LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS: Albany Tennis Association set to host free Play Day at Darton; local prep football teams get nods in state poll

ALBANY — The Albany Tennis Association, in conjunction with the United States Tennis Association, is hosting a “Free Tennis Play Day” on Saturday at Darton State College.

The event — which is part of a worldwide USTA initiative held at different locations around the globe on the same day — is open to adults and children four years old and above and lasts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event is open to the public, and an emphasis will be placed on family participation, effort and sportsmanship.

Instructors will be on hand to teach the game, and adaptive tennis for children and adults with special needs will also be available.

Snacks and drinks will be provided free of charge.

To register in advance, contact Donna Friedlander at the Albany Tennis Association at (229) 446-8073 or email albanytennis@aol.com

Early back in Top 10 in most recent state poll; Bainbridge, Lee, Miller all get votes

The latest Georgia Associated Press state prep football poll was released this week, and after dropping out following a loss to Herald No. 1 Bainbridge, No. 3 Early County is back in at No. 9 in the Class AA rankings.

The Bobcats (3-1) are the only team from Southwest Georgia in The Herald’s 26-high school coverage currently ranked. Monroe was No. 10 last week but dropped out following a loss to city rival Westover (2-2).

Monroe (2-2) was completely dropped out this week in the state poll and The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll, and the Tornadoes also didn’t get any votes in the state poll.

Other area teams that did receive votes this week included — for the first time — Lee County in Class AAAAA. The Herald’s top-ranked Bercats (3-1), meanwhile, continued to get votes in The AP’s state poll, also in Class AAAAA.

The final team earning some recognition this week was Miller County (3-1), which has quietly gone about its business after losing its second game of the season to Early County.

The Pirates have now won two in a row — outscoring their last two opponents by a combined 40-7 — heading into Friday’s Region 1-A showdown at Mitchell County.