By Seth Coleman
The school year is winding down, but spring sports competition in Atlanta Public Schools is red hot as several teams are making a run at a state championship.
The Henry W. Grady boys team has advanced to the third round of the state playoffs.
Last week the Knights, the No. 3 seed from Region 6, Class AAAA, travelled north to Elijay and defeated Gilmer County, the No. 2 seed from Region 7, by a score of 3-1. (Tennis competitions feature five matches. The top three singles players from each team play each other, as well as the top two doubles duos.) The match against Gilmer County was called early. Then Grady travelled south to Jesup Monday and shut out Wayne County, the Region 3 champions, 5-0.
The Knights will face either North Oconee, the Region 8 champions, or Spauding, the No. 2 seed from Region 4, later this week. Grady has been led all season by singles players Josh Wolfe, Alex Lepik and Matthew Wood, and the doubles teams of Chase Masri and Kyle Mulholland, and Robert Mobley and Randall Schwartz.
After clinching the Region 6, Class AAAAA title last week, Benjamin E. Mays will host Kell from Marietta, beginning Friday at 5 p.m., in the first round of the Georgia High School Association state playoffs. (Baseball playoffs are a best-of-three series, with a double-header played usually on the first day of the series.) The Raiders finished the regular season with a record of 19-2, the best in school history, and enter the state Class AAAAA playoffs as a No. 1 seed from Region 6. Kell (18-8) is the No. 4 seed from Region 7.
Grady, Maynard H. Jackson and North Atlanta have both their boys and girls teams in the state playoffs.
The North Atlanta girls (15-3-1) are the Region 7, Class AAAAA champions and have won their last four consecutive games by a combined score of 18-1. They will host Southwest Dekalb (5-5), the No. 4 seed from Region 6, Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Warriors’ boys team (9-4-1), the No. 4 seed from Region 7, Class AAAAA, took on Region 6 champion Dunwoody (11-6-1) on Tuesday, at Dunwoody.
The Grady boys (12-3-1) are the No. 2 seed from Region 6, Class AAAA and hosted Cartersville (13-4-1), Tuesday. The Grady girls (10-5-2) are the No. 3 seed from Region 6, Class AAAA and travelled to Cartersville (10-7) on Tuesday to take on the Purple Hurricanes.
The Jackson girls (10-4), the No. 4 seed from Region 4, Class AAA, travelled south Tuesday to take on Savannah Arts Academy (13-1-1), the Region 1, Class AAA champions. The Jaguar boys (6-5), also the No. 4 seed from Region 4, faced Savannah Arts Academy (15-3), following the girls game. The SAA boys are the Region 1, Class AAA champs.
All APS track teams will be competing in sectional meets on Saturday, with the top 8 finishers in each event advancing to the state meets. The girls’ state meet will be May 5-7 in Albany, the boys’ will be May 12-14 in Jefferson. Here is the lineup for Saturday’s sectional meets (girls and boys run at the same sites):
- BEST Academy at Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross), 9 a.m.
- Carver at Heritage (Conyers), 9 a.m.
- Grady at Eagle’s Landing (McDonough), 9 a.m.
- Mays at Heritage (Conyers), 9 a.m.
- Coretta Scott King, Douglass, Jackson, South Atlanta, Therrell and Washington all at Gordon Central (Calhoun), 9 a.m