In this year-end review, three big sports stories from Bartow County will be put into flashback mode. These stories consist of a tennis team’s unexpected success, a track team’s great run and a well-known football program that almost made it all the way.
1. “Cartersville tennis finishes strong” from May.
The girls’ and boys’ tennis teams both earned playoff berths in their first year under coach Melissa Moore. The girls advanced to the round of 16 of the Class AAA playoffs before falling to St. Pius X and the boys fell in the opening round to Oconee.
With only one senior on the girls’ tennis team, Cartersville fought hard to make it to the runner-up position in Region 7-AAA and earned a 4-0 victory over the girls of Lanier in the opening round of the postseason matchups.
The boys worked hard as well to take the No. 4 seed in the region. With one of their star players coming down with the stomach flu prior to the first round, he had to be replaced just as they faced off against the Region 8-AAA champions, Oconee, falling 3-1.
2. “Woodland boys’ track puts together impressive finish” is a tale of a remarkable track team that made their mark three years straight.
With head coach Adrian Steele joining the team when his 2012 seniors were just sophomores, they saw much success on the track, including two runner-up finishes in Region 7-AAAA, and a region championship last school year. Four of the six standout seniors won individual region titles this year. During the 2012 state championships the seniors made their mark again, despite facing some challenges.
3. “Cartersville falls just short of the Dome” in December as the continuing winning tradition of ’Canes football lived on.
After making it to the semifinals with a spotless 13-0 record, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes finished their season with a 21-10 loss to Buford Dec. 7 — a loss that head coach Frank Barden said the team took very hard.
Having been to the playoffs many times in previous years, the Cartersville football program has developed a tradition of winning, but they had not been this far into the playoffs without a loss since they won the state championship in 1999.