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Rivers, Gales return for Lions' season

The Columbus Lions re-signed a pair of veterans on Wednesday in linebacker Justen Rivers and wide receiver Gerald Gales.

Rivers (6-foot-1, 255 pounds) returns for a seventh season as the Lions' all-time leading tackler (189) and sack leader (28).

The former Hardaway standout had 15.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception in seven games last season.

Gales (5-11, 190) is Columbus' all-time leading receiver in catches (326), yards (4,205) and touchdowns (87). He had 72 receptions for 829 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.

"Having these veterans back goes way beyond the football field but extends to both the locker room and community," Columbus coach Jason Gibson said in a press release.

The Lions also announced their next tryout date for Dec. 15 at Callaway Stadium in LaGrange, Ga., at 9 a.m.

The pre-registration fee is $40 and should be in the form of a check, money order or credit card. All registration payments and forms need to be mailed to the Lions office at 400 4th Street, Columbus, Ga., 31901. Registration the day of the tryout will be $60.

For more information, call 706-322-3336 or go online at


Class A pairings set for public, private schools

The Georgia High School Association announced the matchups on Wednesday for the two Class A state football tournaments.

Brookstone, the winner of Region 4, is the No. 4 seed for the private school playoffs. The Cougars (8-2) will host First Presbyterian on Nov. 23.

In the public school playoffs, Marion County is the No. 7 seed and will host Charlton County, also on Nov. 23.

Class A was split into public and private schools for the postseason earlier this year by the GHSA. Power rankings were used to seed the 16 teams in each of the tournaments.


Georgia signs guards J.J. Frazier, Juwan Parker

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia has added two players to its future backcourt by signing point guard J.J. Frazier and shooting guard Juwan Parker.

Frazier, from Glennville, Ga., is only 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds but is considered the state's top prospect at point guard. He averaged 26.2 points and 4.9 assists last season at Faith Baptist Christian Academy.

Georgia coach Mark Fox says Frazier is a "quick and dynamic" player.

Parker, from Tulsa, Okla., also signed Wednesday, the first day of the week-long early signing period.

He averaged 20.5 points and 9.4 rebounds last season at Booker T. Washington High School, which won Oklahoma 5A state championships in his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Parker (6-4, 190) is rated the nation's No. 30 shooting guard prospect by

Auburn signs pair of 7-foot centers

AUBURN, Ala. -- The Auburn Tigers have signed two 7-foot centers to play next season.

Coach Tony Barbee's early signees Wednesday are Ronald Delph of Winter Haven, Fla., and Benas Griciunas of Silute, Lithuania.

Delph is attending IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., after starting for three seasons at Lake Region High. He averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds last season. Delph chose Auburn over Texas A&M, Cincinnati and Miami.

Griciunas is in his third year attending Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. He had 17 points off the bench vs. LA Prep on Nov. 9. He chose Auburn over Georgia Tech, Boston College, St. Mary's and Washington State.

The Tigers are also expected to sign point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen of Decatur, Ga.

Tech signs Solomon Poole, Quinton Stephens

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech has signed guard Solomon Poole, the younger brother of Yellow Jackets sophomore Stacey Poole Jr.

Coach Brian Gregory says Georgia Tech also signed 6-foot-8 small forward Quinton Stephens of Atlanta on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

Poole, a point guard, is rated as the nation's 14th-best high school player by Rivals. He averaged 21 points per game last season at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville. Stacey Poole Jr., a transfer from Kentucky, becomes eligible at Georgia Tech after fall semester.

Stacey Poole Sr. is a former University of Florida standout.

Stephens, from The Marist School, averaged 18.9 points and six rebounds last season at Marist. His father, Bob, played at Drexel.


SEC, Big 12 get 12-year deal from ESPN for Sugar

NEW YORK -- The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference have agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN for the rights to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

A person familiar with the contract said it was worth about $80 million per year. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the agreement were not being made public and details were still pending.

The Big 12 and SEC recently picked the Sugar Bowl as the site of its new marquee game, starting in the 2014 season.

The champions of each conference will play in the game, unless those teams are selected for the four-team playoff that also starts that season.

The Sugar Bowl will be one of six sites in the playoff rotation.


Jets' Ryan angered by anonymous rips of Tebow

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Rex Ryan doesn't mind his New York Jets players saying what's on their minds. Just as long as they put their names to their comments.

An angry Ryan addressed his team Wednesday for some anonymous quotes by players and members of the organization ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow in a newspaper report.

"If you're not going to put your name to it, I think that's about as cowardly of a thing there is," Ryan said. "I don't want to get into specifics of what I said, but I did address it with our football team."

-- From staff, wire reports

If you're searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team, my thing is, I believe in this team.

"I believe this team is (together), will continue to be and maybe even become tighter. I'm confident that will be the case."

A report in the Daily News on Wednesday said that more than a dozen players and members of the Jets organization believe there's no chance Tebow could overtake Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job -- with one saying of the backup: "He's terrible."