local

GAC-Wesleyan, UGA-Tech baseball moved to Thursday

Because of impending rain today, the high school and college baseball doubleheader scheduled at Turner Field has been moved to Thursday. It was originally scheduled for today.

The games will be played at the same scheduled times - Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Wesleyan at 4 p.m. and Georgia vs. Georgia Tech at 7 p.m.

South hires Dalton's Cochran as new soccer coach

South Gwinnett has hired veteran coach Chris Cochran as its new boys head soccer coach.

Cochran, 41, has spent the last 11 seasons at Dalton High School, where he was an assistant varsity coach and head junior varsity coach.

"I'm very excited," Cochran said. "I'm definitely familiar with Gwinnett, and I know about the wealth of talent that's there."

The Southeast Whitfield graduate will also be on South's football staff, where he will handle the defensive line and be the kicking coordinator.

Johnson awarded football scholarship at Shorter

Steven Johnson, a preferred walk-on last year for the Shorter football team, was awarded a football scholarship. The former Shiloh offensive lineman started all 10 games in the Hawks' inaugural season last year as the team finished 2-8.

South's Fleetwood named head coach at Indiana high school

Former South Gwinnett head boys basketball coach Roger Fleetwood, who announced his resignation from the school after his Comets were ousted in the first round of the state tournament in February, has taken a new job at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis.

Fleetwood, an Indiana native, will be taking over a program that struggled to a 6-15 record last season but has won its sectional (the equivalent of a region in Georgia) three times since 1999.

"The basketball in Georgia is great, the players are great," Fleetwood said, "but the neat thing about Indiana is every place you go people are talking about high school basketball. And it's all year long. I firmly believe Georgia basketball is as good as anywhere, but in Indiana, basketball is talked about like football is in Georgia."

During his memorable tenure at South, Fleetwood led the Comets to the 2004 state championship and to the state tournament each of his last four years at the school. Now he's back in his home state, hoping to achieve similar success with the Perry Meridian team, even though he knows he won't ever coach players like Louis Williams and Mike Mercer again.

"I think it's a good place to finish up," Fleetwood said. "I'm 55 now and I feel like I've got five to 10 years left in me."

Fleetwood will remain at South until school lets out for the summer on May 24.

Prep Rally recognizes Collins Hill's Earls, Brookwood's Douglass

This week's Gwinnett Prep Rally includes highlights from Greater Atlanta Christian-Atlanta International boys and Brookwood-Lassiter girls soccer along with Collins Hill-Chattahoochee and Dacula-Duluth baseball. Featured athletes are Collins Hill's Justin Earls and Brookwood's Natalie Douglass.

Gwinnett Prep Rally airs each Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Comcast Channel 25 and each Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on Charter Cable 19. It also airs on GCPS each Thursday at 10:30 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m.

Suwanee Sports Academy starts volleyball league for middle-schoolers

The Suwanee Sports Academy plans to launch the Atlanta Volleyball League in August as an option for middle school students. The cluster-based middle school league is designed to be a feeder program for area high school teams.

The league will be open to any girl in the seventh or eighth grade for the 2006-2007 school year. Play begins Aug. 17 and continues every Monday and Thursday through Sept. 28.

"The AVL will allow middle school athletes the opportunity to train and compete on a volleyball team with students that will attend their same high school," SSA director of volleyball Christy Howard said. "This league will help develop athletes and prepare teams as they work together to build a feeder program for their future high school teams."

state

Top-ranked UGA is No. 1 seed in East

ATLANTA - The defending national champion

Georgia men's golf team is the top seed in the NCAA East Regional field announced Tuesday.

Georgia, the top-ranked team this season, will play in the East Regional May 18-20 at the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla.

Ten teams from each of three regionals will advance to the NCAA championships May 31-June 3 in Sunriver, Ore.

The East Regional field also includes area rivals Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Auburn. Two other top 10 teams - No. 5 UCLA and No. 9 UNLV - will join Georgia as favorites in the field.

Fourth-ranked Georgia Tech is the No. 2 seed in the Central Regional to be played May 18-20 at Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio.

national

Claridge's death ruled accidental

LAS VEGAS - Former NFL lineman Travis Claridge had an intoxicating level of a painkiller in his system and an enlarged heart when he died accidentally in February, the coroner's office said Tuesday.

He played for Southern California and the Atlanta Falcons before joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League last year.

The 27-year-old player died of acute pneumonia, Clark County coroner's office spokeswoman Samantha Charles said. She added that drug intoxication and Claridge's heart condition were ''significant'' factors in his death.

The painkiller was oxycodone, an addictive substance that can depress the respiratory system while producing euphoria similar to narcotics like morphine and heroin.

- From staff, wire reports