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May 01, 2002


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Leopard sets school record for nine holes
Dale shot record setting 31 in nine
School records aren’t broken every week.
But to Matt Dale, who set a school low 31 through nine holes, his accomplishment simply happened.
“Things just clicked,” Dale said. “But mostly it was luck though.”
Dale’s score against Rabun Gap last week broke Michael Brown’s record of 32 through nine.
“We were very please with that,” head coach Chris Colwell said.
Dale led the Leopards in a 162-181 win over Rabun Gap.
Senior Drew Sparks finished behind him with 40.
Jacob Fountain shot a 43 and Justin Crocker shot a 48 to round out the top four.
Others posting scores at the match include: Cody Whitlock, 53, and Tanner Goodson, 55.
The Leopards and Lady Leopards’ golf teams were slated to face off in the region tournament at Butternut Creek Tuesday. Results were not available at presstime.
In an earlier match, the Leopards fell 158-169 to Riverside.
Dale again shot the team low of 37.
Other scorers were: Fountain, 38; Sparks, 42; Crocker, 52; Whitlock, 5; and Goodson, 58.
“We will be competing with Riverside for a spot in the state tournament,” Colwell said. “We need a fourth scorer to step up.”


Tigers Gear Up For Finish
Commerce Blasts Tallulah, Set To Finish Season With Lakeview And Wesleyan This Week
Fresh off a 9-4 thrashing of Tallulah Falls Monday, the diamond Tiger baseball team will look to close a shaky regular season with a solid finish this week.
The 4-12 squad is set to wrap up their 2002 slate with road contests against Lakeview today and Wesleyan Friday.
With that stretch will be a lingering, though slim, possibility of a playoff spot for the Tigers.
Despite 3-7 region record, two wins this week could keep the team’s postseason hopes afloat, since the Tigers have yet to be mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture.
With the top four teams from 8-A advancing to state, Commerce currently sits at sixth in the region standings, two games behind fourth-place Wesleyan (5-5) and a game behind fifth-place Providence Academy (4-7) for the final playoff slot.
If Tallulah Falls upsets Wesleyan today, Commerce could tie the Wolves for that fourth spot with a win over Lakeview and then a victory over Wesleyan in the season finale, giving the Tigers and Wolves identical 5-7 marks.
A tie would then set up a one-game playoff.
However, that scenario isn’t likely since Tallulah Falls owns an 0-11 record in the region and Wesleyan needs only a win over the Indians to clinch the final playoff slot.
But playoff possibilities or not, a pair of wins this week would be a needed high note on which to end the season according to David Cash.
“That would be great for everyone’s morale,” Cash said. “Not only would it be three-in-a-row, but the last two would be over some quality teams—Lakeview and Wesleyan. That would greatly benefit everyone.”
The coach added that his team has a shot at getting those two wins given the parity of the region this year.
“All the coaches pretty much agree that after Jefferson, you could throw a blanket over the rest of us,” Cash said.
However, the team will have to be able to put together a complete game this week.
The team has had trouble holding leads in big contests this year, squandering a 5-0 lead against first-place Jefferson April 22 and a 3-0 lead over second-place Buford this past Friday.
“We keep thinking we’re going to break out and hold a lead,” Cash said of his team.
Cash said much of his team’s success will rely on the squad’s play in the field.
“The pitching and defense has to hold up because the offense has been getting us the runs we need.”
COMMERCE 9, TALLULAH FALLS 4
Craig Henderson beat up on the Tallulah Falls Indians both literally and figuratively Monday afternoon, leading Commerce to a 9-4 win in the final home game of the 2002 season.
Henderson, pitching a complete game, hit six Indians with errant curves, struck out 13 and had four runs batted in with a solo homer, a two-run double and a single as the Tigers improved their season mark to 4-12.
“It was a strange day, but it was a pleasure to watch,” said Coach David Cash. “It was good to win the last home game for the three seniors (Henderson, Scott White and Kevin Wilson). All three had good days. Scott White had a homer on his last at-bat, Henderson had a complete game, struck out 13 and had four RBIs and Kevin Wilson had two hits.”
Sam Cutler got the Tigers off to a quick offensive start, taking the opening pitch of the bottom of the first out of the ballpark. A batter later, Henderson followed with a solo homer to post the Tigers to a 2-0 advantage.
They upped the lead to 3-0 in the second when Cutler doubled and scored on Henderson’s single.
Tallulah Falls got back a run in the fourth on a hit batsman, a stolen base and a Tiger error, but Commerce put three more on the board in the bottom half of the inning when Cutler reached on an error, Kevin Wilson singled on an I-got-it-you-take-it infield fly nobody bothered to field, Henderson doubled them home and then scored on a ground-out.
Tallulah Falls made the game interesting in a bizarre fifth inning. The first two batters reached by being hit by Henderson. The third looped a fly ball into left that fell for a hit when the Tigers’ third baseman and left fielder collided. Another hit batsman and a single made it 6-4.
But the Tigers got the runs back in the bottom half of the inning when Wilson reached on a single, White blasted a homer over the right field fence, and Jordan followed with a solo shot into left.
Henderson set down the Indians in the sixth and seventh (striking out five) to preserve the win.
BUFORD 16, COMMERCE 6
Commerce could do little wrong for three innings against Buford Friday, but melted down in the final two in a 16-6, run-rule shortened loss to the Wolves.
The Tigers cruised along with a 4-3 lead until the bottom of the fourth where they were ambushed by the Buford bats, surrendering seven scores that inning followed by seven more in the fifth to end the ball game.
Early on, Commerce’s fourth win seemed well within their grasp as they sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning, striking for three runs.
In the inning, Kevin Wilson and Craig Henderson started things off with back-to-back singles and came home off a wild pitch and an RBI single from Josh Haynes to put the team up 2-0.
Commerce then added their third run after Caleb Jordan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Buford managed a solo homer in the bottom half of the inning, but the Tigers got the run back in the top of the second as Wilson, who reached base via a double, came home on a wild pitch to give his team a 4-1 edge.
From the mound, Commerce starter Chad Jordan held Buford in check for the most part over the next two innings except for surrendering an RBI double in the bottom of the third which cut the Tiger lead to 4-2.
But things changed in a matter of an inning.
The Wovles picked up their first barrage of runs in the fourth, getting scores of off a wild pitch, an error, a two-run single, a two-run triple and a home run to the deepest part of the ball park to give them a commanding 9-4 lead.
The Tigers tried to battle back, getting a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning off a RBI single from Hank Tiller and score from Haynes, who came home off a ground out from Ca. Jordan.
But Buford’s half of the inning would mirror the wild fourth with the Wolves’ pushing the deficit to 10 runs, getting scores off a two-run triple, a pair of back-to-back wild pitches, an RBI single and a two-run single to end the game.


JHS boys 2nd in region; qualify for state in nine events
JEFFERSON High School’s boys’ varsity track and field team finished second this week in the Region 8-A meet, behind Buford.
A week after the girls’ team accomplished a virtually identical feat, Jefferson’s boys qualified six individuals and one relay team for next week’s Georgia Olympics in their home stadium.
Courtney Wiley will represent the Dragons in three events, having won the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 3.25 inches and finishing second in both the 100-meter (11.36) and 200-meter (23.10) dash events.
David Boring won the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.14 seconds, and ran second in the 800-meter run in 2:03.82.
Also placing second and qualifying for the boys’ state meet were Stephen Wiley (42’ 7” triple jump), Jason Martin (45’ 3” shot put, 149’ 6” discus throw), Travis Reed (16.01 in 110-meter hurdles) and Michael Lyles (52.57 in 400 meters). The Dragons’ 1600-meter relay team also finished second with a time of 3:38.87.
The boys’ state all-classification meet - otherwise known as the Georgia Olympics - will begin next Thursday.
Others placing in the region meet included Andrew Chambers (fifth - discus and shot), Brandon Mackey (sixth - 110 hurdles), Reed (third - 300 hurdles), Blake Gooch (third - pole vault and fifth - 300 hurdles), S. Wiley (fourth - 100 meters and long jump), Corey Mack (sixth - high jump), Todd Freeman (fourth - pole vault) and the 400-meter relay team (third).
LOSS IN FINAL DUAL MEET
Jefferson dropped its final dual meet of the season last week, 73-63 to Riverside Military Academy.
C. Wiley took first place in the long jump (21’ 9”), 100 meters (11.14) and 200 meters (22.63), and Martin won the shot (43’ 8”) and discus (127’ 10”).
Also claiming first-place finishes were S. Wiley (42’ 1.5” triple jump), Gooch (11’ 6” pole vault), Boring (52.19 in 400 meters) and the 1600-meter relay team (3:41.0).
Other place-winners in the final regular-season meet were: Charles Cunningham (third - shot), Corey Mack (third - high jump), Andrew Chambers (third - discus), Freeman (second - pole vault), Lyles (third - 400 meters), S. Wiley (second - 100 meters), Boring (second - 800 meters), Reed (third - 110 hurdles and second - 300 hurdles) and Matt Dover (third - 3200).
The loss was Jefferson’s first of the season, closing the team’s 2002 overall record at 7-1-1.


Kubiak to make third appearance in state meet
For the third straight year, Jackson County senior Chuck Kubiak will represent the Panthers in the discus throw competition at next weekend’s all-classification state championships at Jefferson.
Kubiak finished second in the event during last week’s Region 8-AAA meet at Winder, with a throw of 149 feet, 8 inches. Kubiak also qualified for the state meet in the shot put, placing second with a throw of 49 feet, 3.75 inches.
“It’s been a great run for Chuck,” Panther head coach Steve Collins said of Kubiak’s three appearances in the state meet, “and we’re still hoping the best is ahead for him, especially in the discus. He threw 154 feet last year, and we’d love to see him get over 160.”
Senior Kelly Parr just missed reaching the state meet in the 800-meter run, finishing third. Parr was also sixth in the 1600-meter run.
Chris Kubiak finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, but did so in a time that was just one-tenth of a second off the school record which he currently holds.
“We’ve got to be pleased with that,” Collins noted of the younger Kubiak’s effort, “and with Daniel Elder; he ran six seconds faster than he’d ever run in the 3200.” Elder was third in that event, and ran fourth in the 1600.
Chris McGeary also placed fifth in the discus.
Meet host Winder-Barrow won the team region title, scoring 133 points. The Bulldoggs outpaced Elbert County (119) and eight other teams in the event. Jackson County placed sixth.
“We had four season personal bests at the region,” Collins continued. “That’s where you want to do it.”
DUBOSE, YONCE AT STATE
THIS WEEK
Nickee DuBose and Crystal Yonce will represent the Panthers this week in the all-classification girls’ state meet in Albany.
DuBose will run in the 300-meter hurdles at 7:50 p.m. Thursday, and again Saturday at 3:40 p.m. if she is among the top eight runners Thursday.
Yonce will participate in the high jump competition Friday at noon.
COLLINS CREDITS ASSISTANTS
While offering praise for his athletes, Collins was also quick to give credit for his team’s accomplishments to assistant coaches Phil Shiflet, Robin Potter and Ron Smith.
“Phil deserves a tremendous amount of credit,” Collins said. “He’s taken a lot of extra time with Chuck, and with all our throwers. It’s a credit to Shif for what he’s done with Chuck in the past three years. It’s just like Robin in the high jump with Crystal. She’s done a heck of a job; those are definitely two places I haven’t had to wander around and stick my nose in this year. They did what they had to do, and it’s paid off.”e


Lady Raiders topple top-seeded Loganville to clinch state berth, fall in region championship
Once is good, twice is better.
The Madison County girls’ soccer team (11-8) proved that last year’s inaugural appearance in the state tournament was no fluke, securing their second straight trip to the state tournament by toppling top-seeded Loganville Wednesday in the first round of the region playoffs.
The team was denied their goal of a region championship two nights later, falling to Winder-Barrow 4-0 on the road.
But Felt said clinching the team’s second-straight showing in the field of the state’s 16 best teams is a testament to the rise of the program.
“I think it means more this year,” Felt said. “We had some tough times at midseason, but we were able to turn it around...It’s a bigger accomplishment since it’s the second year in a row.”
However, coach Felt pointed out that the team still hoped to accomplish more.
“We were definitely disappointed,” Felt said. “That (a region championship) was our goal.
But any disappointment in region play can be wiped away by advancing to the state’s final eight which they’ll try to do when they take on South Forsyth at 7 p.m. Friday night in Cumming in the opening round of the state tournament.
“We’re really excited to make it this far,” Felt said. “There are only 16 teams left playing in AAA. I would like for them to pull this one off and make it to the final eight...It all matters on us showing up and giving 100 percent.”
Felt said he “didn’t know a lot about South Forsyth” but expects the Lady Raiders to have their hands full with their first-round foes from Region 7-AAA.
“They must be good to beat Gainesville,” Felt said. “Region 7 is a tough region, so I’m expecting a good team...We’ve got to have a good night.”
But the coach pointed out that the state tournament is a time for a new start for everyone.
“We all start off even at state,” he said. “I hope they can pull this one off.”
MADISON COUNTY 2, LOGANVILLE 1
Felt said his Lady Raider squad played their best game of the year in their 2-1 upset of top-seeded Loganville Wednesday night.
The defeat avenged a 2-1 loss to the Lady Red Devils April 9.
“I think we showed how well we can play,” Felt said.
Madison County showed that they were ready early, getting a goal from Megan Holloman, giving them a 1-0 lead which stayed intact throughout the first half.
But Loganville didn’t waste any time getting out of the gate in the second half, notching a goal in the first 16 seconds to knot the game at one.
However, the Lady Raiders’ defense stepped up and kept the Lady Red Devils in check allowing Madison County to reclaim the lead with a Mandy Perry goal with 17:14 remaining.
Madison County then maintained their defensive pressure, holding Loganville off the scoreboard to give them their 11th win of the year.
WINDER-BARROW 4, MADISON COUNTY 0
Plagued with inconsistent, play Madison County fell short of their preseason goal of a region championship in a 4-0 loss to Winder-Barrow Friday night.
“We had some weak moments in the first half and in the second half when they got past our defense,” Felt said. “I didn’t think we played that badly, but it was not our best.”
The Lady Bulldoggs stunned the Lady Raiders early getting two scores in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Madison County’s defense stabilized and the team made it to intermission without further damage.
However, the team fell into another lapse in the second half, getting a score at the 25 minute mark and then another 34 seconds later to give then an insurmountable four goal edge.

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