Category Archives: Sports

Hooch Tennis Seeking Redemption

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

Coming off a state championship loss, Chattahoochee boys’ tennis entered the season with high expectations as they were hungry for the championship title. Though the team lost key seniors like Daniel Li, they believed they actually got better with incoming freshman Filipe Costa, a five-star recruit who is currently ranked first in the state for his class. The team has the elements for success: great leadership, talented youth and determination.

The squad was looking dangerous as they effortlessly outmatched their opponents and won 4-1 in their first two games. But then everything fell apart. The young stud Filipe Costa required immediate knee surgery from a previous injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the season. Struggling to replace one of its marquee players, the unit went on a depressing ten-game losing streak. All of a sudden Hooch boys’ tennis did not look like a title contender anymore.

More than ever, the team was searching for a spark to somehow overcome their losing streak and start demolishing opponents like they had done at the starting of the season. That was when star-player Pranav Iyer (JR) took initiative to bring the team out of its slump. Iyer, a three-star recruit who is currently 15th in the state, knew he was more than capable of propelling his team back to their prime. He preached improving every day and playing hungry. He encouraged players who have not seen much playing time to compete harder than ever to reach the top of their game.

All of a sudden, Hooch boys’ tennis looked like a completely revamped team. Saathvik Rukanagari (JR) explained how the team is playing with a new level of determination and “embracing the chip in their shoulder.” The unit looked to pull out of their decline with a win against a tough North Atlanta team and pulled through with a 4-1 win. The pack is back looking like the lethal and confident squad it had been at the starting of the season. Now the boys are looking to finish the season strong and have an opportunity to play in the state tournament and claim what they failed to last year: the state championship win.



Louisville Exposed

JaydenChin, Staff Reporter

As a number one overall seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the University of Louisville Men’s basketball team was ready to win it all. After overcoming a gruesome injury to their star player Kevin Ware. The team went on to defeat Duke in the Elite Eight and the talented Wichita State team in the Final Four. On April 8, 2013, the Louisville Cardinals were set to play Michigan in the NCAA Championship. With renowned Head Coach Rick Pitino, Louisville beat Michigan 82-76 despite several lead changes and a stunning 17-point, first-half performance by sophomore Spike Albrecht who replaced star point guard Trey Burke who had picked up two early fouls.

The hard work and dedication this Louisville team put forth in their efforts to win it all will sadly go to waste as the team was informed on June 17, 2017, that they must vacate their National Championship and Final Four appearances in the wake of a sex scandal. After an NCAA investigation, it was found that a member of Louisville’s coaching staff had hired prostitutes and strippers for current players and potential recruits. On Feb. 20, 2018, the decision was upheld, and they officially vacated their glorious National Championship win as well as 123 wins between the 2012 and 2015 seasons. Further Investigations also discovered that an Adidas Executive conspired to pay $100,000 to the family of 2017 recruit Brian Bowen under the terms that he plays for Louisville and later represents Adidas when he goes pro.

After 16 years, Rick Pitino is out as Louisville’s Head Coach and the future of the team is uncertain. The 2018 NCAA Tournament is rolling around and Louisville didn’t make the cut. Will the team be able to rebuild and be a contender once again?

Is Your Favorite Team Cheating?

MatthewKohn, Sports/News Editor

A couple of months ago, news broke that the FBI was launching a wide-scale probe into the NCAA attempting to uncover the payments made to basketball student athletes. As fans waited anxiously hoping that their school or favorite players were not incriminated in these reports, the FBI initially released a small list of schools thought to be involved, but as of the past few weeks, that list as grown substantially and named specific players that illegally received money.

The list of players not only includes current college athletes, but also past players, some of whom have gone on to play in the NBA. Some notable players are Dennis Smith Jr., Kyle Lowry, Markelle Fultz, Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton and even Chattahoochee’s own Jaron Blossomgame. The list goes on to name dozens of other players from over twenty-five schools. These payments vary from large loans valued in the tens of thousands of dollars to simple payments for dinners or flights for the recruit.

The FBI is also investigating coaches. One that may be under fire is Arizona head coach Sean Miller, who was reportedly recorded on a wiretap discussing a payment of $100,000 to the wildcats star forward DeAndre Ayton. The investigation is still ongoing and more people will likely be incriminated before the FBI finishes their probe.

The NCAA has not issued any sanctions yet to the programs, but they are likely coming. However, the issue of paying recruits will likely live on for as long as student athletes are not allowed to be paid. This investigation is finally shining a national spotlight on how corrupt the NCAA actually is and raising the question of whether student athletes should be paid. After all, the NCAA reported to make over one billion dollars during the 2016-2017 year, and much of that can be credited to the exciting players across the different sports drawing fans to the games or watching them on TV. So, maybe this scandal will not only negatively affect the schools involved, but also change the entire landscape of college sports as we know it.

Hooch Athletes Kick it Up a Notch

JaydenChin, Staff Reporter

For years Chattahoochee has groomed thousands of athletes into hard-working, persevering individuals. After multiple state championships and playoff appearances in football, soccer, basketball and tennis, the bar has been set high. Through playing, students grow a passion for their sports and it becomes an important part of their life. For some, high school will not be the last time they practice their craft. Many of our best athletes are choosing to further their athletic career in college. We’re honored to have numerous athletic commitments throughout Chattahoochee’s history and the number only continues to grow. Here are some of this year’s most outstanding commits.

Cecily Mohammed is a multi-sport athlete who has excelled both on and off the field throughout her years at Chattahoochee. Beginning in middle school, Cecily and her mother founded Project Think Pink, which is an organization focused on fundraising and raising awareness for breast cancer. She has maintained an active role in the group while balancing academics with her impressive participation in soccer, track, and even football where she was a kicker and Hooch’s first female football player. During her junior year, Cecily was honored to receive an offer from The University of Georgia to play soccer and has since verbally committed to attend.

Our beloved football team recently had a great season and even made it to the first round of the Regional Playoffs with the help of star Safety, Joseph Sayles. Since his freshman year, his talents have been noticed. He earned a Varsity letter all four years of high school and has since proved his skills by accumulating a total of eighty career Varsity tackles with fifty-five of them being solo. With a large family and a brother who made it to the NFL right out of a Division II program, Joseph was determined to play college ball. Earlier this year he committed to play Division I football at Eastern Kentucky University where he will no doubt be an excellent addition to their team.

Another one of Chattahoochee’s exceptional athletes is Davis Rokose. Davis is a junior who has been playing baseball since a young age. He is now one of our most skilled pitchers and has a whopping eighty-eight mile per hour fastball. Davis has accumulated a number of mentionable stats through his time pitching for both Chattahoochee and club teams. After receiving offers to play from multiple highly ranked schools, Davis committed to play at Mississippi State University over the summer.

Team Pitt Forever: A Tribute to Coach Pitt

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

In the process of writing this tribute, I interviewed family members, coaches, friends and members of the Chattahoochee wrestling team. When I asked people to reminisce about Coach Pitt, I was met with the same message- how much time do you have? I’m afraid I’ll never have enough time to describe his wide reaching impact and heart of gold, but I’ll try my hardest.

Courageous. Kind. Compassionate. Father. Coach. Teacher. These and many more are some of the words that can be used to describe Coach Pitt. A man with unrelenting bravery, a heart full of love and a body full of humor, Adam Pitt wrestled with cancer until the bitter end. On January 8, 2018, the match ended, and a beloved member of the Hooch Family left us with full hearts and years of memories to cherish.

Losing Coach Pitt feels more like the loss of a family member rather than that of a coach or teacher because he was the true embodiment of the mantra Hooch Family. Not only that, but the idea of Team Pitt brought many people together. The idea for Team Pitt came quickly after his diagnosis. “We knew we had to rally the troops and help the family,” said Coach Hicks, a fellow wrestling coach and friend of Adam Pitt’s. Team Pitt came to mean great courage, determination and a life well lived. The impact of Team Pitt was clearly evident at Coach Pitt’s funeral. “[There were] 1000 seats at North Point, and there were people standing. That’s a testament to how many people he impacted,” explained Coach Cavanaugh, a Chattahoochee High School wrestling coach.

First and foremost, Adam Pitt was a loving father to his three children, all former or present Chattahoochee students: Kyle, Jordan and Erin Pitt (SR), and a husband to his wife, Dana. When asked if there was anything special she and her dad used to do together, Erin shared, “when Jordan would practice wrestling, he would take me to the Discovery Mall, and we would play putt putt and get smoothies. We did that a lot.” Adam Pitt was well known for his sense of humor and famous dad jokes. “Whenever he would leave somewhere, instead of saying ‘hasta la vista,’ he would say ‘pasta vino,’” Erin elaborated on his humorous antics. Adam Pitt was a family man through and through. Erin shared how incredibly supportive and loving he was, and how he never failed to show how proud he was of her and her brothers. She knew he was always in her corner. He was the warm and loving father every child needs.

In addition to his passion for fatherhood, he had a passion for athletics, particularly wrestling, which he helped pass down through his years of coaching. Before becoming a Chattahoochee wrestling coach, he coached his children’s soccer and lacrosse teams. “He was always a coach. Born a coach,” Erin shared. According to Coach Hicks, Coach Pitt was the wrestling head coach for about six years. During his career, Coach Pitt helped young men reach their potential as athletes while also sharing wisdom. Fisher Gabrels (SR), a member of the wrestling team, shared, “he was the first coach who brought me aside and started teaching me not just about wrestling, but about life.” “Coach Pitt is forever in our hearts and will stick with us every day. Every day we should all aim to be a little more like Coach Pitt by never giving up and always finding the humor in the situation,” shared Noah Latzsch (SR), a Chattahoochee wrestler. “The wrestling program was family” to Coach Pitt, added Coach Hicks about Coach Pitt’s devotion to the Chattahoochee wrestling team.

Adam Pitt was not only a father, friend and coach, but also a teacher. He taught in the social studies department for close to twenty years and helped many students meet their academic goals in his class. Hicks shared, “in class, if a kid was struggling, he would do whatever he could [to help them to succeed].” Coach Hicks explained that a unique feature to each fantasy league Coach Pitt joined was that each team was named ‘Kuala Lumpur,’ the capital of Malaysia, a factoid he made sure everyone knew.

In the wake of his passing, many people are remembering the gravity of his impact as a teacher and coach. In his honor, the wrestling room was named ‘The Pitt,’ so the team may always remember him and his perspectives on life and coaching. Coach Hicks shared the impact Coach Pitt made upon his life, by saying, “he wanted everyone around him to be at their best. He wanted to have a good time, and he wanted to make sure everybody around him had that same experience.” Perhaps his greatest coaching motto could be summed up as, “we’re going to work hard, but we’re going to have fun,” continued Hicks.

Additionally, Coach Pitt never let his illness define him. He never lost faith. Coach Hicks explained, “he never stopped fighting, and [his family] never lost their enthusiasm for life.” Even during the most trying parts of his battle with cancer, Coach Pitt still wanted to have an active role in the wrestling team and to “be around people,” said Coach Hicks. “He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him,” continued Hicks. Noah Latzsch remarked, “his moving way to always find the light at the end of the darkest tunnels was one of the everlasting impacts he made on me.” Moving forward, “we’ll always use him as an example of how to live,” explained Hicks. Senior member of the wrestling team, Fisher Gabrels, remarked that “[the wrestling team will] remember him and be strong. We’ll do our absolute best for him.”

Losing someone like Coach Pitt is felt deep in the heart and soul. He contributed so much to Chattahoochee as a coach and teacher and to his family as a husband and father. While his life was cut short, it left us with a message that shall be carried on long after his death- Team Pitt forever.

Chattahoochee Football’s Excellence

BrendanHuet, Staff Reporter

The Chattahoochee Varsity Football team finished the 2017 season with an impressive 7-4 record. It has been the best year the team has had since 2012 when they went 7-4 as well. In the eight region matchups, Chattahoochee went 6-2 and entered the state playoffs as the three seed but ended up losing in the first round to Winder Barrow High School. Chattahoochee found success through teamwork, forming a brotherhood that no one could destroy. However, even though football is a team sport, each team has individuals that lead them to their success, and these players are awarded for their skills at the end of the year through the selection of the All-Region Teams. There are three All-Region teams: first team, second team, and Honorable Mentions. In Chattahoochee’s case, the team had three players selected into each of the three teams.

To make First Team All-Region, you must dominate every game and make your presence known by each team. Chattahoochee’s players that were selected for first team are Joseph Sayles (SR), Max Webb (JR) and Jake Green (JR).

Joseph Sayles is a senior safety that has been a big part of Chattahoochee’s defense since his sophomore year. Sayles was the leader of the talented secondary, and it shows in his statistics. He tallied 40 solo tackles and 57 total tackles, averaging about 5.7 tackles per game. As far as his pass defense goes, Sayles had two interceptions and six passes deflected. This year he was also a huge special teams player, ending the season with two blocked punts.

The second Cougar to be selected for first team All-Region is junior running back Max Webb. Webb led Chattahoochee’s high-powered offense and also ended up leading the region in rushing yards with 1,344 yards. He finished the year with six 100+ Yard games and thirteen touchdowns. Only being a junior, Max plans on doing the same exact thing next year.

Lastly, junior offensive lineman Jake Green was selected for first team All-region. Green was the leader of Chattahoochee’s offensive line and every team in the region felt his 6-foot-four, 300 pound presence. Chattahoochee’s unstoppable running game was very dependent on Green and the other lineman making blocks. Although there aren’t stats for offensive lineman, Jacob Green deserves to be recognized for his play this year.

The Chattahoochee players that were selected for second team All-Region are Jack Corrigan (SR), Marcus Stephen (JR), and Ben Siegel (SR).

Starting off with quarterback Jack Corrigan, the leader of this 2017 Chattahoochee team, he guided this team to many wins this year. Corrigan always gave the Cougars a spark whether it was in the passing game or the running game. In total, he had over 1,120 passing yards and just about 700 rushing yards in his eight games as quarterback. If he did not suffer a season ending injury in the Pope game, then Corrigan would’ve been in the talk for first team.

Next is Marcus Stephen, the junior outside linebacker. Stephen was always flying around the field and humiliating the opposing offense every Friday. He finished the season with 38 solo tackles and 65 total tackles, averaging 5.9 tackles per game. Stephen was also a turnover machine throughout the 2017 season: three forced fumbles and an additional three fumble recoveries. But most importantly, he led the region with 8.5 sacks.

Lastly, senior lineman Ben Siegel was selected for second team All-Region. Siegel has been on the team since he was a freshman, and he has molded into a very good offensive and defensive lineman. Although not the biggest lineman out there, 6-foot and 240 pounds,  Ben Siegel made all the plays for Chattahoochee. Whether it was making a big block or sacking the quarterback, Siegel was always involved in the action. He finished the season with 18 solo tackles, 29 total tackles and 2 sacks.

Honorable Mention is for the players that were recognized by the coaches of every team but did not necessarily make the first or second team All-Region. This is still a huge honor and is a lot to be proud of. Chattahoochee had three players selected as Honorable Mentions: Andrew Thomas (SR), Brendan Huet (SR), and T. Lee (SO).

Senior, Andrew Thomas, was a huge part of Chattahoochee’s 2017 team. Thomas has started on offense for the Cougars since his sophomore year. This year he was asked to fill in on defense as well as offense, and he accepted the challenge. Thomas dominated on both sides of the ball, and his stats show it. Offensively, he racked up 377 passing yards, 178 rushing yards, and eight total touchdowns. Defensively, Thomas finished the season with 23 total tackles and two interceptions.

Next up is senior safety Brendan Huet. Huet has started as safety since his junior year and was part of Chattahoochee’s strong secondary. He finished his senior season with 23 solo tackles, 48 total tackles and three interceptions. Although Huet mainly played defense, he did help out the offense every once in awhile. Offensively, he had 57 yards on 4 catches, one being a 26-yard touchdown.

Lastly,for Chattahoochee’s Honorable Mentions, there is T. Lee. Lee is a sophomore athlete that has multiple D1 offers due to his ability to excel on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as well as on special teams. He played excellently on the offensive side, catching 33 passes for a total of 380 yards. Lee also scored four touchdowns for the Cougars this season. Defensively, he amounted to 28 solo tackles, 39 total tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups at cornerback. All-around a great athlete, Lee also ran back 207 yards as a kick returner.

These players deserve recognition for their great seasons not only as individuals, but also as a team. Great teams have great players, but the best teams have a bond that nothing can break and that is what won this Cougar team a spot in the playoffs.


Playoff Drought Ended

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

As the fall sports come to an end, it is time to take a look at one of the best seasons Cougar football has had in a while. After a depressing playoff drought, Chattahoochee finally made it into the state playoffs by finishing 7-4 overall and third in the region.

One of the main reasons that the team was so successful this year was because their offseason training completely changed. The squad focused more on strength and quickness by dedicating time for speed and agility drills as well as for weight lifting every practice. This helped them enter the season in excellent condition. The players were also sold on the mantra “Be Elite,” which was preached every practice as coaches wanted each kid to give their best effort and play for their entire team rather than only themselves. This let the unit make great leaps and take their game to the next level as a team.

Something notable is that the Cougars had to persevere and triumph to make the playoffs as their season did not start as planned. Chattahoochee was defeated by Pickens at home in the season opener 54-30 in what was a very one-sided game. Fans believed this would again be a disappointing season, but the team grinded and believed in themselves to succeed. Following the loss, the Cougars got red-hot as they went on a four game win streak with Jack Corrigan (SR) and Max Webb (JR) leading them. Webb, who had a high ceiling going into the year, broke out and had over 1,000 rushing yards in the season.

Though Chattahoochee would only take two more losses in the regular season following the Pickens game, the team’s true colors showed when they lost their star quarterback, Jack Corrigan, for the season with a gruesome injury. The team managed to win a crucial game against Northview with a backup sophomore quarterback, Damon Stewart, using a strong running game and resilient defense to punch their ticket into the playoffs. Though the squad was dominated in their first playoff game by Winder-Barrow, fans were proud with how the team overcame obstacles and still made the playoffs.

Looking forward, the Cougars are expecting great things next season from a team led by star running back Max Webb going into his senior year. Though the team will lose Jack Corrigan, the former-backup quarterback, Damon Stewart, has more experience and is looking to make great strides during the offseason. The team is confident in their ability and is looking to make the playoffs and possibly even more next season.