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S P O R T S

M A G A Z I N E

His Work Ethic Is Out Of This World Stormm Phillips Having Fun Being Number One

Fun & Fitness White Tiger Winnersville Elite The Firm

JOCKSPORTSMAGAZINE.COM

Jock

February 2013 FREE


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Contents FEBRuary 2013

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14

A Different Kind of Playing Field

18

Play It Forward

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18

The Beautiful Game Youth Spotlight

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Parks & Rec.............................. 6 Boys & Girls Club...................... 8 YMCA....................................... 9

School Focus Lowndes High School........... 16 Ga Christian .......................... 19 Open Bible............................. 21 Valdosta High School............ 22

Fun & Fitness White Tiger............................. 10 Winnersville Elite..................... 12 The Firm.................................. 13

Valwood................................. 24 Cook....................................... 26 Hamilton County................... 28 Brooks County........................ 30 4

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THOUGHTS FROM THE PUBLISHER

S P O R T S

M A G A Z I N E

February 2013

Vol. 1, No. 2

This magazine is published/printed monthly by Smalltown Publishing LLC. and distributed free throughout the Valdosta community. T H E

Publisher M A G A Z I N Scott James Dennis Rice Trent Coggins

Nothing But Praise “Congratulations”

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Editors Cheryl Rice Rebekah Matheson Contributing Writers Jesse Sheeley Brian Flemming Russell Owens Scott James Dale Crane Phil Jones Jasmine Sisk Dr. Mike McCartney Chris Boyd Dr. Darren Pascavage Ed Hooper Will Ganas Joseph Ruse Brad Lawson William Holt Columnist Desiree McCormick Kalae Zambelli Mike Mason

“The Magazine looks great” “It’s wonderful you’re focusing on kids of all ages” “Thanks for making it free” We heard nothing but praise for our initial effort and first edition of ‘Jock Sport Magazine’ even as we were being critical unto ourselves in our efforts to improve month to month. The website (www.jocksportsmagazine.com) launched on schedule and the radio show that is dedicated to nothing but youth sports from 3-4p five days a week on WJEM 1150AM & 96.1FM is bigger and better than we could have ever hoped for. Thanks again to the hard work and scheduling of Phil Jones and Charles Hurd and for their efforts to reach out to every coach and player in the Region. Now the spotlight is on you and your kids. Your involvement and your story leads will ensure the future and long running success of this magazine. I will state it again, “we do not want the kid that is pouring in 25 points a game or has every College looking at him, if he is not getting it done in the classroom and the community.” That simple statement explains how we approach each issue and each student/athlete we feature. Month two has again made us smile as we interview, write and read the stories chosen for this issue. The young men and women are all wonderful ex-

Contributing Photographers Steven Heddon Dennis Rice Scott James Alan Cortez

amples we hope an entire Community can be proud of.

Graphics and Layout Debbie Dewell, Great Minds, Inc.

‘worthy’ choice for those reasons and more.

Advertising Charles Hurd Scott James Phil Jones Dennis Rice Website Design/Creative Consultant Steven Heddon, Fusion Creative Marketing

Our issue two cover ‘guy’ couldn’t have been more appreciative and humbled by the fact we singled him out and made many attempts to deflect any praise or credit we tried to attach to him. We think you will find David Wortham a Thank you for all the kind words, thank you to everyone who has helped make this dream a reality, thank you to Steven Heddon and Stephanie Morrisey at Fusion Creative Marketing for their guidance and thank you as parents, coaches, teachers and neighbors for helping to mold these young people we are finding in every corner of our Community. Enjoy issue number two of Jock Sports Magazine.

Digital subscriptions available at jocksportsmagazine.com Jock Sports Magazine ©2013 FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

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YOUTH SPOTLIGHT

By Jesse Sheeley

The Long Road to a Great Season The 2012 10 year old all-star team put on a tremendous show at the Dizzy Dean state tournament hosted by the Valdosta/Lowndes Co. Parks and Recreation department. The VLPRA Sluggers opened up with the Buckhead Braves on Thursday July 5. Buckhead won the game putting the Sluggers into the losers’ bracket. Only the top four teams would advance to the

World Series, so they knew they had their work cut out for them. Timm Samples, the head coach, said he wanted to make sure everyone got there monies worth. The sluggers would have to play two games on Friday to keep their hopes of advancing to the World Series alive. They defeated the Rossville Reds in their opening game on Friday morning and went on to defeat Bartow County in the afternoon game. They would face Union Co. Sat. morning for a spot in the final four. Union Co. struck first and opened up a lead they held till the last inning. The Sluggers’ win over Union County was as exciting as they come; they scored five runs in the top of the final inning to take a one-run lead, 12-11. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Sluggers held Union County to no runs to advance to the afternoon game versus Acworth. The Sluggers would defeat the Acworth Warriors and face the Buckhead Braves in a rematch on Sunday. The Sluggers would prevail over Buckhead 6-3 to advance to the Championship game against undefeated Sandy Springs. Sandy Springs was dominant and the Sluggers fell 21-6. Sandy Springs would go on to win the Dizzy Dean World Series in Southaven Ms. The Sluggers would finish sixth at the Dizzy Dean World Series and much like the state tournament, they lost their first game but never gave up and continually battled. The Sluggers were coached by Timm Samples, Ward Holten , Brett Whiddon and Jayson Anderson. Players: Andrew Clark, Cameron Carter, Cooper Samples, Drew Harrell, Weston Roberts, Jacob Rogers, Brodie Whiddon, Andrew Nichols, Drew Anderson, Jake Hamlin, Tyler Andrews, Wade Holton, and Kade Register.

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YOUTH SPOTLIGHT 8

Start Smart

Stay Smart By Brian Flemming

The Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta has many outstanding members who attend our after-school programs and

play sports at the club. One such young man is De’Andre Tillman. De’Andre is a seventh grader at Valdosta Middle School and is 12 years old. He currently plays foot-

ball and basketball at VMS and started playing sports at the club when he was in the second grade. De’Andre also started coming to the after -school program in the second grade and credits his time there as one of the factors that helped him maintain his ‘A’ Honor Roll grades. De’Andre’s favorite class is Math, and after graduation he would like to attend FSU and major in Mechanical Engineering. De’Andre says the best things about the Boys & Girls Club are all the activities he has had a chance to participate in, getting to hang out with his friends, and playing sports. One of the more memorable activities he took part in was the ‘Start Smart’ program that really opened his eyes to the dangers of drugs and alcohol and taught him how to avoid putting himself in bad situations. De’Andre singled out Mr. Zach U. and Mr. Brian as staff members that have impacted his life while at the Club, especially encouraging him as he made the transition to middle school. He concluded by saying that he would encourage other kids to go to the Boys & Girls Club because it is a safe, positive place to be and meet friends.

JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


YMCA Primetime After School ...

It’s Elementary The Y is committed to do its part to help kids exercise and eat healthy. Research has shown that kids who participate in physical activity and have healthier diets do better in school. Do you remember how you spent your afternoons after school when you were in Elementary grades? Research shows that children who participate in afterschool programs are more successful in academics, are healthier, and more often maintain positive behaviors. The Valdosta-Lowndes County Family YMCA’s PrimeTime Afterschool Programming is specially geared to achieve these results through fun, enriching activities and homework assistance from caring staff members. Lesson plans for the PrimeTime Program include activities in math, science, nutrition and physical fitness. Emily Bailey is a 4th grader at Westside Elementary School. Her favorite subject in school is math, which she regularly earns high marks in and excels at such PrimeTime games as bean bag toss. Children are given a numerical answer then they have to toss the bean bag in a hole with a number and use addition, subtraction, multiplication or division to arrive at the answer. For example if the answer is 6 and the first toss is a 2

then they can try for a 4 and say “2 +4 = 6” or try for a 3 and say “2 X 3 = 6”. Outside of school, Emily is actively involved in competitive cheering with her team, Oxygen. She has been cheering for two years. Emily’s favorite college sports program is Florida State University and she hope to become a veterinarian one day, citing her love for animals. Chris Ward, a Primetime counselor at WES, said that “Emily is a very kind young girl who is always willing to help others. She demonstrates a great personality.” Another Westside student and YMCA PrimeTime participant who exhibits exemplary behavior on a regular basis is 3rd grader, Brennan Long. In addition to playing soccer, Brennan is a member of a baseball team called the Yankees, on which he plays several positions, including shortstop, outfielder and catcher. With Brennan’s involvement in sports, it comes as no surprise that his dream career is in sports. He hopes to be a professional football player, but is understanding of the amount of work that goes into being successful in sports. “Brennan knows a lot about sports and works really hard to be a great athlete. His work ethic and dedication to being great is amazing,” said Ward. Brennan’s favorite subjects are

Kayden Hesters, Counselor Sophia Zhao and Haley Girsh.

Emily Bailey

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math and social studies and his favorite player plays for his favorite team: Reggie Bush and the Miami Dolphins. Both students prove to be excellent role models for their peers and have garnered recognition and praise from their PrimeTime counselors. YMCA PrimeTime program allows the opportunity for kids such as Emily and Brennan to grow, learn and succeed in a variety of ways. “Our kids engage in physical, learning and imaginative activities that encourage them to explore who they are and what they can achieve”, said YMCA Child Care Director, Randy Gaytan. Mrs. Gaytan further stated, “In addition to supplementing what they have learned in school, they participate in interactive learning models that engage critical thinking skills, get assistance with their homework from trained YMCA staff, have a chance to socialize with each other and form long-lasting friendships that enhance their development, growth and self-confidence.” The value of such enrichment at such an impressionable age can be paramount, and kids like Emily and Brennan benefit everyday from their participation in the YMCA’s PrimeTime afterschool program.

YOUTH SPOTLIGHT

By Russel RO Owens

Brennan Long

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FUN & FITNESS 10

By Master Mike Mason

Connor Ray, Zachary Goddard, Master Mike Mason and Brooke Meindl

Don’t UndeR Estimate Your Opponent Those of you who have never competed in sports or athletic events may never have heard the expression “never underestimate your opponent.” This mentality is obvious if you are an athlete or involved in martial arts. It is part of the training. It is a part of sparring and competition to face foes that are bigger or stronger. What happens when there isn’t a person or a team across the mat or the field? In life, your opponent could be anyone or, often less obvious, anything. I have a friend who recently finished her Master’s Degree. She graduated at the top of her class and was voted student of the year in her field. However, when she took her licensing exam, she failed by only two points! When I talked to her about the test she said, “I thought it would be easy!” I have no doubt she will prepare and study for the next test. She underestimated her opponent. Another example comes from one of my favorite students. He was recently jumping pads at White Tiger. I have seen this student jump up to five pads on a regular basis. On this particular occasion there were only two because they were starting off “easy”. When this young man approached the pads he was at half speed. He had a cocky look on his face because two pads were “easy”. When he jumped he knocked the top pad off and was out of the game. He underestimated his opponent. Your opponent will not always be a person standing in front of you or a team across the field. It could be a test, a job interview, or an attacker. The list is endless. The point in each case is the same. If we underestimate our opponent then we lose our edge. Losing because you didn’t take it seriously or try your best often leaves you feeling embarrassed and ashamed. Does giving it 100% guarantee a win? No, but there is no embarrassment or humiliation when you try your best and give your all. Stay on top of your game and approach all opponents with a winning attitude. Never stop climbing your mountain! JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


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FUN & FITNESS

By Desiree McCormick

Just Dance

Lauren Pope, senior at Valdosta High School has been a part of Winnersville Elite’s dance program since 2009, making her the program’s longest member. Shortly after the allstar cheer and dance gym opened their doors, Pope committed herself to not only weekly classes but to Valdosta’s first ever competition dance team as well. She has a passion for learning, practicing and competing, and she feels lucky to have Winnersville Elite to give her the opportunity to do so. Although she is quick to name dance as her favorite sport, Pope is relatively new to the world of dance. She began her dance journey just six months prior to joining Winnersville

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Elite at age fourteen. Her first love was gymnastics, which she took part in from age three to thirteen. In those ten years, she advanced to level eight. Her best memories and accomplishments from this sport include competing at YMCA Nationals in 2007 and 2008 held in Seattle, Washington and Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Pope’s fifth competitive season was interrupted by a back injury, which eventually took her out of the sport. Fortunately, as one door closed, another one opened. After being advised to find another avenue of sports by doctors, Lauren picked up dance classes and quickly fell in love. She is currently enrolled in classes of various styles, such as jazz, ballet, modern, contemporary and hip hop. She has taken jazz and hip hop to a competitive level with the help of Winnersville Elite. She has completed three competition seasons and is eager to enter her fourth. Pope and her teammates received high gold awards at notable competitions including Platinum National Dance, Brav0! and VIP Dance. She says her favorite style to practice and compete is jazz because it is entertaining, upbeat and easy to include tricks and acrobatic skills that she was able to carry over from her gymnastics days. Aside from competing, Lauren enjoys attending dance conventions, which offer sessions with world class choreographers. She considers learning from such individuals an incredible experience. Lauren may stay busy with dance, but she saves time to be involved in her school. She is an honor roll student and part of Valdosta High School’s advanced placement program. Lauren also has been elected as vice president of the class of 2013 for two years, is a part of the yearbook staff and is an active member of the FCA leadership team. On the athletic side, she also enjoys being a part of the school’s swim team, on which she competes regionally. Lauren has plans to continue dancing at a college level after graduation. She aspires to be part of Valdosta State University’s national champion dance team, the Red Hots. After having spent a great four years at Winnersville Elite, she cannot imagine her life without dance.

JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


By Kalae Zambelli

Corn-Fed “Wow! Coach, that boy is strong! Does he lift weights?” “No, he’s just a ‘corn-fed’ country boy.”   How many people have heard snippets of the same type  of  conversation?    As an athletic/personal trainer,  the most common question I get concerning a young athlete is, “What is a good age for my kid to start working out?”  One of the  greatest  misconceptions of weight training at a young age is that it will stunt the child’s growth. Well, I’m sorry  to report that  if you are genetically predisposed to be a tall kid, you’re going to be a tall kid, and vice  versa  if you are short. Genetics are going to trump the weights.    At a young age,  weight lifting is more about functionality.    For example,  a  12-year-old  farmer’s boy  who has never touched a weight but  has regularly done chores like  toss hay, fix fence posts and lift feed  bags for animals every  day decides to go out for football or wrestling  . The coaches are going to be impressed by his strength because in actuality,  the boy has been working out every day for years. Now, I’m not recommending that parents  buy  a farm and in-

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stitute child labor, these are other options As an  alternative, excellent  exercises for young athletes, as well as adults, would be body weight exercises, air squats, push-ups, pullups, etc.  When actual weights are implemented, the main concern is safety, safety, safety, and, oh, did I mention “safety”?    Proper form is a major component underneath  the  “safety umbrella.”  Usually when a person lifts  weights,  the muscle and mental fatigue sets in and the form goes out the window.  So, with that said, it is a must  for  all young athletes  to  be supervised by a knowledgeable and responsible adult as they train, especially in the weight room.   Weight training can come in many different forms. One path just might come  with  a new, freshly-painted fence, like Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid; Another may be working on a farm. Still another could be training in the traditional sense. Either way a strong foundation will form that will promote a lifetime of strength, agility, and fitness.

FUN & FITNESS

THE FIRM

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A Different Type TitleTown may be known for the physical games that occur on football, baseball and softball fields or even on the basketball courts, but there are also championships being won on the checkered game board. Yes, the game of chess has definitely made an impact in the lives of many of our children ranging from ages 5-18. Chess teaches our kids so many skills that will help them later in life. There are too many to list but the first ones that come to mind are: problem solving, planning, organization, logic, pattern recognition, resiliency, sportsmanship, etc. One of the skills not usually associated with playing chess is self-control. Yes, self-control is essential in playing the game. Players have to learn that regardless of the situation, they have to stay calm in order to advance over

their opponent. An amazing amount of mental energy is spent strategizing and processing their next move. In today’s world, it may be one of the few times you see a group of youth being entertained without devices, enjoying exercising their brain the old fashioned way: thinking. The chess clubs in Lowndes County are off to a great start to this year’s Scholastic Tournament season. You may not know it, but we have many budding chess players in our community. There are a number of chess clubs at the local schools and one at the Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta. We host an annual TitleTown Scholastic Chess tournament, and our teams compete in the Grand Prix Series hosted by the Golden Isles Scholastic Chess Association (GISCA). The Grand Prix is a four

tournament series that gives out team and individual awards at each tournament. They award trophies for the top ten individuals for the year. And the teams that earn enough points get to represent South Georgia in the State Team Championships. Through their wins in the Grand Prix series, Lowndes Middle has even qualified and competed at the Georgia State Team Championships the last two years. This year’s teams are on a great run. Lake Park Elementary and Lowndes Middle teams have won the first three out of four GISCA tournaments this year. Lowndes High School has moved up each tournament (3rd, 2nd, and 1st) and won its first Grand Prix Tournament. All three teams will be competing in the final GISCA tournament on March 3 and will hopefully gain enough

1. Thomas McIntyre – 2nd place & biggest upset T2; 2. LHS winning 1st place - Golden Isles T3; 3. Lowndes Middle School team; 4. Adam Diaz – 1st place high school; 5. Spencer Chmieleski – 2nd place T1; 6. Chess Team; 7. Daytin Steinberg – biggest upset T1 14

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Of Playing Field points for all three teams to qualify for the State team titles this year. These teams have also brought home many individual titles and biggest upset trophies. In the Elementary Division, Lake Park has had someone place second in each of the three tournaments. Spencer Chmielewski has twice received a second place trophy and is currently in second place in the Grand Prix Standing. Jake Hamlin placed second in the second tournament of the season and is also in the top five for the year. Thomas McIntyre (from JL Lomax Elementary and the Boys Club) placed third in the second tournament. In the same tournament, Thomas also had the two biggest upsets of the tournament. Jed Gibbons also won a biggest upset trophy from the first tournament. Jake and Thom-

as are trying to stay in the top five for those year-end trophies. In the Middle School Division, Jacob Hanna has won two of the three individual titles as well as finishing second in the other one. He currently leads the Grand Prix standings for the year. GISCA gives trophies for the top ten individuals for the year. Daytin Steinberg and Michael Kelly have both won biggest upset trophies. In addition to Jacob leading the standings, Wesley Holt is in fifth place and Daytin is in tenth. Look out for the fourth tournament though, because Bill Gibbons, John Anderson, and Cade McGeehan (11th -13th) are knocking on the door for those year-end trophies as well. In the High School Division, Adam Diaz won first place in the third tournament and Raini Singleton placed third.

Adam also received the biggest upset trophy for the first tournament. Adam and Raini are soundly in the top five while Zach Massey and Marlin Ewings are easily in the top ten. Chase Cooper and William Holt are in striking distance if they have a good fourth tournament. The best part about this team is that it is essentially comprised of underclassmen and their best is still to come. The 3rd Annual TitleTown Scholastic Chess Tournament will be on January 26th. We will have some more local teams competing, as well as some teams from around the state. Hopefully we can live up to our mantra of the last couple of years, “No Titles leave TitleTown!” If you have any questions about chess in our area, please call Bill Holt at the Boys & Girls Club at (229)242-0676.

8. Lake Park Elementary team; 9. Lowndes High School team; 10. Jake Hamlin – 2nd place T2; 11. Michael Kelly – biggest upset T3; 12. Rank Singleton – 3rd place high school; 13. Jed Gibbons – biggest upset T1; 14. Jacob Hanna – 1st place T2; 15. Jacob Hanna – 2nd place T3 FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

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LOWNDES HIGH SCHOOL

Nice Guys Finish First By Scott James

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Throw the phrase “nice guys finish last” right out the window…February’s featured student/athlete plans on finishing first in batting average, first in on-base percentage, lead his team to first in Region 1-AAAAAA and might even throw in first in the classroom for good measure. This month’s cover story features Lowndes Viking baseball player and ‘nice guy’ David Wortham. David enters his Senior season fully embracing the leadership role on Coach Danny Redshaw’s Viking baseball team and is called “all in” by his Coach. “David is the kid you love to coach and is a leader in the classroom as well, pulling down all A’s” says Coach Redshaw. “I enjoy the competitive nature of the classroom” states David, pulling down those A’s in Zoology and Pre AP instead of coasting through his Senior year. “I plan on attending VSU next fall” he says, with the respectable goal of becoming a coach and a teacher after pursuing a degree in Child Psychology or Recreational Therapy. David still plans to play baseball for VSU having already committed to the program and is described by his current coach as a “Greg Guilliam’s type of player” (Head Coach of VSU). “I am going to have to get my

FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

body in much better shape to compete at that level” he adds, possibly hinting at adding the ‘one’ tool his Coach says he doesn’t possess…power. The Viking Shortstop hits for average, runs well, fields well and throws well and if history holds true, his bat will one day hold ‘pop’. This ‘high character’ young man with ‘work ethic out of this world’ realized by age 8 that baseball was his first love and admits to picking up a pointer or two along the way from former all everything VSU baseball great and record holder Cecil Whitehead. He has since played all four years for Coach Redshaw at Lowndes and, when asked what he has learned from his current mentor, David seems to almost be at a loss for words… ”I learned everything from Coach Redshaw” adding “I’ve learned even more about life than baseball.” When asked about individual goals for his senior year, this exceptional young man answered in typical ‘high character’ fashion, “can’t I just say to help the team and to be the best vocal leader I can?” We have found another worthy cover story and another young man that makes us all feel better about youth today and our future tomorrow. “Kids like David make coaching easy.”

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Play It Forward

By Lori McLendon

It takes so little.

Sometimes as adults we feel so many are asking so much of us that we end up doing nothing. The shame is it takes so little.

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Enter our hero Peyton McLendon, whose story should inspire us all to do…something. Peyton is the son of Lori and Alan McLendon and has been active in sports since the age of 4 (being named after Peyton Manning, it was predestined). At the age of 7 he took an interest in football, and while watching an NFL game he expressed curiosity about the pink attire worn by the players. After learning the purpose was to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer and attention to Breast Cancer Awareness month, the seed was planted. A short time later Peyton taped his cleats up with pink duct tape before his youth football game and took to the field. Proud Mom captured proud moment and then placed the photo on Facebook for what should be the end of the story, shy of a few supportive comments. Not Hardly. Lori McLendon (Peyton’s proud Mom) was soon contacted by someone on the Susan G. Komen page and was asked to contact their media department. Before she knew it, she was signing release forms allowing his pictures to be used on a poster for a media campaign in schools up North. Peyton’s simple act of caring was held up to other students as a shining example and way to show “you’re never too young to do your part.” Peyton is now active in his first season with the SGAC Devil Dogs wrestling club coached by Jason Griner. The Devil Dogs are an independent club with USA Wrestling, which is a non profit organization that accepts all children from all schools. Peyton McLendon is a reminder to all of us that we can always do…something.

JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


GA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

By Brad Lawson

Follow The Leader The Georgia Christian Generals are coming off back to back final fours and are in the middle of putting together another strong season. Players and styles have changed over the last few years, but one constant has remained: CJ Lynch. CJ began playing varsity as a freshman and immediately contributed off the bench on a senior heavy team. As a sophomore, CJ led GCS in scoring, blocks, and rebounding and made all-region and all-state. The Generals were region champions. Before his junior year, CJ spent his summer in the weight room. The hard work paid major dividends. CJ once again led the Generals in most statistical categories, but it was his defense that had the greatest impact on the game. Lynch was named player of the year for the region and the state.

FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

CJ Lynch has started off his senior year the same way he always has; better than the one before. With his combination of skill, power, and hard work, he and the Generals have high hopes for the rest of the season. C.J. can always be counted on to be a helping hand anywhere he is needed— whether he is helping to unload boxes of fruit from our fruit sale before classes or helping gather cans donated for our Interact food drive before leaving for Christmas break. His name is the first name that springs to mind when help is needed. He has participated in Interact for several years of high school and volunteers each fall as a crew member for the One Act Play.  C.J. often goes out of his way to help a person who is in need, no matter the situation.  A teacher from GCS recently told the story of

running out of gas in his neighborhood on the weekend and knocking on his door. C.J. cheerfully jumped into his truck and ran to the gas station for her, helping her get on her way and not expecting anything in return. Georgia Christian prides itself on molding well rounded students and it is abvious they have made an impact on CJ Lynch. What’s even more obvious is the impact CJ Lynch has had on Georgia Christian.

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By Will Ganas

The Beautiful Game Soccer, also known as football in other countries, is the biggest sport in the world. The “Beautiful Game,” as it is sometimes referred to, is a bridge that brings people of every culture together and is a language that people of all nations can speak. The popularity of soccer in the United States has significantly increased over the last few years. This is largely due to the success of the United States Women’s National Team’s (USWNT) over the last thirteen years, which has seen them win gold in the last three Olympic Games and one World Cup title in 1999. While the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) has not enjoyed the same honors as the USWNT, they influence American awareness of the sport by playing in some of the most competitive leagues in the world. Another main reason soccer is beginning to take over the United States is the construction of youth development programs that enhance the skills of children from a young age. South Georgia United (SGU) is a youth academy that has been set up to train and coach youths from all over southern Georgia. Lee Blenman and Chip Harp, who effectively began consolidating South Georgia soccer, formed SGU in 2009. The club now has three branches, known as SGU Central (formerly Tift Area Soccer Association), SGU North (formerly Flint River Fusion), and SGU South (formerly Valdosta Lowndes Soccer Club). When asked about the biggest benefit of consolidating these leagues, Lee Blenman replied “the biggest benefit would be placing the most competitive players under one umbrella. More competition means better players.” By bringing this area’s high profile youth leagues together, SGU has created an effective soccer program for kids and young adults in our region. The club offers a full range of opportunities for young players and provides a variety of programs to address the needs and interests of every type of player. One thing to note about SGU is their 20

affiliation with the Barclay’s Premier League (England’s highest professional league) team Reading F.C. Having a European team club affiliation helps immensely with training and development. This is why Director Lee Blenman and Chip Harp worked so hard to attain the partnership between the youth academy here and Reading F.C. in England. This partnership allowed Blenman and Harp to host a training camp in the summer of 2008 in which

Reading F.C.’s youth trainers made the trip to Valdosta to instruct the youngsters in the art of the “Beautiful Game.” Director Blenman stated, “The partnership with Reading allows us the opportunity to send exceptional players to have trials with Reading themselves. We are a scouting affiliate for them in America.” When the consolidation of surrounding clubs was finally attained in 2009, the newly formed SGU used a crest on their jerseys that closely reflected that of Reading F.C. Youth training programs are indispensible when it comes to instilling the love and knowledge of soccer into the hearts and minds of American youths. Director Blenman described the importance of youth academies by stating, “without structure, there is no curriculum. The system offers progressive training that begins with individual skills and progresses to full team participation.” Programs like these have the potential to produce some exceptional talent that can be seen on a collegiate and professional level. Currently, SGU has two very promising young talents progressing through their ranks. Lowndes High School freshman Elizabeth Lott is currently involved with the 98 State Olympic Development program and Albany resident Brandon Johnson is an 8th grader and involved in the 99 State Olympics Development program. Johnson will be participating in a trip to Brazil this summer that will see youths from both countries compete in a few friendly matches. By creating remarkable youth programs and opportunities, we in turn create a better soccer atmosphere, which also cultivates a better pool of talent and a growing skill level in both United States National Soccer Teams. To quote a friend’s blog on the subject of American soccer, “Don’t for a minute lower your expectations. Simply understand where we have been and where we are going. Revel in the eventual rise of the United States as an eventual footballing power.” JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


Open Bible By Joseph Ruse

Hoping the Past Repeats Itself Over and Over Again It all started back in 1972, when a small church on East Park Avenue had a vision, a dream for a school that would not just be another educational building to facilitate learning, but so much more. OBCS has stood firm through the years, providing an education and a family for its students from K-3 through high school; and that’s part of what makes it so special—the students don’t just have teachers and coaches, they have dedicated role models and leaders who are there to see them succeed. Led by God, administered by Dr. Carrol Joye and Mr. Peter Smith, and filled with a friendly staff and closely knit stu-

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dent body, Open Bible plans on continuing to grow the seed of pedagogy planted over 40 years ago. Since 1981, OBCS has been earning state championship titles in every sport. Open Bible is very proud of their boys soccer, junior varsity and varsity boys and girls basketball, girls cheerleading, baseball, and softball teams. In fact, just this year Open Bible’s soccer squad earned the state runner-up title after a quintuple overtime battle to the end. In recent history, the varsity girls basketball program has brought home back to back state championships in ’05 and ’06, as well as titles in 2008 and 2010. Just last season the varsity boys went to the state title game in a thrilling culmination of an outstanding season. Coaches at Open Bible are dedicated to their players and work towards success both on and off the field to help shape well-rounded individuals. As a member of the GCAA, OBCS teams compete against other athletic programs in locations ranging from Florida all the way through Northern Georgia. The Open Bible athletic program has a superb booster club and a terrific fan base at all sporting events. Warrior pride and class spirit are present at every competition. Open Bible Christian School offers quality education to students for their entire elementary and high school career in order to be prepared, well-rounded adults. Countless alumni over the years have progressed on to successful and efficacious positions following their time at Open Bible and look back on their experiences with gratitude and endearment. Open Bible is comprised of a faculty that cares and continues to, as Proverbs 22:6 instructs, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

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#1

VALDOSTA HIGH SCHOOL

Having Fun Being

By Ed Hooper

There aren’t many things that Stormm Phillips can’t do and do well. From athletic accolades to unparalleled athletic success in Valdosta’s International Baccalaureate program, Phillips is the prime example of what every student-athlete should be. On the floor, the 18-year-old Phillips has scored over 1,000 points in her storied four-year varsity basketball career under head coach E.A. Wilcox. On the track, she is a state champion looking to to add to her medal and trophy collection this spring. On the softball diamond, Phillips is an all-region outfielder. If one were to look up the definition of athlete in the dictionary, they might find Phillips’ picture with a bio that would read something like this: “extremely talented in three sports, could play more, straight A student, leader and experienced.” “I can do everything, but I just might not be number one,” Phillips said. In the classroom, Phillips has positioned herself to attend nearly any university or college in the United States. She currently holds straight A’s in Valdosta’s IB program, an upper-level curriculum created to challenge students and ready them for college courses. “It was not so much the opportunities it opened, it was the punishment for not making good grades,” Phillips said, when asked about her educational success. “I’m a cry baby and I didn’t want to face the punishment, so I made good grades.” As an athlete, Phillips, the captain of the Lady Wildcats basketball team, has garnered enough personal accolades suitable for the entire team. On the hardwood, Phillips has been voted All-Region all three seasons and is well on her way to a fourth honor this season. She followed that up with a state championship in Long Jump as a member of the Valdosta girls’ track and field team in April 2012. Along with the Long Jump, Phillips won the region championship in the 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter and the 4X100 relay events, helping the girls’ team earn its first region championship in 25 years. 22

JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


“I was first in the region and first in sectionals,” Phillips said. “I also (set personal records) in the 200 and 400.” On the hardwood, Phillips joined the elite 1,000-point club. She accomplished the milestone in a game against crosstown rival Lowndes in early January. Not wanting to make the moment all about her, Phillips described it as “nice” and left it at that. After all, Phillips is all about helping the team and not making this all about herself. As the captain of her team, Phillips is in charge of leading her teammates, on and off the floor. That leadership includes when it comes to the classroom. “I tell them all that time (to study),” Phillips said. While she is the leader of her teammates, Phillips said she gets her motivation from the same teammates she leads on a daily basis. “I like Kobe Bryant, but I really look up to my teammates,” Phillips said. “I don’t even think they realize it. My coaches say they look up to me. But, I don’t think they realize how much I look up to them. They are why I go. It is not the crowd, it is not the coaching staff. It is all for them. I don’t want to let them down.” Being a successful athlete for her hometown team, Phillips when she was younger she felt pressure to succeed. Now, Phillips said she doesn’t care about the pressure and just wants to have fun. “I used to let it bother me,” Phillips said. “But it is all about having fun…It is normal now.” When it comes down to making a decision about what sport she will play and where she’ll play it, Phillips said she wants to compete on the Division I level and that the decision will depend on various things. “It will just depend on my coaches and my teammates,” Phillips said. “I want to be on a good team and be comfortable. I want to be able to grow. I don’t want to go and be the number one girl. I want to work to be number one.” If Phillips is able to earn a Division I scholarship for basketball, she could compete against former Lowndes Vikette Kierra Peak, her cousin. Phillips said she hasn’t asked Peak about the recruiting process, which has included letters from Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Columbia, Brown and Coastal Carolina. Whatever college she chooses, Phillips will surely be a role model for aspiring college student-athletes. Although she says she is currently undecided on a major, she has narrowed down her choices to accounting, engineering or pharmacy. FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

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VALWOOD HIGH SCHOOL By Dr. Darren Pascavage

Fast Track to Continued Success

Aulden Bynum has done many things to make his family and friends proud. He has enjoyed terrific success on the football field, serving as a leader on the 2012 Valwood School team which won the GISA Class AA State Championship to cap a 14-0 season.  Aulden’s individual performance on the offensive and defensive line attracted considerable attention from major college programs, and resulted in Auden choosing to attend the University of Georgia where he will don the red and black for Coach Mark Richt’s Bulldogs. But Aulden has also achieved success in other areas.  During the course of the 2012 championship season, Aulden served as a volunteer assistant coach for Valwood’s JV squad and made

a positive impression on many young men who look up to him for inspiration. In addition, to get an early start on his Georgia Bulldog career, Aulden worked toward early graduation from Valwood School by earning necessary credits over the summer.  Valwood’s Headmaster, Dr. Darren Pascavage, remarked, “while many other young men were lounging at the pool or planning vacations to the beach with friends, Aulden earned three high school credits to position himself favorably for a December graduation.  It is always nice to find a young man whose impressive work ethic on the football field is matched by a willingness to work hard academically as well.”  His early graduation is even more impressive when one considers that his high

school course of study included Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science and AP United States History – courses which one may not usually associate with a 6’5’’, 260 pound lineman. Valwood School is proud of what Aulden Bynum has achieved on and off the field and we all look forward to watching him thrive at the University of Georgia.

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By Jasmine Sisk

COOK HIGH SCHOOL

Managing the Grades While Leading on the Mat

“I have had a very good season so far, but I need a little more work. When region comes, I want to be the best I can be. I am motivated by not letting my team down and winning state.”

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With so many new and eager wrestlers on the Cook wrestling team, it is difficult to find that one wrestler that captures the crowds’ attention. This year, there is not only one, but two exceptional wrestlers; Raheem Coxfield and Tony Jackson. These two individuals have demonstrated their hard work and dedication to their team as well as their grades. Both wrestlers have over 100 career wins, are three time state qualifiers, have enjoyed unparalleled success, and enjoy participating in other sports. Jackson runs track and cross country. During his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and playing games. His current record is 34-5. This senior plans to go to Life University to team up with his friend, Darius Graves, and “make it like the old days.” His second choice, he says, is to go to the army. Tony hopes to have a very good second half off his senior year. During fall, Raheem plays outside linebacker for football. When he isn’t on the mat, he enjoys staying home and watching movies or listening to music, but his heart is always in the game. Coxfield’s current record stands

at 36-3. He says, “I have had the best season of my high school career. I would like to be the best leader I can be. My goal is to win state this year. I know I still need work, but I will work hard to be the best and win state. When I wrestle, I feel like if I lose, I let my team, coach, and school down.” The junior plans to go to any college that will have him to chase his dream of wrestling collegiately. Raheem hopes to become even better next year while teaching the younger wrestlers a thing or two. There are 14 teams in the area; therefore, competition is sure to be tough this year. When asked his expectations for the year, head Coach Rusty Meadows states, “I’m just looking to maximize their potential, and I just want them to qualify as high as possible going into the upcoming state and sectional tournaments.” Altogether, the Cook High Wrestling team has placed top 6 at the Jeff Davis Schools tournament, top 5 at the Turner County invitational, and top 5 at the Hornet Classic, which Coxfield won. These two progressive wrestlers will continue to finish out the season with their hopes high and their eyes on the prize. JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


By Dr. Mike McCartney

Going the Extra Mile for a Beautiful Smile

As this issue hits the streets, we will find ourselves in the midst of National Children’s Dental Health Month, celebrated every February. During this month, we go out to schools, clubs, even churches to help educate and even treat dental diseases that affect our kids. It’s estimated that millions of hours are lost annually in work and

FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

school attendance due to pain and infection caused by untreated dental disease. The sad thing is it is the most preventable disease on the planet Now for the spin on sports. Can you imagine your child trying to concentrate on their sport of choice, whether in practice or game competition, with a screaming toothache or infection? Could you picture little Johnny being able to focus on hitting that fastball or little Cindy landing that back handspring feeling weak from an infection? I’m saying this to be an advocate for all parents/caregivers to make sure that diligent homecare is performed AT LEAST TWICE daily, regular visits to the dentist are scheduled and proper dietary measures are followed to prevent dental disease and promote proper development. Football, martial arts, and boxing

are not the ONLY “contact” sports. As long as there is a ball in play or a hard surface involved you should consider havingyour child wearing a mouthguard. I have seen it plenty of times where dental injuries from sports that aren’t necessarily considered contact sports, have caused sudden trips to my office, resulting in either costly repairs to broken teeth or loss of teeth. Studies have shown that properly fabricated custom mouthguards from your dentist can not only prevent dental injuries and concussions, but actually enhance an athlete’s performance as they bite, creating a more open airway. A double benefit, if you will. So grown-ups, you have some homework to do. You’ll be rewarded with a child who’ll be healthy, well-adjusted, and wear a smile you’ll all be proud of! See you for March Madness!

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HAMILTON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL By Phil Jones

Trojans and Lady Trojans Clinch #1 Seed in District Tournament

The 2012-2013 season for both the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams of Hamilton County High has seen the two teams dominate their respective district standings, as both teams have clinched the #1 seed heading into the district playoffs. For Coach Patrick Murphy’s boys and Coach Greg Taylor’s girls, this is familiar territory, as each team secured the #1 seed at this same point last season heading into post season play. The boys team finished the regular season 7-1 in district play, and with sixnon-district games remaining at press time, the team was 12-6 overall. It’s the league games that determine your post-season fate, so no matter what happens with the remaining contests, Coach Murphy and his group knows that their strong showing in District 5 1-A has them in a great spot. “ I’m proud of the way my team played, not just against the district teams, but against the bigger (non-region) schools as well. We defeated Columbia, Madison, and Suwannee High together for the first time in 10 years, and those are all not just bigger schools than we are but they’re all rival schools as well.”

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Coach Murphy has quite the arsenal of talent in his own stable. Juniors Jeremiah Lee and Anterfernee Smith lead the team in scoring with 12.7 and 12.3 ppg respectively. Sophomore Kevin Mclain was not too far behind with 11.7 points per game. However, Murphy seems to be pleased with his overall balance. “ We have a good mix of size, quickness, and blue-collar types who are just down right scrappy.” The lady Trojans, while playing fewer games than the boys’ team, are still sitting in the same spot as Murphy’s squad: atop the district 5 1-A standings. Coach Greg Taylor’s team is 7-3 overall, with an undefeated 3-0 mark in district play. Heading into their final two games against Madison and Suwannee, the Lady Trojans are playing great basketball, having won four of their last five, including a 50-44 win over the highly- ranked Branford High Lady Buccaneers at home. Like their male counterparts, the lady Trojans also swept “the big 3”- Suwannee, Columbia, and Madison County. The district tournament begins February 8 at Lafayette High School in Mayo. The boys district includes five teams, while the girls side of the district has just four teams. In the ladies’ tournament, the #1 seeded lady Trojans will play the #4 seed (most likely Jefferson County) with #2 Branford and #3 Lafayette squaring off. Like the boys, the top 2 seeds will advance to play the top 2 seeds from class 1-A district 6. Be sure to checkout the next issue of JOCK Sports Magazine for updates on both Hamilton County basketball teams.

JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013


Final Preparations The Lady Trojans began their 2013 portion of their 2012-2013 season with four games in six days after the two and a half week Christmas school break. As a coach, it is my favorite time of the season as we are finishing up on the small details of our season heading into the district playoffs. The girls are conditioned, and I had the opportunity to analyze each player and their capabilities. We also have had the challenge of facing all of the district teams and preparing a game plan according to the team we will face. The first game was on January 3 against private school Oak Hall from the Gainesville area. The Lady Trojans were without our starting goalie Tiffany Walton and did not have any substitutes on the bench. Senior Angelica Gallegos was between the post for the start of the game and Nola Baltazar filled in during the second half of the match. We had several scoring opportunities before Sophomore Shonteria Lee made a beautiful shot from her right wing position at the seventeenth minute of the game. In the eighty eighth minute, Oak Hall’s keeper again made a diving save and quickly punted the ball to midfield. An Oak Hall player headed the ball to their right wing that had slipped past a Hamilton defender and created a one on one breakaway. Oak Hall slipped the ball in the bottom right of the goal to end the game in a 1-1 tie. On Jan. 4, the Lady Trojans defeated John Paul II in Tallahassee by the score of 1-0. It was a hard fought and very physical game with both teams having opportunities to score throughout the match. Angelica “Jelly” Gallegos receives credit for the lone goal in the game. Gallegos placed a perfect corner kick into the middle of John Paul’s goalie box and a host of Trojans attacked the goal. John Paul’s goalkeeper attempted to catch the ball in the air, and the ball deflected off her hands into the goal at the thirty second minute of the match. On January 5, 2013, W. Gadsden did not show up for the game at 1:00 pm and forfeited the match. Our overall FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

By Coach Chris Byrd

record is currently 5-9-1 and we are 4-4 in district play. District playoffs were set, and we will face number two seed John Paul again. On January 8, 2013, we traveled to Ft. White for a final tune-up before districts against a Class AA rival. The Lady Trojans speared the Lady Indians senior night in front of their large home crowd with a 2-1 victory. The Lady Trojan’s season came to an end in the first round of the district playoffs by a score of 2-0 against John Paul II. John Paul scored both goals in the first half aided by a cold 25-mph wind at their backs. In the twenty third minute, a John Paul player took a shot from 20 yards out. The ball was deflected by a Hamilton player and the ball hit the left upright of the goal. Goalkeeper Tiffany Walton dove for the ball and it bounced off Walton’s hand into the goal. John Paul added another goal (thirty eighth minute) from a pass / shot 36 yards out. The ball went very high into the air, and the wind carried it toward the net. Walton jumped and knocked the ball out of goal, but the wind pushed the ball over the goal line before the keeper could fall on it. We had a couple breakaway opportunities in the first and several in the second half of the match but could not capitalize. Gallegos was moved to the striker position in the second half and we took some chances defensively as we pressed everyone forward. Walton left the game with five minutes remaining with a serious injury after colliding with a John Paul player on a breakaway. Hamilton finishes the season with a 6-10-1 record and 4-5 in district play. We had a good season but I was a little disappointed with the results from district play. We did not play to our capability and I know the girls realized they could have done better. Fortunately, we will only lose one senior this year and we have a bright future. I want to wish Angelica Gallegos the best as she continues her education at South Georgia College and pursues her love of soccer.

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BROOKS COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL

By Phil Jones

Girls’ Basketball Looking to Make Run in Region Tournament Region 1-AAA tournament). The Brooks County Trojan boys basketball team is currently 4-16 overall and 2-7 in region play. Coach Ken Moody’s team will likely participate in the ‘play-in’ game in the tournament’s

Head Coach Lamar Thomas knew this would be tough: rebuilding a team that last year finished 24-7 and advanced to the state AA final four; Rebuilding a team that lost 3 key seniors including 4-year all-region player Jasmine Mapp (who now plays for Valdosta State), Ashley Clemons, who initially signed with East Georgia but has since transferred to Ft Valley State, and Jamaria Rose, who decided to enroll at the Air Force. “I’ve never had a situation in all of my years of coaching where I lost six players to graduation, but didn’t add any new players.” But, Coach Thomas has his Lady Trojans at a respectable 1010 overall record and a 5-4 region record, and likely being seeded third heading into the region tournament in Pelham, which begins February 11. Thomas is playing with a roster of just nine players (compared to the 15 he had last year), but they are a scrappy bunch. “We lost just the other night to Thomasville by only one point, and they are ranked #5 in the state…so, I know we can play with anyone in the region tournament.” He credits the solid play of this year’s squad to his seniors. “We have a really good group of seniors leading the way, so I like our chances in the tournament-stay tuned!” We will, Coach Thomas…we will. (Check next month’s issue for an update on Coach Lamar Thomas and the Brooks County Lady Trojans performance in the 30

first day of action on February 11 in Pelham. We will provide an update on both Brooks County High’s basketball teams region tournament performance in next month’s issue of JOCK Sports Magazine.

Soccer And Basketball Programs In Full Swing As is the case with most athletic programs at South Georgia high schools, the top 3 sports of football, baseball, and basketball rule. Not far behind, and actually growing at a rapid pace, is girls fast pitch softball. But, when it comes to soccer, the game is still a virtual unknown on most campuses. However, if schools have soccer enthusiasts leading the charge like Brooks County High does in Chip Pollard and Matt Lukens, then soccer will quickly become a top sport along with the “Big 3”. Under the guidance of Pollard, Brooks County now has fielded a soccer program for 6 seasons, including the middle school. After an understandably slow start in its first couple of years, Trojans soccer is on the rise: both the girls and boys teams have advanced to the state playoffs every season since 2008. While each post season appearance has ended with a first round loss, the fact that this young program is qualifying for post-season play is quite an accomplishment, considering that the participation is still low. “It’s been a struggle getting the student body interested in soccer since we started (in 2008), but that’s understandable. These kids are hardly ever exposed to the sport, and the local parks and rec program is just now starting to offer soccer programs for the lower-age participants.” Pollard now coaches just the lady Trojans soccer program, while Matt Lukens coaches the boys’ team. Michael Mooney coaches the Middle School program, with assistance from Coach Bruce Echols, and Coaches Nguyen and Walker. Now, with a summer soccer program having been started in the Brooks County community, you can bet that these coaches will have more players participating, keeping Brooks County High School soccer on the rise for years to come.

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FEBRUARY 2013 • JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE

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JOCK SPORTS MAGAZINE • FEBRUARY 2013

Jock Sports Magazine - Feb issue  

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