Area Sports...

OCTOBER 20, 2004

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULES/RESULTS

BANKS COUNTY LEOPARDS
(1-7)

8/20 Ogle Co. W 30-27
9/3 Wesleyan L 0-42
9/10 Commerce L 13-40
9/17 GAC L 0-30
9/24 Rabun Co. L 0-17
10/1 Union Co. L 13-33
10/8 Lumpkin Co. L 3-39
10/15 Buford L 45-0
10/22 East Hall 7:30
10/29 Dawson Co. 7:30

COMMERCE
TIGERS
(5-3)

8/21 Trion W 36-27
8/27 @Frank Co L 21-28
9/3 Morgan Co L 27-41
9/10 @Banks Co W 40-13
9/17 Lincoln Co L 13-18
10/2 @North Oconee W 35-21
Oct. 8 Social Circle W27-13
Oct. 15 @JeffersonW34-31
Oct. 22 Towns County 8:00
Oct. 29 @Athens Acad 7:30

JACKSON COUNTY PANTHERS
(2-6)

8/21 @ Cedar Shoals L 0-21
8/27 Winder-Barr L 14-21
9/3 @ Madison Co L 0-21
9/10 Hab. Central L 14-20
9/17 @ Eastside W 21-14
9/24 Rockdale Co. W 15-12
10/1 Loganville L 7-14
10/15 @ Heritage L 7-0
10/22 @ Salem 7:30
10/29 Clarke Central 7:30

JEFFERSON
DRAGONS
(6-2)

8/20 @ White Co. W 23-8
8/27 Warren Co. W 30-14
9/3 @ Lumpkin Co. W 28-0
9/10 Whitfield W 23-0
9/17 @ Oglet Co W 30-0
10/1 Athens Acad L 19-20
10/8 @ Towns Co. W 42-8
10/15 Commerce L 34-31
10/22 @ N Oconee 7:30
10/29 Social Circle 7:30

MADISON COUNTY RED RAIDERS
(5-3)

8/20 @Frank Co W15-7
9/3 Jackson Co W 21-0
9/10 Eastside W 24-14
9/17 @Heritage L 0-23
9/24 @Lgnvile W 29-12
10/1 Clrke Cent W 8-7
10/8 @Hab. Cent L 7-14
10/15 Salem L 36-7
10/22 Rokdle Co. 7:30
10/29 @Cedar Shoals 7:30

In record time
Cross Country team heads to region with record breaking runners
Over a hundred runners from the surrounding areas came to East Jackson Elementary School for the MainStreet Newspapers Inc. cross country meet Thursday, October 14.
Cross Country Leopards ran against runners from Jackson County, Jefferson, Commerce and Madison County. Thursday was the first time any team had run the course, which ended up being 3.28 miles instead of the regulation 3.1 miles.
Banks County will head to Wesleyan Thursday, October 21, to compete in the region 8-AA meet. The race will begin at 4 p.m. Banks County coach Kelly McDuffie said most of the runners ran their best times at Wesleyan earlier this season.
“Our goal is to be in the top five, due to the private schools being in our region,” she said.
LADY LEOPARDS
Banks County finished second overall with 60 points. Banks
County was awarded medals for the third place finisher, Ashley Blevins, 25:39, and the tenth place finisher, Lacy Bennett, 28:05.
“Last year, we got medals, but not that close to the top,” McDuffie said. “Competing against kids around here is different, MainStreet let’s them see where they stand locally.”
Madison County took first place for the girls overall with 27 points. Madison County also had the first place girl individual, Debbie Ebalobo, who finished the race in 23 minutes, 35 seconds.
Over half of the runners in the race were from Banks County. Banks County had 18 high schoolgirl runners in the race, only 34 girls from all five schools ran in total.
Other top finishers from Banks County were: Nicole Crawford, 28:19; Penny Mullins, 29:33; Katrina Kyle, 29:37; Allie Strickland, 30:27; and Samantha Porter, 31:09.
LEOPARDS
Leopard runners finished fourth overall behind Jackson County, Jefferson and Commerce. Banks County runners combined for a score of 98.
Mitch Cagle finished second out of 55 runners. Cagle ran the lengthy race in 20 minutes, 7 seconds. A runner from Commerce, Gary Saxon, finished first in 19 minutes, 40 seconds.
Banks County brought 21 runners to the meet, making up 38 percent of the pack.
Other top finishers from Banks County were: R.N. Bellamy, 23:01; Kelen Rylee, 23:34; Bruce Oye, 23:56; Eli Minish, 24:28; Aaron Wagoner, 24:30; and Daniel Mitchell, 24:54.


Underdog Panthers prepare to visit first-place Salem
Seminoles boast 28 seniors, bevy of backs for Panthers to contend with
If there were any teams in Region 8-AAAA still not convinced that the Jackson County football program has made some dramatic progress in the past year, those skeptics were likely turned into believers with a glance at the region scoreboard last Friday night.
The seventh-place Panthers (2-6 overall, 2-5 in Region 8-AAAA) took the region’s second-best team to the wire on the road last week, a sure sign that the Jefferson based school has the talent to compete with any team in Northeast Georgia now.
But, according to Jackson County head coach Brent Brock, that might not necessarily be a good thing with undefeated and first-place Salem ahead this week for the Panthers.
“We’re not going to sneak up on anybody now,” Brock said.
Jackson County was able to make a statement against the Patriots by using a their ball-control offense and smothering defense to “take the air out of the ball,” Brock said.
That strategy will once again be on the Panthers to do list this week against the Seminoles.
Salem (8-0, 7-0) has been dominating throughout the season and head coach Frank Caputo is confident about his team’s chances of wrapping up the region championship Friday night at home.
“I knew we had some great players coming back,” Caputo, whose squad boasts 28 seniors this year, said. “I knew that if we could get through the first five or six games, we’d be in good shape.”
That said though, he and his players know better than to look past Jackson County.
The Seminoles toughest test this season came against rival Heritage during a heated second week game. Salem prevailed 13-0, but based on Jackson County’s showing last week against the Patriots, the region’s top team could have it’s hands full with the Panthers this week. Overall they have been overwhelming in region play, outscoring opponents 222-42 and shuting out three foes.
For Jackson County to be successful according to Brock, they will have to find a way to stop a bevy of running backs the Seminoles rotate into their Wing-T offense throughout the game.
The depth of as many as seven talented runners means that by the fourth quarter opposing defenses begin to wear down while the Seminoles remain fresh, Brock said. Jayson Williams leads the group, along with Da’Shawn Thomas and Kyle Allen.
“He’s obviously got a barn of fresh horses,” Brock said of Caputo’s staple of backs. “The thing that makes that dangerous is late in games when teams begin to wear down.”
Brock added that although the Seminoles and Patriots enjoy similar success, the differences between the two, especially offensively, will need to be understood by his squad as it prepares for Friday’s game.
“They’re going to be a little bit more muscle oriented and misdirection oriented so they could cause us some problems,” Brock said of Salem. But, he added, the scare his squad gave the highly favored Patriots last week could help Jackson County’s confidence.
“It think it just generates that feeling that on any given day we can play with the best football teams,” Brock said.


Double OT Win Sets Off Pandemonium In Jefferson
Black’s Field Goal Extends Tigers Streak To 10 Over Jefferson
With one sweep of his right leg, Dusty Black instantly became the most popular man in Commerce.
The 10th straight — and most dramatic — win in Commerce’s decade-long dominance of Jefferson came down to the right foot of the first-year sophomore place kicker as Black toe-punched a 22-yard attempt through the uprights in double overtime to give Commerce an epic 34-31 win over ninth-ranked Jefferson this past Friday night.
“It was a great feeling to see that ball go through,” Black said.
Hundreds of others shared that opinion.
Once the kick split the goal posts, a raucous post-game celebration ensued at the middle of Jefferson’s Memorial Stadium, preempting the two teams from shaking hands for several moments as a decade-long winning streak stayed in tact. Black, of course, was mobbed.
The kicker, who’s actually listed as a center on the Tiger roster, said he had a feeling he was going to be called on to win the back-and-forth battle between the two heated rivals.
“I was kind of nervous,” Black said, who stayed a perfect 5-for-5 on field goals this year. “I knew it was going to come down to a field goal while I was warming up on the sideline.
For the rest of this sstory see this weeks Commerce News.


Trip Friday to North Oconee not important, coach says
Were it not for a pair of late game-winning field goals by two ranked opponents, the Jefferson football team would be preparing for first-year North Oconee this week with an unblemished record.
Instead though, the Dragons are looking to pick up their sixth out-of-region win of the season this Friday night, with a pair of devastating losses behind them.
Meanwhile the four other teams in Region 8-A meet this week to help sort out the standings a bit more. Athens Academy hosts a dangerous Social Circle squad, while Commerce meets hapless Towns County. Those results will determine exactly what is on the line next week when Jefferson hosts the Redskins and the Spartans battle the Tigers during what should be a climatic night of high school football.
Currently, the Dragons sit at 1-2 in region play, with all reasonable hopes of finishing in the top spot likely eliminated following losses to Athens Academy (20-19, on a fourth-quarter 21-yard field goal by Spartan kicker Chip Elder on Oct. 1) and Commerce (34-31, on a 20-yard toe-kick by Tiger kicker Dusty Black in double overtime). Those two teams are now tied for the region lead as they await their showdown in Athens next week.
For now though, the Jefferson focus is on hapless North Oconee, which is in its first year of existence both as a school and a program.
Jefferson coach Bill Navas admits the game is a chance to play some younger guys and build some depth.
“It’s not,” Navas said when asked why the meeting with the first-year Titans was important. “We’re looking to play some younger kids and build some depth.”
Titans’ head coach Daryl Jones — who doubles as North Oconee’s athletic director — has one of the most demanding coaching assignments in the state this year in trying to guide the school’s inaugural football team through a varsity schedule armed with a roster consisting of just ninth and 10th graders. North Oconee, which consists of 320 students, has no upperclassmen yet.
The fledgling school’s enrollment situation has left Jones having to rely mostly on players who’ve never played high school football before. In fact, four of the five players listed as key members of the team — quarterback David Firth, fullback Chad Smith, running back Marcus Grant and linebacker Caleb Mooney — are all freshmen. Sophomore Trey Noell, a key linebacker, has never played football at any level before.
Needless to say, Jones expects to be vastly undermanned this week against a talented Dragon team that has been dominating against weaker squads season.


Lady Raiders cross country team wins MainStreet race
Madison County girls outlegged other long distance runners at the MainStreet Newspapers Invitational last week in Jackson County.
Debbie Ebalobo captured first place in the event with a time of 23:35. Other Lady Raider runners were Danielle Baker, 26:39, fifth; Michelle Wyatt, 27:14, sixth; Kyleah Young, 27:19, seventh; and Lindy Cole, 27:22, eighth.
Madison County finished with 27 total points. Banks County had 60; Jackson County, 61; and Jefferson, 74 — (the low point totals wins). Commerce girls did not race.
On the boys’ side, Jackson County took first place, while Madison County’s boys did not have enough runners to field a team. But Gavin Cahoon took 11th overall with a time of 21:54. Chad Reeves had a 22:38. Justin Ash finished with a 24:47 and Hunter Wingo had a 27:03.
In an Oct. 12 meet at Winder Barrow, the girls finished second out of six teams with a total of 80 points.
Debbie Ebalobo took first with a time of 21:33. Devon Young, who finished 12th, also received a medal with a 21:44 finish. Michelle Wyatt ran a 22:52. And Danielle Baker had a 22:55. The boys’ team finished last out of eight teams, with Brian Barnes leading the way with a time of 21:14. Zane Cress finished with a 22:16. Chad Reeves ran a 22:33. And Justin Ash finished with a 22:35.
The cross country squads will race Saturday, Oct. 23, in the Region 8-AAAA meet at Heritage International Horse Park in Conyers.

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