LADY VIKINGS WIN 4-1

STATE CHAMPS!!!!!

by CHRIS GOLTERMANN

alt

Northgate's girls soccer team celebrates after wrapping up a GHSA Class AAAAA state championship on Saturday at West Georgia's University Stadium. The Lady Vikings never trailed while upending topranked Whitewater 4-1.

CARROLLTON — If Coweta County wasn’t on the state’s “soccer map” before Saturday, it sure is now - thanks to this year’s Northgate Lady Vikings.

 Capping off a historic run to this year’s GHSA Class AAAAA title, Northgate followed up an upset win over rival McIntosh with an even bigger one during Saturday’s 4-1 victory over top-ranked Whitewater at West Georgia’s University Stadium.

 “They’ve put in the effort all season,” said head coach Bryan Hicks, whose team capped off a 16-3 season by avenging regular-season losses to both No. 3 ranked McIntosh and No. 1 Whitewater in their final two games. “Here’s the payoff. Here’s the reward.”

 Despite finishing behind the pair as the third place finisher out of Region 4-AAAAA, the Lady Vikings wound up No. 1 in soccer for the first time in school history, capping off a year where all six of the county’s teams reached respective GHSA tournaments, two of which advanced to the semifinal round or beyond.

 “Absolutely,” answered sophomore Katie Mitchell if the win was as much one for Coweta County soccer in general. “We’re all one big family.”

The victory came on an emotional Saturday that began solemnly with the news that Heritage School student athlete Tyler Henson had been killed in a car accident. According to a report, the junior was on his way to pick up his girlfriend, a Northgate student.

 The Lady Vikings did their best to lift the spirits of the county’s high school sports community. It was another accolade for the Northgate High trophy case in a recent run that has included five consecutive cheerleading championships from 2006-2011 and two GHSA softball championships in 2007 and 2011.

 Senior wrestler Tyler Askey also closed out his varsity career with a perfect record and a fourth individual state title for the Viking program.

 “This is number 10 (state championships) for me,” said outgoing athletic director Bill Harrison, who will becomes the school principal next year.

 After losing to the Lady Wildcats in the 2010 Class AAAA semifinals in Hicks’ first season as head coach, seniors Micayla Crenshaw and Hannah Murray helped Northgate finally get over two longtime Fayette County nemesis to close their careers.

(To view photos from this game, visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture/ and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery.)


 Unlike Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime win at McIntosh, however, Northgate never trailed in the championship game, responding from a Whitewater goal two minutes into the second half by scoring three more unanswered. Crenshaw, who gave the Lady Wildcats a 1-0 lead heading into halftime, added the go-ahead goal before Murray contributed insurance by heading in a free kick from freshman Cara Rhoad.

 Another ninth grader, Lily Barron, polished off the scoring with just under 20 minutes to play. More importantly, losing just Crenshaw, Murray and Amanda Lee to graduation this week, Northgate’s program has a chance to stay on top for a long time to come.

 “To be just a sophomore and to win a state championship,” said defender Hayli Verbanic, “it’s an unbelievable feeling.”


More Local

NFL pro Ogletree provides meals to families

Newnan native and professional football player Alec Ogletree visited Newnan on Tuesday to give back to his hometown in time for the holiday ... Read More


City of Grantville

Councilmen warned for conduct, comments

Two members of the Grantville City Council were served with a cease and desist letter prior to their meeting on Monday. The letter was serve ... Read More


City of Grantville

Grantville awards contract to Garcia

Four months after coming aboard as police chief of Grantville, Javier Garcia was awarded a contract on Monday. Garcia also is currently serv ... Read More


Caregiver arrested for stealing from elderly couple

A woman suspected of stealing both the identities and thousands of dollars from an elderly Sharpsburg couple was arrested over the weekend. ... Read More


Roommate arrested for assault

A Newnan man was arrested Friday after he allegedly assaulted and threatened his roommate for not paying his bills. About 12:20 p.m., Office ... Read More

Suspected marijuana dealer arrested

A man suspected of selling marijuana out of his home was arrested Friday following an investigation by the sheriff’s office’s c ... Read More