East Paulding had another strong season with the baseball team winning 26 games, the region championship and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs. For the county, Mitchell Webb was named the offensive player of the year, McKay Petitta the pitcher of the year and Tony Boyd received the coach of the year honor.
The Raider football squad made the postseason for the fourth consecutive season and won its first-round contest against Creekview on Nov. 15. Buster Bruton, the county’s boy golfer of the year, helped lead the Raiders to a region title and qualification for the state tournament. Cross country runner Alyssa Sheffield placed 15th overall at the state meet in November.
On the pitch, the East Paulding boys’ soccer team made the playoffs and Melissa Rodgers was named the girls’ soccer player of the year. The girls’ tennis team earned a postseason bid behind player of the year Monica Behrle while Leah Sikorski, Lilly Kidane and Jasmine Parham each won individual titles at the county’s track and field championships in April.
Hiram had several teams make the postseason, including the baseball and boys’ basketball squads. This season’s girls’ basketball team had already won eight contests through Dec. 26, more than half than last season’s total and is currently undefeated in region play. Senior cross country runner Jacob Robinson, who won three individual titles this past season, led the Hornets to a region championship. They qualified for the state meet with Robinson placing 13th overall of 230 runners and the squad finishing 22nd in the team competition.
The Hornets’ volleyball team had another strong campaign, winning 31 matches for the second-consecutive year and earning a 3-0 home victory over Ware County on Oct. 17 in the first round of the playoffs.
North Paulding continued its programs’ growth with several superlative seasons. Both cross country teams won region championships with boys’ runner Cory Hancock and girls’ runners Ashley Taylor, Natalie Coolidge and Auburn Cohan placing in the top 10 in their individual races at the meet. Other Wolfpack teams made the postseason including baseball, boys’ soccer, boys’ tennis and volleyball.
The North Paulding girls’ soccer squad won its first-round playoff game over Gainesville, 4-1. The boys’ track and field team won a region title behind shot put and discus throw champion Josh Whitener. He eventually won the shot put event at the state meet and placed second in discus throw. His brother, Seth Whitener, finished second in shot put at the same competition. Swimmer Stephanie Peters won the 500-meter freestyle and placed second in the 200-meter freestyle at the state meet. Fellow Wolfpack swimmer Taylor Wilks earned third place in the 100-meter breaststroke at the same event.
Behind county offensive player of the year, quarterback Chase Noonan and coach of the year Scott Jones, the Wolfpack enjoyed its most successful football campaign in program history, winning a school-record 11 games for a region title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the postseason with victories over Riverwood and Stephenson.
Two Paulding County High School programs made the postseason, girls’ basketball and softball, which won its first-round series against Sequoyah on Oct. 16. Individually, golfer Brittany Hadden and boys’ soccer Zach Phelps were each awarded the county player of the year awards for their respective sports. Wrestler Ryan Cole earned a state title in the 132-pound weight class last season for the Patriots.
South Paulding saw its baseball, boys’ soccer and softball teams earn playoff bids. Boys’ tennis player of the year Dillon Humphries led his squad to the postseason for the first time in program history while 100-meter hurdler Jazmine Burse and triple jumper Carissa Tipler each won their individual disciplines at the region meet.
The Spartans football team enjoyed a record-breaking season of 10 wins and a first-round playoff victory over Sequoyah behind county player of the year, senior quarterback Chandler Burks.