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Today, we preview the final days leading up to National Signing Day 2015 and catch up with the latest swimming news in this week's notebook. 


ATTENTION HIGH SCHOOL COACHES: Our National Signing Day coverage continues this year with the 2nd Annual Signing Day Frenzy that will be held at Stars and Strikes in Sandy Springs. 

Call 404-246-1572 or email to set up a 15 minute time slot from 11AM-5PM on National Signing Day (Feb. 4) with your college signees to join the celebration. For more information CLICK HERE

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In This Issue

What four schools has Macon County star Roquan Smith listed as his final choices?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Wednesday's Answer:
Pace Academy's Elijah Holifield scored 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 68-66 win over Holy Innocents'.





1. Wheeler

2. Shiloh

3. Tift County

4. Pebblebrook

5. Norcross

6. Tucker

7. Douglas County

8. Collins Hill

9. Hillgrove

10. Alpharetta



1. Miller Grove

2. McIntosh

3. Allatoona

4. Gainesville

5. M.L. King

6. Brunswick

7. Stockbridge

8. Warner Robins

9. Apalachee

10. LaGrange


Class AAAA

1. Jonesboro

2. Johnson-Gainesville

3. Lithonia

4. St. Pius

5. Carrollton

6. Columbia

7. Americus-Sumter

8. Albany

9. Liberty County

10. Burke County


Class AAA

1. Laney

2. Jenkins

3. Cedar Grove

4. Morgan County

5. Johnson-Savannah

6. South Atlanta

7. Blessed Trinity

8. Butler

9. Rutland

10. Peach County


Class AA

1. Pace Academy

2. Seminole County

3. Holy Innocents'

4. Vidalia

5. Greater Atlanta Christian

6. Crawford County

7. Harlem

8. Thomasville

9. Bryan County

10. Coosa


Class A

1. St. Francis

2. Greenforest Christian

3. Athens Christian

4. Hancock Central

5. Whitefield Academy

6. Treutlen

7. Wilkinson County

8. Greenville

9. Calhoun County

10. Turner County






1. South Forsyth

2. Osborne

3. Parkview

4. Mountain View

5. Archer

6. Woodstock

7. McEachern

8. Westlake

9. Norcross

10. North Forsyth


1. Brunswick

2. Mays

3. Effingham County

4. Sequoyah

5. Stephenson

6. Cross Creek

7. Woodland-Henry

8. Grovetown

9. Southwest DeKalb

10. Forest Park

Class AAAA

1. Jonesboro

2. Buford

3. St. Pius

4. Veterans

5. Mary Persons

6. Americus-Sumter

7. Bainbridge

8. Marist

9. Griffin

10. Redan

Class AAA

1. Dawson County

2. South Atlanta

3. Kendrick

4. Decatur

5. Laney

6. Beach

7. Morgan County

8. Westminster

9. Washington County

10. Peach County

Class AA

1. Holy Innocents'

2. Pelham

3. Wesleyan

4. Model

5. Thomasville

6. Jeff Davis

7. Darlington

8. Putnam County

9. Vidalia

10. Early County

Class A

1. St. Francis

2. Southwest Atlanta Christian

3. Taylor County

4. Savannah Country Day

5. Tattnall Square

6. Turner County

7. Claxton

8. Calvary Day

9. Stratford Academy

10. Mitchell County


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Thursday, January 29, 2015

By Ricky Dimon
Georgia talent takes center stage on NSD 2015

For the second time in Georgia history, the best high school football players in metro Atlanta will come together to celebrate National Signing Day. Scheduled for next Wednesday, Feb. 4, National Signing Day is sure to dominate headlines across the nation. Georgia will undoubtedly make some of the loudest noise and it will resonate from the second annual National Signing Day Frenzy at Stars and Strikes of Sandy Springs.



Either from Stars and Strikes or from the friendly confines of their respective schools, some of the best players not only in this state but also in the entire nation will put their highly-anticipated decisions in writing. Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs already know they have one of the top prospects on board in Westover High School's Trenton Thompson. The 6-foot-4, 311-pound defensive tackle verbally committed to the Bulldogs last August. He was honored in early January with the American Family Insurance Defensive Player of the Year Award, given to the top defensive performer in the nation by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl selection committee.


"They were my first offer," Thompson said of the Dawgs after making his soon-to-be-confirmed decision. "They were the first coaches that came down to see me and showed me the most love. Georgia has great coaches and I have good relationships with them. The fan-base has also showed a lot of love and I also think that in the classroom Georgia can help me be the best student I can be."


The fan-base will be even more fired up if Darius Slayton (Greater Atlanta Christian wide receiver) and D'Andre Walker (Langston Hughes defensive end) join a class that has already locked

Photo by Jon Barash

up early enrollees Jonathan Ledbetter (Tucker defensive lineman) and Natrez Patrick (Mays defensive end). Slayton and Walker are committed, although Slayton seems to be at least somewhat of a question mark. As for Georgia Tech, its in-state crop is highlighted by Alexander running back Mikell Lands-Davis and head coach Paul Johnson is making a late play on one of Georgia's most overlooked prospects in Benedictine Military Academy's Brad Stewart.


Arguably one of the most fun aspects of National Signing Day is also unquestionably one of the most nerve-wracking: almost nothing is certain. Take, for instance, Callaway High School's Terry Godwin. The all-purpose athlete committed to UGA and just recently maintained that he is "still 100 percent" with the Bulldogs, but uncertainty is hovering in the air like a plume of dark smoke over Athens. Godwin took an official visit to Alabama last weekend, not long after looking at Auburn. Colorado State, where former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is now the head coach, also seems to be on Godwin's list along with Texas A&M.


Others are making it no secret that they are proverbial free agents heading into next Wednesday's festivities. Macon County's Roquan Smith is entertaining offers from Georgia, Michigan, Texas A&M and UCLA with no clear leader in the clubhouse. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound speedster of a linebacker was credited with 176 tackles as a senior and he returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns. Hapeville Charter defensive end Arden Key has already committed to and de-committed from South Carolina twice. He is apparently leaving room open for a third waffle, too, because he is expected to make another announcement on Monday-two days before signing day. Having already backed out of a scheduled announcement this week, Chidi Valentine-Okeke is also likely to make his intentions known next Monday. The Faith Baptist Christian Academy offensive tackle is considering SEC powers Alabama, Auburn and LSU.


"This is a period when I have to make a tough decision in my life," Valentine-Okeke told Fox Sports South on Monday. "I feel good, but schools are calling you. It's hard. I wanted to commit today, but I decided to change my mind this afternoon. I just want to feel free this week to make the right decision."       



Valentine-Okeke's comments punctuate the importance of the decisions that are soon to be made. National Signing Day is not only about college football teams positioning themselves for success in upcoming years, but also about life-changing moments for student-athletes. Because of those elements, combined with the fact the state of Georgia is a high school football hot-spot, it is only fitting for these players to be widely-recognized and applauded for their hard work and dedication. That is exactly what the National Signing Day Frenzy will hope to accomplish from 11 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. next Wednesday at Stars and Strikes. 


The Score Atlanta event is being presented by the National Guard, a strong supporter of high school sports in Georgia. With more than 100 schools and close to 500 players set to attend, the NSDF will be the largest-ever signing-day celebration. It will, of course, showcase Atlanta-based high school football players destined for FCS powerhouses of the ACC and SEC. Just as importantly, though, the event will do the same for those who are taking their talents to smaller levels of the college game.


NSDF will be open to the public, so family, friends and fans are encouraged to make appearances and show their support for these future stars. Lunch will be provided free to all signees and their head coaches. The radio partner for the event is 92.9 The Game, which will broadcast live from Stars and Strikes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reporters for 92.9 The Game will provide live call-in updates and player interviews while also serving as emcees.


Each high school team is assigned a time-slot during which its players will be publicly introduced before making their official announcements. Head coaches will personally introduce their respective players and are free to share stories with media and fans. Players are also allowed to address the crowd with a reflection on their high school football days and/or a look ahead to their college football careers. Additionally, various media outlets on site can look forward to the opportunity of conducting one-on-one interviews with both the coaches and the players. All in all, the National Signing Day Frenzy is sure to go down as a memorable event for players, coaches, media, family, friends, and everyone involved.




By Lauren Goldstein
Walton boys win fourth straight county title

Walton boys racked up 601 points in the Cobb County meet to bring home its fourth straight county title. Lassiter finished runner-up with 454 points, followed by Wheeler (364.5), Pope (280) and Hillgrove (254).


The Walton relay team of David Dingess, Tyler Yuen, Nicholas Froemming and Thaddius Macon finished first in the 200-freestyle relay with a new county-record time of 1:26.25 seconds, breaking a 13 year old record of 26.85 set by Lassiter.


Three Raiders' placed in the 500-freestyle helped them to seal the title. Stephen Lane took first (4:46.08), Yuen

Photo by Lauren Barnes

third (4:49.66) and Zachary Getty sixth (4:52.82). Dingess also placed first two individual events, 100-backstroke (51.75) and 100-butterfly (50.22) and in the 200-medley relay with teammates Froemming, Macon and Lane (1:34.88).Macon won the 100-breaststroke (58.12) as the No. 6 seed. Yuen, Lane, Amit Michaeli and Luke Bartnicki finished first in the 400-freestyle relay in 3:13.90.


The Trojans lacked first place finishes, which put them far behind the Raiders. The following swimmers finished second for Lassiter: Nick Loprinzo in the 200-IM (1:57.02), Brogan Bunner in the 100-backstroke (52.13) and Colin Riley in both 50-freestyle (21.43) and the 100-freestyle (46.69). Also both the 200-medley relay (1:37.46) and 400-freestyle relay (3:14.05) finished runner-up. 


Wheeler's Alexander Mayfield finished on top in the 200-IM (1:56.14), which helped the Wildcats finish third overall. Marietta's Tyler Harper took home two individual county titles in the 50-freestyle (20.96) and the 100-freestyle (45.97) and Mount Paran Christian's David Gray won the 200-freestyle as the No. 4 seed in 1:43.55.


Lady Trojans used their depth to defeat the defending state champions, Walton, to claim their first county title since 2011. Lassiter scored 683.5 points to beat out Walton (531.5), Pope (463), followed by Kennesaw Mountain (314) and Harrison (253.5). 


Three of the four breaststrokers placed in the top five, with Lexi Glunn second in 1 minute, 7.25 seconds. Alexis Asip (1:08.83) and Lauren Brewer (1:08.94) were third and fourth, respectively. 


Lassiter's Lisa O'Malley won 50-freestyle in 24.33, Glunn in the 200-individual medley, coming from behind to beat Kell's Alexandria Ham in 2:04.30. Lassiter also took points in the 200-freestyle, with Kelli Croft second (1:52.69) and Nastasi third (1:53.15). O'Malley was second in the 100-freestyle (52.83) and Anna Lofton fourth (54.44).


Walton's Emma Cole won the 100-butterfly in 55.30 and also finished second in the 500-freestyle (4:57.54) to help her team finish second. 


Pope took third after winning two out of the three relays. Emma Murray, Sarah Sorensen, Kirby Prestel and Britheny Joassaint won the 200-medley in 1:47.25. The same team also finished first in the 200-freestyle in 1:36.82. Joassaint won a pair of titles in the 100-freestyle (52.34) and the 100-backstroke (58.73). 


Murray, a University of Alabama commit, set a new county record in the 100-breaststroke (1:03.21), previously set by former Sprayberry swimmer Kristine Polley in 2008 with a time of 1:03.56.


Bekemeyer, Dalton dominate for the Eagles and Brookwood girls battle back to their place at the top 


Cody Bekemeyer and Taylor Delk helped their team dominate amongst the best in Gwinnett County to take home first place for the second straight year with 1,006 points. Parkview, the runner-up, finished with 885 points, then North Gwinnett taking third (775) and Brookwood fourth (732).


Bekemeyer and Delk each won a pair of individual titles. The two stars along with teammates Andrew Winton and Wesley finished first in the 200-medley relay (1:36.84). Bekemeyer won the 200 and 500-yard freestyle titles for the second straight year, lowering his own county-meet record in the 500-freestyle with a time of 4:28.22 and winning the 200-freestyle in 1:40.11. The other Collins Hill standout, Delk won the 200-individual medley in 1:52.62 and the 100-backstroke in 50.45, breaking the county-meet record in the backstroke.


Parkview's Dalton Vaux swept the 50-freestyle (21.18) and 100-freestyle (46.48) and placed first in the 200-free relay (1:26.23) with teammates Jacob Finco, Gregory Paulukaitis and Samuel Kim.


The Brookwood Lady Broncos took home first place at the Gwinnett County Swimming and Diving Championships for the 12th time in the past 16 after losing to Mill Creek girls in 2013 and 2014. They stand as a favorite to win this year's state championship title for Georgia's highest classification. Brookwood finished with 1,023 points to hold off North Gwinnett (969.5), which was runner-up for the second straight year. Mill Creek (799.5) was third, followed by Parkview (624) and Peachtree Ridge (610).


The powerful Broncos foursome of Maddy Cohen, Erin Scott, Devan Sweeney and Leila Taylor started the county meet with strong precedence, finishing first in the 200-medley relay with a county-meet record time of 1:45.85. Anna Jahns, Sweeney, Scott and Hansen won the 200-free relay in 1:38.01, closing the meet with a win in the 400-free relay behind Jahns, Haylie Dixon, Hansen and Cohen (3:32.61). Bronco's Cohen won her second consecutive 100-backstroke (55.76) county title in record breaking time and also finished first in the 100-free style (51.35). Scott won the 100-breaststroke (1:04.50) and Jahns won the 500-freestyle (4:53.11), both repeat titles from last season. Sweeney placed first in the 200-IM for the second straight year (2:05.27.


Peachtree Ridge senior Haley McInerny, a Kentucky recruit, won the 200-free in 1:49.45 and the 100-butterfly in 54.32, setting a new county-meet record, breaking her own title (54.54) from 2014. Parkview Morgan Fleming also earned a county title in the 50-freestyle (24.23).


Longhorns swim to six straight Forsyth County wins


Lambert High School won its sixth straight Forsyth County Championship Swim Meet, with the girls finishing with 788.5 points, South Forsyth girls finished runner-up with 603 points. The Lady Longhorns were champions in three relays: the 200-medley, 200-free and 400-free. Caroline Aikins placed first in the 200-IM and the 100-backstroke, Katherine Aikins in the 50-freestyle and Nicole Raicik won in the 100-butterfly.


Lambert boys swam to the top, racking up 702 points; West Forsyth finished runner-up with 506.5. Jared Chulavatr placed first in the 100-breaststroke and set a county-meet record (58.53). Zac Elz also set a meet record in the 50-freestyle.


South Forsyth senior Blake Atmore set a pair of meet records, in 100-butterfly (51.02) and the 100-backstroke (52.20). Bayley Frierson swam well for the Lady Comets taking first in the 500-freestyle.


Cameron Van De Velde was the champion in the 500-freestyle for West Forsyth boys team and teammate Sheridan Schreiber set a meet record in the 100-breaststroke (1:06.91) for the Lady Wolverines. Forsyth Central's Logan Belt set a meet record in the 200-IM.


Micah Gilliam of Forsyth Central took the boys one-meter diving title and West Forsyth's Hanna King took home the girls'.




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