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the Patriots of Habersham School out of Savannah. The Eagles had been a scrappy team all year long but were outmatched in the Championship as they fell in both games of the double header on Friday in the bestof- three series.
The Eagles finished the season with a record of 15-7 as the State Runners-up.
VHS All Sports
For the 7th time in the last 8 years, Vidalia High School was awarded the Region 2AA All-Sports Championship Trophy. Winning the Championship Trophy that many times is an accomplishment on its own but winning the award this year held a special place among the Vidalia Athletes, Coaches, and Staff. For the first time in the award’s history, the trophy now bears the name of Vidalia’s longtime Athletic Director and Head Girls Basketball Coach, Chunk Reid. Vidalia teams were able to win 10 of the 20 Region Championships in Region 2AA, and current VHS Athletic Director Tommy Dalley said that is a standard that reaches far and wide. “Our athletes and the parents of our athletes put a lot of faith into how we were doing things, which enabled us to push them to reach their potential and that inevitably made our athletic programs successful.”
Several youth baseball and softball teams from both the Lyons Recreation Department and the Vidalia Recreation Department had great runs in the as they claimed District Championships.
From LRD the 8U girls brought home the title from the tournament at Effingham County. The 10U boys won their title at the tournament that was held at Partin Park. And the 10U girls also won the District Tournament that was held at Partin Park.
The VRD 8U boys picked up their District Championship in Effingham County. The 12U boys won the tournament that was also held in Effingham County. The VRD 12U girls won their District title just down the road at Partin Park.
At the GRPA State Tournament the LRD 10u Girls brought home the State Championship.
Lyons took out Wayne County in the Championship in a very high scoring contest. LRD won the game 24-23 to earn their title.
The LRD 14U girls also won the State Championship.
Lyons face Coffee County in the Championship. Coffee won the first game, 4-3, to force a second game. But in that second game the girls from Partin Park took a 7-2 win to claim the title.
VRD Swim & Coach Hilton
The Vidalia Recreation Department Swim Team had a great showing at the GRPA B State Swim Meet in Fort Oglethorpe on July 16 and 17. Fourteen swimmers competed in the meet with numerous swimmers making it to the finals and bringing home awards.
This year, the team also had several state champions. Lake Wright brought home a state championship in the 13-14 boys 50–yard breaststroke with a time of 34.26. The 15–18-year-old mixed relay team were state champions, bringing home 1st place in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:40.48, just shy of the current state record of 1:39.44. This team consisted of Conley Brown, Reece Brown, Jackson Crawley, and Autumn Harris. In the 15-18 men’s division, Jackson Crawley also earned state championship titles in both the 50–yard freestyle, with a time of 22.90, and in the 100–yard freestyle with a time of 50.40.
For 29 years, Rob Hilton has coached the VRD Swim Team and under his tenure, more than 28 State Champions have been crowned. This year, he was assisted in coaching by his former swimmers Cole Register and Jessica Gordon. Coach Hilton announced that this was his final year coaching the Vidalia Recreation Department Swim Team. His many years of service to this sport have been greatly appreciated and the community and swimmers are thankful for all that he has given.
It was another great year for the Vidalia High School Indians softball team as they made another run at a State Championship. They again made it to Columbus for the State Championship Tournament and battled their way to a State Runnerup finish.
Earlier in the season the VHS pitching staff had a week to remember as three different pitchers threw nohitters over three straight games. All three pitchers, Tymber Harris, Bailey Holland, and Madison Starr threw no-hitters as the Indians defeated Bacon County, Islands, and East Laurens.
The Indians also brought home the Region Championship as they finished the year with a Region record of 14-1, with their only loss coming to rival Jeff Davis early in the season.
VHS moved into the State Playoffs. They swept Josey and Elbert County to punch their ticket to Columbus. In Columbus they dropped their first-round game to Bremen but came back through the losers’ bracket with wins over Union County, Jeff Davis, Bremen, and Dade County to earn their spot in the State Championship Game. In the Championship they took on defending State Champion Heard County. Vidalia gave it their all but fell short in a 10-6 loss. The Indians overall hit an astounding 10 home runs during their six games in the State Championship Tournament.
VHS finished the year as the State Runner-up in AA and with a record of 327. The Indians will lose several players off this year’s team. Those graduating are Bailey Holland, Rileigh Robinson, Jesslyn Collins, Alli Taufmann, Logan Menard, Janna Hyers, and Matlin Mead.
The Indian Competition Cheerleaders put everything together at the right time in their season this year. They had placed well at several competitions during the season. VHS hosted the Region Championships, and with a solid performance, they claimed the title. It was the fourth Region Championship for VHS over the past eight seasons. That also had the Indians ranked as they #3 team in the state in AA.
They then took the trip to Macon to compete at the Centreplex for the State Championship. They had another great showing but came up just ½ point behind Bleckley County for the title. “I couldn’t be prouder of our team,” said Vidalia Head Coach Ann Michele Toole. “In this sport you have 2min 30sec to maximize your opportunities to fully execute and they did an amazing job in their final performance of the season. It was a tight run in the top three of 2A, with a mere .5-point separation and a three-way tie determined by officials.” Toole added.
The Vidalia Heritage Academy Eagles played their first varsity season during the 2017-18 school year, they didn’t win a game. This season, just five years later, well, they not only went 10-1 on the year, but brought home their first GAPPS 1A State Championship, and they did so in dominating fashion. The Eagles of VHA averaged over 50 points a game this season on their way to that title. On Friday, November 26, they traveled to Cumming to take on the Warriors of Horizon Christian Academy for the State Championship. Horizon were also the defending State Champions and were averaging over 40 points a game this season. The game was played on the Astroturf field at Pinecrest Academy, also in Cumming. The Eagles were in control of this game throughout as they held a 46-28 lead at halftime. They took the win 66-36 over the Warriors.
VHA got an incredible performance from Ethan Sikes with 296 yards and 5 touchdowns on just 11 carries, Josiah Smith added 238 yards on 16 carries with 2 touchdowns, Ledger Curl had 30 yards and James Hutcheson ran for just 12 yards, but had several plays called back on penalties. Josiah Smith also threw for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Eagles had 661 total yards of offense in the game. John Smith caught 3 passes for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Mason Beacham, James Hutcheson, and Josiah Smith are the three seniors on this team, and all have been key players on both sides of the ball for this State Championship team.
As you can see, it was and great year for local sports. So many of our student- athletes had outstanding years with lots of teams and individuals winning Region, Area, District, and State Championships. The coaches across all the schools continue to do an incredible job not only in training these kids in the sports that they play, but also in shaping them to be better people as they grow up. The local support has been amazing as always, from the community to the school staffs and faculty. Let us all continue to support everything that leads to the betterment of the local youth across all sports and activities in the new year.