North Murray High School Mountaineers

August 11, 2013

Prep football, A to Z

Bring on the bands, the fans and the rock-filled cans

(Continued)

E is for Excitement: Regardless of talent, last year’s finish or anything else, each team is filled with hope for the upcoming season. Everyone has the same record right now, and the same chances of reaching the pinnacle of high school football in the Peach State — a trip to the Georgia Dome for a shot at the state championship. Enthusiasm obviously can only take a team so far, but fans with clever noisemakers bring their own enthusiasm as well.

F is for Four-year starters: The four-year starter in high school is a rare thing, and while there may be others around the area, no pair of four-year starters have been as productive as Southeast Whitfield’s Blake Foster and Rhett Harper. Both have been All-Area selections (either as members of the team or honorable mention) in each of the previous three seasons, and barring an early-season injury, there is little doubt that this year will make four. In an age of one-sport specialization, Harper is the rarity of a three-sport athlete, while Foster’s future in college may come on the baseball diamond. But both will have a big impact on how the Raiders fare in year two under coach Sean Gray.

G is for Gamble: Here’s to each fake punt, fake field goal, onsides kick, fourth-and-short attempt, reverse, statue of liberty and any other trick play or risk-taking adventure coaches call during the 2013 season. Some of the most exciting moments in football come when a team rolls the dice, takes a gamble or whatever other casino table metaphor is available. And as with any gambling, a little luck is always necessary to end up on the good side of a 50-50.

H is for Hurt: If you were a Northwest coach, player or fan and didn’t feel this after Gilmer scored the game-winning touchdown last November to clinch a state playoff berth, then you’re a robot. Or you shouldn’t be in Bruin Stadium this season. Gilmer won Region 7’s “play-in” game 40-37 in triple overtime, with the first play of Gilmer’s last possession going for a touchdown. But let that hurt fuel the 2013 Northwest Bruins, who are trying to become coach Robinson’s first squad to make the state postseason and first in program history since 2009. No, those Gilmer Bobcats are not on the regular season schedule, but, yes, a rematch in the “play-in” game is always possible.

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North Murray High School Mountaineers
  • s-CCHS softball 8.jpg On a mission

    The local girls who visited the Dominican Republic last week on a mission trip through Score International tell a matching story.
    Toward the end of a visit to Pasitos de Jesus, a girls orphanage in Boca Chica, the children began singing the Gospel song “Mighty to Save” to their visitors.
    “It sent chills down your spine,” said Kala Franks, a rising senior at Coahulla Creek High School. “I felt they were ministering to me rather than us ministering to them.”

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Murray-Newton2.jpg N. Murray second at Cam Newton

    Members of the North Murray High School football team and coaching staff pose with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, standing center, after finishing second in the third annual Cam Newton Foundation 7 on 7 Football Tournament at North Cobb High School in Acworth. The Mountaineers will advance to face other regional tournamentwinners at the Charlotte (N.C.) Championship Tournament on July 10-12. Northwest Whitfield also competed in the tournament with linebacker Clay Phillips (not pictured) being selected as a Tournament All-Star.

    June 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • N. Murray cheer duo headed to DSC

    CHATSWORTH — For North Murray cheerleader Tori Stainton, earning a spot on Dalton State College’s competition squad is the fulfillment of a long process. Classmate Stacia Baker went for a tryout on a whim and found her own spot with the Roadrunners.

    May 9, 2014

  • Phillips signing at NM 3 mlh.jpg No shortage of highlights this year for Phillips

    CHATSWORTH — When Grace Phillips finished posing for photos of her signing a volleyball scholarship with Andrew College on Monday in North Murray High School’s library, a crowd of supporters gathered for the ceremony put their hands together.
    It wasn’t the first time she’d heard applause during a memorable and achievement-filled senior year.

    May 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney

    With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.

    May 6, 2014