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Badcock Home Furniture & More Presents: Prep Sports Spotlight
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    Statesboro’s Michael Solomon was a new addition to the Blue Devils’ starting lineup last season.
    When SHS tips off its season Saturday afternoon, he’ll be the only returning starter.
    Solomon impressed as a sophomore last season, battling down low for rebounds and tough points in the paint. This season, there will be more on his plate.
    “The coaches are asking me to do some more things,” Solomon said. “The biggest thing is leading on the court and at practice. We have a lot of new guys, so we’re trying to get comfortable playing together.”
    Early non-region games will help the Devils settle in to their new lineup and rotations, but the real goal will be at the end of the season. Even with the move up to Class AAAAA this year, the Devils remain focused on making the state playoff field.
    “We lost early last year,” Solomon said. “Going out in the region tournament is unusual for this team. That’s definitely one of our big goals. We want to play well and go farther this year.”

    Pate Lomax and her Bulloch Academy Lady Gators climbed the mountain last season. Back in March, Bulloch capped off its best season in program history by winning its first state title in girls basketball.
    So, what’s next?
    “We had girls write down their goals,” Bulloch coach Charles Webb said. “It’s funny. Some of them wrote down that they wanted to improve our record from last season.”
    Fewer games on this year’s schedule will make it impossible for the Gators to top last year’s 33 wins, but with players like Lomax, more region and state glory could be in the cards.
    Lomax has wasted no time making her presence known in her senior season.
    In Bulloch’s season opener Tuesday night, the senior forward led all scorers with 28 points in a 55-47 win over Brentwood.
    “Pate is a great leader for us,” Webb said. “She leads by example. What she does on the court is impressive, but the hard work and preparation that she goes through during practice and in the offseason is what makes her a special player.”