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This week: Shootout kicks off busy week
Gainesville High’s Justin Cochran watches his drive from the number one tee at Royal Lakes Golf Course earlier this month during the Hall County Golf Championships.
The high school sports docket is going to be a busy one coming off a week that was dominated by cancellations due to poor weather. Baseball, soccer and golf all have headliner games and events scheduled for this week.

The fifth-annual Big Red Shootout golf tournament is today at the Chattahoochee Golf Course. This boys tournament is a premier high school golf event with a pool including many of Hall County’s schools along with ranked metro Atlanta schools, including five schools ranked in Class AAA’s coaches poll. Top-ranked North Hall, fourth-ranked Elbert County, sixth-ranked St. Pius, No. 7 Lumpkin County and ninth-ranked Gainesville are all part of the Big Red Shootout field. Other local teams in the field include West Hall, Johnson, White County, Riverside Military, Habersham Central and North Forsyth.

Past winners of the Big Red Shootout include Westminster (2005 and 2006), North Hall (2007) and South Forsyth (2008).

The Northeast Georgia Mountains Cup finals, third place and consolation games have been pushed back to Friday, due to heavy rain that hit the area last Friday when the games were originally scheduled to play. In the boys finals, Johnson and West Hall will face each other Friday at Chestatee High for the Cup title. The girls final is a matchup of West Hall and Chestatee on Friday at the Allen Creek Soccer Complex.

This week also marks the midway point of the high school baseball schedule in Region 7-AAA. The second round of the region schedule opens today with Flowery Branch at Gainesville, Lumpkin County vs. Gilmer, Creekview at White County, and West Forsyth at North Hall, among others.

Baseball teams will also make up games postponed last Friday. Games with playoff implications that have to be made up this week are North Hall at Lumpkin County, Flowery Branch at West Forsyth, and Gainesville at Creekview.

In Region 8-A, Lakeview Academy has to make up games against Athens Academy and Athens Christian. In Region 6-AA, Buford will play host to Greater Atlanta Christian in a game rescheduled from last Friday.

High school baseball isn’t the only thing getting played on the diamond this week, as the Major League Baseball season opens Sunday. The Atlanta Braves open Sunday night at Philadelphia against the defending World Series champion Phillies.

The Braves have a much different look this season with a bolstered pitching staff, including the offseason acquisition of Derek Lowe from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Javier Vazquez from the Chicago White Sox and Japanese phenom Kenshin Kawakami. Tom Glavine is one of the few holdovers from last year’s pitching staff that saw longtime Brave John Smoltz sign with the Boston Red Sox during the offseason, after spending 20 seasons with Atlanta.

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