Former Dutchtown football standout Jordan Harrishf (Special Photo)

Dutchtown football alum Jordan Harris gets another chance at D-1 football

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Jordan Harris’ college football career has just come full circle. The 6-foot-5, 335 pound offensive lineman took to Twitter to inform the world of his commitment to 2016 national runner up Alabama. #RollTide ⚪️ #4thChance pic.twitter.com/c11OpWwfo6 — Jordan Harris (@Athleteofdayea) February 10, 2017 His hashtag #4thChance provides a suitable summary for

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From left, Dutchtown seniors DeAndre Watson, Bryce Parks and Luther Moore have helped the Bulldogs to unprecedented success. (Special Photo: Cady Studios)

Dutchtown boys basketball looking to ‘seize the moment’ in state tournament

By Bill Renje | @BillRenje (Twitter) Few people thought much of the Dutchtown basketball team as the season began in mid-November. Nobody, including the Bulldogs themselves, thought they’d be hosting a state playoff game for the first time in school history after finishing as Region 4-AAAAA runner-up with a program best 19-8 record. Although the

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REGION TOURNAMENT HOOPS: Henry County teams can sweep Region 4-AAAA titles

By Staff Reports EAST POINT, Ga. — The Henry County Warhawks boys basketball team definitely would seem to have deeper postseason aspirations than winning a region championship. Their preseason No. 1 Class AAAA ranking in some polls and a roster that boasts Division I talent seems to confirm that. But Warhawks coach Vince Rosser won’t

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PREP FOOTBALL: Community Christian’s Nash Boatwright reflects on season growth, signing day choice

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Before Nash Boatwright signed his letter of intent to play football at West Georgia last Wednesday during National Signing Day, the highlight of his high school football career came during a particular moment on the field. It was toward the beginning of Community Christian’s Georgia Independent Christian Athletic

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Stockbridge running back Jalen Holston is on his way to Virginia Tech next season. (PHOTO: Rod Christopher)

PREP FOOTBALL: Stockbridge’s Jalen Holston achieves a family ‘first’ as he commits to Virginia Tech

By Gabriel Stovall | @GabrielStovall1 (Twitter) gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Jalen Holston’s commitment to Virginia Tech football last week was bigger than him being another of Georgia’s most highly touted tailbacks landing at a Power Five school. It was bigger than Holston continuing the well-established pipeline to big time Division I football built by Stockbridge

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Lovejoy senior Marquese Taylor, left, stands with coach Ed Carson. Taylor is starring on both sides of the ball for the 2-3 Wildcats this season. (File Photo)

Three-star Lovejoy football recruit Marquese Taylor makes his college choice after weekend visit

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOVEJOY, Ga. — California Golden Bears fans, give yourselves a pat on the back for your latest football recruiting grab. Marquese Taylor, a 3-star WR/DB from South Metro Atlanta’s Lovejoy High School made his commitment to Cal firm on Monday night, just hours after returning from his official visit this past

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Jonesboro football family is growing up through adversity

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — What a difference a year makes. Rewind back to Week 5 of the 2015 season, and you’ll recall a Jonesboro Cardinals football team riding high after beating perennial state championship contender Sandy Creek on its own home field. You’ll see a Clemson-bound quarterback under center, handing off to

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GABRIEL STOVALL: Ultimately growth and maturity is the name of the game, not wins and losses

It was the Tweet heard ‘round the world — or at least around the Southern Crescent. Particularly at Jonesboro. It came from Jonesboro Cardinals’ offensive coordinator Nate Wardlaw: BELIEVE in our program or BE LEAVING our program! — Coach Nate Wardlaw (@Southside_Nate) September 10, 2016   It came on September 9 in the moments following

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Malik Route has been leading the pack as far as wide receivers go for the No. 8 Griffin Bears. Through four games he's the team's leading pass catcher with close to 400 yards and five touchdowns. (Special Photo: Amy Binder)

Five Questions Feature with Griffin Bears wide receiver Malik Route

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com After spending his first three years in a Lovejoy Wildcats uniform, diminutive wideout Malik Route has been anything but small on the field for the Griffin Bears during his senior season.  Since beginning the season with just one college scholarship offer — that from Mercer during his 10th grade year — Route’s play

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From left, Marcell Gleaton, Ashton Hughes and Demarian "Pepe" Williams have catapulted the Knights to a hot start and high ranking. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Community Christian’s profile has risen drastically, thanks to a trio of ‘big school’ talent

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Marcell Gleaton walks around the practice field at Community Christian as if he owns the place — and in a sense, he does. Not many players of Gleaton’s caliber can say they are homegrown Community Christian products. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, he looks the part of a potential

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McIntosh football coach Lee Belknap embraces ‘lunch pail maturity’ label placed on his team

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com PEACHTREE City, Ga. — Last Friday, after the Henry County Warhawks just scored a touchdown, McIntosh junior Bradley Ector got set up to return the kickoff. He took the ball and went right, on a collision course with a Henry County tackler, and then Ector stuck out his arm

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Stockbridge-Mays shootout in Inner City Classic ends in defensive triumph for second-ranked Tigers

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — Even when it looked like an offensive shootout, the Stockbridge Tigers proved that defense is still their calling card. A late interception by Ryan Massey and an earlier pick six right before halftime by first-year starter Mike Price were probably the two plays of the game for a

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Senior quarterback Reid Larsen will lead his Woodland squad into one of Georgia high school football's most hallowed settings Friday at Valdosta. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photograpy)

Woodland coach Steve Davenport wants to see how his team responds against one of Georgia’s ‘proudest programs’

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Steve Davenport is 2-for-2 on 7-3 seasons as head football coach at Woodland High School, which doesn’t seem bad, considering Woodland’s only had one other winning season since the program began in 2007. But that 2009 campaign when program-founding coach Scott Schmitt guided the Wolfpack to seven

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Brayden Rush has eased on to the scene as a potential difference maker on offense for the No. 1 ELCA Chargers (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

ELCA QB Brayden Rush has wasted no time showing his potential in Chargers’ offense

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Every Friday night, without fail, at 6:55 p.m. Brayden Rush can feel his cell phone buzzing in his pocket. When he reaches in to take it out, he opens his text messages and is never taken by surprised, but is always inspired. “Pressure isn’t anything bad. Pressure is

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PHOTO PAGE: Hampton vs. Union Grove battled it out in softball action on Tuesday night

McDONOUGH, Ga. — Union Grove and Hampton played an early season game that had a postseason feel and intensity. The Hornets dropped a 6-5 decision to the Wolverines after watching Union Grove chop down a 5-1 deficit. The game featured some of Georgia’s best young pitchers in Hampton freshmen Skyler Trahan and Janna Shellhorse. Union

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PREP FOOTBALL: Stockbridge, ELCA stay solid in new GSWA football poll, Sandy Creek slips

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com As most area teams get prepared for their first regular season contests, the action that took place last week and weekend helped create a few shifts in this week’s Georgia Sportswriters Association Poll. ELCA (Class A) and Stockbridge (Class AAAAA) both held on to their spots from last week, with the

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Lovejoy offensive tackle Tre'Mond Shorts could become one of the area's best linemen before the season's done. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

From sideline to blindside: Lovejoy’s Tremond Shorts is learning how to be a force on the Wildcat’s offensive line

By Bill Renje brenje@thecrescentbuzz.com LOVEJOY, Ga. — Of the many hats worn by Lovejoy assistant coach Derrick Smith, one is maintaining the equipment for over 100 Wildcat football players. When Smith gave instruction to the players after practice last week on the need to properly make sure their face masks were tightened, the helmet he

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PREP FOOTBALL: Henry County athletes dominate our preseason All-Southern Crescent football team

                                                        By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Nothing says football season like preseason rankings and preseason all-area teams. With over 32 schools in a four county area, trying to forecast

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ELCA junior tailback Trevor Gear is finding his way as a Charger. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

PREP FOOTBALL: ELCA, Stockbridge highly regarded in Georgia Sportswriters’ first 2016 high school football poll

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuz.com You really know it’s football season when the first high school football polls come out. The 2016 football season’s first Georgia Sports Writers Association high school football poll was released Tuesday and featured four teams from the four-county Southern Crescent area finding place in their respective top 10 poll. Eagle’s Landing

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ELCA's Harrison Taylor will look to improve on his quiet storm 2015 season. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

GABRIEL STOVALL: ELCA’s Harrison Taylor is a refreshing ‘throwback’ kind of athlete

  McDONOUGH, Ga. — Call me an old man, a purist, nostalgic or just a plain old traditionalist. Whatever. But I just love a throwback. Throwback jerseys, Throwback Thursdays, throwback music (I know I’m getting old when music from the 1990s is considered “classic”). Throwback football players. And I’m really in the mood for the

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ELCA junior tailback Trevor Gear leaps over the pile for a first quarter touchdown. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PRESEASON ALL-STATE FOOTBALL: 16 Southern Crescent players find recognition

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Recruitgeorgia.com has released its preseason all-state football teams, and the four-county Southern Crescent area is well represented. In all, 16 athletes from the area were named to class-specific preseason rosters, with Class AAAAA holding top designation with eight. Five of them came on offense: RB Jalen Holston  (Stockbridge), RB Chris Rodriguez

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Woodland senior QB Reid Larsen is looking for a breakout year in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: For Woodland, ‘One-Eleven’ is the formula for a return to the postseason in 2016

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — One-Eleven. No, that’s not the catchy name for some new teenage music group or band. That is, unless you’re talking about the band of brothers that exists now in Woodland High School’s football program. “Do your one-eleven,” said junior tailback Kareem Rogers. “First time I heard it was

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Woodland pitcher Mallie Brown will get her chance to lead the Lady Wolfpack as a senior in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP SOFTBALL: New team, same heart — Woodland senior Mallie Brown, coach Kelli Poff not lowering expectations

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Inside the human body, the heart always maintains its life-giving purpose, regardless of what’s happening around it. Woodland softball coach Kelli Poff believes the same can be said regarding the heart of a team — of a coach who sees no reason to change her approach despite the

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New Our Lady of Mercy coach Jamie Aull will take over a program for the first time since his Mount Zion days that started back in 2008. (Special Photo)

PREP FOOTBALL: New Our Lady of Mercy’s Jamie Aull ready for a re-do as a head coach

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Jamie Aull certainly isn’t one to shy away from honest self evaluation. So you need not ask around to get an accurate assessment of the difference in Aull’s coaching chops between head coaching gigs. The new Our Lady of Mercy coach is wearing the chief headset once again.

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Lovejoy coach Ed Carson, left, has led the Wildcats to the postseason in each of his first two seasons as head coach.  (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Lovejoy gets ‘W’ over Woodland in scrimmage despite weather delays

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — For some, the first unofficial week of Friday Night Lights was halted by Friday night lightening. While a handful of schools across the Southern Crescent stepped onto the field for the first time to compete in scrimmages, lightening strikes and which threatened thunderstorms that never fully

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From left, North Clayton seniors Yaya Diary, Jaiquan Earls, Rayvon Kee, James Monroe and Anthony King, are the players first year coach Cap Burnett is looking to for leadership in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: New coach Cap Burnett knows what North Clayton football success should look like

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Cap Burnett knows exactly what it’s going to feel like, look like and sound like once North Clayton football is officially “back.” If you were around Twelve Oaks Stadium in Hampton back on November 1, 1997, you’ve got a reference point to what Burnett was talking

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GABRIEL STOVALL: A Q&A with Jonesboro senior USA Basketball U18 player MJ Walker fresh off of his time in Chile

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — After M.J. Walker got the gold for the USA Men’s U18 Basketball team, he came back from Chile to his South Metro Atlanta home and received gold star treatment from his family. “When I came down the street to our driveway, they had (American) flags in the grass,

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Luella linebacker Keistone Lowery, left, and Luella AD James Roberts pose together during Luella's summer workout Tuesday. Lowery, a rising senior, will anchor the Lions defense in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Luella LB Keiston Lowery and coaches think Lions can ‘get over the hump’ in 2016

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — The talent has never been a problem. When you talk with Luella assistant football coach and new co-athletic director James Roberts, he’ll tell you as much. Then, in order to diagnose the reason why the almost always athletic Lions’ football program can’t seem to get over

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Drew head coach Dorwyn Lyles has no visions of grandeur as to what his team needs to replace in order to have a successful 2016 season. (File)

On script: Despite new leaders, Drew Titans hope to remember keys to success

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE Ga. – A few months removed from its most successful season in program history, if the Drew Titans football team wants an encore performance in 2016, it’ll have to do so with a largely new cast of performers. Coach Dorwyn Lyles returns just three offensive starters and four defensive starters from

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Eastern Illinois safety Bradley Dewberry (7) should be an impact player for the Panthers in 2016. (Special Photo)

Eagle’s Landing alum, Eastern Illinois safety Bradley Dewberry becoming an impact player after battling injury

                            By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com CHARLESTON, IL — Bradley Dewberry has come a long way since he first made the trek to Eastern Illinois. And that’s just geographically speaking. After Dewberry graduated from Eagle’s Landing High in McDonough in 2014 and made

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From left, WR Marquese Taylor, coach Edgar Carson and LB Michael Harris believe Lovejoy has what it takes to get back to championship form. (PHOTO: Tyree Brown)

PREP FOOTBALL: Lovejoy Wildcats haven’t forgotten success of early 2010s, looking for a 2016 resurgence

By Tyree Brown tyree.brown25@uga.edu LOVEJOY, Ga. — The Lovejoy Wildcats have tried to prove they still have some of that state championship fight left in them, despite declining win-loss records over the last few seasons. Since reaching its second consecutive Class AAAAAA championship game in 2012, Lovejoy football has gone further and further from reaching

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Wesley Guilford Jr. Kirby Smart in line at Camp

Touchdown: Minority Coaches Association of Georgia’s satellite camp hits target

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com   STOCKBRIDGE Ga. – With the recent debate in the NCAA concerning football satellite camps hovering in the background, Woodland High School played host to the Minority Coaches Association of Georgia Football Academy Camp on Friday and Thursday. Woodland High School head coach Steve Davenport was pleased that his school could

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Woodland's Yusuf Corker is considered one of the best defensive backs in Georgia. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

WOODLAND FOOTBALL: Three-star cornerback prospect gives top five schools, says a college commitment could be soon coming

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com LOCUST GROVE Ga. – While a lot of talk about 7-on-7 summer football is geared toward the offense, the defensive back seven — and chiefly the secondary —  gets to work on its skill and communication as well. As a highly recruited cornerback, the thought of extra time to work specifically

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The Dutchtown Bulldogs have made the finals in the last three Adidas State Championship 7-on-7 tournaments. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Dutchtown falls short in Airo 7v7 Title Game, looking at bigger picture

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com   LOCUST GROVE Ga. – Mark Myers is starting his third season as Dutchtown’s head football coach, and just like in his previous two seasons, his Bulldogs made the championship game of the Airo 7v7 Tournament at Warren Holder Park. Dutchtown won the tournament two years ago, but after falling to

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Langston Hughes QB Isaiah Green came into the Adidas 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament in Locust Grove with half a dozen scholarship offers. He picked up another after an impressive performance in Locust Grove. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

AIRO 7V7: Q&A with Langston Hughes QB Isaiah Green after winning Adidas 7v7 State Championship

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com   LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — The 2016 Airo 7v7 Adidas State Championship was, for the most part, a South Metro Atlanta dominated tournament. Of the 48 teams during the two day event at Locust Grove’s Warren Holder Park, more than half came from the four-county Southern Crescent area. But

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If the Jonesboro Cardinals are to return to the playoffs in 2016, offensive guard Destin McMillian, left, and 3-star DE/TE Calder Marria will need monster seasons. (PHOTO: Tyree Brown)

JONESBORO FOOTBALL: Cardinals hope to exceed expectations with young, talented group

  By Tyree Brown tyree.brown25@uga.edu LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — The Adidas’s 7v7 Championship Series was one of Jonesboro High School’s first moments back on the field since last year’s region championship run. Head coach Tim Floyd used this opportunity to start rectifying the key losses from the 2015 Cardinals’ high-tempo offense and aggressive defensive. Last

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A pair of promising rising sophomores in QB Rayshawn Meiser, left, and WR Jacquez Bailey could  show a sign of things to come for beleaguered Forest Park. (PHOTO: Tyree Brown)

Forest Park coach Dale Myers hoping summer work, simpler schedule will translate to wins

  By Tyree Brown tyree.brown25@uga.edu LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — Recently hired head coach Dale Myers hopes his scheduling plan rebuilds a hurting Forest Park football program. “Someone in the county decided that we will be playing 6A football when we are really a 5A school.” Myers said.” We weren’t even competitive at 5A (last season).”

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The Lovejoy Wildcats won the first Adidas 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament, formerly known as the Southside Shootout, at Warren Holder Park in Locust Grove last summer. Longtime tournament host Clint Satterfield says he's glad to see it grow. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

Adidas brings State Championship 7-on-7 football action comes back to Locust Grove with growth

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — Clint Satterfield and his 7-on-7 passing league aspirations have come a long way. When the Southside Shootout began back in 2007 at the Lovejoy soccer complex, it was just a handful of football coaches bringing their teams together to practice and bond. “At one time, we were

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Southern Crescent Buzz editor Gabriel Stovall, right, stands with Ernie Johnson, host of TNT's Inside the NBA show during an event two years ago. Stovall helped the Southern Crescent Buzz garner award-winning recognition in its first year participating in the Georgia Sportswriters Association Awards. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

Southern Crescent Buzz picks up its first ever Georgia Sportswriters Association Awards

Southern Crescent Buzz editor Gabriel Stovall brought home the publication’s first awards recognition Sunday during the annual Georgia Sportswriters Association’s awards banquet held at Coolray Stadium in Lawrenceville, GA. Stovall won first place in the category of Best Feature Or Series for Non-deadline High School Sports with his piece on Eagle’s Landing High football coach Joe

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Southern Crescent Buzz welcomes Mount Zion grad, UGA student to staff as an intern

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Tyree Brown wants to get people talking. That’s why the soon-to-be sophomore at the University of Georgia decided to get into the journalism business in the first place. “I am interested in broadcasting various aspects of the world using different forms of media,” Brown said. “My goal is to spread knowledge

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Griffin's Terry Fuller was named Region 4-AAAA Player of the Year. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASEBALL: Griffin’s Terry Fuller grabs Region 4-AAAA POY honors while Locust Grove coach, pitchers stand out

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Surprise, surprise. Locust Grove baseball racked up major honors as the All-Region 4-AAAA teams were released Wednesday. The Wildcats became the first team from the four-county Southern Crescent area to win a state baseball championship since Jason Hayward-Led Henry County Warhawks did it in 2006 after defeating a Lee County squad

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Jonesboro football coach Tim Floyd is hoping to see some of the same team development during this year's summer passing league sessions as he did last year. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Clayton County teams to participate in Cam Newton 7-on-7 passing tourney at Woodward Academy

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Don’t tell Mundy’s Mill, Jonesboro, North Clayton or Forest Park that it isn’t football season yet. With school being officially out for everyone across the four-county Southern Crescent area, everyone’s fancy has now turned toward summer football sessions. And the four aforementioned programs from Clayton County will

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Fayette County's Trent Carrington is one of South Metro Atlanta's best kept secrets at safety. (PHOTO: CD Photography | Chris Dunn)

SPRING FOOTBALL: Q&A With Fayette County rising senior Trent Carrington

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Every year it seems a football player from the four-county Southern Crescent area emerges from the shadows, causing people to ask the questions, “Where did he come from?” and “Why haven’t we noticed him before?” Last year it was Jonesboro defensive tackle and Tuskegee signee Kali James. James began the season

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Eagle's Landing runner Betty Jackson won her first state championship, capturing the 800-meter title as a junior.  (PHOTO: Claud Spinks)

Golden Eagles’ duo soars for gold: Devin Dixon and Betty Jackson taking Eagle’s Landing track and field to new heights

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com MCDONOUGH Ga. – It has been a common sight over the last three seasons to see at least one Eagle’s Landing Golden Eagle standing atop a podium as a track and field state champion. Eagle’s Landing boys runner Devin Dixon is the two-time defending state champion in Class 4A 800 meters,

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New ELCA coach Derrick Mason, far right, called the McDonough school a perfect fit for himself and his family. (Special Photo)

GABRIEL STOVALL: New hire could signal new era of success for ELCA boys basketball

For every coaching hire that happens on any level of athletics, there’s always someone who likes it and others who don’t. The reasons vary. Sometimes those reasons — on either side of the coin — make sense. Other times they’re pretty irrational. Regardless, coaching hires often bring a sense of euphoric freshness. New coaches, no

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After having a solid career playing cornerback at Georgia Tech, Union Grove alumnus D.J. White might be the highest Southern Crescent player picked in this year's NFL draft. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

Getting defensive: Making the case for 5 Southern Crescent prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com The 2016 NFL Draft starts Thursday, and the three-day affair will serve as the launching pad for many of the players who can take the sport of football into the 2020’s, and some even into the 2030’s. Southern Crescent area prospects will look to make an impact like some of the area’s

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Mount Zion football coach Kevin Jones is bullish about his team's 2016 potential after some huge summer successes. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SPRING FOOTBALL: WATCH| Mount Zion, coach Kevin Jones hoping for a program defining season in 2016

See raw footage of Mount Zion’s first spring practice, and a brief word from Coach Kevin Jones on his outlook for his team: By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Kevin Jones was so amped for Monday’s start to Spring Football, the Mount Zion coach added an interesting adornment to his bedtime wardrobe Sunday night.

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Bryant Walker threw for an efficient 135 yards on 12-for-16 passing with two touchdowns, and another that probably should've been.

SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Seven questions for the 2016 season that need answers as the spring football period begins

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Football season is still about four months away from kickoff, but don’t tell that to the coaches and players who began spring drills this week. Spring football has begun in the Southern Crescent, as of Monday when Mount Zion kicked off its spring football practices in spirited fashion. Other Clayton County

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Creekside Christian Academy's Qui'Yante Burroughs poses with the trophy after helping the Cougars win the 2015-16 state title. (PHOTO: Susan Jackson)

New Jersey ‘son’ shining bright in the South: Creekside Christian’s Qui’Yante Burroughs blazing new path in Southern Crescent

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com MCDONOUGH Ga. – When Creekside Christian Academy’s Qui’Yante Burroughs helped the Cougars’ retain their GICAA Division I-AA Championship this past basketball season, the accomplishment was neither a beginning nor an endpoint for the Patterson, New Jersey native. Instead, it was just one more stop along the road of life and basketball

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Georgia Tech QB Justin Thomas (5) should have a healthier supporting cast surrounding him in 2016 for his senior campaign. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL: Position battles galore as the Yellow Jackets take first step in redeeming 2015 woes

      By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Almost five months to the day after the end of a promising 2015 season went “thump” to the tune of a 3-9 campaign (1-7 in the ACC), we’re turning the key to unlock Historic Bobby Dodd Stadium for a one-day preview of the 2016 version of Georgia Tech

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Bill Renje

BILL RENJE: The negatives in personal trainers for high school athletes could far outweigh the positives

As I’ve served the athletic and coaching community through sports ministry the last five years, I’ve noticed quite a few changes since I last played youth and high school sports 30 years ago. Among those changing trends is the use of personal athletic trainers by high school athletes. These trainers serve the athlete, in exchange

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Tennessee's newest women's basketball signee Kamera Harris, right, poses with her former high school coach April Tate during Wednesday's signing day ceremony. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SIGNING DAY: Dutchtown’s Kamera Harris kept no secret about her love for Tennessee

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com HAMPTON, Ga. — There was no need for Signing Day drama for Kamera Harris. Not just because the Dutchtown senior center, and national high school shot blocking record holder had already made known her commitment to the legendary Tennessee Lady Vols basketball program a week ago, but because her signing the

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Union Grove's Jake Maples, left, stands with swing coach Frank Gasaway. Maples, along with Gasaway's daughter, was named to a GHSA region al all-star team. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

SOUTHERN CRESCENT NOTEBOOK: A Union Grove pair of golfers nabbed high honors from the GHSA

    Southern Crescent teams and individual athletes are making noise on state wide and national levels, starting with the boys (and girls) of spring sports. A pair of Union Grove golfers — and childhood best friends — have been named to the Georgia High School Association’s Southern Region All Star Team. Both Maples and

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Sandy Creek alum Justin Sumpter returns to Kennesaw State as the Owls' best receiver. (Kennesaw State)

SPRING FOOTBALL REPORT: Southern Crescent alumni doing well in Georgia’s colleges and universities

                                                By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com Most of the state’s college football teams have either already held spring practice or are currently holding spring practices as they prepare for the 2016 season. An

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McIntosh Chiefs pitcher Tyler Biltmier. (PHOTO: Michael Clifton | kombatkamera.com)

The run home: a look at the Southern Crescent’s top baseball state playoff contenders

  By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com With roughly three weeks remaining in the GHSA baseball regular season, the Southern Crescent is looking to put 10-plus teams into the state playoffs. Teams like Class 5A’s Ola and Starr’s Mill are expected to make the state field, along with a possible deep run, while some other area clubs

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Lovejoy rising senior Malik Route has been turning heads since the MVP Camp three weeks ago. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

LOVEJOY FOOTBALL: Malik Route has big college football aspirations despite his small stature | VIDEO

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOVEJOY, Ga. — Derrick Smith knew it was going to be a good day for one of his best receivers when he saw how Malik Route was moving both the opposing defensive back, and the crowd. It happened during the MVP Camp hosted by Lovejoy three weeks ago. It was an

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Union Grove grappler Justin Ruffin's second-straight state title helped him be crowned top wrestler in the county. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

Q&A With Union Grove State Wrestling Champion Justin Ruffin| VIDEO

Union Grove sophomore Justin Ruffin celebrates with coaches Matt Ferrari, right, and Chad Kollert, left, after Ruffin won his second straight state championship. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)   McDONOUGH, Ga. — Justin Ruffin did it again.  With a 5-2 decision win over Camden County senior Adrian Hughes in February’s state tournament, Ruffin took one more

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Jonesboro will look to build on its 2015 season while playing some of the Southern Crescent's most talented teams in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Top 25 Southern Crescent football games for 2016 Part 1: Southern Crescent vs. Southern Crescent games

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com   In Part 1 of our look at the top 25 anticipated football games for the upcoming season we start with games pitting Southern Crescent teams against other Southern Crescent teams, both non-region and region. Almost every season there are intriguing non-region matchups pitting unfamiliar teams against each other, and since

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Jarrett Laws is the new head coach at Our Lady of Mercy. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Jarett Laws is getting situated at his new Southern Crescent home

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — After being somewhat unceremoniously let go from his head coaching position at a Georgia high school football power, Jarrett Laws knew he’d eventually land on his feet. That happened last Wednesday when Laws, after a two-year stop at Griffin, became the new football coach at Our Lady

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Drew senior Jada Hargrove will play basketball for Alcorn State next season. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

STUDENT SECTION: Jada Hargrove writes her experiences at Drew, expectations at Alcorn State

Wednesday night, one of the better girls basketball players in Drew High School’s short history stepped onto a Clayton County court for the last time as a high school student-athlete during the Annual Clayton County All-Star game.  Hargrove ended her career in style, despite having her senior season shortened by knee injury, when she accepted

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Coming off a Class A championship in 2015, ELCA running back Trevor Gear is climbing the recruiting charts. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Check out our early Who’s Who list for the Southern Crescent 2017 recruiting class

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com We’re a long way away from National Signing Day 2017, and we’re still six months out from the start of football season, but spring ball is around the corner, which, for those of you jonsing for football, will be the first time to get to see some of the next season’s

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Furman-bound scoring guard Jordan Lyons has wrapped-up his high school career, but not before leading McIntosh to another fantastic season as a senior (File)

PREP BASKETBALL: One Southern Crescent school rose above the rest in national website recognition

Southern Crescent hoopers have found their way on the hoopseen.com Georgia All-State basketball scene. The national prep basketball website released its by-classification all-state teams Monday night, right after an eventful and controversial weekend at the GHSA state championships in Macon. Headlining the group was a trio of McIntosh standouts named to the Class AAAAA team.

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STATE BASKETBALL: GABRIEL STOVALL: GHSA has some explaining to do regarding allowance of non-regulation baskets during state championship games

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com So I’m getting ready to go to bed so I can be on time for church in the morning, and my ever-popping Twitter feed delivered this gem to me from Atlanta’s own high school hoops guru Kyle Sandy: Interesting that the backboards are off line at the Centreplex. Hoop is too

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Jonesboro's MJ Walker, right, and Liberty County's Will Richardson, left, provided some of the biggest highlights in Thursday's Class AAAA championship game. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

BUZZ BREAKDOWN: Five Things We Learned, Five Things We Still Don’t Know from the Class AAAA Championship Game

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com MACON, Ga. — The Jonesboro Cardinals came up on the losing end of things Thursday night as the Liberty County Panthers knocked off Class AAAA’s No. 1 team 58-52. Here’s my knee-jerk analysis from Thursday night’s state championship game. FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED 1. Liberty County’s win was no fluke. From

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No. 1 Jonesboro came up short against second-ranked Liberty County in Thursday night's Class AAAA championship game. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

STATE BASKETBALL: Liberty County stymies No. 1 Jonesboro, haults Cardinals’ bid for a three-peat

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com MACON, Ga. – Jonesboro bid to win its third consecutive Class AAAA Championship fell short Thursday night in the state title game when the Cardinals fell behind early to Liberty County and could not make up the deficit on their way to a 58-52 defeat. Jonesboro finishes the season at 28-5

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Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman will try to guide his Cardinals to a third straight Class AAAA title with a win Thursday night against Liberty County. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Jonesboro basketball may see a little bit of themselves in its state championship game opponent Liberty County

MACON, Ga. — You’ve come a long way, Jonesboro. I’m not talking about that short drive down I-75 from Clayton to Bibb County. I mean the journey from good to great. From the 78-75 overtime thriller win three seasons ago against No. 1 Alexander and a hot-like-fire Hassani Gravett (he poured in 46 points that

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Antonio Andrews

BREAKING: Griffin football names native son Antonio Andrews as new coach

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com GRIFFIN, Ga. — Spalding County’s most storied football program decided to tap into its own backyard to find its next head coach. The Griffin Bears named longtime assistant Antonio Andrews as the school’s new head coach Tuesday night, after a recommendation by Griffin High Principal Darrell Evans, and a unanimous vote

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Liberty County point guard Davion Mitchell (left) is considered one of the state's top prospects. Mitchell is averaging over 24 points per game. (Special Photo)

STATE BASKETBALL: An early look at Jonesboro’s Class AAAA championship game opponent Liberty County | VIDEO

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com So let the state championship talk begin. We’ve been here before, right? It’ll be three times, to be specific. The No. 1 Cardinals breezed by Grady tonight, winning in the Class AAAA Final Four round 77-49. It wasn’t close, much like most of Jonesboro’s postseason — save its second round opponent

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Jonesboro's MJ Walker led all scorers with 16 points in the top-ranked Cardinals quarterfinals win over St. Pius X Friday night in Fort Valley. (File)

STATE BASKETBALL: Jonesboro runs past St. Pius X, sets up semifinal matchup with Grady

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FORT VALLEY, Ga. — In a game that was already teetering on the verge of a blowout at halftime, an early third quarter explosion by MJ Walker, Eric Lovett and Jamari Smith helped the top-ranked Jonesboro Cardinals run past St. Pius X 57-37 in the Class AAAA tournament’s Elite

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Jonesboro's MJ Walker, left, has gone through a growing process that's not just about his stat line. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL: Jonesboro’s MJ Walker discovering leadership during quest for third state championship

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Flashback to Tuesday night. The moment was drawn up picture perfect for a storybook ending or a nightmarish climax. Two-time defending state champion Jonesboro and 2014-15 Class AAAA state runner up Carrollton were duking it out on the Cardinals’ home floor in a matchup that turned defensive, not

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The Region 4-AAAA champion Mount Zion Lady Bulldogs have found camaraderie and chemistry in 2015-16. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL: Mount Zion girls seeing ‘fruits of labor’ as a more mature, explosive team

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Tiesha Wilson got the expected answer when she asked her Mount Zion girls basketball team an obvious question. “Look, ladies. Do you guys want to go home Friday night,” the long time Lady Bulldogs coach asked a group of doubled over, profusely sweating hoopers during a Wednesday practice

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Jonesboro's James M.J. Walker poured in 30 points in Saturday's semifinal win against Liberty County. (File Photo)

PREP BASKETBALL: Southern Crescent boys basketball state tourney preview

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com In the 10 boys basketball teams from the Southern Crescent to make the state tournament field, four classifications and five regions are represented. There’s no chance for an all-Southern Crescent Final Four in Class 4A, but it, along with our area’s Class 5A schools, leads the way with four area representatives

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Sandy Creek's region championship win over Woodward Academy was the school's first crown since 2003. (Special Photo)

PREP BASKETBALL: Sandy Creek coach Anthony McKissic’s region championship journey comes full circle

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE Ga. – In Anthony McKissic’s first season as the head coach of the Sandy Creek boys basketball program the program did something it had not done since 2003. The Patriots won a region championship. Sandy Creek’s 70-48 win over Woodward Academy on Friday gave it the Region 5-AAAA crown and

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Morrow junior Da'Ja Green is pacing an upstart Lady Mustangs squad, making a return to the state tournament after a lengthy absence. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL: Southern Crescent girls basketball state tourney preview

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com A total of 10 teams from the Southern Crescent made their respective girls basketball state tournament fields this season. They range from a perennial state visitor like Dutchtown, to a breakthrough region champ in Mount Zion, and up-and-coming programs like Spalding and Whitewater. Here’s a rundown of our tournament teams and

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Sandy Creek's Antonio Trapp is the second Patriot in as many years to continue his football career at an Ivy League school. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Sandy Creek football sends second straight player to the ‘SEC of Academics’ at Ivy League’s Brown University

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — A week ago when Sandy Creek trotted out its typical National Signing Day class, complete with a handful of guys talented enough to be signed by Division I schools, Chip Walker had something extra to stick his chest out about. His name is Antonio Trapp. When the 6-foot,

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Lovejoy's Chris Henderson de-commited from Indiana and chose to stay closer to home by signing with an emerging Alabama mid-major program. (Special Photo)

SIGNING DAY: Lovejoy DE Chris Henderson’s signing to South Alabama was a family affair

By Bill Renje LOVEJOY, Ga — What goes unseen is usually more powerful than what we actually see on National Signing Day. On the surface, we see the rewards of hard work and effort. We see a coming together of athletes, families, schools and communities to celebrate a high school athlete’s opportunity to compete and

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Zerrick Cooper, Kali James, Jordan Griffin at Jonesboro 2016 Signing Day.

SIGNING DAY: Jonesboro football signs in style — Cardinals front and center at College Football Hall of Fame

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA Ga. – The 10 Jonesboro football players signing Letters of Intent on National Signing Day got a chance to experience the bright lights. Jonesboro joined a plethora of other Metro Atlanta schools for the signing day event hosted by the College Football Hall of Fame. Television station Fox 5 and

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ELCA 2016 student-athlete Signing Class

ELCA produces another big class: 15 athletes from six sports makeup 2015-16 signees

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com MCDONOUGH Ga. – With four new signees on Wednesday, Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy has had 15 student-athletes to sign Letters of Intent this school year. The school’s 15 signees thus far this season are participants in football, baseball, wrestling, softball, golf, and volleyball. A pair of players from ELCA’s 2015 Class A

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Eagle's Landing's Martell Waugh, Emmett Sherrod, and Antonio Gibson on signing day.

SIGNING DAY: Eagle’s Landing sees four sign: three football, one soccer, and Gibson goes Juco

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com   MCDONOUGH Ga. – In the midst of an impressive year athletically speaking, Eagle’s Landing High saw four student-athletes sign Letters of Intent during Wednesday’s morning’s National Signing Day ceremonies. Martell Waugh, Emmett Sherrod, and Antonio Gibson (pictured left to right) signed LOI’s from the Eagles’ football team and girls soccer

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Woodland's Zaundra Stevens is helping keep the Lady Wolfpack among the area's best. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL GIRLS POWER RANKINGS: Mount Zion falls from top spot, replaced by cross town rival

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com With the regular season winding down this week, this will be our last Southern Crescent Power Rankings before  the region tournaments begin. After inclement weather forced the postponement of basketball games around the Metro Area a week and a half ago, the top girls teams from the Southern Crescent returned to

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Isaac Kellum scored 19 Monday night during McItnosh's 72-61 region win against Drew. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL BOYS POWER RANKINGS: Jonesboro, Macintosh, Eagle’s Landing hold serve at the top amid lower level shuffling

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com With the regular season winding down this week, this will be our last Southern Crescent Power Rankings before  the region tournaments begin. The top-three teams remain unchanged from the last rankings, but the seven remaining spots all have a different squad filling the space, with one of those teams making a

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Sandy Creek standout WR Korey Banks has set the stage for a Signing Day decision Wednesday. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Jonesboro’s Kali James commits while Sandy Creek’s Korey Banks, several other area athletes look poised for Signing Day decisions

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Two days before National Signing Day in the four-county Southern Crescent area, and there’s a whole lot of flipping going on. It seemed to start Sunday with Jonesboro defensive tackle Kali James. After a strong 2015 season that propelled him from a virtual unknown on the recruiting trail to a late

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Jonesboro head coach Dan Maehlman helped build the Cardinals from an also-ran to a juggernaut. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Jonesboro’s Dan Maehlman said he remembers when his program looked more like Pike County than state contenders

    ZEBULON, Ga. — The ride home on the bus from Pike County was much less awkward for Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman than his walk to the bus from the school’s locker rooms. Maehlman’s top-ranked Cardinals had just put the finishing touches on a ridiculous 115-14 win against the Pirates, and while some folks

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Jonesboro running back Montralius Mosley is on his way to the Reinhardt University to play his college ball. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Jonesboro’s Montralius Mosley pegs Reinhardt as destination to continue his football career

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Add one more name to the list of Jonesboro football players who have cemented plans to play at the next level. Montralius Mosley, the Cardinals’ dynamic senior tailback, took to Twitter Monday evening to declare his choice of Reinhardt, an NAIA school in the north Georgia town of

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Griffin remains dangerous thanks to 6-2 center Andeija Puckett. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Southern Crescent Buzz Girls Basketball Top 10: New team at No. 1, reshuffling at the top

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com All 10 teams who were in last week’s Southern Crescent Buzz Girls Basketball Top 10 return this week. However, for the first time this year in either the boys or girls rankings, there is a change at the top spot. Jonesboro drops after falling to Mount Zion, so who is the

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North Clayton boys basketball coach Martisse Troup leads his team into today's Region 4-AAA semifinal game against Cedar Grove. (File Photo)

Southern Crescent Buzz Boys Basketball Top 10: Changes in the bottom half

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com Movement abounds in this week’s boys rankings. Mundy’s Mill drops out thanks to its 53-41 loss to Creekside, while North Clayton and Morrow continue their ascent and Drew and Fayette County return to their position in the initial rankings. McIntosh was the only member of the top-three teams to have a

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Senior point guard David Walker comes into Tuesday's game against Eagle's Landing as one of Henry County's assists leader. (SPECIAL PHOTO: Hannah Hedden)

PREP BASKETBALL: Locust Grove hoops starting to turn heads under first year coach Noah Harrell, senior guard David Walker

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — Let David Walker tell it, coach Noah Harrell has wings. Walker, the senior point guard at Locust Grove has been at the school for just two years, but that’s long enough for him to see the best and worst of times on the basketball court. An example

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Chase Burdette's big season paced the ELCA defense on its way to a 2015 Class A championship. PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

PREP FOOTBALL: National high school website names pair of Southern Crescent players to All-American teams

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com The 2015 football season is behind us. In fact, many squads have already started making preparations for 2016 with commencing of mat drills and weekly early morning workouts. But Maxpreps.com still had some accolades to give out. Among those receiving them was ELCA senior linebacker Chase Burdette who was named to

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Eagle's Landing coach Elliot Montgomery and his 16-1 boys basketball squad could be on the verge to something great. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Under coach Elliot Montgomery, Eagle’s Landing seems to be following Jonesboro path to success

How’s this for irony? As I was getting ready to Facebook tag a few Eagle’s Landing coaches, parents and supports to this article by James Butler this article by James Butler regarding the boys basketball team’s resurgence, the tagging mechanism glitched, and instead of tagging Golden Eagles track and cross country coach Claud Spinks, my cursor

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PHOTOS: Jason Mussell and Gabriel Stovall. GRAPHIC: Jason Mussell.

ALL SOUTHERN CRESCENT BUZZ TEAM: Clayton, Fayette county athletes fill prominent places in first all area team

The 2015 football season created some intense moments, tremendous performances and yet another solidifying season to the notion that some of this talent rich state of Georgia’s best athletes reside on Atlanta’s South Side. Our inaugural All-Southern Crescent football team includes athletes from Henry, Clayton, Fayette and Spalding counties. Our players of the year proved

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Whitewater girls basketball coach Rashad Muhyee has his team playing its best basketball of this early season. (PHOTO: CD Photography)

PREP BASKETBALL: McIntosh, Whitewater girls riding wave of momentum into holiday tourneys

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com PEACHTREE CITY Ga. – After feeling they were headed into the unexpected before the start of the season, it appears that the McIntosh Lady Chiefs will play their way into contention for another run at a state tournament berth. Despite not making it to state two seasons ago, McIntosh has been

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Seniors Chase Burdette, D.J. Hammond and Chandler Reeves salute the ELCA fan base Saturday after winning the Class A championship in a 35-14 victory over No. 1 Aquinas. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: ‘Chopping wood’ has paid off for Jonathan Gess, ELCA football both on the field and in players’ hearts | VIDEO

ATLANTA, Ga. — It was like something out of a movie. Something that looked like it belonged in a book manuscript or on a silver screen. It began with a championship-seasoned coach’s rousing pre-game speech likening his team to a sharp axe, and the bigger, stronger top-ranked Aquinas squad to a tree destined to topple.

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ELCA senior Chandler Reeves, far right, kisses the Class A championship trophy while sharing the stage with fellow seniors D.J. Hammond (1) and Chase Burdette. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GHSA FOOTBALL: ELCA overcomes slow start, beats Aquinas for Class A state championship

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — What a difference a year makes. In a game that tried its best early on to cast Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy into a 2014 deja vu scenario, the Chargers, this time, would not bend as they overcame early gaffs and rode the coattails of senior quarterback D.J. Hammond

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Chase Burdette's big season paced the ELCA defense on its way to a 2015 Class A championship. PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

PREP FOOTBALL: ELCA linebacker Chase Burdette’s ‘warrior’ presence has shaped team into state championship caliber

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. – Forget postseason superlatives, all county or all region rosters. Even push aside the hudl.com highlight reels for a minute. You want to know the worth and impact Chase Burdette has on Eagle’s Landing? Go to the trenches. Watch the sidelines. See how his teammates respond to his game

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North Clayton rising senior lineman Maurice Campbell is starting to pick up major college attention. (Special Photo)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: College coaches: ‘Too many good players’ on Atlanta’s southside to ignore

                                By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO Ga. – Reinhardt College’s first-year assistant football coach Greg Blue knows this firsthand the kind of talent that resides on the south side of Atlanta. The former NFL and Georgia Bulldogs safety played his

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Locust Grove quarterback Cameron Maddox, along with coach Clint Satterfield, were in attendance at Thursday's fair, hoping to find viable college options for the dual-threat quarterback. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: 9th Annual Southern Crescent Football Recruiting Fair a gem for aspiring college athletes

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO Ga. – The 9th Annual Southern Crescent/South Metro Football Recruiting Fair lived up to the expectations of the previous years as the area’s football coaches got to put their players on the radar of non-FBS colleges and universities. Locust Grove head coach Clint Satterfield has attended the fair every year

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Riverdale coach Terry Herrod, left, says his 4-star DE Chidi Okonya will have plenty of good options in part two of his recruiting process." (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Riverdale coach Terry Herrod confirms Chidi Okonya’s future plans

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — It looks like Duke is getting some company in the Chidi Okonya sweepstakes. Okonya, the consensus 4-star defensive end prospect out of Riverdale High School opted out of his verbal pledge to Tennessee Sunday evening, sparking speculation about his future college football plans. The 6-foot-5, 230 pound

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Drew senior tailback Quarderman Sloan turned heads in a major way as the Southern Crescent's rushing leader with over 2,000 yards on the ground in 2015. (PHOTO: Dave Williamson)

PREP FOOTBALL: James Butler lists his most underrated Clayton County players, a few potential 2016 standouts

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com With football approaching its state title games and the season over with for most Southern Crescent teams, I thought this would be a good time to spotlight some players who have flown under the radar in the major recruiting circles. Here are a couple of Clayton’s biggest names when it comes

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Sandy Creek and Marvin Hubbard will face some tough opponents in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: James Butler shares his thoughts on underrated seniors, early list of football players in Fayette County for the 2016 season

  By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com With football approaching its state title games and the season over with for county teams, I thought this would be a good time to spotlight some players who have flown under the radar in the major recruiting circles. Here are three players from around Fayette County from the Class of

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Riverdale DE prospect Chidi Okonya, who de-committed from Tennessee Sunday night, is expected to take an official visit to Duke this weekend. (File Photo)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Riverdale DE Chidi Okonya decommits from Tennessee

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — With almost exactly two months before National Signing Day, Southern Crescent athletes are already making headlines in college football recruiting. Riverdale senior defensive end Chidi Okonya took to Twitter Sunday night to announce he was de-committing from Tennessee — a place where he verbally pledged back

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Eagle's Landing High alum Tyler Teknipp bumps a teammate in celebratory fashion before this past Saturday's game with rival Georgia. (PHOTO: Caitlin Teknipp)

Q&A: Soon-to-be Georgia Tech grad Tyler Teknipp reflects on career as a Yellow Jacket

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia Tech’s 13-7 loss to Georgia Saturday marked the end of disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets. But it also brought to a close the football playing career of senior safety and Eagle’s Landing High alum Tyler Teknipp.  Teknipp is the son of coach Joe Teknipp who coached

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Mike Roby is the director of the South Metro Atlanta chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (Special Photo)

Jonesboro Football supporter sounds off on ridiculous fan behavior

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com   CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — So in the latest episode of Despicable Fans Doing Despicable Things, we have Jonesboro High School in Clayton County in view where, apparently, for a select minority of gentlemen, making history on the football field, winning your first region title since 1949, fielding a handful of

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James "M.J." Walker has turned his game up a notch and Jonesboro is as dangerous as ever. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

PREP BASKETBALL: Five things to watch as the Jonesboro Cardinals start its second straight title defense season

        By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — No matter how you look at it, it’s game day for the Jonesboro Cardinals. The Clayton County school boasts arguably two of the state’s best programs in football and basketball, and while the Cardinals’ football team will be in Cartersville facing the No. 3

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Drew senior tailback Quarderman Sloan turned heads in a major way as the Southern Crescent's rushing leader with over 2,000 yards on the ground in 2015. (PHOTO: Dave Williamson)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Drew Titans, Jonesboro represent Clayton County in road playoff games

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE Ga. – The two Clayton County football teams remaining in the GHSA Playoffs have gotten to the third round in a drastically different fashion. The 9-3 Drew Titans have gone on a run in Class AAAAA thanks to an offense that is averaging just a little under 45 points per

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Will Washington, McIntosh's senior point guard, will help lead the Chiefs in their state tournament action. (File)

PREP BASKETBALL: McIntosh, Sandy Creek boys will test mettle in Holiday Hoopsgiving, Atlanta Hardwood Jam fest tourneys

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com PEACHTREE CITY Ga. – The start of the end-of-the-year holiday season has become synonymous with the start of big-time high school basketball matchups. Two of Fayette County’s best boys teams take the court today and Saturday in post-Thanksgiving Day matchups. McIntosh plays a pair of games at the Holiday Hoopsgiving at

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Drew quarterback Joe Newman accounted for 374 yards of total offense in the Titans' 54-24 come-from-behind win over South Paulding last Friday. (PHOTO: Dave Williamson)

PREP FOOTBALL: Thanksgiving Q&A with Drew Titans QB Joseph Newman | VIDEO

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com The Drew Titans have been racking up offensive numbers fit for Playstation video games. The Titans (9-3, 4-2) are churning out 458.6 yards of offense per game while scoring 42 points per game. And at the helm of this high octane offense is senior quarterback Joseph Newman.  Last week, Newman scorched

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Forest Park's Alexius High is the lone senior on this season's Lady Panthers squad. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL: Alexius High embracing expanded role with Forest Park Lady Panthers

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FOREST PARK, Ga. — Squirrel is the nickname you’ll often hear bandied about when people at Forest Park talk about Alexius High. She’s the team’s lone senior, and while she’s in action she’s built the reputation over the last three years of being a hybrid of aggressive and unassuming. She plays

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Lovejoy sophomore Zion Custis gained over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 1st team All-Region status in his first full year of major action. (Steve Knight)

PREP FOOTBALL: Lovejoy sophomore Zion Custis finding in the Custis football family tree | VIDEO

Check out Zion Custis’ highlight video: By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOVEJOY, Ga. — Football season at Lovejoy High School is over, but for Zion Custis it never ends. Not when you play for what was not too long ago considered one of the emerging programs in Georgia’s biggest classification. Also, not when you have a

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The high-scoring Drew junior is one of three girls players from Clayton County to make the GACA All-Star Junior team roster. (File Photo)

PREP BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK: Sandy Creek boys, Drew girls making positive early impressions

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE Ga. – Since taking over as head coach of the Sandy Creek boys basketball program back in June, Anthony McKissic has been busy pushing the rebranding of the Patriots as well as pushing the talents of his players. That is something his athletes like about him. Much like a John

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ELCA's senior LB Chase Burdette, right, is the 2-time Region 5-A player of the year. His presence will be huge in ELCA's championship run. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

JAMES BUTLER: Any ranking formula that excludes ELCA Football as a state title contender is a flawed formula

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com MCDONOUGH Ga. – The Class A football playoffs get underway this Friday as the top 16-seeded private school teams and the top 16-seeded public schools begin their final journey toward their respective state titles. Somehow the Class A Power Ratings, which determine the seeding of the region champions, has 2012 state

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Spalding QB Naricuss Dryver will try to help his Jaguars net a playoff win at Cairo. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

GHSA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: James Butler ranks the 10 Southern Crescent football teams and summarizes their possible postseason paths

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com ELCA is considered a favorite to at least reach the semifinals of the Class A Private School Playoffs. Stockbridge, ranked No. 1 for the first time in anybody’s football poll, may be expected to run the table toward its first state title. Spalding hopes to catch fire and make a run.

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Jonesboro QB Zerrick Cooper's three touchdown passes helped the No. 6 Cardinals  to their first football region title since 1949. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

PREP FOOTBALL: Jonesboro Cardinals coach Tim Floyd hopes region crown is just first of many successes

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — An almost ancient championship trophy football sits in the Jonesboro High School foyer that leads to the gym. In that bowl shaped trophy is an old football, and an inscription that lets you know the last time Jonesboro football won a region championship. The year was 1949. The

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What will Spalding RB A.J. Moses and his Jaguars do for an encore in 2016? (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Playoff football begins in earnest and Spalding, Jonesboro among those looking to make history in play-in games

It’s a bittersweet time to be a high school football fan. Sweet because this is really the part of the season that it’s all about. This is what the teams play for. This is why they spend the spring and summer sweltering on practice fields and the winters grinding in the weight room. It’s playoff

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Whitewater girls basketball coach Rashad Muhyee has his team playing its best basketball of this early season. (PHOTO: CD Photography)

FAYETTE COUNTY BASKETBALL: County’s six state tourney teams from last year hoping for repeat performances

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Fayette County got its first official look at its high school hoops teams Sunday during its basketball media day at Whitewater High. And with a total of six teams from the county that made their respective Georgia High School Association State Tournaments a season ago, the 2015-16 year

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Christian Turner is one of the top point guards in Georgia. (File)

PREP BASKETBALL: Sandy Creek boys excited for new era with Anthony McKissic as coach

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — After coaching five sports, including girls and boys basketball, at Morrow High School in Clayton County for the past seven years, Anthony McKissic is now at the helm of one of the Southern Crescent’s most promising high school athletic programs – Sandy Creek basketball. “I couldn’t ask God

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Jarrett Laws was dismissed Friday as Griffin's head football coach after just two seasons with the program. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Griffin football fans would do well to settle down and let Jarrett Laws coach

    RIVERDALE, Ga. — Griffin Bears coach Jarrett Laws is the kind of guy who wears his emotions on his sleeves. This isn’t a journalistic observation, either. He admitted as much Friday while recapping his team’s performance in a season-saving 27-0 win at Riverdale. And he did it while soaking wet. The shutout win

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The strong floor general leadership of Drew senior Jada Hargrove has helped the Titans to a 2-0 start. (File)

PREP BASKETBALL: Drew Titans girls coach Virgil Amey hopes to continue what Candence Jackson started

By James Butler jbutler@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — For the first time in program history, the Drew girls basketball team will start a season without Candence Jackson as its head coach. After departing to take the South Atlanta High girls job, Virgil Amey takes over the Lady Titans’ program and he is hoping to keep the

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Clayton County Athletic Director Kevin May helped North Clayton High School host this year's county basketball media day event. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP BASKETBALL: Clayton County Media Day, mixture of new faces, familiar names

By James Butler COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — When boys and girls basketball teams from the 10 Clayton County high schools gathered for the county’s media day on Thursday at North Clayton High School, a couple of the high-profile girls programs featured new head coaches. Virgil Amey replaced Candence Jackson at Drew after Jackson left for

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Sandy Creek coach Chip Walker is looking for big things out of his son and rising junior quarterback Bryant Walker in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Week 9 Pick Six Predictions feature assortment of captivating rivalry games including Sandy Creek-Woodward Academy

In my brain, I’m 0-2 on picks this week already, because although this didn’t publish before Thursday’s Northgate-Drew game or the Georgia Southern-Appalachain State matchup, I picked both Drew and Georgia Southern to win. Bad omen for me this week? We’ll see. Drew’s explosive offense couldn’t overcome five turnovers as Northgate defeated the Titans 35-25.

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Starr's Mill will look to experienced playmakers like rising-junior Rico Frye when the Panthers visit Newnan in its season opener. (File)

STARRS MILL FOOTBALL: Sophomore Rico Frye taking his success in stride

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — You’ve got to do something pretty special to get a phone call from an NFL football player after a Friday night game. Starr’s Mill B-back Rico Frye did just that two Fridays ago when he went for 238 yards on the ground against the Panthers’ county rival McIntosh which

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Jonesboro DT Kali James, right, has notched 13 sacks this season for the Cardinals. (File)

FRIDAY FOOTBALL RECAP: A look back on No. 7 Jonesboro’s win over Riverdale

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — You could tell from the very beginning Friday night that Jonesboro-Riverdale was going to be about defense. Perhaps the best indication was when No. 7 Jonesboro’s unblockable DT Kali James emerged from the ground after his first sack of Riverdale quarterback Joseph Cambridge and held up his index

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Drew running back Quarderman Sloan (2) is averaging more than a first down every time he touches the ball. It's a big reason why Drew is expected to improve to 5-2 Friday against Mundy's Mill. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Key region and subregion games in Clayton, Henry counties highlight this week’s predictions

Prediction time, folks, and it’s been a while. It’s a great week to jump back into my crystal ball with key region games all across the area, particularly in Clayton and Henry Counties. As always, I’ll start with my “Pick Six” analysis and predictions, then other games where I choose winners and losers only, followed

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Riverdale's junior quarterback Joseph Cambridge, right, has made a concerted effort to be more of a threat with his legs. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Riverdale QB Joseph Cambridge wants to ensure running ability isn’t being passed over

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — Joseph Cambridge is a pretty mild mannered, even-keeled kind of guy — even as quarterbacks go. But here’s how you rile the Riverdale junior up: Tell him he’s nothing more than a pocket passer, and his polite, thoughtful demeanor changes. At the very thought of being typecast as

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Stockbridge QB Malachi Brown has helped lead his team to a No. 3 ranking in the latest Georgia Sportswriters Association Poll. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RANKINGS: Jonesboro, Stockbridge, ELCA make upward moves in this week’s poll

The weekly Georgia Sportswriters Association football poll is out and hot off the presses, with a few notable changes in the status of a few of our area’s schools. In Class AAAAA, Stockbridge made its first jump in the rankings in weeks to occupy the No. 3 spot after a dominating 35-13 win over Region

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Jonesboro senior Kali James made his college decision Sunday evening, committing to Tuskegee. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Kali James, Jonesboro defense love underdog role

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com SPALDING, Ga. — Kali James doesn’t mind having his name called every now and then when he plays well, so long as you put his performance in the proper team context. The senior and Campbell commitment registered three sacks in this past Friday’s 21-9 win over the then-region leading Spalding Jaguars.

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GHSA

GHSA PLAYOFFS: Woodland softball, Sandy Creek, Locust Grove volleyball riding big regular season momentum waves into postseason

  *NOTE: Please email any updated or correct information on game times and venues to gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com.   By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Region softball and volleyball tournaments are in the books and the 2015-16 Georgia High School Association state playoff brackets are on deck. In all, 23 schools will have teams representing the four-county Southern Crescent

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Jonesboro WR/DB Jordan Griffin snags a touchdown pass during Friday's 21-9 win over Spalding. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Jonesboro knocks off previously undefeated Spalding behind Montralius Mosley’s stellar rushing performance

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com GRIFFIN, Ga. — Brown Right 25. That was the play call that sprung Jonesboro senior tailback Montralius Mosley on a 99-yard touchdown burst that essentially drove the final nail in the coffin that housed Spalding’s hopes of going 7-0. It was the ninth-ranked Cardinals’ first play from scrimmage in the

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MAKING THE GRADE: Here’s our top five state championship-ready Southern Crescent football teams

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com We’re getting out the grade book and evaluating what we consider the top five most championship ready teams in the four-county area. This list takes into account several factors, including the team’s talent, the strength of its schedule, its region and the rigor of potential opponents the team will face in

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Jonesboro's Jordan Griffin, left, and Montralius Mosley have formed a bond that transcends football success. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Jonesboro brotherhood between Montralius Mosley, Jordan Griffin bigger than just football

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Jordan Griffin has strong words about his teammate, running back Montralius Mosley and the level of impact he has on Jonesboro’s offense. “He is the impact,” Griffin said. Quite the selfless statement from the 6-foot-2 Kentucky commit who’s having quite the season himself. In addition to his lockdown play at the

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Eagle's Landing XC standouts Betty Jackson, left, and Devin Dixon grab gold again at Thursday's Henry County meet. (Special Photo)

SCBuzz Featured Co-Athletes of the Week: Eagle’s Landing cross country duo of Betty Jackson and Devin Dixon snag county crowns again

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Devin Dixon and Betty Jackson outrunning the competition in Henry County cross country championship meets is nothing new. But for their coach, Eagle’s Landing High’s Claud Spinks, seeing their duplicate success never gets old. The duo repeated as individual County champs this past Thursday at Hampton’s Nash Farm course

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Starr's Mill will look to experienced playmakers like rising-junior Rico Frye when the Panthers visit Newnan in its season opener. (File)

PREP FOOTBALL: Starr’s Mill’s return to option football pays off in Friday’s win over Drew

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — If on Friday night, after Starr’s Mill’s 43-25 win over Drew, Chad Phillips could’ve taken a poll of the same Starr’s Mill fans who scratched their heads at his return to an old offensive philosophy this season, the results would be interesting to behold. The Starr’s Mill Panthers

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Union Grove's Justin Ruffin became the first UGHS freshman to win gold at the 2015 traditional state wrestling meet this past February. (Jeff Hurndon Photography)

PREP WRESTLING: Union Grove defending state champion to battle Archer’s Chris Diaz in Who’s #1 All-Star Meet

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — While the high school football is turning the corner into the all-important region play highway, wrestling is getting ready to open the book for the 2015-16 season. And one defending state champion from the Southern Crescent area is prepping for a huge preseason meet. Union Grove (McDonough) sophomore

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Sandy Creek safety Javon Jackson leads a stingy Patriots defense to Auburn, Ala. Friday against one of Alabama's top teams. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL Predictions: ELCA, Sandy Creek, Mundy’s Mill have ‘statement game’ opportunities this week

Say it ain’t so. The 2015 high school football season is almost at its midpoint already. It just goes too fast, doesn’t it? So far it’s been an exciting year, full of long-playing story lines, upstart teams trying to fit into the November/December Cinderella slipper and the emergence of some of Georgia’s biggest football talents

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Eagle's Landing senior Antonio Gibson has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his first three games. He took back a 94 yard kick returner last Friday in the Eagles' 17-7 win over then-No. 4 Jonesboro. (PHOTO: Dave Williamson)

FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS: Eagle’s Landing-Spalding headlines this week’s high school football picks

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com It’s not a week full of marquee match ups, but some intriguing games still show up on the schedule. I call this Set Up Week. Because with wins this week, several teams will set themselves up to have some very special second halves of the season. Let’s get right to the

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Coach Nick Davis said the key to Spalding's program turnaround has been the buy-in he's gotten from his current class of seniors. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Spalding High School coach Nick Davis starting to see the fruits of his turnaround campaign

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com GRIFFIN, Ga. — According to Spalding football coach Nick Davis, if you want to gauge the readiness of his Jaguars squad for Friday’s big Region 4-AAAA contest against Eagle’s Landing, check the hair on his players’ arms. And do it on game day at about 3:18 p.m. As Davis addressed his

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The Eagle's Landing football team stands with the first ever Joe Teknipp trophy, henceforth given to the winner of the Annual FCA Gridiron Classic. Eagle's Landing defeated No. 4 Jonesboro 17-7 this past Friday. (PHOTO: Dave Williamson)

PHOTOS | JONESBORO vs. EAGLE’S LANDING: Eight things we learned from the third annual FCA Gridiron Classic

      By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Eight Things We Learned from Jonesboro vs. Eagle’s Landing 1. Eagle’s Landing is not just a team full of fast guys. The Golden Eagles have team speed arguably comparable to that of Sandy Creek, and those two teams are probably the only ones on Jonesboro’s schedule that can

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The newly named Joe Teknipp Trophy will be what Eagle's Landing and Jonesboro play for in Friday night's third annual FCA Gridiron Classic at Eagle's Landing. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Week 4 games highlighted by FCA Gridiron Classic with Jonesboro, Eagle’s Landing

I apologize for being tardy to the football prediction party. This was a hectic week for the Stovall clan, but such is the life of a tri-vocational sportswriter with a wife and four year old son. But I’m here, about five hours before kickoff of one of the biggest weeks of the season and one

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Furman-bound scoring guard Jordan Lyons has wrapped-up his high school career, but not before leading McIntosh to another fantastic season as a senior (File)

PREP BASKETBALL: McIntosh guard Jordan Lyons verbally commits to Furman

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — McIntosh sharpshooter Jordan Lyons announced his final three choices last week. And in less than a week, he took to Twitter to officially end his college recruitment. The Decision pic.twitter.com/NIy7mzONri — Jordan Lyons ™ (@J_Lyons_23) September 8, 2015     Lyons helped the Chiefs to a

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Patrick Skov, the Stanford transfer fullback, had 12 carries for 72 yards and three scores in his first Georgia Tech start Thursday against Alcorn State. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL: Stanford transfer Patrick Skov adds extra punch to Paul Johnson’s option offense

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — It was all new last Thursday for Patrick Skov. Everything from his brand new role at a brand new school in a brand new offense, down to his first time sitting in front of press row after his Georgia Tech debut against Alcorn State, as evidenced by his

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A healthy A.J. Moses could help Spalding bounce back Friday night against Riverdale. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RECAP: A big upset for Spalding, and Eagle’s Landing, Jonesboro stay perfect ahead of Friday showdown

    The Labor Day weekend gave us an extra day to kind of put together a recap package of all the action from a busy four days of high school and college football in the area. Each week has it’s own intrigue, even when there aren’t a ton of marquee games on the slate.

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GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL: No. 16 Yellow Jackets minutes away from season opening kickoff against Alcorn State

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — It’s a beautiful opening night for college football, though with the rain that moved through the area, such a forecast was  at one point in doubt. Skies We’re about 10 minutes away from kickoff for the No. 16 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ season opener against Alcorn State. The

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Starr's Mill senior Satchel Goodrich has become an all-purpose star for the fifth-ranked Panthers. (PHOTO: Chris Dunn | CD Photography)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Starr’s Mill’s Satchel Goodrich extends family’s football love while ‘giving God glory’

                                            Check out Starr’s Mill senior Satchel Goodrich’s 2014 highlight reel: By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Football comes naturally to Satchel Goodrich. His dad and grandfather both played and coached, as did

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Jonesboro will look to build on its 2015 season while playing some of the Southern Crescent's most talented teams in 2016. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

VIDEO | JONESBORO at SANDY CREEK: A look back on the Southern Crescent Buzz’s Game of the Week

VIDEO: Coach Tim Floyd addresses his team after Friday’s 17-15 upset win over No. 5 Sandy Creek. By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — Jonesboro went on the road and did it’s best basketball team impersonation. Of course, Cardinals senior cornerback Jordan Griffin won’t want to hear that comparison. “We’re tired of people calling us

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Quarterback Kaziah Hall, left, and senior tailback Khalid Hylton make up a potentially potent 1-2 punch for the Mundy's Mill offense. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GAME DAY: Mundy’s Mill tandem of quarterback Kaziah Hall and running back Khalid Hylton hope to power past Lovejoy

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com HAMPTON, Ga. — Check Greg Manior’s pillow and mattress to find out how he feels about this year’s Mundy’s Mill football team. “With you guys, with this group of guys, I have peace at night,” Manior said when addressing his team after Wednesday’s practice. “I can sleep at night.” His words

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Jonesboro's Zerrick Cooper missed all of last season -- including last year's Sandy Creek game -- with a knee injury. (File)

GAME DAY: Jonesboro quarterback Zerrick Cooper looking to make up for last year against Sandy Creek

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — What a difference a year makes. And on what Jonesboro football is calling “Sandy Creek week,”  the exact magnitude of difference can be easily measured by the smile on Zerrick Cooper’s face. Cooper was lighthearted and jovial as he threw passes to senior cornerback Jordan Griffin after

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Whitewater senior DB/RB Ian McIntyre will likely carry his young Wildcats team early in the season. (PHOTO: Michael Clifton | kombatkamera.com

PREP FOOTBALL: Whitewater youth movement looks to kick off successful 2015 campaign against in-county rival Starr’s Mill

By Mary Ramsaier FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — After dismantling Starr’s Mill 43-21 in last season’s opener, the Whitewater Wildcats will seek to prowl over them again. Whitewater will kick off its season Friday against in-county rival Starr’s Mill at home in what will be the season opener for both programs, and Wildcats senior Captain, Ian McIntyre,

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ELCA quarterback D.J. Hammond, III feels like a seasoned veteran in his second year running the Chargers' offense. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Friday’s ELCA-Stockbridge football game could become a battle of seasoned quarterbacks

By James Butler STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — The two current giants in Henry County football will meet Friday night as Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy travels to Stockbridge. ELCA, the only Henry County football team to win a state championship, lost in the state title game a season ago — despite starting the season with an 0-6

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Jonesboro tailback Montralius Mosley (6) is averaging close to 130 yards rushing per game. (File)

Jonesboro, Sandy Creek engaging in Twitter tiff ahead of Friday’s marquee football game

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Well, they haven’t held back from talking about it, so we won’t either. Still five days remain before Jonesboro and Sandy Creek lock horns in Tyrone Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. But the pre-game drama has already begun on Twitter with several Sandy Creek and Jonesboro players doing a little

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Sandy Creek's dominant performance in Friday's 41-0 Corky Kell Classic win over Creekview has catapulted the Patriots into legitimate title talk. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Sandy Creek football answers many questions Friday against Creekview, several others still linger

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com With a couple of days gone by to pour over stats and re-watch footage of Sandy Creek’s 41-0 pasting of Creekview this past Friday at the Corky Kell Classic, it appears — at least for a week — that the Patriots have answered a few questions about their 2015

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ELCA coach Jonathan Gess wants to pick up a win tonight against a big-class foe tonight. (File)

PREP FOOTBALL ROUNDUP | ELCA, Stockbridge win openers ahead of next week’s head-to-head matchup

STOCKBRIDGE STUFFS CENTRAL (Ala.) AT BUZZER STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley overcame a nasty case of deja vu before pushing toward a 13-6 win over Central Phenix (Ala.) Friday night. Just as last year when Stockbridge traveled to Central, the Alabama state title contender struck first on the scoreboard. This time it came

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Union Grove's junior shortstop Skylar Mosel smashed a team-leading 11 home runs in 2014 to help the Wolverines to a Class AAAAA Final Four finish. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Union Grove’s Skylar Mosel learning how to lead

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — When Lee Kicklighter talked about his Union Grove softball team early in the 2014 season after it just defeated Northgate, he paused in his post game analysis long enough to mention a budding star. Her name was Skylar Mosel. “You’ve got to keep an eye out

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The Jonesboro Cardinals take the field for the first time in 2015.

PREP FOOTBALL: A closer look at Friday’s Jonesboro vs. Woodland scrimmage

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Ultimately, high school football scrimmages carry the same objectives as that of NFL preseason games. Get some players some real time action in a game that doesn’t mean anything to postseason aspirations. Find out if your summer time playmakers play with the same fervor and fury with

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Woodland senior linebacker Shelby Poss is ready to lead the Wolfpack defense toward a playoff berth in 2015. (PHOTOS: Kathy Browning)

PREP FOOTBALL: Woodland senior linebacker Shelby Poss gets ‘vocal’ about the Wolfpack’s 2015 potential

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Shelby Poss is probably the closest thing you’ll get to a fifth-year senior in high school. The Woodland linebacker struts around the field during practice and in games, unapologetically — and without hesitation — getting in his teammates’ faces, challenging them to take their intensity to another level.

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Dale Myers was officially named Forest Park's new head football coach Monday morning. (PHOTO: Jenay Myers)

PREP FOOTBALL: Forest Park names Dale Myers as new head coach

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FOREST PARK, Ga. — For the 10th time in the last 13 seasons, Forest Park High School will welcome a new head football coach. After former coach Reginald Austin abruptly resigned Thursday, citing family reasons, Forest Park principal Derrick Manning called up an old assistant in Dale Myers to lead

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While on his official visit, Jonesboro RT Jeff Taylor pledged his services to Colorado State Saturday. (File)

PREP FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Jonesboro’s Jeff Taylor commits to Colorado State, hopes to bring ‘Georgia mentality’ to Fort Collins

                                                By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com On Saturday evening, while still on his official visit to Colorado State, Jeff Taylor did as many highly recruited high school football players do when it’s time

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Korey_Banks

Sandy Creek’s Korey Banks says North Carolina ‘wants me the most,’ wants career in pharmacy after football

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — Sometimes when a top shelf high school football recruit cites “educational opportunities” as their first reason for picking a school, you may doubt that recruit’s authenticity. Don’t do that with Korey Banks. The 6-foot speedster and rising senior wideout from Sandy Creek High committed to North Carolina this

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North Clayton's Kindle Vildor became the 13th member of Georgia Southern's 2016 football recruiting class Friday. (File)

PREP FOOTBALL: North Clayton DB Kindle Vildor commits to Georgia Southern

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — One word describes North Clayton defensive back Kindle Vildor’s college commitment. GATA. That’s one of Georgia Southern’s most recognizable rallying cries, and Vildor will apparently hear about four years worth of it, as the rising senior took to Twitter to publicly commit to the reigning Sun Belt

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North Clayton's Kindle Vildor, right, will make his college selection known Saturday. (Special Photo)

PREP FOOTBALL: North Clayton’s Kindle Vildor summarizes his top six college choices on the eve of making his pick | OPINION POLL

                                            By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Kindle Vildor started the football offseason with zero offers. He’s now sitting at 15. The North Clayton defensive back has sky-rocketed onto the recruiting scene

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Former Whitewater ace pitcher Jake Lee is ready to make the leap in earnest to Georgia Tech. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GEORGIA TECH BASEBALL: Jake Lee, Austin Wilhite transitioning from baseball foes to friends

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ALPHARETTA, Ga. — It’s been just a little over two months since Jake Lee played his last high school baseball game at Whitewater, and he’s already getting accustomed to the college life. He’s learning all of the skills necessary for making it as a pitcher at a big time Division I

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The highlight of the Randy Moss Academy receivers camp for many participants was the former NFL star's hands-on approach with the players. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Randy Moss Academy campers benefit from ‘hands on’ approach from former NFL star

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Randy Moss and the dozen campers that participated in this past weekend’s Randy Moss Academy receivers camp shared one major commonality. They were all drenched in Georgia summer-induced sweat on the turf of the Stockbridge football field before 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning, as temperatures pushed 90 degrees

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Sandy Creek rising senior Korey Banks pledged his services to North Carolina Monday night. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Sandy Creek athlete Korey Banks, Jr. commits to North Carolina

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — One of the Southern Crescent’s emerging football talents put an end to his college recruitment process Monday night. Sandy Creek athlete Korey Banks took to Twitter to announce his commitment to North Carolina. HEELYEAH @__KB7 @ChipWalkerSC @SCHSFootball pic.twitter.com/aO8IMrImWx — Korey Banks (@__KB7) July 21, 2015 Banks, who had

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Jonesboro's Kali James ended his college football search by committing to Campbell University after a Saturday visit. (File)

PREP FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Jonesboro DT Kali James signs with Campbell University

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — What a difference a few months can make. Kali James will be the first to testify to the validity of that statement after the rising senior Jonesboro defensive tackle went to Buies Creek, NC, home of Campbell University, for a visit Saturday. Campbell head football coach Mike Minter

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Joe Teknipp had a room full of football memories in his McDonough home.

JOE TEKNIPP: Chronicling Eagle’s Landing football coach’s journey ‘home’

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com As soon as you walk into the Teknipp home — if you go through their garage — you’ll immediately know that you’ve walked into a football family. If you’re privileged enough, however, to make it past the garage to the kitchen table, you’ll also know that you’ve walked into the home

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From left, junior pitcher Mallie Brown, senior Danielle Castleberry, coach Kelli Poff and senior Lexee Emanuel say its state title or bust in their last go-round together.  (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP SOFTBALL: Woodland softball seniors want to make last season together special

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Think it not strange that at least seven members of the Woodland High softball team are already shedding tears as if it’s the end of the season. They’re the seniors and they can’t help it. They’re already thinking about the reality that, with three weeks before it takes

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Jonesboro CB Jordan Griffin was named the best of the best during this past weekend's Cam Newton 7-on-7 passing league tournament. (File)

PREP FOOTBALL: Jonesboro CB and Kentucky commit Jordan Griffin wins MVP Award at Cam Newton 7-on-7 tournament

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — The last time Jordan Griffin and Cam Newton crossed paths, the Carolina Panthers star quarterback was giving the Jonesboro corner a pick-me-up. Griffin and his Jonesboro squad just lost in the Cam Newton 7-on-7 Passing League tournament at Atlanta’s Westlake High School, and the rising senior

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Joe Teknipp (PHOTO: Derrick Mahone)

BRIAN PAGLIA: Joe Teknipp’s pride in his Eagle’s Landing football family was evident

  This column represents part of thecrescentbuzz.com’s continuing coverage this week on the life, legacy and impact of Eagle’s Landing football coach Joe Teknipp who passed away last Saturday following a bout with stomach cancer. Brian Paglia is a former sports writer at the Henry Daily Herald newspaper in McDonough, Ga. who covered Teknipp and Eagle’s

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Former Jonesboro and Tennessee star Cam Sutton should find himself in a pretty favorable position once the NFL Draft comes in April. (File Photo)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Jonesboro alum and Tennessee standout Cameron Sutton getting preseason accolades

  Nobody in Jonesboro, Clayton County or any place in South Metro Atlanta for that matter will have to be convinced of Cam Sutton’s elite talent. But now the whole college football world is starting to take notice. Sutton’s name is popping up on more than just one preseason list tasked with chronicling the nation’s

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Curt Miller, former Ola High School Athletic Director, will soon settle in as the Athletic Director over all Henry County Schools and sports. (File)

Ola High AD Curt Miller moving on, softball coach Gidget Gue to take his place

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — After what he called eight “fulfilling” years as a boys basketball coach and athletic director at Ola High School, Curt Miller is moving on. Thank you OLA Nation for the past 8 yrs! I accepted a new position with Henry Co. Schools. Great school, people and community! #THANKYOU

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Members of the football team dispersed to light every candle in the school's football stadium during Sunday's candlelight vigil in memory of the late coach Joe Teknipp. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

EAGLE’S LANDING HIGH SCHOOL: Hundreds gather for emotional candlelight vigil in memory of Eagle’s Landing football coach Joe Teknipp

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — “Eagle’s Landing High School cannot replace Joe Teknipp,” Eagle’s Landing principal Gabe Crerie said to about 400 people who gathered at the Eagle’s Landing football stadium Sunday night to pay homage to its fallen coach. Normally journalism etiquette says it is improper to use a direct quote from

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Christian Turner and a talented Sandy Creek team hope to find their rhythm as the season progresses.  (File Photo)

PREP BASKETBALL: Q&A With Sandy Creek and Heat Check point guard Christian Turner

TYRONE, Ga. – Christian Turner technically isn’t a senior yet, but the Sandy Creek star point guard has already found himself in the midst of some senior year-shaping moments. He’s followed up a successful junior season with the kind of play in summer AAU ball that’s got people inserting his name into their conversations about

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Legends cars coming around turn two during last week's Thursday Thunder action at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

JAMES BUTLER: Thursday Thunder, Atlanta Motor Speedway experiences a first for this sports writer

As a sportswriter since 2006, I have covered just about any sport you can name, including auto-racing. While I have provided live coverage on a great deal of these sports — including auto racing — I had never covered a live racing event until this past Thursday at the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Thursday Thunder. Five

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Jensen, left, and Taylor Jorgensen take pride in the strides they are making toward a tandem NASCAR career. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Jorgensen siblings primed to make brother-sister noise in NASCAR circuits based on grassroots racing success

  By James Butler HAMPTON, Ga. — Family connections have seemingly forever been a part of NASCAR. From the Pettys to the Earnhardts to the Buschs, drivers that were kin have been linked and have seen their family names go on to represent a worthy status. However, there have been few sister-brother combos to make

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ELCA's Chandler Reeves (Special Photo)

GABRIEL STOVALL: It’s not all about football for ELCA’s Clemson football commit Chandler Reeves

McDONOUGH, Ga. — Clemson Family, there’s something you should know about your newest football commit, Chandler Reeves. Football comes last. Now don’t take that as a slight to the importance of the sport — particularly on the collegiate level in Clemson, SC. It’s also not a slight to the vast tradition of Tiger football. He’s

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Whitewater senior safety/tailback Ian McIntyre is being called the team's unquestioned leader in 2015. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Whitewater’s Ian McIntyre becoming a ‘coach on the field’ for inexperienced Wildcats

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Ian McIntyre’s appetite has grown quite substantially since the Whitewater Wildcats played their last football game. The rising senior defensive back and running back is hungry for the football, and he’s not ashamed to say that he wants to touch it more than he did last season. “I

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Sandy Creek players, from left, Javon Jackson, Korey Banks, Ian Barnes and Marvin Hubbard are all expecting big things from the 2015 squad. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Sandy Creek football’s Korey Banks: ‘State championships are an expectation’ for Patriots

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — Chip Walker calls it Sandy Creek speed. It’s the moniker the veteran Sandy Creek football coach gave to Ian Barnes, Korey Banks, Marvin Hubbard and Eric Swinney, the members of Sandy Creek’s 2015 Class AAAA champion 4×100 relay team. The foursome’s second straight state gold medal in this

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Incoming Griffin High freshman Tru Thompson recently received his first football scholarship offer from Florida State. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: Incoming Griffin Bears freshman Tru Thompson staying humble after Florida State football offer

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com GRIFFIN, Ga. — When Tru Thompson got his first offer from Florida State this past Friday after participating in a three-day camp in Tallahassee, he was speechless. “I was shocked,” Thompson said. “I didn’t really say anything. I was just smiling.” Fast forward several days, and Thompson had plenty to say

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The Lovejoy Wildcats won the first Adidas 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament, formerly known as the Southside Shootout, at Warren Holder Park in Locust Grove last summer. Longtime tournament host Clint Satterfield says he's glad to see it grow. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

PREP FOOTBALL: Photo Page from Lovejoy’s win over Dutchtown in inaugural Adidas 7-on-7 State Championship Tournament

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — If their performance in this past week’s inaugural Adidas State Championship 7-on-7 passing league tournament is any indication, the rumors of Lovejoy football’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Wildcats hoisted the first Adidas State Championship trophy, and earned the right — along with three other Georgia teams at the tournament

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Jonesboro's Zerrick Cooper missed all of last season -- including last year's Sandy Creek game -- with a knee injury. (File)

Q&A With Jonesboro football QB and Elite 11 Quarterback Camp participant Zerrick Cooper

Jonesboro quarterback and Clemson commitment Zerrick Cooper isn’t one of the best high school signal callers in the nation just because his friends, family and coaches at home say so. Others who deem themselves as gurus of high school football talent think so as well, hence Cooper’s participation in the 2015 Elite 11 Quarterback Camp

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ELCA's Daz Cameron was selected by the Houston Astros organization with the 37th pick Monday during the opening day of the MLB Draft. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

MLB DRAFT 2015: ELCA’s Dazmon Cameron’s second-round selection to the Houston Astros makes ELCA coaches proud, relieved

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. – As the first round picks came and went Monday night during the Major League Baseball Draft of 2015, Doug Campbell found himself scooting further and further toward the edge of his seat. He didn’t expect to still be watching for the name Dazmon Cameron, arguably the top baseball talent

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Woodland rising junior CB Yusuf Corker is one of the state's emerging defensive back prospects. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: VIDEO| Yusuf Corker putting himself, Woodland football on the map

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Yusuf Corker’s got a couple of standouts on his highlight reel already, and he hasn’t started his junior season yet. It’s a testament to his talent, really — the fact that it didn’t take long to figure out that Corker was something special. College football blue

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BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Jonesboro’s Tracy Hector makes pledge to Kennesaw State

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Tracy Hector had some options in the works to help keep his dream of playing college basketball alive if he didn’t receive the right college offer. Gratefully, he won’t need them. The 6-foot-6 Jonesboro hooper committed to Kennesaw State Friday afternoon, using Twitter to break the news. Give

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Jonesboro rising senior Jordan Griffin said he and his fellow seniors are more equipped to be team leaders in 2015. (PHOTO: Derrick Mahone)

PREP FOOTBALL: Jonesboro’s Jordan Griffin ready to take on leadership role in 2015

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com ATLANTA, Ga. — The tears streaming down Jordan Griffin’s face may have seemed a bit much than what the setting required. The Jonesboro football team just lost 28-20 to Langston Hughes in the Friday semifinals of the Annual Cam Newton 7-on-7 Passing League tournament held at Westlake High. It was the

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Jensen and Taylor Jorgensen have been two of the winningest Thursday Thunder drivers over the last several years. (File)

THURSDAY THUNDER: Atlanta Motor Speedway’s most popular grassroots racing series ready for its 18th season

By James Butler HAMPTON, Ga. — Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark helped kick off another Thursday Thunder Legends Series season as the AMS held its Media Day for the grassroots series and racers were allowed to practice for the first time on Wednesday. “This is always an exciting time for the competitors,” Clark said.

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The acronym slogan that set the tone for Whitewater baseball's team chemistry, on its way to a second straight state runner-up finish. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Whitewater baseball lost the Class AAAA title on the scoreboard but won according to the sign in the dugout

APIVEO. That’s been the mantra. That’s been the theme for the 2015 Whitewater Baseball Wildcats. Always Play For Each Other. The sign hangs in the home team’s dugout. It’s been there all season. It’s been the rallying cry. A source of encouragement to help navigate through the doldrums that come with every regular season, no

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Mount Zion graduate Shakia Spencer signs his letter of intent to play football at Arkansas Baptist on his last day of high school. (Special Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Mount Zion’s Shakia Spencer makes most of first year of football, signs with Arkansas Baptist

By James Butler Typically the last day of school is not a day in which one expects a high school football player to sign a letter of intent to his future college. Even if it happens chances are the signee doesn’t have more potential than Mount Zion’s Shakia Spencer. Spencer, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive tackle,

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Ola head football coach Jared Zito, left, has found his new weight program to have both tangible and intangible benefits on his athletes. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

PREP FOOTBALL: PHOTOS | Ola safety Marcus Watkins finds ‘sunshine’ in football coach Jared Zito’s weight room

  This will be the first in a three-part series of stories that will take an inside look into second-year Ola Mustangs football coach Jared Zito and how the overhaul he’s brought to the strength and conditioning program is changing the Mustangs’ outlook on football and life. By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — When

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From left, Gabrielle Younginer, Detrich Lodge and Beyunka Foster with their coaches during Monday's signing ceremony. Three seniors all signed letters of intent for track. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL TRACK: Eagle’s Landing girls track seniors leave legacy behind

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Claud Spinks effortlessly rattled off the achievements of his Eagle’s Landing girls track and field team’s senior class — particularly the three who signed college scholarships Monday morning. First region track championship in school history. State runner-up finish. Several other top 10 state finishes. Multiple county crowns and

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Devin Dixon won his second consecutive Class 4A 800-meter State Championship a year ago, and will be going for a three-peat at this week's state meet. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Eagle’s Landing’s Devin Dixon now setting sights higher than state championships

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — What a difference a year makes. This time last year Eagle’s Landing’s Devin Dixon emerged on the scene from nowhere as a top track athlete in the 800 meters. He solidified that reputation by winning a state championship in the event as a sophomore, during his first

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Soon-to-be Lovejoy graduate Randy Robinson got his first taste of coaching during the Wildcats' 10-day spring football session. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Former Lovejoy Wildcat lineman Randy Robinson lives up to ‘good guy’ image

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com LOVEJOY, Ga. — If you haven’t paid attention lately to Randy Robinson’s Twitter page, his Twitter name will tell you all he wants you to know about how he wants to be remembered at Lovejoy. It says “Randy The Good Guy.” But don’t call it hubris or egotistical. It actually took

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Riverdale DE prospect Chidi Okonya, who de-committed from Tennessee Sunday night, is expected to take an official visit to Duke this weekend. (File Photo)

SPRING FOOTBALL: Riverdale DE Chidi Okonya picks Tennessee

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — Riverdale’s Chidi Okonya is the latest Southern Crescent football athlete to pledge his services to Tennessee. In a brief ceremony following Riverdale’s spring game, Okonya made public the decision to become the 10th commit to the SEC school’s 2016 recruiting class —  a decision that he’d privately held

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Starr's Mill's Laura Yoss, left, battles for a ball against a Northgate player during a regular season match. The two teams will play again Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Macon for the Class AAAAA championship. (PHOTO: Gary Peruifoy)

Starr’s Mill girls soccer looking for redemption in Class AAAAA championship game

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Don’t call it unfinished business. At least that’s what Starr’s Mill girls soccer coach John Bowen says. It’s more like a long-awaited business trip. The Lady Panthers are making its second trip to the Class AAAAA finals in as many years, looking for its first state championship since

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The first Woodland lacrosse team won just two games but saw lots of unexpected progress this past season. (Special Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL LACROSSE: First-year Woodland girls lacrosse program finds unlikely success

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — It was April Fool’s Day when Woodland’s first-year girls lacrosse team defeated Tri-Cities for the first win in program history. Naturally, given the expectations of the fledging program, the Lady Wolfpack wanted to be ready to combat anyone looking at the scoreboard on that day with the temptation

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Union Grove coach Craig Melton, left, demonstrates a blocking scheme with one of his players during a recent spring practice. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SPRING FOOTBALL: Union Grove football ready to move on from disappointing 2014 season

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — In the psyche of young athletes, It’s often fashionable to use the disappointment of a previous disappointing season as fodder to get amped for the next season. Union Grove’s Alex Petry doesn’t like fashion. Just in case you hadn’t heard, the Wolverines have a new football coach

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The Starr's Mill Lady Panther soccer team had thrilling moments on their way to winning the Class 5A State Title a year ago. This year, Starr's Mill is in prime position to repeat. (PHOTO: Gary Peruifoy)

HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Starr’s Mill Lady Panthers knock off Greenbrier, punch ticket to second straight state championship game

Special to thecrescentbuzz.com By John Bowen & Staff Reports EVANS, Ga. — The Starr’s Mill Lady Panthers are headed back to a place of potential redemption. Thanks to a 4-2 semifinals win at Greenbrier Tuesday night, the Starr’s Mill was able to punch its ticket to its second straight Class AAAAA championship game. Last year

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Woodland's Kayla Mitchell averaged close to six points per game in valuable minutes for the Region 4-AAAAA runner-up Lady Wolfpack. (Special Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Woodland’s Kayla Mitchell commits to Brenau University

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Kayla Mitchell took to Twitter Monday night to make her college choice known. But if you’ve read it, it might have made you reach for a box of tissue. The senior guard from Woodland High committed to Brenau University School of Nursing, and the verbiage of her announcement

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McIntosh senior Duke Kinamon's .507 batting average and .892 fielding percentage was enough to give him Region 4-AAAAA Player of the Year distinction. (PHOTO: Michael Clifton | Kombatkamera.com

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Starr’s Mill’s Adam Goodman, McIntosh’s Duke Kinamon swipe top All-Region 4-AAAAA honors

  A pair of Fayette County players swept the All-Region 4-AAAAA’s top honors, while a Henry County coach was recognized as the region’s best. McIntosh’s Duke Kinamon grabbed player of the year honors in Region 4-AAAAA while Starr’s Mill pitcher Adam Goodman took home the top pitcher award. Both players led their teams to standout

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Whitewater's Noelle Parker won her third straight state title in the shot put, while setting a state record in the process. (Special Photo)

GIRLS STATE TRACK MEET: Our Lady of Mercy wins Class A crown, Southern Crescent sees over a dozen individual champs

ALBANY, Ga. — Hugh Mills Stadium was the site where Southern Crescent area track teams strutted their stuff in impressive fashion during the 2015 state track & field meet Friday and Saturday. In all, the four-county area saw 14 of its athletes take home individual state championships, while Our Lady of Mercy out of Fayetteville

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Stockbridge boys 4x100 team, from left: Jamari Clark, Artemus Mitchell, Danang Rockett, Jacob Pinch and Nic Palmer want to make up for last year's lost opportunity. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Stockbridge boys, girls 4×100 squads ready to run for gold at State

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — What a difference a year makes. That’s the feeling around Stockbridge High School when it comes to the boys 4×100 relay team of Artemus Mitchell, Jamari Clark, Jacob Pinch, Danang Rockett and alternate Nic Palmer. Rockett and Clark were around for the 2014 track and field season when

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Jake Lee (File Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Whitewater’s Jake Lee named Region 5-AAAA Pitcher of the Year, 16 Fayette County players make all-region squad

                            FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — The Whitewater Wildcats have spent much of the 2015 season being considered the best Class AAAA team in Georgia, and their presence on the All-Region 5-AAAA team roster seem to validate that claim. The Wildcats placed six players

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Quarterbacks Grant Hurston, left, and Bryant Walker will spend the spring and summer battling for the No. 1 quarterback job at Sandy Creek. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SPRING FOOTBALL: Sandy Creek football quarterback spot will be up for grabs

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com TYRONE, Ga. — When the Sandy Creek football team took the field Tuesday evening for its first spring practice of the 2015 season, many things were as they’d always been. The presence of smoke coming from the grill where the football team’s booster club prepared hot dogs and hamburgers to

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Forest Park soccer standout Federico Allen is one of three Panthers named to the All-Region 4-AAAAA first team. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: Forest Park boys soccer a lesson in ‘chemistry’

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FOREST PARK, Ga. — Boris Rodas knew how to sum up his soccer coach’s philosophy in one succinct sentence. “Good enough is not good enough,” Rodas said after Forest Park’s Tuesday practice. “That’s what coach Shane Pulliam always says. We’ve got to be improving ourselves every day.” That’s why the Forest

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Jeff Ware, left, and Dawan McKinzie sort out rosters before taking the court during an open gym basketball outreach this past Sunday at Mount Zion Baptist Church-Jonesboro. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Mount Zion Baptist Church-Jonesboro jumping through hoops to reach community for Christ

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — When it all began, Jeff Ware probably didn’t expect to see what he saw during the most recent Sunday morning worship at Mount Zion Baptist Church-Jonesboro. A young man — somewhere around the 25-year old Ware’s age — got baptized. And while baptisms at the church are nothing

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ELCA's Chandler Reeves (Special Photo)

ScBUZZ FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: ELCA’s Chandler Reeves beginning to show up on recruiting radars | VIDEO

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Maryland, Cal, Syracuse, Navy, Army, Troy, Charlotte. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the current list of Division I schools coming after the services of perhaps one of the Southern Crescent’s most underrated offensive tackles. Throw in an interested Tennessee — a school that, unlike the aforementioned six, has

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Former Ola High standout Tre McBride became the first Ola High School alum to be selected in a major professional sport's draft Saturday when the Tennessee Titans selected the wideout in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. (File Photo)

NFL DRAFT: Southern Crescent trio Amarlo Herrera, Tre McBride, Xzavier Dickson find homes in 2015 NFL Draft

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — When it looked like former Ola football star Tre McBride was going to miss getting picked in the 2015 NFL Draft, his old athletic director and basketball coach wanted to take matters into his own hands. He went to Twitter and tagged McBride in a message that

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Whitewater senior Jake Lee says he loves details, especially when it comes to baseball. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Whitewater senior, Georgia Tech signee Jake Lee has a sharp mind for baseball

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Jake Lee is a man of details. He somehow remembers exactly when he expressed his initial interest in the game of baseball. “I picked up my first baseball and made my dad sign me up for rec league when I was two,” Lee said, then followed his

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Union Grove senior Shane Tucker inks his letter of intent with Georgia during Tuesday's signing ceremony where seven other Wolverine baseball players also made their college choices sure. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Union Grove’s Shane Tucker signs with Georgia, pitching with new perspective

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Shane Tucker’s got a little chip on his shoulder about the perception of Union Grove baseball. It was clearly heard Tuesday afternoon when Tucker waxed reminiscent about his four-year career at the school, recounting what he called the high-water mark of his time as a Wolverine. It should

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Eagle's Landing senior Alexis High goes into this weekend's track & field sectionals riding the momentum of being Region 4-AAAA champion in shot-put and discus. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Eagle’s Landing’s Alexis High having a track & field change of heart

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH — Don’t look now, but Alexis High the track and field athlete is catching up with Alexis High the basketball player. High once had a dream to play basketball in college. But now, more than ever, her thoughts are turning toward excelling on the track. And Eagle’s Landing track coach

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Jonesboro's Austin Donaldson sent off his papers Tuesday morning that officially made him a member of the Georgia State men's basketball program. (File Photo: Steve Knight)

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Jonesboro’s Austin Donaldson signs with Georgia State

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — The secret is now out. Austin Donaldson is a Georgia State Panther. Just 10 days after getting a release from his letter of intent to Chattanooga, and after one workout with his high school teammates with 21 coaches — many from Division I programs — the all-state point

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Georgia Elite Sports Academy president Kennard Turner and board member Tyron Williams have helped spearhead an organization designed to holistically build youth through sports. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Georgia Elite Sports Academy developing young athletes despite difficulties

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — Tyron Williams looked on, just behind the group of 11 and 12 year olds playing flag football as if he were their head coach. Standing tall, arms crossed. Dark sunglasses on so that his facial expressions could not be seen. He wasn’t just watching some pick-up game in the park featuring

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Stockbridge quarterback Malachi Brown's two touchdown bombs were the difference Friday night against Central Phenix (Ala.) (File)

Stockbridge football players anxious to get 2015 season preparations underway

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — They haven’t graduated high school yet, but they’re already playing on Sundays. A handful of returning Stockbridge football players — as well as two who are set to graduate next month — couldn’t wait until May 11 to get out on the football field again. Monday May 11

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The Whitewater Wildcats won their fifth game against a national top 50 team by claiming the Region 5-AAAA crown Friday in a 4-3 win over Troup County. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Whitewater claims Region 5-AAAA championship over Troup County

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Make no mistake about it. State championship is the chief Whitewater goal. But don’t think for a second that the Wildcats (20-4, 13-1) didn’t want to close out Troup County in proper fashion in Friday night’s Region 5-AAAA championship game at Whitewater High School. And closing the

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The Starr's Mill Panthers' 5-4 win over Union Grove Thursday night gave them their 18th victory in the last 20 games.

REGION 4-AAAAA BASEBALL: Starr’s Mill outlasts Union Grove for Region crown | PHOTO GALLERY

For two days that featured three competitive games, Union Grove and Starr’s Mill battled for Region 4-AAAAA baseball supremacy. And the two teams fought as if they were two of the top-ranked teams in Class AAAAA, which they are. In the end, it was Starr’s Mill prevailing 5-4 over the Wolverines in the deciding Game

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The Union Grove girls golf team of Hannah Gasaway, Jayla McCrae, Peyton Brannon and Tiffany Thomas captured the school's first team region golf title. (Special Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: Union Grove girls, Hannah Gasaway, McIntosh boys are Region 4-AAAAA champs

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. — Southern Crescent golf teams flexed their muscles Tuesday during the Region 4-AAAAA golf tournament at Heron Bay Golf Club. For the girls, it was Union Grove making history by winning the Region 4-AAAA team title, and junior standout Hannah Gasaway continued her torrid pace this season by picking up the individual

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Jonesboro’s Austin Donaldson released from LOI with Chattanooga, re-opens recruitment

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — Good news for college coaches and recruiters who missed out on the Austin Donaldson sweepstakes. The all-state point guard from back-to-back Class AAAA champion Jonesboro is back on the market again, thanks to the departure of Chattanooga’s Will Wade who was tabbed to two weeks ago to replace

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Morrow senior softball player Erika Dargan became the first Lady Mustang to sign a scholarship letter of intent in coach Candice Jones' 10-year tenure. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Morrow softball standout Erika Dargan

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com MORROW, Ga. — Excuse Erika Dargan for walking around the Morrow High campus with a little extra swag last week. Dargan signed a softball letter of intent to Benedict College in Columbia, SC last Wednesday during Morrow’s signing day ceremonies. But a lot of people were signing letters of intent

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Former Woodland girls basketball coach Ashley Maddox, far right, stands holding his son_______, with wife ________ and daughter________beside him. (Special Photo)

GABRIEL STOVALL: The lives in sports must always be bigger than the sports in life

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Every now and then sports life deals us a blow that reminds us that, although sports is life, life is more than just sports. Two poignant reminders of this fact penetrated me this past weekend. One, a picture of a man who considered his family more important than his hoop

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Morrow's 2015 Spring Signing Day class. Front row from left: Kennon Davis, Erika Dargan, Courtland White and Ashley World. Back row from left, football coach Larry Foster, softball coach Candice Jones and girls basketball and cross country coach Anthony McKissic. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SIGNING DAY: Morrow High signs five student-athletes during Wednesday’s Spring Signing Day period

    MORROW, Ga. — The Morrow Mustangs saw five student-athletes ink college scholarship offers Wednesday during the Spring National Signing Day period. Mustangs track and cross country standout Courtland White (Troy University), girls basketball player Ashley World (Chattahoocie Valley Community College), softball infielder Erika Dargan (Benedict) and football players Kennon Davis (Webber International) and

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Jonesboro volleyball standout Aalyiah Lowe stands with her coach Dan Maehlman, right, and Principal Felicia Brown. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SIGNING DAY: Jonesboro’s Aalyiah Lowe signs volleyball LOI with Columbus State

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — As Aalyiah Lowe signed her national Letter of Intent to Columbus State Wednesday, she recalled a strange career highlight that fits with the narrative of why she came to Jonesboro to play volleyball in the first place. It was after a 2-0 loss to Locust Grove — an

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Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman will try to guide his Cardinals to a third straight Class AAAA title with a win Thursday night against Liberty County. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Jonesboro’s Walker, Maehlman take home top honors on 2015 Georgia Sportswriters Assocation all-state basketball teams

                                                      By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com The Georgia Sportswriters Association’s all-state basketball teams have come out, and 13 players and coaches from the four-county Southern Crescent area dotted its landscape.

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Racing siblings Jensen (left) and Taylor Jorgensen stand next to their cars after competing in the Battle of the Big Top at the Texas Motor Speedway. (Special Photo)

Taylor and Jensen Jorgensen renew sibling rivalry at Battle at the Big Top in Texas Motor Speedway

FORT WORTH, TX. — Jorgensen Racing took on Texas this past weekend and came away fairly satisfied. The amateur racing team, led by Stockbridge siblings Taylor and Jensen Jorgensen made successful debuts at The Battle at the Big Top, a five-race Legends car competition — with a sixth bonus race that served as a national

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Ryan Cochran returns a fumble 95 yards for a touchdown in Griffin's 2013 state championship win over Carrollton. (PHOTO: Kyle Chambers Photography)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Griffin’s Ryan Cochran ‘bleeds green and gold’ | VIDEO

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com GRIFFIN, Ga. — Over the last four years, people have learned that at 5 p.m. on a football Friday night, it’s best to get out of Ryan Cochran’s way. That’s when the former Griffin linebacker would flip the switch, so to speak, from being a fairly even keeled, mild mannered

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Union Grove senior Ronald Blain.

THE STUDENT SECTION: Union Grove’s Ronald Blain opines on the recent changes atop the school’s football, basketball programs

At least once a month, thecrescentbuzz.com will feature an aspiring sports journalist from a Southern Crescent high school to contribute a story, a column, a photo or some other sports piece in an effort to include the student or student-athlete’s voice and perspective in our publication, in addition to tales of their athletic prowess. Union

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The Sandy Creek Patriots will charge out of the gate in 2015 with two tough matchups, one of which against Southern Crescent foe Jonesboro. (PHOTO: Michael Clifton | kombatkamera.com)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Five games you must see in 2015

  Here’s a football appetizer for you — Georgia High School Association football schedules have recently come out. So be honest. How many of you knew that already, and have already taken a gander at your team’s schedule, or at the schedules of some of your school’s biggest rivals? Yeah, we thought so. We at

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Jonesboro quarterback and Clemson commit Zerrick Cooper says he's back at 100 percent and ready to push the Cardinals to football greatness in 2015. (File Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Jonesboro coaching staff pumped after visit to Athens to meet with Georgia Bulldog football coaches

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — There’s a buzz around the campus of Jonesboro high school that’s permeating through the football team, and it’s coming as much from looking backward as it is looking forward. The Cardinals finished its 2014 season with a 4-7 record — paltry for Jonesboro’s high standards, says offensive

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Union Grove junior Nathan Connelly will likely have a tough match up with good friend Dubie Dublin from Starr's Mill in next week's Region 4-AAAAA tournament. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Union Grove’s Nathan Connelly, Starr’s Mill’s Dubie Dublin have complicated relationship

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — In an instant, Starr’s Mill’s Dubie Dublin and Union Grove’s Nathan Connelly can go from friends to foes. One minute they’re teammates, and the next minute, adversaries. Don’t worry. They aren’t confused, nor is their relationship contentious. They just happen to be members of the same Southern Crescent

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Furman-bound scoring guard Jordan Lyons has wrapped-up his high school career, but not before leading McIntosh to another fantastic season as a senior (File)

LOCAL OPINION: McIntosh hooper Jordan Lyons understands de-commitments of Tookie Brown, Roquan Smith

    By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com Athletes decommitting has been a pretty hot topic locally lately. And, of course, the obvious big news about de-commitment is resurfacing out of Macon County this week regarding Roquan Smith who chose UCLA over Georgia, and then refused to submit his letter of intent on National Signing Day back

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Davis Reynolds tallied 71 tackles, six interceptions a forced fumble and 12 tackles for losses for the Class A runner-up ELCA Chargers in 2014. (PHOTOS: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

ELCA’s Davis Reynolds caps off football career with prestigious scholarship award

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Congratulate Davis Reynolds. The senior will not be continuing his football career in college. Yes, you read that right. The soon-to-graduate Eagle’s Landing Christian football player once had hopes for attending college and extending his football career while there. Instead, Reynolds, a starting safety for the 2014

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Jurie_Joyner

Q&A With Penn Softball Player Jurie Joyner: Former Ola star playing big in freshman year

      Former Ola softball standout Jurie Joyner is going from great to greater. The slugger and catcher who helped Ola coach Gidget Gue claim the school’s first state softball championship in 2013 is now contributing majority to Pennsylvania’s Ivy League title hopes. Last week, Joyner was garnered Ivy League Rookie of the Week

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Morrow junior A.J. Nettles transferred to Jonesboro to be the shining light coach Roderick Dunlap needed to rebuild the school's baseball program. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

SCBuzz FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Morrow’s A.J. Nettles finds a home at Morrow away from sibling shadows

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com MORROW, Ga. — A.J. Nettles is a different kind of emerging high school athlete. He wears the number “1” at Morrow to represent the kind of leader he wants to be for the Mustangs. But he wears No. 26 on his travel ball squad to commemorate his mom’s birthday. He’s

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Jensen Jorgensen's No. 32 Legend's car crossed the finish line first during Friday night's final week of Winter Flurry action. It's Jorgensen's second Flurry crown in the last three years. (PHOTO: Speedpics.net)

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Southern Crescent racers Jensen Jorgensen, Joshua Hicks, Robbie Woodall crowned Winter Flurry champs | FULL RESULTS

HAMPTON, Ga. — Three Southern Crescent area racers topped the points charts and won Winter Flurry championships Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Semi-pro Legends driver Jensen Jorgensen of Stockbridge snagged not only the Winter Flurry championship, but also the checkered flag in the winter racing series’ finale’ on the quarter-mile “Thunder Ring.” It was Jorgensen’s

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Ole Miss commitment Charles Wiley is one piece of evidence of the success of Stockbridge coach Kevin Whitley's football program building project at the school. (Special Photo)

GABRIEL STOVALL: Stockbridge football coach Kevin Whitley is a program changer, but not a magician

Try this stat on for size. In the past six seasons since coach Kevin Whitley has been at the helm of the Stockbridge football program, the Tigers have won exactly 50 games, with three consecutive 11-win seasons to help bolster their five-year total. And yet the second oldest school in Henry County is still 109

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Joshua Hicks doesn't mind doing double duty between the track and the ball field. (Special Photo)

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Senoia racer, baseball player Joshua Hicks looking to bring home another Winter Flurry title

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com SENOIA, Ga. — It’s been several years since Joshua Hicks has been able to call himself a racing series champion at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 14-year old Senoia native had just turned 10 when he nabbed the first of his two Winter Flurry championships. It was a particularly prosperous time

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New Union Grove boys basketball coach Jarvis Tarplin is no stranger to the Wolverines' hoops program. (PHOTO: Jeff Hurndon Photography)

Long time Union Grove assistant Jarvis Tarplin named new boys basketball coach

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Jarvis Tarplin has been around Henry County basketball for a long time. And we’re not just talking about the last eight seasons he’s spent as an assistant coach under Russ Atkins at Union Grove High School. Tarplin also had an assistant coaching stint at his high school

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Three-time 800-meter and one-time 400-meter state champion Devin Dixon of Eagle's Landing is co-boys runner of the year for 2015-16. (File)

HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD: Eagle’s Landing’s Devin Dixon on championship pace, still ‘peaking’

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH — Since Devin Dixon burst onto the state track scene last season and won a state title in the 800 meters, the Eagle’s Landing junior’s back has gotten heavier. That’s what happens when you accomplish things in your first year on the track that others have spent years trying to

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Eagle's Landing sophomore Morgan Cage is undefeated in singles play, and a large reason why the Lady Eagles are primed for a deep postseason run. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: Eagle’s Landing girls playing at state championship level, mum on state title talk

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com McDONOUGH, Ga. — Shhhhh. Whatever you do, don’t say the “C” word around Jamie Bullington, because the Eagle’s Landing High girls’ tennis coach is making sure he’s not saying it around his undefeated team. “Oh no, we’re not even talking about championships yet,” said Bullington, who literally bristled at the mentioning

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Mount Zion football coach Kevin Jones is bullish about his team's 2016 potential after some huge summer successes. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Q&A With Mount Zion baseball coach Kevin ‘Bull’ Jones

JONESBORO, Ga. — What does working on the warehouse dock at Home Depot and being the head baseball coach at Mount Zion-Jonesboro have in common? Both jobs are among the hardest things coach Kevin “Bull” Jones have ever worked. If you know anything about Jones, it probably has something to do with football. Jones sandwiched

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Jake Lee, left, shook off a tough start to help lead Whitewater to a win over DeSoto Central (Miss.) in its first game in the National High School Invitational in Cary, NC. (File Photo)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Whitewater takes down nationally ranked DeSoto Central in Cary, NC tournament

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com CARY, NC — As one more nationally ranked high school baseball team goes down at the hands of Whitewater, the Wildcats’ stock continues to rise. Whitewater posted a come from behind 7-4 victory over DeSoto Central (Miss.) in the team’s opening game of the usabaseball.com National High School Invitational, behind the

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RECRUITING: The Southern Crescent Super Six | VIDEO

      We’re still five months away from kicking off the 2015 high school football season and about six weeks away from the start of spring football. But the gridiron vibe is definitely in the air, especially after this past weekend with the Nike Combine and The Opening Regionals in town. A little more

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From left, Pitching Coach Robert Misk, Ethan Gillis, Ben Hughlon, Colby Taylor, Allen Chumley, Jake Lee and Jeremiah Woods. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Whitewater baseball starting to ‘have fun’ with No. 1 ranking

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — When you walk onto the plush and expansive grounds that house the Whitewater baseball complex, it’s not hard to picture a state championship contender playing there. From the flawlessly manicured field to the Wildcats’ indoor workout facility, Whitewater has the look of a program that can compete with

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Jensen Jorgensen wants to keep his No. 1 ranking, despite his step up in competition. (Special Photo)

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Jensen Jorgensen, two other area racers get checkered flags at Winter Flurry

HAMPTON, Ga. — Jensen Jorgensen was a part of a trio of Southern Crescent area amateur racers who grabbed checkered flags Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Winter Flurry. Jorgensen of Stockbridge (Semi-Pro Division), Joshua Hicks of Senoia (Outlaws Division) and Locust Grove’s William Plemmons (Masters Division) all notched wins during in the next-to-last race of

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Sandy Creek rising junior and Duke commit Marvin Hubbard is one of the Patriots' fastest players at the tailback position.  (PHOTO: Michael Clifton, kombatkamera.com)

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Southern Crescent athletes dotting the landscape at Nike Combine and The Opening camps

  ATLANTA, Ga. — It’s camping season for high school football athletes. Despite being a full five months away from the kickoff of the 2015 high school football season, the time for football athletes to start thinking skill improvement and skill showcase is now. Few camps are bigger than this weekend’s “The Opening,” which held

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Georgia State redshirt freshman Isaiah Dennis scored nine points in the Panthers upset win over third seeded Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

NCAA TOURNAMENT: Eagle’s Landing alums Isaiah Dennis, Jordan Session still dancing after first round | VIDEO

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When the Georgia State Panthers defeated Baylor 57-56 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night, it was a case of the program entering into rarified air. The win against the No.3 seed Bears was just the second tournament win in school history. But for a

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You'll be hard pressed to find another boys basketball player in Georgia who meant more to their teams' unprecedented success than McIntosh junior Jordan Lyons, left, and Jonesboro sophomore M.J. Walker. (PHOTOS: Jason Mussell and Gabriel Stovall)

Southern Crescent Buzz Boys Co-Players of the Year: M.J. Walker (Jonesboro), Jordan Lyons (McIntosh)

Jonesboro’s M.J. Walker and McIntosh’s Jordan Lyons share the Southern Crescent Buzz’s first boys basketball Player of the Year Award. Both players led their respective teams in scoring, but they also led their teams in making history. Walker guided Jonesboro to back-to-back Class AAAA championships, while Lyons paced the Chiefs to an undefeated (25-0) regular

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Jonesboro's Austin Donaldson, a Chattanooga signee, was the engine that ran two-time state champion Jonesboro's offense. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

ALL-SOUTHERN CRESCENT BASKETBALL: Fayette, Clayton County players dominate first Crescent Buzz all-area teams

  BOYS Co-Players of the Year: M.J. Walker (Jonesboro) an Jordan Lyons (McIntosh). FIRST TEAM Tracy Hector, Jonesboro M.J. Walker, Jonesboro Jordan Lyons, McIntosh Will Washington, McIntosh Austin Donaldson, Jonesboro SECOND TEAM Elias Harden, Sandy Creek Maleek Taylor, Drew Darius Alexander, Stockbridge Christian Turner, Sandy Creek Dishon Lowery, Mcintosh DeAntre Mack, Jonesboro HONORABLE MENTION Demaree

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Hopefully Jonesboro will be joined by other Southern Crescent teams in playing for a title this season.

PHOTO GALLERY: Jonesboro Cardinals, 2014-15 Class AAAA Champs | VIDEO

Almost a week removed from the Jonesboro Cardinals nabbing their second straight Class AAAA hoops crown, the accolades are still coming in, making it hard for anyone to forget the magnitude of the achievement. Players are getting added to all-star rosters and competing for slam dunk championships. Others are using their notoriety to give back

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Furman-bound scoring guard Jordan Lyons has wrapped-up his high school career, but not before leading McIntosh to another fantastic season as a senior (File)

GACA ALL-STAR GAME: Seven Southern Crescent players, one coach find spots on all-star game rosters

  A total of eight athletes and two coaches from the Southern Crescent area have been tabbed to participate in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star games. The eight players will pepper the rosters of four teams divided into north and south designations. All-star games for both junior boys and girls and senior boys and

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M.J. Walker and the top-ranked Jonesboro Cardinals defeated Pike County by over 100 points Saturday night. (File)

Basketball standouts from Jonesboro, Stockbridge compete in slam dunk contest | VIDEO

Two Southern Crescent ballers will are vying for votes that will determine who will emerge as Atlanta’s best high school dunker. Jonesboro sophomore M.J. Walker and Stockbridge senior Javon Smith are part of a list of five Atlanta area athletes involved in the 2015 Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Slam Dunk Contest. Each player had the opportunity

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Austin Donaldson praying at First Baptist Jonesboro's ROC Basketball Celebration Night Monday. (Special Photo)

Jonesboro’s Austin Donaldson on God, faith and basketball

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO, Ga. — So if you were a recently crowned back-to-back state champion and considered one of the best point guards in Georgia, how would you be spending your time during the aftermath? Would you be looking at highlights of last Thursday’s game, replaying the best moments over and over

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Tracy Hector committed to Kennesaw State early Friday afternoon. (File)

Tracy Hector: Second straight title win is “big for all of us”

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com MACON, Ga. — The scene: Class AAAA championship game between Carrollton and top-ranked Jonesboro. The stakes: If Jonesboro wins, they become, perhaps, the first Clayton County team to repeat as state champions in one of the three major sports, football, basketball and baseball. The Cardinal seniors also have the chance

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Jonesboro hoists the state championship hardware for the second straight year. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

TWICE AS NICE: Jonesboro outlasts Carrollton, repeats as Class AAAA Champions

By James Butler jamesbutler795@hotmail.com MACON, Ga. – After a season that was equal parts challenging and dream-like, coach Dan Maehlman’s Jonesboro basketball team was not going to let a less-than-effecient six minutes prevent them from achieving their goal of winning back-to-back Class AAAA state titles. The Jonesboro Cardinals outlasted the Carrollton Trojans 55-50 to claim

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Six-foot-seven senior Jesse Bucknor could see more time in Thursday's championship game against Carrollton and its sizable front line. (File Photo)

Carrollton coach Tim Criswell says Trojans will need ‘superb game’ to knock off Jonesboro

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com JONESBORO — When Carrollton boys basketball coach Tim Criswell finally got around to sitting down and watching some film of No. 1 Jonesboro, it was like being on the set of an old movie. “It made me feel like Gene Hackman in the movie Hoosiers,” Criswell said. “I watched about

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Dutchtown girls basketball coach April Tate said she sees her athletes as if they were her own children. (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

GABRIEL STOVALL: The sportswriter’s recap to an emotional state tournament weekend

We’re almost 72 hours past last weekend’s state tournament Final Four round — the next to last week of basketball season — and I’m still thinking about the action. Well, more so the emotions than the actions. The end of a season. That last game. It’s always been an interesting moment in my life as

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Forest Park junior Alexis High, left, tries to console senior Kerry Watson after the Lady Panthers' 55-44 semifinal loss to Stephenson (PHOTO: Jason Mussell)

STATE TOURNAMENT BASKETBALL: Forest Park comes up short in semis once again, this time against Stephenson

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FORT VALLEY, Ga. — The Forest Park Lady Panthers are now 0 for their last 3 in state semifinals games. This time it was the Stephenson Lady Jaguars who put a halt to the state championship aspirations of coach Steve Cole and his Forest Park squad by handing them a

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The Dutchtown girls basketball team will face No. 2 Mays in the semis today. (Special Photo)

STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Four Southern Crescent teams in action today

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com And then there were four. The four-county Southern Crescent area began the state basketball tournament with 23 schools, and that number has been whittled down to four — three girls squads and the defending boys Class AAAA champion Jonesboro Cardinals. Jonesboro and the Fayette County Lady Tigers will be playing

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Union Grove's Justin Ruffin became the first UGHS freshman to win gold at the 2015 traditional state wrestling meet this past February. (Jeff Hurndon Photography)

SOUTHERN CRESCENT BUZZ WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: Union Grove freshman Justin Ruffin

Union Grove’s Justin Ruffin began a path toward a very rare achievement in the world of Georgia High School wrestling. He did it by winning a state championship during February’s Georgia High School Association state traditional wrestling meet. And he did it as a freshman — the first freshman at Union Grove to perform such

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Jonesboro senior Austin Donaldson drives past a Johnson High defender (PHOTO: Dave Williamson)

Jonesboro Cardinals hand Johnson its first loss, advance to Final Four

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com OAKWOOD, Ga. — When last Sunday’s Georgia High School Association sanctioned coin toss to determine whether Jonesboro or Johnson-Gainesville — both No. 1 seeds in their respective regions — would get home court advantage for the quarterfinals took place, the flip fell in Johnson’s favor. Despite that, there was some discussion

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Former Peachtree City resident and 2010 McIntosh graduate Garrett Smithley will make his NASCAR debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday. (Special Photo)

NASCAR NEWS: Garrett Smithley coming home to make NASCAR debut

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com HAMPTON, Ga. — By now everyone knows about Joey Logano’s win at the Daytona 500, and that the NASCAR driver got his start at Thursday Thunder, the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s grassroots racing series. Logano will make his return to AMS this weekend for Sunday’s Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 race.

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Former Ola High standout Tre McBride became the first Ola High School alum to be selected in a major professional sport's draft Saturday when the Tennessee Titans selected the wideout in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. (File Photo)

NFL DRAFT COMBINE: A look back at the four Southern Crescent athletes who participated in last week’s combine

According to an article from the William & Mary sports blog, former Ola High product Tre McBride made a big splash in this past weekend’s NFL Draft Combine held in Indianapolis, Ind. The receivers worked out this past Saturday, and at least one NFL Draft analyst, Dane Brugler, put the former Mustang at the top

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Dutchtown point guard Cierra Lowe helps lead a talented backcourt into Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. Elite Eight matchup at Loganville. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Dutchtown girls basketball coach April Tate says meditation, motivation is team’s current inspiration

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com HAMPTON, Ga. — Moments before basketball practice began at Dutchtown High Monday, it looked as if it was already over. A custodian entered the gymnasium to dim down the lights in the rafters so that the natural light shining through the windows was the gym’s lone source of illumination. For

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James "MJ" Walker and No. 1 Jonesboro will face its toughest postseason challenge at No. 2 Johnson-Gainesville. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall

WEEKEND HOOPS RECAP: Five Southern Crescent hoops teams remain on road to Macon

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com One word succinctly summarizes our feelings about the weekend that was in Southern Crescent basketball. Wow. And even that may be an understatement. While the boys of, ahem, spring, are still waiting for baseball weather to kick in, and area soccer, track, tennis and golf athletes shiver while they perform,

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From left, sophomore Donna Blaum, freshman Kylee Blogumill, junior Sarah Phinney and senior Johanna Goldblatt make up the 2015 state champion 400 medley relay team. (Special Photo)

Donna Blaum, Starr’s Mill swimmers’ hard work payed off at recent state meet

  By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com. FAYETTEVILLE, Ga, — You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who’s surprised at Donna Blaum’s domination in a swimmingThe Starr’s Mill sophomore swimmer nabbed gold medal in the recent GHSA state swimming meet in the 50 free, 100 fly and 400 medley relay. And the fact that her coach, Robin

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Point guard Tamecia Blue is one of just two seniors returning to the Lady Panthers' squad next season. (File)

Forest Park breaks skid against Southwest DeKalb, moves on to play Salem in Elite Eight

By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com FOREST PARK, Ga. — You may not always be able to tell it by looking at him, but Forest Park’s 54-49 win over recent nemesis Southwest DeKalb was uber satisfying for coach Steve Cole. “I feel really good about the way we played tonight,” Cole said after Friday night’s victory that

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Fayette County senior point guard Christa Jones will be leading her Lady Tigers, along with Western Kentucky signee Kayla Smith, against a tough Henry County squad. (PHOTO:  Gabriel Stovall)

STATE TOURNAMENT NOTEBOOK: 11 Southern Crescent area teams still alive in second round

      By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com And it’s on to the second round. The first round saw all but three Southern Crescent boys teams eliminated and some bonus basketball drama in the form of the Dutchtown girls’ double OT victory at Effingham. The domination of St. Pius X over Sandy Creek was mildly surprising

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From left, Morgan Alexander, coach Connor Campbell, coach Tim Creamer, Dalton Hardeman, Chase Burdette, Trent Johnson, Griffin Alexander, coach Eric Johnson and coach Jay Johnson. (Special Photo)

GABRIEL STOVALL: The Family element found in Henry County’s wrestling community is second to none

            By Gabriel Stovall gstovall@thecrescentbuzz.com It may not have looked like it, but Eric Johnson was not in his most tip-top, celebratory mood last weekend. The ELCA wrestling coach had reasons to celebrate though, while in last weekend’s traditional state tournament in Macon — two, in fact. Their names: Chase

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ELCA junior Chase Burdette won his first state wrestling championship this past weekend in Macon. (Jeff Hurndon Photography)

ELCA’s wrestling duo of Chase Burdette and Griffin Alexander getting used to winning titles together

  By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com   McDONOUGH, Ga. — Griffin Alexander has more than just a gold medal around his neck to remind him of his state wrestling triumph. He’s got battle scars. Literally. Alexander, an Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy junior, won gold at 195 pounds in last weekend’s state tournament in Macon, defeating his

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Jonesboro's James M.J. Walker poured in 30 points in Saturday's semifinal win against Liberty County. (File Photo)

STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Southern Crescent team capsules

  It’s state basketball tournament time, and we’re giving you a quick snapshot look at all 23 Southern Crescent teams that will be starting postseason play this week. The Jonesboro Cardinals boys and girls squads, McIntosh Chiefs and Forest Park Lady Panthers probably give the four-county area the best opportunity at a state championship. But

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Former Dutchtown football standout Jordan Harrishf (Special Photo)

Southern Crescent athletes have local recruiting help with Morrow’s McKissic, former Dutchtown player Jordan Harris

                By Darryl Maxie dmaxie61@yahoo.com The good news for Southern Crescent athletes, and its girls high school basketball players in particular: You have all the talent you need to play on the next level. The bad news: The colleges who need you don’t know you’re out there. The

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Forest Park Lady Panthers claimed their third straight Region 4-AAAAA championship this past Saturday. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Forest Park’s Kanisha Tharpe, Breasia McElrath cement “legacy” with third straight region title

By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — So here’s been the story the last couple of years for Forest Park girls’ basketball. Start the season with tons of promise, including state championship aspirations. Get out of the gate fairly fast, showing dominance in spots that make you remember why you saw them as a trendy

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The McIntosh Chiefs celebrate their first ever region championship in basketball Saturday night. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

REGION BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: Jordan Lyons goes for 43, McIntosh routs Drew for Region 4-AAAAA title

                        By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com RIVERDALE, Ga. — It’s not that Jason Eisele didn’t appreciate what McIntosh basketball had accomplished before Saturday night’s Region 4-AAAAA final against Drew. It’s just that he knew it would all ring hollow if somehow they allowed another opportunity

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ELCA junior Chase Burdette was one of three Henry County area wrestlers to bring home gold at the state traditional meet in Macon

STATE WRESTLING TOURNAMENT: ELCA wrestlers Chase Burdette, Griffin Alexander, Union Grove’s Justin Ruffin take state at traditionals

  By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com MACON, Ga. — At least three Southern Crescent wrestlers — all from Henry County — have won state championships in this year’s traditional state meet held at the Macon Centreplex. From Eagle’s Landing Christian it was Griffin Alexander (195 pounds) and Chase Burdette (220 pounds) taking home gold. From Union

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Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman wasn't entirely pleased with his team's performance, yet Jonesboro remains undefeated in Georgia after claiming the Region 4-AAAA title Friday night. (PHOTO: Steve Knight)

Jonesboro Cardinals repeat as region champs: Next stop, state title defense

  By James Butler Jamesbutler795@hotmail.com HAMPTON, Ga. – A 19-point win in the game of basketball is considered a blowout 99 percent of the time. But the Region 4-AAAA Boys Basketball Championship Game was likely an example of the one percent of the time that it is not. Nationally-ranked Jonesboro stayed undefeated in the state

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McIntosh guard Will Washington is playing strong in his final season of high school basketball.

GABRIEL STOVALL: McIntosh boys basketball has learned the art of leaving no doubt

  McIntosh has a chance to keep stockpiling wins on top of an already record-breaking undefeated season. The Chiefs have a chance to take one step closer to winning a highly coveted Region 4-AAAAA tournament championship. The Peachtree City school also has an opportunity to get revenge on Mundy’s Mill. But don’t confuse the order.

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North Clayton's Reggie Scurry led the Eagles with 18 in their Region 4-AAA tourney win over  Westminster Wednesday.  (File Photo)

BASKETBALL REGION TOURNAMENT: North Clayton boys punch ticket to state in dramatic fashion

  By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com RIVERDALE — Martisse Troup was entitled to a moment of retrospection after Wednesday night. His North Clayton Eagles boys basketball team had just climbed the improbable mountain of “comeback” on the way to a 62-59 win over Westminster in the quarterfinals of the Region 4-AAA Tournament at Atlanta’s Douglass High.

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Henry County guard Peyton Brown has helped lead a resurgence of senior leadership in the Warhawks' latest state tourney run. (PHOTO: Gabriel Stovall)

Senior stability has Henry County Warhawks looking to return to the state playoffs

  By Bill Renje brenje@fca.org McDONOUGH, Ga. — In 18 years of coaching basketball there’s probably very little that Vincent Rosser hasn’t seen. But earlier this season, the Henry County High coach was astonished after a tough home loss to regional rival Mount Zion, which dropped the Warhawks to 1-3 at the time. “After the

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Christian Turner is one of the top point guards in Georgia. (File)

Whitewater’s Jada Coggins wins All-Region 5-AAAA’s top honor

By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Seventeen Southern Crescent athletes from Fayette County schools found their names on the All Region 5-AAAA Team which emerged late last week, including one player of the year. That would be Whitewater’s Jada Coggins who nabbed the top honor on the girls side. The 5-foot-9 senior paced the

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North Clayton's Reggie Scurry led the Eagles with 18 in their Region 4-AAA tourney win over  Westminster Wednesday.  (File Photo)

BASKETBALL REGION TOURNAMENTS: Impressive performances littered Southern Crescent in Monday’s tourney action

      Here are the recorded results from Monday’s action, as well as a list of Tuesday’s Region Tournament games: MONDAY’S SCORES Region 4-AAA (boys): North Clayton 74, Douglass 32 (Reginald Scurry led NCHS with 13 points).   GIRLS: Region 5-A: Atlanta International 30, Strong Rock 29 Greenforest 63, Drew Charter 20.   Region

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Morrow Mustangs guard De'Ja Green (Special Photo)

BASKETBALL REGION TOURNAMENTS: A schedule of Monday’s region tournament games and full brackets

  By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com MONDAY’S REGION TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: REGION 5-A GIRLS (All Games at Atlanta International School, 2890 N. Fulton Dr., NE, Atlanta, GA): Strong Rock vs. Atlanta International (At Atlanta International, Atlanta, GA), 4:00 p.m. Drew Charter vs. Greenforest, 7:00 p.m.   REGION 4-AAA BOYS: North Clayton vs. Douglass (At Douglass High School,

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Jacksonville Jaguars safety Matt Daniels recently had his high school jersey retired at Fayette County High

Former Fayette County High standout and Jacksonville Jaguar Matt Daniels talks about pushing past injuries in the NFL

          By Gabriel Stovall gcmstovall3@gmail.com FAYETTEVILLE – As Matthew Daniels took the microphone from his former Fayette County teammate – and now fellow NFL player – Brandon Boykin, he flashed a bright, wide smile as he began to talk. And talk. And talk. Both Daniels, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and

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