Morgan County Boys and Girls Earn First Trip to State Meet in Six Years

For the first time in the careers of any of the current Morgan County Cross Country athletes, they are a part of a state qualifying team.  To make things even better, both the boys and girls teams have earned the opportunity to compete in the state meet to be held this Saturday in Carrollton.

The boys advanced to the state championship event by virtue of a runner-up finish in the region 8-AAA meet held last Thursday in Hartwell.  The team captured second place in the region with a total of 61 points.  The runner-up finish was made possible by three members of the MCHS boys team finishing in the top ten and four in the top 15.  The Bulldogs were paced by Alex Rountree, who finished with a time of 18:03, which was good for the sixth overall spot in the region.  Kevin Berisko and Jordan Hilsman came in just behind Rountree with times of 18:07 and 18:09, respectively.  Dalton Shaw, who has led the boys team all season, battled a nagging injury throughout the race but still medaled with the 14th best overall time in the region.  Cody Pace rounded out the top five for the MCHS boys with a time of 19:14.

The Lady Bulldog runners took home the fourth and final invitation to the state meet given by region 8-AAA.  The Morgan County girls scored a total of 76 points, which put them just behind Jackson County.  Jessie Pagett, Mary Zimmerman, and Carolina Zant each earned medals by finishing in the top 15.  Pagett led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with a time of 23:13.  Brooke Randall took the 18th overall spot in the region with a time of 24:21.  Emily Dickson completed the top five for the Lady Bulldogs. Dickson took 20th place overall in the region with a time of 24:27.

As you would expect, all of the members of the Cross Country program were ecstatic about their accomplishment.  The team has trained diligently since June to improve their strength and endurance.  Improvements have been noted throughout the season as many runners have made gains and set personal records along the way.  First year head coach Erin Spinks commented, “The athletes have worked diligently all season and set big goals from the beginning.  We began the summer by saying ‘when we make it to state’.  We used that mindset to train hard.   I am so proud of each athlete.  This is a lesson that hard work truly pays off.”


Zaxby’s Student-Athlete of the Week – Week 7

Allie Randall – Cross Country – Senior

Not only is Allie Randall a newcomer to Morgan County High School, she is also new to the sport.  Both of these firsts have not stopped the senior, who transferred from North Carolina, from making a mark on this year’s cross country team.   Randall has continuously improved over the course of the season and has shaved over seven minutes off her initial 3.1 mile time.  This puts Randall among the team’s top seven runners, which will be critical as cross country moves into the region meet this Thursday at Hart County.  Coach Erin Spinks commented, “Allie has jumped in as part of the team without hesitation.  She provides encouragement and support to her teammates and makes our team stronger.”


Kevin Berisko – Cross Country – Junior

Junior three-sport athlete Kevin Berisko has been a model of consistency for the 2016 boys cross country team.  Always among the top five finishers on the squad, Berisko had a second place overall finish at the October 12th home meet.  His time of 18:10 helped Morgan County to capture first place in the final home meet of the year.  Berisko and his teammates combined for another strong outing on October 22nd at the Last Chance Invitational in Carrollton, where the team took fourth out of 13 teams.  According to Coach Spinks, “Kevin has been on fire at practice and in our competitions.  He always give maximum effort and strives to get stronger each day.”


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Week 5 Zaxby’s Student-Athletes of the Week

Zaxby’s Student-Athlete-of-the-Week

Week 5:  9/19-9/24

Middle School Girls – Brianna Lanford, 6th Grade, Softball

Sixth grader Brianna Lanford is proving that the future is bright for the Morgan County softball program.  In three games for the week of 9/19-9/24, Lanford batted .500 and had an on base percentage of .667.  The first baseman/utility player played flawless defense for the week as well.  Coach Kemp Crawford added, “Brianna has worked extremely hard all season and put in a lot of hours outside practice.  I’m really proud of her dedication.”  The MCMS Lady Dogs finished the season in fourth place in the Piedmont Athletic Conference, which was a significant accomplishment for a team laden with young players.

Middle School Boys – Jacob Martin, 7th Grade, Cross Country

Time management might be a challenge for most of us in today’s world. However, Cross country athlete Jacob Martin, who participates in multiple extracurricular activities, is demonstrating that juggling multiple tasks can not only be done – but done well.  At the Georgia Mile Split Challenge hosted by North Oconee, Martin posted a time 14:03, which was good for an eight place overall finish out of 87 runners.  Martin led the MCMS boys to a fifth place finish in the meet.  Coach Sarah Robertson commented, “Jacob works extremely hard at practices.  He gives 100% in everything he does.  I am very proud of him for juggling all of his activities and keeping his grades up.”

High School Girls – Alisha Ellis, SR, Softball

According to coach Jason McBay, senior left fielder Alisha Ellis “hates to lose as much as I do.” Alisha’s competitive nature is evident each time she takes the field.  In region wins over Monroe Area (9/20) and Jackson County (9/22), Alisha did her fair share to lead the Lady Dogs to victory and a third consecutive region regular season championship.  In two games, Alisha was 4-7 at the plate with five RBIs.  She also stole four bases in four attempts and scored four runs.  She was outstanding in left field, where she picked up an assist by throwing a runner out at third base during the Jackson County game.

High School Boys – MJ Webb, SR, Football

Much has already been written about the 2016 Morgan County defense – especially the defensive line.  However, there is no denying the defensive  front’s impact in the Bulldogs 14-0 win over Lamar County on 9/23.  The unit’s bookend defensive end, MJ Webb, put on a noteworthy performance earning him this week’s award.  Webb had seven tackles on the evening and gave the Bulldog front consistent push into the opponent’s backfield.  Webb added four other tackles for loss and contributed several Quarterback pressures. Overall, Webb and the Morgan County defense limited the Trojans to just 49 total yards in the contest.


MCHS Boys, Girls Take First Place at Rick Boulis Invitational

While Morgan County parents, coaches and volunteers welcomed guests and opposing athletes to Bill Wood Park yesterday for the Rick Boulis Cross Country Invitational, the Bulldog runners were not nearly as hospitable as the MCHS Boys and Girls Cross Country teams both took home first place finishes in the varsity competitions. The event marked the first home competition of the season for the Morgan County Cross Country program and officially opened a new portion of the course that greatly adds to the competitive aspect of the layout.

Dalton Shaw took home first place in the boys competition with a time 18:21. Shaw was followed closely by his junior teammate, Alex Rountree, who finished second overall with a time 18:27. Rounding out the top five finishers for the Bulldogs were Kevin Berisko, Jordan Hilsman, and Frankie Hayes. Four of the top 15 finishers in the race were representatives of Morgan County High School, which helped the team to earn the lowest total score for the event. As in golf, lower point totals equate to better overall finishes by the team. Morgan County scored a total of 46 points, which earned a first place finish by one point over GMC Prep. Grovetown High School finished a distant third place.

The MCHS girls also saw four team members earn medals with sophomore Brooke Randall finishing just outside the top 15 with a 16th place overall. Senior Jessie Pagett led was the top finisher for the Lady Dog runners with a time of 23:44, which was good for fourth place overall. Sophomore Anna Hart finished sixth with a time of 25:25. Emily Dickson and Carolina Zant rounded out the top five for the Lady Dogs by claiming the 11th and 14th place spots, respectively. The Morgan County girls took the top spot out of seven teams. Morgan County totaled 51 points, which gave the Lady Dogs a seven point advantage over Grovetown.

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Dean, Shaw Named Week 1 Zaxby’s Student-Athletes-of-the Week

Senior softball player Ansley Dean and Senior cross country runner Dalton Shaw have been named Zaxby’s Student-Athlete-of-the-Week for their performances the week of August 22nd.

Dean, in her second year as a mainstay in the pitching circle for the Lady Dogs, led the Morgan County varsity softball team to three wins for the week of August 22-August 27, which included a shutout of region rival and previously unbeaten East Jackson. Following a loss to Franklin County, Dean gave up only ten hits in 16 1/3 innings of work. Dean also contributed heavily at the plate by going 6 for 9 with three doubles. Head softball coach Jason McBay was especially pleased with how his senior pitcher responded after a tough outing earlier in the week versus Franklin County.

Senior cross country athlete Dalton Shaw was selected as the athletic program’s first male recipient of the award after an impressive start to his final season at the LCA Invitational meet on Saturday, August 20th. Shaw placed fourth overall out of a field of 103 male runners with a time of 18:37. Head Coach Erin Spinks states that Dalton trains outside of practice time as well as scheduled practices and pushes other teams members to improve their individual performances.

Morgan County Charter School System Athletics is proud to join with Zaxby’s of Madison to honor a male and female student-athlete each week for their performances on and off the athletic field.