Northwest High School Bruins

November 19, 2013

Lady Bruins’ Ashley Conner signs grant with UTC

Rarely ever the outspoken one of the bunch, Ashley Conner gladly accepted the role of just doing her job on offense and defense for four years on the Northwest Whitfield High School softball team.

She’s expected to do the same at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

The senior enjoyed quite a career for the Lady Bruins and reaped the benefits of early exposure through the Tennessee Fury ’96 select travel team. She gave a verbal commitment to UTC during her sophomore year but finally signed her partial athletic scholarship last week and celebrated with friends and family on Monday. Conner also received an academic scholarship.

One of six seniors on the Lady Bruins’ roster this season, Conner admitted she isn’t the loudest voice in the dugout or on the field.

“I prefer to be more of the one-on-one communicator instead of the whole team,” Conner said.

Still, she is one of the most effective. Starting at shortstop since her freshman season, Conner was an important part in Northwest winning the past two Class 4A state championships and Region 7-4A championships in 2011 and 2012. This season, she batted .357 with 27 RBIs and 18 extra-base hits, and her slugging-plus-on-base percentage was .989, third best among the Lady Bruins. Her 16 doubles were second on the team.

Northwest coach Jason Brooker, who took over prior to the 2012 season, said Conner has “a great attitude and work ethic” aside from her actual softball skills.

“Those are things you can control regardless of the bad things that happen in a game,” Brooker said. “She does a good job with that.”

Conner’s father, Nick Conner, said playing for the Fury and coach Kirk Lewis helped with gaining more exposure.

“Our Fury ’96 coach always puts us in these really good tournaments,” the younger Conner said. “He always puts us in front of a lot of coaches.”

Conner said her post-college career dreams played a large role in her decision to go to UTC.

“I want to be a physical therapist and their physical therapy program is (one of the best) in the country,” she said.

But UTC’s softball success didn’t hurt in Conner keeping that commitment.

“Historically, that is a very good program,” Brooker said.

UTC finished 26-28 last season and 10-11 in Southern Conference play. The Lady Mocs reached the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional in 2011 while winning their 11th conference championship. Coach Frank Reed finished his 12th season with the team this past spring.

“She has a strong bat and is a compact kid,” Reed stated in a story posted on UTC’s athletics website, “She hits the ball well and is a great runner. She brings a lot to the table as far as what she can do for us. I can see her at either second base or on the corner.”

Text Only
Northwest High School Bruins
  • 7on7 championship game6.jpg Bringing in the best

    When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
    For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • 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

  • Coach brown file mw.jpg NW to continue established offense with new OC Brown

    There may not be anyone better than Greg Brown to continue the Northwest Whitfield football team’s fast-paced, fifth-gear style.
    Greg Brown, the girls basketball team’s head coach, will be Northwest’s offensive coordinator for the 2014 season after Crane accepted the Greenville (S.C.) High head coach position earlier this week. Brown has been an assistant football coach at Northwest for five of the past six seasons.

    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

  • 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

  • Hopkins sisters 2 mlh.jpg Sectionals for sisters

    TUNNEL HILL — When you consider all of the hours of practice, all of the years of gymnastics training and the physical demands of being a cheerleader, the last word you would expect to hear an athlete use to describe herself is “lazy.”

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 1 mlh.jpg Whatever it takes

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team has been successful this season. But at the same time, no one said success would be easy.
    Several times this year, the Bruins have fallen behind early in the first few innings before answering with a rally to ensure the wins keep coming. On Friday, that formula delivered a Sub-region 7B-4A championship for the second year in a row.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo