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VOLUME 10 ISSUE 12 DIGITAL

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MARCH 28 - APRIL 3, 2014

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YOUR SOURCE FOR SPORTS IN GEORGIA

DIVISION TITLE DEFENSE Falcons’ Additions | Pg. 4 Brian Jones dishes on the Falcons’ free-agent acquisitions and what they mean to the team.

Braves look to get back to playoffs despite decimated pitching staff | Pg. 5

Spring Sports | Pg. 8 Find all the latest news and notes in our prep cover story.

WED, APRIL 2 @ 7:30PM

WED, APRIL 12 @ 7:30PM


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Vol. 10 Iss. 12 | March 28 - April 3, 2014

STARTING LINEUP PUBLISHER/EDITOR I.J. Rosenberg

04

COLUMNISTS

05

ON THE COVER

08

INSIDE THE PREPS

GENERAL MANAGER Melanie Snare

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

BUSINESS MANAGER Marvin Botnick

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Marcus Nabors

BEAT WRITERS Ricky Dimon (Braves) Joe Deighton (Gladiators) Jay Underwood (Hawks) Brian Jones (KSU) Joe Deighton (UGA) Craig Sager II (Falcons) Stephen Black (Tech) Jay Underwood (GSU) STAFF WRITERS Vic Temple Alex Ewalt

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

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

COVER PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, LASSITER HS AND POUYA DIANAT/ATLANTA BRAVES.

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SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

SAGER SAYS

DESPITE SHAKY 2013 SEASON, FALCONS ARE NOT FAR AWAY BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM

he high expectations of the Falcons’ 2013 T season were distant in the rearview mirror when the team ended the season at home in

the basement of the NFC South. Unlike 2012 when the team was playing for a spot in the Super Bowl, the season was ending with the trivial goal of sending Tony Gonzalez out with a win in his last NFL game. Atlanta failed to get it done for Tony and came up one point short in its 21-20 loss to the Panthers. Atlanta ended its last two possessions with consecutive sacks, a costly first-down fumble and a false start. Atlanta saw another game slip away because they could not close out either of the two halves. CONFIDENCE IS KEY … Atlanta ranked last in second-quarter de-

fense in the NFL last season with 10.6 points allowed per game. Carolina scored 14 of its 21 points in the second quarter in the final game of the season. In comparison, the Falcons allowed just 6.4 points per game in the second quarter in 2012. The dropoff seen last year equated to a 58.8 point difference over the span of the season for a single quarter that the Falcons had to overcome. Football is a game fueled by confidence and a poor second quarter is enough to deflate a team’s swagger heading into the locker room. As a result, the struggles often continued into the third quarter for the Falcons last year. Atlanta’s offense managed just 3.5 points per game in the third quarter. This team is built to be explosive and it depends on an uptempo pace, momentum shifting plays and long

A WORD FROM BIG B

FALCONS BOLSTER LINES, ADD PLAYMAKERS BY BRIAN JONES | BJONES@SCOREATL.COM

ne of the things Falcons fans wanted out of the organization was to be aggressive in O free agency. So far, the Falcons have done that

and they have been one of the early winners in free agency, as they addressed the offensive and defensive line issues. But the Falcons also made one of the biggest signings this offseason with the addition of former Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester. Adding a return specialist was not the biggest need for the Falcons, but it was still a need because the Falcons were ranked 28th in the NFL in kick return yards and 21st in punt return yards. But with Hester being 31-years old, there have been talks about him not having anything left in the tank. That is certainly not the case because Hester led the NFL in kick return and total re-

turn yards last season. In fact, he had 249 kick return yards in the second week of the season against the Minnesota Vikings and had an 81yard punt return for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins later in the year. But another question comes to mind when it comes to Hester. With him joining the Falcons, will he make the move back to receiver? Odds are he won’t because the Falcons already have three receivers in place with Roddy White, Julio Jones and Harry Douglas. Hester could be a fourth option, but the coaches need him more on special teams because the Falcons have been missing an impact returner since Eric Weems was on the team who oddly enough signed with the Bears in 2012. The addition of Hester should and will bring a boost to the special teams unit. With

drives that keep the defense off the field. Most importantly, in previous seasons not plagued by injuries, the Falcons had a confidence and ability to win close games because Gonzalez, Roddy White, Julio Jones and company each knew that individually they were capable of making a play if it came their way and they recognized that any of the other targets were talented enough to make the play if it went to them. Following the game, I walked into the Falcons’ locker room and press conference. Unlike the previous season, this time the disappointment did not stem from how close they had come to the ultimate goal, but by how far away they had gone from it. In the postgame press conference I asked coach Mike Smith if it was possible for this team to restore its confidence before the start of next season or if it would take kicking off next year to begin that process. I also mentioned the saying ‘time heals all wounds’ and asked Smitty if that was something he believed in following a 4-12 season. His answer was simple, “No.” and then after he took a brief pause he added. “Time does not heal all wounds.” I had to agree with what Smith said. Time is not the cure to these types of “wounds”. Atlanta sports fans especially are aware of this as the passing of time seemingly does the op-

posite of healing. There is a long list of heartbreaking losses and frustrations that we are reminded of each time a new season ends in disappointment. The “wounds” get deeper with this frustrating pattern. Winning, not time is the cure.

Hester and the signing of Tyson Jackson, Paul Soliai and Jon Asamoah, the Falcons don’t want another 4-12 season again.

is an important position to watch because the No. 2 quarterback will be in line for the No. 1 spot in 2015. And if there is one player to watch, it has to be J.J. Green. After playing running back last year, Green has made the move to cornerback and has done well so far in the early stages of spring practice. Shaq Wiggins and Damian Swann are the projected starters, but Green is one of those guys that can take one of the spots if he continues to impress.

SPRING IN ATHENS … While the Falcons spring season is going smoothly, the Bulldogs are looking to do the same as they are currently taking part in spring practice. Things did not start they way they wanted to with the four players being arrested. But the practices have gone well as they get ready for the G-Day game on Apr. 12. There are a few good things that are emerging from spring practice also. The first is the health of Todd Gurley. He was battling an ankle injury for the majority of the 2013 season and he has been practicing this spring without limitations. Because Mason is virtually a new starter at quarterback, Gurley will be the central focus of the offense and the Bulldogs will only go as far as Gurley will take them. Another thing that is good to see is the quarterback competition for the No. 2 spot. Jacob Park is an early enrollee, but the battle is really between Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey. Bauta is known more for his mobility while Ramsey is more of a traditional dropback passer. Because of experience, Bauta is the leader for the No. 2 spot, but that could change if Ramsey does well in the spring game. This

SPRING IS IN THE AIR ... Ignore this past week’s freezing temperatures because spring is actually here. Across the country football programs have started spring practices and we are just a couple weeks from seeing the nation’s top programs pack their stadiums for the festive tradition of the spring scrimmage. Spring practice is a time when new coaches teach their methods and introduce how practices are going to be run throughout the season. As a player, a newcomer can make a statement in spring practice and move his way up the depth chart, but ultimately summer camp is still going to be the deciding factor. With this truth, there is a lot less pressure during this time. The playbook is not the focus and instead coaches often experiment to see who is a fast learner and which guys are naturals at the position. Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons.

YEAR ONE COMPLETE … Believe it or not, it’s been a year since Kennesaw State football head coach Brian Bohannon has been at the job. And to say it’s been a very busy year for Bohannon would be an understatement. During his first year, he hired a solid coaching staff, was able to put the 2015 schedule together and signed 29 players for the inaugural signing class. He was also able to hold the first ever tryout at the Perch at the KSU Sports and Recreation Center on Saturday. And this year will be just as busy. The uniforms for the team will be revealed this spring and the team will start practicing in the fall. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.


Vol. 10 Iss. 12 | March 28 - April 3, 2014 Gavin Floyd will be in the starting five at some point, but not when the season begins. Floyd, who signed as a free agent in December, appeared in only five games for the White Sox in 2013 due to an elbow injury. The 31-year-old could be ready by the end of April. Floyd’s best season came in 2008, when he went 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA and helped lead Chicago to the American League Central title.

ON THE COVER

OPENING DAY

BRAVES LOOK WITHIN FOR DEFENSE OF DIVISION TITLE BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM

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whirlwind offseason is finally coming to an end, but not before general manager Frank Wren and other higher-ups were put through the wringer and Braves fans rode on a rollercoaster of emotions. It started with frustrating free-agent inactivity, included a sudden and controversial announcement that the team will move to Cobb County in 2017, featured a flurry of February signings and wrapped up with crushing blows to the pitching staff. DEPARTURES/ARRIVALS … Despite all of that, the 2014 squad will look remarkably similar to last year’s edition. Gone are veterans Tim Hudson and Brian McCann, plus injured pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, but almost everyone else is back. Hudson (San Francisco Giants) and McCann (New York Yankees) signed elsewhere as free agents, while Medlen and Beachy are out for the season due to their second Tommy John surgeries.

Medlen, who won 15 games with a 3.11 ERA last season and started Game 1 of Atlanta’s divisional playoff series against the Dodgers, is essentially being replaced by Ervin Santana. The 31-year-old righty spent eight seasons with the Angels and three times posted an ERA below 4.00 in more than 200 innings of work. He accomplished the same feat (3.24 ERA, 211 innings) last year in his lone campaign with Kansas City. Still in the prime of his career and now moving to a league that does not use the designated hitter, there is reason to expect Santana may be in line for the best season of his career. In the early stages of 2014, the rotation could literally be just that at the last few spots. On Monday the Braves released Freddy Garcia and signed Aaron Harang, who is reportedly on course to start Atlanta’s home opener on April 8. Two years younger than Garcia at 35, Harang boasts a 2.00 ERA in four spring training games (two starts). Fellow newcomer

SALVATION LIES WITHIN … The Braves, as always, have another title of their own on their minds. They triumphed last year in the National League East for their first division crown since 2005, so why mess with success? Their most significant offseason moves were either inspired by unforeseen injuries or in-house operations. Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, Julio Teheran, Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons all signed multi-year contract extensions. Chris Johnson and Evan Gattis (the latter with an increased role at catcher due to McCann’s exit) are back after impressive seasons and Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton have also returned, eager to rebound from dreadful 2013 campaigns. Uggla and Upton, of course, will be crucial to the Braves success—to an even greater extent now that the turmoil in the pitching staff may place added pressure on the lineup. They hit .179 and .184, respectively, last year but have shown signs of encouragement this spring. Uggla is batting .280 with a team-high (tied with Heyward) four home runs as of Wednesday afternoon. Upton is batting .259 and has stolen a team-high four bases. “He did everything he had to do this winter,” hitting coach Greg Walker told the team’s website, referencing Uggla. “When he came in here, you could see the difference. Everything was flowing and he looked like Dan Uggla again. We got excited early on, and then you said, ‘Is it going to hold up when games begin?’ and it did. He’s just looking more and more dangerous. He looks like Dan Uggla.” The veteran second baseman is expected to bat either sixth or seventh in the order to begin the season, with Gattis holding down the other one of those two spots. Manager Fredi Gonzalez apparently has enough confidence in B.J. Upton

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or wants to instill such confidence in his center fielder by putting him second behind Heyward. The other Upton brother, Justin, is slated for the fifth spot behind Freeman and Johnson. “I think the lineup we’ve been running out the last couple of days is the one that we may start with in Milwaukee (for Opening Day),” Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “I like Chris Johnson (at cleanup). He gives you good at-bats. And he’s a guy that’s not going to change his approach. He’s going to put the ball in play. He uses the whole field and has some big at-bats.” OUTLOOK … Big at-bats, especially from Uggla and Upton, and immediate help from Santana and Harang are necessary if the Braves want to match or improve on their stellar 96-win season. Most media outlets are skeptical. They have Atlanta finishing runner-up to Washington in the National League East, which would signal a reversal of last year’s standings. That sentiment comes as no surprise given the Nationals’ absolutely loaded starting rotation. Heading into Opening Day, it features Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Taylor Jordan and recently-acquired Doug Fister. Some “experts” think the Braves will sneak into the playoffs as one of the league’s two wild-card teams before making another unceremonious exit, while others have them missing the postseason altogether. Of course, this is nothing to get worked up about. Just about everyone jumped on the Bryce Harper bandwagon prior to last season and picked the Nationals to dominate the division. How did that work out for them? They never challenged Atlanta and finished a whopping 10 games out of first place. It almost certainly won’t be as easy this time around, but the Braves are capable of doing it again. The quest begins next Monday afternoon in Milwaukee and will heat up the following Tuesday with a Turner Field opener against the New York Mets. After almost six full months removed from serious baseball, we can once again say, “This is Braves country!” Photos courtesy of Pouya Dianat and Daniel Shirey/Atlanta Braves.


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Julio Jones

Coaching Carousel

Winter workouts are done and for the first time of the 2014 season, teams are taking the field together. Spring practice is finally allowing new coaches like Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to finally teach his new group of guys his system and Georgia and Georgia Tech each have new quarterbacks running the show this spring.

Julio Jones’ injury following the Monday Night loss to the Jets last season could very well be the low-point of 2013. However, the Pro Bowl wideout is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and began running on Wednesday. A foot surgery is a tough recovery, but if anyone can win comeback player of the year this season it is Mr. Jones.

The AJC released a story this Tuesday on the 53 high school football head coaching jobs that have been filled and the 13 that are still open this offseason. The changes include some of the top programs in the state. With 2014 starting the new region alignments and presenting all these coaching changes, it should be an exciting season.

By Craig Sager II

WHO’S HOT

Spring Football

SCORE LIST By Brian Jones

HESTER A FALCON

The Falcons made a big splash in free agency as they signed Devin Hester to a three-year deal. Hester has 19 career touchdown returns, which are the most in NFL history. He will provide a much-needed spark to the special teams and because of that I can’t wait to see Hester in a Falcons uniform.

SEASON OPENER

The Braves 2014 season will begin on Tuesday as they face the Milwaukee Brewers for a two-game set. It has been an interesting spring to say the least and the question has to be can the Braves successfully defend their division crown with two starting pitchers gone? Only time will tell, but I’m glad the season is finally here.

WELCOME, AARON

Speaking of the Braves, they signed veteran pitcher Aaron Harang to be their No. 4 starter. Harang played with the Mariners and the Mets and compiled a 5.40 ERA in 26 starts last season. He is slated to start in the Braves home opener on April 8 against the Mets. Welcome to Braves country, Aaron.

MITCHELL OUT

UGA receiver Malcolm Mitchell will miss the rest of the spring practices after sustaining a leg injury. This is coming off the heels of an ACL injury he suffered in the 2013 season opener. But not to fear because he’s expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the opener against Clemson at the end of August.

SUCCESSFUL TRYOUT

More than 80 KSU students made it to the Perch at the KSU Sports and Recreation Center last Saturday to take part in the football tryout. The coaches had the students run the 40, do agility drills and go through positionspecific drills. Coach Brian Bohannon loved the effort and he thought the tryout was a huge success.

WHO’S NOT

SCORE ATLANTA | www.ScoreAtl.com

Brackets

Braves Pitching

Dunking

Some favorites escaped the wild first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but with teams like Ohio State, Kansas, Syracuse, North Carolina and Duke all losing early, there is a good chance your bracket busted. At least bad brackets derive from a tournament filled with excitement and parody.

There is no explanation when considering how quickly the Braves’ pitching staff has diminished this offseason. To make matters worse, Cory Gearrin had to leave Tuesday’s game with an elbow injury. The Braves will have five pitchers, including four starters on the disabled list entering opening day.

On Tuesday, the NFL announced that dunking over the goalpost after a touchdown will no longer be allowed. For more than a decade this has been a go-to celebration started by Tony Gonzalez that everyone seemed to enjoy. This is a lame move for the NFL that should have much more important things to worry about.

NUMBERS

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.

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TRIVIA QUESTION

WHAT BRAVE, WITH AT LEAST 25 AT-BATS, WAS LEADING THE TEAM IN HITTING DURING SPRING TRAINING AS OF WEDNESDAY? ANSWER ON PAGE 14

SANITY AT LAST

“Good fan base. I’m really excited to be here. I was excited when my agent called me and told me they were talking to the team.”

New Brave Aaron Harang on signing with Atlanta.

10

Total draft picks available to the Atlanta Falcons this year

$14.74 MILLION

Combined salary of Braves pitchers currently on the disabled list

34

Times that an NFL player celebrated a touchdown by dunking over the goalpost in 2013

217

Total TDs by Clemson freshman QB Deshaun Watson during his varsity career at Gainesville

0

Losses by SEC teams heading into the Sweet 16 of the men’s NCAA Tournament

3

Weeks left in the NBA regular season

10

Games Atlanta finished ahead of Washington for the NL East title last year

69.1

Winning percentage in home games by the Braves last season


SPRING SPORTS

BLUE DEVILS WIN COBB TITLES; GAC SWEEPS CATS BY RICKY DIMON, BRIAN JONES & CRAIG SAGER II

T

he Cobb County Track and Field Championships took place this past Saturday and concluded Monday in Powder Springs. The Marietta girls cruised while the boys used a strong finish to successfully sweep and defend their county titles. The Marietta girls finished with 130 points and used three field champions to build a comfortable lead over Pope, which finished a distant second with 99 points. McEachern used a late push to take third with 89 points and Walton and Hillgrove were tied for fourth with 48 points. For the boys, Harrison finished second with 68 points and held off North Cobb and McEachern, which finished third and fourth with 66 and 60 points, respectively. Marietta’s star running back Kirvonte Benson placed first in the long jump and Brian Marshall finished in the Top 10 in the Discus throw.

Over at Holy Innocents’, the Golden Bear Relays were on Saturday and both Loganville teams came away with first-place finishes. The girls scored 104 points and they finished second in the 4x100 meter relays and finished third in the 4x1600 meter relays. They came away with a win in the 800-meter sprint medley relays and Ashley Devert won the individual title for triple jump, which was the only individual first-place finish for Red Devils. The boys finished with 82 points and they were led by Michael Elder who finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles. His teammate, Xavier Waters, came in fifth place and Derek Henry came in 10th. ON THE PITCH … The Greater Atlanta Christian girls have won five in a row and they are 2-0 against Re-

gion 6-AA competition in the last two weeks after beating Westminster 3-0 on Tuesday. Halle Huff scored twice and Reagan Glisson added one goal while keeper Melissa Gray recorded the shutout against the Wildcats. Danielle Marcano, Abbie Abrahart and Tori Wisted delivered the assists. Region rival Lovett hammered Atlanta International School 7-0 last Wednesday, beat Paideia 2-1 last Saturday and blanked Pace Academy 1-0 on Tuesday. Almost everything has been working out this season for Harrison and Grayson, the top two teams in the Class AAAAAA rankings. Harrison has not allowed a single goal in its last six contests while outscoring opponents by 52 goals during the stretch. The Hoyas cruised past North Cobb 8-0 last Friday and beat Pebblebrook 10-0 on Tuesday. Grayson is outscoring opponents 13-0 in two games since its first-ever win over Parkview on March 14. The Rams took care of Dacula 8-0 last Tuesday and rolled over Central Gwinnett 5-0 last Friday. On the boys’ side, Greater Atlanta Christian completed a clean sweep of Westminster on Tuesday. The Spartans dominated 4-0 with goals from Ryan Marcano, Nash Wagnon, Richard Hamryka and Will Hamryka. They are still undefeated this season at 13-0. Collins Hill and Duluth split their Tuesday

doubleheader. Following a Duluth girls’ victory, the Collins Hill boys responded in thrilling fashion, winning 5-4 in a shootout after the score had been tied 2-2 at the end of regulation. Next up for Duluth is the Rivals Cup on Friday, when both teams will pay a visit to Region 7-AAAAAA foe Norcross. The St. Pius X boys, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, have not allowed a goal in their last three contests against in-state competition. They have won those three games by a combined score of 24-0, including a 10-0 blowout of Decatur on Tuesday. The Golden Lions traveled to Clemson, S.C. last Saturday and gave their hosts a stern test in a 1-0 loss to St. Joseph’s Catholic School. ON THE LINKS … The Walton boys golf team continues to roll as they recorded a four-man total of 289 to win the Cougar Invitational on Saturday at the Orchard Hills Golf Club in Newnan. The total is now a school record and they were 25 shots ahead of second-pace McIntosh. John Yi Shot a 69 to win the individual title while Matt Flynn was the runner-up with a 71. The Raiders have now won three of the four tournaments they have played this season. Photos courtesy of Walter Pinion, Sonny Kennedy, Terry Tuley and Brian L. Morgan.

Score Atlanta/AJC Lacrosse Rankings BOYS

GIRLS

Class AAAAAA

Class AAAAA-A

1.......................Centennial 2.......................... Harrison 3................North Gwinnett 4.............................. Milton 5............................. Walton

1....................Westminster 2........................Northview 3...............................Lovett 4........Whitefield Academy 5................................ Pope

6..........................Hillgrove 7...........................Lambert 8............................Roswell 9............. Peachtree Ridge 10...........................Etowah

6..................................GAC 7................ Blessed Trinity 8.........................St. Pius X 9.......Fellowship Christian 10.............. Pace Academy

Class AAAAAA

Class AAAAA-A

1.............................. Milton 2........................... Lassiter 3................Chattahoochee 4............................. Walton 5.............................Etowah

1....................Westminster 2.................................. Kell 3................................ Pope 4......................... McIntosh 5........................Northview

6.......................Centennial 7................North Gwinnett 8................... West Forsyth 9................... John’s Creek 10..........................Roswell

6...................... Cambridge 7................ Blessed Trinity 8...............Holy Innocents’ 9.........................St. Pius X 10.......................Wesleyan


Vol. 10 Iss. 12 | March 28 - April 3, 2014

Score Atlanta/AJC High School Baseball Rankings Class AAAAAA 1...................... Lambert 2.....................Parkview 3......................Harrison 4.........................Walton 5............Mountain View

Class AAA 6...............West Forsyth 7............North Gwinnett 8...................Tift County 9.......................... Milton 10...................... Etowah

Class AAAAA 1................. Whitewater 2.................. Greenbrier 3.....................McIntosh 4.....................Allatoona 5.......... Houston County

6.......... Jackson County 7.................Pike County 8............Blessed Trinity 9...................Chapel Hill 10............... Cartersville

Class AA 6.................. Gainesville 7...........................Rome 8....................Hardaway 9....................Sequoyah 10...............Stephenson

1.......................... Lovett 2............... Westminster 3.....................Jefferson 4..............................GAC 5....................... Bremen

6.......................Calhoun 7............................Cook 8.................... Jeff Davis 9.................Benedictine 10..................Fitzgerald

Class A

Class AAAA 1..........................Marist 2....................Columbus 3............... Crisp County 4.....................Columbia 5..........................Griffin

1......................... Buford 2...............White County 3............. Pierce County 4............Oconee County 5..................... Callaway

6......................Spalding 7.........South Effingham 8..........................Redan 9....................Alexander 10....................Veterans

1............................ELCA 2..........Charlton County 3...............................ECI 4............... Mount Paran 5........ King’s Ridge Chr.

6................... Darlington 7.......... Providence Chr. 8.........................Walker 9............... Hawkinsville 10............Mount Pisgah

Score Atlanta/AJC Soccer Rankings 1..................... Brookwood 2.............................Walton 3.......................... Lambert 4..........................Harrison 5............................. Duluth 6....................... Mill Creek 7.........................Parkview 8........................ Campbell 9...........................Lassiter 10.....................Collins Hill

AAAAA Boys

1.........................McIntosh 2................................Pope 3......................Gainesville 4........... Lakeside-DeKalb 5.............. Glynn Academy 6......................Greenbrier 7................ Clarke Central 8.........................Allatoona 9.............. Houston County 10................... Sprayberry

AAAA Boys

1..............................Dalton 2.............................. Grady 3......Johnson-Gainesville 4...............................Perry 5....................... Columbus 6........................Chestatee 7....... Northwest Whitfield 8........Southeast Whitfield 9......................... Spalding 10......................LaGrange

AAA Boys

1........................ St. Pius X 2.............. Woodward Aca. 3..................... Oconee Co. 4................Blessed Trinity 5........................North Hall 6..................North Murray 7.....................Cartersville 8.........................West Hall 9...............Coahulla Creek 10........................East Hall

AA Boys

1................................. GAC 2................... Westminster 3...........................Calhoun 4........................ Wesleyan 5...........................Bremen 6...........Morris Innovative 7.................... Benedictine 8................Murray County 9........................Fitzgerald 10........... Atkinson County

A Boys

1.........Atlanta Int’l School 2.....................Hebron Chr. 3.......... First Presbyterian 4...............Fellowship Chr. 5........Pinecrest Academy 6...................Mount Paran 7............................Paideia 8.......................Darlington 9..........Our Lady of Mercy 10.......................... Walker

AAAAAA Girls

1..........................Harrison 2.......................... Grayson 3.........................Parkview 4.............Peachtree Ridge 5..................... Brookwood 6...........................Lassiter 7.......................Collins Hill 8.............................Walton 9............................. Duluth 10............... South Forsyth

AAAAA Girls

1........................Northgate 2.........................McIntosh 3...................... Starr’s Mill 4................................Pope 5.......... Heritage-Conyers 6..............Flowery Branch 7......................Gainesville 8.......................Loganville 9....................... Northview 10.......................Allatoona

AAAA Girls

1..............................Marist 2......................... Veterans 3....................... Columbus 4....................... Alexander 5.............................. Grady 6......................... Spalding 7...........Heritage-Catoosa 8................................Cass 9....................... Chamblee 10............................. Cairo

Kids’ Tickets $10!

AAA Girls

Good on All Performances

1........................ St. Pius X 2................Blessed Trinity 3......Woodward Academy 4...............Dawson County 5.................... Pike County 6............... Oconee County 7.............................Buford 8.....................Cartersville 9...........................Decatur 10................ White County

Ages 2-12. Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability. Excludes premium seats.

APR. 26 & 27

Buy Tickets: GwinnettCenter.com 888-9-AXS-TIX Venue Box Office

A Girls

1... First Presbyterian Day 2............ Hebron Christian 3..... Providence Christian 4...... Fellowship Christian 5.................... Calvary Day 6............................Paideia 7.............. Holy Innocents’ 8................Pace Academy 9........ Mt. Paran Christian 10.......................... Walker

Sat. 7:30 PM Sun. 2:00 PM

THE ARENA AT GWINNETT CENTER

AA Girls

1..............................Lovett 2................................. GAC 3................... Westminster 4........................ Wesleyan 5...........................Calhoun 6....................St. Vincent’s 7.......................Armuchee 8........................ Jefferson 9.............................Vidalia 10................. Dade County

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AAAAAA Boys

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ARMED AND DANGEROUS FOOTBALL

TOP QB COACH BRINGS HIS CAMP TO GEORGIA FOR THE FIRST TIME BY JAMES REESE

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teve Calhoun is a top five college football quarterback guru according to Bleacher Report. His modest start as a QB in California has taken him from Santa Ana College to New Mexico State, and nearly ten years as a pro in Germany. He ultimately landed in coaching in 2005 and has been at it ever since teaching the art of playing quarterback and receiver as the lead instructor and owner of Armed & Dangerous Football. Calhoun’s pupils hail from all over the country. His prize student at the time happens to be Russell Wilson, yes the Russell Wilson of the Superbowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. His other NFL QB students include – E.J. Manual (Bills), Nick Foles (Eagles), Mike Glennon (Buccaneers), and Terrelle Pryor (Raiders). E.J. Manual says, “Steve pushed me to

new heights in just a few workouts, and told me what I needed to hear, not necessarily what I wanted to hear. That’s what you want from your coach when you want to be great. Armed & Dangerous is the real deal.” Every week Calhoun can be found conducting camps for QBs, WRs, TEs and RBs in and around Southern California. A visit to his website armedanddangerousfootball.com reveals the extent of his training regimen. Because he’s worked with some of the best young QBs in the nation Calhoun is a regular instructor at the Manning Passing Academy each year. Playing QB at the pro, collegiate, high school and middle school level requires one thing – great mechanics. Calhoun provides hands on detail instructions guaranteed to improve your skills. After a brief instruction period students will have a

lot to take home to work with. “Steve Calhoun is a great coach and great friend of mine. His passion and attention to detail in coaching the quarterback position is second to none. To this day I credit a lot of my recent success and work ethic to him”, said Keith Price, University of Washington Huskies QB (2009-13). Calhoun has some connections to the state of Georgia through relatives, Deshaun Watson, Clemson signee and former UGA backup Christian Lemay and has always come out to conduct camps with friends at Riverside Academy in Gainesville each year. For the first time, Calhoun is conducting his own camp entitled The Premiere QB Camp in the Country at Chestatee High School in Gainesville, Georgia April 26 and 27. The camp is designed for middle school (6th – 8th grade) and high school (9th – 12th grade) quarterbacks. Space is limited to 50 QBs in each group. Players are encouraged to register online at http://armedanddangerousfootball.com. When collegiate players are getting ready for the NFL Combine they call Calhoun. Your young QB has a chance to be instructed by the “NFL Combine Ready Coach” don’t miss out. Photos courtesy of Armed and Dangerous Football.


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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

LADY DOGS FALL IN NCAA’S; MEN ELIMINATED FROM NIT BY JOE DEIGHTON | JDEIGHTON@SCOREATL.COM

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he UGA women’s basketball team fell 6757 to Saint Joseph’s in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament on Sunday. Three players scored in double-figures for the Lady Bulldogs, but it was not enough to defeat the Lady Hawks. Georgia trailed by eight points at halftime but took the lead midway through the second half. However, St. Joseph’s proved to be too much down the stretch. Erika Ford led the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Merritt Hempe chipped in with 13 points. Krista Donald scored 10 points and completed a doubledouble with 10 rebounds. The early exit is disappointing, but it came against a quality team. “Give credit to Saint Joseph’s,” head coach Andy Landers told the team’s website. “They came out and seized control of the game and maintained that for the rest of the first half. In the second half, we were able to come back and take the lead. At that point, there were a couple of possessions

GEORGIA STATE

HOOPS TEAM LOOKS FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR BY JAY UNDERWOOD | JUNDERWOOD@SCOREATL.COM

eorgia State head basketball coach Ron G Hunter confirmed that his son, R.J. Hunter, will return to school for his junior season.

There was little chance of the younger Hunter actually departing after this season, and many in the NBA see him as an intriguing prospect who can provide instant offense off the bench. With Hunter and Ryan Harrow both due back next season, the Panthers should expect another outstanding season in the Sun Belt Conference. Manny Atkins and Devonta White are both graduating, so players will need to step up this offseason to improve their game and slide into the starting lineup. GSU compiled a 17-1 regular-season record in the Sun Belt before losing a heartbreaker to LouisianaLafayette 82-81 in overtime with the league title and automatic NCAA Tournament berth at stake. The Panthers then fell to Clemson 7866 in round one of the NIT. BACK TO WORK … Spring practice has started back up and the football team is looking to make prog-

where they got an offensive rebound or we fumbled a ball out of bounds. We were forced to play defense over and over and I think we dissolved. All the hard work we put in to come back went away at that point.” NIT … The men’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament last Wednesday after defeating Vermont at home, 63-56. That is where the road ended for the Bulldogs, as Louisiana Tech eliminated UGA 79-71 at Stegeman Coliseum. J.J. Frazier led the Bulldogs with 15 points, but they dug themselves a hole, falling behind by as many as 26 points. It proved to be an insurmountable deficit. “Obviously we had a terrible start and dug such a big hole that we just couldn’t get all the way out of it,” head coach Mark Fox told Georgia’s website. “I thought we made a lot of mental errors in the first half. Those were very costly because Louisiana Tech has a good team and good teams make you pay for mistakes.” Marcus Thornton and Charles Mann led UGA six rebounds each. Mann also contributed 13 points, while Brandon Morris was the team’s third player in double-figures with 10. Fox’s squad finished the season with an overall record of 20-14 after going an impressive 12-6 in the SEC.

ress this season in the Sun Belt. In their debut conference campaign, the Panthers struggled making the transition. Head coach Trent Miles has refocused on the trenches in an attempt to boost the physicality this season. He has worked on this in the weight room and by focusing heavily on the offensive and defensive lines in recruiting. In the 2014 recruiting class, the Panthers added seven commits who will play in the trenches during their college careers. Miles has also reopened the quarterback battle to promote competition and to get the right man in position to lead this team. Two freshmen will factor heavily in the battle— Emiere Scaife and Nick Arbuckle. There are five junior college transfers who are also fighting for playing time this upcoming season and Miles has made it clear that his players are going to have to earn their positions. SLOW START … The baseball team is 11-14 on the season and has limped to a 1-5 start in Sun Belt play. Nic Wilson is having a fantastic year at the plate, posting a .417 batting average in 25 games as of Wednesday afternoon, while slugging 11 homers and legging out 10 doubles. He is the team leader in RBIs with 33 as well as runs, crossing the plate 25 times. Chase Raffield is also having a strong season with a batting average of .325 in addition to five home runs and 25 RBIs.

GEORGIA TECH

GOLF, BASEBALL TEAMS OFF TO STRONG SPRING STARTS BY VIC TEMPLE | VTEMPLE@SCOREATL.COM

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pring has not been here a full week, but the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are wasting no time celebrating it. This week marks a time of firsts for the golf and baseball teams. A win at the Valspar Invitational Tuesday gave the fourth-ranked Tech golf team its first tournament win of the spring and third overall as it finished 54 holes at 15-under-par 837. Ollie Schniederjans, who is ranked seventh among Golf Magazine’s Top 50 Players to Watch for 2013-14, once again proved why he is one of the best to swing a club. Schniederjans’ win at the Floridian Golf Club earned him medalist honors and pushed his consecutive cards to three. Schniederjans’ 12-under-par score of 201 was enough to squeeze past LSU’s Steward Jolly, who fell short of a tie by two strokes. The win gives Schniederjans entry into next year’s Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour and also makes him the second player in Tech history to win three tournaments in the same year since 2001-02.

KENNESAW STATE

OWLS HOST MASSIVE WALK-ON FOOTBALL TRYOUT BY BRIAN JONES | BJONES@SCOREATL.COM

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he Perch at the KSU Sports and Recreation Center was the place to be last Saturday as 85 students took part in the first-ever football tryout. Led by head coach Brian Bohannon, the potential Owls went through a series of drills including the 40-yard dash, agility drills and position-specific drills during a tryout that lasted two and a half hours. Numerous families and friends came out to support the Owl hopefuls and even some local celebrities made appearances, including former Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves star Brian Jordan and former Falcons quarterback and current 790 the Zone personality Dave Archer. Another notable Atlanta athlete on hand was former Georgia Tech running back Robert Godhigh. He was there to support his brother, Ryan, who is a transfer from Jacksonville State. Ryan stood out from the rest of the group but Bohannon made sure to let everyone know that all the students did a very good job.

ON THE DIAMOND … The baseball team has won eight of its last 10 games with wins against 22nd-ranked Miami and No. 13 North Carolina in consecutive threegame series, both played on the road. On Tuesday, Tech hosted Mercer for its latest installment of $2 Tuesdays. Fans got the chance to pick which uniform color the Yellow Jackets would wear. The winner: blue jerseys by 33 percent. The loser: Tech by 3. Mercer went into the game riding a five-game winning streak and it reached six thanks to a 4-1 victory. Tech has a streak of its own that could have been extended, as the team’s last 11 wins have been of the come-from-behind variety. As for Thomas Smith and Daniel Spingola, their streaks continued. Smith improved his on-base stretch to 19 games and Spingola has hit safely in a career-best 10 consecutive games. SPRING PRACTICE … The Georgia Tech football team held the first of 14 spring practices on Monday in advance of its April 18 spring game. Tech returns a lot of familiar faces – 11 starters (six on offense and five on defense) – and expects back most of the players lost to injury last season, including Jamal Golden. The defensive back suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out all of last year, for which he received a medical hardship and will have two more years of eligibility.

“I told this group of kids that they made history just by being here today,” Bohannon said afterward. “This is the first-ever football tryout in Kennesaw State history. I was pleasantly surprised by the talent level that was out here today. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this, but was surprised and excited by what I saw, and the work ethic and seriousness that they showed. They came here to impress.” The next move for the football team is to reveal the home, away and alternate uniforms later this spring. After that it will get ready for fall practice, which will take place as soon as the new signees and walk-ons arrive on campus. COOLING OFF … The baseball team has been struggling to find wins as it has lost seven games in a row. The Owls got swept by Lipscomb this past weekend and on Tuesday they lost to No. 21-ranked Auburn 10-5 at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala. Kennesaw State fought back from a 6-0 deficit as it cut the lead to one in the top of the sixth. But the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and two more runs in the eighth to put the game away. Max Pentecost was one of the top players for the Owls as he caught three runners stealing to set a single-game school record. He also had two hits in the game to extend his hit streak to nine.


Vol. 10 Iss. 12 | March 28 - April 3, 2014 ATLANTA HAWKS

SUDDEN LOSING STREAK COINCIDES WITH KORVER INJURY BY JAY UNDERWOOD | JUNDERWOOD@SCOREATL.COM

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njuries have hit the Hawks again, this time afflicting Kyle Korver. He has missed the last three games with back spasms as of Wednesday afternoon and Atlanta has dropped all three. In the seven games that the Hawks have played this season without Korver, they are 1-6. While he will never be considered the best player on the team, he is one of the most important. His floor spacing allows the offense to operate at a level it lacks when he is out of the game. Opponents are forced to gameplan around Korver’s ability to knock down the three-point shot. This skill shows up especially as the clock is running down and an opposing defense is obviously shifting toward Korver and completely changing its identity. This allows head coach Mike Budenholzer to either run Korver off numerous screens to open him up for a shot or create so much confusion while the defense is switching that another player can slip to the basket or to an open spot on the floor for

ATLANTA BRAVES

GARCIA GETS THE BOOT; HARANG ADDED BY RICKY DIMON | RDIMON@SCOREATL.COM

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he Braves sent one veteran right-hander packing and added another on Monday. They released Freddy Garcia, a crucial lateseason performer on last year’s team, before signing Aaron Harang a few hours later. Harang is a 12-year veteran who has played on six different teams (not yet counting Atlanta)—including four in the past three years. “We did not want to go into the season with really four young guys (in the starting rotation) and just not have any coverage for them,” general manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “This gives us someone who’s kind of been through the battles, knows what to do, knows how to handle things. Similar to Freddy, but we just felt he was a better fit for us.” If Harang is better than Garcia was last fall, Atlanta may be in business. Garcia, 37, appeared in six games—making three starts— and sported an impressive 1.65 ERA in 27.1 innings. In Game 4 of a divisional-round series

a wide open shot. There are also times when Korver simply stands in the corner on out-ofbounds plays to completely take a defender off the court and limit the amount of potential help defense. The Hawks had won five games in a row prior to the current losing streak. Korver played at least 33 minutes in all five of those contests, drained multiple three-pointers in all five and scored in double-figures every time. ANSWERING THE CALL … DeMarre Carroll has been an underrated performer of late. Since Korver’s injury, Carroll has stepped up his offensive game to get noticed, but he has been doing it on the defensive end all season long. In his last five games, Carroll is averaging 12 points, five assists and almost three steals. He has been knocking down his open three-point looks and wreaking havoc in the passing lanes. His intensity on the wing is what the entire Hawks defense is based around. The Hawks are at their best when they are able to force the extra pass and Carroll has been capitalizing by jumping the pass and creating easy points in transition. His offensive game this past week has turned him into an even more valuable commodity, making his man play closer to him on the wing and facilitating easier passes into the post players.

against the L.A. Dodgers, he allowed only two runs in six innings and was in position to get the win before Atlanta’s bullpen failed to shut the door in a season-ending loss. Harang has been up and down of late. In 2012 he compiled a 10-10 record with a solid 3.61 ERA for the Dodgers before struggling to a 5-12 mark with a 5.40 ERA as both a Seattle Mariner and a New York Met in 2013. Prior to being released by the Cleveland Indians on Monday, the 35-year-old boasted a 2.00 ERA in four games (two starts) during spring training. TRAINING DAYS … The Braves won for the third time in their last four spring training games when they crushed Detroit 12-3 on Tuesday afternoon. Gerald Laird and Jayson Heyward hit home runs and Dan Uggla went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Heyward raised his spring average to .317; Uggla improved his mark to .280. Justin Upton also had a multi-hit performance (2-for-4) and Chris Johnson drove in is 10th run. Newlyacquired righty Ervin Santana got the start and went three innings, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out one. Spring training will soon give way to the real thing. The Braves are set to kick off their 2014 regular-season campaign on Monday at Milwaukee, with Julio Teheran scheduled to face the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo. Atlanta’s home opener does not come until April 8.

ATLANTA FALCONS

FALCONS AWARDED THREE COMPENSATORY PICKS BY CRAIG SAGER II | CSAGER@SCOREATL.COM

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he Falcons received three compensatory draft picks this year, including a fourth-round pick (139th overall) and a pair of seventh-round selections (253, 255). Last season, Atlanta received four compensatory picks after seeing guys like Brent Grimes and Tyson Clabo depart during free-agency. The Falcons’ selected tight end Levine Toilolo with their 2013 fourth-round compensatory selection. The towering 6-foot-8 tight end proved to be a solid pickup as he hauled in 11 receptions for 55 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his rookie season while shadowing Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Only Gonzalez (eight), Roddy White (three) and Jason Snelling (three) scored more receiving touchdowns than the rookie Toilolo last season. Wednesday morning head coach Mike Smith addressed the foot injury that sidelined Julio Jones for the final 11 games of last season with good news. Smith revealed that the Pro Bowl receiver was ahead of schedule and running again. Jones underwent his procedure last October to

GWINNETT GLADIATORS

GLADS SNAP THREE-GAME SKID; ALPHARETTA NATIVE PLAYING WELL BY JOE DEIGHTON | JDEIGHTON@SCOREATL.COM

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he season is winding down for the Gwinnett Gladiators, but that does not mean the team has given up the willingness to compete. Many players are angling for next year and others are simply playing for the sheer pride in their profession. That showed in a 5-4 shootout win at Toledo on Sunday. The Gladiators could have had a defeatist attitude after giving up a tying goal with just 2.8 seconds left in regulation, but they battled hard in overtime to force a shootout. In round five of the shootout, forward Dirk Southern came through with the game-winning goal and the Glads salvaged a victory. Goalie Mark Guggenberger earned his seventh win since joining the team. Guggenberger made 28 saves and stopped four straight shots in the shootout after giving up a goal in the first round. Brenden Walker put Gwinnett on top early in the first period with his 17th goal of the season. To go along with the clincher in the shootout, Southern scored a goal and had an assist in regulation. Marshal

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replace a screw in the middle/outside area of his foot (the fifth metatarsal). MAKING MOVES … Atlanta has been aggressive this offseason and rebuilt the offensive and defensive lines with the re-signing of Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry and Joe Hawley and the additions of free agents Jon Asamoah, Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson. If the aggressive-nature of the free agency period is any indicator of the rest of the offseason, it will not be a surprise to see the franchise making moves on draft day (May 8). According to NFL Insider Adam Schefter, league sources have confirmed that Atlanta is admittedly open to dealing a trade to move up in the draft. Last Friday, the Falcons released 2012 fifthround pick Bradie Ewing. The former Wisconsin fullback was injured his entire rookie season with the Falcons and was sidelined for the 2013 season in Week 2 after injuring his shoulder on a 15-yard reception. Ewing was picked up by Jacksonville shortly after his departure. According to NFLNation, Ewing had two years left on his contract, with cap figures of $616,048 in 2014 and $706,048 in 2015 and his base salary was $570,000 for ‘14 and $660,000 in ‘15. Undrafted rookie Patrick DiMarco proved to be a reliable replacement last season and will likely get the nod for the job this offseason.

Everson added a goal and led the team with five shots. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Gwinnett. HOMETOWN HERO … A native of Alpharetta, Gladiators’ forward Will MacDonald started his rookie season with the Florida Everblades before being signed by the Gladiators on March 6. In the nine games since coming over to Gwinnett, MacDonald has three goals and four assists. In a stretch from March 8 through March 21, he tallied points in five of six games—including a three-point performance on March 8 at Florida. The 25-year old played at Princeton University before joining the professional ranks of the ECHL. NEXT UP … Gwinnett will finish the season series against division rival Greenville with homeand-homes both this weekend and next. The Gladiators will wrap up their current five-game road trip on Friday in Greenville before returning home to face the same foe on Saturday. The rivals will do the exact same thing next weekend in reverse order. Success has not come easy against Greenville this year. The Road Warriors have a 6-2 advantage in the eight games played. They have serious playoff hopes and will be looking to gain some critical points. The Glads are just playing out the string, but they would love to put a dent in their rival’s postseason aspirations.


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