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This Week: Calendar Daily Prayer Chapel: 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. through the week, St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church, 3761 Mars Hill Road, Watkinsville. Our church is open for personal prayer and meditation and to light a candle every morning from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Stop in for personal prayer and/ or at 7 a.m. for the short prayer service. (770) 725-5035, saint., Oconee Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oconee County Courthouse, 23 N. Main Street, Watkinsville. The market is open rain-or-shine on Saturdays through the last Saturday in November. Located in front of the courthouse in downtown Watkinsville. Greek FestivalAthens/Oconee: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church, 3761 Mars Hill Road, Watkinsville. Come for food and fun. Delicious Greek food and pastries served with live music and folk dance performances. Bands include “Trichordo” on Saturday and “Nick Demos and The Greek Islanders” on Sunday. See schedule for times for the lectures on Orthodox Christianity, Byzantine Iconography, Chanting and Church History. There will also be shopping and children’s activities as well as takeout and “Take and Bake” Greek food. $1 entry fee., (770) 7255035, st.philothea. greek.festival@, www. athensgreekfestival. com. Fall Festival: 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Browns Chapel Baptist Church, 1030 Brown Chapel Road, Bishop. Join us for an Alternative Halloween day of fun on Oct. 22 from 3 to 6 p.m. All ages are welcome to attend. Free. Mother Daisy Lee Rally: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Browns Chapel Baptist Church, 1030 Brown Chapel Road, Bishop. Empty your house on Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. Join us for a life-changing day of fellowship. Scream Free Parenting Class: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Grace Fellowship Church of God, 1120 Malcom Bridge Rd, Bogart. Grace Fellowship Church will offer a Scream Free Parenting Class from on Wednesdays beginning Aug.10 until Oct. 26 at 6:30-8 p.m. at Grace Fellowship, 1120 Malcom Bridge Please see EVENTS

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Issue 42

From the Oconee to the Apalachee

Volume 11

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scaring up some votes

23 entries in Oconee chamber’s contest Wayne Ford

SPECIAL This scarecrow placed outside Watkinsville City Hall portraying Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was one of 23 entered in the contest.

The Oconee County Chamber of Commerce is still accepting votes from the public on their favorite scarecrow entered in the chamber’s first scarecrow-making contest. The scarecrows were put on the display last Saturday at the annual Oconee Chamber Fall Festival in the downtown area and runners in the Scarecrow 5K were allowed to vote on their favorite. There were 23 entries in the contest, said Tammy Gilland, who coordinated the contest. “We hope to make it an annual tradition as part of the festival and the Scarecrow 5K,” she said. The scarecrows have been placed at various businesses and locations in the community from downtown Watkinsville to the Butler’s Crossing area, where they will remain on display until

Nov. 4. The chamber has invited the public to vote for their favorite scarecrow by going to the chamber’s Facebook page and clicking a “like” on their choice. The voting will end on Oct. 31 and the winner will be announced Nov. 3 at the chamber’s After Hours Event at the Reddy Urgent Care Center. The scarecrows are locate at the following, with maker, name of scarecrow and location: • Athens YMCA – Coach Groovy, Meg’s. • Oconee County Library – Rita Book, Oconee County Library • Oconee Pilot Club, B. More, Tweedie Industries • University of North Georgia, Nighthawk Bishop, Steve Denman • Georgia Power, Wattson the Watkkinsville Please see CONTEST

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Oconee resident firm in her opposition to ‘ fermented sin’

Photos by WAYNE FORD Annette Whitaker Sledge sits on the front porch of her home where she often sits and reads the Bible when the weather permits. Below, Sledge looks for a verse in the Book of Deuteronomy as she discusses the issue of alcohol.

Lone voice Wayne Ford

Annette Sledge has made her opinion known about the upcoming vote in Oconee County to allow sales of beer and wine on Sundays. At a recent Oconee County Board of Commissioners meeting, the 85-year-old Watkinsville woman spoke out against the measure that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot. When she lived in Griffin — before moving to Watkinsville in 2008 — she was an outspoken critic on a similar alcohol issue, but just as in Oconee County, she found herself a lone wolf in the battle. “I couldn’t get a preacher from a black or white church or a Presbyterian or a Methodist or nobody to help me. I couldn’t get nobody up here to help me neither, so I stand by myself,” she said recently from the front porch of her ranch-style home in a quiet

subdivision. She writes numerous letters to newspapers opposing Sunday sales, describing beer and wine as “fermented sin.” “I’m glad I am not going to Hell to burn eternally, alone and Please see SLEDGE

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Dog park should be finished next month Wayne Ford

The Bark Park enhancement project at Oconee Veteran’s Park is nearing completion with a grand reopening expected sometime in November, park officials said Monday. “They were still working Friday

on getting the fence up,” Oconee County Recreation Department Deputy Director Lisa Davol said. The project is progressing and the facility should be reopened to public use by November, she said. The improvements to the dog park, including a fenced area, sidewalks and water sources, were funded for the most part by a

$25,000 grant awarded to Oconee County in 2015 by PetSafe, which sponsored a contest offering grants across the country in various size communities. People voted on communities to receive the money and Oconee County received 30,280 votes, the most in the medium-size community category. PetSafe is a manu-

facturer of products for pets. Fundraising efforts were made to raise more money for the $35,000 project. Cconstruction began July 18 and includes new grass in the dog play area along with the planting of trees. PHOTO on Page 2

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Oconee County High School class of 1996 celebrates its 20th anniversary.


Oconee High class of 1996 reunites The Oconee County High School class of 1996 came together in September to celebrate its 20th anniversary of graduating. The class attended the high school’s football game against Morgan County on Sept. 9 and enjoyed a “Saturday Night

Fever” reunion on Sept. 10 at the Thomas Cotton Gin. Members from the class live all across the country, including Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Many graduates started kindergarten in 1984 at Oconee County Elementary

School, continued to Oconee County Middle School — which was located on Colham Ferry Road at the time — before becoming “Warriors” at Oconee County High School in 1992. — Staff reports

Work progressing at Bark Park

Photos by WAYNE FORD The Bark Park enhancement project at Oconee Veteran’s Park should be ready for a grand reopening sometime in November, according to park officials. • Story on page 1

Contest Lineman, Downtown Watkinsville • Coldwell Banker Upchurch Realty, Dorothy, City Hall • Oconee Tourism, Eagle Tavern, Eagle Tavern • Greensource, Eagle Tavern • Law Office of Anne D. Carter, Lady Liberty, Law Office of Anne D. Carter • Ameri-Pride, Uncle S. Crow, Ameri-Pride • Oconee Preschool Academy, Pete the Cat, Oconee Enterprise • Laster Law Office, Athens First – Butler’s Crossing • The Wellness Cottage, Empire South • Oconee Preschool Academy , The Minio, Barber Shop, downtown • Orchard Street Boutique, Orchard Street Boutique

Continued from page 1 • Crunch Fitness, Richard Scrimmons, Eagle Tavern • Oconee State Bank, Mr. Cupola Moneybags, Oconee State Bank • Printz Plus, Prince, Printz Plus • UGA McPaul Center, Arnold the Scarecrow, Elizabeth Ann’s Florist • Oconee Preschool Academy II, Snoopy & Woodstock, Mutty Paws • Walton EMC, Walter Wattage & Bonnie Blue Flame, Oconee Chamber • Oconee Tourism #2, Welcome Center • Watkinsville First Christian Church, Simon T Bridge, Watkinsville First Christian To vote go to

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Continued from page 1

dark, where never a star has shone,” she wrote in one such letter. Today, she needs a walker to get around due to some health problems, but she doesn’t live alone as she has help in her home following the death of her husband a few years ago. Life for her began in 1930 in Greene County as one of 10 children born to Emmett Whitaker, a native of McDonough, and Lurlene Chapman Whitaker, a native of Crawfordville. “I was born at 204 Dennis Street in Union Point and that house is still there,” she said on a cool day where a soft breeze wafted through the full green ferns hanging on the porch, where she often reads her Bible. It was while she was a little girl that she first heard stories about her mother’s brother in law, who abused alcohol. “He was mean as the devil,” she said. “He was a shoemaker. He made good money, but he drank it all up. He was a sot.” Sledge’s father, who did not allow alcohol in his home, once had a job in Crawfordville, when the state was building the Alexander H. Stephens State Park. The family soon moved from Union Point to Locust Grove when she was in the second grade. Then the family moved to Flippen in Henry County, where her father struggled to make a living by sharecropping a farm. “Daddy never made nothing. He had to give half of what he made to the other fellow. And he had to borrow from them to buy seed and fertilizer. He never made a penny,” she said. The family next moved south to a town near Columbus, where her father tried his hand at raising chickens and selling eggs. When this job didn’t hold a future, they moved to near Griffin, where he again tried his hand on a farm. “We went back to sharecropping and having nothing, you might as well say. We were as poor as an old snake that didn’t have any legs to walk on. We got through somehow.” She eventually began working in the cotton mills of Griffin and it was in this middle Georgia town that she would meet her future husband, Roland Sledge. A close friend named Peggy, who worked with her in the cotton mill, had a boyfriend named Bo whom she wanted to date, but Bo didn’t have a car, Sledge recalled. “She said I know what you can do. I can get you a date with Roland Sledge because he’s got a car. I said, ‘Peggy I don’t want to date somebody I’ve never seen before in my life.’ She begged me for a whole week in the cotton mill.”


“We were as poor as an old snake that didn’t have any legs to walk on. We got through somehow.” Having no luck with the double date idea, the friend convinced her to attend a prayer meeting one Sunday afternoon, where she could be introduced to Sledge. “Roland will be there. He’s a good Christian boy,” Sledge remembers her friend saying. The two young women were at the meeting in the preacher’s house when Sledge showed up. “I thought he’s got pretty blue eyes, but that’s all I thought because I didn’t know him from Adam’s house cat,” she said. The friend, Peggy, kept encouraging her to double date and finally the date happened one Sunday afternoon. Sledge drove up to Annette Whitaker’s house. “He had on the prettiest green colored pants and a light green shirt. And those pretty eyes,” she said. “He opened the car door for me to get in. He stood for me to get in and he closed the door. He went around and got in the car. We went and got Peggy and Bo and we rode around. And I think we went to the Griffin Park.” On their first date alone, they went to the drive-in movie and she saw that her boyfriend loved the cartoons. “He would sit there and laugh and laugh at the comic things and I didn’t even smile at them,” she said. Then one day in the car after a date, Roland pulled out a small box with a ring. “I said, ‘Put that thing back in your pocket.’ He opened it up a little bit and I wanted to look at it so bad that I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I finally looked at it. He grabbed my hand and stuck it on before I could say scat. I said I can’t go in the house with my mama and daddy and that ring sticking on my hand,” she said as she smiled upon recalling the moment. Later Roland asked her to marry him on Christmas. “I thought, well, my mamma and daddy married on Thanksgiving. I guess I can marry on Christmas day,” she said. On Christmas in 1953, they were married in the home of her pastor. She was 23 and he was 33. Then on Aug. 25, 1955, their son Keith was born. “I have never seen anything in my life as pretty as that little baby,” said Sledge, who wrote that she “was sealed by the Holy Spirit.”

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Road. The cost is $15 for required workbook and childcare is FREE. Are you a screamer? Or do you employ the “Silent Treatment”? Are you looking for ways to better connect with your children? Join us for a 12 week study (DVD, discussion, exercises) designed to equip you for your most important job PARENTING! Led by Scream Free Parenting Certified Leader, Wendy Fletcher-Clements. To register (required), visit scream-free-parenting/ or for more info. call the church at (706) 769-4001. $15., 706-769-4001,

Thursday, October 20, 2016

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On the scene at Oconee’s Fall Festival Oconee County held its annual Fall Festival on Oct. 15 this year, in the county seat of Downtown Watkinsville. The weather was overcast, yet surprisingly pleasant. The front of the courthouse was filled with residents and visitors from surrounding counties, selling fresh snacks, fruits and meat. Over on School Street, right on Rocket Field, the heart of the festivities was bustling with energy. There was no

Feeling a chill

Photo by WAYNE FORD Three Oconee County High students spent some time Sunday afternoon chilling at a picnic table in Oconee Veterans Park. Henry Howell, from left, Jawuan Stovall and Tegan Bettis enjoyed the shady spot while they monitored their cell phones. Stovall said he recently moved to Oconee County from New Orleans.

shortage of funnel cake, incredible homemade goods, bouncy castles, falling leaves, nor smiles. The festival was no doubt a success once again, ensuring that the feeling of autumn was ingrained in the hearts of the community as the colder months begin to approach. PHOTOS BY HARRISON BAGLEY

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

On the scene in Oconee County schools

Photo by LAURA BECKHAM Students in Mrs. Beckham’s ninth grade class took advantage of the Eastcoast Helicopter Operation Conference happening at the Civic Center. Steve Meagher explains the complex processes of flight paramedics.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO CFES students are challenged daily by Coach Little and Coach Liz in the gym. At Colham Ferry, we work on educating the whole child, including their health and well being.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Thank you, Rotary Club of Oconee County, for planting flower bulbs with the fifthgrade @CFESmustangs. Photo by LAURA BECKHAM September students of the month: (left to right) Angelo Zheng (Science), Keely Glenn (Math), Eli Searcy (English), Evan Brigman (World Language), Jonah Laux (Social Studies) and Addie Kelly (CTAE). Not pictured: Elizabeth Durham (PE) and Madison Pruitt (Fine Arts)

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO MBMS, NOHS and Humane Society club alum working hard on a Saturday. #mbmspride #TitanPride.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ms. Travis’ class enjoyed their pumpkin activity. It was a great learning day. They studied the five senses.

For hundreds of photos and updates about Oconee events and people, go to

This Week: Online


October 20, 2016

Undefeated, league champions Photo gallery

Homecoming at UGA

In brief: Cross country

North Oconee boys capture first-place cup in gold division at Coach Wood Invitational On the strength of a fourth-place overall (176 runners) finish by Anthony Potts (16:43) and four top-20 medalists, North Oconee’s boys’ varsity team took the top spot in the 19-team Gold Division on Saturday on the campus of North Georgia College/Gainesville. Brady Kalessa brought home a 15th-place medal (17:20); Alex Thomas followed closely with 17th in 17:32; Jacob Ash grabbed 20th (17:36), and Austin Joost was 54th in 18:24. Acton Vogt (107th in 19:20) and Collin Pannell (157th in 20:21) were top-seven team scorers. Colin McCormick, Conar Jensen, and Thomas Dowis also raced for the Titan varsity. In the Championship Division of the girls’ varsity, the Lady Titans, facing state powerhouse teams from all classifications, brought home 17th place. Hollis Brown led the way, taking 60th (174 runners) in 21:05. Gabby Huff-Streiter (66th in 21:09) and Melanie Bowden (79th in 21:30) formed a formidable pack. Courtney Jones (109th in 22:10) and Peyton Coates (130th in 22:25) took top-five team spots. Siya Kannan (22:58, 145th) and Anna Cobb (23:49, 136th) contributed top-seven team finishes. Amy Gayer and Grace Pan were also varsity racers. Michael Shirley paced the boys JV in 20:27. Other team top-fives went to Daniel Smith, Samuel Ash, Nate Poulter, and Mitch Hanson. Samuel Honeycutt and Colin Waterfill rounded out the team top-7. In the girls’ JV, Komal Parikh was the team’s front-runner (38 in 24:12) in the 439-runner field. Christa Lynn Moore, Korey Dickerson, Christina Vogt, and Caroline Kulp were top-five scorers, with Sydney Tamborello and Abby Smith in the top-seven.


Oconee County Middle School celebrates its league championship last Thursday at Oconee County High School. For more photos, see

Braves beat Malcom Bridge 35-14 to win championship By Matthew Caldwell

Heading into Thursday’s season finale, both middle school football teams from Oconee County and Malcom Bridge were 6-0. With no playoffs taking place this season, that made the game at Oconee County High School the championship game since both teams were the top two in the league. When the final buzzer sounded, it was the team in blue from Oconee County who were celebrating the championship with a 35-14 victory against the Lightning. “This is a great group of kids,” said Braves head coach Jace Richards. “I have been telling them all season they remind me a lot of the senior class that is graduating this year. That was the last year we beat Malcom Bridge and went 7-0. They are good kids. They are good in the classroom. They pick each other up. There is a lot of leadership in this group. They play for each other. They play hard. They are very coachable. ‘Yes sir,


Oconee’s Rob Boswell and Malcom Bridge’s Jack Butler shake hands after Thursday’s game.

no sir.’ It’s a great group of kids. We had a good time this year.” When the game was over, both teams lined up on the 50-yard line for the trophy presentations and congratulated each other after each team received their trophy. “Of course it is a big rivalry but their coaching

staff as well as ours, we talk all of the time about good sportsmanship and trying to make sure we are playing the game right and honoring the game. That was shown tonight on both sides,” Richards said. The loss snapped a threeyear championship run for the Lightning, who fin-

ished 6-1 this season. “Oconee played very well tonight. There were very few mistakes on their part and we made several. They just whipped us tonight,” said Lightning head coach Randy Cain. “We thought we matched up better. They are stronger than we are. Both teams play with a

lot of heart and fight. I am proud of my guys. They didn’t give up. They stayed with it until the end. “Congratulations to Oconee. They did a great job. Jace does a great job coaching. They play very hard for him. That is one Please see ‘OCMS-MBMS’

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Lady Wolverines advance to Sweet 16 Prince Avenue Christian’s softball team swept Mount de Sales last week in the first round of the Class A private school state tournament. The Lady Wolverines won game one 12-4 and game two 15-1 to advance to this week’s Sweet 16. PACS played at Mount Pisgah this week with the winner advancing to Columbus. The Lady Wolverines have been to the Elite Eight in Columbus in each season since 2012. For the full story and photos from the Mount de Sales wins, see MATTHEW CALDWELL/ Oconee Leader

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Oconee County comes from behind and beats St. Pius 20-16 By Matthew Caldwell

The Warriors celebrate Roques Dowdy’s interception near the end zone late i nthe fourth quarter last Friday night. For more photos of the game, see

The records of Oconee County and St. Pius going into Friday night’s game at Warrior Stadium were 5-1 for the Warriors and 0-6 for the Lions. Despite a winless record, the Warriors knew they were going to be in a battle against the Atlanta private school. After getting down 13-0 and 16-7, the Warriors fought back and took a 2016 lead 10:08 left in the game, which is the score they ended up winning by to remain undefeated in the region and improve to 6-1 overall. “It was really big from coming back from 16-7. Playing behind for most of the game, we had to come through a lot of adversity and penalties that weren’t going our way. We had to dig deep and find a way to pull it out and that’s what we did,” said junior Corderius Paschal. “We know when they get up on us, we can come back. We don’t ever give up on each other. We always push each other. We play from the first whistle to the last whistle. When we go down, we know we can come back. We never give up. That is what coach always says. When you go down, always fight because anything can change.” After the Warriors took a 20-16 lead, St. Pius marched down the field, aided by a few Oconee penalties and scored with 2:30 left in the game to take the lead, but a holding penalty negated the score. The Lions passed on second-and-10 from the


Warriors’ 17 but Roques Dowdy leaped up and intercepted the pass to end the seven-minute drive. “It was a momentum shift. They were giving us a rough night all night,” Dowdy said. “It’s hard to get adjusted to the triple option and they are really good at it. They have a lot of speed. I felt like they were going to throw the ball. I saw the wing come out and saw him let go of the ball and I went up and made a play.” St. Pius got one more opportunity on offense and with four seconds left, attempted a Hail Mary but sophomore Darion Goodrum sacked the Lions’ quarterback before the pass was thrown to seal the win for Oconee. “It was exactly what we expected it to be,” said head coach Travis Noland. “We knew it was going to be a very tough football game and we were going to have very limited offensive opportunities because they keep the ball so much. I am really proud that we

fought from being 13 down and getting back in it and finding a way to win and hanging on to the win in the end.” It was the third team the Warriors have played this year that ran the triple option. They scrimmaged Franklin County and played Eastside in their final non-region game of the schedule. “When we made our nonregion schedule, everything was with a purpose knowing what was going to be in this region because it is such a tough region week in and week out,” Noland said. The Lions got the ball first and proceeded to go 80 yards in less than three minutes to take a 6-0 lead with 9:29 left in the first quarter. The Warriors got a 13yard run on the first play of their first drive but didn’t get another first down until midway in the second quarter when they trailed 13-0. Facing fourth-and-10 from their own 41, Champ

Bell gained 50 yards to set up first-and-goal. On third-and-goal from the 3, Sam Middlebrooks connected with Dowdy for a touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7 with 3:25 left in the half. St. Pius added a field goal as time expired in the second quarter to take a 16-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. “After halftime, we were still in the game,” Dowdy said. “We weren’t going to beat ourselves up because they were up by a touchdown and field goal. We had to keep pushing and keep fighting. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. We had to come prepared today.” The Warriors got the ball to start the third quarter but were forced to punt, which was blocked and gave the ball to St. Pius near midfield. The defense by Oconee County stood tall and prevented St. Pius from converting a fourth down, giving their offense the ball on their own 39.


thing we always pride ourselves is our boys play hard from the opening to the end. The blue team does too. They are the same way. That is why these two teams are here right now in the championship game because they play hard the entire time regardless of the score.” The Braves never trailed in the game. They took a 6-0 lead with 2:22 left on an 85-yard touchdown pass to Zach Smith. The Lightning defense forced the Braves to punt midway in the second quarter, and their offense got the ball on the 12-yard line. Two plays after a holding penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pinned the Lightning on their own 5, Oconee’s Camden Aldridge hit quarterback Bubba Chandler in the backfield. The ball popped out and landed in the end zone, with Liam Lewis falling on it for a touchdown. West Weeks’ pass to Pierce Brewington was complete for a successful 2-point conversion, and the Braves led 14-0 with 2:34 left in the second quarter. “I was at defensive end and I saw Camden hit the quarterback and slung him. He threw the ball up and I saw it on the ground rolling and I dove on it in the end zone,” Lewis said. “I started sprinting towards the ball to make sure no other guy was going to get on it.” The Braves attempted and recovered an onside kick and got the ball back near midfield. They added another touchdown with 1:13 left on a 6-yard pass from Weeks to Lewis. Emily Davis’ PAT was suc-

After a holding penalty against the Warriors negated a 14-yard gain, Middlebrooks found Paschal for a 24-yard gain. Two plays later, the two connected again for a 43-yard touchdown pass to cut the score to 16-14 following the PAT from Hunter Reynolds with 5:33 left in the third quarter. “The corner played run so I knew I had him beat. It was a good ball from our quarterback. I have to give him props for that because without that ball, I wouldn’t have caught it,” Paschal said. A St. Pius punt gave the ball back to the Warriors with 1:44 left in the third quarter. A third-down conversion ended the quarter and the Warriors went into the fourth quarter with a first down at their own 42, but they didn’t stay their long. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Middlebrooks connected with Paschal again for a 47-yard completion to set up first down from the 11. On third-and-10, Middlebrooks’s pass was incomplete but a pass interference call set up third down from the 5. Middlebrooks dropped back to pass but took off for the end zone when the pocket collapsed and scored on the 5-yard run. The two-point conversion failed and the Warriors led 20-16. “We just beat a really good team,” Dowdy said. “Even though they were

0-6, that’s the best 0-6 team we have ever played. They are real physical. It was a great win. That put us in the playoffs. It was real good to get that win.” This is the third straight year the Warriors will be going to the playoffs. They went to the second round in each year. “It has been real fun. This is my last year so I have to go out with a bang,” Dowdy said. “It has been real fun and I am truly blessed to play with this team. For us to have Coach Noland and for me to play with all of my teammates is a real blessing.” The Warriors play at Stephens County, who is also 6-1 and 2-0 in Region 8-AAAA, this upcoming Friday night. “The kids wanted to solidify a playoff spot in the second game out and take that pressure off of just trying to get in,” Noland said. “Now we can focus on getting ready for Stephens County, who is an unbelievable, talented and well coached football team too.” Stephens County’s only loss was September 2 in their second game of the season, a 24-10 loss to Rabun County. “We are feeling good. We have a lot of momentum coming our way but they do too,” Paschal said. “We are going to prepare this week and did down deep again to see if we can pull out another victory and get this region championship.”

Continued from page 5


Oconee’s Camden Aldridge hits Malcom Bridge’s Bubba Chandler, resulting in a fumble and a touchdown for Oconee. from Davis, the Braves cessful, giving the Braves on their own 43. With 22.5 seconds left in took a 28-14 lead. a 21-0 lead. The drive was kept alive “I was supposed to run an the third quarter, the Lightout-route. The guy was on ning made it a one-posses- when Weeks completed a me so I cut back,” Lewis sion game with a 6-yard 12-yard pass to Lewis on said. “Nobody was in front touchdown run by Tanner fourth-and-eight from the of me so I waved my hand Evilsizor. The Lightning Lightning 20. “I didn’t think I was goand West saw me. He threw went for two and Evilsizor it to me low and I got to it.” kept the ball and ran into ing to get it at first because The Lightning got the the end zone to make it a it hit me in the chest. I thought it was going to ball back with 1:09 left and 21-14 game. “I wasn’t worried. We bounce out but I closed after a 12-yard completion from Chandler to Cameron have been in close situa- my hands on it and got it,” Bergeron, Chandler com- tions this year,” Richards Lewis said. “I turned outpleted a 31-yard pass to said. “We were in a close side to make sure I was goJack Butler to get inside game with both Jackson ing to get that first down.” teams. I knew our kids had “We usually break our the red zone. a little bit of resiliency in routes off a little bit earlier With 13.7 seconds left in the half, Chandler snuck them. You definitely saw but we told Liam you have up the middle and scored that come out in them to- to get eight yards on this. night, especially with all He ran a perfect route,” to cut the lead to 21-6. The Lightning got the of the momentum shifting Richards said. “West threw a perfect ball. We ended up ball to start the second towards Malcom Bridge.” On the ensuing drive for picking up the first down. half but failed to get a first down on fourth-and-10 the Braves, Weeks com- That is what you have to from the Braves’ 20. Their pleted a 10-yard pass to have. You have to put the defense forced the Braves Justin Coleman with 6:19 players in position to make to a three-and-out and the left in the game and fol- plays, and they have to Lightning got the ball back lowing a successful PAT make them. We did a good

job coaching them up but it was the players making plays. They did what they needed to do tonight to win.” The Braves’ defense came away with another score on the ensuing drive for the Lightning. Hudson Stoker recovered a fumble and returned it nearly 40 yards for a touchdown and a 35-14 lead following the PAT from Davis with 3:36 left. “We tried to convince them at halftime that our score before the half was great and we gave up stuff we don’t normally do. When we scored that and brought it to a touchdown, you feel pretty good. The boys and the staff felt like we could get this momentum but to Oconee’s credit, they wouldn’t let us grab it. I give them credit. They were well prepared tonight,” Cain said. “It was just one of those nights where we felt like we couldn’t catch a break. We couldn’t get momentum. We got away from what we normally do and felt like we had to play catchup. That was probably out of our comfort zone. “When you are a middle school kid and you look up and you are one score down versus two scores down, the men on the sideline try to tell them you are still in the game but it’s hard for a 13-year old to feel that way. Once it got to two scores, it’s hard to feel like you are right there. When they got that last one, that was a tough one.” The Braves dumped the water bucket on Richards during the celebration. “This feels great. Malcom Bridge had three

championships in a row and it feels great to get one over them. They had a shirt that says three-peat. Now I guess we can get a shirt that says one-peat. This feels amazing,” Lewis said. “Everybody got us all hyped making sure we weren’t going to lose this game and Malcom Bridge wasn’t going to win again. “We were waiting for this win. We kept saying we were going to get it, we weren’t going to lose this game and we did it.” Richards said this season was one of the most fun he has had as a coach. “I appreciate the kids and I have a great set of parents. This whole county does but this team was very supporting the entire year. The parents were great and helped me out with a ton of things. The administration was great. Everybody was on the OC train and it ended up being a really good season for everybody. “We told them all week that we were going to have to have more people stepping up and making plays. That is exactly what we did. The defense has been good all year but to get two scores off of defense was huge. Our special teams played really well. We had kids stepping up left and right. That is what you have to have. If you are going to beat a good team, you definitely have to have that. I was proud of how the kids stood up and played the game. “Hat’s off to Coach Cain at Malcom Bridge. He and his staff always do a good job of having them ready. We are happy with the win and happy to be champions again.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

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Lady Spartans sweep Strong Rock Christian to advance to Sweet 16

Page 7

Lady Titans roll through Upson-Lee, advance to Sweet 16


Athens Academy opened the Class A state volleyball tournament last week at the Spartan Center and had no problems in defeated Strong Rock Christian. The Lady Spartans won in three sets 25-6, 25-9 and 25-9 to advance to this week’s Sweet 16 against North Cobb Christian. Sydney Williams had eight kills and three digs. Mackenzie Ferguson had eight kills and two aces. Ansley Connelly had five kills. Malia Busenitz had seven kills, nine digs and four aces. Caroline Kuhnert had five kills and one ace. Ali Garrett had five aces and nine digs. Maddie Anderson had 32 assists, five aces and nine digs. Nancy Belle Hansford had one ace and six digs.

Wolverines win again, top Hebron Christian 48-17


North Oconee dominated Upson-Lee 3-0 in last week’s opening match of the Class AAAA state tournament. The Lady Titans won 25-9, 25-8 and 25-4 to improve to 32-10 overall this season. Emma Boughner had 18 kills with a .780 hitting percentage. She had 10 straight kills to open the match. Leslie Aldrich had eight kills with an .850 hitting percentage. Sami Gascho had 22 assists. Next up for the Lady Titans was this week’s second-round matchup against Atlanta private school Blessed Trinity.

Lady Warriors open state tournament with 3-0 win against Mary Persons


A week after scoring 49 points, the Prince Avenue Christian Wolverines nearly matched that total in beating Hebron Christian 48-17 to stay undefeated. They improved to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in Region 8-A heading into their bye week on Friday night. After getting down 3-0 with 2:18 left in the first quarter, Tyler Roberts returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead. Collin Sweet’s fumble recovery and touchdown run on Hebron Christian’s next offensive opportunity gave the Wolverines a 14-3 lead with 1:45 left in the first. Thomas Huff added a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:37 left in the second quarter for a 20-3 lead. Christian Parrish returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown and a 27-3 lead with 4:32 left in the half. Noah Campbell’s 7-yard touchdown run with five seconds left in the half gave the Wolverines a 34-10 lead. Huff added a 5-yard touchdown run with 8:28 left in the third quarter to take a 41-10 lead and Nick Brown added a 5-yard touchdown run with 5:31 left in the third quarter. The Wolverines are off on Friday night. They return to the field on October 28 at Providence Christian and close the regular season on November 4 at home against Athens Academy.


Oconee County’s volleyball team went on the road for the first round of the Class AAAA state tournament last week and came away with a 3-0 win against Mary Persons. The Lady Warriors, who finished third in the region, won 25-16, 25-8 and 2510 to advance to this week’s Sweet 16 against Atlanta private school Woodward.

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Page 8

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Maura Grace Dickens

Oconee County advances to Sweet 16 with 15-14 win against NW Whitfield From Staff Reports


Spartans win seventh game of season, defeat Providence Christian 42-10 From Staff Reports

Athens Academy dominated Providence Christian 42-10 to improve to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in Region 8-A. Next up for the Spartans is a home game against George Walton on Friday night. In last week’s game, Matt Moseley’s 8-yard pass to Rolf Reynolds got the scoring going. Jacob Hudson returned from an injury and handed it off to Henry Trapnell for a 6-yard touchdown run and a 14-0 lead following Drew Byus’ PAT. Hudson threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Owen Roberts for a 21-0 lead early in the second

quarter. Payton Bowles’ 5-yard run gave the Spartans a 28-3 lead with 9:45 left in the third quarter. Trapnell added a 22-yard touchdown run with 3:39 left in the game and Trey Willis scored on a 64-yard run with less than a minute remaining in the game. George Walton is 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the region with its only loss coming to Prince Avenue Christian 39-21 on September 23. Athens Academy has won each of the last four meetings. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Oconee County’s softball team went into the final inning of the decisive game three against Northwest Whitfield trailing 1411. After scoring four runs to take a 15-14 lead, NW Whitfield had the game-tying run on second base but failed to score. With the win, the Lady Warriors clinched a spot in this week’s Sweet 16 in the Class AAAA state tournament. The Lady Warriors led game three 7-0 going into the bottom of the third inning. Maura Grace Dickens had a grand slam. NW Whitfield began to come back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs, then scored four more in the fourth to cut the Oconee lead to 7-6. NW Whitfield took an 11-7 lead in the fifth inning but Oconee tied the game in the sixth inning. NW Whitfield responded with three runs to take a 14-11 lead going into the seventh inning. The Lady Warriors had 17 hits in the game. Chloe Fambrough was 4-for-4 and

had one RBI. Ansley Hart had three hits with one RBI. Hannah Patridge, Keely Glenn (two RBI), Hanna Manders (two RBI) and Lauren Murphy (four RBI) all had two hits. Kailey Adcock had a hit and RBI. The series opened with a 7-5 win by Oconee after the Lady Warriors scored six runs in the seventh inning, which included a grand slam by Patridge to give Oconee a 7-4 lead. Patridge was 2-for-3 with five RBI in the win. Hart had two hits. Morgan Tyler, Fambrough, Glenn and Murphy all had a hit. NW Whitfield forced a game three with a 7-4 win in game two. The Lady Warriors had nine hits in the loss, led by Dickens’ three doubles and one RBI. Murphy had two hits and one RBI. Fambrough, Catharine Waters, Patridge and Adcock all had a hit. The Lady Warriors were back on the road this week for their Sweet 16 matchup against Eastside. The winner of the bestof-three series advances to Columbus for the Elite Eight.

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The Oconee Leader is a weekly publication distributed in Oconee County, Ga.

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