By Kevin Price
Female Athlete of the Week:
Rebecca DeLoach had a strong debut season with the Pierce County softball team last fall as a freshman.
And now early in the 2020 season, the sophomore third baseman for the Lady Bears is a major presence in the middle of the team’s batting order.
This past week, DeLoach had a series of games she will always probably remember. In five games, she had nine hits in 15 at-bats including two doubles and four home runs. Her two-run homer late in the game last Thursday against Tattnall County forged a 2-2 tie and forced extra innings. Pierce would win the game 3-2 to remain perfect in Region 1-AAA.
For her performance last week, DeLoach has been named the Coastal Pines Technical College Female Athlete of the Week presented by 912 Sports.
“Rebecca DeLoach secured a starting position on our team last year as a freshman. This year, as a sophomore, she has become an impact player,” said Pierce coach Robbie Spires. “She is off to a solid start after missing several games early due to quarantine. She is the four- or five-hole hitter, anchoring our batting order. Defensively, she dominates the hot corner with a quick glove and strong arm.”
Last week, DeLoach batted an even. 600 with a .800 slugging percentage. She recorded 17 putouts for the Lady Bears at third base.
Pierce is currently 8-4 overall and 4-0 in region games.
Male Athele of the Week:
Thomas Castellanos Junior, Quarterback | Ware County
Ware County changed its offense in the offseason to make it a better fit for its talented quarterback Thomas Castellanos and his overall skill set.
Based on Friday’s game against Richmond Hill at Memorial Stadium in Waycross, the Gators made a smart move. Their junior quarterback turned the 912 Sports Game of the Week into a personal showcase as he led Ware to a 36-29 victory over the Wildcats in the matchup between the Southeast Georgia heavyweights and has been named for this week’s Coastal Pines Technical College Player of the Week honor.
Castellanos, who was selected as the signal-caller for the All-912 Preseason Team, put together a statistical performance that has to be among the best-ever by a Ware offensive player. He was 17-of-30 passing for 261 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns, thus totaling four scores and 456 yards from scrimmage.
His 62-yard scoring run with 5:45 remaining in the fourth quarter broke a 29-29 tie and ultimately was the game-winning touchdown for the Gators.
“It was a remarkable night by Thomas,” said Ware second-year coach Jason Strickland. “We were expecting him to shoulder a big load. Kind of the whole idea of Friday’s game plan was to put it on his shoulders and he certainly didn’t disappoint. I was just real pleased with everything he brought to the game through the air and on the ground, and it was certainly what we needed to beat a team like Richmond Hill.”
The quarterback’s big performance came against a defense that stymied Camden County’s spread offense in a 28-11 victory to open the season the previous Friday.
Castellanos, who is 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, was 10-for-15 passing for 184 yards and two touchdowns while running for another 37 yards and two scores on just four carries in Ware’s 38-6 win in the season opener.
In the first two games combined, he is 27-of-45 passing for 445 yards while having 232 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 23 attempts.
Castellanos was voted the area’s player of the week last season in Week 9.
He has been Ware’s starting quarterback since his freshman season. He was chosen for the all-region team as a ninth-grader and was voted Offensive Player of the Year in Ware’s region last season. He also was named honorable-mention all-state by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Athletes of Week
Week 1 - Avien Trull (Ware County, Softball)
Week 2 - Cheyenne Ryan (South Effingham, Cross Country) | Shaquan Brooks (Richmond Hill)
Week 3 - Rebecca DeLoach (Pierce County, Softball) | Thomas Castellanos (Ware County)