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Archive By Author - Bill Murphy


Football: Christmas leads Trojans to Dome

North Hall football coach Bob Christmas got the Trojans over the hump this season.

The Trojans (13-1) made their first appearance in the Class AAA state semifinals - a welcomed change of pace after the school's first two appearances in the state quarterfinals in 2004 and 2006 yielded less favorable results.

January 03, 2008 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Cross Country Boys Runner of the Year: North Hall's Nick Long

Nick Long always finds a way to rise to the occasion. This North Hall High senior cross country runner can always be counted on to run his best in a pressure situation.

January 02, 2008 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Cross Country Girls Runner of the Year: White County's Sara Walcott

Sara Walcott is a student of running. No, she doesn't train for her favorite sport like it was a class with text books and a calculator.

January 02, 2008 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Prep wrestling: Vision Quest

West Hall High wrestling coach Rod Galvan looked at senior wrestler Colby Yates after the Spartans wrestled against Blessed Trinity two weeks ago and knew something was wrong.

Galvan was baffled at what could be bothering his star 130-pound grappler.

December 31, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Murphy: Football season full of highlights

I've seen a lot of great high school football this season. From the flooding rains back on opening night to the Buford Wolves hoisting the Class AA state championship trophy just a couple days ago in a chilly rain, it's been a season to remember.

December 28, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Volleyball Coach of the Year: Sharon Qualls

Sharon Qualls built quite a foundation with West Hall's volleyball program. In seven years at the helm, the first and only coach in the program's eight-year history she's set the bar high for future Lady Spartans team.

December 27, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


State champs: Buford back on top of Class AA

It wasn't close. It wasn't dramatic. And it certainly wasn't suspenseful.

December 27, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Volleyball Player of the Year: Katie Spell

Katie Spell never even planned on playing high school volleyball as a child. So the idea of leading the Trojans to back-to-back Area 7-AAA titles in her final two seasons of high school was the last thing on her mind.

December 27, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Blank says he felt 'betrayed' by Petrino

FLOWERY BRANCH - Atlanta Falcons owner and CEO Arthur Blank was clearly upset at the team's South Hall headquarters Wednesday, as he addressed the untimely departure of former head coach Bobby Petrino.

Blank, who was flanked by Falcons President and General Manager Rich McKay, were probed during a press conference about the 24-hour whirlwind of events that saw Petrino resign as Falcons coach and then accept the coaching vacancy at Arkansas late Tuesday night.

December 23, 2007 | Bill Murphy | Atlanta Falcons


MURPHY: Buford: Simply the best

Buford left quite an impression on football fans last weekend. The Wolves' breakfast edition of Class AA semifinal football was probably the most complete team that played in the Dome.

December 21, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


State playoffs: Trojans' dream season ends

ATLANTA - A teary locker room momentarily overshadowed a season's worth of accomplishments for North Hall following a 42-21 loss to Cairo in the Class AAA semifinals Saturday at the Georgia Dome. The loss brought an end to a season of firsts in school history, most notably the first appearance playing in the state semifinals and single-season record 13 wins.

The Trojans (13-1) were hoping for a shot at their first football state title in school history. But the dazzling speed of the Syrupmakers (13-1) brought a sudden end to those dreams with 35 third quarter points.

December 20, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Trojans just two games from title

Lights, camera, action.

December 19, 2007 | Bill Murphy | Sports columnists


Football: From the Brickyard to the Dome: A look back at North Hall's journey

It can be hard for a season to parallel expectations going into the season. There are often times too many unexpected variables, such as injuries, intersquad discontent and player misconduct, that can sideline a season with previously high expectations.

North Hall football coach Bob Christmas didn't want to turn a blind-eye to the possibility of adversity to an otherwise talented team when the season began.

December 18, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Football: Trojans' young guns make big impact

Thomas Sprague had to make a split-second decision. And there was no room for error.

Against Perry last week in the Class AAA state quarterfinals, the North Hall sophomore linebacker was in the end zone, in coverage, when the ball came right in his direction. His first reaction was he wasn't in position for the interception, so he went with his next best option to bat the ball down and prevent a touchdown. It proved to be a very wise decision.

December 17, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Four days to the Dome: Hard-hitting Hulsey finds home on special teams

Chase Hulsey's eyes widen just thinking about playing in the Georgia Dome on Saturday afternoon. This North Hall senior gets goose bumps visualizing running out of the tunnel onto the field for the AAA semifinal against Cairo.

There will be a sea of green there to support the Trojans. But first and foremost for Hulsey it's a business trip to win a football game.

December 15, 2007 | Bill Murphy | High schools


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Articles By Author - Bill Murphy


Crocker homers for East Hall in 6-1 win against Dawson County

Winning baseball doesn't have to be flashy. Timely hitting, solid defense and pitching in the strike zone consistently seems to be working just fine for East Hall.

March 30, 2015 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Riverside boys, Flowery Branch girls win Hall County track & field championships

Some of the most gripping action came right at the end of the Hall County track and field championships.

March 27, 2015 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Kilcoyne's three hits lead Flowery Branch past Lanier 8-3

FLOWERY BRANCH - Marq Kilcoyne's final hit of the night went a long way toward snapping Flowery Branch's two-game losing streak.

March 25, 2015 | Bill Murphy | High schools


North Hall's Hewett makes two amazing defensive plays in 15-0 win against White County

Twice on Friday, North Hall left fielder Lincoln Hewett made a defensive play that was nothing short on spectacular.

March 20, 2015 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Local basketball talent in Savannah for GACA all-star games

Some of Hall County and Northeast Georgia's dynamic high school basketball stars will join forces with players from the rest of the state Saturday in Savannah. Games featuring the top juniors and seniors for boys and girls are slated for the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Games at Savannah State University.

March 20, 2015 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Balanced attack leads Flowery Branch girls to 3-0 soccer win against Johnson

OAKWOOD - Madeline McCarthy wants to be a difference maker for the Flowery Branch girls soccer program. On a roster ripe with youth, the Lady Falcons' senior midfielder sees it as her place to bring a little energy to the pitch as they get ready for the main stretch of games in Region 8-AAAAA.

March 17, 2015 | Bill Murphy | High schools


Gainesville's title dreams dashed, 24-17 at Allatoona

ACWORTH - Gainesville was in it to the very end.

November 28, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Passing fancy: Gainesville holds off Harris County, 49-40

HAMILTON – Mikey Gonzalez has carved out his own legacy for Gainesville. His year as the Red Elephants' signal-caller will be remembered for winning huge games with clutch performances.

November 21, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Byrd carries Gainesville past pesky Creekview, 42-37

Tapped out of energy from a three-hour slugfest and numb from freezing temperatures most of the night, Gainesville's players were still able to celebrate following Friday's playoff opener against Creekview.

November 15, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Gainesville headed into postseason on a high note

Gainesville finished the regular season with a much different feeling than it started just three months ago.

November 08, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Defense picks up Gainesville in 20-7 win over Loganville

When Gainesville needed a lift late in Friday's contest against Loganville, hard-hitting defensive back Toddrick Turner was more than happy to oblige.

November 01, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Watson sparks East Hall over Franklin County, 34-7

On a handful of occasions Friday, Devin Watson made plays that were sheer athletic brilliance for East Hall.

October 25, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Gainesville airs it out to beat Clarke Central, 35-10

Gainesville got rid of a bitter taste in its mouth with a sharp performance Friday against Clarke Central when it needed it most.

October 18, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Falcons' playoff hopes hurt by 32-12 loss to Clarke Central

There wasn't a lot of mystery with what went wrong after a promising start for Flowery Branch on Friday.

October 10, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


Turner's heroics, late TD lift Lakeview over Hebron, 29-27

Lakeview Academy's Tae Turner is a do-it-all kind of player.

October 03, 2014 | Bill Murphy | All prep football news


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