Lady Tigers did just fine on their way to the third-year school’s first region championship of any kind.
The Lady Tigers were a scrappy bunch. After dropping its first two games of the season, Alcovy won 12 of its next 15 games.
The Lady Tigers won the region on the last day of league play and finished with a 17-12 overall record.
Seniors Kelly Azar and Johnna Bagley provided solid leadership to a relatively young team and were two of six players on the 4-AAAA All-Region team. Amber and Andrea Melton, Melody Belcher and Hardin joined Azar and Bagley. 4. Lady Eagle’s softball places third in state
Eastside has built a reputation of being one of the best softball programs in the state. 2008 was no different.
After an early exit from the sectionals last year, the Lady Eagles went 28-7-1 and came within a game of winning the whole enchilada. Instead, Eastside settled for third place. Not bad considering nobody knew how good Amanda Henderson was going to be.
The junior fireballer’s 365 strikeouts set a school record and was good enough for ninth alltime in the state. Her 27 wins tied for the 10th most in a season in the state as well.
Over the final month of the season, Henderson recorded 10 shutouts in 11 games and gave up just one run to Morgan County.
While Henderson shut them down, Brianna Chambers provided the offensive spark. The senior center fielder batted .495, had an on base percentage of .591 and stole 34 bases.
Both Chambers and Henderson were recently named to the All-State team for their 2008 performances.
Of Eastside’s seven losses, three came at the hands or region nemesis Oconee. The Lady Eagles appeared to be well on their way to the state title after defeating Oconee County in the region tournament. But the Lady Warriors exacted revenge in the state tournament and knocked Eastside out of the title hunt on the second to last day. 5. Newton comes up just short against Eastside
While the Rams may have only managed three wins in 2008, it was apparent they made plenty of headway from 2007.
An early season game against county rival Eastside would be the perfect test for second-year head coach Nick Collins’ young team. And make no mistake about it, the Rams were very young in ’08.
The Rams came into the game riding the emotion of a big win over McIntosh the week before. Newton could have easily been 2-0 but couldn’t score against Alcovy in its opener and lost 3-0.
Collins inserted Demetrius McCray as his starting quarterback after the Alcovy loss and the senior responded by winning his first start. The Rams looked poised for the upset.
Eastside quarterback Justin Wray hit Broderick Alexander for a 5-yard touchdown pass in the waning seconds of the second quarter and Eastside had a 21-6 lead and control of the game at halftime.
But Newton scratched its way back into the game in the second half. After scoring a touchdown early in the third quarter to get to within seven, the Rams went on a 23-play scoring drive that consumed the entire fourth quarter. Freshman Akeem Hunt scored with one second remaining in regulation to tie the game and force overtime.
Newton failed to score on its first possession in overtime and Eastside was in good position to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat.
But Quinton Pooler picked off a pass over the middle and gave his team another shot at the win.
After Wray scored a touchdown and 2-point conversion to put the Eagles up by eight in overtime on their next possession, Collins dialed up McCray's number once again.
McCray scored from six yards out and again, the Rams were on the verge of the improbable.
But senior linebacker Brandon Pettit shot the gap on the 2-point conversion for Eastside and tackled McCray in the backfield to end the game.
Eastside’s 29-27 win catapulted them to an 11-2 record while Newton never fully recovered, going 2-5 the rest of the way. 6. Veterans captures third straight championship
While Eastside got it done at the high school level, Veterans Memorial Middle School had a season to remember of its own.
The Generals defeated Ray Davis Middle School in the NewRoc championship to capture their third straight title.
The 28-12 victory capped a perfect 8-0 season and Veterans players showed the rest of the county just how bright future of high school football is. 7. Newton beats M.L. King for first time
After a first round exit from the region 2-AAAAA playoffs in March, the Rams basketball squad kicked of the 2008-09 season rolling off win after impressive win.
No win was bigger than the 4948 victory over region stalwart M.L. King.
The Lions came into Region 2-AAAAA a year after Newton. Before the two teams met in December, Newton had yet to beat the perennial playoff team.
Coming off an emotional win over county rival Alcovy, the Rams fell down early to the athletic Lions 9-3 in the first quarter. But the Rams stayed in the game and worked it even as time ran down in the fourth quarter.
Down 48-47, the Rams had one last shot at the win. With 14 ticks on the clock, Jamon Hawkins drove the lane before dishing to a cutting Derrick Henry. Henry hit the game winning layup and Newton captured its first win over M. L. King in region play. 8. Dixie Boys World Series
A time-honored tradition called Covington home for one week in August.
Teams from all over the Southeast converged upon City Pond Park for the Dixie Boys World Series.
The host Newton County AllStar team was unable to capture the crown, but the Newton County Recreation Department dis- played the Southern hospitality Newton County is famous for.
Late-inning heroics and plenty of home runs into City Pond were just some of the highlights of the week.
Twenty-three games and loads of heartbreak later, two teams faced off for the big trophy.
After Florida defeated Georgia in thrilling come-from-behind fashion, South Carolina turned the trick in the final and took home the title of Dixie Boys World Series champions. 9. Alcovy’s Outlaw becomes school’s first 1,000-yard back
The Tigers made great strides in 2008, finishing a school-best 5-5. Along the way, Malachi Outlaw, all 160 pounds of him, rushed for a school-best 1,257 yards and became Alcovy’s first running back to break 1,000 yards for the season.
Outlaw recorded two 200-yard games, against Ola and Griffin respectively.
In a downpour on the road at Ola, Outlaw could have easily rushed for 400 yards had two penalties not negated runs of 45 and 60 yards.
Coaches around the state took notice as Outlaw was named to the Region 4-AAAA All-Region Team.
In the Tigers season finale, Outlaw did his part, rushing for 211 yards. In the end, it wasn’t enough as Alcovy fell 35-16 and
barely missed the playoffs. 10. B.R.A.G. hits town
After a 10-year hiatus, hundreds of cyclists came to Newton County in June for the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia.
Also known as B.R.A.G., the ride travels from a starting point to a designated end point that usually encompasses between 350-400 miles.
This year’s ride started in Oxford and ended in St. Simons.
Riders from as far as Canada came to enjoy the quaint settings around town. In the end, more than 1,000 riders rode through town, around the square, and on south to enjoy a week of camaraderie and good spirits.