STAR student Hannah O'Hara & STAR teacher Hayden Lane: March 2014 Jack Jacquet 7th grade 03/21/14 Chris Williams, Britt Lee, Ross Wood, Rafe Chapple,Brynn Finneran & Heather Ferrari
Judy Tenney inducted into GA Dugout Softball Hall Of Fame - Jan. 18, 2014 - Photo by Kristy Shelton Cheer 2014 Bill Kallenberg Swim 2014 Bill Kallenberg Isaiah Wilkins vs Wesleyan 01-10-14 Bill Kallenberg MitchellShea, DJCoker GunnarNelson Medalists at Prep Slam 01-18-14 Brianna Cummings Brianna Cummings Isaiah Wilkins Cindy Brogdon - GAC Class of 1975 - Google Images Cindy Brogdon - GAC Class of 1975 - Google Images Isaiah Wilkins vs. Seneca SC in Jared Cook Tipoff Classic at N. Gwinnett: Kyle Hess/GDP Micah Abernathy, Paul Carothers & Chris Williams vs. Rabun Co. 11/15/13 State AA 1st round; Bill Kallenberg Tim Hardy with team after Lovett loss - Kyle Hess/GDP Rafe Chapple - Lovett fumble - Kyle Hess/GDP Isaiah Wilkins - GDP Darius Slayton vs. Wesleyan - Nov. 1, 2013 - Karl L. Moore/GDP Micah Abernathy & Paul Carothers celebrate TD vs. Wesleyan - Karl L. Moore/GDP Price Roberts - 2013 - GDP/Martin Photography GAC Annual Fund 2013-14 [95% participation] Volleyball Varsity 2013 with coaches - Photo by Roby Kerr (parent) Football logo Chase Roberts blocks Syracuse - Bobby Dodd Stadium - Oct. 19, 2013 Chase Roberts - - GAC Class of 2012 Chaney Means - GAC Class of 2010 & Senior at Western Kentucky University Jessica Tuggle - 2013 VSU Homecoming Queen - Valdosta Daily Times ueenValdostaDailyTimes.jpg" /> Volleyball Seniors 2013 - Glenn Martin
Darius Slayton - WR - Martin Photography - GDP
2013 Varsity Volleyball Team - Glenn Martin Photography Parker Polhill - WR/DB - 2013 - Brendan Sullivan/GDP Miller Kettle - Jr. - second from left - Eagle Invitational - 09/14/13 Caitlin Galvin - 9th grade - 2013 cross country Chaney Means - 2013-14 Western Kentucky Univ. Hilltoppers - Senior Julian Horton - Arkansas Mac Sullivan Rafe Chapple Ross Wood Abby Gipson & Ansley Tolbert Katie Migliore, Megan Boyd, Elizabeth Ernest & Jessica Lindler Falcons Invitational 04/20/13 Falcons Invitational 04/20/13 Falcons Invitational 04/20/13 Madeline Barker - UGA soccer - John Bohn GDP Max Gomas 2013 - Brendan Sullivan/GDP (L-R) Elizabeth Mizell & Bailey Tardy - The First Tee Invitational at East Lake 03-16-2013 Halle Huff - 2013 sophomore - Soccer - Gwinnett Daily Post Bailey Tardy (sophomore) - 2013 Golf Super Six - Gwinnett Daily Post Collin Swinton - Feb. 2013 - State 2nd Round - Brendan Sullivan GDP Isaiah Wilkins - Feb. 2013 - State 2nd round - Brendan Sullivan GDP Justin Lewis - Feb. 2013 - State 2nd round - Brendan Sullivan GDP Troy Morrison - Feb. 2013 - State 2nd round - Brendan Sullivan GDP Whit Anderson - GDP Super Six - 2013 Lacrosse February 2013 Birthdays: Tim Vick & Kathy Sisco Rachel Garcia - Super Six Taylor Wagnon - Super Six Max Gomas - Super Six Kayla Puzas - Super Six Maileka Slayton: 2013 Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six - track & field 2013 FB Signing Day: Tim Hardy, Peter Whiteneck, Daniel Yoon & Andrew Lewis: GDP 2013 Swimming State Championship Logo - 2013 Traditional Wrestling State Championship Logo - Mitchell Shea: 2013 Area Champion (195 lbs) - photo by John Clinebell Carter Clinebell: 2013 Area Champion (132 lbs) - photo by John Clinebell Kalif Raymond: GAC Class of 2011 - College of the Holy Cross 2013 Varsity Wrestling Team & Coaches: Runner-up at Area Tournament (John Clinebell photo) Fencing: Wesley McDowell (sophomore 2012-2013) Chaney Means: Western Kentucky Univ. Varsity wrestling 2013; photo by Lea Toomey L to R: Carter Clinebell, Brandon Bradley, Trent Scates, Kyle Politz & Mitchell Shea JV wrestling 2013; photo by Lea Toomey L to R: Josh Snyder, Austin Phan, Brandon Toomey & Kevin Shrake Sherill Baker - Auburn University: Director of BB Services (2012 Brianna Cummings 01/11/13 vs Buford [John Bohn/GDP] Sydni Means 01/11/13 vs Buford [John Bohn/GDP] Sydni Means 01/11/13 vs Buford [John Bohn/GDP] Daniel Yoon: 2012 senior football offensive lineman [GDP] Delano Spencer - Brian Kamer/GDP Lady Spartans 2012 - (Dec. 2012 Mark Mahre) Delano Spencer - Super Six - Gwinnett Daily Post Kyle Scales with block from Carothers vs. Heard Co. 2nd round playoff 11/23/12 Peter Whiteneck vs. Heard Co. 11/23/12 Kyle Scales [John Bohn GDP] Micah Abernathy tackles David Monte/Wesleyan [John Bohn/GDP] Peter Whiteneck recovers his fumble [John Bohn/GDP 11/02/12] Rafe Chapple scores/#8Chris Williams vs Wesleyan [John Bohn/GDP] Connor Crumrine [2012 GDP] Emily Becker: Final Four vs Westminster 10/31/12 [John Bohn/GDP] Price & Chase Roberts - 2011 Season (Photo by Dawn Roberts) Mario Lozano - Oct. 2012 Doctor Tim Vick - October 2012 [Photo from Kathy Sisco/Facebook] Chase & Price Roberts with grandmother Mardi Roberts Morris - Fall 2011 #17 Kyle Scales vs. Thomson 10/05/12 #17Kyle Scales vs. Thomson Oct. 5, 2012 #17 Kyle Scales vs. Westminster 10/12/12 #4 Micah Abernathy vs. Westminster Oct. 12, 2012 Oct. 10, 2012 Annual Fund Chris Thomas - Chris Thomas - #3 Peter Whiteneck - GDP Britt Lee - GDP Kyle Scales - John Bohn/GDP Trevor Dedecker - Brendan Sullivan/GDP Tim Hardy - GDP #2 Darius Slayton blocks Chamblee FG - 09-13-12 (John Reynolds) #8 Chris Williams #2 Darius Slayton Photos taken Sept. 12, 2012 Trevor Dedecker intercepts vs. Chamblee 09/13/12: John Reynolds/Martin Photography Britt Lee (2012) Kyle Scales vs. Apalachee (John Reynolds) Mary Johnson makes tag on Lovett (John Reynolds) 2012 Volleyball (Brendan Sullivan/GDP) Emma Taylor 2012 Emily Becker 2012 Tayler MacPherson 2012 Volleyball pregame Courtney Czentnar vs. Mt. Pisgah is out at home. Jada Lake pitches Mary Johnson catches behind the plate 2012 Softball Team Pregame 08/30/12 Jaelen Venable breaks up Savannah try for 2-points PAT Paul Carothers celebrates big hit on defense Ross Wood returns pass interception vs. Savannah Tailback Kyle Scales Peter Whiteneck vs. Savannah Team celebrates victory over Savannah Jared Chapple: UGA vs. Buffalo; 09/01/12 Trevor Dedecker Rafe Chapple Darius Slayton Kyle Scales, Peter Whiteneck, Daniel Yoon Kyle Scales Peter Whiteneck 2012 Volleyball Seniors: Emma Taylor (left) & Jennie McCarty
2012 Baseball - Gwinnett Dugout Club awards
2012 Girls Golf State Champions
AA Girls State Track & Field Champions 2012
AA Girls State Track & Field Champions 2012
Brittany Arnold - State Track Meet 2012
Maileka Slayton - State Track Meet 2012
2012 Region 6-AA Golf Champions

2012 Spartan Golf Classic at Legacy On Lanier Golf Club (l-r) Dan Foster, Mike Maltby, Stewart Cink & Joe Chapple

Catherine Chason - GAC Class of 2012

Emee Herbert - Tusculum College

Stewart Cink - 2009 British Open Winner

Jimmy Stahlke vs Buford's Carlos Gutierrez 03/27/12

Will Hamryka

Justin Phan

Elizabeth Mizell, Kathryn Fazekas, Bailey Tardy

Elizabeth Mizell, Kathryn Fazekas, Bailey Tardy


Rachel Garcia (soccer) & Meghan Greathouse (lacrosse): Spring 2012

C. Michael Morris, M.D.

Claire Goodson - Samford University sophomore (2012) - pole vault

Cosette Mahre guards Model's Bekkah Sapp: State 2nd round 02/28/12 (Lisa Hall/Rome News-Tribune)

Lady Spartans golfer win Girls Gwinnett County Open Championship - Feb. 25, 2012

Rachel Garcia - Super Six soccer - Spring 2012

Rachel Garcia (soccer) & Meghan Greathouse (lacrosse): Spring 2012

Meghan Greathouse - Lacrosse Super Six / Spring 2012

Celia Grace Fincher - Born Feb. 12, 2012

2012 Area 6-AA Champions [photo by Kent Feuerbach]

Jonathan Ford

LaVondre Nelson

Chase Roberts

William & Joanna Brooks - Seventh grade (Jan. 21, 2012)

2012 Spartan Spirit Night: LaVondre Nelson & Ellie Huizenga


T-Bob Hebert - LSU (2011-2012)

Wrestling team 2011-2012

Zach Feuerbach

Zach Feuerbach

Brianna Cummings

Lauren Bryan at 2011 State Semifinals vs. Westminster

Emee Herbert

Stewart Abrahart

Scotty Smith 2011

Scotty Smith - Class of 2011


Nathan Burton
Linebackers Coach
University of Tennessee - Martin
Nathan Burton begins his first season as the Skyhawks linebackers coach.
He comes to UT Martin from Oklahoma State where he served as a defensive graduate assistant this past season. Before that he was a defensive graduate assistant and quality controller at Georgia Tech from 2005-09.
He's worked with defensive coordinators Jon Tenuta (Georgia Tech) and Bill Young (Oklahoma State).
As a player at Georgia Tech, Burton was a four-year letter winner and he earned a scholarship two years after walking on. He played in 12 of 13 games during his redshirt-freshman year as a walk-on. In 2004 he was the Georgia Tech Lifter of the Year.
Burton started at the safety position at Georgia Tech in the Nickel and Dime defensive packages.

A record-setting performance by UNA quarterback Lee Chapple led the way as he completed 37 of 47 passes for 447 yards and three touchdowns. The University of North Alabama recorded its 400th collegiate football victory at Morris Stadium Saturday downing Glenville State 54-10. Chapple set a UNA record for passing yards in a game with 447. He eclipsed the mark of 431 by Harrison Beck against Arkansas Tech in 2009. It was just the third 400-plus yard passing game in UNA history. Chapple also tied the UNA record for completions in a game with 37, tying the mark set by Vinnie Saylor against Central Arkansas in 2005.




Classes resume after Winter Break
5:00pm State AA Swimming Preliminaries; Westminster School
8:00am State AA Traditional Wrestling; Arena at Gwinnett Center

8:30am State AA Traditional Wrestling; Arena at Gwinnett Center
6:00pm State AA Swimming Finals; Westminster School
Varsity girls & boys basketball: Region 6-AA Tournament; Long Forum:
4:00pm Girls - Decatur vs. Blessed Trinity
5:30pm Boys - Buford vs. Westminster
7:00pm Girls - GACS vs. Cross Keys
8:30pm Boys - GACs vs. Cross Keys

Varsity girls & boys basketball: Region 6-AA Tournament; Long Forum:
4:00pm Girls - Lovett vs. Westminster
5:30pm Boys - Lovett vs. Decatur
7:00pm Girls - Buford vs. Avondale
8:30pm Boys - Blessed Trinity vs. Avondale

10:00am State AA Traditional Wrestling; Arena at Gwinnett Center
Varsity girls & boys basketball: Region 6-AA Tournament; Long Forum:
3:00pm TBD Girls semifinals
4:30pm TBD Boys semifinals
6:00pm TBD Girls semifinals
7:30pm TBD Boys semifinals

Varsity girls & boys basketball: Region 6-AA Tournament; Long Forum:
4:00pm TBD Girls Third Place Game
5:30pm TBD Boys Third Place Game
7:00pm TBD Girls Championship Game
8:30pm TBD Boys Championship Game


$47,293.50 as of July 31, 2009
$62,467.22 as of August 31, 2009
$61,418.79 as of September 30, 2009
$68,541.50 as of October 31, 2009
$62,633.94 as of November 30, 2009
$63,257.03 as of December 31, 2009
$63,774.39 as of January 31, 2010



It's that time of the year!
Today through March 2
Look for your snapcode
in your email account.
______Do it today!_______



Head Coach Eddie Martin
[Photo by Gwinnett Daily Post]


Change of plans leads Spartans past Decatur
by Guy Curtright, Sports Writer
Jan. 23 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS — Eddie Martin is a man-to-man defensive coach tried and true. “I don’t even like to admit that I can spell zone,” the Greater Atlanta Christian coach said.

But Martin, who won three consecutive Class AAAAA state championships at Norcross, didn’t get to be as successful as he’s been during his long career without being flexible.

“A coach can’t be too hard headed to change something that isn’t working,” he said.

Martin’s trademark man-to-man wasn’t getting it done Friday night. Nic Wilson was scoring at will and No. 3-ranked Decatur was putting a scare into the top-ranked GAC boys in a Region 6-AA showdown.

So the Spartans went to a 1-3-1 zone with Paul Dawson at the top late in the third quarter and a two-point game became a 69-51 GAC victory at a loud and nearly full Long Forum on Spartan Spirit Night.

Dawson, quiet until then, scored 12 consecutive points — most the result of steals — and GAC blew the game wide open while improving to 17-1 overall and 8-0 in Region 6-AA.

“We work on the zone at practice, but we hardly ever use it,” the junior point guard said. “It’s our defense of last resort.”

Decatur made GAC turn to it because no one was stopping Wilson, a 6-foot-6 senior whose father, Carter, is the Bulldogs’ coach. Working inside and out, Wilson had 20 points when Martin ordered the defensive switch.
He didn’t score again.

“Going to the zone made a big difference and Paul had some huge steals,” Martin said.

Dawson, who finished with 17 points, had four of his six steals after the switch and all of them led to scores as GAC not only started stopping Decatur, but also began getting easy baskets in transition.

“We usually like to play man-to-man because it helps get us into a fast-paced game,” Dawson said. “But this time the zone helped speed us up. It’s my job in the zone to stop them passing the ball inside and getting steals if I can.”

GAC finished with 17 swipes as Malcolm Brogdon and Elliott Long joined in the fun. Brogdon, a junior transfer who leads the Spartans in scoring, had seven steals to go with 22 points and four assists. Long, a senior who was named Mr. Spartan Spirit before the game, had 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals.

Trent Wiedeman, a 6-foot-7 College of Charleston signee, scored all 10 of his points in the second half and fellow senior Beaux Hebert had four blocked shots despite being only 6-3.

Decatur, 14-3 overall and 4-3 in Region 6-AA, never led, but the Bulldogs stayed close until the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs cut an 11-point GAC lead to three late in the second quarter and trailed just 39-37 when the Spartans switched defenses in the third quarter.

Decatur, which lost to GAC at home 54-43 on Dec. 8, hit seven 3-pointers, with Trumon Jefferson sinking three and Wilson hitting two. Jefferson joined Wilson with 20 points and also had seven rebounds.

“Decatur is a well-coach team and they play hard,” Martin said. “Defense is their trademark and they were able to take away some of the things we like to do and have been working against other teams.”

In the end, though, it was the GAC defense that made the difference, the Spartans outscoring Decatur 22-9 in the fourth quarter.

GAC girls 58, Decatur 45
Chaney Means, voted Miss Spartan Spirit between games, had 10 points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals as No. 6-ranked GAC improved to 14-4 overall and 7-1 in Region 6-AA with a 58-45 victory over Decatur.

Peyton Whitted had 11 points for the Spartans, while freshman Kristina Nelson and senior Clarke Boards scored 10 each. Boards also had five assists and four steals.

After falling behind 10-2, Decatur cut the GAC lead to 13-11 early in the second quarter before the Spartans ran off 13 consecutive points en route to a 34-17 halftime lead.

Emily Collins scored 19 points for Decatur, which fell to 1-6 in the region and 9-6 overall.


Saturday, January 30, 2010
Admission: adults $7.00; students $5.00

3:00pm Peachtree Ridge vs. Berkmar
4:30pm Centennial vs. Daniel High School (SC)
6:00pm Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Greene County (AL)
7:30pm Norcross vs. Quality Education Academy (NC)

Mariott Invitational Preview

The Greater Atlanta Christian School Spartans lost in the Class AA semifinals last season and are the pre-season favorites to win it all this year. Four starters return, led by College of Charleston signee Trent Wiedeman. GAC will also be anchored by point guard Paul Dawson and newcomer Malcolm Brogdon.

The Greene County High School Tigers built off last season's 19-7 record and have have quickly become one of the most talked about teams in Alabama. Senior Nieko Hunter leads the way while 6'8 center, Pierre Crawford and 6'5 guard QuaShawn Carpenter provide big time scoring punches.
[reprinted from]



GACS 80-45 Sandy Creek
GACS 71-37 Dacula
GACS 54-43 Decatur
GACS 72-44 Blessed Trinity
GACS 70-60 Centennial
GACS 54-38 St. Pius
GACS 90-67 Peachtree Ridge
GACS 62-30 Tabernacle Baptist (Bahamas)
GACS 59-47 Siegel (TN)
GACS 50-45 Fayetteville (AR)
GACS 51-55 Melrose (TN)
GACS 81-56 Avondale
GACS 73-44 Buford
GACS 96-43 Lovett
GACS 90-32 Cross Keys
GACS 78-55 United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte)
GACS 57-30 Westminster
GACS 69-51 Decatur

1. Greater Atlanta Christian
2. Northeast - Macon
3. Laney
4. Dublin
5. Blessed Trinity
6. Thomasville
7. Decatur
8. Swainsboro
9. Dade County
10. Jefferson
[Source: Jan. 25 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

GACS 87-53 Eastside
GACS 62-63 Franklin County
GACS 70-48 Winder-Barrow
GACS 63-35 Sandy Creek
GACS 57-26 Dacula
GACS 57-41 Decatur
GACS 59-27 Blessed Trinity
GACS 38-30 St. Pius
GACS 56-28 McGavock (TN)
GACS 44-49 Sparkman (AL)
GACS 48-38 Brentwood Academy (TN)
GACS 69-11 Avondale
GACS 43-50 Buford
GACS 50-48 Lovett
GACS 81-12 Cross Keys
GACS 46-47 Parkview
GACS 50-31 Westminster
GACS 58-45 Decatur


1. Buford
2. Laney
3. Rabun County
4. Vidalia
5. Greater Atlanta Christian
6. Northeast - Macon
7. Lovett
8. Henry County
9. Fannin County
10. Dodge County
[Source: Jan. 25 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Save the Date! Friday, February 26th
Father Son Banquet sponsored by L.A.C.E.
featuring the Harlem Legends vs. GAC All-Stars
6:00pm – Bradford Gym
Dinner, game, autographs, raffle and photos - $25
GAC 50, Westminster 31
NORCROSS — Sierra Lawrence contributed 10 points for the Spartans to help Greater Atlanta Christian (13-4, 6-1) beat Westminster 50-31 on Tuesday. [Jan. 20 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC 57, Westminster 30
NORCROSS — Paul Dawson led the Spartans with 16 points, as Greater Atlanta Christian took a 57-30 win over Westminster on Tuesday.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 14 points, and Trent Wiedeman added 11 for GAC (16-1, 7-0). [Jan. 20 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Last Tuesday the Boy's Basketball team defeated Westminster by the score of 57 - 30. The Spartans were led by Paul Dawson with 16 points and 3 assists, followed by Malcolm Brogdon with 14 points and 5 rebounds, and Trent Wiedeman added 11 points and led the team in rebounding with 8 boards. It was a very good team effort on defense holding Westminster to 30 points. [SH Announcement]

GAC dismantles United Faith Christian at MLK Hardwood Classic
by Horace Neysmith
Jan. 19

When you have Coach Eddie Martin at the helm all things are possible. At the annual MLK Hardwood Classic held at Centennial, GAC picked apart United Faith Christian Academy like a buzzard on road kill. The Spartans led from start to finish by excuting offensively and playing great team defense.

United Faith came in with a heavy reputation as one of the top teams in the Southeast, with a resume of top teams on their win column including Word of God (NC), Sagemont (FL) and Flora Academy (NC), but left the "Hardwood Classic" with a 78-55 loss.

GAC scored the first basket of the game and never looked back. The Spartans were led by Malcolm Brogdon who scored a game high 27 points with seven rebounds. Trent Wiedman, playing against a front line of sophomore's 7 foot Peter Jurkin and 6-foot-8 Hanner Perea, scored 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Paul Dawson, who scored six points, played a very good floor game by controlling the tempo, getting the ball to the right person and disrupting the UFCA offense with his ball pressure.

The surprise for many was the production of GAC senior Elliot Long. He scored 22 points with 6 rebounds and key plays throughout the game.
Freshman wing, AJ Davis, added 10 points for GAC. Ian Miller was the high man for UFCA with 26 points. The Florida State signee worked hard for each basket as the collective effort of the GAC defense made it difficult for him to get easy looks.

Sophomore Perea added 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for UFCA. Fellow sophomore big, Jurkin chipped in four points with four blocks.


#22 Malcolm Brogdon drives
to the hoop against UFCA.
[Photo by Gwinnett Daily Post]

by Guy Curtright
Jan. 19 Gwinnett Daily Post

ROSWELL — Giving up five inches to 7-footer Peter Jurkin, Trent Wiedeman didn’t even bother to jump on the opening tip.

That was the only time that the Greater Atlanta Christian boys conceded anything to towering United Faith Christian Academy, however.

The Spartans took it to the Charlotte power from the start and pulled off a 78-55 upset victory Monday night in the MLK Tribute to a King Hardwood Classic at Centennial.

As surprising as the final score was, the rebounding statistics were even more shocking. Despite a pair of 6-foot-8 starters in addition to sky-scraping Jurkin, United Faith was beaten on the boards 39-15 by GAC.

The Falcons (17-5) were obviously tired after a twice-delayed trip en route to Atlanta, but GAC (15-1) showed what can be accomplished by determination and preparation even against the tallest of teams.

“I’m very pleased with the way we played,” GAC coach Eddie Martin said. “We knew we had to compete with them on the boards and beat them to most of the loose balls if we were going to have a chance. That’s what we talked about and that’s what we did.”

The 6-foot-7 College of Charleston signee Wiedman grabbed 13 rebounds and 6-foot-5 senior Elliott Long added eight boards to go with a career-best 22 points as the Spartans continuously beat the Falcons to the prime rebounding spots.

“We worked on blocking out at practice and it really paid off,” Long said. “If we didn’t do it right, we had to run.”

Practice makes perfect, apparently. The Spartans, ranked No. 1 in Class AA, weren’t intimidated by United Faith’s size.

“I’d rather face a 7-footer than do extra running,” Long said.
Malcom Brogdon, a 6-foot-4 junior transfer from Fayette County, led GAC with 27 points, but it will be two of Wiedeman’s modest 11 points that’ll have those in attendance talking for days to come.

As dunks go, it rated a 10 no matter who was scoring it. With GAC already up 11-5, Wiedeman made a back cut toward the basket, palmed a lob pass from Brogdon with his right hand and slammed the ball through with authority in the same motion.

“That really got the crowd into the game and fired us up,” Long said.
“I didn’t think I was going to be able to get up that high, but fortunately I did,” Wiedeman said. “I was able to get it one-handed and put in through. It definitely felt good.”

So did the victory. GAC showed that it could play with the nation’s top teams when it gave Melrose of Memphis — ranked No. 21 by USA Today — a scare before losing 55-51 in the title game of the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tenn. But with its towering frontline, United Faith offered a different kind of challenge. Once up by 19 points, GAC saw its lead cut to 56-47 midway in the fourth quarter. But the Spartans responded by running off 11 consecutive points and were quickly out of danger.

“Against a good team like that, we knew we’d have to withstand a run and regain our poise” Martin said. “What we were able to do is a sign of mature team.”

United Faith, meanwhile, was a tired team. The Falcons, who finished a tournament in Springfield, Mo., on Saturday night, had two flights cancelled, another delayed and reached Atlanta on Monday rather than Sunday after getting a flight out of Tulsa, Okla.

“I need some sleep, so I know the players do,” Shaun Wiseman said. “We were dead tired and played like it. But we played a good team. I’m not going to take anything away from them. They really hustled and beat us to almost every ball.”

The only player that hurt GAC was Ian Miller, a quick 6-foot-2 guard headed to Florida State. He had 28 points.

“They weren’t just tall, they were good, too,” Long said. “To beat a team like that shows what we can do. This was a really big win for us.”



Sugarloaf Country Club
Monday, May 17, 2010

Wade Weldon & Kathleen Davis each other
by Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Jan. 8, 2010 Gwinnett Daily Post

Wade Weldon’s busy holiday season included a major commitment, his engagement to his high school sweetheart at Greater Atlanta Christian, Kathleen Davis.

The event was the highlight of the Oglethorpe senior’s winter break, but married life still isn’t immediately on the horizon. Both he and Davis, a senior at Georgia, must finish college. And Weldon has some work to finish on the basketball court.

A key starter in a balanced lineup, he averages 10 points and 5 rebounds for a Stormy Petrels team that has won six straight games. They sport an 8-3 record and sit atop the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference standings at 3-0.

“I definitely think this team has a lot of potential,” Weldon said. “We haven’t really seen what we’re capable of yet. I think we’ve got a really good chance at (the) conference (title).”

The SCAC title is foremost on the mind of Weldon and his teammates, including sophomore Erik Strong (5.5 points, 6.5 rebounds), a Wesleyan grad. It would be an ideal finish to the college career for Weldon, a four-year contributor whose versatility has been a strength.

The 6-foot, 195-pounder plays a three-guard position, though last season his team’s lack of height forced him to work more on the interior (he averaged 12 points and six rebounds). He manages to handle the inside game with his strength, making up for his lack of height.

He hasn’t been forced inside as much this season, but plays just as big a role as a leader and solid shooter. He’s making 51.1 percent of his shots.

“I tried to assume my role as a verbal leader and take the shots when they’re there,” Weldon said. “We’ve got a lot of scorers, so we don’t need guys going one-on-one with people or hogging the ball. We’ve got too many scorers.”

The team has worked well together during its recent winning streak, which Weldon sees as a good sign for the rest of his season. He can only hope it goes as well as his other big event of the winter.

“I went to the spot where we first kissed outside her door, on the front walkway, five years ago,” Weldon said of his Dec. 21 proposal. “I tried to surprise her and called her to come outside. I did my best to make it romantic. It went really well.”



CONGRATULATIONS TO HUNTER GREENE AND ROBERT DICKS! They are the first students ever from GACS to be selected for the Georgia All-State Band. They were selected through a rigorous audition process and were chosen out of hundreds of other students from Georgia. [reprinted from SH Announcements]



Corey Simmons commits to USC Gamecocks

Lindsay Adams.....Kennesaw State Univesity.....Golf
Madeline Barker...University of Georgia....Soccer
Will Freeman.....University of Georgia.....Swimming
Claire Goodson...College of Charleston...Track & Field
Julian Horton....University of Arkansas....Football
Amanda Komisarow.....Furman University.....Volleyball
Chaney Means...Western Kentucky University...Basketball
Corey Simmons...University of South Carolina...Football
Trent Wiedeman.....College of Charleston.....Basketball
Morgan Winston.....Winthrop University.......Tennis

Forbidden Broadway, Greatest Hits-1
Come and enjoy the fun of our tribute to Broadway!
Friday & Saturday, February 5-6 at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 7 at 2:00pm
Clifton Jones Theatre
Tickets on sale now! Three performances only!
Call Diane Jones 770-243-2202

Freshman Follies
February 26 at 7:30pm

Visions Showcase
March 11-12 at 7:30pm

Junior High Spring Play
March 19-20

D2-Dinner Theatre
April 22-24 at 7:30pm

Much Ado About Nothing
May 6 & 8 at 7:30pm

WESLEY PATE: A Swimmer, A Scholar
by Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Jan. 2 Gwinnett Daily Post

Most of Wesley Pate’s Sundays are spent at church, either in worship or playing lead guitar in his youth praise band, In Christ Unashamed.

The Greater Atlanta Christian senior’s fondness for music doesn’t end there. He and some friends have a garage band, giving him a chance to add some vocal duties to his guitar skills, as well as helping write some original music.

Yet as much as he loves music, Pate spends very little time on it, at least in relation to his other pursuits. His academic workload and year-round swimming with SwimAtlanta make his free time very valuable.

“The big thing is time management, always knowing what I’m going to do and staying ahead,” Pate said of balancing swimming, school and music. “If I know I’m going to swimming, I can’t waste much time. I’ve got to get my work done.”

That workload is heavier than most high school students.

Pate, one of 10 Wendy’s High School Heisman boys finalists in Georgia, has taken the most Advanced Placement courses of anybody in his class. His classes this school year include five AP classes — physics, BC calculus, statistics, psychology and literature — along with Bible.

The aggressive AP schedule has led to an ultra-high 4.67 GPA, ranking him first in GAC’s senior class.

He also is president of the National Honor Society and a member of the GAC Academic Team, Mu Alpha Theta and Beta Club.

The Duluth resident somehow manages all of those tasks with the rigors of year-round swimming. While some swimmers get burned out after years of constant training, Pate said he isn’t close to being at that point, even though he has been a year-round swimmer longer than most swimmers his age — he started club swimming as a 6-year-old.

He also is a key member of the swim team at GAC, where he has gone to school since kindergarten. He’s aiming for top-three finishes in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke at state, as well as high finishes with his GAC relays.

“Swimming’s definitely something I still enjoy,” said Pate, who recently shaved nearly four seconds off his 200 backstroke best time, dropping it to 1 minute, 54 seconds. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. It keeps me in shape and I love racing. I feel like I shouldn’t waste a gift if I’m still enjoying it.”

Pate plans to swim in college and is still trimming down his list of favorites, though Columbia and MIT head the list. He is researching pre-med and biomedical engineering programs, part of his curiosity into the medical field.

That interest was piqued the past three summers when he worked as a Volunteen at St. Joseph’s Hospital, including the past two summers as an assistant in cardiac rehabilitation.

“I really enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t that critical (a member of the hospital staff),” Pate said. “It did take some pressure off the doctors and nurses with little stuff I would do. But it was fun. I got to see what really goes on in a hospital up close.”

College studies and swimming will continue to take up the bulk of Pate’s time in the coming years. But hopefully he can squeeze in his affinity for music.

“I love music, a lot of music,” Pate said. “Anything from the ’50s to now. Anything centered on classic rock and ’90s grunge, those are probably my favorite. Aerosmith’s my favorite band if that tells you anything. I’m just a big fan of music.”
The Pate File
• Who: Wesley Pate
• Sport: Swimming
• School: GAC
• Class: Senior
• Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory”
• Favorite sports team: Atlanta Falcons
• Dream job: Rock star
• On his No. 1 class ranking: “It’s never really been on the forefront for me. I just kind of wanted to do the best I could.”
• Noteworthy:
• Holds school records in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley
• Four-time state qualifier
• Ranks first academically in GAC’s senior class with a 4.67 GPA
• Is taking five AP classes and Bible this school year
• Sister Jessica swam for Pepperdine
[Source: Jan. 2 Gwinnett Daily Post]


Senior Trent Wiedeman hits a fallaway jumper in
Arby's Classic in Bristol TN.
[Photo by David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier]


Your Spartan Wrestlers competed in two tournaments and a tri-meet over Christmas Break. Right after Finals Week we went to the Gwinnett County Invitational where some of the best wrestlers in the state compete (Parkview, North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, Collins Hill) and we had several guys do well and win some matches including Will Hemby, Ethan Tolbert, and Jared Hemmings.

Next came a tri-meet at home against Meadowcreek HS and Whitefield Academy. In our first dual against the Mustangs from Meadowcreek the Spartans came up one match short losing 34-45. Having pins against Meadowcreek were Caleb Bumpers (119), Dalton Duriez (140) and Matthew Wade (HWT) and having a decision over Meadowcreek was Parker Embry (125). In our second dual we were more successful beating Whitefield Academy 47-24. Having pins against Whitefield were Caleb Bumpers (119), Parker Embry (125), Zach Feuerbach (152) and Parker Fair (215) and getting a technical fall (15+ points over opponent) was Will Hemby (145).

Last weekend we competed in the Dawson County Invitational and had three wrestlers earn medals. Sophomores Caleb Bumpers (112 lbs) and Kalif Raymond (119) both placed fourth and junior Jared Hemmings placed runner-up at 171 pounds. Other wrestlers having wins at the tournament were Will Parker (130) who was one win away from placing and Zach Feuerbach (152).

This Saturday, January 9th, the Spartans HOST the Area Duals Tournament in the Bradford Gym. Teams in our Area (6-AA) include Lovett, Westminster, Cross Keys, Avondale, Decatur, Buford, and Blessed Trinity. Wrestling starts at 10 am. Come on out to support your Spartan Wrestlers.


The GAC Spartan Booster Club has recently enrolled in an exciting new program and would truly appreciate your support.

This new program utilizes every day purchases made through popular online merchants to generate donations for their organization. Just by visiting before you head to your favorite online merchant, the GAC Spartan Booster Club could earn a donation of up to 30% of your purchase amount.

Think about it. When you order household staples, office supplies, sporting equipment, clothing, shoes, books, movie tickets, even movies from iTunes, you could be helping the GAC Spartan Booster Club.

These are well known merchants like Target, Eastbay, Office Depot, PetSmart, Fandango, and Walmart just to name a few with many merchants offering free shipping to encourage your support as well as special online discounts available only when you shop through the internet.

So take a moment before you make the next online purchase. One quick visit to will help support the GAC Spartan Booster Club.

Tim Vick, CMAA
Director of Athletics

Spartans up to the challenge
by David Friedlander
Dec. 13 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS — As the No. 1 preseason choice in Class AA, GAC’s boys basketball team was already somewhat of a known commodity.

However, the Spartans demonstrated they are among Georgia’s elite teams on any level Saturday against Centennial in the GAC Boys Basketball Showcase at the Long Forum.

Malcolm Brogdon had a huge all-around game to lead a balanced effort as GAC held Centennial — Class AAAAA’s eighth-ranked team — at arm’s length before pulling away late for a 70-60 victory.

“That’s why we play games like this,” Spartans coach Eddie Martin said after his team improved to 5-0 on the young season. “I’ve said it about a hundred times. You need to go out and challenge yourself and challenge the kids with games like this, particularly early in the year. I think our schedule allows us to do that.”

Brogdon and the Spartans were definitely up to the challenge Saturday.

The 6-foot-4 junior posted a game-high 28 points and added eight rebounds, six assists and four steals, and gave GAC a lead it would never relinquish at 16-15 with his 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:05 left in the first quarter.

That doesn’t mean the win came easy for the Spartans as Centennial never went away. Senior guard Devonta’ White, who started his career at Central Gwinnett before transferring two years ago, made sure of that.

The Georgia State signee helped keep the Knights in the game after GAC took as much as a 37-27 lead with 1:13 left in the first half.

His 3-pointer with 7 seconds left in the half keyed a 6-1 run that cut the Spartans lead to 38-33 heading into intermission.

GAC stretched the lead to as much as 47-39 in the third quarter, only to see Centennial make another charge with an 8-2 run over the final 3:46 of the period to pull to within 49-47 heading into the fourth quarter.

But once again, Brogdon and his teammates gathered themselves and gave themselves breathing room again.

Brogdon set up Paul Dawson and Elliott Long for transition layups on GAC’s first two possessions of the final frame, and then hit two free throws to push the Spartans’ lead back to 55-47 with 5:20 to play.

“Coach (Martin) mentioned in the locker room that that shows the maturity of our team,” Brogdon said. “We were able to withstand their run and keep pushing forward.”

Centennial made one last run, pulling to withing 64-60 on White’s 3-pointer with 19 seconds left.

But freshman A.J. Davis connected on four straight free throws and Brogdon added two more to seal the win for GAC.

The Spartans also got a big game from 6-7 senior Trent Wiedeman, who had 12 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots despite being hobbled with a sore ankle, while Elliott Long added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Dawson chipped in 10 points.

White led Centennial with 24 points and added six rebounds, while Adrian Rodgers added 11 points and nine boards.

GAC 72, Blessed Trinity 44
ROSWELL — Paul Dawson led the Spartans with 23 points as Greater Atlanta Christian took a 72-44 win over Region 6-AA rival Blessed Trinity on Friday. Malcolm Brogdon had 19 points, while Beaux Herbert and Trent Wiedeman each scored 10 points for GAC.
[Dec. 12 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 59, Blessed Trinity 27
ROSWELL — Clarke Boards contributed 14 points and five rebounds as Greater Atlanta Christian took a 59-27 win over Blessed Trinity on Friday. Chaney Means scored 11 points, had 10 rebounds and six assists, while Alex McCall had nine points and nine rebounds for the Spartans (6-1, 2-0 in 6-AA). [Dec. 12 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Dec. 9 Gwinnett Daily Post

GAC girls 57, Decatur 41
DECATUR — Chandler Alverson scored 14 points on Tuesday in leading third-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian to a 57-41 win over Decatur in Region 6-AA. Kristina Nelson and Peyton Whitted each added eight points for GAC (5-1, 1-0).

GAC boys 54, Decatur 43
DECATUR — Malcolm Brogdon scored 27 points on Tuesday in helping Greater Atlanta Christian hand Decatur its first loss of the season 54-43. Trent Wiedeman added 13 points as GAC improved to 3-0 [overall and 1-0 in region play.]


[Photo by Martin Photography]


First Team - Class AA
Chaney Means - Senior
School: Greater Atlanta Christian
Position: OF,1B
Games 33, At Bat 106, Hits 44, Batting Avg .415
Runs Scored 19, Base on Balls 3, Doubles 3, Triples 4, HR 0, RBI 16, On Base Avg .436Stolen Bases 6, Stolen Bases Attempted 7, Errors 4, Fielding % .935.
Other awards: Chaney broke school career hits record with over 144. She also broke the record for the highest average over a four year career. She has been all-Gwinnett County every year. She has also been on the all-state team each year and all-region first team.Chaney has accepted a basketball scholarship to Western Kentucky. [Reprinted from]


NORCROSS — Christina Nelson scored 17 points as the Spartans defeated Dacula 57-26 on Saturday. Peyton Whitted scored 13 points and Chaney Means contributed seven points, 12 rebounds and six assists for GAC. Kelsey Hutchins had six points for Dacula (3-3). [Gwinnett Daily Post]

GACS 87-53 Eastside
GACS 62-63 Franklin County
GACS 70-48 Winder-Barrow
GACS 63-35 Sandy Creek
GACS 57-26 Dacula


NORCROSS — Malcolm Brogdon led the Spartans with 23 points to help Greater Atlanta Christian defeat Dacula 71-37 on Saturday. Elliott Long scored 15 points and Trent Wiedeman contributed 10 points for GAC (2-0). [Gwinnett Daily Post]
GACS 80-45 Sandy Creek
GACS 71-37 Dacula


Congratulations to the Lady Spartans for their 63-35 win over Sandy Creek Tuesday night. The team upped their record to 3-1 and received scoring from Sierra Lawrence (15pts), Kristina Nelson (12pts), and Clarke Boards (11pts). It was an overall complete team effort and the team would like to thank everyone in attendance, including the EMPIRE. [SH Announcements]

The Spartans won their opening game Tuesday night by defeating Sandy Creek by the score of 80 to 45. The Spartans were led in scoring by Malcolm Brogdon with 22 points; Trent Wiedeman with 19 points, and Elliott Long with 10 points. Trent Wiedeman dominated the boards by grabbing 14 rebounds followed by Malcolm Brogdon with 10 rebounds. Paul Dawson dished out 6 assists as all 11 Spartans scored last night. Thanks to a great student section as well. [SH Announcements]


The Georgia High School Association announced the preliminary region alignments for the next four school years starting in August 2010. The GHSA will consider appeals on a school's region placement on Dec. 16, and final approval of the region alignments will be on Jan. 12.[Sources: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution;; Georgia High School Football Daily]
Subregion A
Cross Keys

Subregion B
Blessed Trinity
Jackson [Atlanta]
South Atlanta

GHSA to take another look at four-year reclassification cycle
The Georgia High School Association will reconsider whether the planned four-year cycle for reclassification is a good idea.

The GHSA voted last year to abandon two-year reclassification cycles that had been in place since 1948 and go to four-year cycles beginning with the 2010-11 school year. That meant schools would remain in the same region and classification for four years unless there was a 20-percent growth or loss in enrollment.

But on the reclassification committee's recommendation, the GHSA's executive committee will decide next year whether to dial it back to two years.

"The discussion among the reclassification committee members was that the landscape of education is changing too rapidly to try to plan for what will be happening in four years," GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin told GHSF Daily. "There are so many new schools being built, and school districts are revamping their attendance areas to balance the number of students at each school. Some schools that are not in metro areas are seeing decreases in enrollment. There would be so many mid-term adjustments [after two years] to be made with a four-year plan that it would be like reclassifying every two years anyway."


GACS' own SCOTTY SMITH was voted top attackman and tournament MVP at the recent Southern Combat Fall Showcase lacrosse tournament held here in Atlanta. The tournament featured 304 of the south’s top lacrosse players from 17 different states with each player being observed and scouted by 41 different NCAA lacrosse programs.

Tournament MVP attackman Scotty Smith (GACS 2011) used a big body (6’3”, 185) to back down foes as he scored multiple goals in each game.

USMA Appointments

GAC seniors Nick Chizek, Shawn Kane, and Justin White all received congressional nominations to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Shawn Kane also received an appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Port NY, and Justin White received a nomination to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Most Valuable Player, Top Attackman: Scotty Smith, GACS; Class of 2011
[reprinted from SH Announcement and Dec. 1]

by By Michael Carvell
Nov. 24 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GAC's Chaney Means, who signed with Western Kentucky, has shown her versatility with her career stats across the board -- more than 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 steals, and 300 assists. She will be joined in the backcourt this season by fellow senior Clarke Boards.

Dec. 1 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett County cross country coaches held their season-ending banquet on Nov. 30, and Collins Hill’s Nicky Akande and Grayson’s Kirubel Erassa took home the top individual honors as female and male runners of the year...Coaches chose Spartan runners Max Griffin and Abigail Mistretta for Honorable Mention honors.

School: Greater Atlanta Christian
Class: Senior
Height: 6-7
College choice: College of Charleston
Age: 18
Place of birth: Atlanta
Nickname: The Freak
Role model: Older brother Reece, who plays for Georgia College and State University
Best school subject: Spanish
Life’s dream: To play basketball overseas after college
Favorite athlete: David Lee of the Knicks
Favorite pro team: Atlanta Falcons
On my iPod: Bob Marley, Darius Rucker, The Fray, Blink 182, Dashboard Confessional
Favorite movie: “Transformers”
Worst habit: Organization not a strong suit

Info file: Wiedeman averaged a Gwinnett County-best 22.1 points last season and also grabbed 10.9 rebounds per game as GAC went 28-4 and reached the Class AA semifinals before losing to eventual champion Dublin. He is the reigning Region 6-AA player of the year.

Coach Eddie Martin’s take: “Trent was blessed with good size and athleticism, but he also has a very good work ethic. He is willing to get in the gym and work on his game to improve. He has a great competitive spirit. He doesn’t like to lose, so he never quits.”

School: Greater Atlanta Christian
Class: Senior
Height: 5-8
College choice: Western Kentucky
Age: 18
Place of birth: Lawrenceville
Role model: Jesus
Best school subject: Math
Life’s dream: Raise a Christian family
Favorite athlete: Tim Tebow
Favorite pro team: Atlanta Falcons
On my iPod: Corey Smith, Rascal Flatts
Favorite movies: “Remember the Titans” and “The Notebook”
Worst habit: Chewing gum

Info file: Means averaged 16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 5.4 steals as a junior in carrying GAC to a 21-10 record and a spot in the Class AA quarterfinals. The Western Kentucky signee was a key reserve on a state championship team as a freshman and is 77-16 during her career. Means is also a standout softball player.

Coach Cal Boyd’s take: “Chaney is an extremely gifted athlete who loves competition and leaves everything she has on the court. As good a basketball player as Chaney is, she is an even better person. I’m very honored to have the opportunity to coach Chaney during her senior year. She is first class.”

School: Greater Atlanta Christian
Class: Senior
Noteworthy: Will swim for University of Georgia next season; won Class AAAA/AAA/AA/A
500 freestyle last season with a time of 4:19.32 shattering State and pool records by 9 seconds; also place second in 200 freestyle; competed for US this month in Youth World Cup
Favorite athlete: Scot Davis
Favorite food: eggs
Favorite music artist: Coldplay
Favorite movies: "Riding Giants" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Hours per week spent swimming: 19 or more
Coach Beth McGee's take: "Will is an extremely dedicated and determined young man who is well respected for his work ethic. He practices every weekday afternoon from 3:15 to 6:00pm and a few morning from 5-6:30am. He recently completed an insane workout with Chris Davis, his SwimAtlanta coach, that included an 10,000 yard swim for time followed by another 3,000 yard swim for time. That is an equivalent of almost eight miles. His tenacity in workouts like this are what allowed him to recently place place sixth in the 1,500 free at the World Cup in Stockholm and Berlin where he raced against the world's best swimmers. Despite an vigorous training schedule, Will maintains a 4.4 GPA with AP classes."

Tipoff Club honors Chaney Means & Trent Wiedeman on All-Metro Team
Nov. 19 Gwinnett Daily Post

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced its preseason All-Metro Team on Thursday, honoring 14 local prep basketball players among the selections.
Eight Gwinnett area girls made the list, including two Wesleyan players — Erin Hall and Logan Morris.
Parkview’s Lauren Coleman, Norcross’ Briana Jordan, Greater Atlanta Christian’s Chaney Means, Mill Creek’s Moneshia Simmons, Buford’s Andraya Carter and Winder-Barrow’s Mimi Hill also were selected by the club.
The boys all-metro picks were: South Gwinnett’s Adonis Harrison and Javonte Maynor, Norcross’ Jeremy Lamb and Adrian Hubbard, GAC’s Trent Wiedeman and Peachtree Ridge’s C.J. Blackwell.

Nov. 21 Gwinnett Daily Post

Greater Atlanta Christian senior Will Freeman, the Daily Post’s swimmer of the year last season, recently returned from a successful trip with USA Swimming.

Freeman placed sixth in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the Swedish World Cup finals and was 20th in the 400 free at the meet, which was held in Stockholm.

He followed that up with an even better performance in Berlin, Germany, finishing 24th in the 400 free and sixth in the 1,500 free. His Berlin 1,500 free time of 14 minutes, 48.26 seconds is ninth-fastest in the world this year for short-course meters.

GAC boys gear up for basketball title run
By Michael Carvell
Nov. 17 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Greater Atlanta Christian boys are one of the top contenders for the Class AA basketball championship.

The team returns four starters from last season's state semifinals team, including Trent Wiedman. The 6-foot-7 senior, who has signed with the College of Charleston, averaged 22.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game last year. GAC also gets a boost by the transfer of 6-4 guard Malcolm Brogdon, who averaged 15 points last season at Fayette County.

"If we can stay healthy, play good defense, and develop solid team chemistry, I think we have a shot for a very good year," said GAC coach Eddie Martin, who won three state championships at Norcross.


[Photo by Vino Wong/AJC]

by Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Nov. 18 Gwinnett Daily Post

Less than two weeks after the regular season ended, Gwinnett County high school football has a second head coaching vacancy.

Greater Atlanta Christian’s Ken Robinson resigned Tuesday as the Spartans’ football coach and as the school’s director of diversity. He was the team’s head coach for two seasons, following up a six-year stint as a GAC assistant, including four as defensive coordinator.

He will leave a young, promising team for his successor.

“The future’s bright,” Robinson said. “I felt like we’ve got some really talented players. We played a bunch of sophomores this year and a bunch of freshmen, too. When you watch this team next year, they will look different physically.”

Robinson was a successful defensive coach at GAC from 2002-2007, helping teams that all won nine or more games and reached the state quarterfinals three times. In his four seasons as coordinator, he led a defense that ranked in the county’s top four in scoring defense each of those seasons.

He then was selected to replace Jimmy Chupp as head coach after the 2007 season.

“Ken Robinson is one of the most Godly gentlemen I know,” GAC athletic director Tim Vick said. “His priorities have always been God first, family second. He has been an outstanding role model for our players in his years in the GAC football program. We will begin a search immediately for the next leader of our football program.”

GAC made the playoffs for the 14th consecutive season in Robinson’s first season as coach despite a 4-7 record, then slipped to 1-9 this past season with a young team.

The Spartans had talent at the skill positions, but relied mostly on underclassmen up front.

“I told my kids, the things you’ve learned this year are important,” Robinson said. “When they write the record book for this year, it will say Coach Robinson wasn’t a success. But I have a different measuring stick. Check back with me in 20 years. That will tell me how successful I was. And the kids know that. I can see it in their eyes. So this year was a success.”

The veteran coach declined to go into the reason for his resignation, but said it had nothing to do with football.

“I tell my players this, life is about relationships and relationships are about trust,” Robinson said. “When you don’t have that trust, you can’t go forward. That’s where I’m at.”

Robinson, a former linebacker at South Carolina, also played two seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. His son Christian, who played at GAC, is a freshman linebacker at Georgia. His daughters, 11th-grader Sarah and third-grader Caroline, both attend GAC.

Prior to becoming a high school coach, Robinson worked in the corporate world. But he still feels his future is in coaching.

“This is going to sound like I’m bragging, but I’m good at what I do,” Robinson said. “I’m blessed to be a football coach. I’m a football coach, a good football coach. A good preacher, too. I’m going to be a good football coach for somebody.”

Coach Eddie Martin

[Photo by Jonathan Phillips/
Gwinnett Daily Post]

Eddie Martin 'much more than X’s and O’s'
by Guy Curtright
Nov. 14 Gwinnett Daily Post

SNELLVILLE — Eddie Martin has coached at two different schools since, but he will never be forgotten at Brookwood. The floor of the Broncos’ gym will make sure of that.

Martin Court was dedicated Saturday, the name written on the hardwood as a permanent reminder of what the coach referred to by most as just “Eddie” meant to Brookwood and still means to Gwinnett basketball.

“I’m very flattered. This is such an honor,” Martin said. “It leaves me speechless, really.”

The ceremony took place between games during preseason scrimmages involving the four schools where the legendary coach and former star player has made his mark.

Martin was so good at Central Gwinnett that he once held the county scoring record. But he has been even more successful as a coach, posting a 548-202 career record.

Martin’s first 20 years as a coach was spent at Brookwood, where he began the program and was 350-180 despite never being blessed with an abundance of height or talent.

Then he spent six seasons at Norcross, going 170-18 and capping his stay with three consecutive Class AAAAA state titles. Now Martin, retired from the Gwinnett County school system, is at Greater Atlanta Christian, where the Spartans were 28-4 in his first season and made the Class AA semifinals.

First-year Brookwood boys coach Daniel Bowles played for Martin. So did Craig Witmer, who preceded Bowles. Opened nearly 30 years ago, Brookwood has had just three coaches.

“What makes him so special is that he has been able to get the most out of every kind of team he’s had,” Bowles said. “At Brookwood, his teams overachieved by doing the little things.

“At Norcross, Eddie showed he could blend a lot talent into a team. That isn’t easy, either, and it certainly wasn’t something he had to deal with at Brookwood. But he’s been able to make every player and every team he’s had better.”

Martin, though, has touched lives by more ways than just basketball success.

“It has almost become cliche to say that coaching is about more than wins or losses, but Eddie instilled in his players much more than X’s and O’s,” Witmer said. “He teaches his players to have a strong work ethic and he builds character.”

Martin is known for the sweater vests he usually wears during games, and Norcross girls coach Angie Hembree wore one as a salute on Saturday. “This is for Eddie,” she said.

But Martin had on a black suit for the dedication, although he admitted, “It’s hot in here with this on.”

Martin was presented with a large plaque telling of his many achievements, and he shared the occasion with his family, former players and many friends.

Brookwood girls coach Scott Terry joked that it should have been Eddie Martin Court so the gym could be called “The Ed” like Turner Field where the Braves play is called “The Ted.”

But basketball has always been a family affair for Martin, so just using the last name was appropriate. Sons Clint and Brent played for their father, and wife Malinda, a vice principal at Brookwood, has always kept the scorebook for her husband.

“It should be Mr. and Mrs. Martin Court for all the blood, sweat and tears I put in,” Malinda joked.

Brookwood principal Debbie Dees, once the Broncos’ girls basketball coach, spearheaded the move to have the court named for Martin and the writing was actually painted on this summer.

“To be remembered and honored like this is very special,” Martin said.

“I think the highest honor a coach can have is having the court named after him because that’s where countless hours of practice, drills and workouts occur,” Witmer said. “I guess I have a unique perspective on Eddie because I played for him, coached under him, followed him and then coached against him. He’s been my coach, mentor, colleague, peer and, most importantly, friend.”

As the roles of those around him have changed, so has Martin. A good coach can’t be inflexible if he wants to stay successful.

“He’s changed with the times and he’s changed with his players,” Bowles said. “A lot of coaches won’t do that.

“Eddie means a lot not just to Brookwood and the other schools where he’s coached, but to Gwinnett basketball. He’s pushed it to the top.”


Chaney Means
[Photo by Martin Photography]

Chaney Means Earns All-County Honors
Nov. 11 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett Daily Post All-County Fastpitch Softball Team

Player of the Year: Alysha Rudnik, C, Buford, Sr.
Pitcher of the Year: Kayla Floor, Collins Hill, Soph.
Coach of the Year: Billy Dooley, Collins Hill

Chaney Means, GAC, Sr.
BA .415, RBIs16, 3 Doubles, 4 Triples, 19 Runs Scored,
6 Stolen Bases, .955 On Base+Slugging %

Gabby Bedard, Peachtree Ridge, Sr.
Lexi Overstreet, Buford, Soph.

Karly Fullem, Buford, Jr.
Kacey Hawkshead, Collins Hill, Sr.
Kylie Kleinschmidt, Providence, Jr.
Allie Miles, Dacula, Sr.

Haley Downs, Grayson, Sr.
Sammy Lenahan, Collins Hill, Sr.
Jessica Neidigh, Brookwood, Jr.
Christina Parham, Collins Hill, Jr.
Summer Rose, Parkview, Sr.
Chelsie Thomas, Buford, Jr.
Julia Westbrook, Brookwood, Sr.
All-County Volleyball

2009 Daily Post Player of the Year
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC Senior Goes Out With Record Setting Year
by David Friedlander
Nov. 9 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS — To some individuals, the talent Amanda Komisarow carries on the volleyball court can be as much a burden as it is a blessing.

The ability that has helped the Greater Atlanta Christian senior outside hitter break three school career records, plus several other single-season and single-match records also comes with a lot of responsibility.

But for Komisarow, managing the balance of her individual achievements and those of the Spartans this season, which resulted in her being named the 2009 Daily Post Player of the Year, was a labor of love.

“I never felt like my teammates or my coaches put any extra pressure on me,” Komisarow said. “I just played my game, and everybody else helped, too. I couldn’t have done it by myself.”

True, it was a team effort that helped GAC to a 31-7 record, a No. 4 ranking in the final Class AA/A coaches poll and the second Final Four appearance in the state tournament in the last three years.
But it’s also fair to say Komisarow played perhaps the largest role in the Spartans’ achievements this season by doing a little bit of everything.

She led the team in kills (a school-record 465), service aces (85) and digs (221), but her overall court presence is what GAC coach Kristy Shelton believes was her biggest asset, though she also says it made her a target.

“Everybody we played knew they had to stop her to beat us,” Shelton said. “I can think of only two times when she was stopped, and one of those, she wasn’t so much stopped as we couldn’t get her the ball.”

While Komisarow was clearly the Spartans’ go-to player, that didn’t stop her from being a leader to her teammates. That was especially true with her working relationship with sophomore Catherine Chason, the third different setter she’s worked with in as many seasons.

At Shelton’s urging, Komisarow reached out to her younger teammate to help boost her confidence, and the results weren’t hard to see.

“Catherine had never set before, and she was putting a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect for Amanda,” Shelton said. “About mid-season, I told (Komisarow) she needed to go to Cat and tell her, ‘I’ll hit anything you put up.’ From that point, they were amazing.

“One of the most remarkable things about her is her humble spirit. All the attention she’s received has never gone to her head, she’s so grateful and humble about her accomplishments. She was the kind of positive leader that her teammates respected and they all looked up to her because it was never about her, it was always about the team.”

Komisarow certainly had plenty of individual accomplishments to be proud of throughout her career.

She owns the GAC career records for kills (1,304), digs (617) and aces (247) and has earned a scholarship offer to Furman University, where she plans to continue her career at the next level.

However, it is the Spartans’ team success, including both Final Four appearances, that she says is the legacy she leaves behind that makes her most proud.

“My sophomore year was the first time (GAC) ever made it to the Final Four,” Komisarow said. “That was one of our goals from the beginning of the season — to make it as far as we could. I know that we played our best to get that far.

“This year, I’ll probably remember the good times the most. All the girls were awesome. We all got really close throughout the season.”


Player of the Year: Amanda Komisarow, GAC, Sr.
The Furman-bound senior ended her career by setting a school single-season record with 465 kills and also adding team bests of 83 service aces and 221 digs to help lead the Spartans (31-7) to their second Class AA/A state final four appearance in three years.

Coach of the Year: Ted Russell, Wesleyan
After his team’s four-year Class AA/A state championship streak was broken last year, Russell led the Wolves (34-17) back top the top as they captured this season’s state title by sweeping Westminster, the team that ousted them in last year’s quarterfinals.
First Team
Caroline Adams, Sr., MH, Providence
31 digs, 393 kills, 1561⁄2 blocks, 98 aces, 4 assists
Grace Leah Baughn, Jr., MH, Wesleyan
315 digs, 336 kills, 61 aces
Catherine Chason, Soph., S, GAC
166 digs, 71 aces, 694 assists, .950 serve percentage

Lauren Coleman, Sr., MB, Parkview
57 digs, 274 kills, 31 aces, 37 blocks
Kiyomi Doscher, Sr., OH/DS, Collins Hill
259 digs, 137 kills, 47 aces
Ashley Jackson, Sr., S, Mill Creek
48 aces, 785 assists
Briana Jordan, Sr., OH, Norcross
365 kills, 242 digs, 35 aces, 11 assists, 91⁄2 blocks
Anna Keappler, Sr., OH, Wesleyan
496 kills, 342 digs, 57 aces
Moneshia Simmons, Sr., MH/MB, Mill Creek
400 kills, 88 blocks, 48 aces, 182 digs
Maggie Smith, Jr., S, Wesleyan
262 digs, 81 kills, 88 aces, 953 assists

Coach Eddie Martin merits Brookwood basketball honor
by Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Nov. 12 Gwinnett Daily Post

Brookwood High School will officially dedicate Martin Court to honor the coach who led the school’s boys team from its first season in 1981 to 2001...

Eddie Martin’s legacy as a Georgia high school basketball coach has grown immensely in recent years. He lifted Norcross from an average program to one of the nation’s best, winning three Class AAAAA state titles from 2006 to 2008 and becoming the first Georgia team to win three in a row in Georgia’s highest classification since Lanier from 1938-40.

He made quick believers out of Greater Atlanta Christian last season, taking his first team to the Final Four. His reputation should only grow this season with the Spartans, considered Class AA state title favorites. Given more time at GAC, Martin could add greatly to a resumé that already has 548 wins.

What he did at Norcross and what he may do at GAC likely will define Martin’s career. In 20 years, when most basketball fans in the state remember his feats, those at the end of his career will shine brightest.

Yet what he did early in his career won’t be forgotten. Not to those involved with the Brookwood basketball program. The Broncos will make sure of that this weekend, when they officially dedicate Martin Court to honor the coach who led the school’s boys team from its first season in 1981 to 2001.

We all know what Martin did at Norcross. Sure, he’s considered one of the best X’s and O’s coaches in the state, and that was evident during the title years. But he also had the benefit of great talent. His teams were led by future NBA stars like Jodie Meeks, Gani Lawal and Al-Farouq Aminu.

With all due respect to former Brookwood greats, there was no player of that caliber in the bunch. There were no NBA players and very few high-level college players. He got to coach 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-9 players at Norcross after years of not getting a player taller than 6-4 or 6-5 at Brookwood.

But each year Martin took what he was given with the Broncos and overachieved. They never won a state title under the legendary coach, but they won a lot of basketball games. His last Brookwood season was one of his best, highlighted by a perfectly orchestrated upset of a Berkmar team that eventually won its second straight state title.

That’s just one story of how Martin and Brookwood are tied together. It’s a place the he will always consider home. He coached his two sons there. His wife Malinda, a fixture at the Broncos’ scorers’ table for so many years, still works at Brookwood.

Those ties will keep Martin linked to Brookwood forever. And so will his name on the Broncos’ court, a fitting tribute for two decades that shouldn’t be forgotten.



Place / Name / Time
10 Abigail Mistretta 20:12.82
13 Lauren Kester 20:39.34
52 Sophia Artusaa 23:25.96
80 Madison Heyward 24:23.43
90 Kendall Lewisa 24:51.33
101 Pheobe Thiraway 25:22.14
111 Alison Shinta 25:46.65

Place / GACS Team
7th Total Time: 1:53:32.88
Average: 22:42.58


Buford’s Seon Jones stiff arms GAC defender
Elie Haynes Friday night for a huge gain
against the struggling Spartans.
[Photo: Gwinnett Daily Post]

CONGRATULATIONS to Spartan football players David Harber, Beaux Hebert, and Julian Horton for being listed on the Gwinnett Honor Roll for their performances against Buford. [Gwinnett Daily Post/SH Announcements]

FOOTBALL: Buford 45, GAC 14

NORCROSS — Buford will go into the state playoffs as a No. 2 seed rather than the Wolves’ accustomed No. 1. That may not matter, though. Coach Jess Simpson likes the way his team is playing and Buford’s postseason position as the Wolves go for a third straight Class AA title.

Buford earned a share of the Region 6-AA title with a 45-14 victory at Greater Atlanta Christian on Friday night as junior running back Seon Jones had a coming out party at the Spartans’ expense.

Jones gained 168 yards on 21 carries and would have had five touchdowns instead of three if it hadn’t been for a pair of penalties. His runs of 33 and 68 yards for apparent TDs were nullified, leaving him with scores of 1, 6 and 19 yards.

“Seon’s had a real good last three weeks,” Simpson said. “He was injured a lot early in the season, but he’s healthy now and has shown what he can do. He showed some good vision and made some nice runs.”

The Wolves as a whole are starting to play up to their normal high standard at just the right time, too. Buford has allowed just three touchdowns in the past seven games, posting five shutouts. Beaux Hebert threw a pair to touchdown passes for GAC, but was intercepted three times and sacked on seven occasions.

After eight straight undisputed region titles, No. 3-ranked Buford (9-1 overall, 7-1 region) had to share this one with Lovett and Westminster after a 28-21 loss at Lovett the third week of the season.

Lovett got the No. 1 seed from the region on a tie-breaker, with Buford the No. 2 and Westminster, No. 3. But Simpson isn’t unhappy about the Wolves’ potential road to another state championship at all.

“When you look at the brackets, a lot of the top teams are over there on the other side,” Simpson said. “Calhoun, Fitzgerald and Charlton County are all in the other bracket.

“We’ll obviously have to play some very good teams, but I don’t mind missing those teams at all. Somebody else will have to play Charlton County this year.”

The Wolves will face the No. 3 seed from Region 7-AA at home in the first round next Friday as they again begin a championship quest.

GAC (1-9 overall, 1-7 region) came out in black jerseys and pants on senior night and gave much bigger Buford a battle for most of the first half. But the Spartans were eventually no match for the Wolves.

David Petroni gave Buford a 24-7 lead with a 23-yard field goal early in the third quarter and then the Wolves broke the game wide open on a 65-yard pass and run from Alex Ross to Tyshawn Holley.

Buford added two more scores in the fourth quarter on a 19-yard run by Jones and backup quarterback Sam Clay’s 11-yard pass to Rick Legrant.

Taylor Bruner’s 31-yard TD grab on a pass from Hebert, who threw 31 times, made the final margin a little closer.

After Jones scored from a yard out in the first quarter, GAC tied it early in the second on an 11-yard TD pass from Hebert to Elie Haynes, who went high to grab the fade toss at the side of the end zone.

The deadlock didn’t last long, though. Jones scored his second TD, this one from 6 yards out, to put Buford back ahead less than 3 minutes after GAC’s score.

The Spartans held the Wolves after an interception by A.J. Cunningham in GAC territory, but Buford made it 21-7 with just 16 seconds remaining before intermission. The TD came on a 4-yard toss by Alexander that was lobbed up for Sherman Page.

Ross was 7 of 13 for 120 yards and the Wolves avoided any turnovers. Hebert, pressured continuously, completed 15 of his 31 passes for 150 yards, but was intercepted three times. Cunningham, Eric Barr and C.J. Moore had the picks for Buford.

Congratulations! David Davis, Beaux Hebert, Elie Haynes, and David Floyd have been chosen to be honored at the November meeting of the Gwinnett Touchdown Club. The banquet will be held at Brookwood High School, Wednesday, November 11, at 7:00pm. [SH Announcement]
GACS 21-55 Hart County
GACS 7-56 St. Pius X
GACS 42-60 Baylor School (TN)
GACS 21-39 Westminster
GACS 11-17 Blessed Trinity
GACS 14-42 Decatur
GACS 21-38 Avondale
GACS 17-48 Lovett
GACS 48-6 Cross Keys
GACS 14-45 Buford



[Photos from]

GAC stars shine at UGA homecoming
By Michael Buckelew
Nov. 8 Gwinnett Daily Post

ATHENS — Former GAC and Parkview standout Caleb King made the first start of his career against Tennessee Tech.

The sophomore tailback fueled the offense on its opening drive, gaining 23 yards on five carries and catching a 2 yard pass from quarterback Joe Cox.

King finished the game with 12 carries for 71 yards. He also caught two passes for 10 yards. King tied his career high in carries, which he set last year against Georgia Southern.

“It was the first time I’ve started, so it was a good feeling,” King said. “The coaches got in our ears and said we’ve just got to bust one and the O-line’s gotta block. We pretty much were geared up and knew what was going to happen today and just came out and performed.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt was pleased with King’s performance as part of a running game that gained more than 300 yards.

“I’m impressed with how he’s practicing and playing,” Richt said. “He’s really improving. He deserved a start, and I’m not so sure he won’t continue to. I thought he played extremely well. I have a greater comfort level right now with his ability to pick up the blitz than Washaun (Ealey), so I’m sure he’ll probably continue to play.”

On the other side of the ball, GAC grad Christian Robinson played a lot of minutes and made them count. The redshirt freshman from Norcross recorded five tackles in the game, setting a new career high. Robinson also added his second tackle for loss of the year by stopping Tennessee Tech B-back Tremaine Hudson on a screen pass in the second quarter.

“I got a lot (of playing time) today, so I was happy,” Robinson said. “This is the first time I’ve actually played on defense in front of the people here at Sanford Stadium, so that was exciting.”

Richt was pleased with Robinson’s play Saturday and how the young linebacker works during the week.

“He did a very nice job,” Richt said. “Christian, he didn’t just play because we had the game in hand. He played throughout the game. He’s earned a lot more playing time because he’s practicing well. He’s a very intelligent young man and he’ll hit you.”

Robinson broke his arm during his redshirt year in 2008. Richt said he has been progressing well despite the limitations of such an injury.

“It kinda set him back from not only being able to play but also not being able to lift (weights) like he’d like to,” Richt said. “With another very good offseason in the weight room, I think he’s really going to blossom into something special.”

King is also coming back from an injury, a broken jaw he suffered against LSU. Despite not being able to eat solid foods, Richt said he was confident of the running back’s ability to play on a high level.

“We’ve been monitoring his weight the entire time,” Richt said. “He’s been doing a really good job at keeping his weight up. … I know there’s plenty of protein in the liquid diet he’s got, so I think he’s doing fine.”

Congratulations to WILL FREEMAN who is representing the USA in the Youth World Cup. He qualified for the US team by swimming one of the fastest times in the country in the 1500 freestyle. He will compete November 10-11 in Stockholm, Sweden and Nov 14th-15th in Berlin, Germany. Will has accepted a scholarship offer to swim for the University of Georgia after graduation.
[SH announcement/Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Senior Will Freeman Makes College Choice
October 18, 2009

PHOENIX, Arizona, October 18. THE only male Swimming World six star in the Class of 2010, Will Freeman made his decision to stay close to home.

Freeman, who swims for Swim Atlanta and preps at Great Atlanta Christian, gave Georgia another high profile commitment today. Freeman is a distance freestyle star with the proven ability to score big points at the NCAA Division I Championships. His top time in the 1650-yard free (14:45.71) would have been top eight at the 2009 meet. He also owns an NCAA Division I B cut time in the 500-yard free (4:19.32). Over long course meters, Freeman owns long course senior national cuts in the 400-meter free (3:57.69) and 1500-meter free (15:25.44).

"I had an exceptionally difficult decision; mine came down between Texas and Georgia," Freeman told Swimming World. "Both schools have amazing programs and have outstanding coaches; it was a decision between two great schools and I think I would have done well at either. In the end, I felt like I really connected well with the campus, atmosphere, and the team at Georgia. I loved the college town feel of Athens and really liked the set up the swimmers have on East Campus. I was really impressed with the academic help and opportunities offered at Georgia, which was a major factor for me. Most importantly, I feel like Jack and Harvey have created the best training program in the nation for distance swimming. They've had the NCAA champion in the mile three out of the past four years! I can't wait to train with the amazing group of guys they have and see how fast we go. GO DAWGS!!!!"

WILL FREEMAN: College Recruit Rankings Profile
by By Kristen Heiss
April 24, 2009

"Now I'm only 19 seconds away from the American record, which is still hard to believe." -Will Freeman

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, April 23. THE next prospect in our College Recruit Rankings Profile series is Will Freeman. A six star distance freestyler who swims for Swim Atlanta, Freeman has had major improvements in the last year. After dropping a minute from his best time in the mile in March, Freeman looks to be one of the top distance recruits next year. Although he is only a junior in high school, his times of 4:19.32 in the 500 and 14:45.73 in the 1650 would have placed him 8th in both events at the Men's Division I NCAA's.

1) Who is your current coach at Swim Atlanta?
My current coach at Swim Atlanta is Chris Davis

2) Where do you go to high school?
I go to Greater Atlanta Christian School

3) When and where did you start swimming?
My parents started me in summer league at the age of 6, then when I was 9, and discouraged that I didn't make the summer league championship team, I begged to be signed up for year-round swimming. However, I didn't start seriously training and swimming until I was 13.

4) Who would you name as the most influential person and coach in your swimming career?
Scot Davis would be my most influential coach in my swimming career. I really bonded with him and he taught me to love and enjoy doing work at practice. He was a distance swimmer at Georgia, and he was a great distance coach and i made tons of improvement with him. Also, he is the leader of Team S (an elite group of distance swimmers at Swim Atlanta) and a most awesome dude.

5) What, to this point, is your best moment in the sport and why?
My 14:45.71 1650 time that I swam at Sectionals in March. This is my best moment in the sport because I was truly amazed by the time and saw my hard work come into fruition. I dropped a minute from my last year's time and 30 seconds from my previous best which I swam in December. Now I'm only 19 seconds away from the American record, which is still hard to believe.

6) Walk us through a day of practice
We always do 2000 warm up of assorted sets, then I train distance most of the time and we do 7000-8000 hard swimming, and then we have 45 minutes of hard dry land after practice.

7) What is your favorite set?
I like super hard sets that really challenge me and require mental toughness to keep going. I like when sets run through a pyramid or something like 100, 5 X 100, 200, 4 X 100, etc. where the intervals are constantly difficult and you get little rest yet keep going through the pattern. These sets are very good for endurance, mental toughness, and consistency. Also, one time we did a 10,000 for time and that was pretty crazy.

8) What is your least favorite set?
I don't like breath control sets or kick sets. Often times I get bored and lose focus. I think I need changes and mainly intensity to keep me focused and working hard.

9) What are your short-term goals?
I am going to World Championship Trials this summer, and I would like to see how high I can place there.

10) What are your long-term goals?
I want to make the Olympic team.

11) Is there anything else that you'd like our readers to know about you?
One interesting thing we do at our distance group is when it is warm we do lake swims once a week and twice a week during the summer. Also I am a member of Team S, an elite and select group of distance guys at Swim Atlanta Sugarloaf.

Congratulations to senior Will Freeman for winning the men’s 1500 freestyle and setting a new meet record with a time of 15:25.44 at the 2009 Junior Nationals. Will finished fourth in the 400 meter swim and sixth in the 800 meter swim. Will now qualifies for the World Youth Cup and the National Junior team. [GAC Press Release]

Softball coach Judy Tenney reports:
Lady Spartan players were honored last Tuesday [Nov. 3] at the Gwinnett County Diamond Fast Pitch Softball Awards presentation.

Congratulations to...
• Briana Stewart and Chaney Means - All County Team of the Month August/September
• Christine Young - All County Scholar Athlete Team of the Year
• Briana Stewart and Morgan Sitzes – Honorable Mention All County Team of the Year
• Sarah Armstrong – All County Position Player Team of the Year
• Sierra Lawrence - Team All County Position Player Team of the Year
• Chaney Means - All County Position Player Team of the Year

Congratulations to these young ladies for being honored by the Gwinnett County Diamond Club for Fast Pitch softball for outstanding seasons.

Senior High Announcements
CONGRATULATIONS TO GAC SENIOR LINDSAY ADAMS for accepting a scholarship offer to play college golf for Kennesaw State University. Lindsay is the defending individual State champion in Class AA girls' golf.

Amanda Komisarow commits to Furman volleyball
Oct. 30 Gwinnett Daily Post

Greater Atlanta Christian senior Amanda Komisarow has made a commitment to play volleyball for Furman University.

Komisarow, who led GAC to the Class AA/A semifinals as a senior and as a sophomore, holds school records for season kills (465), match kills (33), career kills (1,304), career aces (247) and career digs (617). She earned Area 4-AA/A player of the year and tournament MVP her final two seasons. She also maintains a 4.0 GPA.

Chaney Means commits to Western Kentucky

Greater Atlanta Christian senior Chaney Means, a standout in fastpitch softball and basketball, has accepted a basketball scholarship offer from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky.

Means has been a key player for the Spartans since her freshman season, when contributed to GAC's state championship.

She ranked third in the county in scoring (16.5) last season, in addition to averaging team bests of 6.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists. She averaged 13.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists as a sophomore.


GAC eighth-grade student Hannah Colehower
waves her cell phone when students were asked
to send a text message to their parents about
students getting MacBooks and iPod touch devices
next school year. Complete story below.
[Photo by Jason Braverman/
Oct. 30 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC to give students MacBooks & iPod touches for schoolwork
By Heather Darenberg, Staff Writer
October 30 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian School is launching a digital learning environment next year in which every student in grades 6 to 12 will receive a MacBook loaded with school-provided software and an iPod Touch, school officials announced Thursday.

With 1,400 units, the Norcross school is slated to become the largest K-12 Digital Learning Environment in the United States.

"Greater Atlanta Christian has a history of stellar student achievement," President David Fincher said. "Yet we recognize we can't rest on past successes. The skills needed for thinking, collaborating and decision making are expanding, and our program will expand and lead as well.

"This change is less about the particulars of the digital tools and more about the world in which we all will live, work, research and learn. It's time, and our children will live in this new world. And the excitement on campus is electric."

Sam Weyen, an eighth-grade student, said he thinks it makes sense for the school to equip students with these tools.

"Times are changing," the 14-year-old Duluth resident said. "We need to use the tools we're going to be using ... when we go to work and we go to college."

Norcross resident Allie Blinder, a junior, said she already brings a laptop to school to take notes.

"I like it," the 17-year-old said. "I feel like it's a lot more easy on the student. It's definitely going to get you ready for the world."

Scott Harsh, the school's senior high principal, said the school will create a true 21st century Digital Learning Environment.

"It has always been our goal to provide great teaching that moves students well beyond passive learning," Harsh said. "In a Digital Learning Environment, we will have opportunities to more fully engage our students in the learning process. To provide for their success at the next level, we've got to equip our students to be collaborators and teammates in a project-based analytical learning environment.

"Additionally, we have a responsibility to prepare our students to be wise, moral and responsible digital citizens. So while it is not about the tools, the latest and
best educational tools have to be available to accomplish the goals."


Mr. Couch speaks Thursday morning
at 9am to GAC parents and students.

GAC to equip 1,200 students with new MacBooks
By D. Aileen Dodd
Oct. 29 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Greater Atlanta Christian Schools on Thursday announced the launch of a massive Apple technology initiative that will put new laptops in the hands of more than 1,200 students and place higher tuition bills in the mailboxes of parents.

Starting in August, the Norcross private school will equip every student in grades six through 12 with a new MacBook loaded with GAC software. It will be one of Apple's largest school technology rollouts in the nation. The laptops will be paired as a learning tool with another essential many tech-savvy students already have, an iPod.

Talk of the multimillion-dollar upgrade was greeted by cheers Thursday at an assembly held to announce the iLearn technology initiative, which is being funded in part by GAC’s endowment, its magazine fund-raiser and tuition increases.

GAC President David Fincher sent e-mails to parents to inform them about the initiative. “Learning at Greater Atlanta Christian … is about to take a mighty leap forward,” Fincher wrote.

As a personal thank-you, next week John Couch, Apple’s vice president of education, will visit GAC to talk about technology in classrooms.

GAC MacBooks will even be provided to students who already have laptops at home. The laptops will carry insurance and tech support. Students, however, must provide their own iPod Touch devices.

The upgrade will mean that tuition for elementary school students will jump from $12,150 to $13,100, a 7.8 percent increase. Older students will see a 13.8 percent increase, with their bills rising from $12,645 to $14,400. The prices will still be lower than those at most private schools. Median tuition at private schools in Georgia ranged from about $15,000 for elementary schools to $19,700 for high schools last year, according to the National Association of Independent Schools.

“We are all very excited,’’ said eighth-grader Sam Weyen, who uses his parents' laptop at home. “We are not going to have to fight over the computer anymore.”

SOFTBALL: Coach Judy Tenney reports

I want to celebrate with our players who have received special honors. As the season ends, we as coaches do much voting and stat swapping. There are awards to be given out and ceremonies to attend.


$ 74,972.62 June 30, 2009 Fiscal Year End

(30,000.00) Third (final) contribution to Higher Ground Campaign
(33,000.00) All sports' officials, referees, umpires, etc.
( 500.00) Varsity Cheer
( 500.00) Swim Team
( 500.00) Cross Country
( 500.00) Tennis
( 500.00) Track
( 1,000.00) Marching Band
( 1,200.00) Golf
( 2,695.00) Wrestling
( 665.00) Volleyball
( 940.00) future distribution
(72,000.00) Total Distribution To GACS

$ 2,972.62 Cash balance forward from FYE 06/30/09

$47,293.50 July 31, 2009
$62,467.22 August 31, 2009
$61,418.79 September 30, 2009
$68,541.50 October 31, 2009

Spartans, Panthers streaks impressive
by Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Oct. 29 Gwinnett Daily Post [excerpt]

Streaks aren't truly appreciated until they're over.

In the midst of remarkable success, it's hard to recognize the historical impact of what is being done. The emotion is more about living in the moment, and continuing what the players before you have spent years building.

Gwinnett football has seen its share of impressive runs in recent years, with state-record winning streaks by both Parkview and then Buford earlier in the decade. Brookwood built a 26-game winning streak at one point, and Wesleyan is in the middle of a 21-game streak that doesn't appear ready to end any time soon.

But one, maybe two, long-running streaks will end in a few weeks.

Greater Atlanta Christian, 0-8 entering this week's matchup with Cross Keys, won't make the playoffs this season. That will break a 14-year run of the Spartans reaching the postseason.

Yet that isn't the longest playoff streak in the county.

That honor belongs to Parkview, a playoff participant for 15 years running. The Panthers (4-4) may keep that streak alive for a 16th year, but it will take a win over rival Brookwood in the regular-season finale to get it done. GAC doesn't have that chance. The Spartans, who have boasted one of the finest programs in Class AA and A for close to 15 years, have a young, inexperienced team that led to missing out on the postseason.

That shouldn't take away from what has been built at the Norcross private school, beginning with veteran coach Jim Lofton, his successor Jimmy Chupp and current coach Ken Robinson. Chupp took GAC to the quarterfinals four of his last six seasons, including a state runner-up finish. It was a special time at GAC, one that has been put in perspective by this year's struggles...[Will Hammock can be reached via e-mail at His column appears on Thursdays.]
Georgia GOAL Tax Credit
Deadline is November 1st for a 2009 tax credit! This is an opportunity to direct your State tax dollars! Contact the GAC Development office at 770-243-2208 for information on how directing your State income tax dollars to GEORGIA GOAL can help children attend GAC or email Chandler Means at

Coach Kristy Shelton reports
Congratulations to the volleyball team for defeating higher ranked Eagles Landing Christian on Saturday to make it to the Final Four behind Amanda Komisarow's 28 kills; Courtney Parker's 23 digs, and Catherine Chason's 39 assists. The Lady Spartans dropped the semi-final match to Wesleyan but finished a great season with a record of 31-7. Thank you to all the fans who came out to cheer for the Spartans!

Wesleyan beats Lady Spartans in State semifinals
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
Oct. 25 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Coming into the Class AA/A volleyball semifinals with 23 wins in its past 24 matches, Greater Atlanta Christian at least had hope.

Would this be the time the Spartans finally beat Wesleyan?

If the No. 1-ranked Wolves weren't on their own special quest for redemption, it might have happened. But as it was, GAC never had a chance.

Wesleyan recorded 11 aces in the first game and swept the Spartans 25-15, 25-14, 25-14 on Saturday at the Wolves' Yancey Gymnasium to make it back to the state championship match after having its string of titles end at four last year.

Wesleyan (33-7) will face Westminster (29-12) next Saturday at Marietta in an 11 a.m. match. It was the eventual champion Wildcats who ousted Wesleyan in the quarterfinals last year and the Wolves haven't forgotten the heartbreak of that defeat.

"This is as focused a team as I've ever had," Wesleyan coach Ted Russell said. "They're really hungry. They understand now that winning a state championship isn't automatic. You have to work hard for it. This team has really come together and it's on a mission."

GAC (31-7) will certainly vouch for that. The Wolves took the Spartans out of their game early and never let them get back into the match.

In four rounds of the state tournament, Wesleyan is yet to drop a single game.

"Wesleyan played incredibly well," GAC coach Kristy Shelton said. "Their start took away our confidence."

The Wolves were able to neutralize GAC star Amanda Komisarow, not an easy thing to do.

"If you can get easy points with your serve it obviously helps when you get to this stage of the season against good teams," Russell said. "I think our serving set the tone for the match. It was huge for us."

So was the return of Grace Leah Baughn, who had been sidelined for a couple of weeks with a sore back. For one of the rare times this season, the Wolves had their regular lineup intact.

"It was great to have her playing," Russell said. "But one of the best things about this team is its versatility. When we've had a player out, another player has always stepped in."

Anna Keappler had a double-double for the Wolves with 14 kills and 13 digs. Maggie Smith added six aces and 30 assists, while Haley Collins had 27 digs.

Baughn had eight kills in her return, along with a solo block and a share of two others. Wilson Sprinkle added three aces, two kills and 11 digs, while Callie Bivings had three kills and was in on four blocks.

"After losing in the Elite Eight last year, we really wanted to get back to the state championship," said Keappler, one of three Wolves seniors. "That's been our goal all year."

Komisarow had nine kills and 11 digs in her final game for GAC. She is the Spartans' season and career record holder in kills.

After the match, the players and coaches broke into small groups and prayed together. Friends as well as rivals, they had taken part in an Open Hand service project during the summer and bonded from it.

"Everyone got to be very close," Shelton said. "We all prayed for each other. I wish we could have met in the finals so we each would have made it that far."

GAC, ranked No. 6 at the end of the regular season, had a much harder trip to the semifinals than Wesleyan on Saturday.

Wesleyan, the Area 7 champion, never trailed while sweeping Hebron Christian 25-3, 25-8, 25-4 in the quarterfinals. The match took just 48 minutes, with the Wolves scoring the first 18 points in the third game.

The Wolves had 21 aces, seven by Collins. Smith recorded 19 assists, while Keappler registered eight kills and had 11 digs, the same number as Collins.

Hebron (27-16) was the surprise team in the Elite Eight. The Lions, the No. 2 seed from Area 4 behind GAC, had no seniors and were 6-17 the previous season.

GAC had to go four games to defeat No. 5-ranked Eagle's Landing Christian 25-15, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21. ELCA, the Area 3 champion, finished 42-13.

Komisarow had 27 kills, dominating at the net. Sophomore setter Catherine Chason had 39 assists for GAC, while Courtney Parker recorded 23 digs.

"We spent everything we had against Eagle's Landing," Shelton said. "It was going to take the best we had to stay with Wesleyan and we had already used up our best."

Clovis Fight Song from GACS SpartanSpear-it on Vimeo.

FOOTBALL: Lovett 48, GAC 17
By David Hudson, Staff Correspondent
Oct. 24 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - It was a tale of two halves Friday when Lovett and Greater Atlanta Christian took the field on a rain-soaked night.

While the Lions eventually won 48-17 in convincing fashion, it was the winless Spartans who owned much of the first half.

GAC, which has struggled mightily so far this season, played a valiant first half against the one-loss Lions, and took its first lead of the season when GAC kicker Connor Cox converted a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Spartans later extended their lead to 10 when quarterback Beaux Hebert hooked up with tight end Corey Simmons for a 16-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute remaining in the first half.

On defense, the Spartans took advantage of tough weather conditions and miscues by the Lions, intercepting Lovett QB Jonathan Carkhuff two times as well as forcing a fumble.

"Anytime you play in inclimate weather it's going to affect everybody," Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. "It affected us early throwing the ball."

While the Spartans were able to hold the Lions to 104 total first half yards (only 26 rushing), it was the last 49 yards of the half that turned the tide of the game. With just 48 seconds left in the half, Carkhuff connected on a screen pass to running back Zac Wolfe who took the ball 41 yards to get the Lions on the board, and making it only a three-point halftime deficit.

At the half, Lovett adjusted.

"I think more than anything (halftime) is an opportunity to jump up and down and yell and scream, and point fingers, and we didn't do that," Muschamp said.

"We got in there and made adjustments both offensively and defensively, and we got everyone on the right page."

And it sure made a difference. Just over a minute into the second half Lovett running back Zach Boden took the handoff right, broke a few tackles and was gone for a 52-yard touchdown run which gave the Lion's their first lead of the game.

Seventeen seconds later, Lions' defensive star Taylor Mack forced a fumble on the Spartans own eight yard line and recovered the ball in the end zone giving the Lions a 21-10 lead, and they never looked back.

Carkhuff got in on the third-quarter action throwing a 37-yard bullet to Max Williams, and Boden added two more touchdown runs of 4 and 40 yards. The Lions outscored the Spartans 34-0 in the third quarter.

Lovett improves to 7-1 overall (4-1 in region) while GAC falls to 0-8 (0-5) this season.


GAC intends to be a model Digital Learning Environment (DLE) for the 21st century. Come plan with us as we host:
John Couch - Apple Inc., Vice President of Education
“Educational Tools Today & Tomorrow”
Thursday, November 5th at 9:00am
Long Forum

Parents of all GAC students are encouraged to attend the exceptional opportunity to hear an innovative national leader in the world of technology and education. Mr. Couch is credited with driving Apple’s sales and marketing strategy in the education market and his knowledge and insight regarding the future of software applications should not be missed. Come explore the vision of where our students are headed for today and tomorrow in the field of education and beyond. [GAC Press Release]

Special K
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Oct.21 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - It was tough to decipher the Greater Atlanta Christian and Savannah Christian volleyball players Tuesday afternoon, with both teams sporting the same shade of red jerseys and black shorts. The only glaring difference was a hint of black on the visitors' sleeves, and their black headbands.

And that GAC had Amanda Komisarow.

The Spartan senior dominated the smaller Raiders with 23 kills, many coming at opportune times when Class AA/A's sixth-ranked team saw its lead dwindling. Those powerful spikes, and nice setting from Catherine Chason, guided GAC to a 25-16, 25-14, 25-7 win over Savannah Christian.

The Spartans (30-6) advance to Saturday's elite eight at Wesleyan.

"(Komisarow) was hitting just about everything Catherine put up there," GAC head coach Kristy Shelton said.

Chason finished with 32 assists and four aces, playing a direct role in the big night by Komisarow, one of three seniors on a GAC roster that features nine sophomores, including Chason.

Courtney Parker (10 kills), Rachel Waldrop (eight digs, six kills), Emily Parker (seven digs) and Ali Cox (five kills) also had solid performances for the Spartans, while Komisarow added eight digs.

GAC got off to fast starts in all three games, cruising into the quarterfinals.

"We have struggled a little bit with starting strong," Shelton said. "But in the hallway leading into (the Long Forum), that was the loudest I've ever heard the girls. I knew they were ready. I knew we had it today."

After jumping up 10-3 in Game 1, GAC allowed the momentum to slip. Savannah Christian closed to within 16-15, then the Spartans closed the game with a 9-1 run. The first five points of the run were Komisarow kills.

Kills by Komisarow and Cox, along with two aces from Chason, led a late charge to finish off Game 2. The third game was all GAC, with Jess Baker (two kills, one block) joining another big effort from Komisarow. The GAC hitter had seven kills and an ace in the final frame.

"This was the first time I was really impressed with our passing and our defense," Shelton said. "Our service D was the best I've seen all year. I've got three seniors (Komisarow, Parker and Katie Stevens) and nine sophomores, and the sophomores are playing with a lot of confidence. The sophomores are coming on at just the right time."

Softball head coach Judy Tenney reports:
THE LADY SPARTANS SOFTBALL season came to an exciting end yesterday after a tough loss in 8 innings of the third and deciding game of the second round of the state playoffs against Union Co.

After dropping the first game to Union Co 8-0, the Lady Spartans fought back from a 3-0 deficit in the second game scoring 4 runs in the 6th and held on for the win to force a third game. The Lady Spartans end their season with a record of 20-13 and Region 6-AA Runner-up.

Seniors Chaney Means, Carli Busbee, and Morgan Sitzes officially played their last games as Lady Spartans yesterday. Congratulations to them on outstanding careers as Lady Spartans. Morgan Sitzes finished her senior season hitting .500 throughout the playoffs; Carli Busbee picked up the 20th victory on the mound for the Lady Spartans, and Chaney Means finished her career as the GACS career leader in hits.

Thanks to all those that came out to watch and support the girls yesterday. It was an exciting day of softball and was made even more exciting by the support of the GACS fans. Congratulations to the Lady Spartans on a great season.

Spartans ousted from playoffs; GAC knocked out by Union Co.
Oct. 20 Gwinnett Daily Post

GAC came up just short in its bid to become the fifth Gwinnett County team to qualify for the state softball tournament, falling 3-1 in eight innings to Union County in the deciding game of the Class AA best-of-three series Monday afternoon at home.

The Spartans (20-13), who had not played since sweeping their first-round series with Armuchee last Tuesday due to weather, lost the opener 8-0, but rallied to win the second game 4-3.

"Not being able to get on the field (and even practice since last week) was tough," GAC coach Judy Tenney said. "I really feel like we played well in the second game, and I didn't think we played that badly in the third game. We just couldn't come up with the clutch hit."

They came up with three clutch hits in Game 2 trailing 3-0 with two outs in the sixth.

Chaney Means began the rally with an RBI double, then, following a Sierra Lawrence walk, Sarah Armstrong delivered a two-run triple to tie the game 3-3.

Christine Young then blooped a single over the shortstop to bring home Armstrong and put the Spartans in front 4-3.

That made a winner out of Carly Busbee (7-2), who gave up just five hits and one earned run with two strikeouts in the complete-game victory that forced the deciding game.

But Union County came up with three runs in the top of the eighth inning of a 1-1 game in Game 3 and held on.

Means went 4-for-9 with an RBI to lead GAC, while Lawrence and Armstrong each added two hits and a pair of RBIs and Taylor Endres and Morgan Sitzes also had two hits apiece.

Softball Scoreboard
GACS 0-8 Union County
GACS 4-3 Union County
GACS 1-3 Union County [8 innings]
Union County advances to the Elite Eight for AA tournament finals in Columbus.


[Photo by Martin Photography]

GAC beats Prince Avenue in State Tourney
Oct. 18 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian (29-6) beat Prince Avenue Christian School 25-13, 25-9, 25-9 on Saturday in the first round of the GHSA playoffs.

Amanda Komisarow led with 14 kills while Ali Cox had 12 kills for the Spartans. Katie Stevens had five digs, and Catherine Chason contributed four aces, 10 digs and 26 assists for GAC.


Girls Roster
Lauren Dehnart - Sr.
Lauren Kester - Jr.
Sophia Artusa - Jr.
Kathryn Bello - Jr.
Phoebe Thiraveja - Jr.
Katie Light - Jr.
Kendall Lewis - Jr.
Abigail Mistretta - Soph.
Madison Heyward - Soph.
Sarah White - Soph.
Alison Shin - Soph.
Weatherly Langsett - Fr.
AA Girls Rankings
1 Lovett
2 Westminster
3 Blessed Trinity
4 Dawson County
5 East Jackson
7 Bleckley County
8 Buford
9 Jefferson
10 North Oconee

Boys Roster
Carter Asef - Sr.
Nick Chizek - Sr.
Max Griffin - Jr.
Fletcher James - Jr.
Trevor Buce - Jr.
John Keeton - Soph.
Christian Sharpe - Soph.
Chris Woodard - Soph.
Andrew Gipson - Soph.
Adam Baker - Soph.
Jacob Baker - Soph.
Stevin Bienfait - Soph.
Matthew Simpson - Soph.
Grant Griffin - Soph.

[Photo from What's Happening at GACS]

Congratulations to the cast & crew of Snoopy the Musical for winning top honors at the Georgia Theatre Conference in Columbus GA. Students from GAC competed against nineteen schools for the honor to represent our state at the Southeastern Theatre Conference to be held in March, 2010. In addition to the ensemble's win, Aaron Joseph received recognition for his role as Charlie Brown by being named to the All-Star Cast, and Hannah Harte was honored as Best Actress for her role as Peppermint Patty.

Congratulations to the Marching Spartans, director Wes York, and assistant director Robert Turner! They earned straight superior ratings and 3rd place overall at the GISA Marching Invitational on Saturday at the Wesleyan School.

To view the first edition of the Spartan Band Beat, a monthly newsletter of the GACS Band Program, please click on the following link: October Newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail

Into The Woods, Jr. - Junior High
November 20-21

Almost, Maine
December 3-5 at 7:30pm

Forbidden Broadway, Greatest Hits-1
February 5-6 at 7:30pm
February 7 at 2:00pm

Freshman Follies
February 26 at 7:30pm

Visions Showcase
March 11-12 at 7:30pm

Junior High Spring Play
March 19-20

D2-Dinner Theatre
April 22-24 at 7:30pm

Much Ado About Nothing
May 6 & 8 at 7:30pm

SPORTS TEAM & INDIVIDUAL PICTURES currently posted by Martin Photography: Football - Varsity, 9th Grade and Jr High Cheerleader - Varsity, JV and Jr High Marching Band - to view pictures go to and click on Online Order Station.

ALUMNI: Lee Chapple

[Photo by]

QB Lee Chapple breaks Ga Southern passing record
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Oct. 10 Gwinnett Daily Post

One after another last Saturday, Lee Chapple's passes kept finding their targets.

Eventually the Georgia Southern quarterback had completed his first 17 passes in a 26-21 win over Southern Conference rival Wofford. His 18th attempt was a drop, ending a school-record run of completions that also was the second-best effort in SoCon history.

"I honestly didn't think about (the streak) until somebody told me after the game," Chapple said. "I really wasn't thinking about it, but it's nice to have it. But it's better to have a 'W.' We needed that win."

Chapple finished 25 of 28 (89.3 percent) for 187 yards and a touchdown. The Greater Atlanta Christian grad has completed 124 of 184 passes this season for 991 yards and six TDs.

His favorite target last week was Mitchell Williford, a freshman from Peachtree Ridge who had career bests of seven catches for 64 yards.

"(Williford's) playing great for us in the slot," Chapple said. "He's one of our leading receivers. He's a guy I really look for on the field when he's in the game."

Norcross grad Dion DuBose has led the Eagles' defense with a team-high 40 tackles (21 solos).

Georgia Southern travels to North Carolina today for a tough matchup with the Tar Heels.


Spartan & Century level Booster Members!
Take your coupon and go by The Spartan Store
in the Student-Family Center and get your
2009-10 baseball hat today!
UGA Redcoats coming again!
The University of Georgia Redcoat Band will practice at Spartan Stadium on the morning of Saturday, November 28, before the kickoff of the Tech-Georgia football game.

VOLLEYBALL: Providence and GAC advance in Area 4-AA/A tournament
Oct. 7 Gwinnett Daily Post

DACULA - Providence opened its Area 4-AA/A tournament with a split on Tuesday at Hebron, sweeping Buford 25-16, 25-16 but falling to Greater Atlanta Christian in three games 12-25, 25-17, 12-25.

Amanda Komisarow led GAC (26-6) in kills with 16 while Morgan McKnight fnished with six and Rachel Waldrop added five. Emily Parker also had eight digs while Catherine Chason had 29 assists.

Providence (27-12) will continue its tournament play on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Hebron against Paideia while GAC plays Hebron at 6 p.m in the winners bracket.

Senior High Announcements

THE LADY SPARTAN SOFTBALL TEAM defeated Westminster this past Saturday 6-3 to advance in the region tournament. The win also qualified the Lady Spartans for the state tournament...Sarah Armstrong pitched 7 strong innings and picked up the win for the Lady Spartans on the mound and the offense was led by Chaney Means, 2 hits an RBI and a run scored, Christine Young, two hits an RBI and a run scored and Celine Talley, two hits and two RBI’s. The Lady Spartans continue region tournament play today [Wed.] against Lovett at 5:00 at Sandra Coan Field. The championship game is on Thursday at GACS at 5:00pm and, if necessary, 6:30pm. Admission is free.

VOLLEYBALL: GAC beats Decatur & Paideia; Lady Spartans earn #1 seed in Area tourney
Oct. 2 Gwinnett Daily Post

DECATUR - Greater Atlanta Christian improves to 25-6 overall after taking a win over Decatur (25-13, 25-20) and Paideia (25-20, 25-9) on Thursday.

Amanda Komisarrow had 17 kills and seven aces, while Catherine Chason helped with 30 assists and five aces for the Spartans. Courtney Parker contributed eight digs and Morgan McKnight had nine kills.

SOFTBALL: GAC advances to state tournament
Oct. 4 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - GAC lost its first game of the day Saturday, 4-2 to Blessed Trinity, but rallied to beat Westminister 6-3 and advance to the state playoffs and stay alive in the 6-AA tournament.

The loss came despite a home run by Christine Young and a triple by Sarah Armstrong because the Spartans allowed three unearned runs.

But the defense returned against Westminister and Chaney Means (2-for-4) scored a run and had an RBI and Young (2-for-2) also had an RBI and scored a run. Celine Talley had two RBIs for the Spartans, who play Lovett on [Tuesday].

SOFTBALL: GAC 14, Avondale 0

NORCROSS - Carly Busbee got the win on the mound after shutting out Avondale 14-0 in four innings on Thursday [in a first round game of the Region 6-AA Tournament.]

Chaney Means had two hits, three runs and a triple, while Sierra Lawrence helped with a home run, three hits, four RBIs and three runs. Brianna Stewart had two hits, while Courtney Czentnar had a run and a hit and Kelly Lord had a hit, a run and an RBI for the Spartans (14-10).
TD Club honors last month's best
Oct. 2 Gwinnett Daily Post

SNELLVILLE - The Touchdown Club of Gwinnett honored some of the county's best football players last Wednesday at its team of the month banquet for September. Each of the club's 21 schools named four players of the month, and those standouts were given awards at the banquet, held at Brookwood High School. [The Spartan honorees were Taylor Bruner, Stephen Harber, Julian Horton, and Corey Simmons.]

Congratulations to Spartan football players Patrick Corley, Stephen Harber, Beaux Hebert, Taylor Brunner, and Julian Horton for being named to this week's Honor Roll for their performances against Blessed Trinity.
The Atlanta Falcons Captain in the Community Winner for the Oct. 5 week is D. David Davis an OL/LB from Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, GA. (The Captain in the Community program recognizes outstanding high school football student-athletes around the State of Georgia that demonstrate strong leadership skills both on and off the field. Winners are selected by USA Football, the Official Youth Football Development Partner of the NFL. Additionally, each winner’s high school will receive a grant in the amount of $1,000 to support community initiatives courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL’s Youth Football Fund.)

FOOTBALL: Blessed Trinity 17, GAC 11
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
Oct. 3 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - A surprise visit at practice by Herschel Walker helped boost the spirits of Greater Atlanta Christian players and that wasn't the only positive going into Friday night's game with Blessed Trinity.

GAC upset the Titans last year and it turned around the Spartans' season. Would it happen again?

It appeared it just might with GAC's defense doing a complete turnaround. But the Spartans couldn't upend Blessed Trinity for the second straight season and keep alive their playoff hopes.

The Titans held on for a 17-11 victory in a hard-fought Region 6-AA game at Spartans Stadium, dropping GAC to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the region. Blessed Trinity is 4-1 and 1-1.

"You keep fighting," GAC coach Ken Robinson told his players afterwards. "I'm proud of you."

The Spartans had given up 52.5 points per game in their first four losses. But the defense - led by Stephen Harber, Corey Simmons and David Davis - stepped up this time with an inspired effort. It just wasn't quite good enough as the offense failed to cash in most of its opportunities.

"We played a lot better," GAC two-way standout Julian Horton said. "But we couldn't score a couple of times when we should have."

Horton made a nifty run on a 43-yard pass play from Beaux Hebert to pull GAC close with 3:13 remaining and the Spartans got the ball back, reaching the Titans' 27 after a first down. But two incomplete passes and a pair of sacks ended the comeback hopes.

The Spartans have made the playoffs 14 consecutive years. The streak looks impossible to keep going now.

"GAC has a rich tradition and we're trying to live up to it," Horton said. "We needed this game, but we didn't get it."

Ahead just 7-5 after three quarters, Blessed Trinity padded the lead with a 27-yard field goal by Riley Lyons early in the fourth after a short GAC punt and then seemingly put the game out of reach on a 25-yard TD pass from Jake Skole to Ryan Cote with 4:06 remaining.

But GAC came back with a quick TD thanks to the strike from Hebert to Horton.

Hebert was 11 of 19 for 208 yards and Horton also got into the passing act. He hit Taylor Bruner for 32 yards in the third quarter to set up Conner Cox's 30-yard field goal.

Bruner had six catches for 125 yards, while Horton grabbed five for 93 yards.

Although GAC controlled the first half, the Spartans trailed 7-2 at intermission because of one defensive breakdown and three missed opportunities on offense.

Skole scrambled 69 yards for a TD on the first play of Blessed Trinity's second possession, reversing field and racing down the left sideline with 2:42 left in the first quarter. It was the Titans' second and last first down of the half.

GAC had a 30-yard TD run by freshman Kyle Scales nullified by a holding penalty, turned the ball over by inches on fourth down at the 8-yard line and had a field goal blocked on the last play of the first half while completely dominating the second quarter.

GAC's points came on a safety when Skole was called for intentional grounding while under heavy pressure in the end zone with 7:56 left before halftime.

[Photos by Jonathan Phillips/Gwinnett Daily Post & LSU Sports Net]

T-Bob's Tigers 20, Dawgs 13

Louisiana's is known for its fine Cajun and Creole cooking, and the roster of that state's flagship university has a definitely Gwinnett flavor to it.

Of the six Tiger players from Georgia, four are from Gwinnett County - including starting center and GAC grad T-Bob Hebert, who played a major role blocking for an LSU offense that rolled up 368 yards of total offense.

The Spartan Spear-it student newspaper, reports:
GAC teacher John Clovis sings the Spartan Fight Song at
Subscribe to the The Spartan Spear-it at

Senior High Announcements

THE LADY SPARTANS SOFTBALL TEAM celebrated Senior Night by defeating the Lady Bulldogs from Decatur by a score of 8-7, and the seniors came up big for the Lady Spartans. Senior Carly Busbee pitched three strong innings; senior Morgan Sitzes had two hits and scored a run; and senior Chaney Means added two hits and scored two runs. Sierra Lawrence and Brianna Stewart both had key hits and RBIs in the win. The Lady Spartans begin the Region Tournament Thursday at GACS.

GAC sweeps on senior night

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Prince Avenue 25-14, 25-15 and Providence 25-16, 25-9 Monday on its senior night.

The Spartans (21-6) got strong efforts from seniors Amanda Komisarow (28 kills), Courtney Parker (10 digs, five aces) and Katie Stevens (11 digs). Morgan McKnight had nine kills and Catherine Chason added 47 assists.

Providence finished the night 1-1 after defeating Prince Avenue 28-26, 25-15. Caroline Adams' 11 kills led the Stars (20-11) in the win over Prince Avenue, while Kayla O'Connor had 10 serves and three aces. [Sept. 29 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC 8, Decatur 7
NORCROSS - Seniors Chaney Means, Carly Busbee and Morgan Sitzes led Greater Atlanta Christian to an 8-7 victory over Decatur on Monday night. Means was 2-for-4 with two runs, Busbee was the starting pitcher and Sitzes was 2-for-3 with a run.

Sierra Lawrence (2-for-3, three runs) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on Celine Tally's slap hit. Brianna Stewart also went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for the Spartans (12-10, 4-1 in Region 6-AA). [Sept. 29 Gwinnett Daily Post]
#3 Chaney Means
#4 Taylor Endres
#6 Brianna Stewart
#7 Sierra Lawrence
#8 Christine Young
#10 Courtney Czentnar
#11 Sydney Smartt
#12 Celine Talley
#14 Morgan Sitzes
#15 Kelly Lord
#20 Sarah Armstrong
#22 Chandler Alverson
#44 Carly Busbee

SOFTBALL: Spartans split Brookwood tourney Saturday
Sept. 26 Gwinnett Daily Post

LILBURN - Christine Young's sac fly in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Sarah Armstrong to give the Spartans a win in their first game Saturday 4-3 over South Gwinnett. Brianna Stewart had three hits and Chaney Means had two in the win for GAC.
In the second game, the Spartans could not rally past Flowery Branch, losing 7-5. Celine Tally had two hits and an RBI in the loss for GAC (11-9).

SOFTBALL: GAC falls twice in first day of Brookwood tourney

LOGANVILLE - Greater Atlanta Christian faced two schools from bigger classifications and lost both games Friday at the Brookwood Invitational, falling 3-1 to Loganville and 4-1 to Northside-Warner Robins.

Chaney Means and Sierra Lawrence went a combined 2-for-6 and Sarah Armstrong was 2-for-5. Freshman Taylor Andres had a double and scored a run against Northside and was driven in by Morgan Sitzes...

THE LADY SPARTAN SOFTBALL TEAM knocked off the 3rd ranked Lady Titans of Blessed Trinity yesterday in six innings by a score of 9-1. The Lady Spartans scored nine runs on 11 hits and played great defense behind a solid pitching effort by Carly Busbee. Leading the offense for GAC was Brianna Stewart with 3 hits and 2 RBI’s, Sierra Lawrence with 2 hits including a triple to start the sixth inning rally and score two runs. Christine Young added two doubles and scored a run and Chaney Means finished with two hits and a run scored. The Lady Spartans improve to 10-7 and 3-1 in region 6AA. This weekend the Lady Spartans will play in the rescheduled Brookwood Tournament and then host Decatur Monday, the 28th for SENIOR NIGHT at Sandra Coan Field.

SOFTBALL: GAC 9, Blessed Trinity 1
ROSWELL - Greater Atlanta Christian topped Blessed Trinity 9-1 on Thursday night.
Carly Busby threw six innings and gave up four hits and a run for the Spartans. Brianna Stewart was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Sierra Lawrence went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Christine Young went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Chaney Means went 2-for-4 with a run scored for GAC (10-7, 3-1). [Sept. 25 Gwinnett Daily Post]

VOLLEYBALL: GAC sweeps at County Tourney
SUWANEE - Greater Atlanta Christian topped South Gwinnett 25-7, 25-10, beat Collins Hill 25-6, 25-19 and beat Meadowcreek 25-1, 25-4 on Thursday at the Gwinnett County tournament. Amanda Komisarow had 34 kills and 19 aces, while Rachel Waldrop totaled seven kills, nine aces and 10 digs. Ali Cox had seven kills and Katie Stevens finished with eight digs. Catherine Chason had 44 assists for GAC (19-5). [Sept. 25 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC falls to Westminster 39-20 in weather-plagued game
by Pat Wheeler, Staff Correspondent
Sept. 27 Gwinnett Daily Post

ATLANTA - In a game that seemingly would never end, Greater Atlanta Christian fought back from a 30-0 deficit but suffered its fourth consecutive loss, 39-20, to Westminster at Maloof Field on the campus of St. Pius.

The Spartans' frustrations on defense continued as the hosting Wildcats scored on their first play from scrimmage on an exciting run by speedster Ralph David Abernathy.

Played at St. Pius because of flood damage at Westminster, the neutral field did little to plug a porous Spartan defense that allowed the Wildcats to consistently move the ball. Abernathy is a handful although diminutive. The 155-pound scatback, grandson of the famous civil rights leader, amassed 111 yards on only eight carries before the rain delays.

In a game normally divided by halves, this contest was better defined by before and after rain and storm delays of more than three hours. The game was stopped with nine minutes left in the first half and Westminster already up by a 20-0 margin. After about an hour, both teams returned to play, but for only three plays before lightning in the area again suspended the game with 7:05 still to play in the first half.

The second delay was more than two hours and the game did not resume until after 6 p.m. The kickoff was at 2 p.m. and the conclusion came just after 8.

In addition to Abernathy, the Wildcats' offense was led by junior quarterback John Egan who scored twice in the opening quarter on runs of two and five yards. And Westminster padded its lead to 30 when Egan hit Chris Tattarus for a touchdown and Jeff Oser added a field goal as time expired for a very brief halftime.

In the second half, GAC showed some spunk on defense by holding Westminster scoreless during a third quarter that saw the Spartans finally get on the board via a Beaux Hebert pass to his big tight end Corey Simmons, who broke two tackles on his way to the end zone from 38 yards out. The Spartan's score came with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

GAC cut Westminster's lead to 16 with about six minutes to go in the game when Hebert hit Taylor Bruner on an 80-yard bomb that was perfectly thrown, keeping Bruner in stride.

Connor Cox added his second point after and GAC was down 30-16.

Westminster responded to GAC's challenge by forcing a safety when Hebert was called for intentional grounding from his own end zone. The lead went to 39-14 when Westminster's Sam Hinkle broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run with only 1:50 left to play.

GAC scored its final touchdown on the last play of the game on an 18-yard pass from Hebert to Julian Horton.

The extra point was not allowed as time had expired.

Hebert finished the game with 270 yards passing on a 13-for-28 effort with two interceptions and three touchdowns. The Spartans look for their first win of the season this week at home against Blessed Trinity.

Senior High Announcements
Thanks to all GAC families for your support of the #1 magazine sale in the nation again this year. We are thrilled to announce that our magazine sale made the school-wide goal Wednesday with a total of $551,553.27 in sales.

Late turn-ins will be accepted through Friday, October 9, and will count toward our school-wide total but not toward individual or class awards. Thursday, December 17, is now a magazine sale reward day! The last day of classes before Christmas will be Wednesday, December 16. School will be dismissed at noon on December 14, 15, and 16.

Subscribe to the GAC student newspaper, The Spartan Spear-it, at


(l-r)Seniors Carly Busbee, Chaney Means & Morgan Sitzes
celebrate Silver Division 1st place award in Columbus.
[Photo by Michelle Alverson]

Softball coach Judy Tenney reports:
The Lady Spartan Softball team brought home the Silver Division Championship trophy [Sept. 12] as they won the silver division of the 22nd Annual Shaw Invitational in Columbus this weekend. In the Silver Championship on Saturday the Lady Spartans defeated Jones County 4-0, Starrs Mill 1-0 and Northside 1-0. Carly Busbee, Sarah Armstrong and Brianna Stewart all picked up pitching wins over some tough competition. Chaney Means, 7 hits, and Sierra Lawrence, 6 hits, led the offense over the weekend. Carly Busbee and Chandler Alverson each had a game winning RBI as well. The victories were great team efforts both defensively and offensively for the Lady Spartans now 9-7. [SH Announcement]

SOFTBALL: GAC wins Shaw Tourney Silver Championship
Sept. 13 Gwinnett Daily Post

COLUMBUS - Greater Atlanta Christian (9-7) beat Harris County 4-3 in eight innings, but fell to Woodstock 7-3 on Friday, and came back on Saturday to defeat Jones County (4-3), Starrs Mill (1-0), and Northside (1-0) at the Shaw Invitational.

Carly Busbee got the win against Harris County. Sierra Lawrence was 4-for-4 with a run, Chaney Means was 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, Courtney Czentinal was 1-for-3 and Brianna Stewart added a hit and an RBI for the Spartans.

Against Woodstock, Means was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Lawrence was 1-for-3 with an RBI, Chandler Alverson had a hit, an RBI and a run, and Morgan Sitzes also had a hit and a run for GAC (6-7).

On Saturday, Brianna Stewart got the win against Jones County, after she threw seven innings, and gave up five hits and two earned runs.

Sarah Armstrong was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, while Carly Busbee knocked in a run. Sitzes also scored two runs for the Spartans.

In the second game on Saturday, Busbee pitched a complete game shut out, and struck out five batters and gave up five hits against Starr's Mill.

Alverson had a sac fly in the second inning to score the only run of the game. Means went 1-for-3 for GAC.

Armstrong shut out Northside in the final game on Saturday. Armstrong gave up four hits and struck out six batters.

Offensively, Means went 2-for-3 with a double, Lawrence went 1-for-3 with a run, and Carley Busbee got an RBI for the Spartans.

CROSS COUNTRY: Coach Brad Kinser previews this season
[reprinted from]

The GACS cross country teams will be looking to improve this year, but are in the tough Region 6-AA with some of the best teams in Class AA.

The girls placed 9th at state last year and are hoping to move up in 2009. The team is lead by Lauren Kester who had an outstanding year last year with a best time of 18:49. Lauren is a junior who was the 3200 meter state champion in Albany this past spring.

Sophia Artusa is a junior who placed 9th in state last fall and should be another front runner for the team. Abigail Mistretta is a sophomore who is running as a very strong third runner for the team. The girls hope to qualify for state again and improve upon their 9th place from last year.

The boys team is a young team, but they are working very hard. The team is led by 2 seniors --- Nick Chizek and Carter Asef. Max Griffin is running well this fall, and he is a junior. The boys just missed qualifying for state last year so they are hungry to get to Carrollton this fall.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS for a good performance at the Carrollton Invitational [Sept. 12]. The girls team won the 3rd place trophy and were led by 3 medalists --— Lauren Kester, Abigail Mistretta and Sophia Artusa. The boys’ team ran well and was led by Max Griffin who medaled, as well as Nick Chizek who had his best time ever. [SH Announcement]

HOMECOMING 2009 – A Look Back and A Step Forward
Join us Friday, Oct. 9, at 7:00pm for the pregame events including a school-wide "Parade of Mini-Floats" including entries from the Village, Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High! The SH clubs will be competing for special rewards! Stay in your seats during half-time for the crowning of the 2009 Homecoming King & Queen by Chancellor Jesse Long.
The Spartan Spear-it
The GAC High School newspaper has gone DIGITAL! Visit us on the web for campus news, top stories, spiritual life, sports, features, polls, videos, podcasts, arts & entertainment, and even a little debate. We’re interactive and welcome our comments & participation. The 2009-2010 digital and print newspaper staff consists of a group of 9-12th grade students who are creative, talented, and tech-savvy. Check out their bios....We have just gotten started. The best is yet to come. SUBSCRIBE TODAY at

Congratulations to Beaux Hebert, Julian Horton, and Corey Simmons for being listed on the Gwinnett Football Honor Roll for their outstanding performances against Baylor. The Spartans begin region play at Westminster this Friday, Sept. 25, at 7:30pm.

Volleyball coach Kristy Shelton reports:
Congratulations to the volleyball team for winning the championship of the Darlington Invitational Tournament on Sept 12th. The Lady Spartans won six straight matches without losing a game. Amanda Komisarow and Catherine Chason were named to the All-Tournament Team. [SH Announcements]

VOLLEYBALL: GAC wins Darlington Tournament
Sept. 13 Gwinnett Daily Post

ROME - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (25-10, 25-12), South Paulding (25-8, 25-10), Heritage (25-19, 25-4), Whitefield Academy (25-5, 25-13), LaFayette (25-9, 25-17) and Darlington (25-21, 25-10) to win the Darlington Tournament on [Sept. 12].

Amanda Komisarow led the Spartans with 64 kills and 22 digs, while Rachel Waldrop contributed 20 kills and 51⁄2 blocks. Ali Cox and Morgan McKnight each had 18 kills, and Courtney Parker helped with 18 digs and 12 aces. Catherine Chason had 104 assists on the night for GAC (14-5). Komisarow and Chason were named to the all-tournament team.
Martin Photography has football, softball, volleyball,
band, and cheerleading individual and team photos for
sale at


[photo from Gwinnett Daily Post]

SWIMMING: Will Freeman qualifies for World Cup team

Greater Atlanta Christian senior Will Freeman, the Daily Post's boys high school swimmer of the year last season, has qualified for the U.S. team that will compete in November in the World Cup.

Freeman's 1,500-meter freestyle time of 15 minutes, 25.44 seconds at the Speedo Junior Nationals was a meet record and also the fastest of the three qualifying meets used to pick the U.S. World Cup team.

Freeman is one of only 23 boys swimmers, as well as the only Georgian, on the U.S. team headed to Europe. The World Cup will be held Nov. 10-11 in Stockholm and Nov. 14-15 in Berlin.
from Bill Burton, Administrative Vice President,
and Annabelle Townsend, School Nurse

Our cases of students absent from school with confirmed H1N1 flu are growing steadily. We have had 25-30 confirmed cases school-wide with a few more cases in the elementary school reported than in our other three schools. From what we are hearing from other schools in metro Atlanta, our number of cases is consistent with what others are experiencing. The Southeast has been hit the hardest, due to the earlier start of schools in our region of the country.

It was announced in the national news this weekend that the H1N1 vaccine could be available in early October. Hopefully, this will help slow down the spread of the virus.

In the meantime, steps we are taking:
• More intensive cleaning in the evenings. Our custodial companies are disinfecting
and wiping down all areas students touch.

• Two day porters have been hired to clean restrooms and other areas during the
school day.

• Teachers will be provided spray bottles and wipe cloths tomorrow (Tuesday) to
begin wiping down student desktops and door knobs, etc. between class
periods. (Research indicates that there are more germs on desktops than
on toilet seats).

• Parents, remember to keep sick students at home until at least 24 hours
after the fever has broken.

• In order to encourage students not to come to school when they are ill,
we will not be giving perfect attendance awards this year. In addition,
the Senior High has waived the excused absence requirement for
final exam exemptions this semester.

FOOTBALL: Baylor 60, GAC 42
By Erik Green, Staff Correspondent
Sept. 12 Gwinnett Daily Post

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Greater Atlanta Christian will have to settle for moral victories for now.

After two blowout losses on consecutive weeks to open the season, the Spartans battled to the end in a respectable 60-42 defeat at the hands of the Baylor School Friday night in a non-region contest. GAC coach Ken Robinson said he was proud of his team for not giving up in the second half after trailing 33-7 at halftime.

"We're trying to teach the kids to learn to fight," Robinson said. "In the second half they did that. The coaches challenged them and they responded. It was something positive to build on going into the off week."

The final score was a bit misleading because the Spartans scored all but seven of their 42 points in the second half after Baylor had "called off the dogs," according to Red Raider (3-0) coach Phil Massey.

Massey insisted that he had removed the starters because of the sizable halftime lead. Baylor's starting quarterback Jacob Huesman was only in on one play in the second half.

"Their coach wanted to leave the starters in, I guess," Massey said after the game. "It's fine. The young guys had a chance to play and get better. We have six straight league games coming up and I wanted to keep the starters out and go with the backups."

He noted that he put some of the starters back in when GAC began closing the gap in the second half.

Baylor's Huesman, son of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's head football coach Russ Huesman, was 8-for-15 for 184 yards in the win. GAC's Beaux Hebert threw for 220 yards on 31 attempts. Julian Horton caught 13 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Spartans, most of the offensive numbers were produced when it was too-little, too-late.

GAC showed signs of life early against Baylor, sacking Huesman on the first play. Baylor went on to score on the drive, but the Spartans seemed unfazed, scoring on their first drive. The Spartans scored when Hebert found Horton for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 4:50 to go in the first quarter. Connor Cox kicked the extra point and Baylor's lead was only one point. However, Huesman and the Red Raiders were simply dominant from there the rest of the half. GAC failed to gain another first down in the half while the Red Raiders scored on five of their next six possessions.

In the second half, Baylor scored on its second possession on two big passes from backup quarterback Matthew Oellerich and it certainly seemed that GAC was doomed. Massey, as he said, seemed to be clearing the benches by that point. But GAC's Lavondre Nelson returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards and gave the Spartans a bit of a spark, perhaps. By the end of the third quarter the Spartans still trailed 47-14.

For a team that has been used to success during the eight years of Robinson's tenure the poor start to the season isn't easy to swallow, the coach said.

"We started 0-4 last year," he said. "We're trying to grow this bunch up. We talk a lot about how it's easy to respond when things are going well. ...when things are not going we'll, this is when you see what is inside."


Buford's Aly Hicks tries to turn a double play
as GAC's Taylor Endres(4) slides into second
base on Thursday.
[Photo by Jonathan Phillips/Gwinnett Daily Post]

No. 1 Wolves shake off slow start, beat GAC
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Sept. 11 Gwinnett Daily Post

BUFORD - The new scoreboard at Buford's softball field didn't work Thursday night and neither did the hosts' bats for the first three innings.

Greater Atlanta Christian pitcher Sarah Armstrong cruised through the two-time defending Class AA state champions' lineup, and had an RBI triple to take 1-0 lead through three innings.

The No. 1 Wolves' second pass through the lineup brought much different results. They scored five runs in the fourth inning - plenty for winning pitcher Karly Fullem (6-1) and reliever Melissa Dickie, who threw the final three innings - and coasted to a 7-1 Region 6-AA victory.

"We got off to a slow start and I don't know if that was a product of playing three straight days or coming off playing at Georgia Tech at night," Buford head coach Tony Wolfe said. "We did start slow, but we were able to get it going in the fourth (inning). Those two girls at the top of the order are a handful. Once they get on base, they create a lot of havoc."

Those two girls were the two top batters in Buford's lineup, Chelsie Thomas and Kallie Case. Thomas led off the fourth with a single and Case walked, setting up Alysha Rudnik and Alexis Overstreet for back-to-back RBI singles.

GAC (5-6) made three errors later in the inning, tacking on three more runs for Buford (12-3, 2-0).

Rudnik, a Georgia Tech commitment, then blasted her fifth homer of the season to straight away center field, driving in Thomas (2-for-3, two runs, two stolen bases). Rudnik also was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs.

The Wolves are just beginning region play, but it's a nice start for a team whose only losses this season are to teams from larger classifications (Marist, Collins Hill and Brookwood).

"We're getting a lot better," Wolfe said.

GAC got three hits off the tandem of Fullem (four innings, two hits, one unearned run, five strikeouts, no walks) and Dickie (three innings, one hit, no runs, two strikeouts, no walks). The only damaging blow was the first-inning triple by Armstrong that reached the right-field wall.

VOLLEYBALL: Wesleyan beats GAC

NORCROSS - Wesleyan knocked off rival Greater Atlanta Christian 3-1 on Thursday. The Wolves (12-8) dropped the first game 20-25, but rallied to win the next three 25-18, 25-23, 25-15. Anna Kepler led the way for Wesleyan with 16 kills and eight digs. Grace Leah Vaughn pitched in 14 kills and 12 digs. Wilson Sprinkle was there for 11 digs, while Alex Middleton added four kills.

Katherine Chason dished out 28 assists for the Spartans (8-5). Amanda Komisarow led with 19 kills. Courtney Parker finished with 12 digs, while Ali Cox had eight kills. [Sept. 11 Gwinnett Daily Post]
Tailgating in Tennessee! All GACS families are invited to join us for tailgating prior to the GACS vs. Baylor School game on Sept. 11 at 171 Baylor School Road; Chattanooga TN 37405. First 100 fan may purchase $5 meals catered by Sticky Fingers; other food available by Baylor Booster Club. Spartan fans will gather beside the Roddy Performing Arts Center (next to the river under the huge oak trees! Questions?

This year will mark the first time ever to have GACS Homecoming during football season. Come join us on Friday, October 9th, at 7:00pm for a tremendous Pregame "Mini-Float Parade" with entries from the Village, all elementary classes 1st through 5th grades, Junior High floats from 6th, 7th and 8th grades, and competition floats from many of the High School clubs. Homecoming will then be highlighted during halftime when class representatives from the Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior classes will be announced, followed by the Senior Court. Jesse Long, Chancellor at GAC, will again crown the 2009 Homecoming Queen and King as he has done from the very first Homecoming. The theme this year is A Look Back and A Step Forward.

SOFTBALL: GAC 5, Lovett 0

NORCROSS - Sarah Armstrong threw a seven-inning shutout, gave up three hits and no runs, as Greater Atlanta Christian took a 5-0 win over Lovett on Tuesday.

At the plate, Armstrong was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, while Sierra Lawrence had two hits and two runs. Christine Young finished the night 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for the Spartans (5-5). [Sept. 9 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Coach Judy Tenney reports:
THE LADY SPARTAN SOFTBALL TEAM picked up a big region win at home yesterday against the Lovett Lady Lions 5-0. Sarah Armstrong pitched a complete game shutout. Sierra Lawrence, Sarah Armstrong and Christine Young led the offense with two hits each and Christine and Sarah each had two RBI's. Timely hitting and great defense resulted in a big team win for the Lady Spartans as they prepare for another big region game Thursday vs. Buford and the Lady Wolves. [SH Announcements]

CROSS COUNTRY: Lady Spartans finish 5th at Berry Invitational

5th place - Greater Atlanta Christian School
3 Lauren Kester 20:07
9 Abigail Mistretta 20:43
29 Sophia Artusa 22:18
68 Madison Heyward 24:14
75 Katie Light 24:35
(105) Kendall Lewis 25:58
(106) Lauren Dehnart 26:24
Average Time 22:24
Total Time 1:51:57


21st place - Greater Atlanta Christian School
49 Max Griffin 18:16
90 Nick Chizek 19:16
133 John Keeton 20:18
136 Carter Asef 20:28
145 Trevor Buce 20:44
(148) Fletcher James 20:48
(178) Andrew Gipson 21:56
Average Time 19:49
Total Time 1:39:02

FOOTBALL: St. Pius 56, GAC 7
By Tripp Miller, Staff Correspondent
Sept. 5 Gwinnett Daily Post

ATLANTA - Led by quarterback Trey White and wide receiver Justin Harris, St. Pius dismantled Greater Atlanta Christian 56-7 Friday night.

White rolled up 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 10 carries and was 5-for-8 with 98 yards and a score through the air. Harris, who makes a 25-mile commute each day from Dacula to St. Pius in Atlanta, hauled in three passes for 82 yards and a score.

He called it his "best game so far."

Harris' talent on the field and his accomplishments in the classroom have not gone unnoticed. The senior already has offers from Illinois State and Georgia State and has gotten serious looks from Duke and Cornell. He's worked hard for it.

Each day Harris wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to make the trek down I-85 to St. Pius. He stays there until after practice and workouts are finished at 7. When he gets home around 8 p.m., there are just enough hours left in the day for homework.

"By then it's bed time and I get up and do it again," he said. "I stay very busy but it's worth it. I love playing down here."

The Golden Eagles (2-0) took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 38-yard sweep by George Kennedy. By halftime, the game was already out of reach for GAC (0-2).

White scored his first TD on a 20-yard run early in the second quarter. He scored his second less than six minutes later on a 40-yard scamper. After a two-point conversion gave St. Pius a 29-0 lead, Harris' 50-yard TD reception put the game away.

With mostly reserves in the game in the second half, the Golden Eagles piled on a few more points to ensure the rout. Joey Gargiulo tacked on a pair of field goals, Cleve Kellogg added two rushing TDs and Jake Delaney added another to make it 56-0.

GAC struggled to get anything going on offense. Spartans leading rusher Lavondre Nelson totaled 55 yards on 10 carries, but much of that came on a 24-yard run late in the game. The Spartans' only score - and nearly half of their 123 rushing yards - came on a 55-yard TD run by Taylor Bruner on a fake punt with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Beaux Hebert was solid in the first half, completing each of his first four passes for 35 yards, but two second-half interceptions led to more scoring opportunities for the Golden Eagles, who failed to convert just one of their possessions into points.
Senior football linebacker David Davis was named to the 2009 Pre-Season Academic All-State Star Honor Roll Class AA by the Georgia High School Football Magazine.


[Photo by Martin Photography]
Martin Photography has football, softball, band, and cheerleading individual and group photos for sale at

SOFTBALL: GAC 20, Avondale 0

AVONDALE ESTATES - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Avondale 20-0 in three innings on Thursday. Carly Busbee got the win, striking out all nine batters faced. At the plate Busbee was 3-for-3 with three singles and four RBIs.

Christine Young was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, two doubles and a home run, while Chandler Alverson and Taylor Anders each went 2-for-2 with two runs. Chaney Means added a triple and a double, four RBIs and two runs, and Sierra Lawrence had two doubles and scored three runs for the Spartans (4-5). [Sept. 4 Gwinnett Daily Post]

HOOPS: Lady Spartans will host basketball clinic
Date: Sat. Oct. 17 in Bradford Gym
For: All elementary & Junior High students
All participants will have the opportunity to sharpen their skills, enjoy some 5-on-5 play (and get a t-shirt!) The $30 registration fee is being donated directly to the GAC Spring Break Haiti Mission Trip.

VOLLEYBALL: Greater Atlanta Christian splits

ATLANTA- Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Westminster 19-25, 25-19, 25-21 and lost to Sandy Creek 19-25, 15-25 on Thursday night.

Amanda Komisarow led the Spartans in scoring with 31 kills and 16 digs, while Catherine Chason had 43 assists and 16 digs. Morgan McKnight contributed nine kills for GAC (8-4). [Sept. 4 Gwinnett Daily Post]
GACS Class of 2005

Ben Wooster File
Wake Forest University
Class: Senior premed major in health and exercise science
Hometown: Suwanee GA; Position: Tight end
Top Athletic Achievements: Academic All-ACC as a sophomore and junior; Dean’s List; ACC Honor Roll
2008 Junior year summary:
Named to the Academic All-District III team in 2008 ... Also named Academic All-ACC ... Started 10 games at tight end in 2008 ... Finished third on the team with 24 receptions ... Had 211 receiving yards and tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches ... Perhaps his biggest catch of the year was an eight-yard scoring grab in the back of the end zone that gave the Deacons their first lead (20-19) over Navy in the fourth quarter of the EagleBank Bowl ... Caught a 43-yard touchdown pass in the season opener at Baylor (Aug. 28) ... Posted career-highs of six receptions and 90 receiving yards vs. the Bears ... Added six receptions for 34 yards against Ole Miss (Sept. 6) ... Posted five catches for 36 yards in a win over Clemson (Oct. 9) ... Did not play against Miami or Duke due to a strained hamstring ... Recorded his first touchdown since the season opener with a two-yard scoring catch against Virginia ... Caught 20 passes in his first five games and was held to four receptions in his final six games ... Is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honorary ... Volunteers at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center emergency room. [Ben Wooster photo & profile reprinted from]

A Gwinnett Cross Country Super Six

[Photo by Jason Braverman/
Gwinnett Daily Post]
CROSS COUNTRY: The Lauren Kester File
School: GACS
Class: Junior
Noteworthy: Placed fifth at County and was Region 6-AA champion.
Won State in 3,200 meter run in 2009 and second in 1,600 meters.
Member of Southeast Junior Elite Triathlon Team.
Maintains 4.2 GPA.
Favorite athlete: Michael Phelps
Favorite movie: Almost Famous
Favorite musical group: OAR and Dave Matthews Band
What's your favorite cross country course to run? Mountain Invitational at Unicoi because it has great hills.
Coach Brad Kinser's comments: "Lauren is a talented runner who is not afraid to make herself hurt in her workouts and her races. Lauren had a disappointing end to last year's cross country season, but came back to score 18 points at the state track meet placing first in the 3,200 and second in the 1,600. Those 18 points led the team to a state championship for the girls." [reprinted from Gwinnett Daily Post]

FOOTBALL: Hart County 55, GAC 21
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
Aug. 29 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Hart County edged Greater Atlanta Christian on a last-play field goal last year in Hartwell, making for a disappointing start to the season.

This year's opening loss to the Bulldogs, however, was much more disheartening for the Spartans.

Jermonte Hickman had a 74-yard touchdown run for Hart County on the first play from scrimmage and GAC unsuccessfully tried to play catch-up the rest of the way at Spartan Stadium.

Hart County led 14-0 before the first quarter was half over, scored twice in the final 76 seconds of the second quarter for a 29-7 halftime lead and routed GAC 55-21 Friday night.

Last year's 10-7 loss at Hart County led to a 0-4 start for the Spartans, who were still able to slip into the playoffs for the 14th consecutive year thanks to a tiebreaker that gave them the fourth seed from Region 6-AA despite a 4-6 overall record.

GAC was hoping for a better start and better season this year despite an inexperienced offense. But the Spartans' more-tested defense couldn't slow down Hart County, which shared the Region 8-AAA championship last year.

Beaux Hebert, making his first start at quarterback for the Spartans, completed two long touchdown passes, connecting with Julian Horton for 74 yards and Taylor Bruner for 66. That was about the only times that GAC fans had much to cheer about, though.

GAC cut an early deficit to 14-7 with 4:27 left in the quarter as Horton got behind the Hart County secondary, ran under Hebert's long pass and just got into the end zone for the 74-yard score.

Hart County scored twice in the second quarter, however, to put the game out of reach by halftime. The Bulldogs' fourth TD came 6 seconds before the intermission, Hickman taking in Landon Beck's pass at the back of the end zone.

The Spartans had the ball six times in the first half and their only first down came on the long TD pass. Hickman, meanwhile, had 119 yards on eight carries in the first two quarters and added 77 yards on his two catches.

GAC scored on the second play of the third quarter, with Bruner breaking away after catching a pass from Hebert and completing the 66-yard TD. But Hart County scored two TDs in the third quarter and two more in the fourth as the rout was on.

The Spartans' final TD was a 4-yard run by David Floyd on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Hebert completed 10 of 22 passes for 201 yards, but he was sacked seven times for 49 yards in losses.

THE VARSITY VOLLEYBALL TEAM had a good day in the Top 10 Playday on Saturday. The Spartans came from behind to defeat Walker in three sets; lost a close match to Westminster in three; lost to Lovett in two and defeated Landmark in two. Amanda Komisarow led the way with 54 kills; Morgan McKnight had 12 kills; Courtney Parker was 49 for 49 serving, and Catherine Chason had 80 assists. The Lady Spartans are now 7-3 on the season. [reprinted from SH Announcements]

VOLLEYBALL: GAC splits at Top 10 play day
Aug. 30 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - No. 6 GAC split its four matches in the A/AA Top 10 play day at Wesleyan, beating Walker and Landmark Christian and losing to defending Class AA state champ Westminster and Lovett.

The Spartans took the first game against Westminster before losing 19-25, 25-22, 25-16.

Amanda Komisarow had 54 kills to go with her 33 digs while teammate Morgan Knight added 12 kills. Courtney Parker was 49 of 49 serving with 27 digs and Cather Chason had 80 assists for GAC (7-3).

Larry Boyd who works in campus services was injured in a motorcyle accident while going home from work on August 24. Get well soon, Larry!

Class of 2005

[photo from]

[reprinted from]

Senior offensive lineman Josh Barker (Duluth/Greater Atlanta Christian) will receive the second annual Erk Russell Memorial Scholarship, as announced by head coach Chris Hatcher. Barker is a fifth-year senior walk-on and the main reserve on the O-line.

Erk Russell helped restart the Eagle Football program and in just the fourth season of competition won the first of the program's six NCAA National Championships. He finished with three national titles and a record of 83-22-1. The scholarship is funded through the Eagle Football Assistance Association. Fans and friends of the Russell Family and Georgia Southern Football have made contributions in Erk's memory toward a scholarship. In April 2008 the EFAA announced the completion of a $50,000 endowment in memory of the legendary coach.

The scholarship is awarded annually by the football coaching staff to a student-athlete who most exemplifies the qualities Coach Russell sought in a football player.

Barker has worked his way up the depth chart throughout his career. He did not see any game action his freshman year, and made four appearances as a sophomore. Last year he played in the win at Chattanooga.

"Right now he is our back-up lineman, kind of our sixth man on the offensive line. We (the coaches) take a walk-on that exhibits all the characteristics of what I think Georgia Southern Football is - that's tough, aggressive, hard-nosed football players. Josh Barker is that guy this year. Anytime you're a lineman and you stay on a team five years as a walk-on it says a lot in itself. That is probably the hardest position to be a scout team player on year in and year out. Due to his consistency and endurance if you will being on the team, that's what put him over the top," said Hatcher.

Class of 2007

[photo by]

[reprinted from]

Head coach Chris Hatcher also announced Thursday four Eagles were voted on by their teammates as team captains. Sophomore quarterback Lee Chapple (Alpharetta/Greater Atlanta Christian), senior offensive lineman Cole Fountain (Cartersville/Woodland), sophomore linebacker Dion DuBose (Norcross/Norcross) and senior defensive end Harland Bower (Edison, N.J./East Ridge {FL}) were selected.

According to Hatcher, only the team votes on captains, players can nominate teammates, about 15 were nominated and they get to vote on four.

"It was an overwhelming choice. Lee Chapple, Cole Fountain, Harland Bower and Dion DuBose were named the team's 2009 captains which I thought was an excellent choice. There were a lot of good players that could have been the captain but those would have been four out of maybe a couple more that I would have picked myself which really makes me feel good that our team is on the same page I'm on.

SOFTBALL: GAC 5, Union Co. 2

NORCROSS - Brianna Stewart went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to help push Greater Atlanta Christian past Union County 5-2 on Tuesday. Celine Talley also with 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run, while Chaney Means added two hits with a run and an RBI triple for the Spartans (3-4). Sara Armstrong (2-2) went the distance for the win, allowing two earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts. [Aug. 26 Gwinnett Daily Post]

VOLLEYBALL: GAC cruises to pair of wins

LAWRENCEVILLE - Greater Atlanta Christian improved to 5-1 on Tuesday with sweeps over Central Gwinnett (25-3, 25-6) and Columbia (25-4, 25-6). Amanda Komisarow led GAC with 10 kills and 10 aces, while Catherine Chason added 13 aces and eight assists. Also helping were Emily Parker with seven assists and Ali Cox with four kills. [Aug. 26 Gwinnett Daily Post]

A Gwinnett Super Six

[Photo by Jason Braverman]

Amanda Komisarow leads GAC to 2 wins
Aug. 21 Gwinnett Daily Post

SUWANEE - Amanda Komisarow pounded down 20 kills and added 12 digs as GAC picked up a pair of wins at a volleyball play day at North Gwinnett on Thursday.

The Spartans (3-1) defeated the host Bulldogs 25-14, 25-12 before sweeping Hart County 25-13, 25-7.

Morgan McKnight also aided GAC's cause with seven kills, while Rachel Waldrop added six kills and five service aces and Catherine Chason dished out 27 assists and chipped in 13 digs.

GAC's Komisarow shines through despite tough competition
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
August 20 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - When you play in the same classification - and sometimes even the same area - as a powerhouse like Wesleyan that features such dominant players as Betsy Smith and Anne Marie Armstrong, it's sometimes hard to get noticed.

But ask any opponent of the GAC volleyball team the past two seasons and they will probably know exactly who Amanda Komisarow is.

For the past two seasons, the 5-foot-11 senior has been a cornerstone to the Spartans achieving some of its biggest successes in the program's history.

And she's done it by setting school records in kills in both of her varsity seasons, bettering her mark of 401 kills from her sophomore year by pounding down 438 of them last year, which accounts for almost 40 percent of GAC's offense over that time.

Yet, she finished second in the county in that category both seasons - to Smith in 2007 and Armstrong last year.

Still, she hasn't felt like she's taken a backseat to anyone.

"I haven't really thought about it much," Komisarow said. "I've just focused on playing my game and doing what I know I can do. I'm not really focusing on being (Gwinnett's most dominant player)."

It's not as if Komisarow has totally flown under the radar after earning first-team All-County honors by the Daily Post the last two seasons.

She certainly won't be an unknown commodity this season, and it won't only be because of her offensive abilities.

GAC coach Kristy Shelton has watched Komisarow turn into a outstanding all-around player throughout her career, especially after she posted 192 digs and 90 service aces as a junior last year.

And Shelton admits such well-rounded skills aren't something she necessarily saw coming from her star player.

"I taught her in elementary school, and I hate to say this, but I wasn't sure she was that athletic," Shelton said.

"But when she decided volleyball was her game, she put everything into it. She doesn't do anything halfway."

While Komisarow has natural athletic ability, it is Komisarow's drive that Shelton says is one of her two biggest assets.

The other is how consistently that drive keeps going.

"The best thing about Amanda is she's the same every day," Shelton said. "It's been such a blessing to coach her because when she comes into the gym for practice, it's the same Amanda from yesterday.

"And when she shows up for a match, it's the same Amanda from practice. That makes it a pleasure to coach her because you know what you're going to get."

Perhaps that is why Komisarow has not only emerged as one of Gwinnett's top players this season, but also one of its most sought out players for the next level.

But with a grade point average over 4.0 and an eye towards studying to become an orthodontist one day, Komisarow is looking at colleges with high standards like Pennsylvania, Emory, Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, Washington University in St. Louis, Georgetown and MIT for more than just volleyball.

"I want a school that has good balance of academics and athletics," Komisarow said.

"I want to find somewhere that I'll get a good education."

After enjoying plenty of success in her high school career - including a trip to the Class AA/A state semifinals two seasons ago and the second round of the sectionals last year, Komisarow wants to make sure she uses the same drive and determination to help her and her Spartan teammates go out winners.

"I want to make sure I go through the season with no regrets and knowing I did the best to help my teammates," Komisarow said.

Senior WR Julian Horton
A Gwinnett County Super Six

[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Julian Horton more important than ever for GAC
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
August 13 Gwinnett Daily Post

As the waning seconds ticked off the clock, very little was at stake.

Greater Atlanta Christian's football team, with star senior running back and current Georgia Bulldog Caleb King leading the way, was comfortably ahead of lowly Cross Keys 55-0. On the field were the Spartan reserves, a bunch of wide-eyed newbies trying to preserve a shutout and earn kudos from the upperclassmen.

Then like a flash in the night sky on Sept. 23, 2006, a young freshman named Julian Horton intercepted a Cross Keys pass and raced 90 yards past screaming teammates for the game's final score with 10 seconds left.

"He lobbed a pass in the flat and I picked it off," said Horton, now a GAC senior who still grins about his first big high school play. "That was big for me. I was young so it was a lot of fun. The team surrounded me and stuff. It was great."

The seemingly meaningless touchdown wasn't a game-changer, but it was a huge confidence boost for a ninth-grader playing mostly defense. It also showed a glimpse of what Horton could do with the football in his hands, a preview of sorts for what was to come.

Over the next two seasons, Horton would make plenty of those types of plays.

"Obviously when (Horton) was a freshman, you could see some things," GAC head coach Ken Robinson said of his senior's football talent. "Sometimes that can be a curse, when you've got everybody telling you how great you are. But it hasn't affected him."

Horton followed up his freshman season with a huge effort. He had 40 catches for 808 yards as a sophomore, including the best game of his career against a loaded Calhoun team when he caught 10 passes for 244 yards. He also had a highlight-reel, leaping TD grab over two Buford defenders.

He added 36 receptions for 613 yards and seven touchdowns last season, blossoming into a top college prospect at both receiver and defensive back. Schools like Alabama and UCLA have offered the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, but he lists Maryland as his favorite followed by Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State. He said Vandy would be his co-leader, but the Commodores are the only school recruiting him as a defensive back.

Although he had plenty offers to sift through, the Alabama offer typically is a big one. Several Gwinnett recruits have jumped at the chance to join the Crimson Tide in recent seasons, helping Nick Saban build some of the nation's top classes.

"(The Alabama offer) was big when I first got it, when I got a call from Coach Kirby Smart," Horton said. "I thought about it though, and the reason why Maryland appeals to me so much is the receiver situation. It has a beautiful campus and good academics. The coaches are cool. Alabama has that, too, but a lot of people want to go to Alabama.

"If I go to Alabama, I would have to battle two or three years to get a starting position. Maryland said I'll play early because they didn't sign any receivers for the 2009 class. I like that I have a shot to play early there."

Maryland also isn't too far from Philadelphia, the home base for most of Horton's family. He was born there before moving to Georgia as an infant. Once in the South, he found his way to GAC, where he has gone since the first grade.

The Suwanee resident grew up playing football for Duluth and Peachtree Ridge youth teams, mostly as a running back and quarterback. He didn't play wideout until he got to GAC, though the switch has turned out pretty well.

Horton, also a solid basketball player for the Spartans' Class AA semifinal team last season, has become a big-time receiver, as well as a playmaking cornerback.

"I could see him playing both (offense or defense in college)," Robinson said. "Ohio State came in during the spring and liked him because it's so hard to find defensive backs with ball skills. Everybody can get out there and look pretty, but talking to the safeties coach from Ohio State and he learned this from John Cooper, they don't even track pass breakups. That ball touches your hand, you better take it away. Batting it down is not good enough.

"That's what they like and the people who have offered him as a defensive back like. I know Maryland really likes him as a wide receiver. He looks good. He really looks good and he works really hard in the sports performance area. I just want him to have a great year."

Robinson's goals for Horton include one major change, being more of a vocal leader. It's hard to question the senior's on-field abilities, but his head coach wants more encouragement from his star in other areas.

He's not exactly silent - he enjoys rapping with teammate Andrew Converse - but in the past he relied on older Spartans when it came to leadership.

"He's one of those guys, trying to get him to talk to you is one of the biggest things," Robinson said. "That's one of the things we're trying to do is get him more verbal as a leader. That's hard because it's hard to get him to talk."

Horton still insists he isn't as quiet as his coach thinks.

"Sometimes Coach Robinson is intimidating, so I'm quiet," Horton said. "Normally I'm a talkative guy. I've got a lot of respect for Coach Rob. He's a great coach. He always puts people first, how you are as a person first. It's not all about football."

That belief in Robinson is why Horton takes the coach's leadership suggestions to heart. He wants a bigger role on this year's team. He wants another state playoff trip, but with a better record than last year's 4-7 mark.

To get that done, Horton knows he has to lead. He's no longer the giddy freshman, scoring a tacked-on TD. Every touch he gets is an important one for a GAC team that is in Region 6-AA, one of the state's toughest regions.

"(Robinson) really wants me to be a leader, I guess a lot of people look up to me because I've been here for a long time and playing for a long time at GAC," Horton said. "Last year, I really wasn't much of a leader, I let the Coltons (Chapple), the Blakes (Southerland) and the Shanes (Mularkeys) do it. This year I definitely need to step up and be more of a leader.

"We need to be more disciplined as a team. Last year we were so split apart, the senior class, the whole team. There were cliques and cliques. Some people wanted to win, some people didn't care. This year is so different. The senior class and the whole team, we want to win."
The Horton File
Who: Julian Horton
School: GAC
Class: Senior
Position: Wide receiver/cornerback
Size: 6-1, 190
College favorites: Maryland, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State
Other Division I-A offers: Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, UCLA among others
• Had 36 catches for 613 yards, seven TDs as a junior
• Made 10 catches for 244 yards as a sophomore vs. Calhoun
• Recently ran a personal-best 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash
• Also played key role for GAC's Class AA semifinal basketball team last season

What's your preference, offense or defense?: "I like receiver better. Not a lot better, but at receiver you can be more of a playmaker. I'm just more of an offensive person."

Coach Ken Robinson's comment: "He made great plays on both sides of the ball at the Dalton camp (over the summer) and I told him, 'Julian, that's what great players do.' So far this year, he's doing that. We need him to do that. We need him to be that player."

What to look for this high school football season
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Aug. 13 Gwinnett Daily Post [excerpt]

• Despite playing in AA's toughest region, 6-AA, expect a turnaround at GAC. The vibe around the football program is more positive and that improved leadership will lead to a 15th straight playoff trip (and a record better than 4-7).

Sports Team & Individual Pictures currently posted by Martin Photography:
Football - Varsity, 9th Grade and Jr High
Cheerleader - Varsity, JV and Jr High
Marching Spartans Band
To view pictures go to
and click on Online Order Station


NORCROSS - Mill Creek swept both Greater Atlanta Christian and Dunwoody on Friday night to start its season 2-0. The Hawks beat GAC 25-21, 25-22 and finished off Dunwoody 25-11, 25-22.

GAC (1-1) earned a split on the night with a 25-18, 25-6 sweep of Dunwoody, recording its first win in the Forum in volleyball. Amanda Komisarow tallied 14 kills on the night for GAC while Catherine Chason dished 22 assists. Courtney Parker finished with 13 digs while Rachel Waldrop served five aces.


Dacula edges GAC in home opener
NORCROSS - Dacula starter Allie Miles surrendered one run on one hit Tuesday night in leading the Falcons to a season opening 3-1 win over Greater Atlanta Christian.

Miles also struck out nine, while Brittany Taylor and Alex Payne each led the offense with a 2-for-3 night. [Aug. 19 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC goes 2-1 in South tournament
Greater Atlanta Christian lost to Shiloh, but rebounded with two wins in the South Gwinnett tournament.

The Spartans (2-3) fell to Shiloh 4-1 in the first game on Saturday. Sarah Armstrong was the losing pitcher, allowing five hits and four runs. Chaney Means was 2-for-4, Briana Stewart was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Christine Young was 2-for-3 and Celine Talley was 2-for-3 with a run.

Stewart had six strikeouts and allowed two hits in GAC's 2-0 win over Gilmer. Means was 1-for-2 with a run and Armstrong was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI.

Armstrong struck out seven and allowed no hits in the Spartans' 8-0 victory over Chamblee. Means was 3-for-4 with a triple and RBI, Armstrong was 2-for-4 with two runs, Talley was 2-for-4 with a run and Morgan Sitzes had two RBIs. [Aug. 16 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Aug. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post

Brookwood 11, GAC 2
SNELLVILLE - Julia Westbrook went 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs on Friday as Brookwood opened its season with an 11-2 win over Greater Atlanta Christian in the South Gwinnett Diamond Classic at Brookwood.

Jessica Neidigh added two RBIs on three hits while Susan Norris went 3-for-4 with two runs for the Broncos. Also helping on offense were Rachel Rhodes (2-for-4, two RBIs) and Kellie Brewer (1-for-1, two runs, RBI).

Winning pitcher was Brandi Jones, who surrendered two hits with 10 strikeouts.

Eastside 3, GAC 2
SNELLVILLE - Eastside held on to beat Greater Atlanta Christian 3-2 on Friday in the South Gwinnett Diamond Classic at Brookwood.

Sarah Armstrong pitched well but took the loss for GAC (0-2), allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts. Brianna Stewart led the offense for GAC, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI while Sierra Lawrence and Christine Young each scored a run.


QB Beaux Hebert will take over
as GAC’s starter this season.
He is the son of former NFL
quarterback Bobby Hebert.
[Photo by David McGregor/
Gwinnett Daily Post]

Beaux Hebert follows in father's footsteps
By Brandon Brigman, Staff Writer
August 6 Gwinnett Daily Post

For the first time in six years there will be a new name at quarterback for Greater Atlanta Christian. But it's a name familiar to Atlanta Falcons fans.

Lee and Colton Chapple have held the QB job the last five seasons. Now it's up to Beaux Hebert, the son of former Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert.

"There definitely is some pressure. I think about it sometimes and I really shouldn't. This is my first year starting," Hebert said. "My brother plays at LSU and my dad was in the NFL. I just have to go out and play my hardest. Whatever happens will happen."

Not only is Hebert the new name at quarterback this year, the rising senior legally has a new spelling to his name. During Christmas break Hebert honored his Cajun heritage by changing his name from Bo to Beaux. The new spelling comes from Geaux, which is a popular way Louisiana State University fans cheer for their teams. Hebert grew up an LSU fan and his older brother T-Bob plays for the Tigers.

"I felt closer to my Louisiana roots even though I only lived there two years," Hebert said.

Hebert's Louisiana ties go back to his father, who grew up in the Bayou State and later starred at Northwestern State (La.) before playing for the hometown Saints.

The son of an NFL quarterback, Hebert grew up studying the position. It wasn't long after he learned how to throw a football that his dad, who played for New Orleans from 1986-92 and Atlanta from 1993-96, began showing him the fundamentals of the quarterback position.

How to take a three-step and five-step drop were some of the first things he learned. Over the years his dad showed him audible routes for different defenses and how to look off defenders.

It's because of those traits GAC head coach Ken Robinson sees some similarities in Beaux and Bobby.

"I didn't watch Bobby play, but when I see highlights of Bobby it's the same body style," Robinson said. "I know when you grow up in a home with an NFL player there's going to be some extra coaching."

Bobby Hebert wasn't the starting quarterback on his high school team until his senior season, just like Beaux. That year Bobby led his team to the state championship. Of all the comparisons he gets to his dad, that's the one Beaux would love to share.

"That would be pretty cool. He always told me I would grow later like he did," Hebert said. "We have some of the same physical features, but he has a much stronger arm."

When Robinson took over as head coach last season, one of the first things he did was get Hebert back on the football field. He missed his sophomore season to concentrate on basketball.

"Sometimes you want to find your own way and maybe that's what he tried to do with basketball," Robinson said. "I think he has some things to offer with football."

As a junior last season he helped GAC's basketball team reach the Class AA semifinals for the first time in 17 years. Hebert was the Spartans' sixth man and usually came in for defensive purposes and averaged five points and four rebounds. This summer, GAC went 29-1 in summer league play with its only loss to Class AAAAA power Norcross.

Hebert has also had a strong summer in the passing league circuit. He guided the Spartans to the championship at the Darlington 7-on-7 passing tournament, beating South Gwinnett.

"That I was big," Hebert said. "I had never taken a varsity snap, so that was a good experience. There were some very good teams there, too. Before the finals, Julian Horton told me I got this. He said we've been playing since first grade, let's go out and do this."

The Chapple brothers put up impressive numbers over the last five seasons. The duo threw for more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns every season. Those are numbers Robinson believes Hebert can put up this season. But more importantly, he likes his new QB's intangibles off the field.

"Beaux is more of a touch passer. He brings some other things to the table that you like about him," Robinson said. "He has a poise about him. His teammates really, really like him. He brings a sense of calmness to the huddle."

GAC reached the playoffs for the 14th straight season last year despite a losing record. It's a run Hebert would love to continue in his first and only season as the Spartans' starting quarterback.

"I think we can do just as good or better," Hebert said. "We want to make it to the playoffs and I think we can do that. We're trying to be different from last year's (senior) class."

Coach Cook Holiday

Assistant coach Cook Holliday
has 42 years of coaching experience
in track. His athletes have won six
state titles and he was inducted
into the GACA Hall of Fame.
[Photo by Jonathan Phillips
Gwinnett Daily Post]

Coach Cook Holiday helps GAC pole vaulters
By Brandon Brigman, Staff Writer
August 5 Gwinnett Daily Post

Brad Kinser has been coaching track and field for 20 years. But when it comes to teaching an athlete the proper technique in the pole vault he stays out of the way.

"I don't know anything about it," Kinser said. "I get out there and cheer for them."

Kinser has entrusted Greater Atlanta Christian's pole vaulters with track legend Cook Holiday over the last nine years. Holiday has more than 40 years experience coaching track and field, winning six state titles during that span. This summer he was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

"He's been a big part of our program," Kinser said. "If you look at the success of our program, it really correlates with him working with us. Since he's been with us we've scored a lot of points at state. He's been a huge part of it."

Holiday has coached five state champions and five state runner-ups while at GAC. Claire Goodson was the latest state champ in May, giving Holiday 19 state champions in his career.

Annalise Peters was a three-time state champ under Cook and set two state records. Peters, who is now the No. 2 pole vaulter at the University of Georgia, still holds the Gwinnett County mark.

Holiday's other state champion from GAC, Michael Hughes, is a pole vaulter at Alabama.

"That's always what he's been known for - the pole vault," Kinser said. "He's been invaluable to us."

Holiday, 67, also was inducted into the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Athletic Hall of Fame in February and is a member of the Barrow County Sports Hall of Fame, along with the Winder-Barrow High School Wall of Fame. He's also a member of the Georgia Coaches Track and Field Hall of Fame.

"When you're winning and working your fanny off, you don't think about hall of fames," Holiday said. "This is all real humbling to me."

Holiday was a four-sport star at Wilcox Central and earned an athletic scholarship to play basketball and run track at ABAC in 1960. He later attended the University of Wyoming where he vaulted 14 feet, 7 inches to tie the school record.

Holiday won four state championships at Treutlen in 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1974. He took over the Winder-Barrow program, which had not won a meet the previous four seasons, in 1974. He led the Bulldoggs to state titles 1977 and 1997.

"He was an outstanding coach at Treutlen and Winder," Kinser said. "He knows the vault, but he can coach every event. If a kid needs help with the discus he'll work with them or if they need some advice in the triple jump he can give pointers. It's nice having someone with that kind of experience."

"I grew up on a peanut and cotton farm," Holiday said. "I guess that work ethic spilled over in my coaching. I guess it helped I was a Division I athlete and a state champion."

Holiday has accomplished more in his coaching career than most coaches could ever imagine. But it's his passion for teaching kids that drives him to coaching every season.

"I really enjoying working with the kids every year," Holiday said. "Every year I say it's too long of a drive to GAC. But then one of the kids will tell me I need to come back. I guess I'm just turned on by kids that are focused."

Georgia High School Football Daily [GHSFD], an email newsletter, has picked the following Region 6-AA players for its preseason Class AA All-State team.

OL/Kolton Houston/Buford/Sr.
OL/Du'Von Millsap/Buford/Sr.
LB/Jessel Curry/Buford/Sr.
DB/Julian Horton/GAC/Sr.
DB/Jake Skole/Blessed Trinity/Sr.

Georgia High School Football Daily is a free e-mail newsletter produced by Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye.


GAC opens the season at home on August 28th against a non-region opponent, Hart County, a Class AAA school from Hartwell. Last year the Spartans led most of the game, but lost 17-14 when the Bulldogs kicked a field goal in the final minute. Senior Colin Glasco of Hart County is a pre-season All-State pick as an offensive lineman by Georgia High School Football Daily.

Hart County Bulldogs
2008 record: 7-4, 6-1 (third in region)
Playoffs: Lost to North Hall 10-9 in the first round
Average record this decade: 9-3
Coach: Joby Scroggs (50-21-1 in six seasons)
Offense: I formation (coordinator: Ben Osborne)
Defense: 4-3 (coordinator: William DeVane)
Starters returning: 6 on offense, 5 on defense
Best player: RB/SS Jermonte Hickman
Other top players: QB Landon Beck, RB/LB Keitius Harper, WR/FS John Vollrath, WR/FS Johnny Christopher, OL Colin Glasco, DE Dion McIntosh

Outlook: Hart County lost 24 seniors from its 2007 team and started eight sophomores in 2008 and almost conceded that a region title wasn't realistic. Then starting around October, the team won six straight down the stretch to forge a three-way tie at the top of 8-AAA. "Last year, we were just going to be happy to be around, and we ended up having a great year for a young bunch of kids," said coach Joby Scroggs, who hasn't missed the playoffs in his six seasons.

This year's team will have higher expectations, though it's still a junior-heavy group. QB Landon Beck, a junior, threw for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore. Senior RB/SS Jermonte Hickman ran for more than 800 yards. RB/LB Keitius Harper is another outstanding runner, a fast guy (10.55 seconds over 100 meters) that can find the goal line. Both are good on defense, too. So are WR/FS John Vollrath (22 catches, 400 yards) and WR/FS Johnn Christopher (an up-and-comer who was in his first year of football last season). DE Deon McIntosh is a 4.5 guy in the 40, a 200-meter runner in track. Lineman Colin Glasco is a preseason GHSF Daily all-state player and is being recruiting by high Division I-AA teams. "It seems to be a good core of kids," Scroggs said. "I'm very impressed with the speed. The defense will be a strong point."

FOOTBALL: 2009 Region Preview: 6-AA
by Todd Holcomb
July 22 Georgia High School Football Daily

Region 6-AA, considered by many to be Georgia's toughest region in Class AA, consists of metro Atlanta schools from midtown (Westminster, Lovett) to north Gwinnett (Buford).

Defending champion: Buford
Best player: OL Kolton Houston, Buford

1. Buford (816)
2. Lovett (606)
3. Westminster (792)
4. GAC (646)
5. Blessed Trinity (841)
6. Decatur (745)
7. Cross Keys (792)
8. Avondale (651)
[reprinted from GHSFD]

Most victories by Class AA schools the past 10 seasons (includes victories won while playing in other classifications). This is reprinted from Georgia High School Football Daily:

1. Buford - 135
2. Charlton County - 120
3. Calhoun - 100
4. Fitzgerald - 97
5. GAC - 93
6. Dublin - 90
7. Cook - 83
T8. Lovett - 81
T8. Swainsboro - 81
10. Laney - 80
11. Westminster - 79
T12. Screven County - 78
T12. Toombs County - 78
T12. Vidalia - 78
15. Early County - 77
16. McIntosh Co. Acad. - 76
17. Appling County - 75
18. Thomasville - 73
T19. Macon County - 70
T19. Pepperell - 70

[reprinted from GHSFD]

Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans
2008 record: 4-7, 4-3 (fourth in region)
Playoffs: Lost to Callaway 19-14 in the first round
Average record this decade: 9-3
Coach: Ken Robinson (4-7 in one season)
Offense: Multiple I (coordinator: Gary Richey)
Defense: 3-4 (coordinator: Felix Curry)
Starters returning: 5 on offense, 5 on defense
Best player: WR/CB Julian Horton
Other top players: QB Bo Hebert, WR/DB Elie Haynes, TE/LB Corey Simmons, WR/DB Taylor Bruner
Key losses: FB/LB Blake Southerland (Vanderbilt), LB Shane Mularkey (North Carolina), QB Colton Chapple (Harvard), DB/RB Stephen Atwater (transfer to Peachtree Ridge)
Outlook: Last season the Spartans got off to an 0-4 start before defeating Blessed Trinity 31-28 in a game that ultimately would get them in the playoffs. This team lost more big-name players than any team south of Buford. "We're going to be inexperienced," coach Ken Robinson said. "There are a lot of unknowns." Robinson does know he can count on WR Julian Horton (560 yards receiving, seven TDs), who has offers from Alabama, Arkansas and Vanderbilt. The new quarterback is Bo Hebert, son of former Falcons quarterback Bobby Hebert. He will replace Colton Chapple (1,449 yards passing, and a good spot-duty defensive back) and has been impressive in passing leagues. The transfer of two-way star Stephen Atwater to Peachtree Ridge will hurt, as will the loss of FB/LB Blake Southerland, Gwinnett County's leading tackler and a short-yardage bull on offense.

Avondale Blue Devils
2008 record: 1-9, 1-6 (sixth in region)
Average record this decade: 2-8
Coach: Michael Carson (1-9 in one season)
Offense: Multiple pro-set (coordinator: Michael Carson)
Defense: 3-5 (coordinator: Eric Johnson)
Starters returning: 3 on offense, 8 on defense
Best player: RB/LB Matthew Hordeman
Other top players: QB Jonquiil Dawson, DE/OLB Kendall Roberson, DB/WR Alan Carson
Key losses: OL Deonte McDowell, OL William Brown, OL Eric Pass, WR Roy Reid, WR Courtney Brantley
Outlook: Head coach Michael Carson is looking for improvement but knows that will be difficult with the Blue Devils returning only three starters on offense. QB Jonquiil Dawson had a solid freshman season but loses his two biggest targets, Roy Reid and Courtney Brantley. The Blue Devils also will find it hard to protect Dawson, as the offensive line is inexperienced. If the Blue Devils do improve, it will be because of a veteran defense led by LB Matthew Hordeman (57 tackles) and DE/OLB Kendall Roberson (40 tackles). Avondale is a former state power that has fallen on hard times, but in the past couple of years, the school's alumni association has gotten involved and is committed to providing everything that's needed to contend, including hands-on moral support. Carson is optimistic about the future for a program that hasn't had much to cheer about for a while. "We're a couple of years away from turning the corner," he said.

Blessed Trinity Titans
2008 record: 7-3, 4-3 (fifth in region)
Average record this decade: 5-5
Coach: Ricky Turner (39-37 in eight seasons)
Offense: One-back spread (coordinator: Bob Lord)
Defense: 4-3 (coordinator: Richard Darden)
Starters returning: 3 on offense, 4 on defense
Best player: WR/DB Jake Skole
Other top players: DE Jeremy Phillips, LB Nick Day, OL Jack Bradley, C Eddie Bartlett
Key losses: RB Sam Burkhalter (Georgia State), OL Matt Crisafi (William & Mary), QB Kohl Hegetschweiler (Campbell), FB/DL Bruce Johnson (Southern Miss.), LB Mitch Smith (Southern Miss)
Outlook: The Titans finished 4-3 competing in their first season in the top-heavy Region 6-AA but just missed the playoffs because of a couple of heartbreaking losses. In fact, many believed it was a Top 10 team that simply missed some key opportunities. Getting another chance at the playoffs will be difficult with all the losses on both offense and defense. "We have to have young guys step up for us," coach Ricky Turner said. WR/DB Jake Skole (829 yards receiving, 10 TDs, 79 tackles) could add QB to his role after the graduation of Kohl Hegetschweiler. Skole has ACC and SEC offers as a receiver of defensive back. The offensive line should be the Titans' strength with Eddie Bartlett and Jack Bradley. Jeremy Phillips (7.5 sacks) will anchor the defense.

Buford Wolves
2008 record: 15-0, 7-0 (region champions)
Playoffs: Beat Calhoun 45-21 in state championship game
Average record this decade: 14-1
Coach: Jess Simpson (54-2 in five seasons)
Offense: I-form (coordinator: Christian Hunnicutt)
Defense: Multiple 4-3 (coordinator: Dicky May)
Starters returning: 3 on offense, 3 on defense
Best player: OL Kolton Houston (committed to Georgia)
Other top players: FB/LB Jessel Curry (committed to Auburn), QB Alex Ross, DE A.J. Cunningham, RB Eric Barr, OL/DL Du'Von Millsap, OL/DL Vadal Alexander, OL/DL Mitchell Dewalt, TE Jerome Davis
Key losses: RB Cody Getz (Air Force), OL/DL Dallas Lee (Georgia), TE/DE Blake Bennett (Wofford), OL/DL Trevor Warbington (Brevard), RB Storm Johnson (transferred to Loganville), DB Daunte Carr (transferred to Gainesville)
Outlook: Coming off back-to-back perfect seasons, the Wolves will be expected to be in the title game again despite uncertainty at nearly every position. RB Cody Getz (236 yards and four TDs in the state championship game) graduated, and explosive runner Storm Johnson transferred to Loganville for his senior season, leaving the tailback position wide open. Junior Eric Barr is the leader for getting the bulk of the carries. The Wolves will miss Dallas Lee and Trevor Warbington on the lines but do return two massive linemen in Kolton Houston (6 feet 5, 270 pounds) and Du'Von Millsap (6-4, 300). Both are major Division I-A recruits. But the Wolves haven't seen a rebuilding year this decade, so don't expect one now.

Cross Keys Indians
2008 record: 0-10, 0-7 (eighth in region)
Average record this decade: 1-9
Coach: David Radford (0-10 in one season)
Offense: Spread Option (coordinator: David Radford)
Defense: 3-5 (coordinator: Barry Banks)
Starters returning: 5 on offense, 1 on defense
Best player: QB Brandon Hamilton
Other top players: HB Derious Perry, FB Carlton Washington
Key losses: WR Richard Feacher (Furman)
Outlook: The Indians are in a unique and difficult situation each year. They play in perhaps the toughest region in Class AA with kids from 12 countries who in many cases join the team with a limited knowledge of football. "It's rare we have a kid stay four years," head coach David Radford said. "Our guys fight even though we're overmatched." This season, the Indians return starting QB Brandon Hamilton, who was the second-leading passer in DeKalb County last season, but lose leading receiver Richard Feacher to Furman.

Decatur Bulldogs
2008 record: 3-7, 2-5 (sixth in region)
Average record this decade: 5-6
Coach: Price Jones (3-7 in one season)
Offense: Multiple Wing-T (coordinator: Price Jones)
Defense: 4-4 (coordinator: Freddie Jones)
Starters returning: 7 on offense, 8 on defense
Best player: QB Trumon Jefferson
Other top players: RB/LB Rakim Jefferson, RB/FS Nick Wynn, OL/DL Deven Johnson, FB/LB Quendarius Hall
Key losses: WR Demorius Beasley (Alabama State)
Outlook: The Bulldogs are packed with seniors, 24 of them, which has coach Price Jones optimistic his team will improve upon last year's 3-7 record. "Last year we learned how to become competitive," Jones said. QB Trumon Jefferson passed for 1,000 yards but will be without his main target, WR Demorius Jefferson (600 yards receiving). On defense, the Bulldogs are led by LB Rakim Jefferson (71 tackles). Though only in his second season as head coach, Jones learned quickly how tough Region 6-AA is. "We'll have to beat some teams we're not supposed to beat to make the playoffs," Jones said.

Lovett Lions
2008 record: 9-4, 5-2 (third in region)
Playoffs: Lost to Brooks County 33-32 in the quarterfinals
Average record this decade: 8-4
Coach: Mike Muschamp (30-14 in four seasons)
Offense: Multiple I (coordinator: Mike Muschamp)
Defense: 3-5 (coordinator: George Pribish)
Starters returning: 7 on offense, 6 on defense
Best player: WR/DB Max Williams
Other top players: RB/DB Taylor Mack, QB Jonathan Carkhuff, OL/DL Parker Sebastian, RB Zach Boden
Key losses: DL Jameel Stokes (Sewanee), TE Michael Steele
Outlook: The Lions are powered by a balanced offense that should be right at the top of the region and the state again. Senior QB Jonathan Carkhuff (2,178 yards, 27 TDs) might be Class AA's best quarterback, if not the most underrated. He has weapons around him in RB Zach Boden (1,046 yards rushing 13 TDs), RB Taylor Mack (458 yards rushing, five TDs) and super athlete Max Williams (925 yards receiving, 10 TDs), who does a little of everything for the Lions. Parker Sebastian (6-3, 230) anchors both lines. However, Sebastian will need help. "We have a lot of experience at [the skill positions], but our concern is up front," coach Mike Muschamp said. Expect the Lions to be a Top 10 team again.

Westminster Wildcats
2008 record: 9-3, 5-2 (second in region)
Playoffs: Lost to Calhoun 38-20 in the second round
Average record this decade: 8-4
Coach: Gerry Romberg (124-71 in 17 seasons)
Offense: Spread (coordinator: Russel Wrenn)
Defense: 4-3 (coordinator: Gerry Romberg)
Starters returning: 5 on offense, 8 on defense
Best player: OL/DL Andrew Bridges
Other top players: QB Jonathan York, RB Ralph David Abernathy IV, WR Rawson Haverty, OL/DL Jonathan Tanner, LB Malcolm Chester
Key losses: QB Tom Moak (Princeton), RB/DB Stephon Shelton (Wofford), OL/DL David Dorris (Rhodes)
Outlook: With 22 seniors and most of the defense returning, the Wildcats are aiming for the Top 10 again. If the Wildcats do fall back, it will be because of their inexperience on offense, as they lose their starting quarterback (Tom Moak) and running back (Stephon Shelton). The bright spot of the offense is the line of scrimmage, which will be led by senior Andrew Bridges. "We're as big in the line as we've been since I've been here," said head coach Gerry Romberg, the second-longest tenured head coach in Class AA.

Whatever happened to...

GAC Class of 2006
Wofford College - Soph
Spartanburg SC

Wofford jersey #85
Position: Kicker/Punter
Height: 6-3 Weight: 200
Hometown: Duluth GA
High School: Greater Atlanta Christian

2008: Punted in four games for the Terriers ... Had a total of eight punts on the season for 313 yards and a 39.1 average ... Placed one inside the 20 and forced three fair catches ... Had a season-high three punts at Elon (10/25) with a 35.7 average ... Against The Citadel (11/8) had two punts, including a season-long 49 yards ... Added a 46-yard punt at Samford (11/15) ... Also played baseball for Wofford in the spring ... Started 14 of 25 games, primarily in left field, and averaged .298 on the season with 17 hits, eight RBI and a home run ... 2007: Did not play as a true freshman
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-year letterman for coach Jimmy Chupp in football at Greater Atlanta Christian ... Set the Georgia High School record by making 17 consecutive field goals over a three-year span with 10 from 40 yards or farther ... The Georgia record was 16 ... Successful on eight of nine field goal attempts and 56 of 60 PATs as a senior ...Converted 18 of 21 career field goal attempts ... Named First Team All-Gwinnett County placekicker by the Gwinnett Daily Post ... Led Gwinnett County in scoring as a senior ... Ranked as the #22 placekicker nationally by ... Had 70 career receptions for 1,115 yards ... Had 34 catches for 605 yards and three touchdowns as a senior and 29 catches for 383 yards as a junior ... In a Region 8-AA game against East Hall, caught seven passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, converted three PATs and booted a 35-yard field goal ... Named to Touchdown Club of Gwinnett All-County honorable mention team ... A four-year varsity starter in football and baseball ... Four-year baseball letterman who earned first team All-Gwinnett County honors as a center fielder from the Atlanta Journal Constitution ... Hit .433 with eight home runs as a junior ...Helped the Spartans to the AA state tournament as a senior ... PERSONAL: Son of Victor and Sharon Bennett ... Born October 31, 1988 ... Brother, Blake, will be a freshman this season on the UAB football team ... Majoring in business economics.


GAC senior is top college prospect
[story below & photo reprinted from

Chaney Means makes the grade on and off court
by Brandon Clay
Special to

It's rare to find a standout high school basketball player spend Spring Break on a school mission trip in Haiti. Then again, 5-foot-8 junior guard Chaney Means from Greater Atlanta Christian School is not your average ball player.

The left-handed combo guard plays the game a little different than kids nowadays. Chaney's style of play has a real different vibe with her innate ability to convert shots from tough angles and off one leg in traffic consistently. Add that to a motor that runs all game long and it's easy to see why college coaches from all across the country are recruiting Means.

"Belmont, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Florida State, Lipscomb, Memphis, North Florida, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky all came to either a game or a practice," said Means. "I hope they like how I play. I spend a lot of time in the gym and shoot tough shots everyday after practice to make sure that I can hit them in the game."

Attending one of the Peach State's most well-respected private schools has helped her off the floor as well. It will almost certainly have an impact on where she chooses to play at the next level.

"I don't have a favorite but the academic piece will factor into my decision as much as the basketball part does," said Means who sports a 3.98 GPA in the classroom. "Academics are really important to my family and I. I also hear from Lehigh, Princeton, Rice and Stanford quite a bit."

Chaney's academic achievements aren't the only reason that she stands out to potential colleges. Her work ethic and constant energy are evident during games. Her play is modeled after a former Class AA star whose name is synonymous with determination.

"I would like to think that I play like Ashley Houts (Univ. of Georgia junior). She is always going hard and making her teammates better in the process," said Means who averaged 16 points, four assists, five-and-a-half steals and six rebounds a game. "I try to play with a lot of heart and make everyone on my team a better player at the same time."

The off-season is a time for serious players to hone in on areas that they can improve. Means is no different as she plans to get in the gym as much as possible.

"I have to work on my ability to handle the ball with my weak [right] hand, improve my three point percentage and my pull-up jumper. This is a really important summer," said Means. "I want to win a state championship next year and be ready to make an impact right away at the next level. Those are the areas that I believe can help me to obtain those goals. I can see the end of my high school days coming and I can't imagine a better ending that that."


New head coach at York College (story below)
[reprinted from]

Tori Means Is Head Softball Coach at York College
[reprinted from]

York College [York, Nebraska] athletic director Jared Stark announced Tuesday the hiring of new head women’s softball coach Ms. Tori Means, effective July 1. Means is an alumnus of Greater Atlanta Christian High School where she competed in softball, basketball and tennis and comes from a fervent sports family. After a successful high school career Means went on to compete in collegiate softball for Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, under Coach Hal Wynn.

“I believe God has led our search in hiring Tori,” said Stark. “She has the unique skills to lead our women’s softball program, and her top priority is leading the girls spiritually closer to Christ. She will focus on developing student athletes who will represent York College in a positive way both on and off the field.”

Coach Means earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education at Faulkner, and as a student was involved in recruiting in the Admissions Department. Stark commented, “This experience will give her a valuable advantage in recruiting specifically for her own program.”

Currently Means is working with the youth program at the Campus Church of Christ in Norcross, Georgia.

GAC-Blessed Trinity game on WQXI Radio

The October 2nd game between the Spartans and Titans at Spartan Stadium will be the high school 'Game of the Week' on WQXI, Sports Radio 790 THE ZONE. The radio crew will set up early that Friday in the plaza at the stadium with activities for the kids.

FOOTBALL: Buford at GAC will be televised
July 11 Gwinnett Daily Post

Play-by-Play Advertising will broadcast local high school football games again this season with its North Atlanta Game of the Week program.

The telecasts, streamed live at, feature Mark Blumen and Frank Fore with analysis. Blumen hosts Coaches Corner, a local high school football TV show entering its 10th season.

In addition to the game of the week, Blumen said a tape-delayed game will also be aired each week this season.
The North Atlanta Game of the Week broadcast schedule is as follows:
• Aug. 21 Grovetown at Buford
• Aug. 28 Mountain View at Archer
• Sept. 4 Brookwood at North Gwinnett
• Sept. 11 Berkmar at Parkview
• Sept. 18 South Gwinnett at Grayson
• Sept. 25 Mill Creek at North Gwinnett
• Oct. 2 Shiloh at Grayson
• Oct. 9 Peachtree Ridge at Mill Creek
• Oct. 16 Collins Hill at Peachtree Ridge
• Oct. 23 Collins Hill at Mill Creek
• Oct. 30 Brookwood at South Gwinnett
• Nov. 6 Buford at GAC


Spartan football fans! We’re looking forward to another exciting season of GACS football! You can buy a season ticket today which will give you a reserved red chair seat on the 50-yard line and a Stadium parking lot pass for the five regular season home games. Your cost: $100. Print your application at

The season kicks off at home on August 28 versus Hart County. For additional information, contact Diane Harte in the Development Office at (770) 243-2228 or

Which team will make the biggest improvement from last season?
...Expect a turnaround from GAC, which went 4-7 in 2008 but still made the playoffs. The Spartans lost four of their games by a combined 12 points last season, so they should turn some of those close ones in their favor this fall. [reprinted from Gwinnett Daily Post]

GACS 21-55 Hart County
GACS 7-56 St. Pius X
GACS 42-60 Baylor (TN)

Sept 18 Open Date
Sept 25 at Westminster
Oct 9 DECATUR (Homecoming)
Oct 16 at Avondale (8:00pm)
Oct 31 at Cross Keys (Saturday at Adams Stadium)
All games 7:30pm kickoff except Avondale;

Class AA Football Playoff Schedule
Nov 13 First round
Nov 20 Second round
Nov 27 Third round
Dec 4-5 Semifinals
Dec 11-12 Finals at Georgia Dome

PREP FOOTBALL [reprinted from Gwinnett Daily Post]
A look at some key dates in the 2009 high school football season:
• Aug. 21: First regular-season games
Grovetown (SC) at Buford; Berkmar at Aiken(SC)
• Aug. 22: Corky Kell Classic at Georgia Dome:
Brookwood vs. McEachern
Grayson vs. Camden County
Norcross vs. Walton

• Aug. 28: First full schedule of Friday night games including Hart County at GAC
• Nov. 13: Playoffs start
• Dec. 11-12: State title games

GAC Dad: Stewart Cink Wins British Open

Cink family: Reagan, Lisa, Stewart & Connor
[Photo by Getty Images/AFP]

[Photo by Getty Images/AFP]


Gwinnett Daily Post sports editor Will Hammock and his staff won 13 awards in June from the Georgia Sports Writers Association for its reporting on high school, college, and professional sports. Besides Will the other Post writers who won awards were Ben Beitzel, Brandon Brigman, David Friedlander, and Christine Troyke.

Read the Gwinnett Daily Post daily, and see it online at

BASKETBALL: GAC boys to host showcase event
by Will Hammock, Sports Editor
June 17 Gwinnett Daily Post

Greater Atlanta Christian's boys basketball team plays in one of the state's best high school gyms, the new Long Forum, and the Spartans will host at least one showcase event there next season.

GAC is one of eight boys teams participating in a four-game, one-day basketball event on Dec. 12. The Spartans' field also includes Norcross, Milton, Rockdale County, Centennial, Turner County, Dunwoody and Greenville. Most matchups have not been set (but a Norcross-Milton matchup is likely), but the list features some of the state's top teams and individual talent.

"I think we've got a showcase gym, so hopefully we can do a lot of things like this in the future," GAC boys coach Eddie Martin said.

Martin's team also will play in Centennial's Martin Luther King Day showcase, as well as trip to the Arby's Classic, a 16-team tourney in Bristol, Tenn.

GAC lost just one key player to graduation, and also got a boost recently when Malcolm Brogdon, a 6-foot-4 rising junior wing from Fayette County, was accepted at the Norcross private school.

Kristine Kester of Duluth...won [her] age group at this past weekend's Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon held at Lake Lanier Islands. The competition featured almost 1,000 finishers.

Kester, 44, had the best time of the age-group finishers, completing the 1⁄3-mile swim, 18-mile bike and 3-mile run in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 50 seconds. [Editor's note: Kristine is the mother of three GAC students including Lauren who is a GHSA state champion in cross country and track & field.]

$79,018.93 as of Oct. 31, 2008
$78,610.92 as of Nov. 30, 2008
$76,821.87 as of Dec. 31, 2008
$78,552.40 as of Jan. 31, 2009
$87,581.20 as of Feb. 28, 2009
$83,954.21 as of Mar. 31, 2009
$78,389.53 as of Apr. 30, 2009
$75,055.41 as of May 31, 2009
$75,520.62 as of June 30, 2009

That wraps up the Booster Club fiscal year! Thank you!


Final Standings - 2008-09 School Year
Class AA Girls Division
1 Greater Atlanta Christian 624
2 Blessed Trinity 602
3 Lovett 575
4 Westminster 471
5 North Oconee 457.5
Here's how the GAC girls athletic teams won the Directors Cup:

Points___Girls Sport___Finish
100 Track & Field Champion
90 Tennis Runner Up
90 Golf Runner Up
83 Soccer Final 4
80 Swimming 4th
70 Basketball Final 8
57 Cross Country 11th
54 Cheerleading 12th

The purpose of the GADA Dodge Directors Cup is to recognize those athletic departments in all GHSA classifications who have excelled and shown superior performance.

Since the 1999-2000 school year, the GADA has presented this award annually. Award winning schools will receive a Directors Cup trophy and a wall banner. [last 2 paragraphs reprinted from]

By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
May 17 Gwinnett Daily Post

ALBANY - Every one invovled with the Greater Atlanta Christian girls track program had the same word to describe Saturday's sprint finals at the girls state track and field championships at Hugh Mills Stadium.

"Nerve-racking," Spartans junior Jessica Tuggle said.

Those nerves were soothed in the end, replaced by celebration after the Spartans were able to squeeze just enough points to come away with the Class AA team title with 49 points, holding off late challenges by Region 6-AA rival Decatur and Jordan, who finished just three points back.

"We brought (only) five girls down here," GAC coach Brad Kinser said. "We did a lot of our damage on Thursday and Friday. (Saturday), we just kind of had to do a lot of watching and hoping."

The two events the Spartans could play an active hand in came out the same way - with a fifth-place medal.

Tuggle was involved in both, running with the 400-meter relay team and also taking fifth in the 100 intermediate hurdles for eight big points.

"When I got finished running the hurdles, I was very disappointed even though I ran close to my (personal best)," Tuggle said.

But that effort - along with her own performances in field event's Friday, plus those from her relay teammates, distance runner Lauren Kester and pole vaulter Claire Goodson - to build up a big enough lead to keep both Decatur and Jordan at arm's length.

"We did solid enough," Kinser said.

Jordan had the best chance to catch the Spartans, especially after Sherrina Lewis finished third in the 300 low hurdles to pull her team to within nine points of the GAC's lead.

It wasn't until the Red Jackets finished third in the 1,600 relay behind Decatur - thus pulling the Bulldogs even with Jordan at 46 points - that the Spartans could breathe easy.

"It's been a nerve-racking day, to be honest, just watching other people to see how they placed," Kinser said. "But I couldn't be more proud of this bunch. We won (the state title) in 2005. I thought we might this time. We were hoping."

Jessica Tuggle jumps at 2008 State Meet
[Photo: Benjamin Hager/Gwinnett Daily Post]


Claire Goodson breaks AA State pole vault record
[Photo: Jonathan Phillips/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Claire Goodson: Pole vaulter sets new AA state record in title jump
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
May 16 Gwinnett Daily Post

ALBANY - It took longer than she expected or hoped, but the wait for GAC's Claire Goodson was worth it.

The Spartans' junior had to ride out delays of more than an hour caused by previous classifications and lightning before getting her chance to compete in the Class AA pole vault competition.

But she came up big, not only taking the Class AA state championshp, but also setting a new AA state record by clearing 10 feet, 9 inches Friday at the state girls track and field championships at Hugh Mills Stadium.

"It's nerve-racking waiting this long," Goodson said. "I was like, 'I just want to get this over with.' It was time to go. It was time to jump.

"I felt really relaxed (after clinching the title) and now worried about having to win it (anymore)."

Friday's field events made for a busy day for several Gwinnett athletes.

The schedule draw forced at least two prominent local stars - Anne Marie Armstrong of Wesleyan and Jessica Tuggle of GAC - to spend a great deal of the morning and early afternoon dashing across Hugh Mills Stadium to different field event finals scheduled either back-to-back or simultaneously...

Tuggle's day wasn't quite as hectic, but it was still eventful.

The Spartans' junior won the Class AA triple jump with a leap of 36-101⁄2 - a personal record by 51⁄2 inches - and then immediately had to go right back into action in the long jump.

Tuggle admitted the back-to-back events took something out of her, but she was still pleased with her sixth-place finish with a top jump of 17-2.

"I did my very best in all that I did today," said Tuggle, who is also qualified for today's finals of the 100-meter intermediate hurdles and as part of GAC's 400 relay team. "I can't wait for (today)."


Sophomore Lauren Kester
[Photo: Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Lauren Kester Wins State 3,200 Meter Title
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
May 15 Gwinnett Daily Post

ALBANY - On a hot, humid night in Southwest Georgia, survival was the key in the distance race finals that were run in the 2009 Girls State Track and Field Championships.

All three of Gwinnett's top contenders in those events not only survived, but thrived as Amanda Winslow of Collins Hill and Lauren Kester of GAC won their respective classification's 3,200-meter run and Wesleyan's Erika Ramsey took the Class A 1,600-meter final Thursday night at Hugh Mills Stadium.

...Kester's victory in the Class AA 3,200 was built just the opposite way - by jumping out in front early and staying there, especially after losing the lead in the final 100 meters to finish as state runner-up in the event last year.

This time, she left no doubt, pulling out in front by more than 10 meters after the first lap and maintaining a healthy advantage throughout before crossing the line at 11:41.09.

"I was trying to make it more a race against the clock than a race against the other (runners)," Kester said. "I tried to make it my own race. ... I really wanted it. I didn't want it to be taken away again like last year."

Bruce Taylor's report on
Lauren Kester had been the victim of some misfortune in the 2008 Class AA cross country race this past fall, but redeemed herself with a vengeance by taking the lead early extending it at times to nearly 200 meters and cruising in for her 1st state title in 11:41.09. Elizabeth Rucker of Lovett was 2nd in 12:03.09 just holding off of Central Macon's Astacia Watkins by .04 in third. Last year's champ Rachel Greenwall came in 4th in 12:18.

SOCCER: Goal Club names Zack Johnson & Madeline Barker Players of the Year
May 14 Gwinnett Daily Post

The Gwinnett County Goal Club honored the top players from this past soccer season with a season-ending banquet [on May 13].

In the AA/A division, Greater Atlanta Christian's Zack Johnson was named the county player of the year on the boys side. The girls player of the year in AA/A was a tie between GAC's Madeline Barker and Wesleyan's Paige Pickert.

Brookwood's Theo Yang and Parkview's Kim Spence earned two of the top individual awards, winning Class AAAAA players of the year honors.

Brookwood boys coach Danny Klinect and North Gwinnett girls coach Mark Karen were the AAAAA coaches of the year, while the AA/A coaching honors went to Billy Coxhead of the Wesleyan boys and Troy Bendickson of the GAC girls.

The club also honored its all-county selections and scholar-athletes. Those GAC award winners are as follows:

Class AA/A All-County Boys
GAC: Zack Johnson, Chris Thomas

Class AA/A All-County Girls
GAC: Madeline Barker, Samantha Abrahart, Chelsea Gandy-Cromer

Class AA/A Scholar-Athletes
GAC: Morgan Hall, Brian Sullivan

Trent Wiedeman: North Georgia Player of the Year
May 14 Gwinnett Daily Post

Three Gwinnett athletes were named GACA players of the year.

Buford's Blanche Alverson, Wesleyan's Anne Marie Armstrong and Greater Atlanta Christian's Trent Wiedeman have been named North Georgia players of the year in their respective classifications by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.

Alverson led Buford to the Class AA girls state title last season and Armstrong led the Wesleyan girls to the Class A championship. They were two of 12 Gwinnett girls players who made the GACA all-state list.

The Spartans' Chaney Means and Buford's Andraya Carter and Jocelyn Danley were all-state picks in AA, while Armstrong was joined on the Class A team by teammates Erin Hall and Chantel Kennedy.

In AAAAA, the local all-staters were Central Gwinnett's Dria David, Duluth's Mykala Walker, Mill Creek's Moneshia Simmons, Norcross' Tiffany Clarke and Parkview's Lauren Coleman.

Wiedeman led the GAC boys to the Final Four in AA this season. He made the all-state team, as did his teammate Paul Dawson...

Joe Marelle
[Photo: Sarah Ianacone/AJC Special]

By Michael Carvell
May 14 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Longtime high school basketball coach Joe Marelle, whose extended battle with cancer made him a symbol of determination, has rebounded from more adversity — in his career.

He accepted an assistant coach’s job at Greater Atlanta Christian on Thursday, after being told in April that his contract as Mt. Pisgah Christian head coach wouldn’t be renewed.

Marelle, 58, a teacher at Duluth High School, was coach for the past four years at Mt. Pisgah and led the Patriots to a state championship in 2006.

“We had a two-hour meeting, which I thought went quite well; then they said, ‘We’re going in a different direction,’ ” Marelle said. “That was it. I was shocked and very hurt over the decision.

“The parents were upset, and so was I, because there are some great kids over there, and I will truly miss them.”

Mt. Pisgah athletic director Marc Felise said the job has grown to require a coach who can be on campus more often.

“As we’re expanding, there have been more and more demands put on the head coaches with developing feeder programs,” Felise said. “There were some complications because Joe is not a staff member at Mt. Pisgah, [therefore,] it’s hard for him to fulfill those obligations.”

Marelle, who has coached basketball for 29 years, is in remission for leukemia, lymphoma and bladder cancer. He has taught health education at Duluth since 1981. He has teamed with one of his former Duluth players, Braves catcher Brian McCann, to be spokesmen for the Wes Foundation, which raises money for leukemia research.

Marelle also helped Mt. Pisgah Christian generate $32,000 for “Cure for Pennies,” the third largest donation of any public or private school in the nation. He is only seven victories shy of 300 total as a head coach but said he is excited to be an assistant.

“It’s a great Christian environment, and I’m working for a guy I used to compete against,” Marelle said.

Former Duluth coach Marelle lands at GAC
May 19 Gwinnett Daily Post

Legendary Duluth boys basketball coach Joe Marelle has accepted a job as an assistant coach at Greater Atlanta Christian with his old friend, Spartan head coach Eddie Martin.

Marelle was notified last month that his contract as Mt. Pisgah's head coach would not be renewed. He led Mt. Pisgah to a state title in 2006 and is just six victories shy of 400 for his career.

The 58-year-old spent the bulk of his head coaching career at Duluth, which named the gym in his honor.

[Photo: Gwinnett Daily Post]

Chris Thomas (20) celebrates one of his three goals with teammate Aldyn Royes in the second half of Saturday’s Class AA state championship game against Westminster. Royes also scored for the Spartans in their 4-1 victory. [Staff Photo: Jason Braverman]

SOCCER | Spartans Back On Top As State Champions
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
May 10 Gwinnett Daily Post

ATLANTA - Chris Thomas' final goal, his third of the night, in the 79th minute, didn't matter to the outcome.

By then, the legacy of Thomas and his fellow Greater Atlanta Christian seniors had been cemented.

The Spartans won their second Class AA/A state championship in four seasons Saturday night at Westminster, rolling to a 4-1 win in a matchup of the state's co-No. 1 teams. GAC's seniors reached three state title games in their careers, but finished on top.

"I feel like we'll be the best senior class at GAC, for awhile," said Thomas, who upped his season goal total to a school-record 53.

No matter what happened in their final game, which erased the memories of a stunning quarterfinal loss last season, the seniors made sure they left as the school's best class of boys soccer players. Together since middle school, they contributed from the moment they hit the ninth grade. Four started their entire careers.

They reached four state championship games, returning to the peak of AA/A after winning their first title as sophomores. Senior Richard Klemm, one of the four-year starters, broke his leg in the 2007 playoffs and watched that victory from the bench.

So he was soaking the latest one up.

"It's the best feeling ever," Klemm said. "This is the happiest moment of my life right now. It's unbelievable."

It got off to a shaky start for the Spartans (19-3), but they shook it off quickly.

The game was barely more than eight minutes old when Westminster took a 1-0 lead on Robby Greenfield's goal. But GAC's defense and goalkeeper John Max Bolling (nine saves) held the hosts out the rest of the night.

Meanwhile Westminster's defense had problems containing GAC's two speedy strikers, Thomas and Royes.

Thomas scored the equalizer in the 21st minute, heading in a free kick that fellow senior Eric Fletcher lofted into the box. Just 1:22 later, GAC took the lead for good on a counterattack.

After a defensive stop, Thomas took possession and threaded a perfect pass to Royes, who was 1-on-3 with Westminster (16-4-2) defenders. That didn't deter him as he whipped the three Wildcats and slipped a low shot in for the second goal.

In the 61st minute, Thomas made the margin more comfortable with a left-footed blast from the left side. His insurance goal in the 79th minute came when he took a long ball and had an almost unfair one-on-one situation with a Westminster defender. He made a quick cut and placed a shot into the net for what he called his favorite goal of the night.

"We thought they would struggle with (Thomas') pace and his energy and we were right," GAC boys coach Thom Jacquet said.

Most teams did this season. But most had problems with the Spartans as a whole this season.

After a midseason upset loss to Wesleyan, GAC finished the season on an impressive run, allowing the seniors to go out in style.

"I think people will remember that we just go out and work hard," Zack Johnson said of his senior class. "Everyone will remember our leadership. We never looked down on anyone. We respected everybody. I think we're going out with class."

That may have been true, win or lose Saturday night. Not that one last victory didn't make it even sweeter.

"We believed we could win," Jacquet said. "And we wanted it to be Westminster (in the final) because we thought they were the best team out there. I'm just so proud of my seniors.

"Their careers deserved another championship."

The GAC Spartans, including, from left, goalie John Max Bolling Stevin Bienfait (23), Richard Klemm (12), Sullivan Poole and Jimmy Stalke hoist the Class AA state championship trophy on Saturday following their win over Westminster. [Staff Photo: Jason Braverman]



[Photo: Martin Photography]

GAC girls again runner-up in state tennis finals
May 10 Gwinnett Daily Post

JONESBORO - For the third time in four years, the Greater Atlanta Christian girls tennis team came up just short of a state title.

The Spartans defeated Screven County 3-0 in the semifinals Saturday, but fell to Blessed Trinity 3-1 in the Class AA championship match at the Clayton County International Park Tennis Center.

GAC was also the state runner-up in 2006 and 2007.

"This was a great season for our girls," head coach Dana Davis said. "Elizabeth McMurray was a great senior leader.

"We had five juniors and one sophomore, so six of the seven girls will be back next year. But we were playing our best tennis at the end of the season and you can't ask for anything more than that as a coach."

Against Screven County, the Spartans won at No. 1 singles with Morgan Doyle and the both doubles matches. McMurray paired with Rebecca Gray to take the No. 1 doubles point.

Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate rounded out the scoring at No. 2 doubles. They also provided GAC with its lone point in the championship against Blessed Trinity, which also defeated the Spartans in the region finals.

THE VARSITY BOY’S SOCCER TEAM wishes to thank all those who came out on Saturday at Westminster and cheered the boys on to the state championship! It was an amazing night for the Spartans as they defeated Westminster 4-1. It was a total team effort for the boys!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR VARSITY GIRLS’ TENNIS TEAM who completed a great season winning a Saturday morning semi-final match and reaching the State Championship match. We lost to Blessed Trinity by the score of 3-1 in the finals giving us the state runner-up trophy. Our girls were 15-4 this season and played great tennis. We are proud of them!


Brittany Arnold, 400 METER RELAY
Caroline Bond, 400 METER
Claire Goodson, POLE VAULT and 400 METER RELAY
Janaya Simmons 400 METER RELAY
Lauren Kester 1600 METER RUN and 3200 METER RUN
Morgan McKnight 400 METER RELAY

[Photo: GACS Press Release]


TRACK HONORS: Congratulations to Corbin Reynolds and Kyle Kinser for placing in the state track meet on Thursday. Corbin Reynolds is the STATE CHAMPION in the shot put with a great throw of 52’1” Kyle Kinser also had a good day taking 3rd place in the discus. [SH Announcement]

Class AA
First place - shot put
Corbin Reynolds, GAC, 52ft-3/4 inches

Third place - discus
Kyle Kinser, GAC, 150ft-7 inches
[Source: Gwinnett Daily Post]


The 2009 Georgia High School Boys All State Teams were selected this past weekend by the High School Coaches Council of the local chapter of US Lacrosse. The High School Coaches' Council also selects All-Americans and Academic All-Americans as well as Coach of the Year and Man of the Year Awards.

Congratulations to junior Shawn Kane and senior Jeffrey Johnson. They were named to the 3rd team All State in lacrosse by the Georgia High School Coaches Committee.
[reprinted from and SH Announcement]

Rachel Roughgarden
Photo: Martin Photography]

GIRLS LACROSSE | Congratulations to Rachel Roughgarden for receiving Honorable Mention for the 2009 Georgia All-State Girls Lacrosse team. Rachel is the first Lady Spartan Lacrosse player to receive this honor. Rachel led the team with 36 goals and also recorded 9 assists this season. She had a 52.2% shooting percentage while collecting 54 ground balls and 44 draw controls. Earlier this season, Rachel was named Tournament MVP for the Lady Spartan Shootout. [GACS Press Release]

Senior Aldyn Royes scores
both Spartan goals
[Photo: Martin Photography]

GAC headed to state finals
By Christine Troyke, Staff Writer
May 7 Gwinnett Daily Post

The Greater Atlanta Christian boys fell in a very early hole, but rallied to beat upstart Thomasville 2-1 on the road Wednesday and return to the Class AA/A state championships for the second time in three years.

Senior Aldyn Royes scored twice after the second-ranked Spartans gave up the opening goal just over a minute into the game and GAC held on from there.

GAC (19-2) found itself down quickly though. Thomasville's first foray into the offensive zone yielded a corner kick, which was headed in during the second minute.

"After that, it was a fight," GAC coach Thom Jacquet said.

Royes tied the game with about three minutes left in the first half. He got a pass in from Eric Fletcher, turned, and blasted a shot into the back of the net.

Getting even so close to halftime was good for the Spartans, but even more important was what Jacquet called a "miraculous clearance" from sophomore Danny Knight. The ball was on the goal line when Knight swept it away just minutes after GAC scored its first goal.

That set the table for Royes' winning tally 12 minutes into the second half. He scored off a corner kick and the Spartans then clamped down defensively, keeping Thomasville (10-2) away from the goal area.

"We just kind of shut them down," Jacquet said. "We were controlling the game. We played great today.

"They were athletic and fast, so it was difficult. But we're just excited to come home a winner. It's a long ride home."

GAC will play the winner of the Westminster-Blessed Trinity game, which was postponed until 7:45 tonight [Thursday] due to bad weather in the metro area Wednesday.

And the surprise trip to Thomasville was the last road trip for GAC. If No. 7 Blessed Trinity wins, the championship will be at GAC. A win by Westminster, also ranked No. 2, and the Spartans will just have to travel as far as downtown for the title match.

Eric Fletcher, Zack Johnson, Chris Thomas & Samantha Abrahart are All-Star selections; GAC's Troy Bendickson will coach girl All-Stars
May 7 Gwinnett Daily Post

Several Gwinnett high school soccer players were named Wednesday to the rosters for the May 16 Georgia Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Games.

The event, played at Lassiter, begins with a girls game at 6 p.m. and a boys game at 8 p.m. It features a team of Class AAAAA all-stars against a team of players from the state's three smaller soccer classifications.

Greater Atlanta Christian's Samantha Abrahart made the girls AAAA-A roster, while the AAAAA girls roster includes Parkview's Chelsea Ramsey, Caroline Kilday, Taylor Jackson, Megan Geiger and Morgan Mitchell, North Gwinnett's Jessica Sapp, Kaitlin Baker and Kelly Penston, Brookwood's Melanie Thompson, Mill Creek's Jaci Carithers, Ally Canganelli and Jenni Margert and Peachtree Ridge's Christine Watts.

The boys AAAA-A players from local teams are GAC's Eric Fletcher, Zack Johnson and Chris Thomas, along with Providence Christian's Jonny Mercado. Peachtree Ridge's Adam Schraudenbach and Saudin Garanovic, Collins Hill's Nicky MacKain, Juan Hurtado and Juan Giraldo, Duluth's Adrian Barrantes, Parkview's Kofi Gyawu, Brookwood's Theo Yang and North Gwinnett's Tyler Gutzman made the AAAAA boys roster.

The AAAA-A girls coaching staff includes GAC's Troy Bendickson and St. Pius' Sara Geiger, a Parkview grad. Parkview's Judson Hamby is on the AAAAA girls staff and North Gwinnett's Mark Karen is an alternate.


[Photo: Martin Photography]

GOLF | Lady Spartans finish second at State Tournament
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
May 5 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett's top girls golfers scattered all over the state Monday, returning home with two team and two individual state championships.

Mill Creek repeated as the Class AAAAA girls state champion at Jekyll Island's Indian Mounds Course, while the Wesleyan girls won their school's first state golf title at Bartram Trail Golf Course in Evans. The Wolves had two golfers finish in the top three, led by Jenna McConnico's individual championship.

In Reidsville, Greater Atlanta Christian's Lindsay Adams won the Class AA state title with the day's best overall score of 69. Her team fell just short at Brazell's Creek though, placing second by a stroke...

GAC, which won state in 2007, nearly gave Gwinnett a third girls title on Monday. The Spartans shot 159, a stroke behind Blessed Trinity's 158.

Adams had an excellent day, although her round could have been lower. Thicker greens gave the golfers trouble, including a four-putt by Adams on No. 9, a 171-yard par-4.

Outside of the putting, the junior played very well with six birdies in the up-and-down round. She shot as low as 66 in a high school tournament this season.

"It just means I've got to keep working for next year," Adams said. "Hopefully we can win as a team next year and I can win again as an individual."

Madeline Barker
[Photo: Martin Photography]

SOCCER | Walker ends Lady Spartans title hopes
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
May 6 Gwinnett Daily Post

MARIETTA - After falling by just one goal to top-ranked and defending state champion Walker in February, Greater Atlanta Christian's girls soccer team came into the rematch in Tuesday's Class AA/A state semifinals with confidence.

But once again, the host Wolverines were able to come out on top in a hotly contested game.

Two second-half goals - including Paige Himebaugh's header early in the final frame - proved to be the difference as Walker held off the Spartans 3-1 before a spirited crowd at Wolverine Stadium.

"That (regular-season) game (a 3-2 Walker victory) kind of shaped our season," GAC coach coach Troy Bendickson said after his team's season ended at 18-4. "That was a great game, just like this one - back and forth.

"I never once thought we were going to lose this game. I felt really confident, even though I knew Walker was the team."

Both teams had prime scoring opportunities in the fourth minute of a physical first half.

However, Himebaugh's shot inside the penalty area sailed high, while GAC's Madeline Barker was thwarted by Walker goalkeeper Alyse Scott after she got behind the Wolverine defense.

Walker (17-3) eventually struck first off a corner kick from Sarah Sikora from the right wing, which was headed in by Lauren Skesavage, putting the Wolverines up 1-0 with exactly 22:00 left in the first half.

It took GAC almost 18 minutes to pull even, but it finally did at the 4:07 mark.

Barker dribbled in on the right wing and cut towards the middle inside the penalty area. Her pass was deflected, but still made its way to Alie Peterson charging up the left wing, and the sophomore finished the play by sending a shot across the box into the upper right corner of the net to pull the Spartans even at 1-1 with 4:07 left until intermission.

"I thought it was meant to be when we hit that one," Bendickson said. "We've always been a second half team. ... We just couldn't take advantage of our opportunities."

Unfortunately for the Spartans, Walker took advantage of an opportunity just over six minutes into the second half with a little hustle.

A right wing ball appeared to be headed harmlessly over the end line for a GAC goal kick, but Bylos retrieved it before it went out and crossed into the penalty area for a wide-open Himebaugh, who headed it in to put the Wolverines up 2-1 with 33:40 to play.

"Paired with (Bylos') hard work was her ability to find Stephanie down the flank," Walker coach Brad Brown said. "It was a mixture of good vision and hard work."

GAC had several chances to pull even again, including a trio of free kicks from the left wing by Anna Douglas.

The first one from just outside the 23-yard mark in the 54th minute was saved by Scott.

The second one 3 minutes later from 40 yards out sailed just over the crossbar and the third from 35 yards in the 65th minute was punched away by Scott before Samantha Abrahart could head it in, and the Spartans still trailed by a goal.

Walker finally delivered the knockout blow when Stephanie Arkin ran down Nicole Locandro's long ball in the penalty area and beat a charging GAC keeper McKenzie Nelson to it to stretch the lead to 3-1 with 14:27 left.

"They're dangerous," Bendickson said of Walker, which advanced to take on No. 8 Lovett - a 1-0 overtime winner over sixth-ranked Wesleyan in the other semifinal - in Friday's championship game. "They took advantage of their opportunities, and we didn't."

Track & Field

Lauren Kester
[Photo: Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Lauren Kester wins two distance run region titles
By Jay Black, Staff Correspondent
May 5 Gwinnett Daily

ATLANTA - It took a while for the sun to come out over the Westminster track on Monday. But when it did, it gave Lauren Kester a nice, sunny, two-mile stroll.

The Greater Atlanta Christian sophomore turned in one of the more impressive performances at the Region 6-AA track finals, winning the 3,200 meters in 11 minutes, 46.59 seconds. It would take another 11 seconds for another runner to cross the finish line.

"It was nice having the last two laps to relax," Kester said. "I went out fast in the beginning. I was surprised at how fast (the pace) was the first lap."

And that first lap was all Kester's. She had the lead from the first steps and had put 500 meters between herself and the rest of the region three laps later. It was never close.

"I did plan to pull out after the first two laps," the back-to-back region champion said. "It is challenging, mentally, because you know everyone is behind you. Everyone just follows your pace."

The Spartan also qualified in 1,600 meters next weekend in Albany, winning gold in that event on Saturday by two seconds.

"She has that ability to put people away," GAC head coach Brad Kinser said. "She ran the first mile very well and just took control."

Now Kester will try to take control of the 3,200 meters she let slip away in last year's state final. She was passed by North Oconee's Rachel Greenwall, now a sophomore, just before the finish and lost the title by three seconds.

"She's been thinking about that for a long time," Kinser said.

Joining Kester at the AA state championships will be Jessica Tuggle. The multi-event star will add the 100-meter hurdles to her already extensive itinerary. The junior took second in 15.68 seconds, about a second behind Westminster's Mirav Seward.

Tuggle also helped the 400-meter relay team earn a trip south. The Spartans beat Lovett for .08 seconds to finish in second place in one of the more entertaining races of the day. Tuggle, Claire Goodson, Brittany Arnold and Morgan McKnight all put together impressive times. Freshmen Arnold and McKnight ran the final two legs.

"The freshmen can get a little nervous, but they did a great job," Kinser said. "They broke the school record. McKnight ran a prefect backstretch and held off the girl from Lovett (Chloe Johnson)."

Tuggle ran the lead leg. She's also qualified in the high jump and long jump.

But GAC was unable to hold on to its first day five-point lead. The Spartans fell back to third with 103 points. Decatur won with 139 points. Buford finished seventh with 20 points. The top four in Region 6-AA also happen to be the top four ranked teams in the state.

The Wolves also may have suffered the biggest heartbreaker of the day. Buford's Kallie Case missed her trip to Albany in the 200 meters by .05. She battled with Winshanai Gandy of Lovett down the entire backstretch, but took third in a time of 26.31 seconds.
Region 6-AA track and field championships
Team Standings

1. Decatur, 139
2. Lovett, 124
3. GAC, 103
4. Westminster, 98
5. Blessed Trinity, 77
6. Avondale, 55
7. Buford, 20
8. Cross Keys, 5

1. Meredith Kolff, Westminster, 105-10
2. Erin Bradley, Blessed Trinity, 101-5

High jump
1. Miray Seward, Westminster, 5-63⁄4
2. Asi Asuamah, Decatur, 5-2

Long jump
1. Chloe Johnson, Lovett, 17-41⁄2
2. Jessica Tuggle, GAC, 17-23⁄4

Pole vault
1. Claire Godson, GAC, 10-6
2. Sam Sanchez, Blessed Trinity, 9-6

Shot put
1. Katie Hawkins, Blessed Trinity, 35-21⁄2
2. Stephanie Carter, Decatur, 34-81⁄2

Triple jump
1. Jessica Tuggle, GAC, 36-53⁄4
2. Kelsi Dean, Lovett, 34-113⁄4

1,600 meter run
1. Lauren Kester, GAC, 5:23.48
2. Elizabeth Rucker, Lovett, 5:25.63

400 meter relay
1. Decatur, 49.34
2. GAC, 50.03

400 meter run
1. Queen Alford, Decatur, 58.57
2. Bridgette Brown, Avondale, 58.60

100 meter run
1. Shunika Jarrells, Avondale, 12.67
2.Chloe Johnson, Lovett, 12.94

100 meter hurdles
1.Mirav Seward, Westminster, 14.66
2.Jessica Tuggle, GAC, 15.68

800 meter run
1.Queen Alford, Decatur, 2:22.03
2.Kristiana Towns, Decatur, 2:22.97

200 meter run
1. Shunika Jarrells, Avondale, 25.67
2. Winshanai Gandy, Lovett, 26.26

300 meter hurdles
1. Mirav Seward, Westminster, 45.22
2. Ashleigh Rasheed, Decatur, 46.79

3,200 meter run
1. Lauren Kester, GAC, 11:46.59
2. Elizabeth Rucker, Lovett, 11:57.54

1,600 meter relay
1. Avondale, 3:59.18
2. Decatur, 4:00.26

Senior High Announcements

TENNIS | Coach Dana Davis reports:
OUR TENNIS GIRLS won a huge, close match Friday at Calhoun. Morgan Winston won at #1 singles; Jacqueline Tate and Rachel Gray won at #2 doubles, and Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray won a second set tie breaker at #1 doubles to clinch our victory. The girls now play in Clayton County Saturday in the final weekend of the state tournament. Great job!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER TEAM for making it to their first Final Four with a 2-1 overtime victory over Savannah Country Day in Savannah on Friday evening. Samantha Abrahart had the first goal off a direct kick from Anna Douglas. Kelsey Pelletier scored the game winning goal with 2:04 left on the clock in the second half of overtime to propel the ladies into the semis. The ladies will now travel to Walker for a 7:00 P.M. kick-off this Tuesday, May 5th. The ladies would like to especially thank the boys’ team for their non-stop noise and support at their game in Savannah and wish them best of luck down in Thomasville. The ladies would also like to request the loud support of the GACS community over in Marietta tomorrow evening. If we win, we are guaranteed to host the Final! Go Lady Spartans!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VARSITY BOY’S SOCCER TEAM for defeating Savannah Christian School 6-2 in Savannah on Saturday. It was an outstanding team performance by the boys.

Bus breakdown can't derail GAC
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
May 3 Gwinnett Daily Post

SAVANNAH - Almost a quarter mile from their Saturday destination, Savannah Christian's soccer field, the Greater Atlanta Christian boys' bus broke down.

So the Spartans got an early warm-up, a walk down the road toting their equipment. But the bad luck ended there.

Class AA/A's second-ranked team won handily against fifth-ranked Savannah Christian, rolling to a 6-2 win in the state quarterfinals behind five goals from Chris Thomas.

GAC (18-2) also gets a surprise opponent in the semifinals after No. 1 Walker was upset by Thomasville on Saturday.

Now the Spartans get another road trip - and hopefully a better bus - for another long road trip on Wednesday. Not that their Saturday troubles seemed to bother them.

"I just thought we played great," GAC boys coach Thom Jacquet said. "We just took control of the game right off the bat and never let them into the game really. It was just a really great performance."

The visitors led 2-0 at halftime and controlled the bulk of the possession, then quickly built it to 4-0 in the second half. Savannah Christian (15-4-1) bounced back with two goals before GAC answered with two more to put the game away.

Zack Johnson had a goal and Richard Klemm and Aldyn Royes added assists, but the prolific Thomas was the major matchup problem for the hosts. He scored in a handful of ways, including tossing a throw-in into the box that deflected off the goalie and into the net.

"They didn't have anybody to match up with him," Jacquet said.

Thomas, the reigning Daily Post boys player of the year, upped his season goal total to 50 with the five-goal day. Meanwhile, GAC won its 10th straight and avenged a rough quarterfinal road trip from a year ago when it lost at Dublin.

This road trip went much better, but now the Spartans get an unexpected semifinal drive. Unranked Thomasville pulled a stunner against the state's top-ranked team, improving to 10-1-1 on the season.

That trip wasn't on the mind of the GAC players and coaches, who planned to savor their quarterfinal victory on the long bus ride home.

"It was a dominant performance really," Jacquet said. "We out-shot them. We out-played them."

Claire Goodson & Lady Spartans take early lead at region girls track championships
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
May 3 Gwinnett Daily Post

ATLANTA - First place already secured, Claire Godson had the pole vault bar set at 10 foot 8 - an inch better than the height for the Class AA girls state record.

The Greater Atlanta Christian junior didn't clear it, missing on her three attempts. "I was close," she said.

It really didn't matter this time anyway. State records can only be set at the state meet and Godson will be trying to make a little history in mid-May at Albany.

"I don't care exactly how high I go," the junior said. "As long as I win and it is more than 10-7."

Godson was one of three GAC athletes to win events on the first day of the Region 6-AA track and field championships Saturday at Westminster as the Spartans took a narrow lead in the team competition after the field events and the 1,600.

GAC leads the eight-school event with 58 points going into the remaining running finals Monday at Westminster. Lovett has 53 points, Decatur 50, Blessed Trinity 45 and Westminster 43.

Jessica Tuggle won the triple jump and finished second in the long jump for GAC, while Lauren Kester took the 1,600-meter run. The top two in each event qualify for the state meet.

Tuggle, a region champ as a freshman and sophomore, was edged by Lovett's Chloe Johnson in the long jump, going 17-23⁄4 to the winning 17-41⁄2.

"That was disappointing," said the junior, who finished second in the state last year.

But Tuggle bounced back to easily win the triple jump, going 36-41⁄4 on her final jump in the finals. She had a personal best of 36-51⁄4 in the preliminaries.

"This is my first year doing the triple jump," Tuggle said. "But it could be my best event now."

Tuggle is also a state contender in the 100-meter hurdles.

"It can be hard to compete in so many events, but I love it," she said.

"She's a great athlete," GAC coach Brad Kinser said.

Kester, a sophomore, pulled away on the second lap and easily won the 1,600 with a time of 5:23.48. She will also be the favorite in the 3,200.

Godson is a top hopeful in the 300-meter hurdles, but the pole vault is her event. She finished second at the state meet as a sophomore.

"I took up the pole vault as an eighth-grader and got serious about it as a freshman," said Godson, who has cleared 11 feet in practice. "I hope I can keep going higher and higher."

GAC finished fourth as a team in the state meet last May.

"I think we can be in contention for a trophy this year," Kinser said.

Buford's best performance Saturday at the region meet came from Kallie Case in the triple jump. She got the Wolves' their five points with a distance of 33-11.

Kelsey Pelletier's OT goal sends GAC to semis
By Rich McGowan, Staff Correspondent
May 2 Gwinnett Daily Post

SAVANNAH - It took a little longer than coach Troy Bendickson would have liked, but his Greater Atlanta Christian girls soccer team is heading to the Class AA/A state semifinals.

After seeing fourth-ranked Savannah Country Day tie the game on a penalty kick with five minutes to play in the second half, No. 2 GAC prevailed thanks to the foot of Kelsey Pelletier, who scored the game-winner in a 2-1 Spartan victory.

The Spartans now travel to top-ranked Walker, a 2-0 winner over Paideia in Friday's quarterfinals, Tuesday for a Final Four showdown.

"It's tremendous," Bendickson said. "We've been unified from the beginning and we wanted it so bad because we fell way short of our goal last year. There was a mentality difference (this year) and we're a year older."

With 2 minutes, 4 seconds to play in the second of two 5-minute overtime periods, Pelletier spun away from an SCD defender and booted the ball into the left side of the goal, sending the Spartans (18-3 overall) to their first-ever semifinal appearance.

"When she turned she saw everything, the far post, wide open," Bendickson said. "She turned and fired. Great goal."

GAC scored the first goal of the game midway through the first half when Anna Douglas' direct kick found Samantha Abrahart for a header into the Hornets' goal for a 1-0 lead.

SCD (15-4) appeared to tie the game seven minutes later on a goal by Grace Lang Klein off an Ali Ramee assist, but it was waived off due to an offside call by the official.

Whistles were a common theme Friday night as the referee called a tight game, forcing the Hornets out of their preferred style of play.

"We're a fast-paced team and there were a lot of whistles that just slowed the game down," said SCD coach Wayne Aaron. "I told my (athletic director) today, if there were more than 15 whistles we'd be in trouble. That took us out of our game."

But the Hornets were the recipient of a controversial call with five minutes to play in regulation. GAC goalkeeper McKenzie Nelson was whistled for shoving an SCD forward in the goal box while jumping up for a loose ball. Klein was awarded a penalty kick and fired it into the lower-left corner goal to tie the game and force overtime.

Just over two minutes into the first extra period GAC appeared to have scored on a goal by Chelsea Gandy-Cromer off a nice cross-pass by Madeline Barker, but Gandy-Cromer was whistled for offsides, negating the goal and keeping the Hornets' season alive until Pelletier's winner.

SCD, which saw an eight-game winning streak snapped, also lost to GAC 5-4 back on Feb. 13. That game also was played in Savannah.

GIRLS TENNIS | GAC 3, Calhoun 1

CALHOUN - Greater Atlanta Christian advanced to the Class AA tennis Final Four on Friday with a 3-1 quarterfinal victory at Calhoun. Morgan Winston won at No. 1 singles for the Spartans, who move on to the May 9 state finals at Clayton International Park.

GAC swept the doubles points with Rebecca Gray and Elizabeth McMurray winning at No. 1 and Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate winning at No. 2.

BOYS TENNIS | Westminster 3, GAC 0

ATLANTA - The Greater Atlanta Christian boys tennis team was eliminated from the Class AA state playoffs on Thursday, falling 3-0 at Westminster in the quarterfinals.

Senior Zack Johnson
[Photo: Martin Photography]

Zack Johnson's goal difference for GAC;
Spartans now travel to Savannah Christian

By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
April 30 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Although Greater Atlanta Christian's trip is even longer this year for the Class AA/A boys soccer quarterfinals, the Spartans hope that the ride home will seem much, much shorter.

GAC suffered a heartbreaking loss at Dublin last season, its bid for back-to-back state titles coming to a stunning end. The Spartans have to travel even farther down I-16 this year, but they are determined to have a different result.

"We can't underestimate teams," GAC keeper John Max Bolling said. "We didn't perform like we should have last year. That won't happen again."

GAC will play at Savannah Christian on Saturday at 5 p.m. after defeating visiting Pace Academy 2-1 on Wednesday night in the second round.

GAC (17-2) was tied for No. 2 in the final regular-season coaches' poll, while Savannah Christian (15-3-1) was ranked No. 5.

"We're the same team as last year, but better," GAC's Zack Johnson said. "As seniors, we've all stepped up as leaders."

Johnson scored just before halftime off a nifty passing play and that was the difference as the teams traded own-goals in the second half.

Pace Academy cut GAC's lead to a goal with 10 minutes left, when the Spartans' Matt Carothers kicked the ball into his own net trying to clear. But that was the only time that Bolling let the ball get by him.

The senior keeper made six saves, the biggest coming in the final minute as the Knights frantically tried to tie the match.

"Yes, sir," said Bolling when asked if he was a little nervous at the end. "I had to make the save. I couldn't let a goal in."

GAC had plenty of scoring chances, but actually put just eight shots on net for Pace Academy keeper Simon Carter to try to stop.

"We had a lot of opportunities and must have hit the post three times," GAC coach Thom Jacquet said. "With a little more luck, it would have been a lot easier. But Pace has a good team. I'm happy with the way we played."

Pace, which beat Darlington 4-0 in the first round, came in with just an 8-8 record. But one of the Knights' wins came against No. 1-ranked Walker and they never let up against GAC.

After scoring eight first-half goals against Riverside Military in the first round, GAC knew that goals would be a lot tougher to come by against Pace and that was certainly the case.

The Spartans finally scored with less than two minutes remaining before halftime. Chris Thomas, GAC's scoring leader, passed to Aldyn Royes in the box and Royes deftly fed the ball to Johnson.

Knights keeper Carter had little chance to make the save, Johnson putting a hard shot into the corner of the net from the right side.

It looked like a set play. Instead, it was just three seniors knowing each other and improvising.

"It just happened," Johnson said. "They made good passes and it was right there for me."

GAC took a two-goal lead on a fluke play with less than 16 minutes remaining. The Pace keeper came out to play a throw-in by Thomas from near the corner, and the ball went off Carter's hands and into the net.

The cushion didn't last long, however. The Spartans allowed an own-goal of their own with 10 minutes remaining and the hand to hang on right up until the end.

It was probably good to have to play a tight game. GAC will certainly be prepared this time for its trip south for the state quarterfinals and last year's 2-1 loss at Dublin offers plenty of extra motivation.

GIRLS TENNIS | GAC 3, Jefferson 0

JEFFERSON - Greater Atlanta Christian took a 3-0 victory over Jefferson in the second round of the state playoffs on Wednesday. Jessica Tuggle earned a point at No. 2 singles, while Rebecca Gray and Elizabeth McMurray helped at No. 1 doubles. Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate contributed a point at No. 3 doubles for the Spartans. [April 30 Gwinnett Daily Post]


Greater Atlanta Christian’s Sammy Abrahart (13) takes the ball away from Blessed Trinity’s Allison Gonzalez (10) during the second round of the state playoffs Tuesday. [Gwinnett Daily Post staff photo: Jonathan Phillips]

Greater Atlanta Christian’s Chelsea Cromer (17) slide tackles the ball away from Blessed Trinity’s Katie Lyon (16) during the second round of the state playoffs on Tuesday. [Gwinnett Daily Post staff photo: Jonathan Phillips]

Late rally spurs Lady Spartans
By Scott Smith, Senior Correspondent
April 29 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - After being out-hustled, out-muscled and out-played in the first half of Tuesday night's second-round Class AA/A playoff game, Greater Atlanta Christian found its stride in the second half for a 3-1 win over Blessed Trinity.

Blessed Trinity, winners of the last two Class AAA state titles, led 1-0 at the half but couldn't hold on as GAC (17-3) stepped up its play to put three goals on the board in the final 40 minutes.

"It's the playoffs and everyone plays the best they can," GAC's Sammy Abrahart said. "We knew (Blessed Trinity) was going to play hard and we were ready for it.

"At the half, we said we've got to pick it up and get the momentum because this could be our last game"

The Titans (13-4) controlled the tempo for much of the first half, seemingly winning every loose ball while putting constant pressure on the GAC defense by getting six shots on goal.

That solid play eventually led to the game's first goal when junior Taylor Green had a loose ball plop right in front of her just outside the box, allowing her an easy shot in the top right corner.

That goal, which came in the 20th minute, would be the last decent look the Titans would get as the GAC defense settled down while the offense slowly, but surely, found a rhythm.

"I felt like we just had to be patient," GAC head coach Troy Bendickson said.

"I felt that in the last 15 minutes of the first half we found some momentum but couldn't score. We weren't sulking at the half and once we broke through, I knew we would be OK."

That breakthrough came with 23:50 left to play when GAC's Madeline Barker was one-on-one with Blessed Trinity's best defender, the UGA-bound Christine Kyker.

Instead of challenging Kyker, Barker backed out of the box and dribbled left before finding a wide-open Anna Douglas across the field.

Douglas took the pass and ripped it in over the outstretched hands keeper Taylor Mulryan for the equalizer.

That 1-1 score stood for the next 17 minutes when Abrahart hooked one in from the left side off Barker's second assist with 6:10 to play, giving GAC a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish.

"I saw the keeper come out and I knew the back post was open," Abrahart said.

"I knew when I hit it, it was going in."

Less than one minute later, Barker gave the Spartans some cushion when she took a pass from Abrahart and worked her way past two defenders, booting it home with her right foot.

That offensive flurry was just part of the story as the GAC defense, led by Morgan Hall and Haley Carroll, held the Titans to no shots on goal in the second half.

"It was a good game and we expected that," Blessed Trinity head coach Gilbert Jean-Baptiste said. "We had a few opportunities but in the second half, they didn't allow us to do what we wanted. They wanted it more than we did."

The victory sends GAC on the road for a quarterfinals match this Friday against Savannah Country Day.

BASEBALL | Lovett 12, GAC 9

ATLANTA - Patrick Savage and Stephen Pepper each homered for GAC, but it wasn't enough as the Spartans lost 12-9 to Lovett on Tuesday. Savage and Pepper each had three RBIs in the loss.

BOYS TENNIS ADVANCES AT STATE | GAC 3, Riverside Military Academy 0

GAINESVILLE - GAC swept past host Riverside Military academy 3-0 to advance to the state quarterfinals on Tuesday. Winning for the Spartans were Will Lewis (No. 1 singles), Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss (No. 1 doubles) and David Floyd and Blake Guy (No. 2 doubles).

Deep Shah, a Greater Atlanta Christian graduate and Rhodes Scholar, speaks at his alma mater Tuesday morning. [Gwinnett Daily Post photo by Jason Braverman]

GAC grad Deep Shah shares his story
By Heather Darenberg, Staff Writer
April 29 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian School graduate Deep Shah has experienced a lot of success.

The valedictorian of GAC's class of 2004, Shah co-founded a student-run think tank at the University of Georgia, received the national Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2007 and was named a Rhodes Scholar in 2008. He is completing his studies at Oxford University in England and will attend Harvard Medical School this fall.

But Shah is no stranger to failure, he told students at Greater Atlanta Christian on Tuesday.

"Everyone who's successful has (experienced) a lot of mistakes and a lot of setbacks," he said.

Shah talked about some of his setbacks - not getting accepted into a gifted program in fourth grade, getting deferred from Harvard University after applying for early admission, getting fired from his job in a lab.

"Any successful person is the beneficiary of a community and has had more failures than they care to discuss," Shah told students at the private Christian school.

He encouraged the students to become selfless members of the communities that support them. He quoted "Outliers" author Malcolm Gladwell: "No one - not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires and not even geniuses - ever makes it alone."

Shah said Greater Atlanta Christian School was a community that helped him become successful.

"It's unusual to be in an environment where there are positive influences all around you," he said. "I've never had that experience since, and I never will."

During Shah's visit, members of his alma mater showed their continued support for him.

"Your success is our success," said junior high assistant principal Many Richey, who taught Shah in eighth grade. "Those successes for you are successes for us."

At Oxford University, Shah is studying health policy and health administration.

"People who are Rhodes Scholars are typically those who have a passion or special interest," he said.

Shah said health policy is an intersection of his interests: medicine, government and economics.

Shah graduated from the University of Georgia in May with a 3.99 grade-point average (he made an A-minus in Spanish). His parents are Gwinnett Clinic founders Drs. J.J. and Meena Shah, and his two older sisters also graduated from Greater Atlanta Christian at the top of the class.

BASEBALL | GAC sweeps doubleheader

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian beat Cross Keys 12-2 and 19-1 in a doubleheader sweep on Monday.

The first game was called after five innings and Robby McPherson got the win. Andrew Steckenrider was 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Patrick Savage was 2-for-3 with a homer and an two RBIs.

In the second game, which ended after three innings, Eric Smotherman earned the win.

Savage was 2-for-2 with two doubles and three RBIs. Taylor Bruner and Stephen Pepper were also 2-for-2 for the Spartans (12-9, 8-3).


Blake Southerland
[Photo: Martin Photography]

Blake Southerland wins Region 6-AA shot put;
Corbin Reynolds & Kyle Kinser qualify for State Meet;
Spartans are second with running finals today at Stadium

By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
April 26 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - When the Southerlands throw a party at their Lawrenceville home today, both of their sons should have something to celebrate.

The event will be a NFL Draft gathering for Brannan, the Georgia fullback expected to be taken in the middle to late rounds. But younger brother Blake already has had a memorable weekend.

With Brannan looking on, Blake won the Region 6-AA shut put championship Saturday at Greater Atlanta Christian and qualified again for the state meet next month along with Spartans teammate Corbin Reynolds.

Southerland reached 50 feet, 8 inches on his final toss to best Reynolds, who threw 48-9. Reynolds won the region title with a throw of 49-7 last year, just edging Southerland.

"We've been battling for two years," Southerland said. "I got him this time, but he didn't have his best day."

Southerland and Reynolds both scratched on their first throws in the final round, adding to the pressure.

"The adrenaline was flowing," said Southerland, who will play linebacker at Vanderbilt.

Reynolds reached 48-9 on his next throw, but Southerland easily beat him with the 50-8 heave on his third and final throw.

Both have thrown better, but the efforts were good enough to reach their goal - the state meet in Jefferson the second weekend in May. Reynolds finished fifth in Class AA last year and Southerland placed seventh.

"Neither of us had a very good day last year," Southerland said. "I think both of us can do better this time."

GAC has a third state qualifier in Kyle Kinser. He was runner-up in the discus with a throw of 154-10 - beating his previous meet best by six feet. The senior also finished second in the Region 6-AA meet last year, tossing 140-5.

"Nothing is as nerve wracking as when it's you own son," GAC coach Brad Kinser said. "You know how much it means to him to make the state meet."

Buford's Demonte Nelson bested his winning height from last year with a jump of 6-2, but it wasn't nearly good enough for a repeat championship.

Westminster's Maalik Reynolds, who has a jump of 7-feet this season, won at 6-8. He tried 6-10 before missing. Nelson, a junior, won the high jump last year although clearing only 6 feet.

GAC's Eric Rivers just missed out on a berth in the state meet in the triple jump. Posting his personal best, Rivers matched Lovett's Adrian Rivers for second at 42-1. But the Lovett jumper got the nod, with a better second jump breaking the tie.

The six field events and the 1,600-meter run were held Saturday, along with qualifying in other races. [Westminster easily won the team title, scoring 165 points to 99 for runner-up Lovett. GAC was fourth with 70 points and Buford sixth with 54.5 points.]
Region 6-AA Track & Field
Boys Championships at GAC

Saturday's State Qualifiers

Shot put
1. Blake Southerland, GAC, 50-8
2. Corbin Reynolds, GAC, 48-9

High jump
1. Maalik Reynolds, Westminster, 6-8
2. Demonte Nelson, Buford, 6-2

Long jump
1. Stephon Shelton, Westminster, 22-4
2. Ralph David Abernathy, Westminster, 21-7

Pole vault
1. David Yates, Westminster, 12-6
2. Chris Vickers, Lovett, 12-0

1. LB Joel, Westminster, 162-3
2. Kyle Kinser, GAC, 154-10

Triple jump
1. Nick Wynn, Decatur, 43-11
2. Adrian Rivers, Lovett, 42-2

1,600 meter run
1. Conner Chesser, Blessed Trinity, 4:28.45
2. Kyle James, Lovett, 4:29.54


Senior Chris Thomas
[Photo: Gwinnett Daily Post]

SPRING PLAYOFFS | GHSA Executive Director Ralph Swearngin:

Many of the playoff formats for spring sports involve the games and matches being hosted by a higher seeded school. It is important to remember that the playoff contests are GHSA contests and do not carry the same “perks” as a regular season home contest. As much as possible, there should be an “atmosphere of fairness” at these events...Spectators from the visiting teams should be afforded reasonable opportunities for seating, and should be treated in a respectful way... One area of fairness for playoff contests (that should be present at all GHSA events) involves public address announcers. When this task is handled well, the athletic event is enhanced. When announcers try to be “play by play” commentators or amplified cheerleaders, then they intrude on the ontest. [reprinted from]

Chris Thomas sets new goal record in GAC victory
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
April 25 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian's seniors already had their cleats off and were ready to go as soon as the final horn for their first-round boys state tournament soccer match sounded Friday.

They had a prom to get to and the Class AA/A match hadn't been in doubt for a long, long time. Moved up to 3:30 p.m., it was decided well before 4 p.m.

Chris Thomas scored five of GAC's eight first-half goals and coach Thom Jacquet sat his regulars the rest of the way in an 8-3 victory over Riverside Military Academy.

The five goals by Thomas tied his best for a game and pushed his season total to 44 - three more than his previous school record set last year.

"We were hoping that Coach Jacquet would let us end it early," said Thomas, who is headed to Elon. "But that didn't work out."

GAC (16-2) showed mercy by clearing the bench rather than trying to reach the 10-goal mercy rule. But Riverside (10-6) was never a threat when the Spartans' regulars were playing.

Thomas scored less than three minutes into play off a pretty dribble play and assist by Zack Johnson, and there were plenty more goals to come despite some nice saves by Riverside keeper Steven Frady.

Thomas had four more first-half goals - one on a penalty kick - and added two assists. He was involved in all but one goal.

"I feel very good about this team," Thomas said. "We've got the senior leadership and the underclassmen know how bad we want a state championship."

Eric Fletcher had a goal and three assists, while Johnson had a goal and two helpers. The other GAC goal was by Aldyn Royes.

The Spartans, ranked in a tie for No. 2 with Westminster behind Walker in the final regular-season AA/A poll, dominated the first half so completely that starting keeper John Max Bolling had to make just one save.

Thomas, Fletcher, Johnson, Royes and Bolling are all seniors.

Evan Cuellar, Daniel Vergara and Tobi Ogunbanjo had Riverside's second-half goals against GAC reserves and backup keeper Morris Coleman.

Coming off a state championship, GAC was shocked in the state quarterfinals last year. The Spartans are focused on not letting that happen again.

GAC has won eight straight matches and appears to be peaking at just the right time, with a big revenge victory over Wesleyan at the end the regular season to win the Area 11 title.

"The loss to Wesleyan in the middle of the season really helped us and spurred us on," Jacquet said. "We got down to business after that.

"Last year, we were 17-1 when we got upset in the quarterfinals, but we really hadn't been tested. I think this team is much better emotionally prepared to deal with the playoffs. I feel good about where we are."

GAC senior Amanda Odum wins John Keller Award
By Heather Darenberg, Staff Writer
April 26 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - This week, Greater Atlanta Christian School senior Amanda Odum received the school's first John Keller Award, named in honor of a 2002 graduate who died Aug. 22, just more than a year after he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

While Greater Atlanta Christian has a challenging preparatory environment, the school supports a small number of students with disabilities and learning differences, school spokeswoman Jill Morris said. Many recognize they must work extra hard to make the grades and to be successful in the classroom; Keller was one such student. With this new award, Greater Atlanta Christian is recognizing there are different kinds of minds.

While at Greater Atlanta Christian, Keller dealt with the challenges of dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and Crohn's disease by working extremely hard, said his mother, Angel Keller. He was determined to attend Oxford College, and he graduated from Emory University in 2006.

One of John Keller's wishes was to provide an opportunity to recognize bright students who learn differently, his mother said. He wanted students who are part of GAC's Learning Center and have a learning difference to be recognized for achieving their maximum learning potential.

The John Keller Award is given to a student who exemplifies a strong work ethic, an eagerness to learn, an understanding of his or her strengths as a learner, a perseverance in the face of challenges, a "never quit" attitude and Godly character.

"These young people never get the recognition they deserve," Angel Keller said. "They work so hard, and they have learned to overcome so many obstacles before they graduate. They are seasoned students who have learned how to beat life's challenges. Their GPAs (grade-point averages) don't reveal what remarkable students they are."

The Keller family would also like to provide scholarships to deserving students of Oxford College. For more information, visit


Sammy Abrahart
[Photo: Martin Photography]

Samantha Abrahart leads GAC girls to first-round rout of Union Co.
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
April 24 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - A year after frustratingly missing the state girls soccer tournament, Greater Atlanta Christian hopes to make amends this season.

The Spartans (16-3) are ranked No. 2 in Class AA/A and appear primed for a long postseason run.

GAC routed visiting Union County 10-0 on Thursday night in the first round and will host No. 8 ranked Blessed Trinity on Tuesday as part of what it hopes will be a run to the state title match for the first time.

The Spartans have never made it past the Elite Eight, doing that in 2005. But they hadn't won an Area 11 championship until this year, either.

"We accomplished one of our goals, winning the region for the first time," GAC senior Sammy Abrahart said. "Now we are working on our other goal, winning a state championship."

Abrahart, who will go on to play at South Carolina, recorded her second hat trick of the season. Her third goal ended the first-round match with Union County (10-2) on the mercy rule with just under 10 minutes scheduled to be played.

GAC's first goal came 58 seconds into the match and it was 6-0 at halftime. Spartans keeper McKenzie Nelson had to make just one save, that coming midway in the second half.

The Spartans beat Blessed Trinity 5-0 in an early season meeting on Feb. 17, but they know it doesn't figure to be that easy this time.

"We have to pretend we haven't played them," GAC coach Troy Bendickson told his players.

Blessed Trinity (12-3) was shorthanded for the earlier game and that is no longer the case. The Titans finished the regular season losing only to Class AAAA Marist and they gave up just four goals after the GAC loss.

The Spartans, who won the Area 11 title despite a 1-0 loss to No. 7-ranked Wesleyan last week, got back on track offensively in a hurry against Union County, whose only previous loss was 2-1 to Fannin County for the Area 15 championship.

In addition to Abrahart's three goals, junior Madeline Barker and sophomore Chelsea Cromer each scored twice. Cromer's first goal came in the opening minute.

GAC dominated throughout and the Spartans' goal total was one more than Union County had allowed previously this season.

If it hadn't been for senior keeper Marianne Smith, the game would have been over even quicker. She made several big saves for the Panthers, including a couple of early stops on the high-scoring Barker, who has already committed to Georgia.

Anna Douglas, Kelsey Pelletier and Alie Peterson also had goals for GAC, which recorded its 12th shutout of the season.

Morgan Hall sat out and Haley Carroll had to leave in the first half because of a toe injury. But both are expected to be back in the GAC lineup against Blessed Trinity.

"They are playing very well right now," Bendickson said of Blessed Trinity. "It could be a state championship-type match. We have to be ready."

"We won't look past anyone," Abrahart said. "We know we have to keep winning to get where we want to go."

BASEBALL GACS 11, Buford 6; Spartans get fourth straight win
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
April 23 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - The Greater Atlanta Christian baseball program honored coach Cliff Shelton for his 500th career victory, which he achieved last week, prior to Wednesday night's Region 6-AA game against Buford.

However, the three wins the Spartans have gotten since - including Wednesday's 11-6 triumph over the Wolves - were most prevalent on the longtime coach's mind by the end of the afternoon.

It was not just that it was the fourth straight win - and fifth in the last six games - for the Spartans (10-9, 6-3), who have suddenly put themselves in prime position for a state playoff berth, that pleased Shelton.

It was the way they won it.

Not only did GAC pound out 13 hits - led by two doubles, a home run and four RBIs from Ian Graham - but the Spartans needed to use only two pitchers from its depleted staff as they head into their fourth game in as many days this afternoon at region frontrunner Lovett.

"These three games are really the ones we needed to win," Shelton said of GAC's wins over Westminster, Decatur and Buford (7-12, 2-6) this week. "I'm just so proud of this team because they've just struggled and struggled and struggled, and all of the sudden, they just seem to now be getting it all together."

The Spartans certainly put it all together Wednesday, though they did have to battle back after falling behind on a defensive miscue in the top of the first.

A bobbled throw to second allowed Buford's Shane Swanson to slide in safely and Cody Getz to come home on the back end, putting the Wolves up 1-0.

GAC answered with a pair of runs on Graham's first double of the day in the bottom of the inning, vaulting the Spartans in front 2-1.

Buford tied it again at 2-2 in the on Cameron Crawford's bases-loaded walk in the top of the second, but GAC regained the lead in a big way in the bottom of the third.

A walk to Riley Rue, a bunt single by Taylor Bruner, an error and a stolen base put runners on second and third with nobody out for Drew Steckenrider.

The Tennessee signee then stepped up and hit a towering drive over the head of Buford centerfielder Josh Rudnik for a two-run triple that put the Spartans back in front 4-2.

But the Spartans were hardly through as Patrick Savage followed with an RBI single to chase Buford starter Jeb Dills (0-4) from the game, and Graham gave reliever Rudnik a rude welcome by lining a two-run homer to left-center, extending the lead to 7-2.

Another RBI single later in the inning by John LaMay made it a six-run outburst and left the score 8-2.

That gave LaMay (3-1) a little leeway on the mound, and allowed him to give the Spartans four innings before giving way to Taylor Hamm.

The junior left-hander used an array of off-speed pitches to baffle Buford hitters for three innings, in which he gave up just three hits and one earned run while striking out five for his first save.

The loss was another in a tough stretch for Buford against the region's top teams.

"We thought we'd be a little more competitive in the region than we've showed," said Buford coach Tony Wolfe, whose team lost for the seventh time in its last eight games Wednesday despite a 3-for-3 day from Getz and three RBIs from Crawford. "We've now put ourselves in a positions where it's going to be tough (to make the postseason)."

Among others joining Graham in GAC's hit parade Wednesday were Steckenrider (2-for-3, 2 RBIs), Justin Ernest (2-for-3) and LaMay (2 RBIs).


AD Tim Vick congratulates baseball
head coach Cliff Shelton
[Photo: GACS Press Release]
"Although winning is important, it is NOT the most important thing. There is a strong emphasis placed on sportsmanship, character, teamwork, commitment, sacrifice, and glorifying God."
Cliff Shelton, Head Coach

GAC Baseball Coach Cliff Shelton celebrated victory #500 against Avondale on Friday, April 17th. [Since then Coach Shelton's Spartans have beaten Decatur, Westminster, Buford, and Cross Keys twice for #505 wins, but who's counting?]

“Milestones RARELY occur! But when they do, they are significant events and worthy of notice,” shared Athletic Director Tim Vick as he presented an award honoring Coach Cliff Shelton on Wednesday. Coach Shelton began his career coaching baseball for GAC in 1983. Under Shelton’s direction the Spartans have won numerous region championships, made many state playoff appearances, and finished as state runner-up in1987, 1999, and 2003.

Coach Vick continued “The last person in the world who would want any kind of honor and recognition for something like this is Cliff Shelton. Yet I think Cliff would agree that it is not just the head coach who is immersed in the spotlight when a milestone like this occurs but the light shines on every player and coach who has ever played for or worked beside Cliff for the last 27 years. An accomplishment like this can only be described as a ‘team effort’. Yet one cannot deny that it is Cliff who has nurtured these teams along the way. He has been the one ‘constant’. It has been Cliff’s vision, expertise, and passion for baseball that has been the catalyst for the success the GAC baseball program has enjoyed for over a quarter of a century. So we want to take this moment to show our appreciation to a man who is ‘more than a baseball coach’…because he cares more about the character of the nearly 500 players that he has coached than he does about the 500th victory of his career."

Dr. David Fincher, President of Greater Atlanta Christian, praised Coach Shelton's latest milestone saying, “Numbers never tell the whole story. But they can reveal qualities inside the main character. Thank you for being that central character in GAC baseball for 27 years and 500 wins.”

Bill Burton, GAC Administrative Vice-President, offered these remarks: “Cliff, you have helped shape a generation of boys into men. Your Christian example has been consistent through the years. Congratulations on your 500th victory as you continue to be the winningest coach at GAC. I am thankful, Cliff, that you have never measured success by the number of games won, but by the number of lives touched for the Lord.”

> 1st win - GAC vs. North Gwinnett 5-2, March 1983 (specific date unknown)
> 100th win - GAC vs. Pace Academy 17-0, March 25, 1989
> 200th win - GAC vs. Decatur 10-1, March 29, 1995
> 300th win - GAC vs. Wesleyan 11-0, March 21, 2000
> 400th win - GAC vs. Blessed Trinity 10-5, March 19, 2004
> 500th win - GAC vs. Avondale 22-7, April 17, 2009


NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian advanced to the second round of the state playoffs with a 3-0 win over Pike on Tuesday. Will Lewis won at No. 1 singles. Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss won at No. 1 doubles and David Floyd and Blake Guy won at No. 2 doubles. [April 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian swept Pike in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday. Jessica Tuggle won at No. 2 singles, the No. 1 doubles team of Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray won along with the No. 2 doubles team of Charlotte Greenwood and Margaret Sharpe. [April 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]
Morgan Winston...Jessica Tuggle...Elizabeth McMurray
Melissa Puntkattalee...Rachel Gray...Rebecca Gray
Jacqueline Tate...Emma Deal...Charlotte Greenwood
Margaret Sharpe...Taylor Boven...Will Lewis
David Floyd...Blake Guy...Jake Montgomery...Mark Knauss
Chase Roberts...Alan Almand...Luke Pipkin

Patrick Savage
[Photo by Martin Photography]

BASEBALL GAC 10, Westminster 2
ATLANTA - Patrick Savage hit a grand slam in the top of the six to break open the game as Greater Atlanta Christian beat Westminster 10-2 on Tuesday. Savage was also the winning pitcher for the Spartans (9-9, 5-3) in five innings of work. Chris Alston pitched the last two innings. [April 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]


ALPHARETTA - Scotty Smith scored five goals to lead GAC past Kell 9-7 on Tuesday.
Jeffrey Johnson scored three goals and had one assist and Ryan Campbell added a goal. Goalkeeper Shawn Kane made 17 saves for the Spartans (9-6, 4-2). [April 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]


EAST POINT - Lyndsey Kytle and Kim Slade each scored four goals in GAC's 23-8 win over Tri-Cities on Tuesday. Rachel Roughgarden and Caroline Freeman each had three goals for the Spartans (8-8-1) and Corbin Aiken scored two. Casey Cox added three assists to give her a school-record 17 on the season. [April 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GIRLS GOLF GAC wins 6-AAchampionship
BALL GROUND - Low medalist Lindsay Adams led Greater Atlanta Christian's girls golf team to the Region 6-AA Tournament title on Monday at Hawks Ridge. Adams shot 77 and teammate Emee Herbert shot 84, giving the Spartans a four-stroke victory over runner-up Blessed Trinity. [April 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING LADY SPARTAN SOCCER PLAYERS for being selected to the Gwinnett Goal Club A-AAAA All County Team:
Samantha Abrahart...Madeline Barker...Chelsea Gandy-Cromer.
Morgan Hall was also selected as the Gwinnett Goal Club Scholar Athlete!
[SH Announcement]

BASEBALL GAC 9, Decatur 3
DECATUR - GAC's Justin Ernest struck out seven to lead the Spartans past Decatur 9-3 on Monday. Andrew Steckenrider, Patrick Savage and John LaMay were 2-for-3 for GAC (8-9, 4-3). Ian Graham was 1-for-4 with four RBIs. [April 21 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BASEBALL GAC 22, Avondale 7
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian evened its Region 6-AA record at 3-3 on Friday night with a 22-7 pounding of Avondale in three innings. John LaMay went 2-for-3 with three RBIs as GAC (7-9 overall) collected 11 hits. Ian Graham went 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBIs, while Andrew Steckenrider added two hits with two RBIs. Taylor Hamm was the winning pitcher. [April 18 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Coach Daniel Cline reports: Congratulations to the girls golf team:
1. For winning the Region 6-AA by four strokes over Blessed Trinity [Monday] at Hawks Ridge. Lindsay Adams and Emee Herbert combined to shoot 161. Lindsay Adams also won the individual medal. The State golf tournament will be in Vidalia GA on Monday, May 4.

2. For finishing 2nd out of 16 teams at the Maple Ridge Invitational this past weekend. Lindsay Adams finished second in the individual race by shooting 6 under par 66. Emee Herbert finished tied for 16th place with an 88. Morgan Licata and Alex Stevens played well, also.

BOYS LACROSSE Wesleyan 15, GAC 1
NORCROSS - Davis Brown scored five goals to lead Wesleyan to a 15-1 win over Greater Atlanta Christian on Monday. Drew Daniels had two goals and one assist, Scott Schroer scored two goals and Connor Breslin had one goal and two assists for the Wolves (14-1).

GIRLS LACROSSE Lady Spartans split doubleheader
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Gainesville 25-0 and lost to Wesleyan 14-2 on Monday. The Spartans (7-8-1, 1-4-1) had 15 different players score led by Cecila Stephens with three goals. Royale Cole, Rachel Roughgarden, Liz Choi, Lauren Lindsey, Kelsey Guerreso each scored two goals. Wesleyan's (6-9) Alie Guston scored three goals and Caroline Jordan and Kelsey Saunders added two.


LADY SPARTAN SOFTBALL TRY-OUTS - Girls in grades 6-11 planning to try-out for Lady Spartan softball must sign-up electronically this year. You may go to the softball web site announcements page, or straight to the following URL address to fill-out the information. If you have any questions, contact Coach Tenney at

Eric Fletcher
[Photo from Gwinnett Daily Post]

No. 10 Wesleyan girls knock off No. 1 GAC;
Spartan girls & boys still sweep area titles

By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
April 17 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Two soccer teams avenged their only Area 11-AA/A losses Thursday night, but just one left as area champion.

The Wesleyan girls defeated Greater Atlanta Christian, ranked first in Class AA/A, 1-0 for a big boost heading into next week's state playoffs. But the No. 10 Wolves, who lost to GAC earlier in the season, didn't get the area's top seed because of the fifth tiebreaker - goals allowed in area play.

That didn't take the luster off the win for Wesleyan (14-4), which completed the gauntlet of three victories in three days after sweeping Providence Tuesday and Wednesday.

"That was our three biggest games (of the season) in three days," Wesleyan girls coach Lacy Gilbert said. "To win those three games in a row was tough. I'm so proud of the girls."

The third-ranked GAC boys rarely lose to AA/A teams, but No. 6 Wesleyan defeated the Spartans back on March 12 - their first victory in the series since 2002.

GAC gained its revenge Thursday night with a 3-2, comeback victory over Wesleyan, securing the program's sixth straight area/region championship. Chris Thomas scored all three Spartan goals, including the game-winner in the 72nd minute.

"(Our players) wanted it," GAC boys coach Thom Jacquet said. "But it was difficult for us to take. It was a struggle."

So was the girls game, albeit a more defensive one.

Wesleyan had a couple of close calls early in the second half on Paige Pickert shots, then finally got the game's only goal in the 67th minute. Senior Kiersten White sent a floating cross in from the right side that caromed off a pair of players and into the net. GAC had held its previous five opponents scoreless.

The one goal was plenty for a Wesleyan defense that has allowed only one goal in the past eight games. McKenzie Stanford and Rachael Duane led the Wolves' defense, while goalie Hannah Duane posted the shutout.

The boys game was more back and forth, starting when a GAC miscue just before halftime led to a 1-0 deficit. Wesleyan's Spencer Brown won a one-on-one collision with Spartan goalie John Max Boling and scored.

Just 25 seconds into the second half, Thomas scored the equalizer on Zack Johnson's assist. Chris Duvall's corner was headed in by Wesleyan's Greg MacKenzie in the 52nd minute, giving the Wolves the lead back.

GAC tied the score 11 minutes later when Eric Fletcher and Aldyn Royes teamed up to set up a Thomas goal. Thomas' final goal came off an assist from freshman Vishal Patel, who had just entered seconds earlier.

BASEBALL Buford 4, GAC 1

BUFORD - Andy Plott threw a complete game, gave up a run on five hits and struck out seven batters as Buford took a 4-1 win over Greater Atlanta Christian on Thursday.
Adam Schrader and Brian Clark each had two hits, while Dylan Stowe had two RBIs. Troy Herterick went 1-for-2 with an RBI for the Wolves (7-9, 2-3). [April 17 Gwinnett Daily Post]


Samantha Abrahart___Univ. of South Carolina__Soccer
John Max Bolling____Belmont Abbey College____Soccer
Matt Cape___________Georgia Southern Univ.___Football
Colton Chapple______Harvard University_______Football
Emma Eisler_________Campbell University______Swimming
Eric Fletcher_______Clemson University_______Soccer
Ian Graham__________Univ. of N. Carolina/Ashville__Baseball
Patrick Hartman_____Georgia Southern Univ.___Football
Zack Johnson________Georgia Southern Univ.___Soccer
Banks Lee___________Univ. of Georgia_________Football
Taylor Metzger______North Georgia College____Basketball
Kamarin Moon‏________Gordon College___________Softball
Shane Mularkey______Univ. of North Carolina__Football
Blake Southerland___Vanderbilt University____Football
Patrick Savage______Auburn University________Baseball
Drew Steckenrider___Univ. of Tennessee_______Baseball
Chris Thomas________Elon College_____________Soccer

A SPECIAL THANKS from your GAC soccer teams for packing the house Thursday night! The fans made the difference.
• Congratulations to the boy’s varsity soccer team for a thrilling 3-2 victory over Wesleyan to win the region championship. Chris Thomas scored all three goals in the game including the winner with eight minutes left.
• Congratulations to the Lady Spartan Varsity Soccer Team for winning their first ever Region Championship last night despite a hard fought one goal loss to Wesleyan. The ladies will begin the state tournament next week.
Details of games next week will be announced once confirmed!

CONGRATULATIONS TO COACH EDDIE MARTIN who was one of four Metro Atlanta coaches honored last night at the Greater Atlanta Sports Champions banquet at the Cobb Galleria. The banquet was taped and will be televised on WSB-TV on Friday, May 29, at 9 pm.

THE BASEBALL TEAM plays at home today [Friday] against Avondale at 5:30.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOYS AND GIRLS TENNIS TEAMS for earning a spot in the state tournament with region tournament victories yesterday.
• The guys avenged an earlier season loss by defeating Buford 3-2 in a great match. The boys then fell to Westminster in the semi-finals.
• The girls defeated Decatur 5-0 in the morning then had a huge win vs Westminster by the score of 3-2. Great job tennis teams!

MEET COACH BOYD NIGHT There will be a “Meet Coach Boyd Night” for the girls in the basketball program and their parents next Thursday evening, April 23, at 7 pm in the Wista Worthen Room of the Student-Family Center. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend this very important meeting as Coach Boyd looks forward to meeting you and sharing his excitement about the future of the Lady Spartan program, including plans for the summer.

Coach Cal Boyd
[Photo by Martin Photography]

Cal Boyd Becomes Head Coach Of Girls Basketball
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
April 15 Gwinnett Daily Post

Greater Atlanta Christian has developed a tradition in recent years of staying within its family when a new head coach is needed in either the school's boys or girls basketball programs.

That tradition continued Monday with GAC's announcement that Chan Means would be stepping down as the head coach of the Spartans' girls program, and would be replaced by Cal Boyd, an assistant to Spartan boys head coach Eddie Martin.

It was just two years ago that Means, who will remain at GAC as the school's director of development operations, declined a job offer outside of education in Tennessee to stay at GAC. He took over the girls program when then head coach Mike Mitchell moved over to coach the boys team. Mitchell then left to return to his native Alabama the next year and was replaced by Martin.

Means said the rigors of holding the dual roles of his current job and that of head coach was a main factor in his decision to step down.

"It's just tough juggling two full-time jobs," Means said. "(Coaching) has been a great experience. It is what I wanted to do. It is why I stayed at GAC. But I've gotten involved in the developmental job. I like it. It's important to the school and it's important I spend a lot of time with it."

Still, Means had invested a lot of energy in guiding the Spartans program to a 45-15 record - including a Region 7-AA tournament championship and two Class AA state tournament appearances, including a trip to the quarterfinals this season - over the last two seasons.

And he said it was the idea of Boyd taking over that made his decision to step away easier.

Boyd, 40, has plenty of basketball experience as a player, as well as a coach.

He was an all-state player at Campbell High School in Smyrna, where he played for his older brother - former Berkmar and current Milton head coach David Boyd - on the Panthers' 1982 Class AAAA state championship team.

He then went on to play four years at Wake Forest, where he was a team co-captain his final two seasons and still holds not only the Demon Deacons' school record, but the Atlantic Coast Conference's career record for 3-point field goal percentage (.470).

Boyd then got into coaching, where he rolled up a 254-150 record in 16 seasons at Walker, Westminster and Pace Academy before joining Martin's staff last season.

He said he didn't mind taking a year off from head coaching after coming to GAC, but jumped at the chance to get back into it when Means decided to step down.

"Up until this year, I'd not been blessed to have my family in the same school I was working at," Boyd said. "I was finally able to do that, but I also knew there wasn't a head coaching opportunity at GAC at the time, but I was really OK with that.

"Call it kind of a halftime of my career. But I knew I had a second half in me, and when GAC approached me with this opportunity, I knew it had to be for a reason."

Boyd admitted his new position will be a new experience for him as he has never coached a girls team before, but added he is ready to make the transition a smooth one.

"Anytime you have that kind of a transition, it's an adjustment," Boyd said. "But I'm looking forward to (the challenge). I'm very impressed with the girls (in the GAC program) - with the way they handle themselves and the way they compete on the court. I think it will be a smooth transition."
The Cal Boyd File
• New position: Head girls basketball coach at GAC
• Former position: Assistant boys basketball coach at GAC
• Age: 40
• Career record: 254-150 as head boys coach at three different schools
• Education: Graduated from Campbell High School in Smyrna in 1985; graduated from Wake Forest University in '89
• Background: Was an all-state point guard at Campbell, including playing as a freshman for the 1982 state championship team coached by his brother, former Berkmar and current Milton boys coach David Boyd; played four years at Wake Forest and was the team's co-captain for the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons; still ranks as the Demon Deacons' - and the Atlantic Coast Conference's - all-time leader in 3-point field-goal percentage, hitting 47 percent of his shots from beyond the arc over his four-year career; has been head boys coach at Walker, Westminster and Pace Academy before joining Eddie Martin's staff at GAC last season
• Family: Wife Kristi; sons Cameron, 13, and Coleman, 9, and daughter Kaylann, 11

BASEBALL GAC 12, Blessed Trinity 9

NORCROSS - Taylor Bruner went 2-for-3 with three runs to help Greater Atlanta Christian take a 12-9 win over Blessed Trinity on Wednesday. Ian Graham was 3-for-4 with two runs, and Justin Ernest got the win after giving up four hits in four innings for GAC (6-8). [April 16 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GIRLS TENNIS Spartan girls reach 6-AA finals

ATLANTA - GAC beat Decatur 5-0 and Westminster 3-2 in the region tournament to set up a showdown for the 6-AA title today against Blessed Trinity.

Against Dacula, Morgan Winston (No. 1), Jessica Tuggle (No. 2) and Melissa Puntkattalee (No. 3) earned the singles' points for the Spartans. Charlotte Greenwood and Margaret Sharpe (No. 1) and Emma Deal and Taylor Boven (No. 2) picked up the doubles' points.

Winston won in singles and Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray (No. 1 doubles) and Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate (No. 2 doubles) picked up the final points for GAC against Westminster. [April 16 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BOYS TENNIS GAC splits in 6-AA tournament

ATLANTA - GAC eked by Buford to start its day in the Region 6-AA tournament at Westminster, but fell to the hosts in its second match, setting up a match for third with Lovett today.

GAC got wins from Will Lewis (No. 1 singles), Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss (No. 1 doubles) and David Floyd and Blake Guy (No. 2 doubles) to beat Buford 3-2. Fletcher Cline (No. 2 singles) and Preston Benson (No. 3 singles) picked up the wins for Buford. The Spartans lost 3-0 to Westminster. [April 16 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GIRLS GOLF GAC comes in second at tri-meet

BALL GROUND - Greater Atlanta Christian shot an 81 to come in second place at a Tri-Meet against Blessed Trinity (80) and Westminster (95) on Wednesday. Lindsay Adams shot a 35 for the Spartans. [April 16 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BOYS LACROSSE GAC 15, Gainesville 0
NORCROSS - Scotty Smith had six goals and three assists on Tuesday to lead Greater Atlanta Christian to a 15-0 rout over Gainesville. Jeffrey Johnson had three goals and three assists for the Spartans (8-4, 4-1) while Ryan Campbell added three goals Sam Kessler and Justin White each finished with two assists.

BASEBALL Providence 16, GACS 5
NORCROSS - Providence topped Greater Atlanta Christian 16-5 in five innings in the first of two games for the Stars on Saturday...Patrick Savage hit a three-run home run for GAC (5-8).

MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY currently has posted the following individual, team and event photographs. To view: go to and click on the Online Order Station at the bottom of the page: Mr. & Miss Spartan.....Band groups.....Visions.....Pirates of Penzance.....Freshman Follies.....Individuals, teams & action photos for Baseball, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field


GAC girls 10, Mt. Pisgah 0
NORCROSS - Samantha Abrahart and Madeline Barker led the Spartans with three goals each, as Greater Atlanta Christian shut out Mt. Pisgah 10-0 on [April 2]. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer and Kelsey Pelletier each scored a goal and had an assist, while Anna Douglas and Lauren Bryan each added a goal for GAC. Alie Peterson had three assists and Quincy Meyer also helped with an assist, while McKenzie Nelson registered the save in goal for GAC (14-2, 8-0). [April 3 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 10, Mt. Pisgah 0
NORCROSS - Richard Klemm and John Max Bolling combined in goal to help Norcross shut out Mt. Pisgah 10-0 on [April 2]. Chris Thomas scored goals and had three assists, and Aldyn Royes helped out with two goals and two assists. Eric Fletcher also added two goals for GAC (13-2, 7-1). [April 3 Gwinnett Daily Post]


The Gwinnett Tipoff Club honored the following GAC basketball players at their banquet on March 29:
Trent Wiedeman - Boys' All County
Clarke Boards and Chaney Means - Girls' All County
Paul Dawson and Taylor Metzger - Boys' Honorable Mention
Elliott Long - Boys' Scholar Athlete
Alex McCall - Girls' Scholar Athlete
GAC Boys' Team - Boys' Team of the Year

The Gwinnett County Takedown Club honored the following GAC wrestlers at their banquet March 30:
Drew Schoepf - Scholar Athlete
Locke Hoover – Honorable Mention

The Lady Spartan track team finished 8th out of 16 schools at the Gwinnett County Track & Field Championships at Mill Creek High School. The GAC boys team finished 14th in the meet.
Here are the finishes for GAC athletes for the meet:
1600-meter run - 5th place: Lauren Kester, GAC, 5:24.70
3200-meter run - 3rd place: Lauren Kester, GAC, 11:19.84
Triple jump - 3rd place: Jessica Tuggle, GAC, 34-11
100-meter hurdles - 3rd place: Jessica Tuggle, GAC, 15.65
Pole Vault - Tie 2nd: Caroline Bond, GAC, 9-6
Pole Vault - Tie 5th: Katie Stephens, GAC, 8-6

Discus - 6th place: Kyle Kinser, GAC, 139-6
Discus - 8th place: Blake Southerland, GAC, 133-2
Shot Put - 4th place: Blake Southerland, GAC, 52-1.25
Shot Put - 7th place: Corbin Reynolds, GAC, 49-7.25
300-meter hurdles - 8th place: Tyler Bello, GAC, 41.24


Mollie Mitchell - Class of 2008

Lipscomb freshman catcher Mollie Mitchell helped the Lady Bisons to a 5-1 record last week, including three conference victories over the weekend to earned her first career Player of the Week and Jacksonville junior pitcher Ashley Iveson recorded three wins in the Dolphins' 5-1 campaign last week to pick up her first career Pitcher of the Week honor the conference office announced on Monday.

Mitchell exploded at the plate last week, collecting 10 hits in 14 at bats for a .714 average. The math education major hit three home runs in game two of a doubleheader at Western Carolina on March 24, setting a new school record. Mitchell finished the doubleheader 7-for-7 with four runs scored and five RBI. [Atlantic Sun Release]

Chris Thomas & GAC cruise past Stars

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian picked up a big Area 11-AA/A win on Tuesday by beating Providence 7-1. Chris Thomas scored four goals to lead GAC (12-2, 6-1) while Zack Johnson, Eric Fletcher and Stewart Abrahart each had a goal and an assist. John Max Bolling earned the win at keeper. Providence (8-4, 6-2) avoided the shutout with a goal by Jonny Mercado. [April 1 Gwinnett Daily Post]

SOCCER: GAC girls 5, Providence 0
NORCROSS - Madeline Barker had a hat trick Tuesday to lead Greater Atlanta Christian to a 5-0 win over Providence. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer and Lauren Bryan added a goal and an assist for GAC (13-2, 7-0). Keeper McKenzie Nelson had three saves in the shutout. [April 1 Gwinnett Daily Post]

LACROSSE: GAC boys 14, McEachern 0
NORCROSS - Jeffrey Johnson had five goals and two assists Tuesday as Greater Atlanta Christian routed McEachern 14-0. Scotty Smith and Nathaniel Einfeldt each had four goals for GAC (7-4, 4-1), while Preston Lucas scored one. [April 1 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BASEBALL: Decatur 16, GAC 5
NORCROSS - Decatur beat Greater Atlanta Christian 16-5 on Tuesday. Taylor Bruner went 2-for-4 for GAC (5-7, 1-2) with a triple, while Riley Rue finished 2-for-3. [April 1 Gwinnett Daily Post]

SWIMMING: GAC's Freeman named state's best
Greater Atlanta Christian junior Will Freeman was named the Class AAAA/AAA/AA/A boys swimmer of the year by the Georgia High School Swim Coaches Association. Freeman won the state title in the 500 freestyle with a state and national private school record time and placed second in the 200 free at the state high school meet. [April 1 Gwinnett Daily Post]

THE JV BASEBALL TEAM defeated Decatur Monday by a score of 13-3 behind strong performances from Patrick Corley who pitched 3 scoreless innings & Austin Golden who went 3 for 3 with 2 doubles. The team will play Thursday at home against St. Pius beginning at 5:00.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GIRL’S GOLF TEAM in their victory at the Carrolton Invitational on Monday. Lindsay Adams was the low medalist shooting a 37 and Emee Herbert finished in the top 5 shooting a 43. Jamie Gentile did a great job as well. This is the third year in a row that the Lady Spartans have won this tournament.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER team for their 5-0 blanking of Providence last night. Madeline Barker led the way with a hat trick, followed by Chelsea Gandy-Cromer and Lauren Bryan with a goal and an assist each. Anna Douglas tallied an assist on the night, and anchored a great defensive effort with Morgan Hall, Haley Carroll, Anna Arnau, and goalkeeper McKenzie Nelson. The ladies are now 13-2 overall and 7-0 in the region.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VARSITY AND JV BOYS’ LACROSSE TEAMS for victories over McEachern Tuesday night. The Varsity won 14-0, and JV, 5-3.

by Chandler Means, Director of Development Operations

Join us Monday, May 4th, for the Spartan Booster Club Golf Fundraiser at Celebrity Golf Club International. This will be a day of fun and fellowship and a great opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. This will be a pay-and-play event. We ask that each player simply pay for their individual golf and or/foursome in advance. The event is $125/player including green fees, continental breakfast and appetizer lunch at the end of the day.

Participation is on a first-come basis for the 128 golfer slots (or 32 foursomes) that we have available for the tournament. We will “pass the hat” during this event for those who can and want to make a taxable donation to the Spartan Booster Club. Join us for a great day of fellowship and golf while raising funds for the GAC Booster Club. Register now through Monday, April 20th by contacting Chandler Means, or call 770-243-2207. [GAC press release]

Lovett 8, GAC 1
NORCROSS - Stephen Pepper's solo home run was the only offense GAC could muster in its 8-1 loss to Lovett. Justin Ernest went 2-for-3 for the Spartans (5-6, 1-1). [March 31 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Trent Wiedeman - AA Player of the Year
[Photo by Jonathan Phillips/Gwinnett Daily Post]


March 29 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Class AA - Boys
AJC Player of the year: Trent Wiedeman, GAC
AJC Coach of the year: Marvin Latham, Dublin

AJC First team
G: Jimmy Bacon, Long County, 6-4, Sr.
G: Santez Emory, Heard County, 6-2, Jr.
G Rashard Smith, Dublin, 5-10, Sr.
F: Arris Brundidge, Blessed Trinity, 6-4, Sr.
F Trent Wiedeman, Greater Atlanta Christian, 6-6, Jr.

AJC Second team
G: Wendell Williams, Appling County, 5-11, Sr.
G: Sherrard Brantley, Dublin, 6-2, Sr.
G: Andrew Houts, Dade County, 5-7, Jr.
G: Matt Brabham, Central-Macon, 5-10, Jr.
F: Rod Hall, Laney, 6-2, So.

•Honorable mention: Gerald Dunn, Greene County; Willie Clayton, Thomasville; Ryan LeGates, Blessed Trinity; Terrance Lewis, East Laurens; Rashad Ramsey, Chattooga.

Class AA - Girls
AJC Player of the year: Blanche Alverson, Buford
AJC Coach of the year: Gene Durden, Buford

AJC First team
G: Blanche Alverson, Buford, 6-3, Sr.
G: Andraya Carter, Buford, 5-9, Fr.
C: Taylor Ayers, Laney, 6-1, Sr.
C: Porschia Hadley, Macon County, 6-3, Sr.
F: Shekinah Henry, Vidalia, 6-2, Jr.

AJC Second team
G: Ieshia Alexander, Coosa, 5-5, Sr.
G: Chaney Means, Greater Atlanta Christian, 5-8, Jr.
G: Brianna Williams, Henry County, 5-5, Jr.
G: Candace Williams, Union County, 5-8, Sr.
F: Angelia Hill, Southwest-Macon, 5-8, Sr.

•Honorable mention: Kellie Bacon, Appling County; Maria Bond, Northeast-Macon; Jocelyn Danley, Buford; Janaye Jasper, Model; Nisha Walker, Dodge County.

GAC senior Eric Fletcher will play soccer next
season at Clemson.
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Eric Fletcher plays sizable role for Spartans
By Ben Beitzel, Staff Writer
March 26 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Imagine a soccer player. Lean. Quick. Spry. Short. Eric Fletcher does not fit the image.

The GAC senior says he is 6-foot, but pushes 6-1 and he weighs 175. He is fit, but his shoulders are broad and his short dark hair does not lighten his appearance.

But Fletcher won't cop to slowness.

"I am probably not as quick as the little kids, but I am not slow," he said.

Clemson does not recruit slow players, but Fletcher, who plays center-midfield for GAC will move to the back when he gets to the South Carolina school.

"Center-mid at the next level you are going to have to be a little quicker," Fletcher said. "Center-back you just tackle hard and win the ball. It's more defensive oriented. I am excited."

Because of his size, Fletcher grew into his defensive oriented role, even at the high school level. Defense, especially in soccer, does not lend itself to notice outside of the goalie. There are few winding corner kicks, headers, point-blank shots in the box or diving saves.

Though defense and midfield create all those opportunities, their secondary nature easily fleet the minds of people watching.

Even Fletcher's explanation of his role lacks the flash of a goal.

"I like to direct things, basically. Nothing too fancy," he said. "I just don't like losing the ball first of all. Keeping position and just turning it around and keeping people involved. Getting everybody involved in the game is the biggest part. You can't have one person do it all. That is the biggest part."

But Fletcher does plenty. It is not always easy to see his position is not a goal generator. It is more a goal creator.

"He is kind of like the engine of the team," said head coach Thom Jacquet. "Everything we do, in a sense, flows through Eric. He'll have the ball more than any other player. He is always in the picture."

Fletcher started playing soccer at 5. He dabbled in hockey, tennis and basketball and even kicked for the GAC football team as a freshmen. But success came in soccer.

"I was best as soccer. It was the most fun," Fletcher said. "(I didn't pick soccer) until high school, at least. It was slow. I stuck with tennis for a while too, but I had to go with soccer."

Even at midfield Fletcher finds ways to score. And finding any goals is a tough feat with scoring maching Chris Thomas at forward.

"I am not going to lie, I like to score. I just don't get as many chances," Fletcher said. "Center-mid, you are going to score from outside shots and set pieces. I could score more than I do, Chris is just good at it."

So Fletcher focuses on defense and controlling the ball. He likes to play physical, using his size as an advantage to win balls and on headers.

"He is iron," Jacquet said. "He is a really strong kids. He is so difficult to get off the ball. He is tenacious. I don't care where he is he is going to be the best."

Fletcher stands out with his height. Most fouls are going against him.

"It happens," Fletcher said. "I try not to get fouls, but I like to play physical."

Physical is fun for Fletcher. Just like soccer. His soccer success plays more as an secondary reason for him choosing the sport over tennis, football and the others.

"Just playing (is fun)," Fletcher said. "Sometimes it is not fun, it is hard, practices are hard. But games are always fun."
The Eric Fletcher File
• Sport: Soccer
• School: GAC
• Class: Senior
• Favorite TV show: "24"
• Favorite sports team: "I don't really have one"
• Favorite athlete: Roger Federer
• When did you start playing soccer?: Age 5
• Noteworthy:
• Committed to Clemson
• Plays center-mid, center-back
• Stands 6-foot, 175-pounds

GAC girls 4, Providence 0
LILBURN - Goalie McKenzie Nelson picked up a shutout as Greater Atlanta Christian beat Providence 4-0 on Wednesday. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer led the Spartans (12-2, 6-0) with two goals. Quincy Meyer and Kelsey Pelletier each scored one. Samantha Abrahart dished out two assists, while Madeline Barker had one. [Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 4, Providence 1
LILBURN - Chris Thomas scored twice to lead Greater Atlanta Christian to a 2-1 win over Providence in an area match on Wednesday. Aldyn Royes added another goal and two assists for the Spartans (11-2, 5-1). Stevin Bienfait also scored and had an assist. Johny Mercado scored the lone goal for the Stars (8-3, 6-1). [Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC junior Trent Wiedeman
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Trent Wiedeman: Gwinnett Boys Basketball Player of the Year
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
March 22 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - In his six years as head boys basketball coach at Norcross High School, Eddie Martin had some outstanding, large post players to work with.

From Daniel Emerson (second-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection at Mercer this past season) to Gani Lawal (third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference at Georgia Tech) and Al-Farouq Aminu (ACC's All-Rookie Team), Martin's former students have all made a big impact at the next level.

If Martin's first season as coach at Greater Atlanta Christian this year is any indication, Martin may have the county's next great big man in the form of Trent Wiedeman.

With one year still left for him to play in high school, only time will tell exactly what heights the Spartans' starting center will rise to.

However, the 6-foot-7 junior gave quite a dominating performance this past season on his way to being named the Daily Post's Boys Player of the Year.

He led all of Gwinnett County in scoring with an average of 22.1 points per game and pulling down 10.9 rebounds per contest, good for fourth in the county, and was a dominant force in GAC's (28-4) run to its first Final Four appearance in 17 years.

Wiedeman was a solid player as a sophomore for GAC last season, averaging 13.5 points and 7.5 boards per game during a 26-4 season.

But he began showing signs during last summer's preseason workouts that he was ready to take his game to a higher level, which he did by raising his scoring average more than seven points per game and his rebounds by more than three per game.

"(Last) offseason, we worked really hard," Wiedeman said. "Coach Martin was in the gym doing the two-person workouts a lot. He taught me a lot of post moves and it was really tough. And I think maybe it helped me get more involved with my teammates, especially when I got double-teamed."

Wiedeman's success comes as little surprise to Martin given the type of player he knew he was inheriting when he took over after former coach Mike Mitchell moved back to his native Alabama last summer.

"Everybody told me he'd play hard and would be a blue-collar worker," Martin said of Wiedeman. "What we tried to instill in him was that we wanted him to know he was going to be our main cog.

"We spent a lot of time working on his footwork, but he's got a lot of God-given ability, and he responded to everything we worked on."

Wiedeman's natural ability is also no surprise considering the fact he comes from a very athletic family.

His mother, Leann Woodull Wiedeman, has been inducted into Georgia Tech's women's basketball Hall of Fame, while his father, Dirk, was an accomplished golfer and football player in high school.

Still, the biggest improvement Wiedeman may have made from last season to this one was not anything technical, but more a growth in his confidence.

According to Martin, as Wiedeman's success on the court grew, so did his confidence level.

"It's like a lot of other things in basketball - if you take a couple of shots from the perimeter and you make them, the basket starts looking a lot bigger," Martin said. "I knew what we worked on was working when he started getting double- and sometimes triple-teamed.

"There are still some technical issues we have to straighten out, but Trent's such a hard worker, we can work on those this summer."

Wiedeman certainly will have plenty of opportunity to work on his game this summer.

In addition to whatever work he can put in with Martin, he will also play with a Georgia Stars 17-and-under team that includes plenty of talent, like Norcross junior post Adrian Hubbard, Clemson-committed Westlake star Marcus Thornton and former Central Gwinnett and current Centennial guard Devonta White.

And with his reputation beginning to grow, Wiedeman is hopeful his body will continue to grow a little bit more to give him a chance to play at a high level in college.

"I'm hoping to grow an inch or two more," said Wiedeman, who is already being courted by mid-major Division I programs like UNC Greensboro and Western Carolina. "But I've (also) got to work on my shot and get faster just in case I don't, so I can play (post) or (wing forward)."
All-County Boys Basketball
Player of the Year: Trent Wiedeman, GAC, Jr.
Averaged county-best 22.1 points, plus 10.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists in helping the Spartans to their first Final Four appearance in 17 years

Coach of the Year: David Allen, Central Gwinnett
Despite losses to transfers in recent years, led the Black Knights to 15 wins and a first-round upset of Collins Hill in the Class AAAAA state tournament

• Brian Cole, Dacula, Sr.
19.8 points, 6.1 rebounds
• Adonis Harrison, South Gwinnett, Sr.
14.7 points, 11.1 rebounds
• Khalid Mutakabbir, Peachtree Ridge, Sr.
19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds
• Taariq Muhammad, Norcross, Sr.
11.8 points, 7.7 assists, 2.2 steals
• Jeremy Olsen, Collins Hill, Sr.
18.9 points, 10.6 rebounds

Second Team
• C.J. Blackwell, Peachtree Ridge, Soph.
16.7 points, 11.8 rebounds
• Jarvis Brown, Meadowcreek, Sr.
15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals
• Denzail Jones, Norcross, Sr.
15.1 points, 3.1 steals
• Saah Nimley, Collins Hill, Soph.
16.4 points, 6.6 assists
• Griffin Schamp, Wesleyan, Jr.
19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds

By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
March 22 Gwinnett Daily Post
All-County Girls Basketball
Player of the Year: Blanche Alverson, Buford, Sr.
Averaged 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game in leading Buford to the Class AA state championship

Coach of the Year: Gene Durden, Buford
Led the Wolves to the Class AA state championships, the school's first basketball state title

• Anne Marie Armstrong, Wesleyan, Sr.
18.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.8 steals, 2.0 blocked shots, .500 FG
• Tiffany Clarke, Norcross, Sr.
16.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.2 steals, .560 FG
• Lauren Coleman, Parkview, Jr.
14.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.8 steals
• Chaney Means, GAC, Jr.
16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 5.4 steals
• Moneshia Simmons, Mill Creek, Jr.
15.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists

Second Team
• Andraya Carter, Buford, Fr.
10.0 points, 7.2 assists, 5.7 steals
• Dria David, Central Gwinnett, Sr.
18.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 5.2 steals
• Erin Hall, Wesleyan, Jr.
14.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.5 steals, .360 3-point FG, .714 FT
• Chantel Kennedy, Wesleyan, Sr.
9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 4.2 steals
• Mykala Walker, Duluth, Sr.
10.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 3.2 steals

Taylor Metzger Picked For Senior All-star Hoops Game
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
March 24 Gwinnett Daily Post

After a successful inaugural event last year, the Gwinnett County Senior All-Star boys and girls basketball games are once again set to provide one last showcase for some of the county's elite basketball players.

The two games - featuring 30 of Gwinnett's top senior boys and 30 top senior girls - will be April 1 at Grayson High School, with the girls game tipping off at 6 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7:30 p.m. Admission for the two games is $5.

The pools of boys and girls players will be divided into two teams of 15 players for each game, with each player being nominated by his or her coach and approved for the game by a panel of coaches from throughout the county...

While there will be plenty of nostalgia, the main focus will be on the present and the future. For the present, the game serves as a reward for a strong season for those selected to participate. And while several of those players scheduled to participate have already signed scholarships to play college basketball, many still have not. Anderson said the county's coaches are inviting college coaches from throughout the Southeast to come and scout such players.

Coach Brad Kinser reports:
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE TRACK TEAMS for a good showing at the GAC Invitational on March 21st. The meet had 16 teams and over 600 athletes. The girls’ team placed 1st and the boys’ team placed 4th. The following athletes were medal winners:
• Caroline Bond—1st place in pole vault
• Jessica Tuggle---1st place in long jump and triple jump, 2nd place in the hurdles
• Hope Wooster---1st pace in the discus
• Claire Goodson—2nd place in pole vault
• Kyle Kinser—2nd place in discus
• Corbin Reynolds—2nd place in shot put
• Blake Southerland—3rd place in shot put
• Lauren Kester—2nd place in the 1600 and 3200 meters
• Nathaniel Einfelt—2nd place in the 800
• Tyler Bello—2nd place in the 300 hurdles
• 400 relay team was 3rd place----Claire Goodson, Morgan McKnight, Jessica Tuggle, Brittany Arnold [SH Announcements]

CONGRATULATIONS TO CATHERINE CHASON who made Prep Volleyball’s honorable mention as one of the nation’s top freshmen volleyball players. [SH Announcements]

Will Freeman: Boys Swimmer/Diver of the Year
State champion in 500 free with a time of
4:19.32, which set a state, pool and national
private school record.
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Will Freeman Named Swimmer Of The Year & All-County
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
March 20 Gwinnett Daily Post

Legendary Westminster coach Pete Higgins called it the highlight of the state high school meet. Longtime Gwinnett coach Rick Creed said it was one of the greatest swims in Georgia high school swimming history.

All of those comments shock Will Freeman.

The Greater Atlanta Christian junior isn't much on being the center of attention, but his efforts at the state high school meet thrust him into the spotlight.

"I don't know if I totally comprehend everything, but I'm pretty excited and pretty honored," the Daily Post's boys swimmer of the year said. "I just went out and swam."

That swim was one for the ages.

Freeman won the Class AAAA/AAA/AA/A state championship in the 500 freestyle with a stunning time of 4 minutes, 19.32 seconds. It shattered the state and pool record by a whopping nine seconds, in addition to breaking a national private school record.

His time was amazingly close to the oldest national high school swimming record - the 4:16.39 time in the 500 free swam by Jeff Kostoff of Upland (Calif.) in 1983.

"It was, holy smokes," said Chris Davis, Freeman's SwimAtlanta coach who witnessed the swim from the stands. "That was the reaction of the whole crowd, too. It just electrified the crowd. It was the premier swim of the state championship meet without a doubt."

It didn't take word of Freeman's feat long to spread to his SwimAtlanta teammates.

"I thought it was the craziest thing I'd ever heard," Brookwood senior and Georgia signee Jana Mangimelli said. "We went back to Cici's after our (AAAAA) state meet and immediately after it happened, we all got text messages about it like, 'He's a machine' or 'He's unstoppable.'"

Freeman did finish second in his other race, the 200 free, but his time of 1:39.13 was the third-fastest in state history. Lakeside-DeKalb's Jack Lane won in 1:38.98, but both swimmers were fast enough that they would have been first in the AAAAA portion of the meet.

In the 500 free, however, there was nobody close.

"I kind of had a feeling about where I was," Freeman said. "Going under 4:20 was a goal of mine (his previous best was 4:23 with SwimAtlanta), so I was pretty happy when I looked up and saw 19."

The swim created a buzz for a state meet race that usually grinds a large portion of the fan cheering to a halt. The distance event can't usually match the energy of the sprint races or the relays, but the post-race cheering was deafeningly loud. Meet organizers even brought Freeman back for a curtain call to announce his national record.

That was a nice reward for the monotony and hard work that comes with being a distance freestyler.

"One of the hard things about (swimming distance events) is the practicing, doing the distance workouts almost every single day, doing the most yardage," Freeman said. "You're one of the last ones out (of practice). Just being mentally tough and keeping your pace is important. You're definitely not going as fast as the sprinters, but you're tough enough to keep going."

Those efforts impress Davis, whose own son Scot was a 500 freestyle state champion as a Duluth junior and senior (Scot's winning time was 4:38.60 as a senior).

"The two ingredients Will has that maybe other athletes don't always have is an unbelievable aerobic capacity for work," Chris Davis said. "He can work. He can go a certain speed and maintain that speed. Most people will start to decelerate. And the other is his ability to maintain focus.

"Will has that ability to lock out every distraction in the world and focus in on that one goal, maybe more than any athlete I've ever coached."

Freeman followed up his state high school meet with a strong showing at the Southern Zone Eastern Section Championships earlier this month. He won the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 free races, with a time of 14:45.71 in the latter race that would make him one of the top seeds at this year's NCAA Championships.

He expects to be swimming at NCAAs in the future, but he hasn't begun paring down colleges too much. He should have his choice given his academics - he sports a 4.44 GPA, ranking in the top 10 of GAC's junior class - and his swimming prowess.

He has one more high school season and one clear-cut goal, the only one he missed at this year's state meet.

"I definitely want to get the 4:16, the super old record," he said.
MARCHING BAND [SH Announcement]
Congratulations to the following students for being selected to be a part of the 2009-10 Marching Spartan Color Guard!
Ashley Hoffman...Hannah Colehower...Kaitlyn Adams
Lily Simpson...Elizabeth Crawford...AJ Edwards
Mandy Good...Taylor Barndt...Brianna Milan
Taylor Martin...Kim Slade

Compiled by Scott Smith; March 25 Gwinnett Daily Post

Lovett boys 4, GAC 1
ATLANTA - Greater Atlanta Christian dropped to 3-5 on the season Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to Lovett. GAC's point came from a win at No. 1 doubles from Mark Knauss and Jake Montgomery.

GAC girls 4, Lovett 1
ATLANTA - Morgan Winston won at No. 1 singles and Melissa Puntkattalee at No. 3 singles to lead Greater Atlanta Christian to a 4-1 win over Lovett on Tuesday. Rebecca Gray and Elizabeth McMurray won at No. 1 doubles for GAC (9-3), while Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate won at No. 2 doubles.

GAC boys 9, Peachtree Ridge 7
SUWANEE - Goalie Shawn Kane finished with 20 saves, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to help Greater Atlanta Christian hold on for a 9-7 win over Peachtree Ridge on Tuesday. Jeffrey Johnson led GAC (6-4, 4-2) with four goals, while Scotty Smith and Nathaniel Einfeldt each finished with two goals and Sam Kessler scored one.

GAC girls 8, Decatur 7
DECATUR - Greater Atlanta Christian had seven different players score in its 8-7 win over Decatur on Saturday. Corbin Aiken led the way while, Lyndsay Kytle, Rachel Roughgarden, Casey Cox, Caroline Freeman, Kim Slade and Katie Parol each had a goal. Kytle also had two assists and Roughgarden and Cox each added an assist for the Spartans (6-4-1, 1-2-1). [March 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]

THE JV GIRLS SOCCER TEAM defeated Providence in their last home game yesterday with a score of 8-0. Goals were scored by Rachel Garcia, Mollie Arrendale, Rachel Pew, Kelsey Fervier, and Kayla Puzas. The girls have their last game next Monday at St. Pius at 5:30. [SH Announcement]

GAC girls 10, Berkmar 0

NORCROSS - Samantha Abrahart netted four goals as Greater Atlanta Christian blanked Berkmar 10-0 on Friday night. Kelsey Pelletier and Anna Douglas added two goals each for GAC (11-2) while Madeline Barker and Chelsea Gandy-Kromer each scored one. [Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 5, Berkmar 0
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian celebrated its senior night with a 5-0 shutout over Berkmar on Friday. Chris Thomas scored three goals for GAC (10-2) while Aldyn Royes added two more. Thomas and Royes also each had assists while Eric Fletcher delivered two assists. [Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC 83, Providence 91
LAWRENCEVILLE - Lyndsay Adams shot a 38 to lead Greater Atlanta Christian to a 83-91 win over Providence on Monday at Northwoods Country Club.

Mill Creek wins Brookwood Invitational

SNELLVILLE - Mill Creek won its third-straight Brookwood Invitational championship on Saturday at the Summit Chase Country Club.

Mill Creek shot a 152, beating Oconee County by 5 strokes. The tournament medalist was Eugene Lee of Oconee County in a scorecard playoff over Mill Creek's Emilie Burger. Both players shot an even-par 72.

Oconee County (157) was second, Greater Atlanta Christian (173) was third, Peachtree Ridge (179) was fourth and Chattahoochee (182) was fifth.

GAC's Lindsay Adams shot a 78 to take third. Mill Creek's Judy Nam (80) was fourth and Jennifer Nam (85) was sixth. Mill Creek's Ashley Frier, Brookwood's Erin Cundiff and Peachtree Ridge's Maria Carter tied for eighth with an 88. [Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC 11, Avondale 1
AVONDALE - John LaMay got the win on the mound and went 2-for-3 at the plate in Greater Atlanta Christian's 11-1 win over Avondale on Monday. LaMay had six strikeouts and two RBIs. Ian Graham was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. [March 24 Gwinnett Daily Post]

South Gwinnett 11, GAC 7
SNELLVILLE - South Gwinnett's Aaron Jividen went 4-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Comets to an 11-7 victory over Greater Atlanta Christian on Saturday. The Comets' (5-4) Nick Blount was 3-for-4 with a home run, Kenny Sanderson was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Kyle Maloney was 1-for-3 with three RBIs and Kevin Caldwell and Kent Rollins went 1-for-3. Blount (2-0) was also the winning pitcher, allowing four hits in four innings. He also had five strikeouts and allowed no earned runs. Mack Adams pitched three innings, allowing five hits, three earned runs and struck out two to get his second save. [March 22 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Central 8, GAC 6
LAWRENCEVILLE - Matt Ricciardi finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs on Friday as Central Gwinnett outlasted Greater Atlanta Christian 8-6. Ryan Bruce also went 2-for-3 for Central (4-4) while Phillip Bates picked up the win on the mound. [March 21 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Northview 15, GAC 6
DULUTH - Greater Atlanta Christian led 5-2, but fell apart in the third quarter to lose 15-6 to Northview on Monday. Scotty Smith had three goals, Sam Kessler had two and Ryan Campbell scored one. Goalie Shawn Kane had 12 saves for the Spartans (5-4, 3-1). [March 24 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 7, Chattahoochee 3
NORCROSS - Shawn Kane collected 14 saves in goal and contributed an assist for GAC as the Spartans beat Chattahoochee 7-3. Jeffrey Johnson scored three goals, Nathaniel Einfeldt scored two and Scotty Smith had a goal and an assist for GAC (5-3, 3-0 Area 4). [March 20 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Buford boys get first win over GAC

BUFORD - Paced by singles victories from Fletcher Cline at No. 2 and Preston Benson at No. 3, Buford's boys won their first-ever tennis match over GAC, edging the Spartans 3-2 Thursday at home. The doubles team of Bryce Benson and Michael Becker picked up the third point for the Wolves (10-2). [March 20 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 4, Buford 1
BUFORD - GAC swept the doubles matches with wins from Jacqueline Tate and Rachel Gray and Charlotte Greenwood and Rebecca Gray as it beat Buford 4-1. Morgan Winston won at No. 1 singles and Melissa Puntkattalee won at No. 3 for the Spartans. Jordan Poole earned Buford's (8-4) point at No. 2 singles. [March 20 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Bottom of order leads Stars past Spartans
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
March 20 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - While the heart of the Providence Christian batting order has a well-earned reputation for heavy hitting, the lower end of the lineup - filled with several first-year starters - is less well-known.

But if Thursday's game against Greater Atlanta Christian is any indication, those unknown commodities are beginning to make names for themselves.

The No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters in the order pounded out half of Providence's 10 hits, including two each from freshman Christin Stewart and senior Austin Barry, to lead the Stars to a 7-5 win at Hester Field.

Stewart and Barry also drove in a pair of runs each and catcher Seth Kindig also added a hit as the lower third of the order finished the day 5-for-7 for Providence (4-4-1), which is No. 5 in Class A in the latest Georgia Sports Writers Association rankings.

"The bottom of the lineup got us going (Thursday)," Providence coach Adam Cantrell said. "They were outstanding."

Stewart was in the middle of nearly every Providence outburst.

The left-handed designated hitter led off the top of the third with the first of three straight singles, which led to two runs on Burke Reynolds' RBI fielder's choice grounder and a GAC error.

An inning later, Stewart drew a one-out walk, and he and Philip Tuttle eventually came home on Barry's two-run single that stretched the Stars' lead to 4-0.

It looked like that would be plenty of runs with Casey Gray (3-0) cruising through the first four innings giving up just two hits and facing one over the minimum.

But GAC (4-3, tied for the No. 1 spot in Class AA) finally began to solve the senior right-hander.

A leadoff single from Stephen Pepper was followed by an RBI triple from Justin Ernest and an RBI single by Riley Rue to cut the Providence lead in half at 4-2.

One out later, Tyler Bruner reached on a bunt single and stole second, and John LaMay drove in Rue from third with an infield single to pull the Spartans to within 4-3.

After LaMay stole second base, Ian Graham followed with a ground out to the right side of the infield that scored Bruner and tied the game 4-4.

But Tuttle threw behind LaMay after he strayed too far off second base to get the third out of the inning and help Providence escape further trouble.

Stewart made sure the Stars kept the momentum in the sixth by following Gray's leadoff double with a drive off Chris Alston's (2-1) next offering for a two-run home run.

It was the freshman's third homer in the last two days and put Providence back in front 6-4.

"I was just looking for a strike on the first pitch - something right over the plate I could rip," Stewart said.

GAC again tried to rally, taking advantage of Patrick Savage's single, a stolen base and an error to put a runner on third with just one out.

Pepper then sent a grounder up the middle that appeared to be headed for center field, but Reynolds made a nice pick up and threw across his body to Tuttle to get the out.

Savage scored to cut the Stars' lead to 6-5, but the play quieted any further attempts at a rally.

Tuttle then added an insurance run with his RBI double - his second hit of the day - in the top of the seventh before relieving Gray in the bottom of the inning and retiring the Spartans in order for his first save of the season.

It was the end of a frustrating afternoon and the beginning of a tough stretch of three games in as many days for coach Cliff Shelton and GAC. The Spartans have road games today at Central Gwinnett and Saturday at South Gwinnett.

"We haven't played great baseball yet," Shelton said. "And the thing is, we're running out of time because region starts next week. These three games in a row are really going to set the tone for the way we play in region, and we play in the toughest region in AA. So, there are no freebies."

GHSA to reclassify regions every four years
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
March 24 Gwinnett Daily Post

The often heated discussions over reclassification among Georgia High School Association schools will still happen, just not as frequently.

The GHSA Executive Committee approved Monday a change to a four-year cycle for reclassification - the process of assigning its member schools into five classifications for athletic competitions. In past years, this process was done every two years.

A four-year cycle allows teams to remain in the same regions for four-year periods, instead of two-year spans. The next reclassification will distribute schools to the five classifications for the 2010-11 through the 2013-14 school years.

"It gives (schools) four years to get used to a region," GHSA director of media relations Steve Figueroa said. "It gives them time to develop some rivalries."

The new plan also allows the GHSA to move schools around during the four-year period if a school gains or loses more than 20 percent of its enrollment.


Our girls’ tennis team defeated Buford yesterday by the score of 4-1. Today [March 20] our girls play in the semi-finals of the LaGrange Tournament vs South Gwinnett High School.

Congratulations to Austin Stevens and the boy’s golf team for a great finish at the Gwinnett County Open this past week. Austin led the Spartans finishing Tied for 16th out of a field of 100 of the State’s best golfers. Trey Martin also played well finishing in the top 25 at the tournament. Victor Choi, David Deweese, Connor Cink and Anthony Guerreso helped the team finish 7th.

Congratulations to Lindsay Adams and the girl’s golf team for a great finish at the Gwinnett County Open this past week. Lindsay led the Spartans finishing in 5th place out of 70 of the State’s best golfers. Emee Herbert also played well finishing in the top 25. Alex Stevens and Jamie Gentile helped the girl’s team place Tied for 8th.

THE BOY’S VARSITY SOCCER TEAM won a thriller at #2 ranked AAA St. Pius [Tues.] night 2-1 in overtime. A great performance by the entire team enabled the Spartans to win the game. Goals by Richard Klemm in regulation and Chris Thomas in overtime proved to be the difference. The Spartans host Berkmar at home on Friday night at 7:30. This will be the last Friday night home game of the regular season, so come out and watch the Spartans.

THE LADY SPARTANS VARSITY SOCCER TEAM dropped only their second game of the season [Tues.] night to #1 AAA St. Pius 5-2. Despite the loss it was a tremendous effort by the ladies, especially defensively. Goals were scored by Anna Douglas and Madeline Barker with one assist from Chelsea Gandy-Cromer.

Trent Wiedeman, Chaney Means Named To Atlanta Tipoff Club Metro Team
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
March 18 Gwinnett Daily Post

One of the state's most decorated high school athletes added another honor Tuesday.

Wesleyan senior Anne Marie Armstrong was named Miss Georgia Basketball, earning the Atlanta Tipoff Club's honor for the state's best girls player for the second straight season. Georgia Tech signee Derrick Favors of South Atlanta was Mr. Georgia Basketball.

The Georgia signee - who joins Collins Hill's Maya Moore and Gainesville's Tasha Humphrey as the only repeat winners of Miss Georgia Basketball - helped Wesleyan to the Class A state championship this season. It was the Wolves' second straight title and fifth in the past six seasons.

Armstrong, despite a nagging knee injury that forced her to miss four late-season games, averaged 18.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.9 steals and 2.0 blocks. She will have minor knee surgery soon that shouldn't affect her freshman season at Georgia.

Wesleyan coach Jan Azar, who won her sixth state championship at the Norcross private school, was selected as the metro Atlanta girls coach of the year. Azar boasts a 293-71 record in 12 seasons at Wesleyan.

In addition to Armstrong, a total of 15 Gwinnett area basketball players were honored on the club's boys and girls teams of the year.

Greater Atlanta Christian's Trent Wiedeman, South Gwinnett's Mario Vasser, Collins Hill's Jeremy Olsen, Norcross' Taariq Muhammad and Loganville's Tyler Gunnett were selected to the boys team.

The 10 local players named to the girls team of the year were Buford's Blanche Alverson and Andraya Carter, Norcross' Tiffany Clarke, Parkview's Lauren Coleman, Wesleyan's Erin Hall, Berkmar's Brittany McDonald, GAC's Chaney Means, Mill Creek's Moneshia Simmons, Duluth's Mykala Walker and Winder-Barrow's Mimi Hill.

The award winners will be honored March 23 with a banquet at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

VARSITY SPIRIT CHEERLEADING -- Attention rising junior and senior girls interested in being a part of the GACS Varsity Spirit Cheerleading Squad: Informational packets are available for pickup in Mrs. Bradley’s room (JH126).

SENIOR NIGHT IN SOCCER -- Come to the hill this Friday night the 20th for soccer and giveaways! Prizes will be given to the student with the most red on! Seniors may also register at the gate for free giveaways. Girls play at 5:30pm and boys at 7:30pm. Seniors will be presented during the halftime of the Boys game. Those playing soccer on the college level will also be honored.

We are having a planned gathering of GACS Soccer Alumni Players and Parents. Spread the word. Identify yourself as "alumni" at the gate and get into the game as guests.
• GACS vs. Berkmar
• Friday, March 20th
• 5:30pm girls game; 7:30pm boys game
Please come and renew old friendships. Enjoy a delicious hot dog from the concession stand.

ATTENTION SOCCER ALUMNI AND ALUMNI PARENTS!! -- All past soccer players (and their parents) are invited back to this Friday night’s game to renew old friendships and receive free food from the concession stand! Register at the front gate as an alumni and get into the game FREE! (Note: All returning Boy Soccer Captains will be honorary Team Captains for this game.)

VARSITY GIRLS' TENNIS-- VG Tennis was rained out this past Saturday. They will play South Gwinnett this Friday, March 20th at 3:30 at Summit Chase in Snellville.

COMPETITION CHEERLEADING -- Those interested in the SH Competition Cheerleading team (2009 season) should pick up an information packet. Packets are available in the Athletic Office, the High School Office, and the Junior High Office.

THE SPARTAN BOYS' BASKETBALL TEAM ended their season Thursday night with a 75-61 loss to #1 ranked Dublin in the state AA semifinals. The leading scorers were Trent Wiedeman with 19, Elliott Long and Bo Hebert with 10 each. The final record for the Spartans this year is 28-4 as they advanced farther than any Spartan boys' team since 1992. The future is very bright for the program with only one senior, Taylor Metzger, on the team this season. Thanks to all those who drove to Macon for your enthusiastic support.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER TEAM for their 8th victory in a row Thursday night as they defeated region foe Wesleyan 4-3 at Wesleyan. Madeline Barker scored a hat trick, Samantha Abrahart added a goal and an assist, and Chelsea Gandy-Cromer finished with one assist. The ladies are now 10-1 overall, and 5-0 in the region.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTANS LACROSSE TEAM for defeating Collins Hill Thursday night, 20-4. Lyndsey Kytle led the way with 6 goals. Rachel Roughgarden scored 4 times and had one assist while breaking the school record for goals in one season by a single player. Amanda Jordan scored three times while Corbin Aiken, Caroline Freeman and Lauren Dehnart each scored two goals. Casey Cox completed the scoring with a single goal. Taylor Martin got the win in goal for the Lady Spartans.

CONGRATULATIONS TO GAC SENIOR SAMANTHA ABRAHART who is the Emory Eastside Medical Center Female Athlete of the Week in today's Gwinnett Daily Post for scoring 2 goals and having 2 assists in the recent 6-0 victory in soccer over Buford.

Coach Jeff Harsh reports:
Please congratulate senior wrestlers Travis Elrod and Locke Hoover for record breaking seasons. Both Locke and Travis broke the All-Time Career Wins Record set by Brett Hoover in 2003 at 130 wins. Locke finished his career with 155 wins. Travis finished his career with 158 wins and now holds the record. Travis also placed 4th at the State Tournament this season at 130 lbs. Please honor these two individuals for great wrestling careers.



Spartans finish seventh at Gwinnett Open

WINDER - Jack Walsh tied with two others for first in the Gwinnett Open with 43 points in the Stableford scoring system and teammate Seth Reeves scored 42 as the Peachtree Ridge boys won the Gwinnett Open at The Chimney's on Saturday.

Walsh tied for low medalist with Norcross' Eric Quinn even after a stroke-play tiebreaker. The pair tied with North Gwinnett's Michael Lee for first in points. Reeves finished fourth and Peachtree Ridge's Ben Lee and Mill Creek's Mitchel Conkle tied for fifth with 38 points.

With three in the top five, Peachtree Ridge cruised to a 33 point win, finishing with 197. Mill Creek finished second with 164.

Other Gwinnett teams in the open were Norcross (third, 159 points), North Gwinnett (fourth, 150), Brookwood (sixth, 136), GAC (seventh, 131), Grayson (ninth, 113), Collins Hill (10th, 112), Dacula (11th, 108), Parkview (13th, 106), Providence Christian (14th, 105), Peachtree Ridges JV (15th 108) and Buford (16th, 83). [March 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Senior Taylor Metzger drives for the basket
against Dublin at State semifinals.
[Photo by Josh D. Weiss/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Eric Rivers (left) and Bo Hebert react as
the season ends in Macon at the AA semifinals.
[Photo by Josh D. Weiss/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Dublin ends Spartans title hopes
By Brandon Brigman, Staff Writer
March 13 Gwinnett Daily Post

MACON - Greater Atlanta Christian's quest to win its first boys basketball state title in more than 30 years ended Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.

Dublin used a third-quarter run to to pull away from the Spartans for a 75-61 victory in the Final Four of the Class AA boys basketball tournament.

"I thought those first four or five minutes of the third quarter it was a dead even game," first-year GAC coach Eddie Martin said. "Then they turned it up a notch and that's what gave them the victory."

Dublin, which lost in last year's semifinals to Wesleyan, will play Blessed Trinity in Saturday's state championship game at 4:45 p.m.

Blessed Trinity defeated Greene County 62-46 in the other Class AA semifinal.

It's the first playoff loss for Martin since 2005 in the Class AAAAA state championship game. He led Norcross to the last three state championships and took the GAC job over the summer.

The veteran coach took a team that was put out in the second round of the playoffs last year to the Final Four for the first time since 1992. The Spartans have not won a state title since 1977.

"People may have not expected us to be here, but we did as a team," said Martin, whose playoff winning streak as a coach was stopped at 18 games. "Obviously, the ultimate goal is a state championship. This is first time GAC has been in the Final Four in 17 years, so hopefully we got a taste in our mouth of what it's like."

The future only looks brighter for the GAC program with the loss of just one senior - Taylor Metzger. The 6-foot-2 guard had eight points in his final game as a Spartan.

Dublin jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start the game after Sherrard Brantley's 3. The Spartans' Julian Horton came down the court and matched the 3 to keep GAC in the game.

GAC took its first lead of the game with 35 seconds left in the first quarter off a Dylan Harper put back, but trailed 16-15 at the end of the period.

Elliott Long scored six of his 10 points to start the second. GAC took a five-point lead after a nice spinning layup by Trent Wiedeman to draw the foul and the basket.

Dublin tied the game on a Rashard Smith 3 less than a minute later and the game was tied 32-32 at the half.

"We told our guys at halftime to play Dublin basketball," Dublin coach Marvin Latham said. "Play with more intensity, play better defense and that's what we did."

Dublin took a 40-34 lead after a Brantley's third 3-pointer of the game. Dublin hit 4 of 11 from behind the arc.

Brantley was Dublin's leading scorer with 23 points. Rashard Smith scored 18 and Chris Smith had 16.

The Fighting Irish continued to build on their lead, going up 50-40 with two minutes left in the third.

But things only got worse in the fourth for GAC.

The Spartans went more than three minutes without a field goal before Horton knocked down his second 3 (he finished with eight points). Bo Hebert came off the bench to score 10 points.

Wiedeman was held to just one field goal in the second half and scored just six second-half points. He finished the game as the Spartans' leading scorer with 19 points.

"They did a great job doubling down on him, especially in the second half," Martin said. "But we've got to knock down some shots."

Dublin hit 15 of 24 free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game away.


GAC girls 20, Collins Hill 4
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian improved to 5-4-1 after defeating Collins Hill 20-4 on Thursday. Rachel Roughgarden scored four goals and had one assist, breaking the individual school record for goals in a season with a total of 27.

Lyndsey Kyle led in scoring with six goals, and had an assist, and Amanda Jordan added three goals and also had an assist for GAC. Lauren Dehnart, Corbin Aiken and Caroline Freeman each contributed two goals and Casey Cox chipped in with a goal for the Spartans.

GAC boys 10, Collins Hill 5
NORCROSS - Shawn Kane had eight saves in goal to help Greater Atlanta Christian defeat Collins Hill 10-5 on Thursday.Scotty Smith scored three goals and Sam Kessler added two goals and had an assist. Ryan Campbell also scored two goals, while Jeffrey Johnson and Justin White each added a goal and had an assist. Nathaniel Einfeldt chipped in a goal and Stephen Harber had an assist for the Spartans (4-3).

Wesleyan boys stun top-ranked Spartans

NORCROSS - Greg MacKenzie scored two goals and Reed Bennett added a goal as the Wesleyan boys soccer team upset Greater Atlanta Christian, the No. 1 team in Class AA/A, 3-2 on Thursday. Chris Thomas and Aldyn Royes each scored a goal and Allen Williams had an assist for GAC (8-2).

GAC girls 4, Wesleyan 3
NORCROSS - Madeline Barker had three goals to help Greater Atlanta Christian defeat Wesleyan 4-3 on Thursday. Samantha Abrahart added a goal and had an assist and Chelsea Gandy-Cromer also had an assist for GAC (10-1).


13 Chris Alston P/1B
3 Justin Ernest P/LF
5 Ian Graham C
7 Kevin Heard OF
20 Stephen Pepper 2B
24 Patrick Savage P/3B
8 Andrew Steckenrider P/CF
6 Taylor Bruner SS
2 Taylor Hamm P/OF
25 Riley Rue P/OF
16 Luke Shumard 1B
10 Robby McPherson C/3B
11 John LaMay P/OF
22 Eric Smotherman 2B/C
4 Reid Steckenrider P/OF

GAC 13, Southwest DeKalb 3
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian beat Southwest DeKalb 13-3 in six innings on Wednesday. Andrew Steckenrider went 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Spartans (4-2). Patrick Savage (3-for-5) drove in a run while John LaMay (2-for-4) knocked in two.
Chris Alston (2-0) earned the win. He struck out six and allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. [March 12 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Taylor Metzger sneaks under Chattooga’s Nic Perry
during their state tournament game last week at GAC.
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Final Four fires up GAC senior Taylor Metzger
By Brandon Brigman, Staff Writer
March 11 Gwinnett Daily Post

It didn't take long for the Greater Atlanta Christian boys basketball team to have its senior night ceremony last month.

After all, the Spartans have just one senior - Taylor Metzger.

"It was kind of weird," Metzger said of the half court ceremony for himself.

The 6-foot-2 guard has endured three coaches in his four years at the Norcross private school, but his senior season has been more than he could have ever dreamed.

GAC is in the Class AA Final Four for the first time since 1992 and will play Dublin on Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.

"Taylor came in with the reputation of just being a shooter," first-year GAC coach Eddie Martin said. "I think he's improved his game a lot. He's our only senior, so he provides that leadership, but he's also become a very good all-around player. He can handle the ball, pass it and play defense."

Late in the season, Metzger has shined as he nears the end of his high school playing career. He's averaging 10 points, four rebounds and three assists and had a 17-point performance in GAC's quarterfinal win over Coosa on Saturday.

"At the beginning of the season I think I struggled a little bit," Metzger said. "But late in the season I've been playing really well offensively."

Metzger has been getting a lot of clean looks at the basket in the playoffs thanks to teams concentrating on the Spartans' big man Trent Wiedeman. The 6-foot-6 center leads GAC in scoring with 22 ppg.

"There's no question he's playing better right now," Martin said.

That balance is why the Spartans are 28-3 this season and are riding a 21-game winning streak. They'll face a Dublin squad that is in the Final Four for the fourth time in five years. The Fighting Irish are 29-1 this season with the lone loss coming to Region 7-AAAAA champion Collins Hill in a Christmas tournament.

"Everyone talks about how good they are and they can't be beat," Metzger said. "I feel like if we play our game, play defense and rebound, we can beat them."

Metzger, who has a scholarship offer from Piedmont College and is drawing interest from North Georgia, Air Force and Oglethorpe, credits GAC's playoff push to its strong non-region schedule. The Spartans began the season by playing schools from larger classifications with their biggest win coming against Tucker, a Final Four team in Class AAAA.

"Schedule-wise, we had a pretty tough schedule and I think that has helped us this year," Metzger said. "We played Tucker and that was a huge win for us."

The GAC program is a major turnaround from when Metzger joined the team as one of two freshmen. The Spartans were coached by the legendary Ron Bradley, who is Georgia's all-time winningest coach, but the Spartans never made the post season under Bradley. After leading the GAC girls to a state title in 2007, Mike Mitchell coached the boys team for one season in 2008, but left to coach in his hometown of Florence, Ala.

That set up Metzger for his third coach in four years.

"I couldn't believe it - three coaches in four years," Metzger said. "But Coach Martin came in and has done a great job."

The Spartans lured Martin to GAC after Martin built a dynasty at Norcross, winning three consecutive Class AAAAA state championships.

"When he came in we were fired up," Metzger said. "From the start of the season he wrote on the board what our goals were and we picked up the intensity in practice."

Now the Spartans are in the Final Four for the first time since as Metzger put it 'was still in diapers' and need just two wins to claim programs first state title since 1977.

"Hopefully we can make that 32 years without a state championship go away, too," he said.

Brookwood HS asks to honor Coach Eddie Martin
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
March 11 Gwinnett Daily Post

If Brookwood High School gets approval this week, its basketball court will always be a shrine to its longtime coach, Eddie Martin.

The school has requested to call its home floor "Martin Court" in honor of Martin, who coached the Broncos' boys basketball team from 1981 to 2001. Martin, a former star player at Central Gwinnett, coached for 29 years in the Gwinnett County Public Schools system and went on to win three state titles at Norcross from 2006 to 2008.

The name change is on the agenda for board approval at Thursday's GCPS school board meeting.

"It would obviously be a huge honor if they did something like that," said Martin, who has retired from public schools and now coaches at Greater Atlanta Christian.

Martin's GAC boys team plays in the Class AA Final Four on Thursday.

GAC's Eddie Martin coaches during a game
earlier this season. Martin is in his first
year as head coach at GAC following three
state titles at Norcross.
[Photo by Josh D. Weiss/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Coach Eddie Martin & GAC among four Gwinnett teams in semis
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
March 10 Gwinnett Daily Post

With a vested interest in this week's ACC Basketball Tournament, Eddie Martin would love to be at the Georgia Dome this week if he had any free time.

But he hopes to be way too busy to watch three of his former Norcross players now in the ACC.

The first-year Greater Atlanta Christian boys basketball coach has a Class AA semifinal matchup with top-ranked Dublin on Thursday night in Macon, and he hopes to follow that up with a Saturday afternoon title game appearance.

"I hope we win Thursday," Martin said, "and if we win Thursday, I'm not even trying to get down there (for the ACC tourney) on Friday. I'll be working on Saturday."

Martin is one of four Gwinnett head coaches happy to still be working this week. The county has four teams remaining for this week's state Final Four round, including the GAC boys and the Buford girls in Class AA and the Wesleyan girls in Class A - all teams that play this week in Macon.

Only one Gwinnett Class AAAAA team remains for the semifinals this week at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Parkview girls (30-1) take on undefeated and top-ranked Redan at 4 p.m. Thursday.

"With all of the good teams we still have playing, I don't think we are playing as much for Gwinnett AAAAA as much as we are trying to represent ourselves and our Parkview Community as well as we have all year long," Parkview girls coach Mike McCoy said. "These kids set out to do this and I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to help them in any way along their journey."

So is Martin.

After leading the Norcross boys to AAAAA state titles the past three seasons, he didn't know what to expect this season at GAC. He knew the Spartans went 26-4 in 2007-08, but not much else. He was lured more by the school and the job than the immediate wins potential.

As it turned out, he got those, too. The Spartans are 28-3 and in their first Final Four since 1992. They haven't won a state title since 1977, but are two wins away from that goal.

Martin has now won 18 straight state tournament games, but he'd like to make it an even 20. But first he has to get No. 19 Thursday against senior-laden Dublin (29-1).

"The kids have come a long way this year," said Martin, who has just one senior, Taylor Metzger, on the roster. "I'm pleased with where we're at. But I still want to play two more games."

The No. 1 Buford girls (30-1) play No. 3 Laney (25-3) in Thursday's AA semifinals.

In Class A, the defending champion Wesleyan girls (27-4) test their No. 1 ranking against sixth-ranked Randolph-Clay (27-4).


THE BOYS’ SOCCER TEAM beat St. Francis HS Tuesday night 10-0. Goals were scored by Chris Thomas (5), Eric Fletcher, Aldyn Royes, Vishal Patel, Thomas Marro and Jimmy Stahlke. They play again at 6:00 Thursday night in an important region game at Wesleyan.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER TEAM for their 10-0 victory over region opponent St. Francis HS. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer & Madeline Barker each scored a hat trick while Samantha Abrahart scored one goal and tallied 6 assists. Quincy Meyer, Lauren Bryan, and Haley Carroll each contributed with one goal. The ladies are 9-1 overall, 4-0 in the region, and currently ranked #1 in A/AA. The ladies play at Wesleyan tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:00.

GAC boys 10, St. Francis 0
NORCROSS - Chris Thomas scored five goals on Tuesday in leading Greater Atlanta Christian in a 10-0 rout of St. Francis.Adding one goal each for GAC (8-1, 4-0) was Eric Fletcher, Aldyn Royes, Jimmy Stahlke, Vishal Patel and Thomas Marrow. [March 11 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 10, St. Francis 0
NORCROSS - Samantha Abrahart scored one goal while assisting six others as top-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian topped St. Francis 10-0 on Tuesday. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer and Madeline Barker each finished with three goals and an assist for GAC (9-1, 4-0) while Quincy Meyer, Lauren Bryan and Haley Carroll each added a goal. [March 11 Gwinnett Daily Post]

THE JV GIRLS SOCCER TEAM defeated Wesleyan 11-1 Monday evening. Goals were scored by Rachel Garcia, Rachel Pew, Kayla Puzas, and Taylor Wagnon. The girls are currently undefeated and have outscored their opponents 27–3! Great job ladies!

Congratulations to the tennis teams for region wins vs Decatur yesterday. The girls won 5-0 and the boys won 4-1. The guys play Blessed Trinity at home today and the girls play at Blessed Trinity.

GAC girls 5, Decatur 0
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian swept Decatur 5-0 to improve to 3-1 for the season. The Spartans got singles victories from Melissa Puntkattalee, Rachel Gray and Charlotte Greenwood. The doubles teams of Emma Deal and Margaret Sharpe and Taylor Boven and Morgan Licata also won. [March 10 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 4, Decatur 1
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Decatur 4-1 to improve to 2-2 on the season. Will Lewis and Alan Almand got victories at No. 1 and No. 3 singles. Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss won at No. 1 doubles and David Floyd and Blake Guy were victorious at No. 2 doubles. [March 10 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Our boys’ basketball team plays #1-ranked Dublin on Thursday night at 8:30 in the Macon Coliseum as March Madness continues. The Spartans are ranked #2 in AA with a 28-3 record so Thursday night's game will be a showdown between the top two ranked AA teams in the state. Come out and cheer for the Spartans!!

A big thanks to all the GAC students, parents and faculty and other sports team that supported the Varsity Boys’ soccer team in winning the Game of the Week on Fox 5 Atlanta. We won the poll overwhelming over 5A schools, and Fox 5 was at the game Friday night. We also would like to thank the entire enthusiastic crowd that came to support our players on Friday! We hope to see you tonight when we play St. Francis at home at 7:00 and again at Wesleyan at 6:00 on Thursday!

Come out and support the Girls and Guys lacrosse teams this Thursday night as they play a double header against Collins Hill. These are important area games that have playoff implications. Girls face off at 5pm with the Boys’ game to follow.

Spartans reach first Final Four since '92
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
March 8 Gwinnett Daily Post

ROME - Greater Atlanta Christian's boys will take a 22-game winning streak into their first Final Four since 1992.

The number of wins in a row that is really impressive, however, is coach Eddie Martin's personal mark.

Martin has won 18 straight state tournament games and two more victories with GAC would give the veteran coach a Class AA state championship to go with the three consecutive Class AAAAA crowns he won at Norcross from 2006-2008. The No. 2-ranked Spartans (28-3) looked every bit like a state championship team while routing Coosa 81-36 in the quarterfinals Saturday night at The Forum.

Trent Wiedeman and Taylor Metzger each scored 17 points as GAC got plenty of revenge and then some for an 85-82 loss to Coosa in the second round of the state tournament last year.

GAC will play No. 1-ranked Dublin (29-1) in the semifinals Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in Macon. Dublin defeated Central Macon 67-49 in its quarterfinal game Saturday night in Savannah.

"We played pretty well," Martin said in a major understatement. "Coosa had been playing well the last seven or eight ball games. But we got off to that great start and kind of built on that."

This game was over early. Very early.

Wiedeman started the rout with eight straight points and the Spartans led 17-4 after Elliott Long hit two 3-pointers and Julian Horton one. GAC led 25-8 at the end of the quarter and it was 39-17 at halftime.

It was 60-31 after three quarters and Martin cleared his bench as the crowd dwindled and dwindled except for the GAC fans.

GAC hasn't won a state title since 1977. That is the Spartans' remaining goal.

"It was nine years (since the last) region championship. We crossed that out," Metzger said. "It was 17 years (since the last) Final Four. We crossed that out. Now we are looking at 32 years since the last state championship."

The Spartans made eight 3-pointers and had nine players score. GAC rolled despite having point guard Paul Dawson draw two quick fouls and spend most of the game on the bench.

Wiedeman had 13 of his points in the first half and grabbed seven rebounds. Metzger had seven assists. Long scored 14 points, while Horton scored nine and Dylan Harper had eight points and eight rebounds. Dawson and Horton each had four assists.

GAC's previous trip to the state semifinals was 17 years ago, when the Spartans lost 74-66 to Lanier County in the Class A tournament at Macon. The coach of that team, which beat Central-Talbotton 67-66 at Rome in the quarterfinals, was present GAC athletic director Tim Vick. The GAC boys reached the quarterfinals the next year and in 2005.

GAC's last loss this season was to Class AAAAA tournament team Peachtree Ridge in the Deep South Classic in late December. The Spartans are unbeaten against Class AA teams, with their other losses coming against Class AAAAA semifinalist Milton and Class AAAA Sandy Creek. Dawson missed both of those games with a broken wrist.

#13 Clarke Boards drives past Model's
Rachael Turrentine on Saturday in Rome.
[Photo by Ryan Smith/Rome News-Tribune]

GAC girls stumble versus unbeaten Model
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
March 8 Gwinnett Daily Post

ROME - GAC played excellent basketball in its Class AA state quarterfinal girls game against Model.

However, the Spartans found out that it takes almost flawless basketball to beat the No. 2 Blue Devils, as the latter's flawless record indicates.

And GAC's effort wasn't enough to give the Model girls their first blemish of the season as a double-double by Maci Siniard helped pace a balanced effort to lift the Blue Devils to 62-52 victory over the Spartans before a packed, partisan house at The Forum.

Model improved to 30-0 and moved on to face Henry County in the state semifinals Thursday at the Macon Centreplex, while GAC's season came to an end at 21-10.

"They're a big team," GAC coach Chan Means said of Model. "But for the most part, I thought we did a good job - especially early - of keeping them off the boards. We changed up some defenses, and that seemed to affect them a little. But in the end, they got too many second shots, and they hit some outside shots we really weren't expecting them to."

The Spartans also hit plenty of shots from the perimeter, especially junior Chaney Means, who knocked down four of GAC's seven 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 21 points.

Means' shooting was definitely needed after freshman Siera Lawrence left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury after stumbling over the edge of the portable court while chasing a loose ball, and with Clarke Boards having an off shooting night.

Yet, a tough defensive effort - led by Boards, Means and Alex McCall - helped the Spartans lead 15-13 after the first quarter.

It also helped them climb back into the game after Model claimed a 28-23 halftime lead and led by as much as 41-32 after Siniard's layup with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

GAC managed to force several Blue Devil turnovers and cashed in on the other end, as Boards began to heat up by hitting a 3-pointer to ignite an 8-3 run over the final 1:33 of the quarter, cutting Model's lead to 44-40 heading into the final frame.

The Spartans then twice pulled to within one point, the second time at 49-48 following Boards' 3-pointer from the right with 4:20 to play.

They even had a chance to take the lead after a turnover, but a missed layup in transition and a Model rebound turned into a baseline jumper from Janaye Jasper, stretching the Blue Devils' lead to 51-48 with 4:04 left.

"If we could've put that down, we'd have gone up one and it could've changed some things," Chan Means said.

It was a change Model made, however, that made the difference, and that was simply tightening up the defense on Chaney Means and Boards.

And while others stepped up to keep GAC close, Model was able to come up with enough stops, and hit 9 of 14 free throws over the final 3:34 to finally pull away.

"We let (Chaney Means) get a lot of open looks we weren't anticipating her getting," Blue Devils coach Sally Echols said. "We just tried to limit her touches on the ball and force her to put it on the floor rather than take the outside shot."

Means still had a strong game, with a team-best eight rebounds and four assists, plus two steals, to go along with her point total, while Boards also had a big game with 10 points and four steals and McCall chipped in six points and six boards.

While Siniard led the way for Model, she got plenty of help as Evans added 11 points, Jasper finished with 10 and Shelby Farrer and Alex Patton chipped in seven points and six rebounds each.

BASEBALL: GAC 13, Chamblee 3
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian beat Chamblee 13-3 in five innings on Saturday.
Patrick Savage went 2-for-3 with a walk-off home run and two RBIs. Andrew Steckenrider was 3-for-3 with three runs, and Ian Graham also went 3-for-3 with a double and five RBIs. Stephen Pepper was 1-for-2 with three runs, a double and an RBI and John LaMay picked up the win on the mound after pitching four innings for the Spartans (3-1). [March 8 Gwinnett Daily Post]

SOCCER: GAC girls 6, Buford 0
NORCROSS - McKenzie Nelson got the shutout in goal for the Spartans as Greater Atlanta Christian took a 6-0 win over Buford on Friday.

Samantha Abrahart scored two goals and had two assists and Chelsea Gandy-Cromer added two goals for GAC. Madeline Barker contributed a goal and two assists and Lauren Bryan chipped in a goal for the Spartans. Anna Douglas also had an assist for GAC (8-1). [March 7 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 5, Buford 1

NORCROSS - Richard Klemm and Stewart Abrahart each scored two goals for Greater Atlanta Christian to help the Spartans beat Buford 5-1 and boost their record to 7-1 overall on Friday. Aldyn Royes added a goal, and Chris Thomas, Zack Johnson and Eric Fletcher each had an assist for GAC. John Max Bolling was the keeper for the Spartans. [March 7 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BASEBALL: GAC 6, St. Pius 5

NORCROSS - John LaMay and Stephen Pepper each scored two RBIs to help the Spartans take a 6-5 win over St. Pius on Friday. Ian Graham was 1-for-3 with a double and Chris Alston threw four innings to pick up the win on the mound for GAC (2-1). [March 7 Gwinnett Daily Post]

LACROSSE: Peachtree Ridge girls 13, GAC 13

SUWANEE - Greater Atlanta Christian and Peachtree Ridge tied 13-13 on Friday.
Kristyn Nock and Jennifer Hennelly each scored five goals, and Sarah Bilodeau, Alex Crawford and Amanda Sanders each added a goal for the Lions (1-3-1).

For GAC, Lyndsey Kytle contributed five goals and had an assist, and Kim Slade added three goals. Rachel Roughgarden scored two goals and Corbin Aiken, Amanda Jordan and Caroline Freeman each chipped in a goal apiece for the Spartans (4-2-1). [March 7 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Lovett boys 18, GAC 2
ATLANTA - Shawn Kane had 13 saves in goal, but it wasn't enough for Greater Atlanta Christian as it fell to Lovett 18-2 on Friday. Justin White and Scotty Smith each scored a goal for GAC (3-3). [March 7 Gwinnett Daily Post]

TENNIS: GAC 3, Providence 2
LILBURN - Greater Atlanta Christian swept in doubles to beat Providence 3-2 on Thursday. Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray took care of No. 1 doubles, and Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate won No. 2 doubles. Melissa Puntkattalee won at singles for the Spartans (1-2). [March 6 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC 4, Providence 1
NORCROSS - Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss earned a point in No. 1 doubles as GAC took a 4-1 win over Providence on Thursday. Will Lewis, Chase Robert and Alan Almand each won their singles matches for GAC (1-2). [March 6 Gwinnett Daily Post]

LACROSSE: GAC 10, Centennial 8
NORCROSS - After being up 7-1 at the half, Greater Atlanta Christian withstood the rally in the third to hold Centennial off and win 10-8 on Thursday. Jeffrey Johnson and Scotty Smith each had three goals and an assist, and Ryan Campbell also scored three goals for the Spartans. Justin White contributed a goal and had an assist, and Nathaniel Einfeldt helped with an assist. Shawn Kane had 12 saves in goal for GAC (3-2, 1-0). [March 6 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Nathan Burton takes OSU job

Nathan Burton has been at Georgia Tech as a player or coach since 2000, but now the Greater Atlanta Christian grad is branching out. Burton has accepted an offer to be the defensive graduate assistant coach at Oklahoma State, where he will work with the team's linebackers. His first game with the new program is Sept. 5 - against his longtime rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs. [March 8 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Ali Slack helps Harvard to Ivy title

Harvard, behind a strong effort from GAC grad Ali Slack, won the Ivy League swimming title last week, ending rival Princeton's four-year reign. Slack's 200 free relay opened the meet with a win, powered by her personal-best time of 22.92 seconds. She went on to take sixth in the individual 50 free race at 23.49.

The sophomore helped the 200 medley relay to third on Day 2 of the championships, in addition to placing fifth individually in the 100 butterfly (56.24). Slack then closed the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 100 free (50.98) and a runner-up finish with the 400 free relay, which set a school record at 3:21.36. [March 8 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Berry College senior guard Chris Clark, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, also was first-team all-conference. He averaged 10.6 points and made 38.3 percent (57 of 149) from 3-point range. [March 8 Gwinnett Daily Post]

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BOYS' BASKETBALL TEAM for advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 1992 by overwhelming Coosa 81-36 in Rome Saturday night. The leading scorers for the Spartans were Taylor Metzger and Trent Wiedeman with 17 each and Elliott Long with 14. The boys play #1 ranked Dublin on Thursday night at 8:30 in the Macon Coliseum as March Madness continues. The Spartans are ranked #2 in AA with a 28-3 record so Thursday night's game will be a showdown between the top two ranked AA teams in the state.

THE VARSITY GIRLS’ BASKETBALL TEAM fought gallantly in a loss to #2 ranked Model 62-52 on Saturday afternoon in Rome. Chaney Means scored 21 points and Clarke Boards added 10. The girls finished their season with a 21-10 record and only lose one senior off this year's team, Cecilia Stephens, so the future is very bright for the Lady Spartans.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER TEAM for their 6-0 shut-out of region rival Buford on Friday night. Samantha Abrahart led the ladies with 2 goals and 2 assists. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer added 2 more goals, while Madeline Barker and Lauren Bryan each added a goal. The ladies are now 8-1 overall and 3-0 in the region. The ladies would like to thank everyone for the terrific crowd noise and support!

THE VARSITY BOY’S SOCCER TEAM defeated Buford Friday night 5-1. Richard Klemm and Stewart Abrahart scored twice and Aldyn Royes scored another as the Spartans cruised past Buford. The Spartans host St. Francis tomorrow night at 7:00 and will play Wesleyan away at 6:00 on Thursday.

GOLF TEAM: Congratulations to Austin Stevens for leading the boy’s golf team to a T-13th finish out of 24 teams at the Apple Mountain Tournament in Cornelia this weekend. Austin finished in 20th place out of 120 players by shooting a 73.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTANS GOLF TEAM in their victory over Westminster last week 86 to 100. Lindsay Adams led the girls with a 39 followed by Emee Herbert who shot a 47. Jamie Gentile played in her first match of her career.

CONGRATULATIONS to GAC junior CLARKE BOARDS for being named the Emory Eastside Medical Center Female Player of the Week for her outstanding performance in the state playoffs. She is featured in today’s Gwinnett Daily Post.

BOYS LACROSSE: After leading 7-1 at halftime, the Spartan Lacrosse team fought off a ferocious 3rd quarter by Centennial to win 10-8. Shawn Kane had 12 saves in goal for the win. Justin White scored 1 goal, had 1 assist, 10 ground balls and was 13 of 16 on Face Offs. Jeffrey Johnson and Scotty Smith each had 3 goals and 1 assist, Ryan Campbell scored 3 goals and Nathaniel Einfeldt had an assist. The Boys Lacrosse team is now 3 - 2 and 1 - 0 in Area 4.

OUR BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ TENNIS TEAMS had big wins yesterday vs Providence. The boys won 4-1 with Will Lewis, Chase Roberts, Alan Almand, and Luke Pipkin winning in singles and Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss winning in doubles. The girls won 3-2 with Melissa Punktattalee winning her singles’ match and Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray and Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate winning their doubles’ matches. Our JV teams lost hard-fought matches at Westminster yesterday.

GAC 10, Centennial 8
NORCROSS - After being up 7-1 at the half, Greater Atlanta Christian withstood the rally in the third to hold Centennial off and win 10-8 on Thursday. Jeffrey Johnson and Scotty Smith each had three goals and an assist, and Ryan Campbell also scored three goals for the Spartans. Justin White contributed a goal and had an assist, and Nathaniel Einfeldt helped with an assist. Shawn Kane had 12 saves in goal for GAC (3-2, 1-0). [March 6 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 3, Providence 2
LILBURN - Greater Atlanta Christian swept in doubles to beat Providence 3-2 on Thursday. Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray took care of No. 1 doubles, and Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate won No. 2 doubles. Melissa Puntkattalee won at singles for the Spartans (1-2). [March 6 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 4, Providence 1
NORCROSS - Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss earned a point in No. 1 doubles as GAC took a 4-1 win over Providence on Thursday. Will Lewis, Chase Robert and Alan Almand each won their singles matches for GAC (1-2). [March 6 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Julian Horton drives to the rim over Chattooga’s
Perie Finley during the second half.
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Spartans come up big in 4th quarter;
GAC boys rally past Chattooga

By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
March 5 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - His face bright red, Eddie Martin called on all his emotion and coaching experience in an attempt to invigorate his struggling team.

The Greater Atlanta Christian boys trailed visiting Chattooga by seven points going into the fourth quarter and it looked like the No. 2-ranked Spartans were headed to an early exit from the Class AA state tournament.

"That's the most intense I've ever seen him," Elliott Long said of his coach. "He told us we had to step up or the season was going to be over."

Long stepped up in a way even his coach couldn't have expected with a fourth quarter to remember and GAC (27-3) is headed to the state quarterfinals after a 73-70 comeback victory Wednesday night over a lighting-quick Chattooga team that took it to the bigger Spartans.

Long, a 6-foot-4 junior, scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the final period. Six of those came in the final minute, including four straight free throws. His two foul shots with 40.5 seconds remaining put GAC ahead, then he hit two more with 24.6 seconds left.

Chattooga (21-5) had two chances to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but Rashad Ramsey's last-second try hit off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

The emotional Spartans celebrated at midcourt, then with their jubilant fans at the Long Forum. Their hearts broken, the Indians could just walk to their locker room in silence.

"I'm so proud of these kids," said Martin, who took over at GAC this season after leading Norcross to three consecutive Class AAAAA state titles. "They just wouldn't quit.

"This has to be up there with the most emotional games I can remember. It definitely has to be in the top five."

"Give GAC credit," Chattooga coach Lamar Turner said. "Especially that No. 33. We didn't know anything about him, but he had a great fourth quarter."

Long had just four points at halftime before starting to heat up in the third quarter with six points and then going wild in the final period.

"Coach told me to take it to the basket and I did," Long said. "It didn't look real good there for awhile, but we didn't quit. We kept fighting, just like coach told us."

With point guard Paul Dawson out after drawing a technical for his fifth foul, Taylor Metzger - GAC's lone senior - also had an important role in the fourth-quarter rally. He made several big steals and scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

"That was way too close," Metzger said. "But now we get the team we wanted next."

GAC will play Coosa in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in the Rome Forum. Coosa, just 14-15 this season, ousted the Spartans from the state tournament last year.

"Everyone still has a bitter taste from that," Long said.

Trent Wiedeman, GAC's standout 6-foot-7 junior, scored 22 points, with 14 coming in the first half. He and Long each had nine rebounds.

The Indians led 53-46 after three quarters and were still up by five points late in the game.

"That's as quick a team as you'll see," Martin said.

But GAC survived, stretching its winning streak to 20 games and keeping Martin unbeaten in the state tournament since 2005.

"I've coached a lot of games," Martin said. "But this was definitely one to remember."

GACS ADVANCES IN STATE TOURNAMENT: It was March Madness in the Long Forum Wednesday night as the Spartans came from behind in the 4th quarter to defeat Chattooga 73-70 and advance to the Elite Eight in the AA state playoffs.

Tremendous credit goes to the Spartan cheering section for their enthusiastic support. The leading scorer last night was Elliott Long with 26 points including 16 in the pressure packed 4th quarter. Trent Wiedeman finished with 22 and Taylor Metzger with 10 plus 2 very critical steals in the 4th quarter.

The boys play Coosa Saturday night at 8:30 in the Rome Forum with the winners going to the Final Four next week in Macon. The girls play undefeated Model at 4 pm Saturday, also in the Rome Forum. All roads lead to Rome on Saturday. [SH Announcement]

LADY SPARTAN BASKETBALL: Coach Chandler Means' Lady Spartan basketball team advanced to the Elite Eight with a thrilling 66-54 victory at Union County Tuesday before a large partisan Union County crowd. Clarke Boards scored 22 points including 11 in the decisive 4th quarter to ice the win. Chaney Means added 16 points and Sierra Lawrence added 11. The girls play at 4:00pm on Saturday afternoon against undefeated Model at the Rome Forum for a chance to advance to the Final Four next week in Macon.
[SH Announcement]

By Scott Smith, Senior Correspondent
March 4 Gwinnett Daily Post

BLAIRSVILLE - After losing four starters off of last year's second-round playoff team, Greater Atlanta Christian's girls came into this season with a lot of uncertainty.

However, the group has grown up fast, and with Tuesday night's 66-54 win over Union County, topped the playoff run made by last year's squad by reaching the Elite Eight of the Class AA state playoffs.

The win sends the Spartans (21-9) to the Rome Forum Saturday for the quarterfinals against the Lovett-Model winner.

"Our effort was really good tonight," GAC head coach Chan Means said. "It was a real cool environment with everyone screaming and hollering and we had a bunch of kids play that had never been in that position before."

The effort put forth by GAC's sophomores and juniors helped the Spartans hold off a scrappy Union County squad that refused to go away.

Leading 32-30 at the half, GAC started to take control in the opening minutes of the third quarter with an 8-0 run to go up 40-30.

Just when things looked like they were about to break open for the Spartans, Union County (17-11) stepped up its defensive pressure and crawled back to within six points at 46-40 by period's end.

Clarke Boards then took over in the fourth quarter with 11 points by hitting two field goals (one of those a 3-pointer) and converting on all six free throws in the period.

Boards, who finished with 22 points, also received help from junior guard Chaney Means as she chipped in seven points in the quarter with a 3-pointer and 4 of 5 free throws.

Those free throws eventually helped turn the tide in favor of GAC, as the Spartans hit 10 of 13 in the fourth and 14 of 18 for the game.

"That was a good, scrappy team we played tonight," Means said. "They had some kids step up."

Union County's leading scorer, Candace Williams, led all players with 26 points on the night but she had to work for it, hitting on 6 of 17 shots.

Means finished her night with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and six steals while Sierra Lawrence came off the bench to score 11 points.

"We've made it a round further than last year's team and that's a testament to these kids," Means said. "They really love each other and work well together."

GACS SWIMMING AND DIVING has much to celebrate! Will Freeman was voted 2008-2009 Georgia A-AAAA Male Swimmer of the Year and the late Coach Karen Blackman was honored with 2008-2009 Georgia A-AAAA Girls' Coach of the Year by the Georgia High School Swim Coaches' Association.

LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER: Congratulations to the Lady Spartan Varsity Soccer team as they defeated region opponent Mt. Pisgah last night 10-0. Samantha Abrahart led with 3 goals and 2 assists, while Chelsea Gandy-Cromer added 3 goals, Lauren Bryan added 2 goals, Haley Carroll and Kelsey Pelletier finished it out with 1 goal each. The ladies are now 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the region.

THE JV GIRL’S SOCCER TEAM defeated Providence yesterday with a score of 10-0! Goals were scored by Mollie Arrendale, Kelsey Fervier, Rachel Garcia, Ellie Huizenga, Kayla Puzas, and Taylor Wagnon. The team’s next game is next Monday, March 9th at 4:30 at Wesleyan. Great job girls!

TENNIS TEAM: Congratulations to the girls’ tennis team who defeated Wesleyan yesterday by the score of 4-1. Morgan Winston, Jessica Tuggle, and Melissa Puntkattalee won their singles’ matches and Rachel Gray and Jacqueline Tate won their doubles’ match. The boys lost a tough match to Wesleyan by the score of 3-2. Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss and Daniel Floyd and Blake Guy won their doubles’ matches. Both varsity teams play Providence at home tomorrow at 3:30.

GAC girls 10, Mt. Pisgah 0
NORCROSS - Samantha Abrahart led Greater Atlanta Christian with three goals and two assists to help the Spartans shut out Mt. Pisgah 10-0 on Tuesday. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer scored three goals, while Lauren Bryan added two goals for GAC. Haley Carroll had a goal and three assists, while Kelsey Pelletier chipped in a goal. Anna Douglas and Kailie Bryan each had an assist for GAC (7-1, 2-0). [March 4 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 9, Mt. Pisgah 0
NORCROSS - Leading the Spartans in scoring, Chris Thomas had five goals and an assist to help GAC shut out Mt. Pisgah 9-0 on Tuesday. Zack Johnson scored three goals and had two assist, while Aldyn Royes had a goal and assist for GAC (6-1). John Max Bolling was in goal for the Spartans. [March 4 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 4, Wesleyan 1
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Wesleyan 4-1 on Tuesday. In singles, Morgan Winston, Jessica Tuggle and Melissa Puntkattalee each earned a point, while Jacqueline Tate and Rachel Gray won at No. 2 doubles for GAC (1-1). [March 4 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Wesleyan boys 3, GAC 2
NORCROSS - Wesleyan swept their singles matches to beat Greater Atlanta Christian 3-2 on Tuesday. Norman Chang, Robby Shackelford and Zach Taylor took care of singles for Wesleyan (1-3). For GAC, Jake Montgomery and Mark Knauss won at No. 1 doubles, while Blake Guy and David Floyd earned a point at No. 2 doubles. [March 4 Gwinnett Daily Post]

#44 Trent Wiedeman and #33 Elliot Long rebound
against Crawford County.

Beaux "Bo" Hebert pulls down a rebound for Spartans.

GAC boys get first playoff win in Long Forum;
Trent Wiedeman scores 32 against Crawford County

By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
March 1 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - The Greater Atlanta Christian boys have one more Class AA state tournament game at their new Long Forum and the No. 2-ranked Spartans are determined to take advantage of it.

"A lot of us remember what that bad feeling was like in the locker room at Coosa last season," said Taylor Metzger, GAC's lone senior.

The Spartans were surprised in the second round a year ago, falling 85-82 despite Metzger's 26 points. This season GAC (26-3) will be at home, where the Spartans are unbeaten.

Eight of the home victories have come at the Long Forum, including Saturday's 78-63 victory over Crawford County in the first round of this season's state tournament.

Trent Wiedeman had 32 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Spartans overcame a stunning shooting display by Crawford County standout Dontavious Lee. The senior guard hit eight 3-pointers en route to 35 points.

The Eagles, who upset state-ranked Heard County in the Region 5-AA tournament, couldn't pull off another surprise against Region 6-AA champ GAC, which will host Chattooga in the second round on Wednesday.

Because of Lee's shooting, Crawford County (10-20) kept it close for awhile. But the Eagles, without a player over 6-foot-2, had no answer for Wiedeman. Three players fouled out trying to stop the 6-foot-7 junior.

"Playing in front of our fans in a big place like this really helps us," Wiedeman said. "Getting our next game at home, too, is a really big deal."

"I think it's a big factor," agreed Metzger, who had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. "Teams aren't used to playing in an environment like this."

The Long Forum seats nearly 3,000 for basketball and GAC students sit under one basket, making it tough for the opposing team. Against Crawford County, the students wore sweater vests in honor of GAC coach Eddie Martin, who led Norcross to three straight Class AAAAA state titles before taking over the Spartans.

"Our fans are the best," Metzger said.

The Spartans needed a boost the way Lee was shooting. He had 18 points in the third quarter alone, when Crawford County briefly cut GAC's 35-23 halftime lead down to seven points.

GAC led 55-46 after Lee's falling-down 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer before pulling away in the final period as foul trouble caught up with Crawford County.

Eagles coach Clyde Zachary won back-to-back Class AA state titles behind Kenny "Sky" Walker in 1981 and 1982. But his recent teams have had no one nearly as tall as the high-flying 6-foot-8 former Kentucky and NBA standout.

Adrian Grant, Crawford County's 6-foot-2 sophomore center, had 10 points and nine rebounds, but fouled out early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles also lost Quinton Hollis, who had 10 points as well.

Bo Hebert had eight first-half points for GAC off the bench. Paul Dawson had a good floor game with seven assists, while Elliott Long supplied eight points and seven rebounds.

GAC, which has won 18 straight games, hasn't lost since December, with two of their defeats coming in tournaments and the other at Class AAAAA tournament team Milton.

"We really like playing at home, especially in a place like the Long Forum," Metzger said. "It's great to have another home game. We don't want to get tripped up in the second round again. We have to get past it."

"We weren't ready to play last year," Wiedeman said. "We were too cocky. That won't happen again."

Christine Young shoots a 3-pointer.

#25 Alex McCall gets an easy basket against Macon County.

Clarke Boards leads GAC to first-round win;
Junior scores 19 in 67-53 victory

By Pat Wheeler, Staff Correspondent
Feb. 28 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Seventh-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian got off to a slow start Friday night, but a full-court press and Clarke Boards took care of those issues.

A stifling, second-quarter press and the outside shooting of Boards helped the host Spartans break away for a 67-53 over Macon County in the first round of the Class AA girls basketball playoffs...

"It wasn't pretty, especially starting out," GAC coach Chan Means said. "But our press and some good shooting by Clarke Boards got us turned around. I'm pleased with our effort and with our defense, especially the steals that helped us get going."

The Spartans (20-9) had trouble penetrating a disciplined Macon County zone defense in the early going and cold outside shooting allowed the visiting Bulldogs to get out to an early lead in the first quarter. GAC scored just six points in the first quarter and Macon County enjoyed a slight lead, 10-6, at the end of the period.

A burst of production in the second quarter propelled the Spartans to a 28-20 halftime lead and they never looked back. GAC added another good quarter of scoring in the third to increase its lead to 49-34.

Sparking the effort was junior point guard Chaney Means, who finished with 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Boards had a game-high 19 points that included two 3-pointers in the pivotal second quarter.

The final quarter showcased some good ball handling by GAC, keeping the ball away from the taller Bulldogs to preserve the win.

GIRLS LACROSSE: Lady Spartans win tournament

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian defeated Greenbrier 15-2 and Lakeside-Evans 8-6 to win the Lady Spartan Shootout on GAC's campus.

Rachel Roughgarder scored five goals against Greenbrier, while Lyndsey Kytle added three goals and one assist and Kim Slade had two goals. Roughgarden had two goals and one assist in the win against Lakeside-Evans and Caroline Freeman scored two for the Spartans (4-1). [Mar. 1 Gwinnett Daily Post]


Sammy Abrahart
[Photo by Martin Photography]

Samantha Abrahart: Three of a Kind
By Brandon Brigman, Staff Writer
Feb. 27 Gwinnett Daily Post

BUFORD - Greater Atlanta Christian missed out on last year's girls state soccer tournament after a three-way tie didn't go the Spartans' way.

With just one senior gone from last season, the Spartans are making sure they don't need a tiebreaker to determine their playoff fate this year.

Samantha Abrahart scored three goals on Thursday as GAC cruised to a 3-0 victory over Buford in the Area 11-AA/A opener.

"We let some of these slide by last year, the ones that we should have won early, and that haunted us in the end," GAC coach Troy Bendickson said. "So it's good to go up."

It's the third straight victory for No. 2 GAC (6-1, 1-0), which is coming off wins against No. 7 Blessed Trinity, No. 3 Walker and No. 4 North Hall. Buford, which has reached the Final Four the last two years, moves to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the area. The two teams will meet again next Friday at GAC.

Abrahart scored her first goal in the 20th minute when sweeper Anna Douglas found the South Carolina signee down the left side of the goal.

"I saw the goalie come out, so I chipped it over her head," Abrahart said.

Buford's Jacey Chandler managed the Wolves' only scoring threat with a free kick outside the 18 that just missed the goal and GAC led 1-0 at the half.

"I thought in the first half we played real well. We frustrated them," Buford coach Drew Eager said. "We know they got a powerhouse offense coming in.

"We got beat by a good player, hat trick. It's kind of hard to hold someone like that down - size, strength, speed - you've got the whole package in her."

Abrahart added her second goal in the 43rd minute off a free kick outside the 18 to make 2-0.

Chelsea Gandy-Cromer nearly had a goal in the 52nd minute and Buford goalkeeper Rachel Kaplan made a great diving deflection. But Abrahart was there on the back end for the easy goal to make it 3-0.

"It was kind of a shock," Abrahart said of the three-goal performance. "It was all of us. We all worked hard together and everyone gave me great balls to make the goals."

Abrahart could have had two more goals, but one shot hit the left upright and a header for a goal was called off because of a foul.

The three-goal lead was plenty for GAC defenders Douglas, Haley Carroll, Anna Arnau, Morgan Hall and goalkeeper McKenzie Nelson, who recorded their third shutout of the season.

"It's a big win for us," Abrahart said. "We've been playing good all season and a win in the region is kind of a big deal."

BOYS SOCCER: GAC 4, Buford 1

BUFORD - Shea Kelly scored the Wolves' (4-2) only goal, as Greater Atlanta Christian took a 4-1 win over Buford on Thursday. [Feb. 27 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BASEBALL: Holy Innocents' 7, GAC 3
NORCROSS - Though tied 3-3 in the seventh, the Spartans couldn't hold on and fell 7-3 against Holy Innocents' on Thursday. Patrick Savage went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Andrew Steckenrider also scored a double and an RBI, while Ian Graham added a double for Greater Atlanta Christian (1-1). [Feb. 27 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BOYS LACROSSE: Holy Innocents' 9, GAC 2

NORCROSS - Shawn Kane had 12 saves and Jeffrey Johnson scored two goals for GAC, but it wasn't enough as the Spartans (2-2) fell to Holy Innocents 9-2 on Thursday. [Feb. 27 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Our girls and guys lost both season openers [Feb. 26] vs tennis powerhouse Athens Academy. Our girls lost 3-2 with Elizabeth McMurray and Rebecca Gray and Margaret Sharpe and Charlotte Greenwood winning their doubles’ matches. The guys also lost 3-2 with Will Lewis winning at one singles and Blake Guy and David Floyd winning their doubles’ match. Our next match is against Wesleyan Tuesday. [SH Announcements]

Drew Steckenrider
[Photo by Martin Photography]

GAC's Drew Steckenrider has meteoric rise
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
Feb. 25 Gwinnett Daily Post

To be sure, Cliff Shelton has coached plenty of good players in his long tenure as baseball coach at Greater Atlanta Christian.

There is no doubt in his mind he has ever had a player create as much buzz as Drew Steckenrider has the last 18 months or so.

"He had some really good showcases (in the summer and fall of 2007) that got him thrown onto the radar screen, but to be honest, it kind of surprised me," Shelton said of the response from college and pro scouts to his senior outfielder/right-handed pitcher. "But last year, when I saw the progress he'd made, I understood.

"He's always been a smooth player, but he's grown so much. That's the first thing you notice about him - his size. He just looks like a man among boys, and he has all the tools."

Indeed, at 6-foot-5 and 211 pounds, Steckenrider does cut an imposing figure.

He has also shown a propensity for being what major league scouts like to call a five-tool player - someone who excels at hitting for average, hitting for power, running the bases, throwing the ball and fielding his position.

Steckenrider put all of those traits on display as a junior. He hit .387 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in just 62 at bats last season for a Spartans team that went 18-8 and made the Class AA state playoffs.

He was equally adept on the mound, where he posted a perfect 7-0 record with a 1.17 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 innings.

Numbers like that will get you noticed, and they are a big reason Steckenrider was heavily recruited to play college baseball before choosing to accept a scholarship to Tennessee.

They are also why he was selected for the 2008 Aflac All-American Game and why he's listed among Baseball America's top 100 prospects for this summer's Major League Baseball first-year player draft, as well as the No. 19 prospect in the nation by

For a lot of players whose rise has been as meteoric as Steckenrider's has been, the attention might be overwhelming.

However, the switch-hitter has tried to take his status in stride.

"I've just gone through it the same way I usually would," Steckenrider said. "It hasn't really changed anything. I'm just going out there and playing. I'm not going to change the way I play."

That approach seems to be a good one judging from his first outing on 2009, in which he threw five innings of one-hit shutout ball and struck out 10 in GAC's 2-0 season-opening win over Walker on Monday.

But while dealing with the attention is something Steckenrider has to get used to, Shelton admits dealing with the demands of such a high-profile prospect has a different experience for him, too.

"I'd always wondered what it was like to coach a player who got that kind of attention - a player who is that good," Shelton said. "I get phone calls once or twice a week wanting to know when we're playing, when we're going to be out on the field hitting, when Drew's pitching. It's really something I haven't experienced before.

"I remember one year, we played Pace Academy when they had (Toronto Blue Jays catcher) Michael Barrett and (former pitching prospect) Ben Fowler. I called (Pace coach) Charlie Owens at home and I got his answering machine. The recording said that they had games this day or that day at such and such a time and Ben will be pitching this day. It was kind of hilarious."

Shelton now finds himself fielding such inquiries by phone and e-mail, and not just about Steckenrider.

The Spartans also enter this season with other big-time prospects like senior infielders Patrick Savage (an Auburn signee) and Stephen Pepper.

And Steckenrider says he doesn't mind sharing the attention of scouts with his teammates. In fact, he prefers it because it helps everyone concentrate on the Spartans' main goal - competing for a Region 6-AA and, ultimately, a state championship.

"It definitely takes the pressure off me and it's nice to know there's somebody hitting behind me in the lineup who can get the job done," Steckenrider said. "Our team chemistry this year is really good. So I think that can help carry us farther than maybe we've been able to go before."

Trent Wiedeman
[Photo by Jonathan Phillips/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Growth opportunities for Trent Wiedeman
By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
Feb. 25 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - When he was a freshman, the only thing big about Trent Wiedeman was his feet.

"I've always had big feet," said the Greater Atlanta Christian junior, who was just 6-feet tall two years ago.

Now he has the height befitting his size 17 shoes and his basketball ambitions are every bit as large.

The 6-foot-7 Wiedeman tops Gwinnett County in scoring (21.9) and rebounding (11.1), leading GAC to a 25-3 record and a No. 2 state ranking going into the Class AA state tournament this weekend.

More and more colleges are starting to notice, too.

"He's a Division I prospect," said GAC coach Eddie Martin, who produced plenty of big-time players at Norcross. "He's probably not quite athletic enough for the SEC or ACC right now, but if he grows a couple more inches, who knows?"

Not bad for someone who once preferred baseball over basketball despite the influence of his mother, LeeAnn, and brother, Reece.

Now an assistant girls coach at GAC, the former LeeAnn Woodhull was a four-year starter at Georgia Tech in the early 1980s. Reece, three years older than Trent and 6-8, plays at Georgia College, which is nationally ranked in Division II.

"Basketball was always my second sport, behind baseball," Trent said. "I was just kinda pushed into it. But once I started to grow, I got more into it and really started enjoying it more. Now it's basketball all the way."

Wiedeman grew six inches between his freshman and sophomore years, quickly moving into the GAC starting lineup last season. He averaged 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, showing his potential, and has flourished this season under Martin after his first summer of top AAU competition last year.

Wiedeman played for the Georgia Stars, joining GAC teammate Taylor Metzger on the 17-and-under squad rather than playing for the younger team.

"Getting to play in national tournaments against players older than me really helped a lot," Wiedeman said. "It toughened me up and helped my confidence."

Wiedeman has also benefited from the arrival of Martin, who helped develop big men like Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech) and Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest) at Norcross. The GAC standout isn't on the level of those two, but Daniel Emerson (Mercer) might be a good comparison.

Because he wasn't an inside player until last season, Wiedeman has a good outside shot, hitting 38 percent of his 3-pointers as well as 57 percent of his shots inside the arc. Martin has been working on post moves, especially against double teams, and the results are more and more on display.

"This spring, this summer and this fall, we're going to work a lot on his footwork, his foot speed and his upper-body strength," Martin said. "I think he's going to be a whole lot better player next year even than he was this season."

One thing Martin would like to see improve immediately is Wiedeman's foul shooting.

His star goes to the line as often as rest of the GAC team combined, but is shooting a modest 63 percent.

Still, Wiedeman has 1,015 points and 536 rebounds for his career and could finish second in GAC history behind only Lee Goza in both categories with a strong senior year.

The 6-foot-9 Goza played on GAC's last boys state championship team in 1977 before finishing his college career at Georgia Tech while Wiedeman's mother was also playing for the Yellow Jackets.

Wiedeman has mainly been courted by Southern Conference schools, as well as Yale and Tennessee Tech so far. But that could soon change.

"I'm hopeful of getting bigger D-I offers," Wiedeman said. "But I'm already happy with the offers that I've gotten. I really didn't think I'd get any offers at first."

If Wiedeman grows to 6-9 or 6-10, no telling who will come calling.

"I think I have another inch or two in me to grow," he said.

Of course, a state championship in March would be sure to bring extra attention to Wiedeman and his teammates.

GAC opens the state tournament at home against Crawford County at 6 p.m. Saturday.

"That's our goal," Wiedeman said of a state title. "Coach Martin says we have the potential. We just have to keep working hard and listen to what he tells us. He knows what it takes. He won three straight championships at Norcross. We hope we can win another one here this year."
Name: Trent Wiedeman
School: Greater Atlanta Christian
Height: 6 foot 7
Stats: averaging 21.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks; recently went over 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for his career
Honors: Region 6-AA player of the year
Home: Suwanee
Family: parents Dirk and LeAnn, brother Reece
Favorite movie: "The Dark Knight"
Favorite TV show: "The Office"
Favorite band: Led Zeppelin
Favorite subject: Spanish

by Gwinnett Daily Post

Lindsay Adams - Golf
School: GAC junior
Favorite athlete: Lorena Ochoa
Favorite movie: "Wall-E"
Favorite food: Dad's lasagna
Least favorite thing about golf: Nothing
• Winner JGA Knoxville Open Qualifier
• Posted a personal-best 4 under par through nine holes in a match at Bear's Best
• Member 2007 state championship team
• Lindsay is the only player in Gwinnett County, boy or girl, who has ever
• won a State Championship in golf.

Eric Fletcher - Soccer
School: GAC senior
College: Clemson
Favorite athlete: Roger Federer
Favorite movie: "Billy Madison"
Favorite food: Peanut butter
Favorite music artist/group: Johnny Cash
Worst soccer injury: Nose bleed
Coach Thom Jacquet's take: "He's the hardest working player I've ever coached, in practice and games. He's just relentless."

Will Lewis - Tennis
School: GAC senior
- Was a perfect 23-0 at No. 2 singles in helping the Spartans to their fourth-straight Class AA state title
- Is a combined 37-6 the last two seasons
- No. 10 in USTA Boys 18s player in Georgia

Patrick Savage - Baseball
School: GAC senior
• Position: IF/RHP
• Noteworthy: Savage was the Spartans' triple crown winner a year ago, hitting .413 with 8 HRs and 36 RBIs for a team that advanced to the Class AA state playoffs. Has signed to play alongside Jacobs at Auburn and is quickly garnering attention from pro scouts

Drew Steckenrider - Baseball
School: GAC senior
• Position: RHP/OF
• Noteworthy: The 6-5, 211-pound senior is perhaps the most decorated player in GAC history. He hit .387 with 7 HRs and 23 RBIs at the plate and was the Spartans' mound ace with a 7-0 record, a 1.17 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 innings last season. Having played in the 2008 Aflac All-American Game, Steckenrider has signed to play collegiately at Tennessee, but is also being projected to be selected in the early rounds of this summer's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft

Chris Thomas
School: GAC senior
College choices: Elon
Favorite athletes: Roger Federer, Sidney Crosby, Lebron James
Favorite movie: Anything with Adam Sandler or Will Smith
Favorite music artists: The Temptations and Ludacris
Favorite food: Rice
Worst soccer injury: it's broken pinkie toe
Coach Thom Jacquet's comment: "Chris has many talents that go far beyond the soccer field. He is an excellent

Morgan Winston - Tennis
School: GAC junior
- Went 16-5 last year to help the Spartans to the Class AA state quarterfinals
- Ranked No. 50 in Girls 18s in the most recent USTA Georgia rankings

by Gwinnett Daily Post

• Head Coach: Cliff Shelton
• 2008 record: 18-8, first round, Class A state playoffs
• Returning Starters: OF/LHP Justin Ernest, Sr.; C Ian Graham, Sr.; IF Stephen Pepper, Sr.; RHP Riley Rue, Jr.; IF/RHP Patrick Savage, Sr.; OF/RHP Drew Steckenrider, Sr.
• Outlook: Getting to the postseason hasn't been a problem for the Spartans in recent years. Making a deep playoff run has been as GAC has been eliminated in the first round three of the last four seasons and only made it to the second round in the other year. So, the sights for Shelton's team have been raised higher this year, and the Spartans appear to have the piece to live up to those expectations with the return of six starters, including Aflac All-American and Tennessee signee Steckenrider (.387, 7 HR, 23 RBIs, 7-0, 1.17 ERA, 46 K, 36 IP), Auburn-signee Savage (.413, 8 HR, 36 RBIs) and fellow senior Pepper (.386, 2 HR, 25 RBIs, 4-3, 27 K, 34 1/3 IP).

Head coach: Thom Jacquet
2008 record: 17-2, Class AA/A quarterfinals
Returning starters: GK John Max Bolling, Sr.; DEF Brian Sullivan, Sr.; DEF Danny Knight, Soph.; DEF Richard Klemm, Sr.; MF Zack Johnson, Sr.; MF Eric Fletcher, Sr.; MF Allen Williams, Sr.; MF Stewart Abrahart, Soph.; FW Aldyn Royes, Sr.; FW Chris Thomas, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: DEF Matt Carothers, Soph.
Outlook: Last season ended in disappointing fashion for the Spartans, who were defending state champions and a state title favorite again before an unlikely upset. The key components from that team return, including Clemson signee Fletcher and Elon signee Thomas, in hopes of returning to the top of AA/A.

Head coach: Troy Bendickson
2008 record: 8-6
Returning starters: FW Samantha Abrahart, Sr.; FW Chelsea Cromer, Soph.; MF Madeline Barker, Jr.; FW Kelsey Pelletier, Soph.; DEF Anna Douglas, Soph.; DEF Morgan Hall, Sr.; DEF Elise Martin, Jr.; FW/MF Haley Carroll, Jr.; DEF Anna Arnau, Soph.; MF Quincy Meyer, Sr.; GK McKenzie Nelson, Soph.; MF Lauren Bryan, Soph.
Other key players/newcomers: MF/DEF Kailey Bryan, Fr.
Outlook: The Spartans finished third in a brutally tough region that feature powerhouses Buford and Providence, but are loaded with experienced players this season. The group includes four consistent goal scorers in Abrahart, Cromer, Barker and Pelletier, who combined for 50 goals and 30 assists last season. Abrahart has signed with South Carolina and Barker is a Georgia commitment.

Boys/girls coach: Brad Kinser
Top boy athletes: Corbin Reynonlds, Sr. (Shot put); Kyle Kinser, Sr. (discus); Tyler Bello, Sr. (hurdles)
Top girl athletes
Claire Goodson, Jr. (Pole vault, 300 hurdles); Jessica Tuggle, Jr. (Long jump, 100 hurdles); Hope Wooster, Sr. (Discus, shot put); Lauren Kester, Soph. (3,200)
Please remember that shirts must be worn at all times at GHSA basketball games. It has come to our attention that some fans are coming in with painted chests and no shirts. This will NOT be allowed for the upcoming tournaments and should not be allowed for regular-season games. In accordance with GHSA By-Laws, Basketball - Section H - 7 “All spectators must wear shirts during the games." [reprinted from]

Frank Bolling
[photo by]

Frank Bolling Sets New Record in Indoor 800
By Amanda Pruitt

Junior Frank Bolling has finished in the top 10 in all three of his races this season. Early in the indoor track season, Harding track coach Steve Guymon said junior Frank Bolling was one of those athletes on the brink of become a national-level runner in the NCAA Division II.

Bolling took another step towards facing high-level Division II competition last week in the 800 meters by hitting an provisional national qualifying time and breaking the school record in the process at the Grand Valley State Big Meet in Allendale, Michigan...

Bolling ran the 800 in 1 minute, 53.13 seconds, good for 10th place in the fast field. This season, he has recorded top-10 finishes in all three of his 800 races, including a victory at Arkansas State’s Kickoff Klassic.

“We have a lot of athletes who have to make a decision to either decide to do OK or pretty good in the conference, or doing better than that,” Guymon said. “Frank’s made that change.”

Over the last three seasons, Bolling has progressively been inching towards the national qualifying time. Since his freshman year, he has cut five seconds off his indoor time, but Guymon said the defining change in Bolling’s collegiate career came last April in Oxford, Miss.

Bolling, whose times had been hovering around 1:56, broke through with a time of 1:54.51 to finish fourth against strong Division I competition at the Ole Miss Open.

Guymon said that race marked Bolling’s change from being an average 800 runner in Division II to becoming a pretty good one, the kind nearly ready to compete at the national level.

“The first couple of years, he was gaining confidence, trying to find himself so to speak as a runner,” Guymon said. “I think last year at the Ole Miss meet, he found it.”

Like most distance runners at Harding, Bolling competed in cross country during the fall. His season culminated by running seventh on the team with a 36th-place overall finish at the Gulf South Conference Championship

“His cross country season was not exactly the one he wanted to have, but it’s helped him in track,” Guymon said. “It’s given him a lot of base, a lot of endurance that he needs. The kid never quits. He always wants to do better.”

...Depending on the times other Division II runners clock before the deadline, Bolling could qualify for March’s indoor championships in more than one event. Bolling also ran a leg on Harding’s distance medley relay team, which won the race in provisional qualifying time of 9:56.61.

Junior High Musical: Pirates of Penzance
March 13-14 ~ 7:30pm

Visions Showcase
March 20-21 ~ 7:30pm

Black & White Gala
March 24 ~ 6:00-8:30p

A Capella Chorus "Spartan Spectacular"
April 30 & May 2 - 8:00pm

LADY SPARTAN SOCCER: Congratulations to the Lady Spartan Varsity Soccer Team for their come from behind victory over North Hall, the #4 ranked team in AAA, last night. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer scored both the first goal and the winning goal for the Lady Spartans, while Samantha Abrahart scored a dramatic game tying goal with only 9 minutes left in the game. Haley Carroll, Kate Thornton, and Samantha Abrahart each contributed with an assist.

JV GIRLS SOCCER: Congratulations to the JV girls’ soccer team who defeated North Hall yesterday at home with a score of 3-0. Some exciting goals were scored by Rachel Garcia, the first 12 seconds of the game, Mollie Arrendale got off a corner kick, and Kayla Puzas scored with 1.5 seconds left in the game. Great game girls!

LADY SPARTANS LACROSSE: The Lady Spartans Varsity Lacrosse team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 17-10 victory over Rockdale County last night. Leading the way for the team and tying a school record was Rachel Roughgarden with 6 goals (giving her 10 for the season). Corbin Aiken, Kim Slade, Anna Cottle, and Amanda Jordan each scored 2 goals and had 1 assist. Lyndsey Kytle scored 1 goal and had 2 assists while Caroline Freeman and Amanda Clark each scored a goal. The Varsity continues a busy week on Thursday as they travel to Roswell for a game at 5:55 before returning home and hosting the 1st-ever Lady Spartan Shootout Tournament this Saturday starting at 10:00 a.m. The JV played well in the 2nd half but lost to Pace Academy, 12-7 last night. Kayla Jolly scored 3 goals, Kyra Johnson scored twice and Sarah Brown scored once.

THE BOYS’ LACROSSE TEAM overcame a 5–3 deficit to South Forsyth to win 8–7 Monday. The Spartans were led by Shawn Kane in goal with 16 saves. Scotty Smith had 4 goals and 1 assist, Jeffrey Johnson added 3 goals and an assist and Nathaniel Einfeldt scored 1 goal. ome out and support the Boys' Lacrosse team at their next home game this Thursday vs. Holy Innocents’ with the JV facing off at 5pm followed by the Varsity at 6:30.

LACROSSE: GAC 8, South Forsyth 7

CUMMING - Led by Sean Kang's 18 saves, GAC beat South Forsyth 8-7 on Monday. Scotty Smith led the Spartans' offense with four goals and Jeffrey Johnson added three and Nathaniel Einseldt scored one for GAC (2-1). [Feb. 24 Gwinnett Daily Post]

THE BASEBALL TEAM defeated Walker Monday by the score of 2-0. Andrew Steckenrider pitched 5 innings, striking out 10 for the win. Patrick Savage hit a triple to drive in the winning run. The team plays again at home on Thursday at 5:30 against Holy Innocents’.

BASEBALL: GAC 2, Walker 0
NORCROSS - Andrew Stekenrider struck out 10 batters in five innings as GAC edged Walker 2-0 on just one hit Monday. Patrick Savage's triple scored one run for the Spartans (1-0). [Feb. 24 Gwinnett Daily Post]

BOTH GAC BASKETBALL TEAMS played well Saturday night in the Region 6AA championship games before a large crowd of approximately 2000 people in the Long Forum. The girls lost to Buford 61-47 with Chaney Means scoring 16 points and Clarke Boards adding 14. Both Chaney and Clarke were named to the All-Region Team. The boys claimed the region championship with a hard-fought 54-46 victory over Blessed Trinity. The leading scorers were Elliott Long with 14 and Paul Dawson with 12. Paul Dawson and Trent Wiedeman were named to the All-Region Team with Trent being named the Region Player of the Year. Thanks especially to the great support from our students in the end zone cheering section.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER TEAM for capping off their historical week with a thrilling 3-2 victory over #1 ranked Walker on Friday night. Madeline Barker scored two goals, both assisted by Samantha Abrahart, and Chelsea Gandy-Cromer slotted home the game winner mid-way through the second half. The entire Lady Spartan defense played terrific! The ladies host North Hall today [Feb. 24] at home at 7:00pm.

SOCCER: GAC 3, Walker 2

NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian took a 3-2 win over Walker on Friday. Madeline Barker scored two goals, both assisted by Samantha Abrahart for GAC (4-1). Chelsea Gandy-Cromer scored a goal and McKenzie Nelson was the goalkeeper for the night.

GAC 2, Walker 1
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian beat Walker 2-1 in penalty kicks on Friday.
Eric Fletcher got the Spartans' only goal with an assist by Zack Johnson. John Max Bolling was in goal for GAC (4-1).

THE VARSITY BOYS' LACROSSE picked up their first win of the season Friday night with 8-1 victory over Marist. Shawn Kane led the way in goal with 15 saves and no goals allowed. Scotty Smith powered the offense with 3 goals, Jeffrey Johnson and Ryan Campbell had 2 goals and 1 assist each and Nathaniel Einfeldt finished up the scoring with a goal. Come out and support the Boys' Lacrosse team at their next home game this Thursday v. Holy Innocents with the JV facing off at 5pm followed by the Varsity at 6:30.

GAC boys wins region crown;
No. 2 Spartans defeat Blessed Trinity 54-46

By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
Feb. 22 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - Before the Region 6-AA boys championship game, Eddie Martin was talking about seeding for the state tournament.

"It's very important now," the Greater Atlanta Christian basketball coach said. "You want as many home games as you can get."

The Spartans, thanks to a 54-46 victory over Blessed Trinity, are assured of hosting a second game if they win their first in the Class AA tournament.

Locking up the No. 1 seed from 6-AA certainly wasn't easy, however.

With region player of the year Trent Wiedeman in foul trouble most of the game, No. 2-ranked GAC needed a big fourth quarter Saturday to put away No. 5 Blessed Trinity before a crowd of more than 2,000 at its new Long Forum.

Wiedeman sat out the entire third quarter and GAC (25-3) led by just two points starting the final eight minutes.

With the 6-foot-7 junior back on the court, however, the Spartans showed why they are a team that hasn't lost since December and now carries an 18-game winning streak into the state tournament.

Wiedeman scored on a feed from Paul Dawson to start the final quarter and the Spartans pulled away after Blessed Trinity briefly cut GAC's lead back to three points.

Elliott Long, a 6-foot-4 junior, had 13 of his team-best 15 points in the second half and hit a big 3-pointer in the fourth-quarter run.

Sophomore point guard Dawson, who joined Wiedeman on the all-region team, had eight of his 12 points after intermission and Wiedeman finished with nine points and a game-best seven rebounds despite his limited minutes.

Blessed Trinity (22-6) led 22-20 at halftime thanks to a red-hot first half by senior Ryan LeGates. The guard had 16 of his game-best 20 points before intermission, hitting three of his four 3-pointers.

But the Titans played the first half without Arris Brundige, like LeGates an all-region selection. The 6-foot-4 senior entered at the start of the second half after the disciplinary move, and had 11 points and a team-best six rebounds.

GAC defeated Blessed Trinity 67-60 and 49-45 during the regular season, so another tight game was expected.

Martin, who took over at GAC after winning three consecutive Class AAAAA state titles at Norcross, says he doesn't really know what to expect in Class AA.

"I'm still kind of feeling my way, as far as the other teams," Martin said.

GAC will host the No. 4 seed [Crawford County] from Region 5-AA [on Saturday at 6pm].

"Our defense is a lot better than it was early in the season and I feel good about the way we've been playing," Martin said. "A key for us will be our outside shooting. If we do OK with that, we could keep playing for a while. I'm not saying win it, but at least have a chance."

No. 1 Wolves claim region title;
Buford girls handle rival Spartans to win 6-AA

By Guy Curtright, Staff Correspondent
Feb. 22 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - The Buford girls hoisted the Region 6-AA trophy at midcourt, then dashed into the stands to celebrate with their fans before heading to the locker room.

"It feels so good," Buford standout Blanche Alverson said.

"We wanted this."

But the Wolves' real goal is another trophy. An even more significant one.

"Now we can really start thinking about a state championship," Alverson said. "That's always been our real goal all along."

Buford, 27-1 and ranked No. 1 in the Georgia Sports Writers' Association poll, will head into the Class AA state tournament with a 26-game winning streak after defeating host Greater Atlanta Christian 61-47 before a large crowd Saturday at the Long Forum.

The region title was the first for Buford since 2000 despite a run of 20-win seasons and long stays in the state tournament under coach Gene Durden.

"We knew Buford hadn't won the region since Coach Durden got here," Alverson said. "We wanted to win it for him."

Alverson, who has signed with Auburn, certainly did her part. The 6-foot-3 senior had a game-high 19 points and hit the championship game's two biggest shots.

After GAC (19-9) cut a 15-point deficit to six points midway through the fourth quarter, Alverson drained a pair of deep 3-pointers to put Buford back in control.

"That's why she is player of the year," Durden said of the honor Alverson won for Region 6-AA. "Those were big, big shots."

Alverson hit them despite taking a blow to the face in the first half that kept her going to the sideline in an attempt to get a bloody nose under control.

"That's OK," Alverson said. "I'll trade a bloody nose for a championship any day."

Jocelyn Danley, a Valdosta State recruit, and freshman standout Andraya Carter each scored 14 points, and joined Alverson on the Region 6-AA all-star team as voted on by region coaches.

Chaney Means scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half to lead the GAC comeback. She was named to the all-region team along with teammate Clarke Boards, who scored 14 points.

Buford's only loss came in double-overtime to Class AAAA power Marist on Dec. 6 and Danley missed that game because of stress fractures on both shins.

The Wolves, who will host the No. 4 seed from Region 5-AA next weekend in the first round, will be tough to beat for anyone in the state tournament if they shoot like they did against GAC.

Buford hit its first four 3-pointers, two by Michelle Godwin, to get off to a blazing start.

"I hope that carries over to the state tournament," Durden said of his team's hot shooting.

But GAC kept battling, making Buford work hard for the victory.

"GAC has a good team and we knew they wouldn't quit," Durden said.

GAC, which lost to Buford 60-44 and 54-37 in the regular season, will host the No. 3 seed [Macon County]from Region 5-AA in the first round of the state tournament [Friday at 6:30pm].

Lady Spartans crush Avondale; earn state berth
By Scott Smith, Senior Correspondent
Feb. 19 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - After posting two convincing wins over Avondale in the regular season, Greater Atlanta Christian's girls continued that trend Tuesday night with a solid 67-13 win over the Blue Devils in the opening round of the Region 8-AA tournament.

The win qualified the Spartans (18-8) for the Class AA state tournament while setting up a date in the region semifinals with Decatur.

"It's good to get to play for another week," GAC head coach Chan Means said. "(Getting to state) is one of the things we always strive to do and it's good to get there."

GAC opened the game with some outstanding shooting, hitting 12 of 14 shots in the first quarter as the Spartans jumped out to a 27-4 lead.

Alex McCall led GAC with 13 points and scored eight of those in the first. Chaney Means - who finished with 10 points, five assists and five steals - added seven in the opening period.

"We did a good job of focusing because we've been talking about not who we play but how we play," Chan Means said.

"Tonight was a good opportunity for us to work on some stuff and get a good idea of where we are."

The Spartans expanded their lead to 42-10 after the second quarter and left no doubt in the third quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils 14-0.

Ten different players scored for GAC, including Clarke Boards with eight points and six assists, while Emery Lee added eight points and seven rebounds. Chandler Alverson also went for double digits in scoring with 11 points.

With the first-round win under its belt, second-seeded GAC now prepares for the region semis against Decatur on Thursday at 4 p.m. at GAC. Decatur, seeded sixth in the tournament, upset third-seeded Blessed Trinity 52-48 to make the semis.

"They're athletic but if we play like we are supposed to, we hope that we can take care of business," Chan Means said. "But they've played a lot better the past couple of weeks and have really improved."

THE LADY SPARTAN BASKETBALL TEAM qualified for the state tournament by crushing Avondale last night 67-13 in the first round of the Region 6AA tournament in the Long Forum. The leading scorers were Alex McCall with 13, Chandler Alverson with 11, and Chaney Means with 10. The semifinals of the tournament begin at 4 pm today with the Lady Spartans taking on the Decatur Lady Bulldogs. The boys play Westminster at 8:30 tonight. The finals are Saturday night at 6:00 and 7:30. Plan to come this afternoon to cheer on our girls and you will have time to go out and eat and then return for the boys’ game. Admission is $5.00. Wear red and come out and support our Spartans.

Congratulations to the GACS Boy's and Girl's Swim and Dive Teams for their outstanding performances at the 1-4A Georgia High School State Championships at Westminster [Feb. 12-14].

The Girl's placed 4th and the Boy's placed 7th overall in 1-4A schools. The Girls were 2A Champions and the Boy's were second place in 2A!! The swimmers were motivated to swim well in memory of their beloved Coach Karen Blackman and wore "K" s on their arms in her honor.

Will Freeman had the most outstanding swim of the meet. He broke a National Independent High School Record with his time of 4:19.32 in the 500 freestyle! Will also broke the Georgia High School Record by almost 9 seconds and qualified for All-American. To put his time in perspective, he is only a second off the USA Swimming 15-16 Age Group record currently held by Michael Phelps! Will also placed second in the 200 fr with an All-American time of 1:39.13. Both of his swims also set GACS team records. Wesley Pate also set GAC team records in the 200 IM (1:57.50) and 100 back (53.71).

The following swimmers excelled at State: DJ Boutte' - 50 fr (23.22) and 100 fr (51.30); Emma Eisler 5th 200 IM (2:11.60) and 7th 100 breaststroke (1:06.75); Chase Flint - 17th in the 200 fr (1:51.05) and 10th in the 500 fr (4:50.78); Elizabeth Freeman 7th 500 fr (5:13.12) and 7th 100 fly (58.81); Wesley Pate 6th 200 IM (1:57.50) and 5th 100 back (53.71); Madison Peters - 4th 50 fr (24.25) and 5th 100 fr (53.27); Caroline Pitts 10th 200 fr (1:56.23) and 5th 500 fr (5:06.96); Isaiah Sanders 24th 100 free (50.73) and 50 fr (22.44); Caroline Still 21st 50 free (26.01); Lily Tang 4th 100 back (58.92) and 12th 200 IM (2:13.59); Alex Warner 22nd 100 back (57.05) and 15th 100 fly (54.30); Stephanie Wilding 50 fr (26.23) and 100 fly (1:05.69).

GACS relays were very important to our success and placed very well!:
5th Girl's 200 Medley Relay (1:51.46) - Lily Tang, Emma Eisler, Elizabeth Freeman and Stephanie Wilding
12th Boy's 200 Free Relay (1:32.86) - Tyler Martin, Chase Flint, Alex Warner and DJ Boutte'
9th Girl's 200 Free Relay (1:42.18) - Elise Martin, Caroline Still, Stephanie Wilding and Madison Peters
4th Boy's 400 Free Relay (3:15.53) - Wesley Pate, DJ Boutte', Chase Flint and Will Freeman
6th Girl's 400 Free Relay (3:42.48) - Lily Tang, Emma Eisler, Deniz Beyhan and Madison Peters

Madison Heyward was the sole diver representing GACS. She did an outstanding job scoring 325.25 points and placing 11th place in the State and set a new GAC team record.

The official first TV and radio contacts for GACS winter weather announcements (closings or delayed openings)are WXIA-TV (Channel 11 NBC affiliate) and WSB Radio 750am). Other stations will also be informed. Announcements will also be posted to homepage of the website --- --- as well as the school switchboard: 770-243-2000.

BASKETBALL: GAC boys 98, Cross Keys 25

GAC, ranked No. 1 in Class AA, couldn't hold down the score against the Cross Keys boys, winning 98-25 to advance to the semifinals. The Spartans (23-3) will play No. 4 seed Westminster at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday with a berth in the state tournament already secured for both teams.

Dylan Harper scored 20 points to pace GAC, which led 33-5 after the first quarter, 66-13 at halftime and 85-20 going into the fourth quarter. The Spartans came close to scoring 100 points on a basket by freshman Benny Johnson. But GAC held the ball after regaining possession in the closing seconds.

Trent Wiedeman scored 17 points - all before intermission. Elliott Long had 14 points and Taylor Metzger 10 in the first half before GAC coach Eddie Martin turned the game over to his reserves.

MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHY currently has posted the following individual, team, and event photographs. To view: go to and click on the Online Order Station at the bottom of the page.
* Soccer Team Individuals - expires 4/10
* Lacrosse Team & Individuals - expires 3/26
* Freshman Follies - expires 3/25
* Dance Company Groups & Individuals - expires 3/25
* Basketball Action - expires 3/25
* Homecoming Court & Festivities - expires 3/15


ATLANTA - Jeffrey Johnson led Greater Atlanta Christian with five goals, but St. Pius topped the Spartans 9-8 on Tuesday. Scotty Smith, Justin White and Ryan Campbell each added a goal for GAC (0-1). [Feb. 18 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Blessed Trinity 2, GAC 1

NORCROSS - Blessed Trinity beat Greater Atlanta Christian 2-1 on penalty kicks Tuesday. Chris Thomas scored the 1-1 tying goal for GAC and Stevin Bienfait had the assist. John Max Bolling was in goal for GAC (3-1). [Feb. 18 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC 5, Blessed Trinity 0

NORCROSS - Madeline Barker scored three goals and had an assist for the Spartans as Greater Atlanta Christian shut down Blessed Trinity 5-0 on Tuesday. Chelsea Gandy-Cromer contributed two goals, while Samantha Abrahart, Kelsey Pelletier, Alie Peterson and Kate Thornton each had an assist for GAC (3-1). McKenzie Nelson got the shutout in goal. [Feb. 18 Gwinnett Daily Post]


Michael Hughes
Class of 2006

Michael Hughes Set a New Personal Best at SEC Indoor Championships
Feb. 28, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The men's track and field team began competition at the 2009 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by the University of Kentucky Friday night. The heptathletes completed four of their seven events on day one at Nutter Field House.

Participating for the Crimson Tide in the heptathlon are junior Michael Hughes and sophomore Justin Brady. Both are making their debut at the SEC Indoor Championships this year.

Hughes set a new personal best in all four events Friday night while teammate Brady set two new personal bests of his own in the 60 meter dash and high jump.

"These guys today did a great job in their first heptathlon today," head coach Harvey Glance said. "If the rest of the guys can compete like them this weekend, we're going to have a great showing."

Hughes started off his day winning his heat in the 60m dash with a time of 7.17 finishing eighth overall. Brady covered the distance in a time of 7.42 to finish 14th.

From there, Hughes leaped 20-11 1/4 in the long jump to put him in 12th after two events. Brady jumped 19-11 1/2 and was in 15th heading into the third event.

Hughes finished fourth in the shot put with a mark of 41-0 1/4. Brady threw the 16-pound shot put 32-0 finishing in 17th place.

The Crimson Tide duo had a great showing in the high jump with Brady finishing tied for ninth clearing the bar set at 6-0 3/4. Hughes was 12th with a clearance of 5-9 1/4.

After day one and after four of seven events, Hughes is 11th and Brady is 16th. The final three events will be the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meter run. The athletes will begin at 2:30 p.m.

"This is the kind of effort we want for our whole team this weekend" Glance said. "I'm real proud of him and we hope he can come in tomorrow and do the same thing. (Michael Hughes) has set the tone for the rest of the team for the rest of the weekend."

Michael Hughes Profile
Career Bests:
• Pole Vault - 15-07.00SOPHOMORE (2007-08): Third best pole vaulter for the Crimson Tide during the indoor season and second best vaulter outdoors...jumped a career best of 15-07.00 at the Tiger Classic during the outdoor season
FRESHMAN (2006-07): Did not compete.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Coached by Brad Kinser...member of the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Region Champion placed second in the state in 2004 and 2006...individual pole vault Region Champion in 2004, 2005 and 2006...state runner-up in 2005 before winning the State Championship in 2006...named to the All-County team 2004-06...holds the school record in the pole vault, 200m and 4x100m relay...named Most Valuable Field Event Athlete...also on the swim team and held the school record in the 50m freestyle...placed sixth in the state in the 50m freestyle as a swimmer...National Merit Finalist...named to the President's list all four years in high school...member of the National Honor Society...Birthday: November 6, 1987...Parents: Robert and Marion Hughes...Siblings: Neal (18) and Kevin (14)...Majoring in Marketing...father was a wrestler at N.C. State


Junior Will Freeman
[photo from Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC's Will Freeman Sets New State, National Mark
By Will Hammock, Sports Editor
Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post

ATLANTA - Greater Atlanta Christian's Will Freeman made the only individual splash among Gwinnett swimmers in the Class AAAA/AAA/AA/A swimming finals at Westminster.

But it was a big one.

The GAC junior won the boys 500 freestyle championship in 4 minutes, 19.32 seconds, breaking state, pool and national private school records with the effort. He shaved almost nine seconds off the previous state mark, set at 4:28.18 by Parkview's John Millen in 2003.

Freeman also had a runner-up finish in the 200 free in 1:39.13.

GAC finished as the top Class AA point-scorer in boys at 113 and in seventh place overall. Wesleyan's boys were sixth at 115, but ranked first among Class A schools.

In girls competition, GAC was the top AA scorer in fourth place at 198 points. Wesleyan finished eighth, first among Class A programs. Marist swept the AAAA/AAA/AA/A titles.

Record day in metro swim meet
By Michael Alpert
Feb. 15 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Greater Atlanta Christian swimmer Will Freeman typically clears his mind before races, but understandably couldn’t before the biggest individual breakthrough in the Class A-AAAA meet at Westminster on Saturday.

The death of the Spartans coach Karen Blackman early this month weighed on his mind as he swam the winning 500-yard freestyle in 4:19.32, obliterating the state record of 4:28.18 and the national private schools mark of 4:19.54.

“I wanted to swim for her and remember what a great coach she was,” the junior said. “Before races I usually try not to think of other things, but I thought a lot about her.”

Freeman, whose previous best had been 4:28.87 in the Metro Championships, felt on course in the 20-lap race, but acknowledged he was slightly surprised by his time.

“I wanted to go under 4:20,” he said, “but didn’t know I was going quite that fast.”

Freeman broke a record in the meet’s longest race, and Heritage’s Nathanael Eisenman set the evening’s only other record, in the meet’s shortest event. The Patriots junior captured the 50-yard freestyle in 20.46, breaking Kevin Erndl’s 1998 record of 20.58.

...Freeman and Eisenman set records, but there was no stopping the dominance of Westminster and Marist, the only teams to have won the A-AAAA meet since the GHSA separated it from the AAAAA meet 10 years ago. Marist’s girls won their third consecutive championship, and the Marist boys ended the Wildcats’ string of six titles...

GACS & Buford advance eight wrestlers to finals

At the Class AA East Sectional at Jefferson, Buford had five wrestlers advance to state and GAC had three. Scottie Forrester and Nick Voss placed second and Billy Anderton was fourth. Chris Boulware and Cameron Hutchins were eighth.

GAC's Locke Hoover was fifth, Travis Elrod was seventh and Jared Hemmings was eighth.
[Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Spartans end regular season with victories;
Region tourney starts Tuesday at Long Forum

GAC boys 45, Westminster 29
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian stayed perfect in Region 6-AA by beating Westminster 45-29 on Friday night. Paul Dawson led the Spartans (22-3, 14-0) with 18 points while Taylor Metzger followed up with 13 points. [Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 68, Westminster 41
NORCROSS - Chaney Means had 22 points and seven rebounds on Friday to help give Greater Atlanta Christian a 68-41 win over Westminster in Region 6-AA. Clarke Boards chipped in with 10 points and seven assists for GAC (17-8, 11-3) while Siera Lawrence finished with 10 points. [Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]


GAC boys 8, Benedictine 1
SAVANNAH - Greater Atlanta Christian beat Benedictine 8-1 on Saturday. Chris Thomas scored three goals and Allen Williams contributed two for the Spartans. Eric Fletcher, Vishal Patel and Denzel Clarke each scored a goal apiece and Zack Johnson had three assists for GAC (3-0). [Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

St. Vincent's Academy girls 2, GAC 1
SAVANNAH - Chelsea Cromer scored a goal with Anna Douglas assisting for Greater Atlanta Christian, but the Spartans (2-1) couldn't hold on and fell to St. Vincent's Academy 2-1 on Saturday. [Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 5, Savannah Country Day 4
SAVANNAH - Samantha Abrahart scored two goals and assisted another Friday as Greater Atlanta Christian outlasted Savannah Country Day 5-4. Lauren Bryan added a goal with two assists for GAC (2-0) while Anna Douglas and Chelsea Cromer each scored once. [Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 7, Savannah Country Day 0
SAVANNAH - Chris Thomas had three goals and two assists Friday in leading Greater Atlanta Christian to a 7-0 blanking of Savannah Country Day. Eric Fletcher added two goals as GAC improved to 2-0. Also helping in the win were Aldyn Royes (one goal, one assist), Kyle Rees (one goal) and Zach Johnson (one assist). [Feb. 15 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC girls 4, Holy Innocents' 1
ATLANTA - Chelsea Ganby-Cromer scored three goals to lead Greater Atlanta Christian to a 4-1 win over Holy Innocents' on Tuesday. Samantha Abrahart added a goal and an assist and Quincy Meyer had an assist. McKenzie Nelson played a solid game in goal. [Feb. 11 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Senior Chris Thomas
[Photo from Gwinnett Daily Post]

Chris Thomas leads GAC to 3-1 win
Greater Atlanta Christian soccer player Chris Thomas got off to a hot start in the Spartans' season opener on Monday. The Daily Post's Player of the Year last season scored two goals and had an assist in GAC's 3-1 victory over Marist. Aldyn Royes added a goal and an assist and Zack Thomas had an assist for the Spartans (1-0). [Feb. 10 Gwinnett Daily Post]

[reprinted from SH Announcements]

THE VARSITY BASKETBALL TEAMS dominated Cross Keys last night. The girls won 52-7 with Clarke Boards scoring 12. Cecelia Stephens added 9 and Chaney Means 8. The boys won 96-27 led by Dylan Harper with 29, Trent Wiedeman with 26, Elliott Long with 14, and Taylor Metzger with 10.

THE JV BOYS finished their season Thursday night with a disappointing loss to Paideia 59-41. Colin Swinton was the leading scorer with 15 points. The JV Spartans finish with a winning record of 11 wins and 6 losses. Congratulations to the entire team Trent Boyd, Evan Cobb, AJ Davis, Austin Durnwald, Morgan Ingram, Benny Johnson, Bryson Jordan, John LaMay, Krishal Patel, Brian Soh, and Colin Swinton for a great season.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE JV GIRLS Lady Spartan Basketball team who finished their season Thursday on a winning note over Paideia. The girls won 35 – 23 and were led in scoring by Kristina Nelson, Peyton Whitted and Bethany Easom. The Lady Spartans finished with a 14 – 3 record for the year.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ERIC FLETCHER AND CHRIS THOMAS for being named to the Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six Boys Soccer Players for 2009.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY SPARTAN VARSITY SOCCER TEAM for their 4-1 defeat of Holy Innocents'. It was a total team effort, with Chelsea Gandy-Cromer earning a hat trick and Samantha Abrahart adding a goal. McKenzie Nelson played great in the net.

THE JV GIRLS SOCCER TEAM defeated Holy Innocents' yesterday in their first game, 3-1. Goals were scored by Mollie Arrendale and Kayla Puzas, and assists made by Rachel Garcia. What a great way to start the season! Great job girls!

SPARTAN FOOTBALL: Come have your honor, courage, and commitments tested. All rising 9th through 12th grade boys interested in being considered for a roster spot on the Spartan Football Team of 2009 are asked to meet with Coach Robinson in his office located upstairs in the Student/Family Center by Friday, February 27, 2009.

GAC girls 52, Cross Keys 7
ATLANTA - Led by 12 points and five assists from Clarke Boards, Greater Atlanta Christian cruised on Tuesday with a 52-7 win over Cross Keys in Region 6-AA. Cecelia Stephens added nine points for GAC (16-8, 10-3) while Chaney Means finished with eight points. [Feb. 11 Gwinnett Daily Post]

GAC boys 94, Cross Keys 29
ATLANTA - Greater Atlanta Christian stayed unbeaten in Region 6-AA as the Spartans rolled to a 94-29 win over Cross Keys on Tuesday.Leading GAC (21-3, 13-0) were Dylan Harper with 29 points, Trent Wiedeman with 26 points, Elliott Long with 14 points and Taylor Metzger with 10 points. [Feb. 11 Gwinnett Daily Post]
CONGRATULATIONS TO FRESHMAN SIERRA LAWRENCE AND SOPHOMORE PAUL DAWSON for being named to the Gwinnett Tipoff Club Teams of the Month for February for their outstanding performances in varsity basketball. [SH Announcement]

Coach Jeff Harsh
[Martin Photography]

Coach Harsh reports:
The Varsity Wrestlers competed in the Area 6-AA Traditional Tournament this past Saturday at Lovett and 8 wrestlers placed in the top 4 in their weight class and made it through to wrestle in the East Sectional Tournament this coming weekend at Jefferson HS. Placing fourth were Will Hemby (135 lbs), Jared Hemmings (152), and Drew Schoepf (189). Placing third were Caleb Bumpers (112), Chip Glaser (125), and Charlton Long (HWT). Placing runner-up was senior co-captain Locke Hoover (119), and winning his first tournament in his career was senior co-captain Travis Elrod (130). Please congratulate all of the wrestlers who competed this weekend and wish these guys well as they compete at Jefferson February 13-14.

The varsity wrestling team season ended the regular season [Feb. 3] splitting with Johnson HS and Banks County HS and bringing their record to 14-10 on the season.

The Spartans defeated Johnson 48-3 and lost to Banks 39-42. Having a pin last night were Travis Elrod (130 lbs) and Drew Schoepf (189). Having two pins last night were Chip Glaser (125) and Jared Hemmings (152). Also winning last night were Locke Hoover and Will Hemby and getting wins by forfeit were Caleb Bumpers, Tate Cooksey, and Charlton Long.


Travis Elrod

Brian Sullivan

Drew Schoepf

Locke Hoover

Senior wrestlers---Travis Elrod, Locke Hoover, Drew Schoepf and Brian Sullivan--- were honored at the last home meet of the season. Two of these seniors, Travis Elrod (145 season wins) and Locke Hoover (146 season wins) broke the record of 130 career wins set by Brett Hoover in 2003. All four wrestlers have added greatly to the GAC wrestling program and will be missed. [Story/photos by GAC Press Release]

BRIDGING THE GAP: When designers for Greater Atlanta Christian School needed to build a retention pond, they added a charming bridge, which takes the focus away from the pond itself. Bret Harte, project manager for GACS, worked with Mike Clifford, a principal at the architectural firm of Lindsay, Pope and Brayfield, to design this walkway bridge from the stadium parking lot to the campus. The firm also was the architect of record for the new GACS Long Forum, which can seat up to 3,500 for events, and also host athletic events for up to 2,700 fans, which opened recently. [Photo & story from]


Head coach Kim Kinser reports:
The GACS Swim and Dive Team performed well at the Metro Atlanta Championships at Westminster Jan 31st. Many swimmers ended the season on a high note by improving their times.

GACS had three event winners at the meet! Will Freeman won FIRST in 200 Free (1:44.16) and FIRST in the 500 Free with a meet record time of 4:28.87! His time in the 500 is also a GACS team record and an automatic All-American time!

Lily Tang was an event CHAMPION in the 100 Backstroke with a team record time of 59.78!

Other top ten finishers include: Girl’s 200 Medley Relay of Lily Tang, Emma Eisler, Elizabeth Freeman, and Stephanie Wilding placed 7th (1:56.88); Lily Tang 8th 200 IM (2:15.63); Wesley Pate 5th 200 IM (2:02.78); Stephanie Wilding 10th 50 Free (26.36); Isaiah Sanders 10th 50 Free (22.82); Elizabeth Freeman 6th 100 Fly (1:00.17) and 5th 500 Free (5:16.63).

Boy’s 200 Free Relay of Tyler Martin, Chase Flint, DJ Boutte’ and Isaiah Sanders placed 7th (1:32.70); Emma Eisler 7th 100 Breaststroke (1:11.61); Boy’s 400 Free Relay of Wesley Pate, DJ Boutte’, Will Freeman and Chase Flint placed 6th (3:21.62).

Congratulations to our team for placing 8th overall in both the Boy’s and the Girl’s standings out of 50 teams! Excellent considering we were missing many swimmers due to Homecoming festivities. Way to go GACS!

CONGRATULATIONS to the following swimmers and divers for making the 2009 GACS State Team:
Ellen Begley, Deniz Beyhan, Alex Deedy, Erika Dore,
Emma Eisler, Caroline Freeman, Elizabeth Freeman,
Madison Heyward, Elise Martin, Madison Peters,
Caroline Pitts, Caroline Still, Lily Tang,
Stephanie Wilding, DJ Boutte’, Scott Box,
Brandon Buis, Matt Edwards, Chase Flint,
Will freeman, Tyler Martin, Alex Mixon,
Wesley Pate, Isaiah Sanders, and Alex Warner.

Diving finals will be Thursday at 1:00pm at Marist. Swimming preliminaries will be Friday, February 13th at Westminster. Finals will be Saturday, February 14th at 6:00 also at Westminster. GOOD LUCK!

As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart.
Proverbs 27:19

Karen Blackman
[photo by Martin Photography]


A lot at stake in final week of regular season
By David Friedlander, Staff Writer
Feb. 10 Gwinnett Daily Post [excerpt]

...In the other girls region races, Buford has already clinched the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AA, while GAC can wrap up the second seed by winning out at Cross Keys and at home against Westminster, and Wesleyan will be the top seed from its subregion at the Region 7-A tournament, followed by Providence.

...On the boys side, GAC and Wesleyan have clinched No. 1 seeds in their respective region tournaments.

Buford’s Jocelyn Danley, right, gets fouled by GAC's Chaney Means (#1) during Friday’s game. [Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Buford’s Andraya Carter, lower right, dives and saves a loose ball from GAC's Chaney Means (#1) and Clarke Boards, left, during the first half of Friday’s game.
[Photo by Jason Braverman/Gwinnett Daily Post]

Buford girls feast on GAC 54-37
By Scott Smith, Senior Correspondent
Feb. 7 Gwinnett Daily Post

NORCROSS - The last seven days have been very eventful for Buford head coach Gene Durden.

Last Friday, Durden's team snapped a 22-game losing streak against Wesleyan, the No. 1 ranked team in Class A, while Durden reached a personal milestone on Tuesday when his Wolves beat Blessed Trinity for his 500th career win as a head coach.

Facing another big challenge Friday night, Durden's Wolves gave him career win No. 501 as Buford knocked off eighth-ranked Greater Atlanta Christian 54-37.

"I didn't think we were very sharp tonight and I've been worried about having a let down after the big win last week against Wesleyan," Durden said. "We've got to keep getting better at the little things and I've been trying to get these girls to commit to that."

Even though Durden felt his team didn't execute the "little things," it was Buford's size advantage inside that propelled the Wolves.

Auburn signee Blanche Alverson led all players with 22 points and eight rebounds while Jocelyn Danley followed up with 11 points.

Danley's effort came despite being slowed down with stress fractures in her shins, something that has hampered her the entire season.

"She's only able to play at about 50 percent," Durden said of Danley, who will play college ball at Valdosta State. "She's a feel-type of player and a lot of times she's been having to sit. When she's on the floor, she gives us a whole new dimension."

Part of Durden's game plan was to pound the ball inside with Alverson and Danley. Both players responded, especially in the third quarter, when Alverson put in nine points while Danley added six more.

Leading by 10 at the half, that burst in the third quarter helped top-ranked Buford (20-1, 11-0) open the game up and pull away for its 19th straight win.

"We played hard but we've got to learn to get after it like Buford does," GAC head coach Chan Means said. "We've still got a shot but we're going to have to make some adjustments and do a lot of things real well."

GAC (15-8, 9-3) opened the night by scoring the game's first five points. However, that lead was short lived as Buford closed out the first quarter with a 17-4 run, getting a combined 10 points from Alverson and Danley.

The Spartans bounced back early in the second quarter and cut the score to 19-14 but would not be able to get any closer.

Junior Chaney Means led GAC with 14 points while Clarke Boards added nine points and seven rebounds.

The win keeps Buford atop the Region 6-AA standings while GAC remains in second place ahead of Blessed Trinity and Westminster.

GAC boys 80, Buford 51
NORCROSS - Greater Atlanta Christian took an 80-51 win over Buford on Friday. Taylor Metzger led the Spartans with 25 points and Trent Weideman scored 24 points and had nine rebounds. Julian Horton scored 12 points and Paul Dawson had eight assists for GAC (20-3, 12-0). [Feb. 7 Gwinnett Daily Post]

Ninth grade boys' basketball: Congratulations to the 9th grade boys' basketball team for going a PERFECT 13-0! The Spartans defeated the Buford Wolves on Friday night in the Forum 58-41. Ten players scored for the Spartans in a well balanced game. Leading the team was John LaMay with 13 pts; Camryn Brody added 10 pts, and 4 assists, Jimmy Stalkhe with 9 pts and 6 assists, LeVondre Nelson with 7 pts, Jared Chapple with 6 and Chase Roberts with 5 pts and 5 rebounds. Congratulations to the 9th grade basketball team on a terrific season!

Luke Davis

GAC Senior Luke Davis accepted the award of Male Scholar Athlete of the Year presented by the Atlanta Sports Council at the Fox Theatre, February 2nd. [Photo/story from GAC Press Release]

CONGRATULATIONS TO SAMANTHA ABRAHART who officially signed to play soccer at the University of South Carolina. [Story/photos from GAC Press Release]


Family & friends gather in the Student-Family Center.
[Photo by Hyosub Shin/AJC]

Blake Southerland is headed to Vanderbilt.
Mom Jill Southerland changes to black & gold fashions.
[Photo by Hyosub Shin/AJC]

3rd grader Ford Roberts gets an autograph from Colton Chapple
while Football Mom Cheryl Chapple offers support.
[Photo by Hyosub Shin/AJC]

QB coach Mike Maltby congratulates Colton Chapple
who is headed to north to play for Harvard Crimson.
[Photo by Hyosub Shin/AJC]

Senior Shane Mularkey receives congratulations from his Dad Mike
and Coach Ken Robinson for his offer from North Carolina/Chapel Hill.
[Photo by Hyosub Shin/AJC]

Chancellor Jesse Long and Marilyn Long cut ribbon
while President David Fincher celebrates.
[photo by Martin Photography]

Students, parents, and friends of GACS pack
the Long Forum on Friday's dedication.
[photo by Martin Photography]

[reprinted from GACS press release]

Greater Atlanta Christian School graduates Jason Andersen (2001 soccer), Micah Andrews (2003 football), Cole Chason (2002 football), Luke Godleski (2002 track & field), Matt Handley (2002 baseball) and Brannan Southerland (2004 football) were inducted into the Spartan Hall of Fame on January 31, 2009.
2009-10 School Year

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