Top Header

Today, Craig Sager II visited with head coach Tom Lemmon of the Glynn Academy girls soccer team. The squad has achieved a No. 2 national spot in MaxPreps' computer ratings and recently knocked off five-time defending champ St. Pius; the Red Terrors are hoping to become the first-ever public-school South Georgia girls champ. Also, Alex Ewalt checks in with Redan head baseball coach Alexander Wyche as the Raiders get into the heart of region play, while highlighting several other DeKalb contenders.
Follow along tonight and Saturday as Score Atlanta tracks spring sports scores across the state on and Visit  and  the AJC's High School page  for additional sports coverage.

Join Our Mailing List
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter 


Join Our Mailing List
Friday, March 23, 2018
By Craig Sager
Glynn Academy raising the bar for South Georgia soccer with blazing start
When you combine boys, girls, and the ever-expanding classifications of both, there have been 242 GHSA soccer state titles handed out over the years. Only one, however, has ever been handed out to a South Georgia
Credit: Gena Churchwell
public school and that was the Thomasville boys in 2010 (one of the state's 20 single-school city districts).
Statistically speaking, the sport undoubtedly blossomed much earlier, and far quicker, in the northern regions of the state. South Georgia soccer has been playing catchup from the start, but after decades of getting bullied around by the Metro Atlanta and North Georgia giants, the long-standing goal of building championship-caliber soccer in South Georgia is becoming a reality. Questions like "Will this be the year?" or "Could this be the team?" might be answered much sooner than later, as one South Georgia school is proving this season.
The Glynn Academy girls soccer team is off to a perfect 10-0 start that includes in-region dominance and signature victories outside of conference play. In five region contests, the Red Terrors have piled up a 27-1 advantage in goals, and in this month's Tournament of Champions, they defeated Columbus 4-2 before topping five-time defending state champion St. Pius 2-0.
"Seeing the girls react and play at a high and competitive level and the fight they showed for 80 minutes in each game was what really stuck out to me," said head coach Tom Lemmon. "They did not give up for a single minute of either of the games. They were just fighting to the end and just working and playing together as a team."
The win over the Golden Lions, and the complete body of work 10 games into the season, have had a dramatic effect on Glynn Academy's rankings in the Maxpreps computer poll; Glynn Academy is currently positioned No. 1 in the state and is the No. 2-ranked team nationally.
"The rankings and stuff, it was brought to me the other day by one of our girls, our captain saw it," admitted Lemmon. "But I try to keep that stuff out of the girls heads just so they don't lose focus."
There is validity to Lemmon and his team wanting to focus on their own goals for the season, rather than a computerized ranking system midway through it. Nonetheless, their current position is still a blaring example of how much progress the sport of soccer is making in Georgia's Golden Isles and southeastern coast.
"We've got as good of a chance as anyone this year," said Lemmon. "Our first goal is to win the region so we get placed at home as long as we can. Then obviously the next goal is to go deep in the state playoffs and hopefully play for a state championship."
Lemmon arrived at the Brunswick school in 2014 and took over for legendary coach and lifetime soccer advocate Gary Larkins. A member of The Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame, Larkins' accomplishments during his 12-year tenure as Glynn Academy girls head coach included a 189-52 record, five region championships (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013) and four quarterfinals appearances in the state playoffs.
"We had some really good teams at Glynn Academy," Larkins told the Brunswick News following his induction. "If we could've just gotten past those Atlanta powerhouses."
The same challenge awaited Lemmon and the roster that was having to replace double-digit seniors his first year on the job.
"It took time trying to get the girls to buy into the system and the formations," admitted Lemmon. "But once they laid the foundation, then the girls coming through at the club level were playing the same style and everything makes it a smooth transition."
Soccer has been a passion of Lemmon his entire life and he's seen incredible success as both a player and coach. He finished his high school career in Ohio with 142 career goals  87 assists and and was an All-American his senior year. He took his talents to Saint Bonaventure University, where he hat-tricked the school past Dayton University to advance the Bonnies into the Atlantic-10 Tournament for the first time in their history.
His first coaching stop was the boys team at Florida's Pembroke Pines in 2002, and he spent the next dozen years in the Sunshine State. A visit to the gorgeous Golden Isles, however, drew him and his wife to Glynn Academy where he has been soldiering the girls soccer program toward its ultimate goal for the past five seasons.
Glynn Academy's next match isn't until March 27, and a rainout brought about the week-long hiatus that Lemmon and his undefeated Red Terrors are hoping to use to their advantage.
"It is sort of like the halfway point to the season," said Lemmon. "We had to reschedule our game Tuesday night, which gave us this week with no games. So we've been lighter at practice. But we don't like to alter things too much. We like to keep them on a routine and keep them focused."
A look at Glynn Academy's remaining schedule:
3/27 at Brunswick*
3/29 at Effingham County*
4/6 at Hilton Head (SC)
4/10 at May River (SC)
4/13 at St. Vincent's
4/17 Richmond Hill *
4/18 Camden County
4/20 Lowndes
*Region 2-AAAAAA
By Alex Ewalt
Redan leads handful of DeKalb contenders into heart of region play

As baseball season gets deeper into region play this spring, several DeKalb County contenders are looking to make noise. Redan, the traditional power, is again near the top of the Class AAA rankings and is already in the thick of a tough league schedule. Other strong programs such as Tucker, Decatur, Arabia Mountain and Chamblee are adding to win streaks and positioning themselves for the playoffs. Here's a look around the diamond in DeKalb as the teams enter another big weekend.
Redan began the year at No. 1 in the Class AAA rankings - not unexpected for the longtime power and most talented team in the county with nine college signees, seven of those Division I. The Raiders only recently slipped from the top spot, falling to No. 2 in the latest Top 10. Head coach Alexander Wyche says his squad is in good position for a big April and May after starting 11-5 and 2-2 in a tough Region 5.
"Things are coming together," Wyche said. "We're 2-2 in the region with a loss to Lovett and a loss to Pace (Academy). Once this weather clears up and we get a little bit warmer weather, I can assess a little bit better. But we're playing decent ball right now in the final part of March."
The Raiders split with Lovett in early March and split with Pace in a low-scoring series this week, dropping both road games to those teams. The team played through challenging weather in each series. The 4-1 loss to Pace on Tuesday was in especially tough conditions, with the low temperatures and high winds keeping the offense at a minimum.
"The bats haven't fully come around yet, I think because of the weather, but no excuses," Wyche said.
While other programs deemphasize rankings and polls, Wyche said that high expectations come with the territory at Redan, the 2013 Class AAAA state champion.
"There's pressure when you're playing at Redan," he said. "We're used to the pressure. We want to stay up there at the top of those rankings."
Wyche said his senior commits and signees are playing strong baseball so far. Taj Bradley, a recent South Carolina commit who throws 90-93 mph, threw a one-hitter in Redan's 2-0 Wednesday win over Pace to even the series. Adams Second baseman Lyndon Weaver, a leadoff man and Eastern Kentucky commit, is performing at high level as well, and Missouri commit and shortstop Kelvin Smith came into the season with the most hype from summer tournaments, Wyche said. Wyche also had high praise for Kentucky commit Orlando Adams, a catcher.
The Raiders are gearing up for another series with a West Paces Ferry private school, traveling to Westminster tonight and hosting the Wildcats on Tuesday.
In his first season as head coach, Matt Masce has his Tucker team at 10-7 and riding a 22-game region winning streak over the past two seasons. The Tigers recently swept Region 4-AAAAAA opponents in Drew and Mt. Zion-Jonesboro, winning each of the four games by at least three runs. The Tigers have recovered swiftly from an 0-6 start. Masce coached the Tucker JV team for seven seasons and has helmed the softball team as well. The Tigers continue Region 4 play tonight with M.L. King at home, first of a two-game series with the return trip on Tuesday
Arabia Mountain has lived just outside of the Top 10 this season in Class AAAAA in the AJC/Score Atlanta poll, zooming out to a 12-3 record, 6-0 in Region 5. The Rams continue with region play tonight in the second of a home-and-home with Miller Grove.
Chamblee is thriving in Region 5-AAAAA play as well, sitting at 14-5 overall and 5-0 in league. Chamblee gets Clarkston tonight and has a two-game showdown with Arabia Mountain next week.
Decatur is having another strong season at 12-5 overall and 6-1 in Region 6-AAAAA, with wins over DeKalb foes Arabia Mountain, Columbia, Tucker, Lakeside and Druid Hills. The Bulldogs look to sweep the regular season from Lithia Springs tonight.

© Score Publishing, LLC 2017