The Karl DeMasi Sports Report Radio Show Podcasts

The Karl DeMasi Sports Report Radio Show Podcasts
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Savannah Quarterback Club Hands Off Two More Player of the Week Awards

The Savannah Quarterback Club met on Monday night November 11th and honored two local prep football players for games played the week of 10/27/2017. 

The offensive player was Delvecchio Powell from the 2017 GISA Class 2A State Champion Memorial Day School Blue Thunder football team. Delvecchio a junior running back/linebacker rushed for 158 yards on 8 carries and 3 touchdowns. 

On defense, it was Savannah Country Day's defense end Andre Miller. Miller a sophomore had 12 solos tackle; 6 assisted, for 18 total tackles and recovered one fumble in the Hornets 31-6 win over McIntosh County Academy. 

The young men received their award, thanked the Savannah Quarterback Club, and got to listen to the guest speaker Dave Hart. Hart was the former University of Tennessee Athletic Director. Hart was credited with fixing the Volunteers football program and upgrading the sports facilities at the University of Tennessee.
Pictured L-R - Ray Orio Country Day asst coach, Andre Miller Savannah Country Day School, Delvecchio Powell Memorial Day School, Michael Thompson Memorial Head Coach, Dave Hart Former AD University of Tennessee

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017-2018 Savannah High School Boys Basketball Preview

2017-2018 Savannah High School Boys Basketball Preview
by Travis Jaudon 

It’s high school hoops season in Savannah once again and this season begins with more questions than answers for most of the perennial powers in the area. As has been the case for several years, the high school basketball scene in Savannah centers around the always difficult region 3-AAA.
Housing the public school name brands like Jenkins, Johnson, and Savannah High, the region was tilted on its hinges last season with the official arrival of Islands basketball. Led by their terrific trio of Justin Cave, Hugh Durham, and Trae Broadnax, the Sharks made some considerable noise inside of the loaded region. The departure of those three players, and how Islands will replace them, is one of the leading questions coming into this season.
Let’s start with my preseason predicted order of finish along with some questions surrounding the teams coming into the year.

Region 3-AAA Predicted Order of Finish
1.      Johnson (19-10 in 2016, Kyle Sandy’s preseason AAA rank: 2)*
2.      Jenkins (22-8, KS: 6)* 
3.      Windsor Forest (9-16)*
4.      Beach (10-17)*
5.      Savannah (13-15)
6.      Islands (19-10)
7.      Southeast Bulloch (10-17)
8.      Groves (1-23)   
*State playoff teams

Johnson comes in as the favorite to win region 3-AAA according to most anyone you could ask.
Deservedly so.
The Atomsmashers, led by their one-of-a-kind coach Utaff Gordon, are returning a wealth of talent. Amanze Ngumezi (UGA commit) is one of the better players in the state for Gordon and the ‘smashers. Ngumezi, a 6-foot-8 center, has the ability to create mismatches every night he takes the floor. If he can keep from getting into foul trouble throughout the season, the senior should put up big numbers in his final high school campaign while being the rock that Johnson leans on throughout.
Ngumezi will be joined by a cast of formidable sidekicks, most notably, junior wing Shamar Jones.
Jones, who led the team in scoring last season, also took the most shots. He can turn the tides of the entire region if he increases his FG% this time around. Eleik Bowles, E’Maury Bowles, and Elavian Bowles will all three be counted on as returning playmakers from the 2016 squad.

Jenkins, a perennial power in the city of Savannah (and the entire state of Georgia) since the arrival of head coach Bakari Bryant. Now in his sixth season as the head Warrior, Bryant will have a unique team this season. Returning guard Tre’ Mays is a steady presence at the top for Bryant and company. One of eight seniors on the 2017 roster, Mays (10.4ppg in 2016) teams up with fellow returning starters Ahmad O’Neal and Tyrone Scott (12.3ppg/7.2rpg) this year.
The real question for the 2017-2018 Warriors surrounds their four highly thought of transfers: Lamont Sams (Johnson in 2016), Matt Sams (Savannah), Daqwan Outing (Savannah), and Sai Fisher (St. Augustine Prep: New Orleans, LA).
Fisher, who averaged around 14 points per game last season as an honorable mention all state selection in Louisiana’s class 5A, will take over the reigns of the Warrior offense as the point guard. The big bodied guard is excellent at driving and drawing contact in the lane. Each of these players are upperclassmen with experience, but they are new to Jenkins and new to the returning core of Scott, Mays, and O’Neal. Time will tell if the influx of talent leads to an increase in wins for HVJ, but something tells me they’ll be just fine. 

After Johnson and Jenkins, there are a ton of questions surrounding the region. The two other name brands from the 912, Savannah High and Beach, are both trying desperately to return to their glory days of region titles and state playoff runs. For each school, that task is becoming increasingly more difficult as the rise of Jenkins in recent years has led to some players taking their talents elsewhere. Of course, there are other factors to the recent lack of success on the hardwood for both the Blue Jackets and Bulldogs, but no matter the reason, the point remains: Savannah basketball is better when Beach and The High are contenders.
Beach is an interesting team sitting in the middle of this region because they lose three starters from last year’s team, which was one half of basketball away from making the state playoffs before falling to Savannah High late in the season, but they also return six seniors including Kawan Williams and Benjamin Brewton. Beach head coach Herman Haggray has made a commitment to playing faster this season, so expect the Bulldogs to score in bunches if all goes as planned.   

Windsor Forest is a team that, in my eyes, is really intriguing heading into this season. Head coach Aaron Clark will lead his Knights into region 3-AAA play led by senior guard Ben Mitchell (10.3ppg in 2016) and junior forward Zimbabwe Fields (13.1ppg). Fields, a six-foot-three-inch wing player that I believe is being overlooked. With Mitchell and Fields running the show on Savannah’s south side, I think the Knights are the team that can potentially shake up the top of 3-AAA a la the 2016 Islands Sharks.

Islands has more talent to replace coming into the year than any other team in the entire city. As mentioned earlier, the loss of their big three means that there are plenty of opportunities for someone to step up and provide the scoring for head coach Karl DeMasi and his Sharks. Sophomore point guard Derek Edwards (4.8ppg in 2016) and junior Kalen Deloach (3.8ppg/3.7rpg) will be asked to contribute in elevated roles this year as DeMasi and company will try and replace their entire starting five. It won’t be easy, but most returning Sharks have some experience which should serve them well in the early non-region schedule.

Outside of Region 3-AAA
2016 Record: 16-11, 10-2 in 3-A
Head Coach: Lenny Williams (1st year)
Outlook: The Wolverines of Woodville-Tompkins may be one of the most talented teams in the area that no one is talking about. Kyle Sandy ranks WT as the number nine team in class-A coming into the season, and that lofty rank is well earned. Setting the young school’s high mark for number of wins (16) last season, Woodville returns its core of sophomore scoring guards and loses only one senior from a team that made the state playoffs last season.
The three (now junior) guards Charleston Willingham (9.2ppg in 2016), Jordan Walker (7.7ppg), and Deante Green (7.0ppg) will join senior point man AJ Hassel (7.0ppg) and junior big man Preston Crisp for what should be a special season for Woodville-Tompkins.

New Hampstead
2016 Record: 18-9, 6-4 in 2-AAAAA
Head Coach: Tonya Mackey (6th year)
Outlook: The Phoenix are entering what would what seem like a rebuilding year after losing six contributing seniors from last year’s squad which came within two points from making the elite 8. Head coach Tonya Mackey has done a sensational job building this program from the ground up since their start in 2012 (5-21), but this year is going to be tough for the Phoenix, especially once they are inside of region play. Returning 0 starters from the 2016-2017 team, New Hampstead “is looking to be competitive build again with a brand new ball club this season” says Mackey.

Savannah Christian
2016 Record: 14-12, 8-4 in region 3-A
Head Coach: Travis Priddy (4th year)
Outlook: Savannah Christian may have the best private school team in the city this season. Returning almost all of their contributing players from last season, the Raiders will look to try and improve on their 2016-2017 5th place finish in a loaded region 3-A. Juniors, forward Aly Keys and guard Jordan Grant join forces with seniors, forward Eric Davidson and guard Justin Anderson to try and accomplish something big for this version of the Raiders basketball team.
Head coach Travis Priddy, now in his fourth season at the helm of the Raiders, says his team expects to be near the top of the region but he is concerned about a possible lack of “toughness” inside. Keys and Davidson should fix any concerns with interior play as the season goes along, however. I expect a nice year for the Raiders.

Savannah’s Names to Watch
1.      Amanze Ngumezi – Johnson
2.      Tyrone Scott – Jenkins
3.      Shamar Jones – Johnson
4.      Zimbabwe Fields – Windsor Forest
5.      Tre Mays - Jenkins
6.      Charleston Willingham – Woodville
7.      Ben Mitchell – Windsor Forest
8.      Sai Fisher – Jenkins
9.      Derek Edwards – Islands
10.  AJ Hassel – Woodville 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Savannah Quarterback Club Hands Off Two More Player of the Week Awards

The Savannah Quarterback Club wrapped another huddle Monday night and handed off two more awards. These awards went to the most outstanding performances on the field, offensively and defensively, for the games played on the weekend of October 19, 2017.

Pictured Left -Defensive Player of the Week, Jonah Griffin
& Speaker, Tony Barnhart
Right - Offensive Player of the Week, Travion Bass-Black
The lone recipient to attend was Benedictine defensive back senior Jonah Griffin. The Cadet received the award for his play on the defensive side of the ball in a Benedictine victory over Bacon County, 47-13. Griffin recorded 3 tackles 1 sack and an interception in the game.

The offensive player of the week, Travion Bass-Black, could not attend due to his team, Windsor Forest was playing in a mini-playoff game. Which the Knights won and now advance to the state playoffs. Travion a senior running back had an outstanding game against Islands High School in a Windsor Forest win, 37-0. Bass-Black gained 130 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns.

The guest speaker for the huddle was legendary sports reporter and college reporter for 39 years, Tony Barnhart.  Barnhart, is known in the college football world as Mr. College Football.  Tony has been involved in every aspect of sports reporting.

This Georgia Bulldog alumnus has been a reporter for newspapers, television and radio. Barnhart spent 24th years as the national college football writer with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and eight years as an analyst for CBS Sports, Tony currently serves as the "SEC Networks'' studio analyst. He has also written five books on college football.

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