By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County High School is a busy place right now and there are plenty of athletes currently competing in several sports. MCHS fields teams in girls softball, girls volleyball as well as boys and girls cross-country and all these squads are gearing up for region play and positioning themselves to make the state playoffs.
Jason McBay is Morgan’s new head coach replacing Doug Connelly who moved up to become Morgan County’s Athletic Director. McBay is assisted by Billy Dooley, Trent McElroy and Alyson Griggs.
The Lady Dogs are coming off a spectacular season in which they went 31-8 and a wound up as state runner-up to champion Calhoun High School. As always a number of seniors graduated but the 2016 team began region play on August 23rd at Franklin County and then hosted East Jackson on August 25th. Both of those teams, along with Morgan are region 8AAA contenders. They are also scheduled to play two games at the University of West Georgia on August 27th against Parkview and Cedartown. They also had a region 8AAA home game vs Monroe Area on August 30th. All those games will be reported on at a later date.
Through August 19th the Lady Dogs had posted a 3-3 record with wins over Social Circle (8-4), Veterans High School (5-4) and GMC Prep (7-3). Their losses have come at the hands of last season’s Class 4A runner-up Walnut Grove (2-1), Class 7A Lowndes County (4-1) and Monticello (4-3).
In the Social Circle win sophomore shortstop Alissa Webb had a three-run homer that powered the Lady Dogs to victory in a game in which Morgan led 8-0 before Social Circle scored four late runs to close the gap.
The Lady Dogs came from behind to best Veterans High School and in that contest junior Mary Trent Chandler keyed the win with a hit that gave Morgan County their lead and ultimately led to the victory. The Lady Dogs played their games vs Veterans and Lowndes at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega where they had an opportunity to check out some college surroundings and play on artificial turf.
In the loss to Monticello Liz Couch and Ansley Dean had RBI hits as the Lady Dogs came up short and a game vs North Oconee was rained out.
The upcoming schedule includes:
September 8th @ Hart County
September 13th vs Franklin County at home
September 15th @ East Jackson
September 16th vs Winder-Barrow at home
The roster includes:
Name Grade Position
Sarah Couch 12 CF
Liz Couch 12 3B
Ansley Dean 12 P / DP
Alisha Ellis 12 LF
Leah Malcom 12 C
Bryanna Mims 12 RF
Sydney Walker 12 RF
Mary Trent Chandler 11 1B / DP
Maddie Kinnett 11 2B / P
Sadie Worth 11 DP / 3B
McKenna Camp 10 OF / 1B
Madison Henry 10 1B / C
Alisha Webb 10 SS
Zoey Brown 9 2B
Nicole Edwards 9 P
Maeson Tanner 9 C
The MCHS volleyball team began their preparation for region play by scheduling tough squads from upper classifications and have taken their lumps in the early going but that experience should pay dividends when it comes time for region play. Coach Greg Thompson noted this and said, “I purposely built our schedule so we would face some tough opponents early in the season. We opened up at home with Gainesville (Class 5A) and North Oconee (Class 4A) who both made it to the Sweet Sixteen last year.”
The Lady Dogs then traveled to Apalachee for a meet that included Class 7A Peachtree Ridge, Class 4A Jefferson and Class 6A Apalachee. Peachtree Ridge made the Sweet Sixteen last season and Jefferson made the Elite Eight. Up against some of the state’s toughest teams Morgan fell short in all three matches but once again made strides in their play that will serve them well later in the season.
Morgan then traveled to George Walton and lost tough matches to their host and to West Hall. Thompson was pleased with his team’s progress and commented, “We made some strides and felt good going into our next matches. Those next matches came at the Battle of the Borders at Stephens County High School. The Lady Dogs went 3-1 with wins over two South Carolina schools as well as one over Region 8AAA rival East Jackson. About his squad’s play at Stephens County Thompson commented, “I really liked the way we played on Saturday. We did some great things on the floor and made a lot of progress in getting where we want to be later in the year.”
Next up is Oconee County (August 25th) and George Walton in a tri-match at Oconee County High School.
Volleyball Match Scores to Date:
Apalachee Lost 25-15 / 25-21
Peachtree Ridge Lost 25-12 / 25-13
Jefferson Lost 25-14 / 25-11
North Oconee Lost 25-13 / 25-7
Gainesville Lost 25-14 / 25-18
George Walton Lost 25-17 / 25-18
West Hall Lost 25-18 / 25-20
Belton-Honea Path S.C. Won 25-21 / 22-25 / 15-3
East Jackson Won 25-22 / 25-20
Laurens S.C. Won 12-25 / 25-19 / 15-11
Seneca (S.C.) Lost 25-20 / 25-21
Volleyball Team Roster
Taylor Adams Senior
Katie Hill Junior
Natalie Baddour Junior
Aris Hubbard Junior
Gracie Burge Sophomore Tobi Johnson Junior
Savannah E’Dalgo Senior
Bailey Shultz Sophomore
Lexi Forton Junior
Mary Zimmerman Senior
Madison Gasque Junior
Carley Henry Senior
The MCHS cross-country team opened up their season with a big meet contested at Loganville Christian on August 20th. With more than a dozen squads competing the Morgan County boys’ team placed first and the girls placed second. Their next competition will take place at North Oconee County High School on September 1st where they will once again face a large and talented field.
The team’s head coach is Erin Spinks and she is assisted by Zach Massey and Andrea Denton.
Cross-Country Girls Roster
Cross-Country Boys Roster