Not a whole lot has changed in a year.
Southeast Whitfield High School’s volleyball team is still racking up wins against Dalton and Northwest Whitfield, and the Lady Raiders once again enter next week’s Area 7-4A tournament riding high.
Southeast swept a pair of matches Tuesday at home, beating Northwest 25-10, 25-21 and topping Dalton 25-21, 25-20. The Lady Bruins beat the Lady Catamounts 25-23, 25-18 in the other match as all three squads finished their area schedules and await other match results from Tuesday to determine seeding for the tournament, which will be held at Heritage-Catoosa.
Southeast (24-10, 5-2) won the Area 7-3A title in 2011 and the Area 7-4A crown last season before making a run to the Class 4A state semifinals, the deepest postseason push ever for any program in Murray or Whitfield counties.
By winning their final two area matches this season, the Lady Raiders assured themselves of at least a No. 3 seed entering the area tournament — losses to Heritage and Ridgeland mean they might not be seeded any better than that — and gave Southeast a boost of confidence as the postseason comes near.
“We have people who are stepping up if someone is struggling,” said Lady Raiders coach Bethany Kenemer, who’s in her first season leading the team. “I told them, ‘Imagine if we’re all playing up at the same time.’”
Dalton (6-24) went 3-4 in area play, while Northwest (20-16) went 4-3. The top four finishers in the area tournament will earn a spot in the Class 4A state tournament.
Southeast led most of the way during its first set versus Dalton and finished it with a kill from Wendy Perez. The second game took a bit longer to complete because Lady Cats coach Joey Wills and some of the players complained about Southeast fans calling out their names and numbers.
“It’s great to have a loud atmosphere, but you can’t call out opposing players by name,” Wills said.
After a meeting with the head official, Kenemer asked the fans to continue cheering without those calls.
“I think they listened to me, because I didn’t hear anything from then on,” Kenemer said.
With the second set tied at 20, Southeast began playing better and scored five straight points. Angie Purkey assisted Serena Ramsey for four kills, including the match winner, and Tania Lopez had an ace during the run.
Playing in loud atmospheres — and playing competitive matches like the ones Tuesday — only will benefit the Lady Raiders, Ramsey said.
“I think the more experience we get playing good teams, the more we’ll grow and get better,” she said.
Not a whole lot has changed in a year.
- North Murray High School Mountaineers
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
- More North Murray High School Mountaineers Headlines
- On a mission