The Sixth Man

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Watch members of the Aquinas Tailgating Coalition in action.

Greenbrier faced all the fire Aquinas could muster Tuesday night.

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It's clear to see where 17-year-old Dominic Harrell's allegiance lies during the Aquinas-Greenbrier game. The initials painted on his chest, ATC, stand for Aquinas Tailgating Coalition. Greenbrier won, 62-56.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
It's clear to see where 17-year-old Dominic Harrell's allegiance lies during the Aquinas-Greenbrier game. The initials painted on his chest, ATC, stand for Aquinas Tailgating Coalition. Greenbrier won, 62-56.

The Wolfpack squared off against at least a dozen boys who are going to make serious noise in college basketball.

The Aquinas crowd was what made a seven-point win seem dicey. Those students will make noise in college gyms, if not shots one day.

"They are almost like the Cameron Crazies at Duke," Aquinas coach Bernie Norris said. "The rules say we can only play with five, but we play with six at home. They are our sixth man."

That's because of how "The Aquinas Tailgating Coalition went about supporting their team. Lost in the hoopla of the only game in town that had a bonfire sanctioned by a county fire department was a 62-56 win for the visiting team.

The ATC seemed that serious about support. They grilled hamburgers. They tailgated listening to everything from Irish folk songs to Lynyrd Skynrd. They had their own T-shirts which read "ATC" and "It's Rally Time" on the back.

"We were playing Warren County the other night," Norris said. "I looked at my assistant coach and told him our fans were nothing but first class. I mean I played college ball. When you have fans like that, it sends a tingle through your body."

The student group painted faces. They chugged Rally Cola by the case. Then they wore the cases it came in as cardboard berets.

They mocked Greenbrier guard Nolan Belcher with posters. Belcher is 5-foot-7. He became a natural target for posters and chants referring to him as "Oompa Loompa" from the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

"We're against anybody on the court who isn't with us," Aquinas student Patrick Douglas said. "That's the other team. Their fans. Referees. Everybody."

Rally time came when the Irish (7-8) shaved a deficit that got as large as 15 points to 58-56 with 1:43 left to play. But Greenbrier sophomore Bryan Andrews finished with a flourish, similar to how he began the game.

Andrews had 18 points at the half. He scored another nine in the fourth quarter, including six of his game-best total over the final 2:30 of the game.

The synergy he had with Anthony Williams in the first half was impressive. Andrews and Williams had 28 of Greenbrier's 34 points at the half. Their play was about the only thing able to pull one's attention away from the antics of the stars of the night.

The ATC has a brick that gets held aloft and pointed to whenever opposing shots clang off the rim. Not even the early 19-5 lead the Wolfpack (18-3) ran stormed out to could take the air out of the home fans.

There was the "Tees for Threes" tradition. When the home team swished a three-pointer, the boys in the student section took off their T-shirts to reveal a painted chest that read "ATC" in neon orange paint. The ATC members then twirled the shirts in the air

They turned their backs when the public address announcer read a statement calling for civil fan behavior. They refused to take their seats at any point of the contest, including halftime.

It was all good clean fun.

"They are all nuts," Aquinas football coach Jim Connor said. "But it's a good kind of nuts. Every school needs kids like that."

Reach Jeff Sentell at (706) 823-3425 or jeff.sentell@augustachronicle.com.

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eeejay44
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eeejay44 01/24/07 - 06:28 am
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I was at the game and agree

I was at the game and agree with everything Bernie Norris says. The fans bring energy and excitement to the gym. Too bad Aquinas' assistant coach (a tall slender graying man) let his temper get the best of him after the game. Arguing with a fan and making contact, through a push or shove, is unprofessional on his part. All in all, it was fun to be at the Aquinas gym and see the "Aquinas Tailgating Coalition".

secretagentman
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secretagentman 01/24/07 - 08:27 am
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i love the atc

i love the atc

allrise
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allrise 01/24/07 - 11:55 am
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Both Aquinas coaches are poor

Both Aquinas coaches are poor sports , Norris refused to shake hands with our coach and a few players and the tall goofy assistant needs a butt whipping , which probably wouldn't be too difficult.

lovelylululady
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lovelylululady 01/24/07 - 12:21 pm
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God Bless the ATC! Go IRISH!

God Bless the ATC! Go IRISH!

Finn McCool
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Finn McCool 01/24/07 - 12:34 pm
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I've been to a lot of

I've been to a lot of basketball games, college and high school. But Greenbrier is the only school I've seen in which the cheerleaders lead cheers during opponent's free throws... Sure student sections cheer wildly during opponent's free throws. But tradition and courtesy dictates cheerleaders remain silent. Not Greenbrier though. Also, noticed that a group of Greenbrier parents (I assume they were parents... grey haired, middle aged) were taunting Aquinas players after the player fouled out... really classless. They did it a couple times that I noticed. Really bush league. I AM NOT REALLY FINN McCOOL

birdman4523
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birdman4523 01/24/07 - 02:12 pm
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Aquinas has the greatest

Aquinas has the greatest student section in augusta...this is birdman's anonymous friend (the lepherchaun at the game) I think everything we did before and during the game was good clean fun. We are like a big family who sticks together whether we win or lose. I guess you could say im old fashioned but the way we come together as students is amazing to me. My parents tell me thats how they did it back in the day and we at Aquinas continue on our traditions. I'm glad that my freinds and I started this new tradition for future students to take over because i will be graduating this year. And about our coaches...everyone knows that the Irish have short tempers...so get over it you bunch of whining parents who baby their kids and find something better to do

birdman4523
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birdman4523 01/24/07 - 02:15 pm
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O yea congradulations on

O yea congradulations on barely defeating a One A school of 300 kids

Logan1
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Logan1 01/24/07 - 03:33 pm
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Aquinas is a school full of

Aquinas is a school full of stupid kids. Who dont know when to keep there mouth shut, Aquinas shouldnt evn be a school consisting of only 300 people. But hey atleast we dont get those kids and NON PROFESSIONAL coaches in other schools. All of the students there need to learn respect. there just poor sports and they knew they were goin to get beat to begin with. GO GHS!!!

Mobley33
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Mobley33 01/24/07 - 03:43 pm
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It's nice that the young

It's nice that the young alcoholics of Aquinas have finally found a way to have fun without alcoholic beverages. Good work guys.

Congratulations on a LOSING RECORD

giwlynda
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giwlynda 01/24/07 - 04:22 pm
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Dont even talk about the

Dont even talk about the Aquinas coaches when Coach Black from Greenbrier allowed his girls to taunt the Aquinas player that got her nose broken while standing all of 10 feet away from them while they were doing it and then have the nerve to dismiss the concerns of the girls parents when approached by them by saying "You dont know who I am; you have no right to be here"... Now thats a class act... and yes Coach Black it is broken... she had to be fitted for a face mask today in order to continue playing ball... sure hope you and your fine players are proud of their performance... not to mention it takes a real class act to feel superior for beating a 1A school... why dont you take on the Hephzibah girls and then brag...

God Almighty
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God Almighty 01/24/07 - 05:20 pm
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aquinas has the best fans,

aquinas has the best fans, the best players, the best coaches in augusta. PERIOD!

disgustedwithaugusta
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disgustedwithaugusta 01/24/07 - 05:57 pm
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I love me some Greenbrier!!!

I love me some Greenbrier!!! Go Greenbrier!!

isitme
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isitme 01/24/07 - 05:59 pm
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Hey Justin learn some grammar

Hey Justin learn some grammar please. And yeah, yall are real classy. Your coach was whining about a technical foul and said "why don't you call something on that fool over there." He pointed over at "that fool" which was our coach and said it loud enough for everyone on the aquinas bench to hear. Please learn the whole story before you start saying stuff on hear about us not being classy. And about the alcohlics thing, no Aquinas is not full of alcoholics and I don't know where you got that idea. But, if you go to Greenbrier you might want to check out what's going on in your own school before you start saying stuff about us. You're really making Greenbrier look terrible by saying these things. And once again that school that "shouldnt evn be a school consisting of only 300 people" nearly won the game last night. Congratulations.

birdman4523
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birdman4523 01/24/07 - 06:00 pm
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GHS, go ahead and brag all

GHS, go ahead and brag all you want to no one is going to listen cause you did only beat a single A school. we have more to brag about than you. we out did yalls student section twice even in your own house, and were a single A Catholic school who shouldnt even be close to beating yall. so before you go brag some more, think about that yall almost let a school of 300 catholic kids beat yall. so go home and cry to your parents.

CHIEF
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CHIEF 01/24/07 - 06:57 pm
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Well from a adult view you

Well from a adult view you all are children. Who cares about you student body count. It's a five man game and has nothing to do with bad fans or sportsmenship. If your educated, just know that a private school is a prejudice one and it's long been a fact that catholic schools recruit players and are social hounds. But they have money and still can't buy success. Get over all your social and class status and just say your no better than your coach using foul language towards another adult. Let's face it you don't know how bad you actions make your look. POOR SPORTS FANS.

ATC Dom5
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ATC Dom5 01/24/07 - 07:17 pm
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ATC the best student section

ATC the best student section in the area. I want to thank the Aug Chronicle for recognizing our hard work. The ATC is about school spirit and having fun. So quit trying to give us a bad name. Aquinas is full of tradition and I hope ATC becomes one. Hope to see everybody this friday vs. LC. Go Irish.

isitme
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isitme 01/24/07 - 07:19 pm
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HA .. you think you're

HA .. you think you're educated and you say we recruit. Sorry but no we dont. All but one of our top 6 players came from private schools in the area that have a high percentage of people going to aquinas (inclucing non-athletes). I may be in high-school but even I can see that what you just said was purely an assumption and really had no basis whatsoever. And if you really want to talk about how we help people out to go here why is it that we've had to ask about 10 potential varsity basketball players to leave because of academics over the last couple of years? We dont cheat and recruit people. And while on the subject of recruiting, I think you've had a couple of decent recruits come in there (see: Nolan Belcher ... how was he able to go there?). And please don't try to make Greenbrier seem like a poor school. Everybody knows that Greenbrier is just as wealthy and probably more wealthy than Aquinas is. Oh and and you probably should not brag about being an intelligent adult and then put a sentence in there that makes absolutely no sense (your second to last sentece).

Finn McCool
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Finn McCool 01/24/07 - 07:21 pm
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I just want to make sure that

I just want to make sure that people have their facts straight. Above it was posted that an aquinas assistant coach was involved in an altercation with a greenbrier fan. The fact of the matter is that the incident was between an aquinas assistant coach and a greenbrier assistant principal. The greenbrier administrator acosted the aquinas coach and publicaly rebuked him for yelling at a referee. I am not making excuses for the aquinas assistant coach, but i would like to raise the question-- Which is more unprofessional? a coach yelling at an official during an intense contest or an administrator confronting a coach and letting him know how he felt about. I am a student at aquinas and i cheer just as loud as anyone else, i have friends that go to greenbrier. Its a high school basketball game, they should be intense, spirited and fun. The players understand that, and the students from both schools understand that. Why cant greenbriers adults understand it? The irish (and the wolfpack) are just out having a little fun like we are supposed to in high school.

fntool
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fntool 01/24/07 - 07:22 pm
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Greenbrier, are you really

Greenbrier, are you really that concerned about our coach not shaking your coach's hand after the game? You beat a 1a school that shouldn't even be able to play in a game with a large school such as yourselves (pretty good for a bunch of alcoholics don't you think). Yes, he didn't shake his hand, maybe because your coach called him a fool during the game, but you dont want to talk about that, just the big bad 300 student Catholic school with the "mean coaches." But I guess it's alright to call someone a fool as long as you act like your buddies and shake hands after. We respect our coaches at Aquinas and if they don't want to shake hands with someone who just called them names then I don't blame them. Coach Norris is a great coach and we are proud to have him at Aquinas.

Finn McCool
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Finn McCool 01/24/07 - 07:23 pm
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P.S. the post about cheering

P.S.
the post about cheering during freethrows is not me, some one stole my name

grimreapa69420
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grimreapa69420 01/24/07 - 07:35 pm
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i dont want to hear ANYTHING

i dont want to hear ANYTHING from aquinas until its soccer season because thats the only sport there good at...i dont care who their fans are..until they starting winning in other sports their names dont need to be brought up

isitme
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isitme 01/24/07 - 08:00 pm
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How can you say that's all

How can you say that's all we're good at when we almost beat you 3 times in basketball .... yall must be terrible at basketball considering you just almost lost to what you say is a bad Single "A" school. That would make yall one of the worst teams in "AAAA". I know that is not true because yall have a good team ... why can't yall accept that there are other schools in the area with decent athletic programs?

fntool
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fntool 01/24/07 - 08:02 pm
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ATTENTION CHIEF: I have been

ATTENTION CHIEF: I have been raised in public school systems and until my sophmore year I was as uneducated as you...luckily i learned very quick not to be steriotypical about minorities (stundents at private schools included) and to respect adults, teachers, coaches, etc. Sir, you are completely undeserving of any respect and i say this to the fullest because of your false, rude comments made about my school. Know this: AHS can hardly afford to pay it's faculty, let alone keep the school clean, but our principal Bob Larcher is proud of us and our accomplishments. I have had the best education of anywhere I have been and I am more proud of our sports than I will ever be. We have excellent golf, tennis, swim, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and soon to be football programs. I dont need to tell you how each of your statements were false so I will leave you with a proposition: I WILL ACCEPT AN APOLOGY FROM YOU FOR YOUR STEREOTIPICAL COMMENTS IF YOU POINT EACH OF YOUR FALSE STATEMENTS OUT OVER THIS THREAD. i will recognise your apology and accept it with full pardoning. Trust me Chief, you will feel much better about yourself and become a better man upon doing this. Thank you.

MANOWAR
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MANOWAR 01/24/07 - 08:30 pm
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I don't know where to begin

I don't know where to begin so I'm just going to put it out there...
Justin-"But hey atleast we dont get those kids and NON PROFESSIONAL coaches in other schools" I want to let you know that in the past 3 years nearly 25 kids have transferred to Aquinas from Columbia County schools (mostly Greenbrier), and a lot of them are good athletes. It seems to me like a lot of people are LEAVING your school to come to Aquinas. And no, they were not recruited because Aquinas does not do that.
Oh yeah, Aquinas happens to be absolutely amazing in sports. We are region champs in nearly every sport, and almost always make it to Class A state playoffs in every sport, just where we belong.
The Greenbrier kids should be ashamed of themselves. They nearly got beat by a school that is smaller than their freshman class alone. In my opinion, you have nothing to be proud of, so quit talking smack like you are all hard and what not. It's like a 200 pound guy barely beat a kid in a wheelchair in a fight, and then talked crap to the kid. Give me a break.

Space Prophet
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Space Prophet 01/24/07 - 09:11 pm
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no one cares about aquinas

no one cares about aquinas ALMOST beating greenbrier, evans HAS beaten greenbrier, besides, its not like aquinas is good, c'mon they are a class 1-A school, not like its difficult to beat them

Finn McCool
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Finn McCool 01/24/07 - 10:45 pm
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ATTENTION CHIEF: Like I said,

ATTENTION CHIEF: Like I said, the adults are ruining this. You are ruining this. Students had fun at the game last night on both sides. Yes there was trash talking and the trash talking continues. But you take things to another level. Do you realize the sacrifices families make to be able to pay tuition? I expect comments like this from other kids who are just trying to pick a fight. You mock the sacrifice that many families have made not to demonstrate their social status or anything like that, but rather because the sacrifice is worth the christ centered education, the feeling of family and the sense of pride found at aquinas. From you "ADULT VIEW" you said that we dont know how bad are actions make us look. I can asure you that they dont make as look nearly as bad as yours. I ask you, Oh great and Wise Adult, to challenge your presuppositions and look at what this is all about. Its about a high school basketball game. This is not a stage for your stereotypical rants. I invite you to STOP BY AQUINAS ANYTIME, ASK FOR FINN, and i would be happy to show you around. I do not know you nor pretend to understand you. But please do not attempt to pass your ignorant opinions off as fact.

ryanzman2
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ryanzman2 01/25/07 - 10:28 am
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First of all, it doesn' t

First of all, it doesn' t matter if Aquinas is a 1-A school. A win is a win no matter how you look at it. Im not going to lie, you guys have some good basketball players, but to sit there and say that we should be lucky because we "nearly" got beat by a school of 300 kids is like trying to say that you almost passed a test or you almost won a bet. A W on the record is the same if the score is 50-49 or 100-2. On to the student section. Yes ya'll were loud. But there is a line that you do not cross. If you want to get disrespectful and make signs that say "oompaloompa" ,that says bounds about Aquinas' character. And the chants about the Refs? Is that necessary? To chant remarks about being deaf and blind. That sounds like a bunch of teenagers who don't know how to have respect for people who take time out of their normal lives to ref a game for $30. And for our student section. We don't advertise this game as a big game because we don't consider it one. So when only 30 students show up, you also might want to consider ya'll's gym. And real fans don't follow the winning teams fans to their cars trying to fight them. Come film our students section and we will show you how it's done.

CHIEF
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CHIEF 01/25/07 - 10:34 am
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hey my child goes to

hey my child goes to aquinas...

hijc
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hijc 01/25/07 - 10:36 am
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yeah. this was not a big game

yeah. this was not a big game for us so thats why our student section was smaller than yours. oh yeah and the oompaloompa thing yall are just jealous because nolan can pack half your guys. If you really wanna see one of the best student sections in the csra come see us friday night, at a game that really matters.

ryanzman2
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ryanzman2 01/25/07 - 10:38 am
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And Finn Mccool, stop trying

And Finn Mccool, stop trying to use big words trying to sound smarter than the said adult. Trying to pass of as an educated catholic school boy isn't really working. Come to Greenbrier, ask for Frenchie, and I'll show YOU around.

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