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Bryan County athletes on the next level roundup
Azaria Johnson
Azaria Johnson - courtesy photo provided by PSU-Hazleton Sports

Former Richmond Hill girls’ basketball standout Azaria Johnson has gotten her college career off to a fast start at Penn State University-Hazleton.

Johnson, who was a member of the Richmond Hill varsity for four years, is currently leading the Nittany Lions in scoring at 14.7 points per game which is fifth overall in the PSU Athletic Conference which is made up of 14 four-year schools in the Penn State system.   

The former Wildcats standout is one of several former Bryan County athletes who are enjoying success this year.

Jaeden Marshall, who helped lead the Richmond Hill boys’ team to a berth in the Elite Eight in last year’s Class 6A state playoffs, is playing well for Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, La. Olonna Rawls, who is Bryan County High’s leading career scorer, is having a solid season for Columbus State University and high school teammate Jay Black is starting in her first year at Albany State.

Olonna Rawls
Olonna Rawls - courtesy photo provided by CSU Cougars athletics

Football players Charlie Flint, who played at Bryan County, and Sam James and Joseph Petrino, who were teammates at Richmond Hill, got to play in bowl games for Georgia State, West Virginia, and Maryland, respectively.

Charlie Flint
Charlie Flint - courtesy photo provided by Charlie Flint/Twitter
Sam James
Sam James on his way to a touchdown - Courtesy photo provided by West Virginia Athletics
Joseph Petrino
Joseph Petrino makes the game winning kick against Illinois - Courtesy photo provided by Maryland Athletics

In addition to her scoring Johnson is also among the conference leaders in field goal percentage as she is shooting 55 percent from the field and she has had two double doubles while scoring 20 or more points in three games.

Johnson was Richmond Hill’s top defensive player and rebounder last year and she is continuing to excel on the defensive end, averaging seven rebounds and a team high 2.5 steals per game. She is one of seven freshmen on the team which also includes one junior and three sophomores.

Marshall is the first man off the bench for the Cavaliers (7-5) who play in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIV but he may find himself starting when play resumes on Dec. 30.

Now averaging 9.2 points per game, fourth best on the team, Marshall has scored 21, 15 and 28 points in his last three outings, He is shooting 45.7 percent from 3-point range, third in the region which is made up of schools in Louisiana and Texas.

Rawls did not get to play last year when the Peach Belt Conference cancelled the season because of COVID 19 so she is playing her first actual season of college basketball and is holding her own.

The former Redskins standout—she scored a school record 2,276 points and was a four-year starter on teams that went 94-21—is Columbus State’s (6-5) second leading scorer at 11.4 points per game, is second in the conference in steals with 33 and is averaging 4.6 rebounds while leading the team in minutes played with 290.

Black was a rebounding and defensive specialist for the Redskins and is continuing that role at Albany State after two years at Central Georgia Technical College.

The 5-foot-10 Black, a sophomore, is leading the Rams (2-10) in rebounding at 8.9 per game while averaging 5.3 points per game. Redskins fans will get an opportunity to see Black in action when Albany State plays at Savannah State Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.

Flint started at long snapper for Georgia State for three years and he got to play in a bowl game each season including the Panthers’ 51-20 demolishing of Ball State on Christmas Day in the Tax Act Camellia Bowl.

The Panthers (8-5), arguably the second-best team in Georgia, set a school record for wins and won back-to-back bowls for the first time. A sports administration major Flint has also earned President’s List and Sun Belt Conference Commissioners List academic honors.

James, a redshirt junior, rebounded from a so-so sophomore season to haul in 39 passes for 465 yards—both second best on the Mountaineers team—for a team high five touchdowns receiving.

West Virginia (6-6) played Minnesota late Tuesday night in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix, Az. Last year James and the Mountaineers beat Army in the Liberty Bowl. For his career James, a Deans List student, has 141 catches for 1,444 yards and nine touchdowns in 37 games.

Petrino, who will finish seventh on the Terps’ career list for scoring by a kicker, and Maryland (6-6) played Virginia Tech Wednesday afternoon in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Petrino had 181 points going into the game, having made 29 of 36 field goal attempts and 124 of 131 extra point attempts. This is first bowl game at Maryland.

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