Tifton Gazette


January 30, 2014

Former Blue Devil to start on the mound today for ABAC

TIFTON — Tifton right-hander Matt Shurley will get the start on the mound Friday as the Golden Stallions of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College open their 2014 baseball season with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Stallion Field against St. Johns River State College.

Shurley, a former standout for the Blue Devils of Tift County High School, will pitch the second game of the twin-bill. Right-hander Conner Alford from Macon will get the nod on the hill for the first game.

Named as the Region 1-AAAAA Player of the Year when he played for the Blue Devils of TCHS in 2004, Shurley was named to the All-Region team and won the varsity pitching award at TCHS in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Today’s games mark the debut of ABAC Coach Robert Morgan. One of the top shortstops in NCAA Division II history when he played for Valdosta State University, Morgan was hired in July to replace Jeff Kilgore, who became the head coach at Emmanuel College.

For his heroics on the field for VSU in 2004-05, Morgan was named the NCAA Division II All-America team, was selected as the Gulf South Conference East Division Player of the Year, and was picked as the best shortstop in the 40-year history of VSU baseball.  He was named to the Athletics Hall of Fame at VSU in 2013.

Prior to his VSU career, Morgan played for ABAC rival South Georgia College, where he was named the Most Valuable Player for the Tigers in 2002 and 2003.


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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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