With his team 40 minutes away from clinching the program’s first-ever playoff win, East Jackson coach Ezra Crumley issued a challenge to his squad with a one-goal lead at halftime: Don’t settle for a 1-0 win.
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For the sports fan, optimism is a great thing, maybe the best of things.
For the University of Georgia football fan in April of 2016, optimism is higher than it has been in years, perhaps decades.
A new coach has seemingly energized a base to the degree that 93,000 fans turned out for a gloried scrimmage simply because he asked them to do so. (And you thought people blindly followed presidential candidates.)
While many media reports from the spring game indicate that the most impressive thing about the spring football game was the size of the crowd in attendance, there can be no denying that a turnout of that magnitude shows just how high the optimism meter is currently registering for the University of Georgia.
On paper, hiring Kirby Smart, a former Bulldog player, was a smart move. While it has never been said by UGA athletic officials, there is a chance Smart might not be UGA’s head coach right now had South Carolina not made a push to hire him for its program. [Full Story »]
•The Series: Class AAAAA State Baseball Playoffs, First Round, Best-Of-Three Series, South Paulding vs. Winder-Barrow High School, Charles W. Maddox Complex, Friday doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m., third game, if necessary, Saturday at 2 p.m.
•Admission: $10 for Friday doubleheader, $7 for Saturday game, as set by Georgia High School Association
•Records: WBHS: 21-5 ovearll, 17-3 in Region 8-AAAAA, No. 2 seed South Paulding, 17-8-1 overall, 14-4 in Region 5-AAAAA
•Coaches: Brian Smith, WBHS; Pecos Galamore, South Paulding
•Key Players: Winder-Barrow: Pat DeMarco, Beau Hanna, Tony Matos, Trent Maddox, Will Hardigree, Skyler Murphy, Zack Smith
•Notes: The Winder-Barrow High School baseball team has been a consistent playoff program under coach Brian Smith. In Smith’s nine seasons as head coach, the Bulldoggs have now made the postseason seven times. Pitching depth is a strength for WBHS this spring along with solid offense from players such as Pat DeMarco and Beau Hanna.
•They Said it: WBHS coach Brian Smith: “South Paulding is sound top to bottom. Anything can happen in a three-game series.”
In a home region game earlier this month, Pat DeMarco struck out on three pitches during his first at-bat of the contest.
Showing no signs of that plate appearance rattling him, DeMarco would later calmly walk up to the plate and connect for a homerun, one of his 13th this spring. His ability to make quick adjustments at the plate is something which has made him a tough out, according to Winder-Barrow High School baseball coach Brian Smith, who will look to DeMarco to help lead the Bulldoggs into the state playoffs.
“Pat has shown that he can quickly adjust to whatever a pitcher may be doing,” Smith said. “It’s what makes him such a great player at the plate. They might get him out in an early plate appearance, but they better not think it will automatically work the next time he comes up to bat. Good batters are able to adjust and that’s what Pat has shown he can do.”
DeMarco will help lead the Diamond Doggs Friday when they host South Paulding High School Friday for a state playoff doubleheader series at Charles W. Maddox Complex beginning at 4 p.m. [Full Story »]
The Bethlehem Christian Academy boys track team finished third at the recent GISA Region 1-AAA meet while the Lady Knights were sixth.
Senior Dylan Cofer was the High Point Award winner for the boys track region competition with 32.75 points.
He won the pole vault, shot put and discus and helped the Knights to a third-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay and a fourth-place showing in the 4x400-meter relay.
Cofer was a substitute in the 4x400-meter relay to give him a chance at edging Trinity Christian-Sharpsburg’s Aaron George for High Point Award winner. Cofer won that honor by .75 points.
“We had a good meet at region,” said BCA track coach Steven Green. “The competition was much stronger than last season, Our boys only scored 65 points last year and nearly pushed out double the input this season. I was proud of our whole team. We accomplished things athletically as a team we’ve never done before as a track program at BCA.”
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There isn’t much that I like about baseball, but if I had to choose one thing I do appreciate and respect about the MLB it would be their playoff system.
No doubt about it, the MLB has the best playoff system of all the major sports in America. It is one of the shortest (in terms of time taken from round one to the championship), has the fewest teams, is the most competitive to reach and is truly a joy to watch.
On the complete other end of the spectrum is the NBA playoffs, which take far too long to complete (two months to be exact), has way too many teams, isn’t nearly as competitive to reach, and is an absolute drag to watch.
Let’s break those components down even more. First of all, two months is way too long to watch any playoffs in any sport. There are eight teams in each conference and each round is a seven game series that has far too many days off between games.
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The Bethlehem Christian Academy baseball team took an important step toward securing a playoff spot with a 4-3 road win Monday against The Heritage School.
“It was a great game,” said Knights coach Matt Nicks. “Both teams played well.”
Tanner Still went five innings for BCA allowing three hits, two earned runs and striking out four batters.
“Tanner pitched well,” his coach said. “He had some stressful innings in the beginning, but was a competitor on the mound. I am proud of how he handled himself. He didn’t show emotion and gave his team a chance to win.”
Brady Stewart was called on in relief and closed the door allowing no runs in his two innings of work.
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Several Bethlehem Christian Academy tennis players competed at the GISA Class AAA state tennis tournament last week in Macon.
Lilly Dickinson, Jacob Dickinson and Tim Baldwin each qualified for BCA. Lilly Dickinson became the first female state tennis qualifier from BCA.
“They all had some great matches, but unfortunately were all eliminated in the first round at state,” said coach Heather Roseland. “There was some really great competition at the tournament, and with the exception of the boys doubles team from The Heritage School, every individual player from our region was eliminated in the first round. Our kids had a great time and were very thankful to have had the opportunity to participate in such a great event.”
The 2016 tennis seasons will be remembered as historic ones for both the Winder-Barrow High School and Apalachee High School varsity boys teams.
AHS won the regular season 8-AAAAA title and then won the region tournament, edging the Net Doggs 3-2 in the process. Both teams then advanced to the state tournament where the Wildcats were upset in the first round.
WBHS, meanwhile, advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Starr’s Mill 4-0 Monday.
Starr’s Mill, who finished as state runner-up in 2015, swept both doubles and posted singles wins at No. 1 and No. 2 to advance to the quarterfinals.
“We just came up against a team that was extremely talented, well-prepared, and has played a lot more tennis than us,” said WBHS head coach Alan Farmer. “It was a tough match, but all the credit to them. They played great.”
Starr’s Mill head coach Ron Mann, whose team features two players who have signed Division 1 college scholarships for next year, was complimentary of the Net Doggs.
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