The Lumpkin County Indians Baseball team braved the dreary weather to hold their 2019 Lil’ Indian Baseball summer camp this week.
The camp took place at Lumpkin County High School in Indian Park each morning from Monday until Wednesday. Young baseball and softball players ages 5-12 attended to increase their skill level in a fun environment.
Indians coaching staff along with current Varsity and Junior Varsity players assisted with teaching campers basic baseball skills in areas such as hitting, pitching, fielding and base running.
The campers were split into groups based on their age and skill level, and took turns rotating around the field to practice a different skill at each station.
“The biggest thing here is to just make sure the kids have fun and enjoy the game of baseball,” said Indians Head Coach Jonathan Gastley. “Hopefully what we teach them they’ll carry over to their teams.”
About five years ago I told my dad, who is one of my biggest fans but also one of the most blunt people you’ll ever meet, that I wanted to be the first female head coach in the NFL.
“You can’t do that, Lauren,” he said.
“Why?” I argued.
I was expecting some drawn-out response about how I didn’t know enough about football.
“Because you can’t go in the men’s locker room,” he said flatly.
Ah, I hadn’t thought of that.
That was my senior year of high school, and never did I think I would be where I am now.
I grew up an UGA fan; my grandad attended college there in the ’60s and the red and black passed down into my veins. I learned to spell Georgia by chanting the fight song in my head (I still do subconsciously whenever I have to write it out!) I had an UGA cheerleader outfit and one of my baby pictures has me holding a stuffed bulldog. One of my nana’s fondest memories is of dancing around the living room with me as an infant when Georgia scored a big touchdown against Georgia Tech. I’ve never considered myself athletic, but I believe I owe a lot of my passion for sports to Papa Skip and Nana.
Flash forward a few years and the first time I stepped foot on a sideline was as a cheerleader for the 8th grade Mill Creek rec football league. Cheerleading was not for me, and within a year I traded in pom poms for a six-foot flag pole as a member of the Mill Creek High School Colorguard.
In high school I lived for Friday night lights, and I have many fond memories of screaming myself hoarse for the Hawks while in the stands with the marching band. It was a well-known fact that I was the most spirited person in the band when it came to football, and while my coach would be yelling at me to pay attention during our warm-ups I’d be busy trying to figure out how much yardage we’d gotten from the last pass.
I guess my fellow classmates took note of my love for the game as well, because they voted me their Homecoming Queen my senior year. That is still one of my all-time favorite memories from high school- hearing my name called while standing on the 50 surrounded by family and friends.
I graduated from Mill Creek in 2015 but I had a hard time staying away from Markham Field. The University of North Georgia doesn’t have a football team, and Mill Creek decided to get really good the year after I left (this was the fall of 2015, the year they got knocked out by Colquitt County one round before the state championship.)
In the spring of 2016 I heard of an opportunity to work for the Gwinnett Braves, Triple-A minor league affiliate for the Atlanta Braves. Needing a summer job but hoping to avoid retail, I took it. I spent the next two summers as a Guest Relations Representative scanning tickets and welcoming fans. In addition to my already-sound knowledge of football, I learned all I could about America’s favorite pastime and a new love was born.
I spent one more summer at Coolray Field before graduating college, and this time it was as a member of the Promotional Team. That may be the most fun I ever had at work. Our team set up the on-field promotional games, signed up contestants, sold 50/50 raffle tickets and overall worked to make sure people had a good time. I certainly did- the memories I made with my team that year will forever be some of my favorites.
For a while I told people that I wasn’t interested in sports journalism, but the Lord as he fortunately often does had other plans. I got the opportunity to intern with the UNG Athletic Department my senior year of college, and I left Gwinnett County to plant some roots in the North Georgia mountains.
Two months ago I still wasn’t certain that I’d ever work in sports again, but when baseball started back up I knew I couldn’t live without it. I was fortunate enough to find an opportunity to apply with FetchYourNews.com, and even more fortunate to get an offer. And here we are.
I don’t tell you all this to brag on my accomplishments or give you some long-winded biography. I want to be just as much a part of your community as you all are now a part of my daily life. When I come to your sideline I want to know each of you and each of you know me. Part of being a great sports reporter is establishing a relationship with your team and community. Part of that relationship includes establishing trust, and how can you can trust someone if you don’t even know them?
One of the biggest reasons I keep working in sports is because of the the communities they create and the people I get to meet. There’s something about having a team to rally around that gets inside of you and never leaves. The people I have met so far and the connections I have made are priceless and will forever be a part of who I am and a big reason for why I do what I do.
So here’s to the journey ahead, and here’s to memories that are yet to be made and the relationships yet to be formed. I can’t wait North Georgia!
According to the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, UNG sophomore, Nick Clarno, was named the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday afternoon. The announcement came after Clarno hit a homerun all three games against Palm Beach Atlantic.
Clarno his .455 against Palm Beach Atlantic over the weekend, driving in six runs as the Nighthawks ran their record to 6-0. Clarno had a 1.364 batting percentage, and he opened with a solo shot in the first game before going for 2-for-4 in the second and third games. He also added a double during the finale, scoring a total of four runs and striking out only once in 11 at-bats.
Clarno leads the PBC in slugging percentage, is tied for second in home runs and is seventh in total bases. This is his first weekly honor of his career.
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A redshirt freshman from Cumming, Georgia, Morrison is the second team All-Region reliever after recording 10 saves and a 4-2 record and posting a 2.01 ERA in 53.2 innings of work on the mound for UNG. He had 62 strikeouts against just 27 walks, with opponents hitting just .164 against him this season.
A sophomore from Duluth, Georgia, Perez earned second team All-Region honors as a catcher, hitting .330 with a Peach Belt best 23 homers to go along with 68 RBI and a .699 slugging percentage. He also caught 20 of the 28 base runners that tried to steal a base against him this season.
Both Nighthawks are on the D2CCA All-Region list for the first time in their careers.
Perez, a sophomore out of Duluth, Georgia, leads the PBC in homers with 20 headed into the conference tournament. His 20 bombs is also tied for the UNG single season record. He has caught all 50 games for the Nighthawks as well.
Heil, a freshman from Suwanee, Georgia, has been the Friday starter for the Nighthawks this season, going 6-7 this season with 55 strikeouts across over 93 innings on the mound. Morrison, a redshirt freshman from Cumming, Georgia, leads North Georgia in appearances with 30, garnering a 4-1 record with 10 saves.
The Nighthawks will take on UNC Pembroke tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in the PBC Tournament. UNG will also take on Lander and Georgia College in pool play on Saturday with the winner of the pool advancing to the championship game Sunday.
4/27/2018 | Baseball | Box Score
GREENWOOD, S.C. – After scoring the first six runs of the game in the first two innings, Lander scored the final 14 runs, defeating the University of North Georgia baseball team, 14-6, Friday night at Dolny Stadium.
Andres Perez got things started in the first inning, blasting a three-run shot over the wall in left to put UNG up, 3-0. The sophomore homered again in the next inning, another three-run bomb to left to double the Nighthawk lead.
Lander started their response in the third with a two-run homer by Brice Kirven in the third inning to cut the lead to four. After two RBI singles in the fourth, a three-run blast by Carson Jones in the fifth gave the Bearcats a 7-6 lead. The next batter, Alex Conaway, hit a solo homer to extend the Bearcat lead to 8-6.
The night was capped off by yet another homerun by LU, this one coming in the eighth inning. A three-run homer by Conner Davis gave the Bearcats the eight-run victory.
– The Nighthawks are now 19-21 all-time against Lander as the two teams have split the last six meetings.