Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

AAAAAA blog: Best schedule of games this weekend until playoffs

  • 11:28 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

There won’t be another weekend with so many good games in Class AAAAAA until the playoffs, so get a good seat somewhere and watch Georgia’s highest classification reveal more secrets.

Here’s a sampling -

Booker T. Washington vs. Tucker – This is the final of four games in the Battle of the Borders event at Hallford Stadium, the only one involving a AAAAAA team. BTW – which won mythical national titles last season – is ranked as high as No. 4 by Scout and is Florida’s reigning Class 4A champion. BTW beat Norcross 55-0 last season. Norcross beat Tucker 32-29 last week.

Hoover [More]

AAAAAA blog: What Kell team is most likely to win state?

  • 9:37 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Twelve teams that have played in the Corky Kell Classic, which will be played for the 23rd time Friday and Saturday at McEachern, have gone on to win state championships the same year. The most recent was Grayson in 2011. (List below.)

Preseason polls would need to be badly wrong for it not to happen in 2014. The top six teams in the Class AAAAAA rankings – McEachern, Colquitt County, Archer, North Gwinnett, Tucker and Mill Creek – are playing as part of the seven-game event. So is defending AAAAAA champion Norcross (No. 9) and the No. 2 team from AAAA, Sandy [More]

AAAAAA: Maxwell Ratings predict region standings, W-L records

  • 9:24 pm Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

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

While the Maxwell Ratings reflect each team’s strength, the Monte Carlo simulation highlights the impact of the season’s structure (i.e., schedules, region alignments, etc.).

All out of state opponents were considered [More]

Game 3 summaries: On to the finals are HoCo, Whitewater, Cartersville, GAC, Benedictine

  • 10:53 am Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Here is a wrapup of the five Game 3 playoffs from Tuesday that decided what teams will play in the championship series beginning Saturday.

Also see these stories on the Wesleyan player who hit four home runs in a losing effort Tuesday and a summary of the semifinal series that were completed on Monday.

We’ll report the start time for the state finals when all are set.


Houston County 7, Gainesville 4: Third baseman Blake Jackson, a Georgia Tech signee, hit a two-run double for a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning. Jackson also had a homer and drove in the [More]

Baseball: No. 1 Lambert sweeps … Charlton County wins title … Cartersville coach ejected … Crisp makes history … Series splits in AA … Game 3 start times

  • 9:43 am Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

No. 1-ranked Lambert (34-1) is moving to the Class AAAAAA finals after a sweep of Parkview on Monday in a series between nationally ranked teams.

J.D. Dutka (10-1) and Dylan Biumi (10-0) were Lambert’s winning pitchers in the 4-3 and 3-1 victories.

Dutka, a transfer from North Gwinnett, won a pitchers duel with Parkview’s Mac Marshall (9-1), an LSU signee, in the opener. Seth Beer hit a home run for Lambert. Jake Chickowski hit a two-run homer for a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning of the second game.

Lambert, a Forsyth County school that opened in 2009, is in the state finals for [More]

Baseball: Game 3 magic lifts Alexander’s road warriors into first-ever semifinals

  • 9:26 am Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Alexander’s baseball team has made the state semifinals for the first time. Those are perhaps the easiest of long odds that the Cougars have overcome this season.

Before the first game, ace pitcher and cleanup hitter Cody Worthy was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery. The team then finished third in its region and had to win three straight playoff series on the road.

Alexander (25-10) has survived, winning the deciding Game 3 each step of the way. In the second round, Alexander trailed No. 1-ranked Marist 5-3 in the sixth inning of Game 3, and won in extra innings. [More]

Baseball: Stephenson makes history … Updates on Greenbrier, Johns Creek, Milton, Gainesville, Parkview, Valdosta, Westminster

  • 4:02 pm Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Stephenson had never won a state-playoff game until this season. Now the Jaguars are in the quarterfinals, the only DeKalb County public school still playing.

Only five of the 48 teams in all six classifications that that have made the quarterfinals, which begin Tuesday, are in the final eight for the first time. North Paulding and Walnut Grove are making their first appearances in the state playoffs. Veterans and Lambert had each made the second round before, but broke through this year to the quarters.

For Stephenson, twin brothers Bryan and Ryan Betts had big series in [More]

Sellers, Atterbury lead all-DeKalb baseball team

  • 9:00 am Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Cedar Grove’s Deion Sellers and Columbia’s Jalen Atterbury lead the DeKalb Dugout Club’s all-county team announced this week.

Sellers hit .537 (36-for-67) with 12 extra-base hits through the regular season. He led DeKalb County in stolen bases with 55.

Atterbury (7-1) finished with an 0.37 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. Atterbury shared the county lead in pitching victories with Redan’s Daren Osby (7-0, 1.26). The county ERA leader was Dunwoody’s Steven Etcher (3-0, 0.24).

First team

IF Jakobi Meyers,Arabia Mountain ,JR

IF Deion Sellers,Cedar Grove,SR

IF Jenard Morris,Cedar Grove,FR

OF James Hartsfield,Cedar Grove,JR

C Ronald McGhee,Columbia ,JR

IF Trenton Nash,Columbia ,JR

OF Keishaun Clark,Columbia ,JR

P JalenAtterbury,Columbia ,JR

UT Justin [More]

Baseball: Bremen 24-0 … Locust Grove wins region in thriller … Kennesaw Mtn, PeaRidge on hot streaks … Grady overcomes obstacles

  • 10:30 am Friday, April 25th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Mark Clark has won 510 games and a state championship (1990) in 30 seasons as Bremen’s baseball coach, but he’s never been unbeaten in the regular season – until now.

The Blue Devils of Class AA will enter the state playoffs 24-0. The only other undefeated Georgia team is nationally ranked Lambert in Class AAAAAA.

Bremen, ranked No. 1 the Georgia Dugout Club and No. 3 by the AJC, is unusual as a state contender for two reasons.

One is that the Blue Devils haven’t hit a home run. Bremen’s fences are fairly deep (360 feet to center, 330 down the lines), but [More]

Baseball: Parkview lefty takes 0.00 ERA into final regular-season start … Allatoona pair dominates on mound … GWA, Cross Creek ride hot streaks into Top 10

  • 10:11 am Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Parkview’s Mac Marshall can clinch a region championship and complete what is perhaps the best regular season for a pitcher in state history on Friday.

The senior lefthander and potential first-round draft pick has not allowed an earned run. He’s 7-0 with 56 strikeouts over 39.2 innings. He’s allowed only 15 hits. He allowed one unearned run in a 2-1 victory over Archer on March 7.

Marshall’s next start will be Friday against Grayson (16-8, 12-2), the second-place team in Region 8-AAAAA. Parkview leads at 20-3, 14-0.

Parkview coach Chan Brown said Marshall doesn’t seem to feel any pressure over the streak.

‘’It’s not [More]