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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Justus joins Braves' affiliate as a coach, updates on more than 50 local athletes

February 19, 2024

Charles Wilson /

Connor Justus joins the Augusta GreenJackets as a coach.

Cartersville native, Connor Justus, has joined the Augusta GreenJackets as a coach for the 2024 season. He will join new manager Wynston Sawyer, hitting coach Elnar Diaz, strength coach Jake Wynn, and athletic trainer Tom Adams forming the staff for the Atlanta Braves’ single-A affiliate.

Justus, a star at Cartersville High School and Georgia Tech, was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in 2016 and remained in the Angels’ system from 2016-2019. In 2021 Justus signed on with the Miami Marlins organization and joined the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA) and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (AAA).

The GreenJackets play in SRP Park, a 4,782-seat stadium overlooking the Savannah River in North Augusta. The August club has been part of the 12-team Carolina League since 2022.


Jason Bohn

JASON BOHN — PGA Tour Champions (Acworth resident; Cartersville Country Club member) … finished tied for 56th (78-68) at the weather-shortened Chubb Classic in Naples, Florida this past weekend. The final round was canceled due to inclement weather on Sunday. Bohn’s final round on the par-72, 6,909-yard Tiburon Golf Club course moved him up 12 spots on what became the final leaderboard The next Tour Champions event is the Trophy Hassan II this weekend at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Morocco.


Ashton Hagans

ASHTON HAGANS — Portland Trailblazers and Rip City Remix (4th yr. pro; Cartersville native; Kentucky; Newton HS) … saw just over three minutes of playing time off the Portland bench with no stat line last Tue in a 121-109 home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hagans then scored two points and had one rebound in just over five minutes off the bench last Thursday in a 128-91 loss to Minnesota. The Trailblazers’ schedule has reached the All-Star Break and Portland (15-39) does not return to action until February 25 against visiting Charlotte. 


A.J. MOSBY, JR. — Sudbury Five (6th year pro; Alcorn State; Cartersville HS) … averaged 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in three games last week as The Five won at the London Lightning and beat the Windsor Express at home but lost a home game to the KW Titans this past Saturday night. Sudbury (8-6) hosts the Montreal Toundra on Monday night and the Jamestown Jackals on Saturday and Sunday.


Harper Powell

HARPER POWELL — Florida Tech (Jr., Adairsville HS) … was a member of the Panthers’ 11th place (1:37.16) 200-yard freestyle relay team at the 2024 Sunshine State Conference Championships this past weekend in Ocala, Florida. She was also on the 12th place (1:47.79) 200-yard medley relay team and placed 36th (58.31) in the 100-yard freestyle. Florida Tech finished sixth with Nova Southeastern winning the SSC title.


BRAXTON BENHAM — Berry College (Jr., Cass HS) … scored 13 points with eight rebounds, two steals, and six assists last Wednesday in an 89-63 win at Oglethorpe University. He followed with 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals Sunday in an SAA Tournament quarterfinal win over Hendrix College (Ark.), 96-46. Berry hosts Sewanee in the tournament semifinals on Saturday afternoon and would host the Oglethorpe/Rhodes College winner on Sunday.

ZAYLAN CHANEY — Tallahassee CC (So., Cartersville resident; Legacy Academy) … scored five points with three rebounds and a pair of assists last Wednesday in a 76-75 win at Gulf Coast State College. The Eagles host Northwest Florida State CC on Wednesday and visit Pensacola State CC on Saturday.

JA’KA’YAH DRAUGHN — Chattanooga State CC (Fr., Cartersville HS) … scored three points with a pair of steals and assists last Wednesday in a 97-76 home win over Roane State CC. She then saw action but had no stat line in a 59-54 win Saturday at Columbia State CC. The Tigers (23-1, 13-1 TCCAA) host Walters State CC on Wednesday and visit Southwest Tennessee CC on Saturday.

JUSTICE HAYES — Point University (Jr., Cass HS) … in losses last week at Brewton-Parker and at home to Faulkner University, Hayes totaled 22 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and two assists. The Skyhawks (6-20, 0-18) will play at Middle Georgia State on Wednesday and host Thomas University (Ga.) on Saturday.

DiANTHONY HEATHCOCK — Columbia International University (Sr., Woodland HS) … scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Rams’ 90-88 overtime loss last Wednesday at University of Pikeville. CIU (16-10, 15-7 Appalachian Athletic Conference) has home games Wednesday and Saturday this week against Reinhardt and Johnson (Tennessee).

HALEY JOHNSON — Central Georgia Tech (So., Cass HS) … totaled five points with 14 rebounds, six steals, and three assists in wins last week at Andrew College and at home against Georgia Highlands. The Titans (13-12, 10-4 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) play at East Georgia State on Saturday.

KEARA McDANIEL — Toccoa Falls College (So., Cass HS) … scored three points and had one assist last Wednesday in the Screamin’ Eagles’ 62-45 win at Paine College. TFC (16-5, 5-1) hosts Bob Jones University on Saturday afternoon.

T.J. PRINTUP, JR. — Tusculum University (R-Fr., Adairsville HS) … scored eight points with seven rebounds, three steals, one assist, and one blocked shot last Wednesday in the Pioneers’ 84-81 win at Carson-Newman University. Tusculum (11-11, 9-7 South Atlantic Conference) hosts Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday and Coker College on Saturday.


ANGEL BANDA — Reinhardt University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … went 3-1 and finished second in the 125-pound division at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championships this past Saturday in Lakeland, Florida. Banda has qualified for the NAIA Nationals on February 29-March 2 at Park City, Kansas.

CALEB HENSON — Virginia Tech (So., Woodland HS) … won 10-4 in controlling fashion in his 149-pound bout this past Friday night as the Hokies defeated Pittsburgh 26-12. The No. 2 ranked wrestler in his class allowed his first takedown since December 2 and compiled points with a pair of takedowns, a reversal, riding time, and an escape. He improved to 23-1 on the season. Virginia Tech wrestles at 7th-ranked NC State on Friday night.

BRYCE KRESHO — Franklin & Marshall College (So., Cass HS) … dropped a 4-1 decision in his 149-pound bout as the Diplomats won this past Saturday at Drexel, 22-16. Franklin & Marshall will host the F&M Scramble on Saturday.

TYLER McKNIGHT — Davidson College (Fr., Cass HS) … lost his 149-pound bout in a 9-2 decision last Thursday night as the Wildcats lost 44-0 at home to 26th-ranked Appalachian State. He also lost on Friday night to his VMI opponent but the Wildcats won the team dual, 24-19. The regular season ends Friday for Davidson when they host Queens and Presbyterian.

JAXON SMITH — University of Maryland (R-So., Woodland HS) … the NCAA’s 4th-ranked wrestler in the 197-pound weight class, Smith beat his Rutgers opponent by technical fall this past Friday as the Terps lost at the 14th-ranked Scarlet Knights, 27-12. It was both teams’ final regular season Big Ten dual. Maryland hosts Drexel on Friday night.

Jabril Williams

JABRIL WILLIAMS — Midway University (Jr., Cartersville HS) … went 2-2 at the Mid-South Conference Championships in Bowling Green, Kentucky this past weekend. He placed fourth in the 165-pound weight class with the Eagles placing fifth at the six-team conference tournament.


KILEY ARNOLD — University of West Alabama (Fr., Cartersville HS) … made a fourth inning pinch hitting appearance this past Sunday but did not reach in a 3-2 loss at Union University. The 13th-ranked Tigers lost two of three over the weekend to the Bulldogs in Jackson, Tennessee. UWA (9-4, 1-2 Gulf South Conference) hosts the University of West Florida in another GSC series this Friday and Saturday.

LAINEY BAKER — Union University (So., Woodland HS) … the right handed pitcher went all eight innings in the circle and earned a 2-1 win over visiting West Alabama this past Saturday. The run allowed was unearned and she scattered three hits and three walks with a career high 15 strikeouts. Baker is now 2-1 in the circle with a 2.21 ERA in five appearances totaling 25-⅓ innings. The Bulldogs (7-4, 2-1 Gulf South Conference) host a doubleheader with Miles College on Wednesday and a three-game conference series with Delta State on Friday and Saturday.

HAYLEE DISHMON — Georgia Highlands CC (Fr., Cass HS) … went 6-for-12 at the plate including two walks, five RBIs, and five runs scored in the Chargers doubleheader losses at home last week to Bevil State and Cleveland State. Dishmon also added five stolen bases. GHC (2-11) hosts USC Union on Friday and plays at Cleveland State on Saturday.

ANSLEY EVANS — Reinhardt University (Jr., Woodland HS) … went 4-for-8 with a double and three RBIs as the Eagles split a Friday doubleheader at home with Midway University (Kentucky). Reinhardt (3-3) hosts two games with Kentucky Christian on Tuesday and plays a doubleheader at Thomas University (Georgia) on Saturday.

MEGAN GREGORY — Campbell University (Fr., Adairsville HS) … worked all six innings and did not allow an earned run Friday at NC State but suffered the pitching loss in a 4-3 loss to the Wolfpack. Gregory allowed six hits and two walks but all four runs against were unearned. She struck out two. Saturday against North Dakota State in Raleigh at the Marucci Classic, she worked 2-⅔ innings in the circle allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits. She issued no walks and fanned three but two of the allowed hits left the park and she was tagged with the pitching loss. Campbell (1-9) will host the Camel Stampede this weekend where they will face Incarnate Word, Saint Joseph’s, and Winthrop.

ALYSSA JARRETT — Piedmont University (Fr., Adairsville HS) … made home starts this past Saturday and Sunday at catcher in wins over Cal Lutheran and Mt. St. Joseph. She was 1-for-4 at the plate and scored one run. The Lions (2-2) host Pfeiffer University for a doubleheader on Saturday.

SADYE JOHNSON — University of North Georgia (Jr., Adairsville HS) … made a start at catcher this past Saturday in a 6-2 home win over Lake Erie. Johnson was 0-for-2 at the plate. UNG (11-2) hosts King University (Tenn.) on Wednesday and a three-game series with USC Beaufort on Saturday and Sunday.

ERYN LEE — Reinhardt University (So., Cass HS) … went 1-for-7 at the plate last Friday as the Eagles split a doubleheader with Midway University (Ky.). Reinhardt (3-3) hosts Kentucky Christian on Tuesday and plays at Thomas University (Ga.) on Saturday.

Rachael Lee

RACHAEL LEE — Gulf Coast State CC (So., Cass HS) … went 8-for-15 at the plate in four games this past weekend as the Commodors extended their current winning streak to eight games with wins over Iowa Western, Southern Union State, Mississippi Gulf Coast, and East Central (Miss.). Lee’s offensive production over the weekend included one double, two walks, nine RBIs, and two stolen bases. Gulf Coast State (13-3) plays at Enterprise State on Tuesday and will play four games at the CMI Invitational in Longwood, Florida on Saturday and Sunday.

Ava Perkins

AVA PERKINS — Lee University (Fr., Cartersville HS) … started all three games at third base in a series this past weekend at Shorter University going 3-for-7 with four walks, a pair of home runs, three RBIs, and four runs scored. She added two stolen bases. The Flames (6-0, 3-0) visit Lincoln Memorial for a doubleheader on Wednesday and will host Valdosta State in a three-game Gulf South Conference series Saturday and Sunday.

HOPE SHORT — Shorter University (Sr., Cartersville HS) … had one unsuccessful pinch-hitting appearance last Saturday in the Lady Hawks’ 14-3 loss to visiting Lee University. Shorter (1-7, 0-3 Gulf South Conference) plays at Georgia College on Wednesday and at the University of West Georgia for three games on Friday and Saturday.

ALEXA VARNER — Shorter University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … a starter at shortstop for the Hawks, Varner was 0-for-8 with two walks in a home three-game weekend series against Lee University. Shorter (1-7, 0-3 GSC) visits Georgia College on Wednesday for a doubleheader and plays at West Georgia in a three-game conference series on Friday and Saturday.

ALEXIS WOODS — Tennessee State University (Fr., Cass HS) … made her first two collegiate starts — both at DH — in wins Sunday over Western Michigan and Saint Louis. She also appeared in last Friday’s loss to Indiana State as the Tigers hosted the Roar City Invitational in Nashville. Across the three games, Woods was 2-for-5 with a sacrifice hit and one stolen base. TSU (3-5) will play Florida A&M, Tuskegee, Howard, and Alabama State Friday and Saturday in Montgomery at the HBCU Celebration Classic.


DREW BILLINGS — Trinity Baptist College (So., Woodland HS) … collected his second pitching win of the season last Friday with a two inning performance in a 6-5 win over Atlantis University that allowed one earned run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout. Trinity Baptist (6-8, 4-2) hosts a three-game series with New College of Florida this weekend.

CURT BONNER — LaGrange College (So. Cartersville HS) … made a pair of starts this past Saturday in Panthers’ home wins over Brevard College (NC). He was 1-for-6 with an RBI double. LaGrange started the year 3-0 with a series sweep of the Tornado. The Panthers host Oglethorpe University on Tuesday, visit Birmingham-Southern College on Friday, host Wheaton (Ill.) on Saturday, and Adrian College (Mich.) on Sunday.

CADEN CARROLL — Kennesaw State University (Fr., Cartersville HS) … struck out the final two batters in the eighth inning last Saturday in the Owls’ 12-4 loss at UAB. KSU (1-3) hosts Mercer on Tuesday, travels to Wofford on Wednesday, and plays a three-game series at Clemson on Friday through Sunday.

EASTIN, ELLIOTT — Covenant College (R-Fr., Cartersville HS) … made an unsuccessful pinch hitting appearance Feb. 9 in a 5-4 win over Alma College. Eastin transferred to the Scots following a redshirt year with South Georgia State CC. Covenant (2-3) hosts Messiah University (Pa.) for three games this Friday and Saturday.

COLIN EATON — Gordon State College (So., Cartersville HS) … made a pitching start this past Saturday and went six innings with no decision in an eventual 6-5 loss at Chattanooga State CC. Eaton allowed four earned runs on 11 hits with no walks and had three strikeouts. The Highlanders (7-6) host the Point University JV for a doubleheader on Monday, play two games at Southern Union State on Tuesday, and visit Wallace State-Hanceville CC for a Saturday doubleheader.

GEOFFREY GORE — Coastal Alabama - South CC (Fr., Cartersville HS) … made a six-out appearance for the Coyotes last Friday in a 5-4 loss at Mississippi Gulf Coast. He allowed no runs on three hits and two walks and one hit batsmen facing 10 batters across portions of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Coastal (2-6) plays at Pensacola State on Tuesday and hosts a doubleheader with the Pirates on Friday.

SAM MELTON — Rockingham CC (So., Cartersville HS) … appeared in three games and made two starts at third base over the weekend in a four-game series at USC-Lancaster. Melton was 3-for-6 with a pair of home runs, five RBIs, three runs scored, and one stolen base. The Eagles (1-9) lost all four games in the series. They play at William Peace JV on Wednesday and host Camp CC for a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

GUNNER MILLSAP — Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville (So., Cartersville HS) … pitched the sixth inning this past Saturday in a 24-13 loss at Troy University. Millsap allowed four earned runs on three hits and two walks facing eight batters. The Cougars (1-3) play three games at Oral Roberts University this Friday through Sunday.

DREW ROTHSCHILD — Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (So., Cartersville HS) … went 1-for-8 and scored one run in a pair of games last Friday at Pasco-Hernando State CC. The Stallions (3-7) visit Tallahassee CC for a single game on Wednesday and a Saturday doubleheader.

SCOTTY SMITH — Covenant College (Jr., Woodland HS) … started on the mound but was lifted after just two outs this past Saturday in a 9-1 home loss to North Park (Ill.). Smith yielded four earned runs on three hits and two walks. Both outs recorded were strikeouts. Covenant (2-3) hosts Messiah University (Pa.) for three games this Friday and Saturday.

STEPHEN SPELL — Young Harris College (Grad student, Cass HS) … went 4-for-14 in four games this past week — a win at Lee University and two wins in three games at Columbus State University. Spell’s hits included two doubles and one RBI. He also walked four times and was hit by a pitch three times, scoring six runs. He also stole two bases. YHC (9-1) hosts Tusculum University on Wednesday and has a three-game series with Erskine College on Friday and Saturday.

KADEN STEPHENSON — Piedmont University (Fr., Cartersville HS) … made his first collegiate appearance last Friday as a pinch hitter and lined out to shortstop in a 5-2 loss to visiting Chapman University (Calif.). The Lions (0-3) will host Randolph-Macon College, Hanover College, and Wilmington College this Friday through Sunday as part of the Piedmont Invitational Tournament.

PRESTON WELCHEL — Cumberland University (Jr., Cartersville HS) … in four games last week — a win at Reinhardt and one win in three home games against Johnson University (Tenn.) — Welchel was 4-for-10 with five walks, five RBIs, and two runs scored. The Phoenix (3-7) host Tennessee Southern on Tuesday and Indiana Tech for a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

COHEN WILBANKS — Georgia Gwinnett College (Jr., Cartersville HS) … in two starts against visiting Point Park this past weekend, Wilbanks went 3-for-5 with one walk, one double, and one RBI in the two victories. The Grizzlies (10-1) host four games with Saint Xavier (Ill.) this Friday through Sunday.

JORDAN WILKIE — Augusta University (Sr., Cartersville HS) … in four starts last week, Wilkie was 3-for-13 at the plate with a double, two RBIs, and one run scored. The Jags won one of three games at Florida Tech and lost at Emmanuel University. Augusta (4-7) hosts Fairmont State University (WV) on Friday and Saturday for three games.


EMILY BUSH — Young Harris College (So., Cartersville HS) … partnered with teammate Meghna Mallath for a 6-2 win at Line 1 doubles last Tuesday as the Mountain Lions won at Reinhardt, 6-1. The doubles duo then lost their Line 1 set, 4-6, at home against West Georgia this past Friday but Bush won her Line 2 singles match 6-2, 6-1 and YHC won the team match, 4-3. The Mountain Lions play at Piedmont University on Tuesday and at Shorter University on Saturday.

EMILY SURCEY — Samford University (Jr., Cass HS) … won her Line 2 singles match, 6-2, 6-2,  as the Bulldogs beat visiting Southern Miss 4-0 last Monday. On Sunday in a 4-0 loss to visiting Memphis, Surcey and partner Grace Keller lost their Line 2 doubles set, 2-6, and she dropped her Line 2 singles match, 1-6, 0-6.

BRYCE VAN ORDER — Piedmont University (Sr., Woodland HS) … playing at the North Carolina Challenge in Misenheimer, North Carolina this past Saturday, Van Order won a Line 3 doubles set with partner Rohan Kavali in a 4-3 team loss to Virginia Wesleyan University. He also dropped both of his Line 2 singles matches against Virginia Wesleyan and Pfeiffer University. The Lions defeated Pfeiffer, 5-2. Piedmont hosts Brevard College and Truett McConnell on Thursday and will entertain Methodist University on Sunday.


BILL ARCHER — University of Montevallo (Jr., Cartersville HS) … ran to a 16th place finish (4:27.03) in the mile run at the Gulf South Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship this past week at the CrossPlex in Birmingham. The Falcons finished fourth as a team. The outdoor season begins Saturday, March 2 for Montevallo at Berry College.

NOAH BAER — Baldwin Wallace University (Fr., Woodland HS) … won the pole vault competition by clearing 13-09.25 / 4.20 meters this past Friday at the Greater Cleveland Colleges meet at Case Western Reserve University. Baldwin Wallace will be at the Ohio Athletic Conference Indoor Championships on Friday and Saturday in New Concord, Ohio.

DREW THAYER — University of Montevallo (Fr., Woodland HS) … finished 19th in the 800 meter run (2:02.03) this past weekend at the Gulf South Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship at the CrossPlex in Birmingham. Montevallo finished fourth as a team. The Falcons will run at the Victor Icebreaker in Rome on March 2.


Buck Brumlow

BUCK BRUMLOW — University of Georgia (Jr., Cartersville HS) … fired rounds of 69-69-70 (8-under par) on February 11-13 as the Bulldogs won the Puerto Rico Classic Championship by three shots over 13th-ranked Virginia. Tennessee, North Florida, and Oklahoma rounded out the top five teams in the 15-team event. Brumlow finished tied for 21st as an individual in the 80-player tournament on the par-72, 7,506-yard Grand Reserve Golf Club. Georgia’s next event  is the Southern Highlands Collegiate February 25-27 in Las Vegas.


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