May 28, 2013

Gann will lead Georgia in annual border battle

Submitted by Stump on Sports

— The Stump On Sports Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Football Classic will celebrate a birthday with its 10th annual game June 8 at Chattanooga’s McCallie School.

Class of 2013 graduates from more than a dozen counties in Southeast Tennessee will again battle their counterparts from as many counties in Northwest Georgia.

For Stump Martin, the event’s originator, it’s one of his favorite days of the year.

“The Classic has been a sports happening in the Chattanooga area since the inaugural event at Ridgeland High back in 2004,” Martin said. “This happening is possible because we have coaches who love the kids and love to coach them. For some it’s their final game and for others it’s a kick-start towards their college careers.”

Boyd-Buchanan coach Grant Reynolds will lead the Tennessee Stars, with North Murray coach David Gann guiding the Georgia Stars for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at the 4,000-seat Spears Stadium. The two coaches have a common bond. Reynolds was on Robert Akins’ staff at Boyd-Buchanan for years and coached under him in this game previously, while Gann coached under Akins at Ringgold, serving as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator.

Gann, a former all-state lineman at Ringgold, became coach at North Murray in spring 2012. He was Georgia’s offensive coordinator under Akins last June in the Classic at Ringgold and was coach of the North Georgia All-Stars who lost to the Central Georgia All-Stars in the D.L. Scott Coalition Bowl at the Georgia Dome in December. His first North Murray team went 5-5 and contended for a spot in the state playoffs after the Mountaineers had compiled a 1-19 record in their first two varsity seasons.

Reynolds will attempt to become the first coach in this game’s history to go 2-0.

The Boyd-Buchanan leader has guided his Buccaneers to a 56-21 record and Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association state playoff appearances every season since taking over in 2007. His 2009 squad lost to Trousdale County for the Division I Class 2A state championship and his Bucs have also played in two state semifinals and two quarterfinals under his leadership.

In 2010, Reynolds’ Tennessee team defeated Georgia 17-0 at Baylor School in Chattanooga.

“These two coaches are young and energetic and love to coach kids,” Martin said. “I’m excited about this matchup because Gann is an offensive-minded coach and Reynolds’ defenses are always tough.”

The Classic is being played at McCallie School for the first time. The game has been played at Bowers-Painter Stadium at Ridgeland, Raymond James Stadium in East Ridge, Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Heywood Stadium at Baylor School and at Don Patterson Stadium in Ringgold.

This will be the eighth year the game has been played on turf.

“The immaculate turf field and the way Spears Stadium is built on the slope of Missionary Ridge will give the event a new look for this year,” Martin said. “McCallie head coach Ralph Potter has always been a fan of this game and I feel sure the school will be gracious hosts.”