Diamond Dogs ready for State Playoffs

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Coach Merritt Ainslie decided after last year’s first round loss in State Playoff play that he may have overemphasized the importance of a Region Championship, he told us earlier this year.  This year, his plan was to win the Region, but put more emphasis on going deep in the playoffs by playing better competition this last week of the season.  Let’s hope that strategy pays off for the Bulldogs. The baseball team took on three excellent teams this past week by scheduling Social Circle, Eastside, and Mountain View High Schools.  …

Morgan’s Finest: Malcom, Whitehead battery best in history?

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There are those in today’s Morgan County baseball era that would certainly argue there have been better pitcher-catcher duos since Frankie Whitehead and Daryl Malcom played for the Morgan County Bulldogs in 1974.  Those that saw them play would argue that they were best.  This old sportswriter played alongside these two for three years on some of the best teams ever fielded at MCHS, so I was honored to see them every single day up close and personal.  Having coached Mark Batchelor and Davis Bell as well, there’s a great …

Girls go down in round one of State Playoffs 3-1

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It was a tough, windy day for the Morgan County girls’ tennis squad as they ended their season with a loss to Lumpkin County in the first round of the State tennis playoffs. After a successful season where they came excruciatingly close to winning their second Region 8-AAA Championship in so many years, the Lady Dogs fell by a 3-1 score. There are usually five matches in high school tennis.  So, why the 3-1 score? Well, it was spring break and some of the players couldn’t make it back to …

Middle School Tennis ends successful season

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The Morgan County Middle school tennis teams finished up their season last week.  It was a successful season, according to Coach Caroline Cameron. In their final regular season match, the teams got a total sweep over St. Joseph, a weaker team.  Below are the scores. Singles Lines: – Jackson Kirby (W, 6-0) – John Kirby Murdoch (W, 4-2) – Dylan Willard (W, 7-6) Doubles Teams: – Zack Farese and Wyatt Howard (W, 6-2) – Sarah Waldron and Chesley Paschal (W, 6-1) – Emily Oglesby and Christine Watkins (W, 4-1) – …

MCMS boys take second at PAC Track and Field Championships

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Both the boys and girls Middle School teams competed in the recent Piedmont Athletic Conference end-of-season track championships with the boys finishing second in the event behind Loganville.  The girls finished sixth out of the eight-team field.  The meet was hosted by Carver Middle School at the Monroe Area High School track facility. The following results are courtesy of the Georgia Milesplit website found at http://ga.milesplit.com/meets/298125/results/580723/raw#.WtKBeo8pCz4 Girls’ Individual Results for MCMS: Girls 100 Meter Dash Finals 3 Wade, Teeonna Morgan County 13.25 14.00 2 6 16 Williams, Brianna Morgan County …

Fishing team duo headed to Nationals

Jesse Walker Sports

Morgan County’s inaugural fishing team is overachieving in their first year as a team.  Not only did the number one group of Cole Holloway and Zach Smith qualify for the BassMaster B.A.S.S. National High School Tournament, but two other teams have qualified for the State Tournament where they too could qualify for the Nationals should they finish high enough.  Those two teams are made up of Landon Huff and Will Thomas as well as Ryan Thomas and Cole Freeman.  Coach Gregg Thomas talked about the season and how well the …

Girls soccer wins against East Jackson

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The Morgan County soccer teams got two wins last week over Region opponent East Jackson.  The girls posted a dominating 5-1 score while the boys got their win in overtime fashion that was finally decided on penalty kicks. The score in the girls’ match might not have seemed like a blowout, but the time of possession and field position details told another story.  East Jackson’s Lady Eagles didn’t even mount a true threat until 16:51 remaining when McKenzie Larate was awakened from her nap in the goal.  She made a …

Diamond Dogs sweep East Jackson

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Jacob Anderson and Ethan Stamps not only finished the season unblemished in Region 8-AAA competition with wins over East Jackson on the mound, but both hit home runs in the double header finale at home to lead the Dogs to two wins.  Anderson got the 6-5 win in the opener and homered in the first inning with two runners on that accounted for three RBI’s and half of Morgan’s runs.  Stamps got the win in the nightcap 10-0 and ripped a homer of his own to support his cause.  Both …

Heartbreak for girls’ tennis team

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The Morgan County girls’ tennis squad was looking to make it back-to-back Region Championships like we’ve already seen in baseball and boys’ soccer this spring.  Instead they walked away with one of the toughest losses you’ll ever watch and the Runner-up trophy in hand. With the match at 2-2, it all came down to the final number one doubles match with Mariella Plumley and Caroline Rittenhouse the only remaining players on the court against a strong East Jackson team.  The girls lost the first set 6-3 and then put on …

Couch shines in debut softball season; Named freshman-of-the-week

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Sarah Couch is not doing what most freshmen should be doing in her inaugural season as a softball player for the Georgia College and State University Lady Bobcats.  She’s only second in the Peach Belt Conference in on-base-percentage at .533, third in batting average at .437, and has 15 out of 16 stolen base attempts that puts her in sixth place.  If that’s not enough, she was also named the freshman-of-the-week this past week for her on-field performances in four games against USC Aiken and Lander.  Oh yeah, did we …

Soccer program excels under Paul

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The Morgan County boys’ soccer team is at a peak never seen in the history of the program.  Coach Aaron Paul has taken the program to new heights recently winning a second Region 8-AAA Championship in back-to-back fashion.  His hard work and belief that Morgan County High School should be competing at this level every season is at the root of that success.  He said, “The players deserve all of the credit for the back-to-back Region Championships.  They have worked extremely hard all season to focus on getting better each …

Building of a program by a tried-and-true leader

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When asked what he felt were his best attributes were as a coach, Merritt Ainslie made one of the best comments this old sportswriter has ever heard.  He said, “I think it’s leadership.  I’ve seen and been a part of good leadership all my life.  If I can lead 18-40 year-old men into battle to risk their lives, I think I should be able to lead young boys onto the baseball field to help them become men.”  He spent two tours in Afghanistan so that’s not bragging folks. It’s simply …

Middle School track continues to dominate

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor According to Coach Milfred Franklin, the MCMS teams are doing well as they move toward the PAC Conference Championships right around the corner.  Here are the results from their latest meet with Carson Middle School/Greene County from this past week. MS Boys 4×100 Meter Relay Team Time Pts 1 Morgan County MS A 49.50 5 2 Carson MS A 50.81 3 Morgan County MS B 53.35 MS Boys 4×400 Meter Relay Team Time Pts 1 Carson MS A 4:39.18 5 2 Morgan County MS …

Brown declares for NBA draft

Patrick Yost Sports

Morgan County’s Tookie Brown, a junior guard at Georgia Southern University, announced last week that he would declare for the 2018 NBA draft but will maintain his college eligibility by not hiring an agent. Brown will have the option to return to school for his senior season. Brown, who led Morgan County High School to a state championship game in 2014 and to a runner–up the following year, has received All–Sun Belt Conference and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All–District honors for three consecutive years while at Georgia Southern, …

Joe Cardwell: “Morgan’s Finest”

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This space is usually reserved for a Morgan County graduate who played sports at our high school.  In this case, we decided to make an exception.  We voted and it was unanimous in a 1-0 vote that Morgan County and Madison resident, Joe Cardwell, should fit into this category of extraordinary athletes that grace MCHS in a number of ways. Cardwell wears many hats surrounding the Bulldog programs including being a community assistant coach for the MOCO swim team, having two children, Mary Claire and John that have participated in …

Region Champions

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It’s been quite a while since the Morgan County baseball program has gone back-to-back winning Region Championships.  Coach Merritt Ainslie and his assistants have done an outstanding job of putting the Bulldogs on the statewide baseball map in AAA.  Two wins over Hart County last Friday gave the Dogs enough to clinch their second Region trophy in so many years.  Morgan took on the orange and black Bulldogs from Hartwell in a home double header coming away with 4-0 and 6-3 victories to secure the title. Overall the Dogs are …

Williams signs with Eagles

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Morgan County High School’s Quin Williams has decided to play football at Georgia Southern University.  The senior had also committed to GMC, a small junior college in Milledgeville.  However, things changed dramatically for the 6-3, 250 pounder after qualifying on the ACT.  Mentor and close family friend, Coach Candi Wyatt said, “I’m so proud of Quin.  After not making the score he needed to on the ACT, he never gave up and worked so hard to get it up so he could play Division-I football.  That’s always been his dream …

JV boys soccer team remains undefeated

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The MCHS boys’ Junior Varsity squad is on a roll.  Coach Bo Larkins’ team took it to East Jackson this past week to remain undefeated on the season.  It wasn’t much of a contest in the end, but the Eagles gave the boys a run for their money early on.  The Dogs held a slim 3-2 margin going into halftime before taking over in the second half. According to one avid soccer fan and parent, Michael Peters, whose son, Dwayne Peters starts at center back on defense, “These boys have …

Morgan edges Elbert in home meet

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The girls’ track and field team at MCHS is still making noise with a good showing in their second home meet of the season by defeating Elbert and Putnam Counties.  The Lady Dogs barely squeaked by Elbert County 62-60 while Putnam finished third with 27 points.  Standouts Miranda Powell and Aris Hubbard carried the team to the win.  Powell got first place finishes in both hurdle events (100 and 300 meters) and another as a member of the 4×400 relay squad.  Coach Aubree Fortson noted, “Miranda has been a nice …

Turkey season opens with a bang

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It’s what might be called a rite of passage for Georgia hunters.  Turkey season opened this past weekend in what could be likened to that of a five-year-old on Christmas Day.  They couldn’t wait!  This big-game fowl attracts almost as many hunting enthusiasts around the Morgan County area as does deer hunting.  The big difference here is that instead of waiting for that 10-point trophy buck to come striding into gunshot range of your stand, this prey is called in to within range of the marksman looking for a trophy …