All-County Lacrosse: Douglas, McDaniel pace 2012 girls team
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Newnan High’s girls lacrosse program knew changes were in store this spring.
Their star player, All-American Cessily Skinner, was off to the Navy taking with her the brunt of over 100 goals among graduating players.
And seniors Maggie McDaniel and McKynsey Douglas were both there to lead a return trip back to the Class AAAAA state quarterfinals.
Douglas tied a Skinner’s team-record for goals in a single season with 75 and McDaniel improved her stick work even further while making a transition from defensive wing to midfield en route to a 62-goal season of her own.
En route to a 10-8-2 season that included a first-round state playoff victory over North Gwinnett, Newnan relied heavily on both players as centerpieces to a well-rounded starting lineup.
It’s as much a reason why the Lady Cougars teammates were honored as Co-Players of the Year on this season’s Newnan Times-Herald All-County Girls Lacrosse Team.
In a season where the Newnan’s lineup was as much in a flux of its own, the pair of standouts dominated in the midfield while creating a transition game that was among the area’s best. In all, the Lady Cougars netted eight selections on this year’s team, with a much improved Northgate lineup adding five All-County players of its own while coming just short of a potential state playoff berth.
East Coweta also had a pair of players earning All-County honors in juniors Cheyanne St. Germain and Ciera Centenera.
Newnan, however, continued its stronghold of bragging rights in Coweta, despite receiving a formidable challenge from the Lady Vikings during its non-region schedule.
Junior Kayla Bedwell’s 58 goals helped lead Northgate’s five selections which included three seniors.
Much like a versatile basketball team, the Lady Cougars showed they could benefit as much from fast break situations as they could diligently running their isolation offense with an endless number of passes trying to set up the perfect opportunity.
McDaniel, a three-sport standout that included her role as a point guard on the basketball team, became what Newnan lacrosse coach Robert Skinner called “the best transition defensive player on the team.”
The senior’s 75 ground balls led the county while adding 41 draws and 39 interceptions while making the move from a more defensive role to a much larger one on offense.
McDaniel’s production up front shot up from 11 goals last season to a whopping 62 as a senior while adding five assists and an impressive 56.9 shooting percentage. She didn’t begin playing the sport until midway through her sophomore year, but went on to earn a lacrosse scholarship from Piedmont College.
“A friend of mine dragged me out here one day,” said McDaniel, who was already playing softball and basketball. “Out of all of them, this is my favorite.”
Douglas was a four-year varsity contributer whose talent equally grew exponentially each year to become the school’s second all-time scorer with 217 goals, only seven of which came in her freshman year. Her output grew to 37 goals as a sophomore and 54 as a junior before making a run at Cessily Skinner’s single-season mark of 75 set last spring.
Ironically, a lacrosse career that almost never got off the ground for Douglas will continue at the college level with Coastal Carolina’s new Division I program on a scholarship.
“I started playing as a freshman. They talked me into it, but my mom almost didn’t let me play lacrosse,” said Douglas, a standout volleyball player who also played club softball prior to high school. “She wasn’t about to let me start another sport. I had to beg her. I love this.”
Possessing a wicked right-hand shot, Douglas equally posted a 51.0 shooting percentage to go with 47 ground balls, 28 draws won and nine interceptions.
Both players, however, were quick to point to Newnan’s overall depth among reasons for the program’s continued success in 2012, which included non-region games against at least six state playoff teams. The Lady Cougars finished Area 1-AAAAA play at 5-1, with its lone loss coming to Harrison.
“Everybody’s contributing this year,” McDaniel said before playing Walton in the Elite 8. “I think we play as a team. We don’t have to depend on one person.”
Newnan added All-County selections in seniors Micala Brown, Emily Fusan and Oli Witt; juniors Sydney Garmany and Hunter Harrison and sophomore goalie Lindsay Stewart, who finished with 123 saves while stopping 48-percent of her shots.
A trio of Harrison, Fusan and Witt anchored the defense. Harrison had 26 ground balls and four interceptions to go with 18 caused turnovers. Fusan, headed to play at Shorter College where she’ll be reunited with Newnan alum Rachel Skinner, had 16 ground balls and 10 interceptions and 19 caused turnovers. Witt finished with 20 ground balls and scored a goal on offense.
Solidifying the defensive wing position, Brown finished with 15 ground balls and added five goals and an assist on offense. Busby played both wing spots and finished with 20 ground balls while adding 10 goals and an assist on offense.
The team’s most improved player arguably was Garmany, who stepped into Cessily Skinner’s former position. Transitioning from defense, she scored 33 goals and added 6 assists while connecting on 42.9 percent of her shots. She also finished with 46 ground balls and caused 26 turnovers while winning 39 draws.
Northgate’s girls left last year’s one-win season in the dust in 2012. The team regrouped behind Bedwell, a junior center, who scored 58 goals and added 12 assists to lead the Lady Vikings offense.
It also had plenty of depth behind seniors Jordan Clark, Kayla Freund and Allison Dunn, each of whom scored more than 25 goals. On the A-wins, Clark finished with 37 to go with 29 ground balls while Dunn finished with 28 goals and 25 ground balls.
On attack, Freund finished with 35 goals and a team-high 14 assists.
Also expecting to return next year with Bedwell will be junior goalie Katie Hester, who had her best season yet at Northgate. Hester made 153 saves while stopping 50.5-percent of opposing shots on goal.
East Coweta juniors Cheyanne St. Germaine and Ciera Centenera each stepped into starring roles for the Lady Indians this spring. St. Germaine scored 23 goals in 11 games while finishing with a 56.1 shooting percentage and 31 ground balls. Centenera added 12 goals and an assist to go with 36 ground balls.
THE NEWNAN TIMES-HERALD 2012 GIRLS LACROSSE ALL-COUNTY TEAM
Players of the Year
Maggie McDaniel, Newnan, Sr. ... 62 goals, 5 assists, 56.7 shooting pct., 75 ground balls, 41 draws, 39 INT
McKynsey Douglas, Newnan, Sr. ... 75 goals, 15 assists, 51.0 shooting pct., 47 ground balls, 28 draws, 9 INT
C – Kayla Bedwell, Northgate, Jr. ... 58 goals 12 assists, 22 ground balls
D – Wing Micala Brown, Newnan, Sr. ... 5 G, 1 A, 15 GB
A/D Wings – Gaby Busby, Newnan, Jr. ... 10 G, 1A, 20 GB, 11 caused turnovers
M – Ciara Centenera, East Coweta, Jr. ... 12 G, 1A, 36 GB
A Wing – Jordan Clark, Northgate, Sr. ... 37 G, 29 GB
A Wing – Allison Dunn, Northgate, Sr. ... 28 G, 25 GB
C – Sydney Garmany, Newnan, Jr. ... 33 G, 6 A, 42.9 shot pct., 46 GB, 6 INT, 26 CT
Def – Emily Fusan, Newnan, Sr. ... 16 GB, 10 INT, 19 CT
Def – Hunter Harrison, Newnan, Jr. ... 26 GB, 4 INT, 18 CT
G – Katie Hester, Northgate, Jr. ... 153 saves, 50.5 SV pct.
M – Cheyenne St. Germain, East Coweta, Jr. ... 23 G, 2 A, 31 GB
G – Lindsay Stewart, Newnan, So. ... 123 saves, 48.0 SV pct., 10 GB, 2 INT
D – Oli Witt, Newnan, Sr. ... 20 GB, 2 INT, 11 CT, 1 G
East Coweta — Julie Ghyzel, Fr.; Sarah Reeves, Fr.