Class A Blog: Unbeatens Athens Academy, Walker fall hard, Grace and Howard put on a show

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Remember last week when it looked like all the parity was on the private school side? That theory went out the window in the quarterfinal round as all four games were won by at least two touchdowns, and both previously undefeated teams were thumped soundly.

On the public school side, two of the games were decided by 14 points or more.

And it looks like Regions 5 and 8 have lived up to their billing as the two best in Class A. Region 5 teams, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy and Landmark Christian, went 2-0 on Friday while Region 8 teams – Athens Academy, George Walton Academy and Prince Avenue Christian – were 2-1. Here’s a look at the region records after two rounds:

Region 1: 1-2

Region 2: 2-3

Region 3: 3-2

Region 4: 3-3

Region 5: 4-2

Region 6: 2-5

Region 7: 4-4

Region 8: 5-3

Undefeated no more
The dream seasons ended for No. 1 Athens Academy and No. 3 Walker. In Athens, No. 9 Prince Avenue Christian (10-2) avenged a regular season loss to the Spartans (11-1) by turning up the defensive intensity in a 24-7 win. The Wolverine defense held Athens Academy to just 24 yards rushing and forced three turnovers in a game PAC dominated from the outset. The Wolverines will host Landmark Christian in next week’s private school semi finals.

In Marietta, Walker (11-1) was drilled by No. 11 George Walton Academy (9-3), 37-7, as Stanley “Boom” Williams ran for 225 yards on 18 carries, including touchdown runs of 60 and 65 yards. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs held Walker’s Evan Kasian, the leading rusher in Class A, to 99 yards on 17 carries, with most of it coming later in the game against GWA reserves. In the first half, Kasian had 21 yards on 10 carries. Still, the senior made a strong case for being named Class A Offensive Player of the Year by finishing the season with 2, 081 yards, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. GWA will travel to McDonough to face No. 2 Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in next week’s private semi finals.

ELCA still rolling
They say you have to beat the man to be the man. No. 2 ELCA (11-1) trounced the man on Friday. The Chargers knocked off defending Class A champion No. 7 Savannah Christian 42-7. Junior quarterback Dalton Etheridge led the way with 251 yards of total offense, which included completing 15-of-20 passes for 177 yards and two touchdown passes — one to Davis Carrandi and one to DJ Curl.

Defensively, ELCA held the Raiders (8-4) to less than 100 yards, as the Chargers forced two turnovers including an interception by Curl.

What is even scarier is that ELCA was without All State linebacker/running back and Purdue commit Keyante Green, who sat most of the game due to a leg injury he suffered in last week’s win over Our Lady of Mercy. Filling the void with stellar play was running back Lane Timpson (56 yards on nine carries and a touchdown) and linebacker Alex Jerreat. The Chargers will host George Walton Academy in next week’s semi finals.

Grace, Howard propel Wilcox
Simply put, Wilcox County (10-2) quarterback Mikail Grace and receiver Johnathan Howard are the best 1-2 tandem in Georgia high school football. Period. End of story.

Grace completed 27-of-33 passes for 357 yards and four touchdowns, and still found time to run for 129 yards and a score, while Howard caught 12 passes for 140 yards as the Patriots downed No. 7 Marion County (9-3), 39-21. Wilcox led 14-0 early and 26-7 by halftime. It was win No. 100 for Wilcox head coach Mark Ledford. The Patriots will host No. 3 Emanuel County Institute in next week’s public semi finals.

Landmark won’t go away
Last season, No. 12 Landmark (9-3) won five consecutive road games to advance to the Class A final. This season the War Eagles earned a home game in the second round and made the most of it, pulling away from No. 13 First Presbyterian Day (7-5), 38-24.

Junior running back Jeremiah Kirkland did most of the damage, rushing for 214 yards on 13 carries and three touchdowns. Kirkland gained 142 yards in the second half as he helped Landmark increase a 14-7 halftime lead to 38-17 at the end of the third quarter. Landmark will get back on the road next week to Bogart, to face Prince Avenue Christian in the semi finals.

Lincoln still alive and well
While the top seeded private school went down, No. 1 on the public side, Lincoln County, remains in the hunt for a title.

The Red Devils (11-1) edged Region 7 foe No. 9 Wilkinson County (8-4), 28-22, to advance to the public school semi finals. With the score tied at 14, Lincoln’s Jamar Norman returned a punt 37 yards for a touchdown to give the Red Devils a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Lincoln offensive line, which paved the way for more than 300 yards of offense, took over in the game’s final 5 minutes, helping running back Mike McIntire, who finished with 139 yards rushing and two touchdowns, run out to clock and keep Warrior senior quarterback David Whipple and his offense off of the field. Whipple finished with 237 yards passing. Lincoln will host No. 5 Dooly County in next week’s semi finals.

ECI feels good
Emanuel County Institute running back James Brown scored on an 80-yard touchdown in the third quarter to help the No. 3 Bulldogs (11-1) pull away from No. 11 Trion (9-3), 27-10. Brown finished with 179 yards rushing. ECI will travel to Rochelle to face Wilcox in one public semi final.

Dooly moves on
AJ Smith helped No. 5 Dooly County (10-2) erase a two-touchdown deficit and advance to the semi finals with a 34-28 win over No. 4 Seminole County (9-3). Smith finished with 255 yards passing and four touchdowns, including a 24-yarder to Kris Lundy early in fourth quarter to provide the margin of victory for the Bobcats, who will now travel to Lincolnton to face Lincoln County in the semi finals.

75 comments Add your comment

1gadawg

December 1st, 2012
9:26 am

Good job Elca – tonight you showed a balance offense and stellar defense. Enjoyed tailgating with Raiderman85, swamp Lizard, Lightning Bolt and others. I don’t know if Fear the Cannon brouhgt the Cannon, but I didn’t hear it go off all night. SCPS is a young good team. ELCA was just bigger and faster and most important they executed the game plan with minimal mistakes

I Wonder Fan

December 1st, 2012
9:55 am

Don’t count out Landmark Christian because they are a wild card that is firing on all cyclinders and they know how to win on the road and they have been to the big dance, ELCA is a Juggernaut and just seems to not relent on anyone. Prince Ave Christian is a power running team that could slip in. GWA is solid with a running back that just might even give ELCA some trouble but they will have to play defence out of their mind. ELCA has the Vegas bet but I’m nervous about them meeting Landmark Christian when hearts are on the line for that shinny state crown. It will be exciting. Is there anything better right now than good ol smash mouth Georgia high school football in single A!!!

moodswing

December 1st, 2012
10:47 am

GWA looks strong and next week against ELCA should be one of the all time BEST!!! I’m sure Walker is a good school and has great kids, but they were NOT a 3rd ranked team. Hard pressed to be in Top10. Goes to show you who you play matters and how stupid the new GSHA ranking formula is. To say Kasian should be OPOY based on his yardage alone would be an injustice. He hardly got pass GWA’s starting line, but showed a lot of heart, as all of Walker’s players and fans did.

LanFan

December 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

Great game in Fairburn last night. Give FP credit. I am sure many may say it could have been a bigger win but it could have very easily been very tight. I really don’t know much about Prince Ave. but it will make for a great week. Not going to say anything about the ELCA game next week don’t want to jinx anyone.

I am wondering about this system for the playoffs. Seems to worked OK for Public 1, 2, 3,& 5 still in it but for Private you now have 2, 9, 11 & 12 Still going and I had 3 of those picked from the beginning. But all that is for conversation for another. Congrat to everyone who played last night and especially those who are still going you should all be proud of what you have done. I know I never got anywhere near this far in the playoffs.

Swamp Lizard

December 1st, 2012
1:25 pm

STC … Sav Christian has a young team. They’ll be back strong next year. Players, Coaches, and fans are first class.

Swamp Lizard

December 1st, 2012
1:32 pm

@ moodswing … George Walton is RED HOT right now, the hottest team in the playoffs. They have been very impressive making this run. I’m looking forward ( being an ELCA fan ) to the matchup. Sav Christian game was to be “tight” … but that didn’t happen. I have close friends at GW and I’m happy for them, but if ELCA is to win the state championship this year, I want them to play & beat the best.

Swamp Lizard

December 1st, 2012
1:33 pm

@1gadawg … enjoyed the tailgating and meeting everyone. That low country boil was GOOD !!

Swamp Lizard

December 1st, 2012
1:40 pm

@ LanFan … GHSA “point system” is a joke … I’m sure “tweaks” are to be made. But as far as a “true” seeding system ( on the Private side ) it’s embarassing. Congrats on the big win last night … I admire the heart, character, and fight in your players … even though we’re rivals. Hope to see y’all in the Dome.

moto

December 1st, 2012
2:44 pm

I admire the Landmark program and always enjoy watching games there. But just from a fan’s perspective, I wish the brackets had worked out so that GWA had a chance to play ELCA in the Dome. ELCA and Landmark already have played 3 times since Fall of 2011. But all 4 teams deserve to be where they are, and I plan to enjoy the next 3 games no matter what the matchups are.

Congratulations to all the great fans on this board. My team had its worst year ever since getting its first full senior class, but wait ’til next year!!! And thanks to STC for being such a gracious and informative host. Best board there is.

Thanks for the memories

December 1st, 2012
8:31 pm

@moodswing….I agree with your comments about GWA. The GWA is a very good team that has excellent athletes that are very strong and fast. They seem to be peaking at the right time. However, I take exception to your comments about Kaisan of the Walker school and OPOY. The running back at GWA is an outstanding running back as demonstrated by his offers from LSU and Georgia. If Kaisan had the opportunity to run behind the stronger and bigger GWA line and Williams had to run behind the smaller line of Walker, it would be interesting to see the results. Any running back owes a lot to the offensive line. Both of these young men are outstanding athletes and I wish them the best.

cold hard Facts

December 1st, 2012
8:56 pm

@walker Fan…..We have not heard from you? You guys had a great season, we will see you next year.

Swamp Lizard

December 2nd, 2012
5:28 am

@ Walker Fan & JT Walker … I know y’all guys are hurt and upset right now, but I’d really like for y’all to come down here to McDonough Friday night for the GW game … I’m planning on meeting friends from GW at a restaurant before the game … come on down.

J.T. Walker

December 2nd, 2012
9:15 am

@All- I posted Friday night:

“Hats off to GWA. Took advantage of our mistakes and penalties and put it on us tonight. We should have given you a better game. My son said the Bulldogs from Monroe were great sports on the field as well. Proud of our boys for a great season and looking forward to many more. Go Wolverines!”

I am a rookie at this so myabe I should have waited for this thread. GWA’s band was awesome as well.

@SL- Thanks for the invite but we’ll be over at Mt Pisgah for basketball. Good luck the rest of the way and I hope 5A brings the SC home to Metro Atlanta. I am neither hurt nor upset, btw. This was our best season in program history and, as an alum and parent, I am very proud of my school. We may never have the size and speed we saw Friday but I’d put our kids’ heart and attitude up against anyone.

@STC- I have enjoyed reading your blog and the comments this season and look forward to many happy, unproductive hours on here. I think the common thread (excuse the pun) for the guys on here is that, as parents, our primary reason for putting the time and effort and money and miles into sports is to make our sons and daughter better men and women. The championships and accolades are but a part of a bigger lesson. Coach Williamson said not to ask him if his season was a success after the last game- ask him in 25 years. That’s when he’d know. I couldn’t agree more.

I’ll put away my soap box now. Again, good luck to the Final Four. We’ll be waiting on the court and mat!

1gadawg

December 2nd, 2012
12:34 pm

@Swamp Lizard- Give me a call on where and when you’re eating Friday night

gh2o

December 2nd, 2012
3:18 pm

@JT Walker…thanks for the nice comments about GWA. I especially like to hear that the kids were good sports on the field. I thought Walker was a wonderful host and its too bad our schools don’t cross paths more often. Congrats on a great season!

Swamp Lizard

December 2nd, 2012
8:29 pm

@ JT Walker … very well said. Wish y’all the best on the court & mat. Enjoy our chats this year. Walker ( football ) has a lot to be proud of … hold your heads high.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 3rd, 2012
10:43 am

@Swamp: In reference to Savannah Christian, yes, look for them to be a monster again next year and the year after that. Sometimes being super talented can hurt you and that’s what happened to them last season. They had SOO much talent that the sophomores and juniors didn’t get to play a whole lot, even though they had several blowouts along the way to their state championship last season. So this season, they played a lot of young kids and I think I remember Coach Chumbley telling me back in August that he was going to start at least two or three ninth graders. So I look for Savannah Christian to be a big time title contender next season.

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

@moto: Thanks for the love, and for reading and posting all season!

S. Thomas Coleman

S. Thomas Coleman

December 3rd, 2012
10:59 am

J.T. Walker: Thanks for the love and for reading and posting. And congrats to Walker on a great season!

S. Thomas Coleman

Innocent Bystander

December 3rd, 2012
11:19 am

Any predictions on the Semi-Final games coming up ????

Mercy Fan

December 3rd, 2012
11:20 am

I agree with the comments about STC and this blog. Great stuff from him and the commenters. I like that he has posted the playoff records of the regions so people can see that 5 and 8 were clearly the best all season and it shows. The Final Four in the private schools is all region 5 and 8.

How region 6 got five teams in the playoffs when you count their public school Trion is a joke! As I have said before, if Our Lady of Mercy was in region 6, we go undefeated in that region and get a 3 or 4 or 5 seed and would probably still being playing. Instead, we had to have a first round playoff game at ELCA! They will put up 40 on GWA. I said it first!

Hats off to all the teams that made the tournament, the public and the private schools. Let’s hope the GHSA fixes the point system so the better teams get treated more fairly.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 3rd, 2012
11:28 am

@Mercy: Thanks for the love, and as I’ve said previously, I think the GHSA executive committee will look at tweaking the system a bit.

@Innocent: I don’t know if I’ve ever said this or not, but I don’t like to do predictions unless I’ve actually seen the teams play. I haven’t seen George Walton or Prince Avenue this season, so I can’t go out on a limb and make a prediction, other than to say I think we’ll have four GREAT semi final games. ECI-Wilcox will be a tremendous game, as will Dooly-Lincoln County, ELCA-GWA and Landmark-PAC. All eight teams are worthy of playing for a title!

Thanks for reading and posting!

S. Thomas Coleman

gh2o

December 3rd, 2012
12:26 pm

@Mercy…I think you’ve picked GWA to lose every time. That bodes well for us! ;-) I think the underdog role is one that the kids are relishing. ELCA deserves all of the accolades it’s currently receiving, but the game is played on the field. I think the depth of talent at GWA matches well with any team in the state. I haven’t seen Landmark or ELCA play, but I’ve seen Prince Ave and GWA. I think Prince is very beatable. They are very one dimmensional. If Landmark is capable of stopping the run, they can beat them. GWA, given all the props that ELCA has received this year, will have to be at their best. But, again, I think GWA can play with anyone. For those who haven’t seen their combined size and speed, well, they may continue to surprise them. I look a this game to be very much like the SEC Championship game…it may come down to the last possession. One more thing that might be to GWA’s advantage (along with being perceived as the underdog in the fight) is their strength of schedule. They’ve played/beaten some very strong teams, both in and out of conference. Aquinas (twice), Holy Innocents, Prince Ave, FPD, ACS, Walker, Commerce, etc. When at full strength, GWA has been very difficult to beat…and I think everyone remains fairly healthy.

RaiderDad

December 3rd, 2012
1:15 pm

Congrats to ELCA…talented, well-coached. Sometimes the other team is just better. My son said the players were good sports, too. The Raiders will be good (although my son was one of the few seniors) the next couple years. About 2/3 of the team are 9th and 10th graders and two of our better juniors had broken bones. With only 45 players, we were thin this year.

While this is my first post, I enjoy the (mostly) informed and civil discourse. Thank you.

Mercy Fan

December 3rd, 2012
2:20 pm

gh2o: You must have me confused with some other poster. I’ve never made mention of GWA prior to today. But I stand by what I said. ELCA will put up 40 points. It’s what they do. Their combination of speed, size and coaching is unmatched in Class A. I’m sure GWA is good. ELCA is/will be better.

Walker Fan

December 3rd, 2012
3:29 pm

All…I know some folks have been waiting for me to say something…so here is something. My friend JT Walker did a nice job. I am going to go in a different direction:

1) GWA whipped us.
2) If we played that game 10 times, it might be close once or twice and the other eight or nine, GWA, in current form, would win by 3 to 5 touchdowns, in essence, they would whip us. GWA was bigger, stronger, and faster.
3) There was a point in the game, with Walker down 13 to 0, following a nice Evan Kasian 65 yard kickoff return deep into GWA territory, when, on fourth down the Walker QB threw a pass about 20 yards to a reasonably open Walker receiver in the end-zone, somewhat behind him, but he still might have made the catch. Had the catch been made, Walker would have been down 13 to 7 most likely and it would have lifted the energy level of the team enormously at that point. I later (after the game) asked four or five fellow parents, had we scored on that play, what the final score would have been…in all cases, each fan/dad responded with a score of GWA by 2 to 4 TDs.
4) It may have been the heightened intensity of the game, but in every case in the first quarter or two, when Walker had a chance to make something happen in GW territory and make the game interesting, the team shot themselves in the foot with silly penalties (e.g. 3 or 4 movements before the snap), hence the need to go for it on fourth down a couple of times, even after one of those penalties. Walker did not play well. But make no mistake, I do not believe Walker playing well would have made the difference at all.
5) I am still left fascinated by the implications and non-implications of the transitive property…how did GWA lose to Pincecrest, who got whipped by King’s Ridge who finished near the bottom of Region 6? How did GWA lose to Athens Academy? Etc. Questions that are not answerable.

This season, we at Walker had a chance to take a closer look at the mountain and even take a few steps up the mountain (make the playoffs, win a game, get whipped). I am left asking two questions (which I also have asked of other parents/fans as well).

Question 1 – What would it take to climb the mountain to the top?

Question 2 – Are we willing to do what it would take?

ANSWER TO QUESTION 1 – What would it take to climb the mountain?
Last season, Walker’s team was much closer to success than most folks give credit. Although the team went 3-7, in 5 of the losses, the team was winning or tied at half. The biggest issue was depth among seniors and juniors with roughly only 30 boys on the roster (half freshman and sophomores). One of Coach East’s greatest successes this year was in getting so many more boys to come out for football, many of who had either never played, or not played since middle school. So many of these new players made huge impacts this year. Interestingly, of the 18 seniors, 10 had either never played before, or not played since middle school.
This year’s senior class overall is probably the best group of athletes in a single class Walker has ever had…certainly in the six years I have been observing. This same group was very successful in middle school…in fact, if memory serves, they may have beaten either ELCA or Landmark as 8th graders in the NAML (I suspect Swamp can confirm or deny that). The class represents sheer coincidence of athletic talent to Walker’s benefit…meaning, no effort has ever been made in admissions to seek out athletes…this one just happened by sheer luck, with most of the boys having been at Walker since middle and lower school. They have been productive for the school across a range of sports, including football. As well, most of the boys play multiple sports…I believe Saturday afternoon after the loss, five of the boys were in the pool at the second swim meet of the year.
With that said, with some few exceptions, we were not a match for GWA in size, speed, and strength…in football. I expected to be trounced badly by ELCA if we got there, but I expected GWA to be a close game and it was not. However accomplished, the collection of quality impact football players at a small school like GWA seems to defy the odds of sheer luck or coincidence…there was purpose and design behind it. It is clear to me that to climb the mountain to the dome, I believe very strongly we would need to “acquire” players and not leave it to luck. Doing things like getting 50 plus kids to come out for football from the current student body, having junior programs in your lower school, having a strong school support atmosphere…all of these things will lead to a solid season, more seasons making the playoffs than not, and a great experience for all…but these things are not enough to climb the mountain to the dome…that can only be accomplished by purposefully going out and acquiring players…not a huge number…5 or 6. Those 5 or 6 do indeed exist at nearby public schools like Walton and Lassiter.
To take the final steps up the mountain, we would need to acquire some additional players to add to the other ingredients that have been put in to the mix. Players such as these, that are bigger, faster, stronger than are currently available in our student body mix…if those parents wanted to send their child to a nearly $19,000 per year private school like Walker, I would assume they would be already doing it…so to acquire them, I believe it would take making it “attractive” in terms of school cost or easier to get in terms of admission standards or possibly both.
We will get to the mountain again occasionally, but we cannot climb to the top without a handful of additional uniquely talented players that must be “acquired”. It is a choice…all ingredients are needed. Coach East has added many, but this last one is critical. So…

ANSWER TO QUESTION 2 – Are we willing to do what it would take to climb the mountain?
In a word…NO!
Our last head master of 25 plus years, and our new headmaster, have both been emphatic on this point…we will do nothing special to acquire athletes. There will be no preferential treatment financially and there will be no preferential treatment in terms of academic standards. None.
Since last Friday, I have queried four or five football fanatic parents on this point and in every case, there was no support to do what it would take to climb the mountain, although most agree, after having seen GWA, and being aware of some of the other top teams skills levels, that indeed it would take going out and acquiring players to fully climb the mountain. By the way, this was an academic exercise on my part…I was just curious.
My observation of region 6 private schools is that almost none of them are willing to do what is needed to possibly climb the mountain with the possible exception of two schools that I will not mention (one had a down year and the other did not). Things are in the works at those two schools. Besides most of region 6, other schools outside our region such as Pace (getting killed in their new region) I suspect are unwilling as well, as are many/most around the state. Remember, in a school of 350-400, you have roughly 175-200 boys…getting 50-55 out for football is great success…roughly ¼ to 1/3rd. But to climb the mountain is an arms race that requires more than simply drawing from one’s student body based on chance…it is clear to me now.

SUMMARY
Walker will be back again…maybe next year, maybe not, but regardless, a sufficient number of ingredients to success have been put in place and are still being put in place that the school will come back the mountain (playoffs) again.
This year was a great deal of fun for everyone and unforgettable for the boys on the team. I am sorry it is over. As my wife said this past Saturday morning…”so what do we do next Friday night”…I immediately asked her out for a date…dinner and a movie. Good luck to those still in it.
Thanks all.

Joe R

December 3rd, 2012
7:15 pm

Suffice it to say, I say so long as the outcome is determined on the field by two teams playing to the last whistle, then I will be satisfied.

When outcomes are determined by “recruiting” or by “tweaking” a power ranking system, then we must all acknowledge that the outcome was not determined fairly.

It may be noted that when I was younger, I played on a varsity squad that went undefeated 2 consecutive years and never qualified for a playoff game due to the “recruiting” and “tweaking” of others. Play the game, play with sportsmanship, but make sure the game is played by our young men on the field and not those living vicariously off the field.

Sign me, A proud Dad of 2 Walker Varsity football players.

gh2o

December 3rd, 2012
7:23 pm

Gosh, I don’t know, Walkerfan. My son was one of those who was “bigger, faster and stronger” than the Walker players. I know he wasn’t “acquired” by GWA. I literally forced him to go there during middle school because I wanted him to have a better education. That’s the case for the vast majority of kids at GWA. None of them were “acquired”, so take your spilled milk elsewhere. My son is up every morning at 5am, working out. They earned that win and to make it sound somehow tainted is very unfair to this group of young men! Yes, faster, stronger and better football players. They worked very hard for that!

gh2o

December 3rd, 2012
7:47 pm

I’m really disappointed Joe and Walker fan. I thought, other than putting the visitors behind “police tape”, your school was a good host. It’s too bad a couple of bad apples spoil the whole bunch. You will be happy to note that a good deal of our starters were seniors who will be graduating, leaving a huge vacuum behind. That’s just the way it is at smaller schools. Sometimes you have a large amount of talent in one grade and its empty the next year. That’s what happens when kids grow up together and parents decide to send them to the same school. We have a few kids who are being talked to by colleges, but only one has committed to a D1 school.I think that’s the same for Walker. And, yes, almost all of those kids play at least one other sport. And EVERY kid who comes into the school has to meet certain academic criteria. You should give the kids credit for their hard work and unless you absolutely KNOW that GWA was lowering standards or paying players to come over, you should stop talking about something in which you know absolutely nothing.

Innocent Bystander

December 3rd, 2012
8:08 pm

@ gh2o…………..G.W may have a nice squad, but make no mistake, they will not match up well with ELCA. ! No 1-A team in the state of Georgia, public or private matches up well with ELCA. May sound like smack talk now, but wait till Friday and see the difference live and in person. If not for ELCA, G.W would probably have a solid shot at a title, but that’s not the case. There’s a reason the AJC and every other paper and website out there say ELCA could win the 1-A or 2-A title. Because IT IS TRUE !!! You may not be happy about it Friday, but you will be impressed. ELCA wins by at least 4 TD’s. No, let’s make it 5 !

Innocent Bystander

December 3rd, 2012
8:36 pm

@ Walker Fan……….It sounds to me like Walker has priced themselves out of the chance of ever having a perennially strong football program. I guess you can’t have it both ways. It doesn’t work for Woodward either. I would guess that ELCA, Landmark and G.W are all in the same price range of around $6k-$8k a yr for 1 H.S kid. That’s a little easier for a parent to swallow if they want their kid to play at a better program. I wouldn’t sweat it too much. You play in the weakest region ever created for organized football, so you probably have a shot at the playoffs every year regardless. In the big picture, does it really even matter for Walker,because as you eluded to, ELCA will always be waiting to trounce you if you do slip through !

Swamp Lizard

December 3rd, 2012
9:04 pm

@ Walker Fan … I think your on track about a lot of things … 1. Coach East is getting players out of the halls and on the field. 2. A feeder program ( youth league ) developing players helps tremendously. The little kids really look up to the older players … it may seem silly or corny, but those little grow up wanting to be their hero’s on Friday nights. 3. Put money & the kids in the weightroom! I think gh20 mentioned this, but my kid gets up 4 days a week BEFORE school and works out! If you want to get to the Dome … get in the weightroom. It has to be what the team … the players … & the coaches want. One or two players will not get you there. 4. You don’t “acquire” players … if you have a GOOD Coach & you establish your program as a winning product … kids will come. It really hurts … OK … pisses me off when I hear individuals say ELCA “recruits”. Those Coaches & young men work hard.

Swamp Lizard

December 3rd, 2012
9:09 pm

@ Innocent Bystander ….. EASY BIG BOY !! ;)

Joe R

December 4th, 2012
7:31 am

@ gh2o …. I made a simple point, which should not be misconstrued. GW won a fair fame – my comments were clearly general in nature. For the betterment of all programs, the goal should be to ensure that the game is won on the field.

Walker Fan

December 4th, 2012
8:35 am

Some comments to clarify

1) This is only about Walker, not about other programs. I have no idea how those top teams achieve their success. I think that Swamp makes a good point that success brings success in terms of kids wanting to attend a particular school…although I strongly doubt, even were Walker to run the table next year as well during the regular season we would have football players knocking at our door. I do think Walker’s geography along with the rest of the densely packed private schools in metro Atlanta, sitting near some strong (very large) public schools playes a factor in all of this. Given Walker’s student body makeup, price, etc., it is my opionion that for WALKER to fully climb the mountain, Walker would have to go out and purposefully get some additional players. I do not believe those students exist in the hallways of Walker, regardless of the amoount of lifting they might commit to. It would be doable, but there is no stomach at Walker to make that happen…to go get additional players. Therefore, with all of the ingredients we have given Coach East’s work, we can continue to have nice to very nice seasons and make the playoffs occasionally, but making it to the dome is likely not possible.

2) I am very sorry about the yellow tape. We unfortunately only have one side to our football stadium and it must be divided…that railing on which the yellow tape is placed is a convenent 1/3 to 2/3s dividing line. I had not really thought about the fact that the yellow tape looks like police tape. I apologize. We have signs as well but they never seem to work…hence the yellow tape.

3) GWA’s team is great. GWA’s band is even better. We really enjoyed the halftime show they put on. Marching bands at private schools are somewhat rare…I think the only other one I have seen is the 7 or 8 person band from King’s RIdge. All of the other great marching bands we have seen have been from the public schools (Gordon Lee has a great one…lot’s of fun). The fact that GWA, as a private school, has such a significant marching band is interesting and and I suspect speaks to the differences in the schools, but that discussion is way beyond me.

@ Walker Fan

December 4th, 2012
9:19 am

You don’t owe an apology regarding your post. The fact of the matter is that some schools have made a consience effort to bring in athletes that otherwise would not be attending private schools. Some of those measures are legitimate and doesn’t water down the mission of the schools and some of them are not. The Georgia GOAL scholarship is one such measure that is being used to bring in athletes. Depending on whether you think your school benefits or not will determine what you think of GOAL. I talked to a young man that had quit a football team that will be playing in the Single A semi-final Friday night because he had practiced and trained all summer to play and right before the season a transfer from a large public school in the area took his starting position. I don’t know if that transfer was legit or not, but I know it happened. It is a confusing and conflicting problem as STC has written about this year because the emphasis should be on the students and whether or not they are getting an education. But we are kidding ourselves on the private side if we don’t admit that part of the reason we want some of the kids that come to our school is because it enhances our chances of winning a football game.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 4th, 2012
9:32 am

To @Walker Fan: Sorry to hear that about the kid you reference. Hopefully, his coach is finding a way for him to still get on the field in meaningful situations so that he can contribute on game days. And yes, it is very much a legitimate issue, which is why I am not so quick to call many of the Class A coaches and parents “whiners,” as many folks are.

While the public-private “split” may not have been, and may not be, the best way to alleviate the issue, it is clear that their issue is a legitimate one.

Thanks for reading and posting.

S. Thomas Coleman

nourstuff

December 4th, 2012
10:29 am

Always makes me chuckle when the accused respond to the “recruiting” slur by bringing up how hard the kids/coaches/ballboys/etc. work in their program. A backhanded slight to the rest at best, just throwing up a straw man and attacking at the worst. No one thinks players get paid directly, but housing assistance , tuition assistance, phantom “jobs”, etc, are all a part of the recruiting repertoire. This is not widespread-it doesn’t need to be to change the face of a class A team. 90%+ of the team can come up together since grade school, etc. But go ahead, ignorance is bliss-keep answering the issue by claiming its all an attack on the players themselves…

gh2o

December 4th, 2012
11:23 am

GOAL is being used to bring in non-athletes, as well as athletes. Would ANY school prefer kids who are well-rounded? SURE! GWA encourages all of its students to be involved in extra-curricular activities, and I’d bet that 100% of them are. Our band was mentioned by multiple posters on this board. Band members attend GWA due to the band’s success in national competitions. Does that mean they “recruit” band members? Uh, no. It means the band is nationally recognized and parents send musically gifted students to GWA to be part of the program. Is there an unusually large number of gifted band students at GWA? Yep. You betcha.

nourstuff

December 4th, 2012
1:46 pm

A revealing admission @gh2o-if you know what you are talking about? From the GOAL website:

“FAQ: 13. Will the GOAL financial assistance be awarded, in whole or in part, based on achievement in co-curricular areas such as arts and athletics?

No consideration is given to co-curricular achievement in allocating Georgia GOAL financial assistance. All admission decisions are made based on the school’s admission standards and the verified financial need of the student’s family.”

I guess now we know why, in part, that GWA’s band is as well built as their team! Use that GOAL $ judiciously to bring in the right “well-rounded” kids.

elementary

December 4th, 2012
2:05 pm

@nour, I don’t know why you have such bitterness toward GWA, but please let me know so I at least understand what might be at the center of your ignorant charges. GOAL can obviously be used to help aid any student (athelete or not). I wouldn’t run around yelling that “nourstuff raped a 12 year old boy” unless I had proof. Why do you feel the need to make disparaging comments about a school program and its students without any proof?

nourstuff

December 4th, 2012
2:20 pm

@elementary Wow… imho you are in contention for the hyperbole post of 2012 for this blog! However, there may be another contextually challenged individual out there that will wrest the award away before the end of the year! Wow…

Walker Fan

December 4th, 2012
2:36 pm

@elementary – your example crossed the line. I understand your have strong feelings about this, but regardless, the analogy was wildy inappropriate.

Innocent Bystander

December 4th, 2012
2:42 pm

@ nourstuff………Seems like every time someones favorite team gets beaten by a private school it was because of recruiting. It couldn’t possibly be the hard work. With the exception of the tuition assistance, it sounded like you were reading from the old Valdosta handbook. I have a kid at a private school & I know that all but a few have been there since elementary school. Success breeds success. When you win with what you have in a county of schools that have talent but never win, those kids and parents look for other options at better programs. If a family is willing to move for a better opportunity for their kid, then I would say they are looking out for the best interest of the kid. Until you have undeniable proof of the “recruiting”, it’s all opinion, and you know what people say about opinions. I know, everyone knows someone that knew someone that got recruited by a private school. That doesn’t count as undeniable proof !

elementary

December 4th, 2012
5:13 pm

Wow, indeed! I hurt the sensibilities of the boy who keeps whining “wolf”. So sorry, sweety. The analogy was spot on. The only difference was I didn’t say he actually did, as I don’t have any proof of it happening.

digging deeper

December 4th, 2012
5:34 pm

Information about a named booster was presented to the GHSA along with his involvement with establishing residency for player/players on Monday Dec. 3, 2012. It is now in the hands of the Georgia Highschool Association. It’s will all be revealed soon. I’m betting GHSA waits until the season is over but ohhhhh what a mess that could be.

nourstuff

December 4th, 2012
5:35 pm

You really think you hurt the sensibility of someone whose bitter, hateful personality you relate by comparison to someone who commits felonies with 12 yo boys? I sincerely hope that @elementary has nothing to do with elementary education in your career! You have revealed much about the level of your thought process! Go ahead, keep defending the appropriateness of your post in the current context of this thread.

nourstuff

December 4th, 2012
6:29 pm

@ Innocent Bystander, why do you think your next to last sentence is so often the case? It is in my own, so I can only relate my own experience: I have talked (am acquaintances with) with a parent of a “recruit” that already lives near the school in question, but chose to go elsewhere. I will not “out” the family or the school to satisfy your curiosity. Have you considered what it would mean for the family to be considered “traitors” or “snitches”, knowing they still will live and work with their neighbors and community friends that don’t understand why they don’t just take the $, after all its a good school besides the athletic stuff! On the other hand, maybe every case like mine is just part of the vast conspiracy against certain private schools. Your choice…

nourstuff

December 4th, 2012
6:59 pm

O.K., last comment on this thread and I’m out: It still surprises me when folks using a particular medium of communication fail to employ basic principles needed for effective discourse. In the current scenario, in which several posts had addressed the topic of recruiting among private high school football programs, “poster A” chimed in with a statement to the effect of “we use GOAL money to bring in both non athletes as well as athletes”, and then proceeded to mentioned what a great marching band they have. :) I responded by posted the GOAL guidelines indicating that only financial need is a factor in GOAL $ distribution, not other skills (be they arts or athletics). I then sarcastically commented that we now know why poster A’s school has both a great band as well as a great football team. I wanted to provoke poster A into clarifying what they meant by “bring students in”. Since in a blog, only text is available, I can only go by what you write, not what you mean to write (c’mon have you never kidded/poked someone on a blog?). CONTEXT is crucial, but then poster B jumps in with a kind of “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” type of statement (look that up @elementary), I guess thinking that they can intimidate anyone expressing an opinion on a blog that may deviate from theirs. And, the same person probably would complain about the lack of civil discourse in Wash DC… classic.

gh2o

December 4th, 2012
7:47 pm

@nour, In my opinion, you’re not worth having any discourse with. You choose to make blatantly false statements and you know very well that GOAL can be used for students who choose to play sports or those who don’t. And it is being used for both. Even for you, that should be pretty simple to understand. And “bring” means pretty much what it says. That’s what GOAL is for, to bring students into the private school system who would otherwise financially be unable to attend. Is that so difficult to understand? You really need to get a life. The only reason I mentioned the band was because one of the Walker fans mentioned how good the GWA band is, yet another Walker fan doubted how the school could have so many good football players. How can they have so many good band members? Maybe this particular class of students are quality musicians and work hard to be the best? Maybe the same can be said for the football team? Is that simple enough for you to understand?

Until you have some proof, why talk negatively about a bunch of hard working students? Enough said.