By Kevin Price
Male Athlete of the Week
Trent Johnson Senior, Running Back | McIntosh County Academy
Trent Johnson ran for more than 1,000 yards last season for McIntosh County Academy, and the senior running back appears to be on his way to eclipsing that mark again this season for the Buccaneers. And, it won’t take him long to get there if he were to have another game or two in the next few weeks like the one he had this past Friday night in Folkston as he carried the Bucs to a 29-21 victory over Charlton County at Champ Bailey Field.
Johnson rushed for 296 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries as MCA renewed its rivalry with the Indians while spoiling Charlton’s annual Homecoming game and handing the Indians their first loss of the season after a pair of victories to open the 2020 campaign. For his big night, Johnson has been named the Coastal Pines Technical College Player of the Week by 912 Sports.
“Trent ran hard Friday night,” said McIntosh head coach Bradley Warren. “He stayed downhill and was explosive. His effort and his attitude were great. He was very focused.” The victory was the first of the season for the Bucs (1-2) who have yet to play at home in Darien. They lost their opening two games in Brunswick to Class AAAAAA schools Glynn Academy and Brunswick. McIntosh is a Class A program. The Bucs had the previous week off to prepare for the Charlton game.
Before facing MCA, the Indians got a monster game just seven days earlier from their star running back Tony Cobb who led them to a 27-7 waltz past Long County while rushing for 357 yards which earned him last week’s player of the week honor from 912 Sports. Last Friday’s game was hyped as a showdown between Johnson and Cobb who was checked to 81 yards according to a published report of the game.
Johnson’s first carry of the night went for a 62-yard score when he took a pitch the distance onthe second play of the game for the Bucs. He also scored later on a 31-yard run for MCA’s final TD of the contest. Johnson’s 296-yard rushing total is believed to be the second-best single-game rushing mark in McIntosh history. The top single-game performance is the 368-yard effort by Jermaine Austin in a state quarterfinal against Athens Academy. Through three games, Johnson now has 543 yards on 67 carries and is averaging 8.1 yards per attempt. He ran for 96 yards against Glynn and 151 yards against Brunswick.
“He is going to be a force to deal with this fall,” Warren said. Last season, Johnson finished with 1,061 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He won a 912 player of the week honor in October last fall. The Bucs play away from home again this Friday when they go to Bryan County for their first Region 3-A game.
Female Athlete of the Week
Kamari Strozier Senior, Softball | Ware County
Bacon County softball standout Kamari Strozier is having a senior year to remember. It wasn’t guaranteed that anyone would be playing fast-pitch softball in Georgia until the season began because of health concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic. And still, at any point, a game could be called off prior to first pitch for virus issues. But last week, Strozier also had a Senior Night she will never forget because she blasted a three-run home run in her final at-bat of the game against Swainsboro as the Lady Raiders routed the Tigers 20- 11 in Alma.
That memorable round-tripper was part of a big week for the Bacon County senior who has been named the Coastal Pines Technical College Female Athlete of the Week presented by 912 Sports. Lady Raiders head coach Greg Gay was glad to see Strozier get this well-deserved recognition. “Kamari is one of the best hitters I’ve ever coached and one of the most consistent hitters I’ve ever seen,” Gay said. “Velocity doesn’t matter. The game situation doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if we are on the road or at home. This girl can hit. She has a distinct ability to minimize the pressure by maximizing her focus.”
Last week, Strozier was 4-for-9 at the plate with three singles and the homer while driving in six runs and scoring four runs. She batted .444 for the week and walked four times in 13 total plate appearances in three games. The Lady Raiders won two of the three games they played. In addition to toppling Swainsboro in Region 2-AA play, they knocked off East Laurens 11-2 in a league counter before falling 9-0 to Toombs County in a region contest.
Strozier was a candidate for the region player of the year last season and made the all-region team as a third baseman. Last fall, she batted .495 with six homers and 34 RBIs while hitting in the leadoff spot for the Lady Raiders. Strozier has already signed with national junior-college power Chipola College. Bacon County stood at 9-4 overall and 6-3 in Region 2-AA after last week. The Lady Raiders were scheduled to play four more games this week as the regular season begins to wind down.
Athletes of the 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)
Week 4 - D'Najah Boyd (Ware County, Volleyball) | Tony Cobb (Charlton)
Week 5 – Kamari Strozier (Bacon County, Softball) | Trent Johnson (McIntosh Academy)
Pictured Ashley Ramey (CPTC) & Kamari Strozier