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Prep notebook: Rockdale opens big year with W

What a way to start a historic season. Rockdale, which opens its new softball field Tuesday, got a five-inning perfect game from senior Katie Ferrell in a 14-0 season-opening win over Locust Grove on Thursday.

Ferrell got help from freshman Candace Johnson, who went 3-for-3 with two triples and three RBIs. Locust Grove, a first-year program in Henry County, fell to 0-4.

"It was nice; good way to start out the season," first-year coach Justin Arrington said. "We're hitting the ball really well and the girls are really excited."

Rockdale will celebrate the opening of its new field before Tuesday's game with Monroe Area. Rockdale County schools superintendent Samuel King is expected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Rockdale football to scrimmage in Peachtree City

Rockdale will have its one and only tuneup when it plays McIntosh at 7:30 p.m. today.

Coach Mike Etheridge said one of the main goals of the scrimmage is to solidify the kicking game. Punter Darius Lucas and kicker Brandon Storey both return. But Etheridge is still deciding between Grady Jarrett and Tarik Dudley at long snapper.

"We're going to look at our kicking game a little bit," Etheridge said. "We pretty much know who's who, but there might be some surprises. We're hoping to get some reps live (to) see how our snaps are going."

Etheridge also indicated that a number of underclassmen would get to play in the scrimmage.

"The main thing we want to do is we're going to play a bunch of kids."

The Bulldogs, who started 3-0 last season but lost five of their last seven games, open the regular season a week from today against Madison County.

Patriots hosting charity play date

Heritage volleyball, fresh off wins over Tucker and area foe Clarke Central, will host the Play for the Cure Play Date on Saturday. The Patriots open with Prince Avenue Christian at 9 a.m. and play five other teams. The play date, in its second year at Heritage, is part of a statewide fundraising effort to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer organization.

"We feel like this is an important cause, and one our young athletes need to have awareness about," Patriots coach David Buddenbaum said. "Our players are excited about the tournament and the cause as they have helped to gather donations for raffles, sell pink ribbons ... at school, and sold T-shirts."

Buddenbaum said the program last season raised nearly $1,700 and has set a goal of $2,000 for this weekend. Area 8-AAAA rivals Rockdale and Eastside will also participate.

Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at kurt.aschermann@rockdalecitizen.com.