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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Updates on action during the holidays for locals at college and pro level

The holidays slowed down much of the schedule this past week for our college and pro athletes from Bartow County, but we still have updates on four professional athletes and seven at the collegiate level as we move into 2023.


TREVOR LAWRENCE — Jacksonville Jaguars (2nd yr. pro; Clemson; Cartersville HS) … finished 17-for-21 passing for 152 yards but no touchdowns in an easy 31-3 win for the Jaguars last Sunday at the Houston Texans. Jacksonville led 28-0 early in the third quarter and was never really threatened. Now the 23-year-old quarterback leads the Jaguars into a Week 18 showdown with the Tennessee Titans (7-9) for the AFC South division title. The loser will miss the playoffs while the winner will secure the division championship and a No. 4 seed in the AFC playoff bracket. Jacksonville (8-8) hosts the Titans Saturday night at 8:15 p.m.

MANNY JONES — (Rookie; Colorado State; Woodland HS) … saw action on the Cardinals’ defensive line last Sunday in a 20-19 loss at the Atlanta Falcons. Two weeks prior at Denver, he had a pair of assisted tackles in a 24-15 loss. Arizona (4-12) has lost six straight and completes the regular season Sunday at the San Francisco 49ers.


VIC BEASLEY — Vegas Vipers (XFL, 8th-year pro; Clemson; Adairsville HS) … the 30-year-old was selected in the first round of Phase 4 of the XFL Draft by the Vipers back in mid-November. The Spring, eight-team league divided its draft into phases by position. Phase 4 included linebackers, edge rushers, defensive ends, and defensive tackles. Beasley is one of 285 players selected who have been previously signed to an active NFL roster. The league launched in 2020 but was shut down after five weeks due to the Covid pandemic. The professional league returns in February 2023 with games broadcast by ESPN, ABC, and FX. 17-year NFL veteran player and 11-time Pro Bowl selection, Rod Woodson, is the head coach of the Vipers. Training camps begin January 8. The season opens on February 15. Beasley was selected with the No. 8 overall pick in 2015 and led the NFL in sacks in 2016.


ASHTON HAGANS — Greensboro Swarm ((NBA G-League; 3rd-year pro; Cartersville native; Kentucky; Newton HS) … totaled 23 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, four steals, and one blocked shot in three losses last week. The Swarm fell twice in Uniondale, NY to the Long Island Nets and lost at home Saturday to the Capital City Go-Go. With the Showcase portion of the schedule completed, Greensboro starts the regular season 0-3 and will try to bounce back this Friday and Sunday in Wilmington against the Delaware Blue Coats.

A.J. MOSBY — Sudbury Five (National Basketball League of Canada; 6th-year pro; Alcorn State; Cartersville HS) … Mosby, who was GCAA Freshman of the Year at Chattahoochee Tech, played professionally in the Republic of Georgia, played for the North Arizona Sun Kings and Erie Bay Hawks of the NBA G League, and last year played for the Albany Patroons of The Basketball League, will continue his well-traveled career in the NBL-Canada. The Five open the 2023 schedule Saturday night at home against the Oakland County Pharaohs.


JONATHAN CRUZ — University of Mississippi (R-Sr., Cartersville HS) … kicked off five times with one kick for a touchback and made one of two PAT attempts last Wednesday in a 42-25 loss to Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl. Cruz, who has declared eligibility for the NFL Draft, was 15-for-17 on field goals in 2022 including a long kick of 53 yards. He also made 48-of-49 PAT kicks this season as the Rebels finished 8-5. Cruz kicked previously at Charlotte where he is the school-record holder in career field goals and made five kicks of 50+ yards including three 56-yarders.

JONAH GAMBILL — University of Memphis (R-So., Cartersville HS) … was a starter on the Tigers’ offensive line that helped produce 430 total yards (284 passing/146 rushing) in a 38-10 win over Utah State in the Dallas, Texas First Responder Bowl. Gambill appeared in 11 games this season on the Tigers’ offensive line. Memphis finished the season with a 7-6 record.


CLAIRE DAVIS — Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fr., Cass HS) … scored 10 points and had five rebounds, three blocked shots, one steal, and one assist in an 81-57 Sailfish loss at home New Year’s Day to conference-foe Eckerd College. PBA also picked up a 79-76 overtime win over 6th-ranked Tampa last Thursday, but Davis did not participate. The Sailfish (7-5, 3-3 Sunshine State Conference) have a road conference game Wednesday at Lynn University and host Florida Tech Saturday afternoon.

JUSTICE HAYES — Point University (So., Cass HS) … a starter for the Skyhawks, Hayes scored nine points with one rebound and one assist in Point’s 96-71 loss last Friday at Freed-Hardeman University. Hayes has started 10 and played in 15 games this season averaging 8 points, one rebound, one steal, and one assist. The Skyhawks (8-7, 8-4 Appalachian Athletic Conference) play at Bluefield State (Virginia) Tuesday and host Milligan University Saturday.

T.J. HORTON — Georgia Highlands CC (So., Cartersville HS) … scored 11 points with seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals last Friday in a 79-74 Chargers win at Gulf Coast State CC. Saturday he scored eight points with four boards, four assists, and two steals in a 91-81 loss to Northwest Florida State CC. That game was also played at Gulf Coast. GHC (5-8) plays Action Sports Academy Tuesday night before opening conference play on January 12 at Central Georgia Tech CC.

JAYLON PUGH — Lander University (Grad student, Cartersville HS) … came off the Bearcats’ bench last Saturday to score nine points in just 14 minutes of playing time. He also had one steal and one assist as Lander won at Carson-Newman, 94-85. Lander (9-2, 1-0 Peach Belt Conference) hosts conference games Wednesday against USC-Aiken and Saturday against the University of North Georgia.

ABIGAIL TAYLOR — Centre College (Fr., Woodland HS) … in a pair of losses last Thursday and Friday in Lexington, Kentucky at the Transy Classic, Taylor saw limited minutes and failed to score but did grab a pair of rebounds Thursday in a loss to Berea College. The Colonels also fell to Wisconsin Lutheran College on Friday. Centre (7-5) hosts Rhodes College this Friday and Hendrix College Sunday.

NAKIYAH WASHINGTON — Piedmont University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … playing last Thursday and Friday at the Mary Hardin-Baylor Classic in Belton, Texas, Washington totaled 39 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, two assists, and one blocked shot in a pair of losses. The Lions fell to host Mary Hardin-Baylor 83-45 and East Texas Baptist University 76-62. Piedmont (5-5, 1-0 Collegiate Conference of the South) plays at Huntingdon College Friday and Agnes Scott College in Decatur Saturday afternoon.


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