Archive for March, 2012

Boys soccer: Wheeler whips up a winner in melting pot

You’d be hard-pressed to find a team that supports the notion of harmonic convergence more than the Wheeler boys.

The Wildcats, who are in the midst of a stretch of two weeks with no games, have on their roster representatives of at least eight countries if you count head coach Salomon Corella, who is a two-time national champion boxer in his native Panama. Corella ran track and cross country at Kennesaw State and prides himself on the conditioning of his team.

At 9-2-2 overall and 3-1 in Region 5-AAAAA, the Wildcats appear to have made a step forward from last year’s 11-5 campaign, and they garnered attention with their penalty-kick win over No. 1-ranked Lassiter two weeks ago.

“The guys are playing very very well,” said Corella. “They are like soldiers. They know what we have to accomplish and they go do it.”

Corella said community coach Mickey McNeill is the primary tactician on the sideline, and he noted that the diverse backgrounds of his players – among them they hail …

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Track and Field Blog: Atlanta City Champions, Westlake Relays on tap

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Atlanta City Champs. Here are the winners from the 2012 City of Atlanta Championships, held this week at Lakewood Stadium:

Teams: (Girls) Mays; (Boys) Grady

100 meters: (Girls) Makaela Spence, Mays, 12.50 seconds; (Boys) Dexter Andrews, Jackson, 10.81

200: (Girls) Giselle Webb, Jackson, 25.60; (Boys) Gray Quiller, Grady, 21.98

400: (Girls) Jamesha Ford, Therrell, 59.19, Therrell; (Boys) Jarel Jackson, Mays, 49.71

800: (Girls) Ford, Therrell, 2:26.79; (Boys) Malik Epps, North Atlanta, 1:58.79

1,600: (Girls) Khayla Williams, Mays, 5:40.33; (Boys) Zane Coburn, Grady, 4:20.04

3,200: (Girls) Williams, Mays, 12:29.05; (Boys) Quetorian Bryant, Carver, 11:14.87

100 meter hurdles: Ayanna Toomer, Grady, 15.49

110 hurdles: Hughston Leaks, Grady, 15.39

300 hurdles: (Girls) Amber Hughes, Douglass, 46.44; (Boys) Dante Johnson, Mays, 38.92

400 meter relay: (Girls) Mays, 48.66; (Boys) Grady, 42.95

1,600 relay: (Girls) Jackson; (Boys) Mays, …

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Golf/tennis blog: Walton wins Cobb County golf title

Walton won the Cobb County Championship at City Club Marietta. The Raiders posted a county-record 290 to win its first county title. All five Walton golfers shot in the 70s at the short venue, led by sophomore John Yi with a 70. David Yowell and Connor Edison had 73s and Matt Flynn and Tanner Landry shot 74s.

Yi and Anders Olsson of Whitefield Academy tied for medalist and could not determine a champion after two playoff holes. They were declared co-champions when darkness precluded further play.

Lassiter was second at 301, with Mount Paran in third place at 304 and Harrison next at 305. Whitefield’s Ty Hamper was third among individuals with a 71. . . .

Brookwood’s boys beat Archer at Summit Chase behind a 35 of Drew Hutchinson and the girls scored a win thanks to the 39 posted by Taylor Allen. Earlier in the week Allen had a 40 to help the Broncos hand Parkview its first loss of the season. . . .

Cody Solomon shot 73 and Nick Ross shot 75 as Wesleyan beat Pace Academy and …

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Parkview, Brookwood beat nationally ranked teams in North Carolina; Columbus falls 1-0, Phillips hurt

Georgia baseball teams performed well Wednesday in the opening day of the National High School Invitatonal in Cary, N.C.

Parkview defeated Washington of New York, the No. 7-ranked team in MaxPreps’ national poll, 7-0. Matt Olson was the winning pitcher and was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Olson has signed with Vanderbilt.

Brookwood beat Highlands Ranch of Colorado 7-0 as Clemson-signee Lucas Sims struck out 11. Ryan Woodard hit a three-run double. Highlands Ranch is ranked No. 23 by Baseball America.

Columbus lost 1-0 to Orange Lutheran of California, which scored its run in the first inning off Georgia-signee Kyle Carter, who allowed six hits. Columbus star shortstop J.T. Phillips, also a Georgia signee, is out with a back injury. Orange Lutheran is ranked No. 6 nationally by Baseball America. (See Columbus Ledger-Enquirer story from Cary.)

It was the first loss of the season for Columbus (12-1), which is ranked No. 3 by ESPN Rise.
The four-day tournament has draw 16 teams from …

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Baseball: Third-ranked Luella gives southside hope of a AAAAA title

The state baseball champion in Georgia’s highest classification has come from Cobb, north Fulton or Gwinnett each season since 2003.

The team best positioned to break that stronghold this season is probably Luella, a 9-year-old school in Henry County that has averaged 21 wins since joining Class AAAAA in 2006.

Luella’s best state finishes during that time have been no better than the quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011, but this could be coach Andy Cooper’s best team. It is 13-3, ranked No. 3 behind Parkview and Etowah and led by Tennessee-signee Vincent Jackson, a pitcher and clean-up hitter. Luella was ranked No. 15 nationally in one preseason poll.

‘’We’re probably a little deeper in pitching than have been,’’ Cooper said. “It’s just a matter of swinging the bats at the right time. You still have to hit. But unless we commit mistakes, I don’t think people are going to score a lot of runs on us.’’

Only two of 16 opponents have scored more than three runs in a game against Luella …

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Girls soccer blog: Pope allows first goal but remains undefeated

Pope allowed its first goal of the season on Tuesday but remained undefeated with a 5-1 victory against East Paulding in a Region 5-AAAA game. The Greyhounds, 11-0 overall and 9-0 in the region going into Wednesday night’s game against Chapel Hill, had outscored their opponents 59-0 in the first 10 games. Jessie Sexton led the way against East Paulding with three goals. Randi Schroedel and Emily Gaid each had a goal and an assist, and Andrea Richard scored once. Pope is ranked No. 3 in this week’s Georgia High School Coaches poll. …

Apalachee and eighth-ranked Flowery Branch tuned up for their important 8-AAAA game on Friday with lopsided victories on Tuesday. Flowery Branch got goals from Cassidy Elrod, Megan Kirk, Cashen Philyaw, Corrie Thomas and Jenn Moreno in a 5-1 victory over Habersham Central, while Apalachee cruised past Rockdale County 9-0 for its third consecutive victory. Each team has one loss in region play, so the winner of Friday’s game will emerge in first …

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Track Blog: County champs earn bragging rights

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

County champs earn bragging rights. They play no role in determining region, sectional or state titles. But county championships give teams bragging rights on community supremecy for a whole year. Here are the team champions from the five metro area counties, with the top performances in each event (Atlanta City will crown its champions Tuesday evening at Lakewood Stadium):

Clayton County Team Champions: (Boys) Lovejoy; (Girls) Drew

Cobb County Team Champions: (Boys) McEachern; (Girls) Walton

DeKalb County Team Champions: (Boys) Dunwoody; (Girls) Southwest DeKalb

Fulton County Team Champions: (Boys) Roswell; (Girls) Alpharetta

Gwinnett County Team Champions: (Boys) Brookwood; (Girls) Peachtree Ridge

Top Performances

100 meters: (Girls) Jasmine Abrams, Grayson, 11.73 seconds; (Boys) Amba Etta-Tawo, McEachern, 10.53.

200 meters: (Girls) Abrams, Grayson, 24.06; (Boys) Etta-Tawo, McEachern, 21.17.

400 meters: (Girls) Amber Bryant-Brock, McEachern, …

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Off-season football hires: 61 filled, 15 open

There have been 61 reported football head coaching hires in the GHSA this off-season. Another 15 are reported open. Let us know if we’re missing any:


Armuchee – Preston Cash
Berrien – Rob Armstrong
Bleckley County – Tracy White
Brookstone – Brad Dehem
Butler – Tim McClain
Cambridge – Christian Hunnicutt
Cedar Shoals – Chris Davis
Centennial – Jeff Carlberg
Central-Macon – Jesse Hicks
Chamblee – Allen Johnson
Chapel Hill – Geoff Pastrick
Chattooga – Clay Livingstone
Cherokee – Josh Shaw
Coffee – Robby Pruitt
Decatur – Brad Waggoner
Douglas County – Jason Respert
East Paulding – Chuck Goddard
Etowah – Dave Svehla
Fannin County – Greg Chambers
Fitzgerald – Jason Strickland
Flowery Branch – Chris Griffin
Greater Atlanta Christian – Tim Hardy
Greenbrier – Kevin Hunt
Harrison – Marty Galbraith
Hart County – William DeVane
Henry County – Joe Dupree
Islands – Karl DeMasi
Jackson County – Benji Harrison
Jenkins County – Ashley Harden
Kennesaw Mountain – Andy …

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Former NFL assistant is Harrison’s new coach

Marty Galbraith, an NFL assistant the past seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans, is coming back to Georgia to be head coach of Harrison High in Kennesaw.

Gailbraith, 62, has been a coach for 40 seasons and had stops at Georgia Tech, Purdue, Wake Forest, LSU, Pittsburgh, Marshall and N.C. State. He’s also coached in the USFL.

From 1995 to 1997, after leaving Tech, he was head coach at Lassiter in marietta and was 19-11 in three seasons.

Galbraith replaces David Hines, who was 22-21 in four seasons. Harrison had been 125-58 and reached the Class AAAAA final in 2000 under Bruce Cobleigh, for whom the football stadium is now named.

Galbraith’s coaching history:

2012: Head Coach, Harrison (Ga.) High School
2005-11: Asst. Special Teams, Tennessee Titans
2004: Offensive Coordinator, Duke
2003: Tight Ends, Arizona Cardinals
2000-02: Offensive Line/Offensive Coordinator, N.C. State
1998-99: Asst. Head Coach/Off. Coord./Offensive Line, Marshall
1995-97: Head Coach, Lassiter (Ga.) …

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Decatur hires Chattooga coach Waggoner

Brad Waggoner, a former Georgia Tech player who spend the past three seasons at Chattooga High in northwest Georgia, is the new head coach at Decatur.

Waggoner was 18-13 in three seasons at Chattooga. Waggoner, a Georgia native and graduate of Landmark Christian, was a head coach for four seasons in Alabama and led Luverne to the Class 2A third round in 2006.

Waggoner replaces Prce Jones, who was 18-22 in four seasons. Decatur hasn’t made the playoffs since finishing 13-1 in 2003 under Steve Davenport, now the head coach at Savannah State.

Decatur will play in Region 3-AAA this year with subregion rivals Blessed Trinity, Cross Keys and St. Pius.

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Westminster wins Dogwood Classic

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

Westminster’s girls lacrosse team won the Dogwood Classic over the weekend in Buckhead. The Lady Wildcats won games over Ravenwood (Tenn.), J.L. Mann (S.C.) and, in the tournament final, Episcopal (Texas). In the final, Westminster won 14-11, as Caroline Heys scored four goals and Anna Silverstein scored three. Goalie Katie Rush had a career-high 13 saves. In the two-day event, Heys tallied 17 goals and six assists while Eve Knapp totaled 11 goals and three assists. Heys and Rush were named to the all-tournament team, and Heys was voted co-most valuable player of the tournament. The Lady Wildcats improved to 10-0 over the weekend and are now ranked No. 1 in Class A-AAAA and No. 2 overall in the state by Westminster is off until April 4, when the Lady Wildcats play rival Lovett. … In the third-place game of the Dogwood Classic, Roswell defeated J.L. Mann 21-5. The Lady Hornets defeated Louisville Collegiate (Ky.) 13-3 in the first …

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Golf/Tennis blog: Dai paces Milton to win

Rachel Dai won the inaugural Georgia Club Invitational on Saturday. The freshman from Milton shot a 1-under 71 and led her team to the team championship with a 147 total.

Other members of the Milton team are Ali Fahey, Kayla Jones and Sabrina Long. Glynn Academy was second with a 153. Host Parkview finished fourth.

Northside Columbus used a balanced attack to shoot a 323 and win the Granger Invitational at Highlands Country Club in LaGrange. Northside used an 80 from Bryan Matthews and Eric Graddy, an 81 from Trent Nobles and an 82 from Kyle Wilson.

Peachtree Ridge won the 22-team Warrior Invitational at Mossy Creek Golf Club in Cleveland. The Lions, led by Kevin Kim’s 73, shot a 304 and beat host White County by seven shots. Brookstone’s James Clark was medalist with a 72 and helped his team tie for third place with Columbus.

Gainesville won the Georgia-South Carolina Cup at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Clarkesville. The Red Elephants shot a 597 over the two days, …

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Track and Field Blog: County meets today, all week

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

County meets on tap. Hundreds of metro area athletes are battling for community supremecy this weekend and next week as 11 counties and the city of Atlanta hold championship meets.

Here’s a list with some of the top performances thus far:

Henry County, Friday and Saturday at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy

Champions: (Boys) Luella; (Girls) Woodland

Top Performers: Tadashi Pinder, Luella, 100 meter (10.51 seconds) and 200 meter (21.41) champion; Briana Vaughn, Union Grove, 100 (11.97) and 200 (25.40) champion; Shantia Wilson, Eagle’s Landing, 400 (59.04) and 800 (2:21.25) champion; Paige Rankine, Luella, 1,600 (5:15.31) and 3,200 (11:15.30) champion; Dacosta Smith, Union Grove, 1,600 (4:32.11) and 3,200 (10:06.01) champion; Shawayne Lawrence, Eagle’s Landing, shot put (52-feet, 7 inches) and discus (145-10) champion.

Clayton County, Saturday and Monday at Twelve Oaks Stadium
Top Performers:
Kelsey Arnold, Jonesboro, shot put champion (39- ½); …

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Girls soccer blog: GAC suffers first loss in title-game rematch

Greater Atlanta Christian, the No. 1 Class AA team in last week’s Eurosport rankings, suffered its first loss of the season when it fell to Blessed Trinity 3-2 on Friday in a game decided by penalty kicks. Blessed Trinity, ranked No. 3 before moving up to the No. 1 spot this week, got the game-tying goal with about four minutes remaining in regulation, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post, and then won 3-2 on PKs. Greater Atlanta Christian (10-1), which fell to No. 2 with the loss, got goals from Kayla Puzas and Rachel Garcia. Blessed Trinity (5-2-1) won its third consecutive game after starting the season 2-2-1. The game was a rematch of last year’s state championship, which Blessed Trinity won 1-0. Blessed Trinity faces Clarkston at home on Monday before playing at third-ranked Westminster on Thursday. …

Pope’s game against Lithia Springs on Friday was cancelled because of weather, so the Class AAAA No. 3 Greyhounds enter the week 10-0 with a defense that has not allowed a …

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Boys soccer: Lassiter falls in PKs

Lassiter had walked a tightrope in gaining its No. 1 rankings in the ESPN Powerade Fab 50 poll and the Georgia High School Coaches poll for Class AAAAA, playing six games decided by one goal. Fortune may have caught up to them Friday night.
Both ratings seem likely to change after the Trojans lost to Region 5-AAAAA rival Wheeler on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 tie through regulation and overtime.
Shaban Abousaud’s goal midway through the second half had Lassiter on top, but Wheeler’s Facundo Fabre scored the equalizer and the Wildcats (9-2-2) took the penalty kicks 5-4.
It was the eighth tie or one-goal game for Wheeler.

Reversal of fortune: In 2010, Mount Paran Christian floundered in an 0-14 campaign, scoring just four goals the entire season. The Eagles appear to have caught an updraft, since then. Last year, then went 7-6-2 but struggled mightily against the quality programs on their schedule. They’ve suffered on the field and by comparison to fellow Cobb County …

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