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Mike Phillips

Stories by Mike

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Statement day

Mitchell County and Miller County make statements at the GHSA girls state Track & Field Championships at Hugh Mills Stadium, where Mitchell County’s Akerian Florence was the only state title winner from Southwest Georgia on Saturday.

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GHSA GIRLS STATE MEET: Monroe’s Harrell tops Westover’s Mitchell for AAAA state discus title

Monroe’s Ashley Harrell wins the Class AAAA discus state title on her final throw, just edging Westover’s Ayanna Mitchell on a day when several girls from Southwest Georgia had memorable days at the GHSA state Track & Field Championships.

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Not done yet

Westover’s Ericka Taylor, one of Southwest Georgia’s most accomplished distance runners in years, didn’t achieve her goal of winning a state track title during Day 1 of the state meet Thursday in the 3,200 final, but the senior still has the 1,600 left today.

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PREVIEW: Area GISA baseball teams begin march to state title today

Deerfield-Windsor — along with seven other area private school teams — opens the GISA state playoffs today, with the Knights at home against Dominion Christian, hoping to make a run to a state title. (ADDS: full area GISA state baseball playoff schedule)

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LOCAL COLLEGE/PREP ROUNDUP: DWS’ Leach claims individual region golf title

Deerfield’s John Leach wins the individual title, and the Knights finish second in the GISA Region 3-AAA golf tournament, just behind defending state champion Tiftarea. (ADDS: GISA Region 3-AA golf tourney; Westover soccer; GSW golf)

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Setting the stage

With the team state titles to be decided today, a host of area stars take home individual crowns Friday on Day 3 of the GISA State Track & Field Championships at Hugh Mills Stadium.

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PREVIEW: Greenwave poised to win school’s first GHSA track championship

Terrell County’s boys track & field team could make history this weekend in the state meet in Jefferson, where the Greenwave have a chance to win their first state title.

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Lee County girls lose first-round heartbreaker

Lee County’s emotional season ends in a 5-2 loss to state power Northgate in the opening round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs on Tuesday.

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We play for Madison

Lee County’s girls soccer team dedicates its emotional season to Madison Stokes, a friend and teammate who died in an auto accident at the beginning of the school year.

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Historic, proud day for Lee County High athletics

For the first time, four Lee County athletes in four different sports accept scholarships Friday as basketball player Reggie Breedlove, offensive lineman Robert Hatcher, swimmer Julie Johns and wrestler Chris Rapley all sign.

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Sherwood girls, boys soccer teams knocked out of GISA state playoffs

The girls’ loss takes place in Albany, while Frederica beats the boys on the road Friday night as the Augusta powerhouse eliminates both Sherwood programs from the GISA Class AA state playoffs.

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Deerfield boys, girls soccer teams sweep first round of state

The No. 1-seeded Knights and Lady Knights soccer teams cruise in their state tournament openers Tuesday as the Deerfield boys beat Loganville Christian, 5-1, while the DWS girls ease past Trinity Christian, Sharpsburg, 4-1.

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HERALD BASKETBALL COACHES OF THE YEAR: Seminole’s Godwin, Westwood’s Smith the toast of Southwest Georgia

Seminole County's Kevin Godwin is named The Herald Boys Basketball Coach of the Year and Westwood's Jenni Smith is named The Herald's Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.

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Leading the way

Jabari McGhee brought down gyms with high-flying, legendary dunks during his four years in a Monroe uniform and was an easy choice for this year's Willie Boston Boys Basketball Player of the Year award. (ADDS: All-Area boys basketball team)

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HERALD WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: Trojans’ Grove wraps up wrestling career in style

Lee County senior Colton Grove is named The Herald’s Player of the Year in wrestling after finishing his career with 126 wins and 65 pins. (ADDS: All-Area wrestling team)

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Sherwood defender Allen signs soccer scholarship

Sherwood Christian's Destiny Allen signs a letter-of-intent to accept a soccer scholarship from Truett-McConnell College, becoming the first girls soccer player from SCA to sign with a school in more than five years.

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Westover star runner Taylor inks with Academy of Art

Ericka Taylor, who is the greatest girls distance runner in Westover history, signs a letter-of-intent to accept a scholarship to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

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Back on top

The Westover girls track & field teams win the region title for the first time in four years, while the boys win their third in a row Thursday.

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WESTOVER RELAYS: WHS misses sweep as boys win, girls take second

Westover comes close to sweeping the 10th annual Westover Relays team title under the lights Friday night at Hugh Mills Stadium.

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PREVIEW: Westover eyes clean sweep under the lights at 10th annual Relays

The 10th annual Westover Relays take center stage tonight at Hugh Mills Stadium, where Westover has a chance to sweep the boys and girls title for the first time.

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First time for everything

Believe it or not, for the first time in the 23-year history of the Smith and Benson Relays, Westover’s boys can finally call themselves champs after a dazzling performance Saturday.

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Time to drop the Hammer

The unbeaten Alabama Hammers come to town tonight to face off against the also undefeated Panthers, and whoever wins will take over sole possession of first place in the PIFL at 3-0.

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PREVIEW: Area track & field teams set for 23rd Smith and Benson Relays today at Hugh Mills

Monroe plays host to the 23rd Smith and Benson Relays today at Hugh Mills, where 38 teams will compete in what is always one of the best meets of the year.

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Ex-Cairo D-C Littleton ready to get started in Bainbridge

Jeff Littleton, a former star at Worth County and a longtime defensive coordinator at state powerhouse Cairo, is excited about being the new coach at Bainbridge.

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Deerfield declines to leave GISA for GHSA

Deerfield-Windsor's Board of Trustees votes to stay in the Georgia Independent School Association on Thursday night.

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Local stars try out for NFL at ASU Pro Day

Albany State holds its Pro Day on Monday, giving its senior football players a chance to work out in front of several NFL scouts.

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Three-time Herald POY Land wins ACC Freshman of Year at Clemson

Monroe grad Mimieux Land, a three-time Herald Player of the Year, is named the Atlanta Coast Conference Women’s Indoor Track & Field Freshmen of the Year.

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Panthers comeback win defines team

The Panthers feel like they won more than a game Saturday when they found a way to win on a night when almost everything went wrong.

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Gates delivers game-winning kick to beat Lions after humorous moment in Panthers win

Panthers kicker Ryan Gates nails a 28-yard field goal with 1.9 seconds left late Saturday night to propel Albany past bitter rival Columbus, 40-37, and send the two-time champs to a 2-0 start. (UPDATED: New version of story, adds more details, quotes)

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Westover DB Ross inks with Cumberland

Westover defensive back Nytrellis Ross played through a dislocated shoulder his senior season and still managed to earn a scholarship to Cumberland University.

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Monroe’s Porter and Banks sign with Louisburg College in N.C.

Hakeem Porter and Cortez Banks starred on opposite sides of the line for the Tornadoes, and on Wednesday they agreed to both take their talents to Louisburg College.

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Time to deliver

After coming up just painstakingly short of winning the Class A championship three years ago, the Randolph-Clay girls who returned to finish what was started made a promise — to their coach, their school and themselves — that one day soon, the Lady Red Devils of Cuthbert, Georgia, would once again be the best in the state. And now, it’s time to make good on that promise.

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PANTHERS NOTEBOOK: Two-time defending champ Albany no longer the hunted — now it's the hunters

The Albany Panthers worked hard the last three years to become the elite franchise every team is trying to catch, and now that they’re finally on top, they have no plans to relinquish their crown any time soon. (ADDS: notebook items on veteran players returning, new players joining; and Panthers' tough road schedule)

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History is theirs!

They call ‘em the “Westwood Wonders” for a reason, and Saturday they did the amazing once again when the tiny private school from Camilla upset mighty Arlington Christian for the Class AA state title — the school’s first.

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Just call 'em CHAMPS!: Crisp Academy pulls off three-peat, wins Class A title in rout

Herald Super 6er Madi Mitchell drops in 34 points to lead Crisp Academy to its third consecutive GISA Class A state title Saturday, and this one — a 59-34 romp past Citizens Christian — was never in doubt.

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Forever 21

Deerfield’s heavily favored boys basketball team was all but done Friday in the state semis against Dominion Christian — that is, before a 21-0 run to close the game delivered the Knights a miracle comeback victory and set up a finals showdown with Loganville today at Mercer.

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Eagles Landed

Eagles Landing, the No. 1-ranked Class AAAA team in the state, shows Westover the door on its home floor Wednesday following an 85-61 rout of the Patriots in the Elite 8 round of state.

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Long, long road

Seminole County’s emotional season has brought the Lady Indians to the Elite 8, where they will travel almost 700 miles round-trip to face Class A powerhouse Gordon Lee.

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R-C, Mitchell set to clash in Class A Elite 8 today

Randolph-Clay and Mitchell County meet in the Class A Elite 8, just 10 days after their region title game, and Pelham travels to Augusta to face unbeaten Laney in the AA Elite 8 tonight.

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GHSA CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT: No. 1 seed Seminole boys steamroll to second round

John Hudson comes off the bench and leads Seminole past Stewart, 69-61, on Saturday night in the opening round of the Class A state playoffs.

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GISA CLASS AAA STATE TOURNAMENT: Deerfield boys storm into Final 4

Deerfield’s 18th win a row — a 59-32 thrashing of rival Tattnall Square on Saturday — propels the Knights back to the GISA Class AAA Final Four, where they’ll be the favorite to win it all next week in Macon.

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State No. 1 Lady Red Devils demolish Portal in GHSA Class A opener, 74-28

Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay, the top seed in the state tournament, opens the Class A playoffs with a 74-28 romp against Portal and faces rival Mitchell County next.

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GHSA CLASS AAAA STATE TOURNAMENT: Led by Super 6 stars, region champ Westover waltzes in first round of state, 84-59

Westover doesn’t show any fatigue from its Region 1-AAAA title win and rolls past North Clayton, 84-59, in the opening round of the Class AAAA state playoffs Wednesday.

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GHSA CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT: Lady Hornets rebound from region title loss, roll in state opener; No. 1 Hornets stunned by No. 4 Macon County

Just a few days removed from a crushing overtime loss in the region title game to Thomasville, Pelham takes out its frustrations on visiting Northeast, Macon on Tuesday in its state opener, while the No. 1 region champion Hornets are upset by Macon County, 56-53.

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Monroe girls' long road back to the top comes full circle Friday with region title win vs. Dougherty

The Monroe girls, who were just a four-win program when Cheryl Cheeks took over five years ago, win the region title Friday.

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The one that counts

After losing three times to Herald No. 1 Monroe, the Westover Patriots beat the Tornadoes, 67-65, Friday at Monroe to win the Region 1-AAAA title in the biggest game of the year thus far for either team.

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL --- REGION 1-AAAA TOURNAMENT: Crisp boys get No. 3 state seed, AHS No. 4; Americus-Sumter girls get past Cairo in 1-AAAA consolation game, secure No. 3 seed in state tourney

Crisp County's boys and Americus-Sumter's girls win the No. 3 seeds out of Region 1-AAAA on Friday, while Albany's boys and Cairo will have to settle for No. 4 after losing in the consolation games.

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PREP FOOTBALL SIGNING ROUNDUP: Monroe's Randle takes talents to Miles; Early's Taylor takes JUCO route; two Bainbridge stars sign with West Georgia Tech

Four area high school football players commit after National Signing Day, including Monroe's Jawaski Randle, Early County's Jacori Taylor and Bainbridge's Jamez Harris and Tim Shaw.

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Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay girls win 13th straight

The Lady Red Devils put an exclamation point on their remarkable season by beating Calhoun County for their 22nd win in their last 23 games. (ADDS: Randolph-Clay-Calhoun County boys)

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PREP HOOPS -- DARTON ROUNDUP: Minus Super 6er Cromer — again — Westover downs Dougherty

With Herald Super 6er T.J. Cromer benched for undisclosed reasons, Westover wins its sixth in a row with a 64-44 win against Dougherty (ADDS: Monroe girls cruise past Albany)

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