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Return to play highlighted by seniors

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  • Article Image Alt Text
    Molly Keenum
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Andrew Carner
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Maleek Wooten
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Erin Blount
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Lillian McGalliard

Earlier this week, graduates of the JCHS Class of 2021 celebrated by donning their caps and gowns in celebration. It came following a season within the fields and arenas of athletic competition in which play returned following all sports coming to a halt last March. The result was an inflow of accolades from the fall all the way to late spring.

It began in cross country. Laney Doster’s fifth-place finish highlighted the JCHS effort in the state meet, her third top-six finish in the last three years as both boys and girls teams finished in the top ten in the state.

In softball, the Lady Greyhounds ensured that the year 2020 would mean something special. They captured the program’s first state title since 2010, with the final out being caught by one of the team’s seniors, catcher Molly Keenum. She was one of just three seniors, all of whom played major roles on the way to capturing the title. Maggie Glover provided leadership on and off the field both at shortstop and at the plate with Kenzie Forrester helping to anchor the Lady Greyhounds pitching efforts.

On the gridiron, the Greyhounds made their second trip to the state semifinals in a row, and contributions from senior leadership had a lot to do with it. Andrew Carner torched opposing defenses with his 29 rushing touchdowns and more than 1,700 yards as well as leading receiver Maleek Wooten and his team-best 790 yards and ten touchdowns. It all took place behind a senior-led offensive line that included Matt Adams and Joseph Hill. Defensively, Deon Richardson, JaVorius Venerable and Charles Gooden wreaked havoc on opposing offenses by leading the team in total tackles with Richardson and Daniel Scott being two of the team’s top three in tackles. Venerable also led the team with four interceptions.

In wrestling, Scott and Gabe Anderson helped the Greyhounds finish just shy of the top ten with Anderson making it to the quarterfinal round and Scott battling back to the consolation semifinals to finish fifth.

Thanks to the strong inside play and never-give-up mentality of Camryn James, the Lady Greyhounds tied for the lead to end the girls basketball regular season and advanced to the state playoffs. In boys basketball, Otis Anderson provided scoring power and Nygel Warren led the way in the paint before his season was cut short due to injury with Tamel Robinson also contributing.

The Cheer Hounds, led in part by their core of seniors, were among the region’s best at multiple meets, coming up just shy of qualifying for the state meet by way of losing a tiebreaker.

In golf, Logan Partin’s play helped the Lady Greyhounds advance to state competition with Brad Hammock leading the Greyhounds, challenging or winning low medalist honors in most JCHS matches over the course of the season.

In tennis, both the Greyhounds and Lady Greyhounds advanced to the state tournament led by seniors – Sydney Bowman, Drake Daughtry and Jackson Taylor.

In track and field, the Greyhounds’ Erin Blount finished his senior season with two top-three finishes in the state meet, coming in second in the 400-meter run with Doster advancing to the state meet, coming in 11 th in the 3,200 meters and 14 th in the 1,600.

In girls soccer, the Lady Hounds made history, hosting a state playoff match for the first time as well as advancing to the second round. They were led by the goalie play of Keenum, scoring power of Glover and Emily Brennaman as well as the contributions of Lillian McGalliard and Rebecca Brown.

In baseball, the Greyhounds, led by the starting pitching and clutch hitting of Jacob Thompson returned to the state playoffs. Thompson was part of a senior class that also included Garrett Williams, Kendal Wood, Bailey Taylor, Sutton Kemp, Trent Hardy and Ben Gordon.

The inaugural volleyball season got underway in the fall with five seniors helping to lay the forward foundation for the program. Those seniors were Harley Bryant, Jasmine Downing, Skye Gorman, Jordenn Jones, and Kaitlyn Pauldo.

In other top performances across all grades, the boy’s quartet, comprised of Ethan Kitchens, Joel Chen, Angelo Derks and Jared McAfee claimed a state title while in gymnastics, Chloe Clark and Ella Rose Gosier qualified for state preliminaries.