Weaver tabbed to take over GNTC vol­ley­ball

The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY - By Scott Herpst

The start of the 2017 vol­ley­ball pro­gram is still five months away, but new head coach Am­ber Weaver is al­ready hard at work look­ing to add to the ros­ter and put her on stamp on the Lady Bob­cats’ pro­gram.

Weaver was re­cently tabbed to take over the Ge­or­gia North­west­ern pro­gram fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Car­rie Pow­ell, who stepped down af­ter the 2016 sea­son for fam­ily rea­sons. Weaver served as an as­sis­tant coach with the pro­gram last year and also served as an as­sis­tant with the Lady Bob­cats bas­ket­ball team un­der head coach David Stephen­son.

“I’m su­per ex­cited about tak­ing over vol­ley­ball,” she said. “I’m ex­cited for the up­com­ing sea­son and the new recruits com­ing in. It’s just a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity to work with a re­ally great group of peo­ple that I’ve got­ten to know from be­ing the as­sis­tant bas­ket­ball coach.”

“We’re go­ing to use the same sort of phi­los­o­phy as Coach (Stephen­son),” added Weaver, who played at Sil­verdale Bap­tist Academy. “We want to use (vol­ley­ball) to get our play­ers to their next place in life.

“I feel like vol­ley­ball is great, but it’s also a great way to get stu­dents to con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion. That’s what it was for me. As long as I could play sports, I had a rea­son to keep that grade point av­er­age (up). I also think it’s a great av­enue for (play­ers) to bet­ter them­selves as peo­ple by learn­ing things like be­ing on time and be­ing re­li­able to a coach, which will tran­si­tion over to work one day.”

Stephen­son, who coached Weaver in high school, said he was thrilled with the hire.

“We’re get­ting some­one who is fa­mil­iar with our pro­gram here, not just vol­ley­ball, but the en­tire ath­letic de­part­ment,” he said. “And she un­der­stands what we’re try­ing to do phi­los­o­phy-wise. We’re get­ting some­one with good ex­pe­ri­ence and some­one with con­nec­tions in the Chat­tanooga mar­ket, which we re­ally want to tap into more.

“She’s very ex­cited about con­tin­u­ing the good work that Coach Pow­ell started and try­ing to build on it. I’m su­per ex­cited we’re get­ting some­one of Am­ber’s qual­ity.”

Pow­ell, a grad­u­ate of Ridge­land High School, was a mem­ber of the col­lege’s first vol­ley­ball team back in 2008. She later be­came its head coach in 2012.

“Car­rie was an out­stand­ing person for our pro­gram and I hate to lose her,” Stephen­son added. “One of the things that’s writ­ten in my of­fice is ‘love your sport, love your kids and love your school’ and Car­rie cer­tainly did all three things for us. We wish her noth­ing but the best be­cause we wouldn’t be where we are now with­out her.”

In Game 1, the Gen­er­als fell be­hind 2-0 af­ter a half-in­ning, but got a run back in the bot­tom of the first be­fore adding three more in the sec­ond and five in the third to put the game away.

Lance Dock­ery was 2-of-4 with a dou­ble and two runs scored. Cole Wil­cox had two hits, in­clud­ing a triple, and knocked in three runs. Joseph Hill had two RBIs, while Johnathan Hick­man, Josh Gib­son and Bryce Bird had one RBI each.

Tan­ner Hill went 2-for-4 for the Pan­thers with a dou­ble and an RBI. Ivy Boehm also dou­bled, while Jor­dan Tucker had an RBIs­in­gle.

Alex Bar­bee threw six in­nings to get the win for the Gen­er­als. He gave up just five hits and two runs, strik­ing out six and walk­ing one. None of the runs were earned.

Ja­lyn Shel­ton was touched up for nine earned runs on eight hits and six walks in 2.2 in­nings. He struck out just one.

Her­itage 13, Ridge­land 2

In the night­cap, the Pan­thers once again led 2-1 af­ter the first in­ning. But a six-run sec­ond in­ning would be fol­lowed by three-spots in the third and fourth as Her­itage went on to win via the run-rule in the fifth.

Hick­man was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBIs, while Luke Grant added a pair of hits.

Bird fin­ished with three RBIs, while Wil­cox, Hill and Gib­son knock­ing in two apiece.

Hill, Boehm and Austin De­lay had hits for Ridge­land. De­lay was cred­ited with an RBI.

Wil­cox threw four in­nings to pick up the win. He gave up an earned run on five hits with two walks and five strike­outs.

Boehm took the loss af­ter throw­ing just two in­nings. He gave up seven runs on seven hits with three strike­outs. Only one of the runs were earned.

Her­itage 10, Ridge­land 0

The Gen­er­als are off to a 3-0 start in Re­gion 6-AAAA play and Hick­man is a big rea­son why.

Hick­man drove in 10 runs in the Navy-andRed’s three-game sweep of Ridge­land, in­clud­ing five in Thurs­day night’s 10-0 Game 3 vic­tory in Rossville.

He was 2-for-4 at the plate, but came through with two timely hits. His two-run sin­gle in the top of the fourth ex­tended the Her­itage lead to 3-0 and he de­liv­ered a bases-clear­ing dou­ble as part of a five-run sev­enth in­ning that blew the game wide open.

Grant went 2-for3, drove in a run and scored three times, while Tripp Church and Justin Mor­ris each had one RBI.

Church also picked up the win with six shutout in­nings of work on the hill. He gave up just four hits and one walk and fin­ished the night with eight strike­outs. Blake Bryan worked the sev­enth.

Ri­ley Har­ri­son started for the Pan­thers and took the loss. He went 3.1 in­nings, giv­ing up three runs on three hits with one strike­out.

Will Hodges had two of Ridge­land’s five hits, while Tucker col­lected a dou­ble.

Her­itage (8-2, 3-0) will open a three­game series against North­west Whit­field at home on Tues­day, while Ridge­land (5-5, 0-3) will look to re­group as they be­gin a three-game series with Gilmer, start­ing Tues­day in El­li­jay.

Am­ber Weaver was re­cently named as the new head vol­ley­ball coach for the GNTC Lady Bob­cats. (Ca­toosa County News file photo/Scott Herpst) Her­itage 9, Ridge­land 3

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