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Long County High School

Long County High School

Ludowici, GA

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January 2011

Long County Honors Fall Athletes

Cheerleading AwardsThe annual Long County Fall Sports Banquet was held December 13, 2010, to honor outstanding student-athletes in football, cheerleading, cross country and softball.  It was a night to highlight individual accomplishments as well as to remember the season as a whole.  

First-year head coach Cole Walsh was excited to be part of the cross country team this year.  Pleased with the number of runners on his team, Walsh complimented their work ethic and improvement throughout the season. His entire team consisted of first-year runners who well represented Long County.  Shawn Mills was the honored as the team’s Best All-Around Runner for his numerous first-place finishes.  Mills also received the Academic Achievement Award for having the highest grade point average on the 2010 cross country team.  Shane Deloach received Most Improved Runner for his hard work that allowed him to become a team contributor. Carlton Milton, an excellent team leader and role model, received the Coaches Award.  

The cross country team consisted of Mills, Deloach, Milton, Josh Goodson, Clint Kennedy, Brandon McManus, Allie Richardson, Chase Rogers, Kyle Sapwell, Austin Simmons, Tiffany Wiegard-Anderson and Dale Wilmet.

Head coach Jenny Alfirov and assistant coach Cara Osborne gave high praise to the 2010-2011 softball team.  They finished the season as the fourth seeded team in their sub-region and advanced to the region tournament, where they faced an outstanding Jeff Davis team.  Alfirov was very proud of the softball team and how hard they worked to improve.  

Senior Kelby Manning was named Best Offensive Player.  Manning batted .313 with an on-base percentage of .387.  She recorded 21 hits, including a team-leading 12 singles, seven doubles and two triples, in addition to six RBIs and 15 runs.  The Best Defensive Player award was presented to senior pitcher Kayla Mills, who had an outstanding fielding percentage of .982 and committed only one error on the season.  The Most Valuable Player award was also given to Mills.  She had 90 strikeouts, a .302 batting average, nine singles, six doubles, three triples and one homerun. Mills has been an outstanding leader in the pitcher’s circle for the past four seasons.

Football AwardsFreshman Audrey Hulvey was named Most Improved Player.  She finished the season with a batting average of .318 with an on-base percentage of .444.  Hulvey, who did not begin the season as a starter but was given the chance midseason, performed well. Erica Golden won the Coaches Award and Academic Achievement Award.  Golden is an outstanding student-athlete who goes above and beyond what is required of her by the coaching staff and in the classroom.  She was recognized for having the highest average on the team.    

Players included Manning, Mills, Hulvey, Golden, Alejandra Chihuahua, Silvia Chihuahua, Brittany Hall, Taylor Harrison, Taylor Holton, Shelby Mock, Ashley Murphy, Kimber Sapp, Miranda Taylor, Amber Wilson and Rachel Woodard.

Several players received Region 2AA awards.  Mills was selected for Region 2AA First Team; Sapp and Manning were selected for the All-Region Second Team; and Hulvey, Mock and Murphy each received Honorable Mention.  

Alfirov praised seniors Mills, Manning, Sapp and Mock.  She said they will be hard to replace but she wishes them well on their future endeavors.  The Booster Club gave each senior their framed jersey to remember their time and hard work as Lady Blue Tide softball players.

Coach Pam Crews presented the cheerleading awards for the 2010-2011 football cheerleading squad.  Mary Moses received the Most Dedicated award, Tyann Brown received the Most Improved award, and Destiny Fowler and Jasmine Calhoun were co-winners of the Blue Tide Award.  The Most Spirited award was given to Shelby Kuzlik.  The Academic Achievement award was given to Kirshana Calhoun for having the highest average on the squad.  

Softball AwardsThe squad consisted of Brown, Fowler, Kuzlik, Kirshana Calhoun, Jasmine Calhoun, Alyssa Butler, Shelby Clark, Laura Clary, Ariel Davis, Brianna Dickerson, Lexi Flournoy, Harley Holtz, Kicha May, Mary Moses, Shaquella Nelson, Shelby Radford, Raven Rose and Shavonta Turner.

The football coaching staff was on hand to honor the work of our football team.  Head coach Kyle Wilson introduced the team while assistant coaches Joseph Austin, Jim Hale, Mitch Nobles and Jonathan Willoughby gave personalized towels to each player.  

Luke Golden was named Offensive Specialist of the Year.  Anthony Roberts was voted Lineman of the Year.  Lamar Sims was named Defensive Specialist of the Year.  The Special Teams award went to Dante Wright.  Chris Stock was recognized for being the strongest player on the team by being named Mr. Long County Football.  

Wilson also recognized the players by grade level who had the highest grade point average on the team.  This year, the winners were Luke Golden, David Stewart and Caleb Bailey.  The Big Team/Little Me Coaches Award was presented to Kendrick King.  King and Marcus Williams were recognized as team captains.  Al Jackson was awarded the Blue Tide Award, the highest award bestowed among athletes at Long County High School and based on character, academics, athletics and citizenship.  

The Junior Varsity Offense Most Valuable Player was Jaleel Braggs.  The Junior Varsity Defense Most Valuable Player was Jawaan Hawkins.   

The Blue Tide football players received several Region 2AA awards.  Lamar Sims was selected as First Team Defensive Back.  Second Team recognition went to wide receiver Luke Golden and linebackers Marcus Williams and Kendrick King.  Offensive lineman Anthony Roberts received Honorable Mention.  Dante Wright, Kendrick King and Lamar Sims made the All-Academic team. Malik Williams was the only player selected to the All-Freshman team for Region 2AA.  Golden and Sims were also recognized by In The Game High School Sports Magazine for their outstanding offensive and defensive performances, respectively. Each of these young men was presented with an award provided by the magazine. Senior football players were given their game jerseys with their name stitched on the back by the Touchdown Club.

Cross Country AwardsThe 2010-2011 football team included fourth-year player Caleb Bailey; third-year players Kendrick King, Chris Stock and Marcus Williams; second-year players Brandon Adkins, Jermaine Gibbs, Luke Golden, Jeffery Hall, Brandon Hope, Anthony Roberts and Lamar Sims; first-year players A.J. Bryant, Yusef Gooding, Tyler Groover, Juwann Hawkins, Al Jackson, Johnnae Jones, Kwanzi Lattimore, Tyler Smith, David Stewart, Evan Strickland, Jacob Turner, Malik Williams, Dante Wright and Desmond Wright; junior varsity players Dorian Adkins, Randle Behrendt, Jaleel Braggs, Chris Dennison, Donte Ellis, Ramonie Farlow, Shawntee Gilmore, Delavin Hampton, Matthew Holtz, Travis Jackson, Javier Pouncey, Tremell Sims, Darrell Taylor, Cody Smiley, Vanda Vereen and Darius Woods; and manager Thomas Ilcken.

Following the award presentation, the student-athletes and their families enjoyed a meal prepared by Casey’s Kitchen.  The Long County Athletic Department thanks the players, parents, fans, supporters and coaches for their hard work and dedication to the Blue Tide Nation.

Kayla Mills Commits to Middle Georgia College

The Long County Lady Blue Tide softball team congratulates Kayla Mills for her verbal commitment to play softball at the college level.  After choosing among three scholarship offers, she will become a Warrior at Middle Georgia College next fall.

Mills has been a key player on the Lady Blue Tide softball team in the past four years as starting pitcher and offering her strong bat at the plate.  Mills had a combined 244 strikeouts in her junior and senior years on the mound. The Blue Tide family wishes Mills the best of luck as she continues her softball career.

Lady Tide Softball Team Shows Well on the 2010 2-AA All-Region Softball Team

The All-Region softball team was recently announced and the Long County High School team had six players recognized for their performances on the diamond.

Kayla Mills was selected First Team All-Region while fellow seniors Kelby Manning and Kimber Sapp were named to the Second Team. Gaining Honorable Mention honors were Ashley Murphy, Audrey Hulvey and Shelby Mock.

Lady Blue Tide coach Jenny Alfirov was disappointed in her squad’s 8-13 record but notes that the team had plenty to be proud of and accomplished many firsts this season.  "The two wins over Wayne County were huge for us," Alfirov says. "Beating Pierce and Brantley both in one season stands out as well. It is the first time in my coaching career at Long County that we have beaten Pierce, Brantley or Wayne. Those are three very respected programs and I am very proud of my girls for pulling out wins against those teams."

Alfirov credits her seniors with much of the team’s success this fall. "Replacing them will not be an easy task," she says. "It had been a pleasure to watch them develop since their freshman year. As the group that I have been with for four years, they hold a special place in my heart."

November 2010

The Road to Redemption

Jamaal Anderson looks to leave his mark on Blue Tide BasketballLarochester is expected to step up his game this year.The “road to redemption” is a figure of speech used throughout history to describe the journey of restoring one’s honor, worth or reputation. Most recently, the USA men’s national basketball team became known as the Redeem Team.  Once a dominant team, USA’s supremacy lessened after continued losses.  Determined to put an end to these failures, USA Basketball initiated a long-term project aimed at creating better, more cohesive teams, which led to gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2010 FIBA World Championship. This year, the basketball program at Long County High School plans to travel that same road.  

For the last five years, Long County basketball has made a name for itself as one of the more respected programs in the area by taking on all comers regardless of classification. For five consecutive years, the Blue Tide made it to no less than the second round of the state playoffs, winning two region championships and playing in three region championship games. In the last three years, Long County amassed 60 wins. Standards and goals set by the team have increased after each winning season.

Last season, the LCHS boys basketball team performed below expectations, causing this once proud and prevailing team to lose some of its confidence.  Being bounced in the third round of the region tournament by eventual champion McIntosh County Academy was a letdown. Losing in the second round of the state playoffs for two consecutive years has made this year’s team more determined than ever to redeem the pride and honor that goes along with playing at Long County High School.

Berry is expected to stretch the defense with his sharp-shooting ability.Yusef Gooding looks to provide some strength on the blocks.Gone are the cornerstones of the program that made the community buzz and the opponents second-guess their abilities when facing “The Tide.” Perennial all-conference players and prolific scorers Jimmy Bacon and Justin Boyd have graduated. Savvy point guards Prince Moody, Ricky Rivera and Norman Thompson no longer roam the hallways in Blue Tide country. It is up to a new crop of athletes, cut from a similar cloth but born of a different breed, to carry on the tradition of playing hard-nosed, scrappy basketball and to restore the luster that was lost by recent shortcomings. Resolute in regaining their spirit, the Blue Tide is steadfast and uncompromising as they embark on a journey to redeem and restore.

This offseason, the Blue Tide attended camps at the University of Florida and Florida State University to compete against some of the greatest teams in the Southeast in preparation for a grueling, non-conference schedule this upcoming season. LCHS also hosted a one-day team camp attended by several teams from the surrounding area. The new team was introduced to many challenges this summer as players attempted to find some type of chemistry. In June, the team embarked on a month-long conditioning and agility training program that will hopefully pay dividends this season. Potential players were also asked to show up for and participate in an offseason, workout program after school that was unlike any other seen in the area.

Seniors such as Jaylan Futch and Robert Reed will be entrusted to lead the way for the rest of the team. Junior Johnnae Jones, the team’s leading rebounder, returns with Jeffery Hall and they are expected to hold down the block. Guard Jarquez Payne will be asked to bring his high-energy defense to every game. The sophomore class will be the cornerstone of the future, which has the potential to be very bright with 6’3” wingmen Chris LaRochester and Jamal Anderson. Sharpshooter Josh Berry will be asked to stretch the opposing defenses, while 6’4” Yusuf Gooding will also look to contribute.

Cross Country Fields Largest Team Ever
by Coach Nickolas Walsh

Long County High School kicked off the new cross country season with high expectations. With a 15-person roster of first-year runners, this is the largest team that Long County has ever fielded. This season, the team has competed in two meets and has had three runners finish in the top 20. This might not seem like an accomplishment, but with the entire team being first-year runners, it is quite a feat.

This year’s team is led by seniors Brandon McManus and Carlton Milton as well as sophomores Shawn Mills, Josh Goodson, Chase Rogers and Shane Deloach. As the season progresses and the team becomes more accustomed to competing in meets, the Blue Tide nation looks forward to building a competitive cross country program.

September 2010

Long County Softball Prepares For Season
by Coach Jenny Alfirov • photography by Mike Riddle | Coastal Courier

Long County SoftballIn gearing up for a very exciting season, one can’t help but have a heavy heart as it will be the last year at Long County High School for four key seniors.  Kayla Mills, Kimber Sapp, Kelby Manning and Shelby Mock have been starters since their freshman year.  The development of these key players has played a huge role in the Lady Blue Tides’ ability to compete with strong teams in the region.  

Mills has made a name for herself on the mound. She struck out 154 batters and had a .328 batting average last year.  Catching for Mills is the strong-armed Sapp, who completed her junior year batting in the high 200s.  Growing in all aspects of her game, Manning easily transitioned from second base to shortstop.  Manning sets an incredible example for upcoming Lady Blue Tide softball players as she is extremely dependable, incredibly hardworking and easily coachable.  Manning is a silent leader and an outstanding contributor to the team.  Mock has been the starting first baseman since her freshman year.  She settled nicely into the position, making it look easy.  Flashy plays are a given for this cheerleader and pageant queen.  

The shoes of these seniors will be extremely hard to fill.  However, the up-and-coming underclassmen are working hard to be able to compete without them next year.  The Lady Blue Tide is looking forward to an exciting, cutthroat season.

The Lady Blue Tide started the season with a great win against crosstown opponent Wayne County Yellow Jackets in their first-ever competition. It meant a lot for the team to beat a quality 4A program like Wayne County.  The second game was against Liberty County High School, another 4A team.  The game was a great defensive battle until the Tide rallied to take the win in the late innings.  

The Tide had stiff competition in the Warrior Blast Tournament in Tattnall County.  They played five games in the two-day tournament and gained valuable playing experience.  Their first game against a strong Savannah Christian team saw two good pitchers battling each other.  The defense for both teams was outstanding but Savannah Christian won 1-0, getting back-to-back hits to score the game’s only run.  Coach Alfirov was extremely proud of her girls and their performance in the game.  The next game was against Vidalia, an extremely talented team that just joined the region.  They had great team speed and played like veterans.  The Lady Blue Tide lost, 9-2.  

The following day, the Tide played three games, the first of which was a rematch with Liberty County.  Again, the Tide was victorious over the Lady Panthers in a tight game.  The next opponent was against another region foe, the Pierce County Lady Bears.  The game went back-and-forth with both teams making many outstanding plays.  The game went into extra innings and the Lady Bears won in the ninth inning by one run.  Both teams had some key run-producing hits.  The pool play ended and the first game of the bracket play was Long against Jenkins County.  Long led for most of the game, until the fifth inning when Jenkins’ bat came alive.  They did not hit the ball hard but had perfect placement and won the game.  Overall, Coach Alfirov was very happy with the team’s performance.  

The Lady Blue Tide is getting ready to begin region play.  They will play a sub-region schedule against McIntosh, Pierce, Appling and Brantley.  The teams on the other side of the region are Vidalia, Toombs, Tattnall and St. Vincent’s Academy.

All photography submitted by Long County High School