By Patrick Yost
photos by jesse walker
A loss against Oconee County High School, a perennial favorite, and victories over North Oconee, Monroe Area and Alcovy have the 2012 Morgan County High School Spike Dogs in a fierce frame of mind.
Just ask Rosalie Keck. Keck, a three-year starter up front is racking up kills at a furious rate. And despite the 24/7 smile, she says this year's team is bringing attitude to the gym.
"We've focused a lot on hustle this year."
Rosa Cox, the diminutive defensive specialist, agrees. "Everybody's more intense. They want to play. We have people that go for the ball on the ground."
Oconee's match, a close, two-game contest, helped the Spike Dogs realize something they haven't felt in a while. "We were right with them but we had a couple of mental breakdowns late."
"They stepped up and took the match," says Morgan County Head Coach Pam Hooten.
"We believe we can play at that level. We know we can play at that level and now it's just a matter of doing."
The wins last week left the Dogs with a 2-2 region record (losses to Oconee County and North Oconee) and an 8-3 overall record and the best start of the season the team has experience in two years. In fact, says Hooten, the wins against Monroe Area and Alcovy were not complete, but they were wins. "We won. We played terrible but we won."
Hooten says the team is still coming together, still finding the right mix. She's got time, she says, until the area tournament in October.
"We're still trying to get a f eel for what everybody's role is," Hooten said.
The Spike Dogs have a light week this week with Thursday matches against Walnut Grove and Prince Avenue Christian.
Printed in the August 30, 2012 edition