the perfect guy`s valentine`s gift see back page



the perfect guy`s valentine`s gift see back page
FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
VOL 5 NO 3
Get In The Game!
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FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
BEAT WRITERS Josh Bagriansky (Falcons), Stephen Black
(Kennesaw State), Jason Boral (Thrashers), James Butler
(UGA), Dave Cohen (Georgia State), Johnny Crosskey
(Tech), Alex Ewalt (Preps), Scott Janovitz
(Hawks/Recruiting), Fletcher Proctor (Braves)
STAFF WRITERS Cranston Collier, Joe Deighton, Ricky Dimon,
Rajesh Gupta, Zander Lentz, Andrew McCarron, Corey Mitchell,
Jessica Parker, Leighton Savary, Keafer Triplett, Derek Wiley
DESIGN INTERNS Chris Nunn, Bob Weldon
CONTRIBUTORS Dean Zindler, Kevin Dankosky,
Mitch Evans, Matt Judy, Tony Schiavone, Richard Diamond,
Joe Haines, Brian Katrek, 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, C.C.,
Hal Lanier, Jeff Batten, Micah Hart, Ben Wright,
Alan Vasquez, Andrew Vedlitz, Brian Jones
SPECIAL CONTRIBUTORS Mitch Albom, Dave Kindred, Barry Bloom
Check out our last-minute news on the high school football
recruiting scene, as well as our top 25 recruits just in time
for National Signing Day this Wednesday!
Falcons beat writer Josh Bagriansky writes on general
manager Thomas Dimitroff, who was recently named the
Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.
Stephen Black breaks down the struggles of UGA and Tech’s
men’s hoops teams. Tech has won just one ACC game and
Dennis Felton (pictured) was fired at Georgia.
Make sure to tune in to 790 The Zone on Sundays from 1-3 p.m., as Score
Atlanta brings you the word on high school recruiting! Listen in as staff
writers I.J. Rosenberg, Scott Janovitz, Fletcher Proctor and Alex Ewalt
bring news and analysis on all of the biggest names across the state.
And with National Signing Day taking place on Wednesday, you won’t
want to miss their breakdown this Sunday.
CHEROKEE/FORSYTH: Cherokee, Creekview, Etowah, Forsyth Central,
North Forsyth, Sequoyah, South Forsyth, West Forsyth, Woodstock
COBB: Allatoona, Campbell, Harrison, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter,
Marietta, McEachern, N. Cobb, N. Cobb Christian, Pebblebrook,
Pope, S. Cobb, Sprayberry, Walton, Wheeler
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, Lovett, Mays, Milton, North Springs, Northview,
Riverwood, Roswell, Tri-Cities, Westminster, Woodward Academy
GWINNETT: Berkmar, Brookwood, Buford, C. Gwinnett, Collins
Hill, Dacula, Grayson, Greater Atlanta Christian, Meadowcreek, Mill
Creek, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge,
South Gwinnett, Wesleyan
Hawks beat writer Scott Janovitz spoke with guard Joe Johnson, who
was selected as a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star team for
the third straight year.
We are hoping the
Arena Football League returns for 2010 but if so,
Georgia Force fans will likely see a new face leading the team. Head coach Doug Plank has taken a
position with the New York Jets as assistant secondary coach. Plank went 47-25 in four seasons
with the Force and took them to ArenaBowl XIX in
2005. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Cribb/Georgia Force.
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Get In The Game!
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FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
have never been quite sure why in the past
few years Georgia has been unable to build a
strong men’s basketball program and tradition.
It’s a great school, has one of the top
overall athletic programs in the NCAA and
sits an hour from our great city of Atlanta.
Sure, the arena is far from the best but have
you ever been inside the building where
Duke plays? Cameron Indoor Stadium is old,
dank and it smells. In other words, the excuse
I hear all the time that Stegeman Coliseum is
the reason Georgia isn’t any good in basketball is silly.
Look, Tubby Smith and Hugh Durham
won there.
Also, I don’t want to hear that Georgia is
a football school, as Florida has proven it can
win big in both sports.
But I will say that bringing Bobby
Knight to Athens would be a huge … no, a
horrible mistake.
Knight—and I know him personally and
have interviewed him on more than a few
occasions—was a great basketball coach
when physical and verbal abuse was more
acceptable among college athletics.
But remember, even the great Bear
Bryant regretted to the day he died the way
he treated his 1954 Texas A&M football team
(“The Junction Boys”). The difference with
Knight is he never stopped the abuse and he
certainly has never admitted to regretting it.
He is and has always been a baby and when
he doesn’t get his way, he goes off grumbling
into the sunset … no, make that the darkness.
I know what it was like playing football under a hard ass (the great Wayman
Creel) but he never crossed the line. Knight
always seems to do just that and whether we
like it or not, times have changed, especially in basketball, where those types of tactics scare off the best kind of talent. Also,
borrowing a line from Mark Bradley of the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia
already tried to recycle one coach (Jim
Harrick) and that failed miserably.
What Georgia needs to do is first decide
what it wants to be in basketball. If the
Bulldogs want to be able to compete on a
high level, they need to go out and find a
Bobby Cremins like Tech did back in the
1980s: a likable coach that recruits day and
night, befriends the alumni and isn’t going
anywhere anytime soon. Cremins was far
from a great coach on the court but he had a
plan, attacked it and put Tech on the map in
the best basketball conference in America.
Surely a school with the resources of
Georgia can find its Cremins and therefore
should never consider Bobby – at least not
the Bobby with the last name Knight.
Over the next few weeks you will hear a
new show on 790 The Zone focused on high
school recruiting. We plan on doing the
show year-round and will slip it into the 1-3
p.m. slot on Sunday on 790. To begin with, I
will be hosting the show with every intention
of turning those duties over in a month or so
to someone more knowledgeable about
recruiting. But our panel will be one comprised of experts, consisting of Scott
Janovitz, Alex Ewalt and Fletcher Proctor.
All three study the recruiting scene and we
the Super Bowl and one former staffer told
me they were the largest paper in the country that didn’t cover the game. That’s a sign
of just how bad things are going and word
is it won’t be long before it is no longer a
daily paper, instead coming out four or
five days a week. I do think, however, that
they have done a good job with,
though it’s hard for papers to make money
online, especially with the huge infrastructure the paper has built over the years. I do
hope that they find a way to keep going
seven days a week.
Georgia doesn’t need Knight, recruiting show on 790 and thoughts on MLB
National Signing Day takes place the day
this issue hits stands (Wednesday, Feb. 4)
and when we had to go to press Monday
night, most of the state’s best recruits had
made verbal commitments. Offensive
lineman Chris Burnette (pictured) of Troup
High School will head to Georgia, and he
is ranked No. 7 of Score’s Top 25 recruits
(see page 12). The above photo is courtesy of Rob Saye, while the cover photos
of Lowndes’ Greg Reid (uncommitted),
Carver-Columbus’ Jarvis Jones (uncommitted), Emanuel County Institute’s
Washaun Ealey (Georgia) and Lassiter’s
Philip Lutzenkirchen (Auburn) are courtesy of Photographic Arts.
SAFE BET: No, that’s not James Bond. Braves third baseman Chipper Jones rolls the dice at the Atlanta
Braves Foundation’s Diamond Gala. The inaugural event, which gave fans a chance to meet current and former Braves players and coaches, held casino games at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead. More than
$100,000 was raised for the Foundation’s community grants program, which provides financial support to
local non-profit organizations. Photos courtesy of the Atlanta Braves.
‘[Bobby Knight] is and has always been a baby and
when he doesn’t get his way, he goes off grumbling
into the sunset … no, make that the darkness.’
will not only follow football and basketball
but all sports, interviewing coaches, national recruiting experts and athletes. The two
hours will be a must for all the recruiting
nuts around town and, from what I can tell,
there are a lot of you guys.
It’s hard to believe that 22 years ago
when I was in my first year at the AJC, the
paper had perhaps the top sports section in
the country. Sunday, they didn’t even cover
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I didn’t mention in my last column that
I made it to the Braves Foundation
Celebration at the Intercontinental Hotel and
ran into a few old friends, including Chipper
Jones, who was still bothered by the fact that
the team didn’t re-sign John Smoltz.
Interestingly, Chipper wondered out loud to
me about whether he would get another contract from the team, though I do think the
Braves will keep him and that he will retire
here. It was Jones that after the 2005 season
restructured his contract, freeing up money
the Braves could use elsewhere. He is signed
through this season and will make around $11
million this year. On another note, when do
you think baseball players, and for that matter
team owners, are going to realize that the
economy is going to effect the number of fans
attending games this season, and when are
they going to bring down salaries? Even the
NFL is getting stung, as most teams are cutting back staffs; I heard many of the clubs
plan to be well under the salary cap next season. But for some reason, baseball has never
really stood up to the players and got rid of
things like arbitration and the fact that every
contract is guaranteed. Someday, that house
of cards is going to come tumbling down.
Rosenberg can be heard every Sunday
from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Score Atlanta Sports
Sunday on 790 The Zone. Score will also be
hosting a two-hour recruiting show on Sunday
beginning at 1 p.m. The call-in number at the
station is 404-233-1570 and *790 on your
AT&T phone. Rosenberg can be reached at
[email protected] or 404-256-1572.
Get In The Game!
pretty ridiculous. Hats off to the Steel Curtain. Oh, and Ben Roethlisberger only has one
less playoff victory than Tom Brady had at this point in his career. Future Hall of Famer?
It never feels good to lose but Arizona should still be very
proud of an otherwise outstanding postseason. The Cardinals in the Super Bowl – that’s
like the L.A. Clippers in the NBA Finals, or Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.
After the Pro Bowl (which barely counts as a game), we won’t have
any football for almost seven months! What are us Southerners supposed to do without
football? I’ll be playing a lot of Madden 2009 on Xbox until August, that’s for sure.
Well, just because there aren’t any football games doesn’t mean all
the fun is over: National Signing Day takes place on Wednesday. I’m excited to see where
some of the top uncommitted players sign – especially Carver-Columbus’ Jarvis Jones.
Phew – January is finally over. The Hawks went 6-10 in the
month—which ended with a loss to the Michael Redd-less Milwaukee Bucks—but still
managed to hold that fourth spot in the East. We badly need to host a first-round series.
When it comes to ACC play, the Yellow Jackets have been stung by opponents all year. They will have another tough task against the Seminoles,
who are tough to beat in Tallahassee. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
Thrashers vs. New Jersey. 680 The Fan. SportSouth.
The Thrashers are fighting hard to maintain some second-half success,
but it won’t be easy for them to make a playoff push. They face a tough
team in the New Jersey Devils at Blueland, starting at 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY Gladiators vs. Charlotte. 550 AM.
Speaking of the Hawks, congrats to Joe Johnson, who was named an East
All-Star reserve for the third straight season. Personally, I think Mo Williams and Hedo
Turkoglu should be joining him but their own fans can whine about that. Joe’s the man..
Will legendary coach Bobby Knight replace Dennis Felton in
Athens? That would be great … and it would certainly be fun for us at the press conferences. Maybe if I’m lucky I could be the next guy getting cursed at on YouTube.
WAKE-UP CALL: How ‘bout those Yellow Jackets shocking local standout Al-Farouq
Aminu and No. 4 Wake Forest on Saturday? These are the same Jackets that started off
ACC play 0-6, correct? An exciting victory – now Tech needs to use this for a late run.
People seem to have mixed opinions about Tom Glavine returning. I say give it another shot – if he’s healthy, it would be nice to have his experience and
poise, and do we really want an injury-plagued 2008 to be our final memory of him?”
I’m ashamed to admit I watched American Idol’s auditions last
week. Still, I can tell you right now who’s going to win it all: Anne Marie Boskovich (the
chick they asked to “reinvent” herself). Bet on it and remember, you read it here first.
Pittsburgh Steelers
Things just got tougher for Georgia Force
fans. Not only is the 2009 season cancelled, but whenever the AFL returns, the
Force will be looking for a new head coach,
as Doug Plank took a position with the
NFL’s New York Jets.
Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie are doing everything they can to get the
Bulldogs back on the winning track, but it hasn’t been enough as they are at the
bottom of the SEC standings. They will try to rebound against LSU at 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY Georgia Tech at Florida State. 790 The Zone. ESPNU.
Plank leaves Force
The Arizona Cardinals could not shock the
world a final time, as Mike Tomlin (pictured) and the Pittsburgh Steelers took
home the Lombardi Trophy. The Steelers
now have more Super Bowl victories (6)
than any other NFL franchise.
Consistency is the goal for the Gladiators, as they have yet to find it during the 2008-09 season. Lucky for them, they face the Charlotte Checkers,
who are also struggling to find their groove. The battle begins at 7:05 p.m.
Georgia Tech women vs. NC State. 91.1 FM.
The Jackets are in the middle of the pack in the ACC, but have already beaten No. 2 UNC and will look for similar success against rival NC State. Come
to the Thriller Dome for a great matchup starting at 2 p.m.
Kennesaw State vs. Jacksonville.
Just like the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets, the Owls are having a hard time finding wins. They have another tough contest when they take on the Jacksonville
Dolphins, who are at the top of the Atlantic Sun. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.
Hawks vs. Washington. 790 The Zone.
This is the second of only three home games for the Hawks in February,
so it’s important for you to come out to the Highlight Factory and cheer
them on. They face the woeful Washington Wizards, with tip-off at 7 p.m.
Joe Johnson
Don Sutton
The Hawks guard was selected as a
reserve for the Eastern Conference
All-Star team for the third consecutive
season. Additionally, Johnson’s first
basket in Saturday’s loss to
Milwaukee put him over 10,000
points for his career.
The longtime Braves broadcaster
will return to Atlanta for the 2009
season. Sutton, who called Braves
games for 18 years before spending
the last two seasons in Washington,
D.C., will join Jim Powell in the radio
broadcast booth.
Dennis Felton
Humphrey denied
Falcons fans were hoping to see
Claude Humphrey become the first
player in franchise history to be
inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sadly,
the voters denied the Falcons’ all-time
leader in sacks (94.5), who went to
six Pro Bowls.
Last year’s SEC Tournament run is a
distant memory now for the Bulldogs,
who are now 0-6 in SEC play. Felton
was fired Thursday; he finishes his
career at Georgia with an overall record
of 84-91 and an SEC record of 26-59.
Combined conference
records of UGA (0-6) and Tech
(0-6) men’s hoops after their
first six games
The last time
Tech started an ACC season at 0-6
The last time
UGA started out an SEC season
with an 0-6 record
Congratulations to the 2010 United
States Ryder Cup team on its expected retention of the cup. It may seem a bit premature,
but I think we just locked it up.
The appointment of Colin
Montgomerie is what did it for me.
First, let me compliment the man.
He is the second-leading points
earner in the history of Ryder Cup
competition. Nick Faldo is first,
and won’t be on the team in 2010, so
we won’t have to beat him on the course.
That has never been done on Sunday. Monty
is unbeaten in Sunday singles. Not having him
on the course will help the Americans. Having
him in charge will also help.
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WEDNESDAY Georgia vs. LSU. 750 AM.
STEELER SIX: Pittsburgh now has close to one-seventh of all Super Bowl titles …
Monty is not particularly well-liked on
either side of the pond. Sure, he has his
fans and actually has a great sense of
humor. But he also has a knack for
getting involved with—and
oftentimes can’t keep from
being the center of attention.
Colin Montgomerie will be a
distraction to his team and that
will be all the help the United
States will need.
Brian Katrek can be heard on 790 The
Zone’s “On The Green with Brian Katrek”
Sundays from 8-9 a.m. and can be reached
at [email protected]
“[Joe] Johnson is the
biggest lock of anybody and deserved to
be starting next to
[Dwyane] Wade.”
-’s John
Schuhmann on the East’s
All-Star reserves
FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
Force lose head coach to Jets, Braves visit Macon and Stews start campaign
Last week in Louisville, Ky., high
school football coach David Jason
Stinson pled not guilty to reckless
homicide in the death of 15-year-old
Max Gilpin, a Pleasure Ridge Park
High School student. Gilpin collapsed
at a football practice in late August
after running sprints in what felt like
94 degree temperature. According to
reports, his death certificate states that
he died of complications from heat
stroke, septic shock and multiple
organ failure three days later. There
are reports that claim the boy was taking Creatine, an over-the-counter supplement which can have many side
effects including heat intolerance.
There was no autopsy performed and
at this point it is not clear whether
these two things are connected.
There are obviously many layers to
this case and for the most part I’ll
reserve judgment until there are more
details released. However, if it is determined that this boy died due to
Stinson’s negligence, then he should be
prosecuted even if it was an accident.
Six people in high school and college
athletics died in 2008 from heat-related
incidents. Until this case, no one has
really been held accountable for the
deaths of these young people. I know
Stinson would probably rather not be
associated with a precedent-setting
case, but some good may come from
this. Something has to be done to make
sure coaches don’t run these young
athletes to death – literally.
When you are a high school athletics coach, your responsibilities extend
further than just the X’s and O’s in
preparation for game day. You are also
very much responsible for the well
being of the children that are under
your watch. Parents cannot always trust
their teenagers to know when enough is
enough. That’s why the adult in charge
has to be reasonable enough to rein
them in. The outcome of this case will
not bring any of these people back, but hopefully it
will send a message to all
of the people who take
high school athletics way
too seriously that it’s just
a game and it isn’t
worth dying over.
C.C. can be reached at
[email protected]
SENIOR PRIDE: Georgia defensive lineman Corvey Irvin (left) goes head-to-head with Oregon offensive lineman Max Unger in the Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Irvin and Mohamed Massaquoi were the two
Bulldogs selected to play for the South team, as was Georgia Tech defensive lineman Vance Walker. The South
beat the North, 35-18, and never trailed in the contest. Photo courtesy of Rob Saye.
ast week, the Georgia Force learned University Center, as a crowd gathered for
they are not only without a 2009 season the “First Pitch Classic” and to hear the
but a head coach as well, as Doug Plank Braves star speak. On Tuesday, Francoeur’s
accepted a job with the New York Jets earlier last week. On Wednesday, the Jets
announced that Plank has joined the New
York staff as an assistant secondary coach.
Plank coached the Force for the last four
seasons and compiled a 47-25 overall
record, leading the team to three division
titles and an Arena Football League championship game appearance.
Hall of Famer and longtime North
Carolina State women’s basketball coach
Kay Yow died last week, passing after a
long-fought battle with breast cancer. Yow,
who was 66 at the time, was diagnosed with
cancer in 1987. Her many accomplishments
in what was a lengthy career include more
than 700 wins, a gold medal as coach of the
1988 U.S. Olympic women’s team, four
Atlantic Coast Conference tournament
championships, 20 NCAA tournament bids
and a Final Four appearance in 1998. Not
only a great coach, Yow was inspirational to
many in her fight with cancer and spent
considerable time and effort raising awareness and money for cancer research.
Atlanta Braves right fielder Jeff
Francoeur used his Monday last week to
stop off in Macon, signing autographs and
taking pictures with fans at a private reception held at the Hilton Garden Inn. That
evening, Francoeur visited the Mercer
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goodwill was matched by teammates Brian
McCann, Blaine Boyer, Tommy Hanson,
former Braves reliever Brad Clontz, hitting
coach Terry Pendleton, and general manager Frank Wren, as the large group stopped
by the downtown Macon Children’s
Hospital. The Braves players, coaches and
personnel in attendance visited many different rooms, talking with the children, taking pictures, signing autographs, and even
playing Nintendo’s Wii.
The Atlanta Falcons added to their long
list of postseason awards last week when the
Sporting News named Thomas Dimitroff
their 2008 Executive of the Year. Dimitroff
was chosen for the annual Sporting News
award by a panel of 40 coaches, general
managers and personnel directors from
around the NFL for his part in turning a 4-12
Falcon team of 2007 into the 11-5 playoff
team it was in 2008. In winning the award,
Dimitroff becomes only the third man in the
last 15 years to win the honor in his first year
with a new team. Among his many important
decisions were going with Matt Ryan in the
2008 Draft and signing free agent running
back Michael Turner to a long-term deal.
Nationally syndicated 790 The Zone
radio personalities Ryan and Doug
We know that you’ve missed all
of the excitement of racing over the
winter months, but racing season is
coming back very soon! Don’t
believe us? Then check out the first
Sports Car Club of America (SCCA)
Regional Competition the weekend
of Feb. 21 at Road Atlanta and get the
season started off right! This event
gives both amateur racers and racing
fans a chance to enjoy themselves.
The southeast division of SCCA will
feature five events at Road Atlanta
over the year, and this is your first
chance to see the action for yourself
when some of the country’s best amateur drivers do battle. So you amateur
racers out there should take note, and
visit and sign up.
Spectators are also encouraged to
come watch all of the racing at the
track, with rates for tickets being
announced very soon at And remember, kids 12
and under always get in for free!
Written by Scott Janovitz
Stewart, best known for work on the radio
show the “2 Live Stews,” are in the
process of launching a national radio
campaign calling on black men to
become better mentors. Specifically, the
Stewart brothers are focused on getting
their listeners, particularly male members
of the African American community, to
support Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Doug and Ryan have served as Big
Brothers for several years with the Big
Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan
Atlanta. The effort itself, which is known
as “Mentoring Brothers,” is phase II of
the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s
Campaign for Men.
While some fringe sports have been
scared into silence by the struggling
economy, the same cannot be said for the
Atlanta Rollergirls, who will be holding a
season opening double-header on
February 28. For 2009, the ARG’s fifth
season, the girls are promising a season
of “more action and more brutal fun”, a
little something everyone needs in their
life. The action will feature Atlanta’s AllStar inter-league team, the Dirty South
Derby Girls, against Pittsburgh’s own
Steel City Derby Demons.
A second match will include two local
teams, the Apocalypstix and the Toxic Shocks.
The event will take place at the Yaraab Shrine
Center Auditorium and more information can
be found at
Get In The Game!
Johnson an All-Star for third straight year
t’s been a fruitful season for the Atlanta
Hawks, one that’s seen the team set an
impressive 47-win pace and snuggle its way
into the East’s fourth seed (if the playoffs
were to start today). Not surprisingly, the rising Hawks have also been graced with
impressive individual accomplishment, as
shooting guard and team captain Joe Johnson
is somewhat quietly putting together his best
year yet. As a result, when the Eastern
Conference All-Star reserves were
announced last week, the Hawks’ main
attraction was on the list.
“It’s a great accomplishment, very prestigious, and it’s something I think everybody
looks forward to, you know, at least one day
being an All-Star,” said Johnson of the honor.
“But a lot of people are not fortunate
[enough to be an All-Star], so I really take a
lot of pride in my attendance. There’s a lot of
dedication and hard work that comes with it,
but at the same time this is a team sport, so
without my teammates, without my coaching
staff, without the organization of the Atlanta
Hawks, none of this is possible for me.”
Joining Johnson in the East as Thursday
additions were Rashard Lewis and Jameer
Nelson of the Orlando Magic, New Jersey’s
Devin Harris, Toronto’s Chris Bosh, Boston’s
Paul Pierce, and Indiana’s Danny Granger.
Starting for the East will be Dwight Howard
(Orlando), Kevin Garnett (Boston), LeBron
James (Cleveland), Dwyane Wade (Miami)
and Allen Iverson (Detroit).
In his eighth year in the league (fourth
in Atlanta), Johnson is averaging an impressive 21.5 points per game, nearly five above
his career average, to go along with 6.2
assists and 4.5 rebounds. Most importantly,
the Hawks are winning, currently sitting with
a 27-20 record at press time and an 18-5
mark at home. That fact is certainly not lost
on Johnson, who is excited for All-Star
weekend and all the pandemonium it entails
but cautious of staying rested and ready for
the second-half playoff run.
“I just want to let my body relax as
much as possible,” Johnson warned. “There’s
going to be so much going on that it’s going
to be hard to get the chance to lay down and
really relax. So, any chance I get I’m going
to try and stay off my feet, but at the same
time enjoy the moment.”
As a reserve, Johnson was voted into the
game by the Eastern Conference coaches
rather than by its fans, which are responsible
for selecting the game’s starters. And, though
the opportunity to start as an All-Star is no
doubt special, there is certainly something to
be said for those who make the game based
on respect from their peers rather than
through a popularity vote among fans.
“It means a lot,” said
Johnson of receiving the
coaches’ nod. “For me I think
it means a lot more than just
being voted in by the fans.
Don’t get me wrong, I think
everybody would love to start
in an All-Star game, but at the
same time to have the coaches
vote you in is on another level. It means
you get a lot of respect from a lot of teams
around the league.”
While no other Hawk made a roster in the
traditional All-Star Game (Feb. 15), Johnson
will not be the only one in Phoenix come AllStar Weekend. Center Al Horford will participate in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge (Feb.
13) as part of the Sophomore team, which will
be coached by honorary assistants Dwight
Howard and Dwyane Wade.
“It will be a lot of fun to get the chance
to go support him when he plays and I just
hope he enjoys this moment because it’s not a
given that guys make it back the next year;
you’ve really got to put in your work,” said
Johnson of Big Al’s upcoming Phoenix trip.
On the Western side of things, Kobe
Bryant (L.A. Lakers), Chris Paul (New
Orleans), Tim Duncan (San Antonio), Amare
Stoudemire (Phoenix) and Yao Ming (Houston)
round out the starting lineup. The Western
Conference bench will include 15-time All-Star
Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix), along with Dallas’
Dirk Nowitzki, Portland’s Brandon Roy,
Denver’s Chauncey Billups, L.A. Lakers’ Pau
Gasol of the Lakers, New Orleans’ David West
and San Antonio’s Tony Parker.
Some notable names left of this year’s
teams were Denver’s Carmelo Anthony
(averaging 21 points and 7 rebounds per
game), Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Ray
Allen, Orlando’s Hedo Turkoglu, and
Cleveland’s Mo Williams.
[email protected]
JOHNSON FOR THREE: For the third consecutive
season, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson was selected as a
reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star
team. Johnson became the first Hawk to earn
three straight trips since Dominique Wilkins did
it in 1992-94. Photo courtesy of David Carnes/Photographic Arts.
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Dunwoody vs. Chamblee; Fayette vs. Mays
ny true fan of sports knows that all teams
face rebuilding years at some point. With
only three seniors, the Dunwoody Wildcats are
led by juniors Shane Porchea and Darrell
Strozier. Along with freshman point guard
Javon McCay and junior Julian Goode, the
Wildcats are 8-11 on the year with three tough
losses against out-of-state opponents. One year
removed from graduating current Florida State
standout Chris Singleton—who led the team
last year in rebounds and points—Dunwoody
looks to salvage its season by beating Chamblee
(12-5). If Dunwoody wants to beat Chamblee,
the Wildcats will have to find a way to neutralize 6-foot-7 power forward Marcus Cowan, a
reliable scorer who can dominate the opposition
on the boards.
This will be the second time these two
teams battle this year. On Dec. 2, Dunwoody
hosted Chamblee and lost, 71-59. In the first
matchup, Chamblee demonstrated a balanced
scoring attack behind Wayne Hunts’s 16 points,
David Mason’s 15 and Marcus Cowan’s 14.
After going to the state Final Four last year in
Class 4A, Dunwoody has players who have
experienced big games. If Dunwoody can beat
Chamblee at the end of the season, it will surely be a step in the right direction. Coming off a
second-round loss to South Atlanta in the state
tournament last year, however, Chamblee hopes
to make Dunwoody another afterthought as the
Bulldogs prepare for the playoffs this year.
In a true clash of the titans, the Fayette
County Lady Tigers face the Mays Lady Raiders
on Friday night in a battle of unbeatens. Both
teams were 21-0 at press time and were ranked
No. 2 (Fayette Co.) and No. 7 (Mays) in our
Score Atlanta Power 15 Poll. Led by point guard
Tessah Holt, the Lady Tigers have been carving
up the competition all year long. For the basketball enthusiasts out there, Holt is the epitome of
the classic pass-first point guard, who is not
afraid to drive to the basket or knock down jump
shots. With help from teammates such as 5-10
power forward Anma Onyeuku and 6-0 center
Sasha Sims, Fayette County has created a
matchup nightmare for opponents with its insideoutside style of play. In 21 games this year, the
Lady Tigers have beaten other teams by an average of 22-plus points per game. Their largest
margin of victory was a 57-17 win over Villa
Rica. After finishing runner-up last year in Class
4A, Mays looks to be the last major hurdle in a
perfect season for the Lady Tigers, who are looking to complete their quest for the state title.
With title aspirations of their own, Mays
is not going to do Fayette County any favors
on the court. The Lady Raiders have proved
that they have the athleticism and prowess on
defense to force turnovers and score easy
buckets in transition. If you’re not exited to
see outstanding Mays point guard Kendra
Long go up against Tessah Holt, you may want
to check your pulse.
[email protected]
Howell has been huge in region play this
season, recently tallying 28 points and 20
rebounds in a 106-95 win over Walton on
Jan. 24 and scoring 18 points in a convincing 69-52 win over Lassiter last Friday. His
scoring and rebounding have helped the
Wildcats to a 14-6 record this season, with
only one loss to a Georgia team. Howell, a
6-foot-8 senior power forward, is committed to N.C. State.
Just a junior, Simmons has stepped up
as the Lady Hawks’ marquee player
after the departure of Porsha Porter.
Simmons was named to the All-Region
(7-AAAAA) team last year as a sophomore, and was a key player in taking the
team to the Final Four. She is also a talented volleyball player, earning All-Area
honors and helping Mill Creek to a
Sweet 16 appearance last fall.
8. Milton
9. Marist
10. Columbia
11. Hillgrove
12. Walton
13. Dublin
14. Groves
15. Valdosta
1. South Atlanta
2. Norcross
3. Wheeler
4. McEachern
5. Miller Grove
6. Centennial
7. Lassiter
1. Parkview
2. Fayette County
3. Redan
4. Marist
5. Westlake
6. Mill Creek
7. Buford
Rankings compiled Sunday, Feb. 1.
8. Mays
9. SW DeKalb
10. Wesleyan
11. Cherokee
12. Berkmar
13. Norcross
14. North Cobb
15. Jonesboro
Rankings editor Alex Ewalt can be reached at [email protected]
W .
Four recruits enroll at Georgia, Tech early to make immediate impact
lthough Signing Day takes place on not have the fortune of experiencing the same cog for the Buford program, helping the
Wednesday, four high school football kind of high school career as Murray. Wolves win back-to-back state champiA
players have been enrolled at the state’s two Mettenberger played for Oconee County, who onships and 30 games in a row as a junior and
major football schools for nearly a month
now. Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger and
Dallas Lee are in school at Georgia, while
Emanuel Dieke is in school at Georgia Tech.
What type of players are they and what kind
of an impact can they make as freshmen?
One would be hard pressed to find many
Florida high school quarterbacks in recent
years who were as well known as Murray. The
6-foot-1, 200-pound Murray set the state record
for most touchdown passes in a season with 51
as a junior. It was his first season as a starter for
Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. From there he
impressed in offseason camps, which included
winning the MVP of the prestigious EA
SPORTS Elite 11 quarterback camp and leading his 7-on-7 team to a Nike national title.
Still, the most defining moment of his high
school career was yet to come. Murray started
his senior season by passing for 28 touchdowns
through the first six games, but then sustained
a broken left fibula and dislocated ankle. It was
assumed that the Georgia commitment and
eventual early enrollee was done for the year,
but he had other plans. Murray came back in
time for the state semifinals and led Plant to the
Class 4A state championship, throwing five
touchdown passes in the two starts.
Joining Murray as an early enrollee signal-caller up in Athens is Mettenberger. He
also participated in the Elite 11 camp but did
has not had a winning record since 2004.
Despite not playing on a great team, he threw
for over 4,000 yards and compiled a touchdown-to-interception mark of 33-15 in three
years under center. At 6-5 and more than 230
pounds, Mettenberger is bigger than Murray
and has more arm strength.
Both Tech and Georgia have a lineman
who has enrolled early. For Tech, its new
player comes from the defensive side of the
ball in North Clayton defensive end
Emanuel Dieke. Standing around 6-7, Dieke
has the potential to be a special player in college. After having a solid individual season
as a junior, he helped North Clayton ascend
to be one of the top teams in Class 4A last
season, with the Eagles finishing the season
at 10-2. The head start to his college career
gives Dieke a chance to get on a college
weight program. Weighing less than 220
pounds is not the ideal playing circumstances for a defensive end, so until the 2009
season begins, hitting the weight room will
be just as important to Dieke as learning
schemes or techniques.
The Bulldogs’ lineman, Lee, will play on
the offensive side of the ball, although he
played both ways in high school. Lee was a
guard and defensive tackle at Buford High
School, but will play solely on the interior of
the offensive line at Georgia. Lee was a key
senior. A powerful prospect, Lee’s main challenge will be adjusting to the speed and athleticism of the college game.
Murray played in a spread offense in high
school and will have to adjust somewhat to the
Bulldogs’ system. Joe Cox is entrenched as the
starting quarterback, so unless Murray unseats
him, head coach Mark Richt and offensive
coordinator Mike Bobo will not totally cater
the offense around the throwing and running
abilities of Murray. As for Mettenberger, he
will try to beat out Murray and sophomore
Logan Gray for the No. 2 position. Once
Mettenberger gets used to playing at the collegiate level, he should be a more than capable
college quarterback.
With the loss of future NFL defensive
end Michael Johnson, Dieke may have an
opportunity to get some playing time for Tech,
provided he gets physically stronger. By
enrolling early, he has already given an indication that he may be mentally capable of
making an impact. Georgia’s plan for Lee next
season is for him to provide depth. After playing numerous freshmen the last two seasons,
the Bulldogs return all of their offensive linemen. Though, if he is pressed into action,
offensive line coach Stacy Searels is the right
guy to make sure Lee is ready.
[email protected]
FIRST LOOK: Aaron Murray, seen here at the
U.S. Army All-American Game, is one of three
early enrollees for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Though Murray was injured for much of his
senior season at Plant High School (Fla.), he
threw 51 touchdowns and rushed for 12 more
as a junior in 2007. Photo courtesy of Rob Saye.
Baylor signee overcomes injury, slow start to lead SW Atlanta Christian
ne year ago, a strong senior class joined great season despite her absence, going 24- BAYLOR BOUND …
out with a bang. Things didn’t look great
mega-recruit Mariah Chandler to form 7 before losing in the Class A Final Four.
After the injury, Chandler wasn’t exactly early in the season, however: playing an
what could have been Southwest Atlanta But one can’t help but wonder what could sure what to expect regarding the recruiting incredibly difficult schedule that almost
Christian Academy’s best basketball team since
winning the Class A state championship in
2006. That changed before the season even
began, however: Chandler, the No. 2-ranked
forward in the nation according to ESPN, tore
her ACL and didn’t play a single game last year.
“I think she was extremely disappointed,”
said fifth-year head coach Jackie Ransom.
Despite the injury, it hasn’t been all bad
news for SACA’s 6-foot-2 forward. She committed to play at Baylor last June and has
made an impressive return to the court this
season, leading her team in scoring and
rebounding while paving the way for SACA’s
7-0 region record at press time.
Coping with not being able to play was
difficult for Chandler. The Warriors had a
have been if Chandler was healthy, and
watching her team play without being to
help wasn’t easy.
“I cried every game,” Chandler said. “I
didn’t feel like I was a part of the team anymore. I couldn’t run out with them, I couldn’t
do anything. It was really devastating.”
But Chandler feels she emerged
from the experience stronger. “I thank
God for [the injury] because I know I
grew as a person through the whole rehab
process,” she said.
Overcoming the knee injury is still an
issue for Chandler and her head coach thinks
she is still feeling the effects.
“To be honest, she’s not back at full
strength yet,” Ransom said. “She was really,
really timid in the early part of the season.
But she’s getting there now.”
process. They were in for a pleasant surprise,
as the letters kept rolling in.
“We went home and we couldn’t even
close the mailbox,” she said.
Ransom, who was also heavily recruited
out of high school before playing at
Vanderbilt, remembered that schools were not
the least bit deterred by Chandler’s knee.
“The most common quote I got was
‘don’t worry about the ACL, we still want
her,’” Ransom said.
In the end, Chandler chose Baylor, stating, “The coaching staff was unbelievable. I
love them to death. They’re so passionate
about the game.”
With just one semester left in her
high school career, Chandler wanted to go
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exclusively featured teams outside of
Class A, the Warriors limped out of the
gates, starting off the year 3-10 and losing seven straight before hitting the
region schedule.
“It was rocky, it was really tough at the
beginning,” Ransom said. “But I think we’ve
overcome it and have turned the corner.”
Ransom just might be right. The
Warriors are now 7-0 in Region 5B-A play
after beating second-place Pace Academy, 6664, last Friday. Chandler leads the team in
both scoring in rebounding.
“The team has improved a lot since
the f irst half of the season,” she said. “I
think we have a good chance to be
region champs.”
Bagriansky can be reached at [email protected]
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Gwinnett County boys dominate pool in state’s highest classification
he word “dynasty” is thrown around
loosely in the world of sports sometimes,
but what the Class 5A Gwinnett County boys
swim and dive teams have done over the last
few years has to be categorized as a dynasty.
Since 1992, Brookwood, Parkview,
Collins Hill and Shiloh have combined for an
incredible 14 state championships. Parkview,
a dynasty in its own right, has won eight of
those titles, boasting wins in 1995,’98, 200003,’06 and ’07. Since 2000, no school from
any other county has won a 5A boys state title.
So, literally, what are they putting in the
water down in Gwinnett? Most, if not all of
the swimmers for these top programs train all
year with various club teams around Atlanta.
Dynamo, Swim Atlanta, Gwinnett Aquatics
and Summit Swimming are some of the club
teams that produce some of the most talented
swimmers in the country. According to
Parkview head coach Jack Gayle, that extra
experience pays off in high school competition. “I think any and all year-round programs
help our kids,” Gayle says. “The ability to
stay in the water consistently from February
to October is a huge benefit in swimming. I
encourage them to join up and stay in shape
during the summer months.”
The ability for these teams from one part
of the state, to stay on top has not come without hard work and sacrifice. “I think high
schools in Gwinnett have done whatever it
takes to be successful,” adds Gayle. “It has
taken a long time, but we're just now seeing
the full extent of the results. Gwinnett is
absolutely the most dominant county in the
state when it comes to the high school boys.”
Swimming is generally seen as an individual sport and sometimes the concept of
team can get lost in individual successes. The
Gwinnett programs, however, all emphasize
the concept of team success. “A team can win
state either way, but I think a solid mix provides the best chance for winning a state
championship,” Gayle says. “It's always nice
to have some superstars on the team, but if
you don't have those scrappy swimmers clawing away for individual points at the bottom
of the top 16, you'll never be as good as you
could have been.”
An oft-overlooked part of competition in
high school becomes a strength for a wellrounded team, Gayle says. “Divers are the
unsung heroes of the state meet. Just one
good diver can swing the outcome of the meet
in your favor if the other teams are lacking
divers,” he adds.
Over these dominant years, a few
swimmers have stood out among the rest.
Parkview’s Eric Shanteau, who swam for
the Panthers from 1998-2002, went on to
swim for Auburn University and in the
2008 Olympic games in Beijing. Lance
Needham of Brookwood set many state
records and was named the 1995 state
swimmer of the year. Shiloh has had many
great swimmers, including Brock Newman,
who was on the Generals’ two state championship teams (’92, ’94), and also won the
NCAA title at Auburn. Collins Hill is not
without individual stars of its own, producing Greg Tunning, who was named 2005
state Swimmer of the Year.
When these teams swim against each other,
the meets always come down to the wire. In a
recent meet, Brookwood defeated Parkview 156153, with the outcome decided on the last race.
Brookwood has consistently finished runner-up
in the county meet to Parkview and Collins Hill.
In 2008, the Broncos came up short again, but
they were able win their first state championship
later in the year. The county meet has become
something of a mini state meet, with the winner
having the inside track to the state championship
on most occasions.
The state meet creates an altogether different level of competition
for these swimmers, as
Parkview found out a year
ago. Ruffin broke the
state record in the 100meter butterfly, only to
realize that a swimmer
ahead of him also broke
the state record and he had
only come in second
place. That is the kind of
drama that the state meet
creates, and it should be no
different this year.
“The state meet is
going to be so close this
year that the team who is the most consistent
and aggressive in prelims will be the team who
is in the best position to win come finals,” says
Gayle. “This could be one of the fastest state
meets we've ever seen, with more teams competing for the top spot than ever before. It's
stressful, but exciting at the same time.”
It will be no surprise this week if the dynasty
continues for the boys up in Gwinnett County.
Deighton can be reached at
[email protected]
CAN BRONCOS REPEAT?: In 2008, Brookwood’s boys swim team won its first Class 5A state title.
Parkview had won two straight before then, and in all, a Gwinnett County school has won a boys
state title in the highest classification for nine straight years. Photo courtesy of Photographic Arts.
Former Walton coach embraces Ware County with carpe diem attitude
d Dudley went 108-50 in 14 seasons at
Walton High School. He reached the state
semifinals in Class 5A in both 2004 and
2007. So why is he leaving for Ware County?
For one, he’s looking forward to a
lifestyle change, specifically from an urban
setting to rural Waycross.
“I’m excited about a small-town
atmosphere in South Georgia,” Dudley
noted. “It (football) is the only show in
town in Waycross.”
But most of all for Dudley, it’s all
about a new challenge.
At Walton, things were almost too good
for Dudley and the Raiders. The program had
reached its zenith under Dudley’s direction,
and not merely with the varsity’s two Final
Four appearances in the last five years. In
2008, both the ninth grade and the junior varsity squads went undefeated. To say Walton
football is flourishing all the way from the top
to the bottom would be an understatement.
What’s left for Dudley to do?
“The timing just seemed really good,”
Dudley explained of the move to Ware
County. “You don’t want to leave some program that’s struggling. I’m looking for new
challenges in life.”
That’s not to say this decision came easy
for Dudley. Quite the contrary.
It was a hard meeting,” Dudley said of his
final gathering with the Walton players during
W .
which he broke the news of his impending
departure. “I was total mess. But I think they
(the players) were happy for their coach.”
You can bet Ware County is even happier.
In 2007, the Gators finished as state runners-up
in Class 4A to Northside-Warner Robins, but
fell back to a pedestrian 6-6 last season after the
retirement of head coach Dan Ragle. Dudley is
replacing John Stephens, who lasted just one
season at Ware, so Dudley will be the third head
man of Gator Nation in three years.
“I think it’s a good, solid program,”
Dudley said of Ware County football. “It just
needs some continuity and fine-tuning.”
Dudley should provide exactly that to his
new school, and he expects the results to be
immediate. His address may have changed,
but his goals remain the same.
“Our goal has always been to win the
region and compete for a state title,”
Dudley explained. “And that’s what we plan
to do at Ware County.”
At Ware, however, he’ll be competing for
the 4A crown as opposed to 5A, the highest classification in which Walton had been participating. But Dudley will be right back at it against
5A competition early in the 2009 season in order
to adequately prepare his inaugural Ware County
team for region play: three of the Gators’ first
four opponents on the schedule are 5A schools.
[email protected]
Remaining state recruits announce decisions as National Signing Day nears
ith National Signing Day (Feb. 4) finally
here, the last two weeks have been as
eventful as ever in the Georgia recruiting world.
In state, Georgia Tech has used the last
couple weekends to secure themselves a
strong class, picking up two verbals along the
way. The Jackets landed South Carolina
defensive back Lance Richardson before picking up a commitment from Carl Mile, a defensive back from Florida, only days later. For
Miles, Tech outlasted Kansas State,
Tennessee, and Vanderbilt among others while
the Jackets out dueled Oregon, Marshall, and
Toledo for Richardson’s services.
Though over the last few weeks no
Georgia recruit has committed to an in-state
school, plenty of prospects from the state
still made their decisions known. Lithia
Christian tight end Kevin Steed gave his
pledge to Louisiana Monroe after receiving
interest from The Citadel and Western
Carolina. Joining Steed in the out-of-state
exodus will be Harrison offensive tackle
Jordan Miller. Miller chose Memphis over
offers from Marshall, Western Carolina and
Boston College and is a two-star recruit
according to At 6-foot-8, 270
pounds, Miller has the potential to play a
major role on the college level.
Dallas Walker, a tight end from Georgia
Military College, also settled on his college
destination recently, and the 6-5, 225-pound
athlete decided to bring his game to Western
Michigan. Walker is also a two-star recruit
according to
Around the same time Walker
announced his declaration, two other local
products went public with their commitments. First, Jadareius Hamlin, an offensive
guard from Mary Persons, let the coaches at
Middle Tennessee know he would be there
next fall while also disappointing the staffs at
Troy, Western Kentucky, UCF, UAB, and East
Carolina. Brent Brock for Middle Tennessee
recruited the 6-2, 245-pound Hamlin. Two
days after Hamlin made his decision known,
Tucker dual-threat quarterback Chris Beck
committed to Army. The 5-11, 185-pound
signal caller is the 30th athlete to commit to
the program for the class of 2009.
The last week has seen a barrage of
Georgia athletes giving their verbals and it all
started when Tucker linebacker Jonathan Davis
finally settled on the University of Central
Florida. Davis, a longtime South Carolina
commitment who recently had his scholarship
offer retracted, chose the Knights over offers
from UAB, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami,
Oklahoma State and Penn State. A three-star
recruit according to, the 5-9, 205pound Davis uses great speed and tenacity to
make up for his lack of size.
As if taking his cue from Davis, Cedar
Grove running back William Pratcher chose
to attend Middle Tennessee the very same
day Davis made his decision known. At 59, 175 pounds, Pratcher is a speedy back
with solid quickness.
The recruiting momentum intensified
even more last Friday, as three in-state products announced out-of-state destinations for
college. Mill Creek defensive end Ryan
Robinson chose the Cowboys of Oklahoma
State over an impressive offer list that included South Carolina and Kentucky. At 6-4, 245
pounds, the two-star Robinson plays with
good strength and aggressiveness.
DeDe Lattimore of Cedar Shoals and
East Paulding’s Edward Cazenave were the
next Georgians to follow Robinson’s lead.
Lattimore, a 6-foot, 226-pound inside linebacker, gave the Bulls of South Florida his
pledge over offers from UAB, Auburn,
Kentucky, Louisville, and Oklahoma Sate,
among others. As a junior, Lattimore recorded 115 tackles and is currently listed as a
three-star recruit according to
As for Cazenave, the 6-1, 180-pound
wideout declared Kent State his college destination after receiving interest from Louisiana
Tech as well. Cazenave committed to the
Golden Flashes only days after visiting the
Ohio-based campus.
Finally, three recruits used last weekend
to close out the action, beginning with
Dearco Nolan of Westlake High School.
Nolan, a 6-2, 227-pound defensive end,
chose the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
after receiving offers from Iowa State, Ole
Miss, South Carolina and Marshall.
On Sunday, two of the last remaining
Georgia talents decided to leave the state for
greener pastures. Cairo athlete Angelo Pease
settled on Kansas State over Troy while
Dunwoody defensive end Malcolm Mitchell
committed to Louisville for the years to come.
The 6-2, 220-pound Mitchell chose the
Cardinals over South Carolina, West Virginia,
UCF, East Carolina and Indiana, among others. As a junior, from the quarterback position,
the 5-10, 188-pound Pease rushed for 1,043
yards in addition to throwing for 1,197 yards.
[email protected]
NEW KNIGHT: Tucker’s Stephen Davis had
his scholarship offer taken away at South
Carolina, so he chose Central Florida as
his next destination. The speedy linebacker
is one of the state’s top recruits, leading
the Tigers to a Class 4A state title in 2008.
Photo courtesy of Tucker High School.
By Scott Janovitz
Greg Reid
The Skinny: On the short side (5-8), but makes plays in coverage and on special teams.
Jarvis Jones
Donavan Tate
Branden Smith
North Carolina
Eric Fields
Abry Jones
Chris Burnette
Philip Lutzenkirchen TE
Drayton Calhoun ATH
Michael Gilliard
Zach Mettenberger QB
Dallas Lee
Washaun Ealey
Derrick Lott
Peach Co.
Northside-Col. Duke
Oconee Co.
North Cobb
Chance Warmack OL
Dexter Moody
Jonathan Davis
The Skinny: A smaller linebacker at only 5-9, but possesses great speed.
The Skinny: A rangy outside ‘backer who can roam from sideline to sideline.
The Skinny: A smart receiver with tremendous body control and great hands.
Darren Myles
The Skinny: A mammoth 6-2, 329-pound guard with good feet and agility.
Henry Co.
The Skinny: An undersized tackle with the athleticism to play on the end if necessary.
John Drew
The Skinny: Small, but physical and fast in the mold of current Dawg Rennie Curran.
Jamal Patterson
The Skinny: Not the speediest of backs, but a smart, physical runner with good instints.
Reggie Taylor
The Skinny: May lack a natural position but is absolutely dynamic with the ball.
The Skinny: A big, physical run blocker with good feet and ability to move well in space.
The Skinny: Has great speed for his size and some of the best hands around.
The Skinny: A big, 6-5 drop-back signal caller with an absolute cannon for an arm.
D.J. Adams
The Skinny: A devastating guard who excels blocking for the run.
P’tree Ridge
The Skinny: Displays great speed and burst for a 300 pounder and is a good pass rusher.
The Skinny: Great agility for a big man, Jones could play DT or DE in Athens.
The Skinny: A big, physical runner with impressive speed; an absolute workhouse.
The Skinny: Grades are an issue, but the kid is an absolute playmaker.
The Skinny: Shows good speed and agility in coverage and a knack for the big play.
The Skinny: At 6-0, has the speed and size to become a shutdown corner.
Kevin Minter
The Skinny: A dynamic athlete who could play S, CB, or RB. Top baseball prospect also.
The Skinny: A punishing inside linebacker with great strength and good awareness.
The Skinny: A physical specimen that can lineup at middle linebacker or defensive end.
Michael Bowman WR
The Skinny: Long, lanky receiver at 6-4. Possesses good speed for a player his size.
The Skinny: Covers a lot of ground as a safety and is a big hitter despite his average size.
J.C. Lanier
Georgia Tech
The Skinny: At 6-3, 335 can play on either line, but must get in better shape.
*List was released at press time on Monday, Feb. 2
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FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
W .
Get In The Game!
More road woes; two at All-Star weekend Thrashers drop three; Crabb back to Triple-A
fter dropping two of three the week
Moving forward, the team begins the curf it wasn’t for a spirited third period on
rent week on the road with a Wednesday date in IThursday night, the Thrashers would have
prior, the Hawks continued the recent
The story was much of the same for
Minnesota and Friday showdown with the
trend of mediocre play, falling on the road
played their first three games after the AllAtlanta on Saturday in Raleigh against the
to the Knicks and the Bucks with a Friday
night win over the New Jersey Nets sandwiched in between.
The Hawks traveled to New York last
Wednesday for their second of three meetings with the Knicks this year, falling this
time 112-104 while allowing New York to
shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
Marvin Williams and Josh Smith paced the
Hawks, scoring 28 and 26 points, respectively, while sixth man Nate Robinson was New
York’s top scorer with 24 points on the night.
The team responded with an impressive
victory two nights later, pummeling the New
Jersey Nets, 105-88. Despite getting outrebounded 39-37, Atlanta held the Nets to
only 88 points on 40 percent shooting and
only 16 assists. It was the fourth time the
Hawks and Nets had met this year, with the
Nets winning each of the first three.
Fittingly, Joe led the Hawks on the night,
contributing 29 points, five assists and four
rebounds to the winning effort.
Looking to build on Friday’s impressive
victory, the Hawks suffered yet another letdown, finding themselves on the losing end
of a close 110-107 showdown with the
Michael Redd-less Bucks of Milwaukee.
Trailing by double digits for most of
Saturday’s action, the Hawks would rally to
make a game of it in the end, but it was too
little too late. Bucks forward Charlie
Villanueva led all scorers with 27 points and
also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out
six assists. For the Hawks, Mike Bibby’s 24
points led the way.
Bobcats in Charlotte. The Hawks close the
week out with two home games, one on
Saturday against the L.A. Clippers and another
on Tuesday when Washington comes to town.
Last Thursday, Joe Johnson’s name was
announced among the list of Eastern
Conference reserves for the upcoming 2009
All-Star Game to be held in Phoenix on Feb.
15. Johnson has made the Eastern
Conference team each of the last three years,
becoming the first Atlanta player to do so
since Dominique Wilkins did it in 1992-94.
“I just come into each season with the
intention of giving my all and trying to
become the best player I can be,” he
explained. “The last three years it’s led to
me making the All-Star Game, so it’s been
a great feeling, a great journey, and I’ve
just been enjoying it.”
A rare opportunity to play alongside
players that are otherwise competition, the
NBA All-Star Game provides an unusual setting. It is that unique interaction, however,
that Joe appreciates most.
“More than anything, [I like] getting a
chance to mingle with guys on a whole
other level, and meet guys you’ve really
never met before. I think that’s the most
important thing for me, that and just going
out and enjoying the weekend.”
Al Horford will join Johnson in
Phoenix, as the second-year center will participate in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge as
part of the Sophomore team.
[email protected]
Star break without scoring a goal. Atlanta
went into the break having won three of its
last four, but now seven days after the break
Atlanta sits with three straight losses (two
shutouts) and just four goals at press time.
The struggles began Thursday night
against the one team the Thrashers seemed to
have dominance over, the New York
Islanders. A slow first period, however, put
Atlanta down by four goals just 13 minutes
into the game. Trent Hunter started the scoring 55 seconds in, beating Lehtonen with a
wrister. Kyle Okposo, Tim Jackman and
Doug Weight followed their teammate’s early
goal with goals of their own, building New
York’s lead to 4-0. Weight’s goal would be the
last straw for first-year head coach John
Anderson, who pulled starter Kari Lehtonen
in favor of Johan Hedberg after the goal.
After a scoreless second period, Zach
Bogosian ended Atlanta’s post All-Star
scoreless streak at five periods with a slap
shot that beat Yann Danis for the rookie’s
third goal of the season. Rich Peverley
added a power play goal, which was followed by Marty Reasoner’s eighth goal of
season, cutting the Islander lead to 4-3.
But one goal would be the closest Atlanta
would get, as Kyle Okposo pushed the
New York lead back to two with a goal at
the 12:39 mark of the third period. Ilya
Kovlachuk tipped in a slap shot from the
blueline by Tobias Enstrom to cut the
Thrashers’ deficit to one with :58 left in
the game, ending the game with a 5-4
Islanders victory.
Dimitroff honored; Humphrey misses Hall
irst-year general manager Thomas
Dimitroff ’s work in the 2008 offseason
Former Falcons and Eagles defensive end
Claude Humphrey was among seven finalists
was instrumental in the Falcons’ surprising
turnaround this year. He was rewarded for
his efforts on Jan. 28, as he was named
Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.
The award has been given out since 1955.
“I am thrilled for and proud of Thomas,
his staff and our entire organization,” said
Falcons owner & CEO Arthur M. Blank.
“This award is recognition of Thomas’s many
contributions not only to building a winning
team in 2008, but his unwavering focus and
vision for this team’s future. He is truly
deserving of this award.”
Dimitroff was an obvious choice, having executed a multitude of offseason freeagent signings and draft picks that made an
immediate impact.
The most notable of those moves were
the signing of 2009 Pro-Bowler Michael
Turner at running back, and the drafting of
NFC Rookie of the Year Matt Ryan with the
third pick of the 2008 NFL Draft.
But many of Dimitroff ’s less-publicized
moves worked out as well. He signed crucial
pieces such as kicker Jason Elam (29 of 31
on field goals), starting safety Erik
Coleman, and tight end Justin Peele, who
had three touchdown catches including one
in the playoffs at Arizona. He also drafted
well, selecting starting middle linebacker
Curtis Lofton, who made 94 tackles, and
wide receiver/punt returner Harry Douglas,
who developed into a reliable playmaker as
a slot receiver and punt returner.
for the 2009 NFL Hall of Fame. Unfortunately,
he was not selected and will have to wait
another year to see if his name is called.
“I would like to be a member of the Pro
Football Hall of Fame,” Humphrey said after
being chosen as a finalist. “Everyone I played
against is in there and everyone that went in
that I played against spoke highly of me, so I
feel like I have good shot at getting in there.”
Humphrey starred for the Falcons for
10 years from 1968 to 1978. He amassed six
Pro Bowl selections during that time, and
was also named First-Team All-Pro on five
different occasions. The Tennessee State
alum tallied 126.5 sacks in 171 games during his 13-year career.
Despite not making it to Canton this
year, Humphrey was pleased with the direction his former team was heading in: “They
are the new Falcons. The best thing they’ve
done is disassociate themselves with the
way it used to be.”
The Arizona Cardinals ended the
Falcons’ season in the NFC Wild Card round,
but their success afterwards actually did
Atlanta a favor, helping Atlanta move up one
spot in the draft. By reaching the Super
Bowl, the Cardinals will pick at No. 31 in the
upcoming NFL Draft rather than No. 21,
where they were originally slotted based on
regular-season record. Atlanta will now pick
at No. 24 in the revised draft order (the
Falcons were originally to pick at No. 25).
Bagriansky can be reached at
[email protected]
W .
Hurricanes—minus a third-period scoring
flurry—as the Thrashers lost, 2-0, in their
last game in Carolina. Atlanta again allowed
its opponent to jump out to an early firstperiod lead, giving up two goals in the first
frame. Matt Cullen scored the first Carolina
goal. Things could have been worse if it
weren’t for the work of Lehtonen in net.
Atlanta was outshot 21-4 in the first period,
forcing Lehtonen to sprawl all over the
crease to keep Atlanta in the game.
Atlanta followed its poor first period
with a better second, getting 11 shots on
net, though no goals. But, again, in the
third the Thrashers’ offense stalled, as Ward
was only challenged by four shots on net.
Carolina’s 2-0 victory was the team’s third
in a row over the Thrashers .
Atlanta will now play three more home
games before traveling to the west coast for
the first of two road trips.
First-year standout Joey Crabb was sent
back down to Atlanta’s Triple-A affiliate, the
Chicago Wolves, and was replaced on the
roster by Joe Motzko and Colin Stuart. In 26
games with the Thrashers, Crabb had recorded three goals and four assists while logging
28 penalty minutes. ... On Monday, the team
activated defenseman Garnet Exelby and
placed forward Jim Slater on injured reserve.
[email protected]
FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
Felton gets fired; women upset Auburn Men upset Wake; Joseph gets 100th win
eorgia continued its losing ways in men’s Christy Marshall added 13 apiece in the win.
fter a number of attempts to capture its Montgomery converted a three-point play. Tech
basketball last week and lost its coach in Georgia was coming off an upset victory of Afirst ACC victory, the men’s basketball used a 9-0 run in the first half and tough defense
the process. Dennis Felton was relieved of his No. 4 and previously unbeaten Auburn on team finally picked it up in improbable fash- to take over the game, pressuring Clemson into
duties last Thursday after five-and-a-half seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs. Felton
was 84-91 at the helm of Georgia. Associate
head coach Pete Hermann was named the
Bulldogs’ interim head coach. Felton’s dismissal was sandwiched in between two more
Georgia losses, bringing the team’s losing
streak to eight games. In Felton’s final game
as head coach, the Bulldogs fell 83-57 at
Florida. Trey Thompkins and Corey Butler
each scored 10 points for Georgia, but that
could not make up for 17 Bulldog turnovers
and a triple-double from Florida guard Nick
Calathes, who finished with 20 points, 13
rebounds and 10 assists.
In its first game without Felton, Georgia
lost 75-70 at Alabama. Thompkins broke out
of his four-game slump and led the Bulldogs
with a game-high 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Turnovers were once again an issue for
Georgia, however. The Bulldogs’ 20 turnovers
likely would have spelled even greater doom
had it not been for the Crimson Tide’s 16
turnovers. Nevertheless, Alabama got the win
and Georgia fell to 9-12 overall and 0-6 in the
SEC. The Bulldogs will next host LSU on
Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. before visiting
South Carolina on Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Lady Bulldogs have had a much
better time on the basketball court as of late.
The Georgia women have won four consecutive games after dispatching visiting
Mississippi State 69-57 last Sunday. Porsha
Phillips led three Lady Bulldogs in double
figures with 18 points. Angel Robinson and
Thursday. Phillips and Robinson’s 17 points
apiece were enough for the Lady Bulldogs to
get the 67-58 win over the visiting Tigers.
Marshall added 15 points and Ashley Houts
chipped in with 13 assists. Georgia is now
15-7 overall and 5-2 in SEC play. The Lady
Bulldogs visit Tennessee on Thursday at 7
p.m. before returning home to host Arkansas
on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The baseball team held its first scrimmage of 2009 last Sunday and several firstyear local products fared well in the eightinning affair. Former Lassiter hurler Michael
Palazzone did not allow a run in two innings
of work, while former Parkview and Milton
stars Zach Cone and Chase Davidson each
had two hits. Georgia opens its season on Feb.
20 against Youngstown State.
Thanks to a 4-2 win over Washington
last Saturday in Athens, the No. 3-ranked
men’s tennis team advanced to Feb. 13’s ITA
National Indoors Sweet 16. The Bulldogs got
single wins from Nat Schnugg, Javier
Garrapiz, Josh Varela and Drake Bernstein to
beat the Huskies. Georgia is now 3-0 on the
season and will host East Tennessee State on
Friday and William & Mary on Sunday
before continuing play in the ITA National
Indoors Tournament. After
Washington and South Carolina (5-0) in
Athens in its previous two tournament matches, the Bulldogs now travel to Chicago, Ill.,
for the Sweet 16.
[email protected]
W .
ion. Freshman guard Iman Shumpert drove
into the lane and a nailed a jump shot with two
seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets a stunning 76-74 victory over No. 6 Wake Forest.
The win ended a five-game losing streak as
well as a trend of poor play late in games.
Today was a great reward, especially
for a young man like Iman,” said head
coach Paul Hewitt.
On the Wake end, one game after a sensational inbounds play gave them a victory
over Duke, two late turnovers on inbounds
plays sealed their fate against the Jackets.
Tech received a huge boost from their big
men, as Gani Lawal scored 25 points and had
10 rebounds, while Alade Aminu held serve
against younger brother Al-Farouq Aminu
with 10 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high
six blocks. For his effort, Lawal was named
ACC Player of the Week on Monday. Lewis
Clinch had 19 points and helped them shave
an eight-point first half deficit with 15 points
during that time. Tech also committed only 15
turnovers in the game.
Although the women’s basketball team
struggled at times against Clemson, Tech was
able to finish strong and defeat the Tigers 49-41
to give head coach MaChelle Joseph her 100th
career victory. The Jackets were scoreless for
the first 6:23 until sophomore Alex
Montgomery hit two free throws. They missed
their first nine shots from the field before
29 turnovers (19 in the second half). Freshman
Sasha Goodlett had 11 points, five rebounds
and three blocks, while Jacqua Williams had 12
points and four of the Yellow Jackets’ 20 steals.
Earlier in the week, the women’s team
dominated Miami en route to a 68-42 victory.
With the game tied at 10-10, Tech went on a
13-0 run and never looked back. Miami went
on a 6:33 scoring drought that helped the
Jackets pull further away. Tech also dominated the interior, outrebounding Miami 42-29,
and outscoring them in the paint 44-10. Deja
Foster led Tech with 12 points, all in the first
half. She also had six assists. Montgomery
and Goodlett added 11 points apiece, while
Montgomery had a team-high eight rebounds.
The eighth-ranked women’s tennis team
advanced to 2009 ITA National Team Indoor
Championships with a 4-2 victory over No.
21 Arizona State in the ITA Championship
Qualifying match. After dropping the doubles point, freshman Irina Falconi, the
nation’s 23rd-ranked player, defeated Nadia
Abdala, 6-0, 6-1, from the second spot in the
lineup, to tie the game at 1-1. Tech moved
ahead 2-1 when freshman Viet Ha Ngo
earned her third straight singles win of the
dual-match season, a 6-2, 6-2 victory over
Ashlee Brown. Wins by Noelle Hickey and
Sasha Krupina sealed the victory.
Crosskey can be reached at
[email protected]
Get In The Game!
Glavine feels ready; Sutton returns to booth Tilley wins 700th; men end tough road trip
ennesaw State women’s basketball coach
and raised $100,000. All proceeds will beneree-agent lefthander Tom Glavine and
fit the community through the foundation’s
general manager Frank Wren met last
Colby Tilley won his 700th game as a
The men’s basketball team had lost four
grants program. For a complete list of the
week to discuss the 2009 season. Glavine has
coach when the Lady Owls fought back to
recently thrown two sessions off a mound for
Braves officials and is expecting to be ready
for the 2009 season. Dr. James Andrews gave
Glavine a clean bill of health last week after
examining the shoulder. Last season, Glavine
was placed on the disabled list for the first
time in his career and was forced to end his
season early for his first arm surgery. He
made $8 million last season but will have to
take a cut in salary to remain on the team.
The radio voice of the Braves has now
been confirmed and a Georgia native will
pair up with a former Braves broadcaster for
the 2009 season. Jim Powell has joined the
broadcast team after spending 13 years with
the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Powell
called University of Georgia baseball games
in the mid-1980s. Returning to Atlanta is
Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton. Said
Sutton in a release, “I have always loved the
Braves, the city of Atlanta and the fans. It
feels like returning home for me and my
family. Radio is such a big part of the Braves
history, that I approach this with great
respect and admiration. Every time I sit
behind the microphone I will be reminded of
how much I will always owe Ernie
[Johnson], Skip [Caray] and Pete [Van
Wieren].” Van Wieren stepped down during
the offseason and Caray passed away during
the 2008 season. Sutton was previously with
the team for 18 years before spending the
past two seasons calling Washington
Nationals games.
Despite the struggling economy, Braves
fans really came through in the Atlanta
Braves Foundation’s recent fundraiser weekend. The ABF recently held its inaugural
Diamond Gala as well as the AutographFest
programs or to donate to these worthy campaigns, visit
Several of the Braves’ top prospects
have earned a spring training invitation and
could be in the running for one of the final
roster spots. Arizona Fall League MVP
Tommy Hanson leads the 16 non-roster invitees and might push for a rotation spot,
though Frank Wren has previously hinted
that Hanson might begin the year in TripleA. Former first-round pick Jason Heyward
will also get to take a few swings, as will
first baseman Freddie Freeman. Jordan
Schafer will be making his second appearance at the Braves spring training camp.
Spring training games begin Feb. 25. For a
First baseman Casey Kotchman agreed
to a one-year deal worth $2.885 million. The
two sides came to an agreement before heading to arbitration. Kotchman had two home
runs and 20 RBIs in 43 games for the Braves
after coming over from the Los Angeles
Angels in a July trade. … Also, the Braves
have not yet reached a deal with rightfielder
Jeff Francoeur and the two parties seemed
headed towards arbitration. Francoeur is
seeking $3.95 million while the Braves have
offered $2.8 million for 2009, just one season after Frenchy hit .239 with 11 home runs
and a .359 slugging percentage and also
spent some time in the minors. The team and
Francoeur could still reach a deal before the
arbitration hearing.
[email protected]
defeat Lipscomb, 66-64, in Nashville on Jan.
22. Greteya Kelly hit a 3-pointer as time
expired to give KSU and Tilley the win.
“Obviously, winning 700 games in my
career means something because of the
players and the coaches that the number
represents,” Tilley said. “I told Greteya
after the game that I’ll always remember
this game and I’ll always remember her
shot.” Kelley and DeAndrea Bullock led
the team with 16 points apiece.
Next, the black-and-gold travelled
across town to face the Belmont Lady
Bruins. On the strength of a second-half
comeback, the Lady Owls won the game on
Jennifer Baker’s runner with 4.1 seconds left
in the game to give KSU a 61-59 victory. The
win gave the team a winning record in
Atlantic Sun conference play at 5-4. Baker
poured in 16 for KSU. … To conclude the
three-game road trip, the Lady Owls travelled to Macon to take on Mercer. The Lady
Bears derailed KSU, 66-56. Britteny
Henderson corralled yet another double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. … The
Lady Owls helped Tilley reach another milestone, as the team defeated Campbell at
home on Saturday by a score of 73-57 for
Tilley’s 250th career win at KSU. The team
dominated Campbell in the second half,
outscoring the Lady Camels 54-39. Baker,
Bullock, Kelley and Gia Lockett each scored
in double figures in the win. KSU (9-10, 6-5)
continues their home-stand on Thursday
against A-Sun rival Jacksonville (11-10, 7-5).
in a row as of press time after defeating
Florida-Gulf Coast on Jan. 18. Belmont took
out the Owls, 75-66, on Jan. 24 in Nashville,
Tenn. KSU was competitive with the perennial A-Sun powerhouse Bruins, but could not
overcome an early 43-29 deficit. Kurtis
Woods led the Owls with 20 points.
KSU then took on Belmont’s Nashville
neighbor in Lipscomb on Jan. 26 and lost to
the Bisons, 90-78. Kelvin McConnell led the
Owls with 18 points, while Jon-Michael
Nickerson, Jonathan Whipple, and Woods all
scored double figures. … In the finale of the
three-game road set on Jan. 28, KSU took on
in-state rival Mercer in Macon. Despite 23
points from McConnell, the Owls were
upstaged by the Bears, 88-75. It was the
fourth time this season that McConnell had
scored over 20 points.
Upon returning home, the Owls took on
the Campbell Fighting Camels. The Camels
were even better this time, dominating the
Owls on the way to an 87-44 demolition. It
was KSU’s second-worst loss since moving
up to Division I and their worst loss in the
history of the KSU Convocation Center. On
the bright side, Scotland-native Jon Allison
led the Owls in scoring with 11 points, the
first time the 7-footer has led the team in his
career. KSU (6-14, 2-7) hosts Mercer on
Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
[email protected]
Panthers win at William & Mary and Lady Panthers upset Old Dominion
he men’s basketball team picked up a
much-needed win on the road last
Saturday, beating William & Mary, 58-51,
in Williamsburg, Va., as Dante Curry
scored 13 points and Rashad Chase added
nine points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers
led by two at the half but came out and shot
61 percent from the floor in the second half
and turned up the pressure on defense with
12 steals and forcing 15 Tribe turnovers.
Kevin Lott sparked the offense with 11
points, including three 3-pointers as well as
a season-high six rebounds.
“We really defended well, and I
thought that won the game for us,” said
Georgia State head coach Rod Barnes. “Our
defense led to better offense because we
were able to get some easy baskets. And we
took care of the basketball. I’m really proud
of the effort that our guys gave.”
The Panthers improved to 6-16 overall
and 4-7 in the CAA. Rashad Chase continues
to re-write the rebounding record book. With
the nine rebounds, he moved into third place
on Georgia State’s career rebounding list,
raising his career total to 636 to pass Travis
Williams (634, 1992-96).
Last Thursday night, in women’s
action, freshman Crystal Johnson scored 21
points—all in the second half—and
Brittany Hollins added 15 points and seven
steals to lead Georgia State to its first-ever
victory over Old Dominion, 75-62, at the
Georgia State Sports Arena.
“We understood what was at stake and
took advantage of our opportunity tonight,”
said Georgia State head coach Lea Henry after
earning the historic win over one of the winningest programs in NCAA women’s basket-
W .
ball history. ODU has won 17 consecutive
conference titles and entered the game with an
all-time record of 317-18 in CAA play.
“We played with toughness and we
took care of the basketball tonight. Our
defense created opportunities and we
played hard for 40 minutes.”
The Lady Panthers lost their next game
at William & Mary, 82-68. They are now11-9
overall and 3-6 in the CAA. The women host
Towson Thursday before heading back on the
road to George Mason and Northeastern.
In women’s tennis, the Panthers opened
the season with a 7-0 sweep of Georgia
Southern before heading over to
Tuscaloosa, where they defeated Tulane 4-0
and then lost to host Alabama 3-4. They’ll
play at Florida State on Saturday.
The track and field teams concluded
competition at the Clemson Games last
weekend with three Panthers finishing in the
top of their events while the 4x400m relay
team clinched its second first-place victory
of the season. Junior Tamika Kinchen led
the Panthers with two first-place victories in
the 1,000-meter run and the 1-mile.
Nicole Davis led Georgia State to a onetwo finish in the 500 meters. … Join us every
Sunday afternoon (4-5 p.m.) for the Rod
Barnes/Georgia State Basketball coaches
show on WGKA-AM 920. The show is broadcast live from The Panthers Den restaurant in
the Citizens Trust Bank building, 75
Piedmont Road, on campus.
Dave Cohen is in his 26th season as the
“Voice of Georgia State Basketball and
Baseball” on WRAS-FM (88.5) and works
on the football radio crew at Furman
University in Greenville, S.C.
FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
Super Bowl stars, ring; an Olympic package
nother Super Bowl in the books – and it
Dear Steeltown: It sounds like a poster
was a good one. It can be debated about that was issued in conjunction with a proA
who the Super Bowl MVP should have been, motion by Coca-Cola. In 1967, Coke issued
but check out who the fan favorite was in this
week’s online auction report:
•Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals
Autographed Helmet
Autographed Jersey
•Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers
Autographed Jersey
•Santonio Holmes Pittsburgh Steelers
Autographed Helmet
•Anquan Boldin Arizona Cardinals
Autographed Helmet
The fan MVP goes to Kurt Warner, with
his autographed jersey pulling in $375, followed closely by Steelers quarterback Ben
Roethlisberger, who grabbed $350.
The Larry Fitzgerald autographed helmet caught $250. This year’s actual Super
Bowl MVP, Santonio Holmes, finished back
in the pack with $200. Rounding out this
week’s top five is the Anquan Boldin autographed helmet, scoring $175.
So just how “Super” is a Super Bowl
ring? A 2001 New England Patriots Super
Bowl ring owned by cornerback Brock
Williams has received 161 bids and hit the
$100,000 mark on eBay. Now that is super.
Dear Dean: I have a large Pittsburgh
Steelers poster that I’ve had since the 1960s.
It’s about two feet by three feet and has a colored drawing of a Steeler with the football.
Any information on the poster?
bottle caps with pictures of football players
in them. These caps could be affixed to a
saver sheet and once the sheet was full you
could redeem them for various prizes. One
of the prizes available was a NFL poster set.
Your poster was one of the ones in the set.
By the way, the Steelers poster featured
wide receiver Earl Gros.
Dear Dean: I have a 1998 Atlanta
Braves team-signed baseball. Any idea
regarding its value?
Dear Braves Fan: Another great year for
the Braves. They made it to the NLCS, but
lost to the San Diego Padres for a chance to
reach the World Series. Your baseball is
worth $200. Key signatures on the baseball
include Andres Galarraga, Bobby Cox, Greg
Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz,
Chipper and Andruw Jones.
Dear Dean: I worked for Mettler
Toledo Scales, a provider of scales for the
Olympics. During the 1996 games, our
Atlanta employees provided equipment, testing and operational services at all of the
venues. I still have a complete unopened
uniform package that contains a hat and cap
with supplier pin, jacket, shirt, socks, belt
with waist pack, ballpoint pen, pants and
shoes. Any word on the value?
Dear Olympian: Sounds like a very
unique collection. I would place the value at
$150. Most Olympic collectors collect pins,
with a smaller segment of the population
going for other types of memorabilia.
Want to know what your item is worth
or have a question about a particular
sports item? Email me, Dean Zindler, at
[email protected]
Dimitroff named year’s best in first season
ot many people expected the Falcons to
He also got the job done in free agency.
go 11-5 this season, notching their first Dimitroff’s most important move was signN
playoff appearance in four years. They had ing running back Michael Turner to a sixbeen picked to finish last in the NFC South by
almost all of the experts. Little did those
experts know that a first-year general manager—a man that seemingly no one had heard of
a year ago—had assembled a fine roster full
of plenty of young players ready to burst onto
the scene, along with heady vets who provided steady leadership to show them the way.
The man who brought them all to Atlanta
was Thomas Dimitroff, who was recognized
for his work last week by The Sporting News,
as the publication named Dimitroff the 53rd
Annual Executive of the Year recipient.
“Anytime you’re recognized by your
peers in an award like this, it means a lot,” he
said after being notified of the honor.
The Falcons’ transformation was largely
in part to the former New England Patriots
Director of College Scouting. He made several crucial moves that sparked the revival.
He gave quarterback Matt Ryan the keys to
the franchise when he drafted him third overall, and Ryan responded with one of the best
seasons ever for a rookie quarterback.
Dimitroff went on to take several other
players that would play crucial roles. Curtis
Lofton notched close to 100 tackles as a
starting middle linebacker. Harry Douglas
became a home run threat as a slot receiver
and punt returner. Cornerback Chevis
Jackson also played at a high level, who did
most of his work in nickel situations, returning an interception 95 yards for a touchdown
in Week 10 against New Orleans.
year contract. Although many were skeptical
at first, Turner earned his paycheck, running
for 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns en route
to his first ever Pro Bowl appearance.
Although he was flattered to receive
such an honor, Dimitroff is already thinking
about next year. His goal in the 2009 offseason is to “refine the roster” and improve on
defense, where the Birds ranked 21st against
the pass and 25th against the run.
“Obviously it’s no secret that we spent
a lot of time and money on the offense,”
Dimitroff said of the ’08 offseason, “and
we are going to show some focus towards
the defense [this offseason] and there is no
doubt about that.”
The 2009 NFL Draft is also just around
the corner, taking place this April. This year
Dimitroff is looking to prove that last season’s selections were no fluke, and he likes
what he sees so far after spending a week
scouting players at the Senior Bowl in
Mobile, Ala., as well as available free agents
to improve both sides of the ball.
“This is a good group of players coming
out in the draft, we feel like this is playing
into our hands,” he said. “Focusing on free
agency and then the draft, I love the order of
that and [the chance] to really put the pieces
together and work on the puzzle with Mike
Smith and our staff. We’re all quite fired up
about what’s around the corner for us.”
Bagriansky can be reached at
[email protected]
W .
Get In The Game!
Hawks. February 4 at Minnesota 8 PM. February 6 at
Charlotte 7 PM. February 7 vs. Los Angeles
Clippers 7 PM. February 10 vs. Washington 7 PM.
February 11 at Detroit 7:30 PM. February 17 at Los
Angeles Lakers 10:30 PM.
Georgia Men. February 4 vs. LSU 7:30 PM. February 7
at South Carolina 5 PM. February 11 at Tennessee
8 PM. February 14 vs. Florida 3:30 PM.
Georgia Women.February 5 at Tennessee 7 PM.
February 8 vs. Arkansas 2:30 PM. February 15 at
Vanderbilt 1 PM.
Georgia Tech Men.February 5 at Florida State 7 PM.
February 8 vs. Maryland 7:30 PM. February 11 at
Virginia Tech 7 PM. February 14 NC State 1:30 PM.
Georgia Tech Women. February 8 vs. NC State 2 PM.
February 11 at Savannah State 7 PM. February 15
at North Carolina 3 PM.
Georgia State Men. February 4 vs. James Madison 7:30
PM. February 7 vs. Delaware 4 PM. February 11 at
Towson 7 PM. February 14 at UNC Wilmington 4 PM.
Georgia State Women. February 5 vs. Towson 6 PM.
February 8 at George Mason 2 PM. February 12 at
Northeastern 7 PM. February 15 vs. Drexel 2 PM.
Kennesaw State Men. February 5 vs. Mercer 7:30 PM.
February 7 vs. North Florida 7:30 PM. February 9
vs. Jacksonville 7:30 PM. February 14 at Stetson 7
PM. February 16 at Florida Gulf Coast 7 PM.
Kennesaw State Women. February 5 vs. Jacksonville
4:30 PM. February 7 vs. North Florida 4:30 PM.
February 9 vs. Mercer 4:30 PM. February 12 at
Florida Gulf Coast 7 PM. February 14 at Stetson 2PM.
Top of the Key. Ongoing. Personal basketball lessons
with Olympian Debbie Miller-Palmore, boys and
girls ages 8-18. For information call 770-465-1502.
Southern Xposure. Ongoing. Cobb County Christian
School - Marietta. AAU and YBOA tryouts for 9and-under and 8-and-under teams. For information
call 404-447-3992 or email [email protected]
Peach State Basketball. Ongoing. Basketball skill
development training for college caliber high school
players throughout the off-season. Players can use
these sessions to continue improving all year long.
Contact Brandon Clay at 404-422-3946 or visit for more information.
Suwanee Sports Academy. Ongoing. Basketball train
ing and development for boy and girls grades K-12.
Rising Stars, Future Stars, Suwanee Basketball
League, On Court Player Development, nationallyrecognized year-round comprehensive player devel
opment program. For more information contact
Mike Brown at 678-541-0176 or visit
Mark Price Shooting Lab. Ongoing: Personalized pro
fessional shooting instruction through one-on-one
coaching and state-of-the-art technology at
Suwanee Sports Academy. For more information,
contact Mike Brown at 678-541-0176 or visit
SSA’s On Court. Check out Suwanee Sports
Academy’s On Court, the nation’s premier off-sea
son development program at the nation’s premier
basketball training facility right here in Gwinnett
County! For more information, contact Michael
Brown at 678-541-0176 or visit
Open Recreational Basketball. GSL -- Georgia Sports
Leagues. Georgia’s Best Sports Leagues.
Registration ongoing. We offer “Top Gun,” “B,”
“C”and Co-Ed styles of play around Atlanta. We
play ALL year round. For more information please
contact (678)799-0159 or email [email protected]
Just Skills Of Atlanta. 8-week basketball fundamentals
program for boys and girls ages 5 to 17 at Bogan
Park in Buford and Lenora Park in Snellville. Spring
programs start the week of March 24th, Summer
programs start the week of June 3rd, Fall programs
start the week of August 11th. Please visit for more information
or call 770-296-2580. Sessions are filling up now
for spring, summer and fall. Ask about our free
introduction day to see what Just Skills Of Atlanta
is all about.
Open Basketball League – Teams Only. November 8 February 22, 2009. Age groups 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th &
8th Grade Boys and Girls. Deadline November 2.
Mandatory Coach's Meeting November 2 at 3 PM.
All Tournament Players Park, 3910 Canton Hwy
Marietta, GA 30066. Register at www.alltourna or (678) 384-6500.
Prospect Watch. Ongoing - Buckhead. Baseball pitching and hitting lessons by a former college and
mino league coach. For information call 404-8697966 or visit
Adult Baseball League Metro Atlanta. Ongoing. MSBL
18+, 28+, 38+, and 48+. Sunday League con
tact info is 770.785.2588, e-mail
[email protected] MSBL 18+ Saturday
League contact info is 770-436-8114, e-mail
[email protected] MSBL 18+
Midweek Wood bat league contact info is 770-4368114, e-mail [email protected] MSBL 18+
Fall League contact info is 770-436-8114, e-mail
[email protected] For more information
about our Atlanta Adult Baseball League, please
visit our website at
TNT Sports. Ongoing. Baseball pitching and hitting les
sons by Rob Blair, former college coach, Snellville.
To set up a free pitching or hitting analysis call
Jack City Baseball. Ongoing. Baseball pitching and hitting. Instruction with former pro Keith Whitner. 18-y
looking for high school players. The new location is
inside Velocity Sports in North Gwinnett. For more
information call 770-633-0948 or visit
Collins Hill Athletic Association. Ongoing. Accepting
applications for qualified coaches in all age groups.
For information email
Craig Deneau at [email protected]
Grayson Athletic Association. Ongoing. Football
coaches needed for eighth grade and all age
groups. For information call Duane Davis at
678-300-0282 or visit
Flag Football. GSL -- Georgia Sports Leagues.
Georgia’s Largest Flag League. Registration ongoing. We offer 7-Man, 8-man, Youth and Co-Ed
styles of play around Atlanta. We play ALL year
round. For information please contact
(678)799-0159 or email [email protected]
Georgia Force Home School High School Football
Program. If you are a home school student or a
student that attends a Christian school in the
Gwinnett or Hall county region and would like to
participate in high school football, please contact
Scott Willis at 770-531-1499 ext 401 or email at
[email protected] The Georgia Force High School
football program participates in the GFL (Georgia
Football League) and is accepting players from the
ages of 13-18 years old. We currently offer a JV
and Varsity program. For more information, please
go to our web site at
Arena Indoor Football. Ongoing. Youth and Adult
Leagues. Youth 7 vs. 7; Adult 6 vs. 6. For
information, call 678-714-7454 or e-mail
[email protected]
Capitol City Officials Association. CCOA is accepting
ongoing registration for the upcoming GHSA High
School season in football. We hold weekly training
meetings. For more information, contact Irvin
Seabrook at 404-957-3331 or e-mail
[email protected]
Thrashers. February 6 vs. New Jersey 7:30 PM.
February 8 vs. Philadelphia 3 PM. February 10 at
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM. February 11 vs. Chicago 7
PM. February 15 at Anaheim 8 PM. February 16 at
Los Angeles 10:30 PM.
Gladiators. February 4 at Mississippi 8:05 PM.
February 5 at Charlotte 7 PM. February 7 vs.
Charlotte 7:05 PM. February 10 at Mississippi 8:05
PM. February 14 vs. South Carolina 7:05 PM.
February 15 vs. Charlotte 4:05 PM.
Peachtree Booster Club. Ongoing - Pickneyville Roller
Hockey Rink. Fees: $95 for 12-game season, $30
out-of-county fee. For information visit
Challenged Soccer. Ongoing. For mentally and physi
cally disabled youngsters. For information call Ken
Higgins at 770-985-0434.
Fair Play Sports Center. Ongoing on Saturdays. Indoor
soccer for ages 4-7. 30- to 60-minute classes. For
information call 770-831-3210.
Hall of Fame soccer clinics. Ongoing on Fridays Clarkston Community Center. For under-6 through
under-12 players. Fees: Free. For information call
404-508-1050 or visit 5:30-7 PM.
Competitive Amateur Soccer in Atlanta For more
information, visit
Technique Clinics. Ongoing - Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.
Tuesdays (serve/volley) and Saturdays
(forehand/backhand). Fees: $18. For information
call 404-790-4772 or email
[email protected] 2 PM on Saturdays,
6:30PM on Tuesdays.
Tennis camps for kids. Ongoing weekly. Lost Mountain
Tennis Center. For information call 770-528-8525.
Lacrosse. Ongoing. Registration for 1st-8th grades. For
information call 404-216-5870, email
[email protected] or visit
PlayLaxGwinnett. Ongoing. Players, coaches, referees
needed for play at Gwinnett Sports Center. For
information call Chris Chico at or 678-429-0094 or
email [email protected]
Double Stixx Lacrosse. Ongoing - Leagues, Travel
Teams and Tournaments for youth, high school and
adult’s boys and girls. More information about the
best lacrosse programs in Georgia can
be found at or by
contacting Chris Smith at [email protected] or 404-550-5322.
Chattahoochee Challenge 10K/Fun Run. Feb. 7.
Roswell, 7:30 AM. 770-992-2055.
30th Annual Raider Chase 5K/Mile. Feb. 7. Marietta,
Critz Tybee Run Half Marathon & 5Miler. Feb. 7.
Tybeee Island, .
Run/Walk for Wishes 5K. Feb. 7. Athens, 8:30 AM.
Run for Angels and Chicken Q 5K/10K/Mile. Feb. 7.
Newnan, 8:15 AM. 770-251-7050.
11th Annual WCA/Dr Stephen D Floyd Memorial 5K.
Feb. 7. Watkinsville, 9 AM. 706-769-6593.
5K Running for Learning 5K/Mile. Feb. 7. Dry
Branch, 8 AM. 478-335-6312.
MCLB Annual Base Half Marathon & 5K. Feb. 7.
Albany, 8 AM. 229-639-5246 or web site.
KSU 5K Race for the Cure. Camps located in
Snellville, Roswell, Kennesaw, Oxford and
Jonesboro. For more information or a free
brochure, visit 1-800-645-3226 or visit
Nike Basketball Camps.
Georgia Tech MaChelle Joseph Basketball Camp.
Ages range from 7-17. Day camps, overnight
camps and team camps available. Visit www.ram or call 404-894-4297 to find out
which dates suit your campers best.
Harlem Legends. The Harlem Legends have scheduled
their 2008 Shoot for the Stars Basketball &
Physical Fitness Camps. The "Shoot for the Stars
Youth Basketball Camps and Clinics" are a unique
form of learning experiences geared towards young
basket ball players of all skill levels. There are two
Gwinnett County camps this year. Please visit our
website ( or call 404837-6719 for additional camps.
W .
Gwinnett Sports Center. Registration ongoing. For
information call Jerry Robison at 678-491-0203
or visit
Suwanee Sports Academy. Ongoing. Volleyball
training and development for boys and girls grades
3-12.VolleySkills, VolleyStars, VolleyTraining, and
OnCourt Player Development, a year-round
comprehensive player development program. For
more information, contact Mary Carnell at 770614-6686 x108 or visit
VolleyStars. Beginning February 7 @ Suwanee Sports
Academy for girls & boys grades 6-8 teaches
individual skill development and team concepts
through instruction and game play. For more
information, contact Christy Howard at 770-6146686 x106 or visit
High School Volleyball League. Beginning February 7
@ Suwanee Sports Academy for girls grades 912. This league is designed for athletes who want t
o get in the gym but don’t want to commit to club
volleyball. For more information, contact Christy
Howard at 770-614-6686 x106 or visit
Swimming lessons. Ongoing - Alpharetta City Pool Alpharetta, Ga. - 1825 Old Milton Parkway. For
information call 678-297-6107.
Gwinnett Aquatics. Ongoing - 2800 Quinberry Drive
and Bethany Church Road. For ages 5-18. Swim
team and lessons available. For information call
Senior Water-Exercise class. Ongoing - Mountain Park
pool - Lilburn, Ga. Fees: $1 per class. For informa
tion call 770-546-4650. 10-10:50 AM.
SwimAtlanta Sugarloaf at Kid’s Village. Ongoing.
Swim team, lessons, lap swimming, master’s pro
gram, water aerobics and scuba available. For
information call 678-442-7946.
Soccer - Soccer Alley. Ongoing - 3265 Roswell RoadAtlanta. For information call 404-266-0762 or visit
Tucker Youth Soccer. Ongoing - 2803 Henderson Road
Tucker, Ga. For information call 770-414-0538 or
Track and Field - Peachtree City Flash Youth Track
Team registration. Ongoing - Riley Field -Peachtree
City, Ga. For ages 6-14. For information call
770-631-3552 or email [email protected]
Gymnastics - Georgia Gymnastics Academy. Ongoing.
For registration in Lawrenceville call 770-962-5867;
in Suwanee call 770-945-3424.
Gym Elite. Ongoing. Registration for ages 2 and older.
Cheerleading for ages 6 and older. For information
call 770-242-0678.
Youth Soccer Training. Ongoing. Start age 3 and up.
For information, call 678-714-7454 or e-mail
[email protected]
Flag Footall. GSL -- Georgia Sports Leagues.
Georgia's Best Sports Leagues. Registration
ongoing. We offer Youth Flag Football for ages
(6-8) and (9-12) year olds for both Boys & Girls.
Games are played in the Chamblee, Doraville,
Dunwoody area. Next season starts in February.
For more information please contact (678)7990159 or email [email protected]
Atlanta Junior Golf. Boys and girls, ages 7-18, can
enjoy summer and fall tournaments throughout
Metro Atlanta and Middle and North Georgia (from
Dalton to Macon and from Carrollton to Athens) in
one the nation’s premier junior golf associations.
All skill levels are welcome, from beginner to expe
rienced players, with more than 8,000 rounds of
golf available during the summer program alone.
For more information, log on 770.850.9040.
Corpus Christi Youth Basketball League. Registration
is now underway for our 29th season! Boys and
girl sages 5 through 14, any skill level, are wel
come. Cost: $90 per child/$85 for siblings. Fee
includes uniforms, field trips, skills clinics, 9
games and more! Register while space is still avail
able Saturdays October 11 & 18, 2008, 10 AM to
12 PM. Location: Corpus Christi Church Sports
Arena, 600 Mountain View Drive, Stone
Mountain, GA 30083. For info, call 770-469-0395,
email [email protected], or visit the league’s
AYSA Spring Season. Ongoing - North Park - Cogburn
and Bethany - Alpharetta. Fees: If Alpharetta
Residential Property Tax IS NOT PAID at the primary
residence of the player, then the Non-City
Resident Fee must be paid. After Jan. 13, $10 late
fee is charged.
Senior Softball League. Ongoing - Best Friend Park,
Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross, GA. All Skill levels
welcomed. Men age 45+ and women age 40+.
Open practice on Saturdays and games on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. For infor
mation call Gary Mastrodonato at 770-266-7042
or visit
Open Recreational Softball. GSL -- Georgia Sports
Leagues. Georgia’s Best
SportsLeagues.Registration ongoing. We offer
"Men's" and "Co-Ed" styles of play in
Doraville/Dunwoody area. Monday, Wednesday &
Sunday league play available. Next season stars in
February. We play ALL year round. For more information please contact (678)799-0159 or email
[email protected] Visit www.geor
Capitol City Officials Association. CCOA is accepting
ongoing registration for the upcoming GHSA High
School season in fast-pitchsoftball. We hold week
ly training meetings. For more information, contact
Irvin Seabrook at 404-957-3331 or e-mail
[email protected]
Gymnastics Classes at Gymnastics AcademyofAtlanta.
Ongoing - 3126 Cobb Parkway Kennesaw,
Ga. For information call 770-975-8337 or visit
Gymnastics Classes at Gwinnett Gymnastics Center
Ongoing - 927 Killian Hill Road Lilburn, Ga.
Forinformation call 770-921-5630.
Atlanta School of Gymnastics in Lawrenceville.
Ongoing. Classes for tots through teens.
Cheerleading classes for ages 5 and older. For
information call 770-277-9434.
The Little Gym of Snellville. Ongoing. Noncompetitive
gymnastics and motor-skills development classes
and camps. For ages 10 months-12 years. For
information call 770-982-0901 or visit
Basketball - Duluth basketball association.
Ongoing. Looking for youth officials with training
provided. For information call Barry Sullivan at
Football - Lanier Football Officials Association.
Ongoing. GHSA member accepting applications
with weekly training meetings. For information call
Tom Tipton at 770-967-3197, ext. 239 or visit
Metro Atlanta Wrestling Officials Association.
Ongoing. Needs officials. For information call Bud
Hennebaul at 770-338-0705 or email
[email protected]
9RCorp Sports Officials. Ongoing. Provider of sports
officials for multiple sports including basketball,
flag football, & softball. Looking for additional
officials.For information call Dennis Reagan at 404213-0588 or email [email protected]
Georgia Lacrosse Officials Association. Needs youth
and High School officials for 2007-2008 season.
Training and mentoring provided for free. Great
way to earn some extra money and get some fun
aerobic exercise. For more information, visit or call Jim Westbrook at
Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Dec. 31, 2009. Georgia Dome. For
tickets, call 404-444-4444.
To reach the Atlanta Sports Council call 404-5868510 or visit
Senior Horseshoe Pitching League. Ongoing Gwinnett Senior Center - Bethesda Park. Includes
instructional coaching. Games will be played under
NHPA rules. For men and women seniors. Meets
Tuesdays. For information call
770-9722434 10AM.
Pool Tournament. Every Monday - Ongoing Motorheads Bar ‘n’ Grill - Henry County. Cost: No
cover. For information call 770-898-0008 or visit 7 p.m.
Pool Tournament. Nightly - Ongoing - Sean Patrick’s
Bar & Grill - Buckhead. Fees: No cover. For information call 770-650-5723. 8 PM.
East Cobb Bass Club. Ongoing - Ryan's Family
Steakhouse - Canton Road - Marietta, Ga. Boaters
and nonboaters welcome. Meets the first
Tuesdayof each month. For information call
770-364-3036 or email [email protected] 7 PM.
Cohutta chapter of Trout Unlimited. Ongoing Delkwood Bar and Grill. Meets the fourth Thursday
of each month. For information call 770-425-5364
or email [email protected] 6:30 PM.
GEORGIA BIKES! Membership. Ongoing. The effectiveness of GEORGIA BIKES! is dependent on volunteers, supporters, and members, like you, who
are willing to make a and Club/Small Business: $100.
Condor Handball Organization. The Condors feature
current Men’s National Team members and past
National Team members and Olympians as well as
the greatest American to ever play the sport,
Darrick Heath. We have weekly leagues and train
ing opportunities for men, women, and youth. For
more information, contact Jeb Bell at
[email protected]
Performance Training Inc. at Suwanee Sport
Academy. Ongoing. Offers speed, agility, and quick
ness training for athletes across multiple sports.
For moreinformation, contact Dustin Wolf at 770614-6686 x121 or visit
Suwanee Sports Academy. Pre-K Athletics for 2, 3
and 4 year-olds introduces the basic skills needed
to play basketball, soccer, and t-ball. Also, there is
a unique after school program that provides
students with a weekly sports curriculum along
with the after school classroom setting. For more
information, call 770-614-6686 or visit
Club Sport. Club Sport opens registration for summer
leagues on May 1st with league play beginning in
June. Club Sport is Atlanta's recreational sports
and social group with over 10,000 participants
each year on 1200 teams in 120 leagues. Each
season Club Sport offers leagues in flag football,
softball, soccer, sand and indoor volleyball, basket
ball and more. Club Sport is where Atlanta comes
to play! For more information about Club Sport,
upcoming events, photos or interviews with the
owner, please contact Rich Alvarez at 678-9940793 ext. 818 or visit
Stout Irish Sports Pub Events and Specials. Monday:
Dart League and Free Pool from 11 p.m.-close;
Tuesday: Texas Hold 'em; Wednesday: Trivia Night
and Free Pool from 11pm-close; Thursday:
College Night with DJ All Night; Friday: Happy
Hour Food Specials; Saturday: Game Day all day
long on Stout's big screen plasma TVs; Sunday:
Game Day all day long on Stout's big screen
plasma TVs. Miller High Life Beers are always $1.
Beer Club:Guests join for $120 and receive a
prestigious Stout Club Mug engraved with their
name on it.Each visit over the course of the year,
members enjoy their first beer of choice on the
house. For more, call 404.869.1151 or email
FEBRUARY 4-10, 2009
Tech, UGA hoops experience struggles
lar starter in 2007-08 and finished the seahe man who says his “glass is halfson as the team’s second-leading scorer.
full” may look at the current state of
The trio joined an assortment of other
college basketball in Georgia and speculate that things could be worse. But after
the University of Georgia and Georgia
Tech each started out their respective
conference seasons at 0-6, one has to
wonder just how much worse the two
teams could possibly get.
Both Paul Hewitt, head coach at
Tech, and Dennis Felton, former head
coach at UGA, were well into their
tenures at the two schools prior to this
season, sparking rampant criticism from
both fans and local media.
Hewitt, in his eighth season on the
Flats, has seen his program decline from the
first five years of his tenure when his teams
made the postseason in four out of five seasons, including a 2004 Final Four showing.
But in the past three seasons, Tech has made
a postseason tournament just once and at
10-10 overall (1-6 in the ACC) thus far in
2009, the Yellow Jackets do not figure into
anyone’s postseason projections.
Georgia athletic director Damon Evans
recently decided that, if things were going to
get any worse at UGA, they would do so
without head coach Dennis Felton. Evans
fired the Georgia coach on Jan. 29, citing a
will to compete for championships in every
sport, which Felton’s teams had not done during much of his six years in Athens.
“I’m disappointed that things have not
worked out better,” explained Evans. “I do
think it is in the best interest of our men’s
basketball program that we move in a new
direction and while this may be unusual timing, I’m convinced it is the right time.”
Despite the Bulldogs’ miracle run to the
2008 SEC Tournament title, which was ironically clinched on Tech’s home floor, Felton’s
teams have generally found their way to the
bottom of the SEC standings. In fact, UGA
has not defeated division rivals Florida or
Tennessee since Felton’s first season.
The problem at UGA has generally
been a dearth of talent and experience. This
isn’t due to players jumping to the NBA or a
lack of success in recruiting. On the contrary, it is almost entirely due to attrition. For
example, from the start of the 2007-08 season through June of 2008, three starters on
last season’s Bulldog squad—Takais Brown,
Mike Mercer and Billy Humphrey—were
kicked out of school for a variety of reasons.
Brown came to UGA as one of the most
highly-recruited junior college players in
2007. Mercer made the SEC All-Freshman
team in 2005-06. Humphrey became a regu-
players that have left the university during
Felton’s tenure. Bulldog basketball fans have
become as accustomed to attrition as they are
to seeing rival fans pack the upper levels of
Stegeman Coliseum. The abnormally high
level of attrition has handcuffed Felton’s
teams to mediocrity.
Attrition is among the problems in
Tech’s basketball program as well, but players have left Tech voluntarily in most cases,
generally for the NBA. Hewitt has turned
Tech into a recruiting powerhouse, routinely
signing top recruits from across the country.
The Jackets’ 2009 class includes three of the
top 50 players in the country (according to, including forward Derrick
Favors from South Atlanta High School.
Favors is considered by most to be one of the
top five players in the 2009 class, if not No.
1. He chose Tech after considering UGA and
N.C. State. This recruiting victory, coupled
with a crucial upset over No. 4 Wake Forest
on Saturday, may have been enough to earn
Hewitt another year at Tech.
Hewitt’s recruiting success notwithstanding, Tech fans seem to be getting wary
of the Jamaica native’s talented teams that
seem to underachieve on the court. It will
take a near miracle for Hewitt’s club to
make the NCAA Tournament this season.
At 1-6, Tech will need to win seven of nine
to climb to .500 in the ACC, which is an
unofficial way of determining NCAA-worthiness. Hewitt’s teams at Tech have been
historically putrid on the road, and the team
has five ACC road games coming up,
including a trip to No. 5 North Carolina
and the return trip to Wake Forest.
“Our victory over the
Falcons was by far the
most important game
for us this season.”
Arizona DE Bertrand Berry on
ESPN’s “Pardon The
Interruption” before his Cardinals
played in Super Bowl XLIII
790 The Zone ............................1
On Thursday, Terence Moore suggested
the University of Georgia should shoot to
make Tubby Smith their next men’s basketball coach, while Mark Bradley used
Monday to warn the Dogs against hiring
Hall-of-Fame coach Bob Knight. We agree
with Bradley that Knight is not the best
option around and, at 57, we tend to think
Smith may be a bit older than ideal, not to
mention disinterested in the job. To us, it’s
an open-and-shut case: hire VCU’s Anthony
Grant and call it a day.
Jeff Schultz used Wednesday to consider the Braves’ pursuit of Tom Glavine, calling for the team to welcome back the 43year-old lefty. We actually agree with
Schultz here and do so only by differentiating Glavine’s situation from that of John
Smoltz, who recently signed with Boston.
More than anything, the Braves need their
starting rotation to eat up innings and, unlike
Smoltz, Glavine is still capable of doing that.
AMA Supercross........................4
North River Tavern ....................5
Last week, released its
pre-spring college football top 25 for
2009 and, coming as no surprise, the
2008 champion Florida Gators grabbed
the top spot. What came as somewhat of
a shock, however, is that Georgia Tech
occupies the list’s 11th spot while
Georgia trails at No. 18. It’s amazing how
quickly Paul Johnson has changed the
complexion of college football in the
State of Georgia. We know the Bulldogs
lose a ton to the NFL, but when was the
last time the Jackets started a season
ranked ahead of their Athens rivals?
Ringling Brothers Circus ..........8
Despite the current dire state that is
college basketball here in Georgia, the
future remains bright. The State of Georgia
is among the best anywhere for producing
basketball talent. More than 60 players in
the state signed with Division I schools in
2008. Fourteen of them were ranked in the
top 150 players in America by,
which was more than traditional hotbeds
like New York and California.
Between Tech and Georgia, there are
plenty of highly talented players to go
around. And eventually, in a state as basketball-rich as the Peach State, it is only a matter of time before the two schools begin reaping the benefits and become consistent players on the national college basketball scene.
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Touchdown Club of Atlanta ......11
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