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life is active | APRIL '14

20 under 40


Atlanta, GA Permit #2883



USTA Atlanta Jr. Team Tennis: Be Part of the Team! Summer Season Play Moves to Saturdays The summer season of USTA Atlanta Jr. Team Tennis will now play on Saturdays at 1:00! Registration: March 17-April 14 Regular Season Play: May 24-July 5 City Championships: July 19 For more info visit or Like us on Facebook at Questions? Contact Karen Zuidema at

“Tennis is the sport of a lifetime” USTA Georgia has programs for all ages and abilities. 2



life is active | APRIL






Newborn | Family | Children | Couples | Student | Sport | Commercial | | 770. 217. 0789




First UP Events, Races and Programs in

the Next 45 Days


EXTRAS Short Takes on Events




20 40

UNDER Atlanta, GA Permit #2883




3/31/2014 1:27:27 PM

BACK COVER 91192.2.3.indd 28

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[ 19 ] 20UNDER40



[14] Guide to Creating Active Living Spaces


COVER CREDITs Covers: We had to go with two "front" covers, one for our 20 UNDER 40 feature story photographed by Jonathan Phillips and the second with Archer High School's Newby sisters photographed by Sonny Kennedy.

[12] Experience NG3 [10] the road less traveled Atlanta Rollergirls - Dirty South Derby

This page Archer High School Basketball players Madison Newby (#23) and Autumn (#24). Photography by Sonny Kennedy. More photos at our website.

SCAN THE QR CODE TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND ENTER OUR ONLINE CONTESTS! To get the app reader (i.e. ScanLife), visit your phone’s app store and search QR Code readers. sportsgwinnett sportsgwinnett sportsgwinnett sportsgwinnett sportsgwinnett




Clint Conley and Rico Figliolini C0-PUBLISHERS



Reg is a freelance writer and photographer from Johns Creek, Georgia. He is the author of Jazz Profiles: The Spirit of the Nineties (Billboard Books 1998), which was nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Award for excellence in music writing. He is also the author of Walking Up Lombard: My Long Journey Home (AuthorHouse 2012), a memoir of his journey through major depression and healing. You can find him at


Reg L. Carver Joel Hillsman Matthew Quinn Tori Vogt Abby Wilkerson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Jonathan Phillips Kat Goduco Kathryn Nee Jeannine Smith Sonny Kennedy


Jonathan Phillips has been a professional, award-winning photojournalist for the past 13 years and the owner of JTPhotography . Jonathan was born and raised in Gwinnett County and has seen it change and grow into the bustling metropolitan area that it is today. You can visit his website at





Matthew W. Quinn is a freelance writer from Marietta, Ga. He is also associate editor of The Roswell Current and has edited a weekly newspaper and reported for a daily. An aspiring novelist, he has a book under consideration with two publishers. Crystal D. Garrett, has worked closely with major networks, optioned a television pilot to Warner Brothers, and collaborated with industry heavyweights. She has served as Head Writer for an independently financed sitcom. Her latest feature film was produced by the Viacom / BET Network.

Kathryn is a photographer and owner of Kathryn Nee Photography. An Atlanta area native, Kathryn has been photographing life as art for over fifteen years. Her portfolio can be viewed at Joel is a sports media freelancer covering high school and pro sports since 2009. He is play-by-play announcer and show host for high school football and basketball on NFHS Network covering the southeast and produces game highlights for NBA TV and Turner Sports.




Katherine is an IB Diploma student at Norcross High School. She is a member of the NHS Marching Band and Relay for Life Team.

Tori Vogt MBA is a professional writer and marketing executive based in Peachtree Corners.

Rico Figliolini Advertising Sales

Patti Leach Website Assistant

Katherine Macmanus

SPORTS360GROUP LLC 4305 River Stream Circle, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 678.358.7858


A country girl at heart but metro Atlanta by address, Abby cultivated a lifelong love of sports and writing at the University of Georgia before moving to Gwinnett upon graduation. Abby is a pop culture lover, brakes for yard sales, and an unashamed basher of all non-SEC conferences.


Krystal Cox is mom to 3 girls and 1 boy who have played several sports as part of Shiloh Athletic Association and Gwinnett Angels Travel Softball program. She served as team mom for numerous teams. She has also served on the softball board and is travel program co-founder.


Coming Issues:

Sports Gwinnett Magazine is published once a month by SPORTS360GROUP LLC. Opinions expressed by the contributing writers and editors are not necessarily those of the publishers, editor or Sports Gwinnett. The publisher will not accept responsibility for submitted materials that are lost or stolen. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.

MAY 2014 Ad & Editorial Deadline: APRIL 24, 2014


Š2014 SPORTS360GROUP LLC. The editors welcome submissions and photogrpahy. Please direct them to


Rico Figliolini and Clint Conley



Please email about advertising deadlines and editorial considerations.

Tickets start at just $20*






*Select ticket prices increase 4/14/14. SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE APRIL 2014




FIRST UP Monday, April 14, 2014

Executive Women’s Day Added to Greater Gwinnett Championship Tournament Week

The Greater Gwinnett Championship Presented by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating has added a new event to tournament week, Executive Women’s Day. The attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the business and career experiences of some of the most prominent women leaders throughout the metro-Atlanta community. Topics will include corporate leadership, career growth, economic advancement, and network expansion. The day-long event begins with a speaker panel sponsored by Georgia United Credit Union. Panelists include such prominent local and national businesswomen as Melinda Ashcraft, (retired) President of Six Flags Entertainment; Lee Birdsong, Director Digital Media at Southern Company; Marci Fair, Owner Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners, Founder Kares 4 Kids, Best Selling Author and Mompreneur; Shaunti Feldhahn, Social Researcher and Best Selling Author; and Debbie Smith, President/ Chief Executive Officer of Georgia United Credit Union. The panel will be moderated by television journalist Jovita Moore, News Anchor for Channel 2 Action News. During lunch guests will hear from a keynote speaker, Debra Smithart-Oglesby, Chairman of the Board for Denny's, Inc. To participate, please visit or call 770-232-7872.

Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m.

Five Points of Life Kids Marathon

The Five Points of Life Foundation and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers are hosting the 3rd Annual Five Points of Life Kids Marathon Greater Atlanta. To participate kids, Kindergarten through 8th grade, complete 25 miles, one at a time, during the months


Events, Races and Programs in the Next 45 Days

prior to the marathon, logging each mile on the log sheet. To finish the full marathon kids will run the last 1.2 miles on April 26, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at Coolray Field. All participants will receive a Kids Marathon Greater Atlanta race packet, race number (must be worn on race day), t-shirt and finishers medal. Kids must register in order to participate. Gwinnett Braves, Coolray Field One Braves Avenue, Lawrenceville, GA 30043 Logging miles is not mandatory to participate. To register, visit or call Eric Martin at 1-888-795-2707. Register by April 20 for FREE

Additional Running Events

Saturday, April 26, 7:30 a.m.

ADOPTYULI 5K: Run For Orphans April 19, 2014 Camp Creek Greenway 76 Main Street, Lilburn, GA 30047 5K fundraiser

“Alcohol Free Gets Me …” 5k and Fun Run

The Helping Others Organize Kreative Everyday Differences (HOOKED) Teen Club has planned a 5K and Fun Run event with the goal of bringing attention to underage drinking, encourage peers to thrive and keep adults from providing alcohol to minors. The “Alcohol Free Gets Me …” 5k and Fun Run will be held on April 26 at Tribble Mill Park at 7:30 a.m. during Alcohol Awareness Month, which is also peak prom and graduation season. All proceeds of the race will support the Teen Institute through Gwinnett United In Drug Education (GUIDE, Inc) and the HOOKED Teen Club. “My fellow teens and I feel this race is important because it gives our community a chance to get out on a Saturday morning, meet new people and potentially find a new hobby,” said Kyra Keenan, HOOKED Teen Club President. ”We believe if we give our peers a healthy outlet, they are less likely to drink or get themselves into other forms of trouble.” This race is organized by teens who have chosen to be alcohol free in an effort to show other teens in the community there are peers who support the choice to be alcohol free.



Doggie Dash 5K April 12, 2014 George Pierce Park 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee, GA 30024 Fundraiser to benefit Boston Terrier Rescue of East Tennessee.

Trot to Clot Walk and Run 2014 April 19, 2014 Stone Mountain Park U.S. Highway 78 East, Stone Mountain, GA 30087 For more information: http://www.hog. org/fundraising/page/trot-to-clot-walk-andrun-2014 Grayson Day Road Race April 26, 2014 Grayson Elementary 460 Grayson Pkwy, Grayson, GA 30017 5K and 1 mile fun run. Special awards: elementary fun run and 5K team awards, middle school 5K team award.

USTA Atlanta Jr. Team Tennis Summer Registration Registration Opens 3/17/2014 Registration Closes 4/14/2014 Match Play Begins 5/24/2014 Saturday @ 1pm Regular Season Ends 7/5/2014 Play Offs 7/12/2014 Championships 7/19/2014 Jane Trinkle 404-933-8861, Fiona Hatton 770- 778- 4087 or USTA Atlanta 770-416-4333.


Gwinnett BraveS vs. Elmira, April 9,12

vs. Durham Bulls, April 11-13 vs. Norfolk Tides April 14–15, vs. Charlotte Knights, April 19–21 vs. Lehigh Valley Ironpigs, May 1-4 Coolray Field, One Braves Ave., Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Greater Gwinnett Championship April 16 – 20, 2014 TPC Sugarloaf at Sugarloaf Country Club 2595 Sugarloaf Club Drive, Duluth, GA 30097 The Greater Gwinnett Championship is an official event on the PGA TOUR's Champions Tour. This 54-hole stroke play golf tournament will feature 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse. All three official rounds will be nationally televised on the Golf Channel. 2013 Champion was European star Bernhard Langer! For information or tickets visit

Southeastern Railway Museum Georgia’s Official Transportation History Museum

Gwinnett Senior Golden Games April 3 – May 14, 2014 Venues: Various Gwinnett County Parks, including Rhodes Jordan Park, 100 East Crogan St., Lawrenceville, GA 30043 Gwinnett Parks provide seniors 50 years of age and older with an opportunity to participate in a variety of sports. Event locations vary throughout all Gwinnett County Parks. Please see website for details.

Ride Into History Explore historic locomotives and railroad cars Ride a restored caboose or a nostalgic park train Host an unforgettable party aboard a vintage train car

Norman Parker Elite Showcase April 11 – 13, 2014 Suwanee Sports Academy, 3640 Burnette Rd., Suwanee, GA 30024 Major tournament featuring the very best teams in grassroots hoops. For more information visit

3595 Buford Hwy., Duluth, Georgia | | 770-476-2013 SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE APRIL 2014



THE road less traveled ATLANTA ROLLERGIRLS – DIRTY SOUTH DERBY Written and photography by

Reg L. Carver The Road Less Traveled. is a regular column, where we will take a look at individuals and sports/recreation that are often overlooked by most mainstream sports magazines. We hope you enjoy our detours.


f you are a baby boomer like me, chances are you remember the earlier years of “Roller Derby.” As a kid, I thought there was no more entertaining contact sport. In the 1960’s through the early 1970’s, I spent many Saturday afternoons glued to the television watching bout after bout. I mean, with fit and sexy girls wearing outfits with little more coverage than bikinis skating hard and fast, and hitting and blocking with a “no-holds-barred” attitude, what could have been better?

Like a lot of boys, there was something (I can’t articulate exactly what it was) interesting to me about watching these roller derby girls duke it out on skates. (Of course some things never change. You do realize that in 2009, the Lingerie Football League was formed, right? I know, I know – as of last year, it officially changed its name to the Legends Football League. However, I don’t think much else about the league has been altered.) History of Roller Derby The story goes that the sport of roller derby was invented in the 1930’s by Chicago resident Leo Seltzer. Essentially, roller derby is a skat-


ing race on either a flat or banked track. Scoring is based upon a player known as the “jammer” lapping the opposing team. When not in the “jammer” position, the rest of each team attempts to block the opposing jammer from lapping and thereby scoring. Realizing its potential popularity, Seltzer took his all-female league of teams across the country. As the game forged ahead, the players in the blocking roles started to develop certain moves (becoming known as “whips,” “elbowing,” and “body checking”) to accomplish the blocking tasks. The physical contact became more severe as the sport progressed. Eventually, roller derby became one of the roughest of contact sports. And it also eventually emphasized entertainment over athleticism. With the invention and explosion of television, bouts were aired and became even


more popular. Roller derby enjoyed a long and storied heyday (especially from the 1950’s through the very early 1970’s). But by 1973, with soaring overhead and gas shortages, roller derby came to a sudden halt. Until much later, several attempts to revive the sport proved unsuccessful. Roller Derby’s Comeback In 2001, the sport attempted another revival, and this time it has taken hold. Still mostly comprised of all-female teams, roller derby is now played mostly on flat tracks only. The sport has not only grown in the United States, it is now played all over the world. As the Atlanta Rollergirls’ website states, “Gone are the staged bouts with fixed outcomes, today’s derby combines tough hits and

“My mom is stronger than your dad!”


Celebrating 10 Years of Supporting School Sports

– Author Unknown

showmanship with pure athleticism.” Indeed, the sport now has an international governing body known as the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. (The Dirty South Derby is a founding member of WFTDA.) The Atlanta Rollergirls maintain seven teams, including an All-Star Team that plays at the international level. The teams have a long season (February to September) with international play lasting even longer. The Atlanta Rollergirls’ home games are held at the Yaarab Shrine Center in downtown Atlanta. (Get your tickets early as bouts are regularly sold out.) The teams have a practice facility in Gwinnett County.

Catering parties, sports banquets and events on premise in two event spaces.





835 Lawrenceville/Suwanee Road Lawrenceville Georgia 30043 770-339-0909 www.ottavern. com

Located in Duluth, Lawrenceville Hamilton Mill and Sugar Hill

I recently visited an Atlanta Rollergirls’ practice and scrimmage session. And it certainly is true that roller derby today is much different than I remember it as a kid. The athleticism is top notch, strategy is of premium importance, and safety gear is taken much more seriously. (Sports Gwinnett filmed part of the session and made it the subject of one of its SportsShorts films. You may check it out on Sports Gwinnett’s YouTube Channel.) But one thing about my visit did bring back memories – the team members’ menacing and clever names. Here are a few of my personal favorites – Belle of the Brawl, Jammunition, Queen Loseyateefa, Ida Backoff, and of course, Juggs Judy. As I said, some things never change. Source material (and for more information) – Reg L. Carver is a writer and photographer in Johns Creek, Georgia. You may find him at



Experience NG3


Special for Sports Gwinnett

15 OF


ANY CLAS F S N ew membe rs only

UGA’s football facilities, a 4 day 3 night stay in Fort Walton Beach and a weekend trip to Vegas along with other great experiences and packages. Check out to get your tickets in advance.

G3 will be hosting its 1st annual Experience NG3 banquet on April 26th at Competitive Edge Sports FRONT COVER in Duluth. The night will be SPORTS AND REC IN PEACHtREE CoRNERS filled with unique opportunities ranging from enjoying the A RIVER THROUGH ATLANTA comedic offerings of Tripp & Tyler (www. A DISCUSSION WITH TEAM CHAPLAINS to having various friendly competitions with some local high school athletes. During the evening bids will be taken for some one-of-a-kind items during the live ALSo iNSidE: and silent auction, MAILING PARK EVENTS ■ RUN CALENDAR ■ COMPETiTiVE SHOOTiNg including Vote Online in Our SG50/2013 "Best Of" Reader Survey PERMITa behind 1 the scenes tour at LIFE IS ACTIVE | OCTOBER 2013

Tumbling, Dance, After school care

(with included gym or tumbling class)

Camps 3145 Northwoods Pkwy, Suite 100 Peachtree Corners, GA 30071

(404) 803-1218


Gymnastics teams

(Compulsories through Elite)


ages 1 - 18 years


Atlanta, GA Permit #2883


WWW.SPORTSGWINNETT.COM Tell us who's the best athlete, athletic program, coach, restaurant and more.

NG3 arrived in some Gwinnett County High Schools three years ago. The organization works alongside the coaching staffs of various teams to promote the importance of strong core values, like integrity, accountability, and respect. The NG3 character development program is designed to reach 100% of the student athletes on the team and is custom-fitted to

lifeguard gwinnettcounty parks & recreation

Work at the best aquatic centers in the nation! Training Courses Available All year-round aquatic centers offer training courses throughout the spring.

Make New Friends  Fun Work Environment Winter and Summer Employment Flexible Hours  Competitive Pay Lifeguard Competitions  Save Lives

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the specific needs of each group as identified by the coaches. When given the opportunity to dive deeper, the staff provides chaplain services including bible studies, small groups, one on one mentoring and the like. It is through a constant and consistent presence of genuine care for these student athletes that NG3 forms meaningful relationships between staff and student, enabling true change to take place in the hearts of these young people. Check out Sports Gwinnett's article on the group in our October 2013 issue. Next Generation: Character, Community, Change. That is what NG3 stands for. The whole concept of making a lasting impact in our communities by changing the character of high schoolers is the driving force behind NG3. Five schools are already reaping the benefits of having NG3 staff members on campus, sculpting the next generation into better citizens, leaders, parents and people. You can join the NG3 family by visiting and supporting the Experience NG3 banquet on April 26th.

Our Upcoming Issues Will be Featuring the Following Featues and Guides • Extreme Moms • Extreme Dads • National Bike Month (May) • Guide to Sports Nutrition

• A Guide to Family Sports & Recreation • Adult & Youth Sports Injuries

Stone Mountain Golf Course Junior Camps & Kiddie Kamps Kiddie Kamps - ages 5-8 - $75.00 Tuesday-Thursday - 9:00am-11:00am June 9-11 - July 8-10 - July 22-24 Junior Camps - ages 8-15 - $200.00 Monday-Friday - 9:00am-12:00pm June 9-13th - June 23-27th - July 14-18th - July 28-August 1 Come get in the swing with our Golf Camps! Camps lead by LPGA/US Kids certified professional Heidi Mitchell. We will focus on fitness, fun and golf. For full details on our camps and to register visit or contact Heidi Mitchell at or 678-637-2802.



Guide to Creating Active Living Spaces ►Adapted Living Spaces Adapted Living Spaces is an experienced Atlanta home remodeler that also provides services from refinishing your basement into a rec room and water damage restorations to home adaptations for people with disabilities. 1189 Argonne Way, NE, Atlanta, GA 30324 404-734-7343 ►Rec Warehouse Rec Warehouse has above ground pools, pool supplies and accessories, game tables and college billiard packages. 6440 Dawson Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093 770-709-5760

Helpful Tips When Planning a GameRoom

►Artisan Custom Closets & More 600 Wylie Road, Marietta, GA 30067 678-805-8022

1. Plan out your

square footage: Before you go game room crazy, decide how your space will be used and what you will put in it. Keep in mind that most game tables take up room and that they need a buffer zone around them.

►Atlanta Teak Furniture

►SafeRacks of Atlanta SafeRacks of Atlanta provides overhead storage and organizational products for your garage - to keep things in their place. 404-835-7454

►Cardinal Construction, Inc. These guys are a full service design/build/ remodeling and custom home building firm based in Duluth, Georgia since 1999. It specialize in medium to large-scale remodeling projects, such as additions, attics, exterior renovations, kitchens, screen porches, terrace levels and whole-house remodels. 3221 Hill St #112, Duluth, GA 30096 770-814-7331 ►SportCourt Creating multi-purpose backyard courts, gymnasium floors and tennis courts for residential and commercial uses. Dealer: CBA Sports 3115 Medlock Bridge Road Norcross, Georgia 30071 800-547-7299


►Outdoor Living Spaces 4725 Spot Road, Cumming, GA 30028 770-205-9360 ►Sunbelt Pools of Georgia 3596 Oakcliff Road, Atlanta, GA 30340 770-455-7770

►Howard Brothers Howard Brothers is a great supporter of sports and athletic associations and teams. It is the local power equipment and mower source for the backyard consumer. Get that turf in shape for the summer. Outdoor Power & Hardware 3616 Buford Hwy. Duluth, GA 30096 770-476-3006

5305 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Atlanta, GA 30341 (outdoor) 678-429-2814

►Georgia Awnings

2. Double up: One

way to add more seating is to choose furnishings that can double as storage and seating such as stools and ottomans. You can find them at Target or on eBay and Amazon.

3. Noise control: Game rooms often have higher levels of noise. Minimize the amount of sound escaping your space by adding extra insulation, upgraded framing and even sound panels. Source: Cardinal Construction, Duluth, GA


770-928-1083 ►Leisure Time Decks Leisure Time Decks builds beautiful decks, screen porches, arbors, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces and wood fences. Have that team over and cook-up a storm and enjoy the outdoors. 527 Tom Smith Road SW, Lilburn, GA 30047 678-369-6092 ►The Inside Out

►Watercolors Custom Pools

Outdoor patio seating and dining. 4700 Atlanta Highway (Hwy.9) Alpharetta, GA 678-620-3592

The company can design and build your own oasis that can include, pools, spas, zero entry pools, vanishing edge, lazy river and caves. Watercolors also can create your outdoor kitchen, fire pits, fountains, koi ponds or lap pools. 2988 Winding Way SW, Lilburn, GA 30047 770-978-3894

►Atlanta Flooring Design Cntrs. 3665 Swiftwater Park Drive Suwanee, GA 30024 770-476-8306 ►Concrete Resurfacing Products, Inc 1049-D Industrial Court Suwanee, GA 30024 770-614-5444

►Mirage Pools 4355 Browns Bridge Rd Suite B Cumming, GA 30040 404-991-2877

The Dogs in Your Back Yard

►Leslie Pools Pools supplies, games and accessories. 555 Indian Trl Rd Nw,, Lilburn, GA 30047 770.921.9013 ►Outdoor Advantage LLC The company offers full service landscape maintenance and installation and specializes in high-end residential outdoor lighting. Sometimes providing the an exceptional experience (right.) 1928 Hood Road, Dacula, GA 30019 770-513-1536

Companies like Dacula's Outdoor Advantage not only provide landscape services, but go beyond to provide an experience you and your family would enjoy.

►Hall Design Build Bradley Hall has been in construction in Atlanta since his teens. His company provides remodeling and renovation work from basements to whole-house. 678-283-7530 ►Game and Things Game and Things has a unique collection of billiard tables, home theaters and game room furniture shown in a variety of environments. 6438 Dawson Blvd., Norcross, GA 30093 770-662-8471

►Greater Southern Home Recreation When it comes to table top games check out Greater Southern for shuffleboard, pool tables, pink pong tables, air hockey, poker, foosball, Table Tennis, arcades and so many more - plus, accessories. 5530 Windward Parkway, Suite 210B, Alpharetta, GA 30004 678.240.0007

“If you can Dream it, We can build it”

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Design/Build Services Bathroom, Kitchen Basement, Additions Screen-in Porch, Decks Fire/Water Damage Restoration • Modification for Elderly and People with Disabilities

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Mention Sports Gwinnett



Guide to Creating Active Living Spaces continued

Solterra's Backyard Bocce Ball Court at Atlanta Home Show


backyard bocce ball court designed and installed by Solterra Landscape was featured in the landscape design of the popular SeeThru House exhibit at last weekend’s Spring Atlanta Home Show. Attendees were encouraged to take a break from the show and play a game of bocce ball with friends. Dixie Speck, Solterra CEO and Lead Designer commented, “Bocce ball is becoming increasingly popular in Atlanta. It’s a fun, social game that can be enjoyed by all ages—from very young children to elderly senior citizens. Several attendees commented that this was their first time playing bocce ball and how they would love to create a court in their own backyard.” Speck went on to say, “The Atlanta Home Show is the largest Home Show in Georgia and people come from all over the Southeast to gather and take ideas home. Solterra’s goal was to create a beautiful outdoor environment that was unexpected— something to get the creative juices flowing

of show attendees who stopped by. Based on the smiles, laughter, and comments, we achieved our goal with the bocce ball court.” The 6000-year-old game of bocce ball is second only to soccer as the most played sport in the world. In an interview on FOX 5’s Good Day Atlanta, HGTV’s celebrity landscaper Ahmed Hassan gave a shout-out to Solterra’s exhibit and said, “People love bocce ball.” That is certainly true in Atlanta. Public bocce ball courts can be found in nearly twenty metro Atlanta parks and restaurants. Midtown’s Piedmont Park opened two crushed granite bocce ball courts in 2010. Bocce ball leagues are the latest manifestation of this social sport. Atlanta senior centers host tournaments and faceoff against other senior centers. The Atlanta Bocce League holds eight-week seasons that attract young professionals interested in meeting new people and playing with friends. In April, the bocce ball league season begins for All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD), an Atlanta-based advocacy group that connects people with developmental disabilities to those without. Bocce ball courts are becoming more common as amenities offered by Atlanta neighborhoods. A home owner association (HOA) board member attending the Atlanta Home Show said, “We have a common area in our neighborhood where nothing will grow. A bocce ball court is the perfect solution to enhance the beauty of our common area and add another fun activity for the residents in our community.”

Court Side at Home

There are companies that can make your dream court come true. For example, VersaCourt and SportCourt have a Norcross-based company [CBA Sports] that installs their products. (photos left



and above.) VersaCourt and SportCourt are examples of just two companies with products that can turn your backyard or neighborhood clubhouse

into a multi-court experience for you and your family.

The only good thing about

CONCUSSIONS is that they can be

T R E AT E D . Knowing the facts could save your athlete’s life. Recognition and proper management of concussions when they first occur can prevent further injury or even death. Most athletes can safely return to play after a concussion, but must recover at their own rate. The Concussion Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth is the first facility of its kind in the Southeast, and its experts help athletes return to the field as quickly, and as safely, as possible. Learn more about concussions and how to protect your athlete. Download A Parent’s Guide to Concussion Care at

Transforming Healthcare

gwinnettcounty parks & recreation

1, 2, 3k



Friday, April 25

Run begins at 8:00pm, on-site registration 7:00pm It’s glow time! Join us for a glow in the dark 3K Fun Walk/Run with a FREE movie to follow. 3K fee – $10/person

Ages 5 – under are free; all ages welcome Includes 1 T-shirt, 2 glow sticks and 3Ks of fun! Pre-registration recommended to guarantee T-shirt Proceeds benefit the Gwinnett Parks Foundation Health & Wellness Scholarship Fund.

Scan the QR code to Pre-register online!

Alexander Park 800 Old Snellville Hwy Lawrenceville 30044

770.822.8869 Event Parking

Ingleside Presbyterian Church & Crews Middle School 1000 – 1001 Old Snellville Highway Lawrenceville, 30044



20 under 40 20 Persons Under 40 Who Have Made Significant Contributions To Sports And Recreation In Gwinnett County Compiled and edited by Sports Gwinnett Staff


winnett County has a long and storied history of great athletes with remarkable and even unprecedented athletic achievements. For many years, athletes, coaches, trainers, parents, siblings, and unsung volunteers have devoted countless hours to sports and recreation in general and the specific athletic achievements of many.

Rico Figliolini, Sports Gwinnett’s Publisher, first proposed the idea of paying tribute to 20 individuals under 40 years of age who, in recent years and up to the present, have contributed (and contribute to this day) to both the tangible and intangible qualities that make sports and recreation so special in Gwinnett County.

The list of athletic greats goes way back and remains in full stride to this day. In the 1930’s through the 1950’s, the world witnessed the amazing boxing career of the great Ezzard Charles. Known as the “Cincinnati Cobra,” Charles was actually born in Gwinnett County. He was a World Heavyweight Champion and the only man to ever take Rocky Marciano a full 15 rounds.

Sports Gwinnett made a call for nominations from the public. The response was tremendous. In addition, the magazine made a few editorial nominations of its own. Then, together, the Sports Gwinnett staff selected its final 20. (Making the final selections was not an easy task. The staff could have easily chosen at least one hundred – truthfully, many more.)

David Greene was also born in Gwinnett County. Holding for a time the record as the winningest quarterback in NCAA Division I football (winning 42 games in four seasons for the Georgia Bulldogs in the early 2000’s), Greene also went on to play in the NFL.

This is not a list of individuals whom Sports Gwinnett considers to be Gwinnett County’s 20 best athletes under 40. For obvious reasons, such a list would be impossible to compile. And there is no particular order or rank Sports Gwinnett lists its 20UNDER40. In short, this is no more and no less than what it purports to be – a subjective compilation of 20 individuals of note under the age of 40 in the broad field of athletics and recreation in, from, or having some significant connection to Gwinnett County.

And Gwinnett County is also the birthplace of Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau. Competing for the U.S. Olympic Team in both 2008 and 2012, Shanteau won a gold medal in 2012 in London. Indeed, one could go on and on about the many great athletes and athletic feats of those from Gwinnett County. And many great athletes, although not born in Gwinnett County, have strong ties to the area in one way or another. Countless individuals with connections to Gwinnett County have shown great passion and interest in sports and recreation in Gwinnett County. And these individuals have collectively shaped the county into a place of athleticism at its finest.

Sports Gwinnett is proud to announce its 20UNDER40 for 2014. Congratulations to each of you for your achievements and meaningful contributions to sports and recreation in a mecca for sports – a small community we know as Gwinnett County.



20 under Sister Cornerstones Of Archer High School 40 Ladies Basketball Madison Newby and Autumn Newby


pecial talents come along every so often. The Archer High Lady Tigers basketball program currently has two gems helping them rise fast on the basketball scene. Madison and Autumn Newby are those gems. This year, the teenage sisters (born 18 months apart) led the program to its first-ever state championship game – and in only Archer High’s fifth season. The outcome wasn’t what either wanted, but their performances (combining for 41 of Archer’s 62 points) put everyone on notice that the Archer High Lady Tigers will be a threat next season. And the Newby sisters will be its cornerstones. Archer has been successful winning state championships in softball and wrestling in recent years. And the football team recently won its first-ever playoff game. That success has pushed the Newbys to want a piece of the championship pie for the girls’ basketball team. “All the other teams were always getting the parades and pep rallies, so we wanted basketball to get something. We wanted to see how everyone responded to us making to it to the championship,” Madison said. While there was no championship parade this year, people began to take notice after the squad clinched a spot in the title game. The “late notice” did not sit well with Autumn. “People began to hop on our bandwagon, but we were asking where they were before we were in the state championship,” she said. With one title game under their belt, the Newbys will continue the hard work and sacrifice to try to make another strong run this year. “We practice two hours each day during the season, and train at least twice a week regardless,” Autumn said. “In 8th grade I was a big scorer and did everything, [so] coming in as a freshman it wasn’t very hard to fit in with everyone else. I’m versatile, so I was able to spread out my game with points, rebounds and assists. As a team we were not selfish.”

me, but I accepted my role. We worked as a team, we worked really hard and we all had one goal,” Madison (now a junior) said. “I don’t really care about how many points a game I get - I just care about the bigger picture of winning. I just want to make the basketball play to help us win.”

Although clearly the “headline” players, the girls still struggle in acknowledging the depth of their accomplishments this past season. Head coach Ryan Lesniak informed Autumn that she was the leading scorer and rebounder, while noting that Madison was the team leader in assists. Both were surprised at their stats. “Really?… What?” Autumn said, as a joyous Madison uttered “Yeaaah boy!”


They would have it no other way.

“We’re like a “power team” - we bring positive energy, uplift our team and we make people around us better,” Madison stated about her and Autumn’s influence on the team. Prior to this past season, Autumn made the 2017 ESPNW Hoop Gurlz recruiting watch list. She finished the season averaging 12.7 points per game, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.6 blocked shots. Meanwhile, Madison finished with 10.6 points per game, 2.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.4 steals. She has committed to Georgia State University. Both made the Gwinnett Daily Post All-County first-team, while Lesniak was named its Girls Coach of the Year. “[Coach Lesniak] is a father figure. He pushes us to be better, but he doesn’t do it in a negative way,” Madison said about her coach. Autumn felt much the same way, and noted, “He’s calm, lets you work through your mistakes. He’ll tell you where you’re wrong and help you not do it the next time.”

Outside of hoops, the Newbys enjoy lots of the same things most teenagers do, but they do have differing interests. They do not differ, however, on their appreciation of the support of their parents, coaches and community. Their father, Vance, is a former high school basketball Madison, the older of the two, helped Archer player and constantly is helping them improve win three playoff games before her sister joined their skills. Their mother, Peaches, keeps the girls’ the team. She had more of an adjustment to high focus on the positive, no matter the outcome of school than Autumn. “My role changed from scorer any particular game. to being a true point guard. It was different for


With the dedication of their parents, coaches, and the Archer community, the Newby sisters may prove unstoppable in their quest to take the Archer High Lady Tigers to new heights in the 2014-15 season. And along the way, Madison’s and Autumn’s spirit, drive, and will to win will make the ride fun.

Photography of the Newby sisters by Sonny Kennedy, Sonny Kennedy Photography.



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Chase Hodges

with the 2013 season, building the program from scratch. As you might imagine, he is off to a quick start. With the Grizzlies’ 2014 preseason NAIA rankings (No. 5 for men’s team, and No. 20 for the women’s), Coach Hodges has now led seven different collegiate programs to a national ranking.

with a perfect 13-0 record, as well as guiding Creekland Middle to an undefeated regular season in 2007-08 (Western Division Runner-Up), Western Division Champions and County Runner-Up in 2011-12, an undefeated regular season again in 2012-13, and Western Division Runner-Up again Coach Hodges is chosen for 20UNDER40 for his this year. immediate impact on Gwinnett County’s budding “I would be lying if I said I didn't love to win,” tennis program. He adds, “It is an honor to be laughed Heil. “I have been very fortunate over my chosen for 20UNDER40. Gwinnett County has such career to coach some very talented kids and we rich tradition athletically and I feel lucky to play have had a lot of success. But more than winning I a role in the tennis aspect here in Lawrenceville. love the relationship that I build with my players.” My commitment to GGC tennis is to deliver a men’s Heil now gets to enjoy Gwinnett County sports and women’s program that the entire Gwinnett on yet another level: watching her sons, Cade (14) community can rally around and take pride in.” and Dane (4) play ball.

Amanda Heil C

“I have so enjoyed watching this county grow since I was a kid,” said Heil. “When I graduated from North Gwinnett we were division AAA, and since then this county has exploded.” “The talent, especially in girls’ basketball, has been incredible. Every year I talk to my students about Maya Moore and how she came through the Collins Hill cluster. It is an amazing county to work and coach in.”

hase Hodges holds the distinction of being the first-ever head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Georgia Gwinnett College. He came to GGC in 2013 with 15 years' experience as a collegiate tennis coach, holding distinguished records at all collegiate levels.

Christine Greenfield

As you might imagine, Coach Hodges was not always a coach, but began the game as a player. He played two years of college tennis at North Carolina State University and finished his remaining collegiate playing career at UNC-Wilmington. He earned his bachelor’s degree at UNCW in 1998, and three years later his master’s degree while he worked with the UNCW tennis team as a graduate assistant. Coach Hodges began his formal collegiate coaching career by serving as head coach (of both manda Heil is the ultimate product of the men’s and women’s teams) of both Longwood Gwinnett County Public Schools. Raised in SuUniversity in Farmville, Virginia (2002) as well as wanee, Heil graduated from North Gwinnett High the University of North Carolina-Asheville (20022005). Under his tenure, he led both schools to their School in 1997 after lettering four years in both softball and basketball for the Bulldogs, continuing first rankings in each school’s history. on to play softball in college. But what to do after From 2005 to 2009, he was head tennis coach college days were over? at Drake University, leading his teams to either “I have had a love for sports since I was a regular season or conference tournament titles small child, and when my playing days were over each season. During his time at Drake, he was I found another passion in coaching,” said Heil. “I named Missouri Valley Coach of the Year three times. Under his coaching, Drake’s tennis team also have wanted to teach and coach since I was a kid. When I was a teenager I started reading books achieved the highest ITA national ranking in the school’s history, and at one point, held the nation’s on Pat Summit and John Wooden and was always so impressed with the impact they made on their longest regular seasons' winning streak of 42 players.” matches. Moving to Georgia in 2010, Coach Hodges was “My high school basketball coach [Phil Hall, North Gwinnett] probably had the most impact on the head tennis coach at Division I Georgia State me as a player. I saw his passion for the game, University. During his three-years’ tenure at GSU, he inherited a team with a previous record of 1-20, his players, and his passion to win, and I wanted and turned it into a great program, setting a school to do the same thing.” record with 21 victories in 2011 and following that Heil has coached middle school basketball with 20 more wins in 2012. During these years, within Gwinnett County Public Schools for ten Coach Hodges was named the Colonial Athletic years, serving as the Creekland Middle School Association Co-Coach of the Year in April 2012. basketball coach for the last seven. She has had exceptional success as a head coach, helping Georgia Gwinnett College named Hodges its Sweetwater Middle School become the Gwinnett head men’s and women’s tennis coach beginning County Eastern Division Champions in 2004-05





winnett County Parks & Recreation’s Aquatics Coordinator, Christine Greenfield, epitomizes the spirit of aquatics – not only with respect to Gwinnett County and its citizens, but also in all of Georgia. She is a true product of the Gwinnett County system and has become the heart of its Aquatics Section. Christine became a certified lifeguard in 1996, and over the course of her career, she has served as a lifeguard, assistant pool manager, pool manager, recreation leader, and now serves in her current role of Aquatics Coordinator. Christine serves outside her duties with Gwinnett County as well. She is an active Instructor Trainer with the American Red Cross, and has been personally responsible for the training of countless

– the combination of enthusiasm, ingenuity, and “can do” spirit – and Gwinnett County is truly blessed by having him here.

lifeguards and water safety instructors. She is also active in the Aquatics Section of the Georgia Recreation & Parks Association (GRPA) (of which she has been a member for over ten years), and is active each year in its annual lifeguard competition. She is in charge of the GRPA Lifeguarding Team, which includes playing an active role in the selection of team members. Christine played a key role in the development of Gwinnett Aquatics Section’s “Guard of the Week” program, which recognizes staff members going above and beyond the call of duty. She is also responsible for the Aquatic Section’s job/ recruitment fair, which Gwinnett County holds annually to ensure it provides the best lifeguards available for those who use Gwinnett’s aquatics facilities. Aquatic sports and recreation (and participants at its Gwinnett facilities) are in good hands under Christine. Says Christine, “I truly enjoy my work and the challenges it brings to me each day. The people I work with are an amazing team, and together we make a huge impact on the quality of recreation provided to the citizens of Gwinnett County.”

Stacy Fowler

Stacy Fowler is the Adult Athletics Coordinator for Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation. He has always embraced the popularity of adult sports in Gwinnett County. Since graduating college in 1997 and beginning an internship with Gwinnett

County, Stacy has handled all aspects of running the county’s adult athletics – from scheduling each season to coordinating trophies. Impressing everyone in his path, Stacy was hired just a year later, 1998, as a Recreation Leader to assist with all adult softball, adult basketball, and adult volleyball programs. Frankly, Stacy knows the “ins and outs" of adult sports and recreation at the local, district, and state levels. And Stacy has paid his dues. When the first Youth Athletic Association in GCPR dissolved, Stacy was there to pick up the pieces. He also almost single-handedly rebuilt youth sports in west Gwinnett County, when demographics began changing rapidly. In January 2008, with the opening of the new “state-of-the-art” Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center, Stacy was promoted to Program Supervisor and oversaw not only Mustang Athletics, but the entire 24,450 square feet center, complete with a gymnasium, walking track, community room, dance studio, and classrooms. His promotions continued regularly, and he has turned the Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center into a “home away from home” for the community.

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Photography of Christine Greenfield and Stacy Fowler by Jeannine Smith with PortraitSnap/

Courtney McLane

Stacy has held his current position since September 2009. And he has steadfastly been upgrading adult athletics ever since, including upgrading the softball program, initiating a new user-friendly website, and greatly enhancing Gwinnett County’s adult athletic “word of mouth” reputation. And along the way, he was instrumental in helping Georgia Gwinnett College find a home for several intramural sports. Lastly, but certainly not least, are Stacy's recent accomplishments relating to the notions of safety and fundamental fairness in sports. Noticing that some players were using altered bats, Stacy convinced the county to purchase the same machines used by the NCAA to test all bats to ensure uniformity. Gwinnett County was first in the state to adopt the policy in recreation league play. Not content to stop there, Stacy brought the issue to the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, and the policy has been adopted statewide. It would be truly difficult to articulate Stacy’s personal commitment and the extent of his contributions to Gwinnett County sports and recreation. A Stacy Fowler does not come along very often


ourtney McLane has accomplished more in her mid-twenties than most folks could do in two to three lifetimes. And just like all persons of true accomplishment, she is as genuine and kind as you could ask of anyone. Frankly, Courtney is the type of person all would aspire to be. A two-sport varsity athlete for all of her four years at Brookwood High School (tennis and basketball), she never lost a tennis match in high school. During her senior year (2007-2008), she was ranked as number 1 USTA G18 tennis player in Georgia, as number 5 in the South, and number 46 in the United States. Among other accolades



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during high school, she was named three times by the Gwinnett Daily Post as the Female Tennis Player of the Year, and received the same award twice from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Along the way, she graduated from high school with a 3.96 GPA. Upon graduating in 2008, she attended the University of Alabama where she was a member of its tennis team. The accolades continued. Just to name a few, she was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year two years in a row (2011 and 2012), and in those same years was also named an NCAA Academic All-American. During her senior year, she was a finalist for the Paul W. Bryant Award. She earned a degree in management and now lives in Lawrenceville. In reflecting on her high school and college tennis years, Courtney credits her parents and peers as a part of her success. She noted, “With both parents being coaches at Brookwood, I was practically raised in Gwinnett sports and loved every minute of it. Playing in such a competitive county against some of the best athletes in the state certainly prepared me for a successful career at the University of Alabama.”

David Greene

County’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year, made the Georgia Sports Writers Association AAAA AllState honor, was named All-State in Class AAAA, the Georgia Touchdown Club's Quarterback of the Year, as well as the Atlanta Touchdown Club’s Quarterback of the Year. And after his senior season (2000-2001), he played in the Georgia-Florida All-Star game.

Wolff, soccer star since his prep days. As team captain, he led the Panthers to back-to-back state championships his sophomore and junior years, as well as a 57-game winning streak. Josh scored 64 career goals at Parkview High, was named Georgia’s High School Soccer Player of the Year in 1995, and United States’ Youth Player of the Year in 1998.

Upon graduating high school, his career became downright unbelievable. Playing quarterback for the University of Georgia, he was named SEC Freshman of the Year, and the same year was voted SEC Offensive Player of the Year. He was the 2002 SEC Championship Game MVP and led his team to the 2002 Sugar Bowl victory. In 2004, he was a Johnny Unitas Golden Award finalist, and finished his college years as a Top 5 ranked Quarterback in NCAA Division I history and, at the time, the winningest quarterback in Division I college with 42 wins in four years.

Playing three years at the University of South Carolina, he led the Gamecocks to two straight NCAA tournament appearances. He was also named to Soccer America’s All-Freshman team, and was an Academic All-American during college.

Greene was drafted in the NFL in 2005 by the Seattle Seahawks. In his NFL career, he played for the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Indianapolis Colts. Having made it all the way to the top of sports, Greene is humble about his accomplishments. Notes Greene, “It’s truly an honor to be on the list of 20UNDER40. Gwinnett County is one of the most competitive and [has some of the most talented athletes] in the entire country. It’s remarkable when you look at the number of athletes from Gwinnett who have [Olympic] gold medals, various championships, Super Bowls, Heisman Trophies, etc. Because the coaching and competition being so good in Gwinnett County, it truly gives us athletes a “leg up” when going to the next level.”

f you live anywhere in Georgia, or follow football even casually, you know of David Greene. The 2012 inductee into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame has had one of the most storied sports careers in Gwinnett County. From Snellville, David attended South Gwinnett High School where he was a star in both football (quarterback) and baseball (outfield). Sports Gwinnett simply does not have room in this piece to list the many honors and awards he has received. Suffice it to say, David Greene brought his best to sports and Gwinnett County is proud as a peach of this fine young man. Again, too many to mention, there are some that just cannot be missed. At the high school level, for football he has been named Gwinnett



Playing professional soccer for both US and European teams, his professional career spanned from 1998 to 2012. He played for the Chicago Fire, Kansas City Wizards, 1860 Munich (Germany), and D.C. United. He completed his professional career with 80 goals, 49 assists, and played in an astonishing 267 games. In addition to professional league play, Josh was a member of the US National Team in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He was also an Olympian, playing for the US National Team, where he was the team’s leading scorer during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Josh retired from play after the 2012 season. But he is still very active with Major League David Greene reached the highest of levels. Soccer. He joined the D.C. United coaching staff Indeed, he may have won too many awards to in 2012, and as of November 2013, he now is an count, but no one can ever take away a single one. assistant coach with MLS’s Columbus Crew. His sports career is one for the history books. Josh was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. His outstanding play over the years reveals the true nature and commitment of Gwinnett County’s sports programs – it supports all sports, and not just those whose roots and traditions are based in the United States.

Josh Wolff I

Upon completion of his junior year of college, Josh began a career in Major League Soccer. Starting with the Chicago Fire (where he played from 1998-2002), both he and Jeff Cunningham set what were at the time rookie scoring records, scoring 8 goals in just 14 games. The Chicago Fire won the MLS Championship in 1998. He also played a role in winning three US Open Cup Championships.


riginally from Stone Mountain, another Parkview High School standout is Josh

Kibwe Johnson Terri Slide

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me, and also began stopping by my classroom.” Specifically, many of Slide's players began to stop by her classroom to say hello to her and her students. Several of them began to volunteer to help with various things in her class. “To see the interaction between my students and the players was wonderful. One year, I was even able to have one of my students help out as a team manager.” “As much as I love coaching basketball, it has been most rewarding for me to have my players form relationships with my students.” Photography of Terri Slide courtesy of Peachtree Portraits, Inc.

Kibwe has excelled in both United States and international competition. With respect to the USA Championships, he has been outstanding for many years. Making his debut in 2006, he was the 2006 Indoor runner-up, the 2007 Outdoor runner-up, and came back to win first place again in the 2008 Indoor. He is a two-time Outdoor winner - for years 2011 and 2012. With respect to international competition, he was the 2007 Pan Am Games (Rio de Janeiro) runner-up, and a gold medalist in the Pan Am Games (Guadalajara) in 2011. He is a Pan Am Games record holder in the hammer throw at 89.63 meters. Kibwe is also an Olympian, representing the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Perhaps USA Track & Field sums him up best, noting that Kibwe “has established himself as one of the nation’s top hammer throwers after recording one of the top two throws in the country in seven of the last eight years.” [] As of this writing, Kibwe is steadfastly training for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At age 32, he remains at the top of his game.


love of people, teaching, and sports allowed Terri Slide to bring groups of students together who might never have crossed paths.

Louis Williams

Slide serves as the head coach of the eighth grade girls' basketball team at Dacula Middle School. She is a product of the Gwinnett County school system, having attended Benefield Elementary, Sweetwater Middle, and Berkmar High schools before receiving a full scholarship and playing basketball for four years at Georgia Southwestern State University while earning her undergraduate and Masters degrees, both in special education. “After I finished playing basketball in college, I never dreamed of coaching basketball. It was something that just fell into my lap,” said Slide. “Now, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. For four months out of the year my life revolves around the twelve girls that make up my team. We practice every day and I also offer additional individual shooting practices in the mornings for any players who would like to take advantage of the opportunity for shooting tips.” Slide is also involved with the sixth and seventh grade teams, providing the opportunity to help develop the younger girls that will one day play for her. She also assists with the Dacula High School open practices for both middle and high school girls during the summer, in an effort to bridge the two programs and have cohesiveness between the two schools. Currently in her thirteenth year of coaching, Slide also teaches students with severe and profound disabilities.

Photos taken by Keith Allison use under Creative Commons® Use


nother inductee to the 2014 Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame, Kibwe Johnson graduated from North Gwinnett High School in 1998, where he excelled in track and field. His specialty is the hammer throw, switching his focus from the discus while attending the University of Georgia. (In the hammer throw, the athlete swirls inside a circle – with speed being of utmost importance – and releases a roughly 16-pound ball.) The hammer throw is an historic track and field event, and Kibwe is one of the all-time best of its competitors.


ouis Williams is one of the most accomplished athletes in Gwinnett County history. Still active in his chosen sport – basketball - he has been playing in the NBA for eight years, and is currently a guard with the Atlanta Hawks. Louis was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. The accolades and awards started as a youngster and there is no end in sight at the moment. He attended South Gwinnett High School, where he was a four-time All-State player. Louis led South Gwinnett to the AAAAA Georgia State Championship, and through high school averaged 27.5 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and 5.2 assists per game.

Louis was named Georgia’s “Mr. Basketball” in both his junior and senior high school years. His senior year, he was named to the McDonald’s “Before I started coaching, I did not know many of the regular education students at Dacula All-American East team, and in the same year received the highly prestigious Naismith Youth Middle. As a special education teacher, our class Player of the Year Award, which recognizes the is very involved and our daily schedule is very different than the rest of the school,” remembered best high school basketball player in the United States. He maintains the distinction of being the Slide. “During my first year of coaching, I was second all-time leading scorer in Georgia high shocked when I would walk down the hall and students would say "Hi, Coach Slide.” So many of school basketball history. the regular education students were recognizing




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Upon graduating high school, he was briefly destined for the University of Georgia. But as fate would have it, he declared himself eligible for the 2005 NBA Draft, and was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. At the end of the 2007-2008 season, he became an unrestricted free agent, and re-signed a five year deal with the 76ers. In July 2012, Louis signed with the Atlanta Hawks. Despite suffering a torn ACL last year while playing against the Brooklyn Nets, he remains active with the Hawks this season.

Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl Championship team, and the same year was honored with making the Pro Bowl. He was awarded the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award in 2010, his final season of play. After completing his playing days, in 2013 Jon was television analyst for the Saints’preseason games.

Just like his brother, Matt, Jon is a remarkable young man, and has made significant contributions to the sport of football – from his Parkview High days, at UGA, and in the NFL. He represents the best in terms of both giving one’s Louis remains a strong supporter of Gwinnett all, as well as sportsmanship. County athletics and its youth. He hosts an annual Notes Jon, “Gwinnett County has proven summer camp at South Gwinnett High School for year after year to be the home to some of the youngsters ages 10 to 16. And in 2007, he founded best teams and athletes in the country. It is truly the Lou Williams Foundation, which encourages an honor to be singled out and recognized on the students to strive for high scholastic achievement. 2014 20UNDER40 list.”

Jon Stinchcomb Matt Stinchcomb


ike his older brother, Matt, Jon Stinchcomb has made the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into its 2014 class on May 9. He played football for Parkview High School and helped lead the Panthers to the 1997 Georgia state football championship. The same year, Jon was named a USA Today and Parade High School All-American.


att Stinchcomb is another of Sports Gwinnett’s 20UNDER40 with a sports career that is almost unbelievable. He was inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. And like some of the other athletes featured in this article, his list of awards and honors is so impressive that you could not blame him to be embarrassed to see it in print. After high school, Jon attended the University But Sports Gwinnett is here to showcase Gwinnett County’s best. With 20UNDER40, the goal is to of Georgia where he was an offensive lineman spotlight those who give their all to something. With and four-year starter (1998-2002). Jon was a member of the 2002 SEC championship team, and that said, here are a few things you should know about Matt Stinchcomb. the same year he was named an All-American. He also was a semi-finalist for the 2002 Lombardi Matt was a star in football from the beginning. Award (which recognizes the best lineman/lineHe attended Parkview High School (as did his backer in the United States.) brother, Jon) and played for the great coach Cecil Flowe (who recently announced his retirement). Matt Jon entered the NFL in 2003 as the 37th overall pick by the New Orleans Saints. He played was named a USA Today High School All-American in eight seasons in the NFL, all with the Saints, where 1994. he played both center and right tackle. During his After high school, Matt attended the University NFL career, he started 80 consecutive games over of Georgia. He played football there where he was a period of five seasons. a three-year starter (1996 – 1998) and is UGA’s Earning more than his share of accolades and Varsity Football Permanent Captain. Playing tackle, Matt was an athletic and academic All-American honors, Jon was named the New Orleans Saints’ in both 1997 and 1998. He was named to the First 2008 Man of the Year. He was a member of the

Team SEC All-Decade Team, and was a finalist for the 1998 Lombardi Award (which recognizes the best lineman/linebacker in the United States.) While at UGA, Matt did not spend all his time concentrating on football. He graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.96 GPA) with a BBA in Finance. In 2009, he was awarded the University of Georgia’s Circle of Honor, the highest distinction UGA bestows on a student athlete. Matt entered the NFL in 1999 as the 18th overall pick by the Oakland Raiders. He remained in the NFL for seven seasons, with the Oakland Raiders (where he played in the 2003 Super Bowl) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Matt’s playing days are behind him. But he remains active in counseling young athletes to make good choices in their lives. He is also a college football analyst for ESPNU and the SEC Network.

Zach Galla


uwanee’s Zach Galla, at age 13, is already a veteran of rock climbing. He has been competing at the national level since age 10. Notes his coach, Arian Bates of Adrenaline Climbing, “It only took one trip to a birthday party at Adrenaline Climbing to hook [then] seven-year-old Zach Galla onto his new favorite sport of rock climbing.” Indeed, to say that Zach is a gifted and hardworking climber would be quite the understatement. Within a very short time of taking up the sport, he began winning competitions all across the Southeast. And upon winning a climbing competition in Atlanta that included youth as well as adults, MadRock Climbing (a climbing gear company) came calling, and Zach is currently sponsored by the company for shoes and gear. Just last year, Zach competed in the Youth USA National Climbing Championships (all competitors under 18 must compete in the youth division). The several days event came down to the top 10 competing on the final day for the coveted four spots on the USA National Climbing Team. And guess what happened? Zach made the mark – he is a member of that prestigious team – again, at age 13.

Nathan Steele, owner of Adrenaline Climbing, states [football and baseball] at my school, and compete that Zach “is a driven young man.” But despite on a daily basis with the top players in Gwinnett his skills and drive, he still understandably gets County.” nervous before a climb. Coach Arian Bates observes, “As Zach approaches the wall, I can see the stiffness in his movements. He’s nervous. But as he ties into the rope and casts off up the wall, all nervousness seems to disappear. He becomes one with the rock climb, making each move more fluid than the last. His grace on the wall appears effortless.” Perhaps Zach himself best sums up the sport of rock climbing. He points out that rock climbing requires flexibility – both literally and figuratively. Says Zach, “Climbing takes a lot of persistence. The best climbs are the ones that you don’t get on the first try. You have to figure it out and always believe that it can be done.” Who knows how high Zach Galla will climb in his chosen sport?

Madison Kerr

Nick Marquez M


ick is not only a standout at Brookwood High, he has gained national recognition in both football and baseball. With respect to football, he is a four-time FBU Top Gun participant as both kicker and wide receiver. (Football University “is an invitationonly experience for the serious football player . . . founded as a premier educational football camp for an elite class of football players . . . . FBU’s faculty includes more than 100 NFL and collegiate players and coaches.”) [] Also excelling in baseball, for the past three years Nick has played in Orlando, Florida on a Stars and Stripes Baseball Team, and has been invited this year to join its National Summer/Fall Team. Despite the constant juggling of his sports’ schedules, Nick still finds time to give back - assisting with coaching and training of younger athletes. But he knows his limited time will soon become even more limited. Colleges have started calling, and soon he will have to choose one sport. Perhaps wise beyond his years, Nick has learned to enjoy each moment as it comes. He notes simply, “I think it’s an honor to play both sports

adison Kerr, a senior at Greater Atlanta Christian, has been playing volleyball since she was just 12 years old. She says, “I tried out for a very popular volleyball club called A5. I made one of the teams and immediately fell in love with the sport. . . . [After just one year], I fell in love with traveling to tournaments, my teammates, and my coaches.” And Madison has been in love with volleyball ever since. “Each year I played club, I was getting better and my love for the sport grew even more.” Throughout her high school and club career, Madison switched off playing setter and right side hitter. During her high school sophomore year, she played for a club named Tsunami, and one of her teammates, Shaun Caitlin started a sand volleyball program, and invited Madison to play. Madison fell in love all over again. She says, “Ever since then [beginning to play on sand], I’ve been in love with sand volleyball. I love it more than indoor. . . . you get more touches on the ball, there are only two people [per team], and it is so much more ‘chill’ as I would call it. It is just you and one other girl, and that girl basically becomes your best friend. . . . I am a very versatile player so sand is a very good fit for me.” In Madison’s junior year, her friend Shaun started a year-round program called Olympic College and Development Program (OCDP). It was at this time that Madison had to make a decision to go with indoor or sand, and she chose sand “in a heartbeat.” She has been playing sand volleyball exclusively ever since. She has a unique playing style that includes quickness, agility, and athleticism. She plays with power when necessary, but is also keenly aware of achieving success through court awareness, craftiness, and finesse. Madison and her teammate are both naturals on sand. They have won lots of tournaments, and

placed 9th at the Junior Olympics in California last year. Armed with all her indoor, school, and club experience, she is quickly becoming one of the nation’s premier sand players. She has impressed many, including college recruits. Madison recently accepted an offer from Mercer University to play sand volleyball beginning next year. She is the first-ever GAC Spartan to sign with a Division I sand volleyball team. There is no doubt that Mercer knows what it is getting in Madison. She was offered bids to the 2013 AAU Junior Beach Nationals in Hermosa Beach, California, the 2013 USA Junior Beach Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the 2013 Southeast Junior Beach Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She was also invited to the USA Youth Girls Beach High Performance (A3) Program, and associated 2013 USA Beach High Performance Elite Camp. All the effort that love brings has paid off. Madison is the power of passion personified. At Mercer University, she plans to major in Sports Business Management, and she offers that she will “play sand [volleyball] until I can’t play anymore.” Given that she is still a teenager, Madison has lots of sand volleyball ahead of her.

20 under 40

Photography of Madison Kerr by Jonathan Phillips.




20 under 40

Shana White

and most of all, my husband who has allowed me to pursue this new passion. I’m a follower of Christ, 35–year-old mother of two, and a powerlifter. Never thought the latter would be used to describe me, but I love this sport, will respect the sport and those who have come before me by continuing to be focused, driven, and hard working. I can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for me!”

Eric Shanteau

hana White is a powerlifter with Duluth’s Team Rohr. She is as driven as she is strong, and the word “can’t” is not part of her vocabulary. A three-sport athlete in high school, she was destined for college basketball greatness with a Division I program. But after suffering a torn ACL as a high school senior, she left college basketball after being able to play for just one season.

Her trainer, Josh Rohr, notes that Shana “is one of the most driven and focused individuals I have ever coached. She came in day one with some lofty goals (which most people do.) [But] the difference with Shana is that she has that internal drive to get better and achieve those goals. . . . Shana has already become an elite powerlifter and I’m not sure she even knows it because she continues to work hard toward her goals while remaining humble.” An elite powerlifter indeed, in only her second meet, Shana set three state of Georgia records, a win in her weight class, and a win as best women’s open lifter of the meet. (Again, this was only her second-ever competition, and at the time, she had been training with Team Rohr for only two months.) Rohr says that “Shana is very much a student of the sport. In my opinion, she is the perfect role model for anyone who wants to be good at something. She studies, asks questions, and, most importantly, comes to the gym to work hard. She is a coach’s dream.” Shana gives credit to others for her success. “I’m so appreciative of Josh and his coaching, my friend Gina for getting me involved in the sport,



After graduating from Auburn, Eric prepared for (and made) the 2008 US Olympic team for the 200 breaststroke. But just one week prior to his Olympic debut, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Not letting this haunting news stop him, Eric competed as planned, and swam a personal best at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Despite his battle with cancer, incredibly Eric returned to the pool a stronger swimmer. In 2009, he broke American records in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events. In addition, he holds the world record in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay. In 2012, he returned to the Summer Olympic Games in London, and won a gold medal in the 4 x 100 Medley Relay. And these are simply the highlights - Eric has earned many other honors and awards in his swimming career.


But Shana is not one to let any injury – no matter its severity – stop her from pursuing some form of athletics. And so barely a year ago now, at the suggestion of a friend, she took up the sport of powerlifting. As you might surmise, she has taken to the sport with the same commitment and determination she maintained back in her high school and college days. (Shana is now 35.)

Academic Honor Roll, as well as a CSCAA Academic All-American.

Eric is a global envoy for LIVESTRONG and an inspirational speaker. In both roles, he has much wisdom to impart, from dealing with adversity and learning how to fail, to understanding the importance of positive affirmation.


here are countless reasons Sports Gwinnett could choose Eric Shanteau for its 20UNDER40. In the sport of swimming (with the breaststroke as his specialty), he has been recognized with numerous awards, including twice representing the United States in the Summer Olympic Games (2008 and 2012), and also holds US and world record in the sport. Eric will be inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2014.

Eric has suffered much pain in gaining wisdom beyond his years. But as a result, he has become a world-class athlete, as well as a worldclass individual. This Gwinnett County native continues to set a positive example for so many, and in so many ways – in sports and far beyond. [Sources: 1), and 2)]

Brett Teschner

But as impressive as he is as an athlete, Eric is even more impressive for his courage, determination, and spirit in facing one of the strongest adversaries known – cancer. If all athletes were to face their sporting opponents in the way that Eric faced his illness, many would reach heights that often wind up being merely unfulfilled dreams. Eric first hit the pool at age three, following his older brother’s footsteps (or, more accurately, swimming strokes.) And at the tender age of 10, he already was dreaming of being an Olympic swimmer. He began swimming at Olympic trials at age 16. A 2002 graduate of Parkview High School, Eric was the first male swimmer in the history of the USA Swimming Scholastic All-American Program to graduate with a 4.0 GPA and also win a national title. Upon graduating high school, he swam for Auburn University, where in his college years, he was undefeated in team competitions. While at AU, he acquired four SEC titles, as well as four NCAA titles. Eric also was named to the SEC


or Gwinnett county local catcher, Brett Teschner, "It was a dream come true. It was definitely a surreal feeling when I put on the Texas [Rangers] jersey for the first time." Teschner attended South Gwinnett High School where it was a self-proclaimed privilege to play baseball for the current head coach and father, Steve Teschner. He describes playing under his

father as an amazing experience with no added pressure. Brett credits his father as his biggest idol. “He was always there to push me to compete and be the athlete and man I am today.” Their time spent together was concluded his senior year with a region 8AAAAA championship. High school success landed Brett at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee for two years before transferring to Columbus State University to shine in his junior and senior seasons. "My most memorable weekend was against The University of Montevallo when I went 10-14 in three games hitting four home runs and driving in 11... That weekend earned me Peach Belt Player of the Week, Atmos Energy Player of the Week, and Division 2 Player of the Week." His senior year, Brett earned a pre-draft workout with the Texas Rangers and several other teams, to no avail. Draft day came and went without Teschner's name being called. However, not to let one disappointment discourage, he waited patiently for a few weeks until he caught his break. Teschner received a phone call from the Texas Rangers, who had a catcher in their organization sidelined with an injury and needed a replacement. The Rangers offered Brett a once in a lifetime opportunity. Once signed, in 2013, Teschner was on a plane headed to Arizona to continue on this new, long-anticipated journey. Teschner describes his first season with the Rangers as a whirlwind; playing at every level affiliate in their farm system. Brett spent his offseason back in Gwinnett County training for the 2014 season and giving lessons to youth catchers. “Spending time with young kids helps you remind yourself why you play the game and how much fun it’s supposed to be.” Contributing writers: Reg L. Carver, Joel Hillsman, Abby Wilkerson and Tracie Prickett.

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Sports Gwinnett, April 2014  

20 UNDER 40 cover story with a dual cover, one of which featured the Archer High School Basketball Newby sisters, a Guide to Creating Active...

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