Magnitude of win surprise to ace

From staff reports

The Mt. Zion Bulldogs were apparently unaware exactly what they had accomplished Wednesday night after knocking off top-ranked Henry County in a Region 2-AAAAA contest.

When told that the Warhawks entered the game as the state's No.-1 ranked team, Cannady Walker seemed surprised.

Walker was one of the many players in the Mt. Zion lineup who contributed to arguably the team's biggest wins of the year.

Walker went the distance from the mound and then hit a key home run.

n He knows what it takes to be successful: Even though this year is Andy Cooper's first season as a head baseball coach at Luella High School, he has had plenty of success as a head softball coach and assistant baseball coach at Stockbridge.

In softball, he led the Lady Tigers to two straight trips to the state tournament. As an assistant on Stockbridge's baseball team, he helped guide the Tigers to the final eight of the Class AAAAA state tournament in 2001.

This year, Cooper is on the verge of leading Luella to the regular-season Region 5-AAA championship. Luella is in first place in the region standings and if the Lions beat Southside Monday, they will earn the No. 1 seed going into the region tournament.

Cooper said the experience he gained at Stockbridge has been helpful this year at Luella.

"It's been crucial," he said. "I learned just as much coaching softball as I did coaching baseball. Softball prepared me for what it takes to be a head coach."

n Bull's-eye: Veteran baseball coach Chuck Campbell has never paid too much attention to state polls. That's why the Henry County baseball coach never put too much stock in his team's gabaseball.net No.-1 ranking.

After their loss to Mt. Zion Friday, the Warhawks will no doubt take a tumble in the rankings.

"Those polls making for good conversation pieces, and it's a source of pride for the kids, but it doesn't mean a whole lot," Campbell said.