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Local Roundup: Jenkins County ties for national title

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Local Roundup: Jenkins County ties for national title

The Bulloch Academy cheerleaders pose after taking first place at the Briarwood Cheerfest Competition in Warrenton.

    MOLENA — The Jenkins County JROTC Raiders completed their 2010 Raider season Saturday in Molena, Georgia at the national championship competition tying with Smith-Cotton High School from Sedalia, Missouri, the defending national champions. 
    The War Eagles matched last year’s performance winning the Rope Bridge and setting a new National Record on the Cross Country Rescue Litter Carry, placed second on two events and third on one event for a total score of 9 points.  Smith-Cotton dropped two points from last year’s total, scoring first in three events and third in two events.  When the dust settled the National Championship was decided by a tie-breaker rule with Smith-Cotton coming out as the National Champions for another year.
    Competition continues to tighten each year with only seconds deciding event winners which ultimately lead to the overall National Championship. Five separate events are competed in, four of which depends on the fastest time. 
    Jenkins County started out on the 1.6 mile Gauntlet run carrying 6 rucksacks weighing 35 pounds each with a mountain climb of three tenths of a mile all uphill finishing third overall, 21 seconds out of second place which sealed their fate to be the First Runner-up to the National Champions for the second year in a row.          The Raider Team followed up with their second event being the Cross Country Rescue Litter Carry which was a one-half mile trek carrying six 35 pound rucksacks and a 150 pound stretcher (litter) negotiating a 31 foot low-crawl with all equipment added to the course this year 40 yards from an 8 foot wall that all Raiders and equipment had to cross before the clock stopped.  Jenkins County cut 23 seconds off of last year’s record time to win by 4 seconds over 2d place Kings Academy. 
    The War Eagles backed up their National Record Rope Bridge time of 2 minutes, 24 seconds (same as 2009) beating Richmond Hill from Savannah by 14 seconds and third place Smith-Cotton by 37 seconds.  Jenkins wrapped up with the 5K team run as their last event of the day losing to Smith-Cotton by 20 seconds.
    Of the 54 teams competing from 9 states, 2 local schools (Jenkins County and Richmond Hill) placed as First Runner-up in all three divisions. Richmond Hill was the First Runner-up in the Male Division losing to Francis Lewis High School from Fresh Meadows, New York by 1 point (Jenkins County Male Team defeated the Richmond Hill Team for the Region Championship by one point September 18th); Richmond Hill finished as First Runner-up to Francis Lewis in the Female Division losing by 10 points; and Jenkins County was First Runner-up in the Mixed Division losing in a tie-breaker to Smith-Cotton High School.
    Members of this year’s National Champion First Runner-up Team are:  Brad Amerson, Ra’Shon Brady, Jose Campos, Justin Ellis, Juan Jeronimo, Keondra Kelly, Zandra Lake, Brittany McKinney, Dwayne Snelling, Diana Solis, Jerome Taylor and Ayana Walker.

Gators take first, head to state
    WARRENTON — The Bulloch Academy Competition Cheerleading squad earned its second first-place trophy last Saturday by winning the Class AAA division of the Briarwood Cheerfest Competition in Warrenton.
    The girls cheered the night before at the football team’s playoff game against Mount de Sales Academy in Macon. After the game, they traveled to Milledgeville to spend the night and wake up early Saturday morning to compete in the competition.
    “We competed against some of the top teams in AAA and we were able to come out on top,” said BA head coach Kem Dennard. “That was a big win for us.”
    The squad performs a high-energy, two-and-a-half minute routine that included such moves as basket tosses, liberties, pyramids, tumbling and precision dances.
    In late October, the Lady Gators won the Class AAA division of the ‘Macon It To The Square’ competition at Tattnall Square Academy in Macon. In early November, they came in third at the ‘Spirit of Sandersville’ competition.
    Members of the squad are seniors Candice Boyett, Courtney Burnette, Kate Duggan and Taylor Nelson, juniors Ashley Ann Brannen, Alicia Durden, Allie Jacobs and Corley Turner, sophomores Adeana Brinson, Maggie Hodges, Kittie Lee, Heather Murphree and Merrill Nelson and freshmen Claire Branch, Taylor Ann Bray, Caroline Burnette, Kayla Parker and Mary Lee Olliff.
    This weekend, the squad travels to Augusta Preparatory School in Martinez to compete in the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) Class AAA state championship. The girls will take off after school on Friday and spend the night in Augusta prior to the competition on Saturday morning.
    “I'm looking forward to Saturday's competition,” said Dennard. “The girls have worked really hard this season preparing for state.  The teams are really strong.   I really feel if we come out with lots of energy and have a clean, sharp performance we will have a good chance of doing well in Augusta.
    The squad’s warm-up time is between 1:25-1:45 p.m. Bulloch’s performance time is 2 p.m. and the awards are slated for 3 p.m.
    Bulloch was the Class AA state champions in 2007 when the current seniors were freshmen. In 2008, the squad was the state runner-up. The foursome of Boyett, Burnette, Duggan and Nelson would love nothing better than to graduate as the reigning state champions.
    “The seniors have really been focused all season,” said Dennard. “They had the opportunity to experience the feeling of being a "state champion" as freshmen and I know they would like to have that experience one more time.”

Four Eagles named All-SoCon
    SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Georgia Southern earned four all-conference selections with two first team, a second team and an all-freshman selection.  Junior middle hitter Parker Small and sophomore setter Kate Van Dyke were named first team all-conference and junior outside hitter Bethany Sanford garnered second team honors.  Middle hitter Enjoli Johnson was named to the all-freshman team for the Eagles.
    South Division winner College of Charleston earned four all-Southern Conference selections, one all-freshman selection and one individual honor in balloting conducted by the league’s 12 volleyball coaches, the conference announced Wednesday.
    College of Charleston finished the season 15-1 in the SoCon and 27-5 overall. The Cougars closed out the regular season with a 13-game winning streak and won its last 12 conference matches.
    Chattanooga sophomore Paula Passmore was honored as the Libero of the Year. Passmore averaged 5.45 digs per set, which ranked her 14th nationally.
    The North Division winners Elon earned two spots on the second team all-conference with middle blockers Caroline Lemke, a junior, and Sarah Schermerhorn, a senior.  The Phoenix head coach Mary Tendler was also named Coach of the Year after leading Elon to its first ever North Division title.
    Completing the second team selections are sophomore libero Courtney Rhein from Appalachian State, sophomore outside hitter Chandler Ambrester from Furman and sophomore outside hitter from Samford, Elizabeth Neisler.
    Katie Murphy, an outside hitter from Samford, was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year.  She was also was tabbed to the all-freshman team.
    Furman setter Sarah McCarthy, UNCG libero Kellie Orewiler, Western Carolina libero Morgan Cochran and Wofford outside hitter Amanda Liguori also garnered all-freshman accolades. 
    The Southern Conference Volleyball Championship begins Friday at the Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. The eight teams competing for the SoCon title are Appalachian State, College of Charleston, Davidson, Elon, Furman, Georgia Southern, UNCG and Samford. The championship match will be held Sunday at 2 p.m.

Two from Statesboro head to XC nationals
    Statesboro’s Danny Gleason and Greg Michalski were among the four members of the Millen Milers and More Running Club team that won the USA Track and Field Georgia Association team competition at the 13th Annual Cross Country 4.8 Mile on November 13 at Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen. The second place team was from the Atlanta Track Club.
    The pair will join Jimmy Brannen of Millen and Rick Umpleby of Waynesboro in representing Millen Milers and More at the USATF National Cross Country Team championship in Charlotte, NC, on December 11.  By virtue of the win, the team will receive up to $500 from USA Track and Field to help cover expenses.
    Fifty-four runners took part in the event held under sunny skies and cool temperatures. Ken Youngers and Holly Ortlund, both running for the Atlanta Track Club, were first male and first female finishers and will receive a stipend of up to $1,000 to attend the national meet.

    If you have a score to report, please call the Statesboro Herald sports desk at (912) 489-9408.

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