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Sports & Rec Blog

Showcases and spotlights local high school sports and sports leagues. Recreational resources are also reviewed.

East Marietta Basketball Registration ends Sunday

The deadline for East Marietta Basketball registration is Sunday, March 1. East Marietta Basketball is located at 33 Weatherstone Parkway Marietta. For more information 770-835-5799 or

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AJO4LAX Fest Announces Game Day HS Lacrosse Match-ups

For nearly a hundred high schools across the greater metro Atlanta area, it wouldn’t be spring without lacrosse. For many more avid fans, it just wouldn’t be a complete season without cheering for their team at the AJO4LAX Fest.

This year’s highly anticipated AJO4LAX Fest will be held Saturday, March 21, 2015, at Pope High School. Now in its ninth consecutive year, the Fest continues to draw top-tier GHSA boys’ varsity teams and enthusiastic crowds – underscoring just how important this annual event has become to the region and the sport.

The all-day event features five games, played consecutively, on Pope’s turf field. The Fest opens with defending 2014 5-A Champion Northview taking on Lassiter. The afternoon features what promises to be a thrilling repeat of last year’s 6-A State Championship game in which Roswell narrowly defeated Lambert.

The schedule is set:
10 am – Lassiter vs. Northview
12 pm – Centennial vs. Lovett
2 pm – Roswell vs. Lambert
4 pm – Westminster vs. Harrison
6 pm – Pope vs. Walton

Purchase of a single ticket ($7 adults and $3 children) grants admission for all five-varsity lacrosse games.





AJO4LAX Fest honors the memory of Andrew Oswald, a standout Pope High School varsity attackman who tragically died in a single-vehicle accident in 2005. The event takes its name from combining Andrew’s initials, the #4 game jersey he wore, and his passion for lacrosse.

“It’s a great day for reminding teens the importance of making good decisions in life and while driving,” said Bruce Oswald, Andrew’s father, co-founder & President of the non-profit Andrew Oswald Memorial Fund.

All proceeds go to the Andrew J. Oswald Memorial Fund LTD, which awards annual scholarships to standout Atlanta-area student athletes who will continue playing lacrosse at the college level. The Fund also makes grants to community-based varsity and youth lacrosse initiatives; provides low-cost equipment rentals; and sponsors the Safe America Foundation’s Teen Driving Academy.
For sponsorship information, to make a tax-deductible donation, or to request a scholarship application, contact Bruce or Kathleen Oswald, 2702 Long Lake Terrace, Roswell, GA 30075 (678) 777-3041,


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Walton Swimming and Diving Takes Home State Championship

Photo Courtesy of River Oak Photography


Walton High School’s Swimming and Diving team won the overall Class AAAAAA State Championship at the state meet at Georgia Tech Feb. 5-7. Additionally, several individual team members took home awards:

David Dingess-100-meter Butterfly (49.19 seconds)

David Dingess, Nicholas Froemming, Thadius Macon and Jacob Williams-200-yard Medley Relay (1:33:06)



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Alert: Cobb Co. Schools Cancel Outdoor Activities Weds, Thurs

Attention parents and students: Based on projected wind chills, all after-school outdoor activities are cancelled for today, Wednesday, February 18, and tomorrow, Thursday, February 19, 2015. This includes athletic practices and games.

However, all events that are scheduled indoors (or outdoor practices that are moved inside) may continue as normal. County officials will continue to monitor weather conditions for Friday afternoon and evening. Should wind chills justify the same cancellation for Friday, Cobb County Schools will communicate this information as soon as possible on the district website.

Please check with your local school to confirm whether after-school activities are cancelled for today and tomorrow.

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Season tickets for new stadium available soon


Season tickets for the Atlanta Braves new SunTrust Park in Cobb will go on sale next month at an office near the new stadium.Click here for the good news. #IloveCobb


The Amazing Grace Race To Be Held February 14


Not one but two little girls’ road to recovery is no longer just a metaphor. On Saturday, February 14, Mt  Bethel United Methodist Church will host the inaugural 5K Run/ Walk named The Amazing Grace Race to raise money for two East Cobb young girls battling cancer.

Grace Bunke is an awe-inspiring, 11-year-old girl with a special love for running. On August 1, 2014, after months of knee pain and physical therapy, Grace was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. She has had amputation surgery of her lower leg and is undergoing constant chemotherapy.

After she becomes the victor in her battle with cancer, Grace dreams of running again with her sister. She prays to get the best and fastest prosthetic leg so she can fulfill her dreams. Grace Detling is a  vivacious 6-year-old girl that loves to create masterpieces, play soccer and be with friends. After an unlikely run in with a dog in which Grace required stitches, doctors noticed a focusing issue with
one of her eyes. On July 25, 2014, Grace was diagnosed with a slow growing, inoperable brain tumor.

While undergoing a combination of pill form chemotherapy and IV chemo therapy, Grace continues to attend school, drama and church. She remains positive and upbeat through her battle with cancer and is learning to view the world without peripheral vision.

These girls and their families are in the middle of their fight against cancer. In the coming months both families will have moments of joy and peace mixed with pain and fear. It is the goal of this race to  raise funds so the financial burden will not add to the struggles they face. The race organizers are asking local corporations/companies to help make a difference in the lives of these young girls.

The Amazing Grace Race starts at 8am on February 14 at Mt. Bethel UMC, 4385 Lower Roswell Road in Marietta/ East Cobb. It is $25 to participate in the race. To register or for more information, visit


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“Welcome Back to Shaw Park” Day Scheduled for Saturday, February 14


In 1965, two major events took place which impacted baseball fans in northeast Cobb County. The  Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta and, on a rainy July 28th, voters approved a $900,000  recreation bond fund which was the first step in creating Shaw Park. On September 2, 1966 a check for $26,650 was handed to Mr. T.P. Shaw for purchase of 23 acres just east of Canton Road in Marietta/East Cobb. It would take almost another four years, but Shaw Park would become the first county park built solely by the Cobb County Parks & Recreation Department. The original plan was to open Shaw Park in June 1968 but matching federal funds were scarce. It wasn’t until September 27, 1968 that county commissioner Ernest Barrett finally received a government telegram confirming federal funds.

By November 1968 construction was underway. But in the first 7 months, rainy weather limited crews to only 50 working days. On Saturday May 2, 1970, the Shaw Park Recreation Club (forerunner to the current Shaw Park Baseball organization) proudly hosted three games to open the Shaw Park Midget League, and one of the county’s largest athletic programs during the 1970s was off and running.

Cobb County officially dedicated Shaw Park on  July 11, 1970. It was a showcase for recreation-minded
people in the northern part of the county with 2 athletic fields, 2 tennis courts, a paved multi-purpose court, restrooms, playground equipment, picnic pavilion and a half-mile of nature trails. Underground electric wiring was a new feature compared to most other community parks in existence.

Now, thanks to almost one million dollars from 2011 SPLOST funds, Shaw Park has received an extreme makeover. The renovation consisted of 4 new existing ballfields— including dugouts, lights, irrigation and new fences.

A new concession stand and a restroom building were also built. Volunteers from the Shaw Park  Baseball Association are excited about these improvements and are sponsoring a “Welcome Back to Shaw Park” day on Saturday, February 14, 10am to 2pm. This special event will feature business booths, bounce houses, the Braves Around Town team, food trucks, and more fun stuff! Baseball tryouts and  registration will also be offered. If you are interested in being a vendor, email:


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SunTrust Park business outreach event is Tuesday

Businesses interested in being subcontractors on aspects of the SunTrust Park, being built in Cobb County, are invited to attend the business outreach event to get information on the types of contractors needed and the process for being considered.

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10
Cobb County Senior Wellness Center
1150 Powder Springs St, Marietta.

To RSVP, go to


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“Amazing Grace Race” to Benefit Two Childhood Cancer Patients with Same Moniker

Grace Detling Grace Bunke

Detling Cole, LLC invites you to participate in the Amazing Grace Race at 8am on Saturday, February 14, 2015. Proceeds collected will benefit the Amanda Riley Foundation and Grace Bunke and Grace Detling, two local girls battling pediatric cancer.

The 5K course begins at Mount Bethel United Methodist Church (4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta) and runners and walkers of all fitness levels are encouraged to attend. The two Graces, who are friends, are enthusiastic, energetic and optimistic despite their respective diagnoses. Both girls remain active in church, school and sports while undergoing chemotherapy.

“Grace is excited that people care enough to come out for the race. Her plan is to run and try to win,” said Chuck Detling, father of seven-year-old Grace Detling and a partner in the firm.

At present, more than 900 runners have registered for this event. To learn more, to become a sponsor or to register for the race, visit We look forward to seeing you this Valentine’s Day.


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College level lacrosse coming to Walton High School this weekend


For a second year the Walton High School’s boys lacrosse program is hosting a series of collegiate men’s lacrosse match ups at Walton’s Raider Valley. This year, the 3-game series brings in five different Division II and III programs for games to be played in both February and March. The first in the series is being co-hosted by LB3 lacrosse and kicks off on Saturday, February 7 at 1 PM with University of Tampa facing off against Queens University of Charlotte. Both teams are ranked in the NCAA Division II preseason top 10 by Lacrosse Magazine.

“I am excited for Walton to again host men’s collegiate games, starting with this battle of Division II titans,” says Walton boys lacrosse Head Coach Griffin Spotz. “Both teams are looking to make a run at a title and have incredible talent returning. This is a fantastic opportunity for area kids to see just how competitive the level of play is at D2 and D3.”

Indeed both teams in the first match up are projected to do well this spring. The Spartans of Tampa are coming off of a NCAA Division II final four appearance and are favored to win the Sunshine State Conference in 2015. They feature All-American attackman Connor Whipple. Whipple, a sophomore, had 43 goals and 35 assists in the 2014 campaign. His father, Rory, is the all-time winningest coach in Division II lacrosse and is in his fourth year at the helm of the Spartans.

The Queens University Royals, are projected to win the South Atlantic Conference. The team made the NCAA tournament in 2014 before bowing out to the eventual national champions. The Royals are privileged to play in front of All-American goalie, Eric Dolan. Dolan, out of St. Mark’s School in Hopkinton, MA, played a pivotal role in the team’s 2014 run with a save percentage that was ranked 11th in the nation. Coach Jim Fritz, a top-10 active coach in Division II in both overall wins and winning percentage, is beginning his 12th year leading the program.

On the heels of the February game day, Walton and LB3 will host Young Harris College vs. Lynn College on March 15 and then Mars Hill College vs. University of Tampa on March 22. Both of these Sunday games take place in Raider Valley at Walton High School and both start at 1 PM.

“Bringing games like these to our community is one of many ways the game of lacrosse is further spread in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeast,” explains Spotz. “This is an exciting time for the youth and high school programs in the metro Atlanta area as interest and expansion of the sport continues to rise.”

In addition to hosting these collegiate teams, Spotz and the Walton boys program are readying themselves for a competitive spring season which kicks off at home February 16. The Raiders finished the 2014 season ranked #6 in Georgia high school 6A and in the top 6% in the nation according to the season ending Lax Power coaches/computer poll. Spotz, who played collegiately at the University of Illinois, begins his third year as head coach and has guided the Raiders to the GHSA Elite Eight and Final Four in the last two seasons respectively. Spotz is also the founder and coach of the school’s affiliated summer travel program, Dirty Birds. The Dirty Birds program focuses on player’s skill and character development within an elite-level competitive environment.

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