Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

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]

Georgia high school soccer: What makes a good keeper?

  • 4:10 pm Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 by David Purdum

Glynn Academy coach Bobby Brockman knows what attributes good goalkeepers possess. And he’s got a good one in senior Connor Behrend.

Brockman says good keepers come in all sizes, but ideal specs would be an athlete who is between 6-2 and 6-5, weighing around 180-200 pounds and possessing large hands and keen instincts.

“But just like when you have ideal quarterback specs, and you have really good quarterbacks that don’t fit that mold, it’s the same for keepers,” Brockman explained in an email.

Brockman also asks his keeper to read the game, make proactive decisions, effectively distribute the ball to teammates with throws [More]

Boys soccer notebook: Undefeated Brookwood has 7 shutouts in 10 games

  • 11:42 am Friday, March 14th, 2014 by David Purdum

Brookwood, Class AAAAAA’s top-ranked team, is off to a 10-0 start that includes impressive wins over No. 3 Centennial, No. 7 Peachtree Ridge and a pair of strong Alabama teams.

Brookwood midfielders Brahan Gamarra (nine goals, eight assists) and Alfredo Rivera (four goals, four assists) lead the offense. Three of Gamarra’s goals have been game-winners; three of his assists have led to game-winning goals. He and Rivera have had a hand in each of the Broncos’ game-winning goals.

Coach Daniel Klinect points to defender Junior Ametepe as one of the primary reasons the Broncos have posted seven shutouts in 10 games. The return of [More]

Buford football schedule features 2 AAAAAA opponents

  • 12:46 pm Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by David Purdum

Powerhouse Buford’s 2014 football schedule opens with a game against a defending Florida state champions and features showdowns against two AAAAAA schools.

The Wolves have won state championships in six of the last seven seasons, including the last two in Class AAA. Buford moves up to AAAA in the fall.

The Wolves open at home against Trinity Christian of Jacksonville, Fla., in a game this is being considered as a potential ESPN game. Trinity Christian won the Florida AAA state championship last season.

Buford then hosts back-to-back opponents from Georgia’s largest classification in Berkmar and McEachern.

The Wolves will play in Region 8-AAAA, where [More]

Georgia high school basketball weather updates: AAAA

  • 12:50 pm Monday, February 10th, 2014 by David Purdum

Atlanta’s winter weather is impacting the high school basketball playoffs. Region tournaments were expected to get underway today, but some games have already been cancelled, and the GHSA has pushed back the start of the state tournament.

We will post updates for Class AAAA as they become available here.

Friday

–The Region 4-AAAA boys and girls basketball tournaments will resume Saturday and finish up on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Updated schedule. 

Thursday

–Region 5, 6 and 7-AAAA schedules are up to date, as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

Tuesday

–Today’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Region 4-AAAA tournament games have all be [More]

High school basketball AAAA notebook: 40-point performance fuels clinching win

  • 9:33 am Saturday, February 8th, 2014 by David Purdum

–The second-ranked Columbus girls hammered Sandy Creek, 70-40, Friday. Tatyana Wyatt, Jacqueria Gunter, Jazmyn McIntosh and Alexia Manning each scored double figures for the Blue Devils, who finished the regular season at 24-1 and 14-0 in Region 5-AAAA play.

–The Woodland (Stockbridge) girls jumped out to a 23-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to a 76-42 win over Stockbridge on Senior Night on Friday. All four seniors—Mecca Sneed, KK Parrish, Aalyiah Dotson and Brianna Ohonba—started for coach Ashley Maddox’s team, which was looking to complete an undefeated season in Region 4-AAAA with a win against Dutchtown [More]