Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Emory Women's Volleyball Wins National Championship

The Emory volleyball team capped off its storybook season Saturday evening with a 3-1 win over the University of La Verne in the title match of the NCAA Division III National championship. The Eagles closed out their year with a 35-6 record following the 16-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22 win over the No. 4-ranked Leopards who finished out the campaign with a 27-3 won-lost ledger. The match was held at the Shirk Center on the Illinois Wesleyan campus in Bloomington, Illinois.

Emory hit 28.1 percent in the match (56-20—128) while La Verne posted a 22.4 attack percentage (47-19—125). Each team totaled 47 digs while the Eagles finished with a 7-5 edge in total blocks.

Emory had a number of players produce outstanding matches. Senior middle Dani Huffman led a balanced offensive attack with 13 kills while finishing the contest with a 36.0 hitting percentage (13-4—25) along with four blocks. Huffman registered four digs, perhaps none more important than one she came up with in the decisive fourth set that fell into the La Verne side of the court resulting in a kill and giving Emory a 21-20 lead. Sophomore Amelia McCall banged away to the tune of 12 kills while senior Maggie Baird and freshman Alexandra Wright each came up with 11 put-aways. Freshman setter Natalie Schonefeld dished out 47 assists and sophomore Kelsey Krzyston and freshman Brannan O’Neill paced the defensive effort with 11 digs each.

Emory stumbled out of the gate in the first game, hitting just 11.5 percent while La Verne countered with an impressive mark of 34.5 percent. However, in games two and three, the Eagles’ offense got untracked and hit 40.6 and 39.3 percent, respectively, in surging to a 2-1 lead in the match. Holding a 19-18 margin in a hotly contested second game, the Eagles made the most of a pair of La Verne attack errors, along with a kill by Amelia McCall, to take a 22-18 advantage. The Leopards drew to within three points on a couple of occasions, but a pair of McCall terminations helped Emory seal that set.

Emory used a pair of kills by both McCall and Huffman in bolting to an 8-2 lead in the third game. After the Leopards crept to within 11-9, a kill by Wright, combined with a pair of attack errors by La Verne and a service ace by Schonefeld boosted Emory’s lead to 15-9. The Eagles eventually built a 22-13 cushion en route to taking a 2-1 edge in the match.

La Verne led during the early stages in game four before a kill by Wright knotted the set at 9-9. The teams battled back and forth and the game was tied on six occasions as the scored settled into an 18-18 deadlock. Eventually, the Leopards went up by a 22-21 count but Emory closed out the contest with a 4-0 run, the winning point coming on a termination by Baird.

Huffman was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament after compiling 49 kills, a 31.4 hitting percentage and 19 total blocks. Also garnering spots on the team were Schonefeld and Wright.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Agnes Scott Names Williams to Coach Georgia's First Collegiate Lacrosse Team

Agnes Scott College has named veteran lacrosse coach and player Nicolle Williams to build its varsity college program for the sport -- the first in Georgia.

“We hired Coach Williams for her outstanding depth of experience, not only as a coach, but as a player with tremendous success on the national level,” said Joeleen Akin, athletic director at Agnes Scott. “We believe she has the insight, talent and vision necessary to establish and build a strong, new Lacrosse program for Agnes Scott.”

Agnes Scott College is recruiting team members and will field its first lacrosse team in fall 2009.

“The timing is perfect for Agnes Scott College to begin a lacrosse program,” Akin said. “The sport is gaining such a wide following around the country, particularly in Georgia and the Southeast. The addition of the lacrosse program will allow high school athletes to continue their playing careers as Scotties.”

Decatur resident Williams has served over the past five years as lead coach for two local lacrosse clubs, Dixie Chix Lacrosse Academy and most recently, Hotlanta Lacrosse Company. A member of the Georgia Lacrosse Umpire Board, Williams is vice president of the Women’s Division of the Georgia Lacrosse Foundation Regional Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse.

“The growth of lacrosse in the state of Georgia is remarkable,” Williams said. “We have doubled the number of high school, middle school and recreational programs in the past five years. The skill level continues to improve as lacrosse is played year round and newcomers are picking up the sticks at younger ages. I believe the sky is the limit for our new team here at Agnes Scott.”

In October, Williams received the U.S. Lacrosse Youth Excellence Award for Girls’ Coach of the Year. Prior to her arrival to Georgia, Williams was the varsity lacrosse coach at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. for five years. There she amassed a 67-10-2 record as a coach, including a perfect 17-0 season in 1996, when her team won the New England Championship.

“The first step towards building a program is getting the word out to talented, student-athletes that Agnes Scott lacrosse is here,” Williams said. “Attending games and tournaments, meeting club and high school coaches and using the contacts I have established over my time as both a player and coach will all be a part of it.”

As a player, Williams was a goalie for St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., where her teams reached the Division III, NCAA National Tournament three times. The Saints appeared in the semifinals in 1989 and finals in 1990. Williams set school records for single-season goals-against average (5.01), career saves (583), career-goals against average (5.69) and was inducted into the St. Lawrence University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

“Success is about learning, improving and desire,” Williams said. “It is my plan to develop a team that wants to truly comprehend the skills and game of lacrosse, a team that is willing to be better tomorrow than they were today, and a team that is prepared to put forth their greatest effort every time they step on the field. If we do all of those things, we will be successful here at Agnes Scott.”

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Georgia Front Page

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fan Vote to Determine Player Super Bowl Ad

SSG Note: Voting is now open until December 3rd.

Thirteen Atlanta Falcons told their stories. Now, fans can help turn one of them into the NFL’s Super Bowl commercial at

Babineaux and Turner are featured in a head-to-head competition against their rivals from the NFC South in the NFL’s “Super Ad: Believe In Now” promotion.

NFL Films traveled to NFL training camps and team facilities to capture the players’ stories. Now fans will have the opportunity to hear these unique tales and get an exclusive look at some of their favorite NFL players, such as:

-Babineaux, who talks about playing football with his brother as kids in their living room.

-Turner, who relives gaining more than 200 yards in his first game as a starter.

Fans can visit the Falcons section to also see: Erik Coleman, Thomas DeCoud, Jamaal Fudge, Brent Grimes, David Irons, Grady Jackson, Michael Koenen, Jerious Norwood, Chris Redman, Matt Ryan and Roddy White.

Fans will vote on the 24 stories from NFC players on from November 20 – December 3. Four NFC stories, one from each division, will be selected to continue to the Championship Round where they will compete against four videos from the AFC as well as one wildcard video. The Championship Round runs from December 18, 2008 – January 4, 2009. Fans will have eighteen days to vote for their favorites with a Super Bowl appearance on the line.

Fans can visit the “All Videos” section to watch all 215 NFL players’ stories posted on Fans will then watch the winning pitch, and the player who told it, during Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday, February 1 on NBC.


Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Georgia Front Page

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Churchill Downs Announces Freeze in Most Ticket Prices for 2009 Kentucky Derby, Oaks

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Churchill Downs racetrack has announced a freeze in most ticket prices for the 2009 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, allowing customers to purchase the majority of reserved seats and general admission at the same price levels offered in 2008. The 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks will be held on Friday, May 1, 2009, while Kentucky Derby 135 will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2009.

“Our slowing economy is having a pronounced effect, and many of our customers have been affected in various ways as well,” said Bob Evans, president and chief executive officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Although the Kentucky Derby occupies an elite spot in the world of sports and tickets are typically in high demand, we want to keep our price points at the same level to help our customers in this challenging economic climate. Our fans are critical to our success, and we hope this announcement makes it easier for them to join us on the first Saturday in May next year to enjoy the excitement of Kentucky Derby 135.”

The freeze in Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks ticket prices includes the majority of Churchill’s permanent seats, as well as most temporary seating areas and general admission on the day of the events. There will be a previously scheduled price increase by contract for customers in the 30-year personal seat license program, who are coming off a three-year price freeze by contract, and limited price increases in some luxury suites and for a handful of Marquee Village units adjacent to the Kentucky Derby Red Carpet venue, as well as a new price structure for a new reserved seating section in the infield that Churchill Downs will pilot in 2009.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009. The track’s 2008 Fall Meet runs from October 26 through November 29. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on November 5 and 6, 2010. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mercer Men's Basketball Ranked No. 1 Nationally in RPI

After downing Southeastern Conference opponents Alabama and Auburn in a four-day span and starting the 2008-09 campaign with an unblemished 3-0 record for the first time since 1984, the Mercer men’s basketball team has been rewarded with the top spot in’s rankings.

The College RPI takes into account a team's winning percentage (25%), its opponents' winning percentage (50%), and the winning percentage of those opponents' opponents (25%) when ranking every team in the nation. The Bears check in ahead of every traditional Division I roundball powerhouse in the country for the first time since the inception of the Ratings Percentage Index in 1981.

Georgia Front Page
Fayette Front Page

Braves Add Four Players to 40-Man Roster

The Atlanta Braves today have added four players to their 40-man roster. They purchased the contracts of infielder Diory Hernandez and right-handed pitchers Todd Redmond and Stephen Marek. They also claimed left-handed pitcher Eric O'Flaherty off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

The 24-year-old Hernandez spent the 2008 season at Mississippi (AA) and Richmond (AAA). He hit .286 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 22 games at Mississippi before being promoted to Richmond on April 26. In 120 games in Triple-A, he hit .288 with five home runs, 23 doubles and 53 runs batted in. He played at second base, third base and shortstop at both levels. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in August 2002.

Redmond, 23, was named Southern League Pitcher of the Year, appearing in 28 games (27 starts) with Mississippi (AA). He had a 13-5 mark with 3.52 ERA in 166.1 innings pitched in 2008. His 13 wins led the Southern League, and his 133 strikeouts tied for the lead. His 3.52 ERA ranked tied for fifth. Redmond was acquired by the Braves on March 26 from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Yates. He was originally selected by the Pirates in the 39th round of the 2004 June free-agent draft.

Marek, 25, was acquired on July 29 from the Los Angeles Angels along with first baseman Casey Kotchman in exchange for first baseman Mark Teixeira. Prior to the trade, Marek made 34 relief appearances for the Angels' Double-A affiliate Arkansas Travelers, going 2-6 with three saves and a 3.66 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched. He made 10 relief appearances with Mississippi once acquired by Atlanta, going 1-2 with a save and a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings pitched. He was originally selected by the Angels in the 40th round of the 2004 June free-agent draft.

O'Flaherty, 23, started the season on Seattle's Opening Day roster and made seven appearances, going 0-1 with a 20.25 ERA in 6.2 innings pitched. He made one relief appearances with the Double-A West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, a scoreless two-inning outing, before making 14 relief appearances with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, where he was 1-0 with two saves and a 4.96 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched. He was originally selected by Seattle in the sixth round of the 2003 June free-agent draft.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BEARS DO IT AGAIN! Upset Auburn on the Road to Go 3-0

Behind another huge effort on the boards and clutch free throw shooting, the Mercer men’s basketball team won its third straight game with a 78-74 victory over Auburn in the first round of the Chicago Invitational Challenge Wednesday night at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

Mercer senior Calvin Henry drained two free throws with 2.4 seconds on the clock to give Mercer a 78-74 lead and the Bears improved to 3-0 to open the season for the first time since the 1984-85 campaign that saw the Bears advance to the NCAA Tournament.

The last time Mercer defeated two SEC teams in the same season was 1952-53, when the Bears knocked off Georgia, 68-63, and Mississippi, 78-40.

Auburn was the second straight member of the Southeastern Conference to fall to the Bears – Mercer upset West Division favorite Alabama, 72-69, just two days ago in Tuscaloosa.

With a sizable contingent of Mercer students roaring in the end zone, the Bears hit 7-of-9 free throws inside the final five minutes to hold off the Tigers and avenge last season’s 68-59 loss to Auburn

Mercer sophomore forward Brian Mills drained two free throws to break a 67-67 tie with 4:50 showing and Florence drained a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner as Mercer went on to build a 73-68 advantage with 2:29 on the clock. Still leading by five, AU’s Quantez Robertson hit an inside basket and following a timeout by Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo, the Bears’ James Florence ran the clock down but turned the ball over with less than 27 seconds on the clock - and two seconds on the shot clock.

Tigers’ senior Korvotney Barber scored inside, trimming the MU advantage to just 75-74 with 21.6 ticks showing. After a Mercer timeout, Michael Ellis found guard E.J. Kusnyer open on the Bears’ end of the court, but Kusnyer elected to pull the ball out instead of laying it up and was fouled before he could dish the ball off. He hit one-of-two from the line with 9.4 seconds remaining and the Tigers hurried the ball downcourt, but Robertson was called for charging as he went inside trying to tie the game for the 11th time. Calvin Henry was fouled and sealed the game with his two from the charity stripe.

Both teams opened up patient on offense, with Mercer using a 10-0 run from the 17:40 mark to the 15-minute mark to gain a 13-4 advantage. Auburn’s Frankie Sullivan hit a 3-pointer to momentarily stop the Bears’ surge, but moments later Emerson collected one of the Orange and Black’s seven offensive rebounds in the opening half, was fouled and hit two from the line to spark another 7-2 run, giving the Bears a 22-12 lead with 11:29 remaining in the first half.

Following Emerson’s two from the line, sophomore Brian Mills scored five straight for the Bears, dropping in a basket then recording a traditional three-point play for the 10-point advantage.

Auburn (1-1) then got untracked offensively on their home court, answering with an 11-0 run of their own, fueled by junior guard Tay Waller. In the midst of the spurt, Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman was whistled for a technical foul for leaving the coaches’ box to protest an apparent travel by an Auburn player who stole an errant Mercer pass, drove the court and laid the ball off the bottom of the rim and came down with it in his hands.

Neither team was able to build more than a four-point advantage in the last six-plus minutes of the opening frame - that being Mercer’s 44-40 lead at intermission.

There were three ties inside the final five minutes, with Mercer’s James Florence scoring 12 of his 16 first half points in the final four minutes prior to intermission.

As they did in the win over the Crimson Tide, the Bears held a commanding 22-9 first-half rebounding advantage over Auburn.

In a second half that featured seven ties and eight lead changes Mercer held the lead that counted.

Henry opened the second half with an acrobatic move inside to score the basket and hit the ensuing free throw, boosting Mercer’s 44-40 halftime lead to seven but the Tigers answered with 8-0 run to grab a short-lived 48-47 lead. Mercer’s BeJay Corley came alive, battling for a basket inside, then less than a minute later he followed with another strong bucket, pushing MU’s to 51-48 with under 16 minutes remaining in the contest.

With Auburn clinging to a 59-58 lead, both teams suffered through a scoring drought og nearly three minutes before Korvotney Barber scored for the Tigers. AU edged out to a 63-60 lead with under nine minutes on the clock, but Emerson drained a high-arching 3-pointer from the top of the circle at the 8:17 mark, tying the score for the fifth time of the half.

Unlike last season’s matchup in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum when Auburn claimed a double-digit second half lead en route to defeating the Bears, tonight’s game went to the wire.

Florence led all scorers with 25 points, while Daniel Emerson added another double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Mills netted 12 points and Henry finished with 11 points and six boards.

Tay Waller posted a team-high 22 points for Auburn.

Mercer plays host to Georgia Tech in a homecoming matchup on Saturday, Nov. 22, with tip-off slated for 1 p.m. at the University Center. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mercer Bears Upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa

Alabama’s football team is No.1 in the country and plays a tough brand of football, but the Mercer men’s basketball came into Coleman Coliseum and used a huge 56-38 rebounding advantage to shock the Crimson Tide, 72-69 in non-conference men’s basketball action Sunday night.

Junior guard James Florence found Calvin Henry underneath the basket for a contested reverse layup that proved to be the winning basket with 13.8 seconds on the clock and Florence hit two free throws to give the Bears a three-point advantage. Alabama’s Ronald Steele missed a potential game-tying trey and Florence collected the rebound at the buzzer.

Florence scored a team-high 23 points, while Daniel Emerson added 18 points. Brian Mills netted 10 points and collected eight boards with Henry just missed a double-double, scoring nine points and recording a game-high 13 rebounds.

Last year Mercer (2-0) upset Southern Cal in November and the Bears are 2-0 to start a season for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign and snapped Alabama’s four-game home win streak.

Unlike last season when Alabama held off a second-half rally to edge the Bears, 90-83, at the University Center, ‘Bama never gained more than a six-point lead.

Both teams struggled in the first couple of possessions, but junior forward Daniel Emerson, who scored the Orange and Black’s first five points, gave the Bears an early 5-3 advantage on his traditional three-point play inside the first two minutes of the contest. Unfortunately the Mercer big man picked up his second foul at the 17:03 mark, with sophomore Brian Mills taking his spot on the court.

Alabama guard Ronald Steele gave the Crimson Tide a brief two-point lead, but basket interference was whistled on Calvin Henry’s shot on MU’s next trip downcourt and the score was knotted for the second time of the night.

After trading turnovers, the Bears went on a 6-0 run ignited by Florence’s acrobatic fastbreak layup. Mills’ putback gave Mercer a four-point advantage and 20 seconds later guard Mark Hall found Michael Ellis open for the Bears’ sixth straight point.

Moments later, the Tide matched Mercer’s run with six consecutive points of their own, only to have the Bears bolt back out by five, as Florence dropped in a basket and Emerson drained a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with just under eight minutes on the clock.

With the Bears offsetting ‘Bama’s size with effort and quickness, the Orange and Black held an impressive 24-11 advantage on the boards with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

The Crimson Tide then went on a 14-5 run over the next five minutes to gain a 31-26 lead, but Mills found the range from downtown, as the Douglasville, Ga., native nailed a trey from deep in the right corner then found the distance from the opposite side of the court on the next possession, pulling the Bears to within two points with less than two minutes on the clock.

The two teams traded baskets, then Florence tied the score for the fourth time of the opening frame while drawing the foul. He misfired on the ensuing free throw attempt but the Bears had an opportunity to go into intermission with the lead after collecting the rebound, but Florence was whistled for a five-second count with just under 11 seconds on the clock. Alabama’s Steele then attempted an off-balance trey at the buzzer that was off the mark and the two teams went into the break tied at 33-33.

A cold front pushed through Tuscaloosa on Saturday while the Bears were practicing at Coleman Coliseum and it apparently carried over to the hardwood, as neither team was able to shoot better than 39 percent in the opening frame.

Junior E.J. Kusnyer opened the second-half scoring with a trey from the left corner – his first of the night – and Emerson muscled up an inside bucket and Mercer again held a five point lead.

Alabama chipped away and tied the contest at 40-apiece on a wild tip-in credited to Demetrius Jemison after the bated ball bounced high off the backboard with 15:40 on the clock.

Alabama’s Mikhail Torrance broke free for a lay-up and hit the ensuing free throw after drawing the foul, giving “Bama a short-lived four-point lead. But Mercer roared back with a 12-0 run from the 12-minute mark to the 7:31 point, forcing Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried to call a timeout. Bama’s Steele hit a 3-pointer out of the timeout to snap the MU run and the Bears held a 56-51 advantage at the media timeout.

With the student section staring him in the face, Florence nailed two from the charity stripe at the 7:08 mark. Following a missed free throw by the Crimson Tide, Henry swooped in to collect a Florence miss and slammed it home for a nine-point Mercer lead.

A 7-0 run by Alabama trimmed the Bears’ to a deuce, but Florence stopped the run with a traditional three-point play, but JaMychal Green answered with his own three-point play.

Mercer was outscored 16-6, surrendering the lead before Emerson hit a layup, then Alabama’ Alonzo Gee hit just his second basket of the night, a jumper from the left side to regain the lead and could have been a back-breaker, at 69-68, with just 27.5 ticks on the clock. Mercer coach Bob Hoffman called a timeout to set up the final frantic seconds and Florence and Henry combined to make it successful. Florence drove the lane, went airborne and found Henry underneath.

Florence scored a team-high 23 points, while Daniel Emerson added 18 points. Brian Mills netted 10 points and collected eight boards with Henry just missed a double-double, scoring nine points and recording a game-high 13 rebounds.

Steele led all scorers with 25 points, while Green added 17 points for the Crimson Tide.

The Bears have another quick turnaround, visiting Auburn for the second consecutive season on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Tip-off is slated for 8.p.m. (eastern) at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

• With his five blocked shots on the night, Henry now ranks third all-time at Mercer.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shorter College Hawks Football Secures Playoff Spot Nov. 22

All along, the odds were against them. But today, the Shorter College Hawks football team has been given a reason to celebrate, as their season will continue on to next week with a berth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' (NAIA) National Football Championship playoffs.

When the national poll was released on Sunday morning, Shorter had jumped seven spots to No. 12 - the highest ranked team in the Mid-South Western Division and good for the conference's automatic playoff berth. The Hawks will travel to another Mid-South school for their first playoff game in history on Sat. Nov. 22 at 12 p.m. - the No. 8-ranked and Mid-South Eastern Division champions, the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky.

"It's hard to know where to start," said Shorter head coach Phil Jones. " It's extremely exciting for us. The initial response is gratefulness to the Lord, as we seek to glorify him in everything we do. We're grateful for Shorter College, President [Harold] Newman, the staff, the students, the faculty - everyone.

"These coaches have meshed their lives with this program and given so much," he added. "We're excited to go from this moment into these national playoffs."

On Saturday, the Hawks also received a share of the Mid-South Conference Western Division title with a win over Bethel College, 7-0.

The match-up with the University of the Cumberlands will be the third meeting between the two teams, having last played on Sept. 23, 2006 - a game the Hawks won 27-7.

The Mid-South Conference has four member schools making the playoffs: Shorter, Union College, University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), and Lambuth University.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Friday, November 14, 2008

First Chance to Secure Opening Day, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees Tickets Starts Today with "Holiday Six Game Gift Pack"

Beginning today, Nov. 14, fans can secure tickets for some of the hottest Braves game in 2009, including Opening Day, and match-ups with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, with the "Holiday Six Game Gift Pack."

Available Nov. 14 - Dec. 15 at or 404-577-9100, the Holiday Six Game Gift Pack includes a pair of tickets to six marquee games in 2009 for as low as $152 (a savings of 27%). The Holiday Six Game Gift Pack also comes with a Braves replica cap, a holiday card, and Braves wrapping paper and a gift box. Other season ticket packages, including a full season ticket package for only $249, are also available for fans looking for additional options.

The Atlanta Braves 2009 home schedule gets under way on Friday, April 10th when the Braves will welcome the Washington Nationals for Opening Night at Turner Field. The New York Yankees come to town for the first time since 2000 in an interleague series June 23-25, followed by an interleague match-up with the Boston Red Sox June 26-28. Tickets to these games and more are available now through the "Holiday Six Game Gift Pack" and other season ticket packages. Fans can call 404-577-5100 for more information.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Georgia Front Page

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Atlanta Call To Stuff the Truck

Tis the season for giving. This year, many Atlanta area families grow concerned that Santa will be unable to stuff their stockings, especially as the credit crisis and economy continues to affect families throughout the US. In recognition of this concern, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, the Atlanta Falcons, and Two Men And A Truck have partnered for the Stuff the Truck: Toys for Tots Toy Drive, prior to the game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, December 14th.

Representatives will collect new, unwrapped toy donations in the silver parking lot before, during, and after the football game. “Our goal is to stuff the moving truck full of donations,” says Kelly Wilson a representative from Two men And A Truck. “We also accept monetary donations which help fund the gift purchases. Think of what we could provide if each fan donated $1.00 to the cause,” commented Sgt. Jones of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Each year, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve collects thousands of toys and donations at area businesses and events for distribution in the Atlanta area. This year participation is down 30% from previous years. The Toys for Tots organization has scheduled numerous toy drives throughout the metro Atlanta area. The Atlanta Falcon’s participation is an asset to the organizations efforts.

The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. Community participation is essential to the success of cause. For more information about participation, or scheduled events in Atlanta, visit
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shorter Hawks Cross Country Repeats as SSAC Champions

It's hard to get better than first, but the Shorter College men's cross country team found a way on Saturday as they took the top spot in the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament at Stonebridge Golf Course with a perfect score of 15. The Hawks took all five of the top spots to advance to the National Tournament in two weeks.

"Getting a perfect score was our 'great' goal for today and it's awesome to see that realized," said head coach Jay Stephenson. "They have done everything I've asked of them and it's an exciting day for this team."

Shorter's Martin Hernandez took first place in the 8k race, with a time of 24:59.06, to repeat as the SSAC Runner of the Year. Jared Carson followed close behind in second with a 25:05.99, and in third was Josh Carson with a 25:45.09.

Cyrus Wakaba took fourth with a 25:47.15, and Steven Rich rounded out the top five with a 25:47.97.

All five of the above runners were also named to the SSAC All-Conference team.

"There is no doubt of the talent on this team and the drive they have to finish on top," added Stephenson. "We're looking forward to our next race in two weeks."

Stephenson also received honors of his own, as he was named the SSAC Coach of the Year, following the Hawks' first place finish.

Lee University finished in second with 51 points, with runners Will Jayroe and Chad Dean both being the 6th and 7th members of the All-Conference team. Berry College took third place with 61 points.

Other Shorter runners in the race were Ben Anthony (9th - 26:14.73), Brenton Widener (19th - 27:45.90), Therron Smith (21st - 28:01.70), Josh Giannoni (25th - 28:37.03), Allen O'Neal (29th - 29:27.08) and Alex Compton (32nd - 29:44.44)

The Hawks will now repeat their trip to the NAIA National Championship in two weeks as the SSAC Champion, held in Kenosha, Wis., at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Georgia Front Page

Fayetteville Motorcyclists Win National Championships

Photo: Russell Bobbitt charges by cactus at the final AMA National Enduro in Wickenburg, AZ

Local residents Russell Bobbitt and Hunter Wallace recently claimed victories at the final round of the AMA FMF National Enduro Series held in Wickenburg, Arizona. Bobbitt earned the title of 2008 National Enduro Series Champion, and Wallace claimed the top spot for the 200 B Class of the series.

The series included rounds in South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Nevada and Arizona. Based on the location of each event, riders were faced with 70 to 90 miles of off-road rocky, woods, or dessert terrain, hill climbs, creek crossings, and obstacles, making this the ultimate off-road challenge. Scoring is based on riding a specific average speed to assure arriving at checkpoints on time, as well as special test sections, in which riders must demonstrate speed and accuracy.

This is the second time Bobbitt has claimed the series championship. He was the National Enduro Series champion in 2006 and held the second spot in 2007. Bobbitt is a member of the KTM Red Bull Factory racing team and rides a KTM 250 XC. Wallace rides a KTM 200 XC.

Bobbitt attributes his championship, in part, to his conditioning; his local trainer is Mark Anderson of Bicycles Unlimited in Peachtree City.

Both Bobbitt and Wallace are lifelong residents of Fayetteville, where Wallace is currently a senior at Fayette County High School, and both are sponsored by Cycle Specialty of Fayetteville. Wallace is also sponsored by Progressive Heating and Air of Newnan and Intile Painting of Atlanta.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Two of Nation’s Top High School Basketball Players Headline 2008 T-Mobile Invitational

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two of the nation’s top high school basketball players - Derrick Favors of Atlanta (Georgia) South Atlanta High School and Skylar Diggins of South Bend (Indiana) Washington High School - headline the four boys teams and four girls teams set to compete in the 2008 T-Mobile Invitational national high school basketball tournament.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced the eight-team field for this year’s event, which will be held December 29-30 at Ball State University’s Worthen Arena in Muncie, Indiana. The NFHS-member Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) will serve as the tournament’s host state association. As such, two Indiana high schools were invited to participate in the tournament.

Favors, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound senior forward-center, and Diggins, a 5-9 senior guard, are considered to be among the nation’s top high school boys and girls basketball players, respectively.

South Atlanta High School, which has become a power in Georgia behind the physically imposing and athletic Favors, is expected to contend for the 2009 Georgia High School Association Class AAA state title. The multi-talented Diggins has led South Bend Washington to an IHSAA Class 4A state title and to two runner-up finishes in her first three varsity seasons.

Other boys teams participating are Duncanville (Texas) High School, Seattle (Washington) Garfield High School and Indianapolis (Indiana) Lawrence North High School.

Competing with South Bend Washington for the girls title will be Madison (Alabama) Bob Jones High School, Newark (New Jersey) University High School and Indianola (Mississippi) Gentry High School.

The T-Mobile Invitational is the only basketball tournament sponsored by the NFHS, and the field is composed only of schools from NFHS-member associations.

“We are looking forward to this year’s tournament,” said Robert F. Kanaby, NFHS executive director. “Not only does this event showcase some of the best teams and individuals in the country, but it also showcases the important role that activity programs play in high school education.”

“T-Mobile is proud to sponsor such a quality event,” said Mike Belcher, vice president of brand communications, T-Mobile USA. “The caliber of play is outstanding. And the caliber of individuals taking part is just as great.”

In addition to the two days of games, all coaches and players of the participating schools will join T-Mobile employees for a T-Mobile Huddle Up℠ community service project on December 28 designed to improve the after-school facilities at a local community-based organization or public school (site to be determined). T-Mobile Huddle Up is T-Mobile USA’s community outreach program connecting kids to positive people, places and programs. T-Mobile Huddle Up focuses on addressing the critical need for safe, high-quality, after-school programs for kids nationwide.

The inaugural T-Mobile Invitational was held in 2006 in Seattle with the nation’s No. 1-ranked girls team, Suwanee (Georgia) Collins Hill High School, and the boys team from Los Angeles (California) Fairfax High School taking home the championship trophies. The scene shifted to Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico’s “The Pit” for the 2007 T-Mobile Invitational. Set against that scenic Land of Enchantment backdrop, Jersey City (New Jersey) St. Anthony High School, ranked No. 1 in the nation, claimed the boys title, while Long Beach (California) Poly High School was the girls winner.

The partnership between T-Mobile and the NFHS, the national leadership organization for high school athletic and fine arts activities, strives to encourage student participation in interscholastic activities and emphasizes the importance of these programs in preparing students for life. In addition to the basketball tournament, the partnership between the NFHS and T-Mobile includes T-Mobile’s sponsorship of the NFHS annual national student leadership conference, plus other initiatives and events. T-Mobile is the Official Telecommunications Partner of the NFHS.

Here’s a closer look at the 2008 T-Mobile Invitational field:


Atlanta (Georgia) South Atlanta High School

Behind the prodigious play of Favors, South Atlanta compiled a 27-3 record in 2007-08 and was ranked No. 7 in Class AAA. The talented and multi-skilled forward-center averaged 23.7 points, 17.1 rebounds, 9.1 blocks, 3.6 steals and 2.7 assists as a junior last season and had 19 triple-doubles in 30 games. For his efforts, he was named Gatorade Georgia Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Class AAA first-team all-state and second-team Parade All-American. Among the eight players South Atlanta returns in 2008-09 is 5-11 senior point guard Nick Watkins, who is ranked as one of the top guards in the state. The Hornets scored 80 points per game and held opposing teams to 50 points per game in 2007-08, and were ranked 15th in the nation at one point of the season by USA Today.

Duncanville (Texas) High School

The second-largest high school in the nation in terms of physical size, Duncanville (Texas) High School has put up some equally huge numbers on the boys basketball court. Duncanville went 35-2 in 2007-08, including a spotless 14-0 in district play. It lost to eventual state champion North Crowley in the regional final and finished the season ranked No. 5 in Class 5A. The top returning scorers for 2008-09 are 6-7 Shawn Williams (17 ppg) and 6-5 Roger Franklin (14.5 ppg), who both were named to the all-state team last season. The Panthers’ frontline is expected to be bolstered this winter by the addition of 6-10 junior transfer Perry Jones. Coach Phil McNeely, who has compiled a career record of 674-173 and led Duncanville to state titles in 1991, 1999 and 2007, was 2007 EA SPORTS National Coach of the Year and 2008 District 8-5A Basketball Coach of the Year.

Seattle (Washington) Garfield High School

Coming off a strong 17-9 season with a very young team featuring one of the nation’s top underclassmen, Seattle (Washington) Garfield looks to build on that success in 2008-09. The Bulldogs’ top four scorers and top four rebounders all return, led by highly touted 6-5 sophomore point guard Tony Wroten Jr. As a mere freshman, the precocious and well-rounded Wroten averaged 20.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game, all team-highs. Six-one senior guard De’andre Taylor, who collected 15.4 points, three assists and two steals per contest, led the squad in three-point field goals in 2007-08. Jaron Cox, a 5-9 senior guard, averaged 6.3 points and provides additional depth to the already talented backcourt, while 6-3 junior Wilson Platt toiled inside with averages of 5.6 points and 6.6 rebounds. The Bulldogs will be led by first-year coach Ed Haskins.

Indianapolis (Indiana) Lawrence North High School

Perennial Hoosier State power Indianapolis (Indiana) Lawrence North High School will field a very tall and talented team in 2008-09. The Wildcats will give opposing teams nightmares as they return a formidable trio of 6-9 players, including senior Stephan Van Treese, who is a four-year varsity player and is verbally committed to Louisville; senior Jeff Robinson, who has verbally committed to Purdue; and junior Dominique Ferguson, who is regarded as one of the nation’s top juniors. Coach Jack Keefer, who has been Lawrence North’s only boys basketball coach since it opened its doors in 1976-77, led the Wildcats to state titles in 1989, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Among the outstanding big men Keefer coached were Eric Montross and Greg Oden, both seven-footers who played in the National Basketball Association.


Madison (Alabama) Bob Jones High School

Madison (Alabama) Bob Jones defeated Clay-Chalkville, 48-42, to claim the 2008 Alabama High School Athletic Association girls Class 6A state title, the first state basketball championship in school history. In that state title game, Bob Jones (35-2) played seven players, all juniors who will return in 2008-09. Among them is Kylie Cook, who was named tournament MVP. Her twin sister, 5-10 guard-forward Kellie Cook, was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association 2008 All-State Basketball Team Super Five (all enrollment classes combined), as well as to the Class 6A first-team. Their classmate, 5-6 guard Jala Harris, was named Class 6A second-team all-state. Coach Tim Miller, who has compiled a 238-40 career record, also led Montgomery (Alabama) Jeff Davis High School to the 2006 state title and was named 2007-08 Class 6A coach of the year. Sports Illustrated recently named Bob Jones High School’s athletic program as the best in the state of Alabama.

Newark (New Jersey) University High School

Newark (New Jersey) University, which finished the 2007-08 season 27-4, has won back-to-back New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 1 state titles. Led by coach Felicia Oliver, University lost only one player from last year’s squad to graduation and returns 14 players for 2008-09. Leading the way is 6-0 junior Laurin Mincy, who was named first-team all-state as both a freshman (the first girl in New Jersey history to do so) and a sophomore and was named New Jersey Player of the Year as a sophomore. That season, the versatile Mincy averaged 19.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.5 steals and 2.9 blocks per game, and already has scored 1,318 points in her 66-game career. In addition, senior Nadirah McKenith was named both second-team all-state and first-team All-Group 1 last year.

Indianola (Mississippi) Gentry High School

Under the direction of coach Charles Williams, Indianola Gentry won MHSAA Class 4A state titles and MHSAA Grand Slam tournaments in both 2007 and 2008. Gentry defeated Yazoo County, 52-44, for the 2008 MHSAA Class 4A state title, and a week later, topped Class 5A state champion Jackson Murrah, 80-75, in double-overtime for the MHSAA Grand Slam championship. Multi-skilled 5-6 junior guard Brizannai Washington, who averaged 14.7 points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals as a sophomore in 2007-08, was named Grand Slam player of the game. Finishing the season an unblemished 40-0, Gentry was ranked No. 7 in the ESPN High Elite 25 high school girls basketball rankings and No. 20 in the USA Today Super 25. Gentry is currently riding an 80-game winning streak, which ties the Mississippi high school state record.

South Bend (Indiana) Washington High School

Led by multi-talented 5-9 senior guard Skylar Diggins, South Bend Washington is expected to be one of the state’s top teams again this year. During her first three seasons, Diggins paced the Panthers to an amazing 76-6 record, an Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A state title and two runner-up finishes. As a junior, the versatile Diggins averaged 29.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.2 steals and 1.5 blocked shots. Diggins, who possesses long-range three-point shooting ability, was a Parade Magazine first-team All-American performer in 2007-08, and is expected to contend for national player of the year honors this year. Senior forward Takoia Larry, who scored 24 points in last year’s state championship game, averaged 10.9 points last season when she was named high honorable-mention all-state.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page
Arts Across Georgia

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Five Hawks Players Represented on 2009 NBA All-Star Ballot Presented by T-Mobile

Fans Can Vote on, via Wireless Ballots, and in NBA Arenas
T-Mobile USA to Donate $1 For Every Ballot Cast on t-zones to Benefit the Youth of Phoenix

The official 2009 NBA All-Star Ballot was unveiled today in Phoenix, featuring five Atlanta Hawks – Mike Bibby, Al Horford, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Marvin Williams. NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile USA, Inc. will officially begin on Thursday, November 13. The 2009 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, will be held at US Airways Center on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009.

The 2009 NBA All-Star Balloting program, which also includes partner 2K Sports, allows fans around the world to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for the All-Star Game in a variety of ways, including: at each NBA arena; in 20 languages on; and through mobile phones at t-zones® on T-Mobile phones or for any wireless carrier. A T-Mobile-branded All-Star Balloting widget will be available on so that fans can "grab" the widget and place it on their blogs, social network pages, or personal websites allowing others to vote directly from the widget. Voting will continue through Jan. 11, for paper balloting and Jan. 19, for and wireless balloting.

One hundred twenty players – 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences – are listed on the NBA All-Star ballot, with 24 guards, 24 forwards and 12 centers from each conference comprising the list. Voters select two guards, two forwards and one center from each conference. The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA. This year’s panel included Paul Coro (Arizona Republic), Ernie Johnson (TNT), Jack McCallum (Sports Illustrated), David Moore (Dallas Morning News), Marc Spears (Boston Globe) and Marc Stein (

As the presenting partner of the 2009 NBA All-Star Balloting program, and in support of the NBA’s season-long effort to better the various communities in Phoenix, T-Mobile will donate $1 for every ballot cast on t-zones, T-Mobile's wireless Web portal, to help the youth of Phoenix. The week leading up to the 58th NBA All-Star Game will feature a full slate of community-enhancing activities and fan festivals, such as NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas and the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 13.

In conjunction with All-Star Balloting, 2K Sports will give fans the opportunity to experience Phoenix and the best of basketball by entering the NBA 2K9 Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to NBA All-Star 2009 and to have their likeness as a digitized player incorporated in next year’s game, NBA 2K10.

The following is a complete listing of the players as they appear on the ballot:


Ray Allen, Boston
Gilbert Arenas, Washington
Mike Bibby, Atlanta
**Chauncey Billups, Detroit
Jose Calderon, Toronto
Vince Carter, New Jersey
Jamal Crawford, New York
Raymond Felton, Charlotte
TJ Ford, Indiana
Ben Gordon, Chicago
Richard Hamilton, Detroit
Devin Harris, New Jersey
Joe Johnson, Atlanta
Stephon Marbury, New York
Andre Miller, Philadelphia
Jameer Nelson, Orlando
Anthony Parker, Toronto
Michael Redd, Milwaukee
Jason Richardson, Charlotte
Luke Ridnour, Milwaukee
Rajon Rondo, Boston
Derrick Rose, Chicago
Dwyane Wade, Miami
Mo Williams, Cleveland

Michael Beasley, Miami
Chris Bosh, Toronto
Elton Brand, Philadelphia
Caron Butler, Washington
Luol Deng, Chicago
Mike Dunleavy, Indiana
Kevin Garnett, Boston
Danny Granger, Indiana
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia
LeBron James, Cleveland
Antawn Jamison, Washington
Richard Jefferson, Milwaukee
Rashard Lewis, Orlando
Shawn Marion, Miami
**Antonio McDyess, Detroit
Andres Nocioni, Chicago
Paul Pierce, Boston
Tayshaun Prince, Detroit
Zach Randolph, New York
Josh Smith, Atlanta
Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando
Gerald Wallace, Charlotte
Marvin Williams, Atlanta
Yi Jianlian, New Jersey

Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee
Eddy Curry, New York
Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia
Brendan Haywood, Washington
Al Horford, Atlanta
Dwight Howard, Orlando
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland
Emeka Okafor, Charlotte
Jermaine O'Neal, Toronto
Kendrick Perkins, Boston
Ben Wallace, Cleveland
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit


Rafer Alston, Houston
Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix
Raja Bell, Phoenix
Kobe Bryant, LA Lakers
Michael Conley, Memphis
Baron Davis, LA Clippers
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
Monta Ellis, Golden State
Derek Fisher, LA Lakers
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio
**Allen Iverson, Denver
Stephen Jackson, Golden State
Jason Kidd, Dallas
Kevin Martin, Sacramento
O.J. Mayo, Memphis
Tracy McGrady, Houston
Steve Nash, Phoenix
Tony Parker, San Antonio
Chris Paul, New Orleans
Brandon Roy, Portland
J.R. Smith, Denver
Jason Terry, Dallas
Beno Udrih, Sacramento
Deron Williams, Utah

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland
Carmelo Anthony, Denver
Ron Artest, Houston
Shane Battier, Houston
Carlos Boozer, Utah
Bruce Bowen, San Antonio
Tim Duncan, San Antonio
Pau Gasol, LA Lakers
Rudy Gay, Memphis
Grant Hill, Phoenix
Josh Howard, Dallas
Andrei Kirilenko, Utah
Kevin Love, Minnesota
Corey Maggette, Golden State
Kenyon Martin, Denver
Mike Miller, Minnesota
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
Lamar Odom, LA Lakers
Luis Scola, Houston
Peja Stojakovic, New Orleans
Amar’e Stoudemire, Phoenix
Al Thornton, LA Clippers
David West, New Orleans
Chris Wilcox, Oklahoma City
Andris Biedrins, Golden State
Andrew Bynum, LA Lakers
Marcus Camby, LA Clippers
Tyson Chandler, New Orleans
Nick Collison, Oklahoma City
Al Jefferson, Minnesota
Chris Kaman, LA Clippers
Brad Miller, Sacramento
Greg Oden, Portland
Mehmet Okur, Utah
Shaquille O'Neal, Phoenix
Yao Ming, Houston

**Ballots were printed prior to the Nov. 3 trade between the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets. Online ballots will reflect the new team and conference for Chauncey Billups, Allen Iverson and Antonio McDyess. Votes cast for those three players (online and paper) will be counted toward their new team and conference.
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Jones Honored with Legacy Award

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will honor Chipper Jones as one of its 2008 Legacy Award winners.

As the National League batting champion, Jones will receive the Walter "Buck" Leonard Award. The Museum annually presents the Legacy Awards to the top performers from the National and American Leagues.

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and Twins catcher Joe Mauer have been named this year's Oscar Charleston Legacy Award winners. This award is the Museum's top honor, and it's presented to the best player from both the NL and AL. Charleston was a Negro League outfielder who has been compared to Willie Mays.

Each of the Legacy Awards winners will be recognized on Jan. 10 during a ceremony at the Gem Theater in Kansas City, a venue across the street from the Negro Leagues Museum. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Museum, which keeps alive the legacy of men and women who played, coached or owned teams when baseball was a segregated sport.

This marks the second year that will sponsor the Sam Lacy Legacy Award, which is reserved for a baseball writer who embodies the pioneering spirit of Lacy, a Hall of Fame sportswriter whose half-century of work for the black press beat the drum for equality in the sport.

This year's Lacy Award will be presented to Chris Murray, a sportswriter for The Philadelphia Tribune. Murray has written extensively about baseball for The Tribune, a black weekly.

This year's other Legacy Award winners include:
Josh Gibson Award -- presented to the NL and AL home run leaders
Recipients: Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies; and Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Bullet Rogan Award -- presented to the NL and AL pitchers of the year
Recipients: Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants; and Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians

James "Cool Papa" Bell Award -- presented to the NL and AL stolen base leaders
Recipients: Willy Taveras, Colorado Rockies; and Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox

Walter "Buck" Leonard Award -- presented to the NL and AL batting champions
Recipients: Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves; and Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins

Andrew "Rube" Foster Award -- presented to the NL and AL executives of the year
Recipients: Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers; and Tony Reagins, Los Angeles Angels

Charles Isham "C.I." Taylor Award -- presented to the NL and AL managers of the year
Recipients: Lou Piniella, Chicago Cubs; and Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays

Larry Doby Award -- presented to the NL and AL rookies of the year
Recipients: Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs; and Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

Hilton Smith Award -- presented to the NL and AL relievers of the year
Recipients: Jose Valverde, Houston Astros; and Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels

John Henry "Pop" Lloyd Award -- presented in recognition of baseball and community leadership
Recipient: Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers

Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award -- presented to an individual for career excellence in the face of adversity
Recipient: Cito Gaston, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays

John "Buck" O'Neil Award -- presented to a local or national corporate/private philanthropist for outstanding support of the NLBM
Recipient: Jon Wefald, president of Kansas State University

By Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Monday, November 10, 2008

Atlanta Falcons Players Visit Hospitalized Veterans

Players for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons will visit hospitalized veterans on Veterans Day Tuesday, Nov. 11, at the Atlanta VA medical center, as part of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Celebrity Entertainment Program.

Players are scheduled to visit the hospital at 1 p.m., as a way to honor veterans for serving our nation. They'll be signing autographs, presenting patients with souvenirs, and helping brighten the day for those who have sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom.

The visit by Falcons players to the Atlanta VA medical center, 1670 Clairmont Rd., Decatur, Ga., is part of the team's observance of Veterans Day. The Atlanta Falcons join other NFL teams, Major and Minor League Baseball players, NASCAR drivers, country music stars and others participating in the DAV Celebrity Entertainment program.

"We are proud the Atlanta Falcons are part of our Celebrity Entertainment Program," said DAV National Commander Raymond E. Dempsey. "I know that their visit to the Atlanta VA medical center will bring a great deal of joy to the men and women veterans being treated there. Many of these wonderful veterans rarely get visitors. They have sacrificed a great deal to defend our nation's liberty, and they should get the respect and care they deserve."

The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's wartime disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization's Web site at

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Braves Add Dom Chiti as Special Assistant to the General Manager

Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren announced November 7, 2008, that the Braves have hired Dominic "Dom" Chiti as a special assistant to the general manager.

Chiti, 49, joins the Braves after spending six seasons in the Texas Rangers organization where he served as the Major League bullpen coach the past three seasons. Prior to that, he was their director of player personnel from July of 2004 through the 2005 season where he provided recommendations for potential trades and free agent signings at the Major League level while also overseeing the organization's player development, scouting and Latin America operations. He served as a special assistant to the general manager in 2002 and 2003 before acting as the club's advance scout the first half of 2004.

"Dom brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which complements our already strong staff of Special Assistants," said Wren.

Prior to joining the Rangers, Chiti spent 12 years with the Cleveland Indians, from 1989 to 2001. He served as the Indians' American League advance scout from 1996-2001 after joining the eam in 1989 as a roving Minor League instructor. He was promoted to the Major League club's bullpen coach in 1992 and was an advance scout in 1994. In 1995, he was Triple-A Buffalo's pitching coach when they made the International League playoffs before moving to the A.L. advance scout role.

Originally selected out of Raleigh-Egypt (TN) High School by the Braves in the second round of the 1976 draft as a left-handed pitcher, he pitched from 1976 to 1980 in the Braves' system before ending his career with Baltimore affiliate Hagerstown in 1981.

A native of Independence, Missouri, Chiti is the son of former Major Leaguer Harry Chiti, who spent more than eight seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and New York Mets. He currently resides in Auburndale, Florida, with his wife Jennifer. He has two children, Morgan and John and three stepchildren, Kira, Kassie and Krista.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Emory Volleyball Earns No. 1 Ranking

The Emory University volleyball team holds down the No. 1 spot in the week's Bison/American Volleyball Coaches Division III Poll. The Eagles received 21 of 24 first-place votes and totaled 596 points. Juniata College, which had been No. 1 since the start of the season, slipped to the No. 2 position with one first-place vote and 571 points. La Verne (559 pts.), Washington University (526 pts.) and Wittenberg (499 pts.) round out the top five.

Emory ascended to the top of the poll following an impressive 3-1 win over Juniata this past weekend at the Emory National Challenge. It marked the second time this year that the two schools had met with Juniata claiming a 3-0 decision at the Leopard Invitational hosted by La Verne.

Head Coach Jenny McDowell and her squad have enjoyed considerable success against nationally ranked teams this year, compiling an 8-1 mark against teams that have been ranked among the top 25.

This week's No. 1 ranking represents the first time since Nov. 15, 2005, that the Eagles have held the top position among Division III teams.

Emory returns to action this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 7-8) when it looks to defend its title at the University Athletic Association Championships in St. Louis.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Enter for a Chance to Win the Ultimate VIP Fan Experience to the Georgia Tech/UGA Rivalry Game

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Path2College 529 Plan’s VIP Fan Experience Sweepstakes is still open for a final chance to win the Georgia Tech versus University of Georgia ultimate game package to the rivalry game played this year at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on November 29, 2008. Entries must be received online by November 16.

The Ultimate VIP game package includes four tickets to the rivalry game on November 29, limousine transportation to and from the game, pre-game hospitality and sideline passes, two game programs, four game t-shirts and a football autographed by either Head Coach Paul Johnson or Head Coach Mark Richt.

Anyone who has already registered for the Vanderbilt/UGA or Duke/Georgia Tech game packages will automatically be entered for a chance to win. Georgia Tech and UGA fans that have not registered still have until November 16 to enter for their chance to win. The winner of the Ultimate VIP Fan Experience will be announced on November 17.

The sweepstakes, sponsored by the Path2College 529 Plan, Georgia’s official 529 college savings plan, is open to all Georgia residents*. The contest is free and no purchase is necessary. Visit for sweepstakes rules and to register for the drawing.

The launch of the sweepstakes coincided with September’s designation by Governor Sonny Perdue as College Savings Month in Georgia. To kick off College Savings Month, the Path2College 529 Plan teamed up with the football programs at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech to help raise awareness about Georgia’s 529 college savings plan.

Any funds in a Path2College 529 Plan account can be used for tuition, fees, and other qualified college expenses at virtually all colleges in Georgia and nationwide. Contributions made to an account in the Path2College 529 Plan are eligible for the Georgia state income tax deduction and any earnings grow federal and state income tax free. Withdrawals are also tax-free when used for qualified college expenses.

For more information on the Path2College 529 Plan, or to register for the VIP Fan Experience Sweepstakes, visit: Void where prohibited.

* Sweepstakes is also open to all who were Path2College 529 Plan account owners as of 8/25/08, regardless of state of residence.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the Path2College 529 Plan. Please visit for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state’s 529 plan.

Account value in the Investment Options is not guaranteed and will fluctuate based upon a number of factors, including general market conditions.

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page