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Stellar Season: A look back at Paulding County 2013-14 prep sports
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
June 04, 2014 12:53 PM | 1374 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal.Hiram sophomore Lakerra Partridge takes a shot.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal.Hiram sophomore Lakerra Partridge takes a shot.
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Staff / Katherine Frye.North Paulding senior Chase Noonan throws the ball to a teammate during practice last week.
Staff / Katherine Frye.North Paulding senior Chase Noonan throws the ball to a teammate during practice last week.
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Staff / Samantha M. Shal.From left, South Paulding junior Jazmine Burse and senior Aaron Jones warm up for track practice.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal.From left, South Paulding junior Jazmine Burse and senior Aaron Jones warm up for track practice.
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Paulding experienced another great year in high school athletics with several programs winning region championships, finding unprecedented success in the postseason and individuals earning state titles in such sports as swimming and track.

The Paulding County School District recently awarded North Paulding the Superintendent’s Cup for being the top overall performing athletic department among its five high schools.

The Wolfpack had a strong fall season, particularly the football team which won 11 games and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs for the first time in program history. The district named quarterback Chase Noonan the county’s offensive player of the year and head coach Scott Jones the coach of the year.

The Wolfpack also had two individuals win state championships. Swimmer Stephanie Peters won the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyle competitions at the state meet while track athlete Qua Stocks earned a state title in the high jump.

Both of North Paulding’s tennis teams, volleyball and girls’ soccer made the postseason with the latter winning 12 contests and reaching the quarterfinals. CJ Williams received the boys’ tennis player of the year award from the county. North Paulding’s baseball won a team-record 24 contests, advancing to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. The Wolfpack also launched the county’s first varsity lacrosse teams this spring.

South Paulding saw its football team win a program-record 10 contests and first playoff game behind county player of the year, quarterback Chandler Burks. Other Spartans’ teams that made the postseason included boys’ basketball, which won 23 games, girls’ basketball, boys’ tennis and softball. Aaron Jones won three events at the region track meet while wrestler Noah Isley was named the county’s top grappler. Kahliyah Smith received the girls’ track athlete of the year while Henry Gee earned the same honor for boys’ golf after leading the Spartans to a region title and state tournament appearance.

Hiram had several fall athletes perform at a high level including cross country male athlete of the year Jacob Robinson, who won three individual competitions, including a region championship, and placed 13th at the state meet out of 230 runners.

Softball pitcher and first baseman Danielle Downs also was named the county player of the year and to the All-State First Team after leading the county in batting average and doubles while recording 52 hits and 40 RBIs.

Volleyball player of the year Mackenzie Downs led Hiram to a 31-win campaign and second-round appearance in the playoffs.

The Hornets sported one of the youngest girls’ basketball teams in the entire state with only two seniors on the roster. However, they had the best season in program history, winning 22 games, advancing to the playoffs and finishing undefeated in regular season region contests.

East Paulding’s football team made the state playoffs for the fourth consecutive year, winning eight contests and advancing to the second round of the postseason. Allyssa Sheffield was named cross country athlete of the year after winning the county meet, placing fifth in regions and 15th at the state meet.

The spring season was also a strong period for the Raiders as the baseball team, behind player of the year Mitchell Webb, won 18 games and made the second-round of the playoffs. The girls’ soccer team made the postseason for the first time in three seasons led by Kalea Romano who scored 35 goals and notched 18 assists on the season.

Paulding County High School saw its softball team reach the second round of the playoffs and the girls’ basketball team win its first region championship en route to a postseason appearance as well. Four Patriots athletes were named the top players in their respective sports by the county; Raasean Davis (boys’ basketball), Keisha Shy (girls’ basketball), Ashlee Goff (girls’ tennis) and Chandler Collins (boys’ soccer).

Hiram private school Grace Christian Academy’s softball team won the Georgia Independent Christian Athletics Association state title this spring. This prep season was also the final time all five public schools will be within the same region in the foreseeable future due to reclassification by the Georgia High School Association. For the next two years, North Paulding will move up to Class 6A and join a region with Cobb County programs while the other four programs will remain in Class 5A grouped with several Douglas and Bartow county schools.

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