Class AAA boys championship at Chattahooche Golf Course, 8:30 a.m.
Class AAA girls state championship at Chestatee Golf Course, 8:30 a.m.
Riverside at Brookstone
South Forsyth girls at Flowery Branch
Chestatee girls at Allatoona, 6 p.m.
Pope boys at Habersham Central
Woodward Academy boys at Johnson
Gainesville boys at St. Pius
North Hall boys at Southeast Whitfield
Times TBA unless otherwise noted
If March is considered madness because of one NCAA men’s basketball tournament, imagine how this week could be classified.
Starting with the local three teams competing in today’s Class AAA state golf tournaments at Chattahoochee Golf Course and Chestatee Golf Course, 10 local programs will continue their journey to a state title this week in the baseball and soccer playoffs.
The boys and girls golf teams at Gainesville, the boys team at North Hall and Lumpkin County’s Aaron George all compete in today’s Class AAA state tournaments hosted by the Red Elephants. According to Gainesville coach Bryson Worley, this is the first time Chattahoochee has hosted a state tournament since 2002 when the Red Elephants finished third. The golf course has hosted the event at least five times that Worley knows of, and Gainesville has won a state title in three of those five tournaments.
Although the local competitors have a vast knowledge of both courses, Worley said the event’s organizers, specifically the Atlanta Junior Golf Association and Georgia High School Association, will alter the layout to make it more challenging.
“It will be set up tougher because it’s a state tournament,” said Worley, whose team will tee off at 8:30 a.m. “You want the good players to have to hit good shots and not just get lucky.”
The last time Gainesville played a competitive round at Chattahoochee, it won the Region 8-AAA championship by 10 strokes over North Hall. The Trojans begin the state tournament at 8:40 a.m., with coach Robert Mills is hoping for a little more consistency than what was on display in the region tournament.
“Our team score was right around what we’ve been doing all year, and we had to count an 85,” Mills said. “We didn’t get consistent play. You’ve got to have at least four guys playing pretty dog gone good to compete for a state championship. You can’t count an 85 and be close.”
North Hall has reached the state tournament six of the last eight years, while Gainesville hasn’t made it this far since 2007.
“And we have not been a bad golf team,” Worley said.
At Chestatee Golf Course, the Lady Red Elephants are making their third straight appearance in the Class AAA tournament after finishing second in the Region 8-AAA tournament to Franklin County.
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER: A day after the state champions in golf are determined, the girls soccer tournament resumes with a slate of second-round games including Flowery Branch hosting South Forsyth, and Chestatee traveling to Allatoona. The Lady Falcons (14-6), who missed the postseason last year, blanked Dunwoody, 2-0, in the first round of the Class AAAA tournament, while the Lady War Eagles defeated No. 2 seed LaGrange, 5-2, in the Class AAA tournament.
In the boys tournament, fourth-ranked Johnson (15-3) host Woodward Academy, which lost to Gainesville in last year’s Class AAA state championship game. The seventh-ranked Red Elephants (15-3) will have to pull off a second-round upset if they wish to make it back to the title game, as they travel to play top-ranked St. Pius X in the second round. North Hall (11-6) is also still alive in the boys tournament and will travel to play Southeast Whitfield, which defeated North Atlanta, 4-0, in the first round.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: The tournament-filled week concludes Friday with the opening of the state baseball playoffs, which features Buford (21-3) in Class AA, North Hall (21-5), Gainesville (22-4) and White County (21-4) in Class AAA, and Flowery Branch (18-6) in Class AAAA.
Each team will play a best-of-three series, with Game 3 scheduled for Saturday.
The Wolves, who won the Region 6-AA title, and the Warriors, who won the Region 8-AAA championship, will open the first round at home against Fannin County and Carrollton, respectively. The Red Elephants, the No. 2 seed from Region 8-AAA, will also open the postseason at home, and they will play Troup, the No. 3 seed from Region 5-AAA.
White County, Gainesville and North Hall finished region play with the same record, but because of a tiebreaker, the Trojans finished third and will head to LaGrange in the first round.
Flowery Branch, the third seed from Region 8-AAAA, travels to Dunwoody to take on the Wildcats (21-6).