Posted: 9:00 am Friday, June 13th, 2014

AJC high school athletes of the year for 2013-14 

By AJC Sports

Standout performances by these athletes led to individual and team success during the 2013-2014 school year:

 

Baseball

Seth Beer, Lambert: The sophomore outfielder/pitcher batted .589 with 10 home runs and 31 extra-base hits in 107 at-bats in leading the Longhorns to their first state championship and a No. 1 national ranking by USA Today. Beer was 7-0 with an ERA of 0.53 as a pitcher. His team finished 36-2. Beer is projected as a likely first-round pick in the 2016 Major League Draft.

 

Basketball (boys)

Tadric Jackson, Tift County: The 6-foot-2 senior guard averaged 18.8 points and nearly six rebounds and five assists in leading Tift County to the Class AAAAAA championship, the school’s first state title since 1996. Tift County’s four-year record with Jackson as a starter was 101-23. A member of the ESPN 100, Jackson has signed to play basketball at Georgia Tech.

 

Basketball (girls)

Kahlia Lawrence, Kendrick: The 5-foot-8 senior guard averaged 26.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and six steals in leading Kendrick to a 29-0 record and the Class AA championship. She set school records for points in a game (45), season (759) and career (2,086). Lawrence had 25 points and seven rebounds against Wesleyan in the state final. She has signed to play basketball at Mercer University.

 

Cheerleading

Maddie Laymac, Lambert: The senior was a four-year member of the varsity competition squad who helped lead the Longhorns to the past two state championships in Class AAAAAA. She battled back injuries throughout the season but displayed what coach Brent Paige called electric energy on the floor. Laymac will be a member of the all-girl cheerleading team at the University of Georgia.

 

Cross country (boys)

Kevin Mills, Peachtree Ridge: The senior had the fastest time of the day at the state meet, running the course in 16:03.82 to win the Class AAAAAA individual championship and help the Lions to a second-place finish in the team standings. Mills also finished third in the 3,200-meter run and 10th in the 1,600 at the state track meet this spring. He has signed to run at Winthrop University.

 

Cross country (girls)

Kathryn Foreman, Landmark Christian: The sophomore had the fastest time of the day at the state meet, finishing in 18:42.18 to win her second consecutive Class A private-school individual title. As a freshman, her winning time of 18:18.07 also was the best in any classification and helped Landmark win its second consecutive team title. She finished second in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters at the state track meet this spring.

 

Football

Jaquez Parks, Griffin: The senior quarterback passed for 3,640 yards, rushed for 1,329 yards and had a hand in 45 touchdowns in leading Griffin to the Class AAAA championship, the school’s first title in 35 years. Parks set a state record with 554 yards from scrimmage – 338 passing and 216 rushing – in the state final against Carrollton. Parks has signed to play football at Kennesaw State University.

 

Golf (boys)

Jack Larkin Jr., Marist: The senior capped off a remarkable high school career by leading Marist to its third consecutive Class AAAA championship. Larkin shot a 3-under 69 at Westlake Country Club to take medalist honors by two strokes. Larkin has signed to play at the University of Georgia, where he will follow in the footsteps of his father. He currently has a handicap index of 2.1.

 

Golf (girls)

Kayley Marschke, Lambert: The sophomore won the Class AAAAAA individual title at the state championships at Gordon Lakes, where she prevailed in a playoff, and led the Longhorns to their second consecutive team title. She shot a 67 at Achasta Golf Club to set a school record and win the Region 6-AAAAAA title. Marschke works with PGA professional Tim Weinhart at The Standard Club and carries a handicap index of 0.8.

 

Gymnastics

Katie Stuart, Lambert: The junior scored a 37.525 to win the all-around title at the state meet and led the Longhorns to a third-place finish in the team standings. She won individual titles on the vault and uneven bars and finished second in the floor exercises. Stuart, who also was the Level 10 Georgia state champion in her age division, has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.

 

Lacrosse (boys)

Zach Hemans, Roswell: The senior provided leadership and stellar defense (45 ground balls, 18 takeaways) as the Hornets won their first state championship in program history. He pitched in offensively in the playoffs, scoring two pivotal goals in the semifinals, then helped hold a potent Lambert offense in check in a 6-5 victory in the final. Hemans will continue his career at Young Harris College.

 

Lacrosse (girls)

Mackenzie Lech, Milton: The senior was the leader on a Milton team that won its fifth consecutive state title and ninth in 10 years. She finished with 48 goals, 25 assists, 43 ground balls, 14 forced turnovers, eight interceptions and 52 draw controls to guide the Eagles to a No. 5 national ranking in the Nike/U.S. Lacrosse poll. Lech will play lacrosse at San Diego State next season.

 

Riflery

Alana Kelly, Allatoona: The sophomore set a qualifying-round record with 296 points and posted an overall score of 396.9 to win the individual all-classification championship at the state meet. She also helped the Buccaneers win the team title with a state-championship record of 1,162 points. The state titles were the first by an individual or a team in the history of the Allatoona program.

 

Soccer (boys)

Adam Sheikali, McIntosh: The senior midfielder scored 20 goals, including two in the state final, and had 16 assists in leading the Chiefs to their second consecutive Class AAAAA title. McIntosh finished 22-0 to increase its winning streak to 45 and was ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Sheikali has signed to play soccer at Boston University.

 

Soccer (girls)

Jennifer Westendorf, Grayson: The sophomore forward made an immediate impact in her first season at Grayson after transferring from Montgomery, Ala. She scored 46 goals and had six assists in leading the Rams (21-1-1) to a runner-up finish in Class AAAAAA. Westendorf, ranked as the nation’s No. 6 prospect in the Class of 2016 by TopDrawerSoccer.com, has verbally committed to play soccer at Notre Dame.

 

Softball

Savannah McHellon, Ola: The senior pitcher/outfielder hit .442 with 15 home runs in 129 at-bats for the Class AAAAA championship team. She was 17-5 as a pitcher with a 1.05 ERA. In the state title game, she hit a grand slam and pitched a nine-inning complete game. McHellon is rated the No. 18 prospect nationally by Student Sports. She has signed to play at the University of Georgia.

 

Swimming (boys)

Gunnar Bentz, St. Pius: The senior led St. Pius to a state championship while setting Georgia records in the 200-yard individual medley (1:45.55) and 100-yard butterfly (47.26) at the Class AAAAA-A meet. He also anchored St. Pius’ winning 400-yard freestyle relay team. CollegeSwimming.com ranks Bentz as the No. 4 recruit nationally. He has signed to swim at the University of Georgia.

 

Swimming (girls)

Caitlin Cooper, Woodward Academy: The senior broke Olympic medalist Amanda Weir’s 11-year-old Georgia record in the 50-yard freestyle (22.75 seconds) and set the state record in the 100 free (49.78). She was part of Woodward Academy’s state-record 4×50 freestyle team. She is rated the No. 46 women’s swimming prospect nationally by CollegeSwimming.com. Cooper has signed to swim at the University of Virginia.

 

Tennis (boys)

Chris Eubanks, Westlake: The senior completed his high school career at Westlake without a loss. A well-rounded right-hander, Eubanks is ranked No. 3 in the Southeast and No. 14 nationally among seniors by TennisRecruiting.net. His non-high school accomplishments include victories at the One Love Junior Super Championship and the Georgia State Closed Junior Challenge. He has signed with Georgia Tech.

 

Tennis (girls)

Laura Patterson, Roswell: The senior finished her high school career with only two losses. One of those occurred this year when it was discovered that she had torn ligaments in her right hand, which put a premature end to her season. The right-hander is ranked No. 9 in the Southeast and No. 27 in the nation by TenninsRecruiting.net. She has signed with the University of Georgia.

 

Track and field (boys)

Christian Coleman, Our Lady of Mercy: The senior sprinter set Class A records at the state meet in the 100 meters (10.38 seconds) and 200 meters (21.1) and as a member of the 400-meter relay team (41.88). Coleman also won the long jump (23-08.25). His personal best in the 100 meters ranks fifth nationally. Coleman has signed to compete in track and field at the University of Tennessee.

 

Track and field (girls)

Tiffany Flynn, Miller Grove: The senior won the High Point Athlete Award by scoring 31.25 points at the state meet and led the Class AAAAA Wolverines to their first state championship. She won all three of her individual events – the long jump (18 feet, 8.75 inches), the 100-meter hurdles (13.96 seconds) and the triple jump (41-11), in which she was the all-classification leader. Flynn has signed to run at Mississippi State University.

 

Volleyball

Haley Templeton, Chattahoochee: The 6-foot-1 senior setter had 1,271 assists, 541 digs, 436 kills, 93 service aces and 59 blocks in leading the Cougars (50-10) to a runner-up finish in Class AAAAAA. Templeton, who had a .435 hitting percentage and .528 kill percentage, was named a first-team Under Armour All-American and the AAAAAA co-player of the year. She has signed to play volleyball at the University of Miami.

 

Wrestling

Chip Ness, Buford: The senior in the 195-pound class won his fourth individual state championship in four years and completed a 31-0 season. His four-year record was 168-1. He led Buford to the Class AAA dual and traditional state championships. Ness is rated the No. 4 wrestler nationally in the 195-pound division by InterMat. He has signed to wrestle at the University of North Carolina.

18 comments
Tennis7
Tennis7

A quick note about Lambert (a relatively new High School, about 5 years old)..., it is located in a fairly well-to-do bedroom suburb/community located in South Forsyth County just north of Johns Creek area (several beautiful neighborhoods/developments nearby which feed into the schools, St. Marlo, Laurel Springs, Windermere, Grand Cascades, etc...).  All the area schools (elementary/middle) are among the top academic schools in Georgia.  I think that you are only gaining a small glimpse of how special this area is/has become (with regard to this list).  As I have two children in the Lambert school district, I have seen how involved the kids/parents are with both academics/extra-curricular activities (of which sports are only one part).  The schools in the area are similar to private schools…heavy parental involvement, who also hold high standards for their children….

DawgFanInKansas
DawgFanInKansas

Nice to see the whole state of Georgia represented, not just north Georgia. NOT. Unreal.

Sportsnutx2
Sportsnutx2

** Brain freeze with a quick post finger,, "There" not "They"

Sportsnutx2
Sportsnutx2

@ S. Thomas Coleman == I was not meaning to infer anything different. They often is much debate about the coverage of the AJC concerning high school sports. I am local and am a print subscriber. I appreciate the coverage but wish there was more of it. I know the difficulty of trying to keep tabs on over 400 schools and their sports programs. You guy's do good work given the large workload.


Keep it up

SThomasColeman
SThomasColeman

@Tiger Patpaw:  Thanks for the love, and good luck to Trey and Darlington this season.


STC

Tiger Patpaw
Tiger Patpaw

@STC

Tell #2 I send "Little Guy 'Grats".

It's hard, but you'll get used to those orange "T" window decals.

MTaggart
MTaggart

There's a new sheriff in town......and it's name is Lambert.

Sportsnutx2
Sportsnutx2

@ Still a Dawg Fan == They are not forgotten. I am sure there are several reasons for the choice that was made. For one, this is the AJC. It covers Atlanta. You have a couple names, Jackson of Tift and Lawrence of Columbus (Kendrick) because they play basketball and it is much bigger than track in Georgia. Those are impressive results and we all hope to see more from her in the future. Also consider that point, she is only a sophomore. Maybe if she does continue the good work, we will all see her name in this space in the near future.

Still a Dawg Fan
Still a Dawg Fan

It seems the good people of Atlanta forgot that they run track in South Georgia. Sophomore Taylor Deloach of St Vincent's Academy in Savannah won all three events she entered at the AA State Track Meet.She won the 100M(12.21),200M(24.68) & the Long Jump (18' 5.5"). She Jumped 20' 01' eariler this year which is the longest jump in the state this year for HS girl & the 5th longest jump in the country this year for hs girl. In her 100m & 200m wins at the state meet she pulled up the last 20m in the 100m dash & the last 50m in the 200m dash & still won by a large margin. Not bad for a sophomore but the people in Atanta need to take note because she has 2 more years & will only get better 

golfmom1
golfmom1

@sportsmamiac "overall athletic program just average"? Lambert has 11 State Championships in 5 years. I think our performance speaks volumes to the quality of our program! Our athletes also perform above average in the class room. Check the facts and I think you will see "just average" isn't the case!!

Sportsmaniac
Sportsmaniac

Shocked that Lambert had so many recipients. Seth Beer and Lambert's baseball team is for real, but their overall athletic program is just average. Very few team state  titles.  

commonsenseisnot
commonsenseisnot

Just curious about the criteria and who decides. Thank you

ToddHolcomb
ToddHolcomb moderator

Lambert is a 5-year-old school in Forsyth County.

ErnestB
ErnestB

Where is Lambert HS located?  I noticed they had several top athletes.

SThomasColeman
SThomasColeman

@Sportsnutx2:  While I can't speak for the rest of my peers who cover high school sports for the AJC, I try to look at things from a statewide perspective, given the coverage scope of the AJC.  


STC

SThomasColeman
SThomasColeman

@Still a Dawg Fan:  We went with Tiffany Flynn largely because she had an outstanding senior season, but rest assured, Taylor had an outstanding season as well.  She'll no doubt go down as one of the state's best ever, after her career is done.


STC


Sportsmaniac
Sportsmaniac

@golfmom1 Please take no offense to my comments. If you could please name the sport and year, I would appreciate it. Also, please don't include cheerleading. Academics at Lambert are outstanding, but I would hardly say there is a sheriff in town (MTaggart) in terms of Lambert athletics.