Trio of titles at GHSA track

Sun News correspondentMay 8, 2013 

Malik Broughton of Veterans, Tyler Gibson of Peach County and Kevondre Hunt of Northside each won individual titles at the GHSA boys state track and field meets at Jefferson over the weekend.

Broughton cleared 6 feet-8 inches and won high jump in Class AAAA. Gibson leaped 22 feet 8 3/4 inches and won long jump in Class AAA. Hunt won the Class AAAAA 300-meter hurdles in 38.19 seconds, the fastest time in that event in any classification. Hunt also finished second in the 110-meter hurdles.

Gibson and Peach County turned in the best finish by a team from Houston or Peach County. The Trojans finished seventh in Class AAA. His teammate Malcom Lowe won medals in four events. That was the first time that had happened in school history. Gibson and Lowe combined with Zachorey Hart and George Blease to finish second in the Class AAA 1600-meter relay. Hart also finished seventh in long jump.

Other local athletes to earn points at state were: Ronald Collins (Veterans, 300 hurdles); Jimmy Mehserle (Perry, 1600 and 3200); Michael Callaway (Warner Robins, high jump) and Rod Harris (Warner Robins, long jump and triple jump).

NHS tennis signees

The tennis program at Middle Georgia State College knows better than to break up a good thing. As a result, the Knights signed not one, not two, but three Northside seniors to play tennis and continue their education during an April 22 ceremony at the school.

Twins Nate and Shelby Ashley and their teammate Tricia Wharton all committed to Middle Georgia State. Each played singles at Northside. Their combined record this past season was 32-0.

“I was nervous to start out all over (in college),” Shelby Ashley said. “To be able to go with my twin brother and one of my closest friends, it’s a joy.”

According to Nate Ashley, it was Wharton’s father who brought Middle Georgia State and the trio of players together. Middle Georgia State is presently without a tennis coach, but sports information director James Hagler said the school was eager to follow through on the former coach’s commitment.

“It’s a chance to stay close to home and work on my core classes and play tennis and do something I love,” Nate Ashley said.

The twins are the children of Paul and Nina Ashley. Paul Ashley has taught tennis for years in the area.

Nate Ashley said he’s planning to study mechanical engineering. Shelby Ashley said she hopes to be a physician, working as either in obstetrics or pediatrics. Wharton hopes to study early childhood education.

“I’ve always loved kids,” Wharton said. “Some people have no patience with kids but I can deal with it. I think they’re the most adorable things.”

The daughter of John and Lisa, Wharton said she planned to attend college locally even before the tennis scholarship option popped up. She called the chance to play tennis -- and play with friends -- “icing on the cake.”

Houston County, Veterans earn sweeps

The Houston County and Veterans baseball teams each swept first-round opponents in their respective GHSA state playoffs last week. The Bears went on the road and beat Effingham County by scores of 5-2 and 9-6 in Class AAAAA. Veterans swept Burke County 11-1 and 12-1 in Class AAAA.

Starting pitchers Hunter Jackson and Jordan McIlwain each earned their eighth victories for Houston County (21-4). At Kathleen, Mickey Dugan had five hits in the doubleheader for Veterans (25-3) which won its 21st and 22nd consecutive games.

In Class AAA, Peach County split a Friday doubleheader with Swainsboro. The Trojans won the opener 5-1 before falling 1-0 in the nitecap. Rain forced the postponement of the decisive third game of the series until Monday afternoon.

GHSA state baseball playoffs are scheduled to resume today.

Soccer clubs dominate first round

Soccer teams from high schools in Houston County and Peach County combined to win 7-of-9 first round matches last week in GHSA state tournaments. The boys and girls teams from Houston County High, Peach County High and Veterans High all swept opening matches. The Perry boys team also won. The Perry girls and Warner Robins boys both lost in the first round.

GHSA girls soccer playoffs were scheduled to resume on Tuesday. The boys are scheduled for second-round action today.

Erickson honored

Warner Robins High graduate Tyler Erickson was one of two named as inaugural recipients of the Dr. Donald Anderson Scholar-Athlete Award by Armstrong Atlantic State University.

Erickson and his golfing teammates finished third at the Peach Belt conference tournament on April 21. The team was scheduled to plan in the NCAA Div. II South Regional beginning on May 6. In 20 rounds this season, Erickson has a an average score of 75.65.

Dream to practice at Veterans High

The Atlanta Dream of the WNBA is again taking its show on the road to a Middle Georgia school. The Dream will hold an official practice from 2-3:30 p.m. May 18 at Veterans High School.

Tickets are $15 and include admission to one of 17 Dream home games at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Advance tickets are available at ticketmaster.com. Former Peach County High standout Natalie White is also available as a contact. The Dream director of ticket sales is available at (678) 510-7466.

HoCo’s Moore sweeps wheelchair events

William Moore of Houston County High won all three wheelchair events at the GHSA track and field meet over the weekend. Moore won the shot put, 200- and 800-meter races.

Contact Chris Deighan at cdeighan@cox.net.

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