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Athlete of the Week: Adams a bright spot for Vikings
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Honor Roll

Hunter Anglin, Gainesville: Had six hits, seven RBIs, four runs scored and three home runs last week.

Jacob Brewster, North Hall: Had six hits, a two-run home run and four RBIs last week.

Luke Crumley, White County: Earned a win on the mound, striking out 12, while going 5-for-8 with two RBIs and a home run last week. 

Hayden Cummins, White County: Went 5-for-9 with three runs scored and two RBIs last week.

Blake Gowder, Union County: Earned a win on the mound while hitting two home runs, a double and driving in three last week.  

Holden Kellar, North Hall: Had six hits, two runs scored and two RBIs last week.  

Will Maddox, Gainesville: Had five hits, two RBIs and a home run last week.

K.J. McAllister, Gainesville: Had five hits, six RBIs and three runs scored last week.

Cory Sanderson, Flowery Branch: Had five hits, five RBIs and a home run last week.  

Sloan Strickland, Gainesville: Went 6-for-11 with eight RBIs and two home runs last week.

Phillip Abrahamsen, Flowery Branch: Scored three goals in a win Wednesday.

Nicole Ball, North Georgia Christian: Scored two goals in a win Monday.

Clay Cox, North Georgia Christian: Scored two goals in a win Monday.

Maddie Haymore, Lakeview Academy: Scored two goals in a win Wednesday.

Irving Salgado, Gainesville: Scored two goals in a win Tuesday.

Rick Valentine, North Georgia Christian: Scored two goals in a win Monday.

Taylor Bishop, North Hall: Won the 300-meter hurdles and finished second in a long jump in a meet on Wednesday.

Paul Malquist, Gainesville: Won the 400-meter dash and the pole vault in a meet Friday.

Ty McCormack, North Hall: Won the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races in a meet Wednesday.

Jordan Nix, North Hall: Won the 100 and 200-meter dash in a meet Wednesday.

Randy Olson, North Hall: Won the 200-meter dash and the high jump in a meet Friday.

Mallory Rich, North Hall: Set a new school discus record with a throw of 102 feet, 2 inches.

Victoria Rogers, North Hall: Won the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races in a meet Wednesday.

Peyton Wilhoite, North Hall: Set a new school discus record with a throw of 186 feet, 3 inches.

After three losses last week, the East Hall high school baseball team fell to 3-21 overall and 2-15 in Region 7-AAA. A record like that would make a lot of young players want to give up on the season, but not senior Drew Adams. To Adams, the mark of a good player is that the effort on the field remains strong, even if the team’s record isn’t.  

“I think if you really want to play, you come out (to the field) and you play every night,” he said.  

“It just one of those things, it gets tough (but) you gotta keep playing harder.”

And playing hard is exactly what Adams has been doing.

Last week, Adams was a combined 9-for-11 with a home run, a triple, a double and six singles at the plate while giving up just five earned runs in two starts, one of which was against the subregion leader Gainesville on Monday.

For his efforts, Adams is The Times Athlete of the Week.   

In the Gainesville game, the Vikings scored seven runs in the first inning. Gainesville battled back and when Adams left the game in the fifth inning, the Red Elephants had taken a slim 8-7 lead. By the end of the game, Gainesville had tacked on another seven runs and won 15-7.

But the final score didn’t tell the whole story. The game was competitive, the whole way though.  

“We’ve been the bad break team,” East Hall coach Wesley Crow said. “Everything just seems to fall against us.”

Last Friday’s game against West Forsyth seemed to prove him right.

Adams started the game and pitched five innings, giving up only one earned run. And yet, when Adams left the game at the end of the sixth inning, the scored was tied at five.

West Forsyth scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 8-5 lead. With one out in the top of the seventh, East Hall had runners on second and third and a chance to draw back even.

Instead, the game ended on back-to-back strikeouts and the Vikings took another heartbreaking loss.

“(That) was a good game all the way through,” Crow said. “The kids played hard. You’ve just got to get that timely hit.

“That’s kind of been the (course) of our season. We’ve been in situations and either not delivered or its went the other way for us.”

Adams agrees with his coach.

“We just can’t get the wins. We play good ball and just can’t get the win,” he said.   

One reason that Crow feels his team has had a lot of “bad breaks” is the youth of the Vikings. With only four seniors and two juniors on the roster, East Hall is a very young team. And, as often happens with young teams, mistakes seem to happen at the worst time.

But Crow isn’t letting this season’s record get him down. He is “extremely optimistic” about the future of his club.

“(We have) a good group of core kids still developing, so that group can do a lot of good things,” he said.

Something that Crow clearly isn’t excited about is losing Adams at the end of the season.

To Crow, Adams “does everything.”

“I call him a field rat; he’s just always at the park,” Crow said.

“Drew has tremendous baseball instincts. The game has a natural flow to him.” Those instincts are reflected in Adams’ hitting statistics for the season. Currently, Adams is hitting a team-leading .535 on the season with five home runs.

“(He’s) very good at plate discipline and understanding what works for him,” Crow said.

In short, he is “every coach’s dream.”

In the fall, Adams is committed to playing third base for Gordon College in Barnesville and this summer will play with Team Elite, a developmental summer league which plays in several tournaments from the end of May through July.

This will be Adams’ second summer with Team Elite and he feels that the experience has helped prepare him for college.

“(It has) helped a lot. (At East Hall) I play short(stop), and going to third (base) with Gordon, that’s all I play with Elite, so that’s helped a lot with developing that position and getting ready for the next level.”

Adams has two games left before he moves on to that next level. East Hall plays host to Chestatee at 5:55 p.m. Wednesday and plays host to West Hall for their final regular season game at 5:55 p.m. Friday.
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