East Cobb sports update: Pope wrestling; basketball playoffs

The Pope wrestling team finished fourth in the Georgia High School Association Class 6A traditional championships in Macon, and with one Greyhound taking home an individual state title.

That’s Joey Johnson in the 113-pound category. He was one of seven Pope wrestlers who finished sixth or higher in their weight divisions. The others are as follows:Pope wrestling

  • 2nd – Aidan Karpinski (106)
  • 2nd – Max Druhot (120)
  • 4th – Pat Haskin (145)
  • 5th – Connor Weeks (152)
  • 3rd – Troy Gable (160)
  • 6th – TJ Mordarski (220)

In the team standings, Pope tallied 87 points, behind Creekview (195.5), Cambridge (169.5) and Richmond Hill (155.5).

Last month the Greyhounds won the duals state championship in Class 6A, their first since 2014.

Here are some other wrestlers from East Cobb high schools who finished high in their individual competitions:

  • David Panone, Lassiter, 3rd in Class 7A 132 pounds;
  • Landon Chambers, Lassiter, 2nd in Class 7A 145 pounds;
  • Josh Sanders, Sprayberry, 4th in Class 6A 106 pounds;
  • Joseph Fredeman, Kell, 4th in Class 5A 138 pounds;
  • Andrew Parlato, Kell, 2nd in Class 5A 220 pounds;
  • Robert Austin Westbrook, Walker, 1st in Class A 106 pounds.

Basketball Sweet 16 games set

Three East Cobb high school basketball teams will get to play at home this week as the GHSA state playoffs continue in the Sweet 16.

That’s also known formally as the second-round, as higher-seeded teams will remain at home. The Wheeler boys, Kell girls and Sprayberry girls all advance, and will be at home.

The Wheeler boys trounced Etowah 68-43 in the Class 7A tournament and on Thursday will play host to Shiloh at 7 p.m.

Walton’s boys also were competing in Class 7A, but their season ended at home Friday in a 66-59 loss to East Coweta. The Raiders were 16-13 on the season.

The Sprayberry boys lost in Class 6A to Lanier 76-45. The Pope boys, also playing in 6A, fell to Douglas County 66-57. The Greyhounds were 21-8.

In Class 5A, the Kell boys came from behind to clip Miller Grove 92-91 on Friday, advancing to the second round at Warner Robins either Wednesday or Thursday.

In the Class A private school category, Mt. Bethel Christian’s season ended in a 60-46 loss at Mt. Paran Christian. The Walker School will play host to Mt. Paran Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The Sprayberry girls will be staying at home after rolling past Habersham Centeral 63-58 on Friday. The Lady Jackets play Wednesday or Thursday against Forest Park in the Sweet 16.

The Pope girls fell to Douglas County 57-44 to end their season at 19-10.

The Kell girls also won easily by a 58-26 score over Lithonia. The next opponent for the Lady Longhorns will be Bainbridge, and the game will be Wednesday or Thursday.

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East Cobb sports: 10 basketball teams make state playoffs

Nine of the 10 East Cobb teams that qualified for the Georgia High School Association state basketball playoffs will be in action Friday night.Kell Touchdown Club, Corky Kell Classic

Half of them will be playing at home, including a doubleheader at Kell.

The Lady Longhorns of Kell, ranked No. 2 in Class 5A, will be playing Lithonia at 6 p.m., followed by the Kell boys against Miller Grove at 7:30 p.m.

The Longhorns boys are ranked No. 5 in Class 5A.

Another ranked team from East Cobb also gets to stay at home. The Wheeler boys, ranked No. 6 in Class 7A, will face Etowah at 7:30 p.m. at Wildcat arena.

The Walton boys are playing at home as well on Friday, meeting East Coweta at 7:30 p.m. in another Class 7A first-round game.

The Sprayberry girls are playing at home on Friday, against Habersham Central at 7:30 p.m. in a Class 6A playoff contest.

Both Pope teams made the Class 6A playoffs, and will be playing in a doubleheader on the road on Friday at Douglas County. The girls play at 6 p.m. and the boys follow at 7:30 p.m.

The Sprayberry boys will be playing at Lanier Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Two East Cobb boys teams have advanced to the Class A Private category tournament. On Friday, Mt. Bethel Christian plays at Mt. Paran Christian.

The Walker boys got a first-round bye and will play their first game next week.

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Mt. Bethel Christian basketball star in slam dunk contest

Jordan Meka, Mt. Bethel Christian basketball star

High school basketball season is winding down, but an East Cobb hoops star in involved in an extra competition along with his team reaching the state playoffs.

Jordan Meka, a senior at Mt. Bethel Christian Academy, has been chosen to participate in the American Family Insurance National High School Slam Dunk Contest.

Contestants have already done their dunks—which are recorded on video—and it’s up to fans to vote for the best performances. Here’s a two-minute compilation of Jordan’s dunks:

Jordan’s 6-foot-8, by the way, and he’s signed a scholarship to play at Georgia Tech during his college career.

During his Mt. Bethel career, he’s had more than 225 dunks and 450 blocked shots.

The voting in the AFI contest takes place over four rounds, and the first round is underway, ending Feb. 18. Each contestant will receive votes against one other player, with the winner advancing.

The other players are nationally-acclaimed high school stars.

Other rounds will take place Feb. 19-26, Feb. 27-March 5 and March 6-13.

The finalists will compete for the championship at the Final Four, the NCAA men’s national college basketball championship, in Atlanta in early April.

To watch the dunks and vote online, click this link.

On Friday, Jordan and the Mt. Bethel Christian Eagles will play in the Georgia High School Association Class A private state playoffs, in a first-round game at Mt. Paran Christian.

 

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Lassiter girls win state swimming championship; Walton third

The Lassiter girls swimming team got strong performances from their relay teams Saturday to win the Georgia High School Association Class 6A-7A championships at Georgia Tech.Lassiter and Kell wrestlers

The Lady Trojans tallied 332.5 points, followed by Brookwood with 307 and Walton with 291 points.

(You can find the full results here.)

Lassiter won its first relay race, the 200-yard medley, with a time of 1:47.34, featuring a team of Elizabeth Blanco, Kennadi King, Elizabeth Tilt and Lindsey Johnson.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Blanco and Johnson were joined by Allison Brown and Frances Carson to win with a time of 1:36.22.

The Walton team of Jasmin Hoffman, Abby Belinski, Isabella Decker and Elizabeth Isakson finished fourth in that race, with a time of 1:36.63.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Walton (Hoffman, Belinski, Isakson and Annalia Janson) was second at 3:29.72, and Lassiter (Carson, Brown, King and Tilt) came in third with a time of 3:30.67.

Tilt won the girls 7A race in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.85 in Lassiter’s only individual winner, and she was second in the 200-yard medley (2:04.04). Aiding the Lady Trojans’ cause was Blanco, who was second in the 100-yard backstroke (56.67); Carson, who came in third in the 200-yard freestyle (1:52.13); and Kayleigh Clark, who was fourth in the 1-meter diving event (485.75).

Lassiter was dominant in girls swimming several years ago, winning four consecutive state titles from 2008-11, and also in 2005.

East Cobb state swimming champions

  • 1983—Walton boys
  • 1988—Walton girls
  • 1999—Pope boys
  • 2005—Lassiter girls
  • 2008-11—Lassiter girls
  • 2014-15—Walton boys
  • 2017—Walton girls
  • 2018—Pope boys
  • 2020—Lassiter girls

The Pope girls finished in 23rd place with 108 points, and Wheeler was 37th with 40 points.

In other girls individual events, Walton’s Jasmin Hoffman was second in the 50-yard freestyle race with a time of 23.51, and Walton’s Elizabeth Isakson was third in the 100-yard breastroke at 1:04.98.

The highest finisher for an East Cobb boys team was Pope, which was 4th in the Class 6A meet with 224 points, well behind 6A-7A champion Dalton, which had 445 points.

Walton was 18th with 140 points, Lassiter 22nd with 109 points and Wheeler 53rd with six points.

In individual races, Lassiter’s Brendan Hausdorf was second in the 200-yard freestyle, coming in second with a time of 1:39.56. He also was fourth in the 500-yard freestyle (4:35.35).

Pope’s Gabe Lacasella was third in the 50-yard freestyle (21.21), and the Greyhounds’ Eli Lubell was third in 1-meter diving with 415.10 points.

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Pope wrestling team wins state championship in duals

For the first time since 2014, the Pope wrestling team has won a state championship.Pope wrestling

The Greyhounds went down to the wire in Saturday’s Georgia High School Association Class 6A finals in Macon, and edged Richmond Hill of Augusta 30-24.

Pope went into the final match of the day nursing a 26-24 lead, after Richmond Hill closed the gap by winning the 182-pound class to gain three critical points.

In the 195-pound class, Pope’s Dylan Moss solidified the title with an 11-3 win over Caleb Gonser, good for four points.

On Friday, Pope barely advanced to the finals as Moss also won the last match of the semifinals in downing Creekview.

In duals wrestling, teams face one another head-to-head as in other team sports, while the traditional format has them competing at the same time.

The state championship was the sixth overall and the fourth in duals for Pope, which also won duals titles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Greyhounds won traditional state titles in 2011 and 2012.

The finals against Richmond Hill was close the entire way. The Greyhounds lost the first two matches on falls and fell behind 12-0. But Pope’s Aidan Karpinski picked up six big points for his team in the 106-pound class by recording a fall.

Joey Robinson (120) and Max Druholt (126) won back-to-back. Alex Hearn won by an 11-0 score at 138 for four more points, and was followed by Patrick Haskins (145) and Connor Weeks (152).

Richmond Hill won two of the next three matches to set up the finale, but picked up only six points.

The traditional post-season begins at the end of January and into mid-February, when the state finals also will be contested in Macon. Pope was runner-up in 2019.

 

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New Lassiter gym grand opening before Walton basketball games

Lassiter gym grand opening

When Lassiter meets Walton in a varsity basketball doubleheader Tuesday, the games will have more than East Cobb and regional rivalry implications.

The occasion will be the first for the homestanding Trojans in their new gym.

The $15.66 million building, located next to the football stadium, is finally ready to be unveiled.

The girls’ game tips off at 6 p.m., but a grand opening celebration will take place at 5:20 p.m. The varsity boys will play starting at 7:30 p.m.

The 3,000-seat Lassiter facility, which was built with Cobb Ed-SPLOST IV revenues, was originally estimated to cost $10.8 million.

But that was for specifications for seating for 2,500, and was revised to include more capacity and factor in annual construction inflation of six percent.

The building includes varsity locker rooms for the Lassiter girls and boys basketball teams and the Trojans volleyball team, as well as locker rooms for visiting teams and a practice facility for the Lassiter wrestling team.

The Lassiter gym is the second new gym to open for an East Cobb school in recent months.

The new Walton gym was broken in by the Raiders’ state championship volleyball team in the fall.

That’s part of a new $31.7 million project at Walton that includes main and auxiliary gymnasiums, a wrestling room, a weight room, locker rooms, a main theater, a black box theater and band, orchestra and choral suites.

On Jan. 24, Walton will play host to Lassiter in basketball in its new gym.

In January 2018, Pope christened a new $24 million gym-fine arts complex with a basketball doubleheader.

 

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Top East Cobb stories for 2019: Long-awaited Mabry Park opens

Mabry Park Opens

After more than a decade, and some questions of whether it would ever come about, Mabry Park opened in 2019, a long overdue passive park addition in East Cobb.

The ribbon-cutting celebration in May included members of the Mabry family, who sold 26 acres of their historic farmland on Wesley Chapel Road to Cobb County right before the recession.

The economic downturn halted the project at that point, although a master plan was later completed to maintain the future park with a rural feel.

The Friends of Mabry Park persisted with their vision, along with Cobb commissioner JoAnn Birrell, and many citizens of the nearby Northeast Cobb community.

“We couldn’t have gotten here without the community,” said Peter Hortman, the current president of the Friends of Mabry Park.

Read the stories

In another part of Northeast Cobb, a master plan was unveiled and adopted by the Cobb Board of Commissioners for future development.

Like Mabry Park, nearly 18 acres of land of Ebenezer Road will also feature a lake as its centerpiece, but also is proposed to include recreational fishing.

What’s to be called Ebenezer Downs would still need construction funding by the commissioners, and no timetable has been outlined.

The land purchase in 2018 was made with proceeds from the 2008 Cobb Parks Bond referendum.

That same funding source was tapped for the county to acquire 22 acres of the Tritt property on Roswell Road, envisioned as an extension of adjacent East Cobb Park.

In early December, one of the leaders of the Friends for the East Cobb Park was honored as a recipient of the East Cobb Citizen of the Year Award.

Tom Bills was the park volunteer group’s first treasurer, as it scouted property and then worked to fundraise the purchase, and as the park was built for its 2003 opening.

The former Tritt property is designated as greenspace for now.

Bills is currently is a senior construction project manager for the Cobb Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and was involved in the Mabry Park project.

 

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UPDATE: New Northeast Cobb park to be named Ebenezer Downs

Ebenezer Road park, Cobb parks master plan

After the Cobb Board of Commissioners approved a master plan for the new Ebenezer Road park property Monday night, commissioner JoAnn Birrell said the name of the 18-acre park would be Ebenezer Downs.

The master plan approval came on a 4-0 vote (with commissioner Bob Ott absent), and after a brief presentation by Cobb parks director Jimmy Gisi (previous ECN post here).

The land at Ebenezer and Canton Road was two homesteads that features a lake and wooded areas.

The features of the master plan are a fishing lake and lakeside pavilion, walking trails, a playground, a 30-space parking lot. One of the homes would be used for small events, including wedding receptions and private parties, and public restroom facilities would be built.

The entry to the park would be aligned with the Ebenezer Road entrance to Noonday Baptist Church.

Gisi said community suggestions during public feedback meetings in recent months that the county took back to its parks consultant resulted in a better master plan.

“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” Birrell said. “I go by there a lot and people are fishing all the time.”

The master plan approval does not include park construction; that funding would have to approved separately by the commissioners and no timetable for that consideration has been announced.

Proposed Ebenezer Road park master plan

Also on Monday, commissioners approved spending $373,000 in 2016 SPLOST funds for an operations barn at Hyde Farm in East Cobb. Gisi said construction is expected to be completed by next June.

Also approved was relocation of parking space at the Mountain View Community Center, costing $572,000 due to the adjacent Sandy Plains MarketPlace that’s in private development.

The county formerly shared parking with Mountain View Elementary School before it relocated to make way for the retail center.

Commissioners also voted to rename the East Cobb Senior Center the Tim D. Lee Center, in the memory of the late Cobb commission chairman (previous ECN story here).

Lee’s widow and children were in attendance, as was former chairman Sam Olens, who like Lee served District 3 in Northeast Cobb on the commission.

Commission chairman Mike Boyce also presented a proclamation to Tejas Veedhulur of Boy Scout Troop 1776 for his Eagle Scout project cleaning up the Gold Branch of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area off Lower Roswell Road.

The troop meets at the Catholic Church of St. Ann.

 

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Proposed Ebenezer Road park master plan goes before commissioners

Proposed Ebenezer Road park master plan

A proposed master plan for the Ebenezer Road Park to include a lakeside pavilion, playground and walking trails—including access to trails serving nearby Noonday Creek Park—will be considered Monday by the Cobb Board of Commissioners.

The master plan proposal was put together following public information sessions in recent months. Most of the 17.5 acres on Ebenezer Road at Canton Road comprises a lake that the proposal indicates could be used for public fishing, and includes former homes that could be used for events.

The Ebenezer Road Park master plan is one of two on Monday’s agenda, including the new Furr Park on Old Westside Road in South Cobb (read about them here).

The lands were purchased in 2018 with proceeds from the 2008 Cobb Parks Bond referendum. The Ebenezer Road property had an open house for the public before master plan work was conducted.

They’re designed to be passive parks, with most of their natural settings preserved. At the entrance to the Ebenezer Road Park is a parking lot and the playground (in yellow).

Ebenezer Road park, Cobb parks master plan
A lake takes up most of the Ebenezer Road Park land bought by Cobb County in 2018.

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The master plan approval is meant to provide a guideline for build-out of the park, which would have to be approved and paid for separately by commissioners, and no timetable has been established.

It will be the second new passive park in Northeast Cobb in recent years, following the opening of Mabry Park in May.

The recent county land acquisitions include nearly 30 acres of Tritt property next to East Cobb Park. A master plan has not been commissioned for that land, which for now is designated green space.

Also on Monday, commissioners will hear a proposal to build an operations barn at the Hyde Farm property off Lower Roswell Road.

The former farmland has been preserved to re-establish its history as a working farm dating back to the early 1800s. The 2016 Cobb Parks SPLOST program includes funding for the barn, which would store farm equipment and supplies, and a low bid of $373,000 is being recommended.

Hyde Farm
The pond at Hyde Farm, an 1800s-era working farm, located off Lower Roswell Road.

Commissioners also will be asked to spend $572,687 to relocate and expand event parking at the Mountain View Community Center (3330 Sandy Plains Road), due to nearby construction of the Sandy Plains MarketPlace.

The new shopping center is going up on the former site of Mountain View Elementary School, and the community center shared some of the school’s parking space.

But the new development is private, and the community center’s parking lot is being moved to fit totally onto county-owned land.

The center has recently undergone renovations, but enabling it to serve as a venue for events including weddings, reunions and private parties also requires additional parking under county zoning codes.

Funding for that project also has been earmarked in the 2016 Cobb Parks SPLOST.

Monday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the second floor board room of the Cobb government building, 100 Cherokee St., downtown Marietta.

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East Cobb Park’s long evolution, from vision to ‘crown jewel’

East Cobb Park fall

The opening of East Cobb Park in 2003 was the culmination of five years of planning, persistence, community involvement and commitment.

What began as a dream for a passive park in the heart of a bustling suburban community turned into a full-throttle campaign that made its reality even more gratifying for those behind it.

Several founding members of the Friends for the East Cobb Park discussed that history this week before the East Cobb Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, where the park idea was incubated.

“It was a big idea, and it was Sunny’s idea,” said Mary Karras, the first president of the Friends for the East Cobb Park, referring to Sunny Walker.

She was a co-owner of the Frameworks Gallery in East Cobb and a leading arts and community advocate who was the guiding force behind the creation of the park.

“She said, ‘I think we need a passive park in East Cobb,’ ” Karras recalls. “I said, ‘What’s a passive park?’ ”

Walker had a vision, but that’s all the Friends group, formed as a non-profit in 1998, had to go on.

Identifying a possible location, purchasing it and then turning it over to Cobb County for development as a park were all formidable tasks.

Finding land that was close to the Merchants Walk area, that was affordable and suitable for passive park was a tall order.

When a member of the Bowles family came to the bank where Karras worked and offered to sell 13 acres of what had been farmland on Roswell Road, he told her he also had done an environmental study.

That’s when Karras turned to Tom Bills, a resident of the adjacent Mitsy Forest subdivision, and an engineer by training.

“The land was clean and good and ready for us to purchase,” said Bills, a former Friends treasurer and president.

East Cobb Park
Mary Karras and Kim Paris, co-founders of Friends for the East Cobb Park, with current president Lee O’Neal. (East Cobb News photo by Wendy Parker)

Fundraising was the next step, and it was a comprehensive approach. Cobb County offered a match, but Karras and other Friends advocates had to hustle to get the interest of businesses, foundations and everyday citizens.

Then-U.S. Rep. Johnny Isakson helped the Friends gain access to foundation and business leaders in Atlanta, and the group held events and meetings and wrote letters seeking financial support.

“We were scrambling for every hundred dollars we could find,” Karras said. “We did it because we saw it was an opportunity to create a legacy in this community.”

Without the larger community of everyday citizens contributing their share, the vision of East Cobb Park may not have gone much further.

Scout troops, school groups, families, civic organizations and others chipped in as they could. They included kids turned over big bags of change they solicited from golfers on the Indian Hills driving range.

“That meant as much to us” as the bigger checks, Bills said, “because it showed the support of the community.”

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Citizens also could purchase park cobblestones and pickets for the fence around the children’s playground bearing their names. Other contributors had their names, or the names of loved ones, inscribed on park benches.

With all of that support, and most of the money, the Friends group found itself $100,000 short at closing. That’s when Riverside Bank, which had been vital in securing financing during the fundraising drive, agreed to make a loan.

When asked if she or the Friends group ever had any doubts, Karras said no, but understood how their task may come across to some: “Raising $1 million to buy land that we were going to give to the county?”

East Cobb Park

Yet the laborious fundraising campaign contained the seeds of what the Friends group also had envisioned.

“We started off slow and then we gained momentum,” Karras said. “That gave everybody ownership.”

“There was no giving up,” said Kim Paris, another former Friends president.

“Sunny dreamed big,” Karras said, “and we bought into it.”

Johnny Johnson is the owner of Edward Johns Jewelers and a longtime civic leader who serves as Santa Claus at park’s Holiday Lights festivities: “East Cobb Park became the center of our community.”

East Cobb Area Council president Dan Byers said “East Cobb Park was the crown jewel of this community before we ever moved here.”

More community support followed after the park was built and opened. A second “all-abilities” playground was built with a $75,000 grant from the Resurgens Foundation.

The Friends group continues as an active partner with the county, staging year-round events including concerts and the Holiday Lights tree lighting, which starts at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Holiday Lights East Cobb Park

Last year, a secondary vision of expanding the park became a reality when Cobb County purchased 22 acres of adjacent property belonging to Wylene Tritt, who donated 7.7 acres of what had been the 54-acre Tritt farm.

The Friends group helped the county round out the costs at closing with a $102,000 contribution from its endowment, most of which has been paid back.

For now, the new land will remain as greenspace, but there are longer-term visions of purchasing what’s left of the Tritt land for park purposes.

“History is important, because there is a future for the park,” said Lee O’Neal, the current Friends president. “There are plenty of opportunities to develop that property and purchase more to extend East Cobb Park.”

(More East Cobb Park background here.)

The Cobb Board of Commissioners voted this fall to name the first bridge connecting the current park to its newer space after Walker, who died in September. A piano was donated in her name in 2017 and sits in the park gazebo.

Karras, now the manager of investor relations for the Cobb Chamber, said Walker also talked about the park one day having an arts center, and would like to see that come to fruition.

For Paris, who’s going to be a grandmother in the spring, her thoughts about the park’s future are more immediate.

“That’s why we did this,” she said, referencing the legacy mission of the park founders, “as the park continues to grow and that our community continues to support.”

Sunny piano East Cobb Park
Sunny Walker, co-founder of the Friends for the East Cobb Park

 

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Walton, Kell bounced out of state football playoffs

The football season for the last two East Cobb schools remaining ended in crashing fashion Friday in the second round of the Georgia High School Association playoffs.Walton all-sports champion

In Class 7A, Walton had a tough order playing at North Gwinnett, a state champion two years ago, and that throttled the Raiders 35-0 earlier this season.

North Gwinnett nearly doubled that score in a 60-10 rout that equalled the worst loss in Walton football history.

The Raiders fell behind early and never had a chance to get back in the game. They trailed 46-3 at halftime and scored their only touchdown in the second half, well after the outcome had been decided.

Walton’s season ends with a 6-6 record.

In Class 5A, Kell also had to go on the road at Starr’s Mill, and hung tough after a scoreless first quarter.

Kell Touchdown Club, Corky Kell ClassicBut the Fayette County school turned the pressure on in the second quarter to lead 24-7. Going into the fourth quarter, the Longhorns trailed 24-21 but Starr’s Mill scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including on a fake punt play, to win 45-28.

Kell was 9-3 on the season.

It was announced this week that Walton and Kell will once again start the 2020 season by participating in the Corky Kell Classic next August.

In fact, the Raiders and Longhorns will be playing one another on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 9 a.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.

In recent years they’ve been the only two East Cobb schools invited to play in the start-of-season event, named after the late Wheeler football coach.

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East Cobb Citizen of the Year to be named at Chamber breakfast

East Cobb Park

On Dec. 3, the East Cobb Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce will reveal its 2019 East Cobb Citizen of the Year at its last breakfast meeting of the year.

The event also includes a discussion about the past, present and future of East Cobb Park with founders and visionaries of the park, including Mary Karras, Kim Paris, Tom Bills and Lee O’Neal.

The breakfast is from 7:30-9 a.m. at Indian Hills Country Club (4001 Clubland Drive). The cost is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for guests. Online registration ends on Nov. 29 (click here).

Each of the area councils of the Cobb chamber honor a citizen for work in the community with the Citizen of the Year designation. Last year, the East Cobb Citizen of the Year was Brenda Rhodes of Simple Needs GA, and in 2017 the recipient was U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.

East Cobb Park opened on Roswell Road in 2003, after years of community advocacy and the purchase of what had been farmland belonging to the Tritt family. The all-volunteer non-profit Friends for the East Cobb Park was organized for that task, and to provide programs and events and assist with maintenance of the park, which is part of the Cobb Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs.

Last year, Cobb commissioners voted to spend $8.3 million in park bond funds to purchase 22 acres of adjoining Tritt property, with plans to preserve it as greenspace and eventually expand East Cobb Park.

The Friends for the East Cobb Park contributed more than $100,000 from its endowment to complete the purchase, and launched a fundraising drive. In August, the county reimbursed $90,000 to the group.

 

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