Area Sports...

JUNE 30, 2004

All-stars forfeit second game due to weather
The Banks County 13 and 14 year-old fast-pitch all-star team fell to White County and forfeited a game against Union County in last week’s tournament held at the Commerce Recreation Department American Veterans Memorial Park.
The team fell to White County 9-1 and forfeited the game against Union County in the fourth inning due to weather. When the rain began to fall, Banks County was trailing 8-1 with a runner on third and one out.
Major Hunter was nominated to coach the team. Ladies nominated to play on the team were: Andrea Hunter, Samm Kennedy, Lauren Kennedy, Kendra Crawford, Angelee Gentry, Brooke Dodd, Alycia Hunter, Lynsey Banister, Brittany Parson, Austin Lord, Christina Monreal and Ashley Gibson.
The District 7, Class C tournament was a seven team double elimination tournament.

CHS Softball Program Using Summer To Gear Up For Fast-Pitch Transition
Commerce softball will get a facelift in August when the school plays its first fast-pitch game as a varsity softball program and the impending change-over is making for quite a busy summer.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I feel we’re on the right track,” head coach Pam Canup said.
The team’s latest training ground came this past week in a four-day fast-pitch camp in Danielsville hosted by Madison County High School and run by college coaches from schools like Tennessee Tech and Tennessee-Martin.
Commerce played two games a day during the four-day camp, going up against Franklin County, Elbert County, Northside (Columbus) and Columbus.
The camp “gave us a chance to look at a lot of things,”

Putting the pieces together
Raider basketball team starts rebuilding process with summer basketball slate
The Raider basketball team is having to rebuild after a 16-9 breakthrough season last year under head coach Steve Crouse and what better time to sort things out than when school’s out, the coach said.
“We’re putting a lot of pieces together this summer,” explained Crouse, who’s entering his fifth season at Madison County. “I told the guys, ‘don’t get frusturated.’ We’re still learning how to play together.”
The team, which is losing seven seniors after its first winning season in six years, got quite a few chances to play together this past month — almost three quarters of a season.
Crouse said the team got 15 to 18 scrimmage games under its belt this month between Georgia Tech basketball camp and Northeast Georgia basketball camp which he called “two great experiences” for what will be a younger outfit come the 2004-2005 season.
“It was really good for us,” Crouse said. “I think it helped us figure out where we need to have people and what they can do.”
The three-day camp at Georgia Tech especially pitted the Raiders against quality foes in the state and beyond with teams from as far away as North Carolina and Cincinnatti participating.
Crouse said the camp in Atlanta was exactly what he had wished for.
“We really wanted to play a tough schedule.”
The team’s summer work-out schedule is essentially over now since July brings familiy vacations and the start of summer football practice. Since a significant number of baskeball players will also be playing football, Crouse wanted to give those athletes a rest before putting on the pads.
Part of summertime perparations, of course, include athletes having

Etheridge Sweeps Twin 25’s at Lanier National Speedway
Defending track champion Richey Etheridge of Flowery Branch enjoyed one of the biggest moments of his career Saturday evening after winning both segments of the Pro Late Model 25-lap features at Lanier National Speedway.
Etheridge put front-row starting positions in each event to good use by outrunning Dwayne Buggay to win the opener before edging Tony Bennett to claim victory in the nightcap.
“It was a good night for us,” Etheridge said. “I’m really pleased. Once we got around Tony (in race two), we pulled away and they kept telling me ‘you’ve got plenty of room, you’ve got plenty of room. I just tried to keep it on the bottom and hold them off.”
NASCAR Southeast Elite Series driver Jason Hogan of Cleveland served as Etheridge’s spotter.
“Anytime Jason isn’t racing, he goes out of his way to come spot for me,” Etheridge said. “I really appreciate it.”
Greg Motes of Gainesville collected his first win at Lanier after holding off Curt Britt and Rodney Benefield to win the 30-lap truck feature.
Ty Stewart beat Scotty Beck to the line by six inches to win the ministock feature.
William Earnest and Marc Gallichotte swapped the lead repeatedly in the opening laps before Earnest pulled away in the closing stages to win the 20-lap event.
Legends winners were Chris Waters (Pro), Dwight Pilgram (Masters), and Matt McCullough (Semi-Pro).
Speed Week comes to Lanier National Speedway as the NASCAR Southeast Elite Series visits the historic .375-mile facility on Thursday, July 1 along with the pro late models and a mini fireworks show.
The doubleheader concludes on Sunday, July 4 with the Independence Day celebration which will feature double points for all classes of the NASCAR weekly series. The evening will be highlighted by a 100-lap Super 6 Series event and north Georgia’s largest fireworks show.

The scramble for state
Seven Jackson County and Jefferson all-star teams have punched their tickets to state tournaments while others are making pushes to join them.
In all, 11 local teams were still involved in some form of all-star competition of press time.
From the Jefferson Recreation Department, three of four teams are heading to state after district play with the 9-and-10-year-old boys finishing third and qualifying for state play in Carrollton, the 9-and-10-year-old girls winning their first two district games and qualifying for state play in Carrollton and the 11-and-12-year-old boys finishing second in their tournament to advance to state play in Americus.
The 9-and-10-year-old girls team isn’t done with district play,

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