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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Graceville Tigers win BIG 42-21 over Holmes County

  • Published in Sports

Tiger fans knew and were prepared for a rebuilding year this year but they saw something last week in the Tigers’ game against the visiting Chipley Tigers that gave them hope that something good was close to happening.  Friday night, that hope made its way to the scoreboard in a 42-21 win over an always tough Holmes County Blue Devils team. 

The outcome never appeared to be in question for the Tigers from the time they stepped on the field. 

They went up 8-7 before falling behind 15-8 in the second quarter. Another touchdown made it 21-8 but the Tigers went into the locker room at the half and returned with a determination that didn’t let up until the final buzzer sounded.  A quick touchdown made it a 21-14 game and the Tigers had new life. A pair of touchdowns and the Tigers were cruising 34-21.  In the end it was all Graceville with a 42-21 win.

Joe Claiborne had two touchdowns on the night with Xavian Sorey racking up 114 yards through the air and a touchdown in the air.  Sorey also added a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 72-yard kickoff return and two sacks. Combine all of that for a 42-21 solid first win of the season. 

The Tigers will use that momentum to carry over into Friday night’s game when they return to the friendly confines of their home field to take on Freeport.  Freeport is 1-2 on the season and coming off a 27-6 win over Walton.  The lost 27-6 to Walton and 26-18 to Holmes County.  Game time is 7:00 p.m.

Eddie Elmore – USMC prepared him for life

Eddie Elmore graduated from Cottondale High School in 1997, where he left his home two hours after receiving his diploma to join the Marines. Elmore said, “So the night I graduated, I jumped into the recruiter’s car and we took off to Parris Island, South Carolina.” Elmore says it was the right decision for him and prepared him for the life he has today.

Elmore was in Parris Island for the normal three-month boot camp. He came home on leave for 10 days and was then sent to Camp Geiger, where Elmore completed his infantry training. Elmore said, “I was a reservist then and reported to the reserves in the 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company in Mobile.” Elmore spent some time with the 3rd Force and then went to Lima Company 3/23, which is an infantry company. This was all reserve time at the time.  

Elmore said, “In 1999, being in the Reserves you get called up for different types of active duty training and active duty operations. I got called up for ‘Operation Cornerstone’ in Albania/ Kosovo in the Balkans in 1999. I spent a couple of weeks over there doing security operations for NATO and the security forces to help support Albanian construction. Of course, after 9-11 everybody that wore a uniform pretty much got deployed at some point. I was attached to the 1st Marine Division in Task Force Tarawa, in Iraq in ’03 during the invasion. I went over there and did about eight months deployment to Iraq, I was in the Reserves then but got called back to active duty and got attached to the 1st Marine Division for the invasion. We were the second wave invasion force. I made it all the way up to Baghdad doing operations during my deployment in Iraq.”  

Elmore got out of the Marines after returning from Iraq, where he worked for the Department of Children and Family Services as a child abuse investigator, Elmore said, “During that time, I applied with the Highway Patrol and got accepted into the Highway Patrol Training Academy in December of ’04 and started working with FHP and been here ever since.” 

When asked if the Marines helped prepare him for where he is now, Elmore was quick to say, “Absolutely. Not only do I think it prepared me because coming out of high school, you need direction. I come from a very strict upbringing, so if I hadn’t of gone into the Marine Corps to further that discipline then I honestly think, I would’ve been in trouble. I would’ve been in big trouble. I don’t think it would’ve kept me on the track I’m on now. Because, not only in the Marine Corps you have to be able to focus on a mission, but you have to be able to accept orders and to become a follower before you can become a leader. All good followers who are good leaders start as good followers.”  

Elmore graduated from Chipola College in 2000 and from there he transferred to Troy State University where he graduated in 2003 with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology.

Eddie is married to Keely Elmore, and they have two daughters Rylee Elmore and Allie Hinson. Allie is currently a student at Chipola College majoring in education. Rylee is a seventh grader at Marianna Middle School, where she is a cheerleader.  

Sneads and Cottondale split games in volleyball

  • Published in Sports

The Cottondale Lady Hornets volleyball team traveled across Jackson County to take on the always tough, five-straight state champion Sneads Lady Pirates last week. Cottondale knew going into the match they would have their hands full but they never folded.  In the end, both teams were victors with the junior varsity Lady Hornets taking the win over Sneads and the Lady Pirates taking the win in the varsity match.

In junior varsity action, Cottondale won 25-18 and 25-20.  Cottondale coach Kevin Potts said after the game, “Jersie McGinty and Hailey Chambliss both had a great game service the ball for us.  The entire team played smart volleyball. We tried to not beat ourselves and we did a fair job at that. We really wanted this game.  Seven of our JV players were a part of our middle school ‘A’ team that lost three close games to Grand Ridge. That was all the motivation the team needed.  Really proud of them going into Sneads and just playing our style of volleyball.  Sneads and Grand Ridge are tough places to win.”

Varsity match went to Sneads in three sets, 25-7, 25-7 and 25-8.  

Leading Sneads in blocks were Lacee Glover and Michaela Edenfield with eight blocks each, followed by Ariana Lee with seven. On board with six blocks was Kiara Garrett with Jordyn Riano, Allura Sheheane, and Kazia Gainer with one block each. 

Jordyn Riano led with eight serves, followed by Lacee Glover with five. On board with two was Ariana Lee, with Kiara Garrett, Abby Perkins and Allura Sheheane on board with one each.

Kazia Gainer recorded eight blocks, while Lacee Glover, Kiara Garrett, Jordyn Riano and Allura Sheheane all had one each. Jordyn Riano posted 32 assists on the evening. 

Stats were not available for Cottondale. Coach Kevin Potts said after the game, “We just never got anything going at all. Sneads is a superior offensive team but we definitely did not play with any effort. The varsity game will be one that we need to put behind us and work even harder. Sneads is where they are because they are going to try to win every single point, no matter the opponent or the score. Something we as a young team are still building on.”

Hornets sting the Liberty County Bulldogs for 20-16 win

  • Published in Sports

The Cottondale Hornets were hungry for a win Friday night and they didn’t stop until that mission was accomplished.  They handed the visiting Liberty County Bulldogs a 20-16 loss before die-hard Hornet fans cheering from the bleachers. 

It was a dramatic come from behind win in the final three minutes when Caleb Nix threw a strike to Eriq Hendricks for a 96-yard touchdown pass on a fourth and an 11-play to move to a 20-16 win. 

The first half was a defensive battle with a field goal for Liberty County the only score in the half. 

Cottondale came out of the locker room after the half fired up and ready to take control.  Isaac Brincefield found the endzone with Nix making the conversion. It was Hornets 8-3 over the Bulldogs. 

The Bulldogs quickly had an answer to make it a 10-8 game, and added another touchdown pulling away to a 16-8 lead. Jalen Redding pulled the Hornets closer when he found the endzone, make it a 16-14 game.  

A Liberty County punt pinned Cottondale deep into their territory but Nix and Hendricks had an answer with a 96-yard pass play.  

Following the game, an elated first-year head coach Chris Obert was all smiles, “I’m just proud of the kids. They hung in there and kept fighting and found a way to pull it out. We had a couple of people step up and make some big plays and I was proud of them. They dug down and found a way to win and that was great.” 

Cottondale’s road doesn’t get any easier as they travel to Lighthouse Christian (Pensacola) Friday night. Lighthouse Christian defeated St. John Paul II 53-8 last Friday night but came into that game with an 0-2 record. They opened the season with a 46-20 loss to Northview before falling 24-0 to Wewahitchka. 

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