Weaver tabbed to take over GNTC volleyball
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