Sports

Thu
05
Oct

Gatewood football By Jake McMillian

The Gatewood Gators traveled to Martinez last week to battle the Augusta Prep Cavaliers. The Cavs, like the Gators, entered the contest with an unblemished record and were unofficially ranked the fifth-best team in the state. Augusta Prep defeated Gatewood at its homecoming game last season, so there was plenty of motivation for the Gators going into this game. A victory ensured an all-important advancement in Region 4-AAA, and the Gators secured that Friday night by defeating the Cavaliers 34-8. For just the second time this season, the Gators lost the opening coin toss, and Augusta Prep elected to receive. The defense's performance on the opening drive would set an important precedent for the game, for the Cavs rushed for over 400 yards last season at Sammons Field. This year’s defensive unit did not disappoint; the Cavs came out firing, attempting three straight passes deep downfield. However, all three attempts came up empty, and Augusta Prep was forced to punt.

Thu
05
Oct

Cross Country By Brandon Bush

 The Putnam County boys team, from left, Carson Walker, Ke’Aundre Battle, Jaden Grimes, Dylan Lindsay, Brian Lopez, Zack Allen, William Maddox, Avery Jones, Micheal Coker, Thomas Daniel, Jacob, Little, Justin Wilson, and James Mead holding their second place trophy.

Council Farm in Milledgeville, Ga was the location of the JMA XC Invitational, in which many cross country teams competed. The meet was hosted by John Milledge Academy and many teams from across the state showed up to represent their schools. Both Gatewood and Putnam County High School traveled from Eatonton to take part in the meet. “Most all runners improved on their times from the same race held last year,” Gatewood coach Marty Phillips said, noting that his team performed well despite the farm being “a difficult course to run.” Carly Cannon of the middle school girls team placed 10th overall with a time of 16:20. Joining her was Mia Hudson with a time of 17:45 and Maggie Brown with 18:01.

Thu
21
Sep

Gatewood Middle School Football By Brandon Bush

Gatewood’s middle school football team ran into trouble on Thursday night. The Gators were defeated by rivals John Milledge Academy in Milledgeville by a score of 20-8, giving the Gators their first loss of the season. Officiating wasn’t kind to Gatewood as several obvious penalties were not called against the Trojans, while the Gators were hit with many of the same penalties that JMA didn’t get called for. JMA started at the 35 yard line and began to move the ball quickly. After a few long runs, the Gatewood defense was able to get a good stop on the Trojans, but a late hit penalty gave the Trojans the field position they needed to score the first touchdown of the night. Gatewood defended JMA’s 2-point conversion before beginning their first offensive drive. The Gator offense struggled to score and soon had to punt after a three-and-out. “We didn’t play well in the first half,” Gatewood middle school coach Robert Bush said.

Thu
21
Sep

PCHS cross country starts out strong

Ke'Aundre Battle approaches the finish line.

Putnam County’s cross country team has begun its 2017 season with a strong first performance. The War Eagles attended the Morgan County Rick Boulis Invitational at Wood Park in Madison, last Wednesday, Sept. 9, marking their first real meeting of the year due to their Aug. 31 meet at the GMC Small School Showcase being cancelled due to weather. The boys won fourth place out of nine teams while the girls won fourth place out of eight. “I’m very pleased with our first showing of the season,” Putnam County cross country coach Andrew Grodecki said. “We have come a long way since last season.” The War Eagles’ boys team were led to victory by senior Avery Jones, who finished in fifth place overall out of 109 runners on the 5k with a time of 19:04.25.

Fri
15
Sep

By Jake McMillian

The Gatewood Gators left the friendly confines of Sammons Field last week to travel to Loganville Christian Academy for their first road contest of the season. LCA won the coin toss and elected to receive, and their opening possession gave Gatewood fans a few minutes of life on the edge. The Lions came out firing against the stout Gator defense, connecting on two straight passes for a first down. On the third play of the opening drive, the Loganville quarterback lofted a pass to a receiver angling toward the away sideline. Senior defensive back Reid Sasser was playing tight coverage, but the pass barely evaded his outstretched fingertips. The talented Loganville receiver took full advantage of the miscue, and the Gator faithful watched in silence as he streaked 45 yards to the goal line. For the first time all season, Gatewood trailed by a score of 7-0. However, Gatewood needed only 2:33 to respond.

Tue
29
Aug

By Brandon Bush

Gatewood Academy’s football program began the 2017 season with domination. The Gators hosted Brentwood in the new-and-improved “Swamp” and completely routed the Eagles in a 34-0 performance. “It starts with our seniors,” Gator head coach Jeff Ratliff said. “They’ve been in our program and working together for a long time, and they’ve brought our team together with their leadership and guidance. They played well, thus the team played well.” The Gators found most of their success in the legs of senior quarterback Reid Sasser, who broke out a strong run in the first play of the game for a first down. Another hard run from running back Yale Stapp put the Gators in a position for Brandon Belans to score Gatewood’s first points. The Eagles began to put a solid drive together in their first chance on offense, but a fumble recovered by Cody Kauffman gave the ball back to Gatewood.

Tue
29
Aug

Putnam football opens season with big win at Warren By Justin Hubbard

Freshman tight end KadenCorbitt is brought down by a Warren defender, but not before he hauls in a catch.

War Eagles head coach Kyle Gourley calls out instructions to his players during Putnam’s opener at Warren County.

After a year of struggle and misfortune on the football field, Putnam County’s suffering finally paid off on Friday. The War Eagles opened the 2017 season with a 21-6 win at Warren County. They didn’t get their first win last year until Sept. 30 at Oglethorpe County. Putnam’s defense led the way, allowing only 96 total yards. The War Eagles’ offense flashed potential for greatness at certain moments and picked up 276 total yards. Their head coach, Kyle Gourley, said he was happy with his players’ performance despite some moments of weakness. “We played well at times,” Gourley said. “There were some missed opportunities. We could've put a lot more points on the board. We've got room for improvement. If you're the best you're gonna be in game one, it's not a real good sign, so we've got a lot of room to improve.” Tyrique Mathis, a senior defensive back, joined his coach in saying the War Eagles still have work to do.

Tue
29
Aug

PCHS Cross Country needs community’s help By Brandon Bush

Putnam County High School’s Cross Country team is reaching out to the community help them prepare for the season. The team is holding a “run-a-thon” fundraiser on Aug. 26 from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. at the track at Putnam County Middle School. The main goal of the run-a-thon is to acquire enough funds to help the team with things they will need for the season, such as equipment and accommodations for overnight trips. “Cross country is not a revenue sport,” cross country coach Andrew Grodecki said. “So we have to find other means of funding, and donations help us greatly.” During the run-a-thon, each student will be pledged a certain amount of money for every lap they can run in the span of an hour, with a maximum of 30 laps. Alternatively, those wishing to support the team can make a straight donation rather than pledge to a runner. Now in his second year coaching the War Eagles’ cross country team, Grodecki brought years of experience to the team, which has helped them grow.

Tue
29
Aug

Brandon’s column: Sports media should leave the drama to TMZ

If you keep up with the National Football League in any capacity, then between the annual preseason speculation and yet another player kneeling for the national anthem, you’ve probably found the news of Ezekiel “Zeke” Elliott sandwiched somewhere in-between. For those who don’t shoulder the optional stress of following sports, the 22-year-old Dallas Cowboys running back has been suspended for the first six games of the 2017 season. The suspension follows a yearlong investigation into an incident that occurred at Ohio State University, Elliott’s alma mater, in which a former girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence. The ruling has been seen as controversial and has created strife between the NFL and the NFL Players Association due to the fact that the charges against Elliott have been dropped and no legal action was taken.

Fri
18
Aug

Putnam softball falls in season opener By Justin Hubbard

Peyton Roth is the new head coach of the Putnam County softball team. She takes over after playing the past four years at Armstrong State University.

The Putnam County softball team kicked off a new phase of the program’s history last Thursday with its season opener. Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, they dropped their first game of the season to Mount de Sales Academy, 9-1. It was the first game for the team’s new head coach, Peyton Roth. Roth said the Lady Eagles were clunky at times, but that was expected since it was the first game of the new campaign. “For our first game, I liked that we picked each other up for the most part,” Roth said. “We have some room to improve and I think that's what a lot of [it] is the first game: you're learning, as far as where to go. That way, we have a good baseline to go for the rest of the season. I think we got a good, solid base to go from and we’ll do nothing but learn from that game.” Defensively, Putnam could have certainly had a better outing.

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