Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Woodward Academy’s Elijah Holyfield scores 7 touchdowns

  • 12:01 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by David Purdum

Woodward Academy star Elijah Holyfield, son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, scored seven touchdowns in the War Eagles’ 45-13 win over Decatur on Friday. Holyfield returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a score then added six touchdown runs. He finished with 147 yards rushing.

Friday night notes

–No. 1 Buford has yet to allow a point. The Wolves mauled Berkmar of Class AAAAAA, 56-0, on Friday.

–Perennial power Carrollton is 0-2 for the first time since 1977. The Trojans lost to Newnan in dramatic fashion, their second straight loss to open new coach Ed Dudley’s tenure. With the game tied, [More]

Week 2 preview: Chadwick kicks off 30th season at Marist

  • 7:58 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by David Purdum

–Marist coach Alan Chadwick kicks off his 30th season by leading the War Eagles against Florida power Godby in the first of four games at 11:45 a.m., Saturday in the second annual Georgia-Florida Battle of the Borders Showdown at Hallford Stadium. Godby, out of Tallahassee, dropped its opener, 32-13, to IMG Academy, but is stacked with college prospects. “From what I understand, they’re ranked preseason No. 7 in the country and have about 20 (college) prospects,” said Chadwick. “We’ve got two. We certainly have our hands full.”

–No. 1 Buford continues its challenging non-region slate with a home game against Class AAAAAA’s Berkmar [More]

Different approaches for DeKalb teams after opening losses; Urban Meyer praises Liberty Co. product

  • 9:27 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by David Purdum

Two DeKalb County coaches took different approaches to getting their teams to bounce back from an opening loss.

Arabia Mountain coach Stanley Pritchett ratcheted up the physicality of his Monday practice. The young Rams dropped their opener, 41-6, to Stephenson.

“We wanted to get a little more physical with our young guys, just get them in that mode,” said Pritchett on Monday evening. “I thought we got better today.”

Pritchett praised his team’s fight in the blowout loss to Stephenson and believes his squad will ready for East Coweta on Friday and its first season in Region 6-AAAA with Marist and St. Pius [More]

Sandy Creek makes statement; Westover game moved up

  • 9:02 am Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 by David Purdum

Any talk of perennial AAAA power Sandy Creek taking a step back this season appears to be premature. The Patriots, who have not lost in the regular season since Week 1 of the 2009 season, extended that streak Friday with 21-13 come-from-behind win over AAAAAA Archer at the Corky Kell Classic. Sandy Creek star running back Eric Swinney rushed for 220 yards, quarterback Trey Walker threw two touchdown passes in his first varsity start , and Sammy Brown and Antonio Trapp each had interceptions in a second half that saw the Patriots erase a 13-0 deficit.

“We were very proud [More]

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]