Where Are They Now?

Lakes makes impressive debut in Mercer spring game

alt

Former Northgate football standout running back Alex Lakes stiff-arms a defender during Mercer University’s spring game. Lakes, a freshman transfer, rushed for a game-high 109 yards while leading the Orange to a 14-0 victory. 


Mercer University’s revitalized football program continues to make progress with the help of former running backs out of Northgate High, enough that two of them may start the fall reunited as starters in the backfield.

Freshman Alex Lakes, following initial stops at Air Force and West Georgia, seems to have finally found a home with the Macon program, rushing for a game-high 109 yards on just 13 carries in the Bears’ spring football game on Saturday.

The 5-10, 205-pound running back helped lead the Orange squad to a 14-0 victory, picking up right where he left off in high school after helping lead the Vikings to a Region 3-AAAA championship in 2011.

Lakes expects to have a familiar face alongside after being reunited with former backfield mate Payton Usher, a standout during Mercer’s 10-2 campaign last fall, the school’s first season since 1941.

Usher, who joined Lakes as the Newnan Times-Herald’s co-Offensive Player of the Year in each’s senior season of varsity football, finished with 776 yards rushing and two touchdowns in just nine games with the Bears as a red-shirt freshman. He sat out the spring finale with an injury.

The former Vikings are joined on the Mercer roster by ex-Newnan offensive line standout David Raschen.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL

OWEN HAS MISSISSIPPI ST. OFF TO SOLID START: Former East Coweta softball star pitcher Allison Owen, now in her final season at Mississippi State, picked up her team-best 15th victory of the season on Saturday in a 9-3 victory over No. 18 Missouri.

The right-hander, a redshirt senior, struck out nine while lowering her season ERA to 1.91 with 178 strikeouts in 128 innings, both teams highs.

Mississippi State (30-12) is off to the third-best start in program history while 3-9 in SEC play.

Earlier this season, Owen took a tough-luck decision in a 1-0 loss to Georgia after pitching five perfect innings. The former Lady Indian began her career in Athens and contributed to a lineup that eventually reached the 2010 College World Series and appeared in four games during the tournament.

The human sciences major has equally made a mark off the field, splitting her studies with an internship at a nearby emergency shelter for runaways, homeless children and those involved in custody issues.

It involved completing 480 hours in order to graduate in May.

“Some of the kids who are coming through have been through some pretty serious situations,” Owen said in a recent online profile for SEC Digital Network. “It definitely makes you more aware of things you don’t see on the outside. It makes you appreciate what you have. I’ve been blessed enough to have a family that’s been able to come to all my softball games through- out my life. They’ve taken me places. Some of these kids don’t even have families that can come see them. Or they don’t know where their families are. They’ve been taken from them. Some of these kids have been abused. It just really makes you appreciate what you have.”

Owen is one of four Georgia natives on the roster, all from nearby areas. They include freshman pitcher Mackenzie Toler out of Whitewater.

(Have an item about a former high school player thriving in college? Send it to us at sports@newnan.com .)



More Sports

High School Softball

Liebe RBI single lifts EC over Heard County

If East Coweta’s softball program hadn’t already been thrilled by the return of third-baseman Lauren Liebe to the lineup this we ... Read More


High School Football

Turnovers factor into Lions’ 34-6 loss at Flint River

WOODBURY — Turnovers again were Trinity Christian’s worst enemy as Flint River’s running game and three interceptions by t ... Read More


John Milledge too much for Hawks

The Heritage Hawks have had a rough start to their 2014-2015 season. After losing a heartbreaker against Flint River last week, they were ho ... Read More


High School Football

Crusaders turn out Lighthouse 62-6

Central Christian had turned out the lights on Light- house Homeschool by the sec- ond quarter of Friday’s 62-6 victory between the st ... Read More


High School Football

Vikings, Skalski able to hold off Raiders

Jamie Skalski rushed for two touchdowns, recorded 12 tackles and was successful with all five extra point attempts as the Northgate Vikings ... Read More

High School Football

Indians hurdle first Mountain in Pardue’s debut

New East Coweta head football coach Steve Pardue admitted that the last two teams he led got off to a slow start in his first season at the ... Read More