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Basketball dunks in Valley of Doom

November 1, 2010 1 comment

Far left, Jamil Saaka jumps over one of the basketball team's managers. Top right, Frank Adams shows off his dunking skills for the crowd. Bottom right, Athletics Director Randy Dunn encourages students to get excited for the upcoming season. Photos by Jacob Stone


By Brand Driver, Staff Writer

On Thurs., YHC had their first ever Midnight Madness event to kick off the first basketball season in forty years. This event was well attended with two full student sections which were crazy and excited about the upcoming basketball season, which kicks off Nov. 15.

The event started off with an introduction of the cheerleading squad. Cheer team captain Emmy Caton led the fans in cheers and chants to get the crowd fired up.

President Cathy Cox took the floor to announce the revealing of the name of the new gym.  The banner was dropped and the new name was shown, the Valley of Doom. The crowd then went wild in approval of the new name.

YHC sophomore Jordan Johnson was very excited about the event and commented, “The countdown to Midnight Madness was a great way to start off my birthday!”

The Lady Mountain Lions were up next on the schedule for the night and the team was introduced by head coach Brenda Paul. These girls came out with pride for their team and showed their skill by doing a few drills with trick passes and a variety of lay-ups.

The Men’s basketball team was last, but certainly not least, on the itinerary for the night. When the team was announced, there was a lot of love and excitement in the air after the name of every player.

The team started out with a quick passing drill and then jumped into layup lines. After a few minutes of warming up, the players decided to have a dunk contest. The contest consisted of Philip Uys, Bryson Robertson and Jamil Saaka. With one dunk allowed per participant, each player made sure to show their skills for the crowd. The vote for the best dunk was made obvious by a roar of applause from the crowd when Saaka jumped completely over one of the team’s managers to slam dunk the ball in the net.

This spectacle left students and fans anxious for the Nov. 15 return of YHC basketball.

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Midkiff serves high hopes for tennis season

October 10, 2010 Comments off

Mitchell Midkiff has been playing in tennis tournaments since 8th grade. Since then his passion for the sport has led him to the YHC Mountain Lion tennis team. Photo by Ashton Jones

Brand Driver, Staff Writer

Sophomore business major Mitchell Midkiff is a returning Young Harris College student from Macon. Midkiff plans to have an enjoyable year on the YHC tennis team this season. Midkiff will also serve as one of the team’s leaders, since he is one of two returners from the Mountain Lions 2009-2010 squad.

Mitch learned how to play tennis from his father  as a young infant at only three years old.

“I did not start competing in tournaments until I was in 8th grade, but from then I have been hooked on it,” Midkiff said.

Mitchell is often asked why he chose YHC and for this question he always gives an easy answer.

“I heard that Young Harris was starting the team back up, so I tried out and took a visit to the school,” Midkiff said. “After seeing the school and what it had to offer, I loved it.”

Last year was a good year for the tennis team. But, many of the players transferred to other schools, making this season totally different from last season.

Mitch had some encouraging words about the upcoming season.

“It’s going to be a tough year because we are playing a lot of division 2 schools,” Midkiff said. “But we will have fun and work hard while we learn more about the game.”

Midkiff also has a few positives in mind when it comes to having a smaller tennis team.

“It’s nice to have a small team with practices being easier, and one-on-one coaching is more available,” Midkiff said. “It is cool to teach the new freshman about how the season goes and what to expect from it coming from high school.”

Mitch quickly jumped to the fact that we have new tennis courts on campus.

“It is nice to have courts on campus now. They look great and it makes it easier for people to come and support,” Midkiff said.

Mitch and his teammates on the YHC tennis team are continuing with fall practices and are looking to have a successful season.

Are you barking or buzzing?

October 10, 2010 Comments off

By Brand Driver,Staff Writer

This year, college football in the state of Georgia has lacked success for the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. These two teams should be quite a matchup for this year’s major rivalry between the two Georgia rivals.

While UGA has looked to the passing game for the majority of their offense this season, sophomore Aaron Murray has had a lot of responsibility on his back as a team leader.

Georgia Tech has an offence consisting of a strong running game ranked third in the nation in rushing yards. Freshman running back Mustafa Greene has rushed for four touchdowns on the season to keep head coach Paul Johnson’s rushing attack strong.

At the beginning of the season, UGA head coach Mark Richt thought highly of the Dawgs football team.

In an interview about his thoughts on the upcoming season Richt said, “I think a lot of the ingredients are there for a tremendous season.”

So far, it looks like Mark Richt has not been rewarded with the results that he had hoped for.

Both teams have not lived up to their potential yet in 2010, but the season is still far from over. The Georgia Tech offense should be picking up soon as senior quarterback Josh Nesbit has the ability to provide leadership and playmaking for his team.

The annual rivalry game between UGA and Georgia Tech is scheduled for November 27, and has all the makings of a competitive match-up.

Georgia Tech has a winning record of 3-2, with UGA falling behind the Jackets with a record of 1-4. While Tech will plan to run all over the Dawgs, UGA and junior wide receiver A.J. Green will look to attack the Jackets through the air.

This should be a game to watch for as both in-state teams look to continue the rivalry on November 27, as they battle it out between the hedges at Sanford Stadium in Athens.

YHC fishermen make splash

October 1, 2010 Comments off

By Brand Driver, Staff Writer

Veteran fishermen Brooks Driver and Bradley Rutherford prepare for a successful season. Photo by Ashton Jones

Recently, the Mountain Lion fishing team of Young Harris College began action for the second consecutive year led by a squad of fishermen from the Young Harris student body.

Last year the YHC Mountain Lion Bass Fishing Team was started by Clint McNeil and Bradley Rutherford, who were excited to start a new club on campus.   Rutherford was quick to recruit good fishermen to join the team alongside him. Rutherford and McNeil surprised the school when they took first place in their first qualifying tournament taking home ten thousand dollars to go toward the school.

Danny Rubino found out about the team and quickly jumped to the job of being the faculty adviser for the team. Danny helped bring more members to the team and helped find more sponsors to help out the ride.

This year, the team has twelve members growing from five last year.

“I am really excited about how fast the team is growing as well as the sport in general,” said sophomore Bradley Rutherford of Lavonia.

Sophomore Brooks Driver also had a few words about the coming year.

“I am looking forward to the upcoming season, because we have more experience and a few freshmen who we are looking to step up for the team,” said Driver.

The team recently sent sophomore fishermen Bradley Rutherford and Brooks Driver to Lake Chickamagua to fish the FLW (Forest L. Wood) qualifying tournament.

They came up just short of qualifying finishing in 8th place.  Bradley Rutherford and freshman Robert Malcom will be going to Lake Pickwick in Florence, AL for another qualifying tournament.

Robert Malcom, a freshman from Royston is very excited about competing with the team for the first time.

“I hope to be a helpful addition to the bass fishing team this year and help take the team to the next level,” said Malcolm.

The Mountain Lions look to have a strong sophomore influence throughout the  season. They also expect some over-the-water leadership  expressed through second-year fisher Brad Rutherford.  Students who are fans of outdoor sports can catch more news soon from the growing YHC Bass Fishing Team.

Wez patrols pitch, campus

September 12, 2010 Comments off

By Brand Driver, Staff Writer

What do Scotland, South Africa and Young Harris all have in common?  While geography and culture might be very different, they all play the world’s game, and that is what has brought sophomore business major Wezly Barnard to Young Harris College.

Young Harris College men's soccer goalkeeper and captain Wezly Barnard.

Barnard, or “Wez” as he’s known around campus, is a 25-year-old from Johannesburg who has played soccer for nearly his entire life. At home Wez represented his national team when he was 12, and again when he was 17. He also played the sport in high school, where his coach in school was teammates with YHC men’s soccer head coarch Mark McKeever. This connection between McKeever and his high school coach led to Wez’s interest in the small, private Appalachian college.

“It sounded like a great plan to me, coming [to YHC] to play soccer and getting a good education on top of it,” Wez said.

Shortly after his visit to YHC, he was offered a scholarship and made plans to leave his home country. While it might seem tough making a transition from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg to the peace and quiet of lYoung Harris, Wez fits in just perfectly, although he says that “[South Africa] is more of a comfort zone for me, because I have friends and family there.”

McKeever has always spoken highly of Wez both on and off the field. On the field he has appointed Wez captain of the team for this season, and off the field he works with Wez on both soccer and on life.

“Coach has helped me out ,” Wez said. “[He has taught me about] always having respect, believing what you are doing with some kind of desire, and most of all just be[ing] yourself.”

Besides soccer, Wez is also involved on campus as a police cadet, riding in police carts from time to time in the evening and monitoring campus safety.

“It’s nice to interact with students and [being a cadet] gives you respect [for authority],” Wez said. “You are always looking to better the campus [and get] rid of negativity on campus. I like how it makes you look at things from more of a mature aspect.”

After college, Wez has aspirations of playing some sort of professional soccer and maybe going into marketing or events managing. When asked about finishing his degree and his playing career as a Mountain Lion, Wez was optimistic and plans on staying, but given the uncanny circumstances that brought him here in the first place, he could only say that if something were to come up, “I’d have to take a look at it.”