Story and Photos by Tara DeRock Mahoney
By Brandon Park
The 2008-09 Bulldogs traded in their positions on the gridiron last Thursday for a position behind the checkout register at Ingle's Supermarket.
A mandatory off-week required by the Georgia High School Association allowed for a fundraising opportunity in which several members of the team assisted customers with the bagging of their groceries.
The funds collected will go towards the new "paint job" on next season's headgear. The new helmet will feature a sparkling, glitter look because of a metal flake added into the paint.
For some high school students, summertime means freedom from the everyday grind of life. But for the football team, it is simply a continuation of the regular season with two months of preparation, practice and training.
Summer training kicked off in early June where the team spent three days at the Apalachee High School football camp. Training and instruction included individual morning exercises combined with afternoon team practices.
Immediately following, quarterbacks and receivers reported to the Furman College campus in Greenville, S.C. for individual skills training.
"That is the best camp in the Southeast," Head Coach Bill Malone said. "We are real glad we had the support of the touchdown club and were able to spend some time up there."
While at the Furman camp, the quarterbacks worked on their mechanics while the receivers focused on their route running and receiving techniques, Malone said.
Regular workouts resumed Monday. Two weeks of weight-training and skill practicing will lead into the opening of mini camp, scheduled for July 21.
"We are looking better than we did last year," Malone said. "Our main concern, however is defensively with the inside linebackers."
By Brandon Park
Morgan County High School sophomore Calli Watson has only been competing in competition barrel racing for two years.
And following her first ever appearance in the Georgia High School Rodeo Association state competition held in Perry May 30 through June 1, Watson raced away with a second place finish and an opportunity to compete in the 60th Annual National High School Rodeo Finals (NHSRF) in Farmington, New Mexico.
"I have always liked pony rides and horses," Watson said. "I started riding when I was about 10. I started competing about two years ago, and I love it."
Watson's mother, Renee Watson said competing in the rodeo has been a very family oriented experience. "We just love it. The three of us (Watson, her mother and her father) will be driving to New Mexico, so we get to spend good, quality time with each other."
Watson will join over 1,500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provnces and Australia on July 20-26 to compete for over $200,000 in prizes, more than $325,000 in college scholarships and the chance to be named the National High School Rodeo Champion.
In order to earn the title of champion, contestants must finish in the top 20 after two go-rounds of intense competition before advancing to Saturday night's final championship performance.
Great rodeo competition is not the only activity going on during the six days in Farmington. Watson and other contestants will have the opportunity to meet new friends from around the world, represent their team in a volleyball and basketball tournament and enjoy nightly dances including a Cowboy Prom.
For performance, Lake Oconee’s Dr. Lou Pack builds a firm foundation
Story By Patrick Yost - Photos By Patrick Yost and Contributed
By Patrick Yost
By Brandon Park
The Morgan County Recreational Department was well represented in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) 6th District boys and girls baseball tournaments last week.
So well, in fact, three championships were won.
Held in both Moaran and Greene Counties June 23-26, the 9-10 boys and girls Mites, the 11-12 boys and girls Midgets and the 13-14 Junior boys all competed against teams from Putnam, Greene, Wilkinson and Butts counties.
The Mite, Midget and Junior boys ended the four-day, double elimination tournament with undefeated records and championship victories, while the Mite and Midget girls fell just short with two losses each.
As a result of their wins, the boys have earned an opportunity to compete in their state tournaments.
The 9-10 Mite league state tournament will be hosted at the Morgan County Recreation Department July 10-12. The 11-12 Midget league state tournament will be held in Hazelhurst July 9-11, while the 13-14 Junior league state tournament will be in Nashville on the same dates.
Lights out pitching combined with timely hitting proved to be key for all three of the boys teams.
The Junior's bats carried them through tournament play, exploding to a run-rule victory over Putnam in the championship game.
For the Midgets, a first round blowout of Greene quickly changed into pitching duels against Putnam in both the second round and championship games. Both games were narrowly won by one run.
"It was a real pitching duel against Putnam," assistant coach Nelson Hale said. "We had to scratch out runs in both games."