Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

AJC updates from the world of high school sports in metro Atlanta and Georgia
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Preseason poll: Starting No. 1 are McEachern, Creekside, Buford, WaCo, GAC, Aquinas

  • 6:16 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Three returning state champions begin the high school football season ranked No. 1 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s preseason rankings.
But McEachern, Greater Atlanta Christian and Washington County, schools that haven’t won state titles in 17 years, if at all, are on top of their classifications.
McEachern, the No. 1 team in Class AAAAAA, reached the semifinals in 2013 and returns four players who are committed to Division I schools. Offensive lineman Chuma Edoga (Southern California) and running back Taj Griffin (Oregon) are two of the top six senior prospects in Georgia, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Also committed are lineman Chandler Jones [More]

AAAAAA: Maxwell projects playoff draw, results

  • 9:32 pm Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Below are the Maxwell Ratings’ predictions of the playoff draw for Class AAAAAA.

The Maxwell Ratings playoff projections are based on a Monte Carlo simulation of the 2014 season. The simulation completed 1,000,000 seasons, approximately 51 each second.

While the Maxwell Ratings reflect each team’s strength, the simulation highlights the impact of the season’s structure as defined by the games, region alignments, and playoff brackets.

All out of state opponents were considered equal to the average of the GHSA team’s classification (i.e., out of state opponents of Class AAAAAA GHSA teams were treated as an average Class AAAAAA team).

Although regions may use [More]

What to watch for Friday: No. 1 Aquinas at Prince Avenue, Stockbridge at No. 10 ELCA; Three former GISA members debut in GHSA

  • 1:59 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

Here’s what to look for Friday …

No. 1 Aquinas (1-0) at Prince Avenue Christian (0-0).  The top-ranked Irish, last year’s private school champs, thumped Class AAA Glen Hills last week, 41-6.  Led by junior QB Liam Welch and senior RB/DB Ruben Garnett, who reportedly holds more than a dozen FCS offers, Aquinas will get a stern early season test from the Wolverines in Bogart, just outside of Athens.  Prince Avenue was the 2012 private school runner up and finished 10-2 last season after falling in the state semifinals to eventual runner up Calvary Day. This is the second season at [More]

Wednesday softball and volleyball scores

  • 9:00 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Craig Sager II

Softball

Appling County 8, Pierce County 5

Bacon County 14, McIntosh County Academy 0

Buford 9, North Gwinnett 1

Calhoun 12, Sonoraville 1

Carrollton 13, Sandy Creek 1

East Coweta 6, Northgate 3

East Laurens 9, Washington County 7

Grayson 3, Mountain View 2

Harrison 2, North Paulding 1

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School 7, Providence Christian 5

Johns Creek 7, Norcross 6

Lassiter 7, Milton 0

Loganville 5, Brookwood 1

Northview 13, Duluth 5

Peachtree Ridge 2, Cambridge 0

Pepperell 9, Temple 1

Perry 3, Lee County 1

River Ridge 4, Woodland, Cartersville 3

St. Pius X 10, Lovett 1

Tattnall Square 11, Rutland 0

Volleyball

Central-Carroll 2, Temple 1

Douglas County 2, Temple 0

Dunwoody 2, Wesleyan 0

Johns Creek 2, Dunwoody 0

Pinecrest Academy [More]

Coach Speak with Mt. Paran’s Jordan and Charlton’s McWhorter, ELCA’s brutal gauntlet

  • 7:00 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

Technical difficulties (user error!) have us behind schedule a bit here at Class A Blog Headquarters.  But we’ll soldier on with a couple of “Coach Speak” features, Mount Paran Christian’s Mitch Jordan and Charlton County’s Rich McWhorter, and a look at Eagle’s Landing Christian’s brutal schedule.

And check back on Thursday afternoon for previews of some of the best games on the Class A slate in Week 2.

Coach Speak with Mt. Paran’s Mitch Jordan:  Are the Eagles title favorites?

Coming off of a 9-3 season in which Mount Paran Christian put itself firmly on the Class A football map, and after soundly [More]

Maxwell Week 2 Projections

  • 5:10 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Each game is listed showing the game rate, favorite, the probability of the favorite winning the game, the projected margin, and the opponent.
The game rate is calculated as the expected value of the loser of the game, which favors games with highly rated and closely matched opponents.

All data is courtesy of the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

The Maxwell Ratings are a regular feature of Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click here.

Visit the Maxwell Ratings for more ratings [More]

Cross country: Woodward boys, BT girls win at Blastow

  • 2:21 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Stephen Black - Score Atlanta

The Bob Blastow Early Bird took place Saturday at Alexander. It is one of the season’s first big meets for local cross country teams. Class AAAA No. 1 Woodward Academy took first place in the boys race while Class AAA No. 1 Blessed Trinity won the girls race. In the boys competition, Alexander took second with 87 points (behind Woodward’s 37), McIntosh third (106), North Paulding fourth (121) and Carrollton fifth (152). The St. Pius and McIntosh girls tied with 88 points, just behind first-place Blessed Trinity’s 77.

Alex Murphy won the boys race with a time of 15:54.22. The Woodward [More]

Week 2 cross country rankings

  • 12:49 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Stephen Black - Score Atlanta

After a busy weekend of 5K races such as the Kosh Classic and the Bob Blastow Early Bird, the rankings have shifted quite a bit.

Boys

Class AAAAAA

Marietta
Lambert
Brookwood
Peachtree Ridge
Lakeside-DeKalb
Milton
North Paulding
Johns Creek
South Forsyth
Etowah

Class AAAAA

Clarkston
Greenbrier
Flowery Branch
Lakeside-Evans
Forsyth Central
Cambridge
Union Grove
Hiram
Winder-Barrow
Creekview

Class AAAA

Woodward Academy
Marist
St. Pius
Pickens County
North Hall
Perry
Chestatee
Carrollton
Whitewater
Buford

Class AAA

Westminster
Blessed Trinity
Jefferson
Oconee County
East Jackson
Calhoun
Savannah Arts
Central-Carroll
Murray County
West Hall

Class AA

Wesleyan
Lovett
Pace Academy
Benedictine
Darlington
Holy Innocents’
Thomasville
Bleckley County
Lamar County
Greene County

Class A

Landmark Christian
Athens Christian
First Presbyterian Day
Lakeview Academy
Athens Academy
Galloway
Hebron Christian
Aquinas
Whitefield Academy
Brookstone

Girls

Class AAAAAA

Etowah
South Forsyth
Northview
Etowah
Alpharetta
Marietta
Mill Creek
Harrison
North Gwinnett
West Forsyth

Class AAAAA

Lakeside-Evans
Dunwoody
McIntosh
Starr’s Mill
Cambridge
Alexander
LaGrange
Columbus
Flowery Branch
Sequoyah

Class AAAA

Marist
St. Pius
Heritage-Catoosa
Woodward Academy
Buford
Chestatee
North Hall
White County
Johnson-Gainesville
North Oconee

Class AAA

Blessed Trinity
Westminster
Jefferson
Hart County
Savannah Arts
Morgan County
Savannah Arts Academy
Central-Carroll
Southeast Bulloch
Islands

Class AA

Wesleyan
Lovett
Pace Academy
Holy Innocents’
Darlington
Lamar County
Bremen
St. Vincent’s Academy
Social Circle
Coosa

Class A

Landmark Christian
First Presbyterian Day
Walker
Hebron Christian
Athens Christian
Mount Pisgah
Athens Academy
Paideia
Mount De Sales
Savannah [More]

AAAAAA blog: Best schedule of games this weekend until playoffs

  • 11:28 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

There won’t be another weekend with so many good games in Class AAAAAA until the playoffs, so get a good seat somewhere and watch Georgia’s highest classification reveal more secrets.

Here’s a sampling -

Booker T. Washington vs. Tucker – This is the final of four games in the Battle of the Borders event at Hallford Stadium, the only one involving a AAAAAA team. BTW – which won mythical national titles last season – is ranked as high as No. 4 by Scout and is Florida’s reigning Class 4A champion. BTW beat Norcross 55-0 last season. Norcross beat Tucker 32-29 last week.

Hoover [More]

Daily Trivia: Three ranked teams with Fairburn addresses

  • 7:30 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Fairburn, a town of some 5,000 residents, is home to three teams that are ranked in the Top 10 of at least one poll this week. What are the three schools? Hint: Only one is in the city limits, and it occupies the campus of a high school that closed in 1990. (Answer Thursday)

Answer to Tuesday’s question: The most recent Georgia school to win 30 consecutive games was Sandy Creek. The Patriots’ 41-game winning streak was ended by Gainesville in the 2011 Class AAA quarterfinals.

Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, [More]

Daily List: Highest-scoring games in season openers

  • 7:10 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Two games played last weekend rank among the four highest-scoring in GHSA history for a season opener. Here are the 12 highest:

115 – Miller County 91, Lanier County 24 (1999)

101 – North Gwinnett 52, McEachern 49 (2014)

100 – Milton 51, Chattahoochee 49 (2008)

96 – Creekside 55, South Cobb 41 (2014)

94 – Griffin 59, Dutchtown 35 (2013)

91 – Dawson County 56, Pickens 35 (2011)

89 – Lowndes 75, Woodland, Stockbridge 14 (2009)

89 – Upson 55, Crawford County 34 (1981)

89 – Cedartown 61, Marist 28 (1982)

87 – Mount Zion 46, Pacelli 41 (2001)

87 – Cherokee 53, Creekview 34 (2013)

87 – Winder-Barrow 87, Cumming [More]

Four Questions with Thomson coach Rob Ridings

  • 6:40 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We’ll report from a different head coach each day.

Rob Ridings, Thomson

1. Who is/was the most influential person in your coaching career? “Boots Donnelly, my head football coach at Middle Tennessee from 1979 to 1982. Coach Donnelly taught us to be mentally and physically tough, to play as a team and never, ever give up.”

2. Who is the best Georgia player you ever faced? “Rodney Hudson, our quarterback at LaGrange High School from 1989 to 1991. Faced him every day in practice. He was the most talented quarterback I [More]

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