Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports: Rome High track and field athletes Ja’Lia Evans, Ja’Taria Jackson heading the nationals; how to help. Coaching news from Darlington. Rome Braves fall at Kannapolis.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports: Rome High track and field athletes Ja’Lia Evans, Ja’Taria Jackson heading the nationals; how to help. Coaching news from Darlington. Rome Braves fall at Kannapolis.

Truett’s Chick-fil-A Sports

Truett’s Chick-fil-A, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Mount Berry Mall, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Riverside Parkway, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Rome High is sending two young ladies to the nationals, Ja’Lia Evans, left, and Ja’Taria Jackson right, with Head Coach Nick Bridges in the middle. Rome High photo.


Rome High track and field athletes Ja’Lia Evans and Ja’Taria Jackson are preparing to make the trek to Sacramento for the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships. Both students qualified for the national championship after their performances last weekend at the Region 4 Junior Olympic Championships in Rock Hill, S.C. The national championship meet will be held July 22-28; Evans and Jackson will be competing in the first round of preliminaries on Thursday, July 25.

Evans will run the first round of the 100 meter hurdles at 10:40 a.m. Pacific Time while Jackson competes in the first round of the 100 meter dash at 2:10 p.m. PST. Evans will then go on to compete in the triple jump finals at 4 p.m. PST.

Head Coach Nick Bridges is beyond excited for his two athletes. “These girls have been given the greatest opportunity to showcase their talents in a place that they have never even dreamed of going to.”

Says Evans: “I am just so excited to see California. I have never been before. This is really an amazing opportunity and I am hoping to sightsee and just do everything on my bucket list before we have to come home.”

Adds Jackson: “I have actually never been on an airplane before, so I am most excited to experience that. I am excited for the track meet too, but I try and treat every single track meet like it’s just a normal meet. I just go on the track and run my best every single time. This time is the same, just in a big way.”

In preparation for the National Championships, Bridges and Rome High are hosting Spirit Days in cooperation with local restaurants to help raise money. The goal is to offset the cost of the trip for Evans and Jackson. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to Evans and Jackson. The schedule:

  • Monday,noon-9 p.m. Johnny’s Pizza
  • Tuesday, 5-10 p.m., Jimmy John’s and Sam’s Burger Deli
  • Wednesday, 5-10 p.m., Jefferson’s
  • Thursday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Moe’s Original BBQ, and from 5-10:30 p.m., Mellow Mushroom
  • Friday, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Brewhouse Music & Grill, and all day at Frios
  • Saturday, July 20: Applebee’s is hosting a Pancake Breakfast; Brewhouse Bar and Grill from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and all day at Frios
  • Also: Greene’s Jewelers and High Voltage Prints have donated. If you would like to donate or help, please contact Bridges

Andrew Beckman

Andrew Beckman will serve as head coach for Darlington’s varsity cross country team.
 Beckman has taught science in the middle grades since 2017. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Alabama, where he served as a chemistry tutor and lab researcher. He was a member his high school cross country team at Randolph School and won four straight state championships. “I am very excited that Andrew will lead our cross country team,” said Eddie Guth, director of athletics. “He is a proven winner, extremely hard-working, and committed to doing well in all he does at Darlington.”

Nathan West
Nathan West is joining the Darlington as head boys’ basketball coach and assistant athletic director. A native of Anniston, Alabama, West has over nine years of coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate level, and replaces Bradley Pierson (‘05), whose family is relocating to Tennessee for his wife’s job. Tigers



Rome Braves fall at Kannapolis, 6-3 on Friday.  Media release: Kannapolis defeated Rome 6-3 in the opening game of their three game series on Friday night as Intimidators starter LHP Taylor Varnell once again held the Braves offense in check.

Facing Rome for the fourth time this season Varnell allowed only one run over 6 innings and outdueled red hot Braves starter RHP Odalvi Javier. Rome managed a late threat in the 8th inning but came up short against the Kannapolis bullpen.

Rome took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI double by Jeremy Fernandez in the 3rd inning. Javier surrendered two runs in the 4th however, and Kannapolis held the lead the rest of the night.

The Intimidators added two unearned runs in the 6th after some throwing miscues by the Braves infield. Trailing 4-1 in the 8th Rome managed their most significant rally of the evening.

Justin Dean and Braden Shewmake both singled and Shea Langeliers walked. With the bases loaded Griffin Benson worked a free pass to bring in a run and Ricardo Rodriguez followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right center, making it 4-3. The Braves were unable to inflict further damage, stranding the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the inning.

Kannapolis added two runs off the Rome bullpen in the Bottom of the 8th to increase their lead to 6-3 and held off the Braves in the 9th for the win.

Rome has lost 6 of 8 games at Intimidators Stadium this season. Varnell has allowed only two earned runs in four starts covering 23 innings versus the Braves. Rome has lost all four games against Kannapolis in which Varnell has taken the mound.

Dean went 2-5 on the night. Benson was 0-1 with three walks and an RBI. Shewmake was 1-4 with a run scored. Rodriguez went 1-3 with a double and an RBI. Fernandez was 1-5 with a double and an RBI.

Javier threw 5 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out two while taking the loss. Reliever RHP William Woods went 2.2 innings and allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits. He struck out five and walked one.

Rome and Kannapolis continue their three game series on Saturday evening. Game 2 from Intimidators Stadium is scheduled for 7 pm. Rome will start LHP Dilmer Mejia (5-1, 2.07) while Kannapolis starts RHP Jason Bilous (2-6, 3.92).

Rome Braves (12-10, 42-49):                         3 R           6 H    2 E

Kannapolis Intimidators (12-10, 40-50):      6 R         11 H    0 E

W: Taylor Varnell (6-3)

L: Odalvi Javier (2-6)

S: Devon Perez (2)

Time: 2:44

Attendance: 744

Next:  In Kannapolis. Game times: 7 tonight; 5 p.m. Sunday. Next home game: Monday, July 15.

Pictures: Mills Fitzner’s photos from 2008-18, archive
South Atlantic League all-star game to be hosted by Rome Braves at State Mutual Stadium next June 23. Details

Atlanta Braves: Latest updates @ Atlanta


HHPodcast Interview: Local high school football expert John McClellan breaks down the 2019 season: New coaches, old rivalries and the teams to watch this fall. High school football  / Click to the podcast

Corky Kell Classic returns to Barron Stadium on Aug. 22 with Rome, Calhoun games: Look for another season-starting double header in Rome as part of the 2019 Corky Kell Classic high school football kickoff. Calhoun is scheduled to play Ridgeland at 5:30 p.m. and Rome hosts Marietta at 8:30 p.m. in the 28th edition of the classic. Media: The classic’s website states all games will be broadcast on CBS46 and Peachtree TV, and will be streamed live on the National Federation of High School Associations Network at Radio listeners can tune into 92.9 The Game for coverage of the games (the signal is available in Floyd County).

  • 2019 high school football schedules: Every local school with games starting in August. 2019
  • The Atlanta Falcons will open the 2019 preseason in the Hall of Fame Game against the Denver Broncos on Aug. 1 at 8 p.m.
  • Berry College Vikings open the 2019 season at Maryville on Saturday, Sept. 7. 1 p.m. kickoff. Vikings
  • Shorter Hawks begin the season at East Tennessee State on Saturday, Sept. 7. Hawks
  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  at Clemson, Thursday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m. ACC Network. Jackets
  • Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt, Saturday, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. SEC Network. Bulldogs


Aug. 17: The Gary Tillman Memorial Clocktower 5K Race and 2-mile Health Walk returns to Heritage Park on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 8 a.m. Registration is now open for the event with early bird pricing through July 27. This fun and challenging 5K winds through historic downtown Rome, and climbs historic Clocktower Hill in the second mile.  Both the 5K and the 2-mile health walk courses are very scenic, as they take in much of the “Between the Rivers” district of beautiful downtown Rome.  Both events start and end in Heritage Park. Pre and Post Race refreshments, pre and post race massages, music, and fun make this a race not to be missed. Proceeds go to the Exchange Club Family Resource Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Early registration is $25 for 5K and $20 for health walk, after July 27, price increases to $30 and $25. Register

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