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Sports & Rec Blog

Showcases and spotlights local high school sports and sports leagues. Recreational resources are also reviewed.

Walton unseats Harrison in county tournament

Tai Bierria stepped up for Walton in the final match of Saturday’s county tournament, helping Walton win the title by handing Harrison its first loss of the season. Staff photo by Jeff Stanton


Walton may be a stronger team than it thinks.

After winning four straight state championships, the Lady Raiders had some concerns after graduating most of their top hitters from last year’s title team.

While it’s still early in the season, Walton seemed to be pleased with the offensive output it got Saturday.

The Lady Raiders played in the Cobb County Tournament for the first time in five years and had enough firepower to not only win the title, but hand defending champion Harrison its first loss of the season with a 25-23, 17-25, 15-9 victory Saturday at Marietta High School.

Senior Ashley Miller and junior newcomer Tai Bierria stepped up as the offensive stalwarts for Walton (6-2), giving the Lady Hoyas fits up front with seven kills each and a combined three block-assists.

But what really helped Walton overcome Harrison (16-1) is its experience of playing under pressure. The Lady Raiders came out a different team in the third set, after the Lady Hoyas dominated the second.

“I think that we just had to settle down and relax and to take pressure off ourselves,” Walton coach Suzanne Fitzgerald said. “We kind of turned against each other in the second set when things got intense, rather than channeling our energy against the opponents.

“In the third set, we just settled down and realized that we were playing our favorite sport in the world.”

Walton also benefitted from several hitting and mental errors by Harrison’s players.

With the third set even at 2-all, the teams engaged in what turned out to be the lengthiest point of the match, ultimately ending when Maddie Bright missed a cross-court kill attempt that landed just past the sideline. Bright’s miss gave Walton its first lead of the third set, and it was the start of a six-point Lady Raider run on Dalaney Hans’ serve.

Walton gained even more momentum on the following point when Bierria and Miller blocked a Harrison attack. Another hitting error by Harrison followed, and Walton then caught a break when Bierria’s serve tipped the net and fell on Harrison’s side of the court.

Ahead 6-2 in the final set, the Lady Raiders got more separation when Bierria followed with a kill, and then another service ace, before Harrison coach Clay Taylor called his second timeout of Walton’s run.

Walton held its lead by allowing Harrison to win just two points on serve. A kill by Ashley Dean gave the Lady Raiders a 13-8 lead, and they would go on to win the final two points of the match on Harrison miscues.

“We just put it all out there (in the third set), and it was great to win,” Bierria said. “We passed a lot better. We didn’t let (Harrison) get into our heads. We really just stuck together as a team.”

Hans, typically a defensive specialist, finished with 15 assists as a setter after switching positions with Celeste Fitzgerald, who moved to libero. The switch was made to give Walton more offensive options.

Harrison’s Caroline Ostman and Katie Doering each finished with eight kills. Over the weekend, Ostman became the first Harrison player to eclipse 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.

Bright and Abigail Moss each had three kills, while Jocelyn Mahayag, Camryn Bihary and Kodi Smith had two aces apiece.

“The team played well all day,” Taylor said. “Proud of the effort put forth. We have work to do each day to make our team better. We will be back in the gym on Tuesday to reach our team beat.”

Walton defeated Walker and Lassiter in straight sets in bracket play to reach the finals. Harrison advanced to the championship with two-set wins over Pope and North Cobb.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal, August 31, 2014. Written by Adam Carrington. Click HERE to read the MDJ article.)

Sewell Park re-opens Sept. 6 just in time for East Marietta National Little League’s Opening Day!


Members of the East Marietta Little League kicking off the Spring season at their temporary home. They will return to Sewell Park during the Grand Opening on Sept. 6.

Attend the Grand Re-opening of Sewell Park and kick off the Fall season for East Marietta National Little League on Saturday, September 6, 9am-3pm. 

Enjoy activities galore including a bounce house, dunk tank, home run derby, swimming, Kona Ice, food vendors, a raffle and more! Don’t forget your bathing suit to swim in the newly renovated pool.

Admission is FREE  and fun for  the whole family. For more information visit


Prep Roundup: Rogers helps Pope pull away to topple Etowah

baseball and glove

With two outs in the sixth inning and Pope clinging to a one-run lead, freshman Hannah Rogers hit a two-run double to break the game open and help the Lady Greyhounds to a 7-3 win over Etowah on Tuesday.

Megan Metzinger was 2-for-4 and had an RBI triple in the third inning. In the same inning, Kelly Barnhill hit her second home run in two games to extend the lead.

Three days after striking out 23 in an eight-inning win over River Ridge, Barnhill added another 19 — a team record for a seven-inning game.

Pope (7-4, 2-0 Region 5AAAAAA) will host Cherokee on Thursday.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Click HERE to read the original article.) 


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SAS Celebrates Two Years with Open House Event

SAS Black Ops

SAS Black Ops is celebrating their two year anniversary on September 6, 10am-6pm, with the longest continually running Indoor Airsoft Game in history! Play as little or as long as you like. Make sure to register early for the game so you are able to pick your team for the day. It will be Red vs Yellow all day long.

Outside will be food vendors, an assault fitness course, SWAT Team Equipment, Archery Practice and more!

Vendors including Elite Force, Valken, ICS, G&G and Lancer Tactical will be in attendance with lots of giveaways and demos throughout the day. Raffle tickets come with entry for prizes! Enjoy great food from local eateries, sign up for giveaways and jam to live music by Australia’s #1 Country music singer, Craig Morrison (

Can’t get enough of SAS Black Ops? Enroll in their membership program at the event and receive a FREE gift. Membership is $20 a month for UNLIMITED arena play. Help the SAS team make history, check out the latest Airsoft equipment, and support your favorite Airsoft Arena and Retail Store and help make this a great anniversary!

SAS Black Ops is located at 1280 Field Parkway, Marietta 30066. For more information call 678-659-9319 or visit


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Mt. Bethel Elementary to host 28th Annual Fun Run

Mt. Bethel Elementary School is proud to announce the 28th Annual Mt. Bethel Fun Run on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at the school.  The Fun Run is a 5K event dedicated to promoting health and fitness for people of all ages, especially children.  Everyone is invited to participate, particularly the people of the East Cobb Community.  The Fun Run Team hopes to make 2014 the most successful Fun Run ever! Please make plans to register and participate!!

Registration forms and other information can be found at Registration begins September 5, 2014.

Proceeds from the Fun Run benefit the Mt. Bethel Elementary School PTA.



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See The Sock Hops in concert and support Sprayberry Football Fieldhouse

sprayberry yellow jackets

From The Four Seasons to The Four Tops, from The Temptations to The Tokens, The Sock Hops specialize in the four-part harmonies of all your favorites from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. See The Sock Hops in concert on Saturday, August 23rd, 7pm at Sprayberry Auditorium. Doors open at 6pm and tickets are $20.

All proceeds benefit John Paty Football fieldhouse. To purchase go to For questions, call Wanda Patterson at 770-973-0681.


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Marietta Derby Darlins Announce Third Home Bout of the Season

Local favorites the Marietta Derby Darlins will be hosting their third home bout of their third season at the Cobb Civic Center in Marietta, Georgia, August 23, 2014.

Season 3, Bout 3 is a triple-header featuring three full bouts. During the first bout of the evening, The Marietta Derby Darlins will host a juniors bout where the Lil’ Nemesisters (Smoky Mountain’s kids) will face The Rome Rollerettes. Bout 2 will showcase the adult teams from Bryson City, North Carolina and Rome, Georgia: Smoky Mountain Rollergirls vs. Rome Rollergirls. The final bout of the evening will feature hometown favorites The Marietta Derby Darlins vs. the Mississippi Brawl Stars.

The modern sport of roller derby is a fast-paced, full contact team sport that requires athleticism, speed, and strategy. The athletes take it very seriously, and dedicate a large portion of their time to practice and training. There are official sanctioning bodies with regional, national, and even international competition. Play is governed by a defined rules set and enforced by referees and officials.

The first bout, featuring the Lil’ Nemesisters vs. the Rome Rollerettes will begin at 3 P.M. The Smoky Mountain Rollergirls vs. Rome Rollergirls will begin at 5 P.M followed by the Marietta Derby Darlins vs. Mississippi Brawl Stars beginning at 7:00 P.M. Doors open at 2:00 P.M.

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Lassiter tops Allatoona, Harrison


Lassiter pulled off a successful squeeze play in the eighth inning, giving it a 6-5 win at Allatoona and capping off a perfect Saturday.

The Lady Trojans were coming off a 4-0 shutout of Harrison.

The Allatoona game was deadlocked at 5-all entering the eighth, when Lassiter’s Abby Ferrier was placed on second base. She moved to third on a grounder before scoring as she ran on contact from Emily Syvarth’s well-placed bunt.

Kelly Sinclair and Catherine Pizza each went 2-for-4, with Pizza contributing a pair of RBIs. Jesse Beasenburg also had two RBIs.

Brianna Michaud pitched 6 2/3 innings of effective relief, striking out 10.

Sydney Kayler and Piper Wagner combined for the shutout of Harrison, fueled by Sinclair’s two RBIs and two hits apiece for Syvarth and Maggie Aarons.

Lassiter (3-0) will continue non-region play Tuesday, hosting Brookwood.

(Excerpted from the Marietta Daily Journal, August 16, 2014. Read the original MDJ article HERE.) 

Lady Longhorns Lacrosse Team Wins State

ssMembers of the Kell Girls Lacrosse team celebrating their state championship are pictured above: Front Row (l-r): Hannah Nemeck, Brenna Mackjack, Leslie Ferguson, Hannah Rosen, Tori Wall, Izzy Palermo, Jessica Armstrong, Sarah Bialecki. Back Row (l-r):

Members of the Kell Girls Lacrosse team celebrating their state championship are pictured above: Front Row (l-r): Hannah Nemeck, Brenna Mackjack, Leslie Ferguson, Hannah Rosen, Tori Wall, Izzy Palermo, Jessica Armstrong, Sarah Bialecki. Back Row (l-r): Coach Todd Utt, Sachi Griffiths, Katherine Gross, Talen Francis, Jennifer Buckley, Anne Ryan Lanz, Britta Baugham, Haley Swift, Riley Proshek, Kelsey Lowman, Julianna Santrock, Coach Aubree Mancuso, and Manager Monica Lopez.

Kell High School girls Lacrosse team captured the state championship (Class A-AAAAA ) this past May with an 11-10
win over four-time defending state champion Westminster. Junior Sarah Bialecki’s goal with 2 minutes remaining brought the score of the AAAAA-A title match to its final tally and gave the No. 1-ranked Lady Longhorns their first state title in program history. Lady Longhorns finished the season 20-1, setting a school record for most wins. The Marietta Daily Journal named Coach Utt Cobb County Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year.


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Iron Tribe Fitness East Cobb Grand Opening Event is Saturday

Iron Tribe Fitness (ITF), the premier group-training fitness concept, is now open in Cobb County.

Iron Tribe Fitness East Cobb is located at 4719 Lower Roswell Road in Stonewood Village in Marietta. The 4,850 square foot fitness facility is located at the intersection of Lower Roswell Road at Johnson Ferry Road.

A grand opening event will take place at 10 am on Saturday, Aug. 16 and the public is invited. Along with raffles for workout gear and gift certificates, samples of supplements, drinks and Paleo snacks, there will also be a workout with Team Red, White and Blue. Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of American veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.

Who is Iron Tribe Fitness?
People of every age, color, body shape and ability. Tribe members include women, men, mothers, fathers, people over the age of 50, business professionals, students and athletes.

All ITF locations cap membership at 300 members. “Iron Tribe Fitness puts more of a focus on group personal training than traditional gyms,” said Andy Berman, manager of ITF East Cobb. “We always have two certified trainers leading class.”

“All classes are capped at 20 people,” Berman said. “The classes are 45 minutes and include everything that’s needed for a good workout. The relationships tribe members build with coaches and other members in class make Iron Tribe Fitness unique. Members’ goals might be different, but they’re all enjoying the path to getting there together.”

There are many reasons for Iron Tribe Fitness’ success, Berman said. “It’s fun, fast, fitness. You’re in a group with new exercises to challenge you and new friends to cheer you on. The program is designed for busy people. Members get in, get fit and get done in 45 minutes. This is a safe, supportive environment where members lose weight, gain strength, sleep better and experience a total life change.”

It’s also important for potential members to know that the workouts are scaled for an individual’s own fitness level. “Before anyone joins the regular classes, they complete a month long, 3-day a week, mandatory class called Iron Tribe 101,” Berman said. “This is where we teach why we do what we do and not just tell you what to do. If a movement isn’t right for someone, we teach them a modified exercise.”

New members will learn recommended nutrition information in the Iron Tribe 101 class that focuses on when to eat, what to eat and how to eat.

ITF East Cobb will also be continuing the company’s tradition of charitable fundraising. All ITF locations hold annual fundraisers for TEAM Red White and Blue, called “Workout for Warriors.” The workouts are performed in honor of the nation’s fighting forces, past, present, and future. Annual fundraisers are also held for Neverthirst, a non-profit that builds clean water wells in the poorest regions of the world. At “Workout for Water,” athletes participate in teams mirroring the journey village residents must make to carry and fill their jugs with water. Chain-wide, the ITF Workouts for Warriors & Water have given back over $500,000 to Team RWB and Neverthirst since 2010.

For more information, visit or contactAndy at 770-971-7797 or