Area Sports...

May 2, 2001

30th Georgia Olympics begins Thursday
Jefferson High School will host the 30th annual Georgia Olympics Thursday through Saturday at Bryan/Keen track at Memorial Field. The event will determine boys' state individual and team champions in all five classifications.
The five schools in the Mainstreet Newspapers coverage area will be represented by 11 athletes and two relay teams in 11 separate events during the three-day meet.
Jefferson is represented in seven events. Courtney Wiley leads the way, having already posted a long jump within a foot of last year's state championship leap of 22 feet, 9.5 inches. Wiley will also run in the 100-meter dash. Michael Lyles also qualified in two events, the long jump and the 200-meter dash. Jacob Cole was a two-event qualifier, in both the 200 and 400 meters.
Jefferson's 400-meter relay team also looks strong, having run within two seconds of last year's best Class A time in the state meet. Commerce's Casey Gary has already surpassed last year's state-championship shot put mark.
Landmark Christian is looking to earn its sixth consecutive state championship in Class A, but Region 1-A champ Pelham has put up some competitive distances and times. Other region champs include Jefferson, Adairsville and Warren County.
Other Jefferson qualifiers were David Boring (800 meters) and Chris Gooch (300 meter intermediate hurdles). Twion Shealer will represent Commerce in the discus, along with Gary.
PANTHER STATESMEN
Jackson County sends Chuck Kubiak (discus) and Tim Birdette (long jump) to participate in the Class AAA state meet. Kubiak's season-best throw of nearly 155 feet is just a little over five feet shy of last year's state title mark of 160, and Birdette could compete in the long jump.
"I have no idea what the rest of the state is throwing in the discus," Panther head coach Steve Collins said earlier this week. "Right now, Chuck is throwing pretty good. He's already broken the 150 barrier. I'm ready to see him step over 160."
Collins indicated Birdette should be ready, despite some physical hindrances.
"Tim's been working hard all year, but he's had some nagging little pains. He'll be ready to go on Thursday. You've pretty much got to go 22 feet to be in the top bunch. He's capable of that when he's healthy, and he's as healthy as he's been this year. We'll just have to wait and see."
Session I of the Georgia Olympics begins Thursday at noon. Field events and the the 1600-meter run will be held the first day. Session II, which features the 3200-meter run and qualifying heats for other running events, begins Friday at noon. Running event finals will be held Saturday. Opening ceremonies are planned for noon, with the 400-meter relay finals kicking off the day's action at 12:45 p.m.
For a complete schedule of events, see this weeks Jackson Herald.





Gary Eyes State Crown
Commerce senior Casey Gary is heading to the state tournament to throw the shot put and the discus. The tournament will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Jefferson. Gary finished first in the shot and discus in the region tournament.
In the shot Gary threw 50' 10.5" to win the region. His discus throw was measured at 143' 1".
"I prefer the shot by far," Gary said.
Gary finished third in the shot at last year's state tournament. In his sophomore year Gary was second in the state.
"I've been throwing the shot since seventh grade," Gary said. "I was taught by Coach Oliver from seventh through eleventh grade. Now (Terry) Canup is my coach and he is good."
"You got to be strong, you can't be weak. The shot weighs 12 pounds. People think it is easy to throw, but it is a lot of technique," Gary said.
Gary described the method he uses to throw the shot. "It is called a glide. I'm not coordinated enough to do a spin. The glide gives power to your legs."
Mixon Robinson of Athens Academy and Joey McDonald of Buford are two competitors that Gary said he heard were "good." McDonald finished second in the region behind Gary.
This is the first year Gary has thrown the discus in state competition.
"I didn't place before. This year I won finally," commented Gary. "I might can get second in the state. I'll try for first but it'll be hard," Gary said.
Gary will be joined at the state tournament by Tigers' senior Twion Shealer. Shealer placed second in the region in the discus competition. Shealer won the state discus competition his freshman year. "He's got a good chance, it only takes one throw," Gary commented.




Diamond Leopards going to state
Banks has two regular season games remaining. For the first time in Mike Williams' coaching career, he's taking a team into the state playoffs. "This is my first playoff game and I'm just as excited as the kids," Williams said. "These kids have earned it and it's something special for them."
The Leopards' success this year has landed them a guaranteed berth in the state playoffs. As the standings are now, Banks (19-4, 15-3) will likely finish the year in second place in Region 8-AA. If so, Banks will host their first round game next weekend against the number three seed from Region 7-AA.
"This is something special that these kids have worked toward," Williams said. "Being able to host a state playoff game, winning 20 games last year and having the chance to win 21 this year is all because of hard work. Overall, their work ethic is great. That's what's helped them get to the spot they're at now."
Region 7-AA will most likely finish with Morgan County in first, Oglethorpe County in second, Washington-Wilkes at third and Montecello in fourth.
"In March, our goal was to make it to the state playoffs," Williams said. "Well, we've accomplished our first goal."
Banks County could have a chance to finish the season first in Region 8-AA. If the Leopards win their final two games and GAC losses to Dawson County Wednesday, Banks could claim the top spot.
East Hall and Lumpkin will probably finish behind Banks and GAC to round out the top four.
"Our region has got a chance to do well in the play-offs," Williams said. "It's a tough region."
Before moving into the state playoffs, Banks has two more regular season opponents to finish off.
Friday, the Leopards will travel to Tiger to take on rival Rabun County at 4 p.m.
"Rabun is playing a little better," Williams said. "They just don't have the experience we have."
On Monday, Banks will play in its final regular season game against Lumpkin County in Dahlonega at 4:30 p.m.
"Lumpkin is not playing bad either," Williams said. "But I hope we'll come out on top."


Region champs!
Girls' tennis squad wins 8-AAA crown; boys' team takes second.
The cards were stacked against them at times last week, but the Madison County girls' varsity tennis team showed all aces in winning their first ever Region 8-AAA title in Hartwell.
And the boys' team took second place, giving both Madison County squads a berth into the Class AAA state tournament.
The girls, who qualified for state for the fourth consecutive year, were scheduled to face Region 7-AAA runner-up South Forsyth at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday). The boys traveled to Gainesville Tuesday, winning that match 3-2 and advancing to the second round of state. Number one singles player Kenny Powers won his match 6-3, 6-4. Chad Coulter defeated his opponent 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 and Drew Perry and Paul Wildes won their doubles match. More details were not available as of press time.
The Lady Raiders claimed their crown with a 5-0 win over Stephens County and 3-2 victories over Franklin and Hart counties.
"It was totally awesome," said Madison County tennis coach Cliff Craig. "I was really pleased with how the girls were able to stay focused in the finals despite the fact that it was their second match of the day."
Though lady netters' first match was relatively easy, Franklin and Hart counties provided stiff competition. Craig said Franklin County "stacked" the doubles teams against them, playing their better team at the number two position. He said this put significant pressure on Madison County's number two doubles team of Sallie Fitzpatrick and Kimberly Edins, who bounced back after losing the first set.
For complete scores, see this weeks Madison County Journal.


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