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2007 Year In Review

Moore goes out on top

Maya Moore cemented her place as one of the top basketball players in Georgia history by leading Collins Hill to a third state championship in March.

The Eagles finished the season 31-0 and ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today, giving them the mythical national title. Moore finished her high school career with an impressive 125-3 record.

The senior forward also picked up every individual honor imaginable. Moore was named the Daily Post's Player of the Year for the third time, Miss Georgia Basketball, a McDonald's All-American and the national Naismith Player of the Year, also for the second time.

A freshman now on the University of Connecticut basketball team, Moore hasn't missed a step at the college level. UConn is ranked No. 1 in the nation with Moore averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds.

Brookwood's Peek's death, South's Crane's injury shock Snellville

It was supposed to be the week that the Brookwood football team focused on spring practice. Instead the Broncos' community was coping with the death of quarterback Daniel Peek.

Peek was in a one-car accident on the night of May 5. The Broncos' QB sustained brain injuries and was in critical condition until his death on May 9.

If battling in Region 8-AAAAA wasn't hard enough, South Gwinnett also had to overcome a severe injury to one of its players.

Arquevious Crane was playing in a junior varsity football game for the Comets on Sept. 20 when he suffered a spinal cord injury.

The junior is out of the hospital and is recovering at home.

McCann selected to all-star game again

How do you follow up your first full season in the bigs in which you were an all-star? For Atlanta Braves Brian McCann it was easy - make another all-star appearance.

The Duluth grad was the selected to his second Mid-Summer Classic as the National League's catcher. McCann was batting .262 with nine home runs and 49 RBIs at the all-star break to earn the nod. McCann finished the season with a .270 average, 18 home runs and 92 RBIs.

Irons brothers selected in NFL draft

Kenny and David Irons always dreamed of one day playing in the National Football League. On April 28 and 29 it became a reality.

Kenny was selected in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals, while David was picked in the sixth round by the Atlanta Falcons.

The Dacula grads have had contrasting years since the draft. Kenny injured his knee in the Bengals' preseason opener and has been on the injured reserved since August.

David has emerged as a special teams star for the Falcons. The former Auburn defensive back led the team in special teams tackles with 13.

Norcross boys repeat in hoops, Lawal named All-American

With a line-up filled with Division I players, the Norcross boys basketball team defended its Class AAAAA state championship.

The Blue Devils got 31 points and 14 rebounds from current Georgia Tech player Gani Lawal as they defeated Centennial 59-58.

Norcross finished No. 12 in the country in the final USA Today poll. Lawal was selected to the prestigious McDonald's All-American Game, where he scored 12 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.

The four other starters on the Norcross state championship team were Tony Neysmith (Oklahoma), Jordan DeMercy (Florida State), Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest) and Taariq Muhammad.

Francoeur wins Gold Glove award

In just two and a half years of MLB competition, the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur has gained a reputation as one of the game's top defensive right fielders.

The Parkview grad now has the hardware to go with the reputation as he was awarded a Gold Glove, given annually to the top defensive player at each position.

In addition to receiving the award, Francoeur also married his high school sweetheart Catie McCoy in November, just days before receiving the Gold Glove.

Francoeur also had his No. 12 Parkview baseball jersey retired in April.

Gladiators' Schell, Awe earn honors

The 2006-07 season wasn't what Gwinnett Gladiators had hoped for, losing in the first round of the ECHL playoffs to Texas.

But two Gladiator players put up great individual seasons and their play was recognized by the league.

Brad Schell was named ECHL MVP after tallying 25 goals and 85 assists. Jon Awe was named the league's rookie of the year after amassing 24 goals and 32 assists.

Curran, Heyward, Hall make impact at college football level

After successful high school careers, three Gwinnett grads made major impacts at the college football level.

Rennie Curran (Brookwood), Cameron Heyward (Peachtree Ridge) and Chad Hall (Wesleyan) helped guide their teams to new heights this year.

After playing sparingly at linebacker, Curran stepped up for Georgia against Florida. The two-time Daily Post Defensive Player of the Year posted five tackles and two tackles for losses in the Bulldogs' rare win over the Gators. Since then Curran has become a starter at outside linebacker and has 46 tackles, earning freshman All-SEC honors.

After leading Peachtree Ridge to a share of the Class AAAAA state championship, Heyward has stepped in as a productive player for Ohio State. The defensive end has 30 tackles, nine tackles for losses and 2 1/2 sacks for the Buckeyes, who play LSU in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7.

Was there anything Hall didn't do for Air Force? The senior led the team in rushing, receiving, kick returns and scoring. The running back/receiver was named Mountain West Player of the Year after rushing for 1,415 yards, making 46 catches for 488 yards and gaining 601 yards in punt and kickoff returns. He scored 15 touchdowns.

Hall had 99 yards of total offense and one TD in the Falcons' loss in the Armed Forces Bowl on Monday.

Force returns to Gwinnett

After a three-year absence, the Georgia Force announced its return to Gwinnett County in July.

The Force first played at the Gwinnett Arena in 2003-04, but after Arthur Blank bought the team, it moved to Philips Arena. The defending Southern Division champs will once against play their games at the Gwinnett Arena with the season kicking off March 1 against Dallas.

Collins Hill's Drouin ends impressive high school career

Not since Brookwood's Marny Westphal in the late 1980s has there been a more accomplished high school runner than Jackie Drouin.

The Collins Hill distance runner finished her high school career with nine individual state championships, which is second to Westphal's county-best 10 titles.

Drouin won three cross country state championships from 2004-06 and six titles in track. Drouin capped off her high school career in May with state titles in the 3,200 and 1,600-meter races.

Drouin was also a part of six team state champions, four in cross country and two in track and field.

Great year for high school football

It started off with Brookwood running back Kenny Miles running crazy over teams and it ended with the inaugural Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star Football Game. In between Buford won its fourth state title in six years and North Gwinnett reached the state finals for the first time in school history.

Needless to say it was an exciting year in Gwinnett County football.

Miles finished with 2,544 yard rushing, which is good for the third-most in county history and the 10th-highest in state history.

Buford got over its playoff nemesis Charlton County in the quarterfinals of the Class AA playoffs and then destroyed its last two opponents of the season.

The Wolves won the state championship with a 50-0 victory over Lovett. Buford outscored its opponents 681-66 as it finished 15-0.

North Gwinnett capped the best season in the school's 50-year history with a 13-2 record a No. 2 ranking in Class AAAAA.

A week after the state championship game, the season concluded with the first-ever all-star game in Gwinnett County. The teams were coached by Gwinnett coaching legends Dave Hunter (Brookwood) and Tally Johnson (Central Gwinnett) and featured the top senior players in the county.