Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

Down at The List HQ, we’re nothing if not unique.

We just have no use for the bland and the common. We like to go our own route, blaze our own trail. We’re such independent souls. Or, at least, we like to pretend we are.

So we have to admit, we were pretty disappointed while watching teams with such milquetoast names as the Cardinals and Wolverines playing Monday night. It hurt even more, knowing that we could have had the Shockers and Orange duking it out. We’re pretty sure it would have been an even better game, if just for the team names involved.

That, of course, got us thinking about the team names we’ve had here in Georgia, and which ones have been our favorites over the years. And, in that spirit, here’s our top 10 all-time team names in the state …

10. Lanier Poets

There’s something nice about athletic teams embracing their more linguistic side, though we could be biased on that front. That’s right. The kids from old Lanier High weren’t just dumb jocks. They could score three touchdowns and then write a sonnet at halftime. Robert Frost may not make many people shake in their boots, but you should have seen him hit a curveball.

9. Tech High Smithies

Poor students from old Tech High, getting made fun of by those mean kids down at the old Boys High for being poor, uneducated kids. So what did they do? Said bring it on, and just named themselves the Smithies, as in Blacksmiths, and own it. Sure, they’re not likely to be doctors or get masters degrees, but they’ll do more productive with their hands in one morning than the Boys High kids will do all week, and then they’ll steal your girlfriend too.

8. Broxton Gold Nuggets

This former school in the tiny South Georgia town of Broxton (population: 1,189), known – if for anything – for a unique sandstone formation near the local creek, named its team the Gold Nuggets, perhaps hoping to find some around the area. Or maybe there was a South Georgia Gold Rush, which sounds like fun.

7. Memorial Day Matadors

We’re not too sure how many actual matadors there are in Georgia, but we certainly support teams being named after them no matter what. Perhaps there’s some connection to Spain here, or maybe it’s an ode to the Running of the Bulls. No matter what the reason, we’re totally on board with this name.

6. Southside Lasers

Oh, Maynard Jackson High. We love you guys, but it’s hard for us to look past your change from a great name like the Lasers to the obligatory Jaguars when you changed the name of your school a few years ago. We’re not rooting against you or anything, but we are a little pained.

5. Glynn Academy Red Terrors

This one just sounds dangerous, and it pretty much is. They get their name from a group of Scottish Highlanders who fought to defend the surrounding area, and the school has been around since 1788. We’re not sure if they’ve always been called the Red Terrors, but we’d certainly recommend they continue to be.

4. Clarkston Angoras

In case you’re wondering, an Angora is a goat. A long-haired goat, to be precise, and there were apparently lots of them roaming around Clarkston around the time the school was built. And, let’s face it, being the Clarkston Angoras sounds a heck of a lot better than the Clarkston Goats, and fancier too.

3. Cairo Syrupmakers

Love these guys. This one’s rather literal … they’re famous for making syrup in Cairo so, yeah, why not? It’s not the most intimidating team name available, but it gets huge points for originality and willingness to adopt a name that means something real to the community.

2. Sandersville Satans

We’ve never quite understood why so many teams are cool with being the Devils, but nobody wants to be the Satans. Well, Sandersville took care of that, at least until the school closed in the late 1950s. And doesn’t it just sound more menacing? When the gold-donning Satans charged the field, you better believe teams had to take notice. Their mascot could have been great.

1. Johnson-Savannah Atom Smashers

Yeah, they still have the best, most unique name, along with one of the best uniforms, logos and color schemes in the state. It, at once, signifies strength, technology, intelligence, and destruction, along with being different from every Lion, Tiger and Bear out on the landscape. It’s perfect.

Now we want to know what you think. What’s your favorite all-time Georgia high school team name? Who didn’t make this list that should have? Wouldn’t you like to smash an atom, just once? Let us know here in the comments or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.

4 comments Add your comment


April 10th, 2013
9:22 pm

Jeff, maybe I’m stating the obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: The Lanier Poets got their name from Georgia Poet Laureate Sidney Lanier, famous for the “Marshes of Glynn.”

Not a Georgia school, but a team from Jordon, Utah played Valdosta, named the Beet Pickers. Cats lost the first, in 2006, 21-13, but won the ‘07 game, 23-21.

You ran a Top 10 List similar to this last year, didn’t you?

Todd Holcomb

April 11th, 2013
8:42 am

Don’t forget the Cornelia Appleknockers.

Best nickname that never was: The Marietta Little Lambs … fleece was white as snow.

Close second: Dacula Mockingbirds.


April 11th, 2013
8:04 pm

What about the Twiggs County Cobras?


April 15th, 2013
1:45 pm

Thanks for giving props to the Orange and Blue AtomSmashers again. This is one contest we always look forward to winning! :)