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Community cheers on Lady Jags
by Reggie Ross, Staff Writer
May 15, 2014 | 163 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The J.Z. George Lady Jaguars put Carroll County back atop the state’s track and field rankings Saturday night when they claimed the 2A state championship.

The Lady Jaguars had 110 total points to easily outdistance Amite County, which was second with 74 points. North Forrest came in third with 73 points, and West Bolivar was fourth with 58 points.

The J.Z. George boys, after winning both the district and north state title, finished second at the Pearl meet behind Bassfield.

News of the championship in Pearl hit social media immediately, and earlier this week the talk of J.Z. George championships piling up began.

“It’s a dynasty, that’s what they are,” Kailand Johnson of Black Hawk said. “You take what this track team has done over the years, and they’re right there with the big dogs in the state. They don’t even have a track for themselves, but the trophies keep stacking up.”

Dating back to the early days of Vaiden High School, in the 1970s, Carroll County has been known for their track and field athletes excelling for over 40 years. Several records from relay teams in the late 1980s still stand today.

Following the consolidation of high school former Coach Claude Elam won the championship in 2005. Current coach Heath Dudley took over the following year, and since his arrival, J.Z. George girls have won six of the last seven 2A championships.

“This is pretty special for our school,” Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson said. “What Coach Dudley has done is phenomenal, and we’re very blessed.”

Vaiden Mayor Mel Hawthorne said he wanted to see the athletes continue at greatness.

“If they can compete at this state level, who knows what they accomplish,” Hawthorne said. “If they shoot for the stars, then they can move on to college and possibly the Olympics.”

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