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2011 St. Pius X Fall Sports Preview
August 10th, 2011

With the beginning of classes at St. Pius X comes the start of the fall athletics campaign. The Golden Lions will field six fall sports, all of which advanced to the state playoffs last season. Five of the programs took region or area crowns in 2010. As the 2011-12 school year commences, St. Pius X will also look to win its fourth consecutive Regions Director’s Cup. If successful, SPX will be only the third school in Georgia to take home the Cup four straight years since the honor began in 1999.

On the gridiron, Paul Standard (84-33) enters his 11th season as the second winningest coach in St. Pius X history behind the legendary George B. Maloof. The Golden Lions return six offensive and five defensive starters from the 2010 team which finished 9-3, advanced to the second round of the state playoffs, and was ranked seventh in the final polls. SPX has advanced to the playoffs five straight seasons, and will open the 2011 slate at Westminster on August 26.

Key returnees for the team include seniors Geno Smith, T.J. Holloman, Trey White, Logan Rosborough and Joseph Crochet.  Smith led the defense with seven interceptions, while also rushing for 752 yards and eight touchdowns. Holloman made 43 tackles, rushed for 490 yards and had seven total TDs. White passed and rushed for 9 TDs, as Rosborough rushed for 571 yards and found pay dirt 11 times. Crochet is the leading returning tackler for the Golden Lions with 93.

Coach John Frederick (361-194) also begins his 11th campaign and is the winningest volleyball coach in school history. The Golden Lions finished last season 32-18 and took home the area title for the third consecutive year, while posting their eighth straight 30-plus win season. SPX finished ranked #5 in the state in the final polls and will open the regular season August 12 at Creekview High School in a team tournament.

The Golden Lions return junior Emily Morrison (Norcross), the team leader in kills and an All-State selection. Sophomore Leah Hardeman was second to Morrison in kills with 276 while senior Grace McGoldrick was the team leader with 553 assists, and senior Ella Anastaides had 427 digs. SPX also returns senior Alex Bidgood, who was the team’s leading hitter in 2009, but missed most of 2010 due to injury.

Boys’ Cross Country will look to repeat as AAA State Champions, as the Golden Lion harriers return four runners that are currently in the school’s all-time top ten times. Ryan McClay begins his third season with two runners, sophomore Austin Sprague and junior Calvin Tirrell, who finished ninth and 12th, respectively, at the state meet last season. Also returning are seniors Chris Beach and Paul McNeil, who own two of the top ten times in SPX history. The Golden Lions are the top ranked school in AAA in the pre-season rankings and compete for the first time in 2011 in the Stage Races at the River Green Complex in Duluth on August 27.

Debbie Guilbeau enters her 17th season as head coach of the Girls’ Cross Country program. The 2010 edition of Golden Lions won the region championship, and placed third in the state meet. The Golden Lions return several key runners this season including seniors Taylor Glenn, Katy Gilbert  and Holly Kilpatrick.  They will be joined by junior Devon Dabney and sophomore Victoria Patronis.  Under Guilbeau, the program has two state titles, nine state runners-up and five individual state champions. The lady harriers will race at the Bob Blastow Invitational at Clinton Farms in Douglasville to lift the lid on the 2011 campaign on August 27.

The Golden Lion softball team led by fourth-year coach Joe Winland, return both the 2010 Region Player of the Year and Region Offensive Player of the year in 2011. In addition to taking Region POY honors, senior Liz Schneider was also selected to the All-State Second Team and first team All-Region. Schneider batted .569 as she collected 56 hits and drove in 37 runs on the year. Offensive POY, junior Natasha Sherrod was selected to the All-Region 1st Team along with seniors Rebecca Ponce de Leon and Becca Schaaf.  Schaaf was named first team All-State, and Ponce de Leon received an All-State Honorable Mention.

St. Pius X softball won the region championship for the third consecutive season and advanced to the state playoffs for the fourth straight season. The Golden Lions finished the season 24-11-1. They will open the regular season when they travel to Blessed Trinity on August 16.

Competition Cheerleading captured its sixth region title in 2010, and finished in the top 16 at the state meet. Under the direction of Alison Bruckert, the competition cheerleading squad is coached by Kathryn Winland, who is in her fourth season with the team. Winland bleieves this could be one of the most talented in school history.  Making the overall accomplishments of their 12-year history even more impressive is the fact freshmen are allowed to compete at the varsity level, which is unusual for most competition cheer squads in Georgia. The first meet for the ladies is September 17 at Mill Creek in a multiple team event.

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