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Mitchell: Area teams, athletes making their mark
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It’s a word I’ve seen tossed around quite a bit in the last week in reference to a number of local individual and team performances.

And, given the context, I think it’s worth taking a closer look at a few of them.

First, there are the incredible pitching performances from the Flowery Branch baseball team in back-to-back games last week.

On Monday, pitcher Brad Keller tossed a no-hitter for the Falcons in a 1-0 win against Madison County. The no-no was just the second in team history, matching the feat first accomplished by former Falcon Patrick Henry in 2007.

But the impressive individual performance transformed into one for the team when, just two days later, Chase Hulsey nearly matched Keller. He tossed a complete-game one-hitter, also against Madison County, to make it one hit and no runs allowed over two games for the Falcons.

And while some might point to Madison County’s record (8-13) as the deciding factor in the Falcons streak of dominance, it makes the performances no less impressive.

The Red Raiders had been shut out just once all season and put up at least six runs in a game on eight different occasions.

Consider, too, the difficulty in navigating a team’s batting order a minimum of four or five times over two games and allowing just one batter to record a base hit. I don’t care what team you are playing, that isn’t easy at this level.

So, major kudos is in order for the Falcons pitching staff as they head into the region playoffs.

Also worth looking at is the job Mike Hutch is doing for Riverside Military baseball.

While the Eagles’ current season isn’t exactly historical, recent history hasn’t been kind to the team either.

But now, with two games to play this week, the Eagles (13-10, 11-7) can clinch a spot in the state playoffs with just a single win.

This is a team that won just four games a season ago, and yet here it sits on the verge of clinching the Region 8-A No. 4 seed.

The season has by no means been easy for the Eagles, and they haven’t overpowered opponents in any fashion. They average the same number of runs as their opponents and haven’t been able to crack top teams in the region like Commerce and Hebron Christian.

What they have done, however, is rebound from a 2-7 start to win 11 of the last 14 games. The Eagles have lost only to George Walton Academy, 7-1, Commerce, 11-3, and a close contest to Hebron Christian, 3-1, last Friday.

Hutch has said that there is “no quit” in his team, and, judging by its turnaround, he’s right.

It will be fun to watch what the Eagles can do with their opportunities this week and, perhaps, into the state playoffs.

The final bit of history worth looking at is by a couple of soccer teams in the area doing what no other team at the school has accomplished.

For the East Hall boys, they will be the first Vikings team to host a playoff game in the state tournament.

And at Dawson County, the girls team has broken every school record, including goals scored (57) and allowed (five), while joining the boys in the state’s top 10. It’s the first time both teams have been ranked at the same time.

Sometimes you can lose your interest in sports at certain times of the season. It’s understandable. But it’s performances like these that always bring you back. Because any day, week or season, you can watch a little bit of history.

And that’s what makes this fun.

David Mitchell is a sportswriter for The Times. Follow him at