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AOTW: Poole making a splash for BA
Thompson baffling batters
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Marla Thompson, a sophomore Pitcher at Screven County, is holding opposing batters to a .153 average for Screven County this season. - photo by Staff

            Bulloch Academy senior fullback David Poole didn’t ever expect to have a night like he did in the Gators’ season opener against David Emanuel Academy.

            “You really don’t know what’s going to happen in the first game,” said the 5-9, 185-pounder. “The line stepped up a lot that night. The reason I got as many yards as I did was because they were opening big holes for me.”

            The 17-year old rushed for a whopping 259 yards and one touchdown on just 16 carries in Bulloch’s 40-12 victory over the Eagles. Half of his carries went for over 10 yards and included a 55-yard dash and a 90-yard jaunt, which tied the school record for the longest run from scrimmage (Lawson Deal in 1999).

            Late in the third quarter, the Gators began a series at their own nine-yard line when Poole’s number was called.

            “It was a G right,” said Poole. “I go off the outside of the guard. I got through the line and I realized there was no safety so I just kept running.”

            Poole accelerated through the DEA defense and raced downfield. An Eagle defender eventually closed the gap and latched onto the fullback’s shoulder pads at around the BA 12-yard line. Poole towed the tackler like a speed boat pulls a water skier until the senior dropped at the one.

            “I didn’t hear the guy coming up behind me,” said Poole. “He grabbed the back of my pads and I made it as far as I could. I’ve always looked at the records every year in the back of the program and I’ve always wanted to be in there somewhere. Now, I’ll get to be.”


Girls: Thompson baffling batters

            Screven County’s pitcher Marla Thompson may just be a sophomore, but that hasn’t stopped her from leading the Lady Gamecocks.

            She led them to the Elite Eight of the GHSA Class AA playoffs a year ago and, so far this season, has pitched all eight games, leading her team to a 6-2 record.

            The only subregion game so far this season was against 2007 region runner up Southeast Bulloch, who is led by overpowering pitcher Megan Barnwell. Because the two teams only combinrd for four hits in the 1-0 Screven win, and the lone run resulted from a leadoff walk to start the game, it all came down to pitching.

            “Marla did a great job,” said Screven coach Billy Pollock. “She gave up two hits, and Barnwell gave up two hits. Any time you go stroke-for-stroke with her, you’re doing real well. Marla … works hard every single day – even Saturdays and Sundays. She throws the ball six days out of the week, and that’s what it takes to be successful.”

            Thompson has racked up 38 strikeouts so far this season, walking just 14. Opponents are batting a mere .153 when she is on the mound.

After knocking off Southeast Bulloch last Thursday, Thompson led her team to a 7-6 victory over Vidalia, who finished the 2007 season with a 23-9 record. She also helped herself out at the plate by driving in a run in the contest.