Winter Sports Teams of the Year
It’s never an easy call, and always comes with debate and controversy, but we select our 2020-21 Winter Sports Teams of the Year. Here are the best of the best in 2020-21.
A no-brainer here! The #1-ranked team throughout most of the regular season was consistently our top team in the Power Rankings, and lived up to the hype with a state championship!
COACH: Rob Benson
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Region 8-A Championship, #1 State Ranking, Class 1A State Championship
The Indians were worthy of the season-long hype. Mainstay and Towns County GOAT Kolby Moss had his best season yet, and became the school’s all-time leading scorer. That record isn’t falling anytime soon. He was joined by Collin Crowder, Aidan Berrong, Kyle Oakes and newcomer Jake McTaggart. McTaggart was unbelievable, especially in the playoffs. He came over from Hayesville along with Hayden McClure and Kabe Ellis, and those guys really pushed this team from great to greater. The boys shattered just about every school record in the process, and went 11-1 in region play, winning the regular season and tournament region title. They followed that with a playoff run for the ages that culminated in a Championship over Hancock Central, the defending state champs. The 25 wins are far and away the most in school history.
Honorable Mentions: Rabun County (Elite 8), White County (Reg Season Region Title, Sweet 16), Dawson County (Region Title, Sweet 16), Banks County (Reg Season Region Title, Sweet 16), Tallulah Falls (Region Title, Rnd 1), Jefferson (Rnd 1), Commerce (Rnd 1)
Another easy choice here. The Lady Indians were ranked #1 and also our top-ranked team in the Power Rankings for quite some time. The hype was there, and the performance was matched. This team set out with a motto of Hang A Banner for the first time in 30 years. Mission accomplished…and much more!
COACH: David Dowse
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Region 7-AAA Championship, #1 State Ranking, Class 3A Final Four
From the jump, the Lady Indians knew this was to be a special year. They didn’t let the bad news of losing a talented Kate Jackson get them down before the season started. Instead, the team, led no doubt by seniors Isabel Davenport and Makenzie Caldwell, had big-time contributions from freshman Averie Jones, sophomore Lexi Pierce, and junior Mary Mullinax. The girls team at Lumpkin hadn’t put a region title banner up in 30 years, and they went 11-1 in region play to earn the regular season and tournament region championship. The girls then drove all the way to the Final Four, and even though a fluke last-second buzzer-beater ended their season seconds away from a title game appearance, the Lady Indians can hold their heads high as the best Lumpkin team to ever suit up.
Honorable Mentions: Commerce (Final 4), Jefferson (Region Champs, Elite 8), Stephens County (Region Champs, Elite 8), Habersham Central (Sweet 16), Rabun County (Sweet 16), Towns County (Sweet 16), Tallulah Falls (Reg Season Region Champs, Rnd 1), White County (Rnd 1), Banks County (Rnd 1)
COACH: Doug Thurmond
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Region 8-AAAA Championship, #1 State Ranking, Class 4A Champions in Duals & Traditionals
This team was unreal, as per usual with Jefferson wrestling. The team had 3 earn individual state titles in Davis Dollar, Luke Cochran, and Chaz McDonald. Five others were runner-up, and another two that were top-5.
Honorable Mentions: Banks County (5th-D, 4th-T), Lumpkin County (Sweet 16-D, 7th-T), Stephens County (Sweet 16-D, 16th-T), Rabun County (Rnd 1-D, 26th-T), Union County (Rnd 1-D, 20th-T), Commerce (2nd-D, 3rd-T)
COACH: Kim Fleming
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: #3 State Ranking, State 3rd Place (3A), Region Champions
This is nothing new for the Dawson cheer team, who has been our Cheer Team of the Year now 3 times in the past 4 years. 3rd place overall at the state meet and winning yet another region title is the norm for this program.
Honorable Mentions: Jefferson (State Runner-Up, Region Champs), Stephens County (State 10th, Region Champs), Commerce (State 4th, Region Champs)
COACH: Tess Nunnally
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: #8 State Ranking, Girls 8th 4A State
The Jefferson swim team, led by senior Janie Davis (4-event state qualifier) and junior Katherine Law (4-events also), finished 8th overall on the girls side in the GHSA Class 4A Championships.
Honorable Mentions: Commerce (State Girls 19th), Habersham (State Boys 25th), Union (State Boys 34th & Girls 20th), Tallulah Falls (State Boys 33rd & Girls 39th)