The top ten moments that make 2012 unforgettable


Sammy Williams gets a good run down due to outstanding blocking by Jefferson’s offensive line at the Georgia Dome. Doug Chellew/The Paper.

A year in review is due for 2012; last year we witnessed shattered records, heartbreaking postseasons and football in December. There wasn’t enough tape on the highlight reel to hold every sensational moment but there were 10 that are worth reliving.

No. 10

Jefferson softball

After a 5-11 start, the Jefferson High School softball team turned its season around by clinching the region championship game over Union County High School. Jefferson was rewarded home field advantage in the state playoffs where they swept Manchester High School (15-0, 14-0) in a double header.

Head Coach Melissa Mullis is a very passionate coach who, unfortunately, had to watch her team fall in the second round at home against Dade County High School.

No. 9

Jackson County football

It took two decades for the Panthers to make a postseason appearance and, although they were handed a tough battle against Cartersville High School in the first round of the state playoffs, it’s important not to get away from the fact that first-year Head Coach Benji Harrison left a prominent Flowery Branch High School team to help JCCHS turn things around. Some would be ashamed to boast a 6-5 season but, for the Panthers, it was more than enough to celebrate with an eye on what the future may hold.

No. 8

Mill Creek cross country

After mourning the death of former teammate Tajay Hoppines, the Hawks pulled together to win the 2012 Cross Country State Championship. Head Coach Andy Christie noted his team dedicated the season to Hoppines and it’s pretty safe to say that he would have been extremely proud to see Mill Creek take the region and state title.

No. 7

Mill Creek soccer

Harrison High School defeated MCHS 1-nil in the Elite Eight but that school made headlines in another way that wasn’t so positive. The right to go to the Final Four fell on the night of Mill Creek’s prom. Harrison proved to be a bad host after refusing to move the time of the prom to accommodate the Hawks.

The news reached the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Atlanta News in a situation that escalated farther than it should have. It was by far a lose-lose situation as Harrison came out as the bad guy and the Hawks saw its season come to an end.

No. 6

Mill Creek football

Since the birth of Mill Creek football, the Hawks had not achieved more than seven wins prior to the 2010 season. After defeating Collins Hill High School in the finale of the regular season, the Hawks moved to 7-4 but it was a record with which they were all too familiar.

Mill Creek wanted to make history and did so by defeating Alpharetta High School in the first round of the state playoffs. With their first 8-win season in the books, the Hawks turned their attention to the Broncos of Brookwood High School, where they gave Head Coach Shannon Jarvis his first 9-win season in his career with the Hawks.

No. 5

Mill Creek baseball

The Hawks made two consecutive appearances in the Elite Eight before advancing to the Final Four last year. Getting over the hump was pretty sweet but Parkview High School ended Mill Creek’s epic run. Yet, like the Lady Hawks, they’ve established a winning tradition where a postseason appearance is to be expected.

No. 4

Jackson County softball

In the playoffs, anything is possible and the Lady Panthers proved that by making it all the way to the Final Four of the high school softball state tournament. Jackson County had many bumps and bruises in the regular season but claimed its region title and made their trip to Columbus well worth it.

No. 3

Jefferson wrestling

Winning never gets old for the Jefferson High School wrestling team as the Dragons earned their 12th consecutive traditional state title, along with their 11th straight duals title. Enough said.

No. 2

Mill Creek football

Jacorey Lewis used his turbo boosters to break nearly every rushing record that exists in the game. He, along with Devozea Felton, has set a high standard for future running backs to come for the Hawks.

No. 1

Jefferson football

Quarterback Bryant Shirreffs rushed for 139 yards, scored two touchdowns and threw for 188 yards against Calhoun High School in the 2AA state title game. The win broke the Yellow Jacket’s 29-game win streak and caused one of the biggest upsets in the history of high school football.