I ‘made his day’ and ‘made his weekend.’”

Gregory made his recruitment of Royal a top priority. He called Royal within an hour after being introduced on Monday, and rushed over for an in-home visit with Royal and his family for two hours on Tuesday night.

“I want to go to Georgia Tech for the same reasons I originally signed with them — It’s great …

Continue reading It’s official: Milton High’s Julian Royal to remain with Georgia Tech under new basketball coach »

Girl holds her own against the boys on baseball field

Mt. Pisgah RHP Sandy Almon ... 85 mph? (AJC photo)

Mt. Pisgah RHP Sandy Almon … 85 mph? (AJC photo)

When Mt. Pisgah’s baseball coach says Sandy Almon “doesn’t throw like a girl,” it’s meant as a compliment.

Almon is a girl, and she plays varsity baseball at the Class A private school in Johns Creek. For her senior year, Almon transferred to Mt. Pisgah, where she is a relief pitcher reportedly with 85-mph fastball. She is also a part-time starter at third base.

“We haven’t clocked her yet, but she throws with nice velocity, probably consistently in the lower 80s on her fastball,” Mt. Pisgah coach John O’Connor said. “She is smooth with her mechanics and looks like any other high school pitcher out there on the mound, except that she’s a girl.”

Almon had made three pitching appearances prior to Thursday night’s game against Pace Academy. The right-handed pitcher had a 2-0 record with a 1.17 ERA, striking out nine batters in six innings against Riverside Military Academy, Callaway and …

Continue reading Girl holds her own against the boys on baseball field »

Dunwoody boys win first ever DeKalb County track championship

The Dunwoody Wildcats flew to their first ever DeKalb County Track Championship title with a 95-71 victory over defending champion Southwest DeKalb on Tuesday.

The Wildcats rode the back of junior Dazel Claytor and senior James Dwyer who both claimed a pair of gold medals on the final day of competition at the 2011 DeKalb County Track Championships.

Claytor claimed victories in the 100-meter dash (10.92) and the 200-meter dash (22.18) while Dwyer took the gold in the 1600-meter (4:24.30) and the 3200-meter (9:41.74) runs.

Senior Kuaniyal Chol added to the Dunwoody total with his gold medal winning performance in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.29.

Dunwoody became just the 13th DeKalb school to claim the boys’ championship trophy in the county meet.

Southwest DeKalb’s second place finish was paced by senior Malcolm Brock and his trio of gold medal performances. Brock won the high jump (6-04), the triple jump (45-04.5) and the 300-meter hurdles (40.02).

The Southwest …

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New Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory rushes to meet with top basketball recruit (UPDATED)

The Hustle Award: Georgia Tech's Brian Gregory rushed to meet a recruit one day after being introduced as the ACC school's new basketball coach (AJC photo)

The Hustle Award: Georgia Tech's Brian Gregory rushed to meet a recruit one day after being introduced as the ACC school's new basketball coach (AJC photo)

Georgia Tech’s new basketball coach made quite the first impression on the Yellow Jackets’ No. 1 recruit.

Brian Gregory called Milton High’s Julian Royal within an hour after being introduced as Tech’s new coach on Monday, and then rushed over for an in-home visit with the 6-foot-8 forward for more than two hours on Tuesday night.

“I think that’s big time,” said Royal’s father, Charles Royal, told the AJC. “Actions speak louder than words, and Coach Gregory’s actions have really spoken loudly to us. We couldn’t stop thanking the man enough for coming over because we know he has been extremely busy over the last couple of days.”

During Tuesday night’s conversation, Gregory made it clear several times that he wished for Royal to remain with Tech under the new coaching staff. Ex-coach Paul Hewitt convinced Royal to sign with …

Continue reading New Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory rushes to meet with top basketball recruit (UPDATED) »

Which high school football coach will be most successful in first year on job?

Woodward Academy, Peachtree Ridge, Campbell and North Atlanta are among the metro schools currently looking for new head football coaches.

Milton (Howie DeCristofaro), Roswell (Justin Sanderson), Blessed Trinity (Tim McFarlin), Shiloh (Brian Montgomery), Clarkston (Gary Wansley), Dacula (Jared Zito), Fayette County (Michael Davis), Osborne (Xarvia Smith) and others have already finished the transition.

Questions to ponder:

Which was the best hiring and why?

Who do you think with be the new coach at Peachtree Ridge? Woodward Academy?

Please post below.

Continue reading Which high school football coach will be most successful in first year on job? »

Sad story about the recruiting of Atlanta basketball star? No worries, happy ending

Update: Brooks committed to Penn after school on Monday.

Every high school kid who dreams about playing college athletics needs to hear the story of Miller Grove High basketball star Henry Brooks.

It’s a sad story. But it could’ve been worse. And it most certainly will be better. We’ll make all of that make sense in a few minutes.

The 6-foot-7 Brooks had a half-dozen scholarship offers or so at the start of his senior year, including Oregon State and Middle Tennessee State, etc. But he wanted to wait and see if he could get an offer from bigger and/or closer school by the end of his senior year.

A smart guy. Henry Brooks (No. 22) has college options despite his devastating torn ACL knee injury (AJC)

A smart guy. Henry Brooks (No. 22) has college options despite his devastating torn ACL knee injury (AJC)

Yes, it was gamble. And it looked like a good gamble as Brooks led Miller Grove to an undefeated regular season. He was the team’s emotional leader and best defender. Colleges were noticing. UConn, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Minnesota, among others, all called with …

Continue reading Sad story about the recruiting of Atlanta basketball star? No worries, happy ending »

Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware still requesting release after Volunteers hire new coach (UPDATED)

Still Tennessee? Rockdale County guard Kevin Ware (Photo by adidas)

Still Tennessee? Rockdale County guard Kevin Ware (Photo by adidas)

RELATED: Milton High’s Julian Royal will wait to meet Georgia Tech’s new coach before considering alternatives (Click here)

Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware confirmed with the AJC on Monday afternoon that he is still requesting a scholarship release from the Volunteers, despite the hiring of a new coach at the SEC school.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School says it’s nothing personal against Tennessee’s new coach, Cuonzo Martin. In fact, Ware has left open the possibility of playing under Martin at Tennessee.

Ware, as he has maintained all along, simply wants a release to re-open the recruiting process. He wants to make sure he’s a good fit with his college coach and vice versa. Ware has been committed to Tennessee since his sophomore year, citing his close friendship with ex-coach Bruce Pearl as a primary factor.

“Yes I am,” Ware said in a text message when asked if he was still …

Continue reading Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware still requesting release after Volunteers hire new coach (UPDATED) »

High school basketball’s 94 Feet Awards set for April 2

CourtCred.com will host its second annual 94 Feet Awards for the Georgia region on Saturday, April 2. The awards, hosted in conjunction with Mylestone Media, were created as a platform to recognize the area’s top basketball prospects.

As the nation’s indulgence in basketball frenzy comes to an end, CourtCred.com will provide a sneak peak into what the future holds. The 2010-2011 All-CourtCred team of Georgia includes Shannon Scott, a McDonalds All-American who is Ohio State bound, Adam Smith, who is headed to UNC-Wilmington, along with high school juniors William “Shaq” Goodwin, Marcus Hunt and Charles Mitchell.  “There are a lot of kids who play well and do a good job on the court,” said CourtCred.com Analyst, Matthew Verden. “We want to honor these kids who consistently put in work during the season.”

A perfect warm-up to the Final Four, attendees will experience all facets of basketball culture. The event will feature music, product giveaways …

Continue reading High school basketball’s 94 Feet Awards set for April 2 »

Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit agrees to meet new coach before considering alternatives (UPDATED)

Your advice for Julian Royal?

  • Wait however long it takes to meet with the new Tech coach
  • Give Tech 10-12 more days, request release
  • Ask Radakovich for your release ASAP

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Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit has agreed to meet with the soon-to-be-named coach of the Yellow Jackets before giving any further consideration to requesting a scholarship release.

Give all the credit for recruiting to Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich, who has maintained an open line of communications with Milton High’s Julian Royal. The 6-foot-8 forward signed with Tech over UGA last November after an intense recruiting battle between the two archrivals.

“We’re just kind of waiting; we’re on hold,” said Royal’s father, Charles Royal. “I have to admit that Dan Radakovich has been good about calling us regularly to say things are progressing. He hasn’t shared who the frontrunner is.

“We did talk about the possibility of getting a release. But …

Continue reading Georgia Tech’s No. 1 basketball recruit agrees to meet new coach before considering alternatives (UPDATED) »

Will any Georgia team ever break the all-sports record by Walton High School?

There’s no more controversy about which Georgia high school team holds the all-sports record for consecutive wins.

The distinction belongs to the Walton girls tennis program.

The Cobb County dynasty has posted 139 consecutive wins, including Thursday’s match against Wheeler to end the regular season. Walton will make it to No. 145 if it wins next month’s state championship, as expected, for the eighth year in a row. The streak dates to the 2004 season.

“I think the most important part about the streak is that we’re in the record books for it now. It’s tangible evidence of what we’ve accomplished,” Walton coach Roberta Manheim said.

“You can say you’ve won seven straight championships, but Walton has had a successful program for years and years [winning a total of 14 GHSA state championships]. There are lots of successful programs and there are always state champions.

“But this is in the record books, something we can look at it and really see what we’ve accomplished.”

Walton …

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Peachtree Ridge’s Bill Ballard approved to be White County’s new head football coach

Bill Ballard led Peachtree Ridge to the 2008 state championship game (AJC photo)

Bill Ballard led Peachtree Ridge to the 2008 state championship game (AJC photo)

White County High School will introduce Bill Ballard as its new football coach on Friday.

Ballard, who has coached the past four seasons at Peachtree Ridge, was approved by the White County school board on Thursday night, according to the Gainesville Times. It happened on the same day that Ballard lost his father to cancer.

“It’s a very good day for me and my family and we’re excited about this opportunity,” Ballard told Adam Kron of the Times. “Of course it’s hard when you lose your father, it’s something no one expects to deal with and be happy about it … It’s tough.”

To read the rest of the story, please click here.

Ballard has an 89-22 record in nine seasons as a head coach, including the first five at Tucker High School. He moved over to Peachtree Ridge in 2007 and led the Gwinnett County school to an appearance in the 2008 Class AAAAA state championship game.

What coaching change has …

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Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware plays the waiting game with Volunteers on scholarship release

Court vision? Coach vision? Rockdale County PG Kevin Ware (No. 35) requested his scholarship release before Tennessee's Bruce Pearl was fired on Monday (AJC)

Court vision? Coach vision? Rockdale County PG Kevin Ware (No. 35) requested his scholarship release before Tennessee's Bruce Pearl was fired on Monday (AJC)

Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware told the AJC on Wednesday that he is still waiting to hear back from school officials about his request for the release of his letter-of-intent with the firing of Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl.

Ware’s father has a left a couple of messages with Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton, and also talked to someone in the athletics department who said that Hamilton was busy with starting the search for a new basketball coach. Ware said no Tennessee athletic representatives have reached out or initiated contact with him.

“We’re just waiting to hear back,” Ware said. “I thought someone would have called by now but it’s all good. I know they have a lot going on there right now, and that they will eventually get back to us.”

Ware’s stance hasn’t changed over the past couple of days: He …

Continue reading Tennessee basketball recruit Kevin Ware plays the waiting game with Volunteers on scholarship release »

Tennesssee basketball recruit Kevin Ware requests release, would consider UGA and Georgia Tech (UPDATED)

Kevin Ware prediction

  • Tennessee
  • Georgia Tech
  • UGA
  • FSU
  • Syracuse
  • Louisville
  • Other

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Louisville, Florida State, Syracuse, UGA and Georgia Tech are among the top choices for Rockdale County point guard Kevin Ware, who has requested a release from his Tennessee basketball scholarship with Monday’s firing of Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl.

“I haven’t talked to any of those schools but those would be the ones I would be most interested in,” Ware told the AJC on Monday night. “I have no idea if any of them have scholarships available or would be interested in me, too. Right now, I can’t talk to anybody because I’m still signed with Tennessee, so I don’t know. I basically would be interested in whomever is interested in me.”

The 6-foot-4 senior has been committed to Tennessee since his sophomore year. Ware said he picked the Volunteers over offers from Georgetown, UGA, Florida State, Cincinnati, Xavier, and Georgia Tech, among …

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FSU lawsuit over Seminoles logo affects Atlanta area high schools (UPDATED)

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but when it comes to using logos that resemble those of the Florida State Seminoles, FSU is apparently anything but touched by seeing its spear design and Seminole head images gracing a high school helmet near you. PHOTOS: Take a look at some metro Atlanta schools using collegiate-style logos.

The AJC’s Christian Boone reports that Rockdale County’s Salem High and Memorial Middle schools have reached a settlement with FSU that allows them to keep the Seminoles nickname for their sports teams, “though it may only be used when preceded by either Salem High or Memorial Middle.” The schools can no longer use the familiar spear design or Seminole head images.

The eventual cost to remove the emblems from helmets, uniforms, gym floors and other team-associated items at the schools could top $200,000, a Rockdale school board member told the AJC. Other high schools that could be affected include Creekside in Fairburn and Westside in Bibb …

Continue reading FSU lawsuit over Seminoles logo affects Atlanta area high schools (UPDATED) »