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FMB AOTW: Claxton riding its Harley to first place
Hendricks undefeated for MHS tennis
Harley Hendrix
Harley Hendrix, a senior at Claxton, went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a BB in Claxton’s 10-1 over rival Portal Tuesday. - photo by Staff
    Before the 2008 baseball season started, Claxton coach Donny Sikes had his seniors make a list of goals
    For senior pitcher and second baseman Harley Hendrix, his goals were simple.
    “Just about everything (Hendrix) put down was about the team,” Sikes said. “He’s got a team mentality.”
    Nobody thought Claxton (16-2, 8-1 Region 3-A) would be where it is right now, tied atop the region with Calvary and fighting for a No. 1 seed heading into the state playoffs, but the Tigers have bought into their preseason goals.
    “I think we’ve pretty well exceeded our expectations for the year,” said Sikes. “Last year we were 7-13, and I said to the guys, ‘This is going to sound crazy, but we’re going to finish first or second in the region this year.’”
    Claxton is one game away from clinching that No. 2 spot. The region title is also within reach.
    Hendrix took his goals seriously, and he is a big part of the success the No. 8 (Class A) Tigers have seen so far this season. Aside from the senior’s off-the-field team mentality, he has been consistent at the plate leading the team in hitting and currently holds a region-best 7-0 record from the mound.
    “Harley’s a hard worker. He’s ranked number one in the senior class,” said Sikes, “so that goes to tell you how good of a kid he is. He’s leading us in batting and pitching, but at the same time, he’s a team leader as well. That’s just as big as the other two, if not bigger.”

Girls: Hendricks undefeated for MHS
    Sophomore Alex Hendricks has started at No. 1 singles for the Metter Lady Tigers’ tennis team since she was a freshman. After losing only two matches in her first season, she went on to finish the 2008 regular season undefeated.
    She attributes her success to the fact that she can focus on the task at hand.
    “Each game I just kind of start over,” said the Metter sophomore. “It’s just a different game each time and (being undefeated) really hasn’t changed anything.”
    A straight-A student, Hendricks manages to stay focused while juggling school, tennis, softball and golf, where she tees off at No. 2.
    Having a practice field in her back yard helps balance things out.
    “Actually, I live on the golf course,” Hendricks said. “I can pretty much (practice golf) any time I want — after tennis practice or whenever I can.”
    After finishing second in Region 3-AA last season, the Lady Tigers have one monkey left to get off their back.
    “Our team has come along so far from last year,” said Hendricks. “Last year we finished second in (Region 3-AA) — Screven (County) beat us. I think that if we worked at it and everybody’s confident, we could beat them. I really do believe that. They’ve just got to believe it, too.”