By R. Alan Richardson
It just keeps getting better for the Morgan County sports programs for 2016. The Lady Soccer Dogs had a great run into the round of 16 and Anslyn Stamps was recognized as the best player in the region in a somewhat unusual set of circumstances. The status quo is that the region player-of-the-year comes from the region championship team, but even though Morgan finished second behind Oconee County Stamps was given the award.
Anslyn told us quite humbly, “I’m excited that I got it. I’ve worked hard to get where I am now. My Mom and Dad put their best efforts into allowing and helping me to reach my goals. It says something about you when other coaches recognize your ability.” Each of the 14 teams’ coaches in the region cast their vote for player-of-the-year.
The Head Girls’ Coach, Anne Stamps, just so happens to be her Mom and said, “We are very proud of Anslyn. She’s worked very hard for a lot of years. She scored 30 goals in 15 games this season which may be a school record, but I’m not sure. It’s very humbling when my peers recognize one of my players that is also my daughter with this honor.”
The Lady Dogs faced a talented team in Westminster in the Sweet Sixteen and were somewhat overmatched losing 10-0 to the multiple time state champions. Coach Stamps observed, “They are arguably the best team in the state of Georgia in all classifications. I was very proud of the girls against a very strong Westminster team. At no point did they give up or give in.”
To give you some perspective on how good the 4-AAA region is, every team from our region won their first-round match, but lost in the second round to their 4-AAA opponent.
Seniors for this year’s squad were:
Stamps was a four-year starter and captain for three years who was also all-region her sophomore and junior years. She has signed a scholarship to play at Piedmont.
Susanna Peppers was also a four-year starter and team captain over the last three seasons. She was named 8-AAA all-region for the past two years and will be attending Truett-McConnell next year on a soccer scholarship.
Erin Miller has been a soccer participant for four years who has started most of her career. She played goal keeper for the first three and transitioned to a field player in her senior season. Erin will attend North Georgia next year.
Madison Evans was a starter during her four seasons the majority of the time who plans on attending Emory at Oxford in the fall.
Lacey Campbell, very similar to Evans, has been a starter most of her four-year career and also plans on studying at Emory at Oxford next year.
Alishia Frierson came off the softball field as AAA state player-of-the-year to play keeper this season and did a fantastic job in the goal. She signed a full scholarship to play softball at North Georgia in 2016-17.
Stamps talked about her seniors, “This is a tight-knit group that love to play the game. They are always there, always ready to work, and always wanting to get better. Three years ago when these girls were freshmen, we were just fighting to make the playoffs. They finished fourth in the region in their sophomore season, third in their junior year, and second this season. We had a chance at winning the region. Our goal was to host the first round of the state tournament, and they accomplished that. This group has really put their stamp on the program and our success has grown with this group of girls. They will be missed for sure.”