Archive for August, 2012

Camden impresses national pollsters with lopsided victory

Camden County’s 42-0 victory over Peachtree Ridge helped earn the Wildcats rankings in USA Today (No. 25) and MaxPreps (No. 23) for the first time this season. Colquitt County fell out of two national polls after an opening loss to North Gwinnett.

Grayson is now in the top eight of all eight major national polls (with links to the complete polls). The CalPreps’ computer poll had the Rams at No. 18 to open the season but No. 7 now.

Georgia teams in the national rankings (with last week’s ranking in parentheses):

ESPN

1. Grayson (1)

PrepNation

7. Grayson (7)

USA Today

6. Grayson (6)

25. Camden County (NR)

Rivals

5. Grayson (4)

14. Camden County (17)

25. Lassiter (30)

37. Walton (37)

48. Kell (52)

52. Northside, W. Robins (56)

MaxPreps

2. Grayson (2)

23. Camden County (NR)

CalPreps

7. Grayson (18)

56. Walton (N/A)

78. Camden County (N/A)

81. North Gwinnett (N/A)

Scout

3. Grayson (4)

42. Walton (NR)

CNNSI

3. Grayson (3)

16. Camden County (16)

25. Lassiter (25)

Produced by Georgia …

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303-yard game moves Walton’s Jones to top of POY Watch list

Walton running back Tyren Jones used a 300-yard rushing performance to jump to the top of the GHSF Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution Player of the Year Watch. The senior matched his career high of five touchdowns.

New to the POY Watch this week are junior quarterbacks Deshaun Watson of Gainesville and Malcolm Parrish of Brooks County. Out are Cedar Grove quarterback Johnathon McCrary and Eagle’s Landing Christian running back and linebacker Keyante Green.

Expect more movement next Wednesday as most of our top 10 players are playing their season openers this week.

1. RB Tyren Jones, Walton: Jones rushed for 303 yards and five touchdowns on 30 carries in a 35-24 victory against Brookwood. Jones, who has committed to Alabama, led the state with 2,375 yards rushing last season. Walton is ranked No. 3 in Class AAAAAA.

2. DL Robert Nkemdiche, Grayson: Nkemdiche rushed for 51 yards on seven carries, scored a touchdown and had four tackles in a 31-12 victory over McEachern. …

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Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

At The List, we clearly enjoy football in all its forms. High school, college, NFL, Canadian, Arena, backyard two-hand touch … just give us yard lines and first downs and a few wild touchdown dances, and we’re a happy bunch.
But as much as we love all the football we can get, it’s really Friday nights that get us going. And with college football starting its attempt to steal the spotlight this week, it made us think about how much better Fridays are.
Oh, sure. College and NFL football can have their fancy scholarships and diamond-studded championship rings, but give us a couple of local high schools down the street from each other, battling it out for bragging rights, and all is right with our world.
It may not be a popular opinion, but there’s plenty of reasons why high school football is better than both …
10. Parents in the crowd
Look around the stands at any high school football game after just about any game, and you’ll see parents cheering on their kid. Whether he’s the …

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For an upclose look at Georgia high school football history

Grayson is ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s national rankings and could become the first national champion from Georgia since 1992. There have been 10 national champions, most of them from Valdosta in the glory years of coaches Wright Bazemore and Nick Hyder.

Courtesy of our partner, the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, here is a look at those 10:

1962 Valdosta

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1962&gTeamID=Valdosta

1969 Valdosta

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1969&gTeamID=Valdosta

1971 Valdosta

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1971&gTeamID=Valdosta

1974 Thomasville

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1974&gTeamID=Thomasville

1976 Warner Robins

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1976&gTeamID=Warner%20Robins

1981 Warner Robins

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1981&gTeamID=Warner%20Robins

1984 Valdosta

http://ghsfha.org/showgamesgy.php?GSEASONID=1984&gTeamID=Valdosta

1986 Valdosta

Continue reading For an upclose look at Georgia high school football history »

Volleyball: Hawks win Aloha Bash

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

No. 3 Mill Creek won the Brookwood Aloha Bash with a 4-0 record in the event. The Hawks defeated Brookwood (25-21, 25-15), Providence Christian (25-21, 25-13), Class A No. 1 George Walton Academy (25-22, 25-22) and Parkview (25-12, 25-15). Mill Creek’s Emily Wylie had 25 kills and four blocks, while Cayla Graham had 18 kills, Brittany Moore had 35 digs and Kaitlyn Lattimer had 46 assists. … Class AAA No. 1 Woodward Academy won four games last week with victories over Chattahoochee (22-25, 25-22, 25-23), Sandy Creek (26-24, 25-23), Starr’s Mill (25-15, 25-15) and Columbus (25-23, 25-16). Lexie Norfleet had 30 total kills in the four games, Sydney Morton had seven service aces and Elizabeth Muse had 20 digs.

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Softball: Buford opens region play with rout

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

Class AAA No. 1 Buford (10-0) won its Region 7-opener against West Hall 12-0 in five innings. The Wolves scored 11 runs in the first three innings, including a home run and three RBIs by Remington Hasty and three RBIs by Sydney Stavro. Pitcher Bria Bush (6-0) got the win after throwing two no-hit innings. Bush then yielded to freshman Peyton Wolfe, who tossed the last three innings and gave up just one hit. Saturday, at North Georgia College and State University, Buford beat North Forsyth of Class AAAAAA and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. In the North Forsyth win, Bush won her fifth game of the season, allowing two runs in seven innings. Jazmin Hawkings was 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs while Stavro was 2-for-2 with a stolen base. Against Lakeview, Bekah Rude (3-0) earned the win with four innings of work. Alexis Baldy hit an inside-the-park homer and Hasty had a triple and two RBIs. … Marietta is just 3-5 on the season, but is led by junior …

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Cross Country: Roswell girls edge Walton

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

At the Peachtree Ridge/Walton stage races in Duluth, defending Class AAAAA champion Walton was edged by Roswell in the girls meet. The Hornets won the meet with 19 points while the Raiders came in just behind with 21. Dunwoody had a respectable third-place showing with 22 points. The Wildcats’ Alexandra Cameron won the overall race with a time of 11:33.46. In the boys meet, Mill Creek and St. Pius tied with 10 points and were followed by Brookwood with 27 points. Austin Sprague of St. Pius won the race with a time of 9:47.11 while Eric Westog of Mill Creek came in second with a time of 9:52. … In Fairburn, Norcross won the Mercy Invitational boys meet with 36 points while Marist came in second with 61. Marist won the girls meet with 50 points to defeat second-place Blessed Trinity (73) and the rest of the field. Senior Katherine Yost of Norcross won the girls race with a time of 18:31.53, well ahead of second-finisher Morgan Ilse of Marist, who …

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Class A Blog: Week 2 (Top Fives, check in with Calvary Day and Wilcox County)

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Week 1 is in the books but not every team in Georgia played its first game. Many will take the field for the first time in 2012 this weekend.

Heading into Week 2, we’ll take a look at our Top Five public and private school teams and check in with possible title contenders Calvary Day and Wilcox County.

Darlington loses to defending Tennessee AAA champ
Before we get to the Top 5, a bit of house cleaning. Darlington (0-1), the preseason No. 10 team in Class A, was beaten by Christian Academy of Knoxville (Tenn.) last Saturday, 42-23.

It was a tale of two halves as CAK (2-0) dominated the first two quarters and led 35-9 at intermission. But their star player, senior receiver Josh Davis, who has committed to Tennessee, broke his collar bone and did not play in the third and fourth quarters, according to the Knoxville Sentinel. Darlington took advantage, outscoring the Warriors 14-7 in the second half. Darlington finished with 401 yards of offense – …

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Class AAAA blog: M.L. King more than measuring stick for Stockbridge

Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley has wanted to play this game since he arrived at the school in north Henry County three years ago. M.L. King’s is a program Whitley feels the Tigers are measured against. It’s a game that will help prepare Whitley’s club for the better teams in Region 4-AAAA.

Still, there was more to it than that. Stockbridge has never played M.L. King, but in a sense the Tigers have been competing against the Lions since the DeKalb County school opened in 2002.

“My first year here we went to a passing league and played M.L. King and there were three or four kids that should have been at Stockbridge,” Whitley said. “When I got here probably the best program in the county was Union Grove, and M.L. King is in a different county but they’re close to us. We had kids that should have been at Stockbridge that were transferring to those other schools.”

Whitley said he wanted to show the parents in Stockbridge they don’t have to transfer somewhere else to get their sons …

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Addressing religion in high school sports

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Even the most outspoken football coaches, guys who will talk your ear off about the elements of the perfect screen pass, can become tight-lipped when the topic turns to religion and their team.

“I would prefer to have discussions/interviews on the topic of football and game performances,” one prominent Georgia high school coach said.

Multiple coaches refused to discuss how they address religion with their teams. In an age of ultra-political correctness, it’s hard to blame them. Few things, if any, spark more passionate debate than religion.

“It starts with respect. We want to make sure that we respect everyone’s beliefs, first and foremost,” said Milton High School athletic director Gary Sylvestri. “When it comes to religion, we try to separate it from football, keeping coaches out of it.”

Sylvestri estimates that 30 percent of the Milton football team regularly participates in Fellowship of Christian Athletes events, which are student-driven, …

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High school football standings after Week 1

Class AAAAAA

Region 1-AAAAAA

Team

Reg.

All

Brunswick

0-0

1-0

Camden County

0-0

1-0

Coffee

0-0

1-0

Lowndes

0-0

0-0

Tift County

0-0

0-0

Valdosta

0-0

0-0

Colquitt County

0-0

0-1

Region 2-AAAAAA

Alcovy

0-0

0-0

Druid Hills

0-0

0-0

Lovejoy

0-0

0-0

Luella

0-0

0-0

Newton

0-0

0-0

Rockdale County

0-0

0-0

Morrow

0-0

0-1

Region 3-AAAAAA

Newnan

0-0

1-0

Douglas County

0-0

0-0

East Coweta

0-0

0-0

Hughes

0-0

0-0

Tri-Cities

0-0

0-0

Westlake

0-0

0-1

Region 4-AAAAAA

Campbell

0-0

1-0

Hillgrove

0-0

1-0

Harrison

0-0

0-0

Kennesaw Mountain

0-0

0-0

North Cobb

0-0

0-0

Pebblebrook

0-0

0-0

South Cobb

0-0

0-0

Marietta

0-0

0-1

McEachern

0-0

0-1

Region 5-AAAAAA

Walton

0-0

1-0

Wheeler

0-0

1-0

Cherokee

0-0

0-0

Etowah

0-0

0-0

Lassiter

0-0

0-0

Milton

0-0

Continue reading High school football standings after Week 1 »

AAAAA blog: Jenkins’ Baker has big night in debut at quarterback

Here’s a recap of some of the big stories in Class AAAAA from Week 1, with a peek ahead to this weekend:

*Starring in a new role: Perhaps one of the most overlooked performances from the opening weekend was the play of Jenkins’ Paris Baker in the Warriors’ 21-20 victory against defending Class A champion Savannah Christian. Baker, a star linebacker last season, made his first start at quarterback, rushing for 141 yards on 25 carries and completing 6-of-11 passes for 63 yards, according to the Savannah Morning News. Baker scored all three of Jenkins’ touchdowns on runs of 12, 54 and 4 yards.

*Tucker rolls to 16th consecutive victory: It wasn’t the drubbing that some might have expected from 2011 Class AAAA champion Tucker, but the second-ranked Tigers put up some impressive numbers in their 36-14 victory against Cedar Grove, which was ranked No. 7 in the preseason Class AAA poll. Tucker had 411 yards of total offense, paced by the rushing of Yusuf Minor (124 yards), Dallas …

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Class AAAAAA blog: Grayson … Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

When a school wins its first state championship, people give that team its due. When that team starts dominating the headlines, the goodwill begins to evaporate.

Mickey Conn built Grayson from scratch in 2000, and years of work and patience paid off in 2011 with a championship. On Friday, Grayson plays Miami Central in a game that will televised on ESPN and discussed nationwide. That’s because Grayson is ranked No. 1 by ESPN, while Miami Central is No. 1 in USA Today. Georgia has never had a game played quite like that.

Meanwhile, Robert Nkemdiche is the No. 1 college recruit in the country. He’s got his own Wikipedia page. There’s no more famous high school football player in the country.

Which brings me to this –

Are you pulling for Grayson on Friday? Is this a case of Georgia fans pulling for one of their own, or is there a growing faction of those who are sick of Grayson’s new-found fame and want to see them knocked down a notch?

Which brings me to this -

What are the most …

Continue reading Class AAAAAA blog: Grayson … Love ‘em or hate ‘em? »

Coaches who got their first victories at their new schools last week

Geoff Pastrick, Chapel Hill

Robby Pruitt, Coffee

Jason Strickland, Fitzgerald

Tim Hardy, Greater Atlanta Christian

Kevin Hunt, Greenbrier

Jason Roquemore, Johnson (Gainesville)

David Ward, Lanier County

Bryan Lamar, Tucker

John East, Walker

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Class AAA blog: Comebacks king in opening week

Big comebacks highlighted the opening week of the season in a rather sparse week for Class AAA competition.

No. 6-ranked Thomson rallied from a two-score deficit to upset reigning state champion Burke County 21-14. Central Carroll spotted Haralson County a 20-0 lead before fighting back to score a 35-20 win. Callaway blew a two-touchdown lead in the second half and lost 43-37 to Class AA Heard County.

Thomson’s comeback was sparked by the running of Chris Jordan, who rushed for 165 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown run. The Bulldogs defense was stout, but Burke had some self-inflicted wounds, with numerous false start penalties that short-circuited potential drives and encouraged Thomson’s comeback.

Central quarterback Wesley Long, making his first start, completed 3 of 4 for 140 yards and two touchdowns, a 60-yarder to A.J. King and a 53-yarder to Jacob Barnes. The Lions also scored on an interception return by Jacob Lewis. King’s status for this week’s game against …

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