Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Stephenson, Creekside to meet for 6-AAAAA bragging rights

  • 9:50 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Here’s what to look for this weekend in Class AAAAA:

- Defending Class AAAAA champion and fourth-ranked Creekside will receive a warm welcome into rugged Region 6 when it faces region veteran and third-ranked Stephenson in Fairburn on Friday. Because of reclassification, Creekside (moved from Region 4) essentially replaced Tucker (now in Class AAAAAA) in the region. Tucker beat Stephenson 31-28 in the regular season last year and lost to Creekside 52-28 in the state championship game. Stephenson went 9-3 and reached the second round of the playoffs in 2013.

- Four other Region 6-AAAAA teams will be among the six teams [More]

3-AAAAA’s Ware, Coffee and 5-AAAAA’s Allatoona looking like playoff locks

  • 9:55 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Today we continue our look at the playoff chances for Class AAAAA teams by focusing on Regions 3 and 5, which are home to three of the top eight teams in this week’s rankings.

Which teams on the lists below are getting too much credit? Which ones are being underestimated?

Next week we’ll look at Regions 7 and 8.

Region 3-AAAAA

*Locks: Ware County, Coffee

Second-ranked Ware County took a big step toward the region title when it opened region play with a 24-21 victory last week against No. 5 Coffee, which played in Region 1-AAAAAA last season. Both teams are likely to be heavily [More]

Ware County (3-AAAAA) and Lanier (8-AAAAA) take charge of regions

  • 9:30 am Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Ware County of 3-AAAAA and Lanier of 8-AAAAA established themselves as the teams to beat in their regions with victories on Friday against teams that were among the top challengers in their leagues.

Second-ranked Ware County improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in region play with a 24-21 victory against fifth-ranked Coffee, which moved into the region from Class AAAAAA this season. It was a bit of revenge for Ware County, which has lost just two regular-season games since the start of 2012, and both came against the Trojans.

Lanier, playing its third full varsity season but its first in Class AAAAA, [More]

Role of 3-AAAAA favorite at stake when Ware County meets Coffee

  • 9:30 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Ware County came into the season as the favorite to win the Region 3-AAAAA championship, which the Gators have done each of the past two seasons.

To win the title again in 2014, the second-ranked Gators will have to get off to a good start, and that begins on Friday when they open region play against what is likely to be their biggest challenge – longtime rival and recent nemesis Coffee – at 7:30 p.m. in The Swamp.

Fifth-ranked Coffee dropped into Class AAAAA this season after years of playing in Region 1 of the highest classification. Although Coffee and Ware County [More]

Region 2 teams chasing Northside in search of playoff spots

  • 10:23 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Region play has begun in several Class AAAAA regions and will get under way soon in the others.

Beginning today and continuing for the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at the playoff chances for all of the AAAAA teams. This week we’re looking at 2-AAAAA, where nine teams appear to be chasing the state’s top-ranked team in the title race.

Which teams on the lists below are getting too much credit? Which ones are being underestimated?

Next week we’ll look at Regions 3 and 5, which are home to three of the top eight teams in this week’s AJC rankings.

Region 2-AAAAA

*Locks: [More]

Power appears to be shifting in Region 8; M.L. King’s struggles continue

  • 9:30 am Saturday, September 6th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Here’s a recap of some of the big stories in Class AAAAA from Week 3:

- Gainesville, Flowery Branch, Clarke Central and Heritage-Conyers have represented 8-AAAAA in the playoffs each of the past two seasons, but things already look different in the region this year. Clarke Central opened region play with a 35-20 loss to Lanier, which moved into 8-AAAAA after reaching the second round in Class AAAA last season. Heritage dropped to 0-1 in region play when it lost to Salem 19-14. Preseason favorites Flowery Branch and Gainesville were off on Friday and begin region play next weekend.

- Nichols Kashama, [More]

M.L. King, Creekside look to bounce back; Glynn Academy 2-0 under Hidalgo

  • 10:00 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Here’s what to look for this weekend in Class AAAAAA:

- M.L. King will try to wake up its offense when it meets Mays in an 8 p.m. game Friday at Hallford Stadium. The Lions were held to 45 yards of total offense, threw four interceptions and were sacked six times in a 30-0 loss to Norland of Florida in their opener last weekend. The loss was one of three for DeKalb County teams Saturday at the Battle of the Borders. DeKalb’s only winner in the four-game event was Class AAAA Marist, which beat Godby of Florida 17-14 on a 19-yard [More]

Greenbrier, North Atlanta end slumps; Lithia Springs, Apalachee hope to join them soon

  • 9:57 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Chip Saye

Six Class AAAAA teams went 0-10 in the 2013 season. Two of those – Greenbrier and North Atlanta – already have victories this season to put their long losing streaks to an end. Here’s a look at the six winless teams from last season and where they stand:

*Greenbrier: The Wolfpack opened the season with a 34-0 victory against Harlem two weekends ago to snap a 10-game losing streak. Greenbrier begins play in 2-AAAAA this week against Warner Robins, which was ranked seventh in AAAAA until a 19-0 loss to Peach County in its opener last week. Greenbrier hasn’t won more [More]

Creekside, Gainesville fall, but Ware picks up big win

  • 9:30 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Here’s a recap of the big stories in Class AAAAA from Week 2:

*No. 1 Creekside falls: Defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Creekside had its 16-game winning streak come to an end when a late rally fell short in a 21-20 loss to Fairburn rival Hughes, the seventh-ranked team in Class AAAAAA. Creekside trailed 21-0 late in the third quarter but got two touchdowns from Julian Gibbs and one by Bricen Terry to cut the lead to 21-20. The Seminoles missed their last extra-point attempt with about two minutes remaining when they had to try a 35-yard kick after an [More]

DeKalb pride on the line at Battle of the Borders Showdown

  • 10:59 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Chip Saye

Class AAAAA teams Stephenson and M.L. King will be among four DeKalb County schools that will host some of Florida’s best teams on Saturday in the Battle of the Borders Showdown at Hallford Stadium.

M.L. King (0-0) will open its season with a 2:30 p.m. game against Norland of Miami, and second-ranked Stephenson (1-0) will face Miami Central at 5:30 p.m. The event begins at 11:45 a.m., when Class AAAA Marist (0-0) takes on Godby (0-1) of Tallahassee, and concludes with an 8:30 p.m. game between Class AAAAAA Tucker (0-1) and defending national champion Booker T. Washington (1-0) of Miami.

Norland will [More]