NORTH FULTON/FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Appen Media continues its Best of the Year awards for sports, including the best athletes, coaches, games and teams from North Fulton and Forsyth County in the 2016-17 high school athletic year.
This week features the top coaches in no particular order.
Johns Creek football
In just two seasons Matt Kemper turned Johns Creek around from a team that had won a single game over two seasons before his arrival into a title winner.
Kemper led Johns Creek to its first region championship this season and its first trip to the postseason since 2012. The Gladiators compiled an 8-3 record under Kemper in 2016.
Following his second season, Kemper resigned to take over as head coach at Roswell for the 2017 season.
Cambridge girls lacrosse
Cambridge made its first lacrosse state championship appearance under the direction of fifth-year head coach Pam Masinko.
Masinko led an extremely young team, with just one senior on the roster, to a Class 6A-7A state runner up finish.
Since taking over as the Lady Bears’ first coach, Masinko has accumulated a 69-15 overall record.
Northview girls basketball
Yarbrough continued an upswing for the Lady Titans that began last year, transforming Northview from a .500 team into a state title contender in Class AAAAAA this season.
The Lady Titans finished 28-4 this season and made an appearance in the final four of the state championship.
Chattahoochee boys soccer
A fiery presence on the sideline, Meenan led Chattahoochee to its second boys soccer state championship this season in Class AAAAAA.
Under Meenan the past two seasons, Hooch has compiled a 37-3-1 record.
Lambert boys basketball
One thing seems to be certain under Bracco – Lambert will be a fundamentally sound team on the court.
Though Bracco’s Longhorns fell short of a third straight region title and were ousted in the second round of the playoffs, Bracco’s leadership led to one of the toughest teams to play in Class AAAAAAA.
Ford led Roswell to its second straight state championships appearance in the highest classification this year and a second consecutive 14-1 season.
Following the 2016 season, Ford announced he was leaving Roswell to take over as head coach at Buford.
Fellowship Christian football
Morell led an unlikely run for the Class-A Private state championship this year with Fellowship Christian, which seemingly came out of nowhere to finish as state runner up.
The Paladins captured the Region 6-A championship and went 13-0 before falling to ELCA in overtime at the state championship game.
Johns Creek girls soccer
Byrne didn’t waste any time in transforming Johns Creek into a state title contender. The first-year head coach led the Lady Gladiators to their first appearance in the state championship game and a 17-4-2 overall record.
Johns Creek also won the Region 7-AAAAAA championship.
Blessed Trinity volleyball
Stevens led Blessed Trinity to another state title this year, its sixth under Stevens, even after BT moved up in classification.
Stevens’ 585 wins as head coach is seventh all-time in the state.
After finishing as state runner-up in 2014, Cambridge got over the hump and captured the program’s first state title this season.
Under McDaniel, the Lady Bears went 34-1 and captured the Region 7-AAAAAA title.