Sports

Thu
20
Apr

Diamond Dogs clinch region championship

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The next time you see Morgan County baseball coach Merritt Ainslie, chances are he’ll look different than you remember. 

Ainslie agreed to a bet put forth a few weeks ago by one of his players, junior Grant Cofer: If the Diamond Dogs won the Region 8-AAA title, then Ainslie would have to shave his head. With last Tuesday’s 15-0 win over East Jackson, the Diamond Dogs locked up the region championship. Last Friday, Ainslie made good on the deal. 

Morgan’s players took turns shaving their coach’s head. They were careful to get every strand.  

Thu
20
Apr

Morgan County athletics wins three region titles during monster week

Last week was a wildly successful one for Morgan County High School athletics. 

Morgan’s baseball team was the first of three Bulldogs athletic teams to clinch a Region 8-AAA title last week. The Diamond Dogs roughed up East Jackson last Tuesday afternoon for a 15-0 mercy-rule win. The victory gave Morgan baseball a then-11-2 region record, which was good enough to take the region.  

Over at Bill Corry Stadium the same evening, the school’s soccer teams were putting in strong work against East Jackson, too. The Lady Dogs took down the Lady Eagles, 6-0. Their win locked up the No. 2 spot in Region 8-AAA. The Lady Dogs dropped the regular season finale last Friday at Apalachee, 5-1, and were awaiting their postseason fate as of press time. 

Thu
13
Apr

NGA baseball searches for playoff bid

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The last time the Nathanael Greene Academy baseball team took the field, the Patriots experienced one of the wildest games one could imagine. 

NGA took on Central Fellowship Christian Academy on April 4, and a bevy of mistakes combined with solid hitting by Central Fellowship had the Patriots in a deep hole. At one point, the score stood at 18-4. The final tally was 18-16. 

Although the Patriots dropped the contentious game, their head coach, Garey Clark, was impressed by his team’s refusal to go down without a fight. 

“We came battling back,” Clark said. “Their pitchers struggled, too – they walked a bunch of us. I think their guy had 12 walks or something. ... And when they did throw strikes, we hit them. We had three or four doubles. Next thing I know, it's 18-16 and we've got a shot.” 

Thu
13
Apr

Greene County boys soccer beats LOA on senior night

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us 

 

Jorge Reyes, Brandon Moreno and Ke’Undre Hall played their final game at Tiger Stadium last Friday, and Greene County’s three seniors left the field victorious after beating Lake Oconee Academy, 5-1.  

The Tigers wasted little time getting on the board, as they knocked in a goal with 37:56 on the clock in the first half. Reyes scored two goals during the game, including one on an impressive shot from several yards out that squeaked around a few players. His two-goal performance capped off a highly successful run with the program. 

As of Friday, Reyes had 66 career goals. He led the team in scoring each of his four years at Greene County, and he had 13 this season after Friday’s game. 

Thu
06
Apr

Putnam baseball notches first region victory

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

When Simon Petite dug in for his first at-bat of last Friday’s double-header against Rabun County, he received a generous amount of cheers from the dugout. 

Moments later, his teammates roared. 

Petite batted with the bases loaded, and he came through big for the Putnam baseball team by smacking a double to the outfield and driving in all three baserunners. Rabun called timeout after the bases-clearing hit, and War Eagles head coach Lee Hamner called Petite over to the third base line to join him and Jeremy Humphries, who was going to hit next. Hamner and Humphries high-fived Petite, who was beaming. 

The junior catcher had been in a slump at the plate, so Hamner had used a designated hitter for him the last several games. But sometime during the day Friday, Petite convinced his coach to let him swing the bat. 

Thu
30
Mar

NGA softball clinches region championship

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

When Nathanael Greene Academy softball player Carson Maloof belted an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning against Trinity Christian School last Thursday, Lady Patriots fans celebrated.

NGA had just won in dramatic fashion, but the victory held even greater significance because it also gave the Lady Patriots a region title. Trinity is NGA’s only GICAA Division II-South opponent, so the Lady Patriots’ two wins (out of three games) over the Lady Lions were enough to clinch the championship.

Lady Patriots head coach Sam Hunt said he went into this season with a slightly different approach than in his two prior seasons as the team’s coach. He said it’s paid off.

Thu
30
Mar

Morgan baseball takes two of three against Franklin

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The Morgan County baseball team saw its winning streak snapped last week, but not before the Diamond Dogs asserted themselves in the hunt for a region championship.

Morgan swept Jackson County two weeks ago and followed that up by beating Franklin County in the team’s first two games against the Lions last week. The Diamond Dogs took down Franklin last Tuesday in game one, 3-2, and beat the Lions 7-0 to start a double-header last Friday.

Friday’s early game saw Hunter Lane continue a strong sophomore effort with a four-hit, complete game shutout. Lane improved to 4-0 on the season and dropped his ERA to 1.00. In 27 1/3 innings of work, Lane has allowed 24 hits and only three earned runs.

Diamond Dogs head coach Merritt Ainslie said he thinks Lane’s ability to effectively mix up his pitches is what makes him so tough to beat.

Thu
30
Mar

LOA middle school boys soccer team wins championship

The Lake Oconee Academy middle school boys’ soccer team captured its second consecutive CSRA League Championship with a decisive 5-0 victory over Washington County on Thursday, March 23. The team recorded a perfect 8-0 league record this season.

With a 5-0 win over Wrens County in the semifinals, LOA advanced to the finals with a chance at winning the league title for a second year in a row. The boys, coached by LOA parent volunteers Evan Minster, David Bradley and Kevin Jackson, fought hard the first half to get control of the game and gain possession of the ball. The LOA team dominated the second half with effective passing, controlling the midfield and shooting from a distance.

“The hard work and dedication displayed by the team this season has been fantastic,” said Minster. “They are a very coachable and talented group of young men. We look forward to seeing them develop into highly competitive varsity players.”

Thu
30
Mar

Greene County boys soccer looking strong as end of season nears

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Greene County’s boys soccer team is on a roll as it heads toward its final game of the season.

The Tigers, coached by Dan Whelan, haven’t lost since falling to Oglethorpe 8-2 on March 3. Since then, they’ve knocked off Lake Oconee Academy and Lincoln County once and Washington-Wilkes twice. Greene tied at Lincoln on March 21, 1-1, costing the Tigers what could’ve been a five-game winning streak.

Still, the Tigers haven’t lost in nearly a month. In those five games, they scored 22 goals. The team’s leading scorer is senior Jorge Reyes, who has 11 goals to his credit this year.

Two players – Brandon Moreno and Jefferson Del Valle – are tied for the second-most goals on the team with eight apiece. Five other Tigers have scored at least one goal, meaning eight out of the 13 players who have logged time have scored.

Thu
23
Mar

Vance takes over as LOA boys soccer head coach after Coronado resigns

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

Lake Oconee Academy athletics was shaken up a bit last week after Jonatan Coronado resigned his post as the school’s boys soccer head coach.

“Jonatan Coronado resigned as the head varsity boys coach at Lake Oconee Academy,” LOA athletic director Chris Ingle said in a release sent exclusively to Lake Oconee News. “Coach Kendall Vance has done great work as the head coach of the girls varsity soccer team this season.  She is now the interim head coach for the varsity boys soccer team.  LOA has a very bright future in its soccer program.  Our athletic department, soccer coaches, teachers and administration will continue to strive to support and develop our student-athletes in the classroom and on the field.”

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