Issuu on Google+

Time to look great!

VOLUME 10 ISSUE 4

|

JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 6, 2014

|

YOUR SOURCE FOR SPORTS IN GEORGIA

Signing Day Frenzy | Pg. 4 Craig Sager II previews National Signing Day and discusses why this one will be different in Georgia.

Meets Galore | Pg. 8 Area swimming and wrestling squads compete prior to the postseason.

SAT, FEB 1 @ 7:30PM

TRENDING UP Despite injuries, the Hawks are Atlanta’s sports story of the year. | Pg. 5

SAT, FEB 8 @ 7:30PM


LAST YEAR SHE HAD THE WINNING

COMEBACK STORY. WHO WILL IT BE THIS YEAR? Know a young athlete who overcame a serious injury or illness? Nominate them for Comeback Athlete of the Month at choa.org/comeback. ©2013 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved. For official contest rules, visit choa.org/comeback.

Follow Children’s Sports Medicine on Facebook


Vol. 10 Iss. 4 | Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

STARTING LINEUP PUBLISHER/EDITOR I.J. Rosenberg

04

COLUMNISTS

05

ON THE COVER

08

INSIDE THE PREPS

ART/CREATIVE DIRECTOR DJ Galbiati Blalock SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR Stephen Black

BUSINESS MANAGER Marvin Botnick

DIRECTOR OF SALES Melanie Snare & MARKETING

BEAT WRITERS Ricky Dimon (Braves) Joe Deighton (Gladiators) Jay Underwood (Hawks) Brian Jones (KSU) Joe Deighton (UGA) Craig Sager II (Falcons) Donnell Suggs (Tech) Jay Underwood (GSU) STAFF WRITERS Ryan Caiafa Alex Ewalt

TO ADVERTISE IN SCORE ATLANTA:

404.256.1572

Copyright 2014 Score Atlanta Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Score Atlanta is published in print every other week on Fridays and a digital version is posted to ScoreAtl.com in-between print issues. Views expressed in Score Atlanta are not necessarily the opinion of Score Atlanta, its staff or advertisers. Score Atlanta does not knowingly accept false or misleading editorial content or advertising nor is Score Atlanta responsible for the content or claims of any advertising or editorial in this publication. No content (articles, photographs, graphics) in Score Atlanta may be used for reproduction without written permission from the publisher.

06 12 13

SCORE LIST | NUMBERS GEORGIA STATE | KENNESAW STATE GEORGIA | GEORGIA TECH BRAVES | FALCONS HAWKS | GLADIATORS

COVER PHOTOS COURTESY OF CRAIG SAGER II, ROB SAYE AND THE ATLANTA HAWKS

ON THE INSIDE AT SCORE Score Atlanta is looking for writing interns. Please e-mail Stephen Black at sblack@scoreatl.com or call 404-2561572 for more information. Join us Feb. 5 for the largest signing day party ever at five Taco Mac locations around Atlanta. The National Signing Day Frenzy presented by the National Guard is a chance to join Atlanta’s most talented athletes and celebrate their future!

STAY CONNECTED! /SCOREATLANTASPORTS @SCOREATLANTA WWW.SCOREATL.COM WWW.GAPREPNEWS.COM

3


4

SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

SAGER SAYS

A NEW ERA OF NATIONAL SIGNING DAY BEGINS BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM

o all the football fans in the state of Georgia: It is time to buy into the hype around NaT tional Signing Day, because Feb. 5, 2014 is the

day that this celebrated event changes Peach State football forever. The excitement, drama and theatrics surrounding National Signing Day are seemingly growing each year across the country. More players make their decisions on national stages and heated recruiting battles come down to the final hour. This alreadygiant spotlight on Georgia is entering a new era this year as upstart programs Kennesaw State, Mercer and a still young Georgia State program are aggressively picking up instate talent. With these new programs, this state is going to continue to be on center stage on National Signing Day for years to come. This is the first year that Mercer can

award scholarships and the Bears’ recruiting class has some serious talent. Kennesaw State has already grabbed 20-plus instate players of its own for its inaugural class and Georgia State holds a top 100 recruiting class also filled with players from all over the state. Having Kennesaw State and Mercer competing with Georgia Southern, Georgia State and the big boys, Georgia and Georgia Tech is going to give more opportunities to Georgia’s players whether they are heading to a Division 1 program or a junior college. As the instate schools grab talent, it requires out-of-state schools to be more aggressive in their recruitment of the state. Georgia products already dot rosters across the country and are going to exponentially increase from here on out.

THE DIMON CLUB

HAWKS REFUSE TO BE GROUNDED DESPITE ODDS STACKED AGAINST THEM BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM

T

he Atlanta Hawks’ Monday night road trip to Oklahoma City resulted in one of the best games of the season. I don’t mean simply for the Hawks; I mean for the entire NBA. Kevin Durant delivered his sixth 40-point game of the season as the Thunder outlasted Atlanta 111-109. No lead was bigger than four during the final five minutes and the game was tied at both 107 and 109 before Durant buried the game-winner with 1.5 seconds left. In general the Hawks (23-21) are too good to be in the business of moral victories, but that was one. The Thunder had won seven in a row heading into Monday’s showdown and they currently own the NBA’s second-best record at 37-10 (20-3 at home).

“Losing is very hard in this league and our guys…they’re hurting,” head coach Mike Budenholzer said in a postgame interview. “Give Oklahoma City a lot of credit. It was a heck of a fourth quarter. It was a heck of a basketball game. They made a couple more plays than we did down the stretch, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort on our guys’ part.” We cannot assume being treated to that kind of spectacle more than a few times a season, but it was an indication of the kind of basketball Atlanta has been playing on the whole. Effort has never been a problem for this team, which is without its veteran leader and best player in Al Horford. The bad luck begins with Horford, but that is not where it ends. Lou

ABUNDANCE OF TALENT ... Georgia high school football is a trusted destination for recruiters because across all six classifications, there is competition and talent every Friday night. Our state does not have any weak points and every region produces talent and every corner of the state has future college stars. As I watched Class AA Lovett stifle an explosive Lamar County team 14-7 to win its state championships this season, it showed one of the most fundamentally sound and wellcoached teams I have ever seen at the high school level. Class AA Lovett even finished as the 295th-best team in the nation according to Maxpreps. In Class A, Marion County and Aquinas had starters making plays on either side of the football as they grabbed state titles this season. Talent-saturated Buford won yet another championship in Class AAA and Griffin won the Class AAAA title with brilliant playmaker Jaquez Parks at quarterback. Parks won the AJC Georgia High School Player of the Year and will likely go to Harvard to play college football next season. Norcross won its second consecutive Class AAAAAA state title with a team that will send more than 20 players to college campuses next fall, yet some could argue Purduecommit Dexter Knox and the talented Class AAAAA state championship Creekside team

was the best team in the state in 2013. The amount of talent is almost overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered.

Williams is not yet 100 percent after tearing an ACL last season, Jeff Teague is currently out with a sprained ankle and Pero Antic has also gone down with a stress fracture in his ankle. Despite all of it, the Hawks are in line for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs at fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and they have not endured a losing streak of more than three games this entire season. Is this group of players going to make a serious postseason run? No. But patience, fans…patience. This group is laying a foundation—one that sooner rather than later will lure to Atlanta a superstar who wants to play with Horford and Paul Millsap and for Budenholzer and general manager Danny Ferry. In the words of the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.”

six setbacks in their last seven. At least they weren’t the Redskins, who turned Washington, D.C. into dysfunction junction. The Falcons were not good by any stretch of the imagination, but they maintained unity and dignity both on the field and in the locker room. As something of a reward, head coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and president Rich McKay received contract extensions. That trio has been together since 2008 and together it will stay. All three were already signed through 2015, so what’s the point of one-year extensions for Smith and Dimitroff and a four-year extension for McKay? They are votes of confidence; votes that are well deserved for overall bodies of work that far outweigh this season’s aberration. “I have great respect for the skills and commitment of Rich, Thomas and Smitty and I look forward to continuing to support and work with them in the years to come.” owner Arthur Blank said in a statement. Falcons’ fans should look forward to it, as well. In an NFL in which the solid franchises are more than capable of drastic one-year turnarounds, next season cannot come soon enough. Photo of Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER … It could have been so much worse. Yes, this season was positively brutal for the Atlanta Falcons, who stumbled to a 4-12 record. No, they did not let it turn them into some kind of league laughingstock. At least they weren’t the Texans, who lost 14 games in a row to finish 2-14. At least they weren’t the Lions, whose epic late-game meltdowns contributed to

UNPRECEDENTED COVERAGE … For the first time in history, each college signee from the state of Georgia will be entered into a signing day database. Information like college destination, county, high school and position will show exactly where the talent is heading and where it came from. This list will ultimately show the entire country how wellrepresented Georgia is in college football and will continue to get the state the recognition and spotlight it deserves. Across the metro-Atlanta area on National Signing Day, five Taco Macs will have more than 100 schools come and announce their college signees. Uncommitted five-star Lorenzo Carter will be there as will five-star UGAcommit Nick Chubb. Every top prospect in the metro Atlanta area will be there to make their decisions and all the action will be updated live at signingdayfrenzy.com and broadcasted live via 92.9 The Game FM. Signing a scholarship is one of the most important moments in an athlete’s life and Score Atlanta hopes everyone joins the celebration this year as the ‘world’s largest signing day event’ is born. Photo courtesy of Ty Freeman.


Vol. 10 Iss. 4 | Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014

ON THE COVER

ATLANTA HAWKS

DESPITE BAD FORTUNE, HAWKS STILL STRIVING FOR MORE BY JAY UNDERWOOD

D

uring the long NBA season, teams will be faced with adversity, whether it be in the form of heart-wrenching losses or injuries. For this year’s Atlanta Hawks, the season brought hope and belief, but injuries have attempted to derail their season. RED CROSS REPORT ... Superstar Al Horford has been lost for the season to a torn right pectoral muscle. This past week it was announced that his primary replacement, Pero Antic, was going to be shut down 2-4 weeks because of a stress fracture in his right ankle that occurred on the team’s trip to London. On the day Antic’s injury was announced, Jeff Teague landed awkwardly on Tim Duncan’s foot causing a sprain to his left ankle that has kept him out of games against the Bucks and the Thunder. Demarre Carroll has also missed time with a hamstring injury and Kyle Korver has missed time as well.

Second-year shooting guard John Jenkins appeared in 13 games this season while dealing with a lower back injury that occurred over the summer. It caused a nerve problem that led to numbness in his legs and has caused him to consider back surgery that would keep him off the court until next season. Through all of this the Hawks keep competing, and more times than not, winning. Even some of their losses of late have been impressive. Monday night they led the Thunder for most of the game, only to lose on a Kevin Durant jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining. The loss dropped the Hawks to 7-8 without Horford this season, but they haven’t been playing bad basketball during all of those losses. Losses that came to the Warriors and Thunder went down to the wire, and games against the Bulls, Nets and Grizzlies got away from them late. Atlanta has been able to accomplish this

with a next-man-up philosophy. When Al Horford went down, the Hawks were sitting in third in the East and most people counted them out, but they are still in possession of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, tied with the Raptors for the third best record in the East. In Horford’s absence, Antic has stepped up and provided a prescience at the rim on defense, but also has provided an added element to the offense to make up for the loss of Horford’s production. Since stepping into the starting role, Antic has averaged 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game while also adding 1.4 assists. While he doesn’t block as many shots as you would expect, Antic helps very well coming across the lane and doesn’t allow for many uncontested lay-ups. Per 100 possessions, he is producing 108 points on offense and allowing 106 points on the defensive end, which gives him a net rating of 2. That number had been rising with more playing time showing that he was able to take on more of the load and a higher usage rate. What can’t be seen on the stat sheet are the shots he creates with his floor spacing, by keeping his defender out of the lane and allowing Paul Millsap to work without the fear of help defense coming over. Millsap has seen his usage rate continue to climb with all of these injuries creating turmoil in the starting lineup that now features Gustavo Ayon, who until Antic’s injury, was buried on the bench and had only seen action in two of the nine games this month. Millsap’s usage is now at 25.2, up from his career average of 21.1. This season, Paul has added another tool to his arsenal, by working on his threepoint shot, making about one a game and keeping his defender honest when he catches the ball behind the arc. He is connecting on 36.9 percent of his attempts and this allows him to draw his defender a little further out from the basket than and years past and he can now use his quickness to put the ball on the floor and get by his man and get to the basket. He is now drawing more double teams in the post which allow him to find the open man and utilize coach Mike Budenholzer’s offense that

5

is predicated on moving the ball around using quick passes to find the open man. This has seen an increase in Millsap’s assist numbers. One of the main guys Millsap is looking for is Kyle Korver on the wing. Korver is having the best season of his career, seeing more minutes than he has in the past and is still producing at the same high level offensively as he has in the past. He has the 11th-highest offensive rating in the NBA this season and continues to use his three-point shot to his advantage, connecting on 46.1 percent of his attempts. This proficiency from behind the arc has him behind only LeBron James in true shooting percentage. This season, when Korver has been finding open looks and getting his shot off, the Hawks have been winning, so it has been key for Teague and Shelvin Mack to find him when he is coming off screens and putting the ball in a position for him to get his shot off before the defense can recover. The Hawks’ point guards have been thriving in the new offense Budenholzer has brought over from the Spurs. Teague has continued his trend of improving each season, seeing his numbers rise to 16.2 points per game and 7.3 assists per game. These numbers have garnered him some attention for the All-Star game, but his injury will probably keep him home, giving him time to fully heal. LOOKING AHEAD ... If the Hawks continue to play at this level despite losing their stars, then coach Mike Budenholzer will have done one of the best coaching jobs in the NBA. Before the season, the Hawks were projected to be competing for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Had those projections been made knowing that Horford would only play in 29 games, it would have likely said the Hawks would be picking in the lottery. So far, this season has exceeded expectations and many would call it a success, but don’t tell that to these Hawks, who are striving for better and won’t be satisfied with just making the playoffs. Photos courtesy of Jon Barash and the Atlanta Hawks.


Baseball Season

Paul Millsap

National Signing Day

As Atlanta thaws out from its latest freeze, we can look forward to the weather for the next 300 days. It can’t get any worse in this part of the country, can it? Anyway, baseball teams are warming up their pitchers and getting back on the fields around Georgia this time of year. Can’t wait to see the boys of summer take the field for real in late February.

Join us in congratulating Millsap, a first-year Hawk, on being named the NBA’s Eastern Conference player of the year last week. The Hawks have easily been the best local sports story during the winter despite highly-paid stars like Josh Smith leaving town in the offseason. We can thank largely unknown players like Millsap for the Hawks’ pleasantly successful season although the injuries are killing us.

It is right around the corner yet again. All the collegebound prospects in the country will be signing Wednesday with their colleges of choice and we can’t wait. Have you been to SigningDayFrenzy. com? It is the first site of its kind in Georgia and we have tabulated almost all of the projected college signees from the Peach State in our database. Check it out!

SCORE LIST By Brian Jones

SUPER DAWGS

Falcons’ fans could probably care less about the Super Bowl, which pits Denver against Seattle. For Georgia fans, however, it’s another story. Knowshon Moreno and Champ Bailey have a chance to win a title for Denver and give the Bulldog nation a sense of pride. So UGA fans might be cheering for Peyton Manning for the first time ever on Sunday.

BIG HIRE

Parkview found its new head coach when it hired former Loganville head man Eric Godfree. A former Parkview player himself, Godfree was on the Parkview coaching staff from 2000 to 2002. The Panthers won three straight state titles during Godfree’s initial threeyear tenure. Can he duplicate the same success and be as good as his former head coach Cecil Flowe?

TODD HEISMAN

Las Vegas has come out with its odds for who will win the 2014 Heisman Trophy and oddsmakers think Todd Gurley has a very good chance. Gurley has a 12-to-1 shot to win the Heisman, which ties him for the sixth choice. Despite missing three games last season, Gurley still put up very good numbers in 2013. He should have a monster 2014 campaign.

PRESTON UPDATE

Kennesaw State men’s basketball coach Lewis Preston will make a much-anticipated return at the end of the season, according to athletic director Vaughn Williams. Preston has taken a leave of absence for medical and personal reasons and has not been on the floor since Jan 2. We all here wish Coach Preston well and we hope he gets better real soon.

SIGNING DAY FRENZY

The day has finally come…almost. National Signing Day is next Wednesday and we will have you covered from start to finish. We will be at five Taco Mac locations throughout the metro area tweeting, updating and broadcasting all student signings when they are made. Be sure to keep the ScoreATL.com page open all day long for all the updates.

WHO’S NOT

SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

WHO’S HOT

6

Local Government

Local College Hoops

Hockey

C’mon man! Did you not see the snow coming? Did you not realize the forecast called for sub-freezing temperatures for more than two days? Precipitation + sub-32 temperatures means ICE. And this just happened three years ago! Let’s really hope our local authorities figure this stuff out so our children and family members aren’t stranded next winter.

This is starting to become a regular in this section of the paper! Tech and Georgia are each on conference losing streaks while Kennesaw State, wait, are the Owls even fielding a team this year? If so, have they won a game yet?? Thankfully, Georgia State seems to have it together, but, man, do college hoops in this area stink... again.

We still haven’t forgotten, nor should we. The NHL stole our hockey franchise and moved it to the middle of nowhere north of the Dakotas. It is good to check the standings and see “the Jets” in last place of their division. So I guess all the blame placed on Atlanta fans wasn’t exactly accurate. Speaking of that, the Jets are 26th in the league in attendance.

NUMBERS

OUR TWO CENTS

By Ricky Dimon

Our email newsletter is something we take a lot of pride in at Score. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a high school sportsheavy publication that we produce each day to fill in our readers on the latest happenings in Georgia prep sports. We send it out Monday through Friday throughout the year and Monday through Saturday during the fall. Not only do we cover popular sports like football, basketball and baseball, we also cover every other varsity sport the GHSA fields. If you like Georgia high school sports at all, sign up for our email newsletter by visiting www.tinyurl.com/scorenewsletter and enter your email address(es) that you’d like added to the distribution list.

?

TRIVIA QUESTION

WHAT ARE THE ONLY THREE STATES THAT ANNUALLY PRODUCE MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS THAN GEORGIA? ANSWER ON PAGE 14

SANITY AT LAST

“Our group really competed tonight. I think their commitment to each other and their commitment to playing the way we want to play is excellent. Losing is very hard in this league and our guys are hurting.”

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer on the last-second loss at Oklahoma City.

18

Franchises that have been to the Super Bowl since Atlanta’s last appearance (1998 season).

3

Broncos’ players who went to college in Georgia (K. Moreno, C. Bailey and D. Thomas).

1

Seahawks’ players who went to college in Georgia (Chris Clemons, UGA).

50

Receiving yards on three catches by Tony Gonzalez in his last professional game, the Pro Bowl.

113

Kyle Korver’s record streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer, as of Wednesday.

21.6

Points per game in his last five by Eastern Conference Player of the Week Paul Millsap.

7

Consecutive Hawks’ games in which the winning team has scored more than 100 points.

0

Hawks’ games until March 6 against teams other than Indiana that are 2-plus games over .500.


(44-1), a junior, lost his first match of the season as he wrestled up a class in the 126-pound grouping. Flatt was beaten in a 9-6 decision by Kareem Al-Asady. In the area tournament next week, Flatt will likely run into Collins Hill’s Sean Russell, who is ranked No. 3 nationally.

PREP SPORTS

LITHONIA GRAPPLERS, WESTMINSTER SWIMMERS CONQUER BIG MEETS BY RICKY DIMON AND STEPHEN BLACK

F

resh off its DeKalb County championship on Jan. 18, Lithonia won the Last Man Standing meet at Luella Saturday. The Bulldogs featured three weight class champions in Kirkglen Hudson, Shamel Findley and Chris Nelson. Lithonia nipped second-place Marist 195-185 while Meadowcreek came in third with 144.5, Luella took fourth with 140.5 and Lakeside-DeKalb came in fifth with 136 points. Fourteen teams competed in the event. Lithonia and Marist will face each other again at the area tournament at Marist this weekend. BRAWLING EAGLES ... Collins Hill won the Blue Devil Brawl Saturday at Marietta behind six individual champions and 145 total team points. Roswell took second with 118 points and four champions while the host Blue Devils took third with 82

points. Grayson (71 points) and Berkmar (53) rounded out the top five. Cambridge won the North Metro meet at Brookwood Friday, a meet that featured 13 teams, some which were divided into sub teams. The Bears had a meet-best four weight class champions (J.R. Salemi, Brandon Filosi, Will Britain and Malik McNeil). Ola’s A-team came in second with 141, 57 points shy of the Bears, while Lowndes finished third with 116. Brookwood (115 points) and Locust Grove (105) rounded out the top five of the meet. Whitewater defeated Woodward Academy (44-29), Druid Hills (60-21) and Dutchtown (58-15) Wednesday at Woodward before dispatching Woodland-Henry (70-12) and Fayette County (41-25) on Senior Night Friday at home. Mountain View edged visiting Peachtree Ridge 31-30 on Jan. 21. The Bears’ Adam Flatt

METRO MEET ... Alpharetta, Westminster and Woodward Academy raced to victories at last weekend’s 44th Metro Swimming and Diving Championships. Westminster, which hosted the event, saw both its boys and girls place in the top three of their respective meets—good enough for a combined team win (311.5 points to runner-up Marist’s 309). Alpharetta’s boys edged the host Wildcats by the slimmest of margins, 176 points to 175.5. The Woodward girls finished first ahead of Marist, with 200 points to the War Eagles’ 169. Like Westminster, Marist placed in the top three in each of the meets. The boys’ showdown between Alpharetta and Westminster all came down to the final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay. It could not have been much closer; not the overall competition or the decisive relay. Alpharetta and Westminster took first and second, respectively, with the Raiders’ foursome of Patrick Cusick, Max Lee, Jonathan Vater and Derek Wu besting the Wildcats’ team of Derek Cox, Erek Cox, Gabriel Bellott-McGrath and Patrick

Class AAAA

Score Atlanta Wrestling Rankings Class AAAAAA

Class AAAAA

1............................. Archer 2....................... Collins Hill 3...............Camden County 4................Chattahoochee 5 ..........................Grayson

1................................ Pope 2... Woodland-Cartersville 3...................... Cambridge 4......................... Allatoona 5.......................Creekview

6.................. North Forsyth 7..................South Forsyth 8................North Gwinnett 9.............................Etowah 10.............. Mountain View

1..............................Gilmer 2..............Lumpkin County 3........................... Lithonia 4........................Alexander 5.................................Cass

Class AA 6........................ Carrollton 7.......................Glenn Hills 8........................ Chestatee 9.............................. Marist 10........... South Effingham

Class AAA 6....................Ware County 7......................Whitewater 8................................... Ola 9........... Effingham County 10...............Clarke Central

1............................. Buford 2..................Banks County 3................Morgan County 4.......Woodward Academy 5......................Sonoraville

Leonard by one second (3:11:25 to 3:12:32). Northview’s boys placed fourth out of 18 schools and got a pair of triumphs from Knox Auerbach in the 100 and 500 freestyle competitions. Kathleen Cook of Woodward (100 freestyle and 200 freestyle) and Elise Hart of Cartersville (100 backstroke, 100 butterfly) were the two girls who won a pair of individual events. Chamblee, Dunwoody and LakesideDeKalb all placed in the top three of both the boys and girls competitions when the DeKalb County Swim and Dive Championships wrapped up last Saturday at Chamblee. The Chamblee boys beat Lakeside-DeKalb 274220 while Lakeside- DeKalb’s girls got past Dunwoody 276-250. The victorious Bulldog boys were led by Caleb Wikle and the Oh brothers, Nicholas and Noah. Wikle took home top individual honors in one-meter diving, Nicholas won the 100 freestyle and Noah swam to victory in the 500 freestyle. Tucker’s Cash DeLoache set DeKalb County records in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. The LakesideDeKalb girls were paced by individual wins from Julianna Cartwright (200 freestyle and 500 freestyle), Raleigh Bentz (200 individual medley and 100 backstroke) and Nicole Hollahan (100 butterfly). Photos courtesy of River Oak Photography and Rob Saye.

1.........................Jefferson 2............................Bremen 3....................Social Circle 4................Toombs County 5..................................GAC

6...............................Lovett 7...................East Laurens 8...........................Spencer 9.........................Pepperell 10..................Westminster

Class A 6.........................St. Pius X 7...................Elbert County 8................Oconee County 9........................ North Hall 10.............. Blessed Trinity

1.......................Commerce 2......................Gordon Lee 3..................Turner County 4....................... Darlington 5.............. Mt. Zion-Carroll

6...............Holy Innocents’ 7............. Athens Christian 8.....Strong Rock Christian 9..................Mount Vernon 10..... Eagle’s Landing Chr.


If you excel in science, technology, engineering or math, you may have the critical-thinking skills needed to be an officer in the U.S. Army. Here, you’ll lead from day one, and inspire strength in the Soldiers around you. There’s strong. Then there’s Army Strong. Learn more at goarmy.com/officer

Demonstrate your science, math, engineering and technology skills at an unparalleled level, allowing you to develop your passions on a larger stage. Visit us online at goarmy.com/w720

©2012. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved.

YOU SEE A STRONGER SOLUTION. WE SEE A STRONGER LEADER.


10

SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

Score Atlanta/AJC Basketball Rankings

AAAAA Boys

1.........................Allatoona 2....................Miller Grove 3...........................Jenkins 4..................... Sprayberry 5.............................Tucker 6.................... Stephenson 7................ Clarke Central 8............... Warner Robins 9............................... Drew 10.......................M.L. King

AAAA Boys

1........................ Columbia 2..................South Atlanta 3....................... Alexander 4..............Eagle’s Landing 5................Fayette County 6........................... Rutland 7..........................Eastside 8...................Sandy Creek 9...................... Statesboro 10.......................Westover

AAA Boys

1........Johnson-Savannah 2........................Savannah 3.....................Cartersville 4........ Washington County 5...............Morgan County 6.............................Buford 7........................ St. Pius X 8................Blessed Trinity 9..................Elbert County 10..................Cedar Grove

AA Boys

1................................. GAC 2.............................Vidalia 3..............................Laney 4.................... Manchester 5...........................Calhoun 6..............................Model 7........................ Jefferson 8............................Pelham 9............ Crawford County 10................Taylor County

A Boys

1.......Whitefield Academy 2.....Greenforest Christian 3...................... St. Francis 4......North Cobb Christian 5....... Landmark Christian 6.............. Holy Innocents’ 7...........................Aquinas 8............... Randolph-Clay 9.............. Calhoun County 10.......Mt. Vernon Presby.

AAAAAA Girls

1..................... McEachern 2.............................Archer 3.........................Parkview 4.........................Norcross 5......................... Hillgrove 6................Mountain View 7..................North Forsyth 8................. South Forsyth 9.........................Westlake 10..........................Hughes

AAAAA Girls

1..........Southwest DeKalb 2..............................Salem 3.............................Tucker 4............................... Drew 5.................... Stephenson 6.....................Forest Park 7...........Effingham County 8..............................Hiram 9.......................... Osborne 10.................... Creekview

AAAA Girls

1..............................Redan 2....................... Columbus 3........................Chestatee 4....................Cross Creek 5................Fayette County 6........................ Columbia 7..............................Marist 8.............. Monroe-Albany 9.................Mary Persons 10......................Carrollton

AAA Girls

1........ Washington County 2........................ St. Pius X 3.............................Buford 4...............Morgan County 5................Tattnall County 6................. Dodge County 7...........Southwest Macon 8..............................Beach 9..............Franklin County 10.........................Decatur

AA Girls

1.........................Kendrick 2........................ Wesleyan 3..............................Laney 4............................Pelham 5................................. GAC 6.......................Armuchee 7...............Putnam County 8........................ Pepperell 9...........................Calhoun 10...........................Vidalia

A Girls

1.............. Holy Innocents’ 2...... SW Atlanta Christian 3...................... St. Francis 4......George Walton Acad. 5.....................Gordon Lee 6............... Randolph-Clay 7.................... Calvary Day 8............................Claxton 9............................Paideia 10.....................Darlington

Visit Subway and SAVE $10 on Tickets! Visit Your Local Participating Subway Restaurant for Your Offer Code and Souvenir Cup. Restrictions and exclusions may apply. No double discounts. Subject to availability. Limit four (4) tickets per order.

FEB. 22

Sat. 7:00 PM

GEORGIA DOME

Buy Tickets: Ticketmaster.com 800-745-3000 • Venue Box Office © 2013 Doctor’s Associates Inc. SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor’s Associates Inc.

SupercrossOnline.com

252320

AAAAAA Boys

1.........................Westlake 2.......................... Wheeler 3.......................Tift County 4.........................Norcross 5..............................Milton 6......................... Hillgrove 7..................... McEachern 8.............................Walton 9............... North Gwinnett 10............ Douglas County

#SupercrossLive

© 2013 Feld Motor Sports, Inc. Competitors shown are subject to change. Photos by Hoppen.


12

SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

GEORGIA CONTINUES OVERHAUL OF DEFENSIVE STAFF BY JOE DEIGHTON | JDEIGHTON@SCOREATL.COM

he Georgia football coaching staff continT ued to be put into place for the 2014 season this week. Former Tennessee Titans’ de-

fensive line coach Tracy Rocker was named to the same position for UGA. Rocker coached with Tennessee the past three seasons. The Titans had a high of 39 sacks in 2012 during his tenure in Nashville. Rocker played at Auburn, winning the 1988 Outland and Lombardi Awards, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004. Rocker has 17 years of college football coaching experience, including stops at Auburn and Ole Miss. He also coached an Auburn defensive line that was led by Nick Fairley during its 2010 National Championship run. The addition of Rocker and former Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt solidifies the Bulldogs’ defensive coaching staff and gives the team one of the best tandems in the country. Rocker and Pruitt have led defenses to championships and they should put UGA’s unit in position to win.

GEORGIA STATE

HOOPS STILL UNDEFEATED IN SUN BELT CONFERENCE BY JAY UNDERWOOD | JUNDERWOOD@SCOREATL.COM

T

he Georgia State men’s basketball team is still atop of the Sun Belt Conference with a record of 7-0. It went on the road to take care of Louisiana-Monroe 66-58 last Saturday before Thursday’s home game against South Alabama was postponed due to the snow earlier in the week. GSU will pay a visit to Texas-Arlington (9-10, 4-3 Sun Belt) on Saturday. The starting five of this team can compete with anyone and the Panthers have shown they can win the blowouts as well as the nail-biters. Georgia State has a two-game lead in the conference over second-place Western Kentucky, which the Panthers beat by 23 points on the road earlier this season. HUNTER ON THE HUNT … R.J. Hunter is one of the best players in the country that no one outside of the Sun Belt is talking about. He is connecting on 40.4 percent of the three-point attempts for the season and seems to be getting better as the season moves along. His best games

CONTENDERS … Despite having lost two straight games to Kentucky and Vanderbilt, the UGA men’s basketball team remains in the top half of the SEC with a 4-3 conference record. The Bulldogs are tied for fourth along with Missouri, LSU and Tennessee, while Florida leads the league with a 6-0 mark. Eleven conference games remain for the Dawgs as they position themselves for one of the top seeds in the SEC Tournament. Next up on Georgia’s schedule is a road date with Auburn on Saturday followed by a home game against LSU next Thursday. Forward Nemanja Djurisic is one of the players who have kept the Bulldogs in contention. Djurisic scored 22 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists in a win over South Carolina last week. He shot 100 percent (6-6) from the field, 100 percent (3-3) from three-point range and went seven of 11 from the free-throw line. Djurisic also scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds against Kentucky. SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK … Lindsey Cheek was named SEC Gymnastics Specialist of the Week after placing first in two events at Florida. A career-high 9.975 on bars by Cheek helped the Gym Dogs to a 49.6 total score in that event, their highest since 1999. Cheek’s score on the bars put her first in the SEC and second in the nation. The senior also tied for first on the vault with a seasonhigh 9.925.

have come at the expense of top-notch competition. Against Arkansas State, Arkansas Little-Rock and Louisiana-Lafayette, he put up 23, 25 and 33 points respectively. All of those games showcased his shooting ability, as he connected on more than 50 percent of his field-goal attempts in every one. Hunter is pacing the 41st best offense in the country, which is averaging 78.5 points a game. GETTING DEFENSIVE … With the defense, head coach Ron Hunter has to take the good with the bad and he has made the decision to sacrifice rebounding for the ability to pressure the ball and create havoc and turnovers. With this type of defense, the Panthers average 7.8 steals a game—good enough for 44th in the nation. They also block 5.2 shots a game, led by Curtis Washington’s average of 2.7 swats per outing. With this tenacious defense, the Panthers give up position on the boards and are 332nd in the country in rebounding, pulling down a mere 30.7 boards a game. They consistently get outrebounded and their second-chance points are always limited. Hunter coached barefoot on Jan. 18 against Arkansas Little-Rock to bring awareness Samaritan’s Feet, which is a charity that focuses on providing shoes to impoverished communities around the world. This is a tradition that Hunter started when he was coaching at IUPUI. His commitment has garnered lots of national attention for a worthy cause.

GEORGIA TECH

CAROLINA OVERCOMES WEATHER, JACKETS BY DONNELL SUGGS | DSUGGS@SCOREATL.COM

he Yellow Jackets couldn’t take advantage T of the visiting Tar Heels having to have to take public transportation from the airport on

Tuesday night to their hotels due to the winter storm. They also could not take full advantage of Carolina only hitting 17-of-23 free throws or 5-of-13 three-pointers on Wednesday night. The Tar Heels got out to an early lead en route to a 78-65 win. Behind by one point at the half, 26-25, the Yellow Jackets quickly fell behind after ending the first half with a 10-2 run. The Tar Heel lead would never fall below seven points despite junior forward James Michael McAdoo getting his fourth foul at the 15:49 mark. Tech senior guard Trae Golden did his best to keep the score close by going 4-of-9 from behind the three-point line. He would score a game-high 23 points. The rest of the Jackets finished the game 0-for-8. Georgia tech wasn’t better on the boards either, getting outrebounded on their home floor 45-33. Carolina freshman big man Kennedy Meeks had a game-high 10 boards. Senior Tech center Dan-

KENNESAW STATE

BASEBALL TEAM GETTING INTO SWING OF THINGS BY BRIAN JONES | BJONES@SCOREATL.COM

W

e might be in the thick of winter, but the spring season will be here before we can blink. That means baseball season is right around the corner and the Kennesaw State baseball team is getting ready for the upcoming campaign as it started practice last Friday. During the first practice session, the Owls took part in hitting, fielding and pitching exercises while learning new signs. “It’s great to start team practice and be able to inters quad and see the guys in action getting ready for Middle Tennessee,” head coach Mike Sansing told ksuowls.com. “We’ve had some good practices and skill work so far and we’re excited for a streak of good weather so we can try to shake off some of the rust and get going.” The Owls return 19 lettermen from last season. Leading the way is catcher Max Pentecost, who was named one of the top players in the country by Sporting News. Pentecost will also be joined by senior Bo Way, who posted a .314 batting average last season with 74 hits

iel Miller came into the game fifth in the ACC in rebounding at 7.9 per game, but finished with only five. Miller also had 12 points and five blocks in the game. Sophomore guard Marcus Georges-Hunt finished with 17 points but had a team-high four turnovers. Carolina (13-7, 3-4) got huge efforts from their starters as sophomore point guard Marcus Paige scored 19 points (3-5 three-point attempts), handed out seven assists and failed to turn the ball over during his 38 minutes of playing time. Back-court mate Leslie McDonald was held to 4-of-12 shooting but connected on 5-of-6 free throws to finish with 15 points. Tech (11-10, 2-6) next travels to WinstonSalem to face the Demon Deacons on Saturday. NEWS AND NOTES ... Yellow Jacket shortstop Ashley Thomas was recently named to the player of the Year watch list for the 13th annual Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Thomas, the 2013 ACC player of the Year, hit .417 with 75 hits and 37 stolen bases. The Lady Yellow Jacket basketball team will host Clemson (weather permitting) on Thursday night. The Jackets won their previous matchup earlier this season 89-68. Georgia Tech basketball great Travis Best will be among 15 former players inducted into the 2104 ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Class. The ceremony will be held at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. during this year’s ACC tournament.

and 11 doubles. The pitching staff posted a 3.88 ERA last season and will return two starters in James Hillyer and Nathan Harsh. Hillyer posted a 3.13 ERA and Harsh recorded a 5.16 ERA. The top returning reliever is Justin McCalvin, who posted a 1.80 ERA with a 1-1 record and three saves. Last season, the Owls went 30-30 overall and 13-14 record in the Atlantic Sun Conference. They came within one game of making it to the NCAA Regional before falling to East Tennessee State in the Atlantic Sun Championship. Kennesaw State will open the 2014 season on Valentine’s Day when it hosts Middle Tennessee State for a three-game series. UPDATE ON PRESTON … For those who are wondering about how men’s basketball head coach Lewis Preston is doing, athletic director Vaughn Williams announced this week that he will return to the program at the end of the season. Preston took a leave of absence beginning on Jan. 2 for medical and personal reasons and interim head coach Jimmy Lallathin has take over ever since. “I feel that it is in the best interest of Kennesaw State men’s basketball that Lewis returns to coaching the team at the conclusion of this season,” Williams told ksuowls.com. “I have the utmost confidence in this program and that the current student-athletes, assistant coaches and coach Preston will take this program in the right direction.”


Vol. 10 Iss. 4 | Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2014 ATLANTA HAWKS

HAWKS’ INJURIES CONTINUE TO PILE UP BY JAY UNDERWOOD | JUNDERWOOD@SCOREATL.COM

A

s the season rolls along, so do the injuries. Center Pero Antic will now miss time with a stress fracture in his ankle after being the primary replacement for Al Horford. Antic will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks and that will thrust seldom-used Gustavo Ayon into the starting lineup while interrupting the rotation head coach Mike Budenholzer had started to grow comfortable with these past few games. Not only is Antic out for a few weeks, but point guard Jeff Teague is also down with an injury and Budenholzer is looking for Lou Williams, Shelvin Mack and Dennis Schroeder to step up in Teague’s absence. Mack has been the player to get the starts with Williams being the first player off the bench to try and create a spark when the offense starts to sputter. While most of the season Williams has looked hesitant to be the aggressive player he has been in the past, Teague’s injury has forced the Atlanta native to more often attack the basket and attempt to create offense in the way he was

ATLANTA BRAVES

BRAVES SIGN GARCIA TO MINOR-LEAGUE DEAL BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM

T

he Atlanta Braves inked veteran starting pitcher Freddy Garcia to a minor-league contract last Friday. Garcia, 37, struggled in recent seasons with the Yankees and Orioles but experienced a sudden resurgence last season in Atlanta. He compiled a 1.65 ERA in six September appearances with the Braves, including a 1.83 mark in three starts. Garcia was on course to earn a Game 4 win over Clayton Kershaw and the host Dodgers before Atlanta’s bullpen blew the lead en route to an eliminating loss in the divisional playoff series. The right-hander will get a $1.25 million salary if he makes the major-league roster out of spring training or a prorated amount for any stint in majors later in the season. Garcia could be in line for a starting spot if Brandon Beachy’s elbow continues to be a problem or if Alex Woods is used in the bullpen instead of the rotation. Beachy returned last season following 2012 Tommy John surgery, but he was sidelined after just five starts due

known for before his knee injury. Williams has scored in double-figures in both games that Teague has missed time. SCHROEDER’S CHANCE … Schroeder is now having a chance to get valuable experience at the NBA level. It appears that the Hawks will give the rookie guard 15-20 minutes per game while Teague is out. This will allow him to grow while getting to play in Budenholzer’s offense and seeing court time with players such as Williams, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver. While he plays out of control sometimes, his aggressiveness creates openings for other players on the court. Schroeder, the 17th overall pick in last summer’s draft, showed promising signs in the first four games of this season before diminished playing time eventually landed him with the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League. TRANSACTIONS … James Nunnally has been signed to his second 10-day contract and after it expires the Hawks will have the option of signing him for the rest of the season or letting him walk. So far, Nunnally has seen time behind Demarre Carroll in three games. The Hawks have also received a disabled player exception for Horford, which means a roster spot is open for the team to sign a replacement player for up to $5.25 million. Horford suffered a seasonending pectoral injury in late December.

to inflammation. “I’m going to be a little smarter than I have been in the past, with not worrying about velocity the first couple of outings and things like that,” Beachy told the team’s website. “But I’m going to be on the same schedule as everybody else. I feel normal and I want to contribute. That’s what I told you guys most of last season. It just didn’t work out that way. But that’s what I want to do. I want to contribute to a staff that is already positioned to be one of the best in the National League.” NEWS AND NOTES … Greg Maddux decided last week that he will go into the Hall of Fame this summer without a team logo on his plaque. Maddux spent 11 years with the Braves and won four Cy Young Awards and one World Series, but he also played nine seasons with the Cubs. Team officials announced on Tuesday that Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous will design the Braves’ new stadium in Cobb County, which is scheduled to open in 2017. Populous has designed 19 Major League Baseball stadiums, including Marlins Park in Miami, new Yankee Stadium in New York and Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Braves will close Friday on their $34.2 million purchase of land near Cumberland Mall for the new stadium. They are acquiring 57.1 acres of undeveloped property that will host both the stadium and a mixed-use development.

ATLANTA FALCONS

EXECUTIVES GIVEN EXTENSIONS, ENCORE FOR GONZALEZ BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM

O

n Monday, the Atlanta Falcons announced that club president and CEO Rich McKay, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith all signed extensions on their current contracts. McKay, who has been with the team for 11 seasons, signed a four-year extension through May of 2019. McKay will continue to be the head coordinator for all business operations of the franchise as well as the development and operation of the new stadium. Dimitroff and Smith each added one year to their contracts and are entering their seventh seasons with the team. The duo has combined for a regularseason win-loss record of 60-36 (tied for the sixth best in the league during that span), but the one-year extension window puts a lot of pressure on them this upcoming season after a 4-12 mark in 2013. DRAFT DECISIONS … The hiring of new assistant GM Scott Pioli to join Dimitroff is expected to have an impact

GWINNETT GLADIATORS

GLADS LOSE TO ORLANDO, ADD GOALIES BY JOE DEIGHTON | JDEIGHTON@SCOREATL.COM

T

he All-Star break gave the Gwinnett Gladiators a few days off and some time to practice for the Orlando Solar Bears this weekend. The Glads lost to the Solar Bears 4-3 in Orlando last Thursday. Matt Clune, the newest member of the team, had two assists in his debut with Gwinnett. Josh Currie scored two goals in the defeat, while goalie Mathieu Corbeil made 24 saves in his season debut. It was an uphill climb for the Glads after falling behind 2-0 early in the first period. Gwinnett was outshot 16-5 in the opening frame but was able to close the gap through the final two periods, twice pulling within one goal. The Glads could never tie the game despite furious efforts in the waning moments. ON THE DOCKET … Gwinnett has two shots at Orlando to finish off the week at Gwinnett Arena. Results of Thursday night’s contest were not available at press time. The Glads will also host the Solar

13

on how the Falcons draft this season. Pioli was fired in 2012 from the Kansas City Chiefs, but his draft picks had a great season in 2013 under the new Chiefs’ coaching staff. Pioli’s last first-round pick as Kansas City’s GM was nose tackle Dontari Poe, who turned into a Pro Bowler this past season. At the Senior Bowl this past week there was another defensive tackle that caught the eye of Pioli and the rest of the Falcons’ staff. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald won the Outland Trophy for best college linemen, the Lombardi Award for best lineman or linebacker and the Bednarik and Nagurski Awards for best defensive player during his collegiate career. “Donald is a very explosive defensive tackle,” Smith said as Donald competed against some of the best offensive lineman in the nation earlier this week. There is no telling if Donald will suit up for Atlanta next season, but it is clear that the franchise is looking hard at lineman leading up to this draft. TONY’S ENCORE … Retired Falcons’ tight end Tony Gonzalez hit the gridiron one last time in Honolulu, Hawaii last Sunday as a Pro Bowl replacement for San Francisco’s Vernon Davis. Gonzalez hauled in three passes for 50 yards and helped Team Rice (captained by 49ers’ legend Jerry Rice) to a thrilling 22-21 comeback win, which ended with Carolina’s Mike Tolbert getting into the endzone for a two-point conversion with less than a minute left.

Bears on Saturday before paying a visit to Orlando next Thursday. Five of their next seven outings are coming against Orlando, with a pair of meetings against Florida in between. The road games against the Everblades are back-to-back next Friday and Saturday. The Gladiators have 33 points this season, trailing the Solar Bears by 14 points and division-leading South Carolina by 26 points. Although it looks like a long-shot for the Gladiators to make the playoffs, two wins against Orlando will help to close the gap. The Solar Bears currently hold the fifth overall spot in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference. This is what you would call a ‘do or die’ situation for the Glads. GOALIE ADDED … Goalies Mathieu Coreil and Scott Stajcer were both assigned to Gwinnett last week. Coreil was moved from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League and Stajcer was moved from the New York Rangers to the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack before getting the call to Gwinnett. The 22-year old Stajcer has been moved several times this year between the AHL and the ECHL, starting eight games with rival Greenville, two with Florida and eight in AHL Hartford. Coreil, a 2010 fourthround draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, started three games for Utah. In his first game with the Glads, Coreil stopped 24 of 28 shots against Orlando.


14

SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

STAY UP-TO-DATE We want to hear from you! Find us on Facebook and Twitter. Give us feedback on your favorite articles, tell us what you’d like to see in upcoming issues and stay up-to-date on sporting news from Metro Atlanta!

/SCOREATLANTASPORTS

WWW.GAPREPNEWS.COM

@SCOREATLANTA

WWW.TINYURL.COM/ SCORENEWSLETTER

WWW.SCOREATL.COM

STAY CONNECTED!

?

TRIVIA ANSWER

CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA AND TEXAS ARE THE ONLY THREE STATES THAT PRODUCE MORE PLAYERS THAN THE PEACH STATE.

MAKE YOUR OCCASION A SUCCESS! Great rates! Book your date!


ITHSDad_IJ.indd 1

1/14/2014 4:29:11 PM


SAT, FEB 1 @ 7:30PM

SAT, FEB 8 @ 7:30PM


Score Atlanta Vol. 10 Issue 4