Lady Dogs finish runner-up

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Coach Timothy Roop went into Monday night’s Region Championship basketball contest with high hopes his girls could pull off the upset over Jefferson’s Lady Dragons.  Those hopes were dashed as Jefferson held on for the trophy to keep their unblemished Region record alive.  They defeated Morgan 55-37 behind some tenacious defense, aggressive drives, and outside shooting that proved a little too much for Morgan in the second half. Going into the game, Roop felt confident that he had a game plan in place that …

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Dogs ousted in Region Tourney

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor In what most would have considered a major upset, the Morgan County High School Bulldogs ended their 2019-2020 basketball season coming up short to Franklin County in Carnesville this past Tuesday.  The Dogs were fighting an uphill battle from the get-go with the Lions hosting this round of the Region 8-AAA basketball tournament. In the do-or-die round of the number three seeded Lions and the number seven seeded Bulldogs, it was played in one of the last historic venues of the area.  The old …

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Mat Dogs compete at Sectionals

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The MOCO wrestling team headed off to Pike County over the weekend to participate in the AAA Sectional A Tournament with six wrestlers qualifying for the competition.  Of those, Brandon Grindle and Chance Reid made a good showing and qualified for the State Traditional Tournament to be held at the Macon Coliseum Feb. 13-15. Coach Carter Shultz said, “We had Kelly Rojas and Reba Hall competing in the girls’ Sectionals while Brandon Grindle, Jeremiah Grimsley, Chance Reid, and Dylan Rivers represented our boys.  They …

Diamond Dogs looking for success in 2020

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County High School baseball season is upon us with the Diamond Dogs looking forward to their first games this week. MOCO opened up the 2020 season Tuesday at home against Grovetown. Results were not available at press time. The Dogs will play again at home Feb. 14 vs. Athens Christian.  The first pitch is scheduled for 5:55. Coach Merritt Ainslie is entering his fifth year at the helm of the program.  His success is well-documented with a Final Four appearance two years …

Track and Field Spotlight

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Spring has sprung.  It won’t be long until the sprinters, throwers, jumpers, and distance runners of the Morgan County High School track squad will be hitting the track.  In fact, their first meet is scheduled for Feb.13 at 4:30.  The boys and girls varsity as well as the JV squads will be competing at the North Gwinnett Time Trials in Suwanee.  There is a feeling of positivity in the wind with the addition of veteran Jim Yike joining an already talented coaching staff that …

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Lady Dogs sweep Clarke Central

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The 2020 tennis season went into full swing this week with a non-region match at Clarke Central on Friday.  Morgan’s Lady Dogs swept the Lady Gladiators 5-0 while the boys lost a close and highly competitive match 2-3.   Winners for the girls included Sarah Waldron, Karlie Lane, and Chesley Paschal in singles and doubles teams of Zoey Brown and Abbey Adams as well as McCall Chamberlain and Rachel Dickson.   The two winners for the boys were number one singles player Joah Plumley …

Head to Franklin in do-or-die situation

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The old basketball adage is, “Nothing really counts till tournament time.”  The Morgan County Bulldogs made that saying come true Monday night when they took out Jackson Co. (7-15,, sixth seed) in the play-in game 53-44 to stay alive in the 2020 Region 8-AAA basketball tournament.  The two teams had split in the regular season.  MOCO had to turn around and play back-to-back nights Tuesday vs. Franklin County at Franklin.  It will be a tall task for Jamond Sims’ team.  A win there would …

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Girls RUN for a Championship

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The second-seeded Morgan County girls’ basketball squad has already qualified for the State Tournament bid, but that’s not enough for Timothy Roop’s charges.  After running roughshod over Monroe Area 66-33 in the final regular season contest, the girls are amped up for a chance to regain the Region Championship title. Roop commented, “We are determined and want to play in the Championship Game Saturday.  Our motto this year has been RUN it.  That’s Relentless, United, and No fear.  We are fully bought in and …

Soccer teams have lofty goals for 2020

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor With soccer season opening up this week, we sat down with Coaches Aaron Paul of the boys and Anne Stamps of the girls for a little question-and-answer session about the upcoming season.  How did they think their teams would do?  Well, no one has a crystal ball, but if past success has anything to do with it, these two seasoned veterans will certainly get the best of the talent they have.  That’s a given. Stamps is in her seventh season at the helm of …

Tennis Team Spotlight with Coach Stacy Manger

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor A year ago, the Morgan County net girls brought home a second place trophy from the Region Tournament, but failed to advance in the State Tournament.  The boys lost in Region Tournament play while playing hard, according to Coach Stacy Manger.  Their focus this year will be to use that success as a springboard for individual and team performance improvement.  “It was a true heartbreak for the boys.  I thought our run was very good considering we had lost some very strong seniors from …

Final hoorah for historic gym

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It wasn’t just any old celebration for the Morgan County Middle School basketball teams Friday evening.  No, sir.  It was a night of celebration for the final eighth grade teams to graduate from the historic Morgan County Middle School/Pearl Street High School facility.  The celebration began with a resounding win in the girls’ contest on the court.  It continued with a between games celebration to honor both the boys’ and girls’ teams off the court accomplishments.  It ended in an upset victory by the …

JV squads continue to show promise

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Anytime your JV teams can come up with wins over quality basketball programs like Jackson County and Jones County, it has to make you feel good about the future of those programs. The two squads did just that this week with the boys and girls taking wins over Jackson County and Jones County over the weekend.  It was a solid week for Brian Green’s and Candi Wyatt’s squads. The girls got things going with a 37-35 squeaker over Jackson County Friday.  Bailey McDaniel was …

Girls take out Jackson Co. in final week of play

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It was a night to honor Morgan County’s six girls’ senior basketball players.  However, Taylor Wilson, Tamia Benford, Neshay Cobb, Kourtney Elder, and Arkisha Williams (inj) were disappointed in the outcome of a senior night loss to Jones County by the score of 66-54.  The score wasn’t indicative of the game.  Morgan missed some late free throws while watching the Lady Grayhounds go 6-6 from the line in the waning moments for the win.  This coming against a number three-ranked Jones County team that …

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Mat Dogs compete in final tournament of regular season

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Morgan County’s wrestling team finished up their final tournament of the regular season competing in the Archer Invitational.  The tournament is the final preparation for Coach Marcus Crowe and Coach Carter Shultz as they look toward this coming weekend’s Area Tournament at Jefferson High School. Shultz said, “I was very excited for the most part on how we performed Saturday. This tournament is a good jump start into the post season run to State. I thought we let a couple matches slip, but overall …

Bulldogs conclude busy week’s schedule

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Jamond Sims has never been one to back down from the competition.  From Friday to this past Tuesday, his squad will have played four games in five days.  Sounds more like an NBA-type schedule than a high school one.  The brutal schedule actually started last Tuesday with a home game vs. Hart County, this week’s number four team in AAA.  The weekend saw the Dogs take on East Jackson at home and Jones County on the road.  Monday’s contest was played against Jonesboro in …

Lady Dogs get huge win over Hart

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Point guard Taylor Wilson put on a remarkable display of basketball in a 48-35 home win over rival Hart County this week.  Her 25 points and outstanding floor play led the Lady Dogs in a win that pushed them into second place in the 8-AAA standings.  Down the stretch the senior sealed the “W” as she made good on eight out of her final ten free throws.  It was most likely her finest outing of the season and of her career. Hart County seemed …

JV Boys get back-to-back wins

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor After taking a Tuesday loss to Hart County 46-42, the JV boys rebounded for back-to-back wins over the weekend.  The wins over East Jackson 79-50 and Jones County 56-54, along with the close loss to a talented Hart County team, show the improvement this young group has made under Coach Brian Green. Morgan trailed 4-0 in the early minutes to East Jackson before taking the lead at 5-4 with 4:50 and never looked back after that.  Rogers Clark and TJ Thompson led the offensive …

Wrestlers take fourth at Peach State

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor The Morgan County Middle School Wrestling team competed in their final tournament of the season; the Peach State League Championships over the weekend.  According to Coach Marcus Crowe, this is one of the toughest middle school leagues in the state.  As a team they finished fourth out of 16 participating teams.   The individual placements were: Caleb Turner -1st place at the 130 pound weight class  Paul Bessette-2nd place at the 80 pound weight class Caleb Riser-2nd place at the 138 pound weight class Nolan …

Swim Dogs compete against two of area’s best at Winter Invitational

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor Coach Patrick Kicklighter is one positive guy.  He’s always happy to be the Swim Dogs’ coach, is super excited, and proud to be coaching and teaching at Morgan County High School.  It’s no wonder this group of kids seems to feel the same way.  “I’m happy with the kids’ performance this week.  We competed against two of the best teams in the area, and competed well against them in our final home meet of the season,” he said after Thursday night’s event.  “I’m excited …

Mat Dogs fail to qualify for State Duals

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It was a tough weekend for the Morgan County wrestling team at the 6-AAA Area Duals hosted by Jackson County.  The team did not qualify for the State Duals to be held this weekend.  The team was obviously disappointed with the outcome.   According to Coach Carter Shultz, the Mat Dogs faced off with a senior laden Jackson County squad in the first round and never really got out of the gate losing in a not-so-close match.  The second round found Morgan taking on …