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SANDY CREEK AND GRIFFIN PREVIEWS

Our Class AAAA week continues and we look at two 
top teams, including our favorite heading into the season. 
No. 1 Sandy Creek has won three state titles in the past four 
seasons and has garnered national attention. No. 6 Griffin, 
meanwhile, has made the playoffs 12 straight years and returns
 a balanced spread offense in 2013. Also, we give you a look at 
PlayOn! Sports expanded high school coverage.  
 
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In This Issue
Trivia
Football Schedules
Class AAAA Football Rankings
Sandy Creek Preview
Griffin Preview
PlayOn! Sports
Score Poll
Best Stories From Around the State
Trivia
Question:
Last year Sandy Creek sent a safety to Georgia Tech and a cornerback to UGA. Who were they?  

Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!

Tuesday's Answer:
Marist senior DL Kendall Baker has received more than 15 SEC and ACC scholarship offers.
SOUTHERN FOOTBALL GUIDE
 
 
FOOTBALL SCHEDULES

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Sandy Creek
Fighting Patriots

 

8/30        Banneker

9/06        Newnan

9/13        At East Coweta

9/27        At Fayette County

10/04      Troup

10/10      At Shaw (Kinnett)

10/18      Alexander

10/25      LaGrange

11/01      At Carrollton

11/09      At Columbus (Kinnett)

 

 

Griffin Bears

 

8/30        Dutchtown

9/06        Northgate

9/13        At Jonesboro (Tara)

9/20        Woodland, Stockbridge

9/27        At Stockbridge

10/05      Riverdale

10/18      At North Clayton   

               (Southern Cresent)

10/25      Upson-Lee

11/01      Spalding

11/08      Region Play-In

 

CLASS AAAA FOOTBALL RANKINGS

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  1. Sandy Creek
  2. Burke County
  3. Carrollton
  4. Cairo
  5. Marist
  6. Griffin
  7. Statesboro
  8. Westside-Macon
  9. Stockbridge
  10. Monroe Area




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Wednesday, June 26, 2013


SANDY CREEK PREVIEW
By Craig Sager II
 
Patriots loaded to defend title

 

Photo courtesy of Walter Pinion
Photo courtesy of Walter Pinion 
Sandy Creek has won three state titles in the last four seasons (2009,  2010, 2012) and is currently ranked by Maxpreps.com as the No. 5 team in the country for 2013.

 

"There are high expectations," admits head coach Chip Walker.

 

Quarterback Cole Garvin threw for more than 2,700 yards as a junior, and his top target, Clemson-commit Demarre Kitt returns after hauling in 68 passes for 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns. Garvin is 6-foot-1, 195 pounds and committed to Marshall on June 14. Kitt is considered one of the most skilled receivers in the country and made his commitment to the Tigers on May 30.

             

"He [Demarre] can do a bit of everything," said Walker about his 6-foot-1, 182-pound playmaker. "He runs great routes. He catches the ball really well, and once he catches it he is hard to bring down. That's what I think makes him the best wideout in the state."

             

Walker has a blue-chip quarterback in Garvin and four-star receiver in Kitt on offense, but the list of weapons runs much deeper. Across from Kitt stands 6-foot-3 Justin Sumter, who gives Garvin another Division I receiving target to throw to. Sumter has been a reliable weapon and is receiving interest from Western Kentucky, Ball State, Appalachian State, and Georgia Tech.

 

Complimenting the aerial assault is probably the best backfield tandem in the state. Eric Swinney is a 5-foot-10 back with offers from Ole Miss, Florida State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Arkansas and many more. Adjacent to Swinney is Delvin Weems who displays the same versatile athleticism out of the backfield as Swinney. Marshall has offered Weems and the defenses will get heavy doses of both guys this season.

             

"I hope both our guys set the pace [offensively] this season," admitted Walker.

 

"They are both dynamic ball carriers. They can both run through you, they can both run around you. Either one of them can do anything. We are just blessed to have two of them in the same group."

             

This all-state duo's most impressive feature is that they will only be juniors this upcoming season and the Sandy Creek backfield will be set for at least another year.

             

"The big thing is these guys kind of feed off of each other," said Walker. "If one is having a good game, then the other one wants to step up and do the same thing. That's big in games that may come down to the end."

             

The third option in the backfield will be Maceo Brown, who will likely see more time at fullback this season. Brown is a very capable ball carrier and adds the dimension of a fullback with the ability to race out of the backfield and go the distance. Brown will be a major contributor to this star-studded offense.

             

Defensively, the Fighting Patriots allowed only nine points per game last season. Their 44.0 points of offense was matched by one of the best defensive units in the state. Replacing cornerback Shaquille Wiggins (UGA) and safety Corey Griffin (Georgia Tech) will be a challenge, but Walker has plenty of available options. Ronnie Blackmon will only be a sophomore this year, but the cornerback has a tremendous upside. Blackmon already has picked up offers from Akron and Georgia Tech. The underclassmen is still growing, and at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, trusts his natural ability and ball skills defend the perimeter. Javon Jackson will play at safety and has Walker's confidence heading into the season.

             

"Jackson has a chance to be a really really good player this year," said Walker.

             

The "rock" of the secondary will be Brian Miller, who started every game last season as a sophomore and led the Fighting Patriots in interceptions.

             

In the trenches is 6-foot-1, 290-pound Chris Williams, who is described by Walker as "the best defensive lineman we've ever had."

             

Williams has offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ohio State and South Carolina.

             

"Defenses have to account for him [Williams] and that just opens it up for our very good linebacking corps," said Walker.

             

In 2012, the smallest margin of victory by any Sandy Creek over any opponent was Burke County in the state playoffs at 31-20. It is difficult to pinpoint when this team played its best football last year, because the season as a whole was so dominant. In the state championship game, the Patriots beat Ridgeland 45-10 with a running clock in the fourth quarter. During all of their multi-touchdown blowouts, underclassmen got valuable varsity experience and saw time even deep into the playoffs.

             

"The majority of these guys have that experience of playing under the lights on Friday night," said Walker. "I think it's huge and even if they were not playing, we have played in so many big games, that just being there they kind of understand what it's all about."

             

The No. 1 Fighting Patriots scrimmage Class AAAAA Starr's Mill on Aug. 15 before opening the 2013 season with three non-region games. They will host Banneker in the season opener on Aug. 30, and Class AAAAAA opponents Newnan and East Coweta the following two weeks. Sandy Creek outscored this trio of successful programs 121-20 last year.

Garvin has been the vehicle driving the team through 7-on-7's and workouts this offseason, and should be poised for another breakout season. "I think he is something like 28-1 as a starting quarterback," said Walker.

 

The past few seasons, it has been championship teams loaded with some of the state's best talent that has taken Sandy Creek onto the national stage. It is possible that the 2013 team may be the most talented of them all. It is no surprise that The Fighting Patriots are our preseason No. 1 in Class AAAA.

  


GRIFFIN PREVIEW
By Lauren Goldstein
 

The Bears return successful spread offense in 2013

 

 

Head coach Steven Devoursney comes off 12 straight winning seasons, and is set to lead the Bears to another heading in 2013. Last year, Griffin posted a 9-2 record and finished 5-0 in their region. In their third game of the season they outlasted region rival Jonesboro 34-33, and then beat their final four region opponents by an average of 24.75 points per game. Their only loss in the regular season was against Stockbridge 17-14.  The Bears were on fire heading into the state playoffs and beat Spalding and Eagles Landing by a combined 91-6, but stumbled in the opening round. They were handed an early exit in the first round in a 33-17 loss to Monroe-Albany.

 

"A lot of kids that have a lot of experience and played in a lot of games. They've made the playoffs every year. A lot of them have played as freshman and sophomores. Most of them will be juniors and seniors this year," said Devoursney. "I've got an older team."

 

With six offensive players and seven defensive starters returning, the Bears core of starters is back for the upcoming season.

 

"We got a lot of starters coming back. A lot of these guys have been starting for two and three years. We haven't passed the second round in awhile so that's the goal, to make sure we get past that and hopefully get in a good bracket," said Devoursney.

 

Returning quarterback Jaquez Parks will remain a leader on offense. The senior will be running the spread look and heads an offense that scored 35.0 points per game last season. Parks has received college interest from the Air Force Academy, Harvard and Appalachian State, but has not yet committed to a school. His go-to wide receiver, Trey Willis, is also a key player that will be returning on offense. Willis can stretch the field and helps open up the underneath game for Parks.

 

On the defense side of the ball, the team will be running a 3-4 look. Last season this unit allowed 16 points per game. Senior brothers Quantico and Montico Dodson are both defensive backs and start in the Bears' solid secondary rotation. On the defensive line, senior Ronquerris Davis disrupts the line of scrimmage.

 

This season, the experienced offense and defense has the ability end their season with a stronger finish than the last. They will open up on Aug. 30 against Dutchtown, and will play their first region game on Sept. 13 against Jonesboro.


PLAYON! SPORTS RELEASE
By Score Atlanta
 

PlayOn! announces expanded coverage

 

 

NFHS, PlayOn! Sports Announce Plans for High School Sports Network

Joint Venture Would Create Central Destination, Expanded Coverage of High School Sports

 

DENVER (June 25, 2013) - The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and PlayOn! Sports (PlayOn) plan to create and launch the NFHS Network, an all-digital network devoted to coverage of high school athletic content through the Federation's state association members. The NFHS Network, with an anticipated start date at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year and featuring comprehensive coverage of boys and girls sports and activities from across the country, will be a subscription-based digital service available at NFHSnetwork.com.

 

Each of the 51 NFHS state association members has the opportunity to join the NFHS Network to showcase its high schools, student athletes and tournaments.  While states will continue to maintain local media relationships, the NFHS Network will become the largest aggregated destination for coverage of high school sports in the country, thus creating increased viewing opportunities for students, parents and fans - wherever they may be in the world. 

 

"With 19,000 high schools in the United States and nearly two million events held annually across the country, we are very excited about this enormous opportunity," said Bob Gardner, executive director of the NFHS.  "Once launched, the network will help the Federation showcase its primary mission of expanding participation and opportunities for involvement in education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities.  We are excited to provide viewership opportunities for fans of high school athletics all over the country."

 

The new NFHS Network will build on the existing success of the PlayOn digital platform and high-quality coverage of high school sports. PlayOn currently streams nearly 30,000 events per school year on its national digital portal in addition to producing and distributing television coverage of select championship events. PlayOn works with 32 state associations and sections in 26 states, as well as more than 600 high schools across the country that have adopted PlayOn's technology platform to self-produce their school's sports and activities.

 

"Teaming up with the NFHS is a natural progression to build a truly national high school sports platform while honoring the local communities that support them," said David Rudolph, PlayOn! Sports chief executive officer. "Our mission is to serve the current and future generations of student-athletes, support and encourage their participation and make their performances accessible to their friends, family and fans on every media platform they use."

 

Nearly 50 million Americans identify themselves as high school sports fans and high school events have three times the attendance of college and professional sporting events combined. Couple this passionate fan base with the usage of smartphones and other connected devices and the NFHS Network will become a consolidated high school destination for schools, student-athletes, families, fans, alumni and advertisers.

 

"We are building a network for the next 40 years," Rudolph continued. "The NFHS Network is being designed for the next generation of consumers who are driving the consumption of content in a multi-screen environment. These digital natives will set the stage for the success of the NFHS Network."

 

The NFHS Network is a joint venture between the NFHS and PlayOn! Sports and will be governed and overseen by a combination of NFHS and PlayOn executives.  Both Gardner and Rudolph worked with numerous state association executive directors for more than seven months to develop the concept and agreement.  The NFHS Network is structured to provide all state associations with the opportunity to participate, providing a framework for a true national footprint for high school sports.

 

"Ultimately, we want to make the NFHS Network the most treasured and trusted source for high school athletics," Gardner said.

 

NFHS Network: We are High School.

 

 

About PlayOn! Sports

PlayOn! Sports is the largest rights holder, producer, and aggregator of high school sports events distributed across television, the Internet, and IP-video enabled mobile devices. By combining State Athletic Associations' postseason content with the regular season events of member schools, PlayOn streams more than 30,000 high school sporting events a year, providing marketers with a unique multi-media platform solution to reach teens, young adults and families. PlayOn is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with offices in the Southeast, Midwest and California. View the PlayOn! Sports Network at www.playonsports.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @playonsports.

 

 

About the National Federation of State  

High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.

 

 

 

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