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Boys Athlete of the Week: Gainesville's Spencer Ralston
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Honor Roll

Baseball

Dakota Chalmers, Lakeview: Went 5 for 5 with two RBIs, four singles and a double along with striking out eight over six innings in a win against Commerce last Tuesday and was 2 for 4 with two singles and an RBI in a win against Athens Academy on Friday.

Andrew Smith, North Hall: Was 2 for 4 with three RBIs in a win against Fannin County last Tuesday and went 3 for 4 with a triple and three RBIs against West Hall on Friday.

Preston Graham, North Hall: Struck out nine batters over four innings in a win against Fannin County last Tuesday.

Zach Mize, North Hall: Was 4 for 4 with a pair of RBIs against Fannin County last Tuesday and went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs in another win against Fannin County on Wednesday.

Chandler Cochran, Johnson: Tallied three RBIs in a 2-for-2 performance in a win against Tallulah Falls last Tuesday.

Luke Maddox, Gainesville: Was 3 for 4 with two RBIs in a win against Central Gwinnett last Tuesday.

Blake Thomas, White County: Struck out nine over five innings and was 2 for 3 with a double in a win against Banks County last Tuesday.

Matthew Hambrick, White County: Went 2 for 3 with a double and a pair of RBIs in a win against Banks County last Tuesday.

Griffin Olson, North Hall: Had a double and three RBIs in a 2-for-4 performance against Fannin County last Wednesday.

Max Ford, Jefferson: Struck out 10 over seven innings in a win against Riverside Military on Wednesday.

Brandt Rineheart, Habersham Central: Was 3 for 4 with a two-run triple, three RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases in a win against Chestatee last Tuesday.

Brad Keller, Flowery Branch: Recorded three RBIs while striking out seven over five innings in a win against Hart County on Wednesday.

Joel Pritchard, White County: Was 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored in a win against Banks County on Wednesday.

Colton Duttweiler, North Hall: Went 3 for 4 with a three-run home run and four RBIs while striking out 10 over six innings in a win against West Hall on Friday.

Collin Pettell, Riverside: Struck out 10 over six innings and had an RBI and a run scored in a win against Chestatee on Thursday.

Michael Gettys, Gainesville: Struck out eight while allowing three hits in his fourth shutout win of the season against Winder-Barrow last Friday.

Luke Moore, Gainesville: Was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a walk against Winder-Barrow on Friday.

Soccer

Luis Del Toro, Johnson: Recorded two goals and an assist in wins against both Lumpkin County and North Hall last week.

Rick Valentine, Lakeview: Scored four goals in a win against Towns County last Tuesday.

Tyler Kimball, Lakeview: Notched two goals against Towns County last Tuesday.

Nestor Soto, East Hall: Notched two goals against Monroe Area last Tuesday and had two goals and an assist against Banks County on Friday.

Roldan Reyes, Chestatee: Scored two goals in a win against Gainesville last Tuesday.

Luis Salazar, East Hall: Had two goals against Banks County on Friday.

Jason Mendoza, East Hall: Had two goals against Banks County on Friday.

Omar Castillo, West Hall: Finished with a hat trick with an assist in a win against Buford on Friday.

Tennis

Jonathan Cook, Chestatee: Earned a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles against Johnson last Tuesday.

Jackson Goble, Gainesville: Won in straight sets at No. 1 singles against Salem last Wednesday.

Graham McKinnon, Gainesville: Won in straight sets at No. 2 singles against Salem last Wednesday.

Alec Zais/Nick Dillard, Gainesville: Won in straight sets at No. 1 doubles against Salem last Wednesday.

Billy Jackson/Lee Hughs, Gainesville: Won in straight sets at No. 2 doubles against Salem last Wednesday.

Austin Dyer, West Hall: Won in straight sets at No. 1 singles against White County last Thursday and won against South Forsyth and Gainesville in the Wildcat Invitational Tournament over the weekend.

Connor Kirkland/Min Kim, West Hall: Won in straight sets at No. 2 doubles against White County last Thursday.

Merritt Wilburn, Riverside Military: Earned a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles against Social Circle last Thursday.

Eric Chow/Jake Weiner, Riverside Military: Earned a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 doubles against Social Circle last Thursday.

Nicolas Pitchon/Joshua Haughton, Riverside Military: Earned a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2 doubles against Social Circle last Thursday.

Golf

Nathan Williams, Gainesville: Carded a 73 in the Hall County Championship last Tuesday at Royal Lakes Golf Course.

Pep Brown, Gainesville: Shot a 74 at the Hall County Championship last Tuesday at Royal Lakes Golf Course.

Lawson King, Gainesville: Carded a 74 at the Hall County Championship last Tuesday at Royal Lakes Golf Course.

Joseph Jarrard, Lumpkin County: Shot a 41 in a tri-match with North Forsyth and Johnson last Wednesday at Achasta Golf Club.

Gabe McConnell, Lakeview: Shot a 44 in a win over Riverside last week.

Gainesville golfer Spencer Ralston may only be a freshman, but he has proven that he can hold his own on a team that has depth and experience.

As the only freshman on the team, Ralston constantly has competed with more experienced members on the team for a top-five spot to play with the team in tournaments.

After missing the cut for the Apple Mountain Invitational on March 9 in Clarkesville, Ralston was motivated to improve his game to make the top-five for the Hall County Championships.

“I saw kind of a different look in his eye to try to get back in the top-five or top-six for Hall County,” said coach Bryson Worley. “A lot of freshmen don’t have that kind of self-awareness to get that done.”

Ralston not only bounced back and made the cut but won the boys’ championship after finishing the 18 holes with a 72.

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

“This is only the second time I’ve had a freshman win it,” Worley said. “We’re pretty deep, so we didn’t even know he was going to win because we had four or five guys in the mix.”

But he wasn’t surprised at Ralston’s performance, having known him since he was in the third grade.

“I knew he was a good player,” Worley said. “He’s played a lot of tournament golf, but he’s a humble kid. He gets along with the older kids really well. That’s kind of an anomaly for someone who has been as highly touted as he was growing up.”

Although Ralston is clearly talented, Worley said that his young golfer has a team-oriented mentality and is always looking for ways to help the Red Elephants win. When he won the boys championship for Hall County, Worley noted that Ralston was surprised but that he also called it a “bittersweet moment” because some of his teammates didn’t do as well, a mentality Worley appreciates in his golfers.

“I’ve been really happy with his bounce back and his maturity as far as golf goes,” Worley said. “His mental game has really improved.”

As his he becomes better at the game mentally, he also improves his skills and is constantly asking what he can do better.

“He’s a sponge for information,” Worley said. “The thing that surprised me is that if he doesn’t know something, he will always ask.”

What he does know, however, he does extremely well, and his physical skills are able to combine with his determined mind set to make him successful.

“He’s definitely a good ball striker,” Worley said. “And just his confidence on the course is great. He doesn’t panic under adversity. That’s more important than anything else he does.”

It’s clear that Ralston is emerging as a young leader on a team full of talented golfers, but Worley emphasized the need to stay focused on his goals.

“He has to not get satisfied and remember that there’s always somebody better,” Worley said.

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