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Subway Spotlight: Claxton's Zachaeus Grant and Statesboro's Tori Thompson

    When four-year starting quarterback Michael Peel graduated after last season, the Claxton Tigers knew that they would be in need of a new offensive leader.
    Zachaeus Grant had shown flashes of brilliance in 2011, but has now stepped up his game to become the Tigers’ biggest threat.
    Grant has done it all this season, running wild in Claxton’s shotgun spread offense while also hauling in his fair share of passes. He leads the Tigers with 668 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns.
    “Whenever I touch the ball, I try to make something happen,” said Grant. “The offensive line has been blocking great all year and letting all of us get free. We have a bunch of guys that make big plays. That’s what we do.”
    Grant showed his versatility in the Tigers’ 43-6 win over Portal last week.
    He kicked off the scoring frenzy by hauling in a 23 yard touchdown pass from Tanner Lee, then broke off scoring runs of 39 and 15 yards.
    Paced by Grant’s big games, the Tigers sit at 4-2 and have a good shot at notching their first appearance in the state playoffs since 2007.
    “We’re a good team,” said Grant. “We know that. We just have to keep going out and proving it each week.”

    Picking up on a new sport is hard, no matter when a person tries to do it.
    For Statesboro’s Tori Thompson, the challenge was even greater.
    Last August, Statesboro fielded its first ever volleyball team. None of the girls who signed up had any real experience playing organized volleyball, so while it would have been easy for Thompson — who only had two years left at Statesboro — to leave things to the freshmen and sophomores, she instead threw herself into a new adventure.
    This season, Thompson is the lone senior on the 12-girl squad that surpassed all expectations and earned a trip to the state playoffs. While still learning on the go, She is an invaluable member of the team.
    “Everybody has had to step up or help pick up slack at one point or another,” said SHS coach Bob Massee. “Tori has provided a steady hand as a senior leader. She has been one of a group of people to step up and be like a quarterback on the floor for us.”
    Thompson’s brief volleyball career came to an end with Wednesday’s loss in the playoffs, but she isn’t done sporting the Devils’ blue and white. This spring, Thompson will lace up her cleats and hit the soccer field as one of the biggest scoring threats in Region 3-AAAA.