North Paulding still saw its best-ever season on the diamond, winning a program-record 24 contests and advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time. The Wolfpack defeated Pope and Flowery Branch in the previous rounds of the postseason.
The track and field athletes of the county also concluded their seasons at the high school association’s Boys’ State Meet at Memorial Stadium in Jefferson from May 8 through 10.
North Paulding’s Qua Stocks won the Class 5A state championship in the high jump with a distance of 6.08 meters while teammate Bradley Graham earned 10th place in the pole vault. Connor Christian of East Paulding finished fourth in the shot put while North Paulding’s Seth Whitener was seventh in the same event. Whitener also placed fifth in the discus throw.
North Paulding finished 11th in the team standings while South Paulding placed 35th. The Spartans’ 4x400 Meter relay team of Aaron Jones, Michael Goines, Tim Smalls and Josh Hill finished fourth in the state with a time of 3:21.05. That time set the school record and was the highest-ever finish in a boys’ event at the state meet for South Paulding. Jones also placed ninth in the 200-meter dash and 10th in the 100-meter dash, setting record times for the county in those events.
“The guys were extremely focused and determined,” Spartans’ head coach Joseph Scott said. “Most of it was because of the senior leadership of Aaron and Josh.
“It was a bittersweet moment to see them on the awards stand because it was a great finish for Aaron and Josh but also their last race as a Spartan.”