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valid 12/15/12–6/30/13 MORE EXCLUSIONS MAY APPLY. VISIT SPORTSAUTHORITY.COM/EXCLUSIONS OR SEE STORE FOR DETAILS. *No cash value. No cash back. No rain checks. Coupon not valid on prior, online or S.A. Elite by Sports Authority purchases, gift cards, licenses, event tickets, store services or items intended for resale. Offer good on in-stock merchandise only. Must present coupon at time of purchase to redeem. Cannot be combined with any other offer, Cash Card, coupon or Employee or Friends & Family discount. Coupon may not be reproduced. One coupon per customer, per purchase. Exclusions include clearance items marked with $.97 price endings; Power Play Deals; UGG; Under Armour; The North Face; Brooks; Babolat; Titleist; Burton; Volkl; Penn Reels; firearms and ammunition.

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Stay Active. Have Fun. This Summer.

with My Sport Camps

My Sport Summer Camp at Suwanee Sports Academy gives kids an opportunity to experience a variety of sports and activities in a fun and safe environment - with nearly 100,000 square feet of indoor recreational space. Sign up for one week or all ten weeks of summer. Each week is different. Grades K - 6th. Register Online

Camp Activities Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Floor Hockey, Wiffle Ball, Kickball, PE Activities & More

Field Trips to SkyZone, LEGOLAND, Adrenaline Climbing, Laser Quest, Gwinnett Braves and More

Find out more: or call (770) 614-6686

Some Tasty Feedback About Eating Healthy Atlanta Bread named one of

Atlanta Bread named one of

Health Magazine’s

Parents Magazine’s

Fast Food Restaurants

Fast Casual Restaurants

Top Ten Healthiest

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4880 Peachtree Corners Circle, Norcross, GA 30092 770-662-0900 Mon=Fri 7am-9pm Sat 8am-9pm Sun 8am-8pm



FIRST UP Happenings in the next 45 days

16 YOUTH Youth Sports Leagues, Clubs and


18 HOW I DO IT Every month we ask questions of

athletes and people on “How They Do It”

19 move 5k, 10k, Half-Marathons, Cycling,

Gwinnett County Parks

30 best seat in the house Highlighting the past month in pictures. SUMMER CAMP GUIDE | UPCOMING 5K, 10K RUNS SPORTS GWINNETT


sUmmer camp gUide | Upcoming 5K, 10K rUns SPORTS GWINNETT


lIfE IS ACtIvE | MARCh 2013 life is active | march 2013

life is active | march 2013





gwinnett parK happenings team mom tips coach’s call

gwinnett parK happenings team mom tips coach’s call

people who have impacted sports in gwinnett in their own way.

people who have impacted sports in gwinnett in their own way.


Atlanta, GA Permit #2883

Atlanta, GA Permit #2883



Our guide to some great camps in a variety of sports, skill levels and ages.

sUmmer camp gUide | Upcoming 5K, 10K rUns


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[22] summer sports camp

Our monthly column of invited guest coaches. Kicking off this month’s column and advice is our own Clint Conley.

29 PARKS Highlighted events and happenings at


[32] Coach’s Call

professional shares their thoughts and answers questions


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Some great tips and recommendations from the team moms and dads that have been there.


There are many more, but we chose these 9 for now, more to come in future issues.


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WHO HAVE IMPACTed sports in GWINNETT in their own way

[28] Team

26 Sports Medicine Each month a new medical



Skating and More.


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COVER CREDIT Photography by Kate Awtrey First cover: Norcross HS Coach Keith Maloof and Alvin Kamara Second cover: GGC Director of Athletics Dr. Darin Wilson Third cover: Norcross HS basketball player Diamond DeShields

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


SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE | March 2013 sportsgwinnett sportsgwinnett sportsgwinnett

The Best Seat in the House PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST




From the courts, down the muddy cross country trails, to the fields of play, we want the thrills, the suspense, the agony, the up and comers and the veterans of the game. SHOW US WHAT YOU HAVE...



Visit for more information on prizes, contest rules and deadlines. First Place Prizes for Amateurs and Professionals. SUBMIT ENTRIES MARCH 15 - JUNE 10, 2013





Kate Awtrey is a professional photographer and owner of Gwinnett Event Photography. She was born and raised in Gwinnett County and enjoys taking photographs of interesting people, places and things.


Rico Figliolini and Clint Conley Co-Publishers


lessons can be acquired from a variety of places, sports is one of those places. In sports we learn that winning isn’t everything - win some, lose some; practice makes perfect; it ain’t over til it’s over; play fair; be a good loser and more importantly be a good winner. Success in sports and in life is what you do with what you’ve got. The role of sports is an integral and huge part of our lives in America – no doubt, around the world. Monday night football; Super Bowl Sunday; The Tour de France; The Masters; the World Series; The Soccer Cup. From world sporting events to your child’s first day in the pee wee league, sports has and is a large part of life. Those that have a passion for playing sports, those that play as kids and the parents that help them, those that paint the lines on a field, or keep scores from the stands, or run in the mud through trails on a rainy morning. These are the people that build a community, these are the people that share their passions, and these are the stories we want to share through our new publication. Sports Gwinnett’s mission is to bring our readers stories and information about that


passion and to also become a resource for the great sports and recreation available to all of us here in Gwinnett County. Through my experience as a board member of the Gwinnett Parks and Recreation Authority, and my own personal experience with my kids in a variety of league play, I have learned that sports, in its purest form can provide the most memorable life moments that we hold onto forever. The life lessons learned as kids through sports can be shared, enjoyed and passed on to future generations. The adventure continues and the lessons keep coming. We just never know what the next play brings. I’ve been blessed to have known Clint Conley for over a decade - my new partner and co-publisher of Sports Gwinnett. His wife, Simpson Elementary school teacher Leigh, has taught my kids and we’ve shared a pew. Clint also shares the passion and dream of sports. It’s been an adventure getting to the starting line of this first issue, but here we are! Stay with us until the finish line; share your thoughts with us. We’re always learning – and, never the kind to “watch life from the sidelines.” So, on your mark, ready, set - GO! Life is Active. Enjoy Sports Gwinnet

Rico & Clint


Joel Hillsman is a native of Athens, GA and is a sports media freelancer who has covered high school and pro sports since 2009 for various outlets. He is play-by-play announcer for high school football and basketball for iBN Sports covering the southeastern United States including several Gwinnett County teams on occasion and produces game highlights for NBATV and Turner Sports. He was also the play-by-play voice of the Gwinnett Jets minor league football team from 2009-2012 and has been in the Market Research and Development industry over 13 years.

Stan Awtrey

has been a sports writer for 30 years and spent many of those covering Gwinnett County.


Abby is currently the Program Manager and Communications at Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of UGA.

Have a story, news piece, sports event or something you want to share with us? Write us at or visit us on Facebook, or tweet us @sportsgwinnett

Frazier Cycling Junior Race Team SPORTS GWINNETT

7 National Championships • 33 National Medals

Clint Conley and Rico Figliolini C0-PUBLISHERS




Stan Awtrey Clint Conley Joel Hillsman Trey Johanson-Smith Abby Wilkerson

10 -18 years

• Year round training program • Summer and winter camps



Ph: 770-513-8640 • Email:






Gwinnett · North Fulton · Sandy Springs · DeKalb


SPORTS360GROUP LLC 4305 River Stream Circle, Norcross, GA 30092 678.358.7858

We want to share the inspirational stories; to improve lives, and the world around us, through the passion of sports.

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 book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. ©2013 SPORTS360GROUP LLC. The editors welcome submissions and photogrpahy. Please direct them to


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Dynamic practices & challenging tournaments Learning and reÞning core fundamentals Developing team concepts and game IQ Building team chemistry Elevating decision-making abilities 678-876-0042 Storm the Field with Thunderbird this summer and elevate your game to the next level!

Learn lacrosse from coaches who have been in your shoes




Whats Happening 45 Days Out


WORLD’S TALLEST BASKETBALL PLAYER LEADS HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS INTO ATLANTA AND DULUTH The world’s tallest professional basketball player, Paul “Tiny” Sturgess, will add 7-feet 8-inches to the Atlanta skyline when he leads the Harlem Globetrotters for two games on Saturday, March 16 – playing games at Philips Arena (1 p.m.) and The Arena at Gwinnett Center (7:30 p.m.).

Thursday, March 14, 2013, 7:05 PM FRIday, March 15, 2013, 7:35 PM sunday, March 17, 2013, 4:05 PM St. Patrick�s Day Celebration / Kroger Family Sunday

Gladiators vs. Cincinnati

Gladiators vs. Greenville

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2013 - 7:05 PM

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gladiators vs. South Carolina

Fan Appreciation Night

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 7:05 PM

Arena at Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway Duluth, GA 30097

$5 Frenzy - TBD

March 30, 2013

B.A.D. Extreme Obstacle 7K Challenge B.A.D. Extreme Obstacle 7K Challenge is the ultimate adventure and obstacle course. Each race consists of a 5-7 k course that will boast unconventional, but achievable obstacles. And although each race will have a minimum of 10-12 obstacles, not every race will have the same obstacles and you won’t know every obstacle that is on the course as an the element of surprise.


Each racer has the opportunity to register for one of 2 Divisions: RECREATION - Run, Jog, Walk or Crawl It’s your personal Challenge. ELITE TRAINED - Need we say more... you know who you are FAMILY / GROUP / TEAM DISCOUNTS To register a team - a captain will create the team and assign a team password. For additional members to join your team you will need to obtain the password from another team member. 5+ participants receive a $10 discount on each team members registration.* For more information visit Stone Mountain’s website


March 30, 2013

Kid’s Tennis Play Day Kids age 4-10 will learn the basics of tennis while having fun by using smaller rackets and balls that bounce slower! Tennis classes start that afternoon for those who want to continue the experience. Drinks and snacks provided and each kid will get a certificate for participating! Rock Springs Tennis Center 550 Rosk Springs Rd, Lawrenceville, GA 30044 For information call: 770.904.3996 or 770.417.2210

Gwinnett Braves vs. Charlotte Knights

Gwinnett Braves vs. Charlotte Knights

Gwinnett Braves vs. Norfolk Tides

Coolray Field, One Braves Avenue Lawrenceville, GA 30043 The Atlanta Braves AAA affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves, plays baseball in their 10,000 seat state-of-the-art Coolray Field on Buford Drive in Lawrenceville, less than 5 minutes from I-85 and the Mall of Georgia.

April 04 – 07, 2013

April 15 – 18, 2013

Suwanee sports academy events 3640 Burnette Rd., Suwanee, GA 30024

HoopSeen Shootout March 15 – 17, 2013

Hardwood Classic March 30 – 31, 2013 Basketball travel teams from across the region will compete in this popular tournament.

Norman Parker Elite Showcase April 05 – 07, 2013 Basketball travel teams from across the region will compete in this popular tournament.

Dawson Jam Memorial Classic April 13 – 14, 2013 Basketball travel teams from across the region will compete in this popular tournament.

Peach State Tip-Off Classic April 19 – 21, 2013 Basketball travel teams from across the region will compete in this popular tournament.

March 30, 2013

WOD for a Cause WOD for a Cause is a unique fundraising event. Members of our community will join together on March 30th to celebrate fitness and impact the homeless community by working out. This year, WOD for a Cause has been expanded to include a 5K, Team Challenge, and Individual WOD.

April 21 – 22, 2013

Greater Gwinnett AT TPC Sugarloaf APRIL 15-21

Suwanee Town Center Park Buford Hwy at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee, GA 30024

Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies Local college baseball of interest? Check out the Grizzlies at GGC. The following are the BASEBALL homes games: 03/12/13 Point University 3:00 p.m. ET 03/14/13 Ohio State -- Lima 7:00 p.m. ET 03/15/13 Ohio State -- Lima 2:00 p.m. ET Ohio State -- Lima 5:00 p.m. ET 03/16/13 Ohio State -- Lima 12:00 p.m. ET 03/19/13 Reinhardt University 2:00 p.m. ET Reinhardt University 5:00 p.m. ET 03/23/13 Covenant College 1:00 p.m. ET Covenant College 4:00 p.m. ET 03/24/13 Cumberland University 1:00 p.m. ET Cumberland University 4:00 p.m. 03/27/13 Toccoa Falls College 2:00 p.m. ET Toccoa Falls College 5:00 p.m. ET 03/28/13 Emmanuel College 2:00 p.m. ET Emmanuel College 5:00 p.m. ET Georgia Gwinnett College is located at 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, accessable from LawrencevilleSuwanee Road, Highway 316 and Collins Hill Road.

Allianz Championship winner Rocco Mediate has committed to play in the Greater Gwinnett Championship Presented by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating, an Official Event on the PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour coming April 15-21, 2013 to TPC Sugarloaf. The Gwinnett Sports Commission will operate the 54-hole stroke play tournament with 81 Champions Tour professionals competing for the $1.8 million purse. The top-10 finishers in the tournament will also be awarded official Charles Schwab Cup points. The Charles Schwab Cup is the season-long, points-based competition launched in 2001 to determine the Champions Tour’s leading player. The focus of first year giving for the Greater Gwinnett Championship is on healthcare and education. The 2013 beneficiaries include: Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, Gwinnett Technical College, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Gwinnett College and Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation. More information and tickets can be checked out online at:


SG2012 NINE People Who HAve Impacted Sports in gwinnett

By leading Norcross High School to its first football championship, coach Keith Maloof and standout running back Alvin Kamara have added their names to the growing list of gridiron legends born in Gwinnett County. Norcross completed a perfect 15-0 season in 2012 and won the Georgia High School Association championship in the highest division. The Blue Devils defeated Lovejoy High of Clayton County 21-14 in the title game, which saw them come from behind with five minutes remaining to secure the victory. “You have to look at the overall picture and see what Norcross had done,” Maloof said. “They are the team people are always watching some point in time. They were wondering, ‘Are they going to get there?’ Eventually, I’ve always said. Now we’re here. We’ve got a great football team, a great bunch of players and coaches and team.” Maloof is a member of one of Georgia’s most iconic names in coaching. His father was George Maloof, who began the football

in their own way.

by Stan Awtrey photographs by KATE Awtrey



program at St. Pius in 1958 and compiled a 162-83-12 record before retiring in 1983. The elder Maloof, who played for Bobby Dodd at Georgia Tech, won a state championship in 1968. George Maloof, after whom the St. Pius football stadium is named, uttered a famous quote that is synonymous with his upbeat personality: “Do the best you can with the ability God gave you and you’ll always be a champion.” K e v i n Maloof, Keith’s older brother, was a head coach for 26 seasons at Loganville, Meadowcreek and Dacula. He is best known for his 20 years of service at Dacula, where he reached the state semifi-

Coach Keith Maloof & Alvin Kamara

nals five times and reached the championship game in 2005. His overall record was 75-105-1. Keith Maloof began his career as an assistant for his brother at Loganville and Meadowcreek and joined an all-star staff at Dacula, where he was defensive coordinator. He got the opportunity to be head coach at Tucker and went 22-11 in three season. In 1999 the Norcross job came open and the administration turned to Maloof to restore the luster to the program. The reclamation project wasn’t easy. It wasn’t until his seventh season that the Blue Devils returned to the playoffs. Since then they’ve made the postseason in seven of the last eight years. It culminated in 2012, when Norcross went 15-0 to complete the first undefeated season in school history. “I feel good about the development of our program,” Maloof said. The Blue Devils are now 107-48 under his watch and will celebrate the school’s 300th all-time victory with its third win in 2013. “I know we’re doing things the right way and we would eventually get there,” Maloof said. A large part of that success can be attributed to Kamara. Considered the No. 1 running back prospect in Georgia and the fourth-best in the country, Kamara rushed for a school-record 2,264 yards and 26 touchdowns. “I had something I wanted to do and that’s win a state championship,” Kamara said. Kamara rushed for 141 yards in the championship game. It was his 11th straight game with more than 100 yards rushing. But the key play was a pass reception on thirdand-14 from the Norcross 39 that Kamara turned into the game-winning touchdown. “The tougher the game, the better he played,” Maloof said. “It showed more in the playoffs than in the regular season. When he needed to, he played at a level that not many can play.” Kamara averaged 172.6 yards rushing and nearly 208 total yards in the five playoff games. “Time after time, Alvin rose to the occasion,” Maloof said. “What he did was not just bring his level of play, but he brought everybody’s up. He’s basically the one who led us to a state championship.” When the season was over, Kamara had to consider his college options. After getting offers from nearly every school in the south, he narrowed his choices to Alabama and Georgia. He made the decision on national signing day to go to Tuscaloosa and be a part of the Crimson Tide machine that’s won three national championships in four seasons. Perhaps he was swayed by the intense recruitment by Alabama coach Nick Saban, who mailed him 105 different letters on one day.

“I just hope to fit in with them,” Kamara said. “I feel comfortable there. Hopefully, I can get on the field and do what I have to do. I just love to play football.” Kamara is one of 60-plus players who have signed scholarships since Maloof became the coach. He’s the latest in a long line of stellar running backs produced by Gwinnett County, a list that includes Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers of Duluth. “Alvin is a great kid,” Maloof said. “He’s

Stan Hall

Executive Director Gwinnett Sports Commission by Abby Wilkerson


tan Hall spent 33 years working in the law enforcement arena, most recently serving as Director of the Victim Witness Program for the Gwinnett District Attorney’s Office. A graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy, Hall holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and is a published author on topics concerning child abuse and satanic crime investigations, and a frequent lecturer on hate and sex crimes, and victim’s rights. After retirement, Hall took the most logical next step: Executive Director of the Gwinnett Sports Commission. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?” laughed Hall. “I was just ready for something entirely different. There was definitely a moment after I got the job when I

handled everything so well and it never affected him on the field.” Kamara will be difficult to replace, but the Blue Devils are already hard at work in the weight room. The season opener against South Gwinnett will be here before you know it. Stan Awtrey has been a sports writer for 30 years and spent many of those covering Gwinnett County.

thought, ‘now what?’ But it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” Hall focuses on developing Gwinnett as a leading destination for sporting events. His most daunting task will come to pass this spring: debuting April 15-21, TPC Sugarloaf will play host to 81 Champions Tour professionals at the inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship. The Greater Gwinnett Championship is modeled after the Regions Tradition, held outside of Birmingham. The Greater Birmingham CVB conservatively estimates the tournament’s economic impact at $28 million. A 2003 study suggested that the annual impact of the AT&T Classic was roughly $15 million. “This tournament is the biggest thing to happen to Gwinnett since the AT&T Classic left,” said Hall. “Golf is the universal sport, and offers business opportunities like nothing else.” Pictured Left: Kat Ding and Stan Hall

Kat Ding

Gwinnett Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Youth Sports Spokeswoman


by Abby Wilkerson

at Ding is one of the University of Georgia’s most decorated gymnasts. Earning her second straight NCAA Individual Gymnastics Title in 2012, Ding’s list of accomplishments is extensive.

continued on the next page


SG2012 People Who have Impacted Sports in gwinnett in their own way DAT KING, continued from the previous page Since graduation from UGA, Ding has embarked on a new path: promoting youth sports and active living as the new Youth Sports Ambassador for the Gwinnett Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. As ambassador, Ding talks about how sports shaped her into the person she is today, and how being involved in sports can enhance the lives of all kids. “I want to encourage parents and kids to become involved, active, and healthy together,” said Ding. Ding’s parents started their little girl out in a dance class at age 5. “It became evident that I sucked at dance,” says Ding. “When my mom found me hanging upside-down from the kitchen counter, she enrolled me in gymnastics.” One of the things Ding hopes parents will learn from her is that when kids are involved, they gain so much more than physical fitness. She remembers making tough choices, like going to a Friday night football game versus getting much needed sleep before an early competition. The demands of her sport required Ding to develop the discipline to balance her academics and her training. Ding just hopes more kids and parents get involved, and is an outspoken proponent of exercise and healthy nutrition within families – no matter how athletically gifted. I’ve done so well in one sport, but I’m so awful at these others,” Ding confesses. “Outside of the gym I’m tripping over my toes, and I can’t throw a ball to save my life. I have no hand-eye coordination. That’s okay, though. The point is to be involved!” Check for the complete story on Stan Hall and Dat King.

Mike Emery

Director of Athletics, Student Activities and Community Schools – Gwinnett County Public Schools by Abby Wilkerson


s the Director of Athletics, Student Activities and Community Schools for Gwinnett County Public Schools, Mike Emery provides leadership and support for all extracurricular programs associated with GCPS schools. Emery came to Norcross High School in 1984 to coach and teach social studies, earning the accolade of Teacher of the Year in 1992 and again in 1997 –the same year he became Athletic Director at NHS. After being honored as Region Athletic Director of the year in 2002 and 2005 and named State Athletic Director of the Year in 2006, Emery made the jump to his current position where he has taken GCPS athletics to a new level. An expanded Student Behavior Conduct Code, created by Emery, went into effect in the fall of 2012. The new code sets a standard for conduct by student athletes, both on and off the field. The guidelines focus on the expectations of studentathlete behavior as a GCPS representative. “It’s important for students and parents to understand that when a student chooses to participate in these activities, he or she is going to be held to a higher standard,” says Emery. “We hold the students who participate in extracurricular activities in high esteem, with that comes added responsibility.” Emery was also instrumental in making GCPS the first system in the state to implement the ImPACT Concussion Program – a framework to minimize the risk of long-term damage after a concussion. “This program will enrich the athletic community of Gwinnett by establishing a network of care for our athletes with concussions,” said Dr. Mat Pombo of Gwinnett Medical Center. “This program [will help us] to safely return athletes with concussions to play.”



Check for the complete story.

Diamond DeShields

Basketball, Norcross High School by Joel Hillsman


orcross’ standout basketball player Diamond DeShields has earned numerous accolades for her talents on the hardwood. From International gold medals in 5-on-5 and 3-on-3 competition to State Championships to individual honors, there are few things the 18-year old senior committed to the University of North Carolina has not accomplished prior to suiting up in college let alone finishing high school. DeShields hoop game is filled with athletic grace, smarts and a competitive fire that is unleashed on opponents nightly. A smooth gliding layup, a pull jumper or a defensive play that leads to a bucket-like the one against McEachern earlier this season where she stole the ball, fell down but kept her dribble, got up and drained a three-pointer, just to name a few. Is it genes? Her father Delino DeShields played Major League Baseball for 13 seasons after choosing baseball over basketball, her mother Tisha M. DeShields was a standout on the University of Tennessee Track & Field team from 1989-1991 and her older brother is currently in the Houston Astros minor league organization - maybe so. Each athlete is always looking to carve their own niche and be their own name. How did Diamond DeShields embark on her journey of becoming a successful athlete? We sat down with her for a little one-on- one. Sports Gwinnett: Where did your desire to play basketball come from and when did you know you were pretty good? Diamond DeShields: The idea of being apart of a team. One thing that always drove me want to be an athlete in general was winning; winning gold medal, winning trophies. My brother had a huge trophy case and I wanted some and I knew I could do that playing basketball because I was good at it and

continued on page twelve

Diamond DeShields

at Norcross High School - Peachtree Corners, GA


SG2012 People Who have Impacted Sports in gwinnett in their own way continued from page 10

Diamond DeShields I just wanted to be a winner and be part of something like family. SG: Were there any other sports you seriously considered playing? DD: Initially I was a tennis player and of course always growing up I wanted to play baseball. Baseball was my love and passion. Basketball did just fall into my hands, a coach one day asked me to just come and try it to see how I liked it and I did really good, we won state I got trophy and it felt good. I was like 9 at the time. I trained with Venus & Serena’s dad in Orlando and I took it very seriously and I was very good at it. I put a lot of pressure on myself because individually you did have any help out there so when I would lose I would take it all out on myself but as a basketball player it’s distributed amongst the team and everyone is being held accountable, I felt better losing together. SG: You’ve accomplished a lot so far in your basketball career, so far what is the accomplishment that means the most to you? DD: Winning back-to-back state championships with the teams we had because my first year we were the underdogs and the second year we won I was the leader of the team being sophomore so we had a lot of youth involved in those state championships so I take a lot of pride in those two because of all the things we went through in order for us to even win those. SG: What is the best part about playing for Coach Hembree? DD: She doesn’t let you get away with anything, on and off the court. If she finds out you’ve been mouthing off to a teacher more than likely she’s going to have you running or depending on the extent she’ll suspend you a game or two or three it doesn’t matter. She’ll discipline you and she has your best interest at heart no matter what and no matter who you are. If you’re the superstar on the varsity or the 12th person on the freshmen team she’s going to take care of you, she’ll give you the shirt off her back if she has to. She came from Miami she has that college mentality, the practices are go hard or go home there is no walking, pouting, crying if you can’t do it and you show you can’t do


it she’ll kick you out, you have to be tough and get over it. Basketball wise she listens as long as you know what you’re talking about if you don’t know basketball she’s not going to listen to you. She’s adaptive to the player and listens but for the most part as she said ‘mama knows’ and for the most part she’s right and doesn’t need our opinion. If there is a personal issue I feel comfortable enough to go talk to her.” Through the 2012-2013 regular season and region tournament Diamond averaged 20.7pts 6.8reb 4.1stl and 3.7ast. She has scored over 2,100 career point points, is the all-time leading scorer in Norcross history and is 3rd in Gwinnett County history. The unfinished business of winning another state championship is still in progress at the time of print however we asked for her outlook on being able to win the state title as a senior. “We definitely have another chance and my confidence level has never been this high in a team or in myself so I have a very strong belief that we’ll win state again and I have no problem saying it. I think and plan on doing it again this year, simple as that”, DeShields said. Behind every athlete is a support system that does not receive the attention it may warrant. This can come from family, mentors or very close friends. For Diamond she gives a ton of the credit to her mother. “My mom has made tremendous sacrifices for myself and the rest of my siblings whether it’s missing a meeting or spending some money she may not have been in the position to be spending to get us where we needed to go… all those long road trips. No one loves you like a mother does and she’s impacted me in ways I couldn’t even explain’” DeShields said. Her mother has always been by her side and openly admits she knows nothing about basketball and they rarely talk basketball between them. “When it comes to basketball Diamond is all Coach Hembree’s,” Tisha DeShields says. “I’m there for the things that are important. I was not going to just raise an athlete but a well-rounded person and to use the gift she has in basketball to her advantage and make people remember Diamond the person not the athlete,” her mother added. Diamond has taking that to heart.

Check for the complete interview.


Dr. Darin Wilson Director of Athletics – Georgia Gwinnett College by Abby Wilkerson


arin Wilson had called himself a Dutchman since 1993. A highly successful shortstop for the Union College baseball team – once selected as Male Athlete of the Year – Wilson transitioned from undergraduate student athlete to graduate assistant to head baseball coach by age 25. As head coach, Wilson was named the 2001 Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year, setting a school record with 41 wins and posting a 161-106-1 record. Most would have been satisfied with head baseball coach of their alma mater, but when the opportunity to take another step forward presented itself, Wilson seized it, and was selected to head up the entire college’s athletic department. During his tenure as athletic director, Union College won 47 Appalachian Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships, four Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference titles, and six NAIA Region XII championships. Union was awarded the Appalachian Athletic Conference Duard Walker All-Sports Trophy in 2010, 47 players were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes, and four players were selected as CoSIDA Academic All-America Team members. Wilson oversaw extensive renovation of Union’s sports facilities, including: baseball and football locker room remodels, new scoreboards and press boxes, the installation of a $1 million synthetic turf multi-purpose field, and expansion of athletic training facilities, while also growing Union’s department of athletics from 15 to 23 intercollegiate programs. But, like all athletes, Wilson felt the overwhelming pull of yet another challenge. After serving nearly 10 years as athletic director, Wilson made the move from Barbourville, Kentucky to Georgia, becoming Georgia Gwinnett College’s inaugural Director of Athletics. As Georgia Gwinnett College’s Athletic Director, Dr. Wilson is responsible for all

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DARIN WILSON, continued from previous page

aspects of leading a comprehensive department of athletics. He wasted no time growing the college’s sports program to include baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis and soccer. Wilson hired the college’s first athletics staff and established accounts for the Grizzly Athletic and Scholarship Funds. He chairs the intercollegiate athletics committee, and – thanks to Wilson’s leadership – Georgia Gwinnett College has successfully been accepted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and Association of Independent Institutions. Currently, Wilson is overseeing the development and construction of Georgia Gwinnett’s $15 million Varsity Athletics Complex. “It’s going to be a great experience to move into our new state-of-the-art athletics administration building,” said Wilson. “The building houses all of our administrative and coaches offices as well as a first class athletic training room, weight room, locker rooms, an academic resource center, and team meeting rooms. There are also two suites that overlook our new baseball and softball stadiums, so there is a lot to look forward to regarding Grizzly athletics. “ So far, Wilson’s hard work has paid off: in their inaugural seasons, the Grizzlies have posted a .690 winning percentage as a college. “I am really excited to watch our spring teams [baseball, softball, and tennis] compete,” said Wilson. “Both of our soccer teams had tremendous success this fall and now it is time for our spring teams to build off of that success.” Left: Dr. Darin Wilson pictured overseeing one of the newly constructed sports stadium.


SG2012 People Who have Impacted Sports in gwinnett in their own way

Dave Hunter

Arian Bates

by Stan Awtrey

by Stan Awtrey

Retired Athletic Director Brookwood High School


nce upon a time, Gwinnett County high school football was not the dominant force it is today. The larger schools rarely made the playoffs and most often served as punching bags for the powerhouses in Athens. Dave Hunter helped change that. Hunter led Brookwood to the 1996 championship, the first for a Gwinnett school in the highest level of competition. Since then the big class has crowned a Gwinnett winner eight other times: Parkview (1997, 200, 2001, 2002), Peachtree Ridge (co-champions in 2006), Brookwood (2010), Grayson (2011) and Norcross (2012). Hunter was hired as the head football at Brookwood High School in 1987 and he knew that before the program he was building could gain any level of respect around the state, it would have to first knock off the bullies. “I knew we had to be able to beat Clarke Central. Nobody else from Gwinnett had been able to do that and I knew that’s what we’d have to do,” Hunter said. That seemed like a big challenge. Legendary Clarke Central coach Billy Henderson had built one of the most powerful football machines in the state. The task seemed daunting. Hunter inherited a program that had won only one game the previous year. He came in with a fresh coaching staff, most of them the men he had worked with at DeKalb’s Peachtree High, and stressed fundamentals and teamwork. The players bought into Hunter’s message and after winning the season opener, the Broncos had the difficult task of traveling to Athens to meet Clarke Central at a stadium known as Death Valley. Despite the long odds, Brookwood came away with a 6-0 win and became the first Gwinnett team to beat Clarke. Two months later the Broncos beat Clarke Central again in the first round of the playoffs. In 1988 Brookwood made it three in a row and wound up playing Warner Robins for the state championship, the first time a


Head Coach A-Team at Adrenaline Climbing Gwinnett school had played for all the marbles in the largest classification. “We never would have been able to do the things we did if we hadn’t been able to beat Clarke Central,” Hunter said. “That was very important.” The program really started to take off under Hunter. After the 1988 season, he spearheaded a drive to build an on-campus stadium. Brookwood previously had to play its home games at Parkview High School, an uneasy arrangement that neither side enjoyed. Brookwood finally got back to the state championship in 1996 and wound up going on the road to beat the legendary Valdosta Wildcats in the championship game. Hunter was fittingly named Georgia Coach of the Year. After the 2001 season Hunter decided to stop coaching and only serve as director of athletics, a position he retained until 2005. His record at Brookwood was 149-36. In addition to building the program at Brookwood, Hunter and former Cobb County athletic director Corky Kell helped start the Kickoff Classic at the Georgia Dome. It was the first time high school teams had competed at the facility. Hunter continues to organize the event, which will be celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2013. Hunter and his wife Beverly live in Snellville. In addition to playing golf at Summit Chase Country Club in Snellville, Hunter stays busy helping as an analyst for Georgia Public Broadcasting. Stan Awtrey has been a sports writer for 30 years and spent many of those covering Gwinnett County.



oving the outdoors came naturally to Arian Bates, who grew up in Maine and has traveled extensively throughout the New England region. But it was at age 17 when Bates got his first taste of rock climbing, an activity that has started to catch on with a new generation intrigued by the adventure and sense of accomplishment it brings. Bates, 27, moved to Gwinnett County two years ago to head up the youth climbing team program at Adrenaline Climbing in Suwanee. He heads up the A-Team, a group of young climbers (ages 7-17) that will represent the club in national competition, such as the USA Climbing National Championship. Although he loves New England, Bates was excited about the opportunity to enjoy a longer climbing season. He’s had many 400foot climbs on an outdoors exposed surface and is eager to pass along his knowledge to younger students. Bates didn’t learn to climb until late in his teens, but he recommends that boys and girls who are interested begin lessons when they are 6 or 7. “By the time you’re 13 or 14, your brain is starting to slow down and your movement becomes a lot slower,” he said. Although the act of climbing a sheer face looks physically daunting, Bates said it doesn’t require tremendous strength in the beginning. “It’s really a matter of understanding your body’s natural flow,” he said. “It’s getting on the wall and understanding where you need to have your hands and where you need to have your feet and then applying the technique. The strength will come.” Trey Johanson-Smith, co-owner of Adrenaline Climbing, found Bates after going through a few other candidates that didn’t work out. “He exemplifies all the highest qualities and characteristics anyone could ask for in a mentor for children and teens,” she said. “He is joyous in spirit. He is disciplined in his own training and is an example of our young climbers that hard work and dedication pay off.”

Arian Bates (inset and above) at Adrenaline Climbing - Suwanee, GA




Youth Sports Leagues, Clubs and Achievements


Registration Schedules for Various Youth Leagues

full ride to school?

Brookwood Football Association


Walk-Up Registration For Football and Cheerleading March 23rd for the 2013 Season at 10:00 – 2:00 at Mt Zion Baptist Church


ost parents do not seriously consider the possibility of collegiate scholarships when their child takes up a sport. Their reasoning is justified; only a small percentage of high school athletes involved in the traditional sports (football, basketball, baseball. soccer), will actually receive a varsity collegiate scholarship. Not so in the sport of competitive cycling. The odds of landing an athletic scholarship are considerably higher for junior cyclists who want to continue to race in college. As a non-traditional sport, there are less kids competing for the scholarships. This is true even though there are a limited number of colleges that offer varsity cycling programs. USA Cycling, the governing body for bicycle racing in the United States, identifies 13 colleges that offer varsity cycling scholarships. These are characteristically smaller private colleges. For a list: user/story.php?id=6584. We asked coaches from some of these colleges* to give us info on:

On-Line registration opens for Football and Cheerleading-March 23 at 10 am. Check their website at These games are played at Bethesda Park is located in Lawrenceville just off Ronald Reagan Parkway at 225 Bethesda Church Road

Note: some colleges are seeking women candidates and will consider non-cycling athletes. Advice for parents: •

What makes a good candidate?


High to solid academic background, good people skills, a team attitude and leadership.

Strong riding and racing skills and experience in racing in a team environment.

Competent at more than one cycling discipline (road, track, mountain, cyclo-cross).

Stress the importance of grades while gaining experience riding and racing. Encourage high school athletic departments to acknowledge your child’s accomplishments in cycling. Begin visiting schools and developing relationships with admissions counselors and coaches during the junior year of high school. Note: There will be a cycling college tour for high school cyclists July 15-19. The riders will cycle to five colleges in TN/NC/VA.

Ask your child after college visits: Is this a place you can see yourself living and pursing your academic and athletic goals?

Prepare a simple yet informative resume of your child’s success on and off the bike.


Any sport that your child participates in seriously will be an investment in your time and dollars. It is rewarding when you can get a return on your investment.

Cathy Frazier is the owner of Frazier Cycling Inc. Coach Ralph Frazier is the head coach of the Frazier Cycling Junior Development Program. Their son and daughter have been awarded cycling scholarships as well as four other Frazier Cycling Juniors members. For more information on cycling scholarships contact Cathy: or 770513-8640. Note: King College in Bristol TN, Marian University in Indianapolis IN, Mars Hill College in Mars Hill NC, Virginia Intermont College in Bristol VA Note:2 USA Cycling verifies the schools offer everything from full rides to small scholarships, all together valued at close to six figures at each school, if not more. Across the schools that offer scholarships, there are 20-30 full rides, and a hundred or more slots for partial scholarships.

Bryson Park Youth Athletic Association FOOTBALL Bryson Park Titans Football and Cheer Registration March 23rd. Online Registration opens March 23rd. Check out their website at The games are played at Bryson Park 5075 Lawrencville Hwy., Lilburn, GA 30047

Collins Hill Football Registration begins March 23rd at 10:00. Register online anyime after 10:00 that date. A one day only early registration discount on the 23rd. Six Year olds and up. Check out their website for more information http:// The first of two walk up registrations begins on the 23rd from 10am until 2pm at Collins Hill High School computer lab (located at the rear of Collins Hill High School near the gym). The games are played at Collins Hill Park.


Registration Schedules for Various Youth Leagues

SPORTS PHYSICAL EXAM Get one even for youth league participation and other sports programs where it may not be required, but may be worth it for peace of mind.

Shiloh Athletic Association Shiloh Flag Football League

Registration Dates: thru March 30th, Online only – No refunds with online registration. Check out their website at

Season: Sunday April 14th through Sunday May 19th Location: Lenora Park / with Championship Round: Shiloh High School Age Groups: 4-5u /6-7u / 8-9u / 10-11u / 12-13u Any Questions Email: FOOTBALL@SAA-YOUTH.ORG

Peachtree Ridge Youth Athletic Association 2013 CHEERLEADING REGISTRATION - Registration begins on 03/23/13 In person registration date is 03/23 from 10AM to 2PM at Peachtree Ridge High School. Online registration will be open 03/23 through 06/08. Please see the Cheer page for further information. 2013 FOOTBALL REGISTRATION - Registration begins on 03/23/13 In person registration dates and uniform fittings are 03/23 and 06/08 from 10AM to 2PM at Peachtree Ridge High School.

Suburban Medical Center has been serving the Peachtree Corners community since February 2001. Our Internal Medicine/Family Medicine practice is committed to serving our patients with a caring, knowledgeable, and accessible staff.


770-582-1300 5075 Peachtree Parkway Norcross (Ingles Shopping Center) Monday-Friday: 8:00am -6:00pm Saturday: 8:00am-2:00pm Sunday: Closed

WWW.SMCMD.COM Teen and Youth Facials for Repairing the Damage from Sun Exposure

Online registration will be open 24/7 beginning 03/23 through 06/08. The 2013 registration fee is $230 ($245 after 06/08). All online registrants must attend a uniform fitting to properly outfit the participants for the coming season. Day One Only - On 03/23, the registration fee will be $195 for paid in full registrants. For more information visit their website

Mountain View Athletic Association

MVAA Football MVAA BEARS FOOTBALL 6 year old – 8th grade (Age group determined by September 1st cutoff date) Registration Open Online from March 23rd – June 8th

Suburban Med Spa can recommend a full skin care plan that’s right for you.

Football Walk-up Registration and Fitting Dates: March 23rd, May 18th & June 8th 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Mountain View High School Media Center More Info For more information check out their website at

Please check for the complete list of youth associations. Please check the individual websites for accuracy. Information may have changed since publication. Want to be included here? Stories, photos, achievements and registration information? Send your complete information to

Suburban Med Spa 78.282.0051

5075 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 107 Norcross, GA 30092 (Ingles Shopping Center)


how I



Katherine Yost Katherine Yost grew up playing tennis and turned to cross country her sophomore year at Norcross High School. She committed Ole Miss cross country and track and field program this past September over interest from Georgia, …Auburn, Clemson, Perdue and North Carolina State. What inspired you to run? Honestly I just love being in shape. I ran before I started cross country, but it was to stay in shape. I did a couple of races in Norcross just for fun, and the women who was in charge of the race told my mom I was in the wrong sport (tennis). I never thought I could turn my running into an opportunity to go to college. What inspires you to keep running? I love to win. It keeps me going through all the hard work. It’s worth the pain to have a few moments of glory at the finish line. How do you mix your running and training? We run at practice and weightlift after sometimes. On off days, i go to the YMCA and do core workouts and strengthening workouts. I enjoy other activities to keep me in shape, like hiking, biking, swimming, and zumba. What do you do to wind down from a run? I take a breather for a while, drink some water, and then i do a slow cool down. My favorite part is eating after a race, it’s like a celebratory meal, and its usually Chick-fil-A. Are there any particular foods or adjustment to your eating style that has helped you in training? Yes, I started eating mostly salad, fruits, and vegetables. I don’t eat red meat much anymore, just turkey, chicken, and fish. I understand you started running with the boy’s team when you first got to high school, how do you think that helped you? It helped because they were so fast and I’m so competitive so I refused to let them all beat me. It made me fast and prepared me for fast girls I would compete with. Do you run on vacation? I do run on vacation. I usually go on cruises and there’s a running deck and a gym. Last year I competed in a 5k race on one of the islands we stopped at, and won. That was fun! What’s your favorite footgear? I love socks. Most people wouldn’t understand the importance of socks, but there’s a particular type that I like. They have to have the heel protector part and they have to be tighter and thinner around the middle of my foot so there’s extra padding on my heel and on the ball of my foot.


Katherine Yost three proudest races included: last year’s state track meet, when she took 3rd in the 3200 after an upsetting mile the day before; her cross country race at UGA last season was she says “an amazing race, [where] a girl broke off from me and I thought she was going to win but then I started kicking harder and passed her for the win.” Finally, Georgia Tech during last track season was one of her favorites as well, her goal for the mile was 5:10 and it was the first race she broke 5:07. SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE | March 2013



5k, 10k, Marathons, Cycling, Walking and Moving CALENDAR OF RACES

Suwanee Kiwanis 5K Shamrock Run Saturday, March 16, 2013, 8:00 AM Suwanee Town Center Park Address: Buford Hwy at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee, GA 30024

benefit charities created in memory of a Fallen Georgia Soldier, and the ranks and names are listed on the rear of the race tee.

Georgia SPCA Run for the Rescues Saturday, March 23, 2013 Suwanee, GA

Fallen Heroes of Georgia 10K.5K.1K Saturday, March 16, 2013 Buford, GA 10K run, 5K run, 1K run Honoring and remembering Georgia’s Fallen Soldiers who have been killed in the Iraq and Afghan Wars. All race proceeds

March 23, 2013, 8:00 AM 5K and FUN RUN Location:First Baptist Church Loganville 680 Tom Brewer Rd Loganville, GA 30052 Come out and run one of the fastest courses in Walton County at the Pregnancy Resource Center 5K. The start and the finish will be at the First Baptist Church of Loganville. The course will be an out and back run on paved streets. Packet pickup and race day registration will begin at 7AM.

5K/1Mile Chick-fil-A® Connect Race Series: Gwinnett, GA Join the herd & lace up your running shoes for a 5k & 1 Mike Run/ Walk at the Chick-fil-A® Connect Race Series of Lawrenceville, GA. This race will include chip timing, a sanctioned and certified course, dri-fit shirts, and a chance to win Chick-fil-A® for a year! Compete in SPEED (run fast) or compete in SPIRIT (dress up like a cow) to win awesome prizes. More information at www.


5K run, 1M fun run, 1M walk www.run4rescues.georgiaspca. org/ In addition to the race, there will be a Festival at the Suwanee Town Center from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Enjoy food and beverage, arts and crafts, inflatables for the kids and treats for dogs, cats and runners alike. Vendors of all kinds will have samples and products for sale.

Gift Certificates will be given to the Overall Male/Female. Awards will be given to the Overall Masters Male/Female and the top 3 in standard age groups beginning with 10 and under to 75 and over. Finish line management and results will be provided by Classic Race Services with results posted to www. classicraceservic,, www. and www.


$65-$105 for individual elite division and $55-$95 for team 5+.

ROCK THE NEW MOON III HALF MARATHON, 10K & 5K SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2013 8:00 AM WHERE: Lenora Park - 4515 Lenora Church Road SW - Snellville, GA 30039 Entire course will be run on a wide paved path through a beautiful park. Well stocked aid station at the start/finish area. Generic tech shirt. Medal to all finishers.

Five Points of Life Kids Marathon Atlanta

The Gwinnett PD is presenting a demonstration with a K-9 unit, and Smart Critters is doing an agility/frisbee demo.

Saturday, March 30, 2013 Stone Mountain Park

Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 9:00 AM

Many local rescues will be there with dogs for adoption.

1000 Robert East Lee Blvd Stone Mountain, GA

Gwinnett Braves, Coolray Field One Braves Avenue Lawrenceville, GA

Entry fee for individual recreation division is $55-$85 and $45-$75 for team 5+. Registration is

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5k, 10k, Marathons, Cycling, Walking and Moving

continued from the previous page Fees: Free until March 15, $5 until April 26, $10 on April 27 Registration Closing Date Friday, April 26, 2013 @ 8:59 PM PST

community by working out. This year, WOD for a Cause has been expanded to include a 5K, Team Challenge, and Individual WOD. Space is limited

Run Into Spring

Resurrection 5K Run

Java Jog 5K

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dooley’s Southern Stone Pizza Kitchen 1862 Auburn Rd Dacula, GA 30019

Tribble Mill Park 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway Lawrence ville, GA 30045

3rd Annual Event...Awesome race shirts, custom awards in 5 year age groups, FREE Coffee.

Entire will be run on a wide path through through a very scenic park. Well stocked aid station. Generic tech shirt. Medal to all finishers.

Snellville, GA

WOD for a Cause 5K Fun Run Saturday, March 30, 2013 Suwanee, GA WOD for a Cause is a unique fundraising event. Members of our community will join together on March 30thto celebrate fitness and impact the homeless

March 30, 2013, 8:30 AM

Diamond In The Rough Girls Wellness Walk/ Run Saturday, April 6, 2013 Lawrenceville, GA 8:30 a.m. – 5K Kick-off & 8:45 a.m.

Dunwoody Duathlon Saturday, March 23, 2013, 9:00 AM Dunwoody, Georgia Brook Run Park 4770 N Peachtree Road Dunwoody, GA Registration closed March 22 Brook Run Park 4770 N. Peachtree Rd. Dunwoody, GA 30338 (770) 604-3924


– Fun Run/Walk Kick-off Tribble Mill Park, 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway, Holly Pavilion, Lawrenceville, GA

Zombie Stomp Obstacle Mud Run Saturday, April 20, 2013 Dalton, Georgia Silver Shoe Ranch Adventure Race: Obstacle Mud Run Kids 1 mile obstacle/mud fun run 10k obstacle/mud run Team of 4 obstacle/mud run


April 7, 2013, 7:30 AM Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Gwinnett Children’s Shelter Run for Hope Saturday, April 20, 2013 Braselton, GA

The Gwinnett Children’s Shelter Legends Run for Hope will host a 10.2K, 5K and 1K Tot Trot starting and ending at the beautiful Chateau Élan Winery.

Trot to Clot Walk and Run Saturday, April 20, 2013 Stone Mountain , GA Stone Mountain Park 1000 Robert E. Lee Drive Stone Mountain, GA 30083 The Trot to Clot Walk and Run is a fun, family-centered event that raises money to fund Camp Wannaklot, the only camp in Georgia that provides children who have hemophilia or other inherited bleeding disorders the opportunity to enjoy a traditional camp experience.

Mountain View Bear Tear 5K Run/Walk Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8:00 AM Lawrenceville , GA Mountain View High School Stadium, 2351 Sunny Hill RoadLawrenceville, GA 30043

65 over RACE DAY REGISTRATION Race Day registration available at Mountain View Stadium 7-7:45 am SEVERE WEATHER In the event of severe weather, please check our website for race updates www.

Grayson Days Road Race 5K & 1 Mile

Please come out and join us for our 4th annual Bear Tear 5K and Cub Run. It is a great community event around our Mountain View High School campus!

Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:30 AM

T-SHIRTS Quality short sleeved race shirt for all pre-registered participants. AWARDS Overall M & F; Masters M & F; Awards for top 3 finishers in the following age groups: 10 & Under, 11-14; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64;

Come join the Grayson Rams XC Team in a fun filled 5K and & 1 mile on April 27th to help support the GHS Cross Country team! Times: 6:30 AM - Packet pick-up & registration opens 7:30 AM - 1 Mile Fun Run Start 8:00 AM - 5K Race Start

Location: Grayson Elementary School 460 Grayson Parkway Grayson, Georgia 30017



ow you can find the right sports camp for your child in Sports Gwinnett’s Camp Guide. Registration has started for some of these camps, so don’t wait if you don’t have to. Plan your where child or teen will spend their week of summer camp, improving their skills or learning new ones. Just remember many camps fill up quickly so plan for early registration for some of the best camps in Gwinnett and the surrounding areas.

2013 SUMMER SPORTS CAMPS A Guide to this Summer’s Sports and Recreational Camps in Gwinnett



Adrenaline Climbing Camp Suwanee, GA

For kidz, ages 6 to 12, each 1 week program is jam-packed with field trips full of fun and adventure on a “Higher Level”! They travel to exotic locales, both indoors and out, seeking the most unusual and interesting experiences for their kids. They were voted BEST DAY CAMP IN ATLANTA, by Nickelodeon Parents. Program fee: $225 per week, $55 Daily Rate. 9am-4pm.There is also free Early Drop Off and Late Pick Ups. No registration fee and the fee includes all field trips. Suwanee, 770-271-1390


Camp Frazier at King College Bristol, TN

Frazier Cycling presents Camp Frazier at King College in Bristol TN July 8-12, 2013. Road Cycling Camp for Juniors 10-18. Open to parents and coaches. For info go to Contact Cathy Frazier, 770-513-8640.


Coach Clint Conley-PCBC 2013 Baseball Camps Peachtree Corners/Norcross, GA

Baseball Camp June 17-19, 9:00AM -1:00PM, $150 Ages: 5-13 Baseball Camp will be led by Coach Clint Conley, a private instructor for recreation, all-stars, and travel teams from Norcross, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge; Coach Conley is also the pitching coach and special advisor for the Georgia Stars tournament teams. Campers will learn basic drills and fundamentals of fielding, throwing and hit-


ting. Each camper will receive a T-shirt at the end of the week.

Emory Baseball Camps

Bonus Pitchers and Catchers Day, June 20, 9:00AM - 1:00PM, $50 Coach Conley will be working with pitchers and catchers only, working on their skills and mechanics on the mound and behind the plate.

Emory Baseball Camps Date: One-week camp from Jun 10 – Jul 26, 2013 Home.html

Baseball Camp II July 10-12, 9:00AM -1:00PM $150 Ages : 5-13 Baseball Camp will be led by Coach Clint Conley, a private instructor for recreation, all-stars, and travel teams from Norcross, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge; Coach Conley is also the pitching coach and special advisor for the Georgia Stars tournament teams. Campers will learn basic drills and fundamentals of fielding, throwing and hitting. Each camper will receive a T-shirt at the end of the week. 4480 Peachtree Corners Circle, Norcross, GA 30092 For More information contact Coach Clint Conley, 770-329-6094


Emory University, Atlanta

EBC Academy Baseball Summer Camps EBC Academy, Marietta

EBC Academy Baseball Summer Camps Date: One-week camp Jun 10 – Jul 25, 2013 home.asp?studioid=8379

Georgia Stars Summer Skills Baseball Camp Duluth, GA

Date: June 11-13 and June 24-26 Where: Duluth High School Website:, click on camp registration Online Description. Georgia Stars Summer

Skills Baseball Camps are for kids 8 to 12 and 13 to 18. The camps focus is developing the fundamental skills of baseball. Pitching, hitting, fielding, catching, throwing ,speed and agility will all be covered in detail in this 3 day camp. Position specific training for infielders, outfielders, catchers and pitchers will also be included. Kids are grouped via ages 8 to 12 and 13 to 18. Our staff of certified baseball instructors, travel baseball coaches and travel ball players will lead your child through comprehensive drills to improve there overall skills and technique. Fee Range: $175 to $225


Nike Basketball Camps with Elite Hoops Basketball Lilburn, Ga

Date: One-week camp June 6-10, 9:00-3:00 July 25-29, 9:00-3:00

Rising Stars Hoops Basketball Camps Marietta, Roswell, Dunwoody

Date: One-week camp from Jun 10 – Jul 26, 2013

Gwinnett MajicYouth Basketball Clinics Buford, GA

Program: Gwinnett Majic Individual Skills/ Team Clinic #1 Date: Mon June 3rd-June 7th Skills,Drills and Shooting Clinic/ Team Clinic #2 Date: Mon July 1st - Wed July 3 Where: Bogan Park Gym The Gwinnett Majic Academy is a youth basketball training program designed for boys and girls grades K through 12. Pricing from $90

Suwanee Sports Academy Basketball Camps Suwanee, GA

Invitational Camp June 10-13, 9:00am-4:00pm, Grades 6-8 Rising Stars Camp I June 10-13, 9:00am-12:00pm, Grades K-5 Mark Price Basketball Camp June 17-20, 9:00am-4:00pm, Grades 4-12 Rising Stars Camp II June 24-27, 9:00am - 12:00pm, Grades K-5 King of the Hill Scorer’s Camp June 24-27, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Grades 8-12 Train to Reign Point Guard Camp July 9-12, 9:00am-4:00pm, Grades 6-12

3640 Burnette Road, Suwanee, GA 30024 summer-camps For questions, contact Emmanuel Blackwell at (678) 541-032 6; or Eric Eleton at (678) 541-0263;


Kids and Pros Youth Football Summer Camps Roswell. GA

Date: One-week camp Jun 3 – Aug 1, 2013 For more information visit: http://www.

Offense-Defense Football Camps Oglethorpe University

Date: One-week camp from Jun 9 – 12, 2013 For more information visit: http://www.o-d. com/camps/locations/Atlanta

►Gymnastics/ Cheerleading

which are $225. All camps include an Equestrian Reserve T-shirt. 739 Old Alpharetta Rd., Alpharetta, GA 30005 770 205-1230


Grayson Athletic Association Youth Girls Lacrosse Camp Lawrenceville, GA

Session 1: Monday, June 25th – Thursday, June 28th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m Session 2: Monday, July 9th – Thursday, July 12 th, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m Location: J.M. Tull YMCA on Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville Fee: $99.00 per session $175.00 for both sessions Information: Craig Champaign– 678.429.7711

Thunderbird Summer Boys’ Lacrosse

Date: TBA Location: Gwinnett Gymnastics Center For more information visit: http://www. php

U17 - Two 2-hour practices a week and FOUR tournaments weeks of U15 - Two 2-hour practices a week and THREE tournaments weeks of May 19 – July 20 and May 19 – July 20 U13 - Two 2-hour practices a week & THREE tournaments weeks of May 19 – June 29 U11 - Two 2-hour practices a week & TWO tournaments weeks of May 19 – June 29 Register by March 15

Summer Camps at Ultimate Gymnastics

Thunderbird Summer Girls’ Lacrosse

WOW Gymnastics Camps at Gwinnett Gymnastics Center Lilburn, GA

Duluth, GA

Date: Daily and weekly camp from Jun 4 – Aug 1, 2013 Location: Ultimate Gymnastics For more information visit: http://www.

Cheer & Dance Atlanta Camp Duluth, GA 770 418-9550

►Horse Back Riding Equestrian Reserve Alpharetta, GA

Most camps are 4 day camps and are $295 with the exception of two 3 day “mini” camps (Dances with Horses May 28-30 and the end of summer Aug 5-7 Western Riding Camp

High School & U-15 Teams Two 2-hour practices a week and three tournaments (SAT + Catawba Classic + Heatwave) weeks of May 19 – July 14 High School, U-15, U-13 Teams 2-hour practices a week & Thunderbird Jamboree weeks of May 19 - week of July 19 U11 - Two 2-hour practices a week & Thunderbird Jamboree weeks of June 2 – June 29 U9/U7 Girls & Boys - Thunderbird Learner Lax – FIVE one-hour sessions with mom/dad weeks of May 26 - week of June 23 Non-Travel Clinic: U9/U7 Girls & Boys Thunderbird Learner Lax – FIve one-hour sessions with mom/dad - week of May 26 week of June 23

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boys & girls ages 4-15. Dates: June 24-28, July 8-12, July 15-19, 9am12pm Where: Bunten Rd Park, Duluth Players are assigned to a coach according to age and skill. Dribbling, passing, shooting and playing as a team, are emphasized in small-sided games daily. Each player receives a camp t-shirt, leather hand-stitched ball and a personal evaluation. 770-396-8258

►Swim & Diving

Greater Atlanta Christian Sports Camps for Diving Norcross, GA Dates: June 10-14, July 8-12, July 15-19 4-6 pm Location: Greater Atlanta Christian, 1575 Indian Trail Road, Nocrcross, GA 30093 For more information visit Wesleyan School Summer Camp Their Fun Camp 2013

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Lacrosse for Kids Under 9 Get ready to learn the best game in town! Kids all over the country are picking up sticks ... let’s get your family in the game! We are inviting Moms and Dads to play alongside your Little Laxer.

putting green, and over 300,000 square feet of air conditioned space! They run a variety of sports including: volleyball, self-defense, tennis, lacrosse, football, soccer and more. Rates run at $219 per week (5-Days), from May 28 – August 2, hours 9am-4pm

►VOLLEYBALL Johns Creek, 678.405.2266

Individual Skills Camp June 3-6, 9:00am-3:00pm, Grades 6-12 VolleySkills Camp (June), June 3-6, 9:00am11:30am, Grades 3-5 Libero Specialty Camp June 24-27, 9:00am11:30am, Grades 7-12 VolleySkills Camp (July), July 15-18, 9:00am11:30am, Grades 3-5 VolleyStars Camp July 15-18, 9:00am-3:00pm, Grades, 6-8 Train for Tryouts Camp July 22-24, 9:00am-3:00pm, Grades, 9-12

Girls ages 5-9, Boys ages 5-9 FIVE one-hour sessions with Mom or Dad Saturday Mornings May 25th to June 22nd Register by April 15th Register: www. Contact us: info@ 678-876-0042

►Multi-Sport Camp All-American Johns Creek, GA

Voted best summer day camp by local publications, Camp All-American is in their 24th summer offering world class facilities that include more than 100 secure acres loaded full of fun: 11 acre wilderness and ropes course area contains over 1 mile of zip lines, giant swings and one thrill after the other, pristine athletic fields, tennis courts, water complex,



Youth Skills Camps at Atlanta Silverbacks Date: One-week camp from Jun 17 – Jul 26, 2013 Location: Atlanta Silverbacks, Atlanta For more information visit http://www. htm#camptype4

Tavani Soccer Camps Duluth, GA

Camps are for all skill levels players,


Suwanee Sports Academy Volleyball Camps Suwanee, GA

Location: 3640 Burnette Road, Suwanee, GA 30024 For more information visit http://www. For questions, contact the Director of Volleyball, Cindy Young, at (770) 614-6686 x 108 or

►North Gwinnett Community School Bob Sphire’s Air Raid Football Camp – June 10-13 Baseball Camp – May 28-31 (upcoming fresh-

men) and June 3-6 Bryan Sellers’ Lady Bulldog Basketball Camp – June 11-13 Zach Smith’s Boys Basketball Camp—July 15-18 Volleyball Camp—June 3-6 SNAG Golf Camp—June 24-27 and July 22-25 Please go to communityschool/ for more information 20 Level Creek Road, Suwanee, GA 30024, 770-271-5179


Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA

Peachtree Corners, GA Most of the Camps are held at the Simpsonwood Retreat Center. Some camps being offered include: All-Around Sports Camp, TGA Premier Junior Golf Camp, Summer Swim Cap, Gymnastics Camp, Skate Camp and cheerleading. Fees Run from $150 and up. Oneweek Sessions: May 28– August 6 Pre-camp hours: 7:00 – 9:00 am* Camp program hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, post-camp hours: 4:00 – 6:00 pm* Check for additional details at or call (770) 246-9622 5600 West Jones Bridge Rd., Norcross, GA 30092

►Wesleyan School Camps Summer Camps at Wesleyan School Campus Peachtree Corners, GA

Camps for Wesleyan School 2013 season begins June 3 and runs through July 26th. Their programs use Wesleyan teachers and coaches to help children build on their strengths, improve their weaknesses and discover their passions. Programs are week long, depending the program hours run from 9am-3pm, 8am11am, 9am-1am and ages from Rising K-10. Fess ranges from $92 to $205.00 Sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, fun

camps, golf, lacrosse, peewee ball camps, soccer (coed), softball, volleyball and wrestling. Check out their website for more information

►Gwinnett Park Summer Camps Summer Camps at Various Gwinnett Parks and Aquatic Centers Gwinnett County, GA

Summer Day Camps: ages 4-14, camps feature art, swimming, dance, games, outdoor exploration, and many other fun activities. Tennis Camp: all levels welcome. Tennis offerings include league play, junior tournaments, classes, camps, lessons and team coaching. Call 770-417-2210 for information. Basketball Camp: $150, 7 years to 18 years old. Call 770-723-9516 for information.

All Sports Youth Camps Camps include: Basketball, Baseball/Softball Camp, Recreational/ Sports Camps, Soccer Camp, Cheerleading Camp, Lacrosse Camp

Across from Eddie Owen Presents (EOP) in Downtown Duluth Pizza | Appetizers | Calzones | Famous Subs | Burgers | Salads

Real Pizza!

Each child will be divided into a division based on age and/or ability level (i.e.: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 etc.). Hours 9am-3:00pm, Fees range from $80 to $110 Camps are held at various Gwinnett County Park locations (Bogan Park, Collins Hill Park, Dacula Park,Rabbit Hill Park, George Pierce Par, and Bogan Parks) Check the county website www. or http:// or call 770-822-8840



3117 Main Street Duluth, GA 770-622-2110

ANY LARGE SPECIALTY PIZZA Expires March 31, 2013 - One Coupon Per Visit





Wes Fleming, DMD, MSD Orthodontiist, Imagix Dental Peachtree Corners, GA What’s the best way to protect a kid’s teeth in sports? The best way to protect your teeth while playing sports is to wear a mouth guard and this is true whether or not a helmet is required for the sport you may be playing. Some sports may not require the use of mouth guards, but they’re easy to wear and greatly reduce the chance for accidental fracture or loss of teeth. Additionally, the mouth guards need not be expensive or professionally made in most cases. The kind you’ll find in your local sporting goods store (or website) usually work just fine. Can retainers be worn while playing? That’s a tricky question. The answer is technically yes as most retainers could be worn simultaneously with most mouth guards. Practically speaking however, it’s not necessary so my advice is to store your orthodontic retainers in their case during competition/practice, wear the aforementioned mouth guard, and resume normal wear of your retainer after your victory celebration meal. What type of mouth guard can I wear with braces? Orthodontic patients can protect not only their teeth, but also their braces with the use of a mouth guard. The popular “boil and bite” mouth guards that are custom molded to the teeth, however, are not appropriate for orthodontic patients. The heated plastic material can actually mold around the braces during fabrication making it difficult or impossible to remove from the mouth without the destruction of the orthodontic appliances. A quick Google search for “orthodontic sports mouth guard”, or some variation thereof, will give you several options to choose from. Again, no need to break the bank for one of these. Just find one that’s comfortable and easy to wear.


Wes Fleming, DMD, MSD Imagix Dental FULL services Offered • Orthodontics (Braces) • Cosmetic Dentistry • Dental Implants • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery • Endodontics • General Dentistry • Pediatric Dentistry • Periodontics Porcelain • Teeth Whitening • TMJ Syndrome

ABOUT DR. WES FLEMING Dr. Wes Fleming graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Chemistry from Western Kentucky University. He then went to the University of Kentucky to earn his DMD degree. He points out that he had perfect attendance for all home basketball games while at Kentucky. After earning his dental degree Dr. Fleming did a twelve month general practice residency at the University of Kentucky and Lexington Veterans Affairs hospitals. Subsequently Wes attended Saint Louis University for a thirty month period achieving his Masters degree and certificate in the specialty of Orthodontics. He has been with Imagix ever since graduating in 2006.

LOCATION: 5075 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 105B, Norcross, GA 30092 | CONTACT: 770-448-9333


We’re just gearing up. We will be introducing an iPad version of the magazine in a few months with an app as well. Become a fan on Facebook for more immediate updates.

SPORTS GWINNETT | 678.358.7858




Tips, Recommendations and Advise

After game snacks

Get to know your parents Make sure that you introduce yourself to each parent. It will be important that they feel comfortable talking to you and sharing information with you – Plus, you will make great friends that will last a lifetime!

Share contact information for the team Make sure that it is ok with each family that you share directory information with others. Create a “roster” including parents’ names and phone numbers. This will also come in handy for you and the coaches if you have to call your players at the last minute. Also include the Rainout hotline number on your roster. This will always be the quickest way for parents to find out if fields are closed due to weather.


It is tradition that for the younger teams (rookie, tee ball, pee wee) a snack is provided at the end of each game. You can either create a snack schedule assigning each family a game to be responsible for, or you can collect funds at the beginning of the season and have the provided by one family/person. It could be the team mom, or another family that volunteers to perform this task. This prevents issues if someone forgets.

Dugout parent Each team will need a parent in the dugout to be with the kids. You can make a dugout schedule or ask for a few parents if they would be interested in helping with that task for the season. This helps keep the kids focused on the game and with the flow of the game with respect to batting order.

Sydney Sattler is a mom of 2 boys that have grown up playing baseball in the Duluth Youth Baseball and Softball Association. She has been a Team Mom for both recreational teams and travel teams – from tee ball through majors. She also serves as uniform coordinator for the DYBSA.

Here’s a list of 10 responsibilities moms and dads end up with when enlisted as a team mom or dad:

Team Party

Money manager

Fundraiser coordinator

Plan the date and location of your team party early. You will need to secure the location and time so that all of your families will know ahead of time. Suggestions may include pizza parlors, picnics, or meeting at an ice cream shop. You will also need to collect funds from each family to cover the trophy. Trophies are very important to the kids and parents. As they get older, there are other options – like pennants or medals – but especially for the younger teams, trophies are the way to go.

Answer person

Volunteer coordinator

Keeper of the list


Pre-season meeting coordinator

Travel agent

Team Pin Buyer

File Clerk


The list above was adapted from the book, Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (HarperCollins 2006) by Brooke de Lench.

Please check for more team mom and dad advice Want to be here? Send your team mom or dad advise with your photo to with “Team Mom and Dad” in the subject line. Make it original and different from what you’ve already read in the magazine. Include a 35-40 word “bio” of who you are, how many kids, sport and youth association. Deadlines are the 18th of the month prior to publicaiton.



Highlighted Parks and Recreation Events and Programs

Easter Bunny Bonanza

Kids Night Out

March 16

6:00pm to 9:00pm. It’s Friday night fun - filled with swimming, games, crafts, and dinner! Bring your swimsuit and towel; you must be on time to swim. Age 7 to 12, $12/person. Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, 2723 North Bogan Road, Buford . Advance registration required. Call 678.277.0850.

10:00am to 1:00pm. Here comes Peter Cottontail hoppin’ down the bunny trail! He’s hiding eggs as he goes, so join us for an Easter Egg Hunt, fun spring crafts, and photos with the Easter Bunny. All ages, $5/person if pre-register by March 11 or $7/person at the door. Dacula Activity Building, 205 Dacula Road, Dacula. Call 678.277.0850.

Lunch and Learn March 21 · Free

11:00am to 2:00pm. With the confusing markets, you may have more questions than answers. Join us for lunch and an informative financial seminar to learn how to navigate these challenging markets and make sense of your investment options. Age 18+. George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Hwy, Suwanee. Advance registration required by March 15. Call 678.277.0910.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun March 22

6:00pm to 9:00pm. Come dressed ready to dance, sing and have fun with just the girls! Glitter hair, crafts, karaoke, pizza and a special treat! Age 6 to 11, $15/person. Mountain Park Activity Building. 1063 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain. Advance registration required by March 15. Call 678.277.0179.

March 22

Bunny Bash Breakfast March 23

9:00am to noon. Hop on out for breakfast and pictures with your furry friend, the Easter Bunny! Fun crafts and Easter egg hunts, too! Parents must attend with children and are free, but must pay if they wish to eat breakfast. Age 3 to12, $5/person. Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center, 4651 Britt Road, Norcross. Registration required. Call 678.277.0860.

Spring Bridal Lunch March 23

11:00am to 1:00pm. Congratulations on your engagement! Our Bridal Brunch is the perfect time to meet with select wedding professionals and get ideas at our spectacular fashion show! During our Lunch and Learn session, hear about the latest trends in wedding gowns, accessories, honeymoon destinations, accommodations, floral design and more! $13/person. Gwinnett

Historic Courthouse,185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. Advance registration required by March 20. Call 770.822.5450.

Herb Garden Workshop March 23

1:00pm to 4:00pm. Be earth friendly and reuse materials to make your very own small herb garden! Learn the tips and tricks to successfully cultivate indoor and outdoor herbs in our hot Southern climate. Age 10+, $10/ person. George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Hwy, Suwanee. Advance registration required. Call 678.277.0910.

Cruising the Ocean Blue March 29

6:30pm to 10:00pm. Come sail away with our Home School Prom! The Gwinnett Historic Courthouse is your port of call for fun, dinner, souvenir photo, door prizes, and music! 9th to 12th grade, $37/person. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse,185 Crogan Street, Lawrenceville. Advance registration required by March 15. Call 770.822.5450.

Line Dance Marathon March 30

6:00pm to midnight. Learn The Cupid Shuffle, the Charlie Brown and more! Grab your friends and come for a line dance marathon

in the gym! Country to hiphop and everything in between will be played for all levels of dancing. Bring a dish to share, drinks are provided. $5/person. Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center, 4651Britt Road, Norcross. Registration required. Call 678.277.0860.

Gwinnett County Adult Athletic Leagues Softball Flag Football Volleyball Information: Stacy Fowler - 678.277.0891

Kacy Cargile - 678.277.0891


Adult Participation in Leagues in 2011 33


BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE The Passion of Sports and Recreation in Pictures

Josh Brickell, Cross Country, Peachtree Ridge High School Photo by Kate Awtrey for Sports Gwinnett

Berkmar High School Courtesy of Bob Chadwick

Ella Stevens, Grayson High School Courtesy of Rick Craine

Please check for stories and pictures. Want to be here? Send your photos to with “Best Seat in the House” in the subject line. Include a caption (name of person or people in the picture, team, school, game, etc., photo credit). It needs to be a current photo - meaning for the April issue, it should have happened in March. Deadlines are the 18th of the month prior to publicaiton.

Collins Hill High School Courtesy of Bob Chadwick



James Todd, 2013 Hincapie Training Series, Greenville, SC

Peachtree Ridge High School Courtesy of Bob Chadwick

Above: A 1 mile fun run follows the 5k race -- all runners, young and old, can participate in the fun! Courtesy of Cliff Watson

The Blue Devils Run is the major fundraising event for the Norcross High School Boys and Girls Cross Country and Track Teams. Courtesy of Cliff Watson

Former Norcross High School student, Amelia Watson, was honored for founding the Blue Devils run and for serving as race director for two years.

Race time! The Blue Devils Run is a 5k open road race that starts and ends at the Pinckneyville Middle School. Participants can run, walk or choose to support the race as “phantom� runners.

Courtesy of Cliff Watson

Courtesy of Cliff Watson



COACH’S CALL Advice and Insight From Respected Coaches

Coach Clint Conley, co-publisher of Sports Gwinnett Magazine and respected baseball coach talks about starting your baseball team on the right track. With the baseball season starting, now is the perfect time to think about how to lay the foundation for a positive experience this season for players, parents, and coaches. I was 6 years old when I first played in Little League, and 30 years have passed since I coached my first team. Most of my youth was spent at ball fields with my family and a father who coached, umpired, and organized tournaments. Now, I train, teach, and mentor hundreds of players at all skill levels and work with numerous coaches and travel teams year round. I have seen a lot of baseball! Coach Clint Conley’s advice for parents and coaches of Little League youth baseball: 1 Make the season about THEM - the players, not you. 3 Coaches, hold a preseason meeting with your parents to discuss your teaching philosophies, feelings about playing time, the schedule of practices and games and enlisting their support.

4 Coaches, teach how to play the game of baseball the right way - make it fun, and teach fundamentals as a team. Parents, play catch and throw before the season 5

and during the season. These skills improve mechanics by using both movement and motor skills.

6 Coaches, use patience at practices and games. Your players’ development depends on this. Since baseball skills do not come naturally to all, they must be taught, repeated, and reinforced.

7 Parents, show patience to coaches and players. You are there to support! If you think you have a better way, sign up to be a coach next season.

8 Coaches and parents, be a positive influence. Demonstrate maturity, honesty, and integrity. Be the team that is known to have the best coaches, players, and parents on and off the field. Insist that the players are going to play with a respect for their teammates, opposition, and the umpires regardless of the outcome. Coaches, stay focused on the well-being of your 9



players; this relates to the game, dugout behavior, and encouraging their fellow teammates.

9 Parents should focus on watching the entire game, not delivering food and drinks to the dugout. Enjoy the game by cheering for both teams. Cheer for team play, not for an individual player 10 Demand commitment from parents and players;

commitment to the season, commitment to practices, commitment to a time schedule.

11 Good Attitude Matters Everytime (GAME) …before, during, and after the game.

12 Go Hard! Teach the players to be aggressive and to play for each other from the weakest to the strongest.

13 Let every player play multiple positions. 14 Make your time at the park a family gathering; it’s a chance to spend time outdoors and to unplug.

15 No instructing or coaching should be heard from

outside the fence, especially behind home plate; let the players focus on doing their best. Be a silent source of encouragement. Most players, if asked what they would want to hear from their parents, is “NOTHING”. Most parents feel they must participate with loud cheering and “Come on, let’s go, you can do it”, which just adds more pressure to the kids when all they’re thinking about is not getting hit with a ball or striking out. Let the players play, the parents watch, and the umpire call the game. End of story. There will be no questioning of calls on or off the field. (Set that good example, Coach!)

16 Teach them “you play to win,” but let them know that their best doesn’t always go their way; find positives in every game. The game of baseball is so much more than wins and losses. How coaches and parents handle young players can have long lasting effects, either positive or negative. Cultivating positive, healthy, and knowledgeable baseball players is a collaborative job. If coaches and parents follow the same guidelines and speak the same language, your players will thrive.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK AND WE’LL LIKE YOU BACK! Every Monday from March 18 to April 29 we’ll be giving away prizes to our fans on FB. GiftCards, Dinner, tickets to sporting events. So keep an eye out and help us notice you on Facebook.





Adventure Camps Full day recreation camps with a thematic twist!

Preschool Camps Fun morning camps at select locations.

Special Interest Camps Partial day camps led by specialized instructors.

Register today! Top Notch convenient locations


Buford Bogan Park Community Recreation Center 678.277.0850 Dacula Dacula Park Activity Building 678.277.0850 Duluth Shorty Howell Park Activity Building 770.814.4914 Lawrenceville Rhodes Jordan| Park Recreation Center 678.277.0890 SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE MarchCommunity 2013

Lilburn Mountain Park Park Depot Building 678.277.0179 Norcross Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center 678.277.0860 Pinckneyville Park Community Recreation Center 678.277.0920 Snellville Lenora Park Gymnasium 770.978.5271 Stone Mountain Mountain Park Activity Building 678.277.0179 Suwanee George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center 678.277.0910

Sports Gwinnett March 2013  
Sports Gwinnett March 2013  

Sports Gwinnett Magazine covers sports and recreation, and the passionate people that participate.