There is so much to remember about the 2014 year in sports in Forsyth County. It was another one filled with compelling athletes, games and seasons, one with region title showdowns and state championship crowns. Once again, Forsyth packed in an exciting year.
Here’s a quick look back with the 10 most-read stories on forsythnews.com of the year:
“Championship teams win the games between one and two (runs),” said Lambert head coach Jamie Corr. “Today we came into a hostile place to play, very tough environment. But we came out and played very solid baseball, and we took two games. I’m very proud of the boys.”
"I want to get to Omaha and win a national championship with LSU," Strall said. "I’m just going to do what I do and see what comes along."
“We came here for a marathon, and we know this marathon is going to be filled with peaks and valleys,” Lambert baseball coach Jamie Corr said. “(The message is) never get too high, never get too low. Just come out Monday and play the best game of the year.”
The players who made this list are all familiar names, a testament to the talent returning this season, and at the top of that list is the incumbent in West Forsyth rising senior quarterback Hampton McConnell. Conventional wisdom says he’s the favorite, but is there an emerging running back or a precocious quarterback ready to leap ahead of McConnell?
With the crowd on its feet and everything on the line, Dylan Biumi stepped off the back of the mound to collect his thoughts.
Even after a moment of reflection, the senior righty couldn’t quite wrap his head around the magnitude of it all. The one thing he was sure of, however, was that he needed to throw a strike.
So Biumi toed the rubber, started his delivery and fired a pitch on the outside corner of the plate. He didn’t think he was going to get the call, and it wasn’t until catcher Kyle McCann began celebrating when Biumi understood what just happened.
He just brought Lambert baseball its first ever state title.
"When you have this caliber of coach, it’s just a matter of time until somebody recognizes that and tries to get him away," said Lambert athletic director Drew Ferrer. "It’s a great opportunity for him and I’m excited for him."
Many eyes will be upon the Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game on Saturday, some only to see if No. 12 Georgia Tech can finally be the team to defeat No. 2 Florida State. The Seminoles have lived on the edge over the past few weeks but managed to maintain their 28-game winning streak.
Forsyth County eyes should be fixed on South Forsyth’s Kyle Travis and West Forsyth’s Andrew Marshall. Travis, a senior with the Yellow Jackets, is expected to start at defensive end. It would be his fifth start this season. Marshall, a freshman, is listed as second on the depth chart at center entering the game. He’s appeared in Georgia Tech’s past seven games.
Let Forsyth hope it’s a sign of the growing reputation and skill of its high school football talent.
Quentin Skinner Jr. didn’t know what to say. They call him “Mad Dog,” after all, for the stoic look seemingly fixed to his face.
But he knew he had heard the terms correctly: Southern University. College football. Full-ride scholarship.
All he got out was, “Thank you.”
“That simple,” he said.
Because it didn’t seem possible to the 13-year-old, a rising eighth grade long snapper at Vickery Creek Middle School, that he would be collecting college scholarships this soon.
Hepler quickly built West into arguably Forsyth’s most successful football program during his tenure. The Wolverines were 49-18 in six varsity seasons, never had a losing season and made a fourth-straight state playoff appearance this past season, tying a county record. Since West opened, the Wolverines are the only county school to win a region title (2012) or state playoff game.
The first phone call Jake Abraham made this summer when he found out the No. 45 jersey at Georgia Southern belonged to him went to voicemail. Abraham left a message, explaining to the man on the other end that he would finally be wearing a familiar number in blue and white.
His phone soon rang. Jake answered. David Currie spoke first, but he could only muster three words: "I’m in tears."