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SPORTS SECTION

SPORTS SECTION - OCTOBER 13, 1999

1999 Local Football Schedules



Leopards host Rabun County this Friday
After picking up a 48-6 win over Riverside last week, Banks County will look to keep the success rolling against Rabun County this Friday in Homer.
"Hopefully we can take the success Friday and build on it," coach Rance Gillespie said. "We need to play with the same kind of confidence that we had in the second half against Riverside."
As the Leopards start to look forward, their coach will be looking back a little bit as he attended Rabun County High School and played for the Wildcats in the late 1980s.
"It'll be a little diffeent standing on the other side," Gillespie said. "There will be some familiar faces over there.
"That's where I grew up. I'd like to beat them just like anybody else. But sure, it will feel a little funny."
Rabun County's program enjoyed its best season ever last year, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class A state playoffs as the Region 8-A champion.
Part of that success has come from Wildcat coach Sonny Smart, who came to Rabun County five years ago.
"I consider coach Smart a close personal friend," Gillespie said. "He's done a super job with the kids up there with what he's done in the weight room. He's turned a team that was mediocre most years into a team that believes it can win every time it steps on the field. I attribute that to coach Smart and his staff."
Rabun County will run the Wing-T offense Friday night, which changes the pace for Banks County a little bit this week, Gillespie said.
"They run the Wing-T and do it extremely well," Gillespie said. "They've got a couple of kids that are quick. They make you prepare for a lot of sets and motions. That forces you to keep it simple on defense. You have to spend a lot of time on in practice, making sure you're lined up right."
After the Rabun County game, Banks County will be open the week after. That will give the team a chance to concentrate on basics with an extended practice schedule.
"We'll use the off week a little differently because we won't have to prepare for anybody," Gillespie said. "We'll have four days of practice and possibly five since we won't have a game. We'll get a chance to go back and work on fundamentals. Sometimes those things can get sloppy. It will be good to get a chance and spend some time on that."
Friday's game will be Rec Night, recognizing the Banks County Recreation Department fall sports teams.



GHSA sets region alignments for next two years
Cedar Shoals beat Clarke Central's football team 24-20 last Friday. But Clarke had already suffered its 21-14 loss earlier in the week.
The Georgia High School Association's executive committee voted 21-14 not to allow the school to move up to Class AAAA after missing the deadline to turn paperwork. With all appeals settled at the the executive committee meeting, the region alignment for the 2000-01 and 2001-02 school years is set.
The executive committee heard several appeals at its meeting last week before approving the alignment for the next two years.
East Hall, Gainesville and Johnson (Gainesville) each appealed the GHSA to change from Region 8-AA to 7-AA.
Several West Georgia teams made similar appeals. All of those requests were granted.
The Georgia High School Association denied appeals by Marist and Clarke Central to move up a class after the two schools missed deadlines to enter a request to move up.
Clarke Central's addition to Region 8-AAA will make a large group full of recently successful teams in several sports.
Region 8-AAA will have 14 teams: Cedar Shoals, Central Gwinnett, Clarke Central, Elbert County, Habersham Central, Jackson County, Loganville, Madison County, North Hall, Oconee County, South Forsyth, Stephens County, West Hall and Winder-Barrow.
Region 8-A saw one change. Union County moved up to 7-AA. The region will have 16 schools, six of which will not play football. Banks County, Buford, Commerce, Dawson County, Greater Atlanta Christian, Jefferson, Rabun County, Riverside Military Academy, Towns County, Wesleyan, Brenau Academy, Lakeview Academy, Providence Christian, Rabun Gap, Tallulah Falls, and Woody Gap.
Region 7-A will pick up three teams from the current alignment. Athens' Prince Avenue Christian joined the region this year, but is not playing football.
Next year, current Georgia Independent School Association team Athens Christian and GHSA Class AA Hancock Central will be added to the region.
All Region 7-A teams have informed the GHSA that they will be playing football next year.
Decisions on subdividing and scheduling will be decided at region meetings to be held in the next few weeks.
After competing for championships for several years in Class AAA, Marist will play in Region 5-AA with Avondale, Crim, Decatur, Grady, Harper-Archer, St. Pius X, Southside and Westminster.
In other action, the executive committee:
·ruled that coaches may not teach for one school system and coach at another at the same time, regardless of whether or not they are paid for their services. The rule would not affect coaches who coach spring practice at their future schools while still under contract with another. Community coaches must also work for only one school system at a time.
·voted to allow schools to play football jamborees during the Aug. 25-26 weekend and no other time. Schools are limited to one jamboree.
·tabled until the spring a request to include the top two teams from each region in the state girls' golf tournament.
·voted on a constitutional change to not count Mildly Intellectually Disabled and other special education students taught in self-contained classes for classification purposes. A second vote will be required at the next meeting for passage.
·voted to allow basketball teams 25 games, beginning with the year 2000-01.
·agreed to let Woody Gap participate in the Region 8-A basketball tournament although they play a non-region schedule.

CHS Softball To Play In State Tournament
A year later and the Class A state softball tournament looks a lot like it did in 1998.
Commerce is one of six Class A teams to make return trips to Columbus for the slow-pitch final this year. Last year, the Tigers made their first trip ever to the state. This year's berth is another record for the team.
"Obviously this (back-to-back trip to state) is the first time that this has happened," Commerce coach Donnie Drew said. "We were glad to get down there last year, but probably moreso this year.
"Anybody who knows anything about our team last year knows that we lost several players to graduation. This year we've had some key injuries. One before the season started and one after. We've been lucky at times and we've played all right at times."
Not only will six teams return for this year's tournament, all six will play the same teams they did in the first round in 1998.
The Tigers' first-round opponent will be the same as last year. Commerce will start play at 2:30 p.m. Friday against Bryan County.
Last year, Bryan County topped Commerce 7-6 in the opening game.
Temple and Telfair County will meet again in
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the first round, as will Irwin County and Calhoun.

Williams Sets School Record With 40 Carries
BY DREW BRANTLEY
Everytime Monté Williams plays a game, he is a threat to set a record of some sort.
In Friday night's 13-10 Commerce win over Greater Atlanta Christian, he set an unlikely school mark.
While rushing for 180 yards, Williams toted the ball 40 times for Commerce for a Tiger record.
Commerce's offensive line was able to overcome GAC's defense, which stacked the line in an attempt to defend the run.
"Our line of scrimmage won that game," coach Steve Savage said. "In the past few years, our line would make halfway blocks and Williams would do the rest. This was the first game where our line rose up and did their job.
"Both our tight ends did a good job. (Fullback-blocking back) Chad Scoggins is like another lineman for us."
GAC played up to defend the run, limiting Williams from his usual yards per carry average, but the end result produced a win for the Tigers.
"Coach told me I was going to have run the ball a lot," Williams said. "My blockers opened up the holes and I was able to get in there. If I only got a few yards, that was all I could get."
Runt Moon and Wayland Rucker had held the record with 36 carries in a game.
Williams had 31 carries against Union County last year, but had never come as close to the record before.
The last 15 plays Commerce ran in the game, Williams ran the ball.
Commerce began its drive, using Williams' running. On a 10-play 56-yard drive to start the game, Williams ran eight times, including the final seven for the score.
Casey Gary added the extra point to give Commerce a 7-0 lead with 7:24 to go.
The Tigers forced GAC to punt after three downs, but gave the ball back on a fumble on their next play from scrimmage.
Williams stopped the Spartans' next drive with an interception. The Tigers' Michael Collins was shaken up on the play but returned to put the game-winning points on the board for Commerce.
In the middle of the second quarter, Commerce fumbled at its 27 to give GAC its first touchdown.
A bad snap on the punt put GAC in position for a field goal at the end of first half.
"We turned the ball over three times, and they got 10 points off of them," Savage said. "One of them didn't count as a turnover. But when you have a bad snap on the punt, it's just like fumbling."
Commerce scored on its first drive of the second half after forcing a GAC punt on the Spartans' first drive of the third quarter.
Williams ran the ball nine times before Daniel Carder connected with Collins for a 36-yard touchdown. The kick attempt was blocked.
GAC never got back inside the Tigers' 29.
"I was well pleased with our football team," Savage said. "Coming back from behind to win the game showed me a lot about this team."
Commerce will be off this Friday before hosting defending region champ Rabun County Oct. 22.

Volley Cats slay area giants
By Tim Thomas
David would have been proud. The Jackson County Volley Cats slew a pair of area 8-AAA Goliaths this week, and in doing so qualified for the sectional tournament this weekend, hosted by the top-ranked Marist Lady War Eagles. Jackson County will face Marist in the first round of the tournament. The match is slated for a 10 a.m. start.
In last week's sectional qualifying tournament, the Volley Cats defeated both sixth-ranked Oconee County and Johnson. Both teams had defeated Jackson County twice this season.
"Oconee County was expected to do well, and we were not" said Jackson County coach Michelle Gentry. "It just goes to prove that there's more to volleyball than just confidence."
Johnson got revenge Tuesday at Jackson County, winning the area championship match. Gentry said her team was a little off its game.
"We didn't play as aggressively as we needed to. Monic [Stewart] had an awesome match, but Johnson just did more things right than we did."
In last week's area qualifier, Jackson County started by beating Habersham Central before taking on the top-seeded Oconee County Lady Warriors.
Oconee, a team which is very physical and relies heavily on slams, was too strong, literally. The Lady Warriors belted a number of slams out of bounds in losing to Jackson County.
The Volley Cats got off to an early lead in game one, up 7-1 in the opening minutes. Oconee fought back, but with the score tied at 11, Jackson County grabbed two points off Megan Riley's serving to take a 13-11 lead. A deep slam by Oconee made it 14-11, and the Volley Cats scored again to win game one, 15-11. Alex Rudio was the star of the game for Jackson County, scoring several points and making key stops of Oconee slams.
Game two was a different story, as both teams struggled to serve. Possession was swapped on deep serves several times, but Oconee managed to keep its slams in bounds. The Lady Warriors took game two, 15-5.
Jackson County again took an early lead in game three, led by Rudio's serving and great plays by Monic Stewart. Stewart had several key serves, blocks, and slams in the game, and Riley and Caroline Williams also made crucial plays.
After two huge slams by Stewart put the Volley Cats up 13-2, Oconee moms in the stands rallied their daughters with hand-made signs that read "Come back girls, you can do it." The Lady Warriors responded, going on a 10-0 run to draw within one. The rally spurred Gentry to call time.
When play resumed, Julie Griffith made a tough shot to the middle of Oconee's court that earned possession for Jackson County. But the team could not convert the opportunity, and Oconee took the ball back.
Stewart led her team again, getting the serve back on a tip-over. Good play by the Volley Cats and another deep slam by Oconee made it 14-12. In a match filled with slams and blocks, Jackson County won on a simple tip-over, 15-12.
The Volley Cats were not done, as the momentum they gained against Oconee swept them past Johnson and Lakeview, qualifying them for the sectional tourney.
"We served tough against Johnson, and played good defense," said Gentry. "Johnson just had too many mistakes. Against Lakeview, both teams were tight and missed some serves, but we won in two games."
Gentry summed up her comments by thanking all the fans who have supported the team during the season.
"I want to thank all the people who came out to see us yesterday [Tuesday], and I hope they realize just how awesome a sport women's volleyball is."


Dragons defeat Tigers 33-21
BY ADAM FOUCHE
With a season record of 4-2 (2-2 region) the Jefferson Dragons will try to pick up their third consecutive win in their homecoming matchup with Towns County Friday night.
Towns County has only one win this year, a 26-14 victory over 0-5 Riverside. Last week, the Indians suffered a 34-0 shutout at the hands of Union County.
"It's like any game," Dragon head coach Bob Gurley said. "If you don't go out ready to play, anything can happen. But I think we'll be o.k. It is homecoming, and we need everybody there to see us play."
Last Friday night, it took several key defensive stances and five Stephen Sims touchdowns, but the Jefferson Dragons were able to outlast the Dawson County Tigers in a 33-21 victory. Sims had a total of 253 yards on the ground.
"Other than some of the penalties, I thought we played pretty well," Gurley said. "Our defense played as well as they have all year, and the offense finally took control of a game."
Jefferson scored first midway through the first quarter after an out of bounds Dawson County punt gave the Dragons the ball on the
Tigers' 40 yard line. Sims pushed the ball down to the one yard line before taking it in for the score. Place kicker Ben Songer hit the extra point to give Jefferson a 7-0 lead.
Dawson County scored its first points of the game after recovering a Jefferson fumble at the Dragon 19 yard line. One play later, Neal Cain took the ball in for a touchdown. The point after set the score at seven apiece.
Several possessions later, the Dragons fumbled again. But the Jefferson defense stepped up and held Dawson County on fourth-and-three at the Dragon 35 yard line.
Jefferson took over and was able to push the ball to midfield. Dragon quarterback Kyle Potts connected with Ryan Gurley at the Tigers' 21 yard line to set up Potts' touchdown pass to Sims. Songer's point after gave Jefferson a 14-7 lead going into the half.
Dawson County took the opening kick of the second half, but was forced to punt the ball.
Jefferson took over at midfield and drove down to the five yard line before Sims took a toss sweep in for the score, increasing Jefferson's lead to 20-7. The snap was bobbled on the point after attempt and the Dragons were unable to convert.
Dawson County took advantage of their next possession, scoring on a 16-yard run. The Tigers converted on their second attempt at the extra point after a Jefferson penalty, setting the score at 20-14.
Jefferson took the next kickoff from Dawson County and was able to push the ball to the Tigers' 15 yard line. The Dragons went three-and-out and decided to kick a field goal. Songer hit the 32-yard field goal, but it was called back due to a Jefferson penalty. He also hit his 37-yard attempt, but it was called back as well. Songer's 42-yard attempt fell short, giving Dawson County the ball again.
The Tigers went three-and-out and punted to Jefferson. Three plays later, Sims shook off several tacklers on his way to a 48-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed, putting Jefferson up 26-14.
The Dragon defense held Dawson County again on its next series and got the ball back.
Jefferson pushed down to the two yard line, setting up Sims' fifth and final touchdown of the night. Songer hit the point after to give the Dragons a 33-14 lead.
Dawson County scored the final points of the game off a 21-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds left in the game. The point after set the final score at 33-21.
Madison Co. takes week off before
homecoming matchup with Jackson Co.
BY BEN MUNRO
The Red Raiders got the start they were looking for Friday night, but the rest of the game went the way of the Stephens County Indians as Madison County fell by a count of 34-12 to the visiting squad.
The Raiders will now have the week off before their Oct. 22 homecoming matchup with Jackson County.
The upset-minded Raider squad roared out of the gate, staking a quick 6-0 lead in the first quarter. However, the Indians, who moved to 5-0 on the season with the victory, eventually settled down and took care of the underdog Madison County team, outscoring them 34-6 over the remainder of the contest.
With the loss, Madison County dropped to 0-6 overall and 0-5 in the region.
The Red Raiders started out on good footing in their attempt to topple the unbeaten Indians team, which blanked Madison County 27-0 a year ago.
The Raiders came out and made a statement on the game's first play, forcing a turnover as sophomore defensive back Jonathon Pou picked off a deep pass by Indian quarterback Stephen Sauls on the Raider 20.
After Madison County's subsequent drive stalled, the Raiders quickly got the ball back deep in Indian territory via another Indian turnover, this time picking up a dropped backward lateral pass on the Stephens County 5.
Madison County wouldn't squander this opportunity, punching it in on the very next play, as freshman Tony Freeman darted out to the left side and surged in the end zone to pick up six for the Red Raiders with 6:28 to go in the quarter. Madison County's two-point try was unsuccessful.
Madison County's momentum carried over to the defensive side of the ball as the Raiders forced the Indians into a punting situation on the Stephens 35.
However, Stephens County coaches called a fake punt to move their squad down to the the Raider 35, a play that seemed to steal the Raiders' momentum. Four plays later Stephens County tailback Manathan Colbert put his squad on the board, rumbling into the end zone from 20 yards out to make the score 7-6 with 1:17 left to play in the first quarter.
Things went downhill from there for Madison County as the Indians picked up two more scores before halftime.
The first came on a carefully engineered 11-play, 80-yard march as Sauls provided the score on the drive, crashing into the end zone from two yards out on a quarterback sneak with 4:04 left in the half.
Sauls struck again before the half was over on the Indians' next possession as he went around the right end for a 21-yard touchdown run to cap off a four-play, 57-yard drive to put Stephens up 20-6 with a minute to go before intermission.
The Raiders' troubles continued in the second half as the Indians' Derrick Keith returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown with 9:19 to go in the third quarter.
Madison County made the score look a bit more respectable in the fourth quarter, picking up an Indian fumble deep in Stephens territory and later pushing the ball in the end zone.
Freeman again provided the score, crashing in from one yard out to cap off a nine--play, 15-yard drive to make the score 27-12 with 9:04 left to play.
The Indians punched in one more score late in the ball game, getting a three-yard touchdown from Colbert, his second of the game, with 1:35 left to play.


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