Newton lost star point guard D.J. Hill to college along with a number of other talented seniors, but the team isn't in a rebuilding state of mind. With the additions of freshmen Ashton Hagans and Colby Rogers plus the emergence of juniors J.D. Notae and Dante Johnson Newton will be a formidable bunch when the season starts.
The Newton Rams football team won its second 7-on-7 camp of the summer beating Dorman 22-14 at UGA. The AJC ranked Rams' receiver/defensive back Deandre Huff second overall of the top 10 performers at the camp. Running back Kurt Taylor Jr. was ranked 10th on the same list. The Rams will move on to South Carolina to play some of the best teams in the southeast.
At Newton, under head coach Rick Rasmussen, the boys' basketball team has notoriously ran a slow-paced pass heavy offense to minimize the opposing team's ability to exploit the Rams' lack of athleticism in transition. That ends this summer.
Azariah Foster has found a home for his future in track and field. Foster signed with Jackson State University this week where he will look to continue the success he's had at Newton. As a Ram, Jackson competed in the 110 and 300 hurdles. He placed fourth in the state in the 110, qualified for state in the 300 and also competed on the 4x400 relay team.
The Newton Rams football team went up to North Atlanta to win Cam Newton's 7-on-7 championship. Newton's next stop is a paid trip to Charlotte for the finals. Head coach Terrance Banks says the team is still a work in progress, as they look to dominate the summer before the regular season starts.
Newton girls basketball hosted a mini-camp for players in grades 4th - 12th this past week where players learned fundamentals, had fun and played some five-on-five basketball with teachings from the entire Lady Rams coaching staff.
At the FBU camp last weekend, Newton running back Kurt Taylor Jr. was named top running back in the entire camp. He was also invited to the prestigious Army All-American combine.
What a difference a year makes. Freshmen become sophomores, sophomores become juniors and juniors become seniors. With that caveat is a revolving door of athletes and coaches that come together to reach a common goal: win. There was a lot of the latter between the two bordering counties of Newton and Rockdale and we recap some of the best stories of the 2014-2015 academic year here.
Jeremiah Holloman might be the headliner right now for Newton track and field, but look past his individual accomplishments and you'll find a young Newton team that finished fourth overall at state this year.
When Newton sophomore Jeremiah Holloman placed fifth in the triple jump last year, he did so in disappointment to himself. Malik Franklin a former triple jump state champion for Newton, had been teasing Holloman about it in effort to motivate him. Franklin has a record distance of 48-10 and it's the record Holloman has been shooting for since the beginning of the season.
Beginning May 26 - 29, Newton girls basketball will host a camp at Newton from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for grades fourth through 12. The fee for the camp is $60 and includes a a snack/meal.
On Friday evening a little after 6 p.m. Newton students, parents and fans came out to watch the Rams hold their blue and white game, which is more of a glorified practice for people to come and watch than anything.
For any high school athlete, signing that national letter of intent to their respected college or university may be the best moment of their high school tenure. Usually that special moment comes somewhere during that athlete's senior year, but in some cases it can come after that. Well, how about nearly a year after graduation? Newton's 2014 forward Mercedes Booker finally got that moment as she will be taking her talents to Southern Crescent Technical College.
A number of Newton track and field athletes qualified to go to state, which takes the eight best times from sectionals. After pushing the team hard in practice throughout last week, coaches Demetrice Perry-Stokes and James Rolloson saw the hard work the girls put in pay off. Below you will find the times and the qualifiers for state.
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Coaching at any level of sports is a complicated task of its own, but helping teenage boys develop into mature young men on and off the basketball courts is another complex assignment.
Normally when a coach starts three or more freshman its by default and that team is probably in for a long season filled with a lot of mistakes. Newton's girls basketball team starts three freshmen, but is off to an 8-2 start this season and they'll only get better with time.
Newton faced its toughest competition of the season on Friday since beating Butler in an exhibition match before the regular season and it showed as Newton got blowed out 67-42 against Tucker.
Newton had put up a good fight. They were in it with Tucker the entire game, but the defending state champion Lady Tigers had taken a six point lead with just a couple of minutes remaining in the contest. To lose by a few points to a team that won a state championship last year would be an honorable moral victory. But the Lady Rams didn't want a moral victory. They wanted to make a statement.
More than just bragging rights are on the line for Friday night's Newton/Tucker matchup. Tucker, which was added to Region 2-AAAAAA this year, is pretty much a powerhouse in every high school sport and that doesn't change in basketball.
Facing a rival for the third straight game, Newton dominated once again, with the girls winning 54-52 and the boys winning 70-51.
The rivalry that exists between Eastside and Newton has been well documented. For any contest or sporting event that the two compete in, the ultimate goal is to beat the other one, the school across the county.
Salem's girls survived against a strong push from a promising Newton team with a bright future, but Newton's boys dealt the Seminoles their second loss of the season.
Newton, both the girls and the boys, got convincing victories over county rival Eastside. The girls started it off with a 76-51 victory and the boys followed it up by winning 57-43.
All good things must come to an end. Newton's outstanding playoff run ended on Friday after a devastating 43-29 loss to Etowah.
Before the season, Rams' head coach Terrance Banks talked a big game about his team. It had some wondering if he was just being arrogant or if there was actual truth to his words. The Rams just lost their last game of the season, going 2-1 in the playoffs, but it seems Banks was right about a lot.
This week is a special edition of our athletes of the week page. With Eastside and Alcovy basketball having away games, we decided that Newton's seniors would be the athletes of the week. All of Newton's seniors have made some type of impact on this season, but we can only highlight a few of them. Honorable mentions: Nuka Yobo and Steven Montac.
With five minutes and 31 seconds left Newton awaited a kickoff with the game tied at 29. It was everything the Rams wanted, until it wasn't.
All year long Newton football made its money on offense where Rams' head coach Terrance Banks had nine returning starters from last year's team. As the Black Knights know, the Rams live and die (mostly living) on the arms and legs of Romario Johnson. However, it's been the Rams' defense that has propelled the team to new heights in this year's playoffs.
They say pressure either makes pipes burst or it makes diamonds. Plenty of pressure was on Newton to follow up the win against Valdosta and solidify the Rams as a program to be reckoned with. The only pressure that showed against Central Gwinnett was the pressure from the Rams' defense.