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AOTW: Lanier a leader for Panthers
Babots physicality helps SHS
bw athlete of week2 2col
Portal senior catcher Tagg Lanier went 3-for-4 with two doubles and 3 RBIs in Portal’s 17-5 win over Jenkins County Tuesday. - photo by MATT YOGUS/staff

    Portal catcher Tagg Lanier is off to a hot start in the 2007 season, and for him, it is just another day at the office.
    He is hitting .785 on the year and has already driven in 17 runs for the Panthers (4-2).        Lanier, who signed with Middle Georgia earlier this year, expects nothing but the best for himself and the rest of the Panthers during his final season behind the plate.
    He is happy with the way the team is coming together and says that its main goal is to make it farther in the state playoffs this year than it did last year.
    Both offensively and from behind the plate, Lanier has proven himself a team leader.
    “(Lanier) leads by example for us both on the field and in the classroom — a great student and a great competitor,” said PHS coach Tendai Haggins.                 “He’s a fierce competitor and he loves to be in those clutch batting situations…he hits the ball hard 95 percent of the time.”
    Lanier and the Portal Panthers will take on the Metter Tigers today at 5 p.m. in Portal.

Girls: Babot’s physicality helps SHS

    Becca Babot, a senior forward for the Lady Blue Devil soccer team, has been scoring goals for a long time and is excited just how far her team has come.
    As for her individual performance, she dominates on the field by seemingly always knowing where to be.
    “For the most part, (Babot) has been taking advantage of her opportunities,” said Lady Blue Devil coach Andrew Hansen, “and finishing when she should. She makes such an impact in the middle — in controlling the tempo of the game. She has matured so much in the three years that I have coached her at Statesboro High that you can tell she is more of an impact player. She uses her physicality a lot, and she has really grown into a lead-by-example player this year.”
    The team looks at the physical style of play of Babot and follows her lead, and as the team gels, Hanson feels that the team will be able to put up even more of a showing offensively during the remainder of the 2007 season.
    Babot and the Blue Devils will travel to Toombs County to take on the Lady Bulldogs at 6 p.m. on Thursday.