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CSRA Athletes Continue to Impress

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I recently did a column focusing on recent performances of several local athletes. Each player I
highlighted was certainly deserving of the recognition but narrowing it down was nearly impossible.

It seems like every day I am relayed a story about a current or former area athlete that has had a special accomplishment or performance. For the last story, we focused on male athletes. This time around, we will give the young ladies their due attention.

MORE: Recognizing Athletics Accomplishments Around the CSRA

I wanted to first give you an update on one of the athletes we featured in the previous CSRA athletes story. College basketball standout Zep Jasper had some huge news after our story ran. Following his sensational season at the College of Charleston, Jasper chose to enter the transfer portal and quickly found out there was plenty of interest for his services.

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The former Laney star chose to play for Bruce Pearl at Auburn. Jasper will likely wear #12. He will not be the first Augusta area player to play point guard at Auburn or to wear #12. From 1983-87, former Richmond Academy star Gerald White donned #12 as a 4-year starter for the Tigers.

Now, here are a few noteworthy athletes and achievements from some CSRA ladies…

Jordyn Dorsey (Guard, Cross Creek HS)
I wrote a feature on Jawan Bailey and his Josey Lady Eagles after they claimed the Class-AA
State Title. The following day, another Richmond County School claimed a state championship
on the hardwood.

Jordyn Dorsey closed out her high school career with a state title. Photo courtesy of the Dorsey family.

The Cross Creek ladies wrapped up a 23-2 season by staking claim to the Class-AAA title. Senior guard Jordyn Dorsey capped her phenomenal career by pouring in 30 points for the Lady Razorbacks in the title game. The 5’9” North Carolina A&T commit had a career that cements her as one of the finest players to ever lace them up in the CSRA. She closed out her career by averaging 22.5 points and 6 rebounds per game as a senior. She finished with a school record 1,953 career points during her four years as a starter for head coach Kim Schlein.

Her stats are truly amazing.
Points / Rebounds / Assists / Steals per Game
Freshman 14.6 – 5.3 – 3.6 – 2.4
Sophomore 19.1 – 6.1 – 2.5 – 2.7
Junior 17.8 – 5.8 – 3.0 – 3.1
Senior 22.5 – 6.1 – 2.6 – 2.4

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As you can see, Dorsey was the model of consistency and a stellar all-around performer, even
as a ninth grader. It was no accident that she was ranked as the state’s number two shooting guard
this preseason by the Sandy’s Spiel website, which is recognized as the leader when it comes
to Georgia high school basketball. A player like Dorsey may only come around once in a
coach’s career and I am sure she will be sorely missed by Coach Schlein and the Cross Creek
basketball family.

Brianna Butler (Greenbrier / Duke University)
Butler was a standout athlete at Greenbrier High School and excelled in multiple sports
for the ‘Pack. However, it was on the diamond that she really shined. After her terrific prep
career, Butler signed to play at Duke University.

Briana Butler is now a key part of Duke’s success. Photo courtesy of Duke Athletics.

She earned immediate playing time as a freshman, but she really took off as a sophomore. She went 9-5 on the mound with four complete games and struck out 59 batters in 120 innings on the mound. Her 2.97 ERA was good for 10th in the ACC, and she yielded the 7th-lowest numbers of runs in the conference.

As a junior, Butler was even better. She posted an 8-2 record with six complete games
among her 12 total starts. She made it nearly impossible for opposing teams to cross home
plate, as she boasted a school record 0.95 ERA. She managed 58 strikeouts in just 58 innings of
work due to the COVID-19-adjusted schedule and she allowed opponents to bat only .168, which was good for third in the conference.

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This season, the Blue Devils are rolling. They are ranked 11th in the country, but it’s hard
to imagine 10 better teams than the 24-1 Lady Blue Devils. Duke has 25 games remaining in the
regular season, and then they travel to Kentucky for the ACC Tournament on May 12.

North Augusta Girls Basketball
Head Coach Al Young built a dynasty in girls basketball at North Augusta. That’s why so
many people were stunned when the Lady Jackets lost a 32-29 contest to North Myrtle Beach
in the second Round of the Class-AAAA state playoffs.

Young and one of his four state title trophies. Photo courtesy of Al Young.

While the loss was heartbreaking for the girls, they should absolutely hold their heads high. They were part of something truly special. That loss snapped a string of four consecutive state championships for North Augusta. North Augusta’s incredible run is arguably the most impressive sports accomplishment by any team– boys or girls– in CSRA History.

The loss also ended the career of Yellow Jackets star Kiana Lee. Lee, who is headed to play at Francis Marion, closed out her career with an impressive senior campaign. She averaged 22.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.8 steals per game and earned state Player of the Year honors.

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Coach Young knows a thing or two about winning. He was a standout football player at South Carolina State, having been inducted to their athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. After college, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1971 and spent several years with the team. He was even on the field for perhaps the greatest play in league history, the ‘Immaculate Reception,’ which propelled the Steelers to a last-second win over the Oakland Raiders in the 1972 playoffs.

He was clearly able to instill that winning mindset into the Lady Jackets players. The numbers are incredible and likely to never be equaled. During their four year state title run, the Jackets were an astonishing 109-5 overall and 36-0 in Region Play.

2016-17: 28-0 overall and 8-0 in Region contests
2017-18: 26-1 overall and 8-0 in Region contests
2018-19: 27-2 overall and 10-0 in Region contests
2019-20: 28-2 overall and 10- in Region Contests

MORE: CSRA Baseball Fans Have Plenty to Cheer About this MLB Season

I went back to check these stats multiple times to make sure I was not seeing things. If you
add this season and the 2015-16 campaign, where they went 24-2, The Lady Jackets have gone
148-11 in a six-year span. They were also 53-1 in region competition.

North Augusta fans may have been heartbroken a few weeks ago, but their accomplishments
over the last five years will be remembered for as long as there is a school on Knobcone Avenue.

Statistics Courtesy of www.maxpreps.com

Ashley Brown covers sports for The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected]

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