Yates leads Pope hall of fame inductees
by Greg Oshust
September 01, 2011 01:04 AM | 4527 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Though preseason play with the Texans will prevent him from being present, former Pope QB T.J. Yates will be inducted into the school’s athletic 
hall of fame Friday.
<Br>Associated Press photo
Though preseason play with the Texans will prevent him from being present, former Pope QB T.J. Yates will be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame Friday.
Associated Press photo
T.J. Yates, Ryan Sawyer and Tamara Boggs will be honored for the marks they made on Pope athletics Friday night with induction into the school’s athletic hall of fame.

A ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on the football field at Pope Multi-Sport Complex, before the Greyhounds’ game with Kennesaw Mountain. A dinner for the inductees and their families and friends will precede the ceremony.

Yates was a dual-sport standout with the Greyhounds’ football and basketball teams, Sawyer starred in football and Boggs was a fast-pitch softball player.

“It’s another great class for us,” said Pat Abney, Pope’s athletic coordinator and boys basketball coach. “They are three of our best athletes that have come through this place, for sure.”

Yates, a 2006 Pope graduate, was a four-year starter on the Greyhounds’ basketball team. He scored 1,163 career points, ranking fifth on the school’s all-time scoring list.

But it was football where Yates made his biggest mark, completing 160 of 289 passes for 2,305 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior in 2005. He returned to the football team in his senior year after taking his junior year off to focus on basketball.

Yates’ decision to return to the gridiron paid off as he was named an All-Region 6AAAAA honoree and was the Cobb County Touchdown Club’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Yates impressive senior year earned him a scholarship at North Carolina, where he was a four-year starter and holds the Tar Heels’ records for pass completions and yards — single-game, single-season and career.

As a senior at North Carolina in 2010, he became the first Tar Heel quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards and orchestrated the team’s double-overtime win against Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. At the end of the school year, Yates was honored as the 2010-11 Tar Heel of the Year for all sports at the school.

Now, he is trying to establish himself in the NFL with the Houston Texans, who selected him with in the fifth round of April’s draft.

Yates, projected as a third-string quarterback behind Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, will be with the Texans for a preseason game tonight in Minnesota and will not be able to attend Friday’s ceremony. He will be represented by his parents, Carol and John.

Sawyer, a 1999 graduate of Pope, was a standout wide receiver for the Greyhounds.

He caught 113 passes for 2,227 yards and 21 touchdowns during his career at Pope and was named an All-American as a senior by SuperPrep and Prepstar, as well as being selected to the all-state team.

Sawyer helped lead the Greyhounds to their first region championship as a senior in 1998 and was selected to play in the Georgia/Florida All-Star Game.

Sawyer moved on to the college ranks at Virginia, where he caught 50 passes for 481 yards and four touchdowns over a four-year career in Charlottesville. For his efforts, Sawyer was selected to Virginia’s all-decade team from 2000-09.

Today, Sawyer works as a Realtor in Atlanta. He’s been named a Million Dollar Club honoree several times by the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.

“It’s obviously a great honor,” Sawyer said. “I’m honored to be chosen. The credit goes to my teammates. I wouldn’t have been selected without them.”

Boggs, like Sawyer a ’99 Pope graduate, is arguably considered the greatest fast-pitch softball player in school history, holding nearly all of the Lady Greyhounds’ fast-pitch records.

Boggs was just as successful on the college level at Emory, where she’s the Eagles’ all-time leader in slugging percentage and triples, second in career batting average and total bases, third in total hits and on-base percentage, fourth in RBIs and fifth in runs scored.

Boggs was selected as Emory’s female athlete of the year in 2004 and was an NCAA Division III All-American in ’01 and ’03. She was recently selected to the Emory Athletic Hall of Fame.

“When I tried for the softball team, it probably was the first or second year of fast-pitch at Pope, so it’s truly an honor to be selected after all these years,” said Boggs, who now lives in Frisco, Texas, and works as a professional sport and event specialist. “It’s truly awesome to me.”
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Tar Heel Blueblood
September 01, 2011
Congratulations to T.J. Yates and the other inductees into the Pope Athletic Hall of Fame!

A special thanks to T.J. Yates for all that he did for the football program in his four years at UNC as a starter at QB for the Tar Heel Football program as his leadership was greatly appreciated and will be missed.
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