Area Sports...

June 26, 2002


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Leopards using summer to bulk up
Though its summer for most, some Banks County athletes are taking advantage of the time off to bulk up.
“We’ve got to get bigger,” junior football player Tim Brown said. “Our team is too weak. We’ve got to get stronger because teams are overpowering us.”
Banks County head football coach Greg Moore keeps the Leopard weight room open all year round. And even though most of those working out this summer are football players, any athlete can work out there.
“The number one thing is it prevents injuries,” Moore said.
He also said the summer weight program helps athletes to build an advantage over the competition.
“If you are bigger, stronger and faster than your opponent, the chances are you will beat him,” Moore said.
Brown said he and fellow football players try to work out together each evening. They warm up before each workout, then move into their routine that alternates between legs and arms. After lifting, the players usually go outside to run sprints.
“I’m pleased with what we’ve got so far,” Moore said.
Though the weight lifting work outs are not mandatory, Moore said he encourages all athletes to get stronger.
“Anyone who wants to come can,” he said.

Tiger Sharks Compete In Gainesville Meet, Set To Swim In Dacula Invitational This Saturday
The Commerce Tiger Sharks swim team hit the water for the fourth time this summer when they take part in the Dacula Invitational this Saturday.
This weekend’s competition will be almost identicial to what the squad swam against this past Saturday at the Gainesville Sports Festival meet which consisted of North Georgia Swimming League teams. With the exception of Athens-Clarke County, the Tiger sharks will swim against the same field of squads which participated at Gainesville: Cumming, Dacula, Habersham, Lanier, Pineshore (Winder) and Springbrook (Lawerenceville).
Here’s a run down of those who won ribbons this past Saturday:
•Josh Totherow (18-and-under boys)—fifth, 50-yard backstroke; sixth, 100-yard, individual medley; sixth, 50-yard backstroke; sixth, 100-yard freestyle; eighth, 50-yard butterfly.
•Kristina McFadden (12-and-under girls)—sixth, 50-yard butterfly; eighth, 50-yard breaststroke; 10th, 100-yard individual medley.
•Cason Hardigree (8-and-under boys)—eighth, 25-yard breaststroke; eighth, 50-yard freestyle.
•Kayla Burks (8-and-under girls)—ninth, 25-yard breaststroke.
Also competing were Christa Harrison, Kaylee Johnston, Adrienne Joransen, Gabrielle Joransen, Allison Lewis, Haiden Nunn, Beth Pritchett, Darlene Sanchez, Ashley Streadolf, Kendra Taylor, Kayla Wade, Kristopher Hart, James Joransen, Tyler Mathis, Jordan Nation and Ben Reaid.


Pinion: Dragon cross country teams on the drawing board
A generation ago, the Jefferson cross country teams garnered six state titles under the leadership of former coach Jack Keen before the progam eventually folded in the early 1980’s.
This fall, Jefferson High School wants to get the defunct distance-running dynasty back on the cross country trails.
Jefferson athletic director and track and field coach James Pinion confirmed Friday that he is trying to put together both a boys’ and girls’ cross country team for the upcoming athletic season.
“It’s on the drawing board,” Pinion said.
Pinion said that reinstating the cross country program is something the school has wanted to do for several years. However, this is the first year they’ve had the student response that could make it a reality.
According to Pinion, seven boys have signed up so far. However, there hasn’t been sufficient female interest yet.
If one or both teams are formed, Pinion explained that it’d probably take several years for the Dragons to become competitive again, explaining that the first year would involve the program simply becoming acclimated to long distance running. The coach pointed out that there are only two distance runners on the track team.
Pinion said that most schools field a cross country team to aid their track distance runners in the off season, but added that cross country has become the more emphasized sport in some circles.
“It really helps your track team,” Pinion said. “...but some look at it the other way. They see the track season as the off season. It’s just according to who you talk to.”
Area schools Jackson County and Commerce both field cross country squads.
Keen originally started the program when he came to Jefferson High School in 1965.
Though the cross country teams rose to dominance under his watch, participation in the program eventually waned, forcing Keen to disband the teams.
Pinion said that students interested in joining the cross country team can call the school at 367-2881.


Weekend races completed at Lanier Speedway despite rain
Lanier National Speedway officials were able to tiptoe around raindrops Saturday evening long enough to complete the night's scheduled racing program - with the exception of the 50-lap pro late model event.  Two late evening showers forced LNS management to postpone the late model event shortly before 11 p.m.
Pro late model points leader Stacy Long of Gainesville won the qualifier after award touring the 3/8 mile track in 13.867 seconds. But Long was relegated to the fifth-starting position after the inversion process put veterans Mike Love of Pendergrass and Jimmy Garmon of Lawrenceville on the front row.
Two attempts to start the evening's late model main event were scrubbed due to spins before the completion of a lap. Debbie Lunsford-Love spun in turn four during the initial attempt to start the 50-lap event. Long, Mickey Cain, and Greg Simpson spun during the second try to start the race.  None of the cars was severely damaged and each lined up at the rear of the field.
Just after the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series officials gave the one-to-go signal for the third attempt to get the event underway, the restart was called-off as rain began to fall.  After a 40 minute delay, track workers had nearly dried the track only to see their effort become futile as moisture again began hitting the racing surface.
Track officials announced the event will be rescheduled for Saturday June 29 and become twin-25 late model races.  Drivers will line up in one of the 25-lap races as they sat under the red flag Saturday evening. Qualifying will determine the starting lineup for the other half of the twin races.
Jackie Daniel of Cumming went to the apron of the track in turn one on lap 14 to grab the race lead from Terry Crump in the sportsman division. Daniel fended off rival Crump for the balance of the 25-lap event.  Crump could not capitalize on a late caution as Daniel got a two-car length jump on a restart with two laps remaining. Jimmy Powell, Brian Pruett, and Mike Bruce finished third through fifth respectively.
"It was kind of tough out there tonight," said Daniel "The car was kind of squirrelly on me. It runs good and fast every week.  I just want to win some races and try to win this championship."
Brian Huff of Buford put an end to Thomas Ross' winning streak as he put his No. 99 Ford in victory lane in the modified ministock division. After an early-race tangle with Steve Hill, Ross managed to hold on for second as Shane Nalley, Bill Hockman, and David Murphy rounded out the top-five.
William Earnest held off Chad Hoopaugh, Marty Roberts, Bryan Jones, and Marc Gallichotte to win the pure ministock race. Michael Stewart claimed victory in X-Karz.  Bob Cleveland was flagged the winner in the lawnmower race.
Home Depot Night at Lanier presented by DeWalt on Saturday June 29 will be highlighted by a 100-lap truck event.  In addition, fans will be treated to twin 25-lap races in the pro late model class. The sportsman division and modified ministock class will also be in action.
Race fans can register Saturday night to win power tools which will be given away during the evening.  Gates will open at 5 p.m.
Qualifying gets underway at 6 p.m., and heat races begin at 7 p.m.. Call 770-967-8600 for additional information.


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