Middle Georgians honored by Positive Athlete group
Two Middle Georgia athletes made the statewide list of the most positive high school athletes in the state, according to the Positive Athlete organization.
Softball player Karsen Ochs of FPD and boys basketball player Aaron Geter III of Wilkinson County were on the list of more than two dozen statewide honorees covering high school sports.
Positive Athlete Georgia is, according to its website, “movement by high-character professional athletes tied to Georgia professional and collegiate sports teams to promote the benefits of “positivity” to young athletes. Hines Ward, Brian Jordan, Tyrone Poole, Aaron Murray, Mike Glenn, Michael Bennett, Rennie Curran and Jonathan Massaquoi are listed as the athletes leading the organization.
The group then broke down winners in several regions.
Middle Georgia’s winners: Dublin’s Holden Baisden in baseball, West Laurens’ Khashahmi Smith in girls basketball, Trinity Christian’s Jacob McLeod in boys cross country; Charlotte Pilcher of Veterans in girls cross country; Alex Easley of GMC in football; Perry’s Evan Lasseter in boys golf and Monticello’s Mackenzie Abbott in girls golf; Logan Crosby of John Milledge in boys soccer and Central’s Nicole Seymour in girls soccer.
Also recognized were Veterans’ Hayden Chunn in boys tennis and Dodge County’s Madelyn Pruitt in girls tennis; GMC’s Hunter Kimball in boys track and Howard’s Jordan Rozier in girls track; West Laurens’ Cammy Hatchett in volleyball and Baldwin’s Darryl Williams in wrestling. Calli White of Bleckley County was named in cheerleading, and Westside’s Tavores Pearson as a multi-sport winner.
Windsor’s Leighann Newberry was the girls coach, and Perry was named the most positive school in Middle Georgia.
Upson-Lee’s Travon Walker, a basketball and football standout for the Knights, was the boys track and field choice for West Georgia.
The organization held a banquet Tuesday at the College Football Hall of Fame to honor the winners.
Baseball all-state picks
Nearly two dozen Middle Georgian’s made the Georgia Dugout Preview’s first and second all-state teams.
The Class 5A first team included Veterans DH Gabe Holt, Jones County outfielder Teldrick Ross and infielder Brooks Veal.
West Laurens pitcher Nolan Daniel made the first team in Class 4A.
The Class 2A first team included Dodge County catcher Chandler Davis, Bleckley County infielder Benji Knighton and pitcher Carter Raffield. Dublin outfielder Hunter Baisden and Dodge County infielder Tyler Pruett were second-team picks.
The Class 1A public school first team included pitcher Matthew Deloach and DH Gunnar Watson of Taylor County. GMC infielder Cory Bivins made the second team.
The Class 1A private school first team included Tattnall Square pitcher Matt Blair, infielder Logan Fink, catcher Trey Ham, pitcher Garrett Houston and infielders Luke Laskey and Logan Simmons. Mount de Sales pitcher Adam Leverett, infielder Zack Tong and utility Jack Lipson made the second team.
There were no area players named in Class 6A or 3A to the first or second teams.
Many others made honorable mention. The list can be found at www.georgiadugoutpreview.com.
Al Reaves, a member of the Georgia High School Coaches Hall of Fame, died earlier this week in Eatonton. Services were Wednesday at First United Methodist Church in Eatonton.
Reaves, a graduate of Cochran, started his career in Putnam County in 1964 and stayed, coaching football, baseball and track before becoming the county superintendent of schools.
He was football head coach from 1964-80 and 1987-2000. In between, he was head coach at Jackson. Reaves finished with a 216-60-5 record in 35 seasons, with 19 winning seasons, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website.
He was inducted into the Georgia High School Coaches Hall of Fame last summer, and the high school football stadium is named after him.
Nick DiPonzio won’t be too far from home this weekend.
The former Tattnall Square standout is in Gainesville, Florida, with his Wake Forest teammates for an NCAA Super Regional matchup with Florida.
The first game of the series is at 3 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN.
DiPonzio has played in 26 of the Demon Deacons’ 50 games, starting six. He’s batting .190, but two of his eight hits have been homers, and he is perfect in five stolen base attempts.