Girls bow out to North Hall in Elite Eight

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor It’s been a great season for the Morgan County girls’ basketball squad.  Under first-year head Coach Timothy Roop, the schedule wasn’t an easy one.  That trial-by-fire had its benefits though.  By the time the team got to the Region and State Tournament, they had been battle-tested.  And, the rigorous schedule paid off. MOCO finished 15-15, ended up second in the regular season Region schedule, took second at the Region Tournament only behind a stout Jefferson squad, and made it to the Elite Eight before …

Girls head to Elite Eight

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor After disposing of Calhoun in the first round of the Girls’ State AAA Basketball Tournament 43-40, the Lady Bulldogs went south for a matchup with Tattnall County in the Sweet Sixteen.  It wasn’t easy in this one either, according to Coach Timothy Roop.  “We got in foul trouble in the second half and had to play without one of our big three when Taylor Wilson went down with an ankle injury with three minutes left in the first half.  But, we weathered the storm.  …

Long weekend for Diamond Dogs

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By R. Alan Richardson sports editor After several days of rainouts on the diamond, the Morgan County Bulldogs’ baseball team found enough rays of sunshine over the weekend to host Mary Persons, North Oconee, and Grovetown.  Friday they faced the Bulldogs of Mary Persons falling 8-3 before getting in a doubleheader Saturday.  They lost to the Titans of North Oconee in an afternoon contest 12-4 before closing out the evening with a 12-6 loss to the Warriors of Grovetown. The Bulldogs are playing larger schools in many of their non-region …

Lady Dogs outlast Calhoun to head to Sweet 16

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Friday night’s first round matchup of the 2020 GHSA girls basketball state playoffs between Morgan County and Calhoun resembled an old-school session of seesaw.  The teams traded as many as nine lead changes throughout the night, but it was the Lady Dogs moving on to their fifth consecutive “Sweet 16” appearance in the end with a 43-40 victory.   The Lady Dogs entered the fourth quarter with a 36-31 advantage, which proved to be the game’s largest lead by either team.  However, the Yellow Jackets would not go away easily.  …

Lady Dogs soccer team starts season 2-0

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The Morgan County High School Lady Dogs soccer team started the season with a perfect 2-0 record after recording wins against Putnam County and AAAA Walnut Grove last week. According to Head Coach Anne Stamps, the Lady Dogs are using freshman enthusiasm with senior leadership to produce an exciting brand of soccer. The Lady Dogs beat Putnam County last Wednesday in the completion of a game that, a week prior, had been shortened by lightning. Starting down 1-0, the Lady Dogs ended the contest with a 2-1 win behind goals …

Boys soccer team starts strong despite 1-1 record

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While the Morgan County Bulldog soccer team started the season with a loss, Head Coach Aaron Paul said last Wednesday’s contest against Putnam County was “one of the best soccer games I’ve ever seen.” The Dogs lost 3-2 with Putnam getting the go-ahead with a penalty kick late in the game.  “It was a very fast, physical match,” Paul said. “Me and the Putnam County coach, even the refs, thought it was one of the best soccer games we’d ever seen.” The Dogs started the game with an own-goal to …

Diamond Dogs fall to Athens Christian

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The Morgan County High School Diamond Dogs let Athens Christian’s bats explode early leading to a 17-3 loss in their first game of the season last Friday. Athens Christian scored the runs off 12 hits with no errors. Morgan County’s Triston Stapp started the game for the Dogs and surrendered eight runs on eight hits in two innings, striking out three and walking one. Morgan’s Michael Tamasi and Maddox Smith  relieved Stapp, going two and two thirds inning and one-third inning respectively. Despite the rough start, Morgan County Head Coach …

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 …