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Farmers & Merchants Bank Prep Athletes of the Week
Boys: Lanier is SHSs go-to runner
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Statesboro junior running back Nic Lanier - photo by Special

    Statesboro's Nic Lanier is the go-to guy. That's saying something when the Blue Devils consistently hand the ball off to five or six running backs a game.
    "I feel great about (being the go-to guy)," said the junior. "Everytime we need something to happen I make it happen."
    Lanier is tied for the team lead in carries (31) and second on the team in yards (184). This past week against Wayne County he busted out for 103 yards on 10 carries, scoring twice.
    "He's been very consitent in his effort," said Statesboro coach Steve Pennington of the 5-foot-8 1/2, 165-pound back. "And to our delight, he's taken a leadership role in his position."
    Lanier made 25 out of 25 workouts this past summer.
    A football player since the age of nine, Lanier has great power and balance, especially when running inside.
    Lanier and the Blue Devils hit the road Friday to face Lakeside at 7:30 p.m.

Girls: SEB’s Barnwell is queen of Ks 
    Southeast Bulloch (11-4, 8-1) pitcher Megan Barnwell's 11-strikeout, three-hit shutout against first-place Metter on Thursday, Sept. 20 sealed first place in Region 3-AA for the Lady Yellow Jackets and has given SEB a whole new attitude.
    Barnwell responded to the Metter win by going 3-0 and striking out 19 against Jefferson County on Monday. According to the pitcher, that's not too bad.
    “I think I should have gotten more,” said Barnwell about the 19-K outing. “I got 19, but I wanted more that that.”
    The junior pitcher has been the leader of the Jackets for a while now, including leading SEB deep into the 2006 state playoffs.
    To compliment her 9-3 record in 2007, Barnwell has racked up an impressive 144 strikeouts in just 73 innings of work and a 0.67 ERA. She has allowed only 31 hits in that span. One of her three shutouts this season was a no hitter.
    When not on the mound, Barnwell helps herself out at the plate, batting .351 on the season.
    Having a solid defense, says Barnwell, keeps the Jackets optimistic about the future.