Two county schools reach GHSA soccer semis

Sun News correspondentMay 15, 2013 

Northside High School senior Jarius Smith displays his new jersey after accepting a scholarship to play basketball and continue his education at Gordon State College in Barnesville during an April ceremony at the school.

PICASA

The Veterans High School girls and the Houston County High School boys won quarterfinal matches on consecutive nights in their respective playoff divisions last week. As a result, the county will have soccer semifinalists for the first time since 1994.

Freshman Myranda Wyatt scored the only goal of the game and Veterans defeated River Ridge on May 10. The next evening, Houston County’s boys took down Clarke Central, 3-1, with goals from Andrew Weber, Justin Little and Steven Moore.

The Warhawks were scheduled to host Columbus in a Class AAAA semifinal match on Tuesday. The teams played a non-region game earlier in the season with Columbus earning a hard-fought 4-3 win.

Meanwhile, the Bears are scheduled to host Starr’s Mill in a Class AAAAA semifinal match tonight. Houston County will put its 20-0 record on the line.

The semifinal matches will be the first for a county school since the Warner Robins boys accomplished the feat in 1994. The Demons lost that game to eventual co-champion Heritage.

Northside’s Hall wins 100-meter dash at state

Northside High School’s Cassondra Hall brought home gold from the GHSA girls Class AAAAA state track and field meet. The freshman sprinter won the 100-meter dash with a personal best time of 11.66 seconds. Hall also finished second in the 200-meter dash.

Her effort sparked the Eagles to a fifth place finish in the team competition. Northside also earned points from Mekhaela Witherspoon (shot put), Tia Williams (400) and twins Toleah and Toneah Martin. (1600 relay) .

Warner Robins High School sprinter Asha Stegall finshed second in the Class AAAAA 400 and third in the 200. Kiaira Jackson of Houston County landed fifth in Class AAAAA triple jump.

In Class AAA, Keondria Simmons of Peach County High School excelled in several events. The junior placed fifth in long jump, second in the 100 and third in the 200. Each result was a personal best, according to Peach County coach Glen Turner.

Hornets sweep into second round

Westfield swept Augusta Prep in the first round of the GISA Class AAA playoffs over the weekend. The Hornets (19-7) won the opener 6-2 behind the bat of first baseman Wayne O’Neal. The senior slugged a double and a homer in three at-bats and drove home three runs. Westfield closed out the series with a 6-0 win Saturday. Gehrig Broxton pitched a 3-hit shutout and O’Neal homered again for the Hornets, who are scheduled to host long-time rival Deerfield-Windsor in a second-round series beginning May 17.

Vets baseball earns quarterfinal berth

Strong pitching performances and timely hitting propelled the Veterans baseball team into the quarterfinals of the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs. The Warhawks were scheduled to host Troup County in a best-of-three series beginning with a doubleheader May. 14.

Last week, the Warhawks (26-3) dispatched Dutchtown by scores of 5-0 and 7-1 in a second-round sweep. Ross Martin pitched a 1-hit shutout for the Warhawks in Game One. He struck out seven while Kal Dempsey provided the offensive punch with three hits from the leadoff spot. In the second game, Brett Decker and R.J. Skeen combined on a two-hitter. Micah Wells had a pair of doubles for Veterans, which scored five runs in its half of the first inning to take control.

In Class AAAAA, the Houston County baseball team lost a second-round doubleheader at Starr’s Mill on May 8. The Bears finished the season with a record of 20-6.

Eagles’ MVP signs with Gordon

Northside senior Jarius Smith accepted a scholarship to play basketball and continue his education at Gordon State College during an April 24 ceremony at Northside High.

At Gordon, Smith will be reunited with former Eagles’ teammate Andrew Graham, who transferred to Houston County prior to his senior year and also recently signed with the Barnesville school. The two play informal ball together at a gym at Robins Air Force Base.

“Playing on a team with (Graham) again will be good for me,” Smith said.

One of the most decorated players in the history of the Northside basketball program, Smith earned co-player of the year honors in Region 2-AAAAA at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. He led the Eagles to consecutive region championships during his junior and senior years.

Smith also excelled at other sports during middle school and as a freshman. He still runs with the Northside track team, but gave up baseball and football to concentrate on hoops.

“I always like basketball more,” he said. “If you play football at Northside, you really have to commit to it. The only sport I could commit to like that was basketball.”

The son of Jimmy Smith and Cheryl White, Smith said he is undecided on a course of study but is considering physical education.

DiVarsity all-star soccer

Several local athletes were selected to participate in the 2013 DiVarsity.com all-star games May 19 at Sprayberry High School in Marietta.

Dillon Garrett and Michael Bailey of Veterans were picked to play for the “blue” team in one boys game. In the other boys game, Northside’s Michael Clowers and Romel Jordan earned spots on the team. They’ll line up beside Steven Moore and Everick Little of Houston County. Northside head coach Sam Said will coach the blue side in that game.

Veterans golf

The Veterans girls golf team qualified for the state meet with a third-place performance at the GHSA Class AAAA sectional May 6. Megan Reddick carded an 84 to pace the Warhawks. Kristen Holder shot 93 and Amanda Marks shot 101. The state meet is Monday in Cohutta.

Contact Chris Deighan at cdeighan@cox.net.

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