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Tune in to WLJA 101.1 FM starting July 24th for the Atlanta Braves 2020 Season.

Sports

Cherokee 2020 Football Season Preview

The Cherokee Warriors are one of the most exciting and promising teams in Cherokee County heading into the 2020 season. They are coming off a 7-3 regular season with a postseason win against Westlake before being eliminated by Archer in the second round of the 2019 playoffs. Head Coach Josh Shaw will lead the Warriors for another year as the Warriors move into a new region (region 5-7A) and face a strenuous schedule.

 

Players to watch:

 

Jr. QB A.J. Swann: AJ threw for over 2300 yards last season and 20 Touchdowns as a Sophomore. He already has an offer from Troy and will certainly pick up more offers as he progresses though this season. We expect him to only get better as he gets older and progresses as a player and leader for the Warriors.

Jr. RB Keith Adams Jr.: Keith is coming off a Sophomore year where he rushed for over 1100 yards and 10 Touchdowns. One of his most impressive games came against Westlake in the first round of the playoffs last season, where he tallied over 100 yards and a touchdown against the Lions. He has picked up an offer from Middle Tennessee State, and will also likely be receiving power 5 offers sometime in the next year.

Jr. WR Adarrius Harshaw: Adarrius was one of the top targets for AJ Swann last season and will undoubtably help keep the Warriors passing game a threat. He posted 45 receptions with over 600 yards and 7 Touchdowns. His speed makes him a threat on special teams as well.

Sr. OL Nason Simmons: Nason will be the leader of the Cherokee offensive line after Justin Blalock and TJ Parks graduated last season. Nason played left tackle for most of the season last year and earned 3 college offers in the process. His offers are from Liberty, South Alabama, and South Florida. Nason will most likely earn more offers as he works his way through this season.

Sr. LB Braesen Parker: Braesen set the school record and led the county with 155 tackles last season. Braesen has a reputation as a hard hitter and sure tackler. He will be the leader of the defense this season as he hopes to build off his historic Junior year and control the middle of the field for the Warriors defense.

Sr. DB Austin Trimble: Austin is coming off a 3 Interception season in 2019. He will be the leader of the secondary with the loss of Pat Dahlen this season. He proved himself in the playoffs last year after returning an interception for a touchdown against Westlake and their high-powered athletes.

 

Games to watch: *- denotes games that will be featured on WLJA 101.1 FM as the Cherokee County game of the Week

 

*September 2nd: Cherokee vs Carver (Corky Kell @ West Forsyth) *- Cherokee was invited to the Corky Kell classic and will play in the first High School football game in Georgia for 2020. The most interesting story going into this game is how the Warriors will handle the pressure and attention that comes with playing in the Corky Kell. Cherokee will also go toe to toe with some of the best athletes in Georgia when the Panthers travel to Forsyth County.

*September 11th: Sequoyah @ Cherokee* - The Warriors and Chiefs are familiar foes since they have played each other for the past 4 seasons. Sequoyah has historically been a run first team, and with the return of Coach Teter, we expect that to remain the same. This game will test the Warriors run defense early in the season.

September 18th: Rome @ Cherokee – Rome has historically been a powerhouse program, and with QB Caleb Ellard returning for his Senior year, The Wolves expect to keep their high-powered offense rolling in 2020. Rome only allowed 13 points per game last season, the Warriors will have to prove themselves on offense and defense in this one.

*September 25th: Cherokee @ Creekview* - Creekview is one of the most balanced teams in the state. The Grizzlies feature Senior QB Brody Rhodes to lead the offense and lots of depth on the defensive side. Cherokee will matchup incredibly well with Creekview and this game will be one of the most exciting games in the county this year.

*October 2nd: Cartersville @ Cherokee* - Cartersville is another powerhouse program with lots of recent success. The Canes beat Cherokee last season 28-7, and the Warriors will have to do better on offense this season to pull off the upset. Cartersville has plenty of returning talent this year, however they will have to find a new QB to replace Tee Webb. This game will be the biggest test for the Cherokee offense thus far.

October 16th: Woodstock @ Cherokee - This game features one of the lesser known rivalries in Cherokee County. This will be the first game for Cherokee in their new region. Woodstock is coming off a down year, winning only 2 wins last season. The Wolverines did keep the Warriors in check last season, only allowing Cherokee to score 13 points. Woodstock has lots of returning talent with QB Walker Ormsby, RB V’ontae Hampton, WR Wes Bruno, and S David Daniel all for their Senior seasons. That experience should help the Wolverines in this rivalry game           

*October 30th: Cherokee @ Etowah* - This game was one of the best matchups all season last year. Etowah was able to pull out an overtime win over the Warriors last season that pushed them down to the 3 seed in the region, Cherokee will be looking for revenge in 2020. The Eagles have former Roswell head coach Matt Kemper taking over this season and will have to replace QB Dalton Miller. Etowah will look very different this season, but still have the talent and pedigree to put together a strong effort against the Warriors.

GHSA allows fall sports to return

The GHSA (Georgia High School Association) voted unanimously to allow fall sports to return, with a few changes.

 

All fall sports, except for Football, will begin the season on time. That includes Softball, Cross Country, Cheerleading, and Volleyball. These sports will play a full schedule and a full playoff bracket with no changes to the dates or times. 

 

The football schedule has been pushed back by two weeks, moving the first games from August 21st to September 4th. Teams will be allowed to play scrimmage games on August 21st and August 28th. The teams will also play the full 10 game season, with a full 5 week playoff at the end of the regular season. 

 

Our Cherokee County Game of the Week schedule now looks like this

 

September 2nd: Cherokee @ Carver (Corky Kell 5:30 P.M.)

September 4th: Creekview @ Etowah

September 11th: Sequoyah @ Cherokee

September 18th: Etowah @ River Ridge

September 25th: Cherokee @ Creekview

October 2nd: Cartersville @ Cherokee

October 9th: BYE WEEK

October 16th: Creekview @ Sequoyah

October 23rd: River Ridge @ Creekview

October 30th: Cherokee @ Etowah 

November 6th: Etowah @ Woodstock

November 13th: Milton @ Woodstock

November 20th: FLEX GAME
November 27th: 1st Round of Playoffs

December 4th: 2nd Round of Playoffs

Atlanta Braves 2020 Schedule

The Atlanta Braves have released their schedule for the 2020 season.  The season will begin on the road against long time rival, the New York Mets, on July 24th.

 

Following that series, the Braves will head to Florida for a 2 game stint against the Tampa Bay Rays before hosting them at Truist Park for 2 games to finish the 4 game series. 

 

The Braves will play for 20 days straight before seeing the first off day on August 13th. 

 

The back half of the schedule has many more off days scheduled in, with the last week in August having 2 off days within 4 days of each other. 

 

The Braves will be facing the same opponents throughtout the year, only playing the National Leauge East teams (New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Philidelphia Phillies, and the Miami Marlins) as well as the American Leauge East (New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Baltimore Orioles). 

 

All of these games will be broadcast on air at 101.1 WLJA FM. 

Pickens County Football Schedule Preview

The Pickens Dragons are coming off a winning season with a postseason appearance with first year head coach Jeff Nelson. The Dragons were led by Senior QB C.J. Streicher who led the team in rushing and passing yards. On defense, they were led by Seniors T.C. Jarrett and Alex Snelgrove who kept the Dragons in a position to win.

 

Moving into this season, Pickens has moved into a new region, with new opponents, and will rely on some new faces to lead the team to success. As always with our 2020 schedule previews, these games are subject to change due to COVID-19.

 

August 21st Gilmer @ Pickens

August 28th Pickens @ Chattooga

September 4th Pickens @ White County

September 11th Coosa @ Pickens

September 18th Pickens @ Union County

October 2nd Pickens @ Cedartown

October 9th Ridgeland @ Pickens

October 16th Pickens @ Central (Carrolton)

October 30th Heritage @ Pickens

November 6th Northwest Whitfield @ Pickens

 

Somethings never get old, and the Gilmer/Pickens Rivalry is a prime example. Everyone will be excited for the season to begin, but the buzz around town will be even bigger due to the magnitude of this rivalry. Gilmer has moved down to 3A classification, so these teams are no longer in the same region. Gilmer is coming off a season when they won their first game in 4 years, largely thanks to first year head coach Kevin Saunders. However, the Dragons took care of business against the Bobcats last year and brought home another win with a score of 35-23. Gilmer only graduated 5 Seniors last year, meaning they will have lots of continuity from last season.

 

A new opponent for the Dragons this year will be the Chattooga Indians. Chattooga had moderate success last year, going 5-5 in the season and losing in the first round of the playoffs. Chattooga was a run first team last season, with Sophomore RB Lashaun Lester racking up over 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, they graduated 13 players that they will need to replace. The Dragons will need to limit the running game in this matchup to bring home a win.

 

The Dragons will make a trip to Cleveland to play the White County Warriors. White County was able to get the best of Pickens last year (27-20), even though they had a losing season (4-6) and missed the playoffs. White has Jben Haynes returning for his Senior Season after he led the Warriors in rushing and passing yards in 2019.  Pickens will need to keep him contained and force the ball out of his hands quickly. 

 

Pickens will host the Coosa Eagles for their 4th game of the season. Coosa is coming off a rough season, only winning one game against Armuchee. However, Coosa only graduated 5 Seniors, so this team should be ready and familiar with each other. One big change is new head coach Joey Mathis after Coach Todd Wheeler resigned after 7 seasons with the Eagles. Coach Mathis comes from Marion County in Tennessee with two postseason appearances.

 

The Dragons will hit the road and head to Blairsville to face the Union County Panthers. The Panthers have been one of the most successful teams in North Georgia with a 9-win season in 2018 and a 10-win season in 2019. They are losing a big part of their offense with Pierson Allison graduated, as well as 16 other Seniors. This game will be interesting to see if the Panthers are able to repeat their success, and if the Dragons are good enough to compete with them.

 

Pickens will open their region schedule with a trip to Cedartown to play the Bulldogs. Cedartown finished the season last year with a 5-5 record and a postseason appearance. The Bulldogs graduated 9 Seniors last year but have 13 rising Seniors to replace them.  New Head Coach Jamie Abrams will have 13 Rising Seniors to work with this season. Abrams comes from McEachern where he served as Defensive Coordinator.

 

Next on the schedule is an old foe that has joined Pickens in the new region, Ridgeland. The Panthers had an interesting year, losing every non-region game and winning all but one region game. Ridgeland will look very different this year after graduating 20 Seniors. Pickens lost to Ridgeland in 2019 41-28, helping the Panthers secure the first seed. A familiar opponent with a different roster will be an interesting dynamic for this game.

 

Another region game will take the Dragons to Carrolton to play the Central Lions. The Lions had a rough season last year, only winning 3 games all season. Central will have to replace Senior QB Kashif Taylor and Senior RB Braden Dunson. These two combined for most of the Lions offensive ability last season. The Dragon defense will need to put pressure on the younger players replacing these two.

 

The Dragons will close the season with two games at home. They will host the Heritage Generals for the last game of October. Heritage finished second in the region last year after losing to Ridgeland but managed to finish the season with an 8-2 record and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Pickens and Heritage played a close game last season (21-20) with the Generals taking the win. Heritage will rely on rising Senior Nick Hanson to lead the General offense this season. He threw for over 1700 yards and had 19 touchdowns on the year. Hanson only thew 5 interceptions last year, but the Dragons defense will need to force him to make more mistakes than normal to beat the Generals high powered offense.

 

The final game of the season will pit the Dragons against the Northwest Whitfield Bruins. Northwest had a successful season last year, finishing the regular season with a record of 7-3. However, they finished 4th in the region after losing to Pickens last season. The Bruins have lots to be excited about this season, as QB Owen Brooker is returning for his Sophomore season. He started all 11 games last season and racked up over 1500 yards. He will need to run the ball more as Head Coach Josh Robinson moves the offense to an RPO style. The Dragons will be put to the test against him but proved last season they were up to the task.

 

We’ll once again be covering the Pickens Dragons on our Pickens County Coaches Show with Will Cooper and Coach Nelson, as well as here on our website every week.

Braves Baseball is back

After months of negotiation between the MLB Players Association and the owners, Major League Baseball is back. Our Atlanta Braves will host spring training starting July 1st, while they open the season on July 23rd or 24th and we will be carrying all the action on air at 101.1 FM WLJA. This year will look very different from a normal season, so let us get you up to speed on the 2020 MLB Season.

 

First, the schedule looks very different. In an effort to limit travel, the Braves schedule will only be against the NL East (Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Mets) and the AL East (New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Baltimore Orioles). The Braves will play 10 games against each of the NL East teams and 4 games against each of the AL East teams, for a total of 60 games.

 

The rules have also changed for this season.  The biggest change being that the National League will be using a Designated Hitter so that the Pitcher will no longer have to bat. If a game goes to extra innings, a runner will be put on second base at the beginning of that inning. Also, if a game is cancelled due to a rain delay, the game will resume the next day from where they left off instead of starting over. The final rule change is that a relief pitcher will have to face at least 3 batters before being switched out, this rule should help the game move a little faster.

 

Finally, each team will have a 60 man “player pool”. This allows a team to have a regular 30-man roster, while also having 30 players ready to come up if a player is injured or sick. There is no Minor League Baseball this year, so the Braves will be using Coolray Field, the home of the Braves AAA affiliate the Gwinnett Stripers, to keep the extra 30 players game ready. If you would like to see the roster you can see it here: https://twitter.com/Braves/status/1277345291902095361

2020 High School Football Schedule

The WLJA Sports team is proud to announce our 2020 Cherokee County High School Football broadcast schedule for this fall. All these games are subject to change due to COVID-19.

 

August 19th         Cherokee @ Carver 

August 21st         Creekview @ Etowah

August 28th        Sequoyah @ Cherokee

September 4th    Etowah @ River Ridge

September 11th  Cherokee @ Creekview

September 18th  Cartersville @ Cherokee

September 24th          BYE WEEK  

October 2nd         Creekview @ Sequoyah

October 9th         River Ridge @ Creekview

October 16th           Cherokee @ Etowah

October 23rd       Etowah @ Woodstock

October 30th       Milton @ Woodstock

November 6th            FLEX GAME

 

We have some exciting changes for this season, first being we have been given special access to the Corky Kell game on August 19th between Cherokee and Carver. This will be the first high school Football game in the state of Georgia and will take place at West Forsyth High School. Dave Garner and Will Cooper will have the call.

 

Our crew will come back and call the first meeting between Creekview and Etowah. The Eagles are welcoming new Head Coach Matt Kemper from Roswell to the Eagles Nest, while second year coach Trevor Williams is looking to get the Grizzlies back to the postseason. Both teams have lost lots of talent recently, but both teams also have a history of success. Will Cooper and Larry Prather will have the call.

 

Next, Cherokee will host the Sequoyah Chiefs. Cherokee is coming off a postseason run that ended with a tough loss to Archer in the second round of the playoffs. Coach Josh Shaw will have lots of offensive weapons back with A.J. Swann and Keith Adams Jr. Sequoyah has lost lots of talent, but veteran head coach James Teter can keep the team running smoothly with the help of rising Seniors Jack Blackman and Jaden Mitchell. Dave Garner and Larry Prather will have the call.

 

Then the crew will venture to River Ridge High School, as the Knights host the Eagles. River Ridge has lots of upside, especially looking at second year head coach Mike Collins and RB Amehre Morrison. Etowah and River Ridge have played each other the past two seasons, with the Eagles taking both games. This year will challenge the Eagles as the have to replace Dalton Miller and Jackson Manns on the offense. River Ridge will also need to find a new QB after the graduation of Chase Begin.

 

Our next stop is The Grizzly Den at Creekview. One of the lesser known rivalries in the county, but Cherokee and Creekview games tend to be extremely physical. These teams have not played each other since 2017, but they have scrimmaged for the past two seasons. Creekview will have LB Isaac Hubert back to anchor the Grizzly defense after a 9.5 sack season. Cherokee will need to pay close attention to him to have success on offense.

 

We stick with the Warriors for this week, as they host a juggernaut in high school football, the Cartersville Canes. Cartersville beat Cherokee by 21 points last year, with Cherokee only managing to score one touchdown. Cherokee will also need help on defense from Senior LBs Braesen Parker and Alonzo Upshaw. This will truly test how good the Warriors are before they move into their region schedule.

 

You have probably noticed by now that there is a bye week built into the schedule. For the first time, no Cherokee County Football will be played that week due to the scheduled Fall Break. Our crew will take that week to prepare for the second half of our schedule. 

 

We start of “Rivalry Month” with the Battle of Hickory Flat. Creekview vs Sequoyah, the Grizzlies owned the rivalry for close to a decade with a record of 8-2, the only losses coming in 2016 and 2017. The Chiefs will look to change that as they host this rivalry for the second year in a row. Creekview will rely on Senior QB Brody Rhodes to distribute the ball offensively. He has lots of weapons to go to with Seniors Dawson Currie, Cole Hasty, and Andrew Cloy to name a few. Sequoyah will need to run the ball well to keep the ball away from the Grizzly offense and control the game clock.

 

Our next game is not a rivalry. However, River Ridge vs Creekview is a region game, and it is an important game in the county. Both teams have moved to a new region together and both will be fighting for a playoff spot. River Ridge nearly upset the Grizzlies last year but came up just short.

 

Next on the list is another under the radar rivalry game. Cherokee and Etowah have both been extremely successful recently, and as a result, the games tend to be exciting and close. This game went to overtime last year and kept the Warriors from getting the first seed in the region. These two teams were also the only playoff teams in our county last year. The big question is what the Eagles will do to limit the Cherokee Offense and what they will do to replace Dalton Miller. This game is sure to have playoff implications.

 

We finish our rivalry series with the Battle of Towne Lake. This game is one of the top, if not the top, rivalry game in the county. This is our first visit with Woodstock, who is coming off an extremely disappointing season. Coach Brent Budde will look to get back on track this season with help from 4-star safety David Daniel on defense. Possibly one of the most interesting storylines going into this game is how Coach Kemper will handle a rivalry game of this magnitude in his first season in the county.

 

Our season will finish with two region games with major playoff implications. We will be back with the Wolverines on October 30th as they face the Milton Eagles. Milton is coming off an 8-2 season where the lost in the second round of the playoffs to Marietta.  Woodstock will undoubtably have their hands full with a powerhouse program like Milton. 

 

The final game of our season is still yet to be decided. The reason for this is that 5 of the 6 Cherokee County High Schools will host home games and we want to choose the one with the biggest playoff implications. The games we have to choose from are:

Milton @ Cherokee

Johns Creek @ Creekview

Alpharetta @ Etowah

Cambridge @ River Ridge

Centennial @ Sequoyah

Woodstock @ Roswell

 

Our crew this year will once again be led by Dave Garner and Coach Larry Prather.  The duo has been working together for almost 20 years, and they still are going strong. Will Cooper will also return for his 3rd season with the crew to fill in for the guys whenever needed. Our Coverage begins at 7 P.M. each Friday Night, with kickoff at 7:30 P.M. 

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