Year in Review: Spring's Memorable Games

In Part II of Brookwood Athletics Year in Review, we'll take a look back at the most memorable game for each team. These were some highlight moments for our Warrior athletes in the Spring! Read more...
In a trying year for Warrior baseball, the team saved one of their best efforts for late in the year. On Senior Day at home against Region foe Southland, the combination of hitting and defense came alive as the Warriors beat the Raiders 9-4 in their last game at Strickland Field.

April 20th vs. Southland, 9-4 Win on Senior Day
In a 1st Inning that did not get off to the best start, the Warriors found themselves down 3-0 before taking their first at bat in the bottom half of the opening frame. They used back to back singles in their first two at-bats by Joe Parker and Jacob Lauderdale to start the rally. By the end of the inning, the score was knotted at 3-3 and momentum had shifted back to Brookwood's side.

Senior Tyler Mirick, starting on Senior Day, settled in to the top half of the 2nd to quickly retire the side.

Jacob Lauderdale's double in the Bottom of the 2nd scored Joe Parker all the way from first base on the play, giving Brookwood a 4-3 lead after two.

Another quick inning of work by Mirick gave the suddenly hot Warrior bats a quick turnaround with the home team ready to strike again. And this time they blew the game wide open. 

A series of errors and walks helped Brookwood load the bases. Senior Daniel Atkinson's hard hit ground ball at the Southland 2nd Baseman wasn't handled well, allowing Daniel to reach and score his brother Jacob from third base on the play. With the Warriors leading 5-3, Nic Lauderdale drew a bases loaded walk to make it 6-3.

Joe Parker seized the opportunity with the reeling Southland Raiders in the field, hitting a double to deep center field and scoring two more. Within a matter of 30 minutes, the Warriors had gone from down 3-0 to up 8-3. Still with only 1 out, William Lee's hard hit ground ball allowed him to reach on a fielder's choice and score yet another run. The five runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning were a season high for Brookwood, giving a 9-3 advantage headed to the top half of the 4th inning.

From there, it was up to the Brookwood pitching and defense to finish the day out. Southland fought back, placing runners on second and third base only to see Mirick get the strikeout for the final out and end the threat.

In the Top of the 5th, Southland looked poised to take back momentum again. With runners on first and second, freshman Ethan Meyers threw out the runner trying to steal third base for the final out of the inning.

In the Top of the 6th, Coach Daniel Funt replaced Mirick with freshman Jacob Lauderdale. With the Warriors leading 9-4 and Southland having bases loaded with no outs, Lauderdale entered into a tough situation. A line drive to Nick Knifer at second base allowed for a 4-6 double play, with the Southland runner getting caught not being able to tag up. Lauderdale then stepped off the mound to pick a runner trying to steal second. Just like that, the Warriors were out of the inning.

Lauderdale returned to the mound in the Top of the 7th to finish it out and the Warriors defense held strong to keep the final score 9-4.

Coach Funt commented, "I’m so happy for the seniors to celebrate their night on a high note.  I’m proud of the team for battling and making it tough on their opponent.  This was a great team win."

Boys Tennis
For a team that went almost the entire season with their only losses being to fellow Warrior teammates, the dominance of the Boys Tennis season is hard to quantify. Coach Dr. Jeremy Kasten referred to it as the "golden age of Brookwood tennis" and even went so far to say, "I'm not sure there ever has been or ever will be a lineup as impressive as the one we had this year."

April 16th and 17th, Individual State Tournament
State Champions! 
After both going 2-0 on Day 1, the teams of Thomas Harrison/Bradley Merschman and Alden Harrison/Nic Kadel entered the day knowing they were one match away from playing their teammates in a State Championship. That's exactly what transpired. After T. Harrison/Merschman took down a team from William & Reed Academy and A. Harrison/Kadel defeated a team from Deerfield-Windsor in Semifinal action, the stage was set for an all-Brookwood State Championship match.

The older Harrison and Merschman got the best of younger brother Alden and Kadel in the State Final, giving the Warriors 1st and 2nd place in the state for GISA AAA. 

In Singles play, sophomore Landon Carter defeated Alastair Campbell from Frederica Academy 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the AAA State Championship against UGA commit Britton Johnson of William & Reed Academy. Warrior sophomore Andrew Cooper fell to Johnson in the opposite semifinal, narrowly missing on a Brookwood vs. Brookwood Singles Final as well. Johnson got the best of Landon Carter in the AAA Singles Final, giving Brookwood an outstanding Singles Runner-Up finish.

In all, five Warriors were named to the GISA AAA All-State team: Thomas Harrison (senior), Landon Carter (sophomore), Bradley Merschman (freshman), Nic Kadel (freshman), and Alden Harrison (freshman).

Girls Tennis
The Girls Tennis program had an extreme amount of its own success this year, particularly with two players meeting in the Region championship against each other. 

April 9th and 10th. Merschman and Daniel run through Region Tournament, meet in Region Championship.
On the Girls side, Jenna Merschman and Cricket Daniel went on a tear. The two ran into each other in the Girls Singles final, with Merschman taking the championship and Daniel finishing as Runner-Up. Both girls qualified for the GISA State Tournament the following week.

Boys Soccer
In one of the most improbable finishes you'll see in Soccer anywhere, anytime the Warriors pulled out a miraculous finish against rival Deerfield-Windsor at home on Warrior Field.

April 24th, Ty Joyner's goal with 1 second left sends game into OT. Warriors win in PKs
Boys Soccer prevailed over Region rival Deerfield-Windsor, with a thrilling last-second goal by Ty Joyner off of a Preston Young free kick to send the game into overtime at 2-2. Brookwood came through on Penalty Kicks, winning 4-3.

Jonathan Burns started the game on a positive note, giving the Warriors a 1-0 lead less than nine minutes into the game. A late rebound goal by Deerfield tied it up right before halftime at 1-1. The Knights took their 2-1 lead with only 13 minutes left in the game, giving Brookwood a slim chance of a comeback. The Boys withstood the adversity and fought all the way until the final seconds.

Preston Young was taken down with 5 seconds left, resulting in a Warrior free kick. Young placed it into the scoring box and found Ty Joyner amongst a scrum of red and white jerseys. The ball found the back of the net with 1 second left on the clock. A thrilling finish sent the game to Overtime.

After two separate five minute OT periods with no goals, the game went into Penalty Kicks.

Deerfield missed their first PK, immediately giving the Warriors positive momentum. Tyler Clark, Emmett Miles, and Marshall Jones made the Warriors first 3 kicks to take a 3-1 lead in PK's after Deerfield also missed their third attempt.

After Deerfield made their kick to stay alive, Brookwood was unsuccessful. Deerfield made their final attempt to tie the score at 3-3 in PK's. Preston Young stepped in and made the game-winning penalty kick to give the Warriors an exciting Region win.

Girls Soccer
Rather than highlighting a particular night, the Lady Warriors soccer team had a dominant stretch in the middle of their season. This stretch featured a nine-game unbeaten streak with eight wins and a draw against cross-town rival Thomasville High. The stretch proved the Lady Warriors were going to be major contenders in Region play. The unbeaten streak featured six shutouts and a seven game stretch only surrending one goal.

March 3 @ Westminster..........  W 3-1
March 6 vs. Thomasville High... T 2-2
March 12 vs. Bainbridge High... W 10-0
March 14 @ Valwood .............    W 4-0
March 15 vs. Tiftarea ............    W 3-0
March 20 @ Terrell Academy....  W 6-0
March 27 vs. Terrell Academy.... W 3-0
April 10 @ Southland Academy... W 4-1
April 12 @ Tiftarea Academy .....  W

Track and Field
After five years of continuing to invest and build from within for the Girls track program, this year's Region Tournament was a milestone.

April 11th, Region Track Meet: Girls Take Runner-Up as a Team!
The Girls Track and Field team finished as GISA AAA-3 Region Runner-Up, with multiple athletes winning their events and many others qualifying for the GISA State Track & Field Meet.

A major highlight of the day for the Warriors was Abbie Bustle's win in the 100M Dash, her second consecutive Region Championship in that event. A blazing time of 13.44 narrowly edged out the second place runner from Deerfield-Windsor, who finished with a 13.51. Abigail Middleton took a very close 3rd in the 100M Dash, qualifying both ladies for the State Meet.

In another exciting running event, the Lady Warriors claimed 2nd in the 4x100M race. The team of Middleton, Bustle, Ella Grace Squires and Christy James goes on to State Meet as well. Squires would later come in 2nd in the individual 200M race.

In the Field events, major points were scored for the Lady Warriors as a team with Ann Murray Jackson emerging as the Region champion in Discus and Jordan Thompson scoring 2nd in High Jump.

State Champion! Kurtis Brown wins GISA AAA Boys High Jump
Brookwood's Track and Field team competed at the GISA AAA State Meet this past. The highlight of the event was 11th grader Kurtis Brown emerging as the AAA State Champion in the Boys High Jump. Brown cleared 5 feet, 10 inches in Friday's Field events.

A few other leapers at the meet for Brookwood were 8th grader Ella Grace Squires and 11th grader Jordan Thompson. Squires finished 3rd in High Jump in the Girls AAA event, while 11th grader Jordan Thompson finished tied for 6th. Christy James, also an 8th grader, was good for 7th in the State in the Long Jump event, clearing 15 feet, 3 inches.

Brookwood also competed well in one of the most exciting events, Saturday's 4x100 Meter Relay. The Warrior team of Squires, James, Abigail Middleton, and Abbie Bustle posted a season-best time of 52.87 seconds and finished in 6th place in the State. With two middle schoolers on the team, joining forces with a freshman (Middleton) and a junior (Bustle), the team will return all four runners next year and expects to be even stronger.

After a disappointing showing at the Region Tournament, finishing in Runner-Up as a team, the Warriors rebounded two weeks later and had a strong showing at the State Tournament with a 3rd place finish at Sapelo Hammock Golf Course in Shellman Bluff, GA.  

The Warriors tied for State Runner-Up after 18 holes with Pinewood Christian Academy at 328, however, the Warriors lost in a one hole playoff to finish 3rd. Jack Boltja was the low-scorer for the Warriors on the day with a 79. 

A highlight of the day for Brookwood was Katherine Cook winning the ranking of Female Low Medalist in GISA AAA with her day on the course.

A young and talented Brookwood team loses only one senior and returns a full lineup next year.

Year in Review, Part III
Check back next week as we will post Part III of our Year in Review, with a focus on team accomplishments!
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.