Best Of SEC

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The 2019 College Football Magazines have landed in the book stores.

I get most of my sports information on the internet nowadays but I still like to pick up a magazine or two when the SEC editions hit the stores. Here are my top three’s in selected topics. What makes this fun is everyone has a different and strong opinion one way or the other.

Top Game Day Experiences:

  1. Baton Rouge: if you have never attended a LSU home game in Red Stick you are missing a treat.

The Cajuns know how to put on a party and carry that intensity into the stadium. It is loud in Baton Rouge and the Tigers will be a pretty good football team in 2019. Best road trip in the SEC. This place is the best tailgating experience in all of college football.

  1. World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party: The UGA/UF games in Jacksonville have it all drinks, food, dancing, brawling (I got spit on in 2008 and you know that got addressed) and a heated football rivalry.

I have fraternity brothers on both sides heated up about this game already this fall and it’s only May.

  1. Athens: Best college town in America. Weather and atmosphere are great for big fall games in The Classic City. Can you imagine what it will be like on 9/21 when Notre Dame rolls into town?

Best Student Sections:

  1. South Carolina: Carolina students get to the game early and they rock “Sandstorm” in Williams Brice and wave those white towels.
  2. Ole Miss: If you want to see former and what future Miss America’s look like head to Oxford this fall and hang out in The Grove. A feast for your eyes.
  3. Florida: The Gates are on the way back and when they are good the student section there rocks. It helps that you can leave the stadium and return more juiced up than before. I don’t know if they have changed that policy or not since I went there last.

Best Defense:

  1. Alabama: The Tide have been checking into this spot frequently. Can the Tide continue to produce first round defensive lineman?
  2. Auburn: The Tigers have Derrick Brown back and maybe their best defense in years. Gus needs a great season and this defense will do its part.
  3. Florida: The Gators will be able to rush the passer as good as anyone and the SEC is a pressure league. Can Florida hold up at cornerback is the question?

Best Offense:

  1. Georgia: Jake Fromm is the best QB in the SEC. Yes, I said it Alabama fans. The Dawgs have the best offensive line and best set of running backs as well.
  2. Alabama: Tua is injury prone, but is a big play QB when healthy. Best set of wide receivers in the SEC. Very Good offensive line.
  3. Texas A&M: Jimbo can coach up some offense. The Aggies will put up some points in 2019 with Kellen Mond at QB. This team is on the rise.

Best Team:

  1. Alabama: Best starting 22 in the country. Saban is maybe the greatest head coach in college football history.
  2. Georgia: Best 85 man roster in the country. Kirby has assembled a monster.
  3. LSU: Don’t sleep on this team. Coach O has them almost back to being the LSU we know again.

Best Head Coach:

  1. Nick Saban: Nick is on the Mt. Rushmore of College Football coaches.
  2. Jimbo Fisher: Jimbo has a Natty at FSU and will build the Aggies into a beast.
  3. Kirby Smart: Best recruiter in America and has turned this program into a national power in just 3 years.

College Football starts in less than 100 days.

Not Going Back

By: TJ Hartnett

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Atlanta Braves are, unsurprisingly, leaning on youth to win ballgames during the first half of the season.

The young pitching that has been so highly touted for the past several years has shown up and produced, with Mike Soroka the undisputed ace of the team and Max Fried leading the squad in wins after nearly two months. That is to be expected, with the hype that surrounded those two and their fellow pitching prospects.

However, with all the focus and fanfare surround the young arms on the Braves and throughout their farm system, it’s easy to forget that there are some talented position players that have been waiting to get the call and make an impact in the big leagues.

After flat out decimating Triple A for more than a month, the Braves pulled the trigger and called up prospect Austin Riley to play left field, even though his natural position is third base.

That didn’t stop him from making an impact, homering in his debut and staying hot ever since, including a game tying bomb in the series finale against the Giants in San Francisco.

That home run was Riley’s FIFTH since his call up on May 15th. He’s also hitting for a high average and has played solid defense in left in addition to a few starts at third base to spell veteran Josh Donaldson.

It’s been less than two weeks, but even with a small sample size, there is no way the Braves are sending Riley back to the minor leagues when Ender Inciarte is ready to come off the Injured List.

More than simply hitting well, Riley’s call up has reinvigorated a Braves team that had been embarrassed by Los Angeles the week before and squashed by St. Louis the night before. Atlanta has been tearing it up since the 22-year-old joined the team. The energy is high, and there’s certainly a correlation with Riley’s arrival, if not a direct causation.

While Riley’s and team’s success is an absolute good, it doesn’t bode so well for the Gold Glove centerfielder, Ender Enciarte, whose trip to the IL prompted the call up.

Inciarte has never set the world on fire with his bat and in fact is notorious for having slow starts every season before heating up during the second half; but he’s unmatched on the squad in center field.

Ronald Acuna, Jr. has slid over to man center in Ender’s absence, and while he’s faster and younger, he still hasn’t developed the defensive instincts that make Ender such an asset.

An outfield with Acuna in left, Ender in center, and stalwart Nick Markakis in right is a superior defensive outfield, no one will argue that. However, the dividends that Riley’s bat pays out may make it impossible for Brian Snitker to give Ender starts once he gets healthy.

Aside from spelling Donaldson at the hot corner, Riley is almost certainly going to be the starting left fielder for the Braves going forward, which Ender coming in as a defensive replacement late in games as long as he remains untraded.

Speaking of, that’s another feather the Braves have been able to add to their cap with Riley’s instant success. Ender will make an appealing trade piece. He’s a young veteran with a cheap contract that ends on a team option. Riley has given Atlanta the flexibility to flip Ender as part of a package for that constantly needed bullpen help.

Whatever happens, Austin Riley is leading the charge for Atlanta, and he’s here to stay.

Bull-Pen

By: Mike Anthony

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Putting together a winning team in Major League Baseball is a tall order.

In a sport where each team needs to cover so many different and individually specialized positions, a shortcoming or a rash of injuries anywhere on the diamond can be the source of an entire season’s worth of frustration and the difference between an elated or frustrated fan base.

For fans of the Atlanta Braves, it doesn’t take more than a split second to identify the area on which the 2019 season hinges.

The defending National League East champions are in position to rule the division once again and possibly do much more as their talented core of youth comes into its own, but seemingly every game gets transformed into a three-ring circus every time the bullpen gates open and the Braves’ relief pitching comes into play.

The Atlanta bullpen was one of the only weaknesses in the 2018 squad and despite high hopes for another postseason run this season, fans were a bit on edge this spring when the team did almost nothing to improve its late-inning options in 2019.

If the front office’s hope was that another year of experience would bring improved performance, that plan ran off the tracks early as closer Arodys Vizcaino was shut down for the season just after opening day.

A.J. Minter was the next man up to fill the closer role, but was sent back to the minor leagues after posting a 9.82 ERA and walking 11 over nine innings of work.

The Braves seemed to find an answer at the end of the game in Luke Jackson, who converted four consecutive saves from May 10-17, but Jackson has looked shaky since.

Even for the best teams in baseball, solidifying a bullpen is never an easy task. After all, there aren’t many guys whose lone career track has been that of a reliever.

Just about every pitcher in every bullpen in the majors began as a starter, but was moved to relief due to a lack of effective number of pitches or an inability to hold opponents scoreless for more than an inning or two.

That said, the Braves have found themselves in that dreaded position where no lead feels safe and everyone in the ballpark is on pins and needles until the final out is in the books.

The bullpen issues need to be addressed, but that is easier said than done. Braves fans have been getting louder in their constant reminders that Craig Kimbrel is still a free agent.

But Kimbrel is still demanding a salary and contract length that the notoriously stingy Atlanta front office doesn’t seem to be interested in.

On top of that, any team wanting to sign Kimbrel would have to forfeit a first-round draft pick unless they wait until after next week’s draft to sign him.

If a return to Atlanta for Kimbrel isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of other options for the Braves to manage the late innings. Any scout in baseball will tout the Braves’ young pitchers – either still in the minor leagues or called up to the majors last season – and predict big things for them in the future.

They could provide immediate help, but that would raise the question of whether it’s prudent to derail the progression of a future starting pitcher in order to put him to work in the bullpen.

The shuffling and experimenting will continue so long as the shaky relief outings continue to mount. However, the good news is that solid starting pitching and a young lineup that is hitting the ball better with each passing week should give the bullpen plenty of leads to attempt to preserve as the season continues.

There’s a long way to go, and the Braves look to be in for another playoff push. And if those bullpen questions are answered, 2019 is looking very bright for Atlanta.

Mr. Bright Side

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

When the NBA Draft Lottery was over, every organization represented, outside of New Orleans, must have felt as if they were caught in the middle of a funeral procession; their hopes of drafting Zion Williamson had just died before their eyes.

For Atlanta, their chance of landing college basketball’s most exciting player in over a decade was slim to begin with. I wouldn’t have blamed Jami Gertz, the Hawks representative at the lottery, had she gone ahead and just worn black.

As for the overall draft lottery, Atlanta’s night was a bit of a mixed bag.

For starters, besides missing out on the number one pick they wound up with the 8th overall pick, only one spot above their worst possible outcome.

On the other hand, since Dallas’ pick fell outside the top five (10th overall) it went to Atlanta- courtesy of last year’s trade- giving the Hawks two top 10 picks.

Now that the lottery is set it’s just a matter of who Atlanta decides to go with. If their history is any indication, like most every other organization in the NBA, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, too.

This will be only the third draft since 2007, and 10th in the past 30 years, that has seen the Hawks with a lottery pick. (That’s impressive when you think about it. During the past three decades Atlanta has basically spent two of those decades in the playoffs. Of course, they don’t have a single NBA Finals appearance to show for it, but that’s another story for another time).

Over that 30-year time frame there have been some lottery success stories with Jason Terry (1999), Al Horford (2007) Trae Young (2018).

On the other hand, there have also been some flat out busts: Adam Keefe, DerMarr Johnson, and Sheldon Williams.

There’s also a trade where the Hawks basically gave away a young Pau Gasol for two years of Shareef Abdur-Rahim and a handful of magic beans, but we won’t talk about that. You’ve got some good, you’ve got some bad.

It’s almost disingenuous and a bit lazy to say Atlanta has a lot riding on this year’s draft; anytime you’re drafting in the lottery it’s important. There are a few things that seem to add a bit more to this year though.

The draft itself is top heavy, with RJ Barrett, Ja Morant, and Williamson being the consensus top three picks, and not in that order, obviously.

However, after those three there is a pretty precipitous drop in talent. That’s not to say there isn’t anyone worthwhile outside of those three, there’s just much more of an inherent risk.

The Hawks have a nice nucleus of young talent and getting someone that can contribute within the next year or two will go a long way in their return to the playoffs.

Then there’s the matter of the 10th pick. Young and Luka Doncic will always be compared to each other since they were the names involved in last year’s trade. Who Atlanta chooses with that 10th pick and how well that player performs will play just as vital a role in how this trade is perceived five to ten years down the road.

The draft order may not have turned out exactly how they wanted, but with two top 10 picks Atlanta has an opportunity to continue building.

Who knows, maybe under the funeral attire there just might be a celebratory outfit after all.

Readying The Ship

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Brunswick High Pirates had a rough season in 2018 finishing 3-7 and missing the playoffs for sixth time since 2011.

Sean Pender hates losing more than anyone I know and you can see a fire in his eyes during the spring drills.

The Pirates started as many as 12 sophomores in 2018 and the inexperience showed, but those baby Pirates have grown in size and experience this offseason and are primed to turn the tables in 2019.

When asked about Spring Practice Pender said “We have had more intensity and competiveness than we had in all of 2018 in our two weeks of practice. The kids have worked extremely hard and it is showing”.

Brunswick has 16 kids coming back in 2019 with starting varsity experience. BHS will be going to a new 4-3 defensive alignment in 2019.

When you ask Pender about his defense the first named mentioned is Devin Lafayette. The rising senior defensive back is 6’2 and 190 pounds and runs a sub 4.5 forty-yard dash.

“This kid is a quiet leader that leads by example and his worked his way into being a division one football prospect”.

Look for Lafayette to lead a talented back end of a much-improved Pirate defense. Lafayette is fully qualified with a 3.3 GPA.

Freddy Towns is a lock down All-Region corner returning for his senior season. Pender says Towns can lock down one side of the field every Friday night.

AJ Wilson looks good at safety and at 200 pounds can bring the lumber in run support and he runs really well.

Octavis Butler, Ryne Buckley, and Camron Crump played a lot of snaps in 2018 at LB and have bulked up in the offseason.

Demetrius Hardee will also be counted on in the secondary. Keep an eye on newcomer Devonte Gadson at safety.

Trevon Smith has impressed Pender at one CB position, and Michael McGee will get looks at both CB and WR. Pender really likes McGee’s speed and length in the secondary.

Justin Akra will lead the Pirate defensive line and a name to remember is incoming freshman Kayshawn Thomas on the defensive line.

On offense the Pirates are stacked at wide receiver. Look for a huge break out season from Amarion Whitfield, and Marlon Carmena to return to the form he flashed in early 2018 before a high ankle sprain derailed his season.

Che Foy is great in space, and look for a huge season from “The Touchdown Machine” Xavier Bean, who can catch anything in his area code according to his head coach. Kyle Patterson is developing at the position as well.

Mitchell Richburg is a hybrid FB/TE and could be a factor in both the run and pass game.

Xavier Ramsey, Caleb Cook, and Kanaya Charlton will anchor the Pirate offensive line.

Charlton could be a 4 to 5-star recruit during the 2022 recruiting cycle. He is currently 6’5 and 330 pounds with very good athletic ability. Roderick Jones will also see significant playing time. Pender thinks this group can be really good barring injury.

Chuckobe Hill and Khamori Simmons will handle the running back position as both played significant downs as freshman in 2018. Pender like the toughness of his running backs.

Look for Jashawn Wilson to insert himself into the running back mix this fall.

At QB you have returning starters Anthony Mountain and KJ Lee, but both are battling injuries this spring.

Mountain had offseason ACL surgery and should be cleared to return by September. Pender loves his leadership qualities. Lee is battling a foot injury this spring, but has an elite arm.

With the injuries Jeffery Way has been getting a lot of first unit reps and the rising sophomore has worked hard according to his head coach.

Tyrease Jones has moved over from WR and has shown tremendous foot speed in space.

Kyle Rehberg will handle the PK/P duties and has a great work ethic.

Pender says “if we play like we have been working then we have a chance to be a pretty good football team in 2019, and we’ll definitely be much, much improved from 2018”.

Pender enters his third season as Pirate head coach this fall.

Tiger Stripes

By: Mike Anthony

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Much was made about Tiger Woods’ win at The Masters in April, and for good reason.

Not only did Woods win his 15th major championship, thus stoking the fire on questions about whether he can reach Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18, but he did so after a long and improbable comeback.

Just over a year ago, Woods was barely able to swing a golf club, much less stare down the best players in the world in the game’s most famous tournament.

Before his back issues, there were also well-documented personal setbacks for Woods, leading many to say that the living legend was simply beating himself.

The funny thing is that beating himself – or, rather, a handful of golfers modeling themselves in his image – is exactly what Tiger had to do to claim another major.

When Woods burst onto the pro golf scene in 1996, his approach to the game was different than anything that had been seen before.

Instead of hitting the steakhouse after a round, Tiger spent hours on the range and putting green obsessing over the things that would benefit him the next day.

Instead of palling around with other golfers for a few drinks late at night, Tiger was early to bed and early to rise, putting in running and workouts before a round to help build the overwhelming power that made some traditional course layouts obsolete.

Time is undefeated and untied. No one ever thought that Woods would be hitting 330-yard drives and playing the same number of tournaments at this point of his career. And that wouldn’t be much of a problem if he was still battling the same fields of the 90s and early 00s.

But a very significant byproduct of Woods’ rise to prominence was the impact he had on the generations of golf that came after him. He not only inspired kids to play the game – he inspired them to play HIS game.

So, when Tiger got sidetracked by some bad personal choices and then had his body start to fail him, he wasn’t left with the task of getting back to the point of competing with the likes of the turn-of-the-millennium forty-somethings that he had become accustomed to beating.

Instead, the standard that Woods had to build back up to was that of guys like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka.

Not only is the top competition for Tiger now young enough to be one of his kids, it’s also had an entire lifetime’s worth of training and attacking the game in the mold set by Tiger more than two decades ago.

And where Woods may have had to search far and wide for a good gym or an indoor hitting bay to get in his extra work 20 years ago, today’s stars have had advances in technology and the added money and interest (thanks to the notoriety brought to the game by Tiger) fueling their training.

So, when Tiger made his Sunday charge at Augusta – and when he tees it up this week at Bethpage Black – he is still battling himself. Everywhere he looks, he’ll be surrounded by teens and twenty somethings who can hit it a mile, have tons of strength and stamina due to exercise and nutrition, and who take preparation and course management far more seriously than the generations of players before it.

Tiger dominated so thoroughly, and for so long, that there was almost no bar left to clear. His influence inadvertently gave him his toughest challenge yet and he was able to conquer that as well.

There’s no telling if Woods can repeat that greatness in a major. Especially since the competition is only getting better while he is only getting older.

But for at least the next week, Tiger Woods is still on top of the golf world, and there is still the prospect for golf fans of seeing a larger-than-life legend do his thing once again.

A Lot Of Buzz

By: Kenneth Harrison Jr.

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Georgia Tech Spring Game was April 26th. Paul Johnson has been the head coach for the previous 11 seasons.

This is the first season under new head coach Geoff Collins. There is a drastic change on offense and we got a glimpse of it in this game.

A record crowd of 21,194 fans came out to Bobby Dodd stadium to watch. The Jackets used the first play of the spring game to give one final tribute to Paul Johnson and his flexbone system before introducing fans to the new Georgia Tech offense.

One routine 12-yard completion to Tyler Cooksey fired up the crowd. The play marked the first reception by a Georgia Tech tight end since November 24, 2007. There were a wide range of plays and formations that have been absent from The Flats for the past decade.

The new strategy is a 180-degree turn from what we have seen under CPJ. The Yellow Jackets are now an Air Raid team and that has different concepts.

One key thing we will now see is the mesh concept. The defining feature of a mesh concept is two receivers running crossing routes over the middle of the field. The crossing receivers quickly read whether the defense is playing man or zone coverage and modify their routes accordingly.

Against zone coverage, the receivers cut their routes short and sit underneath in soft areas, while against man coverage the receivers continue their routes across the field.

The Gold team showed this early on. They came out in a shotgun bunch formation and wide receivers Malachi Carter and Jalen Camp run crosses over the middle.

The defense is playing a zone, and you can see both receivers slow down to break off their routes when they recognize the zone coverage. Quarterback Lucas Johnson scans the field from right to left, sees the linebackers sitting in their zones, and checks down to running back Jordan Mason for a 7-yard gain

Tech lined up in a few different Shotgun formations for the game. One of the featured formations was the Shotgun Split Slot that uses three receivers and two halfbacks.

Most of Tech’s halfbacks are converted A-backs who spent equal time over the last several years practicing rushing, receiving, and blocking. That skill set can be utilized in this two-back set where both running backs are a threat to take a handoff, lead block, or go out for a pass.

It looks like the quarterback battle is between James Graham and Lucas Johnson. Tobias Oliver missed the game due to injury and he has a chance to compete. He played a lot last season but he struggles to pass the ball.

Johnson made many check downs during the game so his numbers were efficient. He finished the day 12-of-16 passing for 87 yards and a touchdown. His best throw of the night came on a 19-yard back-shoulder pass to Malachi Carter.

Graham takes more risks and threw the ball downfield. His first pass was complete to receiver Adonicas Sanders for a 15-yard gain. The next pass was a 39-yard touchdown to Sanders again.

After those two passes, Graham went just 1-of-7 passing for 3 yards.

We have quite some time before Week 1 kicks off against Clemson but I’m excited. I think this will be a good first season for coach Collins.

Put A Ring On It

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

There are a plethora of ways franchises honor those who have made an impact on their organization.

Retiring a jersey or being inducted into a “Ring of Honor” is probably the highest, followed in no particular order, by throwing out a first pitch, being a part of the coin toss, or the always beloved “Bobblehead Day”.

Recently teams have found a way to celebrate a player’s career by signing them to a one-day contract, allowing them to retire with that particular team.

This got me thinking about what former Atlanta Falcons player, that was with the team during his prime but did not retire as a Falcon, should be brought out of retirement and signed to a one-day contract? I was not expecting the conclusion I came to.

To begin with I went ahead and eliminated names like Deion Sanders, Tony Gonzalez, and Warrick Dunn, even though all three had very successful stints in Atlanta. Sanders and Gonzalez had longer, more successful tenures with other organizations and Dunn left Atlanta to go back and retire in Tampa.

Some of the obvious names I gravitated to next were guys like Jamaal Anderson, Roddy White, Jessie Tuggle, and even Michael Turner; all players who made a significant impact during their time in Atlanta.

However, the first three played their entire careers with Atlanta and Turner finished his career there, so all four have already retired as Falcons.

Of course, at this point there’s one glaring name staring me right in the face, like my wife when she sees my clean clothes draped over the couch, and that’s Michael Vick.

On one hand there’s no player in the history of the Falcons organization that deserves to be on the receiving end of a one-day contract, and the sentiment behind it, based off of on the field production.

On the other hand, there’s also not a player in the franchise’s history that deserves to be honored in any capacity less than Vick.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I am not an Atlanta Falcons aficionado, so I have no doubt there is some lineman or quarterback from 30 years ago that I’m unaware of. Having said that, I came up with three names I feel like would be deserving of being awarded the one-day contract: Andre Rison, Gerald Riggs, and John Abraham.

Rison was a bright spot on a struggling Falcons team during his time in Atlanta. He made four of his five Pro Bowl appearances in a Falcons uniform and spent more of his career in Atlanta than anywhere else.

Riggs is the team’s all-time leading rusher (6,631 yards) and received all three of his Pro Bowl selections during his Falcons career. He has been enshrined into the Falcons Ring of Honor, so that alone may exclude him from this particular festivity.

Abraham, on the other hand, is an interesting case. He is the franchise’s all-time sack leader and obviously had a very successful run in Atlanta. However, you could argue he achieved more in less time at the start of his career when he was with the New York Jets. Which organization he is associated with the most probably depends on whether you live in Atlanta or New York.

With all due respect to those three players, I thought I’d wind up having a bigger name to celebrate; looks like Atlanta does a much better job of keeping their top flight guys than I gave them credit for.

Options

By: TJ Hartnett

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As March Madness fades even further in the rearview mirror and the NBA season winds down as it ramps up for the playoffs, the convergence of the two levels appears on the horizon: the NBA Draft.

Pro teams wait for the draft lottery to see where they’ll land while college players wait for the chance make the leap to the big time.

This year the draft features an embarrassment of riches; a wealth of young talent that could potentially chance the fortunes of any team that has been struggling. Impressively, a few of those game-changing talents all come from one place.

Any NCAA basketball team would be a threat if they could boast just one player who might get drafted in the top 10 of the NBA Draft. However, this past season saw the Duke Blue Devils boast THREE players that could be considered for high picks.

While the draft lottery has yet to come, the Atlanta Hawks can at least count on an early pick and therefore need to start looking at Duke’s Big 3 to see which of those players might be the best fit come draft time.

R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish and Zion Williamson are all leaving college behind and should all expect to hear their names called without much time passing in between when the draft happens later in the summer.

There isn’t much more to be said about Zion Williamson that hasn’t already been said by every sports show, paper, and fan, and if the Hawks do wind up with the number one pick in the draft, it’s a no-brainer to draft his game-changing talent.

Williamson’s star power might overwhelm some of the other young and talented players the Hawks have already enlisted but John Collins and Trae Young might see his presence as a challenge and up their own games.

There’s also the chance that pulling focus away from those two might help them grow and develop without as much pressure, since they’re essentially the focal point of the team’s future plans at the moment.

In short, Zion is the best player available, and the Hawks would surely love for him to suit up in Atlanta.

If they don’t end up with the first pick in the draft and assuming that Williamson goes first, there are still two Blue Devils options available – R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish.

Barrett would help the team with shot creation options, as Trae Young (and Taurean Prince, to a certain extent) is the only Hawk who seems to be able to make that happen right now.

Barrett sometimes tries for shots he doesn’t need to in an effort to win at all costs, but he could gain valuable experience handling the ball off the bench in Atlanta if he takes to Lloyd Pierce’s coaching style.

That leaves Cam Reddish.

Reddish, much more than either of his two eminently talented teammates, struggled quite heartily in his freshman season at Duke. The 19-year-old could never quite find his niche on the team, which should’ve been catch-and-shoot, three-and-D specialist, but Reddish could often be seen hurtling into traffic toward the paint, then getting called for an increasingly predictable offensive foul as defenders were sent flying as he careened into them wildly.

However, Reddish showed brilliant flashes throughout the year and made himself a legend at Duke with a pair of clutch baskets that won key games for them during the season.

He’s got enough raw, untapped potential that he will certainly get snatched up early in the draft and the Hawks might be the team that calls his name.

Terror Town 2019

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I think the word consistent in sports is not as valued as it should be.

On the state high school football scene, the Glynn Academy Red Terrors have been consistently good for the past five years.

Good to the point where the Terrors are enjoying their best football run in the program’s proud 106-year history. The reason for this consistency is Head Coach Rocky Hidalgo.

I had an opportunity to sit down with Coach Hidalgo and talk Spring Football with him.

College recruiters were in and out of his office during that window, which means the Red Terrors will be very good again in 2019.

The Terrors had 130 kids out for spring, and Hidalgo likes what he sees so far. “The kids are competing hard, working hard, doing everything we ask of them, and we’re going to be a really good football team this fall”.

Glynn has won four straight region championships in football. High School Football is the program that stirs the drink for all sports in the Glynn County School System. Glynn will be the favorite to capture its 5th straight title this fall.

At QB Hidalgo speaks highly of TJ Lewis. At 6’4, Lewis is improving his mechanics and is looking good throwing the deep ball. Hidalgo also raved about Jayden Drayton, who looked good as a freshman in 2018.

The Red Terrors are very good at running back with the trio of Caden Hutchinson, Nolan Grant, and Alan Partin. Hidalgo says Grant is blessed with great foot speed, and called Hutchinson a tough kid with a mean streak that you want running between the tackles who also has good speed. Then you have Partin who is big and strong who can get the tough yard or lead block in the run game.

Glynn Academy is going to run the football. Period. End of story. If you are going to beat Glynn Academy then you will have to match their physicality.

At WR Hidalgo raved about the speed of the group and how they can separate from defenders. He thinks his skill people are as good as anyone in the region.

The Terrors return most of the offensive line from 2018. Look for Drez Wilcox to have a big season. Trevor Timmons, Jack Fendig, Nick Demarzo, and Nick Muchinson are the best returning offensive line in the region and one of the better units in all of Georgia.

Chase Gabriel has a big leg and carries on the long tradition of great Glynn FG kickers. He is a weapon.

At defensive line Jordan Swain, James Dyal, and Torrez Davis will lead a physical group with some of the offensive lineman mentioned above providing depth. Hidalgo calls this a good deep position group.

Glynn has some young talent at linebacker like Tywon Melvin, Ryan Seay, and Miles Smith ready to step up and contribute to a position group that has been very good over the past five seasons.

In the secondary, Byron Bacon is the leader on the back end. Bacon has good size and great speed and will play division one football. Hidalgo called Bacon a very good football player who has great leadership qualities.

JuJuan Floyd is a very fast corner who will also play some WR.

Hidalgo says the 2019 edition of Red Terror football will be exciting. Hidalgo also raves about his 2019 schedule and how it gets them peaking by the time region play comes around.

Glynn plays Valdosta in the preseason scrimmage, South Carolina power Fort Dorchester, Wayne, Ware, and Camden County by the first week of October. Hidalgo asked “who plays a tougher non region schedule than us?”

Glynn Academy doesn’t rebuild any longer they just reload. Red Terror Football is consistently good.

When a head coach of a successful program points out leadership, work ethic, and enthusiasm as team strengths then the rest of Region 2-AAAAAA better look out. Glynn will have the Red and White game on May 17th at Glynn County Stadium.

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