Mount de Sales has a fairly new volleyball program, but the Cavaliers are enjoying some success in their first year of GHSA play.
The Cavaliers, who are in their fourth season under head coach BJ Dunwody, are off to an 8-2 start.
“I have big aspirations for this team, and we live and breathe by our team motto, ‘We never lose; we either win or we learn,’ ” Dunwody said.
When Dunwody launched the program, she said 88 players tried out. From there, 32 players were chosen for that first team in 2011, which went undefeated in regular-season play and reached the quarterfinals of the GISA tournament.
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Two Mount de Sales players from the GISA era went on to play collegiately. Abigail McKowen, a setter on the 2011 team, is a junior starter for North Park University, an NCAA Division III school in Illinois. Rayne Ellis, a middle blocker, is in her freshman season at NYU.
This season, Mount de Sales also has wins over Perry, Northside, West Laurens, Stratford, Putnam County, Harris County and Tift County. The Cavaliers are off until Sept. 9, when they host Pacelli and Greenville.
“We are doing very well against schools that are much larger and far more developed than we are,” Dunwody said. “I attribute this primarily to the constant training in the fundamentals of volleyball and a ‘play to win’ mentality that I attempt to teach the girls in all areas of their life. They are very accomplished academically and come to the table with a very strong worth work ethic, which is always advisable considering my very intense coaching style.”
-- Ron Seibel
Macon County senior Roquan Smith will have his Under-Armour All-America game jersey presentation Sept. 10. It will be at 2 p.m. at the school gym as part of a pep rally for the team’s game against Perry the following night.
Smith, a member of The Telegraph’s Twelve to Treasure, is listed as a four-star talent and the nation’s No. 55 prospect and No. 5 outside linebacker, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Smith has more than 30 Division I offers and said he has cut his list to Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, LSU, Clemson, Miami, USC and UCLA.
-- Daniel Shirley
FPD will conduct a pregame fan event, “Viking Fanfare,” prior to its home game against Howard on Friday.
According to a news release, the event will feature family friendly activities on the practice field adjacent to the stadium. The free event starts at 5:15 p.m., runs to approximately 6:15 p.m.
-- Ron Seibel
CROSS COUNTRY STARTS UP
The high school cross country season began last weekend with the Mid State Cross Country Meet in Perry.
Veterans won the girls competition, with Perry’s Tiffany Mountin leading area individuals with a second-place finish in 21 minutes, 4.9 seconds. Lowndes won the boys race, with Veterans’ Michael Rowlands taking second in 17:16.03.
FPD opens its season Saturday at the Clara Bowl Invitational at Berry College. Forty-eight teams are scheduled to participate.
-- Ron Seibel
Georgia State broke a 16-game losing streak Wednesday with its 38-37 win over second-year FCS member Abilene Christian and can thank some Middle Georgians for their contributions.
Robert Davis, a 6-foot-3, 198-pound sophomore from Northside, caught eight passes for 90 yards as the Panthers gained 413 yards through the air.
Glenn Smith, a freshman from Northside, returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 18 yards. And Jalen Lawrence, a sophomore from Westside, got the start at noseguard and had four tackles, one for loss.
Three area alums will be on the field in East Lansing, Michigan, on Friday when No. 8 Michigan State hosts Jacksonville State.
DeBarriaus Miller transferred to Jacksonville State after two seasons at Southern Miss, where he was the top tackler in 2013 with 92 tackles but was dismissed in May. The junior is eligible to play since he transferred down from FBS to FCS and will start at safety.
Montavious Skelton is a senior defensive lineman from Upson-Lee who played in eight games last season.
Keith Mumphery was Michigan State’s sixth-busiest receiver a year ago with 18 catches for 299 yards, despite not being healthy all the time.
The senior from Dooly County is atop the depth chart entering the season, and the Spartans know what he can do. He led them in 2012 with 42 catches.
-- Michael A. Lough