Lady Cavaliers ready for state
Published 11:43 am Friday, April 19, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s playoff time.
The Callaway Lady Cavaliers closed a challenging stretch of three games in three days with a 6-1 loss to Salem on Thursday.
Now, Callaway will rest up and get ready for next week’s Class AA playoff game at Oglethorpe County.
While Callaway finished third in Region 5-AA with a 5-5 record, Oglethorpe County is the number two seed from Region 8-AA.
A year ago, a veteran Callaway team beat South Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs before losing in overtime to Model in round two.
Nearly every key player from last season’s team graduated, so it was a new-look team that stepped onto the field for February’s season opener.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but the Lady Cavaliers played well enough to finish third in the region and earn a playoff bid.
“We have a lot of girls on our squad this year that have never played,” Callaway coach Shonna Yawn said. “To have the record we ended up with is not where we were last year, but it’s definitely not as bad as it could have been.”
Yawn said to qualify for the playoffs is “something to be proud of.”
Callaway struggled to keep pace with Salem in Thursday’s game.
Callaway hosted Bremen on Tuesday and traveled to South Paulding on Wednesday before returning home for the regular-season finale.
“This is their third game in a row,” Yawn said. “They were pretty tired.”
Trailing 4-0, Callaway got on the board with a Keeley McGuffin goal in the second half.
Salem scored the game’s final two goals to win going away.
After the match, Callaway’s two seniors were recognized.
Shali Hackley started the past two seasons after transferring from Troup, and on an inexperienced team this spring, her contributions were critical.
“She’s going to be missed,” Yawn said. “She helped guide and lead the team. She’s been a great influence for our players, especially with the new girls coming up.”
The other senior, Tenesha Stubblefield, is a first-year member of the team.
“She’s done well,” Yawn said. “You put her in a different position, and she’s able to adjust. She played well. She goes hard and fights for it and doesn’t give up. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t have had her for a couple more years.”