Archive for the ‘toddholcomb’ Category

Colquitt County new No. 1 in Class AAAAAA

Two defending state champions and seven other Top 10 teams lost their opening games last week, making for lots of changes in the high school football rankings.

Norcross, ranked No. 1 in Class AAAAAA, lost to Booker T. Washington 55-0 in a stunning outcome to a game televised by ESPN. Washington is ranked No. 1 by USA Today, but Norcross had six top-six national rankings of its own. The Blue Devils fell to No. 6 in the AAAAAA rankings.

Colquitt County, a 21-6 winner over Grayson on Saturday in the Corky Kell Classic in the Georgia Dome, took over the to spot. It is the first time the Packers have held a No. 1 ranking  since a 5-0 start in 2006.

Colquitt’s chance to justify that position comes Friday when the Packers visit nationally ranked Hoover of Alabama, a team that won five state titles under Colquitt head coach Rush Propst. Colquitt has reached the semifinals or better each of the past four seasons, each time losing to the eventual champion.

Another defending champion …

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Preseason rankings: Five ‘12 champions start No. 1

Five of seven 2012 state champions start the new season ranked No. 1 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s preseason rankings.

The season begins this week with 56 games, six that match Top 10 teams.

Defending their titles and starting No. 1 are Norcross (Class AAAAAA), Gainesville (AAAAA), Sandy Creek (AAAA), Buford (AAA) and Eagle’s Landing Christian (A).

Emanuel County Institute, the Class A public champion, is No. 2 behind ELCA. Class A rankings include public and private schools, although they compete in separate state playoffs.

The only other 2012 champion not ranked No. 1 is Jefferson, which returns seven starters on both offense and defense but must replace all-state quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, now at N.C. State. Also gone is retired coach T. McFerrin, a 300-game winner who was succeeded by offensive coordinator Ben Hall

Calhoun, which is 57-3 over the past four seasons, got the No. 1 spot in AA.

The other reigning state champions return most major …

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Recruiting hotbeds: Buford, Stephenson lead state in D-1 recruits

If you’re around any of these schools this fall, don’t be surprised if you see Mark Richt or Paul Johnson or any number of ACC and SEC coaches on campus.

These are 12 Georgia schools where college prospects abound this season:

*Buford – The defending Class AAA champion Wolves have at least eight seniors and several more underclassmen with reported FBS (formerly Division I-A) offers. The blue-chipper is linebacker Korie Rogers, the AAA defensive player of the year in 2012 who has committed to Clemson. TB/DB Thomas Wilson has more than 20 offers, including one from Georgia Tech. His brother, WR/DB Terrance Wilson, has four offers from mid-major programs. Three Big Ten programs have offered RB/DB Zavior Hoxie, likely the team’s leading rusher this season. Buford frequently used two quarterbacks last season, and Montgomery VanGorder (Murray State, Eastern Kentucky) and Taylor Mitchell (Austin Peay, Penn, Holy Cross) each have offers. Then there is receiver Tre Neal, who has more …

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Preseason all-state: Carter leads AAAAAA team

Lorenzo Carter, the Norcross defensive end who is the consensus No. 1 college recruit in Georgia, leads GHSF Daily’s preseason all-state team in Class AAAAAA.

Norcross teammates Kevin Mouhon, a linebacker, and Myles Autry, a receiver and running back, also made the team. Norcross was the 2012 state champion.

The runner-up, Lovejoy, placed two players on the team in RB Jeremiah Kirkland, a 2,000-yard rusher who transferred from Landmark Christian, and LB Demarquis Gates.

The quarterback is North Cobb junior Tyler Queen, who has committed to Auburn. Queen passed for 2,607 yards and rushed for 925 in leading his team to the semifinals in 2012.

Receivers Daniel Clements of Alpharetta and Christian Robinson of Centennial each had more than 1,000 yards receiving.


QB – Tyler Queen, North Cobb, Jr.

RB – Malcolm Joseph, Valdosta, Sr.

RB – Jeremiah Kirkland, Lovejoy, Sr.

RB – Treyvon Paulk, Milton, Sr.

WR – Daniel Clements, Alpharetta, Sr.

WR – Christian Robinson, Centennial, …

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40+ Georgia players make NCAA Watch Lists

More than 40 former Georgia high school players were named on the NCAA’s Watch Lists of candidates for year-end awards.

The last of those 17 Watch Lists, the Walter Camp Award, was announced Friday.

Four Georgia players – Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt of Monroe Area, Stanford offensive guard David Yankey of Centennial, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger of Oconee County and Ohio State wide receiver Bradley Roby of Peachtree Ridge – have made the Watch List for national players of the year.

The four are on the Watch List for the Maxwell Award (Player of the Year). Tuitt is on the Watch List for the Walter Camp Award (Most Outstanding Player).

Only about one-quarter of Georgia players on the Watch Lists are playing in state.

Home-grown University of Georgia players on the Watch Lists are David Andrews (Wesleyan), Michael Bennett (Alpharetta), Chris Burnette (Troup), Jordan Jenkins (Harris County), Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta) and Damian Swann (Grady).

Georgia Tech players …

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Arabia Mountain hires Pritchett as head football coach

Arabia Mountain, a 4-year-old school in DeKalb County, has hired Stanley Pritchett as its head coach.

A former NFL player who played with the Falcons, Pritchett was at Westlake last season but left after an 0-10 finish. Pritchett’s five-season record is 21-29. He led Washington of Atlanta to three straight winning seasons from 2008 to 2010.

Arabia Mountain was 4-6 last season in strong Region 6-AAAAA. The Rams was competitive in losses to top programs such as Tucker (39-20), Stephenson (28-18), Miller Grove (21-10) and Southwest DeKalb (26-15).

Junior quarterback Trevous Reynolds threw for2,009 yards last season, the most of any non-senior in DeKalb County.

Arabia Mountain’s only head coach had been Christopher Beal.

The school’s booster club announced through Facebook that Pritchett would be meeting with players and boosters on Monday.

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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 nicknames …

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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 Davonte …

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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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HS sports: How much does it cost to play?

One Sunday in June, the AJC in its print edition will be looking into the issue of paying to play sports in Georgia high schools.

I’ll be writing on the subject and was hoping to get some stories and first-hand experience from the online audience this week.

Do you have a child playing sports in high school? What is the out-of-pocket expense (or dues or fees) that you are asked to pay?

Public schools can’t force student-athletes to pay for play high sports, but they can ask, and they can call these player fees mandatory when they really aren’t.

But no matter how you slice it, high school sports are expensive, and the money-making engine of a sports program – mostly football – can’t always cover the cost of uniforms, equipment, gas for bus travel, officials, etc., of a school’s 15 sports teams.

So how much does it cost to play sports at your school?

Is it too much? Is it fair? Are there some out there that don’t pay anything? Are there any paying $800?

What are these teams …

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10 best HS wide receivers: Kitt heads productive group

Our third daily look at the best players in high school football focuses on receivers.

Here are 10 to watch.

They must be pretty smart because three have offers from Yale.

Remember that these are not recruiting rankings. These players have been selected primarily on their high school production and their value to their high school teams.

Let us know who you think we missed.

- Myles Autry, Norcross: Autry plays many roles for Norcross but is most commonly lined up at slot receiver. In 2012, year of Norcross’ first state title, Autry had 45 catches for 632 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had more than 500 yards rushing and 500 returning. Autry could play any of several positions in college. His finalists appear to be Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State and Miami. Autry is coming off ACL/MCL surgery.

- Emanuel Beal, Hillgrove: Beal caught 43 passes for 855 yards (19.9 avg.) and seven touchdowns for 6-5 Wheeler last season. He has transferred to Hillgrove. Beal (6-1, …

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10 best HS running backs: Can Chubb hit 3,000?

Our look at the best high school football players in Georgia continues today with 10 running backs.

Remember that these are not recruiting rankings. These players have been selected primarily on their high school production and their value to their high school teams.

Let us know who you think we missed.

- Kwan Brooks, Monroe Area: Brooks rushed for 1,916 yards and 18 touchdowns for a 12-2 team in 2012. It was Monroe Area’s first trip to the state semifinals. Brooks had seven touchdown runs of longer than 50 yards. Brooks is 5-9, 165. He’s not getting the same recruiting attention as his backfield mate, quarterback Stanton Truitt, but that will change if he gets his academics in order.

- Kawon Bryant, North Oconee: A rising junior, Bryant played only seven games last season on a 10-2 team because of injuries. He for 1,146 yards and 14 touchdowns. He rushed for 204 yards against Jefferson as a freshman.

- Esaias Chapman, Harris County: Chapman rushed for 2,124 yards and scored …

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10 best HS quarterbacks: Watson heads list

Over the next several days, we’ll be providing a position-by-position look at some of Georgia’s best high school football players. It starts today with quarterbacks.

These 10 were chosen based on what they bring to their high school teams. These are not recruiting rankings. In fact, four of the 10 are not being recruited as quarterbacks.

Who are the best quarterbacks that we left out?

- Brooks Barden, Cartersville: Barden led Cartersville to a 13-1 finish (best since the 1999 state championship team) while passing for 2,872 yards (189 of 304) and 39 touchdowns with only five interceptions. Despite good size (6-3, 200) and being a coach’s son, Barden is not yet considered a blue-chip prospect.

- Adam Choice, Thomas County Central: Choice is rated as the No. 1 running back recruit in Georgia by, but he’s been one of the state’s better high school quarterbacks for the past two seasons. In 2012, he rushed for 1,656 yards and scored 23 touchdowns in 12 games. He passed …

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2013 football schedules: 10 best ‘new’ games

The Georgia High School Association published the 2013 football schedules this week.

Football schedules during odd years (ie, 2013) generally feature the same opponents as the previous season because they are generally played under two-year contracts, but there are several good exceptions.

Here are the 10 best ‘’new’’ games on the 2013 schedule:

1. Booker T. Washington (Fla.) at Norcross: Norcross returns 16 starters – including three blue-chip recruits – from a team that went 15-0 and won Class AAAAAA last season. That’s the kind of glitz that attracts national TV audiences, especially when matched against Florida’s reigning Class 4A champion. The game is set for Aug. 24. Each team has three prospects who are rated four stars by They are DE Loenzo Carter (rated No. 1 at his position nationally), WR Myles Autry and LB Kevin Mouhon for Norcross and QB Treon Harris, DE Chad Thomas and DB Nigel Patten for BTW, which was 13-1 last season. Expect both to be nationally …

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How do Atlanta’s NBA players stack up? MaxPreps rates ATL at No. 8

Atlanta is the eighth-best city for producing current NBA talent, according to MaxPreps writer Kevin Askeland.

Lakers center Dwight Howard, a graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, is the marquee Atlanta-produced player.

The No. 1 ranking went to Los Angeles, which Russell Westbrook of the Thunder and Paul Pierce of the Celtics.

Atlanta’s ranking would be higher if Josh Smith and Lou Williams, both of the Hawks, were included.

Smith played at McEachern as a sophomore and junior but spent his senior season at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Askeland used the players’ last high school.

Williams was not counted because of a season-ending injury. The players were rated based on their NBA Total Player Rating for this season.

Which brings me to this –

With Smith and Williams added, would Atlanta beat L.A.? Atlanta needs more guards, but L.A. doesn’t have the size to match up with Howard, Smith and J.J. Hickson.

Let’s compare:


C Dwight Howard (17.1 ppg, 12.4 …

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