Area Sports...

OCTOBER 27, 2004

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULES/RESULTS

BANKS COUNTY LEOPARDS
(1-8)

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 0-45
10/22 East Hall L 0-35
10/29 Dawson Co. 7:30

COMMERCE
TIGERS
(6-4)

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 @N Oconee W 35-21
10/8 Social Circle W27-13
10/15 @JeffersonW34-31
10/22 Towns Co W 35-14
10/29 @Athens Acad L

JACKSON COUNTY PANTHERS
(2-7)

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 L 0-48
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 31-34
10/22 @ N Oconee W 55-0
10/29 Social Circle 7:30

MADISON COUNTY RED RAIDERS
(6-3)

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.W 23-20
10/29 @Cedar Shoals 7:30

Blanked again
Banks County Leopards fall to East Hall Vikings, 35-0, in final home game,
It was senior night in Homer Friday and Leopard seniors on the field stole the show. Seniors Otis Rylee, Bradley Angel, John Payne, Nick McKenzie and Cody Williams all put forth impressive efforts on the field.
Perhaps the biggest surprise came from Rylee, who was lined up at tailback for the first time this season. Taking handoffs and gaining yardage for the home team, in total, Rylee had 13 carries for 45 yards. On the other end of the ball, he lined up as a linebacker and recorded nine tackles for the night.
Another star senior Friday was Angel who led the team in rushing. Angel had eight carries for 51 yards on the ground. One big play from Angel came in the first half and gave the Leopards 33 yards and a first down.
On defense, Williams, Payne and McKenzie held the Vikings back putting up big numbers in tackles. Williams had nine tackles, one quarterback hurry and recovered a fumble. Payne had seven tackles and a tackle for a loss of six yards. McKenzie had eight tackles and a quarterback hurry.
Leading the defense Friday night was newcomer Rob Allen, #42. Allen had 11 tackles Friday and was the only Leopard in double digits. He also hurried the quarterback, broke-up a pass and had two tackles for a loss of nine yards.
The efforts of the senior Leopards, and the entire team, were unable to secure the Banks County victory and the Leopards fell, 35-0, to the East Hall Vikings.
“It was a disappointment because we played really hard,” said Banks County head coach Greg Moore. “We played harder and were competitive for most of the game, but eventually East Hall’s speed and skill caught up to us.”
The second quarter made the game for the Vikings. East Hall had two interceptions and scored twice in the second quarter and went into the locker rooms at halftime up 21-0. Another touchdown in the third and another in the fourth secured the win for East Hall.
The Leopards had a total of 135 yards on offense, East Hall had 324. The biggest difference between the two teams was in passing yards, the Vikings were able to pass for 138 yards and they held the Leopards to 29.
Losses in yards due to penalties also hurt the Leopards. The team lost a total of 30 yards Friday for penalties.
Moore said he hopes the team can improve on Friday’s performance and get a win against Dawson County Friday.


Panthers hope to play role of spoiler Friday vs. Glads
Jackson County win would eliminate Clarke Central from state playoff contention
If Jackson County head coach Brent Brock is worried about his team’s latest defeat to region champion Salem, he sure doesn’t show it much.
Several days after his improved Jackson County squad suffered their worst loss of the season — a 48-0 thumping to the undefeated Seminoles last Friday night — the Panther head coach still refused to let negativity spill into his words.
“I think Salem had more to do with that than we did. It ought to be a good learning experience,” Brock said of the loss. “Our hats off to them.”
But that doesn’t mean he thinks there aren’t improvements that need to be made as his team prepares to play Clarke Central in this week’s regular season finale. It’s just that games like last Friday’s are part of a team’s growing pains.
So, as Jackson County prepares for their season finale against Clarke Central, Brock has chosen to remain positive and focus more on the other eight weeks so far this season, rather than dwell on the loss to a team that some feel has what it takes to make a series run in the state playoffs next month.
“I’m not worried so much about Clarke Central as I am with ending this season on a positive note to build on this offseason,” Brock said earlier this week. “Our program needs to win a third ball game. Our seniors deserve to win another ball game.”
Clarke Central head coach William DeVane sees Friday’s meeting as a tough matchup for his team. But, given the fact that his team is fighting for a playoff spot, he hopes the Gladiators will realize the importance of the contest and not take the underdog Panthers lightly.
“It’s typical Jackson County,” Devane said of the Panthers strengths. “They’re going to play hard, they’re not going to turn the ball over and make a lot of mistakes. They’ll make it tough on us.”
If the Gladiators need any further evidence that Jackson County is capable of knocking off their Athens opponents on Friday they need only look back a season ago.
With the Panthers in the midst of a two-year losing streak, the eventual region-champion Gladiators came away with a 24-14 nail-biting victory in 2003 at Panther Stadium.
It’s a game both coaches remember well.
“I’m hoping that last year’s game will pretty much be a confidence booster for us,” Brock said. “It ought to — along with some of our other games — show our kids that we can play with anybody.”
DeVane agrees that last year’s game will probably give the Panthers some confidence and that his team needs to be ready on Friday night.
“We can show our guys that they did play us tough last year and we better be ready to play,” he said.
One thing that appears to be to Clarke’s advantage is the momentum that could carry over from last week’s enormous win over Heritage.
The Patriots, who were in second place in the region, fell 16-7 at Billy Henderson Stadium in Athens.
“That was a huge win. Heritage was definitely a team we were concerned with,” DeVane said. Hopefully, he added, that victory can give his team a spark.
“It’s been an up-and-down year for us,” DeVane said. “Just real inconsistent. Sometimes we look real good, other times not so good.”
While the Gladiators come in with a big win on their heels, the Panthers will look to rebound from their pounding at Salem.
The two games prior to that though, the Panthers played Loganville and Heritage tight, falling by a touchdown in each contest.
Although Clarke Central is not out of the playoff hunt, they need to win and have Madison County lose to Cedar Shoals in order to earn a berth.


A Hometown Hoop Dream
Former CHS Hoopster Traveling The Country, Playing Basketball
Bobby Patman Jr. might be a small town Commerce kid at heart, but there’s no telling what big city you’ll find him in these days.
But if you do locate him, chances are he’ll have a basketball in his hand.
The former Commerce three-sport athlete and Emmanuel College basketball player is keeping his life-long hoop dreams alive as part of the “Harlem Ambassadors” basketball show team which travels the country — and even abroad — putting on performances for crowds looking for a little hoop trickery.
Patman, Jr. always wanted to play basketball on a professional level. It didn’t matter how. It didn’t matter where.
Now he is.
“He was just beside himself,” said Bobby Patman, Sr. “He was like ‘Dad, this is the fulfillment of a dream.’”
This dream started back when Patman, Jr. was six and continued through Commerce middle and high schools and on into Emmanuel College where he played at each stop. Bobby didn’t start at CHS until his senior year and never averaged more than 4.8 points a game in his career at Emmanuel. But his resolve was strong.
“Bobby was not a starter,” Patman Sr. explained. “But he played hard and he loved the game and he’s been playing the game since he was six. It was just


A season of firsts
Inaugural Jefferson
fast-pitch team finishes one game shy of Elite Eight appearance
A 17-win season, beating the No. 1 ranked team in the state, and reaching the final round of the state sectionals were all worthy accomplishments for the Jefferson fast-pitch team this past season. But, according to head coach Melissa Mullis, the first-year program’s most gratifying achievement may well come retrospectively, now that the season is over.
“Our goal was just to go in and make a name for ourselves,” Mullis said following the end of the inaugural Lady Dragon season on Saturday in Lovejoy.
Mullis can consider that mission accomplished.
The Lady Dragons (17-10 overall, 9-3 in Region 8-A) headed to last weekend’s sectionals as the second seed from their region and finished 2-2 in the event. An exhilarating opening day saw the team play its best softball of the year during impressive wins over Trion (1-0) and top-ranked GMC (6-0). Unfortunately though, that momentum was too much to sustain over the course of the weekend, as the Lady Dragons dropped a pair of games Saturday to end their season just one win shy of an appearance in the Elite Eight in Columbus this weekend.
Nonetheless though, Mullis’ squad made it clear that Jefferson will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come in fast-pitch softball.
“I believe we left there and people knew we wanted to be the best and Jefferson was there to play,” Mullis said. “They did a great job of making a name for themselves.”
After going through a rough stretch of games beginning in late August, the Lady Dragons regrouped to make a remarkable run late in the season and finish second in the region. Wins over first-place Towns County and Hebron Christian helped spark an eight-game winning streak through the sectionals.
According to Mullis, the culmination of that turnaround came last Friday against the No. 1 ranked team in Class A, GMC. Despite being a heavy underdog, the Lady Dragons dictated play from the opening pitch and routed the Lady Bulldogs 6-0. That win followed an opening-round victory over Trion, 1-0 that was nearly as impressive.
“It was a magical on Friday,” Mullis said. “We played way above and beyond our ability and beat some really good teams.”
Starter Megan Fulcher allowed just five total hits during those wins and the Lady Dragons manufactured runs to support her very effectively. Fulcher finished the season with an 11-8 record and a 1.12 ERA.
Katie Edwards scored the Lady Dragons’ lone run against Trion, on an error, and came through with an RBI against GMC. Senior Brittany Caudell also was solid offensively. She scored two runs on the afternoon and was on base consistently.
Unfortunately for the Lady Dragons, Saturday was a different story. Against Bremen in their first game of the day Jefferson saw the bats go cold. A combination of talented Lady Blue Devil pitching and a bit of an emotional let down led to the squad’s first defeat, 5-0.
That result set up a rematch with Trion for the right to go to Columbus. This time the Lady Bulldogs came out victorious 2-0 after scoring once in the first inning on a Jefferson error, and then stringing together several hits in the second to produce another run.
“That was their fourth game that day and they had a lot of momentum,” Mullis said of Trion.
Despite the final day’s setbacks, Mullis said she would remember her first season as a head coach extremely fondly, especially those Friday night wins.
“When I saw them play on Friday night it was just a dream come true. Their potential always made me challenge them this season because I saw it in them and I knew from the beginning that the girls were capable of playing that way,” she explained. “I’m happy for what they accomplished and it gives us great hope for the future. They found a way to come together. I think what I’ll remember most of all is how we grew as a team and I know we’re better people and better softball players because of it.”


It’s good!!!
Freshman lifts MCHS to victory, winning season
The stat sheet had its usual suspects. There was Jamey Rice refusing to go down, finding the end zone in the game’s waning moments. There was Chaz Perry picking off two Rockdale passes and greeting a receiver with a Ronnie Lott hit on a key third down. There was Metric Shivers blazing down the sideline after a late interception.
But the Raider who earned the most victory high fives and hugs after Madison County’s 23-20 win over Rockdale County was a freshman kicker whose aim was true when it mattered most.
Jack Orr moved from the well-worn sideline practice net to the heat of the battle and the freshman booted the ball through the uprights for a field goal with just 13 seconds to go in the game. The 19-yard three-pointer sealed the deal Friday in a pre-Halloween goodie bag of turnovers, a contest sure to spook any coach.

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