Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

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

Baseball: Wesleyan’s deceptive 9-9 record … 4 straight shutouts for Benedictine … Attaboy to Atterbury … Mundy’s Mill dual-sport star …

  • 11:13 am Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Wesleyan’s baseball team is only 9-9 overall, 5-3 in Region 6-AA, but ranked No. 5 and considered dangerous to anyone who follows Class AA closely.

Wesleyan – which started the season 0-5 – has played six Class AAAAAA schools, plus region rivals Westminster (ranked No. 2) and defending AA champion Lovett (No. 8) and No. 1-ranked Jefferson of 8-AA.

Wesleyan lost 13-5 to Westminster on Thursday, but it was an extra-innings game in which Westminster scored nine runs in the final frame. Wesleyan will play the Wildcats again Saturday. Wesleyan has been hot since spring break.

‘’We do not play over spring break [More]

DeShields to transfer from North Carolina after one season

  • 8:17 pm Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Former Norcross basketball star Diamond DeShields is transferring from North Carolina after a freshman season in which she averaged 18 points and 5.4 rebounds for a team that was 27-10, the Raleigh News & Observer reported late Thursday.

DeShields was The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s all-classification girls player of the year in 2013 and led Norcross to three state championships. She was one of the most recruited players in the country and in Georgia history.

“I do not know or understand why Diamond DeShields has decided to leave the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,” North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell said [More]

Corky Kell loses spot in Georgia Dome, moves to McEachern; new matchups for Colquitt County, North Gwinnett, McEachern, Mill Creek

  • 7:01 pm Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The Corky Kell Classic, the annual day of games that symbolize the kick off of Georgia’s high school football season, won’t be played at the Georgia Dome this year because of a rare conflict with a Falcons preseason game.

The five games scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 23, will be played at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium, which holds 13,000. The Kell Classic had been expanded by two games that already were planned at McEachern on the Friday night before.

The change also entails different opening-game opponents for Colquitt County, Mill Creek, North Gwinnett and McEachern. Colquitt now will play Mill Creek instead of North Gwinnett, and [More]

Basketball: Bracket change appears to be a popular move

  • 3:30 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The GHSA’s decision this week to change the format of the state basketball tournament seems to have met with general approval among head coaches, although many are unaware of it.
Future playoff brackets will match those of football, soccer and baseball, meaning schools from regions 1-4 (mostly middle and south Georgia) will meet schools from region 5-8 (mostly north Georgia) beginning with the quarterfinals rather than the semifinals.
The perception is that the 5-8 half of the brackets is stronger than the 1-4 half, leading to many of the better teams getting knocked off before the semifinals. Teams from regions 5-8 have [More]

Griffin offensive coordinator hired as Jones County head coach

  • 7:47 am Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

West Forsyth’s Hepler resigns to take job in Florida; hires, changes made at Lambert, Americus-Sumter, Campbell, Walker

  • 6:07 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Frank Hepler, the coach who started West Forsyth’s program in 2007, resigned on Monday and will become defensive coordinator for a school 15 miles from his south Florida hometown of Plantation.

Hepler, 51, had been a successful head coach at his alma mater, Plantation High, where he was 135-30 in 14 seasons. Hepler’s new position will be at nearby Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla. Hepler and his wife have family in Florida.

Hepler was 51-18 in his seven seasons at West Forsyth. The Wolverines won a region title in 2012, when the team averaged 40.3 points a game under quarterback [More]

Baseball rankings: Raiders, Wolverines tumble, Lions enter top 10

  • 4:56 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Stephen Black - Score Atlanta

Peachtree Ridge finally broke through and made the Class AAAAAA top 10 after winning six straight games against quality competition. The Lions outscored Norcross, North Gwinnett and Mountain View 15-1 in three recent games. Walton fell out of the top five after losing three straight while West Forsyth dropped out entirely with five consecutive defeats.

Whitewater lost to two highly-regarded Florida teams over the weekend, but retained the No. 1 spot due to the Wildcats’ overall body of work against in-state competition. Houston County tumbled out of the top five while Greenbrier and Gainesville rose up to Nos. 4 and 5, [More]

Gymnastics: Top teams, gymnasts look ahead to next week’s prelims

  • 11:56 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Craig Sager II

Score Atlanta

With regular season meets in the rearview mirror, the next week and a half will be spent looking ahead to the State Preliminary Meet on April 26 at Dunwoody. Each program and gymnast in attendance will be competing for the right to participate in the state championship on May 2 at Westminster. The minimum qualifying score for team to reach the preliminary meet this year was 96.0 and the all-around qualifying score was set at 34.0. In order to compete in an individual event, gymnasts need a score of 8.5 or better during the regular season. Team scores [More]

GHSA executive committee tables legislative-fueled discussions

  • 12:58 pm Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Adam Krohn

MACON – The Georgia High School Association elected to table discussions on constitutional amendments that would impose 10-year term limits on its 58 executive committee members and require that they be employed by a school or school system. The decision was made at the GHSA’s executive committee meeting, held at the Macon Marriott City Center.

The issues surrounding term limits and employment requirements of executive committee members stems from SB 343, a bill that passed the senate but stalled in the house committee in the recently concluded legislative session.

Legislators passed a law establishing the GHSA oversight committee, and that committee [More]

Top 10 HS running backs: Griffin, Swinney about to carry the load

  • 9:48 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Taj Griffin of McEachern and Eric Swinney of Sandy Creek are the mostly highly recruited running back in Georgia, and each will have the chance to prove it this fall. For the first time in their high school careers, they will become feature players in their offense.

The two are the headliners in this week’s list of the 10 best high school running backs in Georgia even though their rushing totals are some of the lower ones in a group that includes 2,000-yard rushers Kawon Bryant of North Oconee and Mikell Lands-Davis of Alexander.

Grffin – rated the No. 1 all-purpose back [More]