Posts Tagged ‘Todd Holcomb’

Camden tops diluted AAAAA; Northside AAAA

Reclassification has been more significant this year than I ever remember it. Down goes Northside, Warner Robins, Carver-Columbus, Sandy Creek, Charlton County, Westside-Macon. Who am I missing?

Class AAAAA is really diluted, and that becomes apparent when trying to find 10 teams to rank and 25 guys to honor with preseason all-state. (Look for that this week in GHSF Daily.)

I know Kell and East Paulding and Union Grove weren’t state contenders in AAAAA, but they were tough outs that made a classification competitive up and down. AAAAA will miss them and their players. I see less parity in 2010, more first- and second-round blowouts, except among the top dozen or so.

The other classes are as strong as they’ve been since the GHSA went to five classes in 2000.

Final thoughts …
Northside would’ve won AAAA last year. … Sandy Creek would’ve won AAA last year. … Charlton would’ve won Class A last year. … Carver-Columbus would not have won AA last year (although one coach told me …

Continue reading Camden tops diluted AAAAA; Northside AAAA »

Walton Academy No. 1 in Massey Class A football ratings

If George Walton Academy of Monroe was hoping to sneak into the Georgia High School Association without notice, forget it.

The school that won a Class AAA championship last year in the Georgia Independent School Association is ranked No. 1 in the GHSA’s Class A this preseason by the Massey Ratings, one of the six computer models used to help pick the college football national champion.

“I don’t know anything about his service,” coach Don Williams told GHSF Daily on Thursday. “All I know is we’ve had a good summer, we’ve worked hard, and we’ve had as much participation as we’ve ever had. Our kids know they have to pick their level up. It’s a bigger league. What was good last year isn’t going to be good enough in the future.”

Williams’ assessment is probably more realistic than Massey’s.

The computer ratings – which are listed below – have a hard time projecting teams that move from one organization to another unless the two leagues play each other. The GHSA doesn’t allow its …

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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Several of Georgia’s top prospects switch schools

Transfers aren’t unusual in high school sports, but it’s not often in football that three of the top 20 recruits in the state are transfers.

Here are a handful of transfers that stand out this season.

*Quan Bray, Troup: Bray is ranked the No. 3 prospect in Georgia by ESPN. As a quarterback last year for Callaway, the Region 5-AA champion, he had more than 900 yards both rushing and passing and was part of 24 touchdowns. Now, Bray has joined another county school, Troup, and new coach Charlie Flowers, who attracted great talent when he turned Shaw of Columbus from a doormat to a state power beginning in the 1990s.

*LaMichael Fanning, Harris County: Fanning, a defensive lineman who has committed to Alabama, came back this summer to Harris County, the Columbus-area school that he attended as a freshman. He was at Callaway as a sophomore and at Auburn (Ala.) as a junior. Fanning, nicknamed Dink, is 6 feet 7 and rated among the top 20 defensive ends by Scout.com and ESPN.

*Avery …

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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 …

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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 …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Super 11 candidates for 2010

Each summer since 1985, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published its Super 11, a list of the top 11 players in high school football for the coming year. The criteria have changed over the years, but recently a Super 11 is a player that is both highly productive on the field and highly recruited off the field. In 2009, GHSF Daily picked the AJC’s Super 11.

Here’s a look at 11 players who are on the radar for 2010:

OL David Andrews, Wesleyan: Andrews has been rated the No. 1 junior center prospect by Scout.com. For Wesleyan, which spent most of 2009 ranked No. 1 in Class A, Andrews started both ways and averaged 70 snaps per game, though he was out by halftime several times because of lopsided scores. He’s 6 feet, 3 inches and 270 pounds.

RB Isaiah Crowell, Carver (Columbus): Crowell, who was first-team all-state in Class AAA as a junior, rushed for 1,907 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 175 carries. He has the potential to be as highly sought as any Georgia running back …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: GHSA executive committee to discuss Northside’s placement

Northside of Warner Robins, the 2009 Class AAAAA runner-up in football, could find out later this month whether its move down to AAAA for 2010 will stick or whether new projected enrollment figures could force the Houston County school to remain in AAAAA.

The Georgia High School Association has called a special meeting of its executive committee on Feb. 24 in Forsyth to discuss it.

At issue is whether the GHSA’s bylaws allow the association to change a school’s class assignment after reclassification has been ratified, as it was in January, when Northside was placed in AAAA with a projected enrollment of 1,820. The cutoff for AAAAA is 1,900.

Also at question is whether the Houston County school board’s revised projection of 1,994 students, released in January, is the appropriate figure to determine Northside’s placement. The number changed amid rezoning negotiations to accommodate Houston County’s newest school, Veterans High.

“The bottom line is a mistake has been made and we …

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Forget rankings (we’ve got them, though): It’s region tournament time

Not much to talk about with the rankings due to all of the postponements, although the NW Whitfield girls are No. 1 in AAAA.

Most interesting are three pretty good boys games in metro Atlanta tonight –

- Wheeler vs. Walton
- Campbell vs. Milton
- Tucker vs. Miller Grove.

These are regular-season games in regions where seeding matters. Milton is looking at a do-or-die quarterfinal later this week in the Region 6-AAAAA tournament against Walton or Campbell. That could be tough.

In Tucker’s region, not sure if it matters where you’re seeded. Just look for a pretty good team to be left out of the state tournament.

It seems unfair that schools as good as Tucker and Walton, teams that could make the final four, are struggling to qualify for state when many lesser teams have it made in easy regions. But I think Tucker and Walton and better off in the long run. I remember watching Tucker upset No. 2 Hillgrove last year. The teams playing the toughest schedules are going to be ready …

Continue reading Forget rankings (we’ve got them, though): It’s region tournament time »

Westlake replaces Milton atop AAAAA boys rankings

There are four new No. 1-ranked teams this week in what represents the biggest shakeup at the top this season.

New at the top are Westlake (AAAAA boys), Wilkinson County (A boys), Rome (AAAA girls) and Vidalia (AA girls).

Class AAAAA boys is really getting fun. There’s no right way to separate the top five teams. No. 5 could easily be No. 1. In fact, when the GaSports and AP polls come out, I wouldn’t be surprise if our No. 5 is their No. 1.

Here are some of the pros and cons of each …

No. 1 – Westlake (21-2). The Lions would be a slam dunk for No. 1 if they hadn’t lost to Morrow last month. But it was a controversial one-point loss that will have no effect in Westlake’s Region 4-AAAAA standing. Westlake beat Morrow by 40 points the other time they played, so that mitigates things a bit. Meanwhile, Westlake has beaten Centennial, our No. 2 team, and Rice of New York, a team ranked in the top 50 of at least two national rankings. Westlake’s other loss is 60-54 to Ridgeway of …

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State’s best player: Let’s start with Harrow

My colleague Chip Saye wrote an article a few weeks back on the best college prospects in Georgia.

Jelan Kendrick of Wheeler came out No. 1 among boys. He’s the consensus choice of the recruiting services. I saw Kendrick play for the first time during the Milton-Wheeler game last month, and I can see why Memphis (to which he has signed) is eager to get him on campus.

But is he Georgia’s best player right now? In high school? Kendrick is outstanding, but is his status as the No. 1 recruit built partly on his upside potential? The season is still young. The state playoffs might decide that.

But here are is my choice: Ryan Harrow. Let these videos speak for the Walton point guard:

Ryan Harrow I

Ryan Harrow II

Another guy I like is Marcus Thornton Click on Marcus for some of his highlights. Not only a great talent (6-7 forward averaging 27 ppg), but a great student. Can’t remember if his coach told me 3.8 or 4.0 GPA.

I’ve seen Harrow, Kendrick and Thornton. I’ve seen the Milton …

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Is Georgia a basketball state? For players, yes

We got rankings – Columbia’s boys are No. 1. Milton kept its No. 1 spot despite losing. Redan’s girls keep winning. …

But here’s the issue of today. Is Georgia a basketball state?

From a player standpoint, there’s little question. Look at the NBA – Dwight Howard (SW Atlanta Christian), Louis Williams (South Gwinnett), Josh Smith (McEachern). There are a dozen active NBA players who played high school in Georgia. Derrick Favors, a freshman at Georgia Tech from South Atlanta High, will be another first-round draft pick from Georgia.

But what about from a fan standpoint?

There were games in Marietta last weekend at Wheeler (vs. Milton) and at Walton (vs. Wheeler) where the gyms were closed at least 20 minutes for the boys’ tipoff and fans were turned away. Norcross drew good crowds for an event last week that drew out-of-state teams.

But these are high school gyms. They don’t hold that many people.

Milton coach David Boyd wonders why some of the top match-ups can’t be played in …

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What’s up with Wheeler as Milton game looms?

There’s no shame in losing to Campbell, which won at Wheeler last week in Region 6-AAAAA. But there’s little doubt that Wheeler’s boys – the defending champion in Class AAAAA – are vulnerable heading into their showdown Friday against No. 1 Milton.

In fact, this might be the first time Wheeler has been an underdog in its gym since McEachern had Josh Smith and Morris Almond.

Wheeler also has lost to Centennial, ranked No. 3 in AAAAA. Yes, Wheeler lost to Centennial last season and later to Walton and still won state, so there’s no reason to panic on Holt Road.

The real concern is Milton. Yes, Milton lost a game last week too, but that was the championship of a national tournament in Missouri. Milton is unbeaten in Georgia.

Milton actually had a 15-2 lead against White Station of Memphis on Saturday but couldn’t hold on. Story here. Milton had wins over Chaminade (defending Class 5A champion in Missouri) and Christ of the King (No. 1-ranked team in New York, according to …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: Eric Berry leads All-Class All-Decade Team

Eric Berry, a star quarterback and defensive back for Creekside High in Fairburn, went on to become a two-time consensus All-American at Tennessee and might be the No. 1 player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Zeb McKinzey, a tackle from Parkview who in 2002 became the only lineman ever to be named Georgia’s all-classification player of the year, had an uneventful career at the University of Georgia that was ended by injuries.

Jeff Francoeur, McKinzey’s teammate during Parkview’s state-record 46-game winning streak of the early 2000s, didn’t play college football. He became a Major Leaguer with the Braves and Mets.

Georgia High School Football Daily’s all-classification all-decade team contains them all.

The choices were difficult, especially when weighing high school success with how the players performed at the next levels. Calvin Johnson was an all-state wide receiver at Sandy Creek before becoming an All-American at Georgia Tech and eventually the No. 2 overall pick in the …

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Top Georgia teams head out of state

Not many changes in the rankings this week, partly due to weather-related postponements. Milton solidified itself as No. 1 in boys AAAAA with an easy win over Walton despite missing Julian Royal. Good to hear Ryan Harrow was OK after collapsing from dehydration last week.

This week should be fun for those who follow Georgia’s more elite programs.

Milton is traveling to Springfield, Mo., and will play Missouri’s defending Class AAAAA champion, Chaminade of St. Louis, on Thursday. That’s part of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions three-day tournament. Hope Royal will be back. The game will feature four of the top 30 juniors in the country (according to one recruiting service).

Centennial, Wheeler and Miller Grove are playing in Ohio next weekend through MLK Day.

There’s a big girls event Saturday at GAC. Buford plays SWD, and Parkview plays GAC. Wesleyan is playing a South Carolina team.

I like the games vs. out-of-state teams, but is there a downside to this? Does this …

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Georgia High School Football Daily Spotlight: All-Decade Team: Class AAAAA

We conclude our all-decade teams today with Class AAAAA. It would be interesting to see how this group compares with other states around the country.

Our player of the decade is Greg Reid. He’s the only player to make first-team all-state three times in the decade. He also was a Parade All-American who won a state title and was the MVP of two postseason all-star games, including a national one.

Here are the GHSF Daily’s picks for Class AAAA all-decade team. Please submit your own selections below. Or tell us what you think of the GHSF Daily picks. (The year in parentheses is the last season played by each player.)

Player of the decade: Greg Reid, Lowndes
Coach of the decade: Jeff Herron, Camden County
Team of the decade: 2002 Parkview
Program of the decade: Camden County

Offense

QB – Hutson Mason, Lassiter (2009)
AP all-class player of the year; state-record 4,560 yards passing
RB – James Davis, Douglass (2004)
2004 AP offensive player of the year; all-SEC at Clemson; NFL
RB – …

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