The Pickens Dragons Wrestling team hosted the first tri-match of the 2018-2019 season on Thursday with the Heritage Generals and the Chestatee War Eagles vying to get a win to start the season. With all the hard work and practice time the Dragons have put in during the offseason, the day had finally come to put it all to the test.
The Dragons took a hard-fought win over a good Heritage Generals team(42-36) and a dominating victory over the Chestatee War Eagles(44-21) from Gainesville. Both Heritage and Chestatee sent several wrestlers to Macon last season for the GHSA State tournament. The 2018-2019 season looks to hold some very good results for the Dragons of Pickens High School. Several athletes picked up where they left off last season and started off with individual wins on Thursday. C.J. Murphy, Tyler Vreeland, and Zach Meadows will once again work hard to earn a trip to the State Championship again this year. Coach Tippens is excited for what this year could be with the returning guys and an excellent group of underclassmen that are making their way up to the varsity level.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is Michael Burrell. Burrell, had two touchdowns this past Friday night against LaFayette. One on offense, & one on defense. Burrell, was also called on to punt a couple of times for the Dragons. On the night, Burrell threw a 15-yd touchdown pass to QB CJ Streicher, picked off a pass and took it 20-yds for a score (1 of 4 turnovers for the Dragons on the night), had a rush of 15-yds while in at QB, collected 4 tackles, & punted twice for 79 yards. One of those punts was inside the 20-yd line. For the season, on offense, Burrell is 6/9 passing for 158 yards & 3 TD’s, rushed for 315 yards on 39 attempts, & 5 TD’s, caught 4 passes for 128 yards & 2 TD’s. Defensively, Burrell has 24 tackles, 3 INT’s, 6 pass break ups, & 1 defensive TD. Burrell has also punted 5 times for a total of 187 yards (37.4 yd average), & have had 3 punts downed inside the opponents 20-yd line.
With the 48-19 win over LaFayette last Friday, the 6-AAAA region champion Dragons completed a 10-0 regular season for the first time in school history. You can catch Michael Burrell & the rest of the Pickens Dragons at home on November 9th as they host the #4 seed out of region 7 in the 1st round of the 2018 4A State Playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is Senior Kaleb Ray. Kaleb, plays almost everywhere for the Dragons. On offense he plays receiver & running back, on defense he plays corner, & he’s a big part of special teams. Kaleb came up big this past Friday against Ridgeland with the 6-AAAA region championship hanging in the balance. Ray, had two momentum shifting plays back to back. First, with Pickens leading 17-14 in the 2nd quarter, the Panthers lined up for a field goal to tie the game. Ray, came off the left side of the line, & blocked the would be attempt. On the very next play, QB CJ Streicher found Ray open down the left sideline & he took it to the house for a 73-yd touchdown, Giving the Dragons a 24-14 lead. On the night, Ray had 15 yards rushing. 13 of those yardscame on one play and resulted in a 1st down, had 1 catch for a 73-yd touchdown, made 2 tackles on defense & broke one pass attempt up, gained 24 yards on a kick off return, & blocked a field goal.
The Dragons are 9-0 for the first time in school history & have won their first ever region title. They will be back in action next Friday in LaFayette as they take on the Ramblers to close out the regular season. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is defensive lineman Dallas McHale. McHale had a whale of a game this past Friday night against Northwest Whitfield as he collected 6 total tackles, 5 of those tackles were for a loss, including a sack, & McHale also broke up a pass attempt. McHale, is part of a Dragon defense that has been stingy against opponents offenses all season long through 8 games. Through 8 games, the Dragons defense has given up a total of 93 points on the season. That’s 11.63 points per game. They are also allowing less than 200 yards of offense on the season at 192.5 yards per game.
Be sure to catch Dallas & the rest of his Dragon teammates next Friday night as they host the Ridgeland Panthers at Dragons Stadium. Kick off scheduled for 7:30.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is Junior offensive lineman Aidan Sanchez. Aidan, along with the rest of his teammates on the offensive line, helped create holes for a running game that gained 298 yards, and kept the pocket clean for QB CJ Streicher to throw for 139 yards and complete 9 of 12 passing attempts in a 48-0 win over Heritage last Friday. On the season, the Dragons offense has totaled 902 passing yards, & 2,316 rushing yards for a total of 3,218 yards through 7 games. That’s just about 460 total yards per game. The 2,316 rushing yards, & the 3,218 total yards tops the 4A classification, & is good for 5th in the entire state of Georgia. A lot of that success, can be contributed to how well the offensive line has done this year. The big guys up front have put in a ton of work on and off the field and it is showing.
Catch Aidan and the rest of the Pickens Dragons as they travel up to Northwest Whitfield, to take on the Bruins in a big time region game. Kick off is set for 7:30 pm.
After the game 1 loss to the Lady Bruins the Dragonettes of Pickens were in a must win situation. A Pickens win would force a deciding game 3 in the first round of the 6-AAAA region tournament. A Dragonettes loss would advance the Lady Bruins to the next round.
Northwest basically picked up in game 2 where they left off in the first game of the day. The scoring came fast and often for the Lady Bruins with runs in the first with 4, 5 in the second and 2 in the third and then 3 insurance runs in the sixth to total the game at 14. The Pickens offense fought to stay close early but in the end their effort would fall short only scoring six in the loss. The Pickens defense helped with the Lady Bruin put runs on the board by committing 5 errors in the game.
Coach Sarah Pinson sent Charlie Hulsey to the circle with hopes of slowing down the powerful offense of Northwest. Hulsey threw 108 pitches in her 5 innings of work. The Lady Bruins put up 14 runs(10 earned) on 16 hits and 3 walks in the game. The Dragonettes produced 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. Ellie Abner led the Dragonettes at the plate with a 3 for 4 night and pushing 5 RBI’s across the plate. Katherine Densmore(2 for 3) and Chloe McPherson(2 for 3, 1 RBI) also competed well at the plate.
This 14-6 loss ends the Dragonettes hopes for an appearance deep in the tournament and ends the 2018 season. This game was also the last game of high school for 5 Dragonette players, a statistician and a team manager. Best wishes for the next season and also for the futures of these graduating seniors.
Monday afternoon brought the Southeast Whitfield Lady Raiders to Jasper for a play in playoff game of sorts against the Dragonettes of Pickens High School. Coach Sarah Pinson and her team had to goals they wanted and needed to accomplish with this game. The first was to get the victory to advance to the region tournament for a head to head match up with the Northwest Whitfield Lady Bruins on Tuesday. The second was to recognize the 7 seniors that have led and supported the Dragonettes on and off the field during their high school careers.
Participating in their last home game of the 2018 season and their high school careers, These 7 have gave all they have for the school that have prepared them to forge ahead in life, sports and a career path. Ellie Abner, Katherine Densmore, Allie Tlacil, Hattie Baker, and Hannah Fields have taken the field proudly . Jacob Kirchoff(statistician) and Thomas Pinson(Manager) also dedicated their day to keep both the team and fans equipped to maintain and be informed on the Pickens softball program’s schedule and scores. Each Player was introduced with their families and the accomplishments, memories and future endeavors were highlighted. Tears for friends lost too soon and laughter for Thomas being locked in a room by a player filled the senior ceremony. Congratulations to all 7 seniors and best wishes in your futures.
The game held just as much excitement as the preparation and enthusiasm for the senior recognition. The Lady Raiders were basically shut down by the Pickens pitcher. Sarah Morris entered the circle to dominate the opposing batters. Allowing just 1 run in her 7 innings of work, Morris had a long ball find the backside of the fence in the fourth inning off the bat of Lillie Phillips of the Lady raiders. Morris had 8 strikeouts with 5 hits and hit one batter on 95 pitches. The defense behind Morris committed 1 error on the day. Offensively for Pickens the first run on the day came with a Senior Allie Tlacil double putting herself in scoring position. After advancing to third on a Chloe McPherson ground out, Tlacil scored on a 2 out single by Senior Katherine Densmore for the 1-0 Dragonettes lead. Southeast tied the game in the fourth on a solo home run to right center field.
With the game moving into the bottom of the sixth Assistant Coach Bernard told his girls that we will not play extra innings so now is the time. Let’s win it right now. With that the Pickens batters stepped up and completed the task given by their coach. Monica Hughes reached on a 1 out single followed by single off the bat of Senior Hannah Fields. With runners on first and second, the next batter popped out leaving the RBI opportunity up to Tlacil at the plate. On a hard ground ball single Hughes was able to score from second to give Pickens the lead that proved to be enough for the win. The Dragonettes didn’t stop and added 2 more insurance runs on a line drive double by Sarah Morris. Closing out the game in the top of the seventh, the Lady Riders went in order as the defense turned a perfectly executed double play.
Three seniors had excellent days at the plate for Pickens. Allie “Tacklebox” Tlacil led the way going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored. Hannah Fields(senior) and Monica Hughes were both 2 for 3 with 1 run scored. Senior Katherine Densmore and Sarah Morris both had RBI’s in the game as well in the victory over the Lady Raiders of Southeast Whitfield.
Next up will be a double header at Northwest Whitfield on Tuesday for a chance to move forward in the post season region tournament.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player of the Week is Senior LB/RB Trevon Hawkins. Hawkins, was all over the field last Friday night at Southeast Whitfield making plays on the defense, & contributing to the offense running the ball as the Dragons defeated the Raiders to move to 6-0 on the season. Hawkins, led the Dragons in tackles with 9, and ran the ball 3 times for 29 yards. On the season, Hawkins has carried the ball 22 times for 169 yards, & is tied for 3rd on the team with 30 total tackles. He has 2 sacks on the season.
Catch Trevon & the rest of the Dragons this Friday night as they will be at home taking the Generals of Heritage in a key 6-AAAA match up. Kick off is set for 7:30.