Published Sunday, February 10, 2013
By DOUG GORMAN
Former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox turned out Friday for Senior Night at East Coweta High School.
Cox signed autographs for $15 with proceeds going to help the East Coweta boys basketball team.
Although Cox has stepped out of the Braves’ dugout, he still serves in an executive role with the the team he managed to five NL pennants and one World Series title that included a 2,504-2001 record.
Cox is expected to be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame next year.
“I am starting to enjoy and understand this retirement thing,” Cox joked while signing autographs Friday night.
That hasn’t stopped him from keeping his hand in the game he loves.
Cox will head to Orlando this week to observe the start of spring training for the Braves.
He’s optimistic the Braves will make a run at the World Series with all eyes on the team’s young outfield after signing brothers Justin and B.J. Upton to go along with rightfielder Jason Heyward.
Like Braves fans across the country, he knows it will be tough to get used to not seeing Chipper Jones in the dugout and clubhouse.
“You can't replace him,” he said. “It will take some getting used to.”
After his autograph session ended, Cox participated in Senior Night with the East Coweta boys basketball teams, posing for a picture at midcourt during a pre-game ceremony,
Unfortunately for East Coweta, Cox’s presence didn’t help the Indians on the basketball court as they lost to rival Newnan 66-57 in overtime to close out the regular season.
Now both teams head to next week’s Region 3-AAAAAA Tournament starting Wednesday at East Coweta.
• No secrets this time: The East Coweta Lady Indians have rival Newnan’s number so far this year.
After defeating the Lady Cougars twice during the regular season, East Coweta is optimistic about Tuesday’s third meeting between the two teams. This time there is a lot more at stake.
East Coweta and Newnan open the Region 3-AAAAAA tournament Tuesday at John Thrower Gymnasium in the first round of the tournament in a 7 p.m. tip-off.
The winner automatically clinches a spot at the Class AAAAAA state tournament, while the loser goes home.
A victory will give retiring East Coweta head coach Paula Jones one last chance to go the state tournament.
“Our girls know what is at stake,” Jones said.
East Coweta also knows beating the Lady Cougars for a third time is not a given.
“We can’t overlook them,” Jones said. “They will be ready to play.”
• Overtime thrillers: The Newnan Cougars might have an advantage if a Region 3-AAAAA tournament game goes to overtime.
Newnan has played in overtime contests three of their last four games, winning two, including Friday night’s game against rival East Coweta.
The Cougars defeated the Indians 66-57 while keeping East Coweta off the scoreboard in the extra period.
Newnan’s 62-61 victory over Langston Hughes on Tuesday night turned the Region 3-AAAAAA standings upside down with Newnan and Langston Hughes each finishing the regular season with a 5-5 record.
A different person has shown the ability to step it up all season. Although Doniel Dean is the team’s leading scorer, Immanuel Griggs, Kaceon Person and Darrell Morrow are game changers for the Cougars.