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Craig Sager II previews all five matchups in the 2013 Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic, which is set for kickoff on Aug. 24. Also, we look into the opening week of the softball and volleyball seasons.

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In This Issue
Football Rankings
Metro PCS Corky Kell Preview
Varsity Preview
Score Poll
Best Stories From Around the State
What is the only team in the 2013 Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic that did not reach the playoffs in 2012?

Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!

Wednesday's Answer:
Class AAA power Washington County handed ELCA its only loss last season. 




1.  Mill Creek
2.  Marietta
3.  Brookwood
4.  Norcross
5.  Peachtree Ridge
6.  Milton
7.  Walton
8.  Wheeler
9.  Collins Hill
10. North Cobb


1.  McIntosh
2.  Flowery Branch
3.  Pope
4.  Greenbrier
5.  Starr's Mill
6.  Lakeside-DeKalb
7.  Lakeside-Evans
8.  Winder-Barrow
9.  Sequoyah
10. Allatoona


1.  Marist
2.  Alexander
3.  Wayne Co.
4.  LaGrange
5.  Perry
6.  Pickens
7.  Hephzibah
8.  Sandy Creek
9.  Veterans
10. Eagle's Landing


1.  St. Pius X
2.  Woodward Academy
3.  North Hall
4.  Blessed Trinity
5.  North Oconee
6.  Oconee Co.
7.  Cartersville
8.  Chapel Hill
9.  Hart Co.
10. Buford



1.  Westminster
2.  Wesleyan
3.  Bleckley Co.
4.  Lovett
5.  Model
6.  Riverside
7.  Murray Co.
8.  Pepperell
9.  Benedictine
10. Jordan

1.  Athens Academy
2.  Darlington
3.  Landmark Christian
4.  Mt. Pisgah
5.  Galloway
6.  Athens Christian
7.  Whitefield Academy
8.  Lakeview Academy
9.  Holy Innocents'
10. Georgia Military






1.  Norcross
2.  Colquitt Co.
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 Co. Central
4.  Stephenson
5.  Flowery Branch
6.  Tucker
7.  Kell
8.  ML King
9.  Whitewater
10. Ware Co.


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


1.  Buford
2.  Peach Co.
3.  Thomson
4.  Carver-Columbus
5.  St. Pius X
6.  Cartersville
7.  North Hall
8.  Washington Co.
9.  Blessed Trinity
10. North Oconee


1.  Calhoun
2.  Brooks Co.
3.  GAC
4.  Fitzgerald
5.  Lamar Co.
6.  Jefferson
7.  Cook
8.  Washington-Wilkes
9.  Lovett
10. Vidalia

1.  ELCA
2.  George Walton Academy
3.  Prince Ave. Christian
4.  Savannah Christian
5.  Landmark Christian
6.  Brookstone
7.  First Presbyterian
8.  Darlington
9.  Athens Academy
10. Holy Innocents'


1.  Lincoln Co.
2.  Wilcox Co.
3.  Irwin Co.
4.  Wilkinson Co.
5.  Seminole Co.
6.  ECI
7.  Marion Co.
8.  Miller Co.
9.  Charlton Co.
10. Dooly Co.


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Thursday, August 15, 2013

By Craig Sager II

Five intriguing match ups highlight Classic 


When the 2013 Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic tees off Aug. 24, it will mark the year's biggest football event. No other site this year will see five football games in a single day. Ten of the best teams in the state pair off, and the winning traditions of each school give the participants the confidence that the game can go their way. The action will be broadcasted live on GPB Sports, as well as on the radio waves with Atlanta's 92.9 FM picking up the coverage for the first time this year.


Kell and Chattahoochee will take the field first in the 9:00 a.m. kickoff. In the 2012 Classic, the Longhorns won 19-8. UAB commit Collin Lisa lines up at receiver for Chattahoochee, which averaged just south of 30.0 points per game last season. The Kell secondary looks to be strong once again and will have Jay Moxey, Julian Burris, Errol Breaux and Kennesaw State-commit Taylor Henkle leading the group. Senior quarterback Matthew McGuigan returns under center.


Walton and Peachtree Ridge play in the second game, and Walton head coach Rocky Hidalgo will be without Alabama signees QB Parker McLeod and Tyren Jones, as well as last season's best lineman, Georgia signee Brandon Kublanow. Louisiana Tech pledge Price Wilson takes command of the Raiders' offense at quarterback and has the gifted DJ Smith to spark plays when needed. Peachtree Ridge will use UGA commit Nick Glass to disrupt the Walton offense, and offensively will be led by standout tackle Orlando Brown, running back Jordan Ellis and quarterback Chance Thrasher. Peachtree Ridge was the only one of the 10 teams in the 2013 Kell Classic that did not reach the playoffs last year.


In the middle matchup, Grayson plays Colquitt County. The Packers were a semifinalist last season and Grayson won the state title in 2011. Colquitt County head coach Rush Propst admits the Moultrie school might have "bit off a little more than they can chew" with their schedule this season. Quarterback Daniel Mobley takes over a young offense and has Sihiem King as his go-to playmaker. Propst believes Ole Miss commit Jamiyus Pittman is one of the best defensive tackles in the state. Grayson replaces a defense that allowed less than 9.0 points per game over the past two seasons.


The fourth game is the second north vs. south showdown as North Gwinnett faces Camden County. The Wildcats have flown under the radar with legendary head coach Jeff Herron's departure to Class A Prince Avenue Christian this season. Welton Coffey is the new head coach and has five starters returning to each side of the ball. Under Herron, the 2012 offense scored 39 points per game and the defense allowed 10 points per game.


North Gwinnett is led by quarterback Hayden Sphire and his all-state receiving corps. Nate Brown, Caleb Scott and Daniel Imatorbhebhe form perhaps the best receiving trio in the state, and defensively 4-star end Dante Sawyer terrorizes the backfield.


In the final game, Brookwood will take on McEachern. Brookwood saw Walton's Jones carry the ball for five touchdowns and 302 yards in the 2012 Classic. Brookwood responded by beating the No. 1 ranked Lassiter Trojans in the playoffs nine games later that season and improved throughout.


Keeping the Indians from repeating what Walton did last year will be tough, because of the speed of McEachern's offense. Junior Taj Griffin is a 5-star running back that teams up with speedy quarterback Ty Clemmons. This duo rushed for more than 250 yards routinely last season. Defensive end Henry Famurewa is a Louisville commit and is a force on the line of scrimmage.


Brookwood head coach Mark Crews commented recently in an exclusive interview with Score on how Brookwood plans to slow down the Indians: "Sometimes the best defense is good offense. We are going to try and control the ball and make plays on offense to keep the ball out of their hands."


In terms of matchups and talent, the Corky Kell Classic always delivers.


By Craig Sager II
Softball and volleyball seasons begin




Class AAAAA 2012 runner-up Pope is 4-1 to start the season and opened with a win over Harrison in the Kell Invitational. Elly Strother tossed a complete game in the Greyhounds' 3-2 win giving up two earned runs on one hit and walked six batters. Katie Deady drove in three runs in Pope's 13-2 victory over Walton in the Greyhounds' back end of the double-header. Pitcher Lindsey Walsh struck out seven batters. Ridgeland handed the Greyhounds their first loss of the season, 7-6. 


Defending Class AAAAAA champion Archer opened its season on Tuesday with a two-game sweep over North Forsyth. In Game 1, the Tigers erased a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3, and then took the nightcap 10-5. Kennesaw Mountain was a state finalist in 2012 and opened its season in the win column. Mustang pitcher Kathrun Woody held off an Allatoona rally in the seventh inning to secure the 3-2 victory.


Aeshia Miles struck out 11 batters and allowed two hits in Collins Hill's 2-1 win over Loganville. Grayson first baseman and pitcher Breanna Ethridge committed to Dartmouth this week. Ethridge and the Rams lost their opener 5-4 to Mountain View on Monday in Hawk-Bulldog Invitational Tournament and will face off in a double header with South Effingham and Peachtree Ridge on Friday. 


The Hawk/Bulldog Invitational Tournament is hosted by North Gwinnett and Mill Creek and features 18-teams in its four-day tournament (Aug 14-17). North Gwinnett shut out Jefferson 9-0 in the tournament's opening day. Bulldogs pitcher Kinsley Jennings drove in a pair of runs at the plate and tossed five scoreless innings without surrendering a walk. North Gwinnett outfielder Draven Sonnon is committed to Georgia Tech and was selected to Gwinnett's Super Six team this season.


Blessed Trinity topped Greater Atlanta Christian 10-2 in non-region play and sent the Spartans to a slow 1-5 start. The Spartans first win came in a 17-11 shootout over Rockdale County.


Over the summer, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Megan Betsa of Union Grove as its 2012-13 Gatorade Georgia Softball Player of the Year. Betsa is playing at the University of Michigan this fall. The Wolverines opened their season without Betsta with a 6-4 win over Mary Persons. Aug. 23-24 Union Grove is slated to participate in two Cobb County Tournaments that will pin them against five teams in four days including a triple-header on Saturday (Roswell, Mt Pisgah and Harrison).




North Cobb topped Brookwood 3-0 to open the regular season. Abby Miller and Kaitlyn Woodruff combined for 14 kills. Lizzie Daniels added three blocks and Taylor Parrish totaled 26 assists for the Warriors.


Marietta heads into the Creekview-Sequoyah Classic with a 3-2 record. The Blue Devils won their first three matches before falling to North Paulding and Alpharetta in 2-0 sweeps.


Harrison has returned in 2013 with four commanding victories to start the season. The Hoyas have swept each of its opponents, and will play in the Aug. 17 Holy Innocents'-Marist State Finalist Playday, where they will face Marist, St. Pius, Lovett and Walton.


Blessed Trinity topped Johns Creek and Landmark Christian in its first two games. The Titans will face Johns Creek, Brookwood, North Cobb, Northview and Mill Creek this Saturday in the Wesleyan-Elite Eight Playday. 


Hebron Christian pulled off a three games to one victory over Buford to open the season. Eden Murray led the Lions with 17 kills and five blocks.




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