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Crunch time, college softball, lawsuits & Southern Rock

I probably overuse clichés and the like, but here is one any way. It is crunch time for spring sports beginning next Tuesday.
For the defending region champion Lady Gamecock and Gamecock tennis teams, the Region 3AA tournament is Tuesday in Statesboro at Mill Creek. For the defending region champion Lady Gamecock and region runner-up Gamecock track teams, the Region 3AA meet is Tuesday and Wednesday at Lucy Craft Laney High School.
For soccer, the match at Dublin on Wednesday is almost, though not quite, a put up or shut up contest (another cliché?). Finally, by the end of the week, baseball will have only contests with Dublin and Thomas Walter Josey High School remaining on its schedule.
A year ago we won three region championships in a span of three days at this point in the season and it was not the first time we had pulled the feat. It may be really tough to duplicate those numbers this season, but there is always a chance.
Speaking of interesting developments: The director of the recent Coastal Empire Tennis Classic informed Lady Gamecock coach Diane Freeman that her troops will now be recorded as the tourney runners-up instead of the third-place finishers. Apparently, something came up regarding the lineup of the original champs -- Savannah Arts Academy. Though precise details have not been furnished, “there were some discrepancies” there.
It is hard to envision a problem with a lineup that featured but three regular players. They forfeited at both doubles in all four of their matches and each of their singles players went 4-0. The GHSA is involved in whatever the problem is.
From the GHSA hearing room to a court room in Atlanta -- This caught my eye last week.
I have written before about the unfair advantages that private schools enjoy over public schools, especially us poor, rural schools. One of those advantages is public tax money being used to fund private school athletic scholarships. Back in 2008, the majority party in the Georgia General Assembly passed a law giving tax credits for donating toward nonprofit scholarship providers. The purpose of this law was to allow generous folks to direct their tax dollars to help poor kids attend the private school of the donor’s choice.
In many instances, the money has been used by private schools to pay for outstanding athletes to adorn their various rosters. Of course, these are athletes who could not otherwise afford to attend these athletic powerhouses. In other words, this law allows schools to award athletic scholarships.
How did I get here?
A lawsuit was filed in Superior Court last week arguing that the law is unconstitutional because it gives tax dollars to unregulated schools (nothing to do with athletic scholarships). A disclaimer, I said nothing about the possibly educational value of the law. But there is that old adage about unintended consequences.
Back to our former Lady Gamecocks in the college arena, I do get there most weeks.
Sydnee Weaver leads Young Harris in batting average (.431), runs (39), hits (56), stolen bases (20), and on base percentage (.486). Weaver’s batting average and stolen base total each rank fourth in the Peach Belt Conference, considered one of the toughest in all of D-II in the country. Can you say All-Conference?
At Georgia Coastal Community College, Dawn Stewart is now up to .323 in this her freshman season. She also has started seven games on the mound.
The teams of some of our girls, who are all integral parts of these teams, are doing especially well.
No. 12 North Georgia (Tiffanie Burns and Rochelle Shuman), who will climb into the Division II Top Ten after their weekend sweep of No. 4 Armstrong Atlantic, is 34-8 and 14-2 in the Peach Belt Conference. North Georgia and Young Harris played each other Wednesday. Georgia Southern (Marla Thompson) is 27-11 and 11-1 in the Southern Conference.
Here is further proof that I can take sports and relate it to anything -- Connecticut won the men’s national championship Monday night. Their stud scorer was Shabazz Napier.
OK, for you older folks who were fans of what used to be called Southern Fried Rock, what is the significance of the name Napier to that genre?
I will say this to help it is a married name for a woman in this instance.
Email me at with your answer. I will add your names to the column next week. Maybe you say “woop de do” to that (Coach Johnny Parker used to use that phrase to apply to something overly trivial).
Let me hear from you.

Burton Kemp Jr. is a contributing writer to the Sylvania Telephone.