Editor's note: While on vacation in Seattle for the holiday weekend, I called up Newton head coach Rick Rasmussen to talk about how he thought summer went for the Rams' basketball team. Rasmussen talks about the Rams' new style of play, how this team compares to his most recent final four team and if they're a high school copy of the Golden State Warriors.
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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Speaking to head coach Ashley Coles after her team became the runner up in region 2-AAAAAA, she was confident her team could advance to the second round. Those expectations, although they were not met were very realistic. The Lady Rams came into the first round with an 13-15 record and Tift came into the matchup with an 11-17 record. After Tift's sweep against Newton the two teams finished with identical records. Coles recaps her first year as head coach and speaks on the future of the program in this Q&A.
Newton's softball team fresh off asecond place finish in the Region 2-AAAAAA tournament hosted the first round matchup of the Georgia AAAAAA state playoffs against Tift County.
Artice Hobbs and Josh Slaton have been selected as the athletes of the week for their respective schools. Newton and Alcovy played on Friday. These two players stood out amongst their peers. Eastside played late on Saturday, after press deadline; the Eagles' Athlete of the Week will be named at www.covnews.com on Monday.
Without two of their usual starters, senior receiver Davonta Jones and defensive back Steven Montac, the Rams were able to fend off a scrappy Alcovy team and cruise to a 33-7 victory. Within the game Newton was able to realize the depth it has at quarterback and at running back. The Tigers saw that they're not without promise on defense and that turnovers are still a problem.
Romario Johnson looks off to the sideline as the rest of the offense gets set. The coaches are signaling to Johnson with an array of arm movements, not a play but a playlist. In Rams' coach Terrance Banks' spread offense the quarterback is the key to the offense's success. Johnson gets the options from the coaches, and it's up to him to read the defense's coverage and choose the best play.
The fourth Atlanta Falcons Heads Up Clinic of the fall took place at Newton High School on Monday night in Covington. This clinic included 112 parents in attendance during the informational session and 194 youth participants.
The saying goes numbers never lie, that saying is inaccurate. Numbers won't necessarily lie, but they won't tell you the full story.
Sunday is for the NFL, Saturday is for college football, but Friday? Friday is for the gridiron warriors that eventually gravitate to college, and for some, the pros. Friday is for high school football.
Now it counts for real.
U.S. Baseball Academy is pleased to announce the opening of its Covington, GA location and the beginning of registration for its winter/spring program.
The Covington News has chosen Ciara Bryan as Newton High School's athlete of the week. Bryan plays shortstop for the Lady Rams. For the week of September 15, the Lady Rams went 2-0 in the region and Bryan helped by accumulating seven hits and two home runs.
Coming up this Friday is probably the biggest rematch in Newton history. The Rams are traveling down to face Lowndes - currently ranked No. 11 in the state by maxpreps.com - again after beating them 15-14 last year on the final play of the game that saw Davonta Jones catch a pass to tie the game before the extra point was good. The Covington News talked with Rams' head coach Terrance Banks about playing in that hostile environment and his preparation for another shocking win down in Valdosta.
Newton High School topped rival, Rockdale High School 10-5 on Tuesday evening. The Lady Rams dominated for much of the game, holding a 10-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Bulldogs showed heart and scored four runs in the seventh, but Newton closed the door and took the victory.
For the second week in a row, Newton's game got cancelled after almost one full quarter of play against Westlake. This game was supposed to be the one to test Newton, and see if its two wins weren't just wins because they were against weak competition. Although there was only a small sample size to judge from, as neither coach had the benefit of a halftime or end of a quarter to make adjustments, it was enough to see that the Rams are special. It was enough to make one believe that they can go down to Lowndes ...
There is a saying, 'the best defense is a good offense,' but there's another saying 'defense wins a championships.' Newton (2-0, Region 2-AAAAAA) subscribes more to the mantra of having a good offense, and Westlake (2-1, Region 3-AAAAAA) is more of a defensive juggernaut.