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High School Athlete of the Week: West Hall's LeNiesha Kearse
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Honor Roll

Softball

Alexis Baldy, Buford: 2 for 3 with an inside-the-park home run against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe on Saturday.

Shawanna Brown, Union County: had a grand slam in win over Gilmer on Monday.

Bria Bush, Buford: recorded four strikeouts with only one hit allowed in a six-inning shutout against Jefferson last Monday.

Niki Cook, Buford: 2 for 3 with an RBI and two stolen bases against Jefferson on Monday.

Lindsay Elliott, Banks County: 2 for 2 with two doubles, two RBIs, and two runs scored on Thursday against Lakeview.

Ellie Forrester, North Hall: 3 for 3 with two RBIs in a win over Johnson on Tuesday.

Hannah Hughes, Union County: 3 for 4 with a home run against Gilmer on Monday.

Taylor Kennedy, Banks County: had a home run and a double against Hart County.

Morgan McKinney, Jefferson: recorded seven strikeouts in three innings pitched; went 2 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs in a 15-0 win against Greene County on Tuesday.

Kristen Mullis, White County: had a two-run home run and three RBIs in an 8-6 win against Stephens County on Monday.

Jordyn Porter, North Hall: 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases against Johnson on Tuesday.

Drew Puckett, Buford: 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored against Jefferson on Monday.

Harper Seymour, North Hall: 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a triple in a win over Johnson on Tuesday.

Kayla Street, Gainesville: recorded nine strikeouts with only two hits allowed in the circle; went 2 for 2 at the plate with an RBI in 13-0 win against Clarke Central.

Jessica Thomas, Flowery Branch: 4 for 4 with four RBIs on Wednesday against East Hall.

Taylor Turk, Lumpkin County: 2 for 2 with two home runs and four RBIs against Stephens County on Tuesday.

Madison Whitmire, Flowery Branch: 4 for 4 with two doubles and three RBIs against North Cobb on Friday.

Volleyball
Laykin Herford, West Hall: 29 assists and six aces against Pickens and Chestatee on Thursday.

Emily Hoggard, East Hall: 14 points on serve, an eight-point service run, 11 kills, seven digs and three aces against Tallulah Falls.

Emily Roberts, East Hall: 18 points on serve with a 10-point service run, three digs and three aces against Tallulah Falls.

Shelby Ross, Lakeview: 15 kills, 14 aces, 12 digs and five blocks at Jefferson Dragonfest on Saturday.

Bailey Towles, Lakeview: 36 assists, 28 aces and 12 digs at Jefferson Dragonfest on Saturday.

Katie White, Lakeview: 35 kills, 23 digs and seven aces at Jefferson Dragonfest on Saturday.

Grace Williamson, Jefferson: nine assists and seven aces in wins against Monroe Area and Winder-Barrow on Tuesday.

Sarah Wood, Jefferson: 20 kills, 11 digs, four blocks, three aces and two assists on Thursday.

Cross Country
Nick Ashmead, Flowery Branch: finished in seventh place in the boys championship race at the Northeast Georgia Championships at Athens Christian on Saturday.

Lewis Brooks, Lakeview: finished in third place in the boys varsity race with a time of 17:44 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Sarah Beth English, Chestatee: came in second in the girls varsity race with a time of 20:34 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Taylor Fiorello, Flowery Branch: finished in sixth place in the boys championship race at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Zack Hill, North Hall: finished in 10th place in the boys championship race with a time of 16:52 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Lauren Kirk, Flowery Branch: came in ninth in the girls championship race at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Tucker LoCicero, North Hall : finished in fourth place in the boys championship race with a time of 16:21 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Tori Mullinax, Chestatee: won the girls varsity race with a time of 20:32 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Witt Nix, North Hall: finished in third place in the boys championship race with a time of 16:20 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Victoria Rogers, North Hall: was ninth in the girls championship race with a time of 23:35 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Bryce Schuebert, North Hall: came in fifth in the boys championship race with a time of 16:23 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Dustin Snyder, Lakeview: finished in second place in the boys varsity race with a time of 17:43 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Dalton Snyder, Lakeview: came in fourth in the boys varsity race with a time of 17:49 at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

Cassie Ward, Flowery Branch: finished in fourth place in the girls championship race at the Northeast Georgia Championships.

West Hall senior LeNiesha Kearse can do it all and do it well.

She already has a pair of area titles under her belt as a track and field star, but now Kearse is transforming into one of the top volleyball threats in the region.

Kearse led the Lady Spartans to a win in the gold bracket at the East Hall Spikefest to start the season, and she continues to be a force on the volleyball court, helping West Hall to an 8-1 start to the season.

For her efforts, Kearse has been named The Times Athlete of the Week.

Last week, Kearse led her team to a pair of wins over Gilmer and Chestatee with 16 digs, 10 kills, and six blocks. But from watching her play on the court, it’s hard to tell that she has only been playing volleyball since eighth grade.

She said that she wasn’t expecting this kind of outcome from trying a new sport, and she certainly wasn’t trying to be a leader, but she has molded herself to fit the role she assumes now.

“With volleyball, I kind of surprised myself,” Kearse said.

Despite the fact that she is clearly talented, however, Kearse attributes much of her success to her teammates and coach.

“I think the team has grown so much, and we continue to grow,” she said, “And he (Coach Joe Nelson) pushes us so much and that helps in the long run.”

Kearse feels that this year’s team has the potential to be even better than the previous few seasons and that she is still getting better as well.

There is, however, one specific aspect of volleyball that completely hooked Kearse from the moment she started playing.

“Hitting, hitting, hitting,” she emphasized, “When you hit the ball, you can just kill it, and the crowd goes wild, and there’s so much adrenaline, and you’re feeding off of the crowd and your teammates.”

Kearse also says that running track has absolutely helped with her volleyball skills.

“Track helps me a lot with my quickness on the court. It helps me jump and helps me scramble when I need to,” Kearse said.

If her performances so far are any indication, West Hall should expect to see big things from Kearse both on the court this fall and on the track come springtime.

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