While Lakeside Safety Rashad Roundtree has dominated the local recruiting headlines for the last few weeks, another solid prospect has emerged in Columbia County. Augusta Christian offensive lineman Zach Giella has been regarded as a good prospect for some time, but last week he received his first two major offers, when Kentucky and California contacted the 6-7, 300-pound lineman.
The two offers are likely just the beginning for Giella. He has been getting interest from division-I programs for more than a year now. Currently, Arkansas, Georgia, FSU, Duke, Indiana, Mississippi St., Missouri, Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt are actively recruiting Giella. With Roundtree and Giella leading the way, 2014-15 will be easily the biggest year in county history in terms of football recruiting activity.
ROUNDTREE UPDATE: Just after football signing day, www.scout.com (one of the nation’s top three recruiting Web sites) released its updated Top 300 National Prospects for 2015.
In their previous rankings, Rashad Roundtree was not included in the Top 300. Well, he made quite an impact on the recruiting analysts at Scout, because he is now rated as the No. 81 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 6 safety in the class of 2015. Roundtree also is rated the No. 9 player in Georgia and the top safety in the state. Apparently he is not finished moving up the recruiting charts, because one analyst from ESPN says that Roundtree has a chance to be the top-rated safety in the country before the 2014 High School Football season kicks off.
SHEPPARD SET TO SIGN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP: Another Columbia County football prospect has locked up a scholarship offer. Harlem Senior Tyler Sheppard will be signing a national letter of intent with Presbyterian Thursday at 11 a.m. at Harlem High School.
Sheppard certainly put together a high school résumé worthy of a college scholarship. The 6-1, 215-pound DE/TE was named all-region on both sides of the ball. He also locked up all-county honors for a second consecutive season. Sheppard exploded on the scene as a junior in 2012 when he led the CSRA with 19 quarterback sacks. He was also among the leaders in the area with 125 tackles, including 82 solo stops. This season, his sack total was a little down due to constant double teams, but he still managed 104 tackles and seven QB sacks. He also led the county with five fumble recoveries. Presbyterian is getting a player with a great motor and an even better upside. If he continues to work hard (and he has worked extremely hard over the last two years) he could become a standout at Presbyterian.
The county has produced a couple of former Presbyterian stars. Former Augusta Christian QB Adam McKinney went to Presbyterian, moved to defensive end and became an all-conference performer. While former Greenbrier standout Ryan Bowers went to Presbyterian as an unheralded last minute recruit and transformed himself into a college All-American and one of the most decorated players in Presbyterian history. Sheppard has the potential to follow in their footsteps.
CONGRATS TO OUR SUBREGION BASKETBALL CHAMPS: Well, Evans boys and Greenbrier girls claimed subregion Titles last week. The Lady Wolfpack locked up the top spot in the subregion by winning a 57-56 nail biter over Evans. The victory improved Greenbrier to 19-6 overall and 7-2 in Region Play. Their region mark was equaled by Grovetown, but the Lady Pack beat Grovetown in two of the three meetings between the two teams to seal the title, heading into this week’s Region Tournament. Congrats to coach Basinger and her team.
The Evans boys built an early lead, survived a run by Lakeside, and beat the Panthers 67-54 Saturday Night in a game that decided the subregion crown. Lakeside finishes the regular season with a terrific 17-5 mark overall and 6-3 record in region play. The Knights finish 17-8, 7-2 for the regular season. Coach Kenny and his team earn the No. 1 seed in the Region Tournament and will face Region 2B-AAAAA No. 4 Seed Houston Co. (7-17, 0-6) in the opening round of the Region Tournament.
Here are the other matchups for the Region 2-AAAAA tournament
Girls (Play begins today at Greenbrier)
Greenbrier (19-6, 7-2) vs. Jones Co. (4-19, 0-6)
Grovetown (18-6, 7-2) vs. Houston Co. (5-19, 2-4)
Evans (16-7, 4-5) vs. Warner Robins (10-13, 4-2)
Lakeside (4-19, 0-9) vs. Northside WR (17-6, 6-0)
Boys (Play begins Thursday at Greenbrier)
Evans (17-8, 7-2) vs. Houston Co. (7-17, 0-6)
Lakeside (17-5, 6-3) vs. Jones Co. (14-10, 2-4)
Grovetown (10-15, 3-6) vs. Northside WR (18-6, 4-2)
Greenbrier (12-13, 2-7) vs. Warner Robins (21-1, 6-0)
I predict we will get two boys and three girls teams into the state tournament, which would be a huge feather in the cap for our county programs.