West Laurens will be taking 11 wrestlers, including four sectional champions, to the GHSA traditional wrestling championships when they begin Thursday at the Macon Coliseum.
The Raiders, who finished fourth in Class 4A last year and will be competing in the same classification, will have an entry in all but three weight classes. Their sectional champions include Vincent Mariella at 106 pounds, Logan McGowan at 120 pounds, Blake Beasley at 145 pounds and Joseph Horne at 285 pounds.
Perry brings eight wrestlers to the Class 4A meet, while Howard will bring six. Veterans will have seven entries in the Class 5A meet, including sectional champions Julian Farber (106) and Jacob Pierce (160), and Houston County will have five wrestlers, including sectional champion Reed Vincent (138), in the Class 6A meet.
Also entering the state meet off of sectional championships are Northside’s Dashawn Farber (132) in Class 6A and Dodge County’s Christian Gruaberger (138) and East Laurens’ Zyshonne Holliman (182) in Class 2A.
Thursday’s action at the Coliseum, which begins at 1 p.m. includes the first two rounds in the 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A classifications. Friday’s action starts at 10 a.m. with first-round matches in the 1A, 2A and 3A classifications, with semifinals and consolation semifinals rounding out the day. Saturday’s action begins with fifth-place matches at 10 a.m., third-place matches at 11:30 a.m. and championship matches at 3 p.m.
Macon Touchdown Club names award winners
Mary Persons’ Malik Herring has been named the Macon Touchdown Club’s Elmo A. Richardson Player of the Year and will be honored at the club’s jamboree Monday.
Herring, a defensive lineman, is headed to Georgia after helping the Bulldogs reach the GHSA Class 4A semifinals.
Dexter Copeland, who led Macon County to the Class 1A public school championship, is the club’s coach of the year.
Houston County’s Deontrey Hill, Peach County’s Kearis Jackson and Taylor County’s Lyn-J Dixon highlight the club’s Super Seven selections, a list that includes Brenton Cox and Marquez Ezzard of Stockbridge, Emory Jones of Heard County and Quay Walker of Crisp County.
Middle Georgia award winners include Jones County’s Bradley Hunnicutt (Ortho Georgia Back of the Year), Southwest’s Zaquan Baldwin (Ortho Georgia/Bill Turner Lineman of the Year), Stratford’s Jake Jamison (Ortho Georgia Special Teams Player of the Year) and Tattnall Square’s Chance Jones (Marvin Davis Coach of the Year).
Winners of the Bobby Gene Sanders scholarship award include Rutland’s Kory Rousey, Mount de Sales’ Ryan Murphey, FPD’s Thomas McBride, Tattnall’s Tyler Warnock and Stratford’s David Matlock.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will speak at the jamboree, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Methodist Home. Tickets, which are limited and will not be sold at the door, are available by contacting Russell Deese at 550-0524.
Darius Johnson, who played free safety at Jones County, signed Wednesday with Highland Community College in Kansas.
Johnson, a second-team All-Region 4-5A pick, had 38 solo tackles and 64 assists last season, with 3.5 tackles for loss and five interceptions.
He joins Jones County teammate Jaquez Washington as signees for the Scotties.
Jones County girls golfer Rachel Lyons signed with Baldwin-Wallace, a Division III program in Ohio.
Houston County softball standout Madi Slappey, a first-team All-Middle Georgia pick in 2016, has signed with West Georgia.
Ex-Peach County lineman Bryce Mackey has signed with Eastern Arizona Junior College.
Former Jones County quarterback Bradley Hunnicutt has committed to Huntingdon, a Division III program in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Hawks, who had seven Georgia products on last year’s roster, finished 9-2 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. The USA South Athletic Conference member started football in 2003 and has had only two losing seasons since then.
Michael A. Lough
A number of area basketball players have passed the 1,000-point mark in recent weeks: Houston County’s Autumn Ring, Mary Persons’ Cam Holden and Northside’s Jaylan Sandifer and Marquaveious Williams.
Michael A. Lough
FPD’s Chang places at GHSA swim meet
FPD junior Vivianna Chang accomplished Saturday what few Middle Georgia swimmers have done in recent years: record a points-scoring finish at the GHSA Championships.
Chang finished 16th in the 100-yard backstroke, swimming the B final in 1:01.85. Her finish gave FPD five points, putting the Vikings in a tie for 47th with King’s Ridge Christian in the Class 1A-5A meet.
The backstroke wasn’t Chang’s only event at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center last weekend. She finished in a tie for 20th in the 100-yard freestyle, losing out to Woodward Academy’s Norah Singh for a spot in the B final in a swim-off, and she was part of a 200-yard freestyle relay team that finished 41st.
Kaplan receives USTA coaching honor
Stratford tennis head coach Jaime Kaplan has been named the winner of the Kathleen and Cannon Carr award, given to the high school coach of the year in Georgia by the U.S. Tennis Association.
Kaplan, who is in her 14th year of coaching at Stratford and serves as the school’s alumni director, led the Stratford girls to a runner-up finish last spring in the GHSA Class 1A private school tournament. A year earlier, Stratford’s boys won the Class 1A private competition.
Note to coaches and school officials
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