The following is a review of the 2014 Newton Rams spring athletic season:
The Newton Rams varsity baseball team put together one of the program’s most successful seasons in school history, capturing the Region 2-AAAAAA title while reaching the first round of the state playoffs under first-year head coach Andre Byrd.
While Newton went just 6-8 in non-region play, the Rams mowed through their league, going 9-3 in region action.
Newton strung together a seven-game win streak during the middle of the season while posting a 4-2 mark against rivals Alcovy, Rockdale County and Eastside.
After clinching the region crown, the Rams earned the region’s No. 1 seed heading into the postseason, but faced a tough McEachern squad in the opening round.
Newton posted a 7-6 comeback victory in its opening contest against the Indians, but lost the second and third games of the series, surrendering 22 combined runs in the two postseason losses.
The Newton girls and boys golf teams faced uphill challenges during the 2014 season.
The Lady Rams finished third overall in the Newton Cup, shooting a team-total 373, while the boys program also placed third overall at the Oaks Course event.
In the Region 2-AAAAAA tournament, Newton’s girls program finished third overall, shooting a team-total 358. The Lady Rams were led in scoring by Ashton McKinnon, who finished with a low-round of 118.
The Rams placed fifth overall at the region tournament, posting a team round of 460. Riley Dameron paced Newton with a round of 110.
Neither the Lady Rams or Rams earned postseason berths.
On the pitch, the Lady Rams and Rams had mixed results, as the boys team earned a postseason bid while the girls finished with a 4-11 overall record.
The Newton girls team finished 1-5 in Region 2-AAAAAA, picking up its lone league victory over Morrow. The Lady Rams defeated the Lady Mustangs 3-1 on the road.
Despite their struggles, the Lady Rams did defeat rival Eastside 2-1 in the teams’ lone meeting this season.
The boys program registered a 6-11 2014 campaign, but went .500 in the region, earning the fourth spot in the region and a playoff appearance.
Newton went 2-3 against rivals Eastside, Alcovy and Rockdale County, but won three of their final four contests, including a 4-3 victory over Salem.
The Rams faced Harrison High School in the first round of the state playoffs, falling to the Hoyas 3-0.
The Newton High School girls and boys tennis programs had successful region runs in 2014, as the girls finished second overall in the league while the boys placed fourth.
The Lady Rams opened the Region 2-AAAAAA tournament with a 3-0 sweep over Druid Hills before besting rival Alcovy 3-1 in the semifinals. Newton dropped just one set in its three wins over the Lady Tigers before falling to Rockdale County 3-0 in the region finals.
The second place finish gave the Lady Rams the No. 2 seed in the region in the state playoffs where they faced Harrison in the opening round. Harrison eliminated Newton 3-0 to advance to the second round.
The Lady Rams 7-2 overall region record and playoff berth marked the program’s best season since 2008 when Newton finished as region champions and reached the Sweet 16 of the state tournament.
The boys program also finished in the top four of the region, facing Alcovy in the region consolation game after falling to eventual champion Rockdale County in the semifinals.
Against the Tigers, Newton was unable to pull out a victory, dropping a 31 decision to Alcovy.
Newton entered the Class AAAAAA state tournament as the region’s No. 4 seed, falling 3-0 to North Cobb in the opening round.
Newton’s girls and boys track programs garnered region-wide success in 2014, as both programs placed second overall at the Region 2-AAAAAA track meet.
The Lady Rams finished second to Luella, capturing a pair of first place titles in the process. Newton’s Kourtnii Farley paced the Lady Rams with a first place finish in the high jump, while Brianna Hayden also placed first in the triple jump.
At the Class AAAAAA state sectionals, the Lady Rams qualified in a pair of state meet events, with Hayden earning a fifth place finish at the state event in the triple jump. The Lady Rams concluded their season with a seventh place team finish at the Class AAAAAA state meet.
The Newton boys program also placed second at the Region 2-AAAAAA meet, finishing behind rival Rockdale County for the top spot overall.
The Rams finished with 15 to-3 finishes, including first place finishes in the high jump and pole vault.
Newton left the Class AAAAAA sectionals with 10 state qualifiers.
Final results for the Class AAAAAA state boys track and field meet were not available at press time.