Area Sports...

JULY 14, 2004

Local high school football teams ready for preseason training camps
First week of preseason practice starts Monday; Jackson County, Jefferson each headed to training camp
W ith the first day of summer practice in helmets set for Monday, Georgia High School Association football teams are preparing for those grueling preseason workouts that help to define a team.
Locally, Jefferson and Jackson County are set to begin their preseasons.
Jefferson will begin training camp with testing at 6 p.m. Sunday night at the JHS field house. After testing the team will depart for The Grove for training camp.
The team will then be gone until Wednesday, when they will return sometime between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
An informational meeting for all Jefferson football parents will be held on July 22 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Community Bank in the upper level. After the meeting parents are invited to attend a “lift-a-thon” at Memorial Stadium at 8 p.m.
Jackson County Comprehensive High School will also be heading to training camp next week. After holding workouts on Monday and Tuesday at 6 p.m., the Panthers will depart for Dahlonega, Ga. on July 21 at 2 p.m. for camp on the campus of North Georgia College and State University. Jackson County is slated to return to Jefferson on Saturday at noon. GHSA guidelines prohibit teams from practicing in full pads until July 26.
Squads are allowed to practice in helmets, mouthpiece, shoes, and shorts only during the first week of preseason.


Two Tiger Sharks Place At Pentathlon Sat.
Two Tiger Sharks proved proficient in a number of events this weekend with both Josh Totherow and Jeremy Dermer finishing in the top 10 overall in their age groups in this past Saturday’s Pentathlon in Gaineville
Totherow placed sixth in the boys’ 18-and-under division and Dermer finished eighth in the boys’ 14-and-under division.
The Penathlon tests a swimmer’s overall ability, combining a swimmer’s times for for five different strokes — free style, butterfly, breast stroke, back stroke and individual medley (an 100-meter event which combines all the strokes).
Now, the Tiger Sharks will move onto the state qualifier this weekend where the team hopes for a repeat of last year when they sent six swimmers onto the state meet in Moultrie.
The Commerce swimming team will compete against fellow district teams at the state qualifier Saturday in Habersham County but that doesn’t mean Commerce will be familiar with them all.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Commerce News.


Locals vie for ‘Wally’ in finals
Jesse Young, Danielsville, ended up with the “Wally” Saturday night at Atlanta Dragway after a tight final run against Mike Ramsey, Maysville, in the Super Pro division.
19-year-old Young faced a nightmare early in the day when he found himself without a dragster. Rear-end problems pitted his car and his hopes.
But, thanks to an old friend, Joe Rampley, Gainesville, who has watched Young come up through the ranks since his junior dragster days, he found himself back in the driver’s seat and the competition. Rampley loaned Young his 2000 Undercover dragster and took a back seat on the day’s races.
Though Young was behind the wheel of a car he had never even sat in, let alone driven, fans would never have known as Young tore up the track and the competition, landing him in the final heat against Ramsey, 38, Maysville, and his hot ’81 Don Ness Camero.
Ramsey hit the pedal a bit too hard and timed out at 5.67 seconds at 121.31 miles per hour, two-hundredths of a second off his dial-in time of 5.69.
Young hit it right at 5.04 at 137.53, three-hundredths of a second over his dial in time of 5.01 seconds.
In appreciation of Rampley’s generosity, Young presented him with his “Super Pro” Wally.
Young said: “I couldn’t have done it without your help. “
Rampley replied: “One of the best things about drag racing is getting to see the youngsters come up through the ranks and make it to the pros. He did a great job. You would never have known he had never been in that car before. He was relaxed and just brought home the win.”
Ramsey said: “Winning is great. But, after 30 years in the sport, I just go out and have fun. If I win, great. If I don’t, well I had fun.”
In the Sportsman class, Greg Allen, Anderson, N.C., faced off with Dickey Forrester, Hickory Flat, in the final heat and came away with his second Wally of the year and moved into second place.
Allen in his ’80 Camero ran a 10.70 at 119.30 mph, just over his dial-in of 10.68. Forrester hit the green and raced at 124.90 mph in 10.62 in his ’68 Firebird, with a 10.59 dial-in time.
Allen’s win was attributed to his fast reaction time at the green light.
Steve Marcum, Bogart, could hardly believe he had come away with his first trophy in the Trophy Street division win, let alone a Wally.
“I’ve been racing for years up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and down here for the past four years. I guess I finally got lucky.”
Marcum, in a ’01 Mustang, went up against Jimmy Mason, Canon, in ’94 Firebird. Marcum nailed the green and crossed the finish in 14.71 seconds at 92.3 mph, just two-hundredths of a second over his dial-in time of 14.69. Mason hit the finish at 14.25 at 97.67 mph, too fast for his dial-in time of 14.30.
Marcum was runner up in the 2003 King of the Track race, and decided he wasn’t going home without a Wally.
2003 Trophy Street champion Mel Abney, Cumming, in a’67 Camaro, was the semi-final finisher.
History made at Atlanta Dragway
There’s a new page in Atlanta Dragway’s history book and it’s entitled Jodee Lee, the first woman driver to win the Sport Compact division.
Though not new to drag racing, Lee was 2002 Rookie of the Year in the Trophy Street division, she recently moved to the new division. In a 2000 Malibu borrowed from her friend Brandy Edmunds, Lee, of Cornelia, faced off with Maysville’s Lee Turpin for the final run.
Lee ran 79.16 mph in 16.89 seconds, four hundredths of a second over her dial-in time of 16.85. Turpin ran a 13.37 at 103.64 mph, way over his dial-in time of 13.10.
Points leader Eric “Buford” Duncan, Homer, in a ’97 Cavalier, was the semi-final finisher in the division.


District title belongs to senior leaguers
Madison Co. clinches District 7 crown with 6-2 win over Hart Co.; will move on to Augusta in quest for state title
With his team winning a 12-inning marathon to start district play and having to endure a double header on the final day to win it all, Madison County senior league all-star manager Frank Strickland joked that “we don’t know how to do anything easy.”
Then again, nothing about winning a championship usually is and that’s just what the Madison County senior league all-stars have done.
Thanks to a 6-2 win over Hart County in the second game of a double header Sunday in Danielsville, Madison County is the District 7 senior league champion for the third time in four years.
The team had lost to Hart County earlier that day, 8-7, which forced the second meeting between the two teams in the double elimination tournament. The team then prevailed in the night cap as a long day on the diamond was nothing new to this team as it had already outlasted Habersham 11-6 in a 12-inning epic the first day of the tournament.
Strickland said both the extra-inning victory and winning the second game of the double header was a testament to the team’s resolve.
“That showed that the kids had stamina,” he said. “They played like a team.”
The team’s other wins in the tournament were over Hart County 8-7 in the second round and a 15-3 throttling of Franklin County in the third round which put them in the finals against Hart County who advanced out of the loser’s bracket.
Pitching Madison County past Hart County in the decisive game was Josh Swaim, who went the distance in the win.
“He did a super job,” Strickland said.
Strickland said he understood Swaim’s determination when the coach asked the pitcher in the sixth if we was tiring.
“He said, ‘This is my game to win,” Strickland said.
Strickland added that pitcher Chaz Perry also demonstrated a similar resolve on the mound in the tournament.
“That’s what you want from your pitchers,” he said.
Offensively, the highlight in the tournament came from the bat of Adam Crowe in the team’s 8-7 win over Hart County in the second game of the tournament when Crowe cleared the bases with a grand slam.
“That was definitely a major turning point in the tournament,” Strickland said.
Now, the team is set for the state tournament in Augusta where it will play three pool play contests in hopes of moving on to the state semifinals.
Those games will be against Athens (Saturday, 8:15 p.m.), Oconee County (Sunday, 2:45 p.m.) and Peachtree City or Smyrna (Monday, 5:30 p.m.)
If the team were to advance to the semifinals and win twice there, the senior league all-star program would have it’s second state title in three years.
Strickland offered his team a little “strategy” for the upcoming state tournament.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal.

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