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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
August 15, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 15, 2018

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Page lb August 15, 2018 MP opens with N. Go. powerhouse By Richard Dumas iorsyth®mymcmet For the first time in three years, the Mary Persons Bull— dogs won’t be playing in the Corky Kell Classic at Mercer University, but MP will still be opening its season up with a perennial state powerhouse. The Bulldogs will host the third-winningest program in Georgia High School Association (GHSA) history when the Gainesville Red Elephants visit Dan Pitts Stadium at 7:30 pm. on Friday, Aug. 17 . With 740 wins, Gainesville trails only Valdosta and LaGrange on the state’s all-time list. After numerous close calls, the Red Elephants broke through for their first state championship in 2012 behind the passing talents of current NFL star Deshaun Watson. Since then, Gainesville has gradually fallen on hard times, losing in the first round of the AAAAAA playoffs in each of the past two seasons while recording only a 9-13 overall record. With longtime head coach Bruce Miller retiring follow- ing the 2017 season, Gainesville turned to a region rival to re-ignite its sputtering program. Heath Webb, who led region foe Winder-Barrow to the second round of the AAAAAA state playoffs a year ago, took over the Red Elephants’ program last spring. Webb took over a mori- bund Winder-Barrow program that compiled a 6-54 re- cord in the six years prior to his arrival and promptly led the Bulldoggs to four straight state playoff appearances. MP head coach Brian Nelson said Webb runs a similar offensive system to that of current Middle Tennessee State offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, which will feature a lot of passing using a single-back set. However, Nelson said the Gainesville program was beset by transfers in the wake of Miller’s retirement, which included last year’s starting quarterback Tre’ Luttrell. Despite the attrition, Nelson said he anticipates Gainesville will have some solid athletes, especially since the Red Elephants made it to last year’s AAAAAA state basketball final. “They’re a bigger school with tradition,” Nelson said. They’re gonna be alright. He’s (Webb) a good coach. He turned Winder-Barrow around.” MP will be seeking to make history in several ways with a victory over Gainesville. A win would be the 600th in program history, which would make MP just the 16th school in GHSA history to reach the mark. A win over Gainesville would also be the 63rd victory of current head coach Brian Nelson’s MP career, a mark that would tie him with former coach Steve Chafin for the second- most in program history, trailing only Dan Pitts’ 346 mm. The Bulldogs and Red Elephants have never met. In fact, it will be the Red Elephants’ first trip to Middle Georgia in at least a half century although Gainesville did face Peach County in the Georgia Dome in the AAA state finals in 2009, falling 13~12 to the Trojans. Gainesville vs. MP Friday, Aug. 17 - 7:30 pm. Dan Pitts Stadium - Tickets: $10 LASI‘MEETING: N/A mmcnom: Mary Persons 37, Gainesville 17 CLElJ. M. Moms. DMD E ywmmffiuww - ( ’i Foams 0mm CENTER lell M. Morris, DMD Fami[y and Cos/mm Dentistry 94 Bennett Street Forsyth, GA 31029 Ken Davis... ESTIMATES 994.2027 QaNVeJ/‘Ir "DONNY‘S «(a momma I1- newton: (ulnar Donny McKinney ,3. Owner ""20 a: (418) 992-8326 994. 2303 24-Hour 5377 Hwy. 41 Emergency service Bulinqbrokv. (23A {WWII}, m, , Monroe County Memorial Chapel Monroe Memorial Gardens Haney Ray ‘fiS‘panky” Beck 86 West Main St. Forsylh 994-4266, A_LLA‘-‘,LA—-. P Lu a FREE '3 loll’s collision aml Mechanical. lflli. Bill Scarbrough 1 Insurance Agency 198 Harold G. Clarke Pkwy ISOSIuliatszd (Exit 185) Forsyth Macon GA "Family Owned and Operated since 197 ” 478-405-2313 Central Georgia EMC 'ibuciwlnnc Energy Cooperative “at, 14004224877 478-993-2202 www.fitcohea| Dr. Steven Walker iscoue a Street Fo ,GA Chiropractic Sports Physician 255 Tift College Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 . 478 994-1 562 i Don Etherldge, Owner 478-994-0647 833 PAT RAD, F0 Walker Chiropractic Clinic Physiologic Therapeutics , ,,Repan 817 Hwy 41 South Forsytl‘l, GA 31029 (478) 994-4991 45W. Johnston St. . Forsyth,GA ‘ 478-994-2991 Clothing eiAccessories - Residential - Commercial - New Construction 478-994-2387 V Women ti Girls (478) 992-8371 clad in a. Fan k Augu