Sports Gwinnett August 2013

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sports and rec in THE CITY OF SUWANEE SPORTS GWINNETT

THE FERGUSONS

life is active | AUGUST 2013

GWINNETT FOOTBALL REDEFINING “TEAM” ALSO INSIDE:

Football & Softball Preview pARK eVENTS GUIDE FOR A HUNGRY TEAM

Atlanta, GA Permit #2883

PAID

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PROUD PATRONS OF JR’S LOG HOUSE CATERING

Perimeter Church One Heart Church Intown Community Church Turner Broadcasting Atlanta Gas Hennessy Lexus Jim Ellis Porsche Hendrick Chevrolet Simpson Elementary Berkeley Lake Elementary Norcross High School Wesleyan School Office Depot Wells Realty Florida Rock and Tank Georgia-Pacific Georgia Power Home Depot Macy’s US Gypsum Siemens Northside Hospital Community Loans Iron Mountain Amway Cox Communication PGA Golf Tournament 2011

Create your own catering package or choose from our other specially created packages.

The Favorite Package

Self-service, but can be full-service upon request. This is our most-asked-for catering combination, and includes the following for your guests: • • • • • • •

Chopped pork Chopped chicken Brunswick stew Cole slaw Sandwich buns and french bread Iced tea Plates, cups, plastic ware

$

• • • •

8

75

per person

Stew cups, napkins Barbecue sauce Salt, pepper, ice, lemons, drink cups Serving utensils

Add an extra side for .75/person | Add dessert for 1.75/person

770-449-6426

6601 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Norcross, GA 30092

J.R.’s first started serving great barbecue and breakfast in May 1983. Today, you can still see some of the same employees here who helped us open our doors!

Visit our website for a complete menu

www.jrsloghouse.com We also cater BREAKFAST. Check out our bulk prices on meats, sides and more. Full service, which includes serving staff at your event is available.


WINNING DOESN’T TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING. Services Include Rehabilitation of: • Knee injuries • Shoulder injuries • Wrist injuries/Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Bursitis • Tendonitis • Rotator cuff injuries • Ankle injuries Corrective Care:

Vax-D Therapy Individually focused treatment and rehabilitation programs for the correction of chronic conditions

2856 Buford Hwy Suite 7 Duluth, GA 30096

678-587-5390 M W F 7:30 AM-10:30 AM reopen at 2:30 PM- 6:00 PM Tu Th 2:30PM-6PM Sat 8 AM-11AM


CONTENT 8 FIRST UP Happenings in the next 45 days 10 SPIRIT Youth Athletic Leagues, Schools, Clubs

and Achievements

24 NOURISH Great places to eat and meet friends

and have fun with your teammates

28 PARKS Highlighted events and happenings at

Gwinnett County Parks

29 MOVE 5K, 10K, marathons, cycling, walking

Support for every program

[12] gwinnett football -

redefining team

[15]

Football Preview

[19]

30 best seat in the house Highlighting the past month in pictures.

Softball Preview

FOCUS: [22] CITY SUWANEE

Sports and Recreation in the City of Suwanee

FOR A [24] GUIDE HUNGRY TEAM

igh [16] Hachievement:

FRONT COVER

COVER CREDIT

SPORTS AND REC IN THE CITY OF SUWANEE SPORTS GWINNETT

Cover: Gwinnett Football Coaches. Cover photography by Kathryn Nee

THE FERGUSONS

LIFE IS ACTIVE | AUGUST 2013

Some of Gwinnett's best catering choices for banquets, team parties and tailgating.

GWINNETT FOOTBALL REDEFINING “TEAM”

Pictured on this page: Blake Ferguson photographed by Kathryn Nee

ALSO INSIDE:

FOOTBALL & SOFTBALL PREVIEW PARK EVENTS GUIDE FOR A HUNGRY TEAM

Atlanta, GA Permit #2883

[10]

Gwinnett Touchdown Club

and moving

attained quietly

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1 8/3/2013 5:02:46 PM

Reid and Blake Ferguson

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.

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BOYS AND GIRLS LACROSSE

SPORTS GWINNETT

C0-PUBLISHERS

Rico Figliolini EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Kate Awtrey PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Reg L. Carver ASSOCIATE EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Reg L. Carver Joel Hillsman Amanda Helmstetter Matthew Quinn Sydney Sattler Tori Vogt Abby Wilkerson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Kate Awtrey Photography Kat Goduco Kathryn Nee CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Rico Figliolini ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES

Tom Ball tom@sportsgwinnett.com

Patti Leach patti@sportsgwinnett.com

Nicole Lynch nicole@sportsgwinnett.com

David Calnek david@sportsgwinnett.com Website

KATHERINE MACMANUS SPORTS360GROUP LLC 4305 River Stream Circle, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 678.358.7858 www.sportsgwinnett.com

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 editor@sportsgwinnett.com.

SUMMER CLUB LAX

Clint Conley and Rico Figliolini

Gwinnett · North Fulton · Sandy Springs · DeKalb

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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

www.thunderbirdlacrosse.com 678-876-0042 Storm the Field with Thunderbird this summer and elevate your game to the next level!

We’ll create your WEBSITE, put you on FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, PINTEREST AND OTHER SITES TO IMPROVE YOUR LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING.

We’ll claim and optimize your YELP & KUDZU LISTINGS and other review sites.

Additional Services include: Video Production, Photography, Graphic Design for brochures, custom magazines (print and digital) and other print products.

We're more than a magazine. SPORTS360GROUP Social Media Marketing

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Learn lacrosse from coaches who have been in your shoes

THE PLACE FOR ALL YOUR BODY WORK NEEDS...  Accept all insurance claims  Limited Lifetime Warranty  Early Bird Night Drop  Free Estimates The Choice is Yours: You are not required to use a shop on your insurance company’s list. You choose the shop that will repair your vehicle.

4468 Abbott’s Bridge Road Duluth, Georgia 30097


FROM THE CONTRIBUTORS PUBLISHERS kATE AWTREY

Director of Photography 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.

ABBY WILKERSON

Rico Figliolini and Clint Conley Co-Publishers

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.

Coming Issues: SEPTEMBER Ad & Editorial Deadline: August 24, 2013

• Faith in Sports • Sports and Rec in Peachtree Corners • Guide to Fall Sports Gear and Apparel OCTOBER Ad & Editorial Deadline: September 24, 2013

• Fall Recreation Issue • Sports and Rec in Lawrenceville • Guide to Private Schools and their Sports

MATTHEW QUINN

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.

AMANDA HELMSTETTER

Amanda is the mother of two youth athletes – a son who plays baseball and lacrosse for Duluth and a daughter who plays softball and basketball for Norcross. She and her “Coach” husband have lived in Peachtree Corners for 14 years and is the Principal Engagement Manager for The SAS Institute.

TORI VOGT

Please email editor@sportsgwinnett.com about advertising deadlines and editorial considerations.

WE'RE LAUNCHING A

BEST OF SURVEY

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

IN AUGUST VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND SIGN-UP FOR OUR E-NEWSLETTER

KATHRYN NEE

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 www.KathrynNee.com

REG L. CARVER

Reg is a freelance writer and designer 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 www.reglcarver.com.

SYDNEY SATTLER

Sydney 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.

JOEL HILLSMAN

Joel a native of Athens, GA is a sports media freelancer covering high school and pro sports since 2009. He is playby-play announcer for high school football and basketball for iBN Sports covering the southeast and produces game highlights for NBATV and Turner Sports.

KATHERINE MACMANUS

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

50 Categories Share what and who you liked in 2013

SG50/13

Deadline October 15, 2013 - VISIT WWW.SPORTSGWINNETT.COM. the results - both READER'S CHOICE and EDITORIAL choices will be published in the December/January 2013 issue.

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SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013


FALL 2013 RUN FOR A CAUSE DOG & STROLLER FRIENDLY EVENT NOVEMBER 9, 2013 - DOWNTOWN BUFORD PAWS F R

DIABETICS

& VIRTUAL 5K & 13.1 Challenge PROCEEDS BENEFIT SERVICE DIABETIC ALERT DOGS & AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION’S STEP OUT|WALK TO STOP DIABETES INITIATIVE

PRESENTED BY:

Fun for the whole family - Dog and Stroller friendly (2) Option Race - Virtual and Road Race Road Race Option - Buford, GA November 9, 2013 - 9AM - E Main Street Registration Road Race $25 Adult/$17 Child Road Race Age Group Awards & Tech Tee

Virtual Option - Run ANYWHERE (7) days to complete - 11/9 thru 11/15 Registration $25 USA/$35 International Custom finisher medals to ALL

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FIRST UP

FIRST UP

What's Happening 45 Days Out

Blimpie Fit Fest August 17, 7:30 am

Town Center Park The BLIMPIE Fit Fest returns to Suwanee Town Center Park and Greenway on Saturday August 17th 2013. The Health and Fitness Expo, Skylar's Run 5k and 10K, and the Bodyplex Zumba Group Class will return and added to the schedule is the 25 Miler Bike Ride, Crossfit Challenge and the Kids Fun Fit Course. Bring the family and take part in one or multiple events and take in all of the booths at the Fit Fest Expo. For more information, email paul@blimpiegeorgia.com BLIMPIE Fit Fest Schedule and Event Links: 7:00am to Noon Fitness Expo 7:00am 25 Miler Bike Ride 7:30am Skylar's Run 5K 8:15am Skylar's Run Fun Run 8:30am Skylar's Run 10K Peachtree Qualifier Skylar's Run 5K / 10K Race Challenge 9:00am -9:45am Bodyplex Zumba for Special Needs Kids 9:00am Crossfit Challenge for Special Needs Kids 9:15am Kids Fun Fit Course

Glo in the Dark Zumbathon on the Town Green Saturday, August 17, 7:30-10:30 PM

Duluth Town Green and Amphitheater 3142 Hill Street See map Free, Family Event DARK outdoor Zumbathon that raises money for the youth in our area. The organizers say to "Wear bright colors and feel free to get crazy with it!" Gwinnett Infiniti will be auctioning off a weekend with a brand new 2013 Infiniti, including a night on the town package fit for two.

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Down Swings for Disabilities 2013 Golf Tournament

August, 23, 8:00 am

Smoke Rise County Club 480 Chedworth Dr. Stone Mountain, Ga. 30087 Down Swings for Disabilities is a golf tournament hosted by the DDD Foundation, Inc. The tournament will benefit Dentistry for the Developmentally Disabled-a nonprofit dental office serving exclusively children and adults with developmental disabilities such as autism, Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy and more. To register, sponsor, or for more information visit: www.dddfoundation.org

Suwanee Day Race September 14, 8:00am

Suwanee Town Center Park Buford Hwy at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road Suwanee, GA 30024 Last year, nearly 500 people participated in the annual race, which is hosted by BodyPlex. 5K Start Time: 7:30am 10K Start Time: 8:30am Fun Run Start Time: 8:35am 330 Town Center Avenue Suwanee, GA US 30024 $25 - 5K Registration $30 - 10K Registratio $20 - 1K Fun Run $40 - 5K/10K Combo To register for the race(s) visit www.runsignup.com/Race/GA/Suwanee/SuwaneeDayClassic

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

August 10 – 12, 2013

vs. Lehigh Valley Ironpigs August 13 – 16, 2013

vs. Durham Bulls August 26 – 27, 2013

vs. Norfolk Tides August 29 – 30, 2013

vs. Durham Bulls

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.


Just Keep swiming!

Best Friend Park Pool 6224 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross 770.417.2202 Bethesda Park Aquatic Center 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville 678.277.0880

re nt al

Bogan Park Aquatic Center 2723 North Bogan Road, Buford 678.277.0853 Collins Hill Park Aquatic Center 2200 Collins Hill Road, Lawrenceville 770.237.5647 Dacula Park Pool 205 Dacula Road, Dacula 770.822.5410

ol Po

F

un for

Lenora Park Pool 4515 Lenora Church Road, Snellville 770.982.5309 Mountain Park Aquatic Center 1063 Rockbridge Road, Stone Mountain 678.277.0870

ra

ll l eve ls!

t o ts !

ne !

Sw im

o ry e v Fun for e

o sf n o l ess

Rhodes Jordan Park Pool 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville 678.277.0892 West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center 4488 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Norcross 678.407.8801

gwinnettcounty parks & recreation www.gwinnettparks.com 9


SPIRIT

SPIRIT

GWINNETT TOUCHDOWN CLUB Support for Every Program by Reg L. Carver photography by Kathryn Nee

D

espite this summer’s downpours, Monday morning, July 15, 2013, did not bring rain in Gwinnett County – at least not on the golf course at Summit Chase Country Club in Snellville. Clouds? Plenty. But not a drop, and the weather did not spoil this year’s Gwinnett Touchdown Club Golf Tournament sponsored by Dr. Gary Levengood and Sports Med South. The shotgun start began at 9AM as planned, and everyone was able to finish his round uninterrupted. The beauty of the weather was matched by the beauty of the course – from tee to green. It was a great day to play golf and talk about all things related to high school football in Gwinnett County. A “THANK YOU” TO GWINNETT’S COACHES The Gwinnett Touchdown Club’s primary function is to promote Gwinnett County high schools’ 22 public and private football programs. It does this by lending support to each team's coaches and student athletes. The GTC hosts six annual events each year. The GTC Golf Tournament is in the good hands of Dr. Levengood and his staff at Sports Med South. Each year, Dr. Levengood’s office closes for the day, and he and his staff work tirelessly to organize and work all aspects of the tournament.

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The GTC invites each team’s head coach (and his guests) to participate in friendly competition. In addition to providing a round of golf, the participants are treated to a barbeque lunch buffet, and a raffle with prizes ranging from fishing and hunting trips, to the

latest in HD televisions, to golf outings, just to name some. The whole day is a way to provide the coaches with a “thank you” for all their efforts in running Gwinnett County’s football programs. This year, the tournament was highlighted by three important announcements. First, Dr. Levengood confirmed that the tournament raised funds to provide each school with a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving senior player (to be chosen by each school’s head coach) to be used for college. Second, Dr. Levengood also announced that, for the upcoming season, Sports Med South would be conducting a study of a new knee brace technology. Dr. Levengood noted that each Gwinnett football team would be provided with 10 custom-made braces for its linemen. Hoping to make strides in reducing knee and other injuries, the study will determine the efficacy of the new braces and also hopefully reveal what adjustments

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

can be made to knee protection for players. Finally, representatives from Gwinnett Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Program discussed its Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) program. According to GMC’s website, “[e] very public high school in Gwinnett County, as well as the Gwinnett Football League, is eligible to participate.” The “no fee” program’s goal “is to reduce the chance of follow-up concussions, thus helping the student athlete’s performance both on the field and in the classroom.” (www.gwinnettmedicalcenter.org) OTHER GTC EVENTS The Gwinnett Touchdown Club hosts other events and programs to help promote Gwinnett football.


Media Day is an annual preseason event where each school’s coach(es) and a few players make themselves available to the media. Modeled after collegiate level media days, it is an efficient way for the media to gather pertinent information on all of Gwinnett’s football programs in one day. Team of the Month recognizes outstanding play on the field during the course of each season. Gwinnett County Awards Banquet is held annually at the end of each season. Special recognition is given for Scholar Athletes, First and Second Team Offense, First and Second Team Defense, Parent Volunteers who have gone above and beyond in supporting their school, notable Assistant Coaches from each school, and other important contributions to Gwinnett County football. Recruiting Fair is an annual event where college coaches meet with high school coaches to learn about players who may be a good fit for collegiate-level football. This event is especially beneficial to small college programs as they are able to meet with many high school coaches at one time and efficiently use limited recruiting resources. Conversely, it benefits high school players by exposing them to several colleges at one time. Rivalries of Gwinnett All Star Game is played by seniors whom the GTC hosts in December of each year. The Gwinnett Touchdown Club is as strong as ever in its support of student athletes playing football in Gwinnett. It strives to make a difference to each one of Gwinnett’s football programs, coaches, and players. Reg L. Carver is a writer and designer from Johns Creek, Georgia. You may find him at www.reglcarver.com.

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“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

by Reg L. Carver photography by Kathryn Nee

E

arly afternoon on Thursday, July 18, a perpetual line formed outside Head Coach Cecil Flowe’s office at Parkview High School’s Field House. On this day, just like so many others, Coach Flowe was wearing many hats. And everyone needed “just a minute” – assistant coaches, administrative staff, maintenance crews, and media. Everyone waited his turn, and all inquiries were dispatched politely – and quickly. Reminiscent of a working beehive, the Parkview High football program runs fullspeed 24/7 – it is either keep up or get out of the way.

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Clockwise from top left: Keith Maloof, Head Coach for Norcross; Jason Conner, Duluth Head Coach; Mark Crews, Head Coach for Brookwood; Cecil Flowe, Head Coach for Parkview

GWINNETT FOOTBALL SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013


But there is one notable exception to the hurried pace – and that is Coach Flowe’s response to a player’s and his mother’s concern. Also in line that day was a young athlete. He walked in sheepishly (head down even) with his mother beside him. The kid had become dehydrated earlier from a grueling workout that morning. He had not been able to finish the day’s drills, and was concerned what Coach Flowe would think. The youngster and mother did not utter a word as they entered Flowe’s small, somewhat cluttered space. They looked as if they did not know what to expect from a man known for his commitment to discipline and hard work. Their faces revealed concern about whether he would be upset that the slightly built young man had to make an early exit from practice. Flowe read their thoughts immediately and accurately. He wasn’t upset with the young man at all. After all his years coaching football,

Coach Flowe knows the difference between an early exit due to not giving one’s all and one due to genuinely pushing oneself to total exhaustion. He knew the youngster’s situation did not result from a lack of trying. Coach Flowe put the youngster and mother at ease, starting his advice before the two passed the office door threshold. “You have to listen to Coach’s advice about proper hydration. It’s hot and humid out there, and you’re a small kid. You need even more fluids than the average guy out there.” Both mother and player nodded in assent. Both were encouraged that Coach Flowe was understanding. Even still, the youngster was upset. And his head was still hanging. Coach Flowe was not going to allow the kid’s feelings to linger. He lightened the mood, asking, “Now, can I see that wide grin you are known for?” Slowly, the young player looked

up and smiled broadly. Coach Flowe had won him over. The kid looked relieved, knowing all was going to be okay, after all. “It’s especially tough on someone your size. But stay hydrated and you’ll be fine.” Then he addressed the boy’s mom, “He’s got to pay attention to this heat. It’s important.” The mother nodded in agreement and smiled. The quick encounter was all both mother and son needed to alleviate any concerns – about both Coach Flowe’s feelings and about how to address the problem. The two walked out of the office smiling. They knew the next day would be a new day. Problem solved. The kid would be able to play football as he so desperately wanted to. As mother and son were exiting, another assistant coach poked his head in. “Got a minute, Coach? . . .”

Incomparable Programs Over the last two decades, Gwinnett County’s high school football accomplishments have bordered on the incredible. It is now almost a given that a Gwinnett high school will compete in the annual state championship games. Gwinnett County high schools are some of the most competitive in the nation. Indeed, the accomplishments are real – stats are stats. But what exactly is it that results in such a high level of achievement. Is it coaching? Is it player talent? Is it school or booster club support? How does one county in a state with 159 attain such dominance and consistent success? COACH CECIL FLOWE’S PARKVIEW PANTHERS Under the direction of Coach Cecil Flowe (whose 21year tenure as head coach is Gwinnett’s longest), Parkview High School has attained impressive achievements by any standard. Since taking the reins as head coach in 1993, the Panthers have fielded six state finalist teams,

and won the state championship in 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Coach Flowe notes that, at the high school level, “we’re here to educate kids, so my first job is as an educator. Then comes football. We hope that what is learned in the classroom is taken to the field.” Coach Flowe also sees his job as “giving as many kids as want an opportunity to play.” With these fundamental goals in mind, Coach Flowe has put a system for winning in place. He notes that “commitment and dedication” are at t h e core of this system. “There has to first be excellence in the classroom, being a model student, taking care of your business. Then there is the physical part – working out, build-

ing your body. And finally, you have to come to practice to learn, to be coachable, and to take coaching – to take hard coaching and not take it personally – and then let’s learn how to win football games.” Acknowledging his role as the program’s leader, he is quick to point out that his entire coaching staff is important. “We always check our egos at the door. I’m one coach – I’m the head coach, and a working coach, but the head coach by himself can’t do anything. The assistant coaches do so much of the work.” “Finally,” he continues, “and this is a big part of it, we are blessed with such a great community. We are blessed with great parents, so many great people. And we have great facilities. This combination is the biggest difference [in what makes Gwinnett County special].”

continued on the next page

– REDEFINING “TEAM”

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GWINNETT FOOTBALL – REDEFINING “TEAM” continued from the previous page COACH MARK CREWS’ BROOKWOOD BRONCOS Brookwood High School’s Mark Crews also knows a bit about running a winning football program. Since 1996, the Broncos have been state finalists five times, winning the state championship in 1996 and 2010. (Of those five finalist game appearances, Coach Crews was at the helm for three of them, as well as for the 2010 championship.) Like Coach Flowe, Coach Crews notes the special role of a high school football program – to educate and not to focus solely on football. Says Crews, “One of the most important things is to help raise and discipline kids. We’re dealing with kids from the time they’re 9th graders until they graduate from high school – at times when they are making decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. . . . We’re part parent and try to teach them the same things their parents are trying to teach them.” But as for football, “Gwinnett County football is kind of special,” he says. “[The players] have the chance to play before 10,000 to 12,000 people all the time, and even more in the playoffs. . . . All the coaching staffs in Gwinnett County are top notch, and most of us try to develop a program where kids feel like winning is important. And everybody else does the same thing. The more that notion grows, the tougher the competition, and the tougher the competition, the more of a chance you have to learn to be successful and go to the playoffs. In any given year, any [Gwinnett County] team can make it to the playoffs. . . . The competition drives everyone to get better.” Another important factor in developing Brookwood High School’s football program is its booster club, which as Coach Crews says,

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“is our [school’s] parents and our community. . . . Most everything we’ve done as far as facilities has been done with community support – fundraising - the stadium was bought and paid for by our booster club. What’s gone on here [in the last couple decades] is just phenomenal. Coach Dave Hunter [a previous Brookwood High head coach] was a driving force behind that. It’s always a growing process.” COACH KEITH MALOOF’S NORCROSS BLUE DEVILS Norcross High School won the 6A state football championship in 2012 with a 15-0 record. Under the direction of Coach Maloof, the program has built a reputation of continuously producing competitive teams. Heading into the 2013 season, the Blue Devils’ August 24 game against Booker T. Washington of Miami, Florida will be televised by ESPN.

Echoing Flowe and Crews, Maloof states that “Gwinnett County football is special for several reasons – one, the communities that make up the county as a whole. Each school has its own community that is committed to making its high school football team a championship team. And two, our kids’ work ethic. Yes, we have talent and a lot of great players, but I think our kids work harder. And three, our assistant coaches and all the work they do – that is very important.” COACH JASON CONNER’S DULUTH WILDCATS Duluth High School’s football team has been a state finalist three times – in 1973, 1975,

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

and 1980. This year, the Wildcats have a new head coach - Jason Conner. He may be new to this job, but Coach Conner knows all about Gwinnett football. Says Conner, “ Gwinnett football is so special because of the commitment from both the community and the school system to the belief that football can and does develop great young men. . . . Gwinnett is the perfect blend of great athletes, great coaching, and great facilities. . . . Every coach in the county is a championship caliber coach because every school in the county wants to win championships.” IT TAKES EVERYBODY So, what is it that makes Gwinnett County football so special and achieve continued success? The coaches’ opinions are in unison – everybody must contribute. And “everybody” includes, of course, the coaching and administrative staffs, and dedicated players – that is not a surprise to anyone. But Gwinnett County, as a community (of parents, sponsors, booster clubs, supportive residents), holds a special place in the hearts of all coaches. Because of this community’s support for its schools, the football programs (as well as all sports and other programs) benefit greatly. Simply put, what makes Gwinnett football so special is the same thing that makes Gwinnett County so special. No less than the whole of the community – sacrificing, working together, and building for the future – is the secret. Gwinnett County residents are the 12th man on each and every one of Gwinnett’s high school football teams. Reg L. Carver is a writer and designer from Johns Creek, Georgia. You may find him at www.reglcarver.com.


2013 FOOTBALL PREVIEW by Joel Hillsman

I

t’s safe to say that Gwinnett County is the place for high school football. Every Friday night, somewhere in the county, talent will be on display and solid football will be played. Of Gwinnett’s 23 schools with football teams, 22 play football under Friday night lights and those lights seem to shine brighter every year. The last three state titles at the highest classification have come from Gwinnett County and Buford has two in that time span as well.

Norcross Blue Devils “Gwinnett is one of the top counties in the nation,” Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. “Week in and week out in this county anything can happen, I mean just look at what is in our region (Region 7) and the other region (Region 8) – it’s tough.” Remind you, Maloof and his Norcross squad are the reigning 6A champions, but the truth is, just winning that region would equal a state title in other states. Lofty expectations are on the Blue Devils entering this season, with big name programs on the schedule (Booker T. Washington, FL), and many key players returning. The weight of a high preseason national ranking is ever-present. Norcross lost some good players (Wilbur and Kamara included), however the Blue Devils may not miss a beat this year. All-World Myles Autry is back after playing and scoring a touchdown in last year’s championship game on a bummed-out knee. AJ Bush has game experience but must adjust to calling the signals of the Norcross offense. Lorenzo Carter makes recruiting services’ mouths water at his ability, while Kevin Mouhon leads the linebackers. It’s not football, however, without the boys on the offensive line and Norcross has everybody and then some returning up front. “Jenkins, Wood, Aka, Northrup and a couple other guys are going to be big on our offensive line,” Maloof said. That line with the skills of Myles Autry is downright scary.

North Gwinnett Bulldogs Just North of Norcross is region foe North Gwinnett. You can ask head coach Bob Sphire until you are blue in the face how he does it, and he will not say that “he’s a great coach.” We’ll say it for him - Sphire can coach high school football, period. Sphire is not just a coach, but a teacher and motivator. Hayden Sphire will not be splitting quarterback duties this season and will have weapons upon weapons. Upfront Mitch Hyatt will anchor an offensive line that could see some shifting and moving before everything falls into place. Nate Brown and Caleb Scott will have help from some emerging talent in Daniel Immatorbhebhe and Almonzo Brown in the pass catching department. The North Gwinnett defense was jolted over the summer with the loss of Mo Dixon to Byrnes (SC). However, it landed Robert Andrews from Grayson to coordinate the defense. Stephenson (Scrimmage), Camden County and Grayson are the opening games on the North Gwinnett schedule, and all primarily run the Wing-T offense, the same one Andrews has gone up against in practice most of his career at Grayson. A date with Norcross will finish out a very challenging start to the 2013 season for North Gwinnett. Dante Sawyer is by now a household name on North Gwinnett’s defensive line. And Carter Cross and Bobby Young are expected to keep doing what they have always done, plus show improvement.

That is only two teams. Buford, Mill Creek, Grayson, Brookwood, Greater Atlanta Christian and Parkview are all solid teams that had good playoff runs last season. And Central Gwinnett and Archer may be waiting in the woods. If we’re not careful, we’ll have to name every team in the county - it is that good. Win the county and you just may win the state.

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Blake Ferguson (above) and Reid Ferguson (inset courtesy of the Ferguson family)

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SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013


REID AND BLAKE FERGUSON:

HIGH ACHIEVEMENT ATTAINED QUIETLY From SECRant.com Chat Room “Long snapper. Who cares?” “Just wait for your long snapper to screw up in a critical game, then you may change your sentiment.”

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by Reg L. Carver

REID BLAZES THE TRAIL

photography by Kathryn Nee

Reid and Blake Ferguson, brothers from Buford, Georgia, became knowledgeable football players at young ages. Reid (19) “blazed the trail for us as long snappers,” acknowledged his younger brother, Blake (16). Notes Reid, who started playing in fifth grade, “I remember being so excited to play . . . and in eighth grade, my team needed a center and long snapper, so I took it upon myself to learn the craft that is long snapping.”

ootball fans love a close game. And they especially love it when an outcome is determined by a last-second field goal attempt. Everyone watches as the kicker warms up, putting one football after another into the sideline net. Yes, all eyes are on that kicker, and anticipation builds for his moment.

But the knowledgeable fans know that the game’s fate is also in the hands (literally) of two others – the long snapper and holder. Before the ball can be kicked, the long snapper must with dead-on spin, speed, and accuracy – snap that football into awaiting hands, and, in turn, the holder must quickly set up the football. Only then does the kicker have the chance to split the uprights - and be credited for winning the game.

In blazing the trail, Reid has left no stone uncovered. While at Buford High School, his teams won state championships his sophomore and junior years, 2009 and 2010. Yes, he took his craft seriously, but also his schoolwork, graduating with a 3.8 GPA. Through high school, Reid was ranked alternately the number 1 and 2 long snapper in the nation. He was recruited heavily by a host of Division I colleges, and received scholarship offers from LSU, Tennessee, and San Diego State. He chose LSU, remembering being most impressed “with its coaching staff and campus environment.” Reid excelled as a true freshman. In the 2012 season, he handled every long snap (for 71 punts and 74 field goals/PATs). As a sophomore this year, he will continue to handle all long snaps, and he is putting forth his best effort getting ready. He was awarded the Jerry Stovall Special Team Award for Outstanding Performance in Spring Drills – Special Teams – 2013. Reid loves LSU, and the feeling is mutual.

Notes Thomas McGaughey, LSU’s Special Teams Coach, “Reid Ferguson is everything you want . . . works hard, doesn’t say a whole lot, and produces on game day. If I could have a team full of Reid Fergusons, it would be a better world for me as a football coach.”

BLAKE – LITTLE BROTHER IS HIS OWN MAN As remarkable as it is that one becomes the nation’s top long snapper in high school, it is almost beyond belief that his brother would do the same. But that is the case with the Fergusons. Following in Reid’s footsteps (but doing plenty of trailblazing of his own) is Blake, a rising junior at Buford High School. After taking a year off from winning the state championship, Buford was back on top in 2012, Blake’s sophomore year. Ranked the nation’s number 1 long snapper for his class, Blake has been recruited by a number of prestigious college programs from coast to coast. LSU has already offered a full scholarship. Halfway through high school, Blake has thus far maintained a nearly perfect 4.0 GPA. While it does seem almost incredible that these brothers are so gifted at the same position, their coaches attest that it is a fact. Renowned long snapping instructor Chris Rubio (who has worked with both brothers) sees them as “two hard-working men who are smart in the way

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REID AND BLAKE FERGUSON: HIGH ACHIEVEMENT - ATTAINED QUIETLY

Blake (with his brother's Buford jersey), Top Right: Blake and Reid (courtesy of Ferguson family) and two photos of Blake in play (by Lily McGregor Photography) continued from the previous page they approach their craft. . . . Both have great frames and impeccable form – those two things, along with their work ethic, have allowed them to excel . . . .”

BECOMING OUTSTANDING MEN Parents Kevin and Tracy Ferguson did not set these lofty expectations for their sons. Like all parents, they simply wanted to raise two fine boys - who would grow to become good men.

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As it turns out, they have helped shape two remarkable lives. Buford High School Head Coach Jess Simpson, both young men’s high school coach, sums them up as best as one can in a few sentences. Simpson states, “Reid and Blake are very similar. . . . It’s unique that two brothers would have the same skill set and be able to compete at a high level. Both of these young men are of high character and are excellent students as well.”

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

Reid and Blake have potentially long and distinguished careers ahead of them – at the collegiate and NFL levels. They will continue to give their all to their position. And they will continue to quietly make marked differences for their teams. And knowledgeable fans will know their names. Reg L. Carver is a writer and designer from Johns Creek, Georgia. You may find him at www.reglcarver.com


2013 SOFTBALL PREVIEW by Joel Hillsman

G

eorgia is one of only four states where high school fast-pitch softball is played in the fall. The others are Colorado, Missouri and Oklahoma, with Oklahoma also playing in the spring. Georgia is loaded with talent and elite teams, much of it here in Gwinnett County. Since fast-pitch softball was sanctioned in 1994, a Gwinnett team has won the last five state softball titles at the highest classification and 16 over all classifications.

Until then, the Tigers will rely on hitting and defense. Junior Tahra Johnson and sophomore Brittany Marrasette will join Switzer in the outfield, which Coach Daniels believes will comprise one of the better outfields in the state - both at the plate and in the field.

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THREE TEAMS WORTHY OF NATIONAL RECOGNITION

“We have to get over that Brookwood hump,” Daniels noted about the schedule. “They are a good team and they had our number last year.”

If the fall seasons were recognized, three Gwinnett County teams would be worthy of national attention – Archer High School, Buford High School, and Mill Creek High School.

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ARCHER TIGERS The Archer Tigers won the 6A state title last year (in only their fourth year of competition) and are primed for another strong run. Senior shortstop Alesha Mann, senior catcher Jenna Graham, and sophomore centerfielder Jacqui Switzer are key returning players from last year’s title team. Head Coach Kris Daniels is excited about the season, yet has a major hole to fill in the circle. Gone is ace Nani Cabrales, who rolled up an impressive 24-4 record with a 1.23 ERA last season, and is now at Georgia Tech. “We’ve got to have pitching. We’ve got to find somebody who can get people out,” Daniels said. “We just have not had anybody to emerge as of right now.”

Already playing in the rugged Region 8, the non-region schedule does not do Archer any favors with games against playoff teams Buford, Colquitt County, South Effingham, Ola and Allatoona. Region foe Brookwood High School may present the biggest nemesis for the Tigers. Brookwood is the defending region champion and has won five of the last seven games against Archer.

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BUFORD WOLVES By now Buford High School and state championships go together no matter the sport. The Buford Wolves added championship hardware to the softball case for the sixth consecutive season and their first in class 3A. Head coach Tony Wolfe by now has mastered the art of keeping his team grounded year after year. But how? “I tell them we’re not defending a championship, we’re chasing it. We have to come out hungry and stay hungry,” Wolfe says. “Our work ethic and enthusiasm have been good, but I still want them to be hungry.” Junior Brea Bush is back in the circle after winning all four games in the finals last season, and is committed to play at the collegiate level at Tennessee. Florida State bound junior pitcher Tessa Daniels won a game in the finals her freshman year, and looks to bounce back from an injury-filled sophomore season.

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1 ► Senior shortstop Alesha Mann 2 ► Senior catcher Jenna Graham 3 ► Senior 3rd baseman Abby Lyall 4 ► Team celebration after the final out 5 ► 2013 Archer State Champions

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2013 SOFTBALL PREVIEW

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1 ► Tessa Daniels 2 ► Niki Cook 3 ► Noah Sudderth 4 ► Bria Bush 5 ► MillCreek Softball Varsity

continued from the previous page Three-year starter Noah Sudderth returns behind the plate. 3A Player of the Year Niki Cook will continue to bring the power at the plate and add to her 65 stolen bases over the last two seasons. Georgia Tech bound Jordan Deep is the club’s leading power hitter and young sophomores Drew Puckett and Bailey Sexton both hit over .300 last season, and will contribute on defense this season as well. Add in the Class 1A Player of the Year and Missouri bound Morgan Walters, and you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed. Only a championship-size pie may be big enough.

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MILL CREEK HAWKS The Mill Creek High School Hawks started the string of championships at the highest classification in 2008, so the foundation and expectations are there. Seniors McKenzie Fagioli (Columbus State), Morgan Bell (Mississippi State), Sarah Peery (Brenau University), Heather Phelps and Emily Robertson will anchor the Hawks this season. Katlyin Howell, Carly Zabow and Emily Lawrence are returning sophomores who will also contribute to this year’s campaign.

The Hawks need to be aggressive on the base paths and rely on their pitching and defense, while the middle of the order will look

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

to drive the ball and score runs. Much of that has to come together soon if the Hawks are going to make a serious run. “Our philosophy is the same every year. Throw strike one, don’t walk anybody, and make the routine play,” head coach Roger Parham said. “Everyone understands their roles and expectations, and we want to know our identity as a team by the time we hit September,” he added. Collins Hill, Brookwood, and Wesleyan are also looking to make noise this season, but isn’t every team in Gwinnett going to try and bring it? The county is just that deep on the fast-pitch softball diamond.


Sports Medicine and Health

HEALTH

HEALTH Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Opens Dacula Clinic

Pediatric Sports Medicine

by Matthew W. Quinn photography by Kathryn Nee Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has just opened a clinic in Dacula that will provide sports physical therapy using high-tech means like electric stimulation and a laser.

At the ribbon-cutting held July 30 at the clinic, located on Teron Trace off Braselton Highway, Children’s Director of Orthopedics John Polikandriotis said the facility is the company’s 11th sports physical therapy clinic and the fourth in Gwinnett. At 3,000 square feet, it is Children’s largest sports medicine clinic. Children’s Senior Manager of Sports Medicine Robert Breingan said high population growth in northeast Gwinnett—it is one of the fastest-growing regions of Georgia if not the United States — has given Children’s a chance to serve the residents as it already serves the residents of other parts of metro Atlanta. “Children’s is a community provider,” he said. “We want to be community-based. We want to put a facility here to serve the needs of the community.” Planning for the facility began a year ago. The site was occupied in April and began op-

erating in June. During the three weeks it has been open, business has been good. Site Supervisor Allison Smith said they focus on pediatric sports medicine. Ankle sprains, knee pain, and post-operative conditions are something they see a lot, with ACL tears and elbow fractures that need to be screwed or pinned also common. In addition to cardiovascular and strength training, the clinic uses ultrasounds and lasers to stimulate internal heat and thus healing as well as electrical stimulation to reduce pain and improve muscle activation. Another treatment method is the Genesis motion-activation system, which involves videotaping the patient performing an action, identifying abnormal motions, and working to correct them.

“Our big focus is to return to daily activities and sports,” she said. “Whatever we need to do to get them back to these activities.” Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Regional Account Executive Sandy Richardson represented the Chamber when the ribbon was cut. “Kudos to you for another superb facility,” she said. “We really appreciate that.” She said good healthcare encourages businesses to come to Gwinnett and existing businesses to expand their operations. Children’s is a mainstay of the county and this new facility will be very good for the community. The new Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Dan Kauffman looks forward to seeing it thrive. Polikandriotis said they were extremely happy to be in Dacula and glad the community is embracing them. Breingan said his intention is for the clinic to grow with the community, providing information about other Children's services to its patrons.

Top: Some equipment at the center Left: Staff of the Dacula center Bottom: Ribbon cutting with John Polikandriotis, Children's Director of Orthopedics

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SPIRIT

CITY FOCUS S P O R T S A N D R E C R E AT I O N

SUWANEE, GA

Football, Running Among Activities Suwanee Has To Offer The City of Suwanee and Gwinnett County have both provided extensive infrastructure for sporting organizations to use. Suwanee Public Information Officer Lynne DeWilde said most of the city’s parks are designed to be passive. Rather than having their own athletic activities, they’re intended to be used by private individuals or organizations. Although programs like Little League aren’t encouraged, informal sports are just fine. “We have pickup football happening behind city hall all the time,” DeWilde said. In 2001, city voters passed a $17 million bond to fund the Open Space Initiative that led to the opening of five new parks and adding three miles to the Suwanee Creek Greenway. Now that the initiative is done, the city is looking to enhance the existing parks rather than build new ones. One such project is the 18-hole disc golf course intended for Suwanee Creek Park. The city had asked residents via Facebook and other means what improvements they wanted and disc golf was a popular option. “Suwanee Creek Park is a great location for that because it’s a large park, it’s 85 acres,” she said. Much of the park is still in its natural state and a disc golf course — wire baskets used as a “hole” to catch Frisbee-like discs — are a way to utilize that space without much disruption.

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The disc golf course is still being designed by Sean Murphy, a landscape architect who designed White Street Park for the city. DeWilde anticipates the course will be open in early 2014. Also available is the Suwanee Creek Greenway, a four-mile multi-use pathway connecting several city parks. “It’s very popular,” she said. “You’ll see people walking, running, and rolling along throughout the year.” Some recent improvements included a new restroom facility near the Martin Farm Road access point, widening pathways, replacing asphalt with concrete, and water-collecting measures to control flooding. One group using the Greenway is the Suwanee Big Peach Runners, which is based in the Town Center Big Peach Running Co. store. Organizer Kermitt Bowen said in October the running group will have been in existence two years. “In Suwanee it’s a very tight-knit community and the greenway is right behind the store there,” he said. Runners were already using the greenway, so he decided to invite the community to come run with the store employees. The group began with 69 participants. It has since grown to the point its Tuesday night runs have between 200 and 250 participants and the Thursday night runs 150. Runners, walkers, joggers, and anyone who wants to live a movement-based lifestyle are welcome. The group even has a newsletter with 1,300 subscribers. In addition to the bi-

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

weekly running schedule, the newsletter announces events like morning trail runs and breakfasts, product trial offers, and opportunities to hear sponsors speak to the group. The group’s runs begin at the stage in downtown Suwanee and finish at the store. Participants must sign in at the beginning and sign out at the end, which helps make sure everyone is accounted for. Monitors and water are provided the length of the route. The group also provides markers on the trail so people don’t get lost. Bowen said the group’s motto is, “Who’s got bragging rights?” Each week, participants can detail their achievements, like running in Gwinnett County PARKS and SPORTS FACILITIES www.gwinnettparks.com 678-277-0910 George Pierce Park 55 Buford Highway, Suwanee 30024 Info & Rentals: 678-277-0910 Adult Sports Info: 678-277-0891 Youth Sports: 678-277-0855 Trails Hotline: 770-978-5270 Peachtree Ridge Park 3170 Suwanee Creek Road, Suwanee 30024 Info & Rentals: 678-277-0910 Youth Sports Info: 770-814-4914 Trails Hotline: 770-978-5270 Settles Bridge Skate Park 380 Johnson Rd, Suwanee, GA 30024 770-831-4173 ORGANIZATIONS North Gwinnett Football Association http://www.ngfa.com/ Atlanta Fire United www.atlantaunitedsoccer.com Peachtree Ridge Athletic Association http://pryaa.com/

Photo on this page courtesy Suwanee Big Peach Runners

by MATTHEW W. QUINN


a marathon or losing 100 pounds since they started running. Bowen intends for the group to grow in the future, providing more opportunities for people to get in and stay in shape. Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Athletic Coordinator Gary Schussler said the county operates two parks serving Suwanee residents, George Pierce Park and Peachtree Ridge Park. George Pierce has soccer, baseball, and softball fields as well as a multi-purpose field used for soccer and football, while Peachtree Ridge Park has a two-field soccer complex, a four-field baseball complex, and a multi-purpose field used for football and lacrosse. Though the county provides the facilities, it’s the athletic associations that run the programs there. One association is the North Gwinnett Football Association, based at George Pierce Park. According to NGFA Communications Director Nick Davis, the program offers tackle football for ages six through eighth grade and team cheerleading for grades first through eighth. Kindergarteners can be mascots. “NGFA strives to provide a positive and exciting atmosphere for our football players and cheerleaders,” Davis said. “This environment helps boys and girls build teamwork skills that can be applied throughout life. Though we do love wins on the field and cheer competition, the true measure of success is the return of kids year after year.” Typical participation is 600 to 700 per season. This year, there are just over 400 football players and 220 cheerleaders. Davis went on to say that NGFA is a strong supporter of Gwinnett’s schools and community and this support runs both ways. The organization has an outstanding relationship with the schools’ football and cheer programs. Schussler said the county also operates a community center at George Pierce Park. Though it has no gym, it hosts other athletic programs like karate and gymnastics. George Pierce Park Recreation Program Supervisor Pam Hoffman elaborated. The karate program, taught by instructor Charles Minter, has classes for four to six year olds, seven plus, 13 plus, and for adults. The gymnastics program is not actually done at George Pierce, but is contracted to the nearby GymWorks. Each fall, spring, and winter the program offers weekly classes but the summer features camps where par-

ticipants practice every day for a week. The classes are for beginners up to fifth grade, with programs like “wiggle worms” and “jumping beans” for the youngest set. There are typically 15 to 20 participants per class. Hoffman said the gymnastics and karate programs have been offered at the center since its founding, although the instructors have been working with the county before that. The center also offers ballet as well as jazz and hip hop dance lessons. The center also offers zumba and yoga with roughly six to 10 participants per class, as well as an aerobic fitness challenge program for seniors that has 30 to 35 participants.

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1 ► Picnic at Sims Lake Park (photo by Bill Mahan) 2 ► Suwanee Creek Greenway (photo by David Douglas) 3 ► A young gardener at Harvest Farm, White Street Park 4 ► Sunset (photo by Bill Mahan)

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“Our senior fitness is a big social event,” she said. “They enjoy coming three days a week. They never miss.” Hoffman also said the center plans to restart tai chi and kickboxing classes, which have been in abeyance.

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city of SUWANEE parks and sports facilities ► Suwanee Parks www.suwanee.com/cityservices.recre ationparks.php ► Town Center Park 350 Town Center Avenue, Suwanee 30024 ► Suwanee Creek Park 1170 Buford Highway, Suwanee 30024 ► PlayTown Suwanee 425 Main Street, Suwanee 30024 Big Peach Running Company Suwanee 678-869-5012 www.facebook.com/groups/suwaneebigpeachrunners/

► Sims Lake Park 4600 Suwanee Dam Road, Suwanee 30024 ► White Street Park 752 White Street, Suwanee 30024 ► City Hall Park 330 Town Center Ave, Suwanee 30024 ► Main Street Park Old Town Suwanee, Suwanee 30024

Suwanee Sports Academy 770-614-6686 www.ssasports.com

Sky Zone 678-745-9900 www.skyzone.com/suwanee

Adrenaline Climbing 770-271-1390 www.adrenalineclimbing.com

Frazier Cycling 770-513-8640 www.fraziercycling.com

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NOURISH

NOURISH Great Places to Eat and Meet Friends and Teammates

T

by Tori Vogt, with additional research by Katherine Macmanus his list is by far not complete and only the beginning of an annual guide that notes restaurants and food places that cater to sports teams and organizations and schools. We've tried to note those teams, schools and organizations in the list as well. Those we've missed this year we hope to add onto this list - especially if they have been a sponsor and good citizen in their community.

Atlanta Bread Company 1708 Scenic Hwy N Snellville, GA ,30078 (678) 344-9099 www.atlantabread.com

Zaxby’s 743 Pleasant Hill Rd Lilburn, GA ,30047 (770) 921-6161 www.zaxbys.com

Subway 525 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suwanee, GA, 30024 (770) 614-4655 www.subway.com

Ready-to-eat food catered fresh to you; just call for delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts, and even breakfast. (24-hour notice requested.) ►South Gwinnett

Order online or call in for boxed hot and crispy chicken sandwiches, tenders, wings, salads and more from Zaxbys! ►Brookwood/Parkview

Platters, sandwiches or giant subs made fresh to your order and piled high with a wide variety of tastebud tempting deliciousness you’ve come to know and love; sure to have a flavor for everyone on the team. ►North Gwinnett

Firehouse Subs 1830 Scenic Hwy N Snellville, GA,30078 (678) 344-8556 For catering, call Adam Arefian at (770) 338-4911 www.firehousesubs.com Founded by firemen, Firehouse Subs is standing by to prep specialty hot or cold sandwich, salad and cookie platters in addition to all-about-you boxed lunch options at a moment’s notice. ►South Gwinnett Jersey Mike’s Subs 2050 Scenic Hwy N Snellville, GA, 30078 (678) 344-4482 www.jerseymikes.com Get the authentic flavor of famous Northeast-style subs conveniently packaged by the bag, box or personal boxed lunches. ►South Gwinnett

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Wild Wing Café 1250 Scenic Highway Suite #1232 Lawrenceville, GA, 30045 (678) 822-WING (9464) www.wildwingcafe.com Wild Catering provides perfect party in a moment's notice. You can pick up party platters for wraps, wings , dip, nuggets, sides and desserts. ►Brookwood/Parkview Texas Roadhouse 1969 Dogwood Road Snellville, GA, 30078-2311 (770) 985-1450 www.texasroadhouse.com Save yourself the hassle! Texas Roadhouse’s catering team will bring you boxed BBQ, steaks, burgers, chicken, Texas-sized salads or party platters. ►Brookwood/Parkview

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

www.cfarestaurant.com/ mooreroad/home ►North Gwinnett 6105 Peachtree Pkwy Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 368-0833 www.chick-fil-a.com/ ►Norcross Youth Athletic Association An easy choice for delicious fresh food, delivered or prepared for pick up, boxed meals that range from nuggets to classic chicken sandwiches to salads and more. Quiznos

► Shane’s Rib Shack 5770 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Norcross, GA 30071 770) 416-6606 Amy Busby. Catering www.shanesribshacknorcross.com Shane's Rib Shack is a true American rib shack, known for its slow-cooked baby back ribs, hand-chopped chicken and pork, and many southern sides to complement each plate. ►Norcross Youth Athletic Association, Norcross Cluster School Partnership Chick-Fil-A 1035 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suwanee, GA,30024 (770) 831-1177

1039 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Ste A110 Suwanee, GA, 30024 (770) 271-0808 www.quiznos.com Quiznos offers big taste to satisfy your appetite with hearty sub sandwiches featuring freshlysliced meats and cheeses on artisan breads! ►North Gwinnett Honeybaked Ham 3455 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Suite 310 Duluth, GA, 30096 (770) 623-3547 www.honeybakedham.com From buffets, party platters and boxed lunches to premium deli meat salads, desserts and


GUIDE FOR A HUNGRY TEAM beverages, HoneyBaked has the delicious products to make your event the most delicious ever! ►Peachtree Ridge/Duluth

with down-home delicious food that also includes boxed lunch sandwiches and salads with a homemade cookie and side dish. ►Peachtree Ridge/Duluth

California Pizza Kitchen 5173 Peachtree Parkway Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 662-0929 www.cpk.com

► Corner Bakery Cafe 6050 Peachtree Parkway Suite 500 Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 (678) 281.2150 www.cornerbakerycafe.com/ Home.aspx Corner Bakery Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as catering for any occasion. The menu features made-toorder breakfast scramblers, paninis, sandwiches, salads, pastas and freshly-baked sweets. Whether you’re on the go, catching up with friends or taking a little time on your own, Corner Bakery Cafe provides a warm welcome and comfortable atmosphere. Steverino’s 3117 Main Street Duluth, GA, 30092 (770) 622-2110 www.Steverinosduluth.com Steverino’s is a locally-owned restaurant that’s been in the community since 1974 and caters breakfast, lunch and dinner

Jason’s Deli 5131 Peachtree Pkwy Norcross, GA (770) 368-9440 www.jasonsdeli.com

Zaxby’s 4850 Peachtree Indus Blvd. Norcross, GA 30071 (770) 246-8400 www.zaxbys.com/home.aspx ►Norcross Athletics Association Moe’s 4880 Peachtree Corners Circle Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 797-9340 www.moes.com 3455 Peachtree Industrial Duluth, GA 30096 (770) 497-1355

Taco Mac 3443 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. Suwanee, GA 30024 (678) 730.0941 tacomac.com

4850 Sugarloaf Parkway Duluth, GA (678) 985-1717

Flying Biscuit 5270 Peachtree Parkway Suite 120 Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 407-5885 www.flyingbiscuit.com/

Schools and Sports Team

Mello Mushroom 6000 Medlock Bridge Pkwy Suite A500 Johns Creek, GA 30022 (770) 813-0818 www.mellowmushroom.com

2040 Pleasant Hill Drive Duluth, GA (770) 495-5933

5005 Peachtree Parkway Suite 810 Norcross, GA 30092 (678) 966.0868 www.johnnyspizza.com/

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11720 Medlock Bridge Rd, Duluth, GA (678) 957-1973

Jimmy John’s 4870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd NW Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 274-0345 www.jimmyjohns.com/homepage.aspx

► Johnny’s Pizza

Banquets, Fund Raisers and more.

only $35.00 Shane’s Pork Butts are delicious, juicy, seasoned, and slow smoked. Each butt feeds 8-10 people. Great for school and sport fund raisers! 5770 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Norcross, GA 30071

CATERING HOTLINE 404-989-1313 770-416-6022 Store

Follow Us On Facebook www.facebook.com/shanesribshack Visit our website www.shanesribshacknorcross.com/

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GUIDE FOR A HUNGRY TEAM

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of Hope Pregnancy Resource Center plus various cancer research organizations (as Ron is a cancer survivor himself).

►JR’s has also catered for Simpson Elementary, Berkeley Lake Elementary, Norcross High School, Wesleyan School and other organizations.

► Atlanta Bread Company The Forum on Peachtree Parkway Ron and Marianne Murray, owners and operators of ABC-The Forum have been a big part of Peachtree Corners for over a decade. In addition to giving the left-over bread and bakery items to local churches each night, they are a major supporter of ►Norcross schools, Wesleyan School, the YMCA, and several area charities including Beacon

have been cooking and catering awesome barbecue (all meats, stews, beans, vegetables, slaw and salads are prepared fresh daily.

► JR’s Loghouse

►They have been a sponsor of several local youth sports organizations and schools in Peachtree Corners.

6601 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 449-6426 www.jrsloghouse.com J.R.'s first started serving great barbeque and breakfast in May 1983. Tim Shaw is the managing partner and JR's is celebrating 30 years at the iconic Norcross log house where they

They are “Home of the Big One” with 6 footers that feed 20-30 people or a 3 footer (10-15 people). Larry's Giant Subs sells first cut, trimmed, and extra lean meat products like National Deli Pastrami and Corned Beef Brisket. They use Black Angus USDA Choice roast beef, Chicken of the Sea Albacore Tuna and Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise in their Tuna Salad.

► Larry’s Giant Subs 5270 Peachtree Pkwy Ste 118B Norcross, GA 30092 (770) 300-0804 www.larryssubs.com

Let Us Cater Your Next Event for Swim Meets, Team Lunches, Picnics, Chastain Park and Local Concerts

Atlanta Bread Company at the Forum on Peachtree Parkway 4880 Peachtree Corners Circle, Norcross, GA 30092 | www.atlantabread-forum.com Mon-Fri 7am - 9 pm Saturday 9am-9pm Sunday 8am-8pm

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SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013


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PARKS

PARKS

Highlighted Parks and Recreation Events and Programs | www.gwinnettparks.com Friday, August 16

Friday, August 23

5:00pm, Contact 678.277.0910 Join us on the back porch for a relaxing evening full of live music and good food. We will be serving barbeque and ice cream, so pull up a rocking chair and enjoy! $11/ person, must pre-register by 8/12. Prime Timers Pointe at George Pierce Park, 55 Buford Hwy., Suwanee. Register here or call 678.277.0910.

Contact 678.277.0179 Are you ready for some football? Wear your favorite team colors, play Touchdown BINGO and other fun football games! Enjoy some tasty tailgate treats! $6/ person, must pre-register by 7/22. Bethesda Park Senior Center, 225 Bethesda Church Rd., Lawrenceville. Register here or call 678.277.0179.

Dinner and a Concert

Parents' Night Out 6:00 PM, Contact 678.277.0850 New! Looking for a night out on the town without the kids? Drop them off, so they can enjoy a fun-filled evening! Kids will enjoy a cookout style dinner, ice cream social, and games! Ages 6 – 12. $21/child, must pre-register by 8/12. Dacula Park Activity Building, 2735 Old Auburn Ave, Dacula. Register here or call 678.277.0910.

Saturday, August 17

Trivia Night

6:00PM Contact 678.277.0910 New! Invite your friends and have fun testing your knowledge of history, science, sports, and popular culture. We’ll provide drinks and popcorn and you can bring a snack to share with your team if you like. Age 18-up, $6/person. George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Hwy, Suwanee. Must pre-register by 8/10. Register here or call 678.277.0910.

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Saturday, September 7

Pigskin Pep Rally Volleyball Tournament 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Family Campout August 23 at 7:00pm to August 24 at 8:00am. Celebrate summer with a campout under the stars! Enjoy a chuck wagon style dinner, fun games and activities, plus breakfast in the morning! Pack up your tent and camping gear for a night in the great outdoors, without the travel expense. All ages welcome. Must pre-register by August 20. Tribble Mill Park, 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway in Lawrenceville. $9/person register here or $31/ family of four register here. Call 678.277.0900 for information.

9:00am • Rhodes Jordan Park Community Recreation Center Who is the Spike King? This fun tournament will be double elimination; first place teams get t-shirt and more! Teams must have minimum of 4 players. Team registration only, $26/team, must pre-register by 9/5 at 5:00pm online with code: RJCC14365 or call 678.277.0890.

3 on 3 Festival 9:00am • Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center New! It’s a fun-filled day of 3 on 3 competitions in Soccer, Basketball and Soccer-Tennis, plus food vendors, fun games, trick area, bounce house, motivational speakers and more! Games will be played inside the gym and on outdoor courts and fields. Raffle prizes throughout the day and awards to winners in each age group. In partnership with American Street

Gwinnett County Parks' RACE VENUES Harbins Park Little Mulberry Park Tribble Mill Park Yellow River Park

2995 Luke Edwards Road, Dacula 3855 Fence Road, Auburn 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway, Grayson 3232 Juhan Road, Stone Mountain

Gwinnett County Parks have the perfect locations for your next 5K, fun run, or bike/walkathon. The award-winning parks system has well-maintained trails and restrooms. Race organizers will appreciate convenient parking and pavilion, plus spectators will enjoy nearby playgrounds for the kids. Several other locations are available to suit the size of your race. For nonprofit fundraising activities, email Janice.Rinaldo@gwinnettcounty.com or call 678.277.0900. Professional race organizers, email Kim.Shealy@gwinnettcounty.com or call 678.277.0905.

SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013

Soccer Association, rain date is Sunday, September 8. Age 6-18 for Soccer/Basketball Competition; age 15-up for Soccer-Tennis Competition. $25 per team of 4 maximum or $10/person for competitors, $5/admission others. Call 678.277.0860 to register or more information.

Freeman's Mill Park 1401 Alcovy Road Lawrenceville 30045 Hours: Sunrise until sunset unless posted otherwise Park Info: 770.822.8840 Historic Info: 770.904.3500 • Restored historic gristmill • Playground • 0.5-mile paved multi-purpose trail • Restrooms The mill was built on the Alcovy River between 1868 and 1879 by brothers John Griffin and Levi J. Loveless and was one of 1,262 water-powered mills in the state during that time. By 1996, it was said to be one of only 15 mills in the state in working order and the only one in Gwinnett County. The county purchased the mill in 2001 and in 2009 restored the mill and surrounding 12 acres for education and recreational use


MOVE

MOVE

5k, 10k, Marathons, Cycling, Walking and Moving September 7, 2013

CALENDAR OF RACES

Atlanta Hydrocephalus WALK

August 10, 2013

2nd Special Ops Warrior Challenge

5k trail run www.operationonevoice.org Lake Lanier Island Resort 7000 Lanier Island Parkway Buford, GA

August 10, 2013

Bulldog Dash 5k Road Race

5k run, 1m fun run The 15th running of the Bulldog Dash has become a community tradition, and is a fun way to bring in the new school year. The race supports the North Gwinnett boys and girls cross country teams, and is the primary fundraiser for the program. The 5k starts on the streets of Suwanee, and finishes in the North Gwinnett stadium, while the 1 mile fun run is run completely inside the stadium. www.eteamz.com/NGHSCC/news North Gwinnett High School Stadium 20 Level Creek Road Suwanee, GA 30024

August 10, 2013

Light Up the Corners

4m run, 1k run www.active.com/running The FORUM on Peachtree Parkway 5155 Peachtree Pkwy Norcross, GA 30092

Tribble Mill Park- Holly Pavilion 2125 Tribble Mill Parkway,, Lawrenceville, GA 30045

August 17, 2013

Skylar’s Run

5k run, 5k walk www.averagejoesracing.com/skylarsrun.html Suwanee Town Center Park is located at the intersection of Lawrenceville Suwanee Road and Buford Hwy

August 17, 2013,

Hip Hip Hooray Schools Back 5K 7:30 AM Fitness Tri 4870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Norcross, GA 30071 www.fivestarntp.com

August 25, 2013

Atlanta Kids Triathlon

Youth Triathlon Triathlon : Junior Division Age 6-10 Kids Race Triathlon : Senior Division Age 11-15 Kids Race Start Time: 8:00AM Entry Fee: $35 Phone: 904-448-2114 www.atlantakidstriathlon.org West Gwinnett Park & Aquatics Center 4488 Peachtree Industrial Blvd Norcross, GA 30071

August 25, 2013

Future Extreme Fiery 5k and Fun Mile

Future Extreme Fiery 5K and Fun Mile hosted by the competitive all-star teams of Future Extreme Cheer. Runners/Walkers of all ages and ability levels are invited to show off their skills in either race. Race Day Registration will begin at 6:30am. Early Packet pick-up at Future Extreme on Friday, August 23, 2013 from 4:00pm-7:00pm. Race proceeds help local youth travel, perform and compete at all-star cheer competitions. www.active.com/running www.futurecheerleading.com Future Extreme 460 Grayson Parkway Grayson, GA

August 30, 2013

iRAD Next Step Virtual 10K Challenge

1:00 AM. to Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 12:00 AM Duluth, GA Fighting Diabetes is a lifestyle and not a one-time event so let’s take our fitness level to the Next Step!! www.irunagainstdiabetes.com

Support The Hydrocephalus Association at their annual fundraising WALK. Walker registration and sign in will begin at 8 am, with the opening ceremonies beginning at 9am. From 10:30 am- noon you can enjoy food, entertainment and games for the kids. Please visit www.hydroassoc. org for more information about Hydrocephalus or visit them on Facebook under Atlanta Hydrocephalus.

Near Gwinnett September 6, 2013

Twilight Toga Run

465 Riley Road Dahlonega, Georgia www.enotahcasa.org Registration Closing Date Thursday, September 05, 2013 @ 11:59 PM US/Eastern Fundraising 5K race at Yahoola Park, Dahlonega, GA Proceeds go to Enotah CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children

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MOMS & DADS

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

The Duluth Dodgers

The Duluth Dodgers in the Women's Southern Baseball League visited Luther Williams Field recently to play a Macon men's team (photos here). For more information about the Women's Southern Baseball League and the Duluth Dodgers please contact Yolanda D. Cox via the website at www.ladiesplayingball.com

Gwinnett's 18U Boy's Swimming The Georgia 2013 Class A State Championship was held at Frances Meadow Aquatic Center Gainsville on July 27 Richard Kim enters the pool to swim the anchor for the Gwinnett County 18U Boys 200 free relay. He had a great swim to pull the boys from third to a tight second place finish with a time of 1:35.36! The team representing Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation for the 18U Boys 200 Free Relay are pictured (right) L to R, Richard Kim, Greg Paulukaitis, Raphael Dijkema, and Trent Rowedder. The team finished second in State with a time of 1:35.36. Photos by Bridgett Joyce

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SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE www.sportsgwinnett.com AUGUST 2013


We’re not just in Print. You can visit our website, subscribe to our e-newsletter and find us on a variety of online communities and a digital edition can be found online at issuu.com/sportsgwinnett

SPORTS GWINNETT

www.sportsgwinnett.com | 678.358.7858

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THE RIGHT DOCTOR IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS

A GOOD HELMET. If your child or teen has a head injury, come to the only dedicated pediatric healthcare system in Georgia with a concussion program. Learn more about our expertise in treating head injuries at choa.org/concussion.

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©2013 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not our employees.

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