Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If you want a second chance, better be a big time college athlete.

We all want second chances in life, and everyone should get a second chance. However, at some point, if one does not make the most of that second chance, then that person doesn't deserve a third one because they have not truly learned the lessons of their mistake.

Let's take, for instance, former Oregon Ducks QB Jeremiah Masoli. He is suspended by Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly for possessing Marijuana and then a few months later, breaks into a fraternity house and steals a laptop. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of Misdemeanor Burglary. What's the difference. He still broke the law a second time and Kelly rightly dismissed him from the team. This was the "Senior Leader" of the Oregon Football team. Masoli's behavior was not the leadership the Ducks needed.

OK, Masoli breaks the law twice. For the rest of us average Joes, there would be no third chance. We'd be in the slammer for a few years or at least we would have killed our chances of ever getting a good job and making a good living. However, for Masoli, since he's a big-time college athlete, he gets a third chance.

Masoli will enroll at Ole Miss and took Head Coach Huston Nutt's offer to come on the team as a Walk On. He has one year of eligibility left and will enroll in OLE Miss Graduate School in their Parks and Recreation Management Program. It's fine that he is continuing his education, but how many more transgressions will it take before someone says "no more." He's extremely lucky and I'm sure he knows it.

However, I question whether or not he has truly learned from his mistakes. A person who has learned the lessons of their errors does not repeat those errors. He is a Walk On, but may have a chance to play and can certainly help the Rebels. I don't think it is sending the right message though. I'm rooting for him. All he needs to do is keep his nose clean. That really isn't that hard to do. One thing is for sure, he needs to thank God every day that God gave him the talent to play major college football and excel at it because he wouldn't be getting this third opportunity otherwise.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homeschooled Bowler Earns College Scholarship

He had dreams of playing College Football, but spinal injuries to himself and his brother led 17 year old Harry Haynes of Grayson, GA to pursue another college sport: Bowling.

Haynes has only been doing competitive bowling for two years. His parents, both Gwinnett County school teachers, knew nothing about the sport but would take the Haynes brothers to the bowling alley and watch them "throw the ball". However, Harry's mother read an email about a home school bowling league. The Haynes brothers joined the league, then joined a more competitive league 3 years ago. They, along with two other boys, call their team "Elite Four", and rose to the top of the league beating 15 other teams.

When Harry started bowling competitively two years ago, his average was 130. Now he bowls in the Summer League at the Brunswick Zone bowling alley in Lilburn with an average of 202. Haynes got training from a registered coach and also studied the proper techniques by watching YouTube videos. Both he and his brother, who suffered the same spinal injuries as he did, toppled 120 pairs from all over Georgia to win the Greater Atlanta City Tournament.

Haynes calls his younger brother his best friend. "We feed off each other", the younger Haynes said. "When one of us gets a strike, the other will". With the brotherly duo's success, Harry Haynes decided to look into bowling in college. Sharon Shortell, the Director of the Junior League at the Brunswick Zone, gave Haynes a list of colleges that offer bowling scholarships. Haynes chose Campbellsville University, a small Southern Baptist college in Campbellsville, KY. Haynes amazed the Campbellsville coaching staff with a 198 average at his audition and earned a bowling scholarship. He is planning to study Mass Communications and to turn Pro after graduation. "I enjoy what I do, so I'm glad I got injured in a way", Haynes said. Credit for information in this article is given to the Gwinnett Daily Post. More information can be obtained by going to www.gwinnettdailypost.com.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Former UGA Football Greats Giving Back to Community

Something very special will be taking place at the University of Georgia the weekend of July 16-17. It's the annual Countdown to Kickoff event benefiting several local charities including children's Health care of Atlanta, Children's Tumor Foundation, Georgia Transplant Foundation and the UGA College of Education's Pediatric Exercise and Motor Development Clinic.

This is a time when the Bulldog Nation can get up and close to their favorite players from both the 1980 National Championship Team as well as those players from more recent years. Players such as former QB David Greene, who led the Bulldogs to an SEC Championship in 2002 and a graduate of South Gwinnett High School. Matt Stinchcomb will also be there. A former All SEC lineman with the Dogs, Stinchcomb played in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and prepped at Gwinnett County's Parkview High School. "We are all from the state of Georgia and we all had the opportunity to play and attend the University of Georgia and given the experiences we had, you want to find a way to somehow contribute back to not just your school but also your state", Stinchcomb said.

It's a time when parents and their children can take part in actual football drills with the former players and get autographs from them as well. Other former Bulldog players that will be at the event include former Linebacker Rennie Curran, who was drafted this past April by the Tennessee Titans, Buck Belue (1980), Joe Cox, Garrsion Hurst, Kregg Lumpkin, as well as two other members from the 1980 team, Frank Ross and Amp Arnold. "Getting out their and being able to interact with the kids and the families, that is what this is all about", former QB David Greene said.

The Fan Festival on July 17 is open to 1,500 people and tickets are $25 a person or $75 for a family of four. Fans can order tickets by going to www.ugakickoff.com. Information in this article was obtained from the Gwinnett Daily Post newspaper.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Former Buford High Star Getting it Done For Lady Diamond Dogs

Continuing our theme of covering former Gwinnett County prep student-athletes excelling at the college level, we want to highlight the young career of UGA Sophomore Ashley Razey, the starting catcher on the University of Georgia Lady Dogs Softball Team.

Razey, a former star player at Buford High School, started out her college career at Southern Mississippi, where she appeared in 54 games making 51 starts and batted .301 in 153 at-bats with eight doubles, six home runs and 28 RBI. during her Freshman year. This year, Razey is getting it done on the diamond for the Lady Dogs. She has played in 53 games and started 52 of them. She is batting.293 with 43 hits (10 of them doubles), 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. She has a slugging percentage of .605 and a fielding percentage of .994.

The Lady Dogs are currently 43-11 overall and 18-8 in the SEC, and Razey has definitely been a big part of their success. Before Razey began playing in college, she was a stand out at Buford High School helping the Lady Wolves win the 2007 and 2008 Class AA State Championship. Razey was named Player of the Year by three different newspapers: The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Gainsville Times and Gwinnett Daily Post for her performance at the plate as she batted .510 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs. Razy also set 9 Buford school records, including batting .510 in 2007, a career slugging percentage of .775 and 16 home runs in her career as a Lady Wolf. Razey is among the explosion of talented female softball players coming out of Gwinnett County high schools.

Thanks to the work of Razey, as well as the other members of the Lady Dogs Softball Team, UGA will be hosting a regional in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The 5'11 Sophomore from Buford will hopefully continue her good work on the diamond and help the Lady Dogs return to the 2010 NCAA College World Series.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Former Collins Hill Stand Out Having All-American Career At Shorter

In the next few postings, we will focus on former Gwinnett student-athletes who are excelling at the collegiate level. One young lady is enjoying an All-American career at Shorter College, an NAIA school located in Rome, GA.

She is Libby Munson, and she is a starting pitcher on the Shorter Lady Hawks Softball Team. She is an NAIA All-American and has a record of 22-3 on the season for Shorter, who is now 42-12 on the season and ranked #18 in the NAIA top 25. Her most recent success came when she pitched both games against SSAC rival Brenau University and led the Lady Hawks to a sweep of the 2 game series. In game 1, Munson pitched a 1 hitter en route to a 2-0 win striking out 7 and only walking one batter. In fact, her control was so good that 58 of her 87 pitches were strikes and she didn't allow any Golden Tigers past first base.

In game two, Munson continued her good work as she struck out five Golden Tigers and gave up five hits. she helped her team offensively as well, going 2 for 3 with two RBIs in game two. The Lady Hawks are now in second place, just half a game behind Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) leader Auburn-Montgomery. Munson finished the day having pitched 14 scoreless innings and allowing only six hits in the two-game sweep of Brenau. The Lady Hawks will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming SSAC Tournament.

Munson had a tremendous high school career leading Collins Hill High School to a Georgia State Championship her Junior year and leading the Eagles to a second place finish in State her Senior year. Congratulations to Gwinnett's own Libby Munson for a fantastic collegiate career so far with much more success to come.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Former Berkmar High Standout Contributing For Berry

From time to time here on College Sports, we want to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes from the Gwinnett County, Georgia area. This county, located on the northeast side of Atlanta, has produced a plethora of talented of student-athletes who have gone on to excel both in college and in the pros.

One of these fine student-athletes is Cory Pits, a Junior Outfielder on the Berry College Baseball Team. Pitts came to Berry from Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Georgia, located in the southwest part of Gwinnett County. Pitts had an excellent career at Berkmar and took his talents to Rome, Georgia to play for the Vikings. During the 2009 season, Pitts played in 57 games and started 8 of them. He led the team in sacrifice bunts with 29 and ended last year's season with a .306 slugging percentage from 36 at bats. He drove in two runs against Southern Wesleyan back on 4/18/2009.

This year, Pitts is a Red Shirt Junior majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is the son of Travis and Vickie Pitts. he has three brothers, Shane, Julian and Casey, and three sisters, Shaquera, Kenady and Journey. His father Travis played college baseball at Howard University and his Uncle, Nicki Pitts, played football at UGA.

Berry is currently 20-16 over all this year. They still are competing in the Southern States athletic Conference (SSAC) but are not eligible to compete in the post season do to their transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Div. lll. along with Pitts, there other a few other players on the Berry roster from Gwinnett County, and there will be more on them in later postings here on College Sports.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Are the Best All-Time Starting 5 in Bryan History

As an alum of Bryan College, I have always followed their sports teams ever since I came there in 1990 and walked on the Soccer Team. Bryan Athletics wasn't very good back then as far as wins and losses were concerned, but the school had several student-athletes who excelled tremendously both on the field and court as well as in the class room.

I witnessed first hand some of the exploits of the athletes when I was the Public Address Announcer during Bryan Men's Basketball home games from 1992-94. Mark Pack was one of the greatest players wo ever ware a Bryan uniform. He was a two-time NCCAA and NAIA All-American during his three years there on the hill in Dayton, TN. He was a prolific three point shooter. During his last year, he hit 13 in one game. clay Causey was a solid point guard for the Lions as well, along with fellow Louisiana native Jason Martinez.

One of the greatest moments in my sporting life was doing the PA duties for a game in which Bryan trailed Covenant College by 31 points. Led by the scoring of Pack and Martinez, scoring 31 and 32 points respectively, the Lions scored 78 points in the second half and capped off the dramatic come from behind victory with the winning bucket by Jeremy "Jay Train" Sperring. The final was 101-100, and at that time, it was the second greatest come from behind victory in ALL of college basketball including NCAA Div. l. Sperring happened to have gone to grammar School with me from third grade to sixth grade. I actually played against him in high school. Sperring was an NAIA Scholar Athlete and an NAIA Academic All-American.

Other great players come to mind, such as Travis Dotterer, John Spears, Jeff Van Der Mark and Mitchell Byrd. Of course, these were, are and always will be great friends of mine. There were great Bryan players in the 80s, before my time at BC, players such as Dean Ropp, Dave Zuberer, Ron Cox, Rick Torbit and the Landice brothers. The Landice brothers, along with Ropp and Torbit, have been inducted into the Bryan Hall of Fame. Incidentally, Rick Torbit was the creator of the instructioanl video series called "Better Basketball" which has been endorsed by NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry. There have been great players after my time at BC. In the late 90s and the early part of this century, Randy Evans and Jason Beschta come to mind. There are great current players as well such as DeMond Craig and Scott Newton.

My whole reason for mentioning all this is that I want to pick the best all-time starting 5 and best all-time sixth man in Bryan history. Any of you who played at Bryan or went to the school and were privileged to have watched these great players need to post your comments at the "post a comment" section at the end of this article. I would love to hear your feedback.