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.
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
Collins indicated Birdette should be ready, despite some physical
"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
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,"
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
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 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
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."
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.