On May 3, the No. 8 state-ranked Spalding High Lady Jags soccer team advanced to the Elite 8 after whipping the Harlem High Lady Bulldogs 10-0 at Memorial Stadium in Griffin in the second round of the state soccer playoffs. Li Anne Harris scored 3 goals for Spalding in the win. Also on that day, the Griffin Christian Crusaders baseball team ended its season with a 20-12 loss to Stratford Academy.
On May 4, the Griffin High Bears began the first day of spring football practice with more than 50 hopefuls. The next day, the Faith Christian Academy Lions boys golf team lost the ICSGA golf championship match 343-366 to Crown Athletics at the Cedar Lake Golf Club in Loganville, Ga. It’s the second straight year the Lions finished as runners-up in the league title match.
The Spalding Lady Jags soccer team’s glorious season came to an end on May 6, as the team lost to No. 3 state-ranked Allatoona 2-0 in the Elite 8 at Memorial Stadium. Also on that day, the No. 1 state-ranked Spalding High Jaguars baseball team swept Perry High 10-4 and 15-2 at Jaguar Field in the best-of-three first-round state playoff action to start their postseason of glory. Next up was the Cross Creek Razorbacks in Round 2.
Other newsworthy sports happenings in the area included:
* Griffin Christian’s spring football practice fields 20 players under new head coach Sean Word. (May 9)
* The Spalding High spring football practice fields 70 players under new head coach Nick Davis. (May 10)
* The Spalding baseball team rips Cross Creek 15-4 and 9-1 in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs at Jaguar Field. Zach Lerner and Casey Moody hit 2 homers each to lead the way. (May 11)
* Spalding High freshman track and field athlete Abbie Argo throws the shot put 19-6, setting a state record for the shot put for adapted athletes at the state track and field meet in Albany, Ga. The old record was 17-1. (May 13)
* The next day, Spalding senior Jenna Wesley repeated as the state champion in the 800 meter run. (May 14)
* The Spalding Jags baseball team falls 6-3 in Game 1 of the state quarterfinals against No. 3 state-ranked Cartersville, but rebounds to win the series by the scores of 5-2 and 16-9, advancing to the state AAA semifinals against No. 8 state-ranked Woodward Academy. (May 17-18)
* The Griffin High Gold Team beats the Green Team 21-7 in the annual Green & Gold Scrimmage football game. (May 19)
* The Spalding High Navy Team beats the Silver Team 12-0 in the annual Navy & Silver Scrimmage football game. (May 20)
* In one of the wildest playoff series ever, the Spalding baseball team advanced to the state AAA finals by defeating Woodward Academy 11-10 and 15-14. It was a series in which both teams combined for more than 10 homers in WA’s short field. Casey Moody ended the series for SHS (31-3) with a walk-off, bases loaded single deep to center, putting Spalding in the state finals against No. 6 Columbus High, the defending state champions. (May 23)
* Down the road, the Class AA No. 2 state-ranked Pike County Pirates beat Lovett 6-1 in the state semis to advance to the state finals for the first time in team history. They will play defending champ Buford High. (May 24)
* Pike County won Game 1 of the Class AA state baseball finals 10-3, but Buford won the next two games 14-4 and 5-1 to win the Class AA state title. (May 28, 30)
* The Spalding baseball team whipped Columbus 18-1 in Game 1 of the Class AAA state finals, but lost the next two games 12-2 and 19-9 to lose the 2011 state title to defending champ Columbus in their home stadium. SHS finishes 32-5. (May 30-31)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fifth in a 12-part series conducted by the Griffin Daily News highlighting the top sports stories of 2011. This will culminate in a top 10 stories list on Dec. 31, 2011.