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The Greater Atlanta Christian grad was willing to be an assistant softball coach and work her way up, but didn’t want to limit herself.
“I wanted to be a head coach (this young),” Coan said. “It’s funny, people have asked me that same question. You want to be a head coach? Don’t you think that’s a little ambitious at your age? Well, I’m an ambitious person.”
Then Coan’s dream coaching job just happened to come open when Judy Tenney retired as GAC’s head softball coach. She applied for the opening in late January and it was announced Monday that Coan had been hired to replace Tenney, her former coach at GAC. The Spartans even play on Sandra Coan Field, named after Coan’s grandmother.
“I guess you could say I’ve dreamed about (being GAC’s coach),” Coan said. “I really wanted to, since I left high school, I knew I would love to go back at coach there. GAC has such a special place in my heart. I love the softball program, I love the school, I love Coach Tenney. I knew I wanted to teach at a school like GAC, where I could express my faith through softball and at school and not have to worry about that. … GAC was the ultimate (job), that would be awesome.
“I know I’ve got some big shoes to fill. I really do. GAC has had such a big impact in my life in softball and in general. Being able to possibly be that for someone else means the world to me. I know how everyone loves Coach Tenney and I know I have big shoes to fill.”
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Patel, PA-C, ATC, of Sports Medicine South is a board Certified Physician Assistant and a Certified Athletic Trainer. He is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants, and the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association.
He started his health care career as an athletic trainer in 1998—and his experience reads like a sports fan’s dream come true. Patel has provided care to the University of Georgia’s football and track & field teams as well as the University of Alabama’s football and softball teams. In addition, he has worked with the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets as an athletic trainer. He has also been a part of the medical staff for major events such as the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) World Championships, the NFL Invitational Camp (Scouting Combines), and multiple college football championship bowl games. Currently, Harris is the Director of Sports Medicine for Gwinnett County’s Norcross High School and continues to serve many local athletes and teams to get Beyond Better.
Collins Hill has and always will be Mary Byrne’s school — but now she’s getting the chance to start her own program elsewhere.
The 2005 Collins Hill graduate has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the same girls soccer program she starred for as a four-year starter before a college career at Georgia College.
She’s now headed to Johns Creek as the new head girls soccer coach.
“I’m so excited to have my own program,” she said. “Just the biggest thing is making sure that these girls understand that they’re student-athletes and they’re students first and foremost and (their) education is the most important thing. Having a program that develops them as individuals, not just athletes. They understand teamwork. They understand responsibility, accountability, that they can kind of become who they’re supposed to be as they move on. Because after high school, hopefully they want to do something — whether it be military, or college, going into the work force — I just want them to be able to learn something from athletics that can be brought into the real world.”
Carter turned down chances to be drafted in the second round by both the Atlanta Hawks and the Denver Nuggets because both teams wanted to send him to Europe for more development, according to a CSNMid-Atlantic report citing Carter’s agent.
Carter averaged 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds last season, his first at Maryland after transferring from Georgia Tech. The 6-foot-9 forward started his first two seasons at Tech before transferring and sitting out the 2014-15 season.
As a high-schooler, Carter played at Thomasville before finishing his career at Shiloh. He was a Daily Post Super Six and all-county selection in 2012 as a senior, when he averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The 2009 Greater Atlanta Christian grad, who was selected in the eighth round of the 2012 out after a collegiate career at Tennessee, posted a 2.19 earned run average and an .077 opponents batting average with 17 strikeouts in 12 innings over 10 outings out of the bullpen for the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate in Jacksonville last month.
For the season, Steckenrider has posted three saves with a 1.96 ERA, 30 strikeouts and a .132 opponents average in 23 innings in 18 relief appearances for the Suns.
He was promoted to Jacksonville in mid May after making six appearances for the Class High-A Jupiter (Fla.) Hammerheads, which whom he threw 10 scoreless innings.
“This year it’s more try to complete than the wow factor,” Tardy said. “I can actually control my nerves and see this might be my future.”
Two years ago, as a senior at Norcross, Tardy competed in her first U.S. Open on Pinehurst’s hallowed grounds.
She was the first to tee off, at 6:45 a.m., and shot an opening-round 83. She rebounded a bit with a 78 the following day, but still missed the cut by nine strokes.
“I feel like I could not be any more nervous than I was (at Pinehurst),” said Tardy, who again earned her spot at the Open through the qualifier in Butler, Pa. “Not to say I won’t be nervous, but I’ll be more confident and more comfortable.
“You play to be nervous, that’s the thrill of golf. I want to have that edgy side, that feeling inside you. That’s what you’re there for. If you’re not nervous, you’re not in the right spot.”
Stevens, an incoming freshman at Duke, started all three matches and finished the three friendlies with two goals and one assist.
In the opening match against the New Zealand U-20 National Team, Stevens played the first 78 minutes that saw the U.S. fall behind on a New Zealand first-half goal. The United States scored twice in the second half to win 2-1.
Stevens converted a penalty kick goal as the U.S. finished in a 4-4 draw in the second match of the trip. The Gatorade National Player of the Year played 65 minutes in the shootout.
To close out the final friendly match, the Americans registered a 4-1 win that saw Stevens assist on the first goal and score the game-winner for the U.S. in the 49th minute. She logged 71 minutes in the contest.
At Kennesaw State, Abdullah competes in combined events and has swept the Atlantic Sun Men’s Indoor Track & Field weekly awards three times this season. He set a school record in 2015 by becoming the first Owl to ever score in an NCAA Indoor Championship – finishing fourth overall in the heptathlon.
During his sophomore year at Brookwood, Abdullah’s German teacher persistently pestered him to go out for the track team. Although the season was already underway, he agreed to join the team. At his first meet, Abdullah’s high jump qualified him for the regional playoffs.
Shortly after the meet, however, Abdullah broke his ankle while playing basketball. With hopes of potentially playing on the hardwood in college, he opted to stay away from track and focus solely on basketball
When senior year rolled around and he had received minimal college offers for basketball, Abdullah decided to give track & field another shot.
“I wasn’t even that good at first,” Abdullah said. “I was jumping 6’2 on the high jump and running the 400m in about 50 seconds. I moved up to a 6’4 on the high jump, then, out of nowhere, jumped a 6’8. That’s when my coach started telling me that this was probably for me and I should stick with it.”
At the Georgia High School Association Track & Field State Championships, Abdullah met KSU assistant coach Agne Eggerth, who recruited him to be an Owl. Having never previously heard of the school, he researched the program and scheduled an official visit.
He fell in love with the school and the coaching staff on the visit and later accepted the offer to be on the track & field team in Kennesaw.
Meadows was committed to play college baseball at Clemson University, but chose to forgo that commitment by signing with the Pirates.
Meadows grew up in Loganville, Georgia, where he grew up and competed with fellow 2013 MLB Draft first round pick Clint Frazier. He led Grayson High School to the Georgia Class 6A State semifinals as a junior, hitting .390 with four home runs, 28 RBI and 19 stolen bases. Meadows was named a preseason First-Team High School All American by Rawlings and Perfect Game, and he hit .535 with 14 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 28 RBI in his senior season.
Whiteside pitched for Carson-Newman from 2000-2003, earning SAC player of the year honors her final two seasons. She was a four-time all-conference selection, as well as the conference’s female student-athlete of the year in 2003. She also is one of two student-athletes in conference history to win the President’s Award (which she won twice) and conference athlete of the year in the same season.
Whiteside holds Carson-Newman’s career record with 41 shutouts (also second in league history) and her 18 no-hitters rank second all-time in NCAA Division II history. She finished her career with a 1.53 ERA and 714 strikeouts, earning all-region honors twice and Academic All-American honors three times. She graduated college with a 4.0 GPA.
Whiteside has worked as a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Washington, D.C. since 2007.
Schaffernoth, 23, started for four years on the soccer team at Piedmont College, where she graduated in May 2015. She was the head junior varsity girls soccer coach this past season for the Broncos, guiding her team to an unbeaten season.
Regarded by ESPN as the "Southeast's best [high school football] prospect since the early 1980s," Nkemdiche was highest touted prospect committing to the Ole Miss Rebels since Eli Manning in 1999.
A native of Loganville, Georgia, Nkemdiche attended Grayson High School, where he was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track. He played as a defensive end and running back for the Grayson Rams high school football team. In his junior season, he registered 59 tackles and 18 sacks on defense while also running for 528 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns on offense. Grayson went undefeated throughout the season, finishing 15–0 with a GHSA 6A state title win over Marietta Walton. In his senior year, Nkemdiche registered 59 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks on defense, whilst on offense he had 235 total rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Early in the season Grayson defeated Dalvin Cook's Miami (FL) Central 35–3 in a game that was nationally televised on ESPN. The Rams went on to a 10–2 season record, and were upset by Mitch Hyatt's North Gwinnett in the second round of the GHSA 6A state playoffs. Nkemdiche was the Gwinnett Daily Post Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his career at Grayson with 41 career sacks. He was named first-team All-American as a junior by MaxPreps, as well as second-team as a senior.
Lawrence was a talented athlete but participated in multiple sports.
To thrive in one and maybe earn a college scholarship, she had to choose between basketball and softball.
“It was extremely difficult, and at the time I think she probably liked basketball a little more than softball because it was just more up-tempo and was more exciting to play,” Lawrence’s uncle, Terry Lester, said. “But from that point we decided she needed to decide which one to focus on. She started practicing softball year-round, hitting and fielding.”
Though she still played basketball on her high school team, AAU was off the table, and the Michigan softball program is grateful.
The former Dacula star had just finished four exceptional seasons at Alabama — she was an All-American all four years — and had played at a higher level with the U.S. National Team that spring.
That run with the top American team ended up being her last time playing competitive softball, though. The speedy outfielder, now Brittany Mayweather, had other plans.
“There was some interest with the pro league, but the pro league commitment would kind of take away from what I could offer in teaching,” Mayweather said. “I just decided teaching was going to be the best route. … It was definitely tough at the time. I almost felt like I was going through withdrawals from not being on a team because I’ve been on a team my whole life.
“It was different. But it was fun to create a different version of a team with my colleagues at work. It definitely took some adjusting, but I definitely get my taste of teamwork when I’m teaching.”
That decision led Mayweather — who will be inducted Friday in the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame — to where she is now, a fourth-grade teacher at Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Mulberry Elementary. The 29-year-old is finishing up her sixth year in GCPS education, the first four at Bethesda Elementary and the past two at Mulberry.
She’s been a fourth-grade teacher every year of her career in education, a degree she didn’t intend on at Alabama until an enjoyable community service project at the end of her freshman year at Alabama sparked a switch from her plan to be a civil engineer.
“I knew I wanted to teach fourth grade because of my fourth grade teacher (at Fort Daniel Elementary), Chad Hayes,” Mayweather said. “I think he’s still in the county. He was my inspiration along with all of my other teachers.”
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During that time he trained with other trainers in addition to his high school and college to provide the extra edge to be successful. When Justin begins training and developing young players for high school sports, he shares not only the training techniques but the ability to relate and understand the players he trains. He understands that the proper relationship and level of respect is vital for the success of his players. At Ultimate 48 Fitness, Justin is also involved with strength, sports performance, weight loss, and overall health as well as nutrition. His philosophy is that hard work and dedication leads to success and the satisfaction of reaching one’s goals!
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He has been professionally working as trainer/coach for five years and has been around strength and conditioning for over ten years. Manny is a graduate from the University of West Georgia and has a master’s in Business Administration. Manny was raised playing sports which conclude thirteen years of baseball, two of which are collegiate. In addition, he has been involved with American football for many years, five in college and one currently with a professional Arena football team. In order to be more knowledgeable, Manny keeps an open mind in the fitness world and still seeks for new certifications along with continuing education. At the University of West Georgia, Manny specialized in weight-loss, sports performance, muscle-building, and health. In addition, he participated in programs such as Biggest Loser’s, Wolf-90x, group-x training, 1-on-1’s, and lecturing on nutrition and health. Manny believes anyone trying to attain their Ultimate goal will indeed reach success by applying hard work and faith to their regimen.
Ardeeser, a first baseman, was a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) honoree, also earning All-Southeast Region status in both his junior and senior seasons. The lefty slugger finished his career with 29 home runs and 196 RBIs, hitting .364 over his four seasons with 270 career hits.
A native of Buford, Georgia, Alexander attended Buford High School, where he was a two-time Georgia AA First Team All-State offensive lineman as a junior and senior. In his senior season, the Buford Wolves went 14–1 and finished as GHSA Class AA runner-up, being upset in the state final by Calhoun. After his senior season, Alexander participated in the Under Armour All-America Game.
Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Alexander was ranked as the No. 11 offensive guard prospect in the class of 2012. Alexander chose Louisiana State over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina.
Sims was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft out of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia. He signed with the Braves, receiving a $1.65 million signing bonus.
During his first professional season he pitched for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Braves and Danville Braves. He finished 2-4 with a 3.71 earned run average with 39 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched.
Sims played the 2013 season with the Class-A Rome Braves. He started the season in the bullpen but was then moved to the rotation. He finished the season 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 116 2⁄3 innings.
In 2013, Sims was considered the Braves best prospect according to MLB.com. He had fallen to third on the same list by the start of the 2015 season, and was placed seventh on the year-end list. The Braves sent Sims to the Arizona Fall League in 2015. He opened the AFL season for the Peoria Javelinas, and also started the Fall Stars Game. Sims was invited to spring training for the first time in 2016. He began the season with the Mississippi Braves, and was promoted to Gwinnett on April 23.
It's nice to be in Atlanta right now. My parents are here. My wife's parents are here. It's home. I like Atlanta. I could see staying in Atlanta the rest of my life and having a nice life and a nice career. But if a golden opportunity came up elsewhere, I'd have to consider it.
Prior to Parkview, Akin served as an assistant basketball coach at Milton High School. Milton finished #1 & #2 respectively in the state of Georgia in 2011 and 2012. Within the those two seasons alone at Milton, eleven players went on to play at the college level. The Eagles amassed a 61-4 record on the court in those two seasons with notable victories over national programs such as: Oak Hill, Bishop Gorman, Winter Park, Lone Peak and Jamesville Dewitt. In 2013, The Atlanta Journal Consitution named the 2012 Milton High School Basketball team as one of the "Five Best of All Time" in the state of Georgia.
Akin also served as the head coach of the Gwinnett Majic, a minor league basketball franchise located in Gwinnett County. He guided the Majic to the league's best regular season record and help capture the World Basketball Association Championship in back to back to back years (2009-2011). Along the way, he was named WBA Coach of the Year in those respective seasons.
Akin was a member of the Lady Bulldog Basketball Staff at the University of Georgia from 2006-2009. During his time at Georgia, the Lady Bulldogs made the NCAA tournament three times, including a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2006-2007. He received his Master’s Degree in Sport Management from Georgia in December 2007.
David is a native of Lilburn, GA where he attended Berkmar High School and was a two-year letter winner in basketball. He played for Coach David Boyd and was a member of Berkmar's 1998 state runner-up squad. Upon graduating from high school, he went on to continue his playing career at Brewton-Parker College where he was a four-year letter winner in basketball. He helped the team reach the NAIA tournament in the '99-'00 season. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Brewton-Parker in 2003.
Prior to joining the Braves staff he worked with the University of Memphis football staff as a defensive graduate assistant after spending the previous three years on the coaching staff at Georgia Southern.
At Georgia Southern, Turner served as a defensive assistant coach working with the defensive backs. In 2009, the Eagles' defense averaged 6.2 TFL and 1.9 sacks per game. The defense had two players named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team and one to the All-Conference first team.
In 2008, Turner worked on a defensive staff that, playing as many as nine true-freshmen on a consistent basis, saved its best performance for last in a 17-10 win at 14th-ranked Furman to close out the season with a winning record. The 10 points allowed were the fewest by an opponent since October 2005.
The defense saw a league-best four rookies named to the inaugural SoCon All-Freshman Team in 2008. As a defensive unit, the Eagles ranked 22nd in TFL per game (7.0) and 26th in sacks per game (2.4) in the nation.
During the 2007 season, the Eagles' defense ranked 14th nationally in turnover margin, a +1.09 per game average. That impressive average was a result of the team's 56th ranking in passes intercepted, 17th in fumbles recovered and 37th in turnovers gained. Overall, the defensive unit recorded 65 TFL, 19 sacks, 11 interceptions and 56 pass break ups.
Turner lettered three years and spent five years in all with the Georgia Southern football program. The one-time walk-on joined the team in the fall of 2002. He redshirted that year and then saw action in six games his redshirt-freshman year. As a sophomore in 2004, he played in nine games, becoming a valuable member of the special teams unit and helping the Eagles qualify for the playoffs. He recorded three tackles on special teams that season.
After missing the 2005 campaign, Turner returned the following season and played in eight games. Again, he provided senior leadership on special teams, ranking among the leaders in tackles in 2006 and earning the Special Teams Captain Award.
Turner joined the Eagles after a standout career at Collins Hill High School. He earned Gwinnett County Player of the Month honors during his junior year. He also lettered three times in baseball, being named to the All-Atlanta team and played with Team Georgia.
Turner graduated in December 2006 with a bachelor's degree in general studies from Georgia Southern. He is married to Stephanie Turner who are the proud parents of two girls Taylor (4) & Peyton (2)
Collin has since played the Colorado Rockies, the New York Mets and now is seeing success playing for the Houston Astros.
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Reagin is the new Executive Director of the Catalyst Conference, a three-day event for Christian leaders that ends on Friday at the Gwinnett Arena. He said it has been a really neat experience bringing an event like Catalyst back to the county he grew up in.
“When the Gwinnett Convention Center opened, the very first year, was when I graduated high school,” Reagin said. “To be from Gwinnett County and get to do an event that’s been here 15 years and been in the Arena for 11 and to be here and know that it was one of the first events at the Arena. It’s been neat for us to partner with a county and allow them to see what God’s doing in young people and leaders. For me it’s really neat to go, ‘Man, I grew up here’ and yet I get to come back here and see how what we get to do really has an effect on the community.”
Shepherd attended North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. He was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 18 guard and No. 22 by Scout.com, while ESPN.com ranked him 46th nationally as an offensive tackle. He was also ranked 13th on Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Top 50. Regarded as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Shepherd chose Alabama over Georgia Tech, Clemson, South Carolina and UAB. He enrolled in January of 2010 and participated in spring drills for the Crimson Tide.
A native of Suwanee, Georgia, Roby attended Peachtree Ridge High School, where he was an All-State receiver and defensive back. He recorded 42 tackles and six interceptions along with 29 receptions for 526 yards as a senior. He scored 11 touchdowns: five on receptions, two on punt returns and one each via a rush and kick, interception and a fumble return. He was a four-time school scholar-athlete. He was an standout basketball player.
He was also on the school's track & field team. He won the 100 meters at the 2009 Region 7 AAAAA Championships, with a career-best time of 11.02 seconds, and also finished third in the 200 meters with a career-best time of 22.49 seconds. He also competed in long jump.
Regarded as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Roby was listed as the No. 42 athlete in the nation in 2010.
The 6-foot, 229-pound Lynch was a two-year starter and senior captain for the Orange before going unselected at this year's NFL Draft. He signed with the Rams as a free agent shortly after but was likely a long shot to make the final cut.
Lynch recorded 14 tackles, a pass deflection and a forced fumble in three preseason games. Playing against the Chiefs on Thursday, he paced the Rams with nine tackles.
At Syracuse, Lynch posted a team-leading 97 tackles, inducing 12 for loss, and seven sacks as a senior last season. He earned third-team All-ACC honors from Phil Steele.
Lynch finished with 69 tackles, including 12 for loss, six pass deflections and four sacks as a junior.
He is also one of the stronger players to come out of Syracuse recently. He was named the No. 4 "freak" athlete in the country by NFL.com before last season.
Lynch chose the Orange after graduating from Brookwood with a 3.7 GPA and two-part 1435 SAT score, according to Scout.com. After he chases his NFL dream, Lynch has aspirations of becoming a sports broadcaster.
James attended North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. He helped lead his team to 13-1 mark as senior, earning Region 7-5A championship while advancing to the state quarterfinals. He was selected to play in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Florida.
James attended the University of Tennessee from 2010 to 2013. He started 49 consecutive games for the Vols, all at right tackle. His 49 starts set a record for career starts by an offensive lineman in Tennessee history (passing Jeff Smith's 48 set from 1992-1995).
Heyward attended Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia, where he played for the Peachtree Ridge Lions high school football team. He was the 2006 Georgia Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year. As a senior he was considered the 7th best football player in Georgia, and the 13th best defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com. He benched 335 pounds and squatted 510 pounds, and was considered a scholar athlete with a GPA of 3.2.
As a true freshman in 2007, Heyward was named a freshman All-American by Sporting News, Rivals.com and Scout.com after recording 30 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 2 passes broken up.
Heyward finished his career at Ohio State with 162 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, and one interception.
In 2011, Taylor Heinicke accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Old Dominion University, where he played for the Old Dominion Monarchs football team from 2011 to 2014.
Heinicke became the starter for Old Dominion in 2011. That year he led the Monarchs to a 10–3 record in the Colonial Athletic Association, but lost in the second round of FCS playoffs against Georgia Southern. He passed for 2385 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 1 interception, and he ran for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also punted 4 times for 170 yards. Heinicke was named to the All-CAA 3rd team Offense and was the National Freshman Performer of the Year. Old Dominion finished ranked #10 in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Heinicke made the Minnesota Vikings as their third quarterback after a record-setting career at Old Dominion.
Garcia originally attended the University of Maryland before transferring to Florida.
Max is listed on the 53-man 2015 roster.
Geremy is on the New York Giants' 53-man 2015 roster.
The 2010 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class named David as an A All-State First Team and # 41 on Georgia Top 50, the 2010 Georgia Sportswriters Association also named him Class A All-State First Team. As a senior, David, recorded a 92 percent blocking grade average, 58 knockdowns and did not allow a sack ... Also recorded 41 tackles and eight tackles-for-loss.
As a junior, recorded an 88% blocking grade average with 48 knockdowns and did not allow a sack ... Also added 41 tackles and eight tackles-for-loss on defense. David helped lead Wesleyan to a Class A state championship as a sophomore in 2008.
Cook played college football at the University of South Carolina. During his career he started 15 of 36 games for the Gamecocks at tight end, finishing his career with 73 receptions for 1,107 yards and seven touchdowns.
Drew is on the Oakland Raiders' 53-man 2015 roster for the third straight season.
He attended Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia, and played high school football for the Peachtree Ridge Lions. As a junior, he averaged 40 yards per punt with a longest kick of 63 yards and 13 punts inside the 20-yard line. Following his senior season in 2006, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Sports Writers Association named him to their Class 5A all-state first teams.
Scout.com rated him as the No. 9 punter recruit in the nation. He also played Peachtree Ridge Lions golf team, while maintaining a 3.9 grade point average.is an American football punter for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Georgia and was recognized as a consensus collegiate All-American punter.
Butler graduated from Norcross High School in 2008 and graduated from University of Southern California in 2011 where he majored in public policy, management and planning. He enrolled in a master's program at San Diego State in 2011 and played his final season.
Brice Butler is on the Oakland Raiders' 53-man 2015 roster for the third straight season.
The Boston Red Sox drafted Jacobs in the tenth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus ranked Jacobs as the 46th best prospect in baseball prior to the 2012 season.
On July 12, 2013, Jacobs was traded to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Matt Thornton and cash. He was ranked the #7 ranked prospect in the White Sox organization. After the trade, Jacobs played for Double-A Birmingham Barons. He finished the 2013 season combined hitting .244 in 455 at bats, 33 doubles, 13 home runs, 66 runs batted in, 44 walks, 140 strikeouts, and 12 stolen bases. After the 2013 season, Jacobs was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On January 10, 2015, Jacobs signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals, but he was released during spring training. On April 10, he signed with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the independent Frontier League.
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It was one of those small but special moments that happen only in spring training, when a kid wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform with No. 94 on his back gets to tell a story, and collect a keepsake.
It's about the day that a kid named Shannon Wilkerson was summoned to pinch hit for David Ortiz, stepped into the batter's box against Roy Halladay, and went home with a broken bat as a souvenir.
"That's something out of a dream," Wilkerson said after Monday's exhibition between the Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.
Wilkerson, just 22 years old, was born in Lawrenceville, Ga., right outside of Atlanta, and grew up in the town of Dacula, which lies halfway between Atlanta and Athens, home of the University of Georgia. Dacula is not pronounced like the vampire but as Duh-CUE-la. The town's population, as of 2009, was 4,805.
An outfielder, Wilkerson was drafted on the sixth round by the Red Sox in 2008, out of Augusta State College, where he was named Division II player of the year after leading the Peach Belt Conference in six offensive categories, including batting average (.441) and home runs (24). He debuted with Lowell in 2009, and advanced to the Class A Greenville Drive in South Carolina. He missed time last season with Greenville after fracturing a hamate bone in his wrist, but came up big in the playoffs, batting .389 (7-for-18).
Earlier this month, he reported to minor-league camp, and on Monday, he was on the list of campers called up to accompany the big league club to Bright Field. Wilkerson had gotten in one game last spring, in the late innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, but this was his first time this spring.
Halladay, who has won a Cy Young Award in each league, was still in the game when the Red Sox came to bat in the eighth inning. The second hitter scheduled to bat in the inning was Ortiz, who already had come to the plate three times. Instead, Wilkerson was told to grab a bat.
"I was on-deck, I realized, 'I'm hitting for David Ortiz,"' he said. "And then I think it kind of sunk in. When I got to the plate, I told myself, 'Just go back to being yourself. Relax. Breathe.' After the first pitch, I was back to myself, and saw the ball well."
With the right-handed hitting Wilkerson ahead in the count 2-and-1, Halladay threw a fastball. Wilkerson squared up the pitch nicely, lining a ball down the left-field line, but foul. He also broke his bat, and went into the dugout to retrieve another. The next pitch was a slider, the kind that Halladay has made a living out of enticing hitters to chase. Wilkerson leaned toward the pitch, but somehow forced himself to hold back on his swing. Ball three.
"When I got back to the dugout," Wilkerson said, "I told some of the other minor leaguers, 'That's the hardest, latest-breaking slider I think I've ever seen.' Thank God I was able to hold off."
The next pitch was ball four, and Wilkerson was on base with a walk. With the game televised by ESPN, the moment was not lost on friends and family.
"I just turned my phone on, and it hasn't quit vibrating in my back pocket," he said.
When the inning ended, Wilkerson returned to the dugout with a purpose.
"The first thing I did was to look for the bat that I broke," he said. "They had it in a bag with the bats that had been broken in the game. I found it. I got it here. I'm taking it home with me."
For someone else, a broken bat to be discarded. For Shannon Wilkerson, a piece of a dream. And that's something always worth holding on to.
He earned numerous accolades, including the 2010 Southeastern Conference All-Tournament team, National Player of the Week by College Baseball 360 and a spot on the Johnny Bench Award Watch List.
Bennett was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 33rd round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.
A native of Atlanta, Bennett is a 2006 graduate of Greater Atlanta Christian School.
“I’m very thankful to Georgia State University and Coach Frady for giving me this opportunity,” Bennett said. “To be able to coach baseball for such a strong program in my hometown is a blessing, and I’m excited to work with these outstanding student-athletes and coaches.”
The 2014 Dacula grad had to make a difficult decision roughly a year ago — chase professional opportunities in Europe or take the sure thing, his college soccer scholarship to North Carolina-Greensboro. Right after he finished freshman orientation at UNCG, he opted for the pro route.
In 2013, Olson played for the Beloit Snappers. Olson started 2014 with the Stockton Ports. Throughout the season he was among the home run leaders in Minor League Baseball.
Johnson was drafted in the fourth round (51st overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by Chicago Fire. He was the last Generation Adidas player selected in that draft. He made his MLS debut on August 1, 2010 during a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles Galaxy after earning the starting spot against Andrew Dykstra. In his rookie season he earned back to back "Save of the Week" honors. In November 2011 Manchester United gave given Johnson a trial which began at the end of the MLS season in December.
On December 1, 2011, Chicago Fire announced that Johnson would be training at Everton for a week. In 2013, he was named the Chicago Fire's Defender of the Year. He had an 11-9-7 record with the Fire- along with 6 clean sheets.
“I kind got swept up in things I shouldn't have,” he admits. “I had some rough teenage years and took my family through some rough times. At high school drugs and gangs were really big. I'd moved from the outskirts of the city and wanted to fit in and I fell victim to peer pressure.”
In his junior year at high school his life was spiralling dangerously out of control. He was flirting with a world filled with narcotics and violence and did things that were “disheartening to my family”.
Read more: http://spikes.iaaf.org/post/aleec-harris-track-saved-my-life
Blake is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians.
Zimmerman played college soccer at Furman University between 2011 and 2012. He was named First Team All-Conference 2011, Southern Conference Freshman of the Year 2011, and National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s All-America Second Team in 2012.
FC Dallas selected Zimmerman in the first round (No. 7 overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. He made his professional debut on May 11th, 2013 as a late substitute in a 2–1 victory against D.C. United.
He returned to boxing after the war as a light heavyweight, picking up many notable wins over leading light heavyweights, as well as heavyweight contenders Archie Moore, Jimmy Bivins, Lloyd Marshall and Elmer Ray. Shortly after his knock-out of Moore in their third and final meeting, tragedy struck. Charles fought a young contender named Sam Baroudi, knocking him out in Round 10. Baroudi died of the injuries he sustained in this bout. Charles was so devastated he almost gave up fighting. Charles was unable to secure a title shot at light heavyweight and moved up to heavyweight. After knocking out Joe Baksi and Johnny Haynes, Charles won the vacant National Boxing Association World Heavyweight title when he outpointed Jersey Joe Walcott over 15 rounds on June 22, 1949. The following year, he outpointed his idol and former World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis to become the recognized Lineal Champion. Successful defenses against Walcott, Lee Oma and Joey Maxim would follow.
In 1951, Charles fought Walcott a third time and lost the title by knockout in the seventh round. Charles lost a controversial decision in the fourth and final bout. If Charles had won this fight, he would have become the first man in history to regain the heavyweight championship. Remaining a top contender with wins over Rex Layne, Tommy Harrison and Coley Wallace, Charles knocked out Bob Satterfield in an eliminator bout for the right to challenge Heavyweight Champion Rocky Marciano. His two stirring battles with Marciano are regarded as ring classics. In the first bout, held in June 1954, he valiantly took Rocky the distance, going down on points in a vintage heavyweight bout. Charles is the only man ever to last the full 15-round distance against Marciano. In their September rematch, a severely cut Marciano rallied to KO Charles in the 8th round, in a bout that was named The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year."
DeShields' mother, Tisha DeShields, was an All-America heptathlete for the Tennessee women's track team in 1991, when she was known as Tisha Milligan. DeShields' father is Delino DeShields, a former second baseman who played for five major league teams from 1990 to 2002.
- 2 time state champion 97 and 98 seasons
- All county senior year
- Played at Reinhardt College 98-2000
- National NJCAA runner-up 98
- All NJCAA region team -98-2000
- All NJCAA tournament team 98
- Finished degree at Georgia State University with a BS/education/mathematics 2004
- MS Walden University 2008
- Coached as assistant at Dacula High school 2011 season.
• Scored 2,174 points in high school career
• Led Wolves to State Runner-Up (1999)
• AAU National Championship GA Magic (1999)
• Miss Georgia Basketball (2000)
• Three-time UGA All-Conference (SEC)
• Under 20 USA National Team
• Wade Trophy Nominee
• SEC Freshman of the Year (2001)
• Drafted 12th overall to Los Angeles Sparks (2004-2009) Minnesota Lynz (2009) Chicago Sky (2010)
• Gold Medalist - U.S. Young Women National Team, Croatia and All-Tournament Team
• Sports Analyst – College Sports South
• Competes internationally - Italy, Spain, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Latvia
• Considered one of Gwinnett’s best ever all-around athletes
• Holds Gwinnett County Championship Meet records in the 300M hurdles, 400M dash and the high jump
• Member of four relay teams that hold Norcross High records
• Three times All-County in track
• All-County in cross country
• Holds high school 400M dash
• Broke University of Tennessee program record in the decathlon as a freshman
• SEC Freshman of the Year
• Two-time captain
• Captain’s Award and Ironman Award at UT
• Davis/Zwingle Scholarship, rising senior demonstrating exceptional campus leadership
• Two NCAA team championships (2001) outdoors, (2002) indoors.
• NCAA champion in the decathlon - University of Tennessee (2003)
• Ranked No. 8 in the world, No. 4 in U.S. in decathlon while at UT
• Only four-time All-American in the decathlon for the University of Tennessee
• Active on Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and in student government
• Part of USA team that competed against Germany (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005)
• Qualified at U.S. Olympic trials (2004)
• U.S. Outdoor Track and Field National Championships – 4th decathlon (2005)
• Joined the Harvard coaching staff (2009)
Born in Davenport, Iowa, Weir started swimming while the family lived in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
Weir holds many of the sprint freestyle age group records for USA Swimming, setting her first record at age 12, in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.17 seconds. She attended Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia, and led the Brookwood swim team to four consecutive Georgia Class 5A state championships.
At the 2004 Summer Olympics, Weir swam the third leg in the U.S. team for the Women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Leading after her leg of the relay, the U.S. team finished second to the Australians, setting an American Record with their finishing time. Weir earned a Silver medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay by helping her team qualify for the final.
Weir became a freshman at the University of Georgia in 2004, where her team dominated the 2005 NCAA championships, with Weir anchoring four of the unprecedented five UGA winning relays. She was recognized as the Atlanta Amateur Athlete of the Year for 2005. Weir left the University of Georgia after her freshman year and transferred to the University of Southern California in 2006. After a single semester at USC, Weir decided to end her college swimming career to begin swimming professionally.
At the 2006 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championship, Weir broke the American record in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 53.58.
At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, the U.S. qualifying meet for the Olympics, Weir made the U.S. Olympic team for the second time by finishing fifth in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 54.41, which qualified her to swim in the 4×100-meter freestyle as a member of the U.S. relay team. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she earned a bronze medal as a member of the third-place U.S. team in the women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay.
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Pollack attended the University of Georgia, where he played for coach Mark Richt's Georgia Bulldogs football team from 2001 to 2004 and was a roommate of future NFL quarterback David Greene.
For three consecutive seasons, he was recognized as a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection and a first-team All-American (2002, 2003, 2004)—twice as an NCAA consensus first-team honoree, having received the first-team selections of a majority of All-America selector organizations in 2002 and 2004. He is only the second player in Bulldogs team history to earn first-team All-American honors in three seasons, following Heisman Trophy-winner Herschel Walker.
• Standout in football, basketball and wrestling at Shiloh High School
• Gwinnett County Defensive Lineman of the Year twice at Shiloh
• Atlanta Touchdown Club Defensive Lineman of the Year as a senior
• Class 5A all-state high school selection
• UGA All-Conference (SEC) and first team All-American (2002, 2003, 2004)
• 36 sacks in collegiate career, third most in NCAA history
• SEC Player of the Year Award (2004)
• SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award (2004)
• Chuck Bednarik Award (2004)
• Ted Hendricks Award (2003, 2004)
• Lombardi Award (2004)
• Lott Trophy (2004)
• First-round NFL draft pick Cincinnati Bengals
• ESPN's College Game Day
• ESPN's Thursday Night Football
• Two-time AAU national champion
• A three-time state champion at 171 pounds at Shiloh High School
• State champion sophomore, junior and senior year
• Compiled a four-year record in high school of 154-3
• First from Georgia to win Senior National Tournament (1999)
• Ranked No. 4 in the country at 189 by Wrestling USA magazine
• Named Georgia Wrestler of the Year (1999)
• Four-time NCAA qualifier at North Carolina State
• NC State - finished second in the ACC Tournament (1999)
• Won National Wrestling Coaches Association Tournament at 171 pounds (1999)
• Posted a 23-9 record with three pins, six major decisions, and a technical fall, leading to ACC championship (2001)
• Posted 18-4 record at 165 weight (2002 - 03)
• Two-time ACC champion NC State
• Established The Wrestling Academy in Gwinnett (2004)
• Trains approximately 500 wrestlers per year
• Played basketball in Grayson’s original rock gym
• UGA letterman football
• UGA letterman baseball
• On first SEC baseball championship team at UGA (1933)
• All-Time University of Georgia Football Lettermen (1931-32-33)
• Catcher - Atlanta Crackers baseball team (1934)
• Defensive Tackle - Chicago Cardinals football team (1938)
Slide serves as the head coach of the eighth grade girls’ basketball team at Dacula Middle School. She is a product of the Gwinnett County school system, having attended Benefield Elementary, Sweetwater Middle, and Berkmar High schools before receiving a full scholarship and playing basketball for four years at Georgia Southwestern State University while earning her undergraduate and Masters degrees, both in special education.
“After I finished playing basketball in college, I never dreamed of coaching basketball. It was something that just fell into my lap,” said Slide. “Now, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. For four months out of the year my life revolves around the twelve girls that make up my team. We practice every day and I also offer additional individual shooting practices in the mornings for any players who would like to take advantage of the opportunity for shooting tips.”
Slide is also involved with the sixth and seventh grade teams, providing the opportunity to help develop the younger girls that will one day play for her. She also assists with the Dacula High School open practices for both middle and high school girls during the summer, in an effort to bridge the two programs and have cohesiveness between the two schools.
Currently in her thirteenth year of coaching, Slide also teaches students with severe and profound disabilities.
“Before I started coaching, I did not know many of the regular education students at Dacula Middle. As a special education teacher, our class is very involved and our daily schedule is very different than the rest of the school,” remembered Slide. “During my first year of coaching, I was shocked when I would walk down the hall and students would say “Hi, Coach Slide.” So many of the regular education students were recognizing me, and also began stopping by my classroom.”
Specifically, many of Slide’s players began to stop by her classroom to say hello to her and her students. Several of them began to volunteer to help with various things in her class.
“To see the interaction between my students and the players was wonderful. One year, I was even able to have one of my students help out as a team manager.”
“As much as I love coaching basketball, it has been most rewarding for me to have my players form relationships with my students.”
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Moose became one of the top high school players in the country and went on to play at Middle Tennessee State, where he led the Blue Raiders in blocks as a freshman and broke the school record for most blocked shots in a game, with eight. He studied wellness and exercise science in college and would enjoy training other athletes following his playing days.
His pregame rituals? Listening to some country rap tunes while stretching, drinking some coconut water, and eating bee pollen. He will eat most anything on a pizza – but onions or anchovies are definitely out.
If he were a car, Moose says he would be an off-road jeep, because he can handle most anything thrown at him, and he is tough, dependable and built to last.
#Gill, who played basketball at Shiloh, has a degree in sports medicine/athletic training from Valdosta State and a master of science in sports medicine, which he earned from Georgia State while he was a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Emory. He is married to Christa Waterman Gill, a former basketball player at North Gwinnett and Georgia Southern, and the couple has a 10-month-old daughter, Ella.
In high school Tim was a four-year letterwinner as a shortstop and pitcher for coach Hugh Buchanon at Parkview High School ... Named the Gwinnett County Pitcher of the Year in 2002 and 2003 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ... Helped Parkview win state championships in 2001 and 2002 ... Set a school record for wins when he went 12-2 with a 2.21 ERA as a junior ... Posted an 8-1 record and a 2.64 ERA as a senior, striking out 63 and issuing 11 walks in 55.2 innings ... Also lettered three years as a wide receiver and defensive back in football ... Named the Gwinnett County defensive back of the year and earned all-state honors as a senior ... Helped Parkview win football state championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002 ... Played for the East Cobb Yankees team that won the Connie Mack World Series in 2003 ... A four year member of the Parkview Honor Roll.
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Minter is an American football linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). Minter played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU) and earned All-American honors. The Arizona Cardinals picked him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Kevin is on the Oakland Raiders' 53-man 2015 roster.
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The Valdosta State football program announced Wednesday that Justin Roper has been named quarterbacks coach. Roper was the running backs coach last season for fellow NCAA Division II member Findlay, where he coached Daiquone Ford to All-America honors while helping the sophomore to 1,789 yards and a school-record 24 rushing touchdowns.
“Being a native of Gwinnett County, Justin has a lot of connections in that area,” the VSU Blazers' Head Coach David Dean said. “We have always had a strong contingent of Gwinnett County players on our roster and his presence on our coaching staff should help us increase our ability to get players out of that area, which consistently has some of the top talent in the state.
Lou Williams Named NBA's Sixth Man of the Year - http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2015/apr/20/south8217s-lou-williams-named-nba-sixth-man-of/
Michelle is Duluth High School graduate lettering in softball and basketball. She was on the 1999 AAAA State championship team in softball, a 3-time Gwinnett Daily Post Pitcher of the Year and a 2-time All-State in softball. Green attended the University of Georgia from 2001-2005. Her college career accolades include: 2003, 2005 SEC Champion, 2003, 2005 SEC Pitcher of the Year 2003, 2005 All-American, Career leader in wins, ERA, strikeouts, shutouts at UGA.
Green began her coaching career at North Carolina State University where her team was the 2006 (ACC Regular Season and Tournament Champions). Greene made the move to the University of Georgia leading the bulldogs to 2006-2009 (2009 World Series Appearance). She also coached at Oconee County High School from 2009-2011, and most recently at Gainesville High School, 2011-2014 before joining the Blue Devils at Norcross High School.
As a high school junior in 2005–06, she was named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year after leading Collins Hill High School to Georgia's Class 5A state championship. She was only the second junior to win the Naismith award Her first dunk was one-handed off an alley-oop pass in warm-ups at a dunk contest in Charlotte, NC in December 2005. She was 16 at the time.
In December 2006, she led the Collins Hill Eagles over Poly (Long Beach, California) by a score of 75–61, resulting in her being selected unanimously as the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament of Champions in Chandler, Arizona. In the title game of the "T-Mobile Invitational" in Seattle, she scored 48 points in a win over St. Elizabeth (Wilmington, Delaware).
In 2007, Moore became Collins Hill High School's all-time leader in points and rebounds. During her four seasons at Collins Hill, the school amassed a 125–3 record. Moore won 3 Georgia Class 5A State Championships. Collins Hill was ranked No. 1 and claimed the crown of National Champions in 2007 by USA Today (Ranked No. 2 in 2006 and Ranked No. 5 in 2005). Moore announced that she would play college basketball at the University of Connecticut.
After she led Collins Hill High School to a third straight Georgia Class 5A state championship she received her second Naismith Prep Female Player of the Year in 2007.
Nick is currently pursuing a career in broadcasting.
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While at UNC, Tausche was a member of the cheerleading team. Tausche sits on the alumni board of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
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Update: Massey received the 2012 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series.
Shelton and his wife Bri, who live in Braselton, have a 3-year-old son, Brantley, and another boy, Landry, due in August. The 2002 South Gwinnett graduate started four seasons on the offensive line at Valdosta State, where he began as a 219-pound walk-on, and was part of the 2004 national championship team.
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A 2002 graduate of Norcross High, Luckett graduated from Auburn University, where he received his ROTC commission as an officer. He served a tour of duty in Iraq, where on May 11, 2008; Luckett was wounded when his patrol came under attack in Baghdad. On that day, he would become a double amputee (lower left leg and half of right foot) but his drive to lead soldiers only grew stronger. He returned to unit in March, 2009, to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky.
Since returning to the Strike Brigade in February 2009, Luckett has taken on a great deal of responsibility, where he served as the executive officer for his company and for more than a year has helped prepare his company for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. He and his unit left for Afghanistan in May.
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He is a two-time medalist at the Pan American Games, having taken silver in 2007 and improved to the gold in 2011 (where he broke the Games record). He set his personal best of 80.31 meters (263 ft 5.8 in) in 2011. He was the 2011 USA Outdoor Champion in the hammer throw and the 2008 USA Indoor Champion in the weight throw.
Olympian Kibwe Johnson will start his track and field coaching career with one of the nation's preeminent athletic programs. He was announced Monday as a track and field assistant coach at IMG Academy, the legendary training facility in Bradenton, Fla., that has produced some of the nation's top athletes in a variety of sports. He will specialize in throws, which took him to the Olympics in 2012, at the renowned academy.
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#Lester played at Auburn and has spent time in both the NFL and CFL over the past few years. In this installment of "Getting to Know...," staff writer Ben Beitzel talks with Lester about starting his training business, his days at Auburn and Parkview and the difficulties of breaking into the NFL.
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Curran started for the varsity football team as a sophomore, playing both linebacker and fullback. While attending a football camp in Atlanta, he met former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl linebacker Jessie Tuggle. Tuggle played an important role in Curran’s development as a linebacker, and continues to serve as one of his mentors.
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Blackmon grew up as a fan for the Atlanta Braves and was an outstanding baseball player at North Gwinnett High School. He transferred to Georgia Tech in the fall of 2006 after spending two years at Young Harris Junior College. He earned a baseball scholarship to Georgia Tech and graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall of 2011.
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Larry is currently a teacher at South Gwinnett High School.
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Passed away on October 9, 1964.
Passed away on March 1, 1941.
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A graduate of Brookwood High School, Dunn bought the "Winning Edge Model & Talent Agency" at age nineteen and coached pageant contestants and winners. She sold the business upon winning the title of Miss Georgia in 2000. Patti's current business is "The Crowning Touch".
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He used to try to break my hand when he shook it,” Hickman said with a laugh.
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I loved my time at Georgia State,” she said. “But I really think the foundation of what I do came at Brookwood, where I developed my love of television and broadcasting.”