Closing in on the finish line of the winter sports season, North Cobb has a lot to look back on and celebrate heading into the final three months of the school year.
Much of the celebrating has to do with the success of the boys and girls basketball teams, which advanced into Saturday’s Class AAAAAA semifinals at Georgia Tech. The boys will face Norcross, with the girls encountering North Gwinnett for a spot in the championship game.
But before those runs, it was the football and volleyball teams garnering appreciation from North Cobb fans after both of those teams reached the semifinals of their state tournaments, too.
Along with the boys cross country team placing 10th and the girls 14th at the state meet — their best state finishes ever — North Cobb is having a year to remember.
“For myself, who’s been a 12-year teacher at North Cobb, there is a lot of excitement around here right now,” volleyball coach James Auld said. “From the daily morning announcements and seeing the students in the hallways, there is a lot of pride in what every one of our teams have accomplished.
“We want to keep the roll going and keep this level of success going. It’s the first time some of these teams have seen this kind of excitement, and it makes us all want to see it continue.”
The excitement began with the Lady Warriors’ volleyball team, which went 35-15 before losing to eventual state champion Walton in the semifinals.
Next, it was cross country recording its best seasons of their programs’ history. Tyra Holloway finished eighth in the girls state meet and was the Region 4AAAAAA individual champion.
Then came football, which won a state playoff game for the first time in its history and moved on to its first state semifinal in the process. The Warriors went 11-3 on the season and averaged more than 40 points a game before losing to Lovejoy in the final four.
Softball nearly got in on the act, but lost out on a state playoff berth due to region tiebreaker scenarios.
The basketball teams’ runs to the semifinals have renewed an energy around the North Cobb athletic department that was last seen during football season.
“All of my football guys are pretty close to the basketball guys,” football coach Shane Queen said. “Leon Jordan is one of the guys on my team that’s getting a lot of playing time in basketball. I imagine he’s having a great senior year with both of his teams doing well.
“It’s been fun to watch all of this success. The basketball team has some success last year, so we just have to keep building. (Boys basketball coach Terry) Gorsuch is a tremendous coach, and (girls basketball) coach (Matt) Williams does an excellent job as well on the girls side and works with our team in P.E. I’m not surprised at all that those guys are having this level of success.”
Auld is proud that his volleyball players have returned the support that the basketball team gave his squad.
“Our girls have been to the (basketball) games on a regular basis,” he said. “Girls came out for football, too, in that cold final four game at Lovejoy. As fall sports, we get great student support from the other teams, and our girls are more than excited to reciprocate.”
Auld also credited the administration for their support in helping all of the teams achieve success.
“It starts at the top,” he said. “We have a great deal of support from our administration, and that’s invaluable. As coaches, knowing we have that frees us up to do our job for our student-athletes.”