Friday, November 25, 2011

1980 Dawgs, Georgia Football Legends and Others at the Varsity on Saturday

The crew from "1980 Dawgs" will once again be joined by Georgia Football Legends, Scott Woerner, Rex Robinson and possibly other members of the 1980 team. They will be at the Varsity on North Ave, before and after the game on Saturday where they will be meeting fans, signing copies of "1980 Dawgs" DVDs and talking Georgia football. DVD copies will be available for purchase. The "1980 Dawgs" movie ( ) has been getting great reviews. It contains in-depth interviews with 27 players, coaches and media members from that season, combined with key game footage highlights of each game - a perfect gift for Bulldog fans, just in time for the holidays.

Where: The Varsity, North Ave., Atlanta.
When: This Saturday, 9:00 am - 11:30 am and right after the game for two hours.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Long Time Racer to Hit 31st Annual Peachtree City Classic

He hasn’t run all previous 30 Classic races, but he ran the first one in 1981, has run most of them since, and plans to run the next one this October. In 1981 Bill Brackin was living in Riverdale and heard about a race over in Peachtree City that he wanted to do. He ran it and was so impressed with the scenic cart paths, that he decided he wanted to move to PTC to live. He did just that a couple of years later and has been a fixture in the Fayette County road racing scene ever since. Bill says that as best as he can recollect, the race started and finished at City Hall in those early days. But as the race grew in stature and popularity, it eventually moved to the Fred Brown Amphitheater where it still is today. Bill will be lacing up his shoes again this year for the 31st edition.

The races will take place Saturday, October 15th, along the scenic golf cart paths of Peachtree City. It is one of the most popular runs not only in Georgia, but in the Southeast as well. The race is unique in its use of paved cart paths for the race. This scenic race is run mostly on the paths through the greenbelt areas, by lakes, through small tunnels, in the beautiful planned community of Peachtree City. The 15K was voted the best 15K course in Georgia by Georgia Athlete Magazine and always a sellout, so participants are strongly encouraged to register early. This year’s race director, George Martin, is looking forward to the using computerized timing chips for the tenth consecutive year.

The Classic actually consists of three different races: a women’s 5K, a men’s 5K, and the 15K open. All races are run on separate TAC-certified courses, and start and finish at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater. The 5K races for men and women are open to the first 800 entrants in each category. The popular 15K is open to the first 1500 entrants. All finishers in the different races will receive a special commemorative edition technical shirt to mark the 31st year of this Classic event.

A Pre-Race Expo will be held at the Fred Brown Amphitheater on Friday, October 14th, from 4:30 – 8:30 PM. A Race Day Expo will be held on Saturday from 7:00 – 11:00 AM also at the Frederick Brown Amphitheater. The Expos will include health and fitness products, sponsors, and selected vendors.

Applications are available at various locations in Peachtree City, Newnan, and Fayetteville, including local recreation departments, libraries, and sporting goods stores. Applications are also available at World Gym, Ultimate Fitness, T&G All Sports, Smith and Davis, Play It Again Sports, and AIS Computers. You can also register on line at If you have any further questions about the race, you can send e-mail to

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fayette Senior Services Adds 10K to Annual Run/Walk and Establishes New “Fayette Charity Classic” to Benefit Fayette County Non-profits

Fayette Senior Services (FSS) annual March For Meals 5K/1 Mile Run Walk will have a new look and expanded purpose when the 4th annual event is held next year on March 17, 2012. Thanks to help from the City of Fayetteville and the Fayetteville Police Department, FSS will be adding a challenging new 10K route to its existing 5K and 1 mile run/walk. In addition, FSS has renamed the event The Fayette Charity Classic with proceeds to not only benefit non-profit Fayette Senior Services, but other Fayette County charities as well. The Fayette Charity Classic 10K as well as the 5K will both be USA Track and Field (USATF) certified and qualifiers for the Peachtree Road Race.

Dawn Davis, FSS Health, Wellness, and Program Manager is the event’s race director. Davis worked closely with Capt. Lynn Crawshaw of the Fayetteville Police Department to develop the route that begins at Fayette Senior Services Life Enrichment Center located at 4 Center Drive in Fayetteville (across from the Fayette County Justice Center). Says Davis, “By expanding the event to include a 10K we are able to leverage the success of our former March For Meals Run/Walk. Our goal was to attract a larger audience to a fitness activity and in turn increase awareness–and financial support–for the programs and services that we provide to our community’s seniors.” Davis adds, “We then took our expanded event one step further and designed it to help other Fayette County charities, many of which continue to face challenges as a result of the current economy. It’s a win-win for Fayette Senior Services, the charities who wish to participate, and the community as a whole.”

Event details and registration packets are still being finalized and are expected to be available soon. Anyone interested in receiving more information should send their name, address, and phone number to Fayette Senior Services, Inc. For more than 30 years, Fayette Senior Services, Inc. (FSS), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has been making a meaningful difference in the emotional, social, and physical well-being of older adults; preserving their independence, improving their quality of life, and connecting them to the community. FSS offers supportive services such as Meals On Wheels, Transportation, In-Home Personal Care/Homemaker Services, Information Assistance, Care Management, and more. For active older adults age 50 and better, Fayette Senior Services Life Enrichment Center offers a wide variety of social, leisure, fitness and recreational activities and the award-winning Ultimate Café. For more information visit or call 770-461-0813.

Peachtree City: 5K to Stop Sex Trafficking; Wellspring Living, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

5K run sponsoring Wellspring Living, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to aid in the rehabilitation and restoration of women and children who have suffered childhood sexual abuse and exploitation. The Stop Injustice Run draws more than 250 participants each year around the Atlanta area. Teams of 12 or more are encouraged to register and name their team by August 26th in order to have team name listed on the T-shirt. Prizes will be given to the 1st and 2nd place runners in each division. Each participant will receive a T-shirt and official time card.

WHY: To benefit the organization’s recovery homes and educational and therapeutic programs designed for women and children seeking a refuge from human trafficking.

Registration Fee: $30

Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.

The Bridge Community Center
225 Willowbend Road
Peachtree City, GA

***BACKGROUND: There are approximately 100 girls under the age or 18 who are sexually trafficked on a typical night in Georgia. The average life expectancy of a girl in forced prostitution is 7 years with homicide or HIV/AIDS as the cause of death. Wellspring Living offers residential rehabilitation programs and advocates for victims of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gladiators Narrow Coaching Candidates

Gwinnett Gladiators President Steve Chapman announced Friday that the candidates for the team’s coaching search have been narrowed to three finalists: Steve Weeks, Leigh Mendelson and John Wroblewski. The organization plans to name their second head coach in team history to replace Jeff Pyle within the next seven days. Pyle was named the head coach of the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on July 13th.

Over the past two weeks, the Gladiators received over 50 inquiries from interested applicants concerning the position. After a detailed preliminary review and screening process, the list was narrowed to about a dozen candidates for phone interviews.

“The sheer number and quality of the applicants was quite impressive,” said Chapman. “It was very difficult to pare the applicants down to a workable number, but that is certainly a good problem to have. It’s also a tribute to the solid reputation established by the Gladiators organization within the professional hockey community to see such a large number of qualified coaches express their interest in leading this team.”

Weeks served as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Thrashers for eight seasons from 2001-2010. Prior to his time with the Thrashers, Weeks spent eight seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes (and previously Hartford Whalers) organization from 1993 to 2001 as an assistant coach and scout. He played 13 NHL seasons from 1980 to 1993 with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks and the New York Islanders. Prior to turning pro, he played four seasons at Northern Michigan University where he helped the Wildcats to the 1980 “Frozen Four”.

Mendelson was an assistant coach with the Utah Grizzlies last year during the 2010-2011 season and he helped the Grizzlies advance to the Western Conference Semifinals before falling to the Victoria Salmon Kings. He served as an interim head coach with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL during the 2009-10 season posting a 7-7-2 record during his time behind the bench. He was also an assistant with the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies during the 2001-2002 season.

Wroblewski served as an assistant coach for the Wheeling Nailers last season and helped the Nailers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Head Coach for the United States National Development Team from 2007 – 2010. Wroblewski skated four seasons in the ECHL with the Fresno Falcons from 2003 through 2007 amassing 299 total points during his pro career while also serving as Team Captain in his final two seasons. Before turning pro, Wroblewski played four seasons at the University of Notre Dame from 1999 to 2003 and also served as Team Captain in his final season of collegiate hockey.

“All three candidates bring quality coaching experience and significant leadership abilities to the table,” said Chapman. “Honestly, any one of these three would be great choices.”

Relative to a new affiliation agreement, the Gladiators are in discussions with three separate NHL hockey teams about the possibility of a working relationship. The team hopes to make an announcement on their affiliation plans in the next 2 to 4 weeks.

The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the Premier “AA” Hockey League and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.

Nelms at the Helm for New Senoia Raceway Inaugural Weaterless Boat Race

July 31, 2011 (Senoia, GA) Michael Nelms has won his share of racing at the 3/8ths mile clay oval just west of Senoia, GA. But, he has never been the victor in a more bizarre way than he was on Saturday night when he crashed, smashed and bashed his way to victory in the inaugural ‘waterless boat race’ at New Senoia Raceway.

“This car has been beaten up before,” explained an amused Nelms along a junk filled front stretch. “But, I have never run into a boat on a race track.”

Nelms survived the fifteen minute crash-filled special event featuring various vehicles pulling old boats around the track without the assistance of any wheeled trailers. The Newnan stock car racing veteran outlasted fellow Newnan competitor Ricky Payton as the crowd of 1,027 fans cheered with excitement.

The path to victory was not in the fastest driver with his boat, but the only one remaining with the boat intact at the end of the event. To the delight of the younger fans in attendance, the strategy was to knock your opponents boat from it’s race car power source. The end result was a track full of disabled boats and cars trying to avoid the carnage.

“That was a blast,” said third place finisher Josh ‘Boom Boom’ Ballard of Griffin. “He (Nelms) got me caught up in the third turn and snagged my boat off against the wall. All I saw was the boat being smashed into pieces and then the car felt a lot lighter. I knew he got my boat.”

Other winners in the weekly stock car racing action included Locust Grove’s Racin’ Jason Williams in the Mike Wheeler’s Automotive & Transmission Late Models, LaGrange’s Tod Dard in the Crown Security Crate Late Models, Marcus Caswell of Newnan in the Newnan Bonding B Cadets, Carrollton’s Clifton Moran in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks and Dusty Jones, also of LaGrange, in the Mini Stocks.

Williams out dueled current points leader Lavon Sparks in the Late Model division. The fierce competitors were separated by only eleven points entering their 25-lap main event. The Phenix City, AL, driver, Sparks, tried to stay with the hottest driver at New Senoia Raceway, Williams, at the drop of the green, but Williams showed his muscle once again holding him off and snagging the lead from the drop of the green.

While Williams, Sparks and Thomaston’s Shane Fulcher pulled away from the pack, Newnan’s Scott Duffey and Thomaston’s Laddie Fulcher were in a classic New Senoia Raceway battle for the number four spot. Duffey and Fulcher swapped the spot back and forth twice on lap nine before Duffey slid to the high side in turn two. After the two made contact exiting the turn, Duffey clipped the outside retaining wall which caused the race’s first caution.

Up front, Sparks would get close, but was never able to get a good enough run to squeak past Williams. The end result was Williams bringing home his eighth feature win of the season including four straight in the month of July. Sparks would settle for second again with Shane Fulcher third. Fayetteville’s Glenn Morris would fight his way to the number four spot and Newnan’s Nicky Prosser would take home his first top five of the season finishing fifth.

On the strength of his fourth consecutive win, Williams is now within eight points of the top spot in the standings for the Mike Wheeler’s Automotive & Transmission Late Models. Lavon Sparks has led the race for the championship since opening week this past April and was crowned the mid-season champion two weeks ago. This Saturday, August 6, is a double points night for all the divisions at New Senoia Raceway. At the last double points event in early June, Sparks out ran Williams to increase his lead on the points. Williams has been chipping away at that lead ever since.

Tod Darda is working on his points position in the Crown Security Crate Late Models. Darda finds himself in a regional points battle for the NeSmith Crate Series title and his current win streak at New Senoia Raceway is helping him climb the rankings.

Darda picked up his sixth race of the season and third straight on Saturday night. He held off Phenix City’s Russ Ogletree for the win. Ogletree was the dominant driver early in the season winning three feature races. But, Saturday night’s runner-up has not visited victory lane at New Senoia Raceway since the first weekend of May.

Carrollton’s Carey Smith returned on Saturday night and started scratch on the field. Smith was the hard charger of the night as he scooted past competitors to snare a top five finish.

Current track point’s leader Doug Ludwig of Grantville finished in the number four spot while LaGrange’s Dennis Hale was third behind Darda and Ogletree.

“They are not getting any easier,” said Darda afterwards. “Eighty-eight (Ogletree) pressured me the entire race. I could not make any mistakes.”

Newnan’s Marcus Caswell went from the outhouse to the penthouse this week in the Newnan Bonding B Cadets. Caswell had his driveshaft come up through the cockpit of his race car a week ago Saturday night narrowly missing serious injury. This week, Caswell shot out to the lead and never looked back posting the wire to wire victory over Stockbridge’s Jeff Carter and Fayetteville’s TJ Joiner. Last week’s victor, Blake Griffin of Grantville finished fourth followed up by newcomer Richard Davis of Griffin in fifth.

Short fields in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks disappointed fans, but still produced great racing action with Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran picking up his eleventh win of the season for the Hobby Stocks. Moran outlasted Kerry Carden for the win. Brook’s Carden claimed his best finish of the season with a second place run. Newnan’s Rusty ‘Rocketman’ Johnson came home third.

LaGrange’s Dusty Jones walked away to his seventh win of the season in the Mini Stock division. Barnesville’s Gary Parker finished in the runner-up spot followed by Griffin’s Bo Chambers and Whitesburg’s Dorough Bright.

Parker’s second place finish coupled together with Bright’s fourth place finish has tightened up the points battle for the four cylinder stock car racing division. Parker has slashed the points lead to seven points as the duo heads into this Saturday’s double points night. The point separation is three positions on the race track.

The double points opportunity this Saturday, August 6 allows the drivers in all weekly divisions to move up spots or move closer to their nearest competitors in the season point standings. The top ten in each division will be awarded prize money at the end of the season this September.

Family fun is also planned again for Saturday night as the track will host it’s Kid’s Bicycle Races. Children of all ages are invited to bring their bicycles to New Senoia Raceway where officials will separate the group into age categories and conduct fun-filled bicycle races along the front stretch and around the high banks of the track. All participants should bring their bike helmets.

The pit gates open at 5:00pm. The grandstands open at 6:00pm. Hot laps begin just after 7:00pm with racing set to go green at 8:00pm. Grandstand admission is only $12 for adults with kids six through twelve admitted for five bucks. Children five and under are admitted for free.

For additional information on New Senoia Raceway, visit the speedway website at, join their family of friends on Facebook or call the speedway at 770-599-6161.

By Katherine Adams


Mike Wheelers Automotive & Transmission Late Models

Feature: 1-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 2-Lavon Saprks, Phenix City, AL 3-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-Nicky Prosser, Senoia 6-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston 7-Scott Duffey, Newnan Fast Qualifier: Williams (15.203 seconds)

Crown Security Crate Late Models

Feature: 1-Tod Darda, LaGrange 2-Russ Ogletree, Phenix City, AL 3-Dennis Hale, LaGrange 4-Doug Ludwig, Grantville 5-Carey Smith, Carrollton 6-Trey White, Jenkinsburg 7-Troy Tyson, Fayetteville 8-Kyle Lowry, Covington 9-Roger Cassell, Franklin 10-Todd Mitchell, LaGrange Fast Qualifier: Darda (15.870 seconds)

Newnan Bonding B-Cadets

Feature: 1-Marcus Caswell, Newnan 2-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 3-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 4-Blake Griffin, Grantville 5-Richard Davis, Griffin 6-Corey Payton, Newnan 7-Chris Carr, Newnan 8-Buck Williams, Watkinsville 9-Lee McElwaney, Newnan

Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks

Feature: 1-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 2-Kerry Carden, Brooks 3-Rusty Johnson, Newnan 4-Mike Jenkins, Brooks 5-Zak Sockwell, Newnan

Mini Stocks Feature: 1-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 2-Gary Parker, Barnesville 3-Bo Chambers, Griffin 4-Dorough Bright, Whitesburg

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gladiators Announce Schedule for 9th season at Gwinnett Arena

The Gwinnett Gladiators announce the schedule for the 2011-2012 season as the team returns for their 9th season in the ECHL in October of 2011.

Opening Weekend at the spectacular Gwinnett Arena (seating capacity: 11,355) is scheduled for Friday, October 21st and Saturday, October 22nd, as the “I-85 Series” continues when the Gladiators host the Road Warriors from Greenville, South Carolina. The Gladiators have posted an impressive 6-0-2 record all-time in regular season home openers.

The weekend prior, the Gladiators will open the season on the road with a pair of games against the Florida Everblades on Friday, October 14th and Saturday, October 15th. It will be the second consecutive season that the Gladiators will open the season on the road and against the Everblades in Estero, FL.

Many Gladiators games have turned into annual events featuring various community, charitable, and holiday themes, and those traditions will continue during the 2011-2012 season. For the 9th consecutive season, the Gladiators will host the annual Thanksgiving Night matchup and Kroger Food Drive on Thursday, Nov. 24th. The Gladiators will again feature the “Kids Day Out” MLK Jr. holiday matinee matchup on Monday, January 16th, the hugely popular annual Teddy Bear Toss returns on Saturday, January 14th, and the team will host a special St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Saturday, March 17th.

Of the Gladiators 36 home games during the 2010-11 season, 27 games are on either Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Start times for all home games remain unchanged from last season with all games starting at 7:05 p.m. except Friday games, which will begin at 7:35 p.m., and Sunday games, which will again start at 4:05 p.m. As previously established, the Gladiators annual Kids Day Game on the MLK Jr. Holiday will start at 12:30 p.m.

The Gladiators will face each team from the ECHL’s Eastern Conference at least one time at the Gwinnett Arena during the 2011-12 season. The Gladiators will see the defending Eastern Conference Champion Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday, February 12th while ECHL newcomer Chicago Express will visit the Gwinnett Arena on Saturday, February 11th. In addition, the Gladiators will host the Greenville Road Warriors eight times, the South Carolina Stingrays and the Florida Everblades seven times, the Cincinnati Cyclones and Trenton Devils three times each, the Wheeling Nailers and Elmira Jackals two times and the Reading Royals and Toledo Walleye once each at the Gwinnett Arena.

Gwinnett Gladiators 2011-2012 Schedule

Friday, October 14th @ Florida

Saturday, October 15th @ Florida

Friday, October 21st vs. Greenville

Saturday, October 22nd vs. Greenville

Wednesday, October 26th @ Trenton

Friday, October 28th @ Wheeling

Saturday, October 29th @ Reading

Tuesday, November 1st vs.. Florida

Saturday, November 5th vs. Reading

Sunday, November 6th vs. Toledo

Wednesday, November 9th @ Elmira

Friday, November 11th @ Toledo

Saturday, November 12th @ Toledo

Sunday, November 13th @ Chicago

Friday, November 18th vs.. South Carolina

Saturday, November 19th @ South Carolina

Sunday, November 20th @ South Carolina

Thursday, November 24th vs. Wheeling

Friday, November 25th vs.. Wheeling

Saturday, November 26th @ South Carolina

Wednesday, November 30th @ Florida

Friday, December 2nd @ Florida

Saturday, December 3rd @ Florida

Thursday, December 8th @ Greenville

Saturday, December 10th vs. South Carolina

Sunday, December 11th vs.. South Carolina

Thursday, December 15th vs. Florida

Friday, December 16th @ South Carolina

Saturday, December 17th @ South Carolina

Tuesday, December 20th @ South Carolina

Monday, December 26th vs.. South Carolina

Wednesday, December 28th vs. South Carolina

Friday, December 30th vs.. Florida

Friday, January 6th vs. Florida

Saturday, January 7th vs.. Florida

Thursday, January 12th @ Greenville

Friday, January 13th @ Greenville

Saturday, January 14th vs. Greenville

Monday, January 16th vs. Greenville

Friday, January 20th vs. Florida

Saturday, January 21st @ Greenville

Sunday, January 22nd @ Greenville

Thursday, January 26th vs. Elmira

Saturday, January 28th vs. Elmira

Sunday, January 29th vs. Trenton

Friday, February 3rd vs. Greenville

Saturday, February 4th vs. Greenville

*Friday, February 10th vs. Florida

Saturday, February 11th vs. Chicago

Sunday, February 12th vs.. Kalamazoo

Tuesday, February 14th @ Greenville

Friday, February 17th @ Chicago

Saturday, February 18th @ Kalamazoo

Monday, February 20th @ Cincinnati

Wednesday, February 22nd @ Cincinnati

Friday, February 24th @ South Carolina

Saturday, February 25th @ South Carolina

Wednesday, February 29th vs. South Carolina

Friday, March 2nd vs. Trenton

Saturday, March 3rd vs. South Carolina

Sunday, March 4th vs. Trenton

Tuesday, March 6th @ Greenville

Saturday, March 10th vs. Cincinnati

Sunday, March 11th vs. Greenville

Wednesday, March 14th vs.. Cincinnati

Friday, March 16th vs. Cincinnati

Saturday, March 17th vs. Greenville

Friday, March 23rd @ Greenville

Saturday, March 24th @ Greenville

Wednesday, March 28th @ Florida

Friday, March 30th @ Florida

Saturday, March 31st @ Florida

The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the Premier “AA” Hockey League and play all home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Repeat Winners Create a Freeze Frame at New Senoia Raceway

Saturday night’s results at New Senoia Raceway were a freeze frame from the previous Saturday night as all winners from May 28th repeated as winners on June 4th with the only exception in the Mini Stocks.

Racin’ Jason Williams repeated in the Mike Wheelers Automotive & Transmission Late Models as did his teammate Doug Stevens in the Crown Security Crate Late Models. Billy Bright, Sr. picked up the laurels for the second straight week in the Newnan Bonding B Cadets while Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran won for the sixth time in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. The only change in the winner’s line-up from the previous week was in the Mini Stocks where Dusty Jones claimed the victory, but Jones was piloting the same four cylinder stock car that won the previous week with Eric Hogsed behind the wheel.

Locust Grove’s Williams paced the field of Late Models for the entire 25 lap feature race. He was pressured for several laps at the mid-point of the contest by Thomaston’s Shane Fulcher, but pulled away in the end to garner his second straight win and third of the season. The final order also pulled Williams and Fulcher closer to current point’s leader Lavon Sparks who finished third. The three drivers enter this Saturday’s (June 11) double points contest separated by only eleven markers.

Griffin’s Doug Stevens capped his week with a second straight trip to victory lane for the Crown Security Late Models. Stevens bookended a win at Rome Speedway on Sunday evening with the back to back victories at New Senoia Raceway. LaGrange’s Tod Darda followed Stevens across the finish line with Grantville’s Doug Ludwig nabbing third place.

The best race of the night for the Crown Security Crate Late Models was the battle for fourth, fifth and sixth. Waco’s Tim Bright, Jr., Newnan’s Parrish Duncan and Jenkinsburg’s Trey White swapped positions throughout the 25-lap main event. White snuck past Duncan at lap seven before moving past Bright with only ten circuits remaining. Bright and Duncan fought back, but White held off all the challenges to finish in the number four spot. Duncan would come home fifth and Bright would end up one lap down in sixth.

A four car pile-up at the beginning of the Newnan Bonding B Cadet feature started when Lithia Spring’s pilot TJ Joiner lost the grip in turn four and spun in front of the hard charging field. Union City’s Billy Bright, Jr. was caught in the melee for the second straight week while West Point’s Charlie Garrett and Gay’s Jay Conner also plowed in behind.

When the action resumed Union City’s Billy Bright, Sr. bested the field for the second straight week. Teammate and son Billy Bright, Jr. recovered from the early race wreck to finish second. Villa Rica’s ‘Smokin’ Joe Hillman finished third. Bright, Sr. showcased his familiar fedora hat during the victory lane interview and was quickly dubbed the ‘Cat in the Hat’ by the New Senoia Raceway track announcer.

Carrollton’s Clifton ‘Hog Head’ Moran bounced back from an initial start altercation with Locust Grove’s Wilson Boozer to snare his sixth win of the season in the Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks. Newnan’s Rusty ‘Rocketman’ Johnson finished second while Barnesville’s Eddie Albitron gained his second straight top three finish of the season. Temple’s Steven Parker and Brook’s Kerry Carden rounded out the first five.

A classic New Senoia Raceway battle formed in the mighty Mini Stock class Saturday night. Barnesville’s Gary Parker was chasing down Douglasville’s Matt Black while Whiteburg’s Dorough Bright and LaGrange’s Dusty Jones charged through the pack. Jones came from the back row of the starting field to snare fourth by the second circuit of the 15-lapper.

Jones made his way past Parker on lap eight and set his sights on Black who had bolted out to a several car length lead over the race for second. Dorough Bright continued Parker’s descent on a lap 10 restart which set the stage for the final five laps.

Black used the high side of the track while Jones worked the bottom side. Bright followed closely as did Parker waiting for the chance to move up a spot or two. Jones worked the low side to perfection coming out of turn four to receive the white flag. He powered past Black on the final lap to snare the victory in the same car that won the previous Saturday only with Eric Hogsed behind the wheel. Black would come home second, Dorough Bright third followed by Parker and Newnan’s Joe Spencer.

The Mini Stocks final tally would change after Matt Black’s mustang was found to be outside the rules and was disqualified. Black’s engine was found to have solid lifters which are not allowed in the class at New Senoia Raceway. The disqualification cost Black his position, points and prize money for the night. The result drops the recent high school graduate out of the points lead and hands it back over to Dorough Bright. The two drivers have swapped the lead back and forth over the past three races.

The highlight of the night for the track’s youngest race fans was New Senoia Raceway’s newest promotion of allowing the kids to ride in the race cars prior to the racing action. Hundreds of kids hopped on board with their favorite driver to ride along for a few controlled laps on the high banked 3/8ths mile clay oval.

This Saturday night, New Senoia Raceway will entertain the kids again as they present the Kid’s Box Car Races. This special event allows kids to create their own race cars made from cardboard boxes. The young race fans should cut openings in the box for their arms and head (they must wear the boxes). They should decorate, paint and make-up their box car racers with numbers, sponsors and racing decals. The track will award prizes for the best decorated, designed and engineered box car racers. The kids will also have the opportunity to participate in Box Car races where they will wear their creations while racing each other.

The fun, family oriented event will also feature a full night of stock car racing with double points on the line for the drivers in the Mike Wheeler’s Automotive & Transmission Late Models, Crown Security Crate Late Models, Newnan Bonding B Cadets, Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks and the Mini Stocks. The Bombers have also been added to the racing action this Saturday, June 11th.

The pit gates open at 5:00pm Saturday. The grandstands open at 6:00pm. Hot laps begin just after 7:00pm with racing set to go green at 8:00pm.

For additional information on New Senoia Raceway, visit the speedway website at, join their family of friends on Facebook or call the speedway at 770-599-6161.

By Katherine Adams

Mike Wheelers Automotive & Transmission Late Models

Feature: 1-Jason Williams, Locust Grove 2-Shane Fulcher, Thomaston 3-Lavon Sparks, Phenix City, AL 4-Glenn Morris, Fayetteville 5-David Burton, Fayetteville 6-Laddie Fulcher, Thomaston Fast Qualifier: Williams (15.349 seconds)

Crown Security Crate Late Models

Feature: 1-Doug Stevens, Grffin 2-Tod Darda, LaGrange 3-Doug Ludwig, Grantville 4-Trey White, Jenkinsburg 5-Parrish Duncan, Newnan 6-Tim Bright, Jr., Waco 7-Russ Ogletree, Phenix City, AL Fast Qualifier: Stevens (15.692 seconds)

Newnan Bonding B-Cadets

Feature: 1-Billy Bright, Sr., Union City 2-Billy Bright, Jr., Union City 3-Joe Hillman, Villa Rica 4-Marcus Caswell, Newnan 5-TJ Joiner, Lithia Springs 6-Jeff Carter, Stockbridge 7-Corey Payton, Newnan 8-Chris Carr, Newnan 9-Jay Conner, Gay 10-Charlie Garrett, West Point

Summit Racing Equipment Hobby Stocks

Feature: 1-Clifton Moran, Carrollton 2-Rusty Johnson, Newnan 3-Eddie Albitron, Barnesville 4-Steve Parker, Temple 5-Kerry Carden, Brooks 6-Zak Sockwell, Newnan 7-Randy Futral, Covington 8-Bill Brown, Loganville 9-Brandon Jones, Newnan 10-Wilson Boozer, Locust Grove

Mini Stocks Feature: 1-Dusty Jones, LaGrange 2-Dorough Bright, Whitesburg 3-Gary Parker, Barnesville 4-Joe Spencer, Newnan 5-Matt Thompson, Douglasville 6-Matt Swancey, Hogansville 7-Robbie Scardon, Senoia 8-Rocky Johnson, Douglasville 9-Stephen Hill, LaGrange DNS-Bobby Arnold, Newnan DQ-Matt Black, Douglasville

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Be a Fan. Bring out the Champion in Everyone!" Special Olympics Georgia State Summer Games May 20-22

/PRNewswire/ -- Special Olympics of Georgia (SOGA) will host its annual State Summer Games for more than 2,000 athletes and coaches May 20-22 at Emory University.

Athletes will compete in aquatics, flag football, athletics, soccer, badminton, volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, and table tennis, with medals awarded throughout.

"It is great to see the athletes have the perfect opportunity to shine at Summer Games. The athletes have worked very hard leading up to this weekend and will be so excited," said SOGA CEO Georgia Milton-Sheats.

Friday morning, a Law Enforcement Torch Run press conference will be held outside the State Capitol steps at 9:30 a.m. Elected officials and law enforcement officers have been invited. Law enforcement officers from agencies all over the state have teamed up with SOGA in a 1,000-mile torch relay across the state leading up to the State Summer Games. The "Flame of Hope" will light the cauldron at Opening Ceremony to signify the opening of the games.

Opening Ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Emory's McDonough Field. The parade of athletes will be led by Grand Marshal Mattias Schnorf, Defender for the Atlanta Silverbacks, and will be escorted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run Officers from across the state.

The games are free and open to the public. Parking is free at Peavine Parking deck.


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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Roswell Cycling Festival April 30

Lots of fun for the entire family

April 30 -
Mountain Bike Activities at Big Creek Mountain Bike Trail
Riders experience 2 new pump tracks - one for beginners and the other for intermediate/advanced riders. A small circular course with berms and rollers professionally built to teach the skills necessary to safely participate in true off-road trails.

Sunday - May 1
Roswell Criterium on Canton Street
A professional and Amateur bicycle race in Roswell's Historic District. Beginning mid-morning, racers compete throughout the day, culminating with pro-riders in the last two races. Racers reach amazing speeds and provide thrills and chills for spectators who are watching. Along with amateur and professional racers, the event will add a new feature this year - a Fat Tire Crit. The Fat-Tire Crit features mountain bikes with knobby (fat) tires in a race around the criterium course, providing thrilling bike handline. Special demonstrations, exhibits, will be provided by Specialized Bicycles, Roswell Bicycles, SCRAM, and FELT.

Roswell Mayor's Recreation Ride
A recreational ride featuring three options: a free family 6-mile tour around old town Roswell; a 20-mile Challenge route; and a 40-mile Workout. Free demonstration rides on the course will be offered by Roswell Bicycles, Specialized Bicycles and Felt Bicycles. Register to use one of these state-of-the-art bicycles by calling 770-642-4057.

Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo
The Safety Rodeo takes place at the Roswell UMC parking lot on Mimosa Blvd. All participants have the opportunity to ride the race course in the afternoon as the Criterium focuses on Children.

Moving Parts of the Arts: Bicycle Art Display around the Streets of Roswell
Enjoy browsing the works of art created from bicycles, bicycle parts and accessories. You will be amazed at the creativity. Coordinated by the Roswell Cultural Arts Board, this is a fun way to bring attention to the Cycling Festival while showcasing the arts.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sen. Brown Bill to Preserve Music/Sports Halls of Fame

Video Lottery Terminals Would Help

Sen. Robert Brown (D-Macon), will file a bill next week suggesting an alliance between the Georgia Lottery Corporation, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority. The bill will allow video lottery machines in both halls of fame and would increase Lottery revenues, increase revenues for the halls of fame and increase people presence in downtown Macon, where both halls of fame have operated since their inception.

“I see this as a win-win,” Sen. Brown said. “Much controversy has surrounded the Music Hall of Fame and the Sports Hall of Fame because they have not been self sufficient financially. After these tremendous structures were built, the attendance did not match projections. Now, the taxpayers are forced to pick up the slack. At the same time, several cities are arguing that they can run the halls better than Macon can. That is simply not true. This bill will correct the problem by bringing people to the halls and providing non-taxpayer funding. Downtown Macon businesses will benefit from the increased people traffic to what will be a unique and fresh entertainment district.”

In the legislation, Sen. Brown outlines a plan where both halls of fame authorities would partner with the Georgia Lottery. Video lottery terminals would be placed inside the halls of fame (blocked off so only adult access would be allowed). Some have suggested the Halls were over built; this plan would provide a way to economize space. The authorities, then, would become lottery retailers, gaining commissions on sales just like any other retailer. The proceeds would help cover operating costs.

“This bill is only the beginning of a plan,” Sen. Brown said. “The legislative session is almost over, so it is too late to see passage this year. However, we can begin discussions and refine the proposal. By next year’s session of the General Assembly, I hope legislators will move forward and execute a plan in a way that will benefit all Georgians.”

A recent decision by the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority keeps it in Macon, despite plans from others Georgia cities to woo the museum. At the end of this month, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority will vote on bids by Macon, Athens, Dunwoody and Woodstock to determine where that museum will call home. In the mean time, local money from Middle Georgia governments is going toward the halls to keep them financially stable. Brown says local taxpayer money should not be used to support a state facility. This bill would provide the needed non-taxpayer revenue stream to ensure the halls a long and prosperous life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hotter Temperatures Mean More Hit Batsmen in Baseball

During spring training, Major League pitchers work on fine-tuning their mechanics and strengthening their legs so they don't break down during the dog days of summer.

It's doubtful these pitchers will give much thought to what the July heat might do to their brains, but perhaps they should.

A new study led by researchers from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business has found pitchers whose teammates get hit by a pitch are more likely to retaliate and plunk an opposing batter when the temperature reaches 90 degrees than when it is cooler. But if no one has been hit in the game, then high temperatures have little effect on a pitcher's behavior.

"We found that heat does not lead to more aggression in general," said Richard Larrick, a management professor at Fuqua. "Instead, heat affects a specific form of aggression. It increases retribution."

Major League statistics show there were 1,549 incidents of hit batsmen last season, an average of .64 hit-by-pitch incidents per game. Most pitchers are not intentionally beaning batters, as a hit batsman automatically proceeds to first base and increases the chances that his team will score, Larrick said. Despite that advantage, pitchers and team managers admit they sometimes target batters on purpose.

"When a batter is hit by the opposing team, his teammates don't know if it was an accident or deliberate," said Larrick, who also holds an appointment in the department of psychology and neuroscience. "We think hotter temperatures make a pitcher more likely to see the action as deliberate and hostile. And once a pitcher feels provoked, hotter temperatures increase feelings of revenge."

The study, which appears in the March 2011 issue of the journal Psychological Science, examined 57,293 Major League Baseball games from 1952 through 2009 -- roughly 4.5 million matchups between a pitcher and a hitter. Temperature was more predictive of struck batsmen if the opposing team's pitcher had already beaned one or more hitters. For example, if temperatures were in the 50s during a game, there was a 22 percent chance a pitcher would hit a batter if a precipitating pitch occurred in the first inning of a game. When temperatures were in the 90s, the retaliation risk rose to 27 percent.

To make sure other factors weren't confounding the link between temperature and hit batsmen, the researchers analyzed variables that might affect a pitcher's performance, including indicators of pitcher inaccuracy such as wild pitches, and other measures such as errors by the team, the year the game was played, where the game was played, inning and score.

"It was important to sort out whether heat tends to increase aggressive behavior, such as retribution, or whether it leads pitchers to be less accurate with their pitches," said Larrick.

Larrick, a longtime St. Louis Cardinals fan, first examined the link between heat and pitcher retaliation as a graduate student, but couldn't amass enough data -- at least not by poring through microfilms. He decided to revisit the question more recently because historical play-by-play game transcripts have been posted online by dedicated baseball fans.

As an expert in behavioral science, Larrick expected to find a connection between heat and aggression. "There are decades of research showing heat leads to aggression, like finding more violent crime in the summer," he said. "But in crime statistics, it's hard to really determine if it's heat or other things. One of the nice things about studying baseball is that we're able to control for factors besides heat."

Larrick said he was surprised that the "a batter for a batter" tradition of retaliation does not always hold. "Baseball fans will tell you the sport's code of honor dictates you're supposed to hit a player on the other team when your player has been hit," he said. "Nobody seems to be aware that players apply the rule much more at high temperatures than at cool temperatures."

Other authors of the study include Andrew Carton of Fuqua; Thomas A. Timmerman, Tennessee Technological University; and Jason Abrevaya, University of Texas.
The research report is available online at:

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fiesta Atlanta Announces 5K Race Benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

/PRNewswire/ -- Lanza Group, LLC is announcing the inaugural Fiesta Atlanta 5 Que?, a 5k race/walk to Fiesta Atlanta. Fiesta Atlanta celebrates Cinco de Mayo and Latino culture with a daylong music festival on Sunday, May 1. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has been selected to be the beneficiary of the race.

"Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a natural beneficiary for the race," says Lanza Group President Ralph E. Herrera. "They serve an overwhelming percentage of Hispanics in Atlanta, and a great way for us to raise awareness and give back to the community at large."

The Fiesta Atlanta 5 Que? race encourages the Hispanic community and all families to participate in healthy, active lifestyles. The 5k race will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 10 a.m. in Centennial Olympic Park, with live music and an awards ceremony. Portions of the proceeds will benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and their mission to helping kids get back to being kids. Please visit our race registration page on to register.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a not-for-profit pediatric health care system that strives to enhance the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Offering access to more than 30 pediatric specialties, Children's manages more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations and is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country.

Fiesta Atlanta, the Southeast's largest Cinco de Mayo celebration, is a free, daylong festival that includes a full day of live Latin music on two stages, with national and local recording artists. The children's stage lineup includes lively, colorful acts including Mexican folkloric dancers, clowns, musicians and storytellers. Artists will be selling handmade crafts while vendors will be selling delicious Latin foods.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Georgia's Cyclists are Pedaling Hard to Stop Diabetes at Local Tour de Cure Event

/PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to reduce the growing prevalence of diabetes, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa), is the premiere sponsor of the Atlanta Tour de Cure® (TDC) on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at Bouckaert Farm in Fairburn, Georgia. This multi-faceted ride is the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) annual national cycling event benefitting diabetes research and advocacy to help change the future of diabetes and help stop its devastating complications.

The American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure event is more than just a fun day outdoors. Participating in the Tour is about giving hope to the 26 million people currently living with diabetes, as well as to their families and their friends – ultimately finding a cure and preventing the threat faced by the 57 million Americans currently at risk.

To further enhance this commitment, Morgan Kendrick, BCBSGa president has been appointed as the Tour's Executive Sponsor, where he will be responsible for communicating the importance of BCBSGa's partnership with the ADA to both internal and external audiences throughout the state, in addition to serving as a corporate contact for other companies interested in joining the event.

"I am honored to serve as the Executive Sponsor and have already joined our BCBSGa Blue Blazers team," said Morgan Kendrick, president, BCBSGa. "In fact, we are encouraging our employees to support this cause by joining our cycling team or to volunteer their time at the event. The Tour provides a great opportunity for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia's employees to join together for a day of fun, fitness and entertainment."

"More than likely we all know someone impacted by diabetes," continued Kendrick. "I know that's true for me and true for a majority of our 3,200 employees across the state. We really want Georgians to know that we've joined the movement to stop diabetes."

Individuals and teams composed of co-workers, family and friends will be taking the ride of their life and will join the groundswell of a combined 40,000-plus cyclists and volunteers who will be participating in events across the country. Tour de Cure is designed for all skill levels from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist and offers five routes, including:

* 10-Mile Fun Ride: This Family-Friendly Fun Ride is accessible to all ages and fitness levels, featuring a flat, enjoyable road that stretches along a serene area of the Silk Sheets trail.
* 14-Mile Ride: The 14-mile ride offers a moderate challenge while being safe and scenic. Frequent rest stops and plenty of SAG patrols make this ride a great choice for everyone, from the beginner to intermediate cyclist.
* 34-Mile Ride: The 34-mile ride is the perfect choice for an intermediate cyclist. This scenic route offers a greater challenge and yet is fully supported by our SAG vehicles and full rest stops.
* 62-Mile Metric Century: This 62-mile metric century features a fun yet challenging ride through the Silk Sheets - a perfect choice for the advanced cyclist or a rider who wants an even greater challenge. Full route support ensures a safe ride from start to finish.
* 100-Mile Century: This 100-mile century is a true test of endurance – best suited for the experienced cyclist. Traversing 100 miles on Fairburn's (Silk Sheets) best roads guarantee an unforgettable experience.

"We are truly excited to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia as a sponsor of this momentous national event here in Georgia," said Michael Gault, Senior Executive Director, Atlanta/North Georgia Region American Diabetes Association. "Their contributions will help provide needed funds to help the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes – including more than 1 million Georgians."

"I encourage other Georgia companies and individuals to start their own team because every dollar raised benefits diabetes research," said Kendrick.

The Tour de Cure raises funds through registration fees and pledges collected by the individual cyclists. To register visit: or call Aimee Simpson at 404-320-7100 x3034.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thousands to Hit the Streets in the Fight Against Hunger on March 13

More Than 10,000 Metro Atlantans Expected to Participate in Hunger Walk/Run

Unemployment remains at record levels in Georgia, causing many more people to seek help to feed their families. The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) and others are working harder than ever to meet the continued demand and are hoping Hunger Walk/Run 2011 will bring out a record number of participants to help raise funding, awareness and hope for the issue of hunger.

The Food Bank, along with five other local hunger-relief programs and thousands of metro Atlantans will gather at Turner Field’s Green Lot on Sunday, March 13 to walk and run through Downtown, marking the 27th year of the annual event. Gates open at Noon and the walk/run steps off at 2 p.m.

The number of people needing emergency food assistance in metro Atlanta has risen to a critical level in recent years. According to the latest US Census Bureau American Community Survey report released in September 2010, nearly 1.6 million Georgians are living in poverty, up from 1.4 million in 2008. So far this fiscal year, the ACFB’s distribution to its more than 700 nonprofit partner agencies has increased by 40 percent.

“Hunger – Walk for It – Not Away from It,” is the mantra for Hunger Walk/Run 2011 organizers who are serious about responding to the need, recruiting record numbers of participants, and raising more funds than ever. “The Hunger Walk/Run is one of our most important fundraisers each year,” said Bill Bolling, founder and executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “As a number of recent studies have shown, more and more people are struggling to put food on the table. The money raised at this event will help us continue to meet the growing need here in metro Atlanta, now and in the coming months.”

While the Walk/Run addresses a serious problem, it doesn’t run short on fun. Participants will be energized by the full scope of activities such as a 22 foot slide, a golf chip-shot area, and a children’s obstacle course to get everyone excited about, and energized for, the event. “This is a fun and memorable event for everyone,” said Holly Royston, Hunger Walk/Run manager. “In addition to the 5K walk and run, we’re creating an exciting, festival atmosphere in the Green Lot to kick off the afternoon. Our stage show will feature a performance by Sounds of Essence, as

well as Brenda Wood from 11Alive and Mara Davis from 92.9 davefm serving as our emcees. We’ll have music and giveaways from 92.9 davefm, 104.7 The Fish and V103/WAOK. There is so much to do before you even take that first step on the route!”

Walkers and runners will step off at Turner Field just outside Monument Grove, and travel a scenic, historic route throughout downtown Atlanta with live performers supporting them along the way – performers include STRATOGEEZER, Praise in Motion dancers and Emerson Drummers drum core, among others.

While “day-of” registration will be available, participants are encouraged to register online at and invite friends and family to join them at the event or make a donation. The runners’ registration fee is $25, which includes a special Hunger Walk/Run moisture wicking t-shirt. There is no charge for walkers to participate, but a $25 donation is encouraged, and those donating or collecting $25 or more will receive an official Hunger Walk/Run 2011 t-shirt.

Once again, Episcopal Charities Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Lutheran Services of Georgia, Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and St. Vincent De Paul Society are partnering with ACFB to recruit participants and raise funds. As the only race in the community that benefits more than just one nonprofit, Hunger Walk/Run has become a beloved tradition. From families and individuals to faith groups and corporate teams, this event offers the rare occasion to bring people together from almost every race, generation and religion in metro Atlanta.

The committee worked hard to add some fresh ideas on fundraising last year, helping to raise over $500,000. “With an event that has been around for a while, we were especially surprised by the generosity of the community,” said Royston. “We hope to build on the momentum and raise even more this year!”

The Hunger Walk began as a small volunteer event created in response to domestic and international hunger issues in 1984. The Atlanta Community Food Bank has helped organize the Hunger Walk/Run every year since it began, and in 1988 it became a special project of the Food Bank. Since then, millions of dollars have been raised, helping to feed hundreds of thousands of people who struggle with hunger or the threat of hunger.

For more information on Hunger Walk/Run 2011, visit www.HWR2011org, call 404-892-3333 ext. 1246, or email for more information. We’ll see you there!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Special Olympics Georgia State Winter Games in Cobb County Set for This Weekend

/PRNewswire/ -- Athletes from all over Georgia will compete in Special Olympics Georgia's State Indoor Winter Games, sponsored by Stadion Money Management, in Cobb County this weekend.

About 1,800 participants from all over Georgia will compete Jan. 21-23 at various locations in Cobb County. Athletes will compete in basketball, ice skating, bowling, floor hockey, powerlifting, artistic gymnastics and roller skating. Southeast Powerlifting is also being held during the weekend at the Crowne Plaza on Powers Ferry. The games are free and open to the public.

The Games' Opening Ceremony is at 7:30 p.m. at Cobb Civic Center in Marietta. At Opening Ceremony, every athlete and coach will wear red and white scarves knitted by volunteers from all over the country. Grand Marshals are the four World Games athletes who will compete in Greece in July. The highlight of the night is the lighting of the cauldron by a law enforcement officer and an athlete, signifying the Flame of Hope for athletes and the community. This year is the Law Enforcement Torch Run's 25th Anniversary. It is SOGA's largest grassroots fundraiser.

Competitions will continue Saturday and Sunday at various locations, including The Cooler, Brunswick Zone, Marietta Middle School, and Cobb County Civic Center. The full schedule and a link to make a donation is available at

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thrashers Place Forward Evander Kane on Injured Reserve and Recall Forwards Tim Stapleton and Spencer Machacek from Chicago (AHL)

The Atlanta Thrashers have placed forward Evander Kane on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Jan. 5, and have recalled forwards Tim Stapleton and Spencer Machacek from the Chicago Wolves (AHL), according to General Manager Rick Dudley.

Kane, 19, has appeared in 40 games this season, recording 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) and ranking third on the team in goals. The 6-2, 195-pound, left wing has earned 52 points (27 goals, 25 assists) in 106 career NHL games with the Thrashers (2009-10 to 2010-11).

The Vancouver, British Columbia, native was selected in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Stapleton, 28, has seen action in 10 games with Atlanta this season after originally being signed as an unrestricted free agent on Nov. 30. His NHL totals include three goals in 20 career games with Atlanta (2009-10 to 2010-11) and Toronto (2008-09). Stapleton added a shootout goal in a Thrashers 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Dec. 30.

The 5-9, 180-pound center has contributed with two points (two assists) in two games with the Wolves this season. Prior to signing with Atlanta he registered 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 20 games with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL). The Forest Park, Illinois, native has earned 160 points (66 goals, 94 assists) in 174 career games over four AHL seasons with Portland (2005-06), Toronto (2008-09), Chicago (2009-10 to 2010-11) and San Antonio.

Machacek, 22, has seen action in 39 games with the Wolves while registering 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists), which ranks third on the team. The 6-1, 200-pound right wing has tallied 130 points (57 goals, 73 assists) in 195 career AHL games with Chicago (2008-09 to 2010-11). Machacek, who played two games with the Thrashers during the 2008-09, made his NHL debut on March 16, 2009 vs. Washington.

The Lethbridge, Alberta, native was selected by the Thrashers in the third round, 67th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Secure the option to purchase 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff seats by ordering pro-rated Atlanta Thrashers Season Tickets, or build your own flex plan by selecting the games that work best for you. For more information, please call 1-866-715-1500 or visit Individual game tickets for all home games are on sale at all Ticketmaster Ticket Outlets and the Philips Arena Box Office, or online at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Clayton State Announces “Take a Kid to the Game” Date

Come support the Lakers at their men’s & women’s basketball games

The Clayton State men’s and women’s basketball teams are inviting local youth for its annual NCAA® Basketball “Take A Kid to the Game®” on Saturday, Jan. 22. The Laker women and men will be playing host to Peach Belt Conference rival North Georgia College & State University. The women’s game tips off at 5:30 p.m., followed with the men’s game at approximately 7:30 p.m. All Laker home basketball games are played at the Athletics & Fitness Center on the campus of Clayton State University in Morrow.

Area youth (13 & under) are invited to attend this special date and receive a free ticket and free popcorn with the purchase of a full-priced ($5) adult ticket. Youth will have the opportunity to experience the college game-day atmosphere and some exciting action as they watch the Lakers compete for a win.

Clayton State is hosting one of more than 700 games that will be played across the nation as part of the Take A Kid to the Game (TAKG) program in its 16th season. The project is a grass roots initiative that attracts the nation’s youth and encourages adults to take kids to area college basketball games.

“We are thrilled to invite area youth to our campus and have them help as we cheer on the Lakers to victory. It is our hope that adults in the community will bring their children out to experience a collegiate athletic event at Clayton State,” says Mason Barfield, director of Athletics at Clayton State. “We’re expecting a crowd to take part in the intense basketball action at our games!” Tickets for these special games can be purchased at the door, beginning one hour before the scheduled tipoff time. For more information, contact Clayton State at (678) 466-4679 or visit on the web. NCAA Basketball® is a national sponsor of the Take A Kid to the Game program.

Atlanta Motor Speedway Ignites Enthusiasm with Changes to 2011 Friday Night Drags Season

Atlanta Motor Speedway officials are infusing new energy into their popular Friday Night Drags series by updating the championship structure and amending the series rules for the upcoming 2011 season.

Friday Night Drags, the Speedway’s summer drag racing series, will feature five new drag racing classes and a unique championship points structure in order to create more-competitive racing in 2011. The changes include:

Five new Friday Night Drags racing classes, including four new motorcycle divisions: Diesel Truck; Super Sport Bike; Street Motorcycle; Cruiser Motorcycle; and Dirt Bike.
Two new Show-N-Shine car show classes: Street Rod (1949 and prior stock or custom vehicles) and Motorcycle.
A mid-season champion will be crowned in each racing division after six points races and points will be reset entering the second half of the overall 2011 season. The mid-season and second-half champions will match race at the end of the season to determine the 2011 Friday Night Drags season champion in each division.
The Three-Win Rule will require competitors who accumulate three wins in entry-level divisions to graduate to advanced classes.
Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine champions will be honored during Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 2011 NASCAR Labor Day weekend of night racing.

“Friday Night Drags continues to grow each year, but for 2011 we are adding several new elements to make this year’s drag racing program even better,” said Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager. “The enhancements made for the 2011 season – new classes for racing and show cars, an updated method for crowning champions and the Three-Win Rule – should result in the most-competitive season in the five-year history of Friday Night Drags.”

In addition to the announced rules changes for the 2011 season, Atlanta Motor Speedway officials also released the upcoming schedule for Friday Night Drags. The Speedway will play host to 16 Friday Night Drags events in 2011, including 12 points races running from June 3 through Aug. 19, preceded by four non-points events for testing beginning on April 29.

2011 Friday Night Drags Schedule

April 29 Friday Night Drags Non-Points Opener & Show-N-Shine

May 6 Friday Night Drags Non-Points Event & Show-N-Shine

May 13 Friday Night Drags Non-Points Event & Show-N-Shine

May 20 Friday Night Drags Non-Points Event & Show-N-Shine

June 3 Friday Night Drags Season Points Opener & Show-N-Shine

June 10 Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine

June 17 Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine

June 24 Friday Night Drags Double Points Night & Show-N-Shine

July 1 Friday Night Drags, Show-N-Shine and Fireworks

July 8 Friday Night Drags Mid-Season Championship & Show-N-Shine

July 15 Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine

July 22 Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine

July 29 Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine

Aug. 5 Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine

Aug. 12 Friday Night Drags Double Points Night & Show-N-Shine

Aug. 19 Friday Night Drags Championship Night & Show-N-Shine

For more information about Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine, visit or call 770-946-4211. You can also download this year’s rulebook and procedures by following this link

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Atlanta Braves Announce 2011 Braves Country Caravan, Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors

Coming to a Town Near You, January 24 – February 5, 2011

Braves players, coaches, alumni, broadcasters, and executives prepare to hit the road, visiting fans in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast in the second annual Braves Country Caravan

The Atlanta Braves are taking their show on the road and coming to a town near you, January 24 – February 5, during the second annual Braves Country Caravan, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. With more than 25 stops in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, the Braves will travel more than 3,000 miles and meet thousands of fans during a two week stretch before the team heads to Orlando for Spring Training.

Atlanta Braves players, coaches, alumni, broadcasters, and team executives will make community appearances at children’s hospitals, schools, and military bases, and will host autograph signings at Academy Sports + Outdoors stores and other locations including Publix Super Markets around Atlanta and in cities throughout the Southeast including: Macon, Augusta, Athens, and Columbus, Georgia; Birmingham, Montgomery, and Auburn, Alabama; Greenville, Spartanburg, and Columbia, South Carolina; Knoxville, Chattanooga, Madison, and Nashville, Tennessee; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Preliminary 2011 Braves Country Caravan Schedule

A complete schedule of community appearances and autograph signings in each market will be announced prior to each caravan stop.

Monday, January 24: Macon, Georgia
· Community appearance to be announced
· 4:00 – 5:30 p.m - Autograph signing Academy Sports + Outdoors
1689 Eisenhower Parkway
Macon, GA 31206
(478) 785-2300

Tuesday, January 25: Columbia, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia
· Community appearance to be announced
· 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. - Autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Evans
4210 Washington Road
Evans, GA 30809
(706) 210-6100

Wednesday, January 26: Birmingham, Alabama
· Community appearance to be announced
· 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. CST - Autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Hoover
2810 John Hawkins Pkwy
Hoover, AL 35244
(205) 403-6145

Thursday, January 27: Atlanta area
· Season Ticket Holder Q & A and Lunch at TBA location
· Braves Autograph Signing
Publix Super Market Location TBA

Friday, January 28: Atlanta and Athens, Georgia
· Season Ticket Holder Q & A and Lunch at TBA Location
· 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. - Autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Athens
3505 Atlanta Highway (at Timothy Rd.)
Athens, GA 30606
(706) 354-5620

Saturday, January 29: Columbus, Georgia, and Montgomery and Auburn, Alabama
· Community appearance to be announced
· 12 – 1:30 p.m. CST - Autograph signing Academy Sports + Outdoors in Montgomery
8610 Eastchase Pkwy
Montgomery, AL
(334) 215-2800
· 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. CST Autograph signing Academy Sports + Outdoors in Auburn
2325 Bent Creek Road
Auburn, AL 36830

Sunday, January 30: Greenville, South Carolina
· Community appearance to be announced
· 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Greenville
59 Woodruff Industrial Lane
Greenville, SC 29607
(864) 254-5900

Monday, January 31: Atlanta area
· Community appearances and autograph signings to be announced

Tuesday, February 1: Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee
· Community appearances and autograph signings in Knoxville to be announced
· 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Autograph Signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Chattanooga
2220 Hamilton Place Blvd
Suite 150
Chattanooga, TN 37421
(423) 490-2300

Wednesday, February 2 Atlanta area
· Season Ticket Holder Q & A and Lunch at TBA Location
· Braves Autograph Signing
Publix Super Market Location TBA

Thursday, February 3 Charlotte, North Carolina and Spartanburg, South Carolina
· Community appearance and autograph signing in Charlotte to be announced
· 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors
100 Peachwood Centre Dr
Spartanburg, SC 29301
(864) 216-8960

Friday, February 4: Atlanta area
· Season Ticket Holder Q & A and Lunch at TBA Location
· Braves Autograph Signing
Publix Super Market Location TBA

Saturday, February 5: Madison and Nashville, Tennessee
· 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. CST - Autograph signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors
2350 Gallatin Pike North
Madison, TN 37115
(615) 855-6900
· Community appearance to be announced