This week welcomes in the high school season for softball and volleyball. Softball season starts this week with teams taking part in tournaments, as well as nonregion games before the region schedule begins later in the month.
Starting on Friday, teams will descend on the Lanier Point Softball Complex for the Lanier Point Invitational. Habersham Central, Union County, West Hall, Chestatee and East Hall will all be part of this two-day event. Meanwhile, Johnson will open the season by taking part in the Sawnee Mountain tournament in Forsyth County, and Jefferson High will travel to the South Gwinnett tournament on Friday.
Volleyball season also opens with Johnson and Jefferson, among others, opening the season this week with nonregion games.
This week also shows that football season is getting closer to opening. Buford, Habersham Central, White County, West Hall, Chestatee, Gainesville, Lumpkin County, Riverside Military, East Hall, Johnson and Banks County all will play their scrimmage games this weekend. Jefferson, Dawson County, Lakeview Academy, North Hall and Jackson County have opted to play their scrimmages next weekend before the regular season opens Aug. 28.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves and Triple-A Gwinnett Braves continue their push for the postseason. The Atlanta Braves have the rare occasion of two days off this week. The Braves are off today, then begin a two-game home series against the
Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Then the Braves are off again on Thursday, before opening a four-game home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies.
On Tuesday, rookie Tommy Hanson (6-2, 3.22 ERA) will pitch for Atlanta against the Nationals. In his last outing, Hanson picked up the win against the San Diego Padres, allowing only five hits and two earned runs over six innings. On Wednesday, veteran Derek Lowe (11-7, 4.15) will pitch for the Braves. He took a no-decision in his last outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Thursday.
Meanwhile, the G-Braves are locked in a race for the International League South title and a wild-card chase. This week, Gwinnett is home for four games against the Durham Bulls, followed by a series against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
The PGA championship is this weekend at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. One of the premier opening-round pairings puts Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington together. These two battled last weekend in the Bridgestone Invitational.