The chase for a state title in soccer kicks off this week for a number of local programs. The Gainesville boys, No. 2 seed out of Area 8-AAA, will open their quest for another state title in Class AAA playing host to LaGrange at 7:30 p.m. Friday at City Park. Also, the Area 8-AAAA champion Flowery Branch girls play host to Dunwoody on Tuesday in the first round of state 6 p.m. Tuesday at Falcons Field.
The Area 8-AAA champion Johnson boys play host to Troup on Friday at Billy Ellis Memorial. Also in Area 8-AAA boys action, North Hall, a No. 3 seed, visits Columbus in the first round on Friday, and Chestatee, a No. 4 seed, visits Carrollton at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
In Class AAAA boys, Habersham Central plays host to Tucker at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Mount Airy. Meanwhile in Class AA, East Hall visits Greater Atlanta Christian at 5 p.m, Friday in Lilburn. In Class A, Riverside Military visits Wesleyan at 7 p.m. Thursday in Norcross, with the winner playing the region champion from Area 2-A in the second round.
In Area 8-AAA girls action, Johnson, Chestatee and West Hall all made the state tournament. No. 2 seed Johnson plays host to Columbus at 6 p.m. on Thursday, while No. 3 seed Chestatee visits LaGrange at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. No. 4 seed West Hall goes on the road to play Area 6-AAA champion Carrollton on Thursday.
HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS: The second round of the state playoffs is on tap Tuesday for the Gainesville High boys. After a first-round victory against Shaw last week, the Red Elephants play host to St. Pius X on Tuesday at Longwood Park. Gainesville swept doubles Austinn Miller/Jake Maddox and Alexander Davis/Alec Zais to roll to a 4-1 win in Columbus against Shaw in first-round action.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: The final week of the regular season has some fighting for a region title, while others are just scrapping to get into the postseason.
Gainesville (18-4, 16-4 Region 8-AAA) and North Hall (18-4, 17-3) will play the second and final game of the season between these cross-county rivals Monday at Ivey-Watson Field. Both schools are still in the running for the region title, along with White County, and both have already secured a playoff spot.
The Red Elephants won the first meeting against North Hall 7-4 on March 25 at Jody Davis Field.
Meanwhile, Lakeview Academy (12-11, 10-8 Region 8-A) is in fourth place in the region, but has to win against Towns County on Tuesday, then at home against Tallulah Falls on Wednesday to assure a trip to the playoffs.
TRACK AND FIELD: The Region 8-AAA boys championship will be decided tonight at Lanier High in Sugar Hill. North Hall holds the lead after Day 1 with 50 points. Gainesville is second with 42 points.
Girls region championships and spots to state will be decided this weekend. Region 8-AAA will be contested at Walnut Grove starting on Friday, while Region 8-AA will compete at East Jackson High. Westminster is the host site for Region 6-AA.