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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

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DECEMBER 28, 2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC HISTORY GEORGIA

CLASSIC GIVES FANS, RECRUITERS OPPORTUNITY TO SEE TALENTED JUNIORS BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM

hen the Elite Junior Classic was launched, W its mission set out to showcase the same combination of on and off the field success that

coaches around the country look for while recruiting the state of Georgia. Decades of Peach State products joining the college ranks and excelling on the gridiron, in the classroom and in their communities has coaches flooding in like never before to bring our gridiron heroes to their campuses. As the NFL kicked off its 2013 season, there were 95 former Georgia high school football players on opening day rosters. The Elite Junior Classic understands just how special Georgia high school football is. With each season, the coaches, players and communities of its 412 (and growing) GHSA football programs continue to raise the bar. From Class A to Class AAAAAA, from Gainesville to Valdosta and from Columbus to Augusta, every area thrives with competition.

Classic

PRESENTED BY

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE … Each player in the Elite Junior Classic must meet a certain academic requirement as well as demonstrate integrity and respect in the classroom, community and at home. All of the players embody these traits and will set the standard for future classes of players as they compete in the Elite Junior Classic and enjoy its one-of-a-kind weekend experience. In between a pair of practices at McEachern High School’s state-of-the-art facilities, the Elite Juniors will attend a banquet honoring their outstanding reputations on and off the field. The athletes will be able to spend valuable time with each other and will serve the community before the highly-anticipated game caps off the weekend of festivities. Forty-five schools are represented as well as all seven of Georgia’s classifications in this year’s class of Elite Juniors. Each player is faced with a similar

road ahead with recruitment and the big decisions awaiting. Bringing these motivated individuals together for an unforgettable weekend and allowing them to share this opportunity together is an invaluable experience that the Elite Junior Classic promises its players. GAMECHANGER … The team behind the Classic includes Score Atlanta and former high school head coaches Dave Hunter and Jimmy Dorsey. Score, Hunter and Dorsey have a lot of experience in high school events as they put on the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome every year and have partnered with video heavyweight PlayOn Sports to grow the Classic. Score, run by I.J. Rosenberg, is a leader in high school marketing and broadcasted more than 110 games on television over the last five years. Junior all-star games are one of the fastest growing trends in high school football. The majority of seniors have already committed by this time and we have already seen their full bodies of work. Showcasing the best juniors has a far greater appeal for recruiters, fans and players. Those watching the Elite Junior Classic get to experience the next class of stars as players step into the spotlight. At the same time, players get an unmatched opportunity to showcase their skills. The format includes the North team vs. the South team, an extension of Georgia high school football’s classic North vs. South rivalry. The rivalry between these two regions grows

each season as more state titles are traded between them and this competition adds an exciting aspect to the Elite Junior Classic. The North and South rosters will each consist of 35 players. Some of the country’s biggest all-star games have rosters that extend up to 50 players, but the Elite Junior Classic limits its lineups to 35 in order to provide each player with an opportunity to enjoy their individual time in the spotlight. CSS will broadcast the game to more than 5.5 million households across the southeast and just culminated a season-long tour across the region that broadcasted the biggest games each week. CSS has become the biggest television platform for high school football and recruiting in the country. The Elite Junior Classic also features the eighth grade All-Star game and the Elite Junior Combine in order to give young athletes opportunities to show their stuff. McEachern’s Walter H. Cantrell Stadium, the site of the games, is the largest high school stadium in Georgia with 12,500 seats. The stadium features the largest LED high school scoreboard in the world at 26-feet by 36-feet. Fans who tune in will get a glimpse of the incredible talent that will take the field in the Elite Junior Classic. This first-class group of guys taking the field will set the standard for what is sure to become one of high school football’s most celebrated annual traditions.

The Elite Junior Classic is owned by Score Atlanta and PlayOn Sports and partners include Dave Hunter and Jimmy Dorsey. Score Atlanta is also apart of the ownership group of the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic as well the upcoming National Signing Day Frenzy. The Elite Junior Classic guide was produced and published by Score Publishing, a division of Score Atlanta. The president is I.J. Rosenberg, Managing Editor is Stephen Black, Assistant Editor is Craig Sager II, Creative Art Director is DJ Galbiati Blalock and Marketing Director is Melanie Snare. Score is a full-service marketing company and can be reached at 404-256-1572 and SCOREATL.COM. You can also check us out on Facebook (scoreatlantasports) and Twitter (@scoreatlanta).

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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

ELITE JUNIOR SCHEDULE

8TH GRADE SCHEDULE

Thursday, December 26 Time: What:

Thursday, December 26 Time: What:

9-10:30am 12:15pm 12:30pm 1:00 - 1:45pm 1:45 - 2:30pm 1:45 - 2:30pm 2:30 - 3:00pm 3:00 - 5:00pm 3:00 - 5:00pm 5:15pm 5:45pm 5:45 - 6:35pm 6:35pm 6:45pm 7:00 - 9:00pm 9:00pm 11:00pm

12:00 - 1:00pm 1:00 - 2:00pm 2:15 - 4:15pm 4:30pm

Players & Coaches Registration & Photos Meet in lobby with practice gear for practice Buses depart for McEachern High School Team Lunch North Team walk-through South Team walk-through Break & change into practice gear North Team practice South Team practice Buses depart for hotel Buses arrive at hotel Break - shower & get ready for team dinner Meet in lobby Buses depart for Taco Mac Team Bonding Dinner Buses depart for hotel Room checks by coaches

Friday, December 27 Time: What: 6:30am - 8:45am Complimentary Breakfast (anytime you want) 8:45am Report to hotel lobby 9:00am Buses depart for McEachern High School 9:45 - 11:15am North Team practice 9:45 - 11:15am South Team practice 11:45am Depart for Stars & Strikes 12:00 - 2:15pm Lunch & Team Bonding (video games, bowling, etc.) 2:15pm Depart for McEachern High School 3:00 - 5:00pm North Team practice 3:00 - 5:00pm South Team practice 5:15pm Buses depart for hotel 5:45pm Buses arrive at hotel 5:45 - 6:35pm Break - shower & get ready for event 6:35pm Meet in lobby 6:45pm Buses depart for Sky Zone 6:45 - 7:15pm Travel to Sky Zone 7:30 - 10:00pm Team Bonding & Community Involvement Project 10:00 - 11:00pm Buses depart for hotel 11:00pm Room checks by coaches

8th Grade Registration Team Lunch with Elite Juniors Team practices Finished for the day

Friday, December 27 Time: What: 8:45am 9:00 - 11:00am 11:00 - 11:45am 12:00 - 1:30pm 1:30 - 2:30pm 2:30 - 7:30pm 7:30 - 10:00pm Project (optional) 10:00pm

Report to McEachern Team practices Lunch Middle School Combine Team & Individual Photos Break - on your own Team Bonding & Community Involvement Finished for the day

Saturday, December 28 Time: What: 8:45am 10:00am 1:00pm Half-Time Post-Game

Report to McEachern 8th Grade All-Star Game Elite Junior Classic All-Star Game 8th Grade All-Stars On-Field Presentation The End

Aug. 22 at Walter Cantrell Stadium, McEachern HS 5:30 p.m. – Creekview vs. North Paulding 8:30 p.m. – Sandy Creek vs. Archer

GEORGIA

Saturday, December 28 Time: What: 7:00 - 10:00am Complimentary Breakfast - anytime you want 9:00 - 10:00am Check-out from hotel 10:15am Report to hotel lobby 10:30am Buses depart for McEachern High School 1:00pm Elite Junior Classic All-Star Game Pre-Game Charity On-Field Presentation Half-Time 8th Grade All-Stars On-Field Presentation Post-Game The End

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Classic

PRESENTED BY

Aug. 23 at the Georgia Dome 8:45 a.m. – Kell vs. Carrollton 11:30 a.m. – Mill Creek vs. McEachern 2:30 p.m. – Valdosta vs. Brookwood 5:30 p.m. – Colquitt County vs. North Gwinnett/Norcross 8:30 p.m. – Tucker vs. Norcross/North Gwinnett


DECEMBER 28, 2013

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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

Rocky Hidalgo | Walton | Head Coach

NORTH COACHES

Hidalgo is the head coach at Walton, where he has served in that role for five seasons. Hidalgo’s Raiders have won 40 games and advanced to the state finals in 2011. The Rhodes College graduate was the defensive coordinator at Walton for 13 seasons prior to being promoted to head coach after the departure of Ed Dudley in 2009. Hidalgo, a native of Baton Rouge, has been a part of six of Walton’s seven region championships in some capacity. Walton has made the playoffs in four of Hidalgo’s five seasons.

Jeff Carlberg | Centennial DEFENSE

Paul Standard | St. Pius X OFFENSE

Corey Jarvis | Mays DEFENSE

Carlberg is in his second season as the head coach at Centennial. He has also served as defensive coordinator at Alpharetta and Lassiter.

Standard has coached the Golden Lions for 13 seasons and has won 117 games. He has the best winning percentage in school history.

Mays is the third team Jarvis has coached. He also guided M.L. King and Duluth as well as the Raiders. He has 69 wins in nine years.

Tripp Allen | Walton OFFENSE

Mark Crews | Brookwood DEFENSE

Bob Sphire | North Gwinnett ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Allen is in his 15th year on the Walton staff and is currently the offensive coordinator. He has been named county offensive coach of the year three times.

Crews has been the Broncos’ head coach for 12 seasons and has 110 wins. His Broncos took home the state title in 2010.

Sphire has been at North Gwinnett for eight seasons and has won 91 games. His teams have won at least 10 games each year.

Ed Pilcher | Berrien | Head Coach

SOUTH COACHES

Pilcher is one of the deans of Georgia high school coaching. He has been a head coach for 28 years and has won a whopping 244 games. Pilcher has been a head coach at four schools: Early County, Thomas County Central, Bainbridge and Berrien. His teams won five state titles at Thomas County Central and made the state finals eight times in his 17 seasons. At Bainbridge, Pilcher took the Bearcats to the playoffs three times in five seasons and, at Early County, his teams won 11 or more games three times in five years.

Rance Gillespie | Valdosta OFFENSE

Kyle Hockman | McEachern OFFENSE

Franklin Stephens | Lamar Co. DEFENSE

Gillespie has been a head coach in Georgia for 12 seasons, including stints at Banks County, Peach County and Valdosta.

Hockman is in his eighth season as a head coach in Georgia and has won 69 games in eight seasons at Campbell and McEachern.

Stephens is one of the winningest coaches in the state with two state titles and 90 victories in seven seasons while winning 91 percent of his games.

Christian Hunnicutt | Lowndes OFFENSE

Kevin Kinsler | Northside WR DEFENSE

Ed Dudley | Ware Co. ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Hunnicutt coaches Lowndes’ offensive line, which has paved the way for one of the state’s most potent rushing attacks in recent years.

Kinsler has been at NorthsideWarner Robins for four seasons and his teams have won at least a share of the region title each year.

Dudley is the fifth-year head coach at Ware County and is a graduate of St. Pius X. He is 17274 in 21 seasons as a head coach.

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DECEMBER 28, 2013

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DEMARCO MURRAY | RB

CJ SPILLER | RB

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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

NORTH TEAM

GEORGIA

Classic

ELITE JUNIORS

PRESENTED BY

# NAME POS. SCHOOL 10..........Daniel David........................QB.........................Mill Creek 11...........Hampton McConnell..........QB................... West Forsyth 15...........Christopher Fredrick..........DB.....................Cedar Grove 17...........Taquar Stewart....................DB.............................. Walton 19..........Daniel Imatorbhebhe.........WR.............North Gwinnett 20.........Samuel McDade..................WR......................Cross Keys 21...........Kawon Bryant......................RB...................North Oconee 22..........Josh Bettistea......................RB...........................Allatoona 25..........David Curry..........................DB................................Buford 26..........Khalil Brooks........................DB..................................Mays 30..........Lewis Cousins III..................DB........................Gainesville 40.........Robert Muschamp..............LB......................... Darlington 41..........Davis Pidgeon......................TE............................... Walton 42..........Dalton Wilson......................LB............................St. Pius X 43..........Connor Redmond................TE................................ Archer 44.........Chase Middleton................LB........................ Brookwood 45..........Anree St-Amour..................DL...............North Gwinnett 48.........Andrew Butcher..................DL........................ Alpharetta 50.........Daniel Fennell......................LB............................. Grayson 51...........Hunter Holland....................OL................................Buford 52..........Luis Sobh..............................DL...............North Gwinnett 53..........Chris Calhoun......................LB.........................Centennial 54..........Blake Ferguson....................S...................................Buford 60.........Mitch Hyatt..........................OL...............North Gwinnett 62..........D’Andre Plantin...................DL........................... Norcross 63..........Max Kemper........................OL...................................Pope 64.........Quentez Johnson................DL.....................Cedar Grove 65..........J.B. Kouassi...........................DL........................... Norcross 70..........Mason Sims.........................OL.......................... B.E. Mays 71...........Josh Fannin...........................OL.........................Mill Creek 72..........Kaleb Kim.............................OL.........................Mill Creek 73..........Nick Wilson..........................OL................................Milton 74..........Malik Mackey......................OL..................................Mays 80.........Nekyle Lundie......................WR..............................Tucker 81..........Almonzo Brown...................WR.............North Gwinnett 82..........Darius Slayton.....................DB................................... GAC 83..........Sean Harper.........................WR.......................... Hart Co. 84.........Michael Matthews..............P/K.........................St. Pius X

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SOUTH TEAM # NAME

POS.

SCHOOL

10..........Tyree Paulk...........................QB.........................Coffee Co. 11...........Cal King.................................QB...................Mary Persons 14..........Taj Griffin..............................RB........................McEachern 15...........Ian Shannon.........................K/P..........................Marietta 16..........KirVonte Benson.................RB.............................Marietta 17...........Trey Graham........................DB..........................Fitzgerald 19..........Brad Stewart........................WR.................... Benedictine 20.........Antonio Wimbush..............DB..................... Camden Co. 21...........Keyston Fuller......................WR.............................. Griffin 22..........Rashad Roundtree..............DB............................Lakeside 25..........Julian Fraser.........................DL............................Valdosta 26..........Quayshawn Taylor..............DB..................................Ware 30..........Stephen Houza....................DB................Lakeside-Evans 40.........Brian Bell...............................LB.............................Lowndes 41..........Daquare Hunter..................LB................... Effingham Co. 42..........Daylan Williams..................LB..................... Jefferson Co. 43..........Gordon Dudley....................TE............................Ware Co. 44.........Nathan Brantley..................LB.............................Lowndes 45..........Willie Jordan........................RB.......................... Northside 48.........Jalen Wilkerson...................TE..........................Coffee Co. 50.........Quintin Hampton................DL...............Colquitt County 51...........Brandon Sandifer................OL......................... Northside 53..........Tyler Camp...........................OL...................Mary Persons 60.........Rashad Johnson..................DL................................ Lamar 61...........Caleb Martinez....................DL......................Whitewater 62..........Cordarro Stoute...................DL.............. Glynn Academy 63..........Steven Wright......................DL..................................Ware 64.........Chandler Jones....................OL.......................McEachern 70..........Cade Blackburn...................OL...............Colquitt County 71...........Howard Williams................OL......................... Telfair Co. 73..........Levi Cribb..............................OL.....................Charlton Co. 74..........Chuma Edoga.......................OL.......................McEachern 80.........T.J. Rahming.........................WR.....................McEachern 81..........Jordan Colbert.....................LB................................. Griffin


DECEMBER 28, 2013

TH

8 GRADE

FUTURE STARS # NAME POS. 1...............................Rico Frye...................................................................................RB 2..............................Cole Gilley............................................................................. DB 3..............................Omar Sinclair......................................................................... DB 4..............................Burch Ravaughn.....................................................................QB 5..............................Michiah Randolph.............................................................. ATH 6..............................Christian Armin....................................................................WR 7..............................Chucky Dallas lll.................................................................... DB 8..............................Ty (Tacuma) Harrrison..................................................... ATH 9..............................Nakia Davis............................................................................QB 11.............................Julian Bacon............................................................................TE 12.............................Ishmael Bridges....................................................................WR 13.............................Hunter Williams.................................................................... DB 15.............................Emory Jones...........................................................................QB 16............................Matavion Brooks....................................................................RB 17.............................Eddie (E.J.) Pride Jr...............................................................QB 20...........................John Cromer............................................................................KP 21.............................Marcus Webster Jr................................................................ LB 42............................Trent Coleman........................................................................ LB 43............................KJ Phillips................................................................................. LB 44...........................Realus George........................................................................ DE 45............................Truth Daniels........................................................................... LB 50...........................Lamech Wilder...................................................................... DE 51.............................Drequan Jones....................................................................... OL 52............................Evantae Spencer.................................................................... OL 54............................Malik Astin............................................................................. DE 65............................Cameron Hatten................................................................... OL 70............................Zachery Goodson................................................................. OL 75............................Jamarcus Chatman............................................................... DL 91............................DeAdrian Troupe................................................................... DT 98............................Latrell Bankston..................................................................... DL

NORTH GA. FORCE # NAME POS. 1...............................Andrew Thomas.....................................................................RB 2..............................Kyler McMichael................................................................... DB 3..............................Micah Young.................................................................WR/DB 4..............................Chandler Cantrell.................................................................. DE 5..............................Gerard Hearst.........................................................................RB 7..............................Banks Ramsey........................................................................QB 12.............................Cade Fortin............................................................................. DE 14............................Patrick Ferris..........................................................................QB 15.............................Galen Richmond.................................................................... DB 20...........................Thomas Snipes...................................................................... CB 21.............................Kamani Priddie.......................................................................RB 22............................Cameron Butler..............................................................RB/DB 24............................Dalton Nicolai......................................................................... LB 25............................Josiah Futral............................................................................RB 26............................Braylin Fisher......................................................................... DE 27............................Jackson Reese........................................................................ CB 28............................Daquez Crawford.................................................................. CB 34............................Cameron Gales.......................................................................RB 36............................Jarred Knight.......................................................................... OL 44...........................Christian Mitchell................................................................. DL 45............................Cole Anderson........................................................................ LB 46...........................Quin Geer............................................................................... DE 47............................Dre Houston............................................................................RB 50...........................Bill Roper............................................................................. LS/C 55............................Nick Price...................................................................................C 56............................Brock Mattison...................................................................... DE 58............................Chandler Webber..................................................................RB 64...........................Nick Croawell......................................................................... OL 65............................Andre La Flamme.................................................................. OL 68............................Nolan Parker.......................................................................... OL 70............................Ryan Inskip............................................................................. OL 71.............................Jacob Oxler............................................................................ OL 77............................Druw Lewis............................................................................. DL 78............................Warren Ericson...................................................................... OL 79............................Noah Sherburn...................................................................... OL 81............................Zachary Williams.................................................................WR 82............................Kevin Murphy.......................................................................WR 89............................Justin Delaney....................................................................... DB 95............................Rudy Aboytes........................................................................ NG 99............................Nate Wonsley....................................................................... NG

COACHES

COACHES

Valister Wilson | Head Coach

Mark Flanagan | Head Coach

Chris Davenport | Offensive Coordinator Lemont Williamson | Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs Mike Brooks | Offensive Line/Defensive Line Ken Thomas | Running Backs/Linebackers

Pete Blazek | Offensive Coordinator

Andre Young | Defensive Backs

Scott Stancil | Offensive Line

R.C. Helton | Offense

Stephen Snipes | Defensive Line

Bill Roper | Linebackers

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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

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DECEMBER 28, 2013 SNOWBALL EXPRESS

ELITE JUNIORS PROMOTE CHARITY, RECOGNIZE MILITARY HEROES BY RICKY DIMON

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he 2013 Elite Junior Classic is recognizing players who are not only exceptional on the field, but also serve as positive role models for their teams, in their communities and in the classroom. A review committee awarded them with spots on one of the two teams for their combination of football, academics and leadership. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT ... An example of their community involvement was on display last night at Sky Zone Atlanta, a proud partner of the Elite Junior Classic. Sky Zone an indoor trampoline park, but it is a lot more than that. Sky Zone Atlanta features a Jump in to Give program (Jumpintogive.com) that focuses on giving back starting at an early age. The stated mission of Jump in to Give is “to encourage, celebrate and reward young people in giving, fostering the next gen-

eration of philanthropists for our communities, the nation and the world!” “Jump in to Give is about highlighting and acknowledging youth that give and find ways to help make our communities and even our world a better place,” Jeff Cole, the owner of Sky Zone Roswell and Sky Zone Suwanee along with his wife—Jennifer, said in a statement on the organization’s website. “Givers should be recognized. They will impact the globe and lead the way to meeting all kinds of needs. This is something long overdue and hopefully, moving forward, will be something in all communities showing that children that give selflessly are just as important as top athletes and scholars and other gifted and talented students. The best part is all youth can give, serve and go for it in large and small ways.” The goal of Friday’s event was to help players—and everyone else involved—better

understand the importance of doing charitable works in the community, especially for those in need. As opposed to merely telling them, the event showed them with a hands-on experience that it is both possible and important to make a difference in the lives of others. All of the elite juniors participated and they helped set an example for the elite eighth-graders, who were also in attendance. A select few of the elite juniors were recognized as being especially exceptional community ambassadors. The honorees were David Curry and Hunter Holland of Buford, Kawon Bryant of North Oconee, Jordan Colbert of Griffin, Josh Fannin of Mill Creek, Hampton McConnell of West Forsyth, Robert Muschamp of Darlington, Tyree Paulk of Coffee, Brad Stewart of Benedictine and Cordarro Stoute of Glynn Academy. REMEMBERING HEROES ... The festivities at Sky Zone aimed to recognize and honor military families, specifically those involved in an organization called Snowball Express (snowballexpress.org). Snowball Express serves the children of fallen military heroes who will never be reunited with their mom or dad. It remembers those heroes and honors the supreme sacrifice their families have made. Since 2006, the mission of Snowball Express has been simple but profoundly

important: “Provide hope and new happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11.” Sky Zone and the Elite Junior Classic teamed up to invite Atlanta’s Snowball Express families to be VIP guests throughout the weekend. In addition to the jumping good time at Sky Zone, VIP status also includes the opportunity to be VIP attendees at today’s game, and to be honored on the field during halftime, when they will accept a $1,000 donation from the Elite Junior Classic to the Snowball Express organization. Other military family groups such as the Tragedy Assistance for Survivors and the Fort Benning Survivor Support Services were also invited to enjoy the fun weekend. This was a small snowflake event, held in part for the purpose of having families and kids get together, share a great time and understand that they are not alone. Kids and their families were paired up with a specific player for brief introductions as a way of connecting and forming a bond. Team bonding between the Elite Juniors also took place at the event, but the charity component was the primary focus. Taco Mac, which also hosted a team dinner on Friday night, catered the Sky Zone event. The restaurant is a proud supporter of high school sports and it was thrilled to be a part of such a worthwhile cause.

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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

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DECEMBER 28, 2013 NORTH SQUAD

METRO ATLANTA’S BEST MAKE UP NORTH ROSTER BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM

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n the backfield of this high school football allstar team are two of the most prolific and exciting scorers in the state. Allatoona’s Josh Bettistea surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in every game this season and finished the year with 27 rushing touchdowns to go with his 1,938 yards. Running mate Kawon Bryant of North Oconee scored a whopping 21 times in the month of September and finished the year with a ridiculous 41 rushing touchdowns. In 11 games, Bryant racked up 2,555 rushing yards. Each of these workhorses had a pair of games in which they carried the football more than 30 times. OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER ... Paving the rushing lanes will be a group of linemen that averages 6-foot-5, 290-pounds tackle-to-tackle and features some of the top prospects in the country. North Gwinnett offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt is a consensus five-

star recruit and the No. 1-ranked junior prospect in Georgia. Four-stars Kaleb Kim and Nick Wilson will join Hyatt and 6-foot-7, Mays star Malik Mackey. Tight end Connor Redmond is a 6-foot-4 target that hauled in six touchdowns this season, none bigger than his 36-yard go-ahead score against North Gwinnett in the playoffs. Redmond will rotate with Walton’s Davis Pidgeon, who stands 6-foot-6 and caught three touchdown passes this season. Pidgeon’s tremendous size and athleticism projects him to be a highly-regarded offensive tackle prospect. At wide receiver are five tough and gifted playmakers. Almonzo Brown helped pace North Gwinnett’s explosive offense with eight touchdowns this season and teammate Daniel Imatorbhebhe owned the middle of the field as the Bulldogs’ slot guy. Sean Harper could also start for almost any team in the southeastern

SOUTH SQUAD

SOUTH GEORGIA PLAYERS MAKE UP CORE OF TALENTED SQUAD BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM

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he South side features a pair of 2013 state champions in Griffin’s Keyston Fuller and Jordan Colbert. Griffin’s high-powered offense helped the Bears outscore Carrollton 56-35 in the Class AAAA title game. Fuller caught two passes for 111 yards and one touchdown—an 80-yarder—and Colbert made two solo tackles to go along with one assist in the winning effort. A threat all over the field, Fuller blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown during a second-round playoff win over Statesboro. He has scholarship offers from Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Colbert, a linebacker, recorded more than 70 tackles for Griffin in 2013 while tallying five sacks and four interceptions. QUALITY QB’S ... Cal King of Mary Persons and Coffee’s Tyree Paulk will share quarterback duties for the

South in this game. King, who transferred from Thomasville after his sophomore year, led the Bulldogs to a 10-2 record and a berth in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. Focusing on both books and ball, King is a member of the National Honor Society and he attended 13 different college football camps over the summer. Paulk was named to the all-region first team for Region 1, one of the most competitive regions in all of GHSA football. He finished the season with 24 touchdowns, 1,693 passing yards and 134 rushing yards. With one season still to play, Paulk is already the all-time leader in career touchdowns and passing yards for Coffee. One interesting dynamic on both the Coffee squad and the South team at the Elite Junior Classic is that Paulk and his brother, tight end Jalen Wilkerson, are teammates. Wilkerson, not surprisingly one of Paulk’s fa-

STAR-STUDDED DEFENSE ... Defensively, a dependable North secondary should allow the linebackers and linemen freedom to play aggressive football against the South team. Receivers will have to think twice before coming over the middle against this group. Khalil Brooks and Darius Slayton are lockdown cornerbacks and Christopher Fredrick, Lewis Cousins III, Taquar Stewart and David Curry are safeties that are effective in run support. Curry helped lead Buford to its 25th consecutive win and a Class AAA state title

this year. The safety is the son of Buddy Curry, a former Falcons’ linebacker and 2-time All-Pro selection. On the defensive front are ends Andrew Butcher, Jean-Baptiste Kouassi and North Gwinnett teammates Luis Sobh and Anree St. Amour. Butcher is a four-star Tennesseecommit. Kouassi finished the season with 27.0 tackles for loss. St. Amour is a four-star prospect who helped the Bulldogs reach the state finals. At defensive tackles are Norcross’ D’Andre Plantin and Cedar Grove’s Quentez Johnson. Plantin posted three of his 23.0 tackles-for-loss this season in the Blue Devils’ 31-14 win over North Gwinnett in the state championship. Johnson disrupts opposing lines and has NFL size at 6-foot-4, 332 pounds. The five North linebackers are all 6-foot4 or taller and have the strength to fight off blockers and the speed to cover the perimeter. Six-foot-four outside linebacker Chris Calhoun out of Centennial adds a capable pass rush to the corps. Chase Middleton and Robert Muschamp are the other two natural outside linebackers and both are mature beyond their years in both size and fundamentals. Grayson three-star linebacker Daniel Fennell and St. Pius X middle linebacker Dalton Wilson will man the middle. Photo of Connor Redmond courtesy of Sonny Kennedy.

vorite targets throughout this past season, also played his way onto the all-region first team. “Playing with my brother is awesome,” Paulk said. “This is something that we always dreamed about as we were growing up. We have been playing sports with each other ever since we played [recreational] ball, so we have a bond that can’t be broken. It has been an honor to play with him.” Two Region 4-AAAAAA rivals—Marietta’s KirVonte Benson and McEachern’s Taj Griffin—will be sharing part of the workload in the backfield. Benson rushed 208 times for 1,430 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns this season while also catching 20 passes for an additional 256 yards. He gained more than 100 yards on the ground in 10 of the Blue Devils’ 11 games. Griffin stands at just 5-foot-9 but is one of the fastest players in the state. With less than a minute remaining in the Indians’ quarterfinal game against Collins Hill, Griffin returned a punt 85 yards for the gamewinning touchdown. Another dangerous offensive weapon on the South squad comes in the form of Willie Jordan. The Northside-Warner Robins running back is coming off a 2013 campaign in which he rushed 139 times for 1,067 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also turned 11 receptions into 145 yards and three more scores.

DAUNTING DEFENDERS ... On the other side of the ball, LakesideEvans defensive back Rashad Roundtree will be part of the effort to stop the North’s passing attack. Roundtree had 97 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this season and was named the Region 2-AAAAA Defensive Player of the Year. Joining Roundtree in the secondary is Camden County’s Antonio Wimbush, who was named Athlete of the Year in Region 1-AAAAAA. Camden County captured the region title before falling to Hillgrove in the second round of the playoffs. To say the South has a decided Region 1 flavor would be an understatement. Fellow Lowndes linebackers Brian Bell and Nathan Brantley are also on the squad. Both Bell (first team) and Brantley (honorable mention) earned all-region honors. Among those battling in the trenches on defense for the South are Quinton Hampton and Cordarro Stoute. Hampton and Colquitt County reached the semifinals of the Class AAAAAA playoffs before losing a close game to eventual-champion Norcross. Stoute led Glynn Academy’s defensive line this season with 33 tackles to go along with four sacks and 16 quarterback hurries. Photo of Quintin Hampton courtesy of Ty Freeman.

United States at safety, but he will take his snaps as a receiver for the North squad. Nekyle Lundie, is another reliable target who made arguably the biggest play of Tucker’s season in 2013. The Tigers trailed Stephenson 28-24 when Lundie hauled in a 35-yard Hail Mary with 13 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 31-28 win. Samuel McDade from Cross Keys has breakaway speed and provided one of the season’s memorable highlights when he leapt and reached over double coverage to snatch a 21-yard touchdown against Clarkston. Quarterbacks Daniel David and Hampton McConnell can do damage through the air as well as on the ground. David scrambled for 672 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns this season while McConnell took 138 carries for 794 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.

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2013 ELITE JUNIOR CLASSIC

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DECEMBER 28, 2013

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