Football returns to Putnam County

By Jacob McMillian

The weather is heating up to a beloved, stifling temperature. Gridirons are being fertilized and trimmed to perfection. Coaches are saving their voices for heavy doses of “constructive criticism”. Football has returned to both Putnam County High School and Gatewood Schools, and fans across the former Dairy Capital of Georgia are quite enthusiastic about the upcoming season.

The Gatewood Gators began preparation for the fall on June 5 with their opening session of summer workouts. After having reached the GISA-AAA state championship last November and succumbing to archrival John Milledge Academy Trojans, the returning Gators were more than eager to visit the weight room and to begin the arduous journey back to Mercer University. Reid Sasser, senior quarterback for the Gators, believes that his team will successfully translate last year’s success to the upcoming season.


UGA's questions "Eason" along

By Jake McMillian

Staff Writer


The college football offseason is always a hotbed for rumors and dramatic conversation. Discussions concerning coaching decisions, upcoming games, and player criticisms always seem to light up headlines, and, to be fair, these conversations can often make life without football a little less unbearable. However, such talk can often invoke passionate discord among fanatic audiences, and the University of Georgia is certainly not exempt.

Before I begin, I am obligated to tell you that I am a devout Alabama fan (Roll Tide), and though this information may invalidate my argument to many of you, hear me out.


Lilly’s back!

As a skinny eighth grader competing on a varsity track team, Lilly Bridges had not one pair, but two pairs, of enormous spikes to fill. Not even a freshman at Gatewood School at the time, Bridges would have a hearty breakfast every morning cooked by a former five-time state hurdles champion. Sitting beside her at the breakfast table was one of the Lady Gators’ current crop of preeminent runners on a loaded team.

“If there was pressure... I don’t know, I got used to it pretty quick. I was always the youngest in both basketball and track,” said Lilly Bridges.

As a middle-schooler, Lilly Bridges emerged from the enormous shadows and captured the GISA 100-meters hurdles state championship in 2015, just like her mother, local pharmacist Beth Bridges, did in 1979.


Crystal clear about dealing with vision problems


Putnam County Middle School soccer player Aaron Aune, who battles Stargardft Disease, is legally blind.

By Dave Brown

Staff Writer

Aaron Aune is one of the top players on the Putnam County Middle School soccer team and was instrumental in helping his side notch a 2-1 win last week over Malcom Bridge.

Aune not only tackles players on the other team, he also advances the ball and finds open players with deft touch. Several times during the game he runs down the ball in open space and maintains possession.

Even upon very close examination from the sidelines, it is almost impossible to discern the 14-year-old is legally blind.

“I started losing my sight when I was around 11 years old, and then it got to be very progressive,” said Aunes.

“All it did was make me stronger.”

Aunes is in Macon today to see a vision specialist about his Stargardt Disease.


King will be a queen during Women’s Golf Day in Georgia

By Dave Brown

Staff Writer

Patrinia King, a trailblazer from Eatonton who is the founding mother of Golf Women Mean Business, will take center stage this summer on both the state and national level – and in the process, make her father very proud, indeed.


Figuring out life's constants is mindboggling


We only have 300 words in this space (without jumping the column to another page) to say something insightful or pitiful, or something funny or on the money.

Welcome back to this teeny-tiny little ink spot in your favorite newspaper, dear readers, where we try to recover from the opening sentence influenced by the recent Dr. Seuss Day.

My deadline was Monday – which always gets me down – and since that deadline was blown like ISIS from a drone, today’s offering comes from Tuesday, which happened to be Pi Day.

Pi Day is observed on 3/14 because it represents the mathematical constant 3.14 or something that only the no-girls-dating until senior year heterosexual guys in college can explain.

I asked a pointy-head intellectual to explain Pi, and he said something about 22 over 7 is the fraction that is the common approximation of Pi, which is accurate to two decimal places and dates from Archimedes.



Gatewood girls three-peat with win over JMA

The Gatewood Lady Gators entered the region tournament this week as the No. 1 seed along with John Milledge Academy. 

Finishing fourth in regular-season play were the Augusta Prep Lady Cavaliers, who were matched up with the Lady Gators in the first round. The Lady Cavs were no easy opponent, however, and the contest was certainly “too close for comfort.”  

The first half was a low-scoring affair as both teams struggled to put points on the board. At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Gators had established a 10-6 lead, but the Gator faithful watched anxiously as this lead crumbled in the second quarter; the Lady Cavaliers would even the score at 18-18 at halftime. The Lady Gators would respond well in the third quarter and amass an 8-point lead entering the final eight minutes of play.


DJ plays the hits in Orlando


AFC Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller of the Denver Broncos poses for a picture with DJ Bland, who lives in Putnam County.

By Dave Brown / Staff

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Putnam County Middle School student DJ Bland has been playing with the top U12 football players in the nation at two all-star stops over the past couple of months: A New Year’s Eve contest at the Diamond All-American Games in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the Youth Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. on Jan 28.

After DJ’s stellar play – including a highlight reel touchdown catch – at Myrtle Beach earned him an invite to the weeklong Youth Pro Bowl, he stepped up big-time in the high-octane fueled atmosphere in Orlando.


Hosting 8-AA opening rounds on line tonight

Rykia Pennamon and Carl Johnson were honored as members of the 1,000 Points Club. Joining them at last Friday's ceremony are Girls Coach Jerusha Hudson and Boys Coach Johnny Williams. (Photo by Chinwe Umunna)

By Dave Brown


Friday’s games at Monticello High School will have major implications beyond being the regular-season finale and positioning for the Region 8-AA tournaments for both Putnam County High School boys and girls basketball teams.

Both the PCHS boys and girls teams could go into Friday’s games with a home game in the opening rounds of the region tournament on the line.


Johnson explodes for 51, also hangs triple-double

Putnam County hoops standout Carl Johnson cools off during a preseason scrimmage, was on fire Tuesday at Social Circle. (Photo by Dave Brown.)

By Dave Brown / Staff

PUTNAM COUNTY -- Carl Johnson recorded the best game ever by a Putnam County High School boys basketball player when he scored 51 points Tuesday against Social Circle.

Johnson added 11 rebounds and 10 steals to complete the triple-double.

The War Eagles entered this week ranked No. 12 in Class 8-AA by after taking two of three region games last week.

“It felt good to get two region wins,” said Putnam coach Johnny Williams.

“We had a chance to go 3-0, but we lost by two points to Banks County, the top team in our region, by 2 points.”

After playing three region games last week, Putnam has another three 8-AA games this week.

Putnam played on the road Tuesday at Social Circle, and this weekend it hosts Rabun County and Oglethorpe County on back-to-back nights.


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