Prep Zone: High School Sports blog 

AJC updates from the world of high school sports in metro Atlanta and Georgia
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Football season outlook: Newlook AAAA remains tough

  • 11:51 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by David Purdum

Happy football. Let’s begin.

Class AAAA has been considered by many to be the second toughest classification in the state, behind only AAAAAA.

And that was before juggernaut Buford joined the mix.

The Wolves arrive in AAAA this season as the favorites. They have won five state championships in the last six seasons in lower classifications and are 123-8 in coach Jess Simpson’s 10-year tenure. Don’t expect any type of significant drop off with the step up, not with nine Division I prospects, including six who start on defense.

Buford is one of four teams that reached the second round of the [More]

Getting to know the top 10 in Class AA

  • 11:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Brent Holloway

Hey guys/gals. I’ll be your humble correspondent for all things Class AA high school sports for the coming school year, so I suppose an introduction is appropriate here.

I’ve been covering high school sports in Georgia for about 10 years now, ever since an intrepid sports editor tentatively agreed to throw some part-time work to a clueless recent grad from a modest university three states away. A tip for those entering the job market: if you volunteer your services for peanuts (literal ones), somebody will probably put you to work.

Since then, I’ve mostly focused on high school sports in Northeast Georgia. [More]

Kell Classic: This year’s teams are sizzling; so is the weather

  • 11:04 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

The Corky Kell Classic, an annual event that symbolically kicks off the Georgia high school football season, is in its 23rd year, but it’s safe to say there has never been one like what is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at McEachern.

For the first time, the event is being played over two days with a record 14 teams. Ten of those teams are state-ranked, also an event record. Five of the seven games match ranked opponents. Seven of the Top 10 teams in Class AAAAAA will participate.

All seven games will be televised by Fox Sports South, which will broaden viewership [More]

Newcomers to have impact on AAA

  • 8:54 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Stan Awtrey

OK, Class AAA football fans. You won’t be able to hate on Buford this fall. The Wolves came roaring into the classification two years ago, won two state championships and left. Now they’ve moved up to Class AAA.

And while Buford has left the building, there are several new programs that will be coming into the classification this year that have great pedigrees. These newcomers are likely to create more competition in their respective regions this season.

Here are five newcomers to Class AAA this year that bear watching:

Cook: The Hornets were third in Region 1-AA last year, but have been a [More]

Four Questions with Calhoun coach Hal Lamb

  • 7:10 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

GHSF Daily asked Georgia head coaches to answer these four questions. We’ll report from a different head coach each day.

Hal Lamb, Calhoun

1. Who is/was the most influential person in your coaching career? “My dad [Ray Lamb, retired Hall of Fame coach for Warren County and Commerce] was the most influential person in my career. He taught me a lot about the game, but more importantly, he taught me how to treat people, including his coaches, players, parents and community.”

2. Who is the best Georgia player you ever faced? “Struggling with that one. Too many good ones.” GHSF Daily [More]

Daily Trivia: Schools at which GHSA executive director Gary Phillips coached

  • 6:50 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Gary Phillips this summer became only the fifth executive director of the GHSA. He is the third who is a former Georgia high school head football coach. Sam Burke coached at Greensboro and Albany in the 1920s and 1930s, and Tommy Guillebeau was head coach at Tift County and Ware County in the 1950s and 1960s. Which schools did Phillips coach? (Answer Wednesday)

Answer to Monday’s question: The 2013 state champions that began the season unranked were Griffin (AAAA), Aquinas (A private) and Marion County (A public).

Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing [More]

Daily List: Teams moving up in class that were ranked at the end of 2013

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Reclassification conspired to move up several state contenders. Here are 14 that made the final Top 10 in 2013 but will be playing in a higher classification in 2014. Each will play one class higher except Carver (Columbus), which will move up two classes to AAAAA.


2. Tucker (14-1)

6. North Paulding (11-2)

Class AAAA

8. Stockbridge (10-2)

9. Statesboro (10-2)

10. Alexander (8-5)

Class AAA

1. Buford (15-0)

4. Carver, Columbus (11-2)

6. Woodward Academy (9-3)

7. St. Pius (9-4)

8. Cartersville (11-1)

Class AA

5. Calhoun (11-2)

7. Jefferson (10-3)

10. Laney (10-3)

Class A

9. Seminole County (11-1)

Produced by Georgia High School Football Daily, a free e-mail newsletter. To join the mailing list, click [More]

Notebook: Creekside’s Stanley honors former teammate Turman

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Creekside wide receiver Jayson Stanley, an AJC Super 11 pick, honored former teammate DeAntre Turman on Saturday when he committed to Georgia on the one-year anniversary of Turman’s death. Turman, a college prospect at cornerback, died from injuries suffered in a preseason scrimmage. Creekside dedicated its season to Turman and won its first state championship. Creekside coach Olten Downs rarely has spoken publicly about Turman’s death but was asked about Turman’s impact on the 2013 team and any advice that he might have for players and coaches at Douglas County, which suffered a tragedy this preseason when Zyrees Oliver died, [More]

Power Rating is back; Three teams join GHSA; Check in with defending champs

  • 3:36 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by S. Thomas Coleman

Finally, it’s that time again! The Class A football blog is back again for another season!

As was the case last year, we’ll post blogs here on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning during the football season.  Tuesday’s blogs will be online only, while portions of the Thursday and Saturday posts will be published in The Atlanta Journal Constitution on Friday and Sunday.

On Tuesday’s we’ll take an expanded look back at the events of the previous Friday night, with a few other features here and there such as quick conversations with coaches from around the state (“Coach Speak”), along with [More]

Update: 5-star transfer ruled eligible at Savannah Christian

  • 4:36 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Todd Holcomb

Demetris Robertson, the preseason all-state defensive back for Savannah Country Day who transferred this week to rival Savannah Christian, is eligible immediately for sports at his new school, the Georgia High School Association ruled Tuesday.

Robertson, rated a five-star recruit by Rivals, is committed to Alabama. Robertson led SCD last season in tackles with 90 at free safety and had 36 receptions for 556 yards and rushed for 178 yards. He also was 3-for-3 passing for 131 yards. “A special player,” Savannah Country Day coach Dennis Coyle said.

According to the Savannah Morning News, Robertson and his family have moved closer to [More]

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