Tiger Track Teams Set
For Region Meets
McFadden Qualifies For State In 3,200
BY DREW BRANTLEY
Rain held up some of the schedule at the girls' Region 8-A track
meet at Greater Atlanta Chrisitan this week.
Field events were canceled Monday due to wet weather. Preliminary
heats in the sprint events were held Monday afternoon.
The remaining track finals and the field events will be completed
Commerce runner Stephanie McFadden also ran in the 1,600-meter
final, taking second place. The runner-up finish guarantees her
a shot at the state meet next month in Albany.
McFadden and Christie Westmoreland will also run in the 3,200
Crystal Rainwater finished third in the 1,600 for Commerce.
Several other Commerce girls qualified for the region finals
in other running events.
Anna Roller and Rainwater both made the finals in the 800 run.
Elizabeth Roller will run in the finals of the 400 run.
Shemika Reed will compete in the 100 and 200 finals.
The four-by-100 relay team also qualified for the region finals.
Reed, A. Roller, McFadden and E. Roller make up the relay team.
The Commerce mile relay team will also be in the finals, defending
their 1999 title. McFadden, Rainwater, E. Roller and A. Roller
make up the mile relay team.
"They're all excited about the four-by-400," Commerce
coach Jason Oliver said. "I told them our main objective
was to get to state. If we win that's fine. But as long as we
get second, we'll get one of their spots."
Commerce's boys will compete at their region meet May 1 and 3
at Jefferson High School, which is also the site of the state
Class A Keeps Own Slow-pitch Softball
While final adoption of the new alignment
was the biggest news, the Georgia High School Association also
approved several other changes for the 2000-01 school year at
its executive committee meeting last week.
The GHSA exectuve committee met last Monday and Tuesday in Forsyth
for its semiannual meeting.
Changes brought about from the compromise between the GHSA and
state legislators earlier this year were finalized.
Regions under the new five classification were adopted by the
committee, including two appeals from teams to be dropped down
The GHSA approved using a 20 percent for each of the five classes
in subsequent alignments.
The committee also adopted the method of multiplying private
school enrollments by 1.5 for classification purposes.
St. Pius X and Paulding County High School were each placed in
Class AAAA after their counts put each of them in Class AAAAA.
A motion was also passed to limit private schools affected by
the 1.5 rule to be moved no more than one classification above
their actual numbers.
The GHSA also approved several administrative measures to account
for the new Class AAAAA.
The committee also organized how several sports will be grouped
Four softball state championships will be awarded in both fastpitch
Slowpitch will combine Class AAAAA/AAAA.
The other four classes will have championships.
Region 8-A will include Commerce, Jefferson, Buford and Rabun
Gap as the returning slow-pitch softball teams from last year.
In fast-pitch, a combined title will be awarded for Class AA/A.
The other four classes will have championships.
Wrestling will have championships in all five classificiations.
Volleyball will be placed into four classes. Class AA/A will
be the only group to combine.
The service area committee restricted private schools to only
the county in which their school is located.
That means that a student wishing to transfer to a private school
must live in the same county as the private school to be immediately
eligible to participate in varsity GHSA activities.
Many private schools, primarily those in metro Atlanta, had been
able to draw from several surrounding counties.
MORE STATE TEAMS
Baseball and girls' golf will have more representatives in the
state tournament after rules passed by the executive committee.
Each region will submit four baseball teams to the state tournament
The motion passed by the GHSA states that "regions will
determine their representatives through regular season play."
Girls' golf will send two teams to the state tournament. Only
the region champions earn a spot at the state event under the
The committee also approved paying expenses for Lincoln County
football coach Larry Campbell and former Mary Persons football
coach Dan Pitts and their families when the two coaches are inducted
into the National High School Hall of Fame in Minneapolis later
Pitts retired in 1998 as the all-time winningest coach in Georgia
high school football with 346 wins.
Campbell moved into second place on Georgia's all-time winningest
list last year for the state runner-up Red Devils, finishing
with 327 career wins.
BCHS golfers take 2nd,
Lady Leopards runners-up in region; GAC,
Providence take boys' state tourney berths
Banks County's run at a third straight
Region 8-A golf title slipped away Monday on the Leopards' home
Scales Creek Course.
Cool temperatures and steady rain raised most second-round scores.
But the state qualifiers turned in impressive scores, regardless
of the weather.
Providence and Greater Atlanta Chrisitan took first and second
in the boys' tournament with scores of 307 and 309, respectively.
Riverside was third with a score of 327.
Banks County was tied for fourth with Union County and Buford.
GAC took the girls' team match with a score of 190.
Banks County was second with a 197. Dawson County and Commerce
were the only other schools with qualifying team scores.
Bree Whitlock and Haley Crumley shot 98 and 99, respectively,
to lead Banks County.
Brandon Brown led Banks County with a 78. Drew Sparks followed
with an 84. Jason Sparks shot an 85. Brandon Crumley shot an
GAC made a sweep of the low medalists. Charlie Remaley shot an
even par 72 to lead the boys. Meghan Trainor was the girls' low
medalist with a score of 71.
The top two boys' teams, Providence and GAC, will advance to
the state tournament in Calhoun next month. Only the girls' champion
will go to state.
set for 2000
After all the changes of realignment,
the Banks County's football schedule for next fall is official.
The Leopards will compete in Region 8-AA, starting with a Sept.
22 game with Dawson County
"I think it's going to be a real competitive region,"
Banks County coach Rance Gillespie said. "There's a lot
of traditional rivalries within the region. The region is compact.
That should help us financially. There's no really long drives
Banks County will play two non-region games. The Leopards will
continue playing area rivals Jefferson and Jackson County.
As has been the case in the past two seasons, BCHS will open
the season with Jackson County. This year's game will be in Jefferson.
The Jefferson Dragons will visit the Leopards Sept. 8.
Banks County's schedule is fairly close to the one that was set
before the GHSA moved to five classes and realigned the state's
schools earlier this year.
Banks County was already going to play White County, Union County
and Jackson County as non-region games.
The Leopards would have faced Jefferson, Greater Atlanta and
Dawson County as region games in the old Region 8-A.
East Hall, Apalachee and Lumpkin County are the three games that
would not have been played.
Jackson scores ace in
JEFFERSON golfer Sanford Jackson enjoyed
a thrill that many hackers never experience. The Dragon linkster
scored a hole-in-one on the par three second hole at Scales Creek
during Monday's region 8-A tournament.
Jackson's ace came despite terrible weather for the event, and
contributed to his team-leading 76, a mark that was only four
strokes off the pace of region champ Charlie Remaley of Greater
Michael Newton finished with an 89, Joel Thrasher and John Bramblett
each took 92 strokes to reach the clubhouse, and Daniel Goza
followed at 101 to finish the scoring for Jefferson, which took
eighth in the event.
"I was hoping we'd finish third or fourth, and we could
have," said Jefferson coach Bolling DuBose. "The weather
played a role, but the way I see it, it rained on everybody."
Providence edged GAC in a battle of titans, 307-309, to advance
to the state tournament. Banks County finished a surprising fourth
at 335, one week after turning in a 150 for nine holes on the
same course. Commerce finished ninth.
Local teams begin
JEFFERSON football players will begin
spring practice Monday.
Players will report with the knowledge that they already have
locked up a spot in the state playoffs at the conclusion of the
regular season, thanks to the Georgia High School Association's
realignment under the watchful eye of House Speaker Tom Murphy.
Jefferson will open the season September 1 at GHSA newcomer Athens
Christian, and host Banks County the following week. Prior to
their short region schedule, the Dragons will face Johnson, Madison
County, Social Circle, Oglethorpe County and Landmark Christian.
An open date October 20 will give Jefferson extra time to prepare
for region opponents Buford, Commerce and Wesleyan. The Dragons
will see little travel time in the region battles, as only the
contest with Commerce is on the road.
PANTHERS START WITH FAMILIAR FOE
Though Jackson County's incoming freshmen started three-a-week
practices earlier this week, their teammates will not report
until May 8.
The Panthers, coming off an 0-10 year under new head coach Greg
Lowe, will look to avenge last year's season-opening penetration
loss to Banks County on September 1.
Jackson County faces Madison County in their second game of the
season, before starting their region schedule. Though the Raiders
are in the same region with Jackson County, the team has chosen
not to play a region schedule in the upcoming season.
Region foes for Jackson County are Eastside, Elbert County, Franklin
County, Hart County, Loganville, Monroe Area, Stephens County
Krystal Britt signs
with Emmanuel College
BY TIM THOMAS
Jackson County senior Krystal Britt signed a basketball scholarship
with Emmanuel College Thursday.
Flanked by parents Ronnie and Barbara Britt, the former Lady
Panther point guard placed her name on the deal that will send
her to one of the top small college basketball leagues in the
"I'm very excited about signing with Emmanuel," Britt
said. "I'm looking forward to playing ball, and being point
Emmanuel coach Arlon Beadles, on hand for the signing, said Britt
will fit nicely into his team.
"I like the way she plays," Beadles said. "She
passes the ball up the floor really well. I think she'll do a
good job for us. We definitely need some help at the point guard
position, as we only have one point guard returning next year."
Emmanuel finished 16-19 during its most recent season, taking
fourth place in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Along the way, the team defeated defending national champion
Emmanuel College is also a member of NAIA Division I, in the
Georgia-Alabama-Carolina conference. The conference boasted three
ladies' basketball teams among the top 20 in the nation last
year North Georgia College, Auburn University at Montgomery
and Georgia Southwestern University.
Asked about the transition from high school to college, Britt
was a bit hesitant.
"It's kind of scary," she said. "I'll be on my
Britt's new head coach expressed confidence that his rising young
star would shine brightly on the court.
"Usually the biggest adjustment that high school players
have to make is playing against the defense that you encounter
in college," said Beadles. "That will take her a little
while, but after that I think she'll be an excellent college
send two to state meet
BY TIM THOMAS
One was expected. The other was a most pleasant surprise.
Carly Parr and Sara Freeland qualified for the girls' state track
meet in Albany by taking second place in three separate events
at the region 8-AAA girls' track meet at North Gwinnett this
Parr continued to shave seconds off her time in both the 1600-
and 3200-meter races, closing in on her times from last year's
state meet. North Gwinnett's Kathleen Turchin finished ahead
of Parr in both events.
Though the Lady Panthers claimed 14 season-best performances
in the meet, it was Freeland's second at 800 meters that stole
the show. Freeland, at best a long shot to qualify, shocked both
the field and her coaches with a school-record time of 2:27.98,
just 0.62 behind region champion Aimee Forbing of Dacula.
"That was a pleasant surprise," said head coach Steve
Collins. "She's only run the 800 for about half the season.
Sometimes you stumble into things like that. I think we've finally
found a spot for Sara."
Freshman Crystal Yonce just missed qualifying in the high jump;
her third-place finish earned her the honor of being an alternate
in that event. Her jump of five feet even was her best ever,
and equal to those of the two qualifiers, both of whom cleared
the height in fewer attempts.
"Crystal finally getting five feet in the high jump was
a big step," Collins said. The coach also expressed his
pleasure with Lacey Phillips' performance in the long jump. "It
was by far her best jump of the year. It felt good to get somebody
over 15 feet." Phillips' leap of 15 feet, 8.5 inches was
her best ever, good for fifth in the region. In addition, the
1600-meter relay team set a new school record in Saturday's preliminary
round, but was not quite fast enough to reach Monday's finals.
Karla Rainwater finished fifth in the 100-meter intermediate
hurdles final at 17.19 seconds, cutting seven-tenths off her
previous personal best.
"We did about what I thought we could do," Collins
said of his team's sixth-place finish. "Obviously, you'd
like to finish higher than that, but realistically, that's about
what I expected, though there were some surprises. We had a lot
more things to be happy about than to be disappointed about."
Parr and Rainwater will represent Jackson County in the state
meet beginning next Thursday. The 800-meter preliminary is scheduled
for Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with finals Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Parr will run the 3200-meter race Thursday at 8:45 p.m., and
the 1600 Friday at 5:55 p.m.
BOYS' REGION AT HOME THIS WEEKEND
The Panther boys will host their region meet Saturday and Monday
at Panther Stadium.
Field events will begin Saturday at 9:30 a.m., with track preliminaries
around 12:30 p.m. Monday's finals are set for a 5 p.m. start.
set for state
BY ZACH MITCHAM
The 14-2 Madison County girls' tennis team will travel to North
Springs High School today (Wednesday) at 4:30 p.m. to open the
The Lady Raiders advanced to the state playoffs with a second-
place finish in the Region 8-AAA tournament this past week. Madison
County downed Oconee County and Central Gwinnett before losing
to North Gwinnett in the finals.
Certainly, the Region 5-AAA school near Cumming cannot be taken
lightly - no team in the state tournament can - but Madison County
coach Cliff Craig felt somewhat relieved Monday, learning that
his squad would face the Lady Spartans and not six-time defending
Class AAA state champion Marist in the opening round. The coach
had expected Marist to be his squad's first round foe.
And however the girls' squad does this week, Craig says he's
happy with how things are going for Madison County tennis.
"The tennis program in the county is looking good,"
said Craig, who will lose no girls' players next season and only
one boys' team member, number one seed Chris Clark.
Craig was particularly happy that his girls' squad beat Oconee
County in the region tournament.
"That was the first time we beat the Oconee girls' team
in recent history," said Craig, who said he has always used
Oconee as a barometer for the success of his team. "This
(win over Oconee) was a major step in the program."
Winning for the Lady Raiders in that match were Rochelle Comer,
as well as the doubles teams of Elizabeth Turner and Christy
Thomas and Sara Fitzpatrick and Tiffany Ledford. Fitzpatrick
and Ledford showed resilience in the match, grabbing the victory
after losing the first set and trailing 1-4 in the second set.
Those posting wins in the squad's win over Central Gwinnett were
Renee Mathews, Comer, and the doubles squad of Turner and Thomas.
Madison County won no matches against North Gwinnett.
While the girls' squad earned a berth to the state tournament,
the boys' team felt the hurt of coming one point from competing
The 10-5 boys' team had match point in the deciding doubles match
in the semifinals against North Gwinnett Saturday, but the Bulldogs
came back, spoiling the Raiders' state tournament bid.
The Raider squad advanced to the semifinals by beating Dacula
in the first round, a team that defeated Madison County earlier
this year. Winning in that match were Clark, Brandon Myers and
the doubles team of Drew Perry and Cole Tonge.
Clark and Kenny Powers posted wins against North Gwinnett.
Craig said he is pleased with the improvement of his players
this season and added that he is already looking forward to next
year when the regions are realigned.
"I think we'll stack up better," said Craig. "There'll
be no Gwinnett County teams. It all comes down to how hard they
work in the offseason."
fall one shot short of state tourney
Hybl fires 76 in bad conditions to claim
individual region crown
BY BEN MUNRO
A third consecutive trip to the state tournament fell one shot
out of the golf team's grasp Monday as the Madison County squad
placed third at the 8-AAA region tournament, firing a 327 at
Royal Lakes Golf Course.
However, not all was lost as the Raider team did boast the best
individual effort of the tournament as senior Ryan Hybl managed
a 76 in less than ideal conditions to claim the spot as the region's
low medalist. Hybl will now get a chance to compete in the AAA
state tournament at Augusta's Goshen Plantation in two weeks
where he will defend the state individual crown which he won
a year ago.
Oconee and Dacula, the two squads which at the beginning of the
season Raider coach Mark Turner predicted that Madison County
would have to beat to make a third trip to state, were the two
teams that the squad failed to top as Oconee, who had five players
shoot below 80, pieced together a stellar 311, while Dacula finished
one stroke better than the Raiders, posting a 326.
"I'm pretty disappointed," said Turner of the Raiders'
absence from state tournament play this year. "I really
thought we had a really good shot at going to state. But Oconee
and Dacula are two of the better teams around. We just hit our
slump at the wrong time of the season."
Rounding out the rest of the scores on the day for the Raiders
were senior Lee Allen, who posted a 79 in his last event as a
Raider golfer, Jeremy Cooper, who fired an 82, and Tyler McSpadden,
who finished with a 90.
Though the team posted a very impressive 41-12-2 record this
year, the team still fell short of preseason expectations.
"We lost way too many matches this year," Turner said.
"I figured we'd only lose about five and have a good shot
at having our best winning percentage for the season. But our
record was not too shabby and we have nothing to hang our heads
For next year, the team will have to deal with the losses of
its top two players, Hybl, the most decorated golfer in the school's
history, and Lee Allen, who has made several big contributions
to the golf team over the past four years. However, this burden
should be lightened with the squad competing in a weaker region
next year due to realignment.
"The change in the region came along at a good time for
us because we are losing Ryan and Lee," said Turner. "We
should be in good shape for the next two years."