Former Josey star Jimmie Johnson was happy to see area players do well in last weekend's NFL Draft.
Former Washington County stars Takeo Spikes (13th) and Robert Edwards (18) went in the first round to the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots, respectively, while former Silver Bluff star Corey Chavous went early in the second round, 33rd overall, to the Arizona Cardinals.
Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound tight end, will enter his 10th NFL season in the fall as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Johnson played three years with the Washington Redskins (1989-91); two years with Detroit (1992-93), one year with Kansas City (1994) and is going into his fourth season with Philadelphia. He has a championship ring from the Redskins' 1991-92 title team.
"When I was drafted in 1989, I was picked in the last round of the draft, the 12th round," Johnson said. "It's good to see the (Augusta) area do so well in the draft. There are lot of good players in the Augusta area and in the state of Georgia and I'm glad that talent is starting to get tapped by the NFL."
Johnson is in Philadelphia this week with the team's rookies and free agents as part of the team's minicamp. He lives in Centerfield, Va., a suburb of Washington.
He led Eagle tight ends with 14 catches for 177 yards last season, despite being used mostly as a blocker. Johnson, 31, hopes the Eagles give him a chance to catch even more passes in 1998.
Johnson, who played college ball at Howard University in Washington, plans to return to Augusta this summer to hold a football camp.
Two-sports star Katie Lawrence will sign a soccer scholarship with Georgia Southern today at 11 a.m. at Westside High.
Lawrence, who averaged more than 23 points a game this season, also will play basketball at the school. The second-team All-Area basketball selection leads the area with more than three goals a game, including four goals in a 5-0 win against Richmond Academy that clinched a playoff spot for the Patriots.
During basketball season, she scored a career-high 41 points in a win against Thomson.
"I was quite satisfied with my basketball," Lawrence said. "I felt that I really improved this season."
Evans (15-4) will try to clinch a berth in next week's Class AAAA baseball playoffs with two wins against Central Macon today in the Region 2-AAAA semifinals.
Knights' coach Chris Segraves said playing at home is a huge advantage. Lakeside (15-7) will be at Warner Robins in the other best-of-three Region 2-AAAA semifinal series. The Region 2-AAAA championship game will either be Tuesday, Wednesday of next week.
"It was a big boost last year," Segraves said. "To see those kids (Evans' students) coming to see them play last year really fired up our team."
Lakeside's Miram Galeas has signed with Berry College. Galeas is expected to play midfield or forward for the Lady Vikings' program.
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