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Accolades come in after the new year begins

Scholar athlete

Posted: January 6, 2013 - 1:07am

It might be the new year, but there is still old business to take care of.

Augusta Prep, which plays in the Glory For Christ league for football, brought home some postseason accolades.

Making All-State were Michael Downing, Nolan Brandon and Joseph Shaver. All-East Region players were Kevin Huggins, Ben Burnside and Sam Cleary while Jack Owen received a Coca-Cola Scholar Athlete award.

I haven’t seen postseason football awards for the South Carolina Independent School Association yet, but I’m sure Augusta Christian will be right at the head of the list with player of the year, coach of the year and numerous all-conference selections on both sides of the ball.

Scholar athlete

In November 2012, Southern Polytechnic State University junior soccer player Gabe Warner, from Grovetown, was chosen as a 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. His award comes after being named to the Capital One Academic All-America Third Team, college division. Warner, a biology major with a 3.65 GPA, started all 22 of his team’s games and led the squad in minutes played.

What’s happening

In front of us are the winter sports seasons, and the second half of the basketball season is about to begin.

I came on board in February last year and caught just a handful of games before the region tournament began, so it has been fun to see the season unfold from the beginning.

The region shift in the Georgia High School Association brought Grovetown into the same region as the rest of the county teams, except for Harlem, taking away road trips to far-off places such as Effingham County. With teams playing each other three times, it will be a good test of the county rivalries, all but ensuring packed gymnasiums each time.

It will be fun to see more of Harlem’s dynamic player Reggie Reid. He is following up a superb freshman season with an even better sophomore campaign thus far, leading the team in scoring, assists and steals. While Evans is atop the pack of Region 2-AAAAA boys teams, I think Grovetown is better than its 4-10 record indicates. Lakeside started slow with a coaching change just before the season began, but has been coming on and could make some noise as well.

The girls side of Region 2-AAAAA appears to be a three-way race between Greenbrier, Evans and Grovetown, but if and when Lakeside is able to overcome injuries to key starters, they can make trouble for the rest.

Correction

In the year in review, I said that Harlem High School’s Amber Garrett was the Region 3-AA softball player of the year. Close. The freshman actually was the region pitcher of the year, while hard-hitting and slick-fielding teammate Lindsey Stokes was the region player of the year from her third base position.

With those two leading a group of returners with talent coming up from the middle school, expectations will be high for Harlem coach Mike Leverett in 2013.

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