Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Big winners Friday are Grayson, Lovejoy, McEachern, 1-AAAAAA

  • 8:09 am Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Observations from the fourth week of the season in Class AAAAAA …

-Fourth-ranked Grayson (3-0, 1-0) became the team to beat in Region 8 with a 14-10 victory over defending champion Archer, which had first-and-goal at Grayson’s 3-yard line in the final minute but was turned away. Grayson’s defense is proving to be one of the state’s best. Four major Division I prospects start on that side of the ball for the Rams. Archer, which started the season ranked No. 3 after the 11-1 finish of 2013, has lost to three ranked teams – Sandy Creek, Peachtree Ridge and Grayson, each [More]

AAAAAA blog: Archer has ‘high expectations still’ despite 0-2 start

  • 9:58 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Ranked No. 3 in preseason, Archer is 0-2, but all will be forgiven Friday if the Tigers win their Region 8 opener against fourth-ranked Grayson (2-0).

Archer will benefit from the return of quarterback Gabe Tiller, who was limited to punting last week against No. 7 Peachtree Ridge (14-10 loss) because of an injury. Also fully healthy is preseason all-state junior Dylan Singleton, who was limited last week. He’s expected to play a fuller role as running back and/or wide receiver against Grayson.

Archer’s other loss came against Sandy Creek (21-13), the No. 2 team in AAAA. Penalties and turnovers proved fatal [More]

POY Watch: South Cobb’s Carter turning heads

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Kylil Carter doesn’t play on a Top 10 team, and he’s got no reported scholarship offers. Those aren’t the usual starting points for players who would be all-classification players of the year in Georgia. But nobody to this point is having a better season than the senior quarterback from South Cobb.

In two games, he has thrown for 536 yards and rushed for 398. He has scored five touchdowns and passed for six. Carter’s recruitment, which might’ve been hampered by playing under three head coaches in three seasons, should begin to pick up. South Cobb is 1-1, but the loss was [More]

AAAAAA blog: Colquitt County restores state pride … Big wins also for North Cobb, Grayson, Lowndes, P’Ridge

  • 12:50 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Georgia high school football got its pride hurt a year ago when its defending Class AAAAAA champion, Norcross, was beaten 55-0 on national TV by Booker T. Washington, a Miami team that would claim several mythical national titles.

Give credit to Norcross for picking up the pieces and winning AAAAAA again last year, but give Colquitt County – the current No. 1 team in AAAAAA – a hand also for the statement it made nationally on Friday night in Moultrie, where the Packers dominated two-time Alabama Class 6A champion Hoover 35-14.

Sihiem King, the preseason all-state running back, rushed for 169 yards [More]

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]