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2007: Year in Review
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This year proved to be yet another exciting 365 days of sports within the confines of Newton County.

Perhaps the biggest story of all was none other than the Oxford men's tennis team repeating as national champions. On May 17, the Eagles won the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III title.

"Everybody played well," said Oxford head coach Brandon Feldman, as he reflected on the significant win.

For the second-year Alcovy varsity football team, it was a historical time as the Tigers won their first ever game Sept. 7 against neighboring Newton, 23-0.

"Let me tell you it's not about me," said Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffmann. "It's about these 80 kids who have made it through all kinds of adversity, and they never quit (on) me."

Other notable stories from the past year include the following:

Jan. 5 - Four members of the Eastside varsity softball team - Catherine Lee, Heather Hodge, Christie Rice and Allison Jones - sign with colleges to play at the next level, a first in school history.

Jan. 12 - The Eastside varsity wrestling team was crowned Region 8-AAAA Area Champions at Clarke Central after defeating three schools.

Jan. 16 - For the first time in school history, the Alcovy boys and girls varsity basketball teams prevailed over crosstown rival Eastside. The boys won 47-44, while the Lady Tigers prevailed 46-38.

Jan. 20 - On Jan. 20, director Tommy Hailey and the Newton County Recreation Commission won the bid to host the 2007 Dixie Youth Minor State Tournament at a state meeting in Macon.

Feb. 2 - Oxford College of Emory's Chad Hixon is named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Men's Division III Basketball Player of the Week for contests ending Jan. 27. During that span, Hixon scored 84 points in four games to lead Oxford to three wins.

Feb. 11 - Eastside clinches the Region 8-AAAA Individual Area Championship at Dacula. There were 12 Eagles who qualified for state - more than any other school.

Feb. 12 - The Alcovy boys varsity basketball team defeats Habersham Central, 59-44, during the opening round of the region tournament at Loganville High School. The win marked a first in Alcovy history.

Feb. 13 - he Newton boys varsity basketball team clinch a state tournament bid with a thrilling 76-72 victory over Redan during the opening round of the Region 2-AAAAA Tournament at Lithonia High School.

Feb. 14 - The Alcovy boys varsity basketball team upset No. 1 seeded Clarke Central in the second round of the Region 8-AAAA Tournament at Loganville High School, guaranteeing them a trip to the state tournament.

• The Oxford men's basketball team qualifies for the NJCAA postseason tournament after winning its final two games of the season.

Feb. 28 - The Newton boys and girls varsity soccer teams combine for 22 goals en route to victories over Douglass at Homer Sharp Stadium in Region 2-AAAAA action.

• Eastside varsity baseball head coach Michael Poor records his first victory after defeating crosstown rival Newton, 13-3.

 • Ben Reaves, head football coach of the Newton varsity football team since 1998, resigns and accepts a position at Putnam County.

March 5 - The Eastside boys golf team defeats Social Circle, 124-201, during the first match of the year.

March 7 - Eastside's Clay Prickett belts a 2-run walk-off home run to give the Eagles their first region win over Cedar Shoals, 7-5.

March 12 - The Newton varsity baseball team gets its first win of the season over crosstown rival Alcovy, 6-4.

• The Newton boys and girls track squads win first place during their quad-home meet.

March 21 - The Newton varsity baseball team wins its first Region 2-AAAAA game of the season, 8-3, over Lithonia at Riverside Park.

March 25 - The Newton Lady Rams finish second out of 17 teams during the Loch Johnson Invitational in Athens.

March 27 - The Newton boys and girls varsity soccer teams top Lithonia to claim honors. For the boys, they won the Region 2-AAAAA championship, while the Lady Rams finished runner-up in region.

• The Newton girls and the Eastside boys track teams finish first during the Newton-Rockdale Citizens Challenge at Eastside High School.

March 28 - Brandon Feldman, head tennis coach at Oxford College of Emory University, is selected to be the school's next Athletic Director effective Sept. 1. 

April 11 - Nick Collins, a former Dublin High School assistant coach, is introduced as the new head football coach for the Newton Rams at the Board of Education meeting. Collins replaces former coach Ben Reaves.

• Despite muggy conditions, the Eastside boys golf team retains the Newton Cup by defeating Alcovy 368-550 and Newton 514-550.

April 20 - Former legendary Newton basketball coach Ron Bradley, the winningest active prep basketball coach, retires after leading the boys basketball program at Greater Atlanta Christian for the past two years. He began his coaching career at Newton High School in 1957 and won a state championship in 1964.

April 24 - The Newton girls varsity soccer team advances to the second round playoffs after beating Windsor-Forest, 5-4, in a thrilling double overtime and shootout at Homer Sharp Stadium. It was a first for the Lady Rams.

• Former Newton legendary coach Ron Bradley returns to the court to lead Heritage after retiring 12 days earlier.

May 9 - Oxford's Chad Hixon is named to the 2007 NJCAA Men's Basketball Div. III All-American Team. Hixon, who averaged 21.8 points per game, set a career record for total rebounds with 380 (12.7 rpg).

May 27 - Eight local athletes from Newton County bring home medals at the State Summer Games held at Emory University and hosted by Special Olympics Georgia. Cory Conrad and Amelia Joseph each received a gold medal after winning the soccer event during the tournament.

June 10 - Worldwide Track Club, a local AAU track and field team, returns to Covington from the 2007 AAU Georgia District Championship at Savannah State University with 26 medals. Overall, the team won 11 gold, nine silver and six copper.

June 20 - The Newton County American All-Stars - representing the Pee Wee League - blanks Jones County at City Pond Park, 13-0, during the finale of the Dixie League District Tournament.

June 30 - The Covington YMCA swim team places second overall during the Rockdale Swim League Championships at Johnson Park, with the 10 and under age group winning the morning session. The event included six teams with over 450 swimmers participating in the meet. (The Covington Y 65-member team lost to a team of 100 swimmers.)

July 5 - The Newton County Minor League National Division All-Stars clinches the district tournament championship with a 10-1 victory over Crawford County.

July 7 - The Covington YMCA swim team excels during the District Six GRPA championship in Macon, winning 22 medals in all.

July 19 - The Newton American All Stars outlast the Troup County All Stars, 6-5, at City Pond Park, advancing to the Dixie Youth Minor League State Championship.

July 21 - Fifty-eight players gather at the Oaks Golf Course for the first-ever Scholarship Golf Tournament, raising over $5,000 toward the Fun and Fitness Scholarship Recreation Program.

July 28 - The Newton County American All Stars clinch the state title by defeating host Albany Dixie, 6-5, during the 2007 Major League Dixie Youth Baseball State Championship.

Aug. 5 - The 19th Annual Covington Century Bike Ride draws record turnout. The event, which benefits Project Adventure Kids, draws over 800 cyclists, making it the biggest turnout ever for this particular bike ride.

Aug. 6 - The Newton County American All Stars clinch Game 1 of the Major League Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Madison Heights, Va., as they defeated the team from Searcy, Ark., 7-1.

Aug. 31 - The Eastside varsity football team blanks crosstown rival Newton at Homer Sharp Stadium, 31-0, during the season opener.

Sept. 21 - The 2007 B.C. Crowell Scholarship Golf Tournament is held at the Oaks Course. Golfers from Newton County and other surrounding areas participated in the annual tournament, which helped support the on-going commitment toward the education of youth in Newton County. Three scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to a student from one of the local high schools - Alcovy, Eastside and Newton.

Sept. 25 - The Lady Rams win a three-for-all on the volleyball court against crosstown rivals Alcovy and Eastside.

Sept. 27 - The Alcovy varsity football team continues to make history in just their second season by defeating Rockdale County, 20-6, giving the Tigers their first ever Region 8-AAAA, Sub-region B victory.

Oct. 9 - The Eastside varsity softball team blanks Alcovy, 8-0, during the Region 8-AAAA, Sub-region B Tournament. The Lady Eagles are led behind the stellar performance from Amanda Henderson, who struck out 16 batters, including eight out of the first nine, en route to a complete game one-hit shutout.

Oct. 12 - The Newton varsity football team wins its first football game of the season, snapping a nine-game losing streak after defeating Lithonia, 11-7, at Homer Sharp Stadium.

Oct. 26 - The Eastside varsity football squad retains the county championship after defeating crosstown rival Alcovy, 24-3, at Homer Sharp Stadium.

Oct. 27 - The Newton County Recreation Division III Tigers win the Super Bowl held at Homer Sharp Stadium.

Nov. 3 - Both the Newton boys and girls teams qualify for the state championships in Carrollton after spectacular performances during the Region 2-AAAAA cross country meet.

• The Eastside seniors put an exclamation point on their great season at Homer Sharp Stadium as the Eagles defeat Rockdale County, 42-6, improving their record to 7-2 overall.

Nov. 13 - The first ever Newton County prep swimmers compete. Eastside swimmers Drew Ellwanger and Nijyl Chavis both make the state championship qualifying times in the 100-yard breaststroke. Ellwanger recorded a 1:00.79, while Chavis finished at 1:05.53.

Nov. 16 - The Oxford men's basketball team gives Anderson University all it could handle with a true team performance, as the Eagles win their first game of the season, 81-59. As a result, four Eagles reach double figures.

Nov. 25 - The Eastside boys varsity basketball team wins the Pope Tournament Championship, improving its overall record to 3-0.

Nov. 27 - The Newton boys varsity basketball team opens its season with a 65-44 victory over visiting Jackson.

Dec. 9 - The Eastside varsity wrestling squad places second among 32 teams from seven different counties during the 36th Annual South Metro Invitational at Union Grove High School.

Dec. 14 - The Alcovy boys varsity basketball team wins its first game of the season over undefeated Loganville, 39-38, after a last-second shot at the buzzer by Jamieson Smith.

Dec. 23 - For the second year in a row, Eastside quarterback Justin Wray is chosen as Player of the Year to lead The Covington News 2007 All-County Football Team. The team, which includes 30 players representing Alcovy, Eastside and Newton, was selected by The Covington News based on nominations submitted from the county coaches.