Archive for the ‘1ABlog’ Category

Class A Blog: Public, Private Divided Top 5’s; Seminole County’s Alan Ingram not ready to wear the crown yet

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

It’s time for the inaugural edition of the AJC.com Class A Blog Divided Top 5. The overall AJC/Georgia High School Football Daily ranking is in parenthesis.

PUBLIC

1. Lincoln County (3). Head coach Larry Campbell would disagree, but … After shellacking McCormick of South Carolina in Week 1 (41-0), the Red Devils (1-0) took last week off. Friday they’ll get a huge test at Washington-Wilkes (1-0), No. 9 in Class AA, in the 76th edition of the Highway 378 War. The Tigers won last year’s game 21-6.

2. Wilcox County (5). The post Mikail Grace-Jonathan Howard era got off to a good start for the Patriots (1-0), who defeated rival Wilkinson County, 41-32. Quan Tisdol, who was Howard’s understudy at receiver last season, caught four touchdown passes. Antwan Benjamin, Grace’s replacement at quarterback, was 6-of-12 passing for 176 yards, with the four touchdown passes to Tisdol, and a 22-yard touchdown run. Wilcox will travel to Monroe …

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Class A Blog: ELCA reps Georgia; GWA debuts strong; Rough start for Dooly; JoCo a contender?

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here’s a sampling of what went down Friday night:

ELCA defends Georgia championship pride. After defending Class AAAAAA champ Norcross got embarrassed last weekend by Booker T. Washington of Miami and Sandy Creek, last season’s undefeated Class AAAA champs, escaped with a tie Thursday against Plant of Tampa, somebody had to step up and represent Georgia’s finest. Defending Class A private school champion Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy answered the call with a 27-7 win over traditional Alabama private school power Briarwood Christian of Birmingham. The Chargers, ranked No. 1, were led by senior quarterback Dalton Etheridge who ran for three touchdowns and threw for another.

Strong debut for George Walton. One team looking to challenge ELCA for Class A supremacy is George Walton Academy, which fell to the Chargers in the private school semi-finals last season. GWA made an early statement Friday with a 36-10 thumping of First …

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Class A Blog: Things to look for Friday night

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Here are a few things to look out for on Friday…

How good is Eagle’s Landing Christian? The consensus No. 1 Chargers sent five players to Division I programs from last season’s state championship team. Last week they gave Washington County, No. 6 in Class AAA, all it wanted through two quarters before the game was postponed due to lightning. Perennial Alabama private school power Briarwood Christian comes calling Friday. ELCA, led this year by QB Dalton Etheridge, LB Josh Shockley and DL Andrew Williams, won last year’s contest 32-7 in Birmingham.

The Highway 378 War. No. 4 Lincoln County travels to Washington for a date with rival Washington-Wilkes and the 76th installment of the Highway 378 War. Lincoln County, led by RB Mike McIntire, QB/S LaKeith Lockhart and WR/DB Jamar Norman, has won eight of the last 10 meetings, but lost last year’s game, 21-6.

Is George Walton Academy a title contender? The Bulldogs, ranked No. 5, kick …

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Class A Blog: ELCA’s Gess, Lincoln County’s Campbell discuss prospects for their teams this season

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Starting next week the Tuesday Class A Blog will feature our wildly popular “Divided Top 5,” where we post the top five public and top five private teams, based on the opinions of the crack staff at Class A Blog Headquarters. We’re holding off on that until next week, after every team in the state will have at least one game under its belt.

In the meantime, here is the AJC/Georgia High Football Daily Class A Top 10 after Week 1:

1. Eagle’s Landing Christian (0-0). No. 1 in the preseason poll, the Chargers had their game at Class AAA No. 5 Washington County called midway through the second quarter due to lightning. ELCA trailed 6-0 after giving up a 50-yard touchdown run. ELCA had two possessions inside the Golden Hawks’ 10-yard line but came away scoreless on each. ELCA will host Briarwood Christian, a perennial Alabama private school power, on Friday.

2. Prince Avenue Christian (1-0). No. 3 in the preseason poll, PAC beat St. …

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Class A Blog: Top programs starting fast, Douglas representing for Class A

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

After a handful of games on Friday, we learned a couple of things: ELCA is still pretty good, and several teams in Class A are chomping at the bit to knock them and Emanuel County Institute off of their thrones.

Washington County 6, No. 1 ELCA 0 (Postponed before half time). The Chargers were giving the Golden Hawks, ranked No. 5 in Class AAA, all they wanted for most of the first half before the game was called. ELCA had a scoring chance after a long drive but missed a short field goal.

No. 10 Athens Academy 41, Glascock County 8. The Spartans led 34-0 at the half and never looked back. Athens Academy has outscored Glascock 81-14 in the past two season openers.

No. 2 Brooks County (AA) 26, Clinch County 14. It looks like Clinch might be Clinch again this season as this one was much more respectable than last season, when Brooks throttled the Panthers 43-3. Brooks is the No. 2 ranked team in Class AA.

Landmark Christian 30, Calvary Day 22. …

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Class A Blog: Top teams Savannah Christian, ELCA and ECI begin their seasons this weekend

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

The season launches tonight with Class A schools taking the spotlight.

Savannah Christian will look to pick up 14 Power Ranking points when the Raiders kick off the season at Class AAAAA Jenkins. Last season a young and rebuilding Savannah Christian squad lost a close one to Jenkins, also located in Savannah, 21-20. The Warriors went on to finish 5-5.

Meanwhile, Savannah Christian, the 2011 Class A champs, finished 8-4. But all three loses after the season opener to Jenkins came at the hands of teams that won or played for a state title. The Raiders were defeated by Prince Avenue Christian (28-12), the eventual private school runner up, in Week 2, by eventual public school champ Emanuel County Institute (48-14) in the Region 3 championship game, and by eventual private school champ Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (42-7) in the second round of the state playoffs.

This season, look for head coach Donald Chumley to have Savannah Christian …

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Class A Blog: Power Rating tweaked, “Divided” Pre-Season Maxwell Ratings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

It’s time! Welcome back Class A heads!

High school football is back and so are the classification blogs you have all grown to love (well, most of you anyway). It’s good to be back for another season of competition in the smallest, and most underrated classification. Here’s the plan for this season:

Tuesday blog post – Divided Top 5; Outstanding performances from the weekend; This and that.

Thursday blog post – Preview of the best games on the weekend slate; This and that.

Saturday blog post – Recap of key games and top performances from the night before; This and that.

Things are always subject to change, but that’s the plan right now. We’ll start the first Divided Top 5 next week. Please send outstanding performance and any other nuggets you feel are noteworthy to s.thomascoleman@yahoo.com.

Tweak to the Power Rating

Much to the chagrin of some of you, the Power Rating system in Class A is back for at least another season. …

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David Boyd hired at Excel Christian

David Boyd, the boys basketball coach who won six state championships before his forced resignation at Milton last year, is the new head coach at Excel Christian, a private Class A school in Cartersville.

”Blessed to be back in the game,” Boyd posted on his Twitter account on Monday. ”Looking forward to meeting all the players’ parents and the players at Excel Christian Academy at 6:00pm tomorrow [Tuesday].”

Boyd replaces Jon-Michael Dickerson, who took a job as a graduate assistant at Memphis University.

Excel Christian was 26-3 last season and lost to Aquinas in the Class A private quarterfinals.

Boyd was had coach for state championship teams at Milton in 2010 and 2012. Several of his Milton players have gone on to play for major college programs. They include Evan Nolte (Virginia), Julian Royal (Georgia Tech), Shannon Scott (Ohio State), Dai-Jon Parker (Vanderbilt), Shaquille Johnson (Auburn) and Charles Mann (Georgia).

Boyd resigned in September amid allegations that he …

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Class A Blog: Abdur-Rahman has W.D. Mohammed boys No. 1, seven years after leading the girls there as well

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

It’s déjà vu all over again for W.D. Mohammed boys head coach Farad Abdur-Rahman.

For the second time in his career he has taken a team at the tiny, Muslim-based school in East Atlanta and taken it from worst to first. Seven years ago it was the girls’ team. Now, he has done the same with the boys’ squad as the Caliphs enter region tournament play this week as the Region 5 regular season champions and the top-ranked team in Class A (No. 2 in the private school power rankings).

To take one team – boys or girls – to the top of the rankings more than once in a career is a great accomplishment. To do it with the boys and girls teams at the same school might be unprecedented.

“I was talking to a friend of mine and he said he thinks I might be the only coach in Georgia to take the girls to No. 1 and then take the boys to No. 1. I never even thought about that,” Abdur-Rahman said. “I’m truly humbled.”

What makes the coaching …

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Class A Blog: Paideia’s Meiere gives his take on the power rankings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Paideia girls coach Paul Meiere is in his 19th season at tiny private school located in the eastern most part of Atlanta.  He is on course to quality for the state tournament for the 16th time in 17 seasons, has led the Pythons to five semifinals and two runner-up finishes.

In other words, he’s seen it all … until this season.

Meiere is one of a throng of coaches — public, private, girls or boys teams — that are not pleased with the new power ranking system being used to determine playoff teams in Class A.  Here he spells out his reasons for coming down against the system:

“From my standpoint, I can no longer fill my non-region schedule with top teams without any regard for winning since such scheduling would make it all but impossible to qualify for the state tournament unless we win the region tournament. Each game is now critical for qualification purposes. This affects my substitution pattern in all games and lessens the playing time of …

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Class A Blog: Region tourneys marginalized by power rankings; SACA girls, Mitchell boys send messages; updated power rankings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Something many detractors of the Class A power rankings feared would happen, has indeed happened.

Due to the fact that the importance of region tournaments has been lessened somewhat by the power rankings, the coaches from Region 2 have decided to cancel this year’s tournament. After the regular season comes to a close at the end of the week, basketball will be over for the majority of the teams in Region 2.   The Lanier County boys have the most to lose. The Bulldogs were in the top 16 of the public school power rankings early on but fell out recently.

Lanier (15-7, 7-4) should close out the season this week with wins at Clinch County (7-5, 3-4) tonight and Irwin County (4-18, 4-8) on Friday, which won’t provide a lot of points. Playing extra games in a tournament, especially advancing to the semi finals or the finals against No. 3 Wilcox County or No. 6 Turner County, could have gone a long way toward boosting the Bulldogs’ power …

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Class A Blog: SACA and Cowan driving toward state title, latest power rankings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

They say heavy is the head that wears the crown. That goes for queens as well as kings.

Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy head coach Jackie Cowan knows that all too well. Her Warriors have been ranked No. 1 in the AJC Top 10 since the beginning of the season, have had the No. 1 Class A power ranking since it was first released three weeks ago, and are 19-2 overall. One of the losses (57-56) was to St. Joseph Catholic, the top-ranked team in West Virginia, during a holiday tournament. The other was to Region 6 rival Darlington, now ranked No. 2 right behind SACA.

In the game, SACA trailed by double digits at one point but rallied before eventually falling by one, 47-46. Cowan said her team was suffering from the blissful hangover of being the only team in Georgia to knock off giant Wesleyan, ranked No. 1 in Class AA, 49-46, the night before traveling to Rome to face Dalton. SACA was shellacked by Wesleyan, 68-44, in last season’s Class A …

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Class A Blog: Swearngin hears no evil (yet) on basketball power rankings, key games this weekend

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

As was the case with the Class A power rankings for football in the fall, this has turned into the winter of discontent for many basketball coaches and fans in the state’s smallest classification.

The power ranking system, used for the first time in state history to determine playoff participants and seedings, came under fire by some football coaches who thought aspects of it hurt deserving teams. Now some basketball coaches are balking as well, particularly when it comes to two aspects of the system in basketball — no points for playing out-of-state teams and no extra points for playing teams from higher classifications.

However, Ralph Swearngin, executive director of the Georgia High School Association, said most of the complaints haven’t reached his office.

“I honestly haven’t heard many,” Swearngin said this week. “I’m not saying that no one has issues with the system but I really haven’t heard any complaints.”

In …

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Class A Blog: W.D. Mohammed boys continue to rise, latest power rankings

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Time for this week’s look at the new power rankings in Class A basketball. Love it or loath it, the power ranking system is here to stay – for this season at least. (Next week we’ll examine how the system is working out thus far.)

But first we check in on a team that is quickly staking its claim as one of the contenders for the boys private school title: W.D. Mohammed (18-1). Tuesday night, the Caliphs, ranked No. 5 in this week’s AJC Top 10, served notice that they are indeed for real, with a 43-42 win over No. 3 Greenforest Christian. The Eagles’ (14-4) previous losses were to South Atlanta (14-3), No. 10 in AAAA, Norcross 11-6), ranked No. 6 in AAAAAA and Wenonah, the top ranked team in Alabama in AAAAA.

All of this seemed impossible just three years ago when head coach Farad Abdur-Rahman jumped from leading the W.D. Mohammed girls team over to the boys. In the five years prior to his arrival, the Caliph boys were a combined …

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Class A Blog: Shake up atop private girls, Graddics leading Turner, girls POTY candidates

By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC

Shake up at the top of girl’s privates

Darlington, ranked No. 4 in the AJC Top 10 and No. 3 in the Class A private school power rankings last week, knocked off top-ranked Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (15-2, 4-1), 47-46 on Tuesday. Senior center Terar Stewart, a Class A Player of the Year candidate, led the way for the Tigers with 22 points.

The win vaulted Darlington (12-4, 5-0) to the top spot in Region 6 – Division A, and will impact the poll and the power rankings as well. The rematch is Feb. 2 at SACA.

Graddics leading Turner County

Turner County has a solid chance of bringing two public school state titles back to Ashburn, and the keys to that accomplishment live under one roof.

Antania and Antonio Graddic are integral parts of their respective teams. Antania, a 6-foot-4 senior center, is averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks per game for the Rebels, who are 14-3 overall, and undefeated (8-0) in Region 2 with a No. 2 …

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