BLEACHERS ON DEMAND SEE BACK PAGE. NOVEMBER 5-11, 2010 gwinnett s high school sports newspaper Vol 5 NO 11

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1 BLEACHERS ON DEMAND SEE BACK PAGE NOVEMBER 5-11, 2010 gwinnett s high school sports newspaper Vol 5 NO 11

2 2g Score gwinnett Get In The Game! STARTING LINEUP Publisher/Editor I.J. Rosenberg GENERAL MANAGER Bob Houghton Managing Editor Stephen Black ART/CREATIVE DIRECTOR DJ Galbiati Business manager Marvin Botnick BEAT WRITERS Josh Bagriansky (Hawks), Stephen Black (UGA), Dave Cohen (Georgia State), Joe Deighton (Thrashers), Ricky Dimon (Falcons), Fletcher Proctor (Braves), Thomas Watson (Tech), Brian Jones (Preps) STAFF WRITERS Drew Collins, Jamie Walker, Jay Thomason, Raj Prashad CONTRIBUTORS C.C., Brian Katrek, Alex Ewalt, Tad Arapoglou, Dean Zindler, Zander Lentz, Kevin Dankosky, Mitch Evans, Matt Judy, Tony Schiavone, Richard Diamond, Joe Haines, Chris Dimino, Mike Bell, Matt Stewart, Fred Kalil, Nick Cellini, Phillip Leopold, Dave Marshall, Greg Smith, Steak Shapiro, Mike Cather, Beau Bock, Hal Lamar, Chris Cotter, Roy Hickman, Dave Cohen, John Olah, Jeff Woolverton, Chris Voss, Bob Rathbun, Courtney Capps, Bill Hartman, Chuck Dowdle, Shannon Alderman, Dan Kamal, Dennis Scott, Hal Lanier, Jeff Batten, Micah Hart, Ben Wright, Alan Vasquez, Andrew Vedlitz SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS Mitch Albom, Dave Kindred, Barry Bloom school listing CHEROKEE/FORSYTH: Cherokee, Creekview, Etowah, Forsyth Central, North Forsyth, Sequoyah, South Forsyth, West Forsyth, Woodstock COBB: Allatoona, Campbell, Harrison, Hillgrove, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, Marietta, McEachern, N. Cobb, N. Cobb Christian, Osborne, Pebblebrook, Pope, S. Cobb, Sprayberry, Walton, Wheeler, Whitefield, Walker DEKALB: Chamblee, Columbia, Decatur, Druid Hills, Dunwoody, Lakeside, Marist, Miller Grove, M.L. King, Paideia, Redan, St. Pius X, Southwest DeKalb, Stephenson, Stone Mountain, Tucker FULTON: Alpharetta, Blessed Trinity, Centennial, Chattahoochee, Douglass, Grady, John s Creek, Lovett, Mays, Milton, Mt. Pisgah, North Springs, Northview, Riverwood, Roswell, Tri-Cities, Westminster, Woodward Academy GWINNETT: Archer, Berkmar, Brookwood, Buford, C. Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Grayson, Greater Atlanta Christian, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, Mountain View, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge, South Gwinnett, Wesleyan FAYETTE: Whitewater, Sandy Creek, Starr s Mill NEWTON: Eastside TYLER MATTHEWS Hebron Christian Acad. Tyler was a star on both sides of the ball Friday night in Hebron s win over Cross Keys. The sophomore had seven catches for 179 yards, five total touchdowns, a fumble recovery on defense, a safety and six tackles. KATIE BANGE Pope High School Katie, a junior, led Pope to a second straight state volleyball championship as they defeated Chattahoochee in four sets. Bange had a key block to win the match and finished with a stat line of 13 kills, two blocks and two assists. Always at

3 NovemBER 5-11, 2010 Score gwinnett 3G Injured former Army Ranger, now assistant football coach inspires players ruce Howard never knew he d be a foot- coach. And as an infantryman in Bball Alaska over 20 years ago, there probably wasn t much reason to think he would be. But while serving under a commander that stressed the importance of working in the community, Howard saw an opportunity to get back to the game he had played up to the college level and still loved. Our company commander wanted us to go out and volunteer, Howard recalled, and he said well, you played football in college and played on the All-Army Team. You oughta go out and find a local middle school and go volunteer. Days later, Howard was in the front office at a local middle school. He would start the program there, and his coaching career began. I really liked being around the kids, he said. Then the next year came and our new commander supported it. More kids came out for the team, a couple of friends from the army came and helped to be assistants. We went 8-0, and I thought maybe there s something to this coaching thing. Flash forward 20 years later and Howard is entering his sixth and final season being involved with the program at Kell High School. He is retiring from coaching because of injuries sustained from his military days. But the veteran can look back on his career as an accomplished head coach and military man with a great story; one that goes far beyond his unlikely beginnings as a head coach in Alaska. THE ARMY YEARS Howard spent 10 years in the service, many of them doing dangerous missions behind enemy lines. The Ohio native spent time in the second and third Ranger battalions, as well as the 101st Airborne starting in the early 1980s. Our job in those types of units is pretty scary, Howard said. You re surrounded, outnumbered, outgunned, and with limited supplies, It was in the Persian Gulf that he first injured his leg. Howard was wounded three different times there, and a parachute malfunction forced him to get surgery. He was forced to leave his post in 1992 because of the injury. Soon after, he began to develop blood clots as his leg continued to suffer the consequences of 10 years spent in the line of fire. It got worse and worse, Howard said. They wanted to take it out immediately, but I was too stubborn. Howard would eventually have the leg removed in But despite the wounds, he still encourages those who are ready to serve their country. A lot of people look at the leg and people say how can you counsel young men to go in? he said. I might have lost a leg, but I gained so much more. MOVING ON Howard lost his leg three years after leaving the military when he was coaching high school ball in Ohio. I knew I would lose it shortly after the end of the season. It was hurting, it was discolored, he said. But I wanted to make it through the season. Since then, Howard has gone through at least eight prosthetic legs. Having spent so much time on the sideline, that should come as no surprise. But when he is being fitted for a new one, he always has one requirement. I have to be able to get into the 3-point stance, he says. Despite his disability, Howard hasn t let it get in the way of his coaching, and even saw it as a positive motivating factor when he ran alongside players during drills in practices. Kids will be running and wanting to drop from the heat and I ll ask if they re tired, Howard said. They ll say No, Coach, every time I m about ready to quit I see you chugging along and it keeps me going. COMING TO KELL Shortly after getting his teacher certification, then Kell head coach Irv Sigler rang Howard and offered him the job as the coach of the ninth grade team. Howard obliged. After all, he had been successfully teaching the fundamentals to young players ever since he was breaking them down to middle school kids in Alaska. My first freshman team wasn t successful but I was giving orders to teach them the game and get them ready for varsity, he said. Many of the freshmen coached by the former Capital University player played a large part in the program being built at Kell, where Derek Cook s team is currently 9-0 and looking like one of the favorites to win a state title in Class 4A. A lot of kids that are really close, they love each other, he said. One of the great things I ve seen happen here is seeing these kids grow together. Howard views his team as a close-knit bunch with the type of chemistry he compares to the brothers he spent time with in the military. Meanwhile, the Longhorns appear to be a well-oiled machine that is the sum of its parts. Teams have tried to shut down our offense by keying on [Score 44 running back] Brian Randolph, but other guys have stepped up. We are a collective team this year, Howard said. He credited the likes of running back Chris Gaines, quarterback Austin Petrik, and many more for making the team about more than just their star. Unfortunately, Howard will bid adieu to his coaching career after this season. His leg and other factors forced him off the sidelines two years ago. Now, after helping close friend and Vietnam War Vet and Purple Heart Winner Doug Orebaugh in an advisory role, a problem with his vision means he won t be able to continue in any capacity. With his eyesight rapidly deteriorating, Howard says he will be legally blind by next season. But with a great team at Kell this year, it s likely that his final memories of watching and coaching football will be positive ones. We started the season in the Dome and I d really like to finish it in the Dome, he said. It d be a real nice memory to have before I stop. But whether Kell makes it to the Georgia Dome or not this November, the military man-turned-football coach-turned social studies teacher will already have plenty of memories to reflect on all of them helping to shape him into the man he is today. And Howard still has plenty to look forward to despite the loss of his leg and now vision; that s just how he s wired. It all goes back to military- sometimes you re faced with severe obstacles, he said. You re given a mission and your duty is to complete that mission in a timely manner. That kind of shapes my attitude. Bagriansky can be reached at SCORE44 presented by Ray Drew TCC (Thomasville) de James Vaughters Tucker (Tucker) lb Nick Marshall Wilcox Co (Rochelle) QB/CB Martay Mattox Clarke Central (Athens) QB Quan Bray Troupe (LaGrange) ATH Chris Conley North Paulding (Dallas) WR Watts Dantzler Dalton (Dalton) ol Isaiah Crowell Carver-Columbus (Columbus) RB Gabe Wright Carver-Columbus (Columbus) DT Stephon Tuitt Monroe Area (Monroe) dt Jared Boyd stephenson (Stone Mountain) CB Jabari Hunt-Days Hillgrove (Powder Springs) LB Justin Garrett Tucker (Tucker) lb Corey Moore Griffin (Griffin) s Chris Sanders Tucker (Tucker) db AJ Johnson Gainesville (Gainesville) lb Shannon Brown Cook (Adel) lb Terrence Smith SWD (Decatur) olb CJ Uzomah N. Gwinnett (Suwanee) QB Kent Rollins s. Gwinnett (Snellville) QB Alan Posey Clarke Central (Athens) ol Xzavier Ward Colquitt Co (Moultrie) ol Xzavier Dickson Griffin (Griffin) de Jay Rome Valdosta (Valdosta) TE Malcolm Mitchell Valdosta (Valdosta) s LaMichael Fanning Harris County (Hamilton) DE Chris Mayes spalding (Griffin) dt Sterling Bailey East Hall (Gainesville) de Tarik Cook stephenson (Stone Mountain) C Damian Swann Grady (Atlanta) db Brian Randolph Kell (Marietta) s Avery Walls Eagle s Landing Christian Academy (McDonough) S Kyle Karempelis Wesleyan (Norcross) rb Kadetrix Marcus Stephenson (Stone Mountain) S Thomas O Reilly Pope (Marietta) ol Travis Richmond Peach County (Fort Valley) ATH Rory Anderson McEachern TE Taylor Heinicke Collins Hill QB Brandon McGowan North Gwinnett lb Akeem Hunt Newton County (Covington) RB Marcus Caffey Grady (Atlanta) rb Matt Kiefer Chattahoochee (Alpharetta) OL Demarco Robinson ML King (Lithonia) WR Andre AJ Sims Brookwood (Snellville) WR OUT: Troy Braswell, Lowndes RB IN: Travis Richmond, Peach County (Fort Valley) ATH Rory Anderson Always at

4 4g Score gwinnett Get In The Game! Region titles, playoffs bids being decided in football; volleyball, softball seasons end Before the 2010 football season, many thought the Grayson Rams would run away with the Region 8-5A championship based on what the team had done the last few years. However, Brookwood has been one of the most consistent programs in Class 5A and the Broncos are proving they are a dark horse to win the state title and a good bet to win the Region 8 championship. BRONCO STAMPEDE Last Friday, the Broncos had one of their biggest games of the season when they took on Grayson and came away with a 10-0 win. The Brookwood defense held the Rams to 89 yards of total offense and scored the lone touchdown after a Grayson turnover. With the win, Brookwood improves to 8-1 and moves to No. 4 in the GHSFD Rankings. They will face Berkmar Friday night, and with a win, the Broncos will win the Region 8 title. Staying in Gwinnett County, Collins Hill got a huge win last Friday as they defeated Norcross Quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw four touchdowns passes, which puts him at 32 for the year. The Eagles have entered the rankings at No. 10 in Class 5A and their final game of the regular season will take place on Friday when they take on Meadowcreek. They have clinched the No. 2 seed in Region 7-5A. Another shocking outcome from last weekend came in South Georgia as Tift County defeated Lowndes 10-7 in their final game of the regular season. Lowndes had two chances to tie the game in the last three minutes of the contest, but the Vikings missed field goal attempts of 37 and 46 yards. The loss did not hurt Lowndes because they have already clinched the Region 1-5A title. But losing to the only team in the region that will not make the playoffs is something that will motivate coach Randy McPherson s team to play better football when the playoffs start next Friday. And speaking of the playoffs, there are a few games across the state that will determine region championships. Buford will take on Westminster to see who will take home the Region 6-2A title. Buford will have an edge in the game as they had last week off. But Westminster is coming off a win over Lovett. Running back Ralph David Abernathy IV rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Another big region title game is just outside the Atlanta area when Clarke Central takes on Flowery Branch for the Region 8-4A crown in the GPB Game of the Week. Both teams come into the game with a perfect record and both teams can score a lot of points as both teams average over 39 points per game. Clarke Central is one of the favorites to win the 4A title and Flowery Branch is having their best regular season in school history, which is a feat in itself because they were in Class 3A last season. One region championship game that features two teams that are trying to win their first region crown in recent history is Grady and Cedar Grove. The Grey Knights are trying to win their first region title in four years while Cedar Grove is looking to win their first region crown since 1991, which was the same year they reached the state championship only to lose to Cartersville. SATURDAY FEVER Volleyball and softball concluded their seasons this past Saturday with the state championships taking place in Marietta and Columbus. The volleyball championships were set at Marietta High School and the four teams that won titles were from the Atlanta area. In 5A, Walton defeated Northview in four sets to win the title after losing to Pope in the finals in five sets last year. Speaking of Pope, they defeated Chattahoochee to win the 4A title. The Lady Greyhounds win the state championship for the second consecutive year, but they did it in a higher class in In 3A, Woodward Academy came back from eight points down in the final set to defeat Sandy Creek and win their third consecutive and 10th overall title. In AA/A, Blessed Trinity swept Athens Academy in straight sets to win their first title in four years. Senior rightside hitter Ali McAlvany had 17 kills for the Titans in the three-game sweep. The softball championships took place in Columbus and two teams from the Atlanta area took home state titles. In 5A, Collins Hill won their second consecutive title by defeating Harrison 3-1. Pitcher Kayla Floor pitched in four games for the Lady Eagles during the tournament and allowed only five runs. In 2A Buford wins their fourth consecutive title by defeating Union County 6-2. The other state title winners for softball were Jones County (4A), White County (3A) and Gordon Lee (A). Jones can be reached at AAAAA 1. Camden County (8-1) 2. North Gwinnett (9-0) 3. Stephenson (9-0) 4. Brookwood (8-1) 5. McEachern (8-1) 6. Valdosta (8-1) 7. Lowndes (8-2) 8. South Gwinnett (7-2) 9. Etowah (8-1) 10. Collins Hill (6-3) AAAA 1. Northside WR (9-0) 2. Clarke Central (9-0) 3. Tucker (9-0) 4. Kell (9-0) 5. Flowery Branch (9-0) 6. Griffin (9-0) 7. Chattahoochee (9-0) 8. Starr s Mill (9-0) 9. Thomas Co. Central (7-2) 10. Lovejoy (9-0) Top Ten AAA 1. Peach County (9-0) 2. Sandy Creek (9-0) 3 Cairo (9-0) 4. Carrollton (9-0) 5. Baldwin (9-0) 6. Gainesville (8-1) 7. Ridgeland (8-1) 8. Burke County (7-2) 9. Grady (8-1) 10. Allatoona (8-1) AA 1. Carver Columbus (9-0) 2. Buford (8-1) 3. Calhoun (9-0) 4. Cook (9-0) 5. Swainsboro (9-0) 6. Westminster (7-2) 7. Jefferson Co. (7-1) 8. Fitzgerald (8-2) 9. Thomasville (6-3) 10. Elbert County (8-1) A 1. Clinch County (9-0) 2. Wesleyan (9-0) 3. Wilcox County (8-1) 4. Lincoln County (8-1) 5. Charlton County (8-1) 6. Eagle s Landing Chr. (9-0) 7. Johnson County (9-0) 8. Darlington (8-1) 9. Emanuel County (7-2) 10. Marion County (9-0) Rankings compiled by Todd Holcomb Always at

5 NovemBER 5-11, 2010 Score gwinnett 5G Always at

6 6g Score gwinnett Get In The Game! Collins Hill, Buford take state softball titles; Eagles Heinicke sets records oftball proved to be quite fruitful for SGwinnett County as two schools claimed state titles last week in Columbus. Collins Hill, the defending Class 5A champion, managed to go back-to-back after rallying back to defeat Harrison 3-1 in the title tilt. The Eagles spotted Harrison an early lead thanks to an unearned run off of Kayla Floor in the third. The Eagles trailed 1-0 until the fifth when Ariele Patterson reached and scored on an RBI-single by Shelley Sweatt, who would score herself several batters later. Brittany Roley would provide the final run for the Lady Eagles and would give Floor the margin she needed. Floor struck out six Hoyas while giving up the lone unearned run on four hits. Collins Hill s final record stood at , with the Eagles capturing its final 16 games. In the semifinals, Collins Hill sent Brookwood to the losers bracket with a 4-1 win, thanks in large part to three McKenzie Halstead home runs. Brookwood was eliminated from the tournament by Harrison in a 4-3 contest. In Class 2A, Buford won its fourth straight title and its sixth in the last seven years with a 6-2 win over Union County. Wolves pitcher Karly Fullem allowed two runs in the first inning, but then Fullem locked down Union County, surrendering just two meaningless singles and a walk the rest of the game, allowing her team the chance to rally back. Buford trailed 2-1 entering the final inning when the Wolves bats finally came alive. Melissa Dickey crushed a game-tying home run and then, with Buford up 3-2 after a run scored via a Union County error, Lexi Overstreet blasted a three-run shot to give Buford a 6-2 lead and eventually a fourth straight state title. Buford finished the season NEW COUNTY RECORD Taylor Heinicke of Collins Hill made a bit of history, as did Norcross, in the Eagles 42-0 win over the Blue Devils. Heinicke entered the game with 28 passing touchdowns on the season and after tying the record in the first quarter, the Collins Hill signal caller found Trey Marksberry for a score to break the county record of 29. Heinicke would finish with four touchdown passes (32 on the season), on 19-for-27 passing, good enough for 318 yards as well. Heinicke also ran for a nine-yard score and 28 yards overall. The loss for Norcross was the worst loss since 1998 Always at and passed the 38-0 loss the Blue Devils suffered earlier this year to North Gwinnett as the worst loss in Coach Maloof s career with Norcross. The win secured the No. 2 seed in Region 7-AAAAA for Collins Hill, which guarantees the Eagles a home playoff game. Norcross still will make the playoffs, likely as the No. 3 seed out of the region. In other Region 7-AAAAA results, North Gwinnett captured its second straight No. 1 seed with a 26-7 win over Duluth. C.J. Uzomah threw for a second-half score and recorded a rushing score in the first half to help pace the Bulldogs. Donnie Miles found paydirt for North Gwinnett on a touchdown run in the first quarter and junior quarterback Scotty Hosch connected up with Tyler Nemec for a score in the second quarter. North Gwinnett wraps up the regular season this week with a game against Peachtree Ridge that may find itself out of the playoffs after peaking at No. 3 just weeks ago. The Lions, riddled by injuries, fell to Mill Creek 14-7 to drop to 5-3, 3-3 in region play. After taking an early lead on a Billy Bestto-Raham Dixon touchdown pass, the Lions could not find the end zone again. Mill Creek rallied for two second-half scores, one a Keshawn Bussey 8-yard scoring scamper to tie the game 7-7 early in the third, the other a John Russ to Cody Rediger 44-yard connection late in the game. Russ finished with 197 yards and one passing score for Mill Creek. Finally, in Region 8-AAAAA, Brookwood moved to within one win over Berkmar for its fourth region title in the last six seasons after knocking off two-time defending region champion Grayson 10-0 on senior night. The host Broncos got a second-quarter field goal from senior Eric Yang while Grayson missed its first-half field goal attempt. The two teams would exchange punts and hard hits most of the night before a late interception gave the Broncos prime field position. A Nick Thompkins score gave the Broncos a 10-0 cushion that would be too much for the Rams to overcome. Now Brookwood needs to defeat Berkmar, a team it has beaten 19 straight times, to claim the region title. Dacula, after dispatching Berkmar 56-20, now faces Parkview for the region s final playoff spot. A loss would end the tenure of Falcons coach Kevin Maloof, who is resigning after the season. Proctor can be reached at

7 NovemBER 5-11, 2010 Score gwinnett 7G Always at