The Georgia Athletic Coaches Association recently released its All-State football selections. Usually, this list is a who's who of metro Atlanta and South Georgia powerhouse programs. This year, two Evans High School players made the cut.
Wide receiver Jonathan Nicely and defensive tackle Trey Golston were chosen as AAAA All-State players. Nicely, who caught 53 passes for the Knights, was the only wide receiver chosen to the AAAA South squad, while Golston was one of two defensive lineman selected.
Statesboro star DeAngelo Tyson, one of the nation's top three defensive tackles, was not on the list, making Golston's selection that much more impressive. It is good to see the Evans' players honored for their outstanding performances.
Banker ready to go at Georgia Southern
Former Lakeside High standout Chris Banker will suit up this baseball season for the Georgia Southern Eagles. Banker, a catcher, spent the past two seasons compiling terrific numbers as the starting catcher at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala.
The college has one of the premier junior college programs in Alabama, and Banker was named First Team All-Alabama after an impressive sophomore campaign. The 6-foot, 190-pound Banker was a key to the Pirates tying a school record with 41 wins last season. Banker should see plenty of time for the Eagles this season.
Joining Banker at Georgia Southern this season is former Greenbrier High infielder Michael Hester. Hester had a stellar junior campaign for the Wolfpack, but was removed from the team as a senior for disciplinary reasons. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Hester is listed as a pitcher for the Eagles and is a possible redshirt candidate.
County Player of Year coming down to wire
Thanks to the play of guys like Eric Marshall and Matt Scott, the Columbia County Player of the Year Award in boys basketball has not been too difficult in the past. This year is a different story. Augusta Prep's high-scoring guard Jim Hull, Evans athletic forward Jonathan Nicely, Harlem junior sharpshooter Cedric Boatner and Greenbrier slasher Andy Gray have all played well enough to garner some votes.
Jim Hull -- Junior : Averaging more than 30 points per game to lead the entire area.
Pro: Glen Miller never came close to Hull's numbers and he was a two-year starter at Evans.
Con: Certainly playing against inferior competition compared to the other candidates.
Jonathan Nicely -- Senior : Averaging 16.7 points and nearly eight rebounds per game.
Pro: Best athlete in the county and the best player for the county's top team.
Con: Losses to Lakeside and Greenbrier (at home), and a poor showing overall in region play by Evans could hurt.
Cedric Boatner -- Junior: Leads all county public school players with 19.7 points per game.
Pro: The best college prospect in the county and has been the most consistent scorer aside from Hull
Con: Team has really struggled, despite having Boatner and Mike Leverett (12 points per game, 11 rebounds).
Andy Gray -- Senior: Averaging 16 points per game.
Pro: Has had some huge games against county competition; plays well in the big games.
Con: Team struggled at times this season and lost overall season series with both Evans and Lakeside, although it did make playoffs.
Tyler Bourdo of Augusta Christian has also had a nice season, as has Leverett at Harlem, but they are a notch behind the group above.
Over the next few weeks I will be racking my brain to make the best possible selection.
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