Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

  • 10:51 pm Friday, September 5th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

Untimely penalties, dropped passes and fumbles, the absence of a key playmaker and a gutsy performance by a proud Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy team looking for its first win of the season, almost cost Greater Atlanta Christian the game and its No. 1 ranking in Class AA.

But the Spartans (3-0) made just enough plays, including another game-winning touchdown catch by senior receiver/cornerback Darius Slayton, to hold off ELCA (0-3), 23-16 in McDonough.

Playing without star running back/defensive back Micah Abernathy, who sat out the contest with a leg injury, GAC took a 15-7 lead late in the third quarter on a [More]

AA blog: Washington-Wilkes tops among quartet of rapid risers

  • 12:11 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Brent Holloway

Another week, another shuffling of the top 10 in Class AA.

We’ve talked about it a lot here, so I won’t belabor the point, but the fact that two of the top four teams have lost in each week so far means we’ve had a lot of turnover in the top 10 – proof once again that preseason rankings don’t mean much once games get underway.

The primary beneficiary when it comes to the rankings shake-up has been Washington-Wilkes. The Tigers opened at No. 6 and are now sitting at No. 2 after thumping rival Lincoln County, 36-10, on Friday.

What makes Washington-Wilkes an [More]

Big games in AA: GAC putting No. 1 ranking to the test

  • 9:53 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Brent Holloway

Here are a few of the top games in Class AA this weekend, starting with a marquee match-up at the top …

No. 3 Benedictine at No. 1 Greater Atlanta Christian

Two of the top teams in AA are wasting no time putting their preseason rankings to the test. The third-ranked Cadets will travel to face a top-ranked Spartans team loaded with high-level talent and lofty expectations.

GAC is led by big-time college prospects RB/DB Micah Abernathy, WR/DB Darius Slayton and LB Tyler Cooksey. Those three have gotten the bulk of the preseason attention, but there’s a wealth of talent on the roster. [More]

AA: Maxwell predicts region standings, WL records

  • 11:02 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

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

AA: Maxwell projects playoff draws, results

  • 11:00 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The Maxwell Ratings playoff projections are based on a Monte Carlo simulation of the 2014 season. The simulation completed 1,000,000 seasons, approximately 51 each second.

While the Maxwell Ratings reflect each team’s strength, the simulation highlights the impact of the season’s structure as defined by the games, region alignments, and playoff brackets.

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 AA GHSA teams were treated as an average Class AA team).

Although regions may use different criteria, in the simulation all standings were determined by using recursive head-to-head [More]

Undefeated GAC boys win AA soccer

  • 10:34 pm Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

Top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian got a pair of goals from senior Ryan Marcano and completed a perfect season with a 3-0 win over Westminster in the AA boys final Emory.

The Spartans (23-0) scored 2:30 into the game when Nash Wagdon dropped a long kick over the defense and onto the foot of Marcano, who beat keeper Benton Wood for the goal.

GAC scored again with 12:29 remaining when Kelly Jones stepped past the defense and put one in the far side of the net. Marcano added the insurance when he scored again with 7:04 remaining.

“We knew we had to get one [More]

GAC girls win AA girls soccer title

  • 7:34 pm Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

It didn’t seem to bother Greater Atlanta Christian’s Kaylann Boyd that she was probably looking at a couple of stitches to close a gash above her left eye. All that mattered was the Class AA championship trophy that was being carted around by her teammates.

Boyd was instrumental in helping GAC beat Region 6-AA rival Lovett 3-0 at Emory to win the Class AA soccer title for the second time in three years. She scored once and nearly scored again in the final minutes when she was whacked by Lovett’s Grace Jackson, who Boyd called her best friend.

The Spartans (19-2-1) got [More]

Girls Track and Field: State Championship Final Results

  • 3:56 pm Sunday, May 4th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

High schools

Track and field

Girls state championships, Albany

Final Results


Class AAAAAA: 1. Westlake, 61; 2. McEachern, 52; 3. Marietta, 47

Class AAAAA: 1. Miller Grove, 60; 2. Pope, 59; 3. Northside-Warner Robins, 56

Class AAAA: 1. Marist, 96; 2. Monroe-Albany, 67; 3. Redan, 62

Class AAA: 1. Woodward Academy, 61; 2. St. Pius, 56; 3. Blessed Trinity, 53

Class AA: 1. Lovett, 92; 2. Thomasville, 48; 3. Wesleyan, 42

Class Private A:  1. Eagle’s Landing Christian, 75; 2. Landmark Christian, 56; 3. Athens Christian, 51

Class Public A:  1. Gordon [More]

Freshman Hill dominates; Westlake, Miller Grove, Woodward Academy, Marist, Lovett, ELCA, Gordon Lee win titles

  • 12:34 am Sunday, May 4th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

ALBANY – Rockdale County freshman Candace Hill brought the sizzle. But once again, Westlake went home with the steak.

The Lions used their superior depth, plus tons of guts and guile to win their second consecutive Class AAAAAA title at the 46th Georgia High School Association Girls State Track and Field Championships.

Westlake has won three state titles since 2009, and co-head coach Robert Wilson said this one might be the sweetest. Unlike last year, when the Lions blew away the rest of the field by 30 points, Westlake was not in the top 10 going into Saturday’s running finals after a [More]

Track and Field Blog: Georgia athletes rank nationally; Big meets this weekend

  • 1:11 pm Friday, March 14th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

Nationally ranked athletes

As is the case with the “big three” sports – football, basketball and baseball — Georgia athletes are usually rated among the best in the United States. Such is the case in track and field as well.

As the season gets into full swing, now that basketball has ended and those athletes that participate in both sports move their focus to the track, here are the state’s athletes ranked in the Top 20 nationally in the 16 events scored in Georgia:

400 meters – No. 2 Quintaveon Poole, Washington County (47.88 seconds)

800 – No. 13 Jeramey Hampton, North Gwinnett (1:55.59)

1,600 [More]