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Ridgeland's Baxter starting to throw his weight around

It’s not every day that a Georgia high school athlete wins a Tennessee state championship, but that’s exactly what Ridgeland’s Michael Baxter did just two weeks ago.

  • icon Updated: February 22

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Friday 02/13/2015
Bobcats, Lady Bobcats edged out at home
Updated: February 13, 2015 - 10:23 pm

The Georgia Northwestern Bobcats and Lady Bobcats suffered heartbreaking home losses to region rival Southern Crescent Tech on Friday in Rossville.

Thursday 02/12/2015
Future of Hank Aaron statue unclear as Braves plan for move
Posted: February 12, 2015

ATLANTA (AP) — It was probably the world's only "pay-as-you-go statue," Bob Hope — a local marketing guru, not the famous comedian — likes to joke. Eight years after Braves right-fielder Hank Aaron shattered Babe Ruth's home-run record in 1974, Hope decided to form a nonprofit group dedicated to erecting a monument to the baseball legend. As a symbolic gesture of gratitude, the nonprofit deemed, it should be paid for by Aaron's fans.

Wednesday 02/11/2015
Bobcats done in at home by Georgia Gwinnett
Updated: February 11, 2015 - 1:02 am

Georgia Northwestern held a lead for much of the first half on Tuesday, but turnovers, rebounding and free throw shooting would ultimately catch up with the Bobcats as they fell at home to Georgia Gwinnett College, 87-74.

Monday 02/09/2015
Alabama could be missing 3 injured players against Bulldogs
Updated: February 09, 2015 - 1:15 pm

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama could be without three key players for Tuesday night's game at Mississippi State.

Domestic violence charges against Panthers' Hardy dismissed
Posted: February 09, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Prosecutors have dismissed domestic violence charges against Panthers defensive end and soon-to-be free agent Greg Hardy after they said the accuser in the case couldn't be found.

Academy Soccer tryouts in Ringgold this week
Posted: February 09, 2015

Academy Soccer Tryouts will be held at Ringgold High School on the turf field on Thursday, Feb. 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 14 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Softball teams selling strawberries
Posted: February 09, 2015

The Georgia Flames fastpitch softball teams are selling fresh strawberries as a fundraiser. The berries will be delivered from Plant City, Fla. On Feb. 24. A half flat is $15 and a full flat is $25.

Sunday 02/08/2015
NGAC Basketball: Heritage girls win tournament title
Updated: February 09, 2015 - 10:36 am

The Heritage Lady Generals were the top girls' team in the North Georgia Athletic Conference all season long and they proved it one final time on Saturday.

NGAC Basketball: Team effort secures perfect season for LaFayette
Updated: February 08, 2015 - 12:41 am

One quarter into Saturday's North Georgia Athletic Conference basketball championship at Dade County Middle School, the LaFayette Ramblers found themselves in a very unfamiliar position - behind.

NGAC Basketball: Heritage girls win NGAC tourney title
Posted: February 08, 2015

The Heritage Lady Generals were the top girls' team in the North Georgia Athletic Conference all season long and they proved it one final time on Saturday.

Friday 02/06/2015
NGAC Basketball: Championship games set for Saturday
Posted: February 06, 2015

The finals of the North Georgia Athletic Conference basketball tournaments are set after Friday night's semifinals at Dade County Middle School.

Georgia Northwestern swept at home
Updated: February 06, 2015 - 10:22 pm

Georgia Northwestern Bobcats couldn’t beat the buzzer with a game-winning shot and the visiting Trinity Bible College Eagles from Florida hung on for a 64-63 victory at the Rossville Athletic Center on Friday night.

NGAC Basketball: GL boys advance; GL, Rossville girls eliminated
Updated: February 06, 2015 - 12:10 pm

The Gordon Lee boys punched their ticket to the North Georgia Athletic Conference basketball semifinals with a dramatic 38-37 win over rival Trion on Wednesday at Dade County Middle School.

Tuesday 02/03/2015
NGAC Basketball: CVMS girls through to semifinals
Updated: February 03, 2015 - 11:34 pm

The Chattanooga Valley Middle School Lady Eagles are into the semifinals of the North Georgia Athletic Conference tournament after a 32-23 victory over scrappy a Ringgold team Tuesday night at Dade County Middle School.

Blank says Falcons 'wrong' to add fake crowd noise to games
Posted: February 03, 2015

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Tuesday he has seen enough of the NFL's investigation of fake crowd noise at Atlanta's home games to acknowledge wrongdoing.

The NFL is trying to determine if the Falcons pumped artificial crowd noise into the Georgia Dome for home games the last two years. Apparently, the answer is yes.

Blank had a quick response when asked if there was a fine line for crowd noise not allowed by the league.

"It's not really a fine line," Blank told The Associated Press. "I think what we've done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we're opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It's obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn't represent our culture and what we're about."

Blank said he expects the league to report its findings in two to three weeks.

The Falcons could be fined or penalized with the loss of a draft pick if found to have added fake crowd noise during the opposing team's huddles when they were trying to call a play.

"We've got some information internally," Blank said of the investigation. "Not all, clearly, until we see the full report. But we've dealt with it internally the best we can, which was limited because we haven't seen the report.

"We've gotten some information from the league but until we read the full report and until they publish their findings, we can't be totally clear. We've talked to a lot of people and we've cooperated and we'll be anxious to read the report."

The Falcons say 101 of 103 games have been sellouts since Blank bought the team in 2002. Actual turnouts declined during losing seasons the last two years.

Atlanta ranked 10th among the 32 NFL teams with its average home attendance of 72,130 in 2014. Construction is underway for a new $1.4 billion stadium which will replace the Georgia Dome in 2017. The new stadium will have a similar seating capacity.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello on Monday said the league had no comment on the investigation.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

John Smoltz: becoming a Hall of Famer "just incredible"
Updated: February 04, 2015 - 1:07 am

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — When John Smoltz plopped down in a director’s chair inside the Baseball Hall of Fame and stared at all the bronze plaques on the walls, the moment was both magical and a bit overwhelming.

NFL: New Falcons' head coach Quinn looking to build ‘championship environment’
Updated: February 04, 2015 - 1:04 am

FLOWERY BRANCH — Dan Quinn is looking to build a defense that plays “fast and physical” and an offense with balance as coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

NGAC Basketball: LaFayette boys two wins away from perfect season
Updated: February 03, 2015 - 8:21 am

Top-seeded LaFayette moved into the North Georgia Athletic Conference semifinals and improved to a sparkling 21-0 with an easy 52-17 win over Heritage at Dade County on Monday.

NGAC Basketball: Season ends for Rossville boys
Updated: February 03, 2015 - 8:20 am

The 2014-2015 season came to a close for the Rossville Middle School Bulldogs on Monday with a 74-31 loss to Ringgold in the North Georgia Athletic Conference tournament at Dade County Middle School on Monday.

Monday 02/02/2015
Tom Brady, in 'midst of my career' at 37, set on more titles
Posted: February 02, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) — Tom Brady knows what's next: more Super Bowl wins.

At least he hopes so.

The most successful quarterback of his era was still riding the high of his fourth NFL championship on the morning after New England's 28-24 victory over Seattle. Brady had every right to look back at his four touchdown passes against the NFL's top-ranked defense and beam. Instead, he was looking ahead.

"I am still kind of in the midst of my career," Brady said Monday before being presented with a car and his third Super Bowl MVP trophy, tying him with his boyhood idol, Joe Montana. "I just love the game. I love playing. I love representing our team."

That team — or previous versions of the Patriots he has quarterbacked — won three Super Bowls in four years, then lost in its next two trips to the big game. Brady knows how close the Patriots came to a third straight flop against the NFC champion, needing an interception with 20 seconds to go to clinch the crown.

"We've been on the other end of this two times in the last seven years, being ahead late in the game with the chance to win it, and not closing it out," Brady said of losses in 2008 and 2012 to the New York Giants. "I'm glad we had the opportunity to do it. Coach talked all week about how it was going to take all 60 minutes and it certainly did.

"It never broke our will. We were down 10 in the fourth quarter and (Seattle) being on the 1-yard line with 20 seconds left, but the guys never gave up. And you fight until the end and great things happen."

Brady knows all about great things, obviously. A two-time league MVP, he threw for four touchdowns against the NFL's stingiest defense, and led a comeback from a 10-point deficit through three quarters. He connected on all eight of his throws on the decisive drive that ended with a 3-yard TD pass to Julian Edelman.

Brady is 37 and has said he hopes to play well into his 40s, and he works hard to stay in top physical shape. So he doesn't see his winning toss to Edelman as his final Super Bowl moment.

But he certainly recognizes how difficult the journey is.

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I was a young kid when we won those first three. I know in '04 after we beat the Eagles, I was like, 'I'm just ready for this to be over, get the offseason started,' just because we had experienced it. Obviously, with some perspective of that game, it's a hard thing to get here and then it's a hard thing to win the game.

"Playing against the other best team, obviously, one play here, one play there, all things change, and we've been on the other end of that, too. So I'm just proud that we really got a chance to finish it out."

His coach, Bill Belichick, recognizes the value of a likely first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback running his offense. When the Patriots were being dominated by the Seahawks in the third quarter Sunday, Belichick understood that if they could keep it close, they had the closer.

"He's a great player," Belichick said. "It's been a great privilege to coach Tom for the last 15 years, 14 years as starting quarterback. We have a great relationship. We meet on a regular basis weekly several times.

"I can't think of a more deserving player than Tom to be the recipient of the accolades that he has this week, and particularly last night and today here. He's our leader. He competes as well as any player I've ever coached. He's well-prepared. He has great poise and great presence. He may not always be perfect, as it is for any of us. We all have our moments, but Tom, like many other players on our team, is the guy that fights to the end and competes until the end.

"There's no player I respect more for that than Tom. That's been a great pillar of strength for our football team for the past decade and a half."

And, according to Brady, for a while into the future.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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