Posts Tagged ‘ajc high school sports’

North Gwinnett basketball coach leaving to take job at Gwinnett’s new high school

Tony Watkins is leaving North Gwinnett for Lanier High School (AJC file)

Tony Watkins is leaving North Gwinnett for Lanier High School (AJC file)

North Gwinnett girls coach Tony Watkins has accepted the boys job at the new Lanier High in Gwinnett County. Former Collins Hill coach Billy Wells will be Lanier’s football coach.

Watkins has been at North Gwinnett for four years, posting a 75-37 record with three trips to the stat playoffs. In his first season, North Gwinnett was 22-7, winning the Powerade and Jared Cook holiday tournaments.

“I have always thought it would be exciting to start a program from the ground up … designs on the court, in the locker room, selecting the first uniform, organizing the tipoff club,” Watkins said. “Just establishing the tradition of hard work and doing the right things.  I love North Gwinnett and it was very hard decision but it is exciting to be the first people at a school.  I was a boys head coach for 24 years before coming to North to coach the girls.”

Continue reading North Gwinnett basketball coach leaving to take job at Gwinnett’s new high school »

NBA or UGA? Travis Leslie gets some basketball advice from his high school coach (UPDATED)

UGA.hoops.TravisLeslie

Travis Leslie aka "The Human Highlight Film, No. 2" (AJC Photo)

UGA basketball coach Mark Fox claims Travis Leslie has informed him that he is returning to college next year. Leslie hasn’t revealed a final decision to the media.

What does one of his best friends think? That would be Phil McCrary, basketball coach at Columbia High. Those two are tight. How close? Leslie made the furious drive to Macon last Saturday after returning from the SEC tournament to sit in the stands and watch Columbia win the Class AAA championship.

The coach has some advice for his prized pupil: “I’m for Travis returning to Georgia for next year. I think that’s the answer that everybody wants. I don’t think he would (declare for the NBA) this year, but you never know. Travis will make the final decision … I would advise him to stay.”

This year, Leslie developed into one of college basketball’s most electrifying players with his high-flying dunks. It’s the things of ESPN highlights. McCrary says he …

Continue reading NBA or UGA? Travis Leslie gets some basketball advice from his high school coach (UPDATED) »

Let’s talk Dunwoody football: The ex-head coach, the new head coach, and future of the program

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Dunwoody has hired a new football coach, and the school’s athletics director did his best to provide a glimpse on why the last one was dismissed.

Last month, Michael Youngblood was fired after one season as Dunwoody’s head football coach. Youngblood said that he was terminated because he “didn’t see eye to eye” with principal Kevin Harris. Youngblood speculated that his firing was related to an incident between the two men at at halftime of Dunwoody’s homecoming game against Cedar Grove on Sept. 25. Harris entered the team’s locker room and directed several players to leave the team meeting to participate in the halftime activities.

At the time, school officials declined comment, and Youngblood’s point of view got a huge reaction from the AJC’s readers.

This week, Dunwoody athletics director Steve Fortenberry welcomed Jim Showfety as the new coach, and briefly addressed Youngblood’s departure.

Where is the best place to coach football in the Atlanta …

Continue reading Let’s talk Dunwoody football: The ex-head coach, the new head coach, and future of the program »

Georgia’s No. 1 senior basketball prospect still hobbling after bizarre injury on championship night

Clemson recruit Marcus Thornton (AJC file)

Clemson recruit Marcus Thornton (AJC file)

The pain hasn’t gone away for Westlake’s Marcus Thornton, who suffered one of the most bizarre injuries in the history of the state’s basketball tournament.

The 6-foot-7 Thornton was diagnosed with a severely sprained left ankle after jumping in the air to bump chests with a teammate and accidently falling on a basketball during warm-ups last Friday. Thornton hobbled around to score Westlake’s first basket, then sat out the remainder the Class AAAAA state championship loss to Milton.

“I’m definitely still very frustrated,” Thornton told the AJC. “I was looking forward to one of the biggest moments of my life, and I couldn’t play. There’s nothing I can do about it now, and I’m trying to move forward, but it’s hard.”

Thornton returned to school with a walking boot and crutches. He was examined by doctors on Monday, and has at least a high-ankle sprain. Thornton will undergo an MRI later this week to see if there are any torn ligaments.

Steroid investigation had nothing to do with Calhoun’s athletes or sports programs, says coach (Updated)

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The Calhoun High School student arrested earlier this month for allegedly selling steroids on campus had no connections to the school’s athletic programs, according to one school official.

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“He was not an athlete,” Calhoun athletics director and football coach Hal Lamb told the AJC, “and it had nothing to do with the athletic programs of high schools in this area. When it first came out, it was rumored that there might be a lot of schools involved with it, and (police investigators) have found nothing.”

Calhoun has one of state’s most success football programs, reaching the Class AA state championship games in each of the last two seasons under Lamb.

According to the Calhoun Times, the Calhoun Police Department found numerous vials and pills of suspected anabolic steroids after searching the car of a student, who was a juvenile and whose named was not …

Continue reading Steroid investigation had nothing to do with Calhoun’s athletes or sports programs, says coach (Updated) »

Clearing up the confusion over Georgia’s No. 1 QB’s early departure from state basketball semifinals game (UPDATED)

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Among the Georgia’s high school juniors, Wilcox County’s Nick Marshall may be the No. 1 football and basketball player. When is the last time that has  happened?

As with all great players, especially those being recruited as intensely as Marshall already is, there are always rumors circulating. There is a rumor going around that Marshall was ejected from the Class A semifinals because of a bad attitude.

That’s just not true, but we’ll let Wilcox County basketball coach George Kennedy clear it up:

“The (Wesleyan) kid was right there on him, and (Marshall) elbowed a little bit and the referee saw it and called a technical foul. I think it was a little bit of frustration from Nick about the second half (about fouls not being called). It was a close ballgame, and then it started slipping away in the third quarter, so some of it was frustration, which is no excuse. I’m not making excuses for him. There is no excuse for that.”

What is Nick Marshall’s best …

Continue reading Clearing up the confusion over Georgia’s No. 1 QB’s early departure from state basketball semifinals game (UPDATED) »

It’s report card time for the high school referees during state championship week (UPDATED)

Did you see it during the basketball state championships on Saturday? It was something that some people are calling the “Milton vs. Norcross rule.”Referees

In the Class AAA state championship game, a Columbia player was whistled for an offensive charge as the halftime buzzer sounded. There was no time on the clock. What did the referees do? They put time back on the clock, or tried to do so. Some veteran high school coaches sitting in the stands chuckled. You kind of knew what they were thinking.

The scoreboard operator reset the clock to 60 seconds and let it tick down, with both teams standing around. Unfortunately, the clock person whiffed, as time expired again. Rather than hold up TV, the referees restarted play and did a hand count for the final second as LaGrange missed a shot.

If you recall, Milton pulled off a miracle in its controversial win over Norcross in the quarterfinals. Norcross celebrated an apparent win, but one referee ruled that Milton’s Julian Royal had been …

Continue reading It’s report card time for the high school referees during state championship week (UPDATED) »

Greater Atlanta Christian adds wrestling legend to staff

Greater Atlanta Christian has announced the hiring of Cliff Ramos, perhaps the greatest wrestling coach in  state history.
Ramos recently retired at Collins Hill after winning nine state championships in 16 years, along with the last three Class AAAAA tournaments in both traditional and dual championships. Collins Hill also finished this season with the No. 9 ranking, the highest ever for a Georgia team.
At GAC, Ramos will serve as the private school’s director of wrestling, working closely with head coach Jeff Harsh.
“We were looking for a dreamer, a director, a leader who could help us grow our program,” GAC athletics director Tim Vick said. “Cliff has that kind of vision and the spiritual focus that will advance GAC’s mission of touching lives for Christ.”
Collins Hill promoted assistant Josh Stephen to replace Ramos.

Greater Atlanta Christian has announced the hiring of Cliff Ramos, perhaps the greateest wrestling coach in  state history.

Cliff Ramos (AJC file)

Cliff Ramos (AJC file)

Ramos …

Continue reading Greater Atlanta Christian adds wrestling legend to staff »

Lithonia assistant Marcus Jelks promoted to replace fired head football coach (Updated)

Coach.Lithonia.MarcusJelksHiring from within seems to be a popular trend among high school football programs.

Lithonia High has switched Marcus Jelks from interim head coach to the permanent position. It is his first head job.

Jelks, 27, was offensive coordinator the past two seasons at Lithonia, and took over the team in the middle of last season when Lithonia head coach Earl White was fired for using ineligible players.

Jelks has strong connections to Stephenson, playing football in 2000 and later serving as an assistant coach for three years at Stephenson before moving over to Lithonia.

“It’s a tremendous honor to get the opportunity to be a head coach,” Jelks said. “I’m up to the challenge. I still talk to (Stephenson coach) Ron Gartrell every week or so, and he’s a mentor to me.”

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Continue reading Lithonia assistant Marcus Jelks promoted to replace fired head football coach (Updated) »

Collins Hill stays within the football program for its new head coach

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Collins Hill looked within its own football program to find its new head coach.

Kevin Reach, 43, was offensive coordinator and strength coach the last two years at Collins Hill and succeeds Billy Wells, who took a similar position with Lanier High.

“I’m excited because I think it’s the job I always wanted,” Reach said. “It’s a big-time job on the biggest stage. It’s a great region we’re in. I feel like we have a seasoned bunch of (rising) seniors, and we’re ready to keep the ball rolling forward.”

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Reach said he intends to remain calling plays for Collins Hill, while he is seeking to hire a few new assistants after two members of the football staff left with Wells for Lanier.

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GHSF Daily Spotlight: Plenty of high school football coaching changes around Georgia

Lakeside of Evans promotes Troxler

Lakeside of Evans has promoted offensive coordinator Jarrett Troxler to replace Jody Grooms, who took the Wayne County job last month.

Troxler previously coached with Grooms at Anson County High in North Carolina and was interim coach for two games in 2008 when Grooms was suspended.

Haralson County’s Vohun retiring
Frank Vohun, a 122-game winner in 19 seasons as a Georgia head coach, is retiring.

Vohun has been a head coach at Villa Rica (1990-97), Washington-Wilkes (1998-2001) and Haralson County (2005-09).

Though his record was poorest at Haralson (19-33), it was there that he did some of his best work. Haralson County had not won more than three games in the 11 years before Vohun arrived and never made the state playoffs and frequently played a non-region schedule.

Vohun’s 2005 and 2007 teams had winning records and made the playoffs. The 2009 team bottomed out, finishing 0-10.

Vohun reached the Class AA final in 2000 at Washington-Wilkes …

Continue reading GHSF Daily Spotlight: Plenty of high school football coaching changes around Georgia »

Final rankings: Why did metro Atlanta win all 10?

For the first time in history, metro Atlanta teams have won every state championship in basketball.

Before asking why, let’s look at how times have changed. In the 1990s, metro teams won only 28 percent of the state basketball titles. In the last five years, metro teams have won 76 percent of the titles. In the 1980s, there were four years where metro Atlanta won ZERO state titles (1981, 1985, 1988). Metro boys teams failed to win a state title in 1991, 1993 and 1998.

Here are some things that have happened to change that (in no particular order):

1. The state’s highest classification is more than 80 percent metro Atlanta, and the Savannah schools (which still play great basketball) insist on playing in Class AAAAA with AAAA-AA enrollment. The only non-metro schools in AAAAA are either too few students or too much football.

2. Private schools are putting an emphasis on basketball and attracting top talent, both in players and coaches (Wesleyan, GAC, SWAC, Whitefield …

Continue reading Final rankings: Why did metro Atlanta win all 10? »

2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: You pick the state’s best player and No. 1 teams (UPDATED)

Hey, the 2010 high school basketball season is over (click on the brackets below for final results).

What are your thoughts on the 2010 season? Out of the five boys state champions, which team is the state’s best? Is it Milton? Or what about GAC? And which team is No. 1 out of all the girls champions?

Perhaps, most importantly, who is the state’s Mr. and Mrs. Basketball? Is it Wheeler’s Jelan Kendrick, the only Georgia player picked for the Parade All-America game? You may disagree, but I think not. My “lock” was Westlake’s Marcus Thornton, before he missed the state championship game with an ankle sprain from warmups. I like Fayette County’s Adam Smith, and GAC’s Malcolm Brogdon.

What about the No. 1 girl? Pick any of the NBA daughters.

Note: Stick to basketball talk. Personally insulting other commenters will not be tolerated. Thanks. - AJC Sports

LATEST UPDATES & NEWS

Final rankings: Why did Metro Atlanta teams win all 10?
Photos: Class AAAAA-AAAA finals
State championship …

Continue reading 2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: You pick the state’s best player and No. 1 teams (UPDATED) »

2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: Talk semifinals, finals; Milton coach David Boyd goes for hoops history (UPDATED)

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Hey, the 2010 state high school basketball tourney is ON. AJC high schools beat writer Michael Carvell will take your questions about high school basketball and related topics.

We are here to talk hoops, hoops and more hoops. Going to a game? Take the cellphone or PDA and let us know what’s going on at YOUR game. Got a score update, see a killer play or have a shout-out? Keep it clean and POST IT HERE.

Note: Stick to basketball talk. Personally insulting other commenters will not be tolerated. Thanks. - AJC Sports

Which of the boys will win the Class AAAAA championship?

  • It’s Milton’s to lose
  • Newton will shock the world
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  • Central Gwinnett: Did you know about our sophomore superstar?

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TONIGHT’S SEMIFINALS: WHERE WE’LL BE
Look for game stories from Gwinnett and a roundup from Macon later on AJC.com.

Gwinnett Arena
Girls — Westlake vs. Norcross, 4 p.m.; Redan vs. Milton, 7 …

Continue reading 2010 Georgia High School Basketball Tournament: Talk semifinals, finals; Milton coach David Boyd goes for hoops history (UPDATED) »

When basketball powerhouses run up the score, does anyone really win? Texas’ Yates High coach Greg Wise says yes

Columnist Rick Reilly from ESPN The Magazine says he’d like to clock him.

Danny Davis of The Austin American-Statesman says his team’s action were classless.

But Yates High coach Greg Wise couldn’t care less what those guys say. His Lions routinely rout lesser teams with a singular purpose — they’re looking for another state basketball crown.

Here’s what Reilly writes about Wise’s blow-’em-out coaching philosophy:

“Coach Wise is the hammerhead who believes it’s his right to toast other basketball teams by 100 points. Sometimes more. He thumped Lee High School this season by 135 points, 170-35. Wise’s team was up at the half, 100-12. And full-court pressed to the very end!

“Wise is to sportsmanship what tsunamis are to beach chairs. So far this season, he’s beaten teams by 135, 115, 99 (twice), 98, 90 and 88 points. Trying to get to 100 points in a crushing of Westbury, his players intentionally fouled to stop the clock.”

Davis says …

Continue reading When basketball powerhouses run up the score, does anyone really win? Texas’ Yates High coach Greg Wise says yes »