By Doug Gorman
The next few weeks are going to be a busy time for local athletes in the Southern Crescent.
Here are my thoughts about how things could go over the next few weeks:
On the signing day front: It's always exciting to see where the area's football players are going to play their college football. For several years, there's been a strong Division I pipeline heading out of Clayton County to major programs throughout the country. Lovejoy's Chris Scott has reveled his decision to go to Tennessee, and across the county line in Henry County, Eagle's Landing Christian's Alec Huber has verbally committed to Purdue University, but elsewhere, other players are keeping their decisions a mystery. Part of the fun about working as a reporter on national signing day is finally being able to break the news about where a blue-chip football player has decided to play.
Sometimes, I am as surprised as everybody else. A year ago, Darrell Robertson made Georgia Tech fans happy when he changed his mind and signed with the Yellow Jackets instead of Florida State. I for one, think he made a great choice.
As for this year's signees, we should know a whole lot more next Wednesday once the ink dries on their scholarships.
February madness: The post-season in high school basketball season might be the most exciting time of the year, and I don't expect too much to change this time around. The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals have spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in the Class AAAA state poll. The North Clayton and Stockbridge boys, and the Riverdale girls are also ranked in the most recent polls and could be among the contenders to bring home state crowns at this year's state events.
Stockbridge has plenty to play for considering what happened last year. After losing just once in the regular season, the Tigers missed out on the state tournament when Morrow beat them early in the region tournament.
The biggest basketball story last year was the run made by the Mt. Zion Lady Bulldogs, who advanced to the Final Four.
I expect several sleepers to emerge against this year, including the Mundy's Mill boys and the Stockbridge girls. Both teams are closing in on 20-win seasons.
Rolling out the mats: I don't often make predictions when it comes to state tournaments, but there's enough wrestling talent at schools in Henry County to go out on a limb and predict a strong showing at area and state meets.
Henry County High School is ranked second in the most recent coaches' poll. The Warhawks won the Tiger Classic, won the Area 3-AAAA duals and finished third at the recent state duals.
Union Grove is ranked seventh in the Class AAAAA poll. The biggest story out of the Wolverines' wrestling camp could come from seniors Candler Woods and Rory Harris, who are looking to defend state titles.
Don't be surprised if Stockbridge , Eagle's Landing and Luella make a statement at the area, and state meets too.
The big splash: One of the biggest stories could come next Wednesday night at the Forest Park Recreation Center when the Jonesboro High School swim goes after its 10th straight county title.
With all the activities going on at the same time, it's enough to make a sports writer dizzy
If there's a draw back to this job this time of year, it's that there is not enough of us sports writers to go around. Moden science might have found away to clone "Dolly" that famous sheep, but it hasn't found away to clone those of us in the sports writing business, and that's too bad, because there definitely needs to be more than three of us. I don't how the games and other event are going to pan out, but one thing is for sure, it won't dull.
(Doug Gorman is sports editor of the Daily. His column appears on Fridays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org )