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Middle School Sports Report

Photos by Deon Cranford.

Hamlet football wins at Cordova

After a tough start to its season last week at Sandy Grove, Hamlet Middle’s football program rebounded on Wednesday, Oct. 5 with a 24-0 victory at in-county opponent Cordova Middle School.

“This week’s win over Cordova was a team effort,” shared Hamlet Middle School football coach Kevin Alfonso.  “A much needed win after the loss last week to Sandy Grove.  A solid defensive performance matched with a balanced offensive attack that saw touchdowns from both on the ground and in the air.”

The Red Rams (1-1) will have a bye this week, but will get to host a trio of games in the following weeks. On Oct. 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, they will host Anson, Carver and Rockingham, respectively.

Cordova dropped to 0-2 on the season and will also have a bye this week before traveling to Rockingham on Oct. 19.

Hamlet volleyball sweeps Scotland County teams to remain in the conference title race

The Hamlet Middle volleyball team improved to 6-1 last week after victories over Carver Middle and Spring Hill Middle – both played at Hamlet Middle.

The Scotland County based Carver Lady Eagles are struggling against the Richmond County teams.  Carver entered its match at Hamlet on Monday, Oct. 3 coming off back-to-back losses at Rockingham and Cordova.  Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, their trip to Hamlet did not fair much better.

The Lady Red Rams won the match in four sets (25-16, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21).

After a convincing set one win, the Lady Red Rams seemed to be in a more balanced battle in set two.  After Hamlet watched a late five-point lead cut to just one, it called a timeout.  Unfortunately, the Lady Red Rams appeared to be bitten by the error bug allowing Carver to end the set on a 7-point run to knot the series 1-1.

In set three, the Lady Red Rams settled down and once again won easily.

The fourth set mirrored the second with both teams going back-and-forth and the match remaining close.  This time it was a late run by the Lady Red Rams that would be the difference maker. 

With her team trailing 17-20, Hamlet’s Annika Briggs was able to string together seven consecutive service points to give the Lady Red Rams a 24-20 advantage.  A kill by the Lady Eagles gave the ball back to the visitors, but a return error by Carver ended the set and match.

Leading scorers for Hamlet were Mackenzie Quick (3 digs, 4 kills, 8 aces), Lexi Smith (7 aces), Aimee Lynn Dobson (3 digs, 1 kill, 7 aces), Riley McDonald (2 digs, 3 kills, 3 aces), and Annika Briggs (1 dig, 2 aces).

On Thursday, Oct. 6, Hamlet defeated Spring Hill 3-1 (25-13, 25-20, 12-25, 25-13). 

“The Lady Red Rams came out strong and ready to play,” shared Hamlet co-coach Lauren Brewer following the match.  “They won the first two sets by working together as a team and really putting all the pieces together.  In the third set, the Lady Spartans rallied to gain a big lead. They continued their momentum throughout the set and picked up the win.”

“They bounced back quickly, Brewer continued.  “They worked together as a team to fix those small mistakes and came back stronger to pick up the set and match win.”

Leading scorers for Hamlet in its match with Spring Hill: Mackenzie Quick (1 dig, 1 kill, 1 ace), Lexi Smith (4 digs, 1 kill, 2 aces), Aimee Lynn Dobson (6 digs, 1 kill, 3 aces), Riley McDonald (10 kills, 5 aces), Kalynn McCormick (5 digs, 3 kills, 1 ace), and Kaleigh Bowden (6 aces).

Hamlet will face its toughest week of the season as it travels to conference leader Sandy Grove (6-0) on Monday and hosts Rockingham (4-3) on Thursday.

The Hamlet information and stats were provided by Melissa Briggs and Lauren Brewer.

Ellerbe Middle volleyball continues to roll

The Lady Wildcats remain in the middle school conference title race with back-to-back home victories over West Hoke and East Hoke.  With the victories, Ellerbe improves to 6-1 on the season and continues to be the Richmond County leader (as it has defeated the other three schools).

On Monday, Oct. 3, Ellerbe dominated the Lady Tigers of West Hoke in three sets (25-8, 25-18, 25-7).  Despite all of their success, the win marked the Lady Wildcat’s first three-set victory of the season.

Ellerbe coach Jonathan Chavez credits good communication, movement, and serving by his team in the win. 

“I have been impressed and proud with the way the team was able to remain composed throughout the sets,” Chavez shared.  “We had a lot of success serving, communicating and constantly moving. We were able to come back stronger after the loss last week against Anson Blue and we plan to continue working hard at practice.”

For Ellerbe, the match was highlighted by 41 aces.  Kaylee Conner led the team with 11 aces, ZyRihanna Robinson had 10, Lillian Hill recorded 9, Kenley Smith hit 8, Abby Robinson contributed 3 and Alisson Santiago added one.

Robinson tallied six consecutive aces for the final points of the second set, the only close set of the match.  Conner closed out set three with 10 service points, 9 of which were aces.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Lady Wildcats defeated East Hoke (25-14, 25-6, 25-10) to earn its second 3-0 victory in as many games.

The first match started close with the two teams knotted up early at 7-7, but Ellerbe went on an 8-1 run and never looked back.  Once again, serving seemed to be the difference maker in each set.


Kenley Smith had 14 successful serves with 8 aces, Lillian Hill had 11 successful serves with 10 aces, ZyRihanna Robinson had 14 successful serves with 5 aces, Madyson Cloninger had 8 successful serves with 1 ace, Kaylee Connor had 9 successful serves with 5 aces, and Abby Robinson had 9 successful serves with 4 aces.

In addition to serving, Chavez also credited great defensive plays and passes by Cloninger throughout the match as contributing to the lopsided victory.  

Ellerbe will next host Spring Hill on Thursday.

The Ellerbe information and stats were provided by Jonathan Chavez and Grover McDonald.

Cordova and Rockingham volleyball have a tough week

Cordova’s volleyball team suffered a pair of losses last week.  On Monday, the Lady Cavaliers fell at home to Spring Hill Middle.  Cordova won the first set 25-11, but the Lady Spartans answered with three set wins (23-25, 14-25, 22-25) to take the match.

On Thursday, Cordova traveled to Sandy Grove Middle to face a very tough Lady Panthers team.  The Lady Cavaliers fell on the road in three sets to drop to 3-4 on the season.

Rockingham’s volleyball team dropped a close heart-breaker to Sandy Grove on Monday in three sets (22-25, 20-25, 23-25).  Scorers for the Lady Rockets were Alley Crouch with 18 points, Natalie Richardson with 15 points, Madisen Jackson with 10 points, Addison Butler with 9 points, Haley Singleton with 9 points and Emmaleigh Wood with 4 points.

The Lady Rockets also dropped a home match to Anson Blue on Thursday. Rockingham (4-3) will travel to Cordova (3-4) on Wednesday.

Information provided by April Stewart and Wandesha Jackson.

County cross country teams run in season opener

On Thursday, Hinson Lake played host to the first middle school cross country meet of the season.  

In the boys race, Carver (32) won the day with East Hoke (36) coming in second, Rockingham (56, 3rd), Hamlet (74, 4th), Ellerbe (99, 5th), and Cordova (107, 7th).

In the girls race, Sandy Grove (19) finished first, West Hoke (54, 2nd), Ellerbe (63, 3rd), Rockingham (73, 4th), and Hamlet (95, 7th).

The middle school teams will run again on Thursday (Oct 13) at Spring Hill.

Information provided by Grover McDonald.

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