Category Archives: School

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.

Former Hooch Star Excels In College Spotlight

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

With the 2016 college basketball season underway, hundreds of college athletes are attempting to make a name for themselves and make it to the NBA. One player to keep an eye on throughout the season is the Clemson Forward and Chattahoochee product, Jaron Blossomgame. Blossomgame had a terrific Junior year last season and was projected to be a mid-to-late second round pick. He decided to come back to college for his senior year and improve his draft stock. By just staying in college, experts are already predicting him to be a first round pick.

In 2015, Blossomgame was one of the best players in the entire ACC. He was named to the All-ACC first team by being in the top three in scoring and winning ACC player of the week after great games against Duke and Miami. Blossomgame averaged over eighteen points and six rebounds in just over thirty-four minutes per game throughout the season. He also shot extremely well, making over fifty percent of his shots from the field and forty-four percent from three. Last season was a year that turned the former Chattahoochee star into a collegiate star.

This season, the six foot seven Clemson star is trying to prove why he needs to be taken early in the 2017 NBA draft. Blossomgame has great size, exceptional athletic ability and produces at an elite level. He has already been named to the Naismith Player of the Year Watch List, a list of just fifty players that are nominated to become the player of the year at the end of the season. Blossomgame has the potential to improve his draft stock and be one of the top picks in the upcoming draft. The former Chattahoochee High School student has a chance to become a national star.

Hooch Season Ends In Nail-Biter

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

On November 4, the Cougars were defeated by the Alpharetta Raiders (7-3) by just seven points in a 42-35 battle. Chattahoochee ended the season with a 5-5 record overall and 4-4 record in the region. This places the Cougars in fifth place, just one spot short of a playoff spot. If the Cougars were able to beat the Raiders, then the Cougars would have jumped to fourth place in the region, and the Raiders fall to fifth. This would mean that the Cougars would have had a chance to compete in the state playoffs.

On offense Friday night, the Cougars were able to pass the ball with ease. Quarterback Chase Owens (SR) was able to throw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Isaac Kinsey (SR) also had a great night catching eight passes for 178 total yards and one touchdown. Andrew Thomas (JR) had a terrific all around night, catching a touchdown and running for a one on a designed wide-receiver run. This was a great way for Thomas to prove that he can be a future leader of this team as a senior next year.

Defensively, Chattahoochee played a good game up until late in the third quarter. Up to about the three minute mark in the third quarter, the Cougars only allowed 21 points. Then, in a span of five minutes across the third and fourth quarter, the Cougars gave up three touchdowns, allowing the Raiders to double their amount of points. On a positive note, Chattahoochee was able to force a turnover, when they stripped Alpharetta on a kickoff in the second quarter. More stats from the game can be found at MaxPreps.

This was a heartbreaking way for the Cougars to end the season, however the team did show that they are able to compete at an elite level. If their improvement continues onto the next season, Chattahoochee has a very strong shot at being able to make the state playoffs and be in contention for the top spot in the region.

Hooch Dominates On Senior Night

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

On October 28, Chattahoochee celebrated its senior night with a skydiver, a football win, and lots of fireworks. The Cougars defeated the Northview Titans (2-7) by a score of 31-7 to improve to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the region. Chattahoochee remains in fifth place in the region, while Northview is tied for sixth. With a win next week against Alpharetta, the Cougars will swap places with Alpharetta and be in the top four in the region to solidify a spot in the state playoffs.

On offense, Chattahoochee had a very effective night running and throwing the ball. Receiver Andrew Thomas (JR) had a great game catching the ball, pulling in two touchdowns and totaling over 100 yards. Running back Joseph Daniels (JR) added a pair of touchdowns, to go along with a 100 yard rushing game. Despite scoring 31 points, the Cougars did throw three interceptions throughout the game. To be able to beat Alpharetta next week the Cougars will need to eliminate these mistakes.

Defensively, the Cougars played a terrific game, holding Northview to just seven points. Northview was unable to convert on multiple fourth downs, turning the ball over to Chattahoochee. Also, the Titans fumbled a kickoff which the Cougars were able to recover. Defensive back Bryce Cross (SR) also came away with a turnover, intercepting a pass in the third quarter. More stats from the game can be found at MaxPreps.

On November 4, Chattahoochee will face off against its rival, the Alpharetta Raiders. The Raiders are currently 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the region. If the Cougars extend their win streak to three games and defeat the Raiders, Chattahoochee will have the same region record as Alpharetta. The Cougars would win the tiebreaker and proceed to the playoffs.

Hooch Survives Scare From Pope

MatthewKohn, Staff Reporter

On October 21, the Cougars were able to defeat the Pope Greyhounds (2-6) with a score of 48-42. Chattahoochee is now 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the region, putting them in fifth place, still behind Alpharetta. The loss causes Pope to be placed just behind Chattahoochee tied for sixth in the region with Northview. If the Cougars win both of their remaining games they will pass Alpharetta in the region and finish in fourth place, clinching a spot in the state playoffs.

Offensively, Chattahoochee was able to amass over 500 total yards and scored seven touchdowns. Chase Owens (SR) scored six total touchdowns, five passing and one on a long rush. Receiver Isaac Kinsey (SR) also had a dazzling night catching four touchdowns and totaling almost 200 all-purpose yards. Running back Joseph Daniels (JR) also had an exceptional game racking up over 150 yards on the ground, 74 of which came on a long touchdown run.

The Chattahoochee defense played a good game despite allowing 42 points. The Cougars came away with three turnovers. The kicking unit forced a fumble on a Chattahoochee kickoff and recovered the ball to give the offense great field position. Bryce Cross (SR) came away with an interception in the end-zone to save a Pope touchdown. Then, in the final minute of the game Isaac Kinsey (SR) had an interception to seal the win for the Cougars. More stats from the game can be found at MaxPreps.

On October 28, the Cougars return home for a game against the Northview Titans. The Titans are currently 2-6 overall and 2-4 in the region. Chattahoochee looks to improve to 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the region. This a must-win game for the Cougars to keep their playoff dreams alive.