Archive for the ‘4ABlog’ Category

Auburn QB commit’s improved passing; Chamblee defense shines

Monroe Area coach Matt Fligg doesn’t believe that will be the case Friday.
“I’ve been warning my kids that this is a different Winder-Barrow team. This is the best set of athletes I’ve seen at Winder-Barrow,” Fligg said. “They beat (AAAAA No. 1) Gainesville in passing league over the summer.”
The Purple Hurricanes aren’t short on athletes either. Senior quarterback Stanton Truitt, an Auburn commitment, had a hand in all seven of Monroe Area’s touchdowns in last week’s opening win. Truitt threw three touchdowns, all to receiver Michael Gallup. North Carolina State and Maryland are among the teams recruiting Gallup, according to Fligg.
Traditionally an option-based offense, the Purple Hurricanes will feature more of the passing games this season. Fligg said he initially made the decision to tweak his offense before last year’s state semifinal matchup with eventual champion Sandy Creek.
“It backfied. We just didn’t click,” Fligg said of his team’s 35-0 loss to Sandy Creek.
But …

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Marist conditioning concerns; Disgusting Alabama coaches brawl

That cool spell in August felt nice, but football teams are suffering the consequences now. Cramping and conditioning have been a problem during the first two weeks of the season, seemingly more so than usual.
Marist coach Alan Chadwick noticed the impact of the cooler preseason early in the War Eagles’ opening win over Clarke Central.
“We did cramp some, but more importantly and more concerning we got gassed early in the game,” Chadwick said in an email. “The humidity was unlike anything we have experienced so far this year and that was the problem. With all the rain and relatively cooler weather we have been having this pre-season, I was concerned how we would handle it once it got really hot and humid like it was Friday night.”
The fourth-ranked War Eagles won’t catch a break from the heat and humidity this week. They head to Thomas County Central in South Georgia, where Friday temperatures are expected to be in the nineties with intense humidity. The Gatorade, water and …

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Nick Chubb: Another monster night

Is Nick Chubb slipping? After rushing for 363 yards in three quarters against Rockmart last season, the Cedartown senior back managed “only” 331 yards and five touchdowns in Friday’s 40-14 win over Rockmart. He averaged 13.2 yards per carry.

Chubb had five 330-plus-yard rushing performances last season and finished with 2,721 yards, the seventh best single-season mark in Georgia high school history.

Chubb has committed to Georgia.

Congrats: The Howard Huskies ended their 24-game losing streak with a 20-14 victory over East Laurens in new coach Barney Hester’s debut. With the win, Hester moved into a tie with Luther Welsh for fifth on Georgia high school’s all-time coaching win list.

Curfew violation: Defending state champ and top-ranked Sandy Creek had its 39-game regular-season win streak snapped – with a tie. The Patriots’ game against Florida power Plant High School on Thursday was stopped with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter and the scored tied, 27-27, due to school-night …

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Friday night storylines in AAAA

By David Purdum / For the AJC
Defending state champion and top-ranked Sandy Creek hosts Plant (Fla.) tonight in the second game of a doubleheader. Banneker faces East Christian (Maryland) at 7 p.m. in the first game.
Plant is ranked 6th in in Florida and is Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s high school.

The AJC’s Jay Stone will be covering both games.

You can read Jay’s game story right here.

Tribute: Monroe High School will honor the three Brooks County players who were killed in a car wreck in July with a pregame ceremony Friday. Monroe coach Charles Truitt says his team will present the parents of the deceased players with plaques as part of the tribute.

Chubb’s debut: Cedartown running back Nick Chubb rushed for 363 yards in three quarters in a 40-14 win over Rockmart last season. The performance was the first of five 300-yard rushing games for Chubb, a Georgia commitment. He finished with 2,721, the seventh best single-season rushing mark in state history, according …

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Coaching notes from Stockbridge, Statesboro, Howard

By David Purdum / For the AJC

Barney Hester enters his 40th season coaching Georgia high school football facing one of his toughest challenges.
Hester, the new head coach and athletic director at Howard (Macon), won 11 GISA state championship and 306 games at Tattnall Square.
Now, he takes over a Howard program that has lost 24 straight games, the longest current losing streak in AAAA. The Huskies’ last win came on Oct. 8, 2001 vs.
Hester begins the season in sixth place among the winningest coaches in Georgia high school football.
Howard opens the season at East Laurens on Friday.
Most Wins in Georgia High School Football
(According to
Larry Campbell – 471-81-3
Robert Davis – 352-74-1
Dan Pitts – 346-109-4
Dwight Hoschstetler – 326-109-1
Luther Welsh – 323-162-5
Barney Hester – 322-162-5
Bill Chappell – 317-74-9
Tom ‘T’ McFerrin – 317-74-9
Wayman Creel – 312-106-14
Alan Chadwick – 311-55-0
“The good thing about having the best team in …

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Donquell Green, lightning strike; thriller in Dalton

Lightning was the only thing that could stop Burke County quarterback Donquell Green on Friday.
The Bears’ senior quarterback scored on his first two carries of the game and later threw a touchdown pass to put Burke County up 21-0, before the game was stopped due to lightning early in the second quarter.
The game will not be considered official and is unlikely to be rescheduled, according to The Augusta Chronicle.
Green scored on a 79-yard run on the first play of the game and also has 23-yard touchdown run. He had 235 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Chronicle reported.
Dalton’s 27-game win streak versus Ringgold snapped in a 33-27 triple overtime loss. The Catamounts had not lost to the Tigers since 1983. Each team blocked extra points in overtime to stay alive, before Ringgold forced a clinching turnover in the third overtime to secure the …

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How do you coach after an on-field tragedy?

There is no coaching clinic or how-to book to help Ryan Andrews with the challenge he is facing.
The 29-year-old first-year head coach must help his Banneker Trojans understand and move past a tragedy that is every coach’s, every parent’s and every football fan’s worst nightmare – the death of a player caused by an injury suffered in the game.
Andrews was on the sidelines last week, when Creekside defensive back De’Antre Turman suffered a broken neck making a tackle during a scrimmage and later died. The injury occurred early in the third quarter. The scrimmage was stopped.
The next morning, Andrews delivered the news of Turman’s death to his team in an emotional meeting for everyone involved.
“I told them that it’s OK to hurt, it’s OK to be upset,” said Andrews during a Thursday phone interview. “We can’t allow this tragedy to stop us from living our lives. I just kept telling them that we’ll be OK, and that it’s OK to hurt for while, but after while, we’ve got to move …

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Inside Sandy Creek football

Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker leaves the lights on in his office before home games. Opponents get a better look at the championship trophies lined up on his window sill, that way.
The window sill was bare 15 years ago. Now, there’s not enough room for all of the Patriots’ trophies.
Sandy Creek has come a long way, and a lot has changed during that stretch.
“When we got here, it was not a football community, but it’s turned into one,” said Walker, who arrived at Sandy Creek in 1999 to coach under his father, Rodney.
Chip succeeded his father in 2005 as head coach.
Longtime defensive coordinator Eddy Householder, who also joined the staff in 1999, remembers the first practice. It started at 6 a.m., in the pitch dark.
“As soon as we got onto the field and got going, about 20 sets of headlights came on and lit up the field,” said Householder. “I think people were always excited.”
You can imagine what it’s like these days. With the Patriots coming off their third state championship …

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AAAA basketball: No easy night in region 6

For South Atlanta, finishing first in 6-AAAA Division B has what would seem an obvious benefit: Avoiding a potential matchup with No. 1-ranked Columbia until the region final. But then the realization hits that No. 2 Marist is on the Hornets’ side of the bracket.

“It seems like we always wind up in these regions. This, I feel, is the strongest region in AAAA. Grady, Columbia, Marist and ourselves all are teams that if they play right on any night could beat anybody in the state,” said South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick. “So, avoiding someone? No. Marist beat us here, so, in this region we know we’re going to have to play every night.”

Still perfect: The last unbeaten in AAAA is the Cross Creek girls, who have played two games decided by less than 10 points all year. The Lady Razorbacks beat Hephzibah Friday to finish the regular season 24-0.

Still muddled in 5-AAAA: The Alexander boys secured the top seed for the 5-AAAA tournament by beating Fayette County Friday night. …

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Watch for fireworks in 5-AAAA

There figure to be fireworks in final week of the basketball regular season, particularly in Region 5-AAAA, where three boys teams are within a game of each other in the region standings.

First-place Shaw is 16-6 overall and 10-2 in region play, but the top seed is anything but assured. The Raiders have to visit third-place Fayette County (12-8, 8-3) tonight.

While Shaw has won 10 of 11, Fayette still has a chance to grab the top spot heading into next week’s region tournament, with games against both Shaw and second-place Alexander this week.

“We’re playing pretty well,” said Fayette coach Andre Flynn, who has a pair of 17-point scorers in C.J. Johnson and Dante Sterling. “It was a brand-new team. We only had one returning starter and just one senior that plays a lot. We’re scrapping and clawing. It’s a challenge, but I’m pleased with my team.”

Home-court wrap-up: The Eagle’s Landing boys close out their home schedule tonight against Woodland-Stockbridge in the final home …

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Tensions high in Eagle’s Landing-Stockbridge game (updated)

The Stockbridge-Eagle’s Landing game at Eagle’s Landing Friday night took an ugly turn with Eagle’s Landing leading 65-33 in the final minute of the third quarter. There was a tied ball and a verbal exchange between the players involved developed into conflict that included players leaving the bench and coming onto the floor.

“It got physical and everybody just lost their minds,” Eagle’s Landing coach Clay Crump said.

Officials assessed technical fouls and a player from Stockbridge were ejected.

Stockbridge coach Rodney Latham initially said the game officials told him all but three players on his team were ejected. The Tigers had 15 players dressed for the game, he said. None of Eagle’s Landing’s players were ejected, and Latham opted to pull his team off the court and forfeit the game.

“The situation reminded me of the brawl with the Indiana Pacers, except no one went into the stands,” Latham said, referring to the 2004 brawl between the Pacers and the Detroit Pistons. “It …

Continue reading Tensions high in Eagle’s Landing-Stockbridge game (updated) »

Class AAAA: Jonesboro boys share points, spotlight

The Jonesboro boys haven’t put up eye-popping numbers. The Cardinals, who are 18-4 overall, have exceeded 70 points in just four of their 22 games, and just one Jonesboro player, Patrick Petty, averages in double-figure scoring.

Two of the Cardinals’ losses were in overtime and the other two were by a combined 12 points.

What they do well is play defense, spread the wealth of points and share the spotlight.

They’ve held 13 opponents to less than 50 points and only three foes have managed 70, thanks in part to post player Chkedubem Okeke, who averages 3.3 blocks and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Petty has a season high of 26 points (that was against Upson-Lee) and he has scored 20 points two other times, which may not seem like much, but with Jonesboro’s measured tempo, one player with 20 can be a big advantage.

Two other Cardinals have topped 20, and another pair of players on the team appears capable of a 20-point night.

Deantre Mack, who averages 7 points per game, has scored 20 …

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Class AAAA: Tense race among 7A-AAAA boys

The Gilmer boys have the pretty overall record, but the Region 7-AAAA Division A race could get ugly down the stretch. The Bobcats (18-3, 3-1 in sub-region play), have games left against eveyrone in the sub-region. Their one sub-region loss was against Cass, whom they play Feb. 7. Before that, though, they face River Ridge (whom they beat 59-54 in the first meeting, and with whom the Bobcats are tied for first place in the sub-region) and Pickens (against whom the Bobcats also won 59-54 in the first meeting).

Two games separate the top four teams in the sub-region standings, though River Ridge, Cass and Pickens will all finish the regular season with losing records.

Top seed in sight: Mary Persons girls (16-2, 9-1) can clinch the top spot in 2-AAAA with wins this week over Howard and Baldwin, and as a bonus they can avenge one of their two losses by beating Howard, which took a 48-47 win over the Lady Bulldogs back on Dec. 14. They’ve also squared their other loss with a …

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AAAA blog: Columbia boys’ win streak ends

The Columbia boys’ loss to South Atlanta Friday night was the Eagles’ first regular-season region loss since 2005, according to records on, and it ended the Eagles’ 16-game winning streak.

Emotional night: Carrollton senior Riley Criswell, who suffered a major knee injury during a tournament game on Dec. 27 in Florida, went to Friday night’s game against Columbus in a wheelchair, according to the Carrollton Times-Georgian, serving as inspiration for the Trojans in their 66-51 win. Carrollton, which lost four of its first five games after Criswell’s injury, has now won three straight.

And then there were two: Class AAAA is down to two unbeaten teams, both on the girls side. While Cross Creek and South Effingham each improved to 20-0 this week, the Glenn Hills boys suffered their first loss at the hands of Augusta rival Butler.

Moving up in Region 1: The Dougherty girls’ dramatic win over Monroe Friday night – a last-second layup by Monroe’s Key Key Price was …

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Class AAAA blog: Potential tournament sleepers

The Class AAAA rankings continue to be Columbia’s world, with both the Eagles and the Lady Eagles nested at the top. And little has changed in the boys and girls rankings in recent weeks.

Still, there are a handful of unranked teams that could make some noise come tournament time. As a nod to the commenter who brought up Johnson-Gainesville earlier this week, here’s a look at possible tournament sleepers:


Mary Persons: The Lady Bulldogs are 13-3 and beat Perry Tuesday night and are tied atop the 2-AAAA standings. Two of their three losses are by two points or less, though an ugly 48-27 loss to Westside-Macon is cause to wonder if they can stay with the state’s elite.

Region 5: Fayette County, Carrollton and Sandy Creek are all ranked from this region. LaGrange and Columbus could be too. One player could make a huge difference in a tournament scenario, and Columbus’ Alexia Manning (18.6 ppg) is a difference maker.

Dalton: The Lady Catamounts lost to Heritage Tuesday night …

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