By Nick Nunn
In the second week of the Morgan County High School 2013 soccer season, both the girls’ and boys’ team found themselves playing games on back-to-back days, an uncommon occurrence in a soccer schedule.
Last Friday, both teams faced and lost to Monroe Area High School; the girls lost 0-3 and the boys fell behind late in the game to lose 0-1. The next day, the teams traveled back to Lamar County for the second round of the Trojan Cup tournament. The boys lost a 4-5 overtime match against the Fayette County Tigers, but the girls beat the Tigers 4-2. The girls’ victory moves them on to the championship game against Upson Lee this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Lamar County.
Despite the 0-3 loss to Monroe last Friday, Jessica Ward, head coach of the girls’ team, is proud of the team’s commitment to finishing the game strongly.
“In the Monroe game, the girls played very tough and hard,” began Coach Ward. “We had several shots on goal, they just did not go in the net for us. I am happy with their effort – no matter what the score they never gave up trying and played hard until the final whistle.”
The girls’ 4-2 victory over 4A Fayette County proves that the loss to Monroe is not indicative of the team’s level of skill.
Holly Peppers scored against Fayette County in the first half of the game, but the Tigers were able to tie it up 1-1 before the end of the first period.
The Lady Dogs moved well ahead of the Tigers after the half; Susanna Peppers scored twice and Anslyn Stamps once for Morgan County.
“In the second half my girls really stepped it up and played some great soccer,” said Ward. “Our passing, communicating, and ball movement were outstanding.”
The boys’ team suffered a close 0-1 loss against a very physically demanding Monroe Area team last Friday.
Varsity begins season with tough losses
By Nick Nunn
After suffering a heartbreaking 5-6 loss to Apalachee High School last Friday in a preseason scrimmage match, the Diamond Dogs lost their first regular season game 2-3 to the Clarke Central Gladiators on Monday night.
Apalachee took a one-run lead in the first inning, which was unanswered by the Dogs until the third inning, when Sawyer Hill hit an RBI line drive into right field, scoring Clayton Gasaway from third base.
Ross Kirkpatrick earned an RBI in the fourth inning to bring Morgan County ahead 2-1, but Apalachee tied the game again in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, with the score tied at 2-2, the dam broke open – for both teams.
Morgan County batters managed to score three runs on two singles and two doubles in the top of the seventh, leaving them only the bottom of the seventh to defend in order to hold onto the lead.
Unfortunately, Apalachee’s bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh against Andrew Couch, who was pitching the inning for Morgan County. Three doubles, a single, and a fielding error gave Apalachee the four runs they needed to pull forward and win the game 6-5.
“Our defense was solid throughout the game, but we had a few breakdowns in the bottom of the 7th which cost us the game,” said head coach Brandon Patch. “The scrimmage is about getting our pitchers some work in a game situation and seeing live pitching. I felt like we were able to evaluate a good many aspects of our game.”
In the game against Clarke Central on Monday, the first regulation game of the season, Couch blasted a double into left field in the top of the first inning, scoring Morgan County’s first two runs of the regular season.
By Nick Nunn
The 8-AAA Region awards have been announced, and Morgan County High School’s own Quindarious “Tookie” Brown has been named Player of the Year for the 2012-2013 season.
Coach Charlemagne Gibbons was at no loss for words when asked to describe his star athlete, whose statistics for the regular season are nothing short of astonishing; so far this year, Tookie has averaged 19.4 points per game, 5.8 assists per game, and 5.1 rebounds per game.
“Tookie is a great kid,” said Coach Gibbons. “He is one of the hardest working kids I’ve had the chance to coach. He has spent countless hours in the gym working on his game, and people were able to see the result in his performance this season on the floor.”
Since Tookie is only a sophomore at MCHS this year, lucky Morgan County fans will be able to catch Tookie in action for the next two seasons right in their own backyard.
“It was a great honor for him to be region player of the year”, continued Gibbons. “I’m sure this will not be his last player of the year award!
Brown wasn’t the only player named in the regional awards this year. Teammate CJ Turman was named to the All-Region Team, while Josh Sallette and Mike Williams received honorable mentions.
Tookie’s sister, Alexis Brown, received a place on the girls’ All-Region second team as a representative of the MCHS varsity girls’ team. Tyra Smith, freshman, also received an honorable mention from the region committee.
Congratulations to these members of the MCHS basketball program, and good luck during the 8-AAA region tournament this week.
Printed in the February 14, 2013 edition
In 1958, fed up with several changes in the game of basketball, including the prevalence of “biological blowups with runaway pituitary glands who play at basketball,” Shirley Povich, famed sports columnist for the Washington Post, wrote a searing critique of basketball officials, stating that:
“Even that last precious motivation of healthy partisanship, the pleasure of rooting for somebody, evaporates at a basketball game in common outrage against the referee who is usually wronging both teams, as well as the spectators... it is thus inevitable that the referee must wind up as the enemy of all cheering sections.”
And now, some 55 years later, we still love to hate referees.
Surely, no one else in the public eye – other than politicians, perhaps – are more openly criticized on a regular basis than referees.
Why? Why are we so disrespectful, even mean, to these men, whose only sin is the attempt to instill a degree of fairness and safety into sporting events, many of which around here involve our own children, relatives, or friends?
Because it is simply a whole lot of fun.
Personally, I don’t think that I’ve ever uttered any more than a “come on!” at a ref before, but I’ve never felt that I’ve had to stifle my laughter when a nearby fan tears into a ref during the game.
Some of the insults I’ve heard are downright hilarious.
In addition to the classics – “You’re missing a good game here, ref!” or “If you had one more eye, you’d be a cyclops!” – some quips have been quite creative. Like, “Hey ref, did your glass eye get fogged up on that one?!?”
Of course, this isn’t the appropriate forum for some of the ones I’ve heard...
By Nick Nunn
After last week’s 68-53 victory against Oconee County and 48-44 win over Franklin County, the Morgan County High School varsity boys’ team finished their regular season as the top-ranked team in the 8-AAA region. Those last two victories bring the Dogs’ overall record to 20-5 with a 13-1 region record.
The girls’ varsity, however, fell off in the last week; the Lady Dogs were outscored by Oconee County 35-38 and Franklin County 39-57. The girls’ record – 9-12 overall and 6-8 in the region – earned them a fourth-place ranking for the upcoming playoffs.
Although the Lady Dogs were able to maintain a lead through most of their game against Oconee County last week – at the end of the third quarter, they were still ahead 29-24 – the lead slipped away from them late in the game because of several missed opportunities during transitions.
The Lady Lions of Franklin County were able to get a quick 17-11 lead on the Lady Dogs during the first quarter in Franklin County on Friday.
That six-point gap only grew throughout the game; at halftime Morgan County was trailing 18-27, on their way to the 39-57 final score for the loss.
The boys had difficulties against Oconee County during the first half of their game, after which they were losing 23-26.
The Dogs were able to turn it around in the second half, thanks to an increased ability to move the ball and make inside shots.
Turning away from the regular season, the Dogs are now entrenched in post-season warfare. The do-or-die matches began Tuesday for the girls, as the Lady Dogs played fifth-ranked Hart County at North Oconee High School. The boys played eight-ranked Jackson County at home Wednesday at 7:30.