Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Georgia high school football: No. 1 Buford, No. 2 Sandy Creek face tough openers

  • 12:07 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by David Purdum

Buford opens its first season in AAAA by hosting Florida power Trinity Christian on Saturday at Tom Riden Stadium. The game will be broadcast at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. Ranked No. 1 preseason, Buford has won state championships in six of the last seven seasons and is once again loaded with next-level prospects. The Wolves have nine junior and senior Division I recruits, including six who are expected to start on defense. Trinity Christian is the defending AAA state champion in Florida and features safety Deontai Williams, a Georgia commitment, and corner Kevin Toliver II, who’s committed to LSU.

Buford coach [More]

Football season outlook: Newlook AAAA remains tough

  • 11:51 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by David Purdum

Happy football. Let’s begin.

Class AAAA has been considered by many to be the second toughest classification in the state, behind only AAAAAA.

And that was before juggernaut Buford joined the mix.

The Wolves arrive in AAAA this season as the favorites. They have won five state championships in the last six seasons in lower classifications and are 123-8 in coach Jess Simpson’s 10-year tenure. Don’t expect any type of significant drop off with the step up, not with nine Division I prospects, including six who start on defense.

Buford is one of four teams that reached the second round of the [More]

AAAA: Maxwell predicts region standings, WL records

  • 10:43 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The Maxwell Ratings have predicted the region standings and the won-lost records of Georgia’s Class AAAA 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.

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 AAAA GHSA teams were treated as an [More]

High school soccer: State tournament roundup

  • 11:25 am Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by David Purdum

–McIntosh defeated Evans, 2-0, on Thursday in the first round of the AAAAA state tournament. The Chiefs have won 41 consecutive games, heading into this week’s second round. Dylan Keysar and Matt Dognazzi had goals for McIntosh, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation by National Soccer Coaches Association.

–Brookwood goalkeeper Andy Harris recorded his eighth shutout of the season in the Broncos’ 3-0 win over South Forsyth on Tuesday in the first round of the AAAAAA state tournament. No. 1 Brookwood will host Lassiter at 7 p.m., Tuesday in the second round.

–The second [More]

Soccer: Westminster player out of hospital after collision; Playoff brackets released

  • 3:23 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by David Purdum

A scary mid-air collision bloodied two players during the Westminster-Greater Atlanta Christian match on Tuesday.

Westminster forward/midfielder Chris Ottley suffered a fractured nasal cavity and a concussion after hitting heads with Greater Atlanta Christian’s Will Hamryka.

Ottley was helped off the field and taken to the hospital. He was released Tuesday night, Westminster coach Scott Snyder said, but likely will miss the playoffs.

Hamryka sustained a mild concussion and a laceration on the back of his head, GAC coach Thom Jacquet said.

“It was scary,” added Jacquet. “It made a horrific sound, like a fastball being hit for a 400-foot home run.”

Greater Atlanta Christian [More]

High school soccer: How the No. 1 team in the nation makes a game plan

  • 8:50 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by David Purdum

It’s a conversation McIntosh boys soccer coach Bunky Colvin has had often during his career. A football coach will approach Colvin and say something like, “I just thought you went out there and kicked the ball around.”

The Chiefs have won 38 consecutive matches and are ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. They didn’t reach such heights by just kicking the ball around.  They have a plan and are very good at executing it.

“I don’t think people realize how much is involved in it,” said Colvin, who is in his 15 [More]

Georgia high school soccer: Stratford Academy star sets career scoring mark

  • 9:36 am Friday, April 11th, 2014 by David Purdum

–Stratford Academy’s Morgan Sowell broke the GISA career scoring record with a six-goal performance in Tuesday’s 17-4 win over Westfield Schools. Sowell has 128 goals for his career, including 28 this season. The Eagles are the two-time defending GISA state champions. The 17 goals scored Tuesday tied a school record, first-year coach Ian Hayley said.

–No. 1 McIntosh’s win streak has reached a school-record 38 matches. Coach Bunky Colvin says the emergence of Adam Sheikali in the midfield. In the last seven games, Sheikali has 10 goals and 11 assists. “He’s really taken us to another level,” said Colvin.

–The Central Lions [More]

Boys high school soccer: Coaches poll has Georgia team No. 1 in nation

  • 10:35 am Friday, March 28th, 2014 by David Purdum

The No. 1 team in the nation hails from Georgia.

McIntosh, winner of 35 consecutive matches heading into Friday, was ranked No. 1 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America this week. All five regional voters had the Chiefs as the top team on their ballot.

Senior Adam Sheikali has been the catalyst for McIntosh. Sheikali scored six goals and had seven assists in wins over Greenbriar, Whitewater, Marist and Northgate.

Brookwood (No. 5), Walton (No. 9) Greater Atlanta Christian (No. 11) and Johnson of Gainesville (No. 19) also represented Georgia in the NSCAA poll. The NSCAA is the largest coaching [More]

Boys soccer: No. 1 GAC handles No. 2 Westminster in blustery conditions

  • 11:37 pm Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by David Purdum

Greater Atlanta Christian looked every bit like Class AA’s top team on Tuesday. Not even frigid conditions featuring a 20-plus-mph wind could cool off the undefeated Spartans.

GAC’s Ryan Marcano opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the first half and Nash Wagnon opened the floodgates in the second half with a right-footed bender, leading the Spartans to a 4-0 win over second-ranked and three-time defending state champion Westminster.

GAC (11-0) is loaded with next-level players and controlled the action. Westminster coach Scott Snyder knew his Wildcats (5-3-2) couldn’t match the Spartans’ talent. Snyder’s game-plan was to hang back and look [More]

Georgia high school soccer notebook: Wesleyan star has assisted on 73 percent of Wolves’ goals

  • 1:20 pm Friday, March 21st, 2014 by David Purdum

–Senior Cort Coxhead has assisted on 14 of No. 4 Wesleyan’s 19 goals through eight games. Son of coach Billy Coxhead, Cort also has scored three goals of his own. Benji Johnson leads the Wolves with five goals, and goalkeeper Austin Pack has three shutouts this season.

–After ending a six-year playoff drought last season, the Duluth Wildcats appear poised for another postseason appearance. Duluth had won its first 10 games this season, heading into Friday’s game against North Gwinnett. The Wildcats’ hot start is highlighted by a stretch of three wins in three days last week, first-year coach Adel Mohsen said. During that [More]