local

Buford football trio honored by TD Club of Atlanta

Buford seniors Omar Hunter and T.J. Pridemore, as well as Wolves head coach Jess Simpson, will be honored Feb. 9 at The Touchdown Club of Atlanta's 70th Annual Awards Banquet.

Hunter will receive the Bobby Dodd National High School Lineman of the Year Award and Pridemore will receive the Metro Atlanta Defensive Back of the Year Award, given to a top linebacker or DB. Simpson will get the state's Coach of the Year Award for all classifications.

The banquet also will honor college award winners, including coaches Al Groh, Sylvester Croom and George O'Leary and players Tim Tebow of Florida and Glenn Dorsey of LSU.

Buford's Kellogg to sign with Shorter football

Buford senior Andy Kellogg will sign a letter of intent with Shorter College on Wednesday's National Signing Day. He is the eighth Buford player to commit to a college football program.

Kellogg played offensive line for Buford's 2007 Class AA state championship team. The Wolves' football signees will be honored in a ceremony at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Buford gym.

Wesleyan's Smith an academic All-American

Wesleyan senior Betsy Smith, a Florida signee, has been named to the 2007 PrepVolleyball.com Academic All-American Team as a first-teamer. She was one of only eight selections nationally for the first team.

Smith, Georgia's Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior, led the Wolves to four state titles in her career. She has won three Academic Excellence Awards her first three years of high school as Wesleyan's top female student in her grade. She also is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta.

North wrestling picks up two wins

OAKWOOD - The North Gwinnett wrestling team defeated West Hall 59-16 and Meadowcreek 83-0 on Wednesday at West Hall.

Greg Epps, Cody Franklin, Corey Newman, Alex Reffett, Warren Roberts and Steve Buffington all won by pin against West Hall. David Singletary, and Michael Hagen won by decision and Jamal Shelton won by technical fall.

Against Meadowcreek, Buffington, S. Epps, Singletary, Franklin, Jamal Shelton, Daniel Cole, Newman, Alex Daube, Hagen, Travis Sheehy, Roberts, D. Bowen and J. Vasqer all picked up wins.

Norcross Soccer's Struble gets coaching honor

Yon Struble, who coaches at the Norcross Soccer Academy, was named the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III Girls Recreational Coach of the Year on Wednesday. Struble has coaching U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams for nine years.

Jones gets Tallulah Falls award

Dacula resident Chelsea Jones, who attends the Tallulah Falls School, was named the school's Indian of the Week this week for her contributions to the girls basketball team. The private school is located in Tallulah Falls in North Georgia.

state

Falcons add Boudreau as offensive line coach

ATLANTA - New Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith continues to shape his coaching staff, this time by adding Paul Boudreau as offensive line coach.

Boudreau (BOO-droh) has 21 years of NFL coaching experience, most recently as offensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams for the last two years. In 2006, Boudreau's St. Louis line paved the way for Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson to rush for more than 1,500 yards and Pro Bowl quarterback Marc Bulger to pass for more than 4,000 yards.

national

Former Ohio State coach O'Brien cleared to return to sidelines

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jim O'Brien, fired by Ohio State and essentially banned from coaching by the NCAA for paying a recruit, can return to the college sidelines after an appeal changed his punishment.

An NCAA ruling on March 10, 2006, all but prevented any colleges from hiring O'Brien until May 2009.

But in a decision released Thursday, an appeals committee changed the start date of the sanctions against the coach, making him free to return to coaching effective March 10.

O'Brien has dabbled in broadcasting since his dismissal.

Paul, West give hometown

Hornets two All-Stars

NEW YORK - Chris Paul and David West were picked for their first All-Star game Thursday night, giving the hometown Hornets a pair of players for the event New Orleans will host next month.

Detroit, Phoenix and Washington also had multiple players chosen as reserves for the Feb. 17 game. Boston will only send two of its Big Three to the Big Easy. Paul Pierce was voted in by Eastern Conference head coaches to join starter Kevin Garnett, but Ray Allen fell short.

The Pistons' Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton are headed back for the third straight year, while the Suns will be represented by Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison also were recognized for their strong play, which has kept the Wizards in the middle of the playoff race despite the absence of injured guard Gilbert Arenas.

Toronto's Chris Bosh and Atlanta guard Joe Johnson were the other players picked for the East, which will be coached by Boston's Doc Rivers. Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, the reigning NBA MVP, Utah's Carlos Boozer and Portland guard Brandon Roy were selected from the West.