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SIGNING DAY RECAP

Today, we recap the top storylines from National Signing Day

 and preview this weekend's Swim & Dive state championships.

 


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In This Issue

Trivia
Question: 
How many Elite Junior Classic alumni did Auburn sign this year?

Today's answer can be found in the newsletter!

Wednesday's Answer:
Miller Grove held Stephenson to 12 second half points on Tuesday


GIRLS BASKETBALL RANKINGS


 

Class AAAAAA

1. South Forsyth

2. Osborne

3. Parkview

4. Mountain View

5. Woodstock

6. Archer

7. McEachern

8. Westlake

9. Norcross

10. North Forsyth


 

Class AAAAA

1. Brunswick

2. Mays

3. Effingham County

4. Sequoyah

5. Stephenson

6. Grovetown

7. Southwest DeKalb

8. Forest Park

9. Greenbrier

10. Woodland-Henry


 

Class AAAA

1. Jonesboro

2. Buford

3. St. Pius

4. Veterans

5. Mary Persons

6. Americus-Sumter

7. Bainbridge

8. Marist

9. Griffin

10. Northwest Whitfield


 

Class AAA

1. Dawson County

2. South Atlanta

3. Kendrick

4. Decatur

5. Laney

6. Beach

7. Washington County

8. Jefferson

9. Westminster

10. Morgan County


 

Class AA

1. Holy Innocents'

2. Pelham

3. Wesleyan

4. Model

5. Putnam County

6. Vidalia

7. Thomasville

8. Darlington

9. Manchester

10. McIntosh County Academy


 

Class A

1. St. Francis

2. Southwest Atlanta Christian

3. Taylor County

4. Tattnall Square

5. Savannah Country Day

6. Claxton

7. Turner County

8. Calvary Day

9. Stratford Academy

10. Mitchell County


 

 


 

BOYS BASKETBALL RANKINGS


 


Class AAAAAA

1. Wheeler

2. Tift County

3. Pebblebrook

4. Norcross

5. Shiloh

6. Tucker

7. Hillgrove

8. Pope

9. Douglas County

10. Hughes


 

Class AAAAA

1. Miller Grove

2. McIntosh

3. Allatoona

4. Gainesville

5. M.L. King

6. Brunswick

7. Southwest DeKalb

8. LaGrange

9. Carver-Columbus

10. Cedar Shoals


 

Class AAAA

1. Jonesboro

2. Johnson-Gainesville

3. St. Pius

4. Lithonia

5. Carrollton

6. Albany

7. Americus-Sumter

8. Burke County

9. Stone Mountain

10. Columbia


 

Class AAA

1. Laney

2. Jenkins

3. Cedar Grove

4. Morgan County

5. Johnson-Gainesville

6. South Atlanta

7. Blessed Trinity

8. Butler

9. Rutland

10. East Hall


 

Class AA

1. Pace Academy

2. Seminole County

3. Holy Innocnets'

4. Vidalia

5. Crawford County

6. Greater Atlanta Christian

7. Harlem

8. Thomasville

9. Model

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 


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Thursday, February 5, 2015




NATIONAL SIGNING DAY 2015
By Craig Sager II
Tech's instate signees highlight Signing Day

National Signing Day 2015 was bigger than ever this year as national and local media broadcasted the final college decisions of thousands of athletes from every corner of the country. In our own backyard, the Peach State once again took center stage as the nation's top programs battled for Georgia's deep list of prospects.

 

The amount of talent and the number of big names in this year's class rivals Georgia's star-studded Class of 2013 that 247sports considered the most talented class of recruits in the nation that year.

SigningDayFrenzy.com

That year lit the fuse at both ends as Georgia transformed from being considered one of the most talented states in the nation to a mandatory stop on every top program's radar.

 

Within Georgia's borders, we saw Georgia Tech put together a recruiting class this year that is considered to be the best in head coach Paul Johnson's tenure. The Yellow Jackets used 17 instate players to build its 27 player class, the most Georgia prospects to go to any school in the nation this year. Defensive end Anree St. Amour is one of the headliners in the class and the North Gwinnett standout was one of the hundreds of signees to come through the second annual Signing Day Frenzy celebration at Stars and Strikes. The event started with record-setting Pickens running back Shannon Brooks signing to Minnesota and continued with plenty of excitement as 92.9 The Game broadcasted live. Lakeside DeKalb brought Army signee Kellyen Walker and highly-touted defensive lineman Michael Horton. Horton informed the listens and fans in attendance that he was flipping from Florida to sign with Auburn.

 

CHAMPIONSHIP TALENT...

 

Georgia once again built a top 10 recruiting class, but the attention was shifted towards Georgia Tech's incoming class significantly more than previous years. One of the main aspects creating the excitement is the level of success and championship experience within the list of signees. Class AAAA state champion Buford sent safety David Curry to Georgia Tech on Wednesday, one week removed from Curry's

SigningDayFrenzy.com

decision to flip from Virginia. Class AA state champion Benedictine sent wide receiver Brad Stewart (AJC Class AA Player of the Year) to the Jackets in this year's class and Class A state champion running back Dorian Walker joined Tech's Class of 2015 after a breakout season for Mt. Paran. Linebacker Tyler Cooksey (Greater Atlanta Christian) and safety A.J. Gray (Washington County) both made the finals this past season in their respective classifications and brothers Scott and Brad Morgan manned the trenches this past season for Etowah and helped the Eagles reach the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

 

THE GEORGIA WAY...

 

The Georgia Bulldogs brought in 13 instate prospects this year and there is still a chance for Macon County safety Roquan Smith. Smith committed to UCLA on National Signing Day but has not yet signed his letter of intent and could ultimately land on the Dawgs. Callaway receiver Terry Godwin was a late pickup on National Signing Day as he signed with the Dawgs live on Fox Sports South Wednesday at 6:20 pm. Godwin picked Georgia over his other finalists Auburn and Alabama.

 

ELITE JUNIORS...

 

In December of 2013, the inaugural Elite Junior Classic took the field at McEachern High School. Many watching the junior all-stars share the spotlight wondered how that group would do when National Signing Day came 14 months later. By the end of National Signing Day, 53 of the first Elite Junior Classic participants were signed to play college football this fall at 38 different schools.

 

Wide receivers T.J. Rahming (McEachern) and Keyston Fuller (Griffin) both signed to Duke, while defensive back Khalil Brooks (Mays) and offensive lineman Josh Fannin will be teammates at Middle Tennessee State together this fall. 

 

Auburn plucked five prospects from the Elite Junior Classic in its No. 9 nationally ranked incoming class. Kicker Ian Shannon (Marietta), lineman Kaleb Kim (Mill Creek), Darius Slayton (Greater Atlanta Christian), Jordan Colbert (Griffin) and linebacker Robert Muschamp (Darlington) are all Tiger-bound. Wide receiver Daniel Imatorbhebhe (North Gwinnett) and lineman Brandon Sandifer (Northside-Warner Robins) are future Florida Gators teammates and Tyler Camp (Mary Persons) and Hunter Holland (Buford) are both headed to Western Kentucky.

 

UGA grabbed safety Rashad Roundtree (Lakeside-Evans) from the group, while Georgia Tech signed previously-mentioned Curry, Stewart and St.-Amour along with running back KirVonte Benson (Marietta).

SWIM & DIVE PREVIEW
By Lauren Goldstein
State championships set for GT Aquatic Center

Class AAAAAA Boys


 

Since Brookwood's state championship dynasty from 2008-2010, Georgia's highest classification has seen four different teams fight to win the state title. In the Class AAAAAA 2014 state

Photo by Craig Sager II

championships, Walton edged runner-up Chattahoochee in a come-from-behind second place finish in the last event (400 freestyle relay) to end the 14-year streak in which a Gwinnett County school had taken home the boys state championship. 

 

Parkview won four consecutive Class AAAAA state titles from 2000 to 2003, Collins Hill captured two in a row in 2004 and 2005, then Parkview clinched two more back-to-back in 2006 and 2007. Brookwood ended a three-year run from 2008 to 2010 when Peachtree Ridge prevailed in 2011. Panthers returned in 2012 and then in 2013 following the installment of the newly formed Class AAAAAA. 

 

Walton has returned this season with the depth, speed and determination to make a run at their second straight state title.  The Cobb County meet last month saw the defending state champions dominate their Cobb County opponents, racking up 601 points to win their 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 showed tremendous power finishing 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. 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.

 

However, the 2015 state championship will be no cakewalk for the Raiders. Gwinnett County is bringing the heat this season in hopes of taking back what had been theirs from 2000 to 2013. Returning for the Collins Hill team is South Carolina commit Cody Bekemeyer and junior Taylor Delk. This dynamic duo helped the Eagles compete amongst the best in Gwinnett County at their County meet last month to win their second straight county championship. They towered over rivals with 1,006 points to Parkview's 885 points, then North Gwinnett taking third (775) and Brookwood fourth (732).

 

Collins Hill, who has not won a state championship since 2005 look to do so with Bekemeyer and Delk at the helm. Each won a pair of individual titles at the county meet. 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. 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.

 

Among the standouts this season is Dalton Vaux who has led the Parkview Panthers. He 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 at the county meet.

 

Class A-AAAAA

 

Much like Class AAAAAA, there has not been one school to take charge since Westminster's six consecutive titles from 2003 to 2008. Marist won the trophy in 2009 and Greater Atlanta Christian in 2010. Wesleyan claimed the state title back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. The 2013 season saw the establishment of a new classification, combining the smaller classifications, and a new state champion, Dalton. Last season, St. Pius X edged runner-up Marist 199 points to 191 to seize the A-AAAAA state title but has lost now UGA swimmer, Gunnar Bentz.

 

Dalton boys return to the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center with vengeance after a seventh place finish at last year's state meet. The Catamounts dominated at the North Georgia Regionals last month where they boasted 208 points topping Rome (172), Cambridge (140), Blessed Trinity (103) and Jefferson (93). Dalton boys are led by record setting junior Ethan Young who looks to replicate his incredible run at state last year. Young broke a 14-year old state record in 100-backstroke on the second day of the state championships. The final day, he broke his one-day state record with a 47.26 finish.

 

Class AAAAA Girls

 

Since the installment of Class AAAAAA, there has been some consistency in Georgia's top class. Lambert girls have become the swimming powerhouse winning the state title the past two seasons. They took home their second straight state title last season out scoring second-place John's Creek 279 points to 246.5. Prior to the Longhorn's winning streak beginning in 2013, there had been five different champions since 2004. Lassiter earned the title for four consecutive years from 2008 to 2011 until Brookwood triumphed in 2012.

 

The Longhorns will return to the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center to defend their state title with the hopes of winning three in a row. Lambert is coming off their sixth Forysth County title finishing with 788.5 points, far ahead of the second-place South girls (603). The Lady Longhorns placed first in the 200-medley, 200-freestyle and 400-freestyle. Caroline Aikins won the 200-IM and the 100-backstoke, Katherine Aikins the 50-freestyle and Nicole Raicik the 100-butterfly.

 

However, the Longhorns have some steep competition from the Gwinnett County schools. Brookwood took home first place at the Gwinnett County meet for the 12th time in the past 16 years and stand as a favorite to win this year's state championship title. Brookwood finished with 1,023 points to hold off North Gwinnett (969.5), who was runner-up for the second straight year. Mill Creek (799.5) was third, followed by Parkview (624) and Peachtree Ridge (610).

 

The powerful Lady Broncos foursome of Maddy Cohen, Erin Scott, Devan Sweeney and Leila Taylor started the county meet with a 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-freestyle 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).

 

But do not count Cobb County schools out. Lassiter girls finished on top at Cobb County meet and will use their depth to rally for the state title in Class AAAAAA. Three of the four breaststrokers placed in the top five, with Lexi Glunn second in 1:07.25 seconds. Alexis Asip (1:08.83) and Lauren Brewer (1:08.94) were third and fourth, respectively. Lady Trojan Lisa O'Malley won 50-freestyle in 24.33, and Glunn in the 200-individual medley, in which she came 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.

 

Class A-AAAAA Girls

 

After the smaller classifications saw back-and-forth state champions in Westminster's six straight titles beginning in 2001, Marist's five consecutive from 2007 to 2011, then the Wildcats return in 2012 and 2013, Woodward Academy took home the title last season but lot record setter and Virginia swimmer Caitlin Cooper.

 

In the 45th Metro Swimming and Diving Championships last month the Marist relay team dominated in the pool. The foursomes of Kendall Nelson, Anna Cote, Gracie Crump and Marlaina Schwab and Nelson, Tori Lauterbach, Leona Harper and Lizzy Walls placed first in both the 200-medley relay (1:52.40) and the 200-freestlye relay (1:38.55) respectively. Lady War Eagle sophomore Elizabeth Bailey finished on top in a pair of individual events, the 200-IM (2:05. 30) and the 100-butterfly (56.48), after finishing in fourth and fifth place, respectively, at the state meet last year. Senior Katie Christy leads the Westminster squad finishing second place in the 200-freestlye (1:55.63) and 100-breastroke (1:07.73) at the Metro swim meet.

 

Wesleyan's team posted top finishes placing fourth. Abby Gardner, Sarah O'Kelley, Ellie Bradach and Sydney Weissman had the top relay finish for Wesleyan, taking third in the 200-freestyle relay (1:42.10). Gardner also placed first in the one-meter diving competition (476.95) and returns to the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center to defend her previous state title.









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