Former Augusta Christian baseball star Josh Whitaker had quite an opening weekend for Kennesaw State. The sophomore first baseman went 6 for 13 at the plate, good for a .462 batting average in KSU's first three games.
The Owls dropped two of three to Samford University, but Whitaker certainly did his part. The former SCISA State Player of the Year went 2-4 in a season opening 6-5 loss, then followed that up with a three-hit game in Kennesaw's 12-5 victory in the second game of the series. He kept his hit streak alive going 1-for-4 in the series finale, an 8-2 loss. Kennesaw is loaded with talent this season, and could be one of the mid-major programs to watch in 2009.
Season comes to end for area's wrestlers
Many Columbia County wrestlers participated in last week's GHSA Wrestling Championships. Greenbrier finished 36th in the team competition in Class AAAAA. Evans was 45th in AAAA. In individual competitions, Lakeside had two grapplers reach the state meet by virtue of region titles. Below is a breakdown of how the Columbia County wrestlers fared:
Matt Kolar, Lakeside, 135 pounds
Kolar had a spectacular year. He cruised into the state tournament with a 41-4 record and a region title under his belt. Unfortunately for Kolar, he competes in one of the toughest weight classes in the state. In his opening match he drew Dennis Eckles, of Lee County. Eckles knocked off Kolar and went on to a fifth-place finish. Kolar led in his second match before being outscored by Hiram's Shannon Gazaway. Despite his disappointing finish at state, Kolar's 41-6 overall record and Region 3-AAAA crown is certainly something to be proud of.
John Rice, Greenbrier, 171 pounds
Rice did not pile up the wins that Kolar did this season, but like Kolar he drew some stiff competition in his first match. Rice squared off with one of the AAAAA 171-pound favorites in Marcus Nabors, of Centennial. Nabors took care of Rice and would end up finishing in third in the tournament. Rice lost to William Douglass, of Houston County, in his second match.
Caleb Harris, Greenbrier, 189 pounds
Harris was 28-5 heading into the state tournament and he had the best showing of anyone in the county, winning two matches. Harris beat Brandon Johnson, of Lowndes County, in his first match. Johnson had won 42 matches on the season. Harris took care of business winning by a fall at the 3:59 mark. Harris would drop his second match on points, 9-4, to Paul Andila, of Grayson. Andila, who was an incredible 53-1 entering the state championships, would eventually post a third-place finish in the tournament and a record of 57-2 for the year. Harris bounced back from the loss by defeating Berkmar's Bobby Harris 5-3. That put him in position for a top-five finish, but he dropped his next match to Landon Brooks, of Marietta. Brooks would lose his next match and end up with a fifth-place finish.
Tim Stahman, Greenbrier, 215 pounds
Stahman had only lost three matches all season, posting a 15-3 mark prior to the state meet. Stahman however, could not get going in the state tournament as he dropped his first two matches. He opened with a loss to Jason Major, of Alpharetta. He then lost to Hudson Reichsteiner, of Etowah. Stahman was at a major experience disadvantage, as his two opponents had combined for 80 wins and had more than 100 matches between them.
Jacob Smith, Lakeside, 285 pounds
Smith rolled into the state matches riding high after a huge win over Lonnie Moore, of Glenn Hills, to claim the region title. Smith had a 40-6 record for the season and had high expectations as the state championships began. He took care of business in his first match beating Zachary Shiver, of Thomas County Central. However, Smith dropped a 7-2 decision to Sean Carney, of McIntosh County, in his second match and was eliminated from the tournament by Sandy Creek's Jesse Deyo, 3-2.
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