Area Sports...

 June 7, 2000


Commerce athletic program 10th
Commerce High School's athletic program finished the year among the best in Class A, according to the final standings for the Georiga High School Athletic Directors' Cup.
Commerce finished tied for 10th with 280 points. Commerce received 100 points for the competitive cheerleaders' state title. Final four finishes in softball and football were worth 60 points each. Team finishes in wrestling and track also earned points for CHS.
Lovett took the Class A title led by a state title in wrestling, runners-up finishes in boys' track, boys' tennis and baseball and a top four finish in girls' cross country.
Greater Atlanta Christian, finishing tied for fourth in Class A, had the most points of any school in Region 8-A.
Providence was second in the region with 310 points, which placed them ninth in the state.
Commerce was third in the region.
Buford was next in the region with 210 points. Wesleyan was fifth in Region 8-A with 161 points. Jefferson was next in the region, tied for 25th in the state with 150 points.
Westminster eased to the Class AA cup with 1,110 points. Marist walked away with the Class AAA title by scoring 1,169 points, besting runner-up Woodward by more than 500 points. Walton won the Class AAAA cup with 690 points.


Team basketball camp starts Monday night
High school basketball will return to the Leopards' Den next week.
Hosting two legs of the Jackson County Team Camp, Banks County High School will house games at the new high school gym and the old gym.
Jefferson, which had participated in the camp in recent years, was unable to host the camp due to renovations to their gym. Banks County will take their place.
Jackson County and Commerce will be the other two host sites.
A total of 14 teams will be involved in the camp, including: Buford, Madison County, West Hall, Monroe Area, Wesleyan, Rabun County, Franklin County, Hart County, Gainesville, Clarke Central and Winder-Barrow.
Banks County will play its first game Monday at 6 p.m. against Hart County. The Leopards will play again at 8 p.m. against Gainesville.
Banks County will play all of its games at the new gym.


JHS gym renovations to begin Monday
A long-term renovation plan for the Jefferson High School gymnasium is set to take flight Monday, according to JHS basketball coach Bolling DuBose. Speaking at a boys' basketball camp earlier this week, DuBose said the renovations would stretch through most of the coming school year.
"Right now, we're limited to one full court for practice," DuBose said. "This will enable us to extend our two side courts to 84 feet."
The first phase of the project, which should begin Monday, includes removing the stands and inside wall on the south side of the gym, extending the playing surface, moving side-court baskets and installing new stands. DuBose expects the first phase to be completed some time in October.
Other renovations included in the long-term plan are: new windows above the stands on both sides, exhaust fans, an addition on the south side of the building that will house girls' locker rooms, refurbishing the upstairs locker area for use by the wrestling and boys' basketball teams, and improving the downstairs locker area for use by physical education classes.
The renovations will prevent Jefferson from participating in the annual Jackson County Team Basketball Camp, which is usually co-hosted by Jefferson, Jackson County, Commerce and Banks County. Banks County has made arrangements to use both their old and new gymnasiums to make up for the absence of the Jefferson facilities.


Crane brings rookie chase to Lanier
Seventeen-year old Ryan Crane will bring his hopes for winning rookie of the year in the NASCAR SlimJim All-Pro Series to Lanier National Speedway in Braselton Saturday. Trackside parking will open around 2:30 p.m., and the grandstand opens at 5 p.m. Qualifying begins at 6 p.m., and the green flag will drop at 7 p.m.
Asked how he felt about racing on his home track, Crane was optimistic.
"We raced there last year, and we think we've got a pretty good shot," said the upcoming Jefferson High School senior. "We tested there Friday and did real well." In addition, Crane has spent a large amount of time testing tires at Lanier for Goodyear.
"We were real pleased with the tire tests. Goodyear has given us a good tire."
Crane currently sits 15th in the series' overall standings with 572 points, third-best among rookies.
In rookie points, Crane is fourth, only a single point out of third and three behind runner-up Kevin Bryant. Casey Yunick leads the rookie chase, but is only seven points ahead of Crane. With 10 points awarded to the top-finishing rookie in each race, a good showing at Lanier could easily put Crane in third, or even second.
After five of 17 races, Crane leads all rookies in laps completed. He has finished in the top 20 in all five events, but has yet to crack the top 10 at the checkered flag.
In the series' most recent race, May 13 at Memphis Motorsports Park, Crane was running in the top 10 and leading all rookies with four laps remaining, when an ignition problem led to a fire that forced him from his car.
Crane's Chevrolet Monte Carlo is sponsored on the All-Pro tour by Fresh Frozen Foods, Jefferson, though partial sponsorships are still available. Information on sponsorships may be obtained by calling Michelle Moody at (706) 865-4559.


Cleveland Indians draft MCHS hurler Tolbert
Madison County's Scott Tolbert was drafted Monday by the Cleveland Indians in the ninth round. However, the recent high school graduate said he hasn't decided whether he will turn pro or travel to Statesboro to play for the Eagles.
"It's a tough decision," Tolbert said Monday. "I guess it depends on what they [Cleveland] offer."
As of Monday, Tolbert, who signed with Georgia Southern in December, had not negotiated with the Indians on a contract.
"I don't know when they'll contact me," he said, adding that he is leaving for a seven-day trip to Cancun later this week.
Tolbert said Internet sites had anticipated that he would be drafted by the fifth round. So he was somewhat surprised when he wasn't chosen until the ninth round.
He felt last week's exhibition for top prospects at Turner Field may have affected his draft status. He suffered a sore arm during the exhibition.
But the fireballer said he's happy the draft is over. He's had constant phone calls and two to three scouts contacting him per week.
"People say 'don't you like having all that attention?'" he said. "But it starts to get a little old."
Tolbert was the top pitcher in the area this year, posting a 5-1 mark and a 2.26 earned run average. He had 95 strikeouts and 22 walks in 52 innings.
Over his final two years of high school baseball, the Madison Countian recorded 191 strikeouts in 118 innings pitched.
Tolbert, who hurled a perfect game his junior year, is known for his overpowering fastball - in the 88-93 mile-an-hour range. But Tolbert also keeps batters off balance with a curve, slider and changeup.


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