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Adonis Thomas makes Macon Touchdown Club Super Seven

Adonis Thomas was one of the selections to the Macon Touchdown Club’s Super Seven, its selections for the state’s top seven high school football players.  Thomas, an Alabama signee, had 124 tackles (13 for losses) and five sacks for Central’s state playoff team last season.

Tony Gray (SO) earns Rivals MVP

Central Gwinnett sophomore Tony Gray was named the offensive line MVP at this past weekend’s Atlanta Rivals Camp Series, held at Lambert High School.  Gray, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound offensive lineman, started at tackle for the varsity Black Knights as a sophomore. He also picked up scholarship offers from Tennessee and Kentucky over the weekend, as well as an offer from Georgia on Monday.

2014 Black Knight Football Awards

Freshman Offensive player of the Year- DJ Irons
Freshman Defensive POY- Keith R
JV Offensive POY- Al Moore
JV D- POY Paul Brewer
 Varsity Awards:
Special Teams POY- Cole DeLoatche
Offensive Lineman of the year- Marcellus Cooper
Back of the Year- Eric Forrest
WR of the Year- Chris Shelling
  DL of the Year- Omar Lopez
LB of the year- Tim Gary
DB of the Year- Michael Witherspoon
 Offensive MVP- Major Bellamy
Co Defensive MVP- Adonis Thomas and Deshawn Oliver
Black Knight Award- Marchael Jackson


1st Round Playoff Video from North Gwinnett vs Central Gwinnett

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Titan Team Sports won the Black Knight Invitational's summer golf tournament at The Georgia Club.  Thank you to all the sponsors and participants that made this event a success.


1st Place Finish for Titan Team Sports 

Coach Wofford with former Atlanta Falcon running back Michael Turner

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Central Gwinnett football out to improve on 2013 season

By Will Hammock                                 

There were plenty of swing moments during Central Gwinnett’s 2013 football season.

The Black Knights led Brookwood and Grayson at halftime. They had a good shot to beat Parkview. All three ended up as losses by less than 10 points, which pretty much summed up a slide to a 2-8 season that could have been much better.

“We lost those close games and those are the moments we need somebody to take over, make a play, rally the guys together,” Central head coach Todd Wofford said. “We just didn’t get over the hump in those games. You’ve got to make plays when you can and we didn’t do it.”

Until last season, Central made a steady climb in Wofford’s tenure, culminating in a 6-4 record in 2012. But graduation losses hit hard, both in terms of talent and leadership, leaving plenty of new faces in the lineup last season.

The biggest losses included record-breaking quarterback Eman Westmoreland and wide receiver Justin Brownlee, along with defensive leader Trey Johnson, now a linebacker at Ohio State. Filling those voids wasn’t easy, and their loss hurt the most in the close region games last season.

Now in the middle of summer passing league activities, Wofford feels much better about this team in terms of both experience and leadership.

“There were key moments in tough game where we were missing that spark because we were missing those guys last year,” Wofford said. “You don’t realize what you’re missing until they’re not there. … We’ve done a lot of leadership stuff this offseason and they’ve ran with that. They’re legit leaders, not just seniors. We have underclassmen leading by example. That’s what made this the best spring for me because of their attitude more than anything.

“The biggest thing we have to do this season is get back to what got us going in the right direction and that starts with leadership. It starts with the senior class.”

The leadership piece excites Wofford because he also knows this team has very good talent returning.

The roster includes highly touted recruits Adonis Thomas, Nigel Adams and E.J. Price, all major college prospects. Thomas, a star at linebacker, also made plays as a receiver last season as a junior despite some hamstring issues. Adams, a running back who also will play linebacker this year, and Price, a big offensive tackle, are both juniors.

The move of Adams to defense bolsters a group that includes returners Omar Lopez, Deshawn Oliver, Greg McPherson, Tim Gary and Marchel Jackson.

The offense, always a strength with Wofford’s up-tempo style, took a step back last season. Central was held to 15 points or fewer in seven games and didn’t have a lot of highlights, except for a 41-point showing against South Gwinnett, a playoff team.

Unlike last season, the Black Knights return an experienced quarterback in Eric Forrest. Forrest, new to the program last season, played solidly in a new system. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,805 yards with 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

“(Forrest) came from a traditional power scheme, so he was getting used to the system and to Gwinnett football at the same time,” Wofford said. “We were coming off having a three-year starter (in Westmoreland) who knew what I was thinking 90 percent of the time and we went to having a guy who was new to everything we were doing. But I can’t say enough about Eric’s improvement this offseason.

“He’s expecting a big season and we’re expecting a big season out of him. He’s 210 (pounds) now. A lot of college coaches came in just to see him this spring. Physically, he’s college ready. He had a great offseason in the weight room. He’s a powerful guy. He just had to get used to me as a coach, too. I’m hard on the quarterbacks.”

Forrest will have some playmakers surrounding him, starting with Adams in the backfield. The wideouts are strong, too, with Chris Shelling, Major Bellamy and Azaviar Kuffour.

Price returns on the offensive front, as do Marcellous Cooper and Omari Jackson.

“We want to get back to doing what we want to do on offense and get that tone,” Wofford said.


Team: Central Gwinnett Black Knights

Head coach: Todd Wofford

2013 record: 2-8

Key returning players: LB Adonis Thomas, Sr.; QB Eric Forrest, Sr.; WR Chris Shelling, Sr.; RB Nigel Adams, Jr.; WR Major Bellamy, Jr.; WR Azaviar Kuffour, Jr.; OL E.J. Price, Jr.; DE Omar Lopez, Sr.; DB Deshawn Oliver, Sr.; DT Greg McPherson, Sr.

2014 schedule:

Aug. 29 at Collins Hill

Sept. 5 Mundy’s Mill

Sept. 12 at South Gwinnett

Sept. 19 Shiloh

Oct. 3 at Dacula

Oct. 10 Brookwood

Oct. 17 at Grayson

Oct. 24 Archer

Oct. 31 at Parkview

Nov. 7 Berkmar


Central, North on top after first day of 7-on-7 tournament

By Chris Hillyard

SUGAR HILL — Central Gwinnett and North Gwinnett followed up their great performances from Saturday’s 7-on-7 tournament at Central Gwinnett with another good showing in the first day of the North Gwinnett qualifier of the National Select Championships at Gary Pirkle Park.

Central was the only team to go undefeated on the day and one of North’s split squad teams went 5-1, dropping its only game to Desoto Central High School from Mississippi. The two Gwinnett teams met in the finals of Saturday’s tournament at Central with North edging out the hosts in overtime.

“We were far from perfect today,” Central head coach Todd Wofford said. “But these tournaments are all about taking what you learned in the spring and implementing it out here and competing. We did a good job competing. We got down a couple times but fought back every time and I’m proud of that.”

Central began the day with a pair of very close wins over Alpharetta and Spartanburg (S.C.). Against Alpharetta, the Black Knights built a 30-19 lead as they scored on each of their first four possessions. The Raiders were able to score, force an interception and looked as though they may have won the game on the final play. But what would have been the winning catch was ruled to have been out of bounds, allowing Central to escape with a 30-29 win.

A similar situation unfolded in Central’s game against Spartanburg as the Black Knights were stopped with less than a minute remaining and Spartanburg drove the ball all the way inside the 10-yard line before time eventually ran out.

Central easily defeated the North Gwinnett B squad in the fourth game as well as Chattahoochee in the final game of the day, but had to come from behind for wins over Hillcrest and Gainesville. Central trailed Hillcrest by 13 points and closed the game on a 22-3 run to secure the victory and their perfect record.

“We had a good day but we need to keep building,” Wofford said. “We didn’t play a clean game all day. We had some issues with drops and blown assignments. So we have lots of areas to improve upon.”

Central quarterback Eric Forrest was one of the stars of the day as he threw 19 touchdown passes throughout the six games. His favorite target was Azaviar Koufor, who caught nine of those touchdown passes.

North Gwinnett’s A squad, meanwhile, had the largest scoring differential of any team on the day as the Bulldogs put up 169 points while giving up just 82. They opened their day with a 39-12 win over Centennial in which quarterback John Uruza threw five touchdown passes and the offense was not stopped a single time.

Uruza only played in four of the six games and still threw for 14 touchdown passes. North easily defeated Shiloh, Wren (S.C.), and Jonesboro throughout the competition as well.

“All told, I liked our overall effort,” North head coach Bob Sphire said. “I was a little disappointed towards the end that it felt like we almost got bored with winning and didn’t execute as well.

“But tomorrow is when the tournament really starts and you have to be on your toes. Sometimes people get a hot hand and they don’t even look like the same team as yesterday so we have to be ready tomorrow.”

North was able to play a number of different players on the day and Kameron Pickett got the majority of the snaps in two games for the Bulldogs. Against Shiloh, Pickett threw for touchdowns on his first three drives before throwing two interceptions to end the game.

North’s B squad, which is made up of primarly underclassmen, went 1-5 on the day with its lone win coming against North Springs.

Grayson also represented Gwinnett well on the day with a 5-1 record. The Rams started their day off with a 26-25 win over Desoto Central, the only school to best North. However, the team came out flat against Jefferson County and fell 23-8, causing it to fall only slightly in the seeding despite having just the one loss. However, the Rams closed the day very strong with wins over Cherokee, Jonesboro, Wren and Centennial.

“I thought we played really well today,” Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said. “We had some drops out there which is to be expected a bit but we have to get better. The best thing I saw today was the effort when one side of the ball wasn’t doing as well the other side seemed to always pick it up. But towards the end of the day we really started playing very well.”

Shiloh was the fifth Gwinnett team taking part in the tournament and got off to a great start with a 34-21 win over Wren. However, luck was not on the Generals’ side Thursday. They finished the day with a 2-4 record, dropping three of those games by a combined total of four points. Shiloh fell to Langston Hughes 23-22 an then dropped back-to-back games on the final play to Desoto Central and Jefferson County.

The Generals’ most impressive game of the day was a 27-4 win over Jonesboro.

“The effort was there today,” Shiloh head coach Troy Hobbs said. “To lose three games by a total of four points is tough. But overall I thought we competed and played pretty well today. If I had to grade us I would give us a B. There is still a long way to go and hopefully we can come out and play better tomorrow.”

The tournament will resume today with bracket play beginning at 9 a.m. at Gary Pirkle Park. Shiloh will play North Springs in the first round with the winner facing Grayson, while the North Gwinnett B squad will play Gainesville. North Gwinnett’s A squad will face the winner of Jonesboro and Centennial at 10 a.m., while Central will face the winner of Chattahoochee and Wren at the same time.

The bracket portion of the tournament will be double elimination and will conclude with the championship game scheduled for approximately 4 p.m.


Story by David Friedlander Tuesday, June 10, 2014 For the sixth straight year, North Gwinnett will welcome some of the top high school football teams throughout Gwinnett County, Georgia and the Southeast for the opening qualifying tournament for the National Select 7-on-7 Championship. This year’s event, which gets underway with pool play beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday at Gary Pirkle Park in Sugar Hill, will be the first of 15 qualifying tournaments around the country for the national championship tournament that will take place July 17-19 in Hoover, Ala. And while Central Gwinnett, Grayson and Shiloh will only be one other Gwinnett teams besides the split squads of the host Bulldogs competing this year, the field remains as competitive as it’s been in the past. “We’re real excited about it,” North head coach Bob Sphire said. “It’s another banner set of competition and two great days of competition. Everyone’s guaranteed six games in pool play, and it goes double elimination from there.

North edges Central in all-Gwinnett passing tourney final

By David Friedlander

LAWRENCEVILLE — Sure, it’s still nearly two months before high school football teams from Gwinnett County and throughout Georgia officially begin preparations for the 2014 season.

But summer 7-on-7 tournaments are often the first indicators to coaches exactly what their teams’ initial building blocks are.

If that is the case, the six county teams in Saturday’s Gwinnett vs. Georgia 7-on-7 Football Tournament have to be pleased with their respective foundations.

“You like to see the competitive juices flowing,” North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said after his Bulldogs won the tournament with a 6-1 record, including a thrilling 37-36 overtime win over host Central Gwinnett in the championship game Saturday at Central. “There were quality match-ups all day long. … It’s not football, but it’s competition. … I like the way we competed.”

The Bulldogs competed hard all day long, dropping just one game during pool play before avenging that loss with a victory over Creekside in the tournament semifinals.

That win set up the final against Central, where North fell behind 14-0 before rallying to win in the extra period on a John Urzua touchdown pass to Daniel Imatorbhebhe and a two-point conversion toss to Tyler Knudsen.

But it was the detailed work that the Bulldogs’ quarterbacks, receivers and secondary got that pleased Sphire the most.

“You get a lot of work with all your coverage adjustments,” Sphire said. “From an offensive perspective, when you boil it down, it’s about individual players making individual plays. You’ve got to be able to execute schematically, but in order to win championships, you’ve got to have some guys win individually. So, they get into a lot of one-on-one battles.”

Sphire saw plenty of individuals making plays in addition to Urzua, Imatorbhebhe and Knudsen, as he singled out others like Josh Imatorbhebhe, Connor Kleid and Harold Johnson.

He wasn’t alone in being pleased with his team’s effort.

In the four years Central has hosted the tournament, the Black Knights have never advanced into the semifinal round.

So, their runner-up finish definitely has coach Todd Wofford feeling good about the progress his team has made, especially given the history in which teams that have fared well in the tournament have often gone on to do well the following season.

“You’ve got to have players, and you’ve got to execute,” said Wofford after Central went 5-2 for the tournament, including avenging its only loss of pool play by beating defending Class AAAAAA state champion Norcross in the semifinals. “But it does give you an indication of where you are in the summer — the chemistry, especially in the passing game. And from this (tournament), anyway, in the four years we’ve run it, one of the teams that have … played for (the championship) have had great seasons and great runs in the in the playoffs.

“The field that was out there (Saturday), with Creekside and Buford and Norcross and North, you’ve got a lot of teams that have won state championships or played for state championships, and they’ve got great plays. I’m proud of our guys for competing all day and playing toe-to-toe with a great North team with great coaches and great players. It’s a building block.”

Wofford said he specifically was pleased with several individuals, such as quarterback Eric Forrest, receivers Major Bellamy and Azavier Kufour, defensive back DeShawn Oliver and linebacker Tim Gary.

Gwinnett’s other four representatives in the tournament also fared well Saturday, with Norcross going 3-2 to advance to the semifinals, while Collins HIll went 3-2, Buford went 1-1-1 before having to leave early and Shiloh went 1-4.

Central Gwinnett football brings another loaded field to passing tourney



Click the LINK for highlights from Central Gwinnett at South Gwinnett


Click the LINK for highlights from Central Gwinnett vs Shiloh