The Best of 2018
A lot of good things have happened over the past 12 months for White County's middle school, high school and college athletes. In the next two editions, the White County News takes a look back at the Top 10 individual and team performances during 2018. In this week's edition, the Top 6-10 performances are featured. The Top 5 performances and achievements will be included in the Jan. 3 edition of the paper.
#6 Raiders compete at national event
The White County High School JROTC Raiders posted an eighth-place finish at the National JROTC Raider Championships. The WCHS mixed team competed against 50 other teams from around the country at the annual competition. The national competition is made up of a series of events including obstacle course, physical training test, cross-country rescue, rope bridge, tire flip and 5K team run. Members of the team, coached by LTC Richard Hobson are Victoria McDuffie, Lizabella Hurlburt, MacKenzie Wilson, Harley Llorens, Cassi Sims; Noah Woods, Koby Cross, Sean Wurtz, Joseph Luthi, Luke Eldridge, Melissa Mann, Skylar Bassett and Joseph Hewell. The WCHS squad earned the national berth by winning the mixed team division at the Riverside Military Academy Raider Competition.
#7 WCHS cross country teams post Top 5 finishes at Class AAAA meet
For the first time in program history, the WCHS cross country teams both posted Top 5 finishes at the Georgia State Cross Country Championships. The Warriors, who hadn’t placed in the Top 5 since 1994, scored 144 points to place fifth among 32 teams in the field. The Lady Warriors followed suit, scoring 190 points in the girls’ race to finish fifth among 29 teams. In the boys' divison, the Warriors were paced by sophomore Eamonn O’Bryant, who finished 28th among 222 runners. O’Bryant posted a time of 17:45.98, bettering his time last year by more than 35 seconds. O’Bryant finished 45th at state in his freshmen year. Jovani Gonzalez (39th), Noah Rapert (45th), Dominic Stevens (55th), Bennett Davidson (56th), Mason Mitchell (78th) and Maverick Aguilar (132nd) rounded out the lineup. In the girls's race, Jaelen Alexander wrapped her prep career with a 19th place finish among 200 runners in her final state appearance. Alexander recorded a time of 20:41.99, bettering her 2017 time of 20:58.11. Ellie Gearing (33rd), Addie Bolton (41st), Lily Gearing (50th), Josie Stover (51st), Maggie Davidson (52nd) and Leah Alexander (86th) finished out the lineup.
#8 Adams, Sosebee reach Triple A
Former WCHS baseball standouts Spencer Adams and David Sosebee both finished the 2018 minor league baseball season at the Triple A level.Adams is a member of the Chicago White Sox's orgaization, while Sosebee pitches in the New York Yankees' organization. Adams, left, got the call to Triple A in the middle of the season after starting the year at Double A Birmingham. Adams made 15 starts for the Charlotte Knights, posting a 4-7 record. His Triple A stint included a pair of starts in Gwinnett County, where he posted a pair of solid starts. Adams picked up a win in his first appearance against the Braves' affiliate on July 7, allowing four hits and no runs over seven innings of work. He made his final start of the season on Sept. 2 at Coolray Field. He allowed six hits and a run in seven innings of work. Despite allowing only one run, Adams was charged with loss as the Knights fell to the Stripers, 2-0. Sosebee and the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders finished off the 2018 minor baseball season by making a run at the International League championship.The RailRiders, the New York Yankees’ Triple A affiliate, earned a spot in the International League Governor’s Cup finals, but dropped a best-of-five series to the Durham Bulls. Sosebee, who pitched at three levels in the Yankees’ minor league season this season, worked in three games during the RailRiders’ postseason run. For the season, Sosebee logged 62.2 inning at the Advanced A, Double A and Triple A levels. Sosebee finished with an 8-4 record with six saves in eight save opportunities. He allowed only 51 hits, while walking 24 and striking out 75. He held opponents to a .224 batting average, and finished with a 2.30 earned run average and a 1.20 WHIP. At the Triple A level, Sosebee worked 5.2 innings during the regular season with a 1.59 ERA and six strikeouts.
#9 WCHS teams earn state bids
WCHS had large group of teams earn a spot in the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs.The Warriors' football, basketball and tennis teams advanced to the opening round of the state tournament, while the Lady Warriors' basketball, softball, volleyball and competition cheer team all made it to the opening round of the state competition. The Lady Warriors' basketball team earned a spot in the state tournament thanks to a second place finish in the 7-AAAA tournament, falling to Marist in the region final. The WCHS softball and volleyball team both finished third in region play. The volleyball team ended the season with a school record 20 wins and advanced to the playoffs for the second time in school history. The softball team won 15 games this fall, and had a school record 10-game winning streak during the regular season. The competition cheer team finished third at the region meet to earn a spot in the state meet. On boys' side, all three of the WCHS teams went into the playoffs as a No. 4 seed. The boys' tennis team made the state playoffs for the first time since 2014, with a 3-2 win over West Hall in the 7-AAAA tournament. The Warriors' football squad made the state playoffs for the second straight year under head coach Tim Cokely, but fell to Pickens County in the opening round. The boys' basketball team suffered a first round defeat to St. Pius, who finished as the Class AAAA runner-up.
#10 Warrior teams win middle school league titles
The White County Middle School athletic program had a stellar year, winning four league titles. The boys' seventh grade basketball teams captured the Northeast Georgia Mountain League title last February, while the Warriors baseball team won the league title in April. Last fall, the Lady Warriors' cross country team and softball team became the first WCMS teams to win championships in the new Mountain League.The seventh grade boys’ basketball had a spectacular season last winter, finishing the campaign with a 15-1 record. The Warriors finished the season with a 12-game winning streak, topped off by the 72-56 win over Habersham County in the title game. The WCMS posted a perfect season, winning the NGML regular season and tournament titles. The Warriors rolled through the competition last spring, compiling a 10-0 record during the regular season, and then outscoring their opponents 21-0 in two games on the way to the tournament championship.Last fall, the girls’ cross country team made an impressive debut at the Mountain League championship meet. Like the rest of the WCMS athletic teams, the cross country teams joined the Mountain League this year, competing with schools in Union, Lumpkin, Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin and Dawson counties. The Lady Warriors proved to be the best team in the nine-school field, beating out Clear Creek and Pickens County for the team title. The Lady Warriors volleyball team won three matches on the way to the tournament title, including knocking off the regular season champion and runner-up.The Lady Warriors handed Lumpkin County its first loss of the season in the semifinals, and then beat Dawson County in the final match to claim the program’s first Mountain League title. Before the start of the tournament, the Lady Warriors were probably not among the favorites to take home the title. WCMS posted a 5-5 record during the regular season and finished fourth in the regular season standings.