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Familiarity helps North Clayton chose new coach

Photo by Brian Paglia

Dutchtown coach Jason Galt will led his team in a rematch against Griffin this season that will broadcast live on a Thursday night.

Photo by Brian Paglia Dutchtown coach Jason Galt will led his team in a rematch against Griffin this season that will broadcast live on a Thursday night.

By Derrick Mahone

dmahone@news-daily.com

North Clayton didn't have to look far to find a new girls' basketball coach.

In fact, James Morrow was coaching less than a mile away from the school. Morrow, who has been at nearby North Clayton Middle School, was named the new coach at the high school Wednesday.

The past three seasons, Morrow has compiled a 37-6 record and led the middle school to two straight county middle school semifinals.

"It is a great fit for the school and him," North Clayton athletics director Martisse Troup said. "He has a great rapport with the kids on our high school team."

Except for the upcoming senior class, Morrow has coached the majority of the players at the high school since moving to Georgia.

"There were a lot of people that felt that I was the perfect fit for the job," said Morrow, an Arkansas native.

"I'm extremely excited about this opportunity," he said. "We want to win, but we also want to be able to send kids to college."

The Lady Eagles graduate three seniors off of this past season's team that went 18-8 and lost in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. Morrow will have to replace center Miranda Cantrell, the Region 4-AAAA Player of the Year and a Jacksonville State signee.

Last season at the middle school, he had a pair of guards that helped the team to the playoffs.

Prior to coming to Georgia, Morrow coached in Las Vegas where he took over a down-trodden basketball team and led them to the playoffs. He will teach social studies at North Clayton.

"For the most part, all the players coming back except the seniors have played for me," Morrow said. "It is a matter of familiarity. The girls know what to expect from me. I use to run my middle school practices like college practices. I think the parents are very excited about next season."

Coaches are allowed to do individual workout with players until the end of the school year. Team workouts, including camps and summer league, begins next month.

Kitchens, McBride to Albany State: A week after placing fifth in the Class AAAA state meet, North Clayton mid distance runner Kanetria Kitchens signed with Albany State.

She is the third runner from the area that will compete for the Lady Rams track and field program. Two weeks ago, Britney McBride of Jonesboro signed with the Div. II school. Chelsea Johnson of Mundy Mill will also run at the school, which competes in the Atlanta-based Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference.

"They really sold themselves on me," said Kitchens, who signed her scholarship Wednesday. "I like what I was seeing."

Kitchens ran a personal-best two minutes, 22.11 seconds at the state meet in Albany. She won the region and county championships.

McBride was won the 400 at region to qualify for state. She was a part of the Lady Cardinals 400 relay team that finished fourth at state.

Area teams on TV: Three football teams in the Southern Crescent will have live television appearances this fall. WSB-TV/Channel 2 and PlayON! Sports will broadcast live games on Thursday nights throughout the metro area.

The Sept. 8 Lovejoy vs. North Clayton region matchup and Dutchtown at Griffin on Oct. 20 will be broadcast live.