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Graham David talked to the boys soccer coaches for LaFayette and Westminster, which took home division titles at last weekend's inaugural Southern Coast Cup, a regional branch of the national High School Cup. Also, Seth Ellerbee breaks down the Week 8 soccer rankings for all classifications.
Follow along every evening this week as Score Atlanta tracks spring sports scores across the state on and Visit  and  the AJC's High School page  for additional sports coverage.

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Alcovy 12, Stockbridge 5
Alpharetta 5, Northview 2
Brookwood 12, Central Gwinnett 0
Cambridge 6, Chattahoochee 1
Chamblee 15, SW DeKalb 0
Collins Hill 8, Discovery 1
Decatur 11, Jackson-Atlanta 0
Dodge Co. 20, Twiggs Co. 5
Douglas County 3, Creekside 2
Effingham County 5, Bradwell Institute 1
Evans 8, South Aiken (SC) 0
Gainesville 3, Dacula 2
George Walton Academy 12, Tallulah Falls 0
Glynn Acad. 2, Richmond Hill 0
Gordon Lee 2, Heritage-Con. 0
Grayson 8, Archer 1
Greater Atl. Chr. 14, North Hall 2
Greenbrier 8, No. Augusta (SC) 3
Greenville 15, Stewart County 3
Greenville 1, Stewart County 0 (forfeit)
Habersham Central 9, Lanier 2
Handley (AL) 5, Callaway 1
Hebron Christian 10, Providence Christian 0
Holy Innocents' 9, Mt. Paran Christian 6
Howard 8, Upson-Lee 2
Jefferson 3, St. Pius 0
Jonesboro 5, Drew 2
Lanier County 5, Wilcox County 3
Lowndes 7, Valdosta 5
Mill Creek 2, North Gwinnett 1
Mt. de Sales 8, Georgia Military 7
Newnan 11, Campbell 1
North Cobb 3, Kennesaw Mountain 2
North Cobb Chr. 22, Christian Heritage 4
North Forsyth 9, Lambert 3
North Oconee 3, Stephens Co. 0
Parkview 8, Norcross 1
Pope 6, North Atlanta 1
Redan 20, Cedar Grove 2
Ringgold 12, Calhoun 2
Riverwood 13, Grady 3
Rockdale County 11, Newton 8
South Forsyth 2, West Forsyth 1
Statesboro 11, New Hampstead 4
Stratford Academy 7, Marion County 0
Strong Rock 7, Galloway 5
Union County 10, Rabun Gap-Nacoochee 6
Villa Rica 5, Carrollton 4
Wesleyan 11, St. Francis 2
West Laurens 7, Spalding 6
Westminster 20, McNair 0
Whitefield Academy 2, Landmark Christian 1
Wilkinson County 7, Dublin 3
Winder-Barrow 4, Apalachee 3
Woodland-Bartown 4, Kell 3
Woodward Academy 10, North Clayton 0

Boys Soccer

Columbus 5, Westover 0
Howard 3, ACE 2
McCallie (TN) 1, Whitefield Academy 0
Model 11, Chattooga 1
St. Anne-Pacelli 1, Macon Co. 0
Woodville-Tompkins 5, Claxton 1

Girls Soccer

Athens Academy 10, Glascock County 0
Darlington 5, North Murray 4
Griffin 5, Morrow 2
Harris County 9, Callaway 0
Houston County 3, Stratford Academy 2
Howard 3, ACE 2
Irwin County 3, Johnson County 1
Marist 5, Lovett 0
Milton 1, North Forsyth 0
Southeast Bulloch 5, Groves 0
Spencer 2, Troup County 1
Thomson 8, Briarwood Acad. 0

Boys Lacrosse

Campbell 13, Cherokee 12
Centennial 27, Lakeside-DeKalb 2
Marist 16, Decatur 7

Girls Lacrosse

Campbell 17, Carrollton 13
Creekview 18, Sequoyah 4
Dunwoody 23, Meadowcreek 4
Eagle's Landing 10, Ola 7
East Coweta 9, Sprayberry 7
Pope 16, Cherokee 6
River Ridge 11, McEachern 6
Starr's Mill 21, Luella 0
Walker 10, King's Ridge 6
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
By Graham David
GA teams thrive in new regional branch of High School Cup

For most high school soccer teams, a season can have a perfect ending with a state title. But the High School Cup, consisting of four competitions across the country, is a new test for teams that want to compete against top competition for a shot at taking home a championship. Eight Georgia teams competed in the first-ever Southern Coast Cup, a brand new branch of the national event, and two took home division championships last weekend.
Originally the nationwide event was composed of one single tournament, the Smoky Mountain Cup. Held in Gatlinburg, the first several Smoky Mountain Cups mostly featured teams from in Tennessee. Through its first two years of play, no team outside of Tennessee had won its division in the Cup. The 2016 season saw a change on the leaderboards when three
LaFayette hoisted the Mobile Bay Division trophy at the Southern Coast Cup. Credit: LaFayette HS
Georgia teams (Dalton, Central Gwinnett and Westminster) placed first in their respective divisions. Since then, teams from all over the Southeast have congregated to give their teams exposure to top talent from around the nation. The addition of three new tournaments in the Cup have given the event a whole new importance in high school soccer. The Thoroughbred and Hall of Fame Cups were created during the 2018 fall soccer season, opening up the stage for more diverse competition. Played during the fall soccer season, the two tournaments set up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Canton, Ohio.

The expansion wasn't done yet, however, as the Southern Coast Cup became the last of the tournaments to be installed. Held in Foley, Alabama, it's the only Cup of the four to be held during the spring soccer season. Its inaugural debut last weekend from April 5-8 featured 79 teams from across the nation, including four boys and four girls teams from Georgia along with a team that some polls consider the best in the nation, Wando out of South Carolina. Of the eight Georgia teams participating (Brookwood, Discovery, Westminster and LaFayette, boys and girls for each program), two schools managed to put up strong three-game performances that led to division championships after round-robin play.

The Lafayette Ramblers headed into the Cup with a 7-2 record, eager to take on the out-of-state competition.

"This is my sixth year as head coach of this team," said Casey Payne. "I knew we had a better team than normal this year. In my first five years, we didn't qualify for state. Now we're already qualified for the third seed in our region."

The Ramblers walked away from the Southern Coast Cup first in their group, the Mobile Bay Division, besting second-place Gatlinburg-Pittman (Tennessee) and Citronelle (Alabama) while tying against Park Crossing (Alabama). In their first match against Citronelle on Friday, the Ramblers quickly gained the lead with four goals in the first half from Tobey Aggeler, Max Studdard, Julian Murray and Ethan Murray. The scoring wouldn't stop in the second half as freshman Karson Ledford found the back of the net for his first goal of the year, making it a 5-1 win. Their second match, also on Friday, resulted in a 0-0 draw after a stalemate with Park Crossing. Beau Thrash was a huge presence in the goal, saving eight shots to preserve the draw. The Ramblers ended their weekend strong against Gatlinburg-Pittman in the division finals on Saturday. A victory was the only way to ensure the championship, and LaFayette prevailed thanks to an offensive spark from Aggeler. The sophomore forward/midfielder knocked in a goal and racked up an assist in the second half. Paired with goals from Ben McDaniel and Ethan Kennedy, the Ramblers' second-half resurgence was enough to claim the 3-1 win and division title.

Walking away with the Moccasin Bay Division championship were the Westminster Wildcats boys. The Wildcats went into the tournament 12-0, making them one of the fiercest competitors in attendance.

"Tournaments help you gain exposure," said head coach Scott Snyder. "It helps us get exposed to all competition. We had to use our whole roster too, so everyone got experience. We saw the number one team in the country, along with some other really good teams. Seeing those teams kind of calmed us. We knew they were teams that we could hang with, even when we don't have a single player on our team going on to play college soccer."

Westminster managed to keep its loss total at zero after its Southern Coast Cup debut. The team's first game against Edmond North (Oklahoma) showcased senior forward Alex Gracey, who knocked in two goals in the 4-1 win. The Wildcats' second game ended in a 0-0 draw against Norman North (Oklahoma) thanks to a shutout performance from senior goalkeeper Chris Block. The most impressive game by the Wildcats came at the end of the Cup when they faced off against Davidson (Alabama). Junior forward Charlie Ham found the back of the net three times, fueling the offense to a 6-0 win. Goalkeepers Tanner Hines and Block both contributed to the shutout.

"It's great to play teams from out of state," said Snyder. "It lets you represent the state of Georgia."

With each of the four regional tournaments completed, all teams that participated will be ranked by at a later date. The spring and fall High School Cup champions will be awarded to the highest-ranked team, which will display the trophy in their school until the next champion is crowned. 
By Seth Ellerbee
Woodward Academy overtakes Marist as new Class 4A No. 1

After a light week, Norcross is still the team to beat in the state's highest classification. Walton, Central Gwinnett, Grayson and Hillgrove fill out the top five. In Class AAAAAA, Dalton is the team to beat. Chattahoochee is second again this week with Cambridge, Gainesville and Alpharetta rounding out the top half of the rankings.

Decatur leads in Class AAAAA ahead of defending champion McIntosh. Carrollton, Cross Keys and Johnson-Gainesville round out the top five.

A shift in Class AAAA sees a new No. 1 as Woodward Academy rises to the top. In its last three games, former No. 1 Marist has lost to Starr's Mill, tied with Wesleyan and lost to previous No. 5 Woodward. Marist falls to second ahead of Chestatee, Northwest Whitfield and Blessed Trinity.

Westminster, again, is the team to beat in Class AAA. North Murray, Windsor Forest, East Hall and Greater Atlanta Christian fill out the top five. Putnam County is holding off defending champion Benedictine in Class AA. Jefferson County, Harlem and Thomasville fill out the top five.

Paideia is holding off defending champion Whitefield Academy in Class A. Atlanta International, Pinecrest Academy and Athens Academy fill out the top half of the rankings.

1. Norcross
2. Walton
3. Central Gwinnett
4. Grayson
5. Hillgrove
6. Lambert
7. Lakeside-DeKalb
8. South Forsyth
9. Collins Hill
10. Parkview

1. Dalton
2. Chattahoochee
3. Cambridge
4. Gainesville
5. Alpharetta
6. Greenbrier
7. Dacula
8. Heritage-Conyers
9. Allatoona
10. Sprayberry

1. Decatur
2. McIntosh
3. Carrollton
4. Cross Keys
5. Johnson-Gainesville
6. Clarkston
7. Clarke Central
8. Rome
9. Grady
10. Veterans

Class AAAA
1. Woodward Academy
2. Marist
3. Chestatee
4. Northwest Whitfield
5. Blessed Trinity
6. Upson-Lee
7. Columbus
8. Southeast Whitfield
9. Druid Hills
10. Perry

Class AAA
1. Westminster
2. North Murray
3. Windsor Forest
4. East Hall
5. Greater Atlanta Christian
6. Savannah Arts
7. Lovett
8. Fannin County
9. Stone Mountain
10. Pike County

Class AA
1. Putnam County
2. Benedictine
3. Jefferson County
4. Harlem
5. Thomasville
6. Model
7. Westside-Augusta
8. Pepperell
9. Vidalia
10. Callaway

Class A
1. Paideia
2. Whitefield Academy
3. Atlanta International
4. Pinecrest Academy
5. Athens Academy
6. Savannah Country Day
7. Wesleyan
8. Providence Christian
9. Brookstone
10. St. Anne-Pacelli
By Seth Ellerbee
No. 1 spots static after Spring Break

Following a light week with Spring Break, the soccer rankings did not change much. Lassiter is the top team in Class AAAAAAA, with Parkview moving from third to second. Milton, previously second, fell to third following Parkview's climb. 

Johns Creek leads Class AAAAAA with Creekview, Harrison, Sequoyah and Dacula chasing. McIntosh holds the top spot again this week in Class AAAAA. Veterans, Flowery Branch, Decatur and Starr's Mill fill out the top five. 

Blessed Trinity is fending off Marist for the second week in a row in Class AAAA. Marist, St. Pius, Northside-Columbus and Columbus fill out the top five.

In Class AAA, Westminster is leading ahead of Lovett, Greater Atlanta Christian, Savannah Arts and Dawson County. Defending champion St. Vincent's is leading in Class AA ahead of state runner-up East Laurens, Lamar County, Screven County and Berrien.

In Class A, Athens Academy leads ahead of First Presbyterian Day, Holy Innocents', Brookstone and Savannah Country Day.

1. Lassiter
2. Parkview
3. Milton
4. Mill Creek
5. Forsyth Central
6. Peachtree Ridge
7. Roswell
8. Brookwood
9. Collins Hill
10. Walton

1. Johns Creek
2. Creekview
3. Harrison
4. Sequoyah
5. Dacula
6. Glynn Academy
7. Pope
8. Lanier
9. Apalachee
10. Alexander

1. McIntosh
2. Veterans
3. Flowery Branch
4. Decatur
5. Starr's Mill
6. Whitewater
7. Riverwood
8. Grady
9. Chamblee
10. Harris County

Class AAAA
1. Blessed Trinity
2. Marist
3. St. Pius X
4. Northside-Columbus
5. Columbus
6. North Oconee
7. Jefferson
8. Mary Persons
9. Northwest Whitfield
10. Spalding

Class AAA
1. Westminster
2. Lovett
3. Greater Atlanta Christian
4. Savannah Arts
5. Dawson County
6. Lumpkin County
7. Bremen
8. Jackson County
9. Pike County
10. Sonoraville

Class AA
1. St. Vincent's
2. East Laurens
3. Lamar County
4. Screven County
5. Berrien
6. Model
7. Vidalia
8. Harlem
9. Dade County
10. Rockmart

Class A
1. Athens Academy
2. First Presbyterian Day
3. Holy Innocents'
4. Brookstone
5. Savannah Country Day
6. Walker
7. Paideia
8. Mount Pisgah
9. Eagle's Landing Christian
10. Calvary Day

© Score Publishing, LLC 2017