Archive for October, 2012

Volleyball: Hoyas, Raiders to meet in finals

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

At the Class AAAAAA state volleyball semifinals Wednesday night at Chattahoochee, the favorites advanced to the finals as two-time defending champion Walton swept North Cobb 3-0 and Harrison beat Johns Creek 3-1. Kelly Scott had 34 assists and Kodi Smith had 14 kills and 12 digs for the second-seeded Hoyas. The Raiders were led by Jessica Sloan’s 11 kills and Celeste Ferguson’s 27 assists. As a team, Walton had 10 service aces.

The two highest-seeded teams in Class AAAAA also advanced as Area 4 rivals McIntosh and Whitewater will meet for the fourth time this season in the final. The Wildcats won the previous three meetings. Aggressive serving was key for the host Chiefs in their semifinal sweep over Starr’s Mill as coach Wendy Weaver’s squad combined for 12 aces, led by Kassandra Robert’s five. For Whitewater, Annika Van Gunst had 16 kills while sister Teegan had 14 in the 3-0 win over Lakeside-DeKalb. Abby Baker contributed 16 digs for coach …

Continue reading Volleyball: Hoyas, Raiders to meet in finals »

Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

One of the things we love doing down at The List HQ is reading all the stories coming in from around the area as they come in Friday nights.

We can only be at one stadium per night (until this whole cloning thing gets big), so it’s fun to see what happened everywhere we couldn’t be.

Of course, what we often see is the same thing you see at other levels of football – cliché quotes from coaches and players.

Now, we don’t really blame them, but we know that’s usually not what they’re actually thinking. They’d love to say what’s really on their minds, but we stick a notebook in their face, and they can become Bill Belichick on us.

So, what are they actually thinking? We think we know. Here are the top 10 quotes you’ll never read on a Friday night after the games.

10. “That pass I dropped? Yeah, the quarterback throws a really lousy spiral.”

9. “I just want to make sure you noticed my offensive line didn’t block worth a lick on that touchdown run I had in the third quarter.”

8. “I …

Continue reading Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List »

Composite state rankings through Week 10

Here’s a look at Georgia’s teams ranked on a consensus of five polls (AJC – Atlanta Journal-Constitution/GHSF Daily; AP – Associated Press/Georgia Sports Writers Association; GPB – Georgia Public Broadcasting; MP – MaxPreps; and Max – Maxwell Ratings):

Class AAAAAA

AJC

AP

GPB

MP

Max

Total

1. Camden County (8-0)

1

1

1

1

1

50

T2. Norcross (9-0)

3

3

5

3

2

39

T2. Lassiter (8-0)

2

2

2

5

5

39

4. Lowndes (9-0)

4

4

4

4

3

36

5. Grayson (7-1)

5

5

3

2

6

34

6. North Gwinnet (7-1)

6

6

7

6

4

26

7. West Forsyth (7-1)

9

8

9

7

8

14

8. Lovejoy (8-1)

7

9

6

9

13

9. Parkview (6-2)

8

10.5

8

6.5

10. Colquitt County (5-3)

10

10

7

6

11. McEachern (6-2)

9

8

5

12. South Gwinnett (6-2)

9

10

3

13. Hughes (7-1)

10

1

14. Walton (6-2)

10.5

0.5

Class AAAAA

AJC

AP

GPB

Continue reading Composite state rankings through Week 10 »

Strength of schedule for AAAA and AAA teams

Thomson is one victory from its first 10-0 regular season since its state championship in 2002. And it would be achieved against the toughest schedule in Class AAA, according to the computer Maxwell Ratings. Below is Maxwell’s strength-of-schedule rankings for classes AAAA and AAAA. On Thursday, we’ll have AA and A.

Class AAAA

1. Veterans (3-5) 58.4

2. Baldwin (4-4) 56.18

3. North Clayton (2-7) 56.08

4. Dougherty (0-8) 55.55

5. Woodland, Stockbridge (2-6) 54.62

6. LaGrange (4-4) 54.25

7. Fayette County (2-6) 53.93

8. Spalding (1-6-1) 53.53

9. Eagle’s Landing (1-8) 53.44

10. Griffin (7-1) 53.24

11. Crisp County (1-7) 53.06

12. Carrollton (6-2) 52.26

13. Monroe (6-2) 52.14

14. Westover (5-3) 52.06

15. Stockbridge (7-1) 51.94

16. Riverdale (6-3) 51.84

17. Alexander (0-8) 51.75

18. Troup (3-5) 51.73

19. Worth County (4-4) 51.67

20. Perry (4-4) 50.87

21. Lithonia (1-7) 50.69

22. Redan (1-7) 50.57

23. West Laurens (5-3) 50.51

24. Sandy Creek (8-0) 50.49

25. Upson-Lee (3-5) 50.42

26. …

Continue reading Strength of schedule for AAAA and AAA teams »

POY Watch: Thomson’s Jordan, Alpharetta’s Dobbs move into top 10

A running back who rushed for more than 200 yards in a game between unbeaten teams last week and the state’s leading passer are in the GHSF Daily/Atlanta Journal-Constitution Player of the Year Watch this week.

Chris Jordan of Thomson and Joshua Dobbs of Alpharetta replace West Forsyth quarterback A.J. Erdely and Camden County halfback/cornerback J.J. Green.

Jordan has rushed for 1,685 yards for a 9-0 team that has played the toughest schedule in Class AAA. Dobbs has passed for a Georgia-best 2,618 yards after a 432-yard, five-touchdown performance last week against Lambert.

1. RB Tyren Jones, Walton: Jones rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries in a 27-7 victory over Milton. Jones, who has committed to Alabama, has rushed for 1,675 yards and 16 touchdowns on 262 carries (6.4 ypc) on the season. Jones leads the highest classification in rushing and is third in the state. Walton is 6-2 and unranked in Class AAAAAA.

2. QB Deshaun Watson, Gainesville: Watson did not …

Continue reading POY Watch: Thomson’s Jordan, Alpharetta’s Dobbs move into top 10 »

Class A: New Public-Private Divided Top 5 Lists, Mercy’s Earwood wins No. 200

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Time for our weekly Divided Top 5s List as we head into Week 11.

But before we get to the Lists, kudos to Our Lady of Mercy head coach Mike Earwood, who earned his 200th career win on Saturday when his Bobcats hammered an overmatched squad from Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, 68-19 (attrition caused by various injuries has reduced the Mustang roster from an already thin 25-30 players down to just 17).

Earwood, whose career record is now 200-97-1, is just the 51st coach in the history of Georgia high school football to amass at least 200 wins. In 26 years as a head coach at Cartersville (1986-1995), Upson-Lee (1996), Starr’s Mill (1998-2009) – where he started the program – and now Mercy (2010-present), Earwood’s teams have claimed one state title (Cartersville, 1991) and eight region titles, and have advanced to the state playoffs 16 times. He has a record of 18-11 at Mercy and has the Bobcats within striking distance of advancing to the state …

Continue reading Class A: New Public-Private Divided Top 5 Lists, Mercy’s Earwood wins No. 200 »

Maxwell Ratings: 9-0 vs. toughest AAA schedule = No. 1 ranking for Thomson

Thomson is the new No. 1-ranked team in Class AAA after the Bulldogs’ 28-14 victory over Washington County in a game between unbeaten teams, according to this week’s Maxwell Ratings. Thomson jumped Peach County and Buford. Thomson has played the toughest schedule in Class AAA, per Maxwell.

Each week, AJC.com will publish the Maxwell Ratings to give fans a computerized look at how Georgia’s 412 football-playing teams rank in each class and in all classifications.

Below are the rankings through games of Oct. 20.

The Maxwell Ratings are based strictly on scores. As the season progresses, the rankings will rely more and more on this season’s results and less on previous seasons. By the playoffs, the rankings will reflect 2012 results entirely.

All-Classification
1. Camden County (95.79)
2. Norcross (94.55)
3. Northside (Warner Robins) (93.02)
4. Lowndes (89.78)
5. North Gwinnett (87.76)
6. Lassiter (86.75)
7. Grayson (86.52)
8. Sandy Creek (84.33)
9. M.L. King (83.42)
10. Calhoun …

Continue reading Maxwell Ratings: 9-0 vs. toughest AAA schedule = No. 1 ranking for Thomson »

Volleyball: Raiders hunting three-peat

By Stephen Black

Score Atlanta

The volleyball semifinals will take place tomorrow night at six venues around the metro area. At Chattahoochee, Class AAAAAA No. 2 Walton will attempt to advance to the finals where it can defend its back-to-back state championships. In the Raiders’ way will be surprising North Cobb, which has never won a state title. The Warriors are led by all-state selections Savanna Gonzales, Shauntell Luke and Tate Pember. Walton, meanwhile, has won the last two state crowns and seven overall. Despite being Cobb County neighbors, the two teams have not played since 2010.

In the other AAAAAA semifinal, No. 1 Harrison will take on No. 3 Johns Creek. The Hoyas, 2006 state champions, have been ranked No. 1 the latter half of the season. Last year, coach Clay Taylor’s squad lost just one match to a Class AAAAA foe before falling in the finals to Walton. “The players feel as if they have some unfinished business from last season,” Taylor said before the state …

Continue reading Volleyball: Raiders hunting three-peat »

High school football standings through Week 10

Class AAAAAA

Region 1-AAAAAA

Team

Reg.

All

Lowndes

5-0

9-0

Camden County

4-0

8-0

Coffee

2-2

5-3

Colquitt County

2-2

5-3

Valdosta

2-2

5-3

Brunswick

0-4

3-5

Tift County

0-5

2-7

Region 2-AAAAAA

Lovejoy

5-0

8-1

Newton

3-1

3-5

Alcovy

2-2

3-5

Rockdale County

2-2

2-6

Luella

2-3

2-7

Druid Hills

1-3

3-5

Morrow

0-4

1-7

Region 3-AAAAAA

Hughes

3-0

7-1

Newnan

2-1

6-2

East Coweta

2-1

3-5

Tri-Cities

1-2

3-5

Douglas County

1-2

2-6

Westlake

0-3

0-8

Region 4-AAAAAA

McEachern

6-0

6-2

Marietta

5-1

6-2

North Cobb

4-2

6-2

South Cobb

4-2

6-2

Hillgrove

4-2

5-3

Harrison

3-3

4-4

Campbell

1-6

3-6

Kennesaw Mountain

1-6

2-6

Pebblebrook

0-6

0-8

Region 5-AAAAAA

Lassiter

5-0

8-0

Walton

4-1

6-2

Milton

3-2

5-3

Etowah

3-2

4-4

Woodstock

3-2

3-5

Wheeler

1-4

Continue reading High school football standings through Week 10 »

AAAAAA blog: Let’s talk basketball – Who will replace Milton at the top? Probably somebody with a key transfer

Basketball practice began this week for a season that starts Nov. 10. Who will replace Milton as boys champion in the highest classification?

As you know, Milton is ineligible for the post-season in the aftermath of allegations of undue influence of coach David Boyd to persuade student-athletes to transfer into the Milton district. Boyd is out as head coach. Soon after, Milton’s only returning starter, Jalyn Patterson, transferred to a school in Florida. Milton should still be pretty good, but obviously won’t win the title.

Milton came under scrutiny for transfers, and transfers will remain in the news this basketball season.

Let’s see if I’ve got this straight …

Brannen Green, the Kansas-bound forward that many consider to be the top recruit in Georgia, has transferred to Tift County and will play with another blue-chip player, three-year starter Tadric Jackson.

Another reported transfer is Kejuan Johnson, one of the elite sopohomores in the state. He went from Wheeler to …

Continue reading AAAAAA blog: Let’s talk basketball – Who will replace Milton at the top? Probably somebody with a key transfer »

Cartersville in black, leaves opponent blue

Cartersville made the decision to wear black jerseys for their showdown with county rival Adairsville last week and responded with a 45-3 win the essentially won the Region 5-AAA championship.

Cartersville traditionally wears purple jerseys, but opted for black ones with gold numbers. The fired-up players then went out and thumped the Tigers for their eighth victory of the season. This week Cartersville moved up to No. 6 in the rankings.

Cartersville (8-0) can make the No. 1 seed for the playoffs official this week with a win against Sonoraville (1-7). The Hurricanes close the season at Ringgold, which is one of four teams playing for the other three state playoff spots.

Gordon Central has one league loss (to Cartersville) and this week plays Adairsville, which has two region losses. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Ringgold also have two region losses; they meet this week in what could be an elimination game.

Success at Pierce County

Pierce County won its eighth game of the …

Continue reading Cartersville in black, leaves opponent blue »

Strength of schedule for AAAAAA and AAAAA teams

Colquitt County and Coffee play on Friday in Moultrie in a game that might decide which team makes the playoffs out of Region 1-AAAAAA. According to the computer Maxwell Ratings, Colquitt is the eighth-best team and Coffee is the 13th best in AAAAAA. But they also have the toughest two schedules in the state, and the loser will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs. Here are the Maxwell Ratings’ rankings of each team’s strength of schedule for AAAAAA and AAAAA. We’ll have the other classifications later in the week. The rating is an indication of strength for the average opponent. For example, Colquitt’s average opponent is about 13 points better than Lassiter’s average opponent, according to Maxwell.

Class AAAAAA

1. Colquitt County (5-3) 76.26

2. Coffee (5-3) 74.2

3. Dacula (1-7) 72.75

4. Tift County (2-7) 72.16

5. Brookwood (6-2) 70.68

6. Brunswick (3-5) 70.62

7. Parkview (6-2) 70.54

8. South Gwinnett (6-2) 70.18

9. Central Gwinnett (4-4) 70.14

10. Valdosta (5-3) 70.01

11. …

Continue reading Strength of schedule for AAAAAA and AAAAA teams »

Top performances from Week 10: Chubb continues at record pace

Three quarterbacks passed for more than 400 yards last week, and two running backs came close to that number in rushing yardage.

But the story of the state’s leading rusher keeps getting better.

Nick Chubb, a junior from Cedartown, rushed for 387 yards and six touchdowns on 44 carries last week in a 49-35 victory over Cass. Chubb leads the state in rushing with 2,360 yards unofficially on 263 carries. He has scored 35 touchdowns.

Chubb is averaging 295 yards and 4.4 touchdowns per game. No other back in Georgia history has maintained a pace like that for eight games. And if he puts up those numbers through the end of the regular season, he would become the third-leading single-season rusher in state history behind Daccus Turman of 2000 Washington-Wilkes (3,172 yards) and Herschel Walker of 1979 Johnson County (3,167). Those backs gained their yards in 15 games.

Chubb might be down to his final two games, however. Cedartown must beat Gilmer this week and a play-in game against …

Continue reading Top performances from Week 10: Chubb continues at record pace »

How important are takeaways?

When seeking reasons Lamar County is among Class AA’s five teams near an undefeated regular season, one statistic jumps out.

In their 7-0-1 start, the No. 6 Trojans have forced 22 turnovers — 11 fumbles and 11 interceptions. That’s nearly three a game for the Region 4-AA squad.

Friday’s 39-7 Region 4-AA win over Bleckley County featured a season-high six, including three fumbles and two interceptions. The first five led to points, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“It was unbelievable how many we had (Friday),” Lamar coach Franklin Stephens said, “especially in a game of that magnitude.”

Seems everyone’s gotten in on the act. Cornerback twins Lance and Lawrence Austin have one pick apiece; linebacker Trey Evans has two; and safety Quay Searcy has three. Linebacker Antwan Wallace has recovered two fumbles and forced two others in the last two games.

The result: Lamar has outscored five region opponents 40-4 on average, en route to potentially a second undefeated regular season …

Continue reading How important are takeaways? »

Carrollton-Sandy Creek headlines monster slate of AAAA games

In the case of Region 5-AAAA, it was complete happenstance that the schedule fell the way that it did, with powers Carrollton and Sandy Creek playing this week. Also, the Troup-LaGrange rivalry game and the Fayette County-Shaw matchup have playoff implications.

There are great high-stakes games all over the state this weekend. Cairo and Monroe-Albany clash for the top spot in Region 1. Unbeaten Chamblee plays host to No. 2 Marist and unbeaten Carver-Atlanta takes on once-beaten Grady in 6-AAAA. Stockbridge plays Locust Grove with the top seed in 4-AAAA Division A on the line. And in 8-AAAA, No. 6 Monroe Area plays at Chestatee with the region title on the line.

None of those carries the weight, or at least the story lines, that go along with No. 4 Carrollton’s visit to No. 1 Sandy Creek. It’s two top-five teams, a rematch from the 2010 AAA state championship game and an old-guard, long-time power (Carrollton) against what might be termed a nouveaux elite (Sandy Creek) with …

Continue reading Carrollton-Sandy Creek headlines monster slate of AAAA games »