By R. Alan Richardson
Morgan County opened up their 2019 season competing in a mega track event at Heritage High School in Conyers over the weekend. The Patriot Early Bird Invitational sported 21 teams from Classes 1-A through 7-A which exposed the Dogs to some of the best competition they will see all season, according to Head boys’ coach Aubrey Fortson. The event featured several State Team Champions and Individual Champions from 2018.
Fortson commented, “It was a highly competitive meet that had our AAA State Champions from a year ago (Cedar Grove) in it. The kids were able to see some of the best in the State and know now what it takes to compete with them.”
Seth Robertson came out of the gate showing why he will be a State contender in the triple jump and long jump. He finished first and third overall respectively in his two main events. Newcomer David Williams made a nice showing as well by taking sixth in the discus and first in the shot on his final throw.
Fortson continued, “I was very proud of our performance in our first meet. It will help prepare us for April. That’s what we always prepare for when we hope to hit our stride and be ready for Region and State Meets.”
If there were any surprises for the second-year head coach, it would have been Williams. “David was somewhat of a surprise for us on the football field this year as a defensive end. He surprised me some in the first track meet as well.”
Briana Clark took fifth in the mile out of a field of 30-35 runners and ran the 800 as well. “Our girls are young and we still won’t have our basketball girls until next week. Miranda Powell could be huge for us in the hurdles once she gets some rest and arrives with that group. They are a young and talented group, but don’t have much experience with a lot of freshmen out there,” said Fortson. “I think the boys could compete for a Region Championship if we can keep everybody healthy. Again, we don’t have the boys from basketball either. Stevin Greene will certainly help us after their season is over.”
Girls’ head Coach Patrick Kicklighter noted, “I’m just really excited these guys got to go and compete with some of the best competition in the state. The team really held their own and walked away with big goals and positive attitudes. They really have their eyes on the end of the season doing everything they need to do to go to the next level. I am also very proud of how this team acted like a real family. It was cold and miserable, but they were all up cheering their teammates on the entire meet.”