Archive for November, 2011

AAA football blog: Semifinal predictions

A look at the Class AAA quarterfinals:

Cairo (11-2) at Peach County (12-1): Peach and Cairo have played two common opponents so far, putting up similar scores against Perry. Cairo needed overtime to beat Worth County, whom Peach routed in the playoffs. Each team has played five games decided by a touchdown or less. Cairo is 3-2 in those games, while Peach is 4-1. Peach County WR Robinson has 47 catches for 892 yards and nine touchdowns, and QB Kentel Kendrick has completed 72 percent of his passes for 1,905 yards and 16 TDs, perhaps posing a test for the Cairo defense unlike anything it has faced to this point. The ‘Makers have four shutouts and have held seven opponents to less than 10 points, and they’ve been the better of the two defenses over the past five weeks. But can they make someone other than Robinson beat them?
Prediction: Peach County 24, Cairo 20

Burke County (12-1) at Gainesville (12-1): Gainesville, which knocked off defending champion Sandy Creek last …

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Hines resigns as Harrison football coach

David Hines is out as head football coach at Harrison High in Kennesaw after a 3-7 season that was Harrison’s worst finish in 18 years.

Harrison principal Donnie Griggers said he’d received about 50 applications since posting the job Tuesday and hoped to have the opening filled by Christmas.

‘’We’re gonna do nationwide search and look at all applicants equally,’’ Griggers said. “My goal is to find the best person I can find for our student-athletes here. We’d like to have somebody hired before Christmas break, but it might not be that way. However many [candidates] it takes for me to talk to, that’s what I’m going to do.’’

The Harrison job figures to be one of the more attractive ones this off-season.

Under Bruce Cobleigh, who started the program in 1992 and retired in 2008, Harrison won four region titles and reached the Class AAAAA championship game in 2000, losing to Parkview 19-7.

Hines, a long-time assistant before being promoted, was 22-21 in …

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Walton-Lassiter rematch in ‘Cobb County Super Bowl’ on TV

Walton defeated Lassiter 34-10 in a regular-season meeting between the two teams (AJC)

Walton defeated Lassiter 34-10 in a regular-season meeting between the two teams (AJC)

Lassiter (10-3) plays at Walton (13-0) in the “Cobb County Super Bowl” in the Class AAAAA semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The playoff game will be broadcast live on WSB-TV’s digital channel 2.2, several cable systems (Comcast channel 248 and Charter channel 126) and on

The winner will be Cobb County’s first representative in the state championship game since the 2000 season. No Cobb school has won a state title since 1967.

“I’ve been in Cobb County for 15 years, and every year the football in Cobb has gotten a lot better,” Walton coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “There are good coaches in Cobb County, and people are running programs the right way where they can compete on a state level.

“But I will say this about our program: We’re playing in the state semifinals for the third time since 2003. You’ve got your teams like Camden County, Lowndes, Brookwood and …

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AAAA basketball blog: Fayette boys, Salem girls off to hot starts

Here are some of the top stories in Class AAAA basketball this week:

*Another hot start for Fayette’s boys: The Fayette County boys team, which reached the state semifinals before losing to runner-up Rockdale County last season, is 4-0 after a 73-38 victory over Class AAAAA Stephenson on Saturday. The Tigers opened the season by beating Morrow 82-66, Clarke Central 62-53 and Jonesboro 43-41. Ekene Anachebe, a 6-foot-9 center who has signed with Old Dominion, scored 25 points in the season-opener and is averaging 15.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 7.3 blocks through four games. Anachebe will be joined at Old Dominion by Keenan Palmore, who averaged 20.8 points and 10.3 rebounds for Paideia last season.

*Back to its winning ways: The Salem girls team averaged 23 victories per season and reached the state tournament five times from the 2004-05 season through 2009-10, so last year’s 5-19 record was a big step back. The Seminoles appear to be on the right track this season, opening …

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AAAAA basketball blog: Nike Explosion Showcase draws three state champs, pits Wheeler-SWD

Wheeler ‘s boys started their season 0-2 with losses last week against Grace Prep and Desoto in the Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Texas. They won’t find the local competition any easier Saturday when they play Southwest DeKalb in the Nike Explosion Showcase of four games at Kennesaw State.

Here’s the schedule for that event, which also includes reigning state champions Norcross (AAAAA), Columbia (AAA) and GAC (AA).

1 p.m. Buford vs. North Gwinnett
2:30 p.m. – Columbia vs. Greater Atlanta Christian
6 p.m. – Norcross vs. Harrison
7:30 p.m. – Wheeler vs. Southwest Dekalb

Games streamed live at –

Wheeler is led by Charles Mitchell, a 6-foot-8 center who made all-state teams last season. Southwest DeKalb, a Region 6-AAAA team, has 6-8 forward Shaquille Goodwin (signed with Memphis) and 6-5 guard Jordan Price (Auburn).

Meanwhile, Norcross is 0-2 after losing to South Shore and Long Island Lutheran of New York in the Big Apple vs. Big Peach …

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Class A Basketball Blog: W.D. Mohammed boys, Holy Innocents and SACA girls start quickly

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are some items of note as basketball season begins to get underway:


W.D. Mohammed finally starts fast. After starting a combined 0-31 the past four seasons, W.D. Mohammed has won its first three games thus far. The Caliphs’ longest winless streak to begin a season was 18 to start the 2007-08 campaign. But they are 3-0 largely on the play of guard Jihad Hameen. Last week, the junior scored a career-high 27 points in a 64-61 win over Class AA’s Maynard Jackson and scored 22 points with a school record 10 steals in a 61-19 win over Strong Rock.

Early struggles for top teams. Four teams considered by many to be among the best in Class A are struggling out of the gate. Wesleyan (1-2), Aquinas (1-2), Providence Christian (1-2) and Paidea (1-3) are a combined 4-9. But that’s mostly due to the fact that all four are testing themselves against larger schools, as all nine of the losses have come to teams from larger classifications.

Top …

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Cobb County teams that have reached the semifinals

Lassiter and Walton are the 19th and 20th Cobb County teams to make the GHSA semifinals:

1948 Marietta

1949 Marietta

1957 Acworth

1957 Marietta

1959 Marietta

1959 North Cobb

1966 Marietta

1967 Marietta

1973 Wheeler

1974 Wheeler

1976 Wheeler

1991 Marietta

1991 McEachern

1994 Marietta

1998 McEachern

2000 Harrison

2004 Walton

2007 Walton

2011 Lassiter

2011 Walton

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POY Watch: Gainesville’s Watson making late charge

Gainesville quarterback Deshaun Watson, a sophomore who scored or passed for all five touchdowns in a 35-21 victory over Sandy Creek in the Class AAA quarterfinals last week, is the fastest mover in GHSF Daily’s Player of the Year Watch. Watson can surpass 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing this week in the semifinals.

Three players whose teams have been eliminated remain in the lower half of the top 10, but there are a few outside the list who can finish strong and make a case for themselves. Those include Lovejoy’s Travis Custis, who has rushed for 1,675 yards and scored 30 touchdowns, and Carver’s Marquez Holloway, who ran for more than 200 yards in the quarterfinals and has rushed for 1,646 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Here’s the latest top 10:

1. RB Tyren Jones, Walton: Jones, a junior, rushed for 141 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries and returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown in a 21-13 Class AAAAA quarterfinal victory over Dacula. On the season, Jones has …

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Lassiter, Landmark beat the odds by reaching semifinals

Lassiter and Landmark Christian beat the odds and made the semifinals as No. 4 seeds. Both have won three consecutive road games to reach the GHSA semifinals for the first time.

That’s the second straight season that as many as two No. 4 seeds have made the semis, but only the third time it has happened since 1996, when the GHSA first allowed third- and fourth-place teams in the state playoffs.

The No. 4 seeds are 3-7 all-time in the semis. The No. 3 seeds are 6-19.

Here is a look at all 37 teams that have made the semifinals as No. 3 or No. 4 seeds. The seeds for each team are noted at the left, and the result of their semifinal game is on the right.


4 – Lassiter (AAAAA)

4 – Landmark Christian (A)


3 – Colquitt County (AAAAA) won

3 – Grayson (AAAAA) lost

4 – Lovett (AA) lost

4 – Savannah Christian (A) won


3 – Colquitt County (AAAAA) lost

3 – Rockdale County (AAAA) lost

4 – Flowery Branch (AAA) lost


3 – Flowery Branch (AAA) won

3 – Fitzgerald (AA) …

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AAA basketball blog: Williamson’s back for third try at Haralson

Haralson County girls coach Jane Williamson had been retired for nine years, though she never got completely away from basketball, working with the Georgia AAU programs and sitting on the organization’s executive board.

Her knowledge of the game and her ability to teach it weren’t in question, so when HCHS athletic director Lisa Warren had an opening for a girls basketball coach, it must’ve seemed a no-brainer to call Williamson.

“They asked me if I’d take the job and kind of caught me unaware,” Williamson said.

This is her third stint at Haralson County, where she won state championships in 1973 and 1975, and her career also included stops on the collegiate level at West Georgia and Valdosta State.

Her legacy is secure – she can rattle off 15 of her former players who went on to be coaches without having to take a breath – and her list of accomplishments is impressive.

So what prompted the veteran coach to pick up the whistle again?

“I’m trying to think …

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AA basketball blog: Kendrick girls have high expectations despite losses

The Kendrick girls lost all five starters from last year’s 29-1 team, but should be very competitive again this season.

“This team will be built on speed,” said coach Sterling Hicks, who graduated eight seniors, six of whom received basketball scholarships. “I expect the team will be very competitive. I’m looking forward to working with this group.”

The top returning player will be 5-foot-10 sophomore Deja Cheatham, who was the team’s No. 1 post player off the bench last season. Sierra Porter, a 5-8 point guard, was the backup last year and moves into the starting role.

Newcomers to the lineup are sophomore Khalia Lawrence, a 5-9 shooting guard, and junior Jasmine Merritt, a 5-8 small forward.

“Those four will do the bulk of the scoring,” Hicks said. “This team has a lot of versatile players, but no true post player.”

Kendrick won the Region 5-AA championship last year and reached the quarterfinal round before being eliminated by Greater Atlanta …

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Centennial football coach Measor resigns; replacement sought by end of year

Centennial High in Roswell hopes to have a new head football coach in place by the end of the year, says athletics director Phil Thomas. Head coach Jeff Measor has resigned to focus on finishing his doctorate.

Measor 24-28 in five seasons and 5-6 in 2011, when Centennial made the playoffs this season for only the second time since 2002. Centennial opened in 1997.

“We had some success, but it’s reached a saturation point where I’ve done all I can here and it’s time to move on,’’ Measor said.

Thomas said the school will take applications through Dec. 10 and begin interviewing Dec. 19.

Measor, who had been offensive coordinator at Coffee High in south Georgia before taking the Centennial job, is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership. He says he has a year of study remaining and wanted to give fuller attention to it.

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Teams return to pool after Thanksgiving break

By Ryan Caiafa

Score Atlanta

Thanksgiving break saw a moratorium for swim teams across the state, but everyone is gearing back up for some key upcoming competitions. Peachtree Ridge will take on Brookwood Saturday at Mountain Park. Coming off another strong meet against Duluth, Campbell and Kennesaw Mountain, the Lions will have their hands full against a tough Brookwood Broncos team. The Broncos are coming off a successful outing from both the boys and girls teams against Parkview and Alpharetta, where the boys took second overall and the girls won. Brookwood will need to put on a similar overall team performance to take down a strong Peachtree Ridge squad. … After sweeping the tri-meet against Berkmar and Meadowcreek, Grayson returns to the pool to take on Collins Hill on Saturday. The Rams were dominant at the meet, with both the boys and girls team combining for a score of 628 to second place Meadowcreek’s 202 combined total. Collins Hill is coming off a …

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Archer wins its own wrestling meet

By Robby Kalland

Score Atlanta

Host Archer won the Tiger Duals Saturday after going 5-0 against Mill Creek (76-6), Milton (55-15), Chestatee (66-17), Johns Creek (46-27) and Greater Atlanta Christian (46-15). The Tigers were led by Sam Bullard, Daquan Olbert, Zach Wright, Brandon Weber, Chaz Bentley, Isaiah Hunt, Hunter McCleskey and Ernest Alexander who each went undefeated in the meet. … In the Alexander Duals, Collins Hill once again asserted themselves as a top team in the state by winning the tournament with a dominating performance. Archer placed second, with Ola third and host Alexander fourth. … Alexander coach Sean Moistner hopes to build on this performance and feels his team can compete for state titles in February. The Cougars will be led by three-time state champion Chad Starnes and two-time state placer Jamie Prescott. They now have seven new starters this year, but are excited about the youth on the team led by freshmen Bryce Hollomon and Roman Boylen. …

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Schools in south Fulton County that have made the semifinals

1952 College Park

1953 College Park

1970 Woodward Academy

1975 Lakeshore

1976 Woodward Academy

1977 Woodward Academy

1978 Feldwood

1979 Feldwood

1980 College Park

1980 Woodward Academy

1981 Palmetto

1982 Palmetto

1983 Palmetto

1984 Lakeshore

1984 Palmetto

1985 Lakeshore

1985 Palmetto

1987 Palmetto

1988 Palmetto

2000 Creekside

2011 Landmark Christian

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