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Mike Phillips

Stories by Mike

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Finishing strong

The Monroe boys and Randolph-Clay girls go into their respective region tournaments as the top basketball teams in Southwest Georgia and ranked No. 1 in the Herald Fab 5 Poll after a pair of incredible regular seasons.

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MONDAY'S PREP ROUNDUP: Westover girls stay alive with win against Worth in Region 1-AAAA tourney

The Westover girls, Worth County boys and both Miller County teams advanced in Monday's opening rounds of their respective region tournaments, while the Albany High girls are ousted by Cairo and Dougherty's boys beat Cairo late Monday night to set up a showdown today with Albany High.

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Sluggish No. 1 Monroe rallies to beat Albany late Friday

Herald No. 1 Monroe uses its bench to beat rival Albany High, 65-51, on Friday night at Darton.

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Lee County sends four girls soccer stars to college, including two D-I

It was a historic day in Leesburg on Wednesday when Sarah Sheffield, Carsen Taylor, Nicole Polk and Danielle Brendel signed college offers, with Sheffield and Taylor becoming the school’s first two Division I signees ever.

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Taking notice

Lee County’s wrestling program is sending 13 to the sectionals today, hoping for the beginning of what could be a historic end to an already landmark season. (ADDS: note on remaining area wrestlers competing at sections this weekend).

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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Crisp County star LB Ruff signs with Kansas junior college Coffeyville; standout DE Johnson chooses Arkansas Baptist

Crisp County football stars Sherrod Ruff and Trey Johnson secure their college futures Wednesday during a pair of signing ceremonies at the school.

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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Monroe stars Smith, Williams sign on dotted line

Monroe linebacker Anthony Smith signs with Fort valley State, and Monroe receiver Kevin Williams signs with St. Augustine on Wednesday.

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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Albany star QB Byrd picks Ga. Military

The Indians’ star quarterback hopes Georgia Military will be a springboard to a Division I program.

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NATIONAL SIGNING DAY: Herald People’s Choice POY Hurley heads to Benedict

Lee County star and Herald People’s Choice Player of the Year Kenneth Hurley signs with Benedict College.

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Navy Man

Deerfield-Windsor defensive lineman Patrick Forrestal signs with the U.S. Naval Academy, where his grandfather was an All-American more than 50 years ago.

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PREP PEEK: DWS, Pelham boys crack Fab 5 Poll

DWS and Pelham both make debuts in the Fab 5 Poll while Monroe stays at No. 1 despite being upset by Terrell County. (ADDS: Fab 5 poll; Quote of the Week, By the Numbers and this week's schedule.)

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Despite loss Saturday to R-C, Dawson still buzzing over Terrell County boys’ huge upset win in overtime against Herald No. 1 Monroe late Friday night

John Davis, who was not immediately available late Friday to give a reaction to his team's stunning win against Herald No. 1 Monroe, reflects 24 hours later Saturday before his team played Randolph-Clay.

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McCrae powers Red Devils to stunning comeback win against rival Greenwave

Fueled by Herald Super 6er Gary McCrae’s huge night, Randolph-Clay’s boys stun bitter rival Terrell County in Dawson on Saturday.

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK/ROUNDUP: Respect on rise for Lee County boys hoops team; Sherwood honors Stanford milestone before home win

First the Trojans handed Bainbridge its only 1-AAAAA loss in the last five years, then following Tuesday’s overtime loss in the rematch with the Bearcats, Lee County’s boys had officially turned some heads.

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Super 6er McGhee reaches milestone, ready to lead No. 1 Tornadoes on deep state run

Senior Jabari McGhee is proud of reaching 1,000 points for his career, but he knows it means little if he can’t help Monroe parlay all its regular-season success into a run at the school’s first state title.

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Bainbridge boys, girls sweep Lee in pair of nailbiters

The Herald No. 5 Bearcats avenge their lone region loss of the season to Lee on Tuesday in overtime, while the Lady Bearcats edge the Lady Trojans, 46-45.

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ALBANY HERALD ALL-AREA, ALL-METRO TEAMS: Prep football

Check out which Southwest Georgia high school football players made The Herald's 2012 All-Area and All-Metro football teams.

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HERALD ALL-AREA JOHN REYNOLDS COACH OF THE YEAR: Allen Lowe, Deerfield

Deerfield-Windsor coach Allen Lowe, who led his team to the GISA Class AAA state title and won his 200th game along the way, is named The Herald’s John Reynolds Coach of the Year for football.

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HERALD ALL-AREA SOFTBALL: Randolph Southern ace Madison Ragan named Player of the Year

Madison Ragan dominated opponents this season, capping a junior season on the mound where she went 18-4 with an 0.58 ERA and had two no-hitters. (ADDS: All-Area Softball Team)

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3RD ANNUAL PEOPLE'S CHOICE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kenneth Hurley, Lee County

Lee County’s quick-hit, all-everything, dual-threat running back/receiver Kenneth Hurley wins The Herald’s 3rd annual People’s Choice Football Player of the Year award after an online vote.

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Monroe mashes Dougherty at Darton

Herald No. 1 Monroe beats Dougherty for the third time this season and is one region win away from clinching the top seed and the home court in the upcoming Region 1-AAAA tournament.

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Talk of the town

Herald No. 4 Dougherty’s upset of No. 2 Monroe had Southwest Georgia hoops fans buzzing Friday night at Darton — but it was the controversial fashion in which the Lady Trojans won that was all the talk. (ADDS: items on Westover boys beating Albany in OT; Westover girls smoking Albany, 59-24)

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Lee baseball’s Mosley, Stroud taking talents to Middle Georgia

Leesburg’s Chris Mosley and Andrew Stroud both sign baseball scholarships with Middle Georgia College on Friday at Lee County High School.

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Herald Super 6er Oliver to sit out rest of year, transfer out of Crisp County after season

Herald Super 6er Nasheema's Oliver's father, Greg, tells The Herald on Wednesday night that his daughter is leaving Cordele after the end of the school year and will play basketball for another program next year -- her senior season --- after being booted from the team recently.

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FAB 5 POLL: Randolph-Clay girls hang on to No. 1 spot

The Randolph-Clay girls stay at No. 1 after a scare from Calhoun County, which makes its debut at No. 5 in the Fab 5 Poll, and Monroe still rules the boys poll.

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AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Branch thankful for one more shot at a ring

Albany native Deion Branch, who already has two Super Bowl rings, and his Patriots need one more win today to get back to the Big Game for the second straight season.

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Griggs goes wild, leads Greenwave past rival Red Devils

DiQuan Griggs has the game of his life Saturday, hitting seven 3s to lift Terrell County to its biggest win of the season against the Greenwave’s bitter rivals, Randolph-Clay.

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Mitchell boys, Randolph-Clay girls debut as state No. 1s in first Class A power rankings

Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay's girls and No. 5 Mitchell's boys start the first state power rankings on top Tuesday.

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FAB 5 POLL: Dougherty, Americus-Sumter girls break into poll

Monroe’s boys and Randolph-Clay’s girls stay on top, and the Dougherty and Americus-Sumter girls and Mitchell County boys enter the Fab 5 Poll this week.

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Monroe finishes sweep of Westover in regular season

Herald Super 6er Jabari McGhee has another big game for Herald No. 1 Monroe and the Tornadoes beat No. 2 Westover for the third time this season, 66-62, on Saturday night at the Civic Center.

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Westover girls upset Herald No. 2 Monroe; Lady Trojans cruise past Albany High

Westover's girls bounce back after a tough loss to Dougherty on Friday with a 37-22 win against Herald No. 2 Monroe, while Dougherty’s Ra’Keta Shelton scores 28 to lead the Lady Trojans past Albany High.

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Late bucket lifts Albany past Dougherty in OT

Albany High’s Dezmand Newberry hits the game-winning shot with 30 seconds left in overtime to lift the Indians past Dougherty on Saturday in the Civic Center, 51-50.

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COLUMN: Well done, baseball writers

Herald staff writer Mike Phillips writes about the recent decision by the Baseball Writers of America Association to leave Steroid Era players out of the Hall of Fame.

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Deerfield baseball star Webb earns coveted national preseason honor

Harris Webb, a slick-fielding, moneyball hitting shortstop, has been selected as a preseason All-American and will play in the Under Armour Preseason All-American Tournament in Arizona later this month.

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Monroe crushes Randolph-Clay, improves to 12-2

Herald No. 1 Monroe starts slow but finishes strong to cruise to a 73-48 victory against Herald No. 3 Randolph-Clay.

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Herald No. 5 Bainbridge beats rival Seminole, 70-55

Dontavious Marshall scores a career-high 27 points to lead the Bearcats to victory against Seminole County in front of a standing-room-only crowd in Donalsonville. (ADDS: Seminole girls beat Bainbridge)

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PREP ROUNDUP: Seminole County boys knock off Pelham, get set for tonight’s showdown vs. Bainbridge

The Seminole County boys hold off Pelham, 77-69, while the Pelham girls win easily in Donalsonville, 65-45. (ADDS: Sherwood, Randolph Southern basketball; Lee County wrestling)

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Counting down Southwest Georgia’s Top 10 sports stories of 2012 --- #4: Three area high school coaches achieve career milestones

The Herald’s sports staff has chosen, in our eyes, Southwest Georgia’s Top 10 sports stories from 2012. Today marks the seventh of 10 we’ve picked as having a significant impact as we count down to No. 1, which will appear in the Jan. 1 edition. Look for No. 3 in Sunday’s edition of The Herald.

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The lady can coach

Jada Frazier, who coaches the boys basketball team at Dougherty Middle School, has earned the respect of her players and fans, and is working on the respect of others.

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Man of many blessings

Dan Land’s life changed when he came to Albany State to play football almost 30 years ago, and even after 12 years in the NFL, Land says the most important things are family, friends and a home in the Good Life City.

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PREP PEEK: Monroe, Pelham girls primed for 1-2 showdown

With the boys poll staying intact, the big move this week is by Pelham’s girls, who stay unbeaten and go from No. 4 to No. 2, setting up a 1 vs. 2 showdown Thursday. (INCLUDES FAB 5 POLL, Quote of the Week, Games of the Week and By the Numbers)

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Storm’s a brewing!

The Herald No. 1 Tornadoes officially prove they’re the force to be reckoned with in Southwest Georgia basketball this season after beating No. 2 Westover for the second time in eight days Saturday. (ADDS: roundup items on Albany High beating Manchester, and Statesboro turning back Dougherty in the consolation games of the U Save It Tournament).

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Buckle up

All four city teams play today in the U Save It Pharmacy Basketball Tournament, which begins at 4 p.m. at Albany High and concludes Saturday at the Civic Center.

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Monroe boys, girls reign with unbeaten records

Monroe’s boys and girls stay unbeaten and remain the top-ranked teams in The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll.

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‘We miss him so much’

You’d be hard pressed to find a single person in Donalsonville — or anyone, for that matter, who knew Jesse McLeod — who doesn’t feel this way about the longtime Seminole County Athletic Director and girls basketball coach, who lost a sudden battle with cancer shortly after last season, sending shockwaves through an entire community.

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Price powers No. 1 Monroe girls past Westover

Key Key Price drops 29 — and nearly outscores Westover all by herself — to win Friday’s rivalry matchup, 45-32, and keep the Lady Tornadoes unbeaten.

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Not in their house!

No. 1 Monroe protects its home floor Friday with a 70-63 win against No. 2 Westover to remain unbeaten and atop The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll.

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Lee County A.D.: Give new hoops coaches time to build program

Rob Williams gives a vote of confidence to Lee County’s new boys and girls basketball coaches, despite the fact both teams are off to 2-5 starts. (EDITS: corrects Kirven Davis' overall career coaching record and seasons at Colquitt County)

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FAB 5 POLL: Monroe boys, girls still on top; Pelham girls break in

After a pair of big wins over the weekend, Monroe’s boys and girls are still No. 1 in The Herald’s Fab 5 Poll, while Pelham’s girls replace Westover.

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'Price' is right

Monroe star Key Key Price helps The Herald’s top-ranked Lady Tornadoes knock off No. 2 Crisp County on Friday night in the season’s first 1 vs. 2 Fab 5 showdown.