Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Three weeks left: Who’s making the playoffs?

  • 7:50 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, it’s time to take a look at the playoffs. Most regions have one dominant team, meaning the real battle is for the second spot, which also guarantees a home game in the first round of the state playoffs.

Here is a region-by-region look, with some of the leagues in more flux than the others.

Region 1, Div. A: Cook and Dodge County, both unbeaten in the region, play Friday in Eastman. Cook will finish first with a victory. Dodge still has to play Pierce County, which has only one region loss, in the [More]

Last-minute kick saves Oconee … Big wins for Jefferson, Peach … BT wins subregion

  • 8:41 am Saturday, October 18th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Oconee County got a last-second 46-yard field goal from Mehran Ahmadipour to beat Morgan County 33-31 and keep its dreams of an undefeated season alive.

Morgan had taken a one-point lead on a 45-yard field goal with 40 seconds left. But Oconee County (7-0) rushed downfield behind a pair of completions from quarterback Zeb Noland, one to Roques Dowdy, the other to Andrew Shuford, and sent Ahmadipour onto the field for the do-or-die kick.

BT nails down subregion title

Blessed Trinity’s Pat Jasinski is better known by his skills at linebacker. That’s what helped him nail down a scholarship with Central Florida. But [More]

Westminster-Blessed Trinty to decide subregion … Oconee, Peach gets tests … Laney-Josey tee it up

  • 9:47 am Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

First place in Region 4-AAA Div. B will be determined this week when No. 3 Blessed Trinity hosts No. 6 Westminster. Barring an upset over the final two weeks, the winner of this game will be the No. 1 seed for the region playoff game and be guaranteed a home game in the first round of the state playoffs.

“The loser of this game will be put in a precarious situation,” Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin said. “Whoever loses could end up on the road in the first round against someone like Washington County or Laney.”

That means the two powers will [More]

Graduates into AAA haven’t slowed down … Cook is heating up … Calhoun, Jefferson rolling

  • 8:24 am Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Moving up in classification hasn’t been an issue for some of the top teams in Class AAA. Among the teams ranked in the top 10, three (Calhoun, Jefferson and Westminster) were in Class AA last year. Two others (Laney and Cook) are going to make the playoffs after moving up a division and possibly earn a home date for the first round of the playoffs.

Things have really turned around at Cook, which has started to hit its stride under first-year coach Jon Lindsey, who was the defensive coordinator at Camden County from 2005-2010. Lindsey was the head coach at Irwin [More]

Pepperell’s Collins sets state rushing record … Another wild offensive night in AAA

  • 7:29 am Saturday, October 11th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Pepperell didn’t win the game but running back Devyn Collins had a night to remember.

Collins, a 5-foot-7, 175-pound junior, set a state record with 485 rushing yards in 34-32 loss to Rockmart. Collins carried 46 times and scored five touchdowns, but the Dragons dropped to 1-5.

Rockmart ended a five-game losing streak thank to the running of Jermonte Thompson (233 yards, four touchdowns, and J.C. Lovelace (115 yards).

The previous state record was set by Don Calloway of Miller County, who rushed for 476 yards in 1999. Collins became the 13th player to surpass 400 yards in records maintained by the Georgia [More]

Showdown for Dodge … Decatur, Morgan takes aim at upsets … Hephzibah gets tested

  • 8:48 am Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Dodge County’s first big step toward securing first place in Region 1-AAA Div. A begins this week when it travels to Appling County.

Dodge is 6-0 for the first time since 2005. The Indians hope things turn out better this time, as that team lost three of its final four regular-season games and was one-and-done in the playoffs. This year coach Rex Hodges’ club is ranked No. 10 in Class AAA against a light schedule, but finishes against Region 1 big boys Appling County, Cook and Pierce County.

Dodge is averaging 34.3 points per game and no opponent has come closer than [More]

Who’s lurking in the AAA shadows?

  • 9:09 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Another big night for state powers … Jefferson, Waco, Calhoun roll … Oconee 6-0

  • 8:53 am Saturday, October 4th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

No. 4 Jefferson made a huge statement on Friday night by rolling up 462 yards in whipping Elbert County 52-6.

The Dragons (6-0) were led by quarterback Evan Shirreffs, who completed 9 of 16 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, and running back Sammy Williams, who rushed for 169 and three touchdowns. Dalton Hill and T.J. Skelton caught the touchdown passes.

Jefferson also returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns, as Jackson Howard and Tradd Porter each came up with pick-six.

“They’re No. 4 for a reason,” Elbert coach Sid Fritts told WSGC-FM radio after the game. “You see them on film [More]

Finally! A challenge for Waco (maybe) … Adairsville-Calhoun, Jefferson-Elbert square off

  • 8:59 am Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

If No. 1-ranked Washington County is going to be tested at any time before the playoffs begin, it may have to come this week. The Golden Hawks travel to Augusta to play an athletic and well-coached Laney team to possibly determine the Region 3-AAA championship.

“This is a big-time test,” Washington County coach Joel Ingram said. “They’re battle tested. If the conditions are right and Laney is hot, they’re tough to beat. We’ve got to be able to match their intensity.”

The two teams were at the same summer camp during the same week. Ingram has a friendly relationship with Laney coach [More]

Ranking regions: 8-AAA rules … How does yours compare?

  • 10:15 am Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

You’ve heard the old refrain. “Our region is so tough,” they say. “If you can get out of Region (fill in the blank) you can play with anybody.”

That sounds good, but it isn’t necessarily so.

So just which region is the best?

This is the first year of the two-year reclassification system, so the leagues are still feeling their way around. Some teams went up in classification, some moved down. Some of the regions look much different.

Now that the season has reached the halfway point for most teams, it’s a good chance to look at each region and determine which ones are [More]