When I am at the office watching the Georgia Bulldogs play on television, I get picked on about how I should not be rooting for one team, since I am a reporter. Well, my response always is, "I was cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs long before I was a reporter."

When I was growing up my pop made sure I learned to like Georgia and all of the teams in Atlanta.

He also made sure I liked the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, with the exception of the times they are playing Georgia, of course.

I remember him telling me that, "they are from Georgia and we should cheer for them when they are not playing the Bulldogs."

Well if the Yellow Jackets felt an unfamiliar vibe Monday night when they played for the national championship, it was me cheering for them. Yeah I admit it, I was cheering for them. Please don't tell Larry Munson or Loran Smith on me.

I am writing this before the game played, so when you read this you will know how my cheering came out.

DEVILS OPEN REGION PLAY TONIGHT: In their last year in Region 1-AAAAA, the Lee County High athletic teams have not had much luck. The football team went through the region schedule without a win, as well as both basketball teams.

However, Lee County High is going out of the league with a bang. The Trojans baseball team appears to be among the best in the state as Lee County is currently ranked No. 3 in the state Class AAAAA poll.

With the Region 1-AAAAA schedule getting underway tonight, the Trojans will open play at the Devil Diamond in Tifton against the Tift County Blue Devils.

Tift will enter the game with a 9-6 overall record. Lee is 12-2 on the year. The Trojans have five shutouts on the year and have outscored their opponents by a 113-33 score.

Needless to say, the Devils will have their hands full. But, if they are to do anything in the Region 1-AAAAA race this year, it is imperative they get off to a good start. So tonight's game is of the utmost importance.

Tift does not have to win -- even though that would be great for them -- they just have to show they belong on the same field as the Trojans. That would do a lot of good for their psyche, as well as their reputation within the region.

LOCAL PLAYERS ON GJCAA ROSTERS: Several players from the Tiftarea are listed on the baseball rosters for teams in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association.

Darton College has five players from the area, Nick Green and Blake Wright from Tift County; Daniel Dukes and Trammell Dukes from Cook High and Chris Leymeister from Worth County.

After being drafted as a freshman last year by the Houston Astros, Green decided to go back to school. He is currently 4-4 on the year with a 4.00 ERA. He has 49 strikeouts in 54 innings of work. He is second in the league in both of those categories.

Wright has pitched nine innings this season for Darton. He is 2-2 during that stretch with 13 strikeouts and seven walks. He is also batting .313 with seven doubles, three triples and one home run. He has 15 RBIs, 30 runs scored and 10 stolen bases on the year.

Daniel Dukes has five home runs and 22 RBIs for the Cavaliers this year.

I could not find statistics on Trammell Dukes or Leymeister.

Even though they are listed on the rosters of both schools, I could not find statistics on three other local players. Those players are Berrien High's Adam Wilkerson and Cook High's Clay Ellis at Andrew College, as well as Irwin County's Brian Gentry at South Georgia College.

That leaves the ABAC Stallions. There are five players from local schools currently listed on the roster at ABAC. They are Dan Hobby from Fitzgerald, Matt Spires from Berrien High, as well as Chad Ward, Justin DeBerry and LaVeazy Carter from Tift County High.

Carter is currently batting .409 with 26 runs scored, 10 RBIs and five doubles. He leads the league with 28 stolen bases.

Hobby is 2-2 on the year with one save pitching. In 29 innings of work, he has struck out 22 batters, while walking four. He also has a 1.27 ERA.

Ward has 42 hits and 18 RBIs on the year, both totals are among the league leaders.

DeBerry has struck out 36 batters in 39 innings of work. He also had four wins on the year.

Young Harris currently leads the conference with a 9-3 league record. South Georgia is second at 6-3. Darton comes in third with a 7-5 mark. Middle Georgia is fourth at 5-4 and ABAC is fifth at 6-6.

ABAC will take on Gordon this weekend in Barnesville. The teams will play a single nine-inning game Friday at 3 p.m. The teams will then play a doubleheader with two seven-inning games at 1 p.m. Saturday.

MOFFETT HAVING ANOTHER BIG YEAR: Besides the local players at the junior college baseball level, a local athlete is also doing well in softball.

A starter in every one of her team's 38 games this season, Irwin County's Latoya Moffett is currently batting .311 for the Columbus State Lady Cougars. She has scored 28 runs, one double, one triple and 13 RBIs. She is 9-of-10 in stolen bases this year.

At her outfield position, Moffett is perfect in the field this season with a 1.000 fielding percentage.

JUST HOPE THEY ALL GET ALONG: Back on March 4, there was an ugly fight in Moultrie between the soccer teams from Tift County and Colquitt County High Schools. The two teams will meet tonight in a rematch of that affair.

Well, I just hope it is a rematch of the game and not the fight. There are many more important things in this world than sports, so it is kind of stupid to be fighting over a game. I just hope the players on the field and, much more importantly, the fans in the stands remember that.

Just have fun, there is a reason it is called playing a game. Play is supposed to be fun, I just wish more folks would remember that.

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