Last January was a special time in Polk County for a group of kids. That is when the first ever baseball league for children with special needs in Polk County – the Adventure League – merged with Rockmart/Polk County Little League as The Challenger League. The Challenger League, a nationally recognized division of Little League, held their sign-ups in January and then conducted a spring season.
In the Jan. 6 edition of The Cedartown Standard, it was announced that five Cedartown Bulldog football players had been honored. Hayden Privett made the Rome News-Tribune All-Area second team as a quarterback while Brandon Brown made the second team as an all-purpose player. John Poulin and Jamar Whatley garnered honorable mention honors for their offensive production while Demetrius Green was selected for honorable mention on defense.
Khalefa King, a former Cedartown High School varsity cheerleader, was selected as one of the captains of Xavier University’s basketball cheerleading squad.
With their top dawg Brandon Brown not playing, the Cedartown Bulldogs turned to their big dawg to carry them to a 60-43 non-region win over Villa Rica on Jan. 23. Jamund Sims, a senior, won the CHS Mr. Big Dawg competition on Jan. 22 in front of his peers, then one day later he played like the big dawg as he scored 15 points, grabbed a handful of rebounds and added a couple of blocked shots for good measure.
Cedartown High graduate Joey King was promoted to offensive coordinator for the Carrollton Trojans, a perennial powerhouse in football.
National Signing Day was held Feb. 4 and Cedartown had two players sign to play college football. Demetrius Green and Brandon Brown both signed with Lenoir-Rhyne University, a Division II school in Hickory, N.C.
Senior Night last February for the Cedartown basketball teams will always be remembered for the officiating. Cedartown hosted Darlington that night and lost two games, but both caused controversy. In the two games, Cedartown was called for 51 fouls, two technicals and one intentional while four players fouled out. Darlington, meanwhile, had just 23 fouls called on them all night. The Cedartown girls were called for 10 fouls in the first quarter of their game and the Bulldogs were whistled for nine in their opening stanza.
Benjie Frazier’s Bulldog basketball team lost in the Region 6-AAA, sub-region ‘B’ tournament championship game but rallied to finish second in the Region 6-AAA tournament one week later.
The last day in February may have been the best for the Bulldogs basketball team. Hosting a Class AAA first round state playoff game for perhaps the first time in school history, Frazier’s team came out on a 22-4 run and never looked back as they defeated St. Pius X 56-44.
The Bulldogs continued their magical postseason basketball run this month as they defeated North Hall 54-50 in a Class AAA second round state playoff game at the Doghouse on March 4. The game had plenty of drama. For starters, the start of the game was delayed nearly an hour-and-a-half as the officials went to the wrong school. Once the game got started, Cedartown built a 43-24 lead before North Hall came storming back. Cedartown held a shaky 51-50 lead with 25 seconds left and that was when senior Dion Smith stepped to the free throw line and made two free throws to make it 53-50. After North Hall missed a three-pointer with six seconds left, Smith was fouled with four seconds remaining and he then made a free throw to clinch the game.
Three days later on March 7, the Bulldogs traveled to Dalton to face Gainesville in the Class AAA state quarterfinals. Cedartown’s magical run ended this round, as the Red Elephants held the Bulldogs in check en route to a 58-46 win. Cedartown finished 21-10 on the year and No. 9 in the final state rankings.
Brandon Brown went on to earn All-State honorable mention honors for his terrific senior season in basketball.
The Top Dawgs 18-and-under softball team won the March to Rome Tournament at Alto Park. Members of the team were Katie Brown, Jolie Mason, Nicole Paynter, Keisha Addison, Kristen Prescott, Holly Moore, Allison Shaw, Rebecca Gray, Kristen Agan, Callie Bennett, Kristen Little, Rebecca Roberts, Kaci Swafford and Lacee Landrum.
Johnny Morris was named the new Cedartown Recreation Department Director this month.
Cedartown High fast-pitch softball player Katie Brown signed to play at Andrew College in Cuthbert.
Krige Schabort won the ING half-marathon wheelchair race in Atlanta on March 29.
Cedartown’s Brandon Brown earned Rome News-Tribune All-Area first team basketball honors.
The Cedartown Middle School baseball season came to an end, with the young Bulldogs finishing with a 9-4 record.
Eddie Adams, 76, of Cedartown reeled in a 14-pound largemouth bass in a private pond in Polk County.
The Cedartown High School tennis teams competed in the Class AAA state playoffs. Both the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs lost in the first round, with the Lady Bulldogs losing to St. Pius X 3-0 and the Bulldogs losing to Dunwoody 4-1. The Lady Bulldogs had qualified for state by placing fourth in the Region 6-AAA tournament while the Bulldogs had placed third in the region tournament.
The Cedartown Bulldogs soccer team defeated Druid Hills 3-1 in the first round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
Cedartown’s Krige Schabort placed fourth in the Boston Marathon wheelchair race.
Halee Blackmon of Cedartown competed in the AAU State gymnastics competition. The nine-year-old took first place in her age division. She is the daughter of Michael and Heather Blackmon.
The Bulldogs stellar soccer season came to an end in early May as they lost 4-0 to West Hall in the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs.
Monday, May 4 was a busy day at Cedartown High School. On that day, three different players signed college scholarships. Jolie Mason and Kirstin Prescott each signed with Southern Union to play fast-pitch softball while Bulldog golfer Beau Gammage signed with Young Harris.
Jaylon Elliott overcame bad weather to win the Cherokee Invitational at Cherokee Country Club on May 2-3. The event was shortened to a 27-hole tournament rather than a normal 36-hole contest due to rain on day one of the tournament. Elliott carded a 4-under par 104 to win the two-day event.
Cedartown held spring football practices during this month. According to then Head Coach Mark Loudermilk the team had roughly 75 kids from rising eighth graders and up.
For the first time in a long time, the Lady Bulldogs tennis team had a player sign a college scholarship. Reanah Kellogg signed a letter of intent to attend Albany State University.
The 18th annual Doc Ayers-Ray Beck Celebrity Golf Tournament was held on May 15 and 168 golfers participated. Some of the notable participants were Tommy Nobis, Ray Donaldson, George Rose, Jeff Burger and Billy Martin.
Cedartown’s Kristen Little and Jolie Puckett qualified to compete in the Class AAA state track and field meet. Little qualified for the state event in the long jump while Puckett made it in the pole vault.
Cedartown graduate Drew Owens played with Berry College in the NAIA World Series. “It was huge for Berry,” Owens said about the season and making it to the big show. “And it was a good accomplishment for me. I had never actually played for something so big before and to get to the biggest stage during my senior year was great.”
The Polk County Youth Baseball League finished their second season of Dizzy Dean baseball. The Giants went 11-1 to win the T-Ball division while the Mets went 11-1 to win the 7-and-8-year-old division, the Giants went 11-1 to win the 9-and-10-year-old division and the White Sox went 9-0-3 to win the 11-and-12-year-old division.
Cedartown had three players make the Rome News-Tribune All-Area first team in soccer. They were Rury Torres, Homero Jacobo and Jorge Jacobo. Benito Aviles made the All-Area Honorable Mention squad.
Meghan Keith and Hayden Googe had strong showings at the Meadow Lakes Golf Course in early June in a Regional Qualifying Junior Optimist Golf Tournament. Keith won the 14-and-15-year-old girls division while Googe won the 12-and-13-year-old boys division.
Six Cedartown Bulldog baseball players earned Rome News-Tribune All-Area Honorable Mention honors. Those players were Craig Banks, Trey Benefield, John Poulin, Drew Vann, Hayden Privett and Brent Davidson.
A Cop for Kids softball tournament was held June 6 and the Polk County Public Safety team participated and came in first place out of 13 teams.
Ryan Zebeau of Cedartown captured low medalist honors at a qualifier in June to qualify for the 88th annual Georgia State Amateur Championship. Zebeau, playing on the Bartram Trail Golf Club’s 6,900 yard layout for the first time, shot a 67 to win the event.
On June 30 the annual Cedartown 5K Road Race was held in front of a large crowd of spectators. Marcel Hug, 22, of Switzerland won the Men’s Open with a time of 10:13.1. Amanda McGrory, 23, of Savoy, Ill., won the Women’s Open with a time of 11:31.3. Scott Parson, 50, of San Jose, Calif. won the Men’s Masters, Santiago Sanz, 28, of Spain won the Women’s Masters and Matthew Lack, 18, of New Zealand claimed top honors in the Junior Boys.
The Cedar Valley Invitational was held at the end of June, marking the 87th time this event was held at the Cedar Valley Golf and Country Club. Adam Weaver won the Championship Flight. In the ‘A’ division, Shan Snow won; Barry Couch won the ‘B’ divisin and Dewey Chandler finished first in the ‘C’ division.
The Cedartown Recreation Department’s 12-and-under fast-pitch girls All-Star team became the best team in the state this month. The Cedartown squad traveled to Ware County, a 5 ½ hour, 300-mile drive and won six games to win a state title.
Krige Schabort battled through rain showers to place third in the Sadler’s Alaska Challenge. Sadler’s is the longest wheelchair and handcycle race in the world.
Cedartown’s Ryan Zebeau, who had qualified for the 88th annual Georgia Amateur State Championship in June, placed 48th out of 156 golfers at the state golf championship in Columbus.
The Polk County Youth Baseball League’s 10-year-old All-Star baseball team won the District 5 tournament in Villa Rica and advanced to the Dizzy Dean state tournament. At state, the Polk County squad won their opener over the Hobgood Storm before losing to the Eastside Bandits and Jefferson to be eliminated.
The Cedartown High School wrestling program hosted a wrestling camp on July 24-25 and over 20 kids showed up to participate.
The Cedartown High School football team opened fall practice the first week of August with only around 34 players dressed out.
Despite playing seven games in two days, the Cedartown Lady Bulldogs fast-pitch softball team proved to be one of the best teams at the Lady Devil Fall Classic. Cedartown went 5-2 in seven games and finished second out of 14 teams.
The Bulldogs varsity football team got their season off to a sour start as they lost to Darlington 17-13 in a scrimmage game at home. During that game, quarterback Hayden Privett completed 13-of-22 passes for 125 yards and he ran for 49 yards on seven carries.
The Cedartown football team ended the month of August on a high note. Playing their season opener against Rockmart in the Battle of Polk County, the Bulldogs pulled out a thrilling 13-7 overtime win. The victory was sealed when Rockmart had the ball on the four-yard line but fumbled on the next play and Bulldog Avery Privett recovered.
Legendary Cedartown Head Coach Doc Ayers was honored during the Cedartown-Rockmart game and had his name placed on the Cedartown fieldhouse.
Head Coach Chris McKelvey’s Lady Bulldog fast-pitch softball team ended August and started September as hot as any team around. The Cedartown squad won six in a row to push their record to 11-3 before having some setbacks at a tournament.
Cedartown native Hannah Dawson, 7, attended her first Atlanta Braves game on Sept. 19 and during her trip she was able to meet Melanie Oudin, an 18-year-old tennis star from Marietta who had made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open earlier that year.
The Lady Bulldogs fast-pitch softball team won the 2009 Adairsville Tiger Town Gold Bracket Championship for Cedartown this month. Cedartown won five games to win the Tiger Town Classic.
Kristen Little really stood out at the Adairsville tournament, earning All-Tournament Team MVP. At the tournament, Little pitched 28 innings and struck out 41 batters, walked only four and allowed just 18 hits.
The Cedartown High School competition cheerleading squad won the North Georgia Cheer Classic on Sept. 12.
The Cedartown Middle School football team went 3-0 during the month of September.
The Cedartown High School competition cheerleading team won the Class AAA division at the Mountain Cheer Classic at Kennesaw Mountain High School on Oct. 3.
On Oct. 10 the Cedartown High School cross country team went to Florida to compete in the Disney World Cross Country Classic in Orlando. Eric Roggow led the team, though no finish time was available.
Despite having a stellar season, the Cedartown Lady Bulldogs fast-pitch softball season ended early. The team entered the postseason tournament with a 23-9 record but went 1-2 on day one of the Region 6-AAA tournament to be eliminated from postseason play.
Brad Crowe won the Rome Tour Tournament at the Cherokee Country Club in Cedartown on Oct. 3-4 by shooting a 148. Crowe fired a 79 in the first round and a 69 in the second round.
Playing at Cedartown Memorial Stadium on Doc Ayers Field for the first time in four weeks, the Bulldogs football team responded well. Cedartown ran for a season-high 430 yards and tallied 492 yards of total offense as they blitzed Haralson County 40-15 for just their second win of the year.
The Cedartown Middle School girl’s fast-pitch softball season ended on Oct. 17 with the Lady Bulldogs standing all alone at the top. The young Lady Bulldogs played five games and came out on top to claim first place.
The big news in the Cedartown sporting world this month was that after four seasons, Mark Loudermilk resigned as the Head Coach of the football team and as Athletic Director. Loudermilk had went 11-30 in four seasons as the Bulldogs taskmaster.
The Cedartown Middle School football team had a regular season to remember. The young Bulldogs won six of seven games and were able to not only play for the league championship but they were able to host it as well. Unfortunately, that Nov. 3 game didn’t go very well as Rockmart won easily 34-6.
Kristen Little and Kaci Swafford made the Rome News-Tribune All-Area first team for fast-pitch softball. Kayci McGee earned second team honors while Skylan Cole received honorable mention.
On Nov. 7 The Historic Purks International Championship Wrestling group held one of their biggest events ever. On that night, former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and current Total Nonstop Action (TNA) star “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner showed up to wrestle then current Heavyweight champion “The Butcher” Bobby Hayes. Steiner eventually won the match about 11 minutes into the fight when another wrestler named Air Paris ran in and interfered.
The Cedartown Lady Bulldogs competition cheerleading team finished in fifth place at the Class AAA state championship. Cedartown had qualified for state by placing third in Region 6-AAA.
The 12-and-under Cedartown Recreation Department’s football team along with members of the Panthers travel team qualified to compete in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) state tournament. The Cedartown team qualified by placing third at the District 5 tournament.
After two years of Dizzy Dean baseball, Cedartown announced this month that it would be returning to Little League. Cedartown had been chartered with Little League for over 50 years before the recent two-year hiatus.
Kristen Little, a senior, was named to the Class AAA All-State softball team. Little established herself as one of the top pitchers in AAA by going 18-8 with a 0.72 earned run average (ERA) and a staggering 284 strikeouts in 166 innings.
Cedartown High School was placed in Region 6-AAA for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years with team such as Columbus, Shaw, LaGrange and Troup. Cedartown Principal Hal David appealed to the Georgia High School Association’s Reclassification Committee and he was successful, getting Cedartown moved into a new region. The new region is 7-AAA and Cedartown is in sub-region ‘B’ with teams like Cartersville, Allatoona, Murray County, Gilmer and Pickens. Getting a new region placement was big for Cedartown, allowing them to move into a region with schools that are much closer.
Adam Moore was named to the all-region team in football. Moore, a junior defensive lineman, earned Region 6-AAA second team defensive honors to be the only Bulldog awarded for a successful season.
On Dec. 12 professional wrestling returned to The Purks with one of the most famous tag teams in recent wrestling history on hand. The event, which drew around 1,000 fans according to one report, was capped by the Steiner Brothers – Rick and Scott – wrestling Purks International Heavyweight Champion “The Butcher” Bobby Hayes and Air Paris. Much to the pleasure of the crowd, the Steiner Brothers won the near 16 minute contest.
After enduring six losses to start the season, the Bulldogs picked up their first hoops win of the year on Dec. 18 in dramatic fashion. With the game tied at 59 against LaFayette, Cedartown’s Tevin Frazier hit a jumper with about 30 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to an emotional 61-59 win.