There is talk of big major football conferences, but the Peach Belt Conference is becoming a bigger Division II group soon.
Young Harris will become the Peach Belt’s 14th member this summer, accepting the conference’s invitation earlier this week.
Young Harris began as a four-year school in 1886 but was a junior college until gaining accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2008 to offer baccalaureate degrees.
It was a successful junior college program, winning the national women’s soccer title in 2006 and reaching the baseball world series in 2007.
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As a junior college, Young Harris was a quality feeder program for four-year schools.
It is the fifth new school in the Peach Belt since 2006 and joins Flagler as a private school.
Young Harris will be eligible for regular-season championships in sports without automatic NCAA bids as well as postseason honors.
Young Harris will compete in the West Division in basketball.
A month of no games is a long time, and Middle Georgia College followed all that time off with its first loss of the season.
The 18th-ranked MGC women had beaten Darton 61-58 on Dec. 3, the Lady Warriors’ closest game of the season by far. But then they were off until playing East Georgia on Monday and lost 48-47 at home.
The loss broke MGC’s 10-game winning streak to open the season. It will get a shot at revenge on Feb. 4 in Swainsboro. MGC plays Saturday at Albany Tech.
Back in April, Ricardo Lockette didn’t get the phone call he was expecting from the NFL during the draft.
He knew he’d have to wait until the lockout was over to prove anything.
Eventually, Seattle signed the former Fort Valley State standout and sent him to the practice squad.
Fast forward to the final week of the season, and Lockette’s 61-yard one-handed bobbling touchdown catch against Arizona was one of the NFL Network’s top five plays of the weekend.
He finished the season with only two catches, but for 105 yards and a touchdown.
It made an impression.
Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has been unique in describing Lockette’s progress.
“A long way,” Jackson said in a recent news conference. “He was kind of a deer in headlights when he got here, just running real fast, like Forrest Gump, just running.
“He’s gotten better throughout the season, he’s come out here and worked hard every day. Scout team stuff, he’s done a great job of making great catches. You see every day, he’s making a great catch, outrunning somebody.
“That shows his ability. He’s come a long way since Day 1 of training camp. It’s Week 17 and the braces are falling off of his legs.”
Around Georgia College/Peach Belt
The transition to college basketball has been a smooth one for Georgia College’s Shanteona Keys.
The freshman leads the Bobcats women with 14.7 points and already cracked 100 points.
Georgia College will need that from her and more from her teammates when No. 14 USC Aiken goes to Milledgeville on Saturday. The Pacers are 11-1 and 4-0 in the conference and beat the Bobcats 55-32 in mid-November.