Archive for July, 2011

Eight new football coaches in Class AAAAA

There were 66 head coaches hired by GHSA schools over the off-season. This week, MaxPreps GHSF Daily looks at each of them class by class, starting with AAAAA.

Class AAAAA

Number of hires: Eight
Best hire: Brian Montgomery, Shiloh
Hardest to replace: Bill Ballard, Peachtree Ridge
Best job: Peachtree Ridge
Toughest job: Benedictine

*Benedictine of Savannah hired Calvary Day defensive coordinator Danny Britt to replace Mark Stroud, who resigned to pursue a doctorate in education. Britt had been at Calvary Day for the past 13 years and was head coach there from 2001 to 2005 and had a 32-22 record before stepping back to be an assistant. Stroud, who was 6-15 in two seasons, remains at the Savannah military school as an assistant principal. Benedictine was 1-9 last season after choosing to play up in Class AAAAA despite AA enrollment.

*Campbell of Smyrna hired Walnut Grove head coach Harris Rainbow to replace T.K. Dodd, who was 3-17 in two seasons and forced to resign in March. …

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Football: Buford ranked No. 1 nationally among small schools

Buford’s football team is No. 1 in a national poll released Tuesday that ranks the best small-school teams in the country.

Calhoun, a program that Buford has the past two seasons in the Class AA final, is the only other Georgia team in the top 25 of MaxPreps’ small-school preseason top 25. Buford has won four straight championships in AA, Georgia’s second-lowest of five classifications. Buford’s enrollment last spring was 870. Class AA groups schools with enrollment of about 600 to 1,000 students.

Stephen Spiewak, who compiled the rankings, said Buford was an easy choice. Buford has several Division I recruits, including linebacker Dillon Lee (committed to Alabama), defensive backs C.J. Moore (Virginia) and Paris Head (Vanderbilt) and All-American lineman Vadal Alexander.

”In what was seemingly supposed to be a down year [in 2010], they rolled to AA state title,” Spiewak said. “They return an amazing amount of talent for a school their size. Key players returning, continuity …

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Georgia basketball star commits to Florida Gators

Christen Mercer (white jersey) committed to Florida (AJC)

Christen Mercer (white jersey) committed to Florida (AJC)

One of Georgia’s top basketball prospects has made their college decision.

Christen Mercer, a 6-foot forward from Douglas County High School, has committed to the Florida Gators. She was also considering UGA, Auburn, Alabama and South Carolina.

“After going to elite camp and spending time with Florida’s coaches, she decided she wanted to be a Gator,” said Mercer’s AAU coach, Tonya Jackson.

Mercer made All-State last year while leading Douglas County to the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

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Legendary Georgia HS football coach Welsh dies (UPDATED)

Luther Welsh, 79, who retired at Thomson High School last season after 46 years of coaching, died at mid-morning Thursday in an Augusta hospital, according to The Augusta Chronicle.

John Barnett, a family friend and a coaching assistant to Welsh for 19 years, confirmed the report. Barnett said he was making himself available to assist the family, and would share more news when it is available.

“Coach Welsh meant a lot of me and all the players,” Thomson defensive tackle John Atkins told the AJC on Thursday. Atkins, one of the state’s top college football prospect for 2012, played under Welsh for the last three years.

“He was a great person and great coach. Coach Welsh stayed on me and the rest of the players, always pushing us to be the best we could be.

Atkins said the mood around the Thomson community was subdued. “Coach Welsh was a living legend around here for winning games and winning state championships. Everybody is sad about his passing. He will be missed.”

The …

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