Eagles recognized nationally by SI

The 2009-10 school year is only weeks away from beginning, but one Gwinnett County high school is still receiving accolades for its athletic teams' achievements during the 2008-09 year.

Collins Hill was included among Sports Illustrated's top 10 high school programs for the completed school year, ranking No. 7.

The publication determined its list based on state championships, Division I scholarship athletes and success on and off the field.

Collins Hill had teams win state titles in girls cross country, wrestling (both duals and traditional tournament) and boys soccer in 2008-09, while the Eagles' boys cross country and girls track teams were state runners-up.

Individually, Florida State signee Amanda Winslow won the Class AAAAA state cross country championship and titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in track.

The Eagles also featured a host of other individual athletes to earn Division I college scholarships, including boys basketball player Jeremy Olsen (Utah) for this upcoming season and football player Charles Perkins (Georgia Tech) for 2010. In addition, rising seniors wrestlers T.J. Mitchell and Joel Smith carry national rankings, as does Winslow.

"It's a tribute to our school and the hard work of our principal (Glenn McFall), our coaches and, of course, our student-athletes," Collins Hill athletic director Roland Wallace said.

This is the second time in the past three school years Collins Hill has been honored by Sports Illustrated after earning a No. 9 ranking in 2006-07.

Oddly enough, the school had its lowest ranking this past year in the GADA Dodge Directors Cup standings in several years. The Eagles did, however, win the Class AAAAA Directors Cup in 2005-06 and were not recognized by Sports Illustrated.

Collins Hill finished 14th in Class AAAAA this past school year, with four Gwinnett schools - Parkview, Brookwood, Peachtree Ridge, Mill Creek and Grayson - finishing ahead of it. Wesleyan also won the Directors Cup in Class A, while GAC was fourth in Class AA.