By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Athlete of the week: Wilson off to a flying start with Falcons
Placeholder Image

Honorable mentions


Bucky Free, Flowery Branch: 4-for-6 with two RBIs against Johnson last Wednesday.

K.J. McAllister, North Hall: 3-for-4 with three RBIs against East Hall last Thursday.

Trey Pinson, North Hall: 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs against East Hall last Thursday.

Nathan Hewell, North Hall: Pitched a one-hitter against East Hall last Thursday.

Zach Dale, Banks County: 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs against Jackson County last Tuesday.

Chris Porter, Banks County: 2-for-4 with a double, a run and four RBIs against Jackson County last Tuesday.

Chris Beck, Jefferson: Struck out 11 hitters in six innings against North Oconee last Tuesday.


Tess Patton, North Hall: Three goals in two games last week.

Raquel Castillo, Gainesville: Goal and an assist against East Hall last Tuesday.

Megan Fligg, Chestatee: Two goals against Habersham Central last Monday.

Ariel Mejia, Johnson: Two goals against Buford last Monday.

Juan Arbelaez, West Hall: Three goals against Riverside Military last Monday.

Chris Lewis, West Hall: Goal and an assist against Riverside Military last Monday.

Track and field

Paul Malquist, Gainesville: Set a new school record in the pole vault with 15 in a meet last Tuesday.

Tasha Turner, Gainesville: Finished first in the 200-meter, the 400 and 4x100 in a meet last Tuesday.

It hasn’t taken much time for Flowery Branch High’s James Wilson to adjust to his new baseball team.

The first-year Falcon displayed his talents on his new team in Flowery Branch’s 18-5 win against Johnson last Wednesday, going 4-for-6 with five RBIs while earning a win on the mound.

“I did a lot better than I thought I would,” Wilson said. “My perspective is that when I go out there it’s to just help my team out and get a win. That’s what I’m out there to do.”

He’s been doing just that. The senior third baseman and pitcher entered Monday’s game against Gainesville batting .588 with 21 runs scored and 21 RBIs in 12 games this season, all of which rank among the region’s best.

Wilson’s efforts have helped Flowery Branch (10-3, 9-3 Region 7-AAA) start a seven-game winning streak, dating back to March 9. Since then, the Falcons have scored more than 10 runs five times, picking up key wins against West Hall, White County and region-leading and fourth-ranked Creekview.

“We try not to talk about it much, we don’t want to jinx it,” Wilson said. “Hopefully we can better our record and get that region championship.”

Though Flowery Branch is coming off a region title in 2008, another one this year would be Wilson’s first. He moved to Flowery Branch from St. Petersburg, Fla. last year, and joined the Falcons last summer.

“I met most of them over the summer, so it was pretty easy to fit in with the team,” Wilson said. “I went out there and just played my game, and the players came to me.”

It didn’t take Wilson long to move up the ranks to the starting position he holds today, and Flowery Branch coach Jimmy Lawler was not surprised at all by the quick transition. He believes that Wilson’s ability to drive in runs batting third for the Falcons has been a big reason for the team’s recent winning streak.

“You will see him on the field or in the middle of the lineup somewhere,” Lawler said. “He’s done a really good job in the three spot for us.”

But Wilson’s abilities don’t vanish when puts the bat back in the dugout. Once he puts his glove back on and heads to the mound, he becomes another kind of threat for the Falcons, one with a 3-0 record and an ERA below 1.00.

“He does a good job throwing strikes,” Lawler said. “He has a good breaking ball and can change speeds.”

“I like being on the hill more often because I like being in charge of the game,” Wilson added. “But I like stepping into the box. When I step up there, anything can happen.”

It’s that do-whatever-it-takes attitude that has helped Wilson impress the college scouts. He came to Flowery Branch with offers from South Florida and Central Florida, which he received before moving to Georgia.

“Hopefully I’ll get on with a small college and go on from there,” Wilson said. “But I’m trying to stay here around my family, and I’ve made a lot of friends so I don’t feel like readjusting.”

Wilson plans to play for the Gainesville A’s American Legion team this summer, then go to college to play baseball.

Friends to Follow social media