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Our Craig Sager II was at Lassiter over the weekend watching
 one of the most competitive 7-on-7 tournaments in the nation. 
North Gwinnett trimmed Lassiter in the final, which was 
called in the final minute due to lightning. See Craig's stories 
below to see which teams qualified for the national tournament 
next weekend and what recruits impressed. 
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In This Issue
Preseason Rankings
Lassiter 7-on-7 Roundup
Eye on Recruiting
Score Poll
Best Stories From Around the State
What SEC school did Lassiter cornerback Chris Murphy commit to last week?

Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!

Friday's Answer:
North Cobb QB Tyler Queen is committed to Auburn.





1.    Norcross 
2.    Colquitt County
3.    North Gwinnett
4.    McEachern
5.    Lowndes
6.    North Cobb
7.    Mill Creek
8.    Walton
9.    Lovejoy
10.  Peachtree Ridge


1.   Gainesville
2.   Northside-WR
3.   Thomas County Central

4.   Stephenson

5.   Flowery Branch

6.   Tucker

7.   Kell

8.   ML King

9.   Whitewater

10. Ware County





1.   Sandy Creek

2.   Burke County

3.   Carrollton

4.   Cairo

5.   Marist

6.   Griffin

7.   Statesboro

8.   Westside-Macon

9.   Stockbridge

10. Monroe Area





1.   Buford

2.   Peach County

3.   Thomson

4.   Carver

5.   St. Pius X

6.   Cartersville

7.   North Hall

8.   Washington County

9.   Blessed Trinity

10. North Oconee





1.   Calhoun

2.   Brooks County

3.   GAC

4.   Fitzgerald

5.   Lamar County

6.   Jefferson

7.   Cook

8.   Washinton-Wilkes

9.   Lovett

10. Vidalia





1.   ELCA

2.   George Walton Academy

3.   Price Ave. Christian

4.   Savannah Christian

5.   Landmark Christian

6.   Brookstone

7.   First Presbyterian Day

8.   Darlington

9.   Athens Academy

10. Holy Innocents'





1.   Lincoln County

2.   Wilcox County

3.   Irwin County

4.   Wilkinson County

5.   Seminole County

6.   Emanuel County Inst. 

7.   Marion County

8.   Miller County

9.   Charlton County

10. Dooly County





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Monday, July 22, 2013

By Craig Sager 
Competitive weekend prepares teams for  for national stage



The Georgia Invitational 7-on-7 tournament was cut short in the semifinals, but four teams solidified tickets to Hoover, Ala., for the national championship this weekend. North Gwinnett led host Lassiter by two points with 52 seconds remaining in the game with the football. A close lightning strike stopped play, and then the skies opened up, causing officials to stop the tournament.


The Lassiter-North Gwinnett semifinal was one of the better matchups of the tournament. Bulldogs quarterback Hayden Sphire was on target and finding receivers Josh Imatorbhebe and Caleb Scott. The towering duo got North Gwinnett up early, and Scott held off the Trojans' comeback attempt with a diving, one-handed grab on the critical third-down play. Sphire will have an added spotlight on him heading to the national bracket, after his play earned him the offensive MVP of the weekend. 


New North Gwinnett defensive coordinator Robert Andrews was formerly with Grayson, but joined the North Gwinnett staff earlier this month. A miscommunication between the safety and corner allowed a wide-open Lassiter touchdown but, overall, this defensive unit was swarming the field. Andrews appears to have no problem getting this athletic group in position to make plays, and this was a big victory for the new coach. Two sure Lassiter touchdowns were batted down, by this polished secondary.


North Cobb certainly stood out from the competition and the defensive effort matched the incredible quarterbacking from rising junior Tyler Queen. On defense the Warriors lost a lot from their semifinal team in 2012, but the biggest losses were on the defensive line. With their current secondary and linebackers like Jalil Kuku, they are still going to be a sound unit.


Tyler Queen was on target, and was keeping the Warriors alive after they fell into the loser's bracket. After the 27-17 loss to Shiloh, they beat Hillgrove-BFlowery Branch, Wheeler, Jonesboro and Kell. Alpharetta made it to the finals of the losers bracket as well, but fell to the Warriors.


Alpharetta's fourth-place finish earned them a trip to Hoover this weekend. The Raiders beat Glen Hills and Mays, before falling 22-21 to Lassiter. In the losers bracket they eliminated Cartersville in a 35-28 shootout and beat Dutchtown 24-17. The Raiders' offense was spreading the ball out well, and made the most back shoulder throws and difficult catches I saw on Saturday. Without quarterback Joshua Dobbs (now at Tennessee), it appears this offense will still be capable of lighting up the scoreboard.


Lassiter was one play away from winning its third Georgia Invitational in the last four years. Former Trojans quarterback Eddie Printz won two of three years as the starting quarterback. This year, the focus shifted to the new quarterback filling in for Printz, who is now a Missouri Tiger. New Trojans QB Will Anderson transferred from Wesleyan after his junior season , and his work this offseason showed. The Trojans were spreading the ball out well, and had North Gwinnett on its heels. Ultimately the two touchdowns that were caught by Lassiter, but fumbled away after cost them. The new quarterback had a great tournament however and the Trojans will have a chance to contend on an even bigger stage this weekend. 


Matthew McGuin and the Kell Longhorns fell just short of earning a trip to Hoover, but look ready for the 2013 season. Jay Moxey and Julian Buress were as advertised and Kennesaw State commit Taylor Henkle added to the successful run on Saturday.


Jefferson County will be the fifth team representing Georgia this upcoming weekend. The Warriors did not compete in the Lassiter tournament, but finished second place in the North Gwinnett qualifier a month ago. Jefferson County also won the Mark Richt 7-on-7 this summer.


By Craig Sager II

North Gwinnett sophomore shines 

Josh Imatorbhebhe was perhaps the most impressive receiving prospect I saw this weekend. The North Gwinnett target stands 6-foot-2 and has a wingspan that is still filling out. In the semifinal game against Lassiter, he showed the full arsenal for a future college receiver. He opened the game by catching a five-yard route and burning the defense for a 35-yard score. The speed and ability to catch the ball and get up the field quickly makes him dangerous when going over the middle and catching it on the run.




Later in the game, he hauled in difficult grabs in traffic to keep drives alive, and had his second score on a jump-ball pass. The jump ball pass allowed Imatorbhebhe to showcase his ability to bring down the ball at the highest point, and the sophomore has built trust with the coaching staff and quarterback, Hayden Sphire. Imatorbhebhe appears to be poised for a breakout season. This underclassman has the natural ability and size to be one of the best wideouts in the state within a year or two.


Caleb Scott is another North Gwinnett wideout that will likely see an increase in offers once the 2013 season starts. The sure-handed senior stands 6-foot-3 and was catching everything that came his way. Scott went up over two Trojan defenders for a touchdown, and then iced the game with a diving one-handed grab to seal the win. Scott finished last season with 38 catches for 684 yards and 11 touchdowns. During his highlight play, a Lassiter defender was holding Scott, but to no avail. Scott knows how to fight for the ball, and the towering duo of Scott and Imatorbhebhe will stretch the field for the Bulldogs in 2013. Running back C.J. Leggett will be able to power the Bulldogs' offense on the ground and big plays will come from Scott when they need them. Scott has been offered from Air Force, Furman, Mercer and UAB


Nate Brown is still one of the leaders of the Bulldogs' exterior weapons and comes off a successful season with 41 catches for 491 yards and nine touchdowns. This receiving corps is extremely deep and equally underrated.


Defensively, the guy that impressed me the most was Lassiter cornerback Chris Murphy. The senior committed to Arkansas on July 14. Murphy was named the Defensive MVP of the Georgia Invitational, and it was his ability to break up pass plays that allowed him to stand out. 7-on-7's do not allow tackling or pads, but Murphy still had a physical presence about him. His experienced use of his hands and ability to swat the ball free with force was matched with his air-tight coverage. The Lassiter standout continues to prove why he is one of the best lockdown corners in the state.    





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