Time to look great!
VOLUME 9 ISSUE 19 DIGITAL
OCTOBER 4-10, 2013
TONY G’s Fall Ball | Pg. 8 Columnist Ricky Dimon discusses the Braves’ chances of advancing to their first NLCS since 2001.
Postseason Time | Pg. 13 Archer makes the top 10 in this week’s football rankings. See where your team is ranked!
WORLD Tony Gonzalez is known by many as the greatest tight end ever. Check inside to see what makes him tick. | Pg. 5
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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 Year at choa.org/comeback. ©2013 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved. For official contest rules, visit choa.org/comeback.
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Vol. 9 Iss. 19 | October 4-10, 2013
STARTING LINEUP PUBLISHER/EDITOR I.J. Rosenberg
ON THE COVER
INSIDE THE PREPS
ART/CREATIVE DIRECTOR DJ Galbiati Blalock SENIOR MANAGING EDITOR Stephen Black
BUSINESS MANAGER Marvin Botnick
DIRECTOR OF SALES Melanie Snare & MARKETING
SALES EXECUTIVE Drew Colon
BEAT WRITERS Ricky Dimon (Braves) Joe Deighton (Dream) Jay Underwood (Hawks) Brian Jones (KSU) Chris Nieman (UGA) Craig Sager II (Falcons) Donnell Suggs (Tech) Chris Schutter (GSU) STAFF WRITERS Ryan Caiafa Sean Conway
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Copyright 2013 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.
ON THE INSIDE AT SCORE Score Atlanta is looking for writing interns. Please e-mail Stephen Black at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404256-1572 for more information. Football All-Star Games will never be the same! The Georgia Elite Junior Classic will be held at McEachern High School on Dec. 28.
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06 12 13
SCORE LIST | NUMBERS GEORGIA STATE | KENNESAW STATE GEORGIA | GEORGIA TECH BRAVES | FALCONS HAWKS | SILVERBACKS
COVER DESIGN BY DJ GALBIATI BLALOCK COVER PHOTOS COURTESY OF POUYA DIANAT, SONNY KENNEDY AND JIMMY CRIBB/ATLANTA FALCONS
SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com Requiring three wins instead of four against that kind of formidable foe is far less of a problem. The difference looks small on paper, but it should not be underestimated. For a franchise that has been so close but so far away so many times since winning the 1995 World Series, a little difference can go a long way.
THIS IS BRAVES COUNTRY, BUT FOR HOW LONG? BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM
he Falcons are 1-3. The Hawks are rebuilding and still almost a month away from getting started. The Thrashers don’t exist. Yes, this really is Braves country right now. Reality, of course, is that it could all be over as soon as Sunday. It’s a fickle thing, this playoff baseball. The good news is the ice is not quite as thin as it was heading into last year’s postseason, when Atlanta hosted St. Louis in a one-game playoff for a spot in the division series. This time around, October begins with a best-of-five series against the Dodgers. Still, best-of-five is a similarly terrifying proposition. Anything can happen in such a short time frame. Heck, even the Houston Astros could win three out of five games every
once in a while (well, maybe not the Astros). The Braves’ draw is terrible on paper, but it may turn out to be blessing in disguise. Chances are good that they would have to go through L.A. at some point en route to the World Series no matter what, so why not get it over with now? A best-of-seven stint against a pitching staff led by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke is a recipe for disaster. “People talk about, ‘You’ve got to play the Dodgers, you’ve got to beat Kershaw,’” third baseman Chris Johnson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’ve got to beat Kershaw if we’re going to win the World Series. And if we don’t win the World Series, then it’s a bust anyway. I don’t see a problem.”
HAWKS WON’T BE THAT BAD THIS YEAR BY CHRIS SCHUTTER | CSCHUTTER@SCOREATL.COM
he Hawks enter the 2013-2014 season with 115-to-1 odds they’ll win the NBA title. But if T Atlanta fans base their season off whether or not the Hawks win a title, they’ll be disappointed as they are beginning an extensive rebuilding process. But they won’t be as bad as you think.
THE BRIGHT SIDE ... They play in the worst division in basketball that happens to have one of the best teams in recent history. Although they’re in the same division as Miami, they only play each other four times during the regular season. Everyone plays every other team in their division four times, twice at home and twice on the road, so that 16 of the 82-game schedule are divisional games. So if anything, the Hawks have an ad-
vantage being in the Southeast Division. Being in this division guarantees the Hawks four games against Orlando, Charlotte and Washington, teams that finished 30th, 29th and 24th in overall record, respectively, in 2012. Al Horford remains on the team and has been one of the more consistent players in the league during his time as a Hawk. Only once has he not been able to play 67 games or more, which was two years ago when he was plagued with a torn pectoral muscle for most of the season. Horford rebounded from the injury this past year by having one of his best seasons, shooting 54 percent from the field and grabbing 757 rebounds for the Hawks. It seems like ages ago that Horford was playing at Florida, but, surprisingly, the big man is only 27-years old.
PANIC TIME? … Whether the Braves lose to L.A., fall in the NLCS, or play in the World Series, their season will be over no later than Oct. 31 (Game 7 of the Fall Classic). For better or worse, the Falcons will be the talk of the town starting in November. For the moment, the talk is not good. Being 1-3 is one thing. Being 1-3 with a key defensive end out for the season, a star linebacker gone for at least six more weeks and a starting running back likely sidelined for two more games is something else altogether. Oh, and it’s not like the Falcons play in the NFC East, where something like 7-9 may be enough. The NFC South-leading Saints are 4-0. “You get what you earn in the NFL, and we’ve earned a 1-3 record the first quarter of the season,” head coach Mike Smith said in his postgame press conference following a 30-23 home loss to New England on Sunday night. “That is Atlanta also retained Jeff Teague, who would have been a monumental loss if Ferry had let him slip away. Former coach Larry Drew, now coaching the Milwaukee Bucks, spoke very highly of Teague and asked the Bucks to pursue him this past offseason. Looking at the numbers it is obvious why Drew wanted Teague so badly. Last year, the young point guard recorded career highs in points (1,166), assists (579), rebounds (180) and steals (117). For point guards, Jeff Teague was tied for 12th in scoring, 11th in assists, and 15th in steals. NEW LEADER ... One of the new faces arriving in Atlanta is new head coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer spent the past 18 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs and brings with him the experience of winning four NBA titles. He helped coach arguably the most dominant and consistent team in NBA history by winning at least 50 games each of the past 14 years. There have been 13 coaches before Budenholzer in Atlanta, and none of them have been able to reach the NBA Finals, let alone win it all. To say the Hawks are serious title contenders is foolish. The NBA belongs to LeBron James until he decides he is done with it. However, it’s also foolish to suggest the Hawks will
what we are. We are a 1-3 football team.” As for the second quarter, Atlanta’s four opponents are the Jets, Bucs, Cardinals and Panthers. None has a winning record. New Orleans’ next two games are at Chicago and at New England. So is it time to give up? Of course not. But is it time to panic? You better believe it is. DAWGS ON TOP … As great as last Saturday was for UGA football (it won an absolute thriller over LSU, 44-41), Sunday was almost as good. The Bulldogs climbed back up to sixth in both the AP and USA Today polls. Don’t look now, but Georgia—just four weeks removed from losing its first game of the season—is already close to controlling its’ own destiny for a berth in the BCS National Championship. Either Oregon or Stanford will lose on Nov. 7. If the Dawgs win out, Alabama loses at least one game. That leaves Clemson and Ohio State—and the Oregon-Stanford winner—as problems. It’s not too early to start scoreboard watching in Athens. Photo courtesy of Pouya Dianat. be in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. Have you seen the Sixers/Bobcats/Magic/Wizards/Raptors lately? And that’s just in the Eastern Conference! The top five spots are all but certain barring injury, but six through eight are ripe for the taking. The majority of the teams in the Eastern Conference got worse this year. The reason it makes sense to tank is because of prospect Andrew Wiggins from Kansas. With even a chance of getting Wiggins in the 2014 draft, a lot of teams in the Eastern Conference have already conceded the 2013-2014 season in hopes of landing the No. 1 overall pick (see Sixers, Philadelphia). No, the Hawks will not compete in the NBA Finals. They might not even make it out of the first round of the playoffs. But this is the rebuilding year of rebuilding years and they still have a chance to make playoffs. Miami, Brooklyn, Chicago, New York and Indiana will finish with a better record than Atlanta. Everyone else, though? Who knows? With a little bit of luck and a new winning system, it’s not outlandish to expect to see the Hawks in the playoff eighth spot come April. This is the beginning of a great team, and it’s time to back it before the bandwagon really starts rolling. Photo courtesy of Jon Barash.
Vol. 9 Iss. 19 | October 4-10, 2013
ON THE COVER
AGELESS WONDER HAVING ANOTHER FINE SEASON BY SEAN CONWAY | SCONWAY@SCOREATL.COM
fter discussing it with my family and really, truly struggling with this decision, I informed the Falcons that I would like to return for one more shot. … I wanted to give it another run with Matt [Ryan], Smitty [head coach Mike Smith] and the guys we have in there,” said Falcons tight end and future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez in the offseason. That statement had Falcons fans delirious throughout the offseason. All throughout last fall, reporters and other media types often gathered around Gonzalez’s locker at Flowery Branch and in the Dome after games asking Gonzalez if he would retire after the season. Gonzalez would patiently respond every time that he was 95 percent certain the 2012 season would be his last in uniform. So when Gonzalez reversed field in March, there were plenty of celebrations across the south. The loudest celebrations were likely coming from the offices of the Falcons’ leadership.
BEST EVER ... We all know Gonzalez already has the greatest statistics of any tight end ever to play and some of his records may as well be etched in the granite on the side of Stone Mountain. Gonzalez is proving that in addition to further cementing his reputation as the best tight end ever, and he’s also proving that he’s committed to being the best dad he can possibly be. Before Gonzalez could announce his return, he wanted to make sure one thing wouldn’t happen. Gonzalez needed to talk to his oldest child and make sure that they could spend time together as 12-year-old Nikko Gonzalez began his first season of competitive football. In the end, it was Nikko that influenced his dad’s decision to return the most. Gonzalez told ESPN in June, “The biggest factor for me to come back was my son, Nikko. … He’s the one that talked me back into it. He said, ‘You know what dad? You’ve got a great football team. You guys got a chance to get a
Super Bowl [ring].’ He knows that’s the only reason I’m playing the game at this point.” Health and fitness fanatic that he is, Gonzalez also spent the offseason a lot of what he always does. He concentrated on his family, mixed in some travel, continued to explore his entrepreneurial curiosity and, of course, maintained a fitness regimen that makes most professionals look lazy. While many NFL fans may have wondered how Gonzalez maintained his football specific fitness and timing while bouncing between projects and Atlanta, the answers (plural) are surprising. First, Gonzalez worked out with the current quarterback at his former high school, Huntington Beach High, in southern California. The young quarterback was so nervous he sailed his first pass 10 feet above the future Hall of Famer’s head before settling down. Gonzalez also worked out with another quarterback in SoCal, a guy by the name of Matthew Thomas Ryan. In a move partly symbolic and partly practical, the two 2012 season Pro Bowlers felt it was important to continue to refine a chemistry which has tormented opponents since general manager Thomas Dimitroff traded a second-round draft pick in the 2009 draft for Gonzalez. The trade ranks as one of (if not the greatest) trades in team history. After finishing his “vacation” watching Nikko begin the transition from pre-teen to football player, Gonzalez returned to Flowery Branch to begin his 17th season in the NFL. To put the 17 years in perspective, rookie first-round pick Desmond Trufant was six-years old when Gonzalez played his first professional football game. The head coach was glad to have Tony back. After Gonzalez’s first practice, Smith told reporters, “It didn’t look like he missed a step. … Any player that I coach that goes to 15 Pro Bowls and has a situation with his family that would force him to miss time, I’ll gladly [accept].” For the record, Gonzalez has “only” been to 13 Pro Bowls, but fans quickly get Smith’s point. A MAJOR PLAYER ... Despite the prolific career, Gonzalez isn’t simply walking into the twilight. Since he became a Falcon in 2009, he’s been among the elite of the elite while lining up for the Falcons. So far in 2013, Gonzalez already has 23 catches, 242 yards and three scores. The history books have Gonzalez’s indelible
marks of greatness not just as a tight end, but among all pass catchers to play the game. Coming into 2013, he ranked second all-time in NFL receptions (1,242), sixth in receiving touchdowns (103) and seventh in receiving yards (14,268). The list of Gonzalez achievements never ends off the field either. As a high school senior, he shared the Orange County High School Athlete of the Year award with a prep golfer named Tiger Woods. He’s the only player (receiver or tight end) not named Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers’ 1980s dynasty to catch more than 1,200 passes in the league. In 2004, he was named the 2004 NFL Good Guy Award by the “Sporting News.” This past June, he was honored with the same award by Professional Football Writers of America. This winter, the greatest tight end in the history of football will walk off the field in pads for the final time to continue his life as a father, role model and businessman. But for now, Gonzalez is focused on the next four-plus months. While wrapping up preseason preparations Gonzalez told reporters, “I’m soaking it up. I’m going to try and enjoy every last second that I’m out on that field with the opportunity to play football. … I can’t wait to see how it all comes together for us. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” Thanks for being an Atlanta Falcon, Tony. Photos courtesy of Jimmy Cribb/Atlanta Falcons.
Murray may not have won a ton of big games prior to this season, but he has already won two in his senior campaign. After leading his team to a 41-30 win over South Carolina, Georgia’s quarterback passed for 298 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-41 shootout victory over LSU last Saturday between the hedges.
The baseball playoffs and the Falcons’ struggles are overshadowing women’s basketball (what’s new?), but the Dream deserve some recognition. They are through to the WNBA Finals for the third time in franchise history after finishing off a sweep of Indiana last weekend. Next up for Atlanta is heavily-favored Minnesota, which went 26-8 in the regular season.
Regardless of what happened in Game 1 vs. L.A. on Thursday (results were not available at press time), Medlen was the man—again—for the Braves this season; and a big reason for home-field advantage in round one. His ERA plummeted to 3.11 thanks to a September in which he went 4-0 and allowed four runs in 36 innings.
SCORE LIST By Brian Jones
The Braves are back in the postseason and they are taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. At one point both teams were the hottest in baseball, so it will be interesting to see if one of them can catch fire again. As talented as the Dodgers are, I believe the Bravos will win the series because of their home-field advantage.
MONDAY NIGHT REDEMPTION
It has been a frustrating start for the Falcons as they went 1-3 in the first quarter of the season. The inefficiency to score in the red zone has hurt this team and it must get it fixed fast if it wants to make the playoffs. Hopefully, the Falcons can get it rectified on Monday night when they face the New York Jets.
GOING TO ROCKY TOP
The Bulldogs look to keep the good times rolling when they travel to Tennessee on Saturday. The Vols are not the team they once were, but they will be motivated to pull off the upset. If the Bulldogs don’t shoot themselves in the foot and take care of business, they should come away with a win and remain undefeated in SEC play.
WAR ON SOUTH BEACH
The Yellow Jackets are getting ready to travel to Miami and take on the Hurricanes. Tech needs this win in a huge way as it fell short against Virginia Tech last Thursday on the Flats. It won’t be an easy task because the ‘Canes are a very good team that can frustrate opponents with stifling defense. Tech needs better offensive execution.
It’s the midway point of the high school football season and it’s time for teams to start making playoff pushes. One of Friday’s marquee matchups is Milton vs. Etowah as both teams go into the game 5-0 and aim for the top spot in Region 5-AAAAAA. Go to ScoreAtl.com and ajc.com for updates on that showdown and the rest of the games in Georgia.
By Ricky Dimon
SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com
The Falcons are 1-3 and just a few plays from being 4-0. Week 1 at New Orleans ended on a failed 4th-and-3 attempt down by six. Week 3 at Miami ended with a game-winning touchdown by the Dolphins in the final 40 seconds. Week 4 vs. New England ended with four unsuccessful red-zone plays in search of a gametying TD.
Virginia Tech’s defense is good, but there’s no way it’s that good. Georgia Tech scored only 10 points last Thursday night and was held to an anemic 129 yards rushing—more than 200 short of its season average. Afterward, Paul Johnson called his team’s triple-option attack “terrible.” A weekend trip to Miami may not be the solution.
Kiffin got canned last weekend by USC, three and a half seasons too late. He went 5-15 with the Raiders, 7-6 with Tennessee and 28-15 with USC (terrible by Trojans’ standards). He is 0-2 in bowl games. What’s hard to understand is how Monte Kiffin could have produced a son who is this bad at coaching football.
OUR TWO CENTS
By Craig Sager II
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.
SANITY AT LAST
THE BRAVES AND DODGERS HAVE MET IN THE POSTSEASON JUST ONE TIME. IN WHAT YEAR DID THAT OCCUR AND WHAT TEAM WON THE SERIES?
“We just want to continue to make sure that everybody is staying on board. It’s too early in the season to jump ship. We all need to stay together as one and continue to move forward. We’ll be alright.”
ANSWER ON PAGE 14
Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux on the Falcons’ 1-3 start.
Passing yards by Matt Ryan against the Patriots, a career high
Receiving yards by Tony Gonzalez against the Patriots, also a career high
100-yard receiving games by Gonzalez
Straight games with a reception by Gonzalez
Wins by the NL East champion Braves this season
Home wins this season by the Braves
All-star appearances by Hawks starting center Al Horford Assists per game last season by the Hawks (second in the NBA)
Several top-ranked teams are heading out of state this weekend to participate in prestigious events. Marist is traveling to Cary, N.C. for the Great American Cross Country Festival. The Peachtree Ridge boys will be competing in Jacksonville, Fla. at the Bale N Trail Cross Country Original. Westminster’s boys are running at the Wendy’s Invitational in Charlotte, N.C. On the home front, the 32nd Annual Westover Invitational will welcome Centennial, Creekview, Lovett and Pace Academy.
ship heat, Flowery Branch edged Mill Creek by two points to take home the title. Mill Creek posted the fastest average time (16:07) thanks in part to Tyler Woodrome capturing top individual honors in 15:11, but Flowery Branch’s depth proved to be the difference. The Falcons placed all five of their point-scorers in a 14-second span between 10th place (James Slavik in 16:09) and 21st. Mill Creek did one better on the girls’ side, racing away in the championship division ahead of runner-up Westminster and third-place Starr’s Mill. The Hawks had three runners in the top seven overall and five in the top 20, including individual champion Lauren Hovis in 18:31. Morgan Mihalis crossed the line second in 18:37 and helped Lakeside-DeKalb to a fifth-place showing.
ON THE COURT ... Class AAA No. 2 St. Pius X swept Class AAA No. 1 Blessed Trinity Tuesday in an Area 5 match. The win could earn the Golden Lions the top seed in the Area 5-AAA tournament, which is slated for next week. The loss handed the Titans just their third in-state loss of the season. Blessed Trinity will host Serve for the Cure this Friday and Saturday, and will look to garner any lost momentum while facing Starr’s Mill, Columbus, Northgate, North Oconee and Blythewood (S.C.). Harrison secured a No. 1 seed out of Area 3-AAAAAA Tuesday with wins over Campbell, North Cobb and Hillgrove. The Hoyas, who finished the regular season undefeated in area play, were led by Caroline Ostman’s 22 kills in the three matches.
SOFTBALL NOTES ... No. 10 Pope edged No. 6 Creekview 2-1 in nine innings Tuesday to earn a tie at the top of Region 7-AAAAA on the final day of region play. The Greyhounds hold an 8-2 region record along with Creekview and Sequoyah. The region tournament begins Monday. Hannah Harrison (8-2) earned the win for No. 7 North Gwinnett as the Bulldogs defeated Peachtree Ridge 7-3 Tuesday night in Region 7-AAAAAA action. Emily Dennis had two hits for the Bulldogs. Lizzie Hellstein was 2-for-3 for the Lions. Class AA No. 2 Wesleyan shut out Class AAAA No. 10 Marist 2-0 as Dacia Jones tossed a complete game. Jameson Kavel scored twice for the Wolves. South Cobb’s Brittany Rhodes earned her 18th win in the circle with an 11-3 win over Marietta Tuesday. ... Shortstop Erika Dargan of Morrow is one of the top hitters in the state with a .576 average. ... Catcher Jada Willis of Lovejoy is batting .541 with three homers. ... Senior Rachel Karlan of Forsyth Central is hitting .538 with four triples. ... Senior pitcher/ shortstop Carolina Reilly of Mount Paran has eight home runs and a .514 batting average. Photos courtesy of Walter Pinion, Samuel Romell Ashby, Trey Schwartz and Randy Black.
PIUS UPSETS BT; THREE-WAY TIE IN REGION 7-5A BY STEPHEN BLACK, RICKY DIMON AND CRAIG SAGER II
n cross country news over the past week, Marist, Istate, whose boys and girls are both ranked No. 1 in the swept titles at last weekend’s Darlington CC Festival in Rome. The Marist boys held off Etowah by eight points after putting three racers in the top seven overall. Michael Thurston of the War Eagles finished first in 15:52. Etowah also posted a runner-up performance in the girls meet, although Marist completely dominated the field. Led by Morgan Ilse’s second-place run in 18:01, the War Eagles posted an average time of 19:29. No other school was faster than 20:14. Tayler Tuttle of Providence Christian broke the tape just ahead of Ilse in 18:00. The Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers hosted a dramatic Aubrae Gunderson Invitational last Saturday. In the boys’ champion-
Score Atlanta Football Rankings
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Northside-WR Tucker Kell Stephenson Thomas Co. Central
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
North Gwinnett McEachern Colquitt County Peachtree Ridge Hillgrove
6. Camden County 7. Norcross 8. Lovejoy 9. Valdosta 10. Archer
Sandy Creek Carrollton Griffin Statesboro Monroe Area
6. Gainesville 7. Warner Robins 8. South Paulding 9. Creekside 10. Ware County
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Buford Cartersville North Hall Washington County Pierce County
6. St. Pius X 7. Jefferson County 8. Carver-Columbus 9. Hart County 10. North Oconee
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Lovett GAC Lamar County Calhoun Washington-Wilkes
Irwin County Marion County Seminole County Lincoln County Johnson County
6. Trion 7. Clinch County 8. Charlton County 9. Dooly County 10. Commerce
Class AA 6. Marist 7. Mary Persons 8. Stockbridge 9. Wayne County 10. Eagle’s Landing
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
6. Jefferson 7. Brooks County 8. Benedictine 9. Rabun County 10. Bowdon
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
ELCA Landmark Chr. Aquinas Mount Paran Prince Ave.
6. Darlington 7. Mount Pisgah 8. Savannah Chr. 9. Athens Aca. 10. George Walton Aca.
Vol. 9 Iss. 19 | October 4-10, 2013 CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA
CHILDREN’S TACKLES CONCUSSIONS WWW.CHOA.ORG/CONCUSSION
n April, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Return to Play Act of 2013 into law at Children’s. This new law will take effect January 1, 2014.
WHAT DOES THE LAW INCLUDE? For schools: House Bill 284, or the Return to Play Act of 2013, requires all public and private schools to create a concussion policy that, at a minimum, includes these standards: • Prior to the beginning of each athletic season, an information sheet that informs parents or legal guardians of the risk of concussions must be provided. • If a youth athlete (ages 7 to 18) participating in a youth athletic activity exhibits symptoms of a concussion, he must be custom removed from play.
For recreational leagues: HB 284 requires recreational leagues to provide an information sheet on the risks of concussion at the time of registration to all youth athletes’ (ages 7 to 18) parents or legal guardians. Leagues are strongly encouraged to adopt a concussion management policy consistent with the school requirements.
Before a youth athlete can return to play, he must be cleared by a healthcare provider.
THE CHILDREN’S CONCUSSION PROGRAM Children’s sees many children and teens each year who are suffering from concussions. The pediatric team of concussion specialists at Children’s is trained to treat head injuries of all
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kinds and tailor each patient’s treatment plan to meet their specific needs. Children’s has also created materials to help parents, schools, coaches and doctors better understand and treat concussions. It’s important for an athlete that is suspected of having a concussion to be held out of participating in sports and possibly school until he is evaluated and cleared by a trained healthcare provider. Athletes, coaches and trainers need to treat any head injury seriously. If a player sustains a second concussion before he has fully recovered from the first injury, there
can be severe health consequences. It’s very important for anyone who suffers a concussion to take the time to recover. The concussion team at Children’s has created specific guidelines to help athletes return to play and school after a concussion without risking further injury. Visit choa.org/concussion to learn more and to download our return-to-school and activities guidelines. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not our employees.
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Vol. 9 Iss. 19 | October 4-10, 2013
Score Atlanta/AJC high school Softball Rankings Class AAAAAA
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Archer Lassiter Collins Hill Kennesaw Mountain Brookwood
5. Hillgrove 7. North Gwinnett 8. North Cobb 9. Mill Creek 10. Tift County
Class AAAAA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Northgate Ola Allatoona Greenbrier Heritage-Conyers
Madison County Heritage-Catoosa Northwest Whitfield Veterans Locust Grove
6. Pierce County 7. Rockmart 8. Blessed Trinity 9. Peach County 10. Dodge County
Class AA 6. Creekview 7. Union Grove 8. Sequoyah 9. North Paulding 10. Pope
Class AAAA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Buford Ringgold Central-Carrollton Tattnall County Chapel Hill
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Heard County Wesleyan Jeff Davis Bacon County Vidalia
6. Calhoun 7. Bowdon 8. Westminster 9. Jefferson 10. Cook
Class A 6. South Effingham 7. Wayne County 8. Columbus 9. LaGrange 10. Marist
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Gordon Lee Georgia Military First Presbyterian Day Eagle’s Landing Chr. Pace Academy
6. Prince Avenue Chr. 7. Telfair County 8. George Walton Acad. 9. Baconton Charter 10. Glascock County
ATLANTA CLINCHES FINALS BERTH YET AGAIN BY JOE DEIGHTON | JDEIGHTON@SCOREATL.COM
or the third time in the past four years, the Atlanta Dream have advanced to the WNBA Finals. Atlanta swept the defending WNBA champion Indiana Fever and won the Eastern Conference title with a 67-53 win in Indianapolis on Sunday. Once again, all-star forward Angel McCoughtry led the way to victory for the Dream. McCoughtry scored a game-high 27 points to go along with a team-high three assists and three steals. Atlanta held a slim 34-33 lead at halftime, but McCoughtry caught fire in the second half and scored 11 points in the third quarter to boost the lead to eight going into the fourth. The Dream ended the game on an 8-0 run to win going away. DREAM COME TRUE … The win was special for McCoughtry and her teammates because they have another shot at that elusive first WNBA championship. Atlanta’s best player was drafted first overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft out of Lou-
isville and has since won back-to-back scoring titles, played in two all-star games and won an Olympic gold medal in London in 2012. The WNBA title is the only thing that has eluded McCoughtry and the Dream, but now—for the third time—Atlanta will try to win the title. “I’ve been through so much,” McCoughtry told the AP after the Game 2 clincher against Indiana. “It means so much more when you can get to this point after what you went through.” FINALS PREVIEW … A familiar foe awaits the Dream in the championship round. Two years ago, Atlanta was in the same situation and lost to the Minnesota Lynx. Minnesota had home-court advantage and swept the Dream in three games. Again, the Lynx have the home-court edge. Beating Minnesota in Minneapolis at least once is a must if Atlanta wants to win the series, but it is easier said than done. The Lynx hold a 17-2 record at home this year and have yet to lose in the playoffs. Slowing down Minnesota’s high-scoring offense must be a priority for the Dream. Forward Maya Moore is averaging 21.5 points per game in the playoffs. Moore combined with Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus for a 58-point outburst in the series-clinching win against Phoenix. The x-factor for Atlanta could be secondyear guard Tiffany Hayes. The 5-foot-10 Hayes averaged 11 points per game during the regular season but broke out for a playoff career-high 23 points in Game 2 against Indiana.
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
body else, you might start talking that way, but not when you play Tennessee.”
TIME FOR TENNESSEE AFTER HUGE WIN
GOING GREENE … Senior quarterback Aaron Murray is 99 yards away from breaking David Greene’s career SEC passing record, which stands at 11,528. Murray expressed what it would mean to him to accomplish the feat. “It’s definitely an honor,” Murray assured. “It’s crazy to think about. I’ve never been a guy who’s worried about stats; it’s all about winning, winning, winning. But it’s definitely an honor to be alongside some of those guys like Greene and (Danny) Wuerffel—guys who did some unbelievable things while they were at their colleges.”
TECH HOOPS EXPECTING BIG THINGS
BY CHRIS NIEMAN | CNIEMAN@SCOREATL.COM
he Georgia Bulldogs (3-1, 2-0) have moved T up to No. 6 in both the AP and the USA Today polls after their thrilling 44-41 victory
over the LSU Tigers last Saturday at Sanford Stadium. For the second consecutive week, the Bulldogs will play on national television via CBS. This Saturday they travel to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers (3-2, 0-1) at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee leads the headto-head series 21-19-2, but Georgia has won four of the last five games—including a 51-44 shootout last season in Athens. The Vols, who will be sporting new uniforms for Saturday’s showdown, are under the command of firstyear head coach Butch Jones. Some may think the Bulldogs haven’t gotten over their emotional win over the Tigers and could be susceptible to letdown against the Volunteers. Head coach Mark Richt put that notion to rest in a press conference on Tuesday. “You don’t ever want to let down, but we’re playing Tennessee so I don’t foresee a letdown,” said Richt. “If we were playing some-
FOOTBALL TEAM HEADED TO NO. 1 ALABAMA BY CHRIS SCHUTTER | CSCHUTTER@SCOREATL.COM
he Panthers football team has a tough T task ahead of it this weekend, to put it mildly. In its last non-conference game of the
year, it will head to Tuscaloosa to take on the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama was also the reigning national champion the last time these two teams met, beating Georgia State 63-7. The Tide have won eight games in a row dating back to last season after blanking Ole Miss 25-0 last Saturday. Georgia State is still in pursuit of its first win of the season, as well as head coach Trent Miles’ first win as head coach. DIAMOND NOTES … Georgia State’s baseball team has started practicing for the 2014 campaign and will continue to practice through November 11. The Panthers are excited to start their first season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference and they are working hard to get prepared. They will be returning 20 letter-winners from the 35-win team of 2012-13, four of whom were All-Americans last year. Shortstop Chad Prain,
NEWS AND NOTES … Sophomore tailback Todd Gurley suffered an ankle sprain against LSU and has been listed as day-to-day. It is unknown at this point whether Gurley will play against Tennessee on Saturday. After registering only five sacks in the first three games, Georgia’s defensive line shook off the cobwebs and recorded four against LSU—including a first-down sack by freshman Leonard Floyd that appeared to rattle Tigers’ quarterback Zach Mettenberger on the final LSU drive of the game. On the opposite side of the ball, the Georgia offensive line rose to the occasion, limiting the LSU pass rush to zero sacks. This was the second consecutive game in which the big hogs up front kept their field general clean for the most part.
BY DONNELL SUGGS | DSUGGS@SCOREATL.COM
eading into his third year at Georgia Tech, men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory has an interesting mix of new recruits, transfers, fifth-year seniors and talented underclassmen. Last season the Jackets were 16-15 overall and 6-12 in the ACC. They lost their last two games both to Boston College (one in the regular season and again in the first round of the ACC Tournament). However, a team led in scoring by freshmen Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.8 points per game) and Robert Carter, Jr. (9.9 ppg) also had a road win over Miami—which won the ACC Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. For the first time during his brief tenure, Gregory has a full roster with which to work. The newfound depth will definitely come in handy with the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh on the schedule. Non-conference matchups with Charlotte, Illinois, Mississippi and Vanderbilt will be quality tests for the Yellow Jackets. But there’s talent on the Flats and Gregory knows it.
designated hitter Chase Raffield, center fielder Josh Merrigan and pitcher/infielder Matt Rose will hope to earn All-American honors again in 2013-14 while leading the Panthers to another successful season. LADY PANTHERS … Senior tennis standouts Abigail TereApisah and junior Masa Grgan are playing this week at the ITA Women’s All-American Championship, hosted by the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Seeded fifth in the doubles qualifying tournament, they won their first-round match on Wednesday over a team from Miami (Fla.). Results of their finalround qualifying tilt were not available at press time. Tere-Apisah was seeded No. 15 in the qualifying singles event. She beat Cierra Gayton-Leach of Missouri 6-4, 6-1 before losing to North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round. The women’s golf team managed to shoot a first-round total of five-over 293—its lowest in more than a year—at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational in West Point, Miss. on Monday. Junior Lauren Court led the way with a one-under 71. It was Court’s best round so far in her career and she managed to shoot two birdies and an eagle on the front nine alone. The Panthers followed it up with a 298 during second-round action on Tuesday. They were tied for third out of 11 teams heading into the final round, results of which were not available at press time.
SOCCER TEAM WINS, COACH HITS MILESTONE BY BRIAN JONES | BJONES@SCOREATL.COM
t was a successful weekend for the soccer team as it notched two conference wins at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Last Friday, the Owls defeated Lipscomb 2-1. Freshman forward Shannon Driscoll scored her first collegiate goal in the 18th minute to give KSU a 1-0 lead. The Bisons tied the game the 27th minute, but the Owls broke the tie in the 61st minute when junior defender Nicole Calder scored off a corner kick. On Sunday, the Owls took down Northern Kentucky 2-0. Katrina Frost scored the Owls first goal in the 36th minute and scored again in the 68th minute. Not only did the win improve the Owls’ record to 2-0 in Atlantic Sun Conference play, but it was also coach Rob King’s 150th career win at KSU. He will look to make it 151 on Friday when the Owls face USC Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C. FLORIDA WOES … It was not a good weekend for the vol-
“Four practices in and we’re pleased with the four practices,” he said at his first press conference of the preseason. “The competitive spirit has been really good; much different than in the past. Guys are working extremely hard, which is good—especially at this time of the year.” YOUNG BUT READY … Georges-Hunt and Carter played huge roles in just about every game last season (Carter started all 31 games, Hunt started all but one) and they will need to grow up fast if this team is to improve its record. Carter has reportedly lost 25 pounds during the offseason. Fellow sophomore Chris Bolden should solidify the starting lineup. He started 15 of last season’s final 16 games.. “We have all four starters back in Bolden, Goerges-Hunt, Robert and Daniel (Miller) with a sixth starter in Kamm (Kammeon Holsey),” Gregory noted. “He (Holsey) played starters minutes and had an impact of a starter last year.” Bolden, who is suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season due to an undisclosed violation of team rules, may be joined in the backcourt by transfer Trae Golden. The former Tennessee guard has one season of eligibility remaining and he is waiting to hear from the NCAA if he can use it immediately or if he must sit out until 2014-15. Golden averaged 12.1 points per game and 3.9 assists last season with the Vols.
leyball team as it lost to Florida Gulf Coast on Friday, 3-1, and also fell to Stetson on Saturday by the same score. The match against Florida Gulf Coast lasted two hours and there were 35 tied scores and 14 lead changes. The Owls were led by Sara Metroka, who had 39 assists and 13 digs. KSU managed to win the second set after losing the first, but FGC was able to hold on in the third and fourth sets to secure the win. It was the same story when the Owls travelled to Stetson. After losing the first two sets, they came back to win the third set despite an early 11-4 deficit. They soon led 8-4 to start the fourth set only to see the Hatters come back and take it 25-22. Georgia State’s record is now 6-8 overall, with a 1-3 mark in the conference, and it will be back at home this weekend to face Jacksonville and North Florida. REACHING A MILSTONE … It looks like the community is supporting the football program. Last Thursday, the athletic department announced that season ticket deposits have surpassed the 1,500 mark. The stadium holds 8,300 and 3,600 seats will be available to the public. “The response from our fans continues to be amazing,” Bobby Lindsey, director of ticket sales and operations, told ksuowls.com. “Our community is excited about Kennesaw State football and wants to see it be a success.”
Vol. 9 Iss. 19 | October 4-10, 2013 ATLANTA HAWKS
HAWKS IMPLEMENTING NEW SYSTEM BY JAY UNDERWOOD | JUNDERWOOD@SCOREATL.COM
he Atlanta Hawks opened training camp this week at the University of Georgia, and will begin the instillation of a new system. When general manager Danny Ferry brought on head coach Mike Budenholzer from the San Antonio Spurs, everyone knew the philosophy of the team would change. With him, Budenholzer brings San Antonio’s style of play and the mindset that the team is more important than the parts. As camp and practice move along, the way that the roster pieces will work together should come into focus. Right now, players are working on developing chemistry since the majority of them will be playing together for the first time. The offense that Budenholzer wants to run is similar to that of the Spurs and requires players to have an understanding of where everyone is on the floor and the role for which each player is responsible. VETERAN LEADERSHIP … Luckily, there are veteran leaders on the
BRAVES BATTLE LOS ANGELES IN NLDS BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM
he No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs went down to the wire, but it did not go the Braves’ way. They needed a win and a Cardinals’ loss on the final day of the regular season in order to end up with the NL’s best record. Atlanta took care of its business with a 12-5 rout of Philadelphia, but St. Louis polished off a sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 4-0 shutout. Still, the Braves did well to compile a 9666 record and make a mockery of the NL East, which they ultimately won by 10 games. They scored 688 runs—third most in the NL—despite Jason Heyward and Evan Gattis missing extended periods of time. They posted the best ERA in Major League Baseball even while losing all or most of Tim Hudson, Brandon Beachy and Jonny Venters. “I’m proud of a good season,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told the team’s website. “Thirty games over .500, 96 wins. It’s a [heck] of an accomplishment for our ball-
squad who will be able to lead and nurture the younger players until they are comfortable in the system. Even though he has not played in this style of offense before, Al Horford seems like a natural fit and should pick up his responsibilities rather quickly. The same can be said of new Hawk and former Utah Jazz star Paul Millsap. The test for them will be developing chemistry both with each other and with the point guards on the pick-and-roll sets. For the point guards, it will be important for Jeff Teague to help rookie Dennis Schroeder learn the finer points of being a successful player in the NBA. Schroeder has already put on some weight to help him not get pushed off the ball by bigger defenders and he has been working with team trainers on getting stronger. Another player who has been working hard with the staff this offseason is Mike Scott. The second-year forward out of the University of Virginia has shed 15 pounds and has worked on his agility and quickness to make him more flexible on both ends of the floor. Since he has a nonguaranteed contract, he is doing everything he can to make himself indispensible to the team. Early indications are that this will be a defensive-minded team, and help defense will be key. For a system in which on-the-floor communication is crucial, the veteran leadership of Horford, Millsap and Elton Brand will come in handy at the back of the defense.
club. The fun begins now.” Game 1 of the series will be played tonight at Turner Field, with Atlanta’s Kris Medlen opposing L.A. ace Clayton Kershaw. Game 2 is on Friday night and will feature Mike Minor of the Braves against Zack Greinke of the Dodgers. There are two rest days allotted during the series, both for travel. The Dodgers will host Game 3 and Game 4 (if necessary) on Sunday and Monday. A decisive Game 5 would take place next Wednesday in Atlanta. ABOUT THE DODGERS … Like the Braves, the Dodgers used several hot streaks to stop any division suspense throughout the entire month of September. Don Mattingly’s squad was a horrendous 30-42 following a loss on June 21, but it stormed out of the all-star break to win 10 of 11 games and 25 of 28. Like Atlanta’s 1314 September record, L.A. compiled a 12-15 mark last month. Slugger Matt Kemp is out for the playoffs with an ankle injury, but this team is led by pitching. Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) led the majors in ERA and Greinke (154, 2.63 ERA) was fifth. “People talk about, ‘You’ve got to play the Dodgers, you’ve got to beat Kershaw,’” Braves’ third baseman Chris Johnson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’ve got to beat Kershaw if we’re going to win the World Series. And if we don’t win the World Series, then it’s a bust anyway. I don’t see a problem.”
FALCONS LOOK TO JETS FOR TURNAROUND BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM
he Falcons’ attempt to come back from a T 17-point fourth-quarter deficit Sunday fell short in the red zone. New England kneeled
to run out the clock, and with the 30-23 win handed Atlanta back-to-back losses for the first time since 2009. “You get what you earn in the NFL, and we’ve earned a 1-3 record the first quarter of the season,” head coach Mike Smith said after the game. “We’re just not executing like we need to in the red zone.” The Falcons finished one for six in redzone touchdown opportunities and have struggled the length of the season in that department. “The only way I know how to fix it [the red zone struggles] is to get back to work, evaluate what we’re doing, and try and improve,” said Matt Ryan. This was the third defeat of the season that has come down to a play in the endzone. The losses have brought plenty of disappointment to a club eyeing postseason success, but there is plenty of opportunity for the team to
SILVERBACKS WIN, CLIMB IN NASL STANDINGS BY CHRIS SCHUTTER | CSCHUTTER@SCOREATL.COM
he Atlanta Silverbacks won their match against FC Edmonton this past Saturday, narrowly winning 1-0 in front of a sellout crowd. Pablo Cruz scored the lone goal on a penalty kick in the 15th minute. Cruz had made an attack in the box before being tripped by the opposing defense. He was awarded a penalty kick and did not waste the opportunity, calmly putting a shot past Edmonton keeper Lance Parker. In the 37th minute, Atlanta lost midfielder Danny Barrera—whose late challenge earned him a red card. The remaining 53 minutes required the Silverbacks to hold onto a 1-0 lead with only 10 players. The card seemed to have little to no impact as the Canadian side couldn’t get a single shot on goal in the second half. The Silverbacks were too strong defensively for Edmonton and were awarded three points for the win. That put them in fifth place in the NASL Fall Season standings and they are
get the season turned around. “There are 12 more games to go and a lot can happen during that time,” Ryan assured. “Our mindset has to be on next week.” The Falcons will host the 2-2 New York Jets this Monday night. STOPPING SMITH … After the 2012 season in which quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick challenged the Atlanta defense with their versatility and found success, it appeared that the Achilles’ heel of the Atlanta defense was slowing down these mobile passers. This year, the pocket passers are standing tall and getting the best of the defense, which currently sits 26th in the league with 301 passing yards allowed per game. Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith will be the first quarterback this season capable of escaping the pocket and picking up big yards for which Atlanta will have to plan. “We’re just going to try and frustrate him,” said defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux. “We have to continue to make sure that we don’t make the game easy for him.” Atlanta will look to eliminate yards after the contact that helped move the Patriots down the field last week. “We’ve got to make sure when we are playing zone defense that we play with good eyes and good vision,” Smith noted. A Week 6 bye follows the Jets game and could benefit the banged-up Falcons roster.
now only five points out of first place. Atlanta has won two of its last three matches and it has lost only two of its last 12 (5-2-5 overall in this stretch). It has already punched its ticket to the postseason by winning the Spring Season, having narrowly edged the Carolina RailHawks with 21 total points to Carolina’s 20. REMAINING SCHEDULE … The Silverbacks have five games remaining, including a season finale at home against the first-place New York Cosmos on Nov. 2. They will have time to make up some points since three of their last five games are against teams currently with a higher point total. On Nov. 9, Atlanta Silverbacks Park will host the NASL Soccer Bowl between spring winner Atlanta and the eventual Fall Season champion. Potentially, the Soccer Bowl could be a rematch of the upcoming showdown against New York. The last-place San Antonio Scorpions will host the Silverbacks this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. “We have to go and outwork them and show that we want those three points a lot more than they do,” said defender Beto Navarro. “As long as we stay organized and stick to how we’ve been playing, then I think we can come out of there with a positive result.” The game can be seen live online at NASL.com/live.
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ATLANTA AND LOS ANGELES MET IN THE 1996 DIVISIONAL ROUND. THE BRAVES SWEPT IT IN THREE GAMES.
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Score Atlanta is a weekly publication that covers sports in Georgia like no other. From metro-Atlanta high schools, to colleges and pro team...
Published on Oct 2, 2013
Score Atlanta is a weekly publication that covers sports in Georgia like no other. From metro-Atlanta high schools, to colleges and pro team...