Central Gwinnett's strong-legged kicker, Devin Sabina, got showered with attention for his game-winning, 52-yard field goal last week in the state playoffs.
The Black Knights' previous kicker with a powerful leg, Adi Brkic, has done pretty well lately, too.
Now a true freshman at West Georgia, Brkic had two field goals last Saturday as his team upset second-ranked and Division II power Valdosta State 29-15. The victory was the first by West Georgia, which finished the season 7-4, over its in-state rival since 1999.
The two-field goal day capped a stellar freshman season for Brkic, who scored 62 points to make him the only underclassmen in the Gulf South Conference's top-10 for scoring. He made 10 of 18 field-goal attempts and 32 of 36 extra points.
Brkic's booming kicks made an impact at the college level just as they did at Central. He converted 3 of 5 field goals from 50 yards and beyond, including a school-record 54-yarder on Sept. 30 against Arkansas Tech.
Conference USA honor
Parkview grad Joey Sturdivant made a season-high 10 tackles last Saturday and added a fumble recovery in Southern Methodist's 27-7 win over Rice, earning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week honors. The safety leads SMU with 85 tackles, 19 ahead of the No. 2 tackler and third overall in the conference. He also leads Conference USA in passes defended.
Sturdivant also received the Conference USA defensive honor earlier in the season after a win over Alabama-Birmingham. He is the only player in the league to win the weekly defensive honor multiple times this season.
Stewarts get SEC
Sisters Kristin and Jada Stewart, both Parkview grads, were named to the All-Tournament Team for last week's SEC Soccer Championships in Orange Beach, Ala. Only a No. 6 seed, the Tigers reached the championship match before falling 1-0 to Tennessee.
team to nationals
Alabama-Huntsville runner Caitlin Heider, a Central Gwinnett grad, led her team to a berth in the national championships with an 11th-place finish at last week's NCAA Division II South Regional in Dade City, Fla. Heider earned first team All-South Regional honors by finishing the 6K 11th in 22 minutes, 46 seconds, helping Alabama-Huntsville to third in the team standings.
Heider also earned All-Gulf South Conference honors earlier with a fifth-place finish at the conference meet. Her 5K time at the Gulf South race was 18:00, 16 seconds off the school record of 17:44 she set at this year's Auburn Invitational.
Providence Christian grad Allison Kreutzer, who runs at Clayton State, was fourth in the region meet and earned a spot at nationals. Kreutzer, the Division II runner-up last year, ran the 6K course in 21:36.
Buff, Geiger face
off in NCAA soccer
Vanderbilt's Monica Buff and Samford's Sara Geiger, former teammates at Parkview, met on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA women's soccer tournament. Another Parkview tie to the game was Samford head coach Todd Yelton, who coached the Panthers prior to current head coach Mark Albertus taking over.
Yelton, now Samford's all-time winningest coach in women's soccer, was named the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year last week.
GAC grad Luke Godleski, a runner at Berry College, placed fourth in the NAIA Region XIII/Southern States Athletic Conference Championships to earn first-team All-Region XIII honors. Godleski ran the 8,000-meter course in 28 minutes, 6 seconds. Reinhardt runner Brian Postma, a North Gwinnett grad, made second team All-Region XIII.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting the achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax to 770-339-8081.