By Nick Nunn
Mary Claire Cardwell, the Morgan County High School Swim Dogs’ sole representative at the State Meet last Friday, took 19th place in the girls 100-yard backstroke during the preliminary race. Unfortunately, her performance, which was a personal record of 1:01.82, was not sufficient to move her along to the Finals.
However, MCHS girls swim coach Susan Courchaine is proud of Cardwell’s performance.
“Coming in 19th place in the state is quite an accomplishment!” said Coach Courchaine. “We at MCHS were very proud to have her represent our team at the state level.”
Although Cardwell, freshman, only qualified to swim in the 100 backstroke this year at the State Meet, Courchaine anticipates that Cardwell will develop her other strokes in the coming years in order to become competitive in other events at future State Meets.
“Backstroke is her best stroke right now,” said Courchaine, “but she is a strong all-around swimmer and I believe she could compete at the state level in other strokes as well.”
At this point, Coach Courchaine sees no limit to the accomplishments that Cardwell might attain in the future as a member of the Swim Dogs as long as she keeps her nose to the grindstone.
“I believe Mary Claire has great potential to improve even more in the future,” continued Courchaine. “She is a gifted athlete and she works very hard. If she remains committed to swimming over the next three years, I believe she could be state champion in the future.”
Printed in the February 14, 2013 edition
Boys and girls teams move to second round of Lamar Trojan Cup tournament
Morgan County High School Mat Dogs move nine wrestlers on to Sectionals
story by nick nunn • photos by jesse walker
After last week’s 1-AAA Area tournament, nine members of MCHS’ Mat Dogs find themselves only one tournament away from the State Finals.
In the Area tournament, Morgan County wrestlers accounted for six Area Champions, one second-place finisher, and two third-place finishers.
As a result of having so many wrestlers go deep into the brackets, Morgan County, as a team, came out on top of all of the schools with 274.5 points – over 75 points more than Appling County, the second-place finishers.
Jacob McAlister (120), Quentavious Jackson (138), Austin Ross (182), Stewart Spence (195), Bailey Ross (220), and Preston Langley (280) proved themselves as Area Champions this year; each went 4-0 during the Area tournament.
Coach John Robbins had a good word for each of his champions, characterizing Austin Ross’ performance as “complete dominance” and describing Spence as an “unstoppable force.”
“Bailey Ross destroyed everything in his path,” said Robbins about Bailey, who was en route to his third straight area championship during the tournament.
Robbins continued his praise about Morgan County sophomore, Preston Langley.
“Preston [was the] only unseeded wrestler to win the title, and beat several absolute studs to do it.”
Jack Leclair (126), Morgan County’s only second-place finisher, went 3-1, only losing a 2-6 decision in the final match of his weight class.
Prompted by the recent announcement that brothers B.J. and Justin Upton will be playing side-by-side in the Braves’ outfield this season, I’ve been contemplating the complications and contributions that siblings in sport often cause.
If internal and external tensions can often be enough to create a rift between average siblings, then why should we expect anything different from brothers or sisters (or both), who find themselves in a larger arena, competing with or against each other?
There are many examples of siblings, who have found themselves in competitive circumstances with widely varying results.
Consider the Uptons – the impetus for this (albeit broken) train of thought – who played with each other as children in Virginia; each cites the other as the reason he has attained the level of professional skill that he was able to develop.
Their sibling status appears to be one of the reasons why they are successful, and some predict that their playing on the same field day in and day out will provide a renewed catalyst for their athletic drives, beginning an era of development in each brother’s individual career.
Jim and John Harbaugh, who probably played electric football against each other as children, got to do the real thing at the Super Bowl last Saturday and proved an almost equal match by the end of gameplay.
There are times, however, when siblings develop their talents less evenly, which is a problem that can cause dysfunction in a family.
Everyone remembers Hank Aaron’s career home run total (755), but relatively few people remember that he and his brother, Tommie, amassed the most career home runs of any brother duo in the history of baseball: 768 home runs.
In case you can’t do that math in your head, Tommie Aaron hit 13 of the 768.
By Nick Nunn
In the spirit of “One Morgan,” the doctrine that is taking hold in the Morgan County school system, there will not be a Morgan County Middle School baseball team for 2013.
Taking its place will be a C team, which will be comprised solely of eighth and ninth graders, in addition to the standard varsity and junior varsity teams.
Although there are several individual reasons for the change, most of the results boil down to this factor: the C team will force sixth and seventh graders out of the middle school program and into travel and recreation teams.
Initially, parents may balk at the notion of having their young athletes’ participation refused because of their grade level, but the C team will create a change that will have a ripple effect, which will strengthen and create depth throughout Morgan County’s baseball program.
The first stage of development will occur in the players “left out” of a middle school team.
“Our younger kids will actually be playing more as many of them play travel ball and recreation ball and will be better served by getting game experience and then joining us in the eighth grade,” said MCHS varsity team head coach Brandon Patch.
By being forced into alternate teams, aspiring sixth and seventh grade baseball players will actually gain experience during those years instead of sitting on the bench while eighth graders are on the field.
Because of the changes caused by the C team, players with more experience in their younger years will eventually man the higher-level Morgan County teams, thus making the teams more competitive in the future.
The C team also reflects developments that have already occurred at larger schools