After not being named to either the first or second team in last year's Georgia Dugout Preview's All-State lists, all was forgotten for Heritage's Nick Watson-Garcia with the release of the 2019 lists.

The Columbus State signee was named the Class AAAAAA Player of the Year for his great work, both on the mound and as a hitter. Watson-Garcia posted a 2.27 ERA in 61 2/3 innings of work and won six games. At the plate, the senior drove in a team-best 34 runs on 35 hits. He finished with a .309 average and recorded 10 doubles, one triple two home runs, one of which resulted in a three-run walk-off winner against Grovetown.

Heritage head coach Shane Ramsey joined Watson-Garcia in receiving top honors for Class 6A after being named Coach of the Year. Ramsey helped bring the program its first state championship in the 43-year history of the school, a season the Patriots won 31 games and won Region 3.

6A's first team roster featured three Patriots, including Watson-Garcia, Calabria Atkins and Griffin Holcombe. Atkins finished the season batting .292 for the Patriots while driving in 25 runs on 31 hits. His 10 doubles on the season tied him with Watson-Garcia for second on the team, as did his two home runs.

Holcombe, a Coastal Carolina signee, was one of the state's top pitchers in 2019 and led the Patriots in nearly every statistical category. Holcombe's 1.51 ERA and 11 wins were tops on the team, as was his 92 strikeouts. The senior lost only one time in 2019.

Both junior Darryl Buggs and senior Ray Joseph were named to the second team list, both of whom came up big for the Patriots in 2019. Buggs finished the season leading the team in hits (44) and batting average (.373). The junior also ripped off a team-best 15-game hitting streak that rolled through much of the state playoffs.

On the mound, Buggs won five games for the Patriots after posting a 2.00 ERA. 

Joseph finished his senior season batting .330 on 35 hits. His 25 RBI tied him with Buggs and Atkins for fourth on the team.

The final two Patriots to received All State honors were junior Cole Smith and senior Nolan Woodward, who were named to the honorable mention list. Smith led the Patriots in doubles with 14 and was second on the team in hits with 43. His 36 runs, three home runs and 15 stolen bases also led the team.

Woodward served as a solid two-way player for the Patriots after recording 30 hits and three doubles while pitching his way to a 5-1 record. The senior left-hander was the winning pitcher in back-to-back Game 3 victories for the Patriots in the playoffs, including their Final Four win over Effingham County and their state championship win over Pope.

Alcovy's Ryan Spikes was named to the honorable mention list after posting a .486 batting average in 28 games. Spikes led the Tigers in hits (35), RBI (20), runs (31), doubles (8), triples (2) and home runs with seven. The sophomore also led the Tigers with 17 stolen bases.

In Class AAAA, four players from Eastside were honored by the Georgia Dugout Preview with junior Colby Shivers taking home the team's top honors.

Shivers was named to the first team after finishing the season batting .392 on 29 hits while driving in a team-best 24 runs and scoring a team-best 34 times. His 10 doubles and three home runs also led the team.

Noah Cook, Cade Mitchell and Kyle Shivers were all three named to the honorable mention list. Cook batted .338 in his junior campaign on 22 hits and scored 25 times. He also drove in 10 runs, doubled four times and tripled twice.

Shivers, a freshman, led the team with a .413 batting average on 26 hits and drove in 19 runs, second only to older brother Colby. He doubled five times and tripled once.

Mitchell capped off his first varsity season on the mound for the Eagles with a 3-2 record to pair with his 3.04 ERA. Mitchell's 46 strikeouts led the team despite pitching only 27 2/3 innings. He held hitters to a .179 batting average, also tops on the team.

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.

Stay Informed