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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
January 10, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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January 10, 2018

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Repor r "Ihe Best Coverage for Monroe County Sports January 10, 2018 MARY PERSONS BULLDOGS UGA vs. Bama Photos 2B Terry Johnson 3B WINTER SPORTS 4:15 p.m. JV Girls Basketball (vs. Spalding) 5 p.m. C-Team Girls Basketball (vs. Clifton Ridge) 6 p.m. C-Team B0ys Basketball (vs. Clifton Ridge) 6p.m. Varsity Girls Basketball (vs. Spalding) 7:30 p.m. Varsity Boys Basketball (vs. Spalding) BOYS BASKETBALL 1.Ups0n Lee 16-0 2.St.Pius 13-2 3. Sandy Creek 11-3 4.Carver 14-3 5.Ame.-Sumter 13-1 &Baldwin 10-5 7.Carte lle 10-2 8.Westover 104 9.MaryPersons 14- I lO.Salem 12.4 Sour :AIC Mary Persons senior guard Cam Holden scored a game-high 32 points while adding 14 rebounds in a 77-69 victory at Lamar County on Friday. (File photo) By Richard Dumas three games on the road, starting with a Region 2-AAAA showdown against West Laurens at 7:30 p.m. The Mary Persons Bulldogs boys on Tuesday. MP will then travel basketball team improved to 14-1 to face region foe Perry at 7:30 with a pair of road victories last p.m. on Friday before traveling week. to non-region opponent Northside MP defeated non-region rival (Warner Robins) at 4:30 p.m. on Lamar County 77-69 on Saturday, Saturday. seizing a 16-point halftime edge MP was ranked No. 9 in the lat- at 49-33 before holding on to win est Atlanta Journal-Constitution by eight. The Bulldogs were led AAAA poll, released Sunday. The by senior star Cam Holden, who Bulldogs will face No. 1 Upson-Lee, scored 32 points on 12 of 23 shoot- which has won its last 48 games, ing from the field while also tal- for a second time this season on lying a team-high 14 rebounds. Friday, Jan. 19 in Thomaston. Holden was joined in double fig- MP's only loss in 2017-18 came to ures by teammates Tre Edge with the Knights, who also defeated MP 19 points and Desmond Williams three times in 2016-17. with 11 points. Meanwhile, the MP JV boys Edge was MP's top scorer four basketball team will next travel nights earlier when the Bulldogs to Perry for a road contest at throttled non-region opponent 4:15 p.m. on Friday before facing Veterans 88-48 on the road Northside (Warner Robins) on the on Tuesday. Jan. 2. Edge had road at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Also, 24 points on 8 of 10 shooting the MP 9th Grade boys basketball while Holden added 18 points, team will face Northside (Warner Sophomore Dee Morton and Robins) on the road on 10 a.m. on Williams were also in double fig- Saturday. ures with 14 points each. Also, the Monroe County Middle Fresh off of a holiday tourney vic- School boys basketball team was tory, MP sprinted out to a 22-point scheduled to host Byron Middle at lead in its first game of the new 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The C-Team year against the Warhawks, tak- Bulldogs will then travel to Gray ing a commanding 30-8 advantage Station for a road contest at 6 through one quarter. The Bulldogs p.m. on Thursday before return- still led by 20 at 51-31 at halftime ing home to host Clifton Ridge at 6 before outscoring Veterans 22-5 in p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Monroe the third quarter to take a 37-point County dropped to 0-6 on the lead into the final period, season with a 49-14 home loss to The Bulldogs will play their next Lamar County on Thursday. By Richard Dumas The Mary Persons girls bas- ketball team fell See GIRLS Page 3B Outstanding MP senior guard Kver Shannon dribbles upcourt during a holiday tourney clash with Monticello last month. Shannon and her Lady Dogs dropped to 2-14 with a pair of road losses last week. (File photo) FROM THE PRESS BOX I s a Georgia sports fan, I feel like I've written columns about the stages of sports grief about a dozen times already. Therefore, I'm gonna take this in a total- different route. There are many things about college sports that aren't real wholesome: greedy school and confer- ence administrators, sleazy recruiters and inept NCAA bureaucrats top the list. But there's one thing about college sports that keeps it relevant in the face of repeated turmoil. It's the vested interest that college fanbases have in the success of the on- field product, an interest that is non-existent in pro sports. It's an interest that stems from degrees and donations. More than 15 years ago in the fall of 2002, I started college at the University of Georgia. Six years later, I left Athens with two degrees and a lifetime of memories. Would my life be bet- ter now had I gone somewhere else to school? I have no idea, and I don't care. Both of my parents attended UGA, and it's where I always wanted to go too. It s one thing in my life about which I have no regrets. Which brings us to Monday ' : night. The Georgia Bulldogs (my : Georgia Bulldogs) were playing for the national football championship for the first time since I've been alive. UGA last won the title four years before I was born and last played in a title contest two years before I was born. I had dreamed my whole life of a night like Monday, a night when I coulcl experience the elation that all of UGA's primary rivals have enjoyed over the last two decades. And with the game just 70 miles from my house, it seemed the perfect time for me to attend my first national championship game. But it was not to be. A combination of factors (most notably my drained bank account after an expensive trip to Pasadena last week) resulted in my staying home. So what did I do? I left work early (sorry Will) to go home and watch College GameDay. I put on my red David Greene jersey circa 2004 (a little tight these days), my white UGA hat (seen better days), my 2006 UGA class ring and my red and black- checkered pajama pants and settled into the reclin- er for what could be one of the most memorable evenings of my life. But the evening was missing something. Although it was great to watch the game with my parents, I wasn't around my friends and classmates, the people who made my years at UGA among the best years of my life. So about two hours before kickoff, I did something; I've never before done. I individually texted at least three dozen of my closest friends from college with a simple message, "Go Dawgs!" A few of these people I've probably gone a year without contact- ing, but Monday night seemed the most appropri- ate time ever to renew acquaintances. All but two answered back almost immediately with a predict- able response of "Sic 'Em" or something of that sort. I just wanted these people to know that I was thinking about them on a special night as much, if not more so, than I was thinking about Jake Fromm and Nick Chubb. And it's moments like this that are truly the essence of collegiate sports. For all the scandals and chaos, there's still that feeling of raw emotion that can only come from having a lifelong tie to some- thing bigger than you. Hundreds of thousands of students have walked the beautiful north Georgia campus of UGA through the years, and all of us are tied communally because of it. And regardless of your feelings about sports, there's little question that major college football programs are among the biggest uniting factors of an alumni base. And few alumni bases have ever been as united as Bulldog Nation was in 2017. Our sometimes fickle fans showed almost unanimous support for up-and- coming superstar coach Kirby Smart, freshman phe- nom Fromm and a legendary senior class, headed by Chubb and his running mate Sony Michel. This one season saw the Bulldogs trample hated rivals Tennessee, Florida and Georgia Tech by a combined score of 121-14. It also displayed for the entire coun- try on the national stage the energy and passion that this state has for its flagship football program. In the program's first trip north in over a half cen- tury, UGA fans almost totally took over Notre Dame Stadium back in September. Then, Dawgs' fans got their second "trip of a lifetime" of this season alone when UGA played in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 75 years (and on the West Coast for the first time in 57 years). Facing a powerhouse Oklahoma in Pasadena, Georgia fans again turned out in droves, taking up about 60 percent of the stadium. Then, with a national contest in our home state, UGA fans made up over 60 percent of Mercedes- Benz Stadium on Monday night despite third-party ticket prices in excess of $1,200 per seat. If nothing else came out of 2017, it was immensely satisfying for the whole nation to get to see how See DUMAS Page 4B