The past 12 months have been anything but normal, especially in the sports world. With Covid-19 dominating the headlines since early in 2020, the athletes around the world have been faced with numerous issues on and off the field. Despite the pandemic, our local athletes and teams still managed to do some outstanding things, and the White County News will highlight the Top 20 moments, achievements, individual accomplishments, and news items that took place on and off the field during the past year. In today's issue, the No. 11-20 events are featured. The Top 10 events will be included in the Jan. 7, 2021 edition.
The Top 11-20 moments and performances of 2020 are:
No. 11 - Youth football teams win MAC titles
The White County Recreation Department youth football program picked up a pair of Mountain Athletic Conference Super Bowl IV titles in November at Chestatee High School.
The program's 8U and 10U teams both captured conference championships on Super Bowl Saturday, while the 7U team finished as the runner-up in the age division.
The 8U Warriors capped off a dominating season with a 34-0 win over Pickens County in the 8U title game. The win put the final note on a perfect season as the Warriors finished with an 8-0 mark, outscoring their opponents by a 310-0 margin during the season.
The 10U team also put the final touches on an undefeated season with the 13-6 win over Fannin County. The Warriors' win improved the team's mark to 9-0 on the year.
In the 7U championship game, The Warriors got into a early 12-0 hole in the first quarter and couldn't recover as Chestatee claimed the 7U title with an 18-7 win.
The Warriors finished the season with a 6-2 record, with both losses coming to the War Eagles, who finished with an 8-0 mark.
No. 12 - Day earns golf All-American honors
Day earns All-America status
Truett McConnell's Dawson Day has been named to the 2020 NAIA PING All-America third team and the 2020 NAIA PING South All-Region team. Day, a senior from Trion, led the Bears during the fall and spring seasons the Bears climbed into the Top 25 in the NAIA national poll. The Bears where ranked No. 14 in the national poll when the spring season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
No. 13 - Warriors get back to state playoffs
For the first time since 2017, the White County Warriors have a ticket for the state high school football playoffs. After opening 7-AAA region play with back-to-back losses, the Warriors rallied to win their final four region games, including posting a 48-7 win over region champion Cherokee Bluff in the regular season finale to secure the playoff bid.
The Warriors started the season with four consecutive wins for the first time since 1975, and were named the Georgia High School Football Daily Statewide Team of the Week following a 50-47 win over then No. 8 Hart County in Week 2 of the season. The Warriors were ranked in the Class AAA Top 10 for several weeks, and were ranked as high as No. 5 in one state poll midway through the season. The Warriors finished the year as in the Top 3 in scoring offensive in the state, before being knocked out of the state playoffs in the opening round by Rockmart, 48-35.
No. 14 - Lady Warriors punch playoff ticket
The White County Lady Warriors finished third in the Region 7-AAA softball regular season standings to earn a spot in the Class AAA playoffs. The Lady Warriors compiled a 12-11 record during the season, including an 11-7 record in region play, to earn the state bid. The Lady Warriors' season ended in the first round of the playoffs, as Sonoraville swept a doubleheader (5-0, 7-3). WCHS was the only team from Region 7-AAA that didn't get run-ruled during the opening round of the tournament.
No. 15 - WCMS finishes second in volleyball
The White County Middle School volleyball team brought home the runner-up trophy in September at the North Georgia Mountain League Tournament in Dahlonega.
The Lady Warriors knocked off Lumpkin County 2-0 in the tournament semifinals, but fell to Fannin County 2-0 in the championship match. The Lady Warriors finished the season with a 8-2 record. Members of the team are Emma Lightsey, Baylie Rae Vandiver, Kylie Watkins, Emily Rhoads, Jada Palumbo, Mya Yeh, Rylee Elrod, Jenna Pratt, Emma Kerley, Tallulah Shack, Brooklyn Thomason, Madi Black, Amelia Kennedy, Sarah Grace Jarrard, and Livi Grace Goad.
No. 16 - TMU softball earns Top 10 ranking
The Truett McConnell softball jumped into the NAIA Top 10 during the abbreviated spring season due to COVID-19, and they celebrated by winning four consecutive games in the final week of the shortened season.
The Lady Bears (13-2) moved up five spots to No. 9 in the final national poll after opening the year at No. 14 in the preseason poll. The spot in the Top 10 is a first for any TMU athletic program.
The Lady Bears were ranked in as high as No. 11 during the 2019 season, which at the time was the highest any TMU program had ever been ranked. The Lady Bears' jump into the Top 10 came on the heels of winning the tournament title at the NAIA Leadoff Classic in Columbus. After winning the tournament, the Lady Bear posted Appalachian Athletic Conference wins over St. Andrews and Columbia International before the season was shutdown.
No. 17 - TMU sets
record for volleyball wins
The Truett McConnell University women's volleyball team had a record-breaking season this fall during an abbreviated regular season schedule.
With Covid-19 restrictions forcing the Appalachian Athletic Conference to cancel all non-conference matches during the 2020 season, the Bears managed to come up with a historical performance.
The Bears finished the fall season with a 14-5 record, setting the school record for most conference wins in program history. The Bears capped the season with a 3-0 win over Montreat College, giving the squad eight AAC sweeps during the season.
No. 18. WCHS soccer teams excel at Cup
In a season that was cut short by Covid-19, the White County High School soccer teams put together a solid effort at the 2020 Crown Mountain Cup in March.
After three games in six days, the Lady Warriors walked off of Cottrell Field at Lumpkin County High School as the Crown Mountain Cup champions.
The Lady Warriors knocked off Habersham Central, Lakeview Academy, and Lumpkin County on the way to winning the title for the second straight year.
The Lady Warriors outscored their opponents 7-1 during the three-game stretch. The tournament effort moved the squad's record to 5-2, including a four-game winning streak.
On the boys' side, the Warriors came close to capturing their second consecutive Crown Mountain Cup title, posting a 2-0-1 record during the week-long event.
The Warriors and West Hall both finished the tournament with identical records, and played to a 3-3 draw in the opening round. But the Spartans were declared the Cup champions due to the point differential used as the tournament tiebreaker.
The Warriors posted wins over Lakeview Academy and Lumpkin County in the tournament to finish on a strong note and improved their record to 5-2-1 on the way.
No. 19 - TMU runner earns national bid
Truett McConnell's Savannah Campbell posted a Top 20 finish at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships to lead the Lady Bears to a fourth-place finish in the team standings.
Campbell placed 15th of 81 individuals with a time of 19:48.15, earning an individual bid to the NAIA national championship. Freshman Simone Chock was 20th with a time of 20:42.00, with Haleigh Martin 22nd at 20:45.81, Ansley Cain was 45th with a time of 22:39.78.
"Really proud for Savannah," Head Coach Jarret Holland said. "She trained really hard all off season and it paid off today. She has been our top runner all year and it was nice to see her get rewarded with a birth in the national championship. She becomes the third runner to represent Truett in women's national championship.
No. 20 - Lady Bears earn AAC playoff bid
For the first time since 2017, the Truett McConnell women's basketball team earned a spot in the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament. Head Coach Tiek Fields and the women's basketball team completed the regular season with an overall record of 14-16, just one win shy of the NAIA program record for most wins in a season.
The team's improvement was key by Sierra Kendall and Re'Tavia Floyd, who both earned All-AAC second team honors.
Kendall averaged 13.33 points and 9.13 rebounds a game, which put her ranked third in the AAC in total rebounds (294), fourth in total rebounds per game (9.13), fourth in offensive rebounds per game (2.8) and fourth in defensive rebounds per game (6.33). Most notable,
Kendall led the entire AAC in total blocks (59) and blocks per game (1.97). Floyd, the team's leading scorer, averaged 15.77 points and 2.37 steals a game. The sophomore guard ranked number four in the AAC for scoring (473 points total) and sixth in scoring per game (15.77 points). From the 3-point arc, Floyd had a total of 70 3-pointers made, which ranked fourth in the AAC, and averaged 2.33 a game (eighth in the AAC).