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Gwinnett Grads: Gac's Thomas On A Scoring Binge Again

Men's Soccer vs. #21 Charlotte 

Men's Soccer vs. #21 Charlotte 

A sluggish start to the college soccer season didn't sit well with Chris Thomas, so he personally turned things around last weekend.

The Greater Atlanta Christian grad had two goals and two assists in a 5-0 victory over North Florida, giving his Elon University (N.C.) team its first win of the season after an 0-3-1 start. He came off the bench in the first half and immediately sparked an offensive outburst.

Thomas' big game brought the Southern Conference men's soccer player of the week honor two days later, and then he continued his strong play with a goal Wednesday in a victory over previously unbeaten Campbell.

The form of late is more of what Elon expects from Thomas, one of the most feared offensive players in the league. He was the SoCon player of the year last season after scoring 10 goals. He also scored 10 goals as a freshman in 2009, earning second-team all-conference honors that season.

Thomas was a two-time Daily Post player of the year at GAC, leading the Spartans to a state title his senior season with 53 goals. He scored 143 goals in his prep career.

SOCCER

Edwards off to quick start

Valdosta State won two thrillers last weekend and North Gwinnett grad Abbi Edwards played a huge part in both.

The freshman's one-touch goal in the second half gave the Blazers, who are playing their inaugural season, a 1-0 win over Coker College last Friday. Two days later, Edwards' nice assist on the second-half, game-winning goal gave VSU a 1-0 victory over Montevallo.

Quick kicks

Piedmont senior JustineClay, a Buford grad, had six goals in a three-game span last week. Teammate MarjorieHammond of Parkview picked up a shutout in the second of those games, a 2-0 shutout of Hollins University. Two Grayson grads provided the goals in Piedmont's 2-1 win over Emory and Henry as MasonFlynn scored the equalizer with four minutes left in regulation and NickWeatherby scored the game-winner with 25 seconds remaining in overtime. North Georgia beat previously unbeaten USC-Aiken 5-0 last weekend behind Parkview grad Kirsten Ross, who earned her second shutout in improving to 4-0 at goalkeeper. North Gwinnett's KellyPenston had her team-leading third goal in the win.

FOOTBALL

Quick hits

Vanderbilt got contributions from several Gwinnett grads in last Saturday's 24-21 win over Connecticut, including starting linebacker TristanStrong of Grayson (three solo tackles, one pass breakup) and starting defensive tackle T.J. Greenstone of Collins Hill (two tackles, one for loss). South Gwinnett's Jonathan Krause was involved in a lot of touches with three rushes for 29 yards, two catches for 12 yards and a 14-yard punt return. Shiloh grad MichaelButler had two sacks last weekend in Georgia Southern's rout of Tusculum. West Georgia's YusufHolloway, a Central Gwinnett grad, carried 18 times for 114 yards, his second-best single-game total, in Thursday night's 23-20 win over Miles College.

GOLF

Estep posts career-best finish, round

Peachtree Ridge grad Zach Estep, a sophomore at Southern Miss, had his best-ever college finish earlier this week at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate.

He finished at 6-under-par 207 and took sixth place overall thanks to a second-round 65, the best round of his golfing career. He opened the tourney with a 73 and closed with a third-round 69.

Reeves fires 65

Another Peachtree Ridge product, Seth Reeves, shot a final-round 65 last weekend as Georgia Tech placed third in the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm.

Tech made a 23-shot turnaround from its previous round led by Reeves' low score, which was 19 shots better than his second-round 83. He shot 74 in the first round to tie for 33rd overall.

ACADEMICS

UGA's Burger, Baker inducted to leadership academy

Gwinnett grads Emilie Burger and Ashley Baker were among 20 student-athletes at Georgia inducted into the Bulldogs' Student-Athlete Leadership Academy.

The second-year program rewards athletes based on academic and athletic success, leadership, campus and community service involvement and recommendations of head coaches and academic counselors. Those selected will have the chance to meet with local, state and industry leaders.

Burger, a Mill Creek grad, is on UGA's women's golf team and Baker, a Parkview grad, is on the women's soccer team.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via e-mail to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com.