Area Sports...

NOVEMBER 3, 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

High school student sets state record - in archery
The interest in archery started for 14-year-old Adam Edenfield when he was a small child, retrieving arrows for his father in the yard. Now he holds the state record for the Archery Shooters Association (ASA) youth class.
Three years ago, as a sixth grader, Edenfield won his first 4-H state title. He said that is when he really started taking the sport seriously.
“I’ve always shot a bow, but I didn’t really get into it until that first show,” he said. “I was really surprised, I didn’t think I would do that well. My dad always said I could do good so I started going to more competitions and getting involved.”
Competitions differ. Indoor competitions, Edenfield’s favorite, are close range, a competitor shoots five targets using five arrows. Targets are lined up at 30 yards, 40 yards and 50 yards. Outdoor competitions are 3-D shoots where participants shoot foam animals arranged at varying distances. At outdoor shoots, participants have to judge the distance.
2004 Awards
Edenfield competes individually and with the 4-H archery team. His father, Randy Edenfield, is one of the archery instructors. The Banks County 4-H Archery team took first place at the annual state 3-D competition held at Rock Eagle. Edenfield took the individual top spot at the competition as well, scoring 354 points in the junior freestyle.
Individually, Edenfield earned several awards in 2004 for his archery talents. He set the record at the state indoor competition, the youth boys freestyle unlimited. He finished first in the competition and set a new state record for the NFAA/ GBAA Youth Boys Class, earning 597 points, out of a possible 600 points, hitting 87 of 120 bulls eye x’s.
He qualified for the state tournament at the Black Mountain Archery Club when he finished first in the youth boys open. He also finished in first place at the NFAA Southeastern Sectional indoor competition, scoring an almost perfect 598, hitting 81 x’s. Edenfield was seventh out of 30 at the ASA Pro/Am held in Gainesville, Fla. In Myrtle Beach, the 4-H archery team finished first and Edenfield took fifth overall, out of 38 participants.
Edenfield finished in first place at the ASA Pro/Am Championship in Columbus at the Sweetwater Archery Club. He took seventh out of 38 in Oakridge, Tenn., at the ASA youth boys open. He finished fourth out of 38 in Columbus at the ASA championship.
Competing in the men’s class, Edenfield finished first in the Tuesday Night Vegas Shoot, he scored 298 points. He also finished first at the Bad to the Bone archery club April Shoot, at the Gainesville Archery Club February shoot, at the Cummings Archery Club March shoot and at the Gainesville Archery Club May shoot.
While his list of accomplishments already fills a trophy case, he said there are two which he most proud.
“I’m really proud of the state record (which stood for 10 years until Edenfield busted it this summer) and I was glad to place fourth at the ASA classic youth, that’s the big 3-D shoot of the year,” he said.
Aiming for the future
This year, Edenfield will move up to the senior class, he turns 15 this month.
“I’ll have to get settled in,” he said about the adjustment. “I’ll have to shoot farther and it puts more pressure on you - being from the younger group coming up.”
Practice for the new season will begin on January 1 for the 4-H team. Edenfield said he tries to shoot as much as he can, when he’s not playing other sports. He is a member of the cross country team and basketball team at the high school.
He’s not planning to focus on archery as a career, but mentioned he would accept a scholarship to shoot for a school like Texas A&M.
“I’m interested in engineering,” he said. “Hopefully, for a bow company.”
Edenfield killed his first deer with an arrow this hunting season. He shoots a Hoyt USA Ultra Tech compound bow in competitions.


Lady Panthers end season at state tourney
The Jackson County slow-pitch squad saw its season come to an end last Friday in Columbus. The team, which was one of two teams to qualify for the state tournament from its area, fell to Harrison and Sprayberry respectively and were eliminated.
Against the Lady Hoyas in the first game of the day, Jackson County struggled to get the bats going after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the game remained that way until the fourth when Harrison threatened with the bases loaded. Some solid defense enabled the Lady Panthers to come away unscathed in the inning, however the Lady Hoyas managed a five-run fifth inning that broke the game open. As a result, Jackson County was sent to the lower half of the draw where it took on Sprayberry in an elimination game.
Although the Yellow Jackets did surrender the first and only Jackson County run of the event, some hot hitting by the Marietta-based school was the difference. Sprayberry prevailed 11-1.
Despite the setbacks though the Lady Panthers finished the season with at least 15 wins for the ninth consecutive year. Also, they beat out Jones County, Oconee County and Heritage to claim the area championship and earn the top seed from their area. That accomplishment marked the fifth year in a row that Jackson County particpated in the state tournament.
The Lady Panthers are one of 20 teams in the state that still participate in the sport of slow-pitch softball, a contingent that is made up mostly of schools in Cobb County. Of the 20 teams in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), four are from Class AAAA, one from Class AAA and another from Class A.
For the rest of the story see this weeks Jackson Herald.


Trying To Find A Way
Tigers Minus Much Of Its Arsenal In First-Round Rematch With Trion
Commerce will start its postseason the same way it began its regular season — a home matchup with Trion, a smash-mouth outfit out of Northwest Georgia.
But that may be where the parallels end with the rematch.
Sure, there are the similarities, like the ones that Bulldog head coach Mark Loudermilk points to: “We’ve both got the same record (6-4) and even though we’re double-slot (offensively), we’re both option teams.”
But the Tiger option offense will be without at least one and maybe two of the catalysts who helped engineer Commerce’s 36-27 win over Trion back on Aug. 21.
Caleb Jordan, who threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, will certainly be watching from the sidelines this time as he suffered a season-ending injury this past weekend in the Tigers’ 22-7 loss to Athens Academy.
James Rucker, who rumbled for 107 yards against Trion just over two months ago, is questionable at best after sustaining an ankle injury Commerce’s win over Jefferson which still continues to plague him.
He’s carried the ball three times since then.
“There wasn’t much difference between us (and Trion) to begin with,” Savage said. “Now we’ve got to find a way.”
Obviously, Commerce will have to find strength elsewhere if it wants to survive on to the next round where it would almost certainly have to face Lincoln County which is pitted against a 1-9 Our Lady of Mercy team this Friday.
“We’ve got to find a game plan that fits our personnel,” Savage said. “Other people have to step up. Hopefully, we can rally around our offensive line and our defense can play better.”
For the rest of the story see this weeks Commerce News.


Both Jefferson squads headed to state meet Sat. in Carrollton
Yates sets new school record for girls at sectional, Blinn leads way for boys
When the GHSA state cross country meet takes place this Saturday in Carrollton, both the boys’ and girls’ squads from Jefferson will be there together for the first time in school history. The teams qualified for the event thanks to solid showings at last weekend’s state sectionals meet at Gainesville College.
Gabby Yates finished first at the Class A sectional, and led the Lady Dragons girls to a fourth place finish in the meet. The No. 9 ranked Jefferson girls also saw Vanessa Guzman place 12th, Annie James 13th, Blake Nelms 24th, and Hannah James 25th in the girls race last weekend. A. James equaled her personal best time running 26:36 in the 3.1 mile race, while Yate’s winning time was 22:58.
Galloway won the girls meet with 38 points followed by Towns County and Whitefield Academy with 63 points each. Towns County was awarded the higher place because their sixth runner finished ahead of Whitefield Academy’s sixth runner.
The JHS girls’ 75 points were good for fourth, ahead of Bryan County which finished fifth with 103.
Yates’ time was a new school record, besting a mark previously held by Guzman.
“Gabby ran really well,” Jefferson head coach James Pinion said. “I think she probably has a chance for a top ten finish (at state).”
On the boys side Jefferson captured second place in the field of nine teams. Cameron Blinn led the Dragons with a fourth place showing, followed by brother Shawn Blinn who placed ninth. Brandon Burnett placed 13th with a new personal best time of 20:03, Jimmy Garrett placed 16th and Kyle Baird finished 19th to round out the top five for the Dragons. Caleb Beckwith placed 35th and Britt Cantrell finished 40th equaling his personal best time running 22:18.
The No. 9 ranked Dragons defeated No. 7 ranked Whitefield Academy on their way to qualifying for the state championship meet this week.
Galloway won the sectional with 40 points to the Dragons 61. Other teams included Bryan County (75), Whitefield Academy (97), Calvary Baptist (138), Towns County (146), Randolph-Clay (183), Pacelli (186), and Warren County (242).
This weekend’s course in Carrollton will present quite a challenge for both teams, according to Pinion. However, he said he would not be surprised to see some of his runner’s times increase substantially. In particular, he pointed out that some of the boys’ team members have the potential to run as much as a minute faster than they did last week at sectionals.
“I think the boys have a chance to crack the top ten, but it’ll be closer to the ten side of things,” Pinion said. “It’s a tough course. It doesn’t have any real steep climbs, but it’s got a lot of gradual climbs and a particularly dangerous finish that is downhill.”
The boys meet is set for 2:30 p.m. and the girls will run at 3 p.m.


Long may you run
MCHS standout set for final race at Saturday’s state meet
It’s a rare event that Debbie Ebalobo ever stops running.
But former Raider cross country coach Kathy Cribb recalls an anecdote about a time when the distance-running standout took a brief pause.
“I was timing runners one day,” Cribb remembered, “and she ran by me and stopped.”
Ebalobo, of course, wasn’t fatigued. It was something else.
“And she said ‘Can I tie my shoe?’” Cribb continued.
Cribb said the fact that Ebalobo even felt compelled to ask permission to break her stride for a single moment to attend to loose footwear said there was something exceptional about her top runner.
“I just looked at (former cross country assistant coach) Drew Eager and I was like ‘Now, that’s determination.’”
The unwillingness to stop, slow down or give in is what has spurred this senior to become perhaps the school’s most heralded female runner ever. She qualified for the state meet in her freshman and sophomore years and is headed back to vie against the state’s best in Carrollton again in her senior year thanks to a third-place finish in the region Oct. 23.
Cribb, who coached Ebalobo for three years, called her the most driven pupil she’s been around in her involvement with athletics and education.
“I’ve never coached someone in the 15 years that I coached that was as determined — and beyond — to do whatever it took,” she said. “Whether it was running on days we didn’t have practice or in 95 degree heat or in rain, it didn’t matter.”
Ebalobo — who also plays basketball, runs track and is amongst the elite of her class academically — has been about this business of distance running since seventh grade when she started running middle school track. Her talent for going the distance has only blossomed in high school as she’s continually set the pace for the girls team, racking up an impressive resume of wins in her four-year career.
In one of the most individual sports in the spectrum of prep athletics, Ebalobo said she thrives on the you-against-yourself mentality of cross country.
“It’s up to you,” she said. “When you get out there and run, there’s nobody to cover for you. It shows right there if you’ve trained or not. So I go out and work as hard as I can so nobody can say she did nothing.”
Ebalobo is now down to one more race after finishing 10th out of 142 runners at the state sectionals this past Saturday. She said that her sights are set on running a time in the low-20’s her last time out, perhaps breaking her personal-best record of 20:21 which she ran back before her freshman year in a road race in Hull.
The ultimate goal is to cap her career with a sub 20-minute race in Carrollton.
Ebalobo and the rest of the team will train for the state meet with an assortment of interval work, speed training and, of course, distance running. But not surprisingly, Ebalobo will plan on running extra — maybe up to 30 minutes additionally each day — to prepare for her final 3.1 mile stretch on Saturday.
But what’s just as important to her than her making the trip to Carrollton this weekend is that her entire team will be going with her as well.
“I’m really proud of them going to state,” she said. “They’ve really worked hard. I’m more proud of each one of them than I am myself.”

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