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.
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.
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.