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Local Roundup: Bates earns SoCon honor

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. —Georgia Southern men’s soccer senior goalkeeper Neal Bates has been named SoCon Player of the Week for his work between the pipes between Oct. 28, and Nov. 5.
    A native of Watkinsville, Ga., Bates picked up two wins allowing one goal in each match as the Eagles closed the 2013 regular season in style. Georgia Southern posted a 2-1 overtime win over No. 14 Furman for the program’s first win over a ranked opponent to start the week.
    He backed up that performance with another splendid outing against James Madison in the regular season finale. He allowed one goal, but saved a 65th minute penalty that preserved the victory.
    He ranks among the national leaders in saves, placing second with 102 overall and sixth in saves per game with 6.0 saves per match.
The award is the first of Bates’ career.
    The Eagles open SoCon Tournament play on Saturday night with a trip to UNCG. The first round matchup starts at 7 p.m. with the winner earning a trip to the SoCon Tournament Semifinals on Nov. 15 in Greenville, S.C.

All-region softball awards announced
    With state softball champions determined across all six classifications of the GHSA, All-Region teams have begun to trickle in.
    Three area schools have already made waves as Statesboro, Metter and Bryan County can all boast All-Region athletes.
    Alexis Costlow earned first team All-Region 3-AAAA honors for the Lady Blue Devils while teammates Kalli Harsha and Lucia Lyons each received honorable mentions.
    Down in Pembroke, Bryan County’s Brooke Barfield, Logan Harrell and Kaylin Leggett all made the first team for Region 2-AA. Alana Walker made the second team for the Lady Redskins while Layton Harrell, Kaylee Perks and Brooklyn Williams all received honorable mentions.
    Metter joined in on the Region 2-AA party as Kensley Parker made the second team and Alicia Collins, Ansley Donaldson and Harley Spears all made the honorable mention list.

SHS, Portal hoops to scrimmage
    Bulloch County basketball fans can get themselves a sneak peak at the upcoming high school hoops season as Statesboro hosts Portal Saturday evening. The junior varsity squads will tip off at 6 p.m. with the varsity teams sche,duled to start around 7:30 p.m.
    Both schools have high hopes for the 2013-14 season as they both return most of their starters off of squads that reached the Final Four of their respective classification’s state tournament last season.
    Statesboro gets its season started Nov. 15 at Windsor Forest while Portal travels to Montgomery County Dec. 3.
    Admission to Saturday’s scrimmage is $7.

    If you have a score or a story to report, please call the sports desk at (912) 489-9408 or email