Karly Fullem, Buford: Threw a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a win over Decatur on Thursday.
Angie Hughes, Union County: Threw a perfect game with 12 strikeouts in a win over Banks County on Thursday.
Callie McDonald, White County: Went 6-for-7 with five RBIs and a grand slam, while throwing a no-hitter in the circle last week.
Laura Sangster, White County: Went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in two wins last week.
Stephanie Satterfield, White County: Earned a complete-game win with five strikeouts, while going 2-for-3 with three runs scored against Stephens County on Tuesday.
Kathryn Bell, North Hall: Had 81 assists, 20 aces, 15 kills, six digs and four blocks in five wins and two losses last week.
Megan Cox, North Hall: Had 65 digs and five aces in four wins and a loss last week.
Taylor Cramsey, Jefferson: Had 54 kills, nine aces and five blocks in four wins and a loss last week.
Amanda Daniel, Jefferson: Had 65 assists, 15 aces and 10 kills in four wins and a loss last week.
Kenzi Grewett, Flowery Branch: Had 46 assists, seven aces and three kills in three wins last week.
The location of a practice can be just as important as the practice itself, especially in the case of cross country.
The northern area of Hall County consists mainly of hills, and it’s that terrain that has helped North Hall High produce some of the best cross country runners in the state.
Namely, Cody Barger.
In the West Hall Invitational on Sept. 14, Barger set a new course record of 15 minutes, 54.66 second to earn his fifth victory in five meets this season.
For his efforts, Barger is The Times Athlete of the Week.
The senior credits the terrain that the Trojans run every day during practice as the main reason the area produces so many top runners.
“Pretty much everyone at North Hall runs better at the hilly courses because we’re used to it,” Barger said. “You can’t really pick out a three mile loop anywhere in north Hall without having some sort of hill.”
Running a cross country race on a course that has many changes in elevation forces the runner to expend more energy and therefore tire faster.
“If you have a really hilly course, it’s going to be harder because you are moving more. If you flatten out all the hills the course is actually longer,” Barger said. “Plus you are pushing yourself up the hills. Elevation change makes you slower.”
While the area’s elevation changes certainly plays a big role in preparing the senior for competition, coach Drew Rogers believes Barger’s work ethic plays an even bigger role.
“He’s been here all summer long and hasn’t missed a practice, as far as I can remember,” Rogers said. “He’s just a hard trainer. He’s got some God-given ability, but he just works hard.”
Rogers thinks Barger’s hard work can be seen in how he finishes meets.
“Every race he goes out there and there is someone with him for the first two miles and that third mile he just pulls away,” Rogers said.
North Hall has produced a lot of hard-working runners over the years, one of the most recent being 2009 graduate Ty McCormack, who is currently running for the Clemson Tigers. McCormack placed second at the state meet last season and the Trojans placed fourth.
Stepping into those shoes might seem difficult, but Rogers believes Barger has had no trouble.
“I think the three courses (Barger’s) ran that Ty ran, he has broken Ty’s records,” Rogers said. “This past Saturday he didn’t break Ty’s record because Ty never ran there.”
Barger doesn’t concentrate on the fact that he has become the leader of the Trojans, instead he chooses to focus on what the team has to do to improve upon the fourth-place finish at state last season.
“Everybody is doing the same thing really so you just have to move your legs faster,” Barger said. “We just focus on improving our times.”
Barger achieved his personal-best time last season at 15:45, but due to injury limiting his practice time, only ran 16:16.76 at the state meet. That time was almost 20 seconds slower that Barger’s win last Tuesday, but was still good enough to place fourth overall. The senior believes that he has a strong chance to win both Region 8-AAA and the state individual title this season.
“I would say it’s probably between me and Josh Pendley at West Hall,” Barger said.
The two have gone head-to-head three times this season, with Barger winning each, and will face each other once more Thursday in the Hall County Championship at Riverside Military Academy.