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HAMMOCK: A look around Gwinnett

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

The inaugural all-county diving team appears in this edition of the Daily Post, which I know Bettie Hudson appreciates greatly.

A longtime diving coach for Gwinnett County Public Schools, Hudson has been a huge advocate for the sport, so she will enjoy the GDP’s new all-county diving package (in the past the swimmers and divers were lumped into the same all-county team).

Maybe that can be our farewell gift to Hudson, who retired after this past season. Her official send-off came at the Gwinnett County Swim and Dive Booster Club banquet Tuesday night, when she was feted with some parting gifts and a well-deserved standing ovation.

Hudson, who qualified for Olympic Trials as a young diver, put tons of energy into the GCPS diving program the last 13 years, making it relevant on the statewide scene. In her final season, she and the other five GCPS diving coaches had five girls and seven boys finish in the Class AAAAA top 10.

Hudson still plans to judge diving meets and coach with the parks and recreation department, along with her work at BoTH Awards, the shop she and her husband Tom opened in Lilburn in 1977. She also has some extra time to spend with her seven grandchildren.

Here are some thoughts on other Gwinnett happenings of late:

Jason Croom may not have received the most ink after the Norcross boys won the Class AAAAA basketball championship last week, but he played a major role. Strong and athletic, the 6-foot-4 junior scored 11 points and used his size and quickness to disrupt nationally ranked Milton on the defensive end. It’s easy to see why colleges love him as a wide receiver in football.

Brookwood grad Ronnie Freeman, the owner of college baseball’s longest hitting streak for much of this season, saw it end at 42 games last week. That’s still pretty impressive and couldn’t have happened for a nicer kid.

Greater Atlanta Christian soccer is better than ever, with both the boys and girls teams ranked No. 1 in Class AA. They both have good shots at finishing the season there, too.

If you love high school baseball, plan a trip to Coolray Field this Saturday. The Gwinnett Braves’ home will host a tripleheader beginning at noon — Brookwood-Redan, Parkview-Dunwoody and Hebron-George Walton.

Will Hammock can be reached via e-mail at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock.