GMC pitcher Dixie Raley describes head coach Julie Brooker as being more than a coach to the Bulldogs. That friendship reaped some hefty benefits this fall.
The Bulldogs won the GHSA Class A public school championship in dominating fashion, beating the competition 45-2 in the championship round held in Columbus.
Brooker is The Telegraph’s 2014 All-Middle Georgia Softball Coach of the Year.
“She’s played a huge role,” Raley said of Brooker’s impact on the Bulldogs. “She’s more than coach, she’s more like a friend to us.”
Part of the reason for the Bulldogs being able to roll over whoever they faced in the state tournament began from the start of the season.
“This team was extremely driven,” Brooker said. “They were just very, very hungry.”
GMC, which finished with a record of 29-5, was handed four of its five losses by teams that advanced to their classification’s championship round, which is comprised of the top eight teams.
The Bulldogs were placed in the same region with Tattnall Square, Stratford and FPD, all of which advanced to the championship round in the Class A private bracket. In addition, GMC’s non-region schedule was ambitious. It included Class AAAAA Union Grove, Loganville and Jones County, along with Class AAAA opponents Perry and Veterans.
Loganville and Union Grove advanced to the championship round, with Union Grove finishing among the final four teams.
“They felt like once they were there, they knew what to do,” Brooker said. “By the time they got to Columbus, they were so ready.”