Durward Pennington never wavered in his passion for Gainesville High athletics and helping kids maximize their potential.
Benjie Wood's mind is going to be racing Saturday as his North Hall boys prepare to face Johnson-Savannah in tonight's Class AAA state semifinal game five hours from home at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah.
North Hall's baseball team is off to a great start to the season, especially when you consider the fact that it is currently playing without two starters. The Trojans (2-0) have rolled to wins against Lumpkin County and Chestatee without much trouble, even though senior starters Griffin Olson and Adam Kelly are still playing with the school's basketball program.
One thing's clear about the run the Gainesville boys basketball team is on in the state tournament: It knows how to win the close ones.
Gainesville baseball coach Jeremy Kemp is going light on praise for his squad right now, even though he understands fully the Red Elephants are one of the favorites with the move up two classifications and playing in Region 8-AAAAA this season.
Wild roller coasters and momentum swings are just a part of the game for the Chestatee girls basketball team, so much so that its coach Web Daniel calls his group 'the heart attacks.' More often than not this season, it's ended up in the Lady War Eagles' favor. Tuesday's Class AAAA playoff opener against Columbus was no exception.
If initial rankings serve as any indication, it's shaping up to be a stellar season of high school soccer across the area. Look no further than Region 7-AAA for proof of that. Four girls teams (Buford, Dawson County, West Hall and North Hall) and four boys teams (Buford, Dawson County, East Hall and North Hall) all opened the season ranked in the top 10 on EuroSportScoreboard.com.
MACON - Jefferson's Jace McColskey left Saturday's traditional state championship wrestling meet feeling extremely satisfied as a first-time state champion in the final high school match he'll ever wrestle.
OAKWOOD - Chestatee's Erin Clifford was faced with a difficult decision with the ball in hand behind the 3-point line late in Thursday's game against Eastside during the Region 8-AAAA semifinals at Johnson High. Leading by eight with only 5:20 left to play, Clifford debated passing down inside to senior Maegan Kenimer, who was in the midst of a stellar performance.
There's no cakewalk for wrestlers on their way to the traditional state championship weekend in Macon, regardless of weight class or classification. Few of the wrestlers who survive the grind of eliminations to make it to this stage are as healthy as they were when the season started three months ago.
Anna Staub puts all of her athletic accomplishments in perspective, even though she thoroughly enjoys playing for a winning program at Heritage Academy.
The North Hall boys came out on top twice Friday at Buford. First and most importantly for the Trojans (23-2, 13-1 Region 7-AAA), they won the regular season finale against the Wolves 68-63. Then after the game, with both teams tied with a 13-1 region mark, North Hall won the coin flip between the two coaches to secure the No. 1 seed to the Region 7-AAA tournament next week. Buford is now the No. 2 ...
Gainesville High junior quarterback Deshaun Watson is well aware of the battles that go on for the top national prospects every season up until National Signing Day, which this year took place on Wednesday. Watson, the 2012 Associated Press Georgia Player of the Year, makes no promises that his will not go down to the wire either, even though he is currently verbally committed to Clemson University.
National signing day for high school athletes is usually the marker for the end of one chapter in life and the launching point for the next four years. For three of Johnson High's football players, it just signified the next step in a close-knit friendship that dates back six years.
Wednesday is the biggest offseason day for college football fans eager to see their favorite program build for the future. National Signing Day is when high school players get the chance to make often-times shaky verbal commitments permanent with a signed letter of intent.
Spring football is just as important as a high school coach wants it to be. Even though it's good to get as many players in uniform for evaluation as much as possible, it's up for debate whether it has to be done at the end of the calendar school year to yield any better results.
North Hall fed off the production of senior pitcher Preston Graham so far this postseason. Through two rounds, Graham has posted two complete-game shutouts.
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