Category Archives: Sports

Hawks Crash in Playoffs

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

On the night of April 28, John Wall and the Wizards eliminated the Hawks from the NBA playoffs. Despite the season ending earlier than we would have liked, it is hardly a disappointing year for the Hawks. Atlanta has now made the playoffs for 10 straight years, which is the second longest active streak in the NBA, only behind the San Antonio Spurs. The fact that the Hawks have made the playoffs for 10 straight years is not only astonishing, but it also shows great consistency, something hard to come by in sports.

The past season for the Hawks should excite fans for years to come. Even though the Hawks have lost four of their five starters from the great 2014-15 year, from when they were number one in the Eastern Conference, they still were able to play well and compete in the East. The Hawks lost DeMarre Carroll, Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver in the past two years, but there have been multiple other players that have stepped up into their spots to provide the team with quality minutes. One in specific is Tim Hardaway Jr., who came in and helped the team with great defense and the ability to score in large spurts. Also, Dennis Schröder stepped in where Jeff Teague left and played very well as the team’s starting point guard.

Next season is promising with the amount of young talent the Hawks have on their roster. Hardaway expects to continue and improve on his great year and become the star that the Hawks are in need of. Also, Dwight Howard will help be a veteran presence on an otherwise very young roster. If the Hawks are also able to re-sign Paul Millsap to a contract, they will not be at risk of losing yet another one of their starting players. Also, Kent Bazemore will be hungry for a comeback year after a disappointing season. They also hold three draft picks in this year’s loaded draft in June.

Even though the Hawks season is over, but there is still much to be excited about if you are a Hawks fan. The Hawks seem to be just a piece or two away from becoming an elite team again. If they are able to find someone in free agency or in the draft that can have an immediate impact, then the Hawks can expect to compete for the top spot in the Eastern Conference in years to come.

Stadiums Gone Wild

KatieHeissenbuttel, Sports Editor

After a year of building Atlanta’s new stadiums, Suntrust Park is complete and ready for the Braves upcoming season, while Mercedes-Benz stadium is still under construction. However, reports indicate that the new Atlanta Falcons stadium will be done in time for the 2017 season.

The Braves have had many fields to call home over the course of one hundred and three years: South End Grounds, Braves Field, Milwaukee County Stadium, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field–and now Suntrust Park. On March 6, 2017 the Atlanta Braves posted a video on Facebook of the new Suntrust Park, with the caption “Ladies & gentlemen, we have a field!” With the new stadium opening this spring, the tickets are likely to be in high demand.

Another element sure to boost ticket sales is the Battery Atlanta. Ready to welcome fans and visitors on Opening Day of 2017, the Battery will be the preeminent sports and entertainment venue in the country. The Battery will redefine the traditional model of a “live, work, play” development into a “play, work, stay” destination, with SunTrust Park as its crown jewel. The entirety of the project will create a lively shopping and entertainment district accessible 365 days a year. Another bonus of the Battery Atlanta is there is the Omni Hotel right next to the ballpark.

One major concern that people had with this new park was the lack accessibility. To address this issue the Braves will offer over 11,000 parking spaces, Uber and bus transportation.

As of now Mercedes-Benz stadium is still under construction, they are almost completely finished with the glass windows and the outside of the stadium. Home of the largest video board in professional sports, fans won’t miss a moment. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is going to be spectacular, with a Falcon wing-like exterior that utilizes the latest in innovative and transparent building materials, providing a breathtaking view of the city. Also the stadium will include a retractable roof, a 360-degree HD video Halo board, an exterior fan plaza, a 100-yard bar, a technology lounge and more than 21,000 parking spaces. In addition to being located near three Marta stations, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will incorporate the latest in sustainable advancements related to design, construction and operations, water conservation, renewable energy, energy usage reduction and alternative transportation.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank commented, “We focused from the beginning on building a unique fan experience at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a goal of helping those who visit to leave the stadium with great memories shared with family and friends, not aggravation and frustration about their experience.” The overall construction of Suntrust Park and Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be an improvement to Atlanta, and will house many more events to make memories.

Running From the Field to the Couch

CaseySabath Staff Reporter

You wake up one day and it’s over. No more 6 a.m practices, and no more staying late at the gym, and no more conditioning workouts three times a week. So what happens now?

The next day you hear the 7th period bell ring and instead of going to the locker rooms, you head to the bus canopy and head home at 3:30p.m. For once in your life you have absolutely nothing to do so you sit on your couch. You stay still for at least 10 minutes before you turn on the tv and actually accept that you have nothing else to do today. So that’s all you do…sit and watch tv shows for hours on end. By the end of the first week of not being swarmed with practices and games you realize you have time for homework so you end up actually doing your homework and for a little while your grades improve. You’re also no longer having to eat healthy so you finally discover fast food and realize what you’ve been missing out on. The first couple of months you’re still eating the same amount of food as you did when you were exercising so you don’t realize anything is off. Within those months you lose at least 10 lbs of weight and are wondering if not being active is the real way to lose weight. You’re wrong. All your muscle is disappearing and once it’s all gone you’re stuck with the inevitable fate caused by eating bad and not working out. Within three months you start to realize that maybe you need to go to the gym; so you begin your two month gym craze during the summer. This includes going to the gym everyday and maybe starting a food cleanse. Summer ends and you no longer have time for the gym everyday. But it’s senior year and you’re going to support the teams. “Maybe I should have played”, that question will roam through your head quite often. By the time the season is over you’re going to have a small bit of lingering regret. Maybe you’ll get over the regret, I haven’t yet. However, I do have those days when I’m swarmed with work and I’ll stop for a second and realize that if I was still doing my sport I wouldn’t have had time to finish my work, or to go hiking with friends spontaneously. You come to terms with it.

The Future for the Falcons

CarolineTomczak, Seniors Editor

January 22, 2017 was one of the best days for almost every person living in Atlanta. This is the day the Atlanta Falcons made history by winning the NFC championship for the first time since 1998, and could finally say that they are headed to the Super Bowl. The Falcons ride to the Super Bowl not only brought the team closer together, but the city of Atlanta. After the Falcons won the National Football Conference, Atlanta was flooded with fans decked out in Falcons gear.

The anticipation we all had leading up to February 5, 2017, the day of the Super Bowl LI was finally over. Thousands of Falcons fans gathered around the TV with family and friends to see their favorite team dominate the game– for the first half.  Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse in the fourth quarter. Once the clock hit 0:00, heartbreak set into thousands of Atlanta Falcons fans, leaving many in shock and in tears.

Even after several weeks after the Super Bowl game, every sports and news networks continued to remind us of the horror of the game and what the future holds for the Atlanta Falcons. However, many fans have an optimistic view for the future of the team. Marissa Klee (SR) is one of the biggest falcon’s fan; ever since she was a baby, her and her family would go to almost all of the Falcon games at the Georgia Dome. She traveled to Houston to the Super Bowl to watch her favorite team and has some thoughts about the outcome of the game that happened right before her eyes, “While the recent events were heart crushing, I am confident that the falcons have the capability to recover. Most of our core team is returning and although we suffered some losses on the coaching staff, I completely blame some of the departing coaches on the loss. But of course this is the Falcons we are talking about and they will get your hopes up, and then repeatedly crush your soul.”

Despite the devastating loss for the Falcons during the Super Bowl, many fans believe that the Super Bowl is a learning experience and that the Falcons have a bright future ahead of them, just like the saying “you win some, you lose some.”

 

Chattahoochee Senior Takes Home State Championship

MariaRuiz, Editor-In-Chief

Wrestlers from 14 North Fulton and Forsyth County schools competed in the GHSA Traditional State Championships Feb. 11 at the Macon Coliseum. Overall, 29 wrestlers placed in the top-six in their weight classes and five took home the ultimate prize of a state championship title. Chattahoochee’s own Ethan Phillips (SR) captured a championship title in the 138 lbs weight class, finishing his high school career with a 44-2 overall record. Meanwhile, Keegan Connolly (SR) and Noah Latzch (JR) placed 4th in their respective weight classes while Daniel Gladwell placed 6th.

Achieving a state championship is something that every high school wrestler dreams about. It’s the ultimate title and the most you can accomplish at the highschool level. Wrestling requires more endurance and dedication than most other sports. “I started wrestling when I was six, so I have been doing it for about 12 years now. I really only started because it’s something my friends were doing, but it quickly grew to be something I really cared about,” stated Phillips, “Over the years, it has taught me mostly how to keep trying no matter how hard something is and to never get down on myself.” Luckily for Phillips, his dedication payed off.

Now that the season is over, Ethan’s plans are uncertain. “I feel pretty happy about winning since it’s been something I’ve expected from myself since I got into highschool, but it is still something I’m really proud of,” explained Ethan, “My future plans with wrestling are still undecidedI’m not sure if I want to wrestle at the college level or give it up for now and just focus on school.” With such a physically demanding sport, it’s understandable to want to focus on his education for the time being. Coach Hicks, the school’s athletic director and one of the wrestling coaches claimed he is “certain that Ethan will make the right decision for himself. Ethan is a smart kid who knows what he’s doing. Getting to watch him reach this point after so many years has been great. I’m sure he is going places.”

Hooch Baseball Coach Receives Yet Another Accolade

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

In January of 2017, Chattahoochee head baseball coach, Tim Lemons was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame for his exceptional coaching. Coach Lemons has been coaching at Chattahoochee since 1991, when the school first opened, and went on to win the state championship in 2005. Lemons not only coaches at Chattahoochee, but he also coaches a team in East Cobb. This accolade adds on the long list of Lemon’s accomplishments, and it is well-deserved.

Coach Lemons is the perfect example of a baseball coach and a mentor to young athletes. Having gone through what his players are going through right now, Lemons adds an irreplaceable quality that separates him from the rest. He went through high school as a great player, and went on to play for Auburn University, Lemons finally made it to the minor leagues of the MLB for a few years, and because of this he knows what it takes to get his players to the next level and to accel. Jeremy Vaccaro (SO), a Shortstop on the Chattahoochee baseball team explains that, “Coach Lemons has helped me develop my skills at a much higher pace than my past coaches.” This shows the impact that Coach Lemons has on young athletes and helping them achieve their max potential. Vaccaro also expressed his gratitude for Coach Lemons and reveals that he thinks Coach Lemons is deserving of the induction because he “has been committed to this school and the baseball program for over twenty-five years.”

The Georgia High School Dugout Club Hall of Fame is lucky to have Coach Lemons represent their program in such a prestigious way. He is an exceptional coach, teacher and mentor that is capable of helping high school student athletes. He is someone that deserves this award as much as anyone else in the state and is capable of furthering his legacy in the future. Chattahoochee High School is honored to be involved in helping Coach Lemons earn this spectacular award and recognition. Nobody deserves this award more than him..

The Cougar’s Journey on Court

MatthewKee, Staff Reporter

With the regional tournament wrapped up a few weeks ago, Chattahoochee High School’s basketball season has concluded. Plagued with a injured player in the beginning of the season to the decline of the team towards the end of the season, let’s take a look at the 2016-2017 season as a whole.

Before the season even began in November, point guard Isaac Kinsey (SR) faced an injury during the final football game of the season against Alpharetta High School. The injury caused major problems for the team, due to Kinsey’s integral role in the starting line-up as point-guard. Because of Isaac’s inability to play, Andrew Aguana (JR) stepped up to fill the big shoes Kinsey left behind. The starting lineup consisted of Andrew Aguana at point guard, Will Bracknell (JR) at shooting guard, Hunter Patterson (JR) at center, Grant van Beveran (SO) at forward and Ja’von Douglas (SR) as guard and captain. The bench was filled with veterans Will Webb (SR) and Phillip Misenheimer (SR); both switched out frequently with the starting lineup to allow players short rest and recovery periods.

Facing off against Flowery Branch High School, a top 100 team in the state, the Cougars had a rocky start in a non-conference game during the Thanksgiving tournament. Chattahoochee ended up taking a loss against the Falcons but later picked up the slack by defeating Lassiter High School in their final game of the tournament.

After the tournament, the team had little time to prepare for the beginning of the season. Their first opponent was Cambridge High School, who is ranked third in the AAAAAA region. Wanting to play for the first game of the season, Isaac Kinsey joined the starting lineup against Cambridge. Unfortunately, Kinsey’s injury worsened toward the end of the second quarter, putting him out of the game and the first half of the season. The game concluded with a score of 56-50, with the Cougars just falling short of a victory.

Following that loss, however, the Cougars began to improve their synergy and coordination slowly but surely. Their passes were still weak and slow, but the team became notorious for their “comebacks,” consistently rallying during the second half of  games to recover from large point deficits and finish with a victory. The team picked up a three-game win streak, knocking out Forsyth Central, North Atlanta and Northview, which the team miraculously came back from over a twenty point deficit in the Northview match. All seemed well until they faced off against Mountain View High School, ranked 25 in the state, in a non-conference game. The Cougar’s weaknesses were exposed and exploited by the superior team, crushing the Cougars with a final score of 65-40.

The loss against Mountain View did not halt their momentum. The team continued their rise, winning five out of six games (only dropping to a defeat to Alpharetta High School, the number one team in the region) to close out the year. With high hopes for the second half the season, especially since Kinsey would return soon as his injury was almost completely healed, the team was poised to battle for the third place spot in the region against Cambridge High School.

Kinsey returned right when 2017 began, as \the team went on to beat Dunwoody High School 64-55 in their first game of the new year. Although Aguana stepped down from the starting lineup so that Kinsey could return to his former position, he continued to play a pivotal role in games, as did Webb and Misenheimer. Morale was high, though the team did seem unaccustomed to their returning point guard. This became apparent when the team lost the following two matches, 57-53 against Cambridge High School and 49-39 against Forsyth Central High School. Falling to Cambridge High School twice, the Cougar’s battle for third seed in their region was uncertain. Undeterred, this unseen synergy and coordination began to strengthen exponentially as the Cougars went on a three-game win streak,scoring 61-59 against North Atlanta High School, 64-63 against Northview High School and 64-40 against Johns Creek High School.

A lot of hype began to build for the team as Kinsey returned to his full power, supported by Douglas’s rapid sprints down the court and Bracknell’s clutch threes. Furthermore, third place was up for grabs once again, as Cambridge had lost a few of their matches which brought their win/loss ratio closer to Chattahoochee’s. This deadly trio, of Bracknell, Douglas and Kinsey, was ready to take on any team and would soon be tested with a match against the titans of the region court, Alpharetta High School. The first and second quarters held multiple point lead changes between the two teams, each showcasing the best of their talents. Bracknell and Douglas were making their shots, and Kinsey’s passes were faster than ever before. As the game went on, the Raiders began to slip away with the lead, building an eight-point margin with less than a minute left on the clock. However, the Cougars did not give up, bringing it back to a three-point gap with twenty seconds left to spare thanks to Bracknell’s insane three-pointer. At the free throw line for Alpharetta, their player missed the free throw allowing the Cougars to rebound the ball and sprint to the other side. Disaster struck as the pass to Bracknell slipped past his fingers and out of the court. Alpharetta had possession of the ball, which was the final nail in the coffin. The Cougars were one throw away from overthrowing the kings, and this loss marked the decline of the team.

While it did not show at first, the loss against Alpharetta High School was detrimental towards the team. The Cougars did end up beating Pope and Centennial for the following two matches, but their plays and coordination began to become sloppier. Initially, no one took this as a warning sign for things to come; after all, the team suffered a close defeat against the number one seed, so they just had to shake off the loss and move on. The team went on to lose to Dunwoody High School, who looked like a completely different monster during the second match against them. The Cougars lost to Dunwoody with a score of 48-45. The loss against the fifth seed solidified the Cougars to fourth seed, allowing Cambridge High School to retain their spot in the top three. On top of losing their contention for third seed, the team fell apart. The final game of the regular season was against Pope High School, the number two seed in the region. Having beaten them before in their previous matchup, the Cougars were wary of what this team could bring. Pope proceeded to show them, outpacing Chattahoochee with a run-and-gun style. On top of that, the Cougar’s patterns and strategies were figured out by this point. Bracknell had no opportunities to shoot, and Pope realized that van Beveren, who retained possession of the ball most of the game when he was in, could not shoot. The Cougars scrambled to make a dent in the massive lead Pope had acquired, but Pope was too strong. The game ended with a massive score deficit of 63-46.

The low morale continued on into the regional tournament as well. Continuing on their newfound strength, Dunwoody High School looked poised to challenge the Cougars in the first match of the regional playoffs. Chattahoochee’s team was in disarray throughout the game, with Bracknell failing to make all but three shots, Kinsey having his passes stolen and Douglas failing to grab any rebounds or make consistent layups. The score concluded 59-48, with Dunwoody advancing and Chattahoochee bowing out of the tournament and ending their season with their third consecutive defeat. Dunwoody High School ended upsetting Alpharetta High School in the semi-finals but losing to Pope High School in the finals.

This season marked rise and fall of the team. While some may argue which iteration of the team lineup was more successful during their run, I find that it is irrational to compare the two. Both had their merits for their respective halves and flaws that were exploited. The “comeback” strategy was not sustainable in the long run, and Kinsey’s passing patterns were soon weaker as opposing teams adapted their playstyle to counter it. While the season came to a disappointing conclusion, I find myself bearing pride for a remarkable and exciting season the team put up. With nailbiter games to smashing defeats, the fans and the team can be proud on the progress they have made. With Webb, Kinsey, Douglas and Misenheimer all graduating this year, the team still retains most of their strong pool of players, but they lack a fifth member to fill the shoes of the senior class. What’s certain is that next season will be another exciting year for the Cougars on court.