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Forsyth, Georgia
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August 22, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 22, 2018
 

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22 =o, R epOrter ' e MARY PERSONS 2018 VARSITY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY TEAM: Pictured from left to right on the front row: Austin Cookman, Holden Haworth, Jon Thomas Smith, Justin Wachtel, Alec Remick, Connor Battles and Mitchell Whitfield. Pictured from left to right on the back row: head coach LLonesha McEIhaney, Hunter Benson, Alex Hansen, Logan O'Neill, Kent Mantle, Timothy Clements, Weston Dunwody, Liam Spence and assistant coach Katelyn Chancey. (Photo/Richard Dumas) By Richard Dumas year MP head coach forsyth@mymcmet LLonesha McElhaney said Wachtel, whose top rival in With a number of key Region 2-AAAA, Perry's returners, the Mary Per- Tanner Reid, has gradu- sons boys and girls cross ated, is preparing for higher country squads each have achievements in his second their sights set on region year on varsity. championships in 2018. McElhaney said of Wach- The MP boys, who placed tel: "We're actually looking third in Region 2-AAAA for a state championship and 21st in the state in out of him. That is his per- 2017, return all six of their sonal goal as well? top runners from a year Other MP boys' runners ago. Chief among that poised for high finishes group is sophomore phe- at region in 2018 include: nom Justin Wachtel, who junior Logan O'Neil, who placed runner-up at region placed seventh at region and third at state, respec- a year ago, senior Liam tively, a year ago. Second- Spence, junior Austin Cookman and sophomoresTimothy Clements as well showing me pretty promis- Kent Mantle and Conner as a host of promisinging runs" McElhaney said. Battles, All five of those newcomers, including Alec 'Tm looking forward to runners joined Wachtel Remick, Weston Dunwodythem improving" in the top 36 finishers at and Hayden Haworth. As for the MP girls' region a year ago. That core "These are new runners, squad, the Lady Dogs are group is joined by senior but at practice they've been coming offtheir high- LOVE YOU, Mom, Michael & Miller 8d ws 12:i CALl8 RUN CALEB, HAYE A 0REAT SEASON! LOVE, NON, TANE, DANIEL AND CHASE est region finish, second place, in at least a decade while also placing 20th at state. While four seniors See X COUNTRY Page 8C I I By Richard Dumas forsyth@mymcr.net The Mary Persons volley- ball team will try to return to the AAAA state playoffs in 2018 after a dismal 2017 season. The Volley Dogs finished 2017 with a disappointing 5-24 record, falling in back- to-back matches in the Area 2-AAAA Toumament after a stirring run to the area finals in 2016. The struggles led to changes in the program with former assistant Stephanie Huff stepping up to assume the head role while being joined by varsity assistants Ashleigh Hightower and Sa- brina Dorrity, who are each new to coaching volleyball. Huffwill be the program's fifth head coach in eight seasons, replacing Marcy Sanders, who led the Volley Dogs for the past two years. Huff, who has extensive volleyball coaching experi- ence, said she's thrilled with the oppommity to put her imprint on the program. "I'm excited" Huff said. "I've been excited ever since I started up in June." As a player, Huff, a Mishawaka, Ind. native, not only won a state high school championship during her senior year but also captured a Junior Olympics title as a travel ball participant. Huff then attended Indiana State University on a full volleyball scholarship before mov- ing to Macon to receive her Master's degree at Mercer Universi where she also coached volleyball for two years. Huff then coached for 14 years at a North Carolina MARY PERSONS 2018 VARSITY VOLLEYBALL TEAM: Pictured from left to right on the front row: Mary Kate Jones, Lindsie Robbins, Kaylee Swafford, Anokhi Patel and Brianna Morgan. Pictured from left to right on the back row: head coach Stephanie Huff, Ashunti Talmadge, Teresa Wilcox, McKenzie Dunn, Rachel Sparks, Creyuna Buckner an~ Taylor Miner. (Photo/Richard Dumas) middle school before coming to MP several years ago to assist then-head coach Lisa Ogide. After several years away from the volleyball program, Huff returned in 2017 to assist Sanders. Although Huff said her first year could be a "rebuild- ing year" for the program, the Volley Dogs do return seven players from last year's varsity team. These include four seniors: Mary Kate Jones, Ashunti Talmadge, Rachel Sparks and Creyuna Buckner and three juniors: Kaylee Swafford, Teresa Wilcox and Taylor Miner. The four varsity newcom- ers include: senior Brianna Morgan and three juniors, McKenzie Dunn, Anokhi Patel and Lindsie Robbins. Huffsaid of her 2018 squa& "I have five seniors. Some of them played last year. Some of them did not get a lot of playing time. I think we have a lot of po- tential to do well this year. It depends on how much they want to put forth effort, and motivation and what their goal is? Huff said the squad had only been practicing for two weeks before regular season play began on Aug. 14, but the Volley Dogs are offto a promising start, winning two of their first three matches. After a season-opening, See VOLLEY Page 8C' 'i !