Sports

Wed
21
Jun

UGA football Mount Rushmore: Part 1

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

By the time this copy of Lake Oconee News hits newsstands this Thursday, June 22, we will be 72 days out from the return of Georgia football.

The Bulldogs will kick off their new season Sept. 2 against Appalachian State. Before Georgia hosts the Mountaineers, though,we have some time to fill. Therefore, we are launching a new series this week.

Wed
21
Jun

Gatewood boys basketball hosts NGA for scrimmage

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

There was no way to determine a winner in last week’s offseason scrimmage between the Gatewood Schools and Nathanael Greene Academy boys basketball teams, but, by the end of the game, it was clear both teams got better.

The Gators and Patriots did not keep score during the game, held last Wednesday evening at Gatewood. Instead, the teams focused on running various drills and using different players across the court.

Buster Douglas and Derrick Williams, the head coaches at Gatewood and NGA, respectively, both walked away pleased with the night’s result.

Wed
21
Jun

Slate to run doubleheader Thursday at AMS

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Mother Nature has caused a plethora of problems for automobile racing leagues across the globe, and the Hampton-based Thursday Thunder series is not immune to her effects. 

The racing league, which runs races every Thursday night in the summer at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, had to postpone several events last week because of thunderstorms. Four of the Thursday Thunder divisions, including Semi-Pro, were not able to race last week.

Rafe Slate of Eatonton drives in the Semi-Pro class. He and the others in those four levels will drive in two races this Thursday to make up for missing last week’s race.

Wed
21
Jun

Nesbitt to host first-ever skills camp

Contributed

Greene County football legend Joshua Nesbitt will host his first-ever skills camp this Saturday in Greensboro.

Nesbitt played at Greene County in the mid-2000s. By the time he left the Tigers program, he was a star athlete who had garnered a lot of attention. Scout.com had Nesbitt as its No. 4 overall prospect, while Rivals listed Nesbitt as the ninth-best dual-threat quarterback in the country.

During his senior year at Greene County, Nesbitt threw for 2,256 yards and tossed 32 touchdowns. At the end of his senior year, he was Atlanta bound.

Nesbitt played during each of his four years with the Yellow Jackets. He became the team’s primary starting quarterback his sophomore year, which proved to be a fruitful decision for head coach Paul Johnson.

By the end of his collegiate career, Nesbitt was the all-time ACC leader in rushing yards for a quarterback, finishing his career with 2,806 rushing yards.

Wed
14
Jun

Morgan baseball coach Ainslie wins region coach of the year

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The Morgan County baseball team’s season ended a month and a half ago, but the postseason awards keep rolling in for the Diamond Dogs.

The latest award went to their head coach, Merritt Ainslie. After steering Morgan to a 26-8 overall record and a region championship, Ainslie was recently named the Region 8-AAA Coach of the Year.

Morgan finished 13-2 in Region 8-AAA games and never lost a region series.

When asked about receiving the award, Ainslie directed all the credit back to his players.

“It all goes back to the team,” Ainslie said. “They usually give that to the coach that won the region that year, so I don't know that it's as much as I was the best coach as my team did well. They're a very talented bunch, so I'm proud for them. It's really their award. I just happened to get it because I get to coach them.”

Wed
14
Jun

Slate moves up to second in Thursday Thunder standings

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Rafe Slate continued a solid start to the summer’s Thursday Thunder racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week with a fourth place finish.

Slate, who resides in Eatonton and drives for the family-owned and Eatonton-based Solid Rock Racing, finished third the week before. Those two finishes have him sitting in an enviable spot in the Thursday Thunder points standings: second.

He trails Brandon Brock, who won last week’s race, by just 12 points. Slate said because of his consistency at AMS – he almost always notches top-fives – he believes he can remain near the top of the Thursday Thunder standings.

Wed
14
Jun

Derrick Williams returns to Putnam County for basketball camp

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us 

 

One week after holding a skills camp at his new place of employment, Derrick Williams returned home this past week to host a camp in Putnam County.

Williams, a graduate of Putnam County High School who was recently named the head coach of Nathanael Greene Academy’s boys and girls basketball programs, led the camp at the Putnam County Recreation Department. The camp totaled around 25 participants, which Williams called “the perfect number.”

The campers ranged in ages from 8 years old to 13. Most of them were from Gatewood Schools, but there were also participants from Putnam Elementary School. Williams said one camper was even from Kentucky and came out to the camp while in town visiting family.

Wed
14
Jun

Morgan baseball hosts skills camp

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us 

 

In conjunction with the Morgan County Recreation Department, the Morgan County High School baseball team hosted a skills camp last week.

The Diamond Dogs welcomed in nearly 80 participants, who spent the week learning different skills needed on the baseball field. There were catching stations, throwing stations, running stations and fielding stations.

Morgan head coach Merritt Ainslie ran the camp with help from his coaches and players, and he said he was happy with the turnout and results of the camp.

Thu
08
Jun

Legendary Putnam coach passes

By Justin Hubbard 

justin@lakeoconeenews.us  

 

Al Reaves, who made a name for himself leading the Putnam County football team, died Monday. He was 78.  

His death came a year and one day after his induction into the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Reaves coached the War Eagles football team two different times. His first stint with the program lasted from 1964 to 1980. Following a four-year stay at Jackson High School, Reaves returned to Putnam and coached again from 1987 to 2000.  

In addition to coaching the Putnam football team, Reaves also served as the Putnam County School System’s superintendent. Reaves coached track and baseball during the early portion of his coaching career; he won a state title in 1968 as Putnam’s baseball coach. 

Thu
08
Jun

Slate places third at Thursday Thunder, crashes in Cordele

By Justin Hubbard 

justin@lakeoconeenews.us  

 

The opening week of the summer-long Thursday Thunder Legends racing series at Atlanta Motor Speedway was a mixed bag for Rafe Slate. 

He ran well during Thursday night’s shootout at AMS and notched a third-place finish, a good start to the summer series. Two days later, though, Slate was less fortunate. 

Slate, a resident of Eatonton, managed to finish seventh at Watermelon Capital Speedway, located at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele. He can’t tell you how he did it, though, because his car was beaten up for much of the race.  

Slate was spun around during the early portion of the race. Several laps later, while he was fighting for the second position, it happened again. The second time, though, he suffered a great deal of contact when another driver crashed into him. 

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