Area Sports...

 May 3, 2000


Gary, Perry Win Region Titles For Tigers
Commerce's McFadden To Run At State Meet In 3,200, 1,600
Before Commerce High School sends its two Region 8-A champions to the boys' state meet a week from Friday, the school will be represented in two races in the girls' meet by Stephanie McFadden.
McFadden won the 3,200-meter run and finished second in the 1,600 run at the girls' Region 8-A meet last week at Greater Atlanta Christian.
CHS shot putter Casey Gary and pole vaulter Adam Perry continued the trend with titles at the Region 8-A boys' meet Monday in Jefferson.
Gary turned in a distance of 49 feet, 9 3/4 inches in the shot put. He also competed in the discus finals.
Perry cleared 12-0 in the pole vault to take the title. Jefferson's Blake Gooch was second with a height of 11-6.
Perry also reached the finals in 110 hurdles.
BOYS
All the field events and qualifying for the track meet were held Monday night.
Twion Shealer took fourth in the shot put with a distance of 44-11 1/2.
Jefferson also qualified Steve Green in the triple jump.
Banks County's Chris Ivey was second in the high jump.
GIRLS
Other Commerce girls competed in the Region 8-A meet.
Elizabeth Roller finished third in the 400 run and fourth in the high jump.
Shemika Reed was fifth in the 100 and sixth in the 200.
Anna Roller was third in the 800. Crystal Rainwater was fifth in the 800.
McFadden, E. Roller, Rainwater and A. Roller took fourth place in the mile relay.
Jefferson qualified three girls for the state meet.
Heather Green was first at region in the high jump. Annie Goza took the region title in the discus. Audrey Johnson was second in the 300 hurdles.
Jackson County Comprehensive High School will also send to girls to state.
Carly Parr will compete for the fourth straight year in the distance events. Parr took second place in both the 3,200 and 1,600 runs at the Region 8-AAA meet last week.
Sara Freeland will also compete for JCCHS in the 800 run.


Another Top 20 Finish For Crane
Jefferson teen Ryan Crane continued his strong performance in NASCAR's SlimJim All Pro Series Saturday, finishing 15th in a field of 29 drivers. Crane started 20th in the Discount Auto Parts 200 presented by ROL Gaskets at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla., and finished one spot behind Stremme. Bryant was the top rookie of the race, crossing the line sixth.
The finish puts Crane 17th in the overall series points standings, less than 40 points out of the top 10.
The next stop for the SlimJim All Pro Series is May 13, at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tenn. The tour will visit Lanier National Speedway June 10.


Gridiron Slate Set For 2000
Area teams have finalized their football schedules for the upcoming season.
The realignment in March voided all of the previously contracted schedules.
Like Commerce, Region 8-A foe Jefferson was forced to find seven non-region games.
Jefferson's schedule mixes some area teams and some new faces.
The Dragons will keep Commerce, Buford, Wesleyan and Banks County from the 1999 schedule. They will also add former region foes Social Circle and Oglethorpe County.
Banks County, which joins several current Region 8-A teams in 8-AA next year, will play an eight-game region schedule.
As they have for the past two years, the Leopards will open with Jackson County. Banks County will face Jefferson in the second week for its only other non-region game.
Jackson County will play in Region 8-AAA, but the dates for the schedule were not available at press time.
The Panthers will play an eight-game region schedule with Eastside, Elbert County, Franklin County, Hart County, Jackson County, Loganville, Monroe Area, Stephens County and Winder-Barrow.
Madison County is also in Region 8-AAA, but is playing a non-region schedule.
Jackson County will face the Red Raiders as one of their other non-region games.
The Panthers face Banks County in their other non-region game in the season opener.


BCHS sends two to state
Ivey, Carruth headed to Class A meets
Banks County will send two junior competitors to the Class A track meets this year.
Taffy Carruth will return to the girls' state meet in Albany after winning the Region 8-A title last week at Greater Atlanta Christian. Carruth finished second in the region last year, earning her a spot at state.
This year, she threw for a distance of 31 feet, two inches to claim first place.
Chris Ivey took second place in the high jump at the Region 8-A boys' meet Monday with a mark of 6-2. Earlier this year, Banks cleared 6-5 at a meet on the Jefferson track. The top two competitors in each region event move on to the state meet.
Ivey is the first Leopard high jumper to qualify for state since Orlando Wiley set the Class A record in the event for Banks County in 1998 with a jump of 6-10.
The Class A boys' high jump will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the Jefferson track.
GIRLS' REGION MEET
Banks County finished with 16 team points in the girls' region meet last week.
Carruth led the way with her first-place finish.
Charli Bellamy reached the finals in the 300 hurdles, taking fourth place with a time of 53:17.2.
Jessica Dempsey was sixth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 6:30 p.m.
Providence Christian took first in the team competition.
Several area schools are also sending representatives to the girls' state meet.
Commerce's Stephanie McFadden will run in the 3,200 and 1,600 runs.
Jefferson's Heather Green and Annie Goza were the region champions in the high jump and discus, respectively. Audrey Johnson took second place in the 300 hurdles for the Lady Dragons.
Jackson County's Carly Parr will run in the Class AAA 3,200 and 1,600 runs. Lady Panther Sara Freeland will also compete in the 800 run.
BOYS' REGION MEET
Ivey led the way for the boys at the region meet with his second-place finish.
Jamie Voll also scored a point for the Leopards with a sixth-place finish in the 200 dash with a time of 24.03.
Buford took first place in the boys' team competition.
Commerce's Casey Gary and Adam Perry will advance to state after winning the shot put and pole vault, respectively.
Jefferson's Steve Green qualified for state, taking second in the triple jump. Blake Gooch also qualified for state by taking second place in the pole vault.


Banks Co. begins spring football Mon.
Banks County will begin spring football practice next Monday with an emphasis on contact, according to coach Rance Gillespie.
"We want to emphasize getting physical," Gillespie said. "They're all bigger and stronger, so there ought to be some pretty good licks passed out there."
The Leopards turned around from an 0-10 mark in 1998 to post a 4-6 record last season in Gillespie's first year at the helm.
Banks County will run football drills for two weeks to find new players at some key positions.
"We've got a couple of need areas," Gillespie said. "We've got to find some more folks who can play. We need to fill some spots on the offensive line. And we need to find one or two on the defensive side. Those are the big things we've got to do."
The Leopards will begin play next fall in Region 8-AA with a mix of new and old teams.
Dawson County, East Hall, Greater Atlanta Christian, Apalachee, Lumpkin County, Union County, Rabun County and White County will make up the new region.


Three Lady Dragons head to Albany
Three members of Jefferson High School's varsity girls' track team will participate in the state all-classification meet this week in Albany, after qualifying last Wednesday in the region 8-A meet at Greater Atlanta Christian School.
Heather Green continued her stellar performance in the high jump, nabbing the region championship by clearing five feet, two inches. The mark is just one inch shy of Green's school record of 5'3", set earlier this season.
Star freshman athlete Annie Goza also earned a region crown, reaching a distance of 107 feet, 10 inches with the discus. Goza's nearest competitor was more than nine feet short of the Lady Dragon's winning mark.
Audrey Johnson earned a spot in the state meet, finishing second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 51.04 seconds. Johnson also picked up team points with her fifth-place finish in the high jump. Johnson missed state qualifying and a Jefferson sweep in that event by a mere two inches.
Others contributing points toward the Lady Dragons' sixth-place finish were: Michelle Boring (sixth, 400 meters), Megan Lindsay (fourth, 3200 meters) and Vanessa Greenwood (fifth, long jump). The team's 1600-meter relay squad also earned points with their sixth-place finish.
Johnson's preliminaries in the 300-meter hurdles will begin at 8:15 p.m. Friday, and finals are scheduled for 3:35 p.m. Saturday. Green will compete in the high jump Friday at 10:30 a.m., with Goza following at noon in the discus throw.
BOYS FINISH THIRD
Jefferson's boys finished third in their region meet this week, behind Buford and Providence. The Dragons qualified one relay team and two individuals for next week's state meet at home.
Steve Green took second in the triple jump, at 40 feet, 1.5 inches. Teammate Blake Gooch was second in the pole vault, clearing a height of 11 feet. Additionally, the 4X400 relay team finished first, with a time of 3:29.66. Green also finished fifth in the high jump, and fourth in the pole vault.
Jacob Cole fell just short of qualifying for the state meet, finishing third in the 400-meter dash by just one-hundredth of a second. Cole was also fourth in the 200-meter dash.
Roderick Young also just missed, taking third in the long jump with a leap of 20'6.5". The effort was only one inch shy of second place, and an inch-and-a-half out of first. Young also took sixth in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the high jump.
Other team members scoring points for the Dragons were: Chris Gooch (fifth, 300-meter hurdles), David Boring (fourth, 800 meters), Kevin Kelly (third, 3200 meters) and Jason Lee (fifth, triple jump). Jefferson's 400-meter relay team took fourth with a time of 45.53 seconds.


Panther boys send three
Birdette, brothers Kubiak lead team
Tim Birdette and brothers Chuck and Chris Kubiak led the Jackson County boys' track team to a fourth-place finish in the region 8-AAA boys' track meet Saturday and Monday at Panther Stadium. The trio will represent Jackson County in the state all-classification boys' meet next Friday and Saturday at Jefferson's Bryan/Keen track at Memorial Stadium.
Birdette wowed onlookers with his first two long jumps, going high in the air to soar past the 21-foot mark twice. Birdette's longest leap of 21'8" was more than a foot better than his nearest competitor. Birdette also picked up points with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash ­ only three-tenths of a second away from a state berth ­ and by running sixth in the 400-meter dash.
Chris Kubiak finished seventh in the event, at 19'4.5". Kubiak contributed points to the team effort with his fifth-place finish in the 400-meter dash, and with his state-qualifying second in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
Not to be outdone, brother Chuck Kubiak earned eight team points and a state berth by taking second in the discus throw at 135 feet, nine inches.
The AAA long jump competition is set for 11:30 a.m. Friday, with the discus throw at 1 p.m. Preliminaries for the 300-meter intermediate hurdles will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, with finals Saturday at 3 p.m.
Jackson County earned 55.33 points in the region meet, behind Oconee County (118), Dacula (96) and West Hall (64).
Others earning points for the team were: Kelly Parr (fifth, 1600 meters and third, 3200 meters), Justin Lott (fourth, 110-meter high hurdles), John Hardie (sixth, 110-meter high hurdles), Travis Parks (fourth, high jump) and Tony Dalton (fourth, pole vault). Jackson County's 4X400 relay team added points with their fifth-place finish, and the 4X100 team chipped in by claiming sixth in that event.
GIRLS HEAD TO ALBANY
Carly Parr and Sara Freeland will make the long journey to Albany Thursday, to participate in the girls' all-classification meet. Parr qualified early last week with second-place finishes in both the 1600- and 3200-meters, while Freeland finished a close second in the 800-meter run, setting a new school record in the process.
Freeland will be first up for the Lady Panthers, running in the 800-meter preliminaries Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Finals will be held Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Parr will take to the track Thursday at 8:45 p.m. for the 3200-meter run, and Friday at 5:55 p.m. for the 1600-meter run.


Into the 'Elite 8'
Girls' tennis team knocked from state quarterfinals by Marist
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Marist allowed no silver slippers on the feet of the Madison County girls' tennis squad Monday, but the Lady Raider team launched itself into the state's "elite 8" earlier in the week with a first round win over North Springs in the Class AAA tournament.
The Madison County girls' tennis squad, which posted a 15-3 mark on the year, blanked the North Springs team 5-0 Wednesday, before falling 4-1 to Marist Monday, the lone win coming on a forfeit in a doubles match.
Madison County coach Cliff Craig said his team was clearly outmatched. However, he pointed out that Marist overpowers everyone.
"The Marist girls' team could probably beat any boys' team in AAA or AAAA," said Craig.
Two nationally ranked Marist players didn't hit the courts Monday, but the highly-touted squad was at no loss for ammunition.
Number one Madison County singles player Renee Mathews, who has blown by many competitors this season, was shutout 0-6, 0-6 by Amiee Smith, who is the state's top-ranked girls' player and ranked in the top five nationally.
Madison County's number two singles player Stacie Beard had a rough matchup as well, losing 0-6, 0-6 to the state's third-ranked player Lauren Welch, a nationally ranked freshman.
Lady Raider Rochelle Comer picked up the only wins for Madison County in singles play, losing 1-6, 1-6 to Francesca Venturi.
Madison County's number one doubles team of Elizabeth Turner and Christy Thomas lost 0-6, 0-6 to Brittany Rowley and Kathryn McKey.
The Lady Raider number two doubles team of Sallie Fitzpatrick and Tiffany Ledford won the only match of the day, thanks to a forfeit. Though the number two doubles match was forfeited, Fitzpatrick and Ledford did fare well in an exhibition match, leading their opponents 2-1 as the team match ended.
VERSUS
NORTH SPRINGS

Madison County earned a trip to the state quarterfinals by blanking North Springs 5-0 on the road Wednesday.
In singles action, Mathews downed Leslie Coughlin 6-4, 6-4. Beard beat Merideth Smith 7-6 (7-1), 6-4. Comer defeated Lyndsey Nye 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles play, Turner and Thomas topped Jaime Alpert and Beth Messer 6-2, 7-5. And Fitzpatrick and Ledford edged Katie McElroy and Fallon Brinson 9-8, winning the tiebreaker 7-5.
Craig had praise for Fitzpatrick and Ledford.
"Sallie and Tiffany played an extremely good number two doubles team," said Craig. "They did a good job against a team of that caliber."
OUTLOOK
Craig said he is looking forward to next season for both girls' and boys' tennis teams. The girls lose no one and the boys will be without senior standout Chris Clark.
The coach said his girls' team met most of its goals.
"I had hoped to win the region and not meet Marist until the finals," said Craig. "But to make the 'elite 8,' that is an accomplishment. I'm real proud of the girls."
Craig said his girls' team has a "solid chance" of making the state finals next year.
"It just boils down to what kind of effort the girls put into it this summer," he said.


Madison County track teams participate in region tourneys
Madison County's 2000 track season ended with some solid individual performances but no state qualifiers on either boys' or girls' squads.
The boys' track squad finished the season this past week with a 10th place finish in the Region 8-AAA meet in Jefferson.
Leading the squad was Jason Chappell, who placed sixth in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles. Demarkeo Mathis placed eighth in the 400-meter race and David Martinez finished eighth in the 3,200-meter event.
Aiyana Hunter led the Madison County girls' team in the region meet a week earlier, advancing to the finals in the 800-meter race.
Boys' coach Mike Haynes said he was pleased with the improvements made by the team during the season.
"We didn't have a bad showing (at the region meet) considering how young and inexperienced we are," said Haynes. "I'm proud of the kids."


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