2012 brought the community it’s ups and downs in the sports world, as is the case for most years. Over the next week, The Times will bring you the highlights from the past year in sports: a 2012 year in sports review. Part 1 will go from January through July.
Last winter, the Upson-Lee Knights basketball team was looking to make another trip to the state playoffs, but a tough 43-41 loss against Griffin in the Region Tournament ended the Knights’ season. Upson-Lee senior Keldric Searcy was named First Team All-Region, and played in the Middle Georgia All-Star Game in Dublin, Ga. The Lady Knights suffered a tough season, posting a 4-22 record.
Also in the winter, the Knights had two athletes in the swimming and diving state finals. Chris Moroz placed seventh in the 100 yard breaststroke. The Milk Processor Education Program and USA TODAY announced that Moroz was one of the 25 national winners of the 15th annual “Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year” (SAMMY 2012) Award Program. Chris was selected from a pool of more than 30,000 applicants.
SAMMY 2012 winners were chosen based on five criteria: academic performance, athletic excellence, leadership, community service, and the milk experience essay. Preliminary judging was conducted by a qualified group of educators and coaches who selected the 75 semi-finalists, three from each of the 25 Milk Prize Regions. Finally, a panel of celebrity judges including Chauncey Billups, Jennie Finch, Tony Hawk, Andy Roddick, and Dara Torres selected the twenty-five national winners.
As a winner, Chris received a $7,500 college scholarship and an invitation to attend the SAMMY 2012 weekend at the Disney World Complex in Orlando, FL.
Upson-Lee diver Johnny Colley also placed in the top 15 in the state in diving.
The Knights wrestling team was in one of the tougher regions in the state, but C.J. Kirschmann and Deven Green each advanced to the State Sectionals in 2012.
The Thomaston-Upson 12 & under All-Star Team were crowned State Champions in recreation league basketball after running through every team they played. Many of those players will soon be joining the ULMS Knights basketball team next season, which bodes well for Head Coach Tim Cook and his middle school basketball team.
In February of last year, the Thomaston-Upson Sport Hall of Fame inducted Douglas Stanley, Jimmy Cavan, Devony Cladwell-Pope, James Carter, Brent Norris, the 1987 R.E. Lee Rebels, and the 1946 American Legion Baseball Team.
The Upson-Lee Spring sports team had a tough time in 2012, as the Region 4 teams were loaded with state ranked teams. The UL baseball Diamond Knights struggled with with some of the tougher teams in the state, which were in Region 4, but nearly every starter from a season ago returns in 2013.
The Upson-Lee tennis teams also struggled in Region 4. However, one bright spot for the Knights tennis team was a victory over Whitewater, which was Upson-Lee’s fist ever victory over the Fayette County school.
The Knights and Lady Knights soccer teams had some tough competition in Region 4 and did not make the playoffs. Behind the leadership of seven seniors, the Lady Knights did finish with a 9-4-1 record, while the Knights closed their season with a 5-8 record.
The Upson-Lee golf team also had a tough go of it in 2012, but looks forward to a better season in 2013 with many of their top golfers returning for the Knights and Lady Knights.
Perhaps the brightest spot of the 2012 local sports community was the Upson-Lee Knights track team. The Knights’ 4x100 relay team set the school record several times over, including posting a blazing time of 41.73 seconds in the State Finals, a time which crowned them the 2012 State Runners-Up. On an individual note, senior Jared Jordan was named fastest man in Region 4 after winning the 100m dash with a time of 10.84, and also set a school record with a time of 21.67 in the 200m, while taking home first place in that event as well.
Upson-Lee junior Corey Moss became the first person in the school history to advance to the State Track Meet in the 110m hurdles. Moss placed fourth in the Region and 13th in the state with a time of 15.33 seconds. Jared Jordan, who qualified for the state in the 100m and the 200m, sat out of those events while suffering from an injured hamstring; however, Jordan did contribute as a key factor in the Knights 4x100 record setting race. Team members of the 4x100m relay team include Deion Wilkins, Dontavius Tucker, Jared Jordan, and Corey Moss.
Many different athletes from Upson-Lee signed athletic scholarships in the 2012 and went on to play collegiately. Those athletes include, Tessa Patterson (Augusta State-Cross Country), Lexi Watson (University of Mobile-Soccer), Miriam Mast (Gordon College-Cross Country), Jeri Joiner (Gordon College-Soccer), Lindsey Law (Columbus State-Soccer), Anna Holmes (Gordon College-Soccer), Brianna Harris (Gordon College-Soccer), and Dontavius Tucker (Charleston Southern-Football).
Look in Tuesday’s edition of The Thomaston Times for a recap of highlights from August through present day.