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Weaver named Peach Belt All Conference

Former Lady Gamecock Sydnee Weaver was named to the Peach Belt All Conference softball team April 17 becoming one of the first two players from Young Harris College to earn such an honor.
The distinction is one of the highest collegiate honors ever garnered by a former Lady Gamecock as well.
The Mountain Lions are in only their second season competing in the PBC, which is considered one of the best conferences in all of Division II.
“Honestly being the new guys in the conference, I was not expecting any of our players to be placed on an all-conference team, but for two of us to make it is an honor,” said Weaver of herself and Chandler Stooksbury.
“I am so proud of Sydnee and Chandler Stooksbury for being the first two from YHC to make the PBC All-Conference team” said Young Harris Head Coach Aileen Morales. “This is a big step for our program as we look to continually produce and develop our players to be some of the best in the region. I am excited about the future of YHC softball and the big strides we will make under Sydnee’s leadership.”
Weaver led the Mountain Lions with a .396 batting average (63-of-159), 63 hits, 42 runs scored, 21 stolen bases, and a .455 on-base percentage. She also led the Mountain Lions with 21 multi-hit games in 2014, ranked third in the Peach Belt in hits, fourth in stolen bases and batting average, fifth in runs scored and on-base percentage, and was seventh in walks.
“Sydnee did a fantastic job of setting the table for our lineup all year long,” Morales said. “Her speed makes her very difficult for opponents to defend, which is what I want in a leadoff. Sydnee is by far the hardest worker this entire year, not only on the ball field, but in the weight room, during conditioning, and in the classroom. She leads by example and is a pleasure to coach.”
Just missing out on her goal of hitting .400, Weaver said, “When (former SCHS assistant and current Burke County head coach Lee) Smoak and I were working over Christmas, he challenged me to reach that .400 mark. Missing that mark was disappointing. I think that in everything you do it is important to have personal goals as well as team goals. My personal goals for this season were to bat over .400 and have more walks than strikeouts. I did not reach either this year, but with every failure there is a lesson to be learned, right? I definitely think .400 is doable. It will take hard work throughout the upcoming year though.”
As for Sydnee next year, Morales said, “She will be a huge asset for us again next year, and I look to her to continue improving. The scary thing is we haven’t even tapped into her full potential as a leadoff hitter. We worked extremely hard this past year at perfecting her short game and her soft slap, so next season we can develop her power more.”
Weaver’s numbers this season stand tall in the Young Harris record book as she either holds or shares the school single season record for batting average (she also ranks fourth and fifth on this list), on-base percentage, runs scored, hits (she also is second on that list), and stolen bases. As she will be one of the first four-year players at the school as Young Harris has made the transition from two-year to four-year, Sydnee already holds the career records for batting average, games played, games started, at bats, hits, runs, and stolen bases.
At SCHS during a four-year reign with many others from the Class of 2011 -- three others of whom are playing softball collegiately -- Weaver left with single season school records for at bats, hits, runs, batting average, and stolen bases. She also holds the Lady Gamecock career records in the same categories.
The Mountain Lions ended their season with a 20-33 overall record and an 8-12 mark in the conference. This marked the school’s second season in the prestigious Peach Belt though they are not eligible to participate in the conference tournament until next season.
“The team this year lacked consistency. We had a few bright spots where we played great ball,” Morales said. “But over the course of the season, we lacked the consistent focus that is needed to be a top team in the PBC. We will make the necessary adjustments this off-season and next pre-season to ensure those inconsistencies do not resurface. I believe we will build upon the successes from this season, and use our failures to learn from as well. Going into next year, we will have more experience and a very talented freshman class to bring new energy and enthusiasm to the program.”
“Yes, it is disappointing, but this season has helped prepare us for next season when we can play a postseason,” Weaver said. “Since our entire season was sort of postseason, Coach Morales has pushed us all to show our best effort at all times. That mentality can take a team a long way.”