Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

AJC updates from the world of high school sports in metro Atlanta and Georgia

Heard County, Fitzgerald highlight AA’s Week 2 slate

  • 10:46 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Brent Holloway

The slate isn’t quite as loaded with obvious big games as it was last week, but I think we’ll learn a lot in Week 2.

No. 3 Heard County vs. No. 7 Fitzgerald

Is Heard County for real or is Fitzgerald back?

Of course, the answer could be “both.”

Led by 2,000-yard rusher Duranta Dunson, Heard County opens its 2014 season with its highest ranking since 1991. Dunson nearly set a state record the last time we saw him, rushing for 463 yards in a 61-57 loss to Jefferson in the second round of the playoffs. Braves coach Tim Barron wasn’t bashful about singing [More]

Is there room at the top in Class AA?

  • 9:41 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Brent Holloway

So what do we make of GAC’s win over Benedictine?

On one hand, the argument could be made that Greater Atlanta Christian definitively proved itself deserving of the No. 1 spot it holds in the Class AA rankings. The Spartans rallied back behind a mammoth performance from star wide receiver Darius Slayton (186 yards, three TDs), and held on for a win against the third-ranked Cadets despite losing Micah Abernathy — GAC’s other two-way standout — to injury in the third quarter.

Impressive stuff.

But the argument could just as (almost as) easily be made in favor of Benedictine, which went on the [More]

Big games in AA: GAC putting No. 1 ranking to the test

  • 9:53 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Brent Holloway

Here are a few of the top games in Class AA this weekend, starting with a marquee match-up at the top …

No. 3 Benedictine at No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian

Two of the top teams in AA are wasting no time putting their preseason rankings to the test. The third-ranked Cadets will travel to face a top-ranked Spartans team loaded with high-level talent and lofty expectations.

GAC is led by big-time college prospects RB/DB Micah Abernathy, WR/DB Darius Slayton and LB Tyler Cooksey. Those three have gotten the bulk of the preseason attention, but there’s a wealth of talent on the roster. [More]

Getting to know the top 10 in Class AA

  • 11:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Brent Holloway

Hey guys/gals. I’ll be your humble correspondent for all things Class AA high school sports for the coming school year, so I suppose an introduction is appropriate here.

I’ve been covering high school sports in Georgia for about 10 years now, ever since an intrepid sports editor tentatively agreed to throw some part-time work to a clueless recent grad from a modest university three states away. A tip for those entering the job market: if you volunteer your services for peanuts (literal ones), somebody will probably put you to work.

Since then, I’ve mostly focused on high school sports in Northeast Georgia. [More]

AA: Maxwell predicts region standings, WL records

  • 11:02 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The Maxwell Ratings have predicted the region standings and the won-lost records of Georgia’s Class AA teams. The computer ratings are the work of Loren Maxwell, founder of the Georgia High School Football Historical Association. He has been involved with sports ratings since 1986.

His region-by-region breakdowns are based on a Monte Carlo simulation of the 2014 season. The simulation completed 1,000,000 trials at the rate of approximately 51 seasons per second.
While the Maxwell Ratings reflect each team’s strength, the Monte Carlo simulation highlights the impact of the season’s structure (i.e., schedules, region alignments, etc.).

All out of state opponents were considered [More]

Lacrosse: A preview of Saturday’s championship games

  • 10:26 am Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Adam Krohn

On Saturday, the GHSA state champions of lacrosse will be determined after hard-fought regular seasons and postseasons. This will be the 10th season since the GHSA officially began recognizing lacrosse state champions.

On the boys side, the No. 2-ranked Northview Titans (20-1) will travel to play the No. 3 Lovett Lions (18-3) at 4 p.m. for the AAAAA-A title game. In AAAAAA, the No. 3 Roswell Hornets (16-3) will host No. 5 Lambert Longhorns (17-4) at 7 p.m.

In the AAAAA-A girls title game, the No. 1-ranked Kell Lady Longhorns (19-1) will host the No.2 Westminster Lady Wildcats (17-4) at 3 p.m. [More]

Lacrosse: Semifinals set for Tuesday, Wednesday

  • 9:14 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Adam Krohn

The GHSA lacrosse state semifinals for both classifications are set for Tuesday and Wednesday (schedules linked below), with all championship games being played Saturday. Here’s a quick look at how the tournament is shaping up:

AAAAA-A boys

If the No. 1-ranked Westminster Wildcats are going to repeat as state champions, they’re going to need a road victory over the No. 3-ranked Lovett Lions. Both teams are No. 1 seeds, but Area 1 – the Lions’ area – has home-field advantage this year. The Lions have beaten Riverwood (17-5) and Marist (13-4) to reach the semifinals, while the Wildcats have beaten [More]

Lacrosse: Postseason nears

  • 1:21 pm Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Adam Krohn

Here is some basic information concerning lacrosse as the postseason approaches.

Today is the day the GHSA has designated as the final day to complete Area play to determine seeding for the postseason. Here is the calendar for the lacrosse state playoffs:

5/6 – 5/7 State Lacrosse Playoffs – First Round
5/9 – 5/10 Quarterfinal Round State Lacrosse
5/13 – 5/14 State Lacrosse Tournament – Semifinals
5/17 State Lacrosse Finals

Below are the teams looking to defend their 2013 state titles:

Boys

A-AAAAA Westminster
AAAAAA Centennial

Girls

A-AAAAA Westminster
AAAAAA Milton

Here are the playoff bracket alignments for the 2014 state playoffs.

Boys

Girls

In the coming weeks, we will be previewing [More]

Lacrosse: Lee sets Peachtree Ridge boys’ all-time scoring record; No. 1 Kell girls beat No. 2 Northview

  • 9:14 am Friday, April 25th, 2014 by Adam Krohn

Here are some highlights from top teams and performers in GHSA lacrosse:

Boys: The Centennial Knights lost to No. 5 Lambert 10-8 in AAAAAA action. The No. 6-ranked Knights were led by Nathan Solomon and Brendan Spence, who each scored 3 goals. … The Roswell Hornets picked up a pair of wins over AAAAA-A’s No. 6-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian and Walton to improve to 11-3 and 6-1 in Region 2-AAAAAA. Junior attacker Preston Tippett scored 6 goals and 4 assists and leads the team with 42 goals and 34 assists on the season. … AAAAA-A’s No. 2-ranked Westminster Wildcats beat Riverwood [More]

Lacrosse: Former Milton coach building new powerhouse at Northview

  • 9:00 am Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Adam Krohn

The Milton boys lacrosse program is one of the state’s best, but didn’t exist before Michael Ryan built them up. Milton is now the No. 1-ranked team in the state in Class AAAAAA. In 2009, Ryan left to build up the Northview Titans. Today, the Titans are the state’s No. 1 team in AAAAA-A and seeking their first state title.

The Titans are off to a 15-0 start – 10-0 in Region 3 – a year after reaching the state title game. It was the farthest the Titans have ever advanced in the state playoffs after years of reaching the semifinals [More]