Introducing the 2018 All-County Softball Team

 

As the softball season takes its final trot around the bases, it’s time to pull back the curtains on another exciting campaign.

It was the year of the underclassmen. Stars were born with Whitewater, Starr’s Mill, and McIntosh taking the reins in Region 3-AAAAA. Each team made the state playoffs behind talented sophomores like Lilly Griffith (Whitewater), Jolie Lester (Starr’s Mill), and Rebecca Muh (McIntosh).

On the diamond, Whitewater (28-5) earned their second region title since 2016. The Wildcats faced stiff competition from the Panthers all season. After falling in the regular season, Whitewater swept Starr’s Mill with two (more…)

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North Oconee upends Sandy Creek in state playoffs
Sandy Creek's Roney Howard comes up with a catch in the third quarter against North Oconee in the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament on Friday, November 9, 2018 (photo by Matthew Caldwell/mcaldwell@onlineathens.com)

North Oconee upends Sandy Creek in state playoffs

By Matthew Caldwell

Oconee Leader |mcaldwell@onlineathens.com

North Oconee took advantage of a muffed punt and two interceptions in the third quarter to build a 27-0 lead, and the Titans defeated Sandy Creek 27-8 in the opening game of the Class AAAA state tournament.

“[The defense] played unreal. Our coaching staff has done a good job all year of putting a plan together that gives us opportunities to make plays. To see those kids go out and execute and make the plays they did tonight, it adds more confidence to that side of the ball,” said Titans head coach Tyler Aurandt. “The (more…)

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Starr’s Mill knocked out by New Hampstead

Starr’s Mill’s memorable season ended on Friday night. The Panthers were on the wrong side of history as the New Hampstead Phoenix marched to a 21-10 victory en route to their first-ever state playoff win.

The Phoenix (5-5) put up 254 total yards and propelled into the second round of the playoffs. Senior quarterback Deyandre Ruffin led the way by completing 9 of 21 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 81 yards on the ground. The Phoenix travel to face Stockbridge next week.

“This win is a big milestone for our program,” New Hampstead head coach (more…)

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Starr’s Mill boys win crown as XC runners shine at state

The Starr’s Mill boys won the state cross country championship.

Starr’s Mill cross country head coach Kelly Rock will always remember the moment she stepped onto the championship podium. In her first season, the Panthers made school history as the boys’ cross country team won its first state title.

Starr’s Mill scored 71 points and finished 15 points ahead of McIntosh. The Panther boys finished with an average time of 17:24. On the girls’ side, the Lady Panthers finished in third place at the state meet.

“It means everything,” Rock said. “I had the opportunity to work with great athletes (more…)

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Sandy Creek builds playoff momentum in 45-0 win over Central

The long journey back to the state playoffs is complete for the Sandy Creek Patriots. After sitting out last season, the Patriots officially secured a playoff berth with a 45-0 victory over the Central Lions on Friday night.

Sandy Creek finished the season 7-3 and will represent Region 5-AAAA as the third seed in the playoffs. They hit the road to face Region 8-AAAA North Oconee next week. Central fell to 2-8 and concluded their 2018 season.

“Last year, we were 5-5 and this season was our statement year,” senior running back Jaquille Lee said. “We had to come out (more…)

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Starr’s Mill rallies to beat Whitewater, advance to state title match

The road to the Class AAAAA State Championship ran through Whitewater High School on Tuesday night. In an instant classic, the Starr’s Mill Lady Panthers overcame an early deficit to dispel the Whitewater Lady Wildcats 3-2 in five sets.

Starr’s Mill advanced to face bitter rival, the McIntosh Lady Chiefs, in the state title game. The Battle of the Bubble Series will carry extra weight as the Chiefs hope to repeat as state champions. Starr’s Mill looks to win their first title under head coach Jason Flowers.

“It’s a big deal as I am one of the only seniors that (more…)

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Fayette gets three teams in volleyball Final Four

McIntosh inched a step closer to defending their Class AAAAA state volleyball championship with a 3-0 win over the Chamblee Lady Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.

The Chiefs will face Buford in a rematch of last year’s title game. They are one of three Fayette teams to play in the Final Four. Whitewater and Starr’s Mill will play in the other matchup.

“It’s good and I was really hoping that we would come in and do what we did today,” Mabon said. “Chamblee is a very good program and we were ready for them. So, I am very proud, happy, and (more…)

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Meet Chase Fralick: PTC’s two-sport phenom

Fans of the Peachtree City Little League World Series team know Chase Fralick as a star catcher, but he’s also a promising tennis prospect with a number of big wins already on his resume.

Before he captured America’s hearts in the Little League World Series, Chase Fralick was making waves on the tennis circuit.

In June, Fralick battled Noah McDonald in the finals of the Boys Southern Closed 12 Tennis Championship. After a back and forth matchup, Fralick defeated McDonald in straight sets (6-4, 7-5) to win the Southern Championship.

The celebration was short-lived as Fralick traded in his tennis (more…)

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Starr’s Mill defeats Riverdale to win third straight region title

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Starr’s Mill head coach Chad Phillips gathered his team and celebrated. He beamed with a wide smile and hugged anyone near him. Phillips watched his players get serenaded by the school’s fight song and it hit him that the Panthers had just won the Region 3-AAAAA crown again.

“There is just a culture that kids expect to win and half the battle is getting them to believe they can win,” Phillips said. “I am just real excited for the boys.”

Starr’s Mill defeated Riverdale 45-22 to ensure their third consecutive region crown (more…)

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Plans revealed for SR 74 North Corridor’s future

Highway 74 is on the brink of a renovation project to alleviate traffic congestion and spur peak performance. At Thursday’s City Council of Peachtree City meeting, a formal presentation was made to outline plans for the Highway 74 North Gateway Corridor stretching from Highway 29.

The comprehensive plan spans along the corridor through Fairburn, Tyrone, Peachtree City, and Fayette County. The project’s purpose is to establish corridor mobility and address transportation needs into the future. The planning process started last summer and the developers are now nearing the recommendation stage.

According to Pond & Company representative Richard Fangmann, the project (more…)

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