Archive for June, 2013

Fellowship Christian talks Morrell out of retirement

Al Morrell, who retired as a head football coach immediately after the 2012 season at Creekview in Cherokee County, will be back on the sidelines this fall with private school Fellowship Christian.

Morrell, who has 31 years of experience as a football coach, will the Roswell private school’s fourth head coach.

Morrell started the program at Creekview and was 48-25 in his seven seasons there. Creekview was 9-2 in 2012 and won its subregion of Region 7-AAAAA.

Fellowship Christian, which started varsity football in 2004, has struggled since its 11-2 finish in 2007 under Bob Lord. That team was noted for having several former NFL players as assistant coaches, including Ken Karcher and Lord’s successor, Terry Luck.

Fellowship, a member of Region 6-A, has not had a winning season since and was 2-8 last season.

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Nickname controversies seldom brew in Georgia, where 1 in 12 high schools have Native American mascots

A school board in Washington state voted this week to retire the nickname Redskins from one of its high schools because it was viewed as racist and insensitive.

Port Townsend High School had been the Redskins for 88 years but now will choose a new nickname later this year.

The debate began when Andrew Sheldon of Port Townsend wrote a letter to the school board in 2012 asking for a change. He said he was ‘’offended, embarrassed and ashamed by our school mascot,’’ according to the Peninsula Daily News.

Controversies such as these seldom brew in Georgia, which has more high school teams that are nicknamed Indians (16) than any other Southern state. (Florida has nine, North Carolina only one, for example).

GHSA-member schools nicknamed Indians are Albany, Armuchee, Charlton County, Chattooga, Cross Keys, Dodge County, East Coweta, Irwin County, Lumpkin County, McEachern, Murray County, Seminole County, Stephens County, Tallulah Falls, Towns County and Vidalia.

The only …

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Hiram promotes coordinator to succeed Dorsey

Hiram announced Monday that it had promoted defensive coordinator Chris Brown to replace Andy Dorsey as head football coach. Dorsey will remain as athletics director.

Brown also had been the team’s strength and conditioning coach. Prior to coming to Hiram, he was an assistant at McEachern.

Dorsey, the son of long-time McEachern coach Jimmy Dorsey, was 45-30 in his seven seasons at Hiram. His 2009 team won a region title and was 11-1. Hiram, a Region 5-AAAAA school in Paulding County, was 5-5 in 2012.

Hiram will have a meet and greet for Brown with parents and boosters on July 9 at the school, the school Website says.

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State’s top basketball recruits: Gant, Hill leaning out of state?

Georgia and Georgia Tech are in the running for about half of the top basketball recruits in the state, but it’s no slam dunk that either will sign a top in-state prospect.

Here is a look at 10 of the most heavily recruited high school seniors in the state. Only two has made college commitments, both to out-of-state schools.

Georgia has five of the Top 100 prospects in the nation, according to 247Sports. They are Jakeenan Gant, Ahmed Hill, Tadric Jackson, Devin Mitchell and Trayvon Reed.

F Phil Cofer, Whitewater – A 6-foot-8 forward, Cofer averaged 16.7 points and 8.9 rebounds. That was on an 18-12 team that  averaged only 46 points. Cofer is committed to Tennessee.

C Jabari Craig, Tucker – Craig is a 6-foot-10 center with offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Purdue, Clemson, Maryland and others. It is reported that Purdue leads. Expect him to improve on his junior numbers – 8.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 blocks – as Tucker seeks to replace all-state forward …

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Campbell junior basketball guard commits to Mississippi State, joins Staley

Campbell basketball guard Dante Scott has become the first rising junior to make a verbal commitment.

Cobb County’s leading scorer last season as a sophomore, Scott says he will sign with Mississippi State, according to Campbell coach James Gwyn.

‘’He can score in a lot of ways and has a high basketball ball IQ,’’ Gwyn said. “His physical style of play will transfer well to the college level as he got to the free-throw line about eight-nine times a game. He will be a true combo guard if needed at the college level. He can shoot and score and pass.’’

Basketball commitments coming in much more slowly than those in football. Among rising seniors, only three in Georgia have committed.

One is Elijah Staley of Wheeler, also committed to Mississippi State. Staley is a 6-6 small forward and football quarterback who plans to play both sports in Starkville. He initially committed to Vanderbilt but was concerned that he would not be able to play two sports in …

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2012-2013 high school athletes of the year

Standout performances by these athletes led to individual and team success during the 2012-2013 school year:


Clint Frazier, Loganville: The senior outfielder batted .485 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs for a team that was 26-6 and reached the Class AAAAA quarterfinals. He hit 63 home runs in his career and played on one state championship team (2012). Frazier was selected at No. 5 by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of last week’s Major League draft. He has signed to play baseball at the University of Georgia.

Basketball (boys)

Brannen Greene, Tift County: The 6-foot-7 senior forward averaged 27 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists for a team that won Region 1-AAAAAA and made the state quarterfinals. Greene, known for his shooting touch, is the No. 1-rated senior basketball prospect in Georgia. He has signed to play basketball at the University of Kansas.

Basketball (girls)

Diamond DeShields, Norcross: The 6-foot-2 senior guard averaged 23.3 points, 6.9 …

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Three public, three private schools win Regions Directors Cup trophies

The Georgia High School Association’s decisions to create a sixth classification and hold separate Class A playoffs for public and private schools in most sports beginning in the 2012-2013 school year provided a big boost to the public schools in the state’s all-sports competition.

Walton, McIntosh and Gordon Lee captured Regions Directors Cup trophies this year, marking the first time in the history of the competition that three public schools have won their classifications.

The Directors Cup competition, which has been held every school year since 1999-2000, awards points to each school based on its performances in the playoffs and state meets for the GHSA’s 24 sports. Each school’s eight highest-scoring sports for each gender are counted in the standings.

Walton won its sixth Directors Cup by overtaking Brookwood in one of the closest finishes in the competition’s history. The Raiders, who won Class AAAAAA championships in volleyball and girls tennis and had teams …

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Year in review: Public schools win rare titles in A; private schools dominate AAA-AA like never before

The Class A public/private split in the Georgia High School Association opened the door for several public schools to win rare state championships this academic year.

But private school domination in classifications above A reached new highs as seven metro Atlanta private schools won 27 of a possible 39 state championships in AAA and AA. Westminster won a state-record 11 state championships.

Below is a list of state championships by school.

But first, here are some observations about the year that was:

-Georgia Military Academy, a public school in Milledgeville, won its first state title since 1976 and when it claimed the boys’ cross country championship last fall. The last public school to win boys cross country in the lowest classification had been Rabun Gap in 1985.

-Towns County, another Class A public school, won its first state title since 1988. It came in girls cross country. The last public school to win girls cross country in the lowest classification was Whigham, …

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Norcross, Sandy Creek ranked top five nationally in preseason football poll

Two Georgia teams are ranked in the top five of the first national high school football poll for 2013.

Norcross, the defending Class AAAAAA champion, is No. 3 in the preseason top 25 of MaxPreps, an online site that covers high school sports.

Sandy Creek, the 2012 champ in AAAA, is No.  5.

Both teams return several major FBS (formerly called Division I-A) prospects from teams that finished 15-0 last season.

Norcross’ bid for a national title gets a sharp test at home on Aug. 24, when the Blue Devils face Booker T. Washington of Miami, which MaxPreps ranks No. 9 nationally. Three Norcross players  (WR Myles Autry, DE Lorenzo Carter, LB Kevin Mouhon) are rated four-star prospects or better by Rivals.

Sandy Creek returns two 1,000-yard rushers (Eric Swinney, Delvin Weems), a 2,000-yard passer (Cole Garvin) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Demarre Kitt), all of whom are FBS prospects. It is unusual for Georgia teams outside the highest two classifications to make top-25 national …

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