Friday, September 29
Oliver Woodard Stadium - Cullman
SERIES: Tied 3-3
2016: Cullman 38-14
LAST WEEK: Cullman defeated Fort Payne 20-16
Fayette County was idle
FAYETTE COUNTY: 4-0
FLASH NOTES: Cullman has a third opponent to visit Woodard Stadium with an undefeated record since the second Friday of September.
The road teams have not been successful with Albertville losing 31-9 on September 8 and the Bearcats knocking Fort Payne from the ranks of the undefeated last Friday.
Fayette County is off to another good start. The Tigers are on top of Class 4A, Region 6 at 2-0.
This will be the Tigers' second visit inside Cullman County in the last two weeks. Fayette County rallied from a 12-7 deficit at the break to defeat Good Hope 35-22.
Life moves on for the Bearcats after Mark Britton announced he will retire after the 2017 season. The comeback win for the 'Cats keeps them in the race in 6A, Region 7.
A good performance vs. a solid 4A school from West Central Alabama will serve a huge outlook for Cullman when they get back into regional play next week with a pivotal game at Pell City. Pell City is tied for 1st in the standings with Oxford.
The Bearcats are only 1-2 all time vs. Fayette County on the Cullman campus.
Fayette County is currently 5th in the 4A state rankings.
Tri-match # 1 at Cullman Gymnasium
Albertville 22 25 25 25
Cullman 25 17 17 17
Albertville (13-5, 4-0 in 6A, A 14) wins match 3-1
TIME OF MATCH: 1:31
FLASH NOTES: Cullman began Monday's tri-match by coming from behind to grab the first set with a combination of personnel giving new coach Meagan Cagle a great effort.
Trailing 5-1 early, the Lady 'Cats fought back to get within a point then tied the score at 16-16 on a Anna Evans kill off an assist from Lauren Evans.
With the game deadlocked at 22-22, Cullman went in front on another Anna Evans kill at the net with an assist from Emily Apel. The last two service points came from Lauren Evans, with an ace to end the opening set for a 1-0 Cullman lead.
But the Lady Aggies were able to come back and take the next three sets, surviving the challenge by the Lady 'Cats.
Tri-match # 3 at Cullman Gymnasium
Good Hope 25 25
Cullman 17 17
Good Hope (9-6) wins match 2-0
TIME OF MATCH: 0:36
FLASH NOTES: Good Hope and Cullman battled to an evenly matched opening set before the Lady Raiders pulled away late thanks to some key serves by Ally Knight, Alee Jackson and Skylar Tucker.
Jesse Kent got a volley for set point on Knight's serve that allowed the visitors to move on top in the confrontation. A close encounter was on display for the second game until Knight took to the service line with score tied at 13-13. Cullman never regained service the rest of the contest.
Knight finished with 12 service points, getting help by kills from Kate Kent, Sadie Fendley, plus two blocks from Kent and the match ended at 7:37 p.m.
Cullman was off to a good start with three kills by Anna Evans, several assists from Apel and three straight kills by Paige Rocca. Ashlen Heatherly had the final three points on serve for Cullman, when service was broken by a Kent kill with an assist from Knight to tie the game at 13-13 and put Good Hope in position to serve.
Under first year coach Natasha Holcombe, Good Hope is getting into a groove, winning seven of its last eight regular season assignments. The Lady Raiders won three tri-matches last week that boosted the team after undergoing a slow start.
Cagle's Lady 'Cats have grown into a competitive team, despite not having a victory since they opened the 2017 season on Labor Day weekend in the West Morgan Invitational, going 2-2.
Cullman will return to action with a tri-match against Carbon Hill and Austin on October 2.
Good Hope plays at Priceville Tuesday in its next regular season matchup.
Cullman's Anna Evans (5) has a chat with Emily Apel during match vs. Good Hope
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
FAIRVIEW - Cullman's team scoring was very efficient Saturday morning to put the Lady Bearcats above the rest of the 5A-7A competition in winning the Fairview Cross Country Invitational at Fairview Town Park.
Cullman placed its five runners in the Top 12 to outdistance Brooks by a margin of 29 points to 66. Fairview finished third with 92, Moody took home fourth with 99, Hartselle fifth at 111, Russellville sixth with 126 and Boaz seventh with 147.
Arab's Megan Schwarze was the winner with a time of 20:25, followed by her teammate , Emma Stewart at 21:05. Arab had only four runners, needing five to score points as a team.
Della Kelly led Cullman with a fifth place time in the upper division at 22:10. The strength of the team was provided by Mattie Green, Alexandria Holt and Jennifer Aviles. Green was 8th at 23:05, Holt finished 9th at 23:34 and Aviles in 10th position at 23:36.
Bernarda Tizapa came home with the 13th best time of 23:54. Mady Norris was 17th for the Lady 'Cats at 24:41.
Kelly, a sophomore and Holt, a senior, have been an impact for Cullman to achieve success in the early portion of the 2017 season. Kelly was fourth two weeks ago in the Cullman 2-mile with finishing eighth.
Cullman will continue to run inside the county with the Kudzu Hills Invitational at Cold Springs next Saturday, the next assignment on the schedule.
Photo 1: Cullman's Della Kelly at the finish line in the Fairview Invitational Saturday.
Photo 2: Cullman getting ready prior to race time at Fairview Invitational.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton.
Friday, September 22
Oliver Woodard Stadium - Cullman 6A, Region 7
REGION STANDINGS: Oxford 2-0, Fort Payne 1-0, Pell City 1-0, Cullman 1-0, Albertville 1-1, Southside-Gadsden 0-2, Brewer 0-2.
SERIES: Cullman 3-2
2016: Cullman 34-10
CULLMAN: 2-2, 1-1
FORT PAYNE: 3-0, 1-0
LAST WEEK: Cullman lost to Oxford 38-14
Fort Payne was idle.
FLASH NOTES: This game serves in a huge way for Cullman's playoff chances. The Bearcats have a chance on the home turf to knock off an undefeated team in the region schedule.
Two weeks ago, Albertville visited with a perfect record and was sent back home by a 31-9 defeat.
Fort Payne has improved from 2016. The Wildcats have three victories to their credit already after winning two games the year before.
Fort Payne is scoring 30.7 per contest while Cullman has an average of 23.5 (93 points) and yielded 23.3 a game (92 points).
Fort Payne last visited Woodard Stadium in 2011, winning 44-21. Cullman has just 8-5 in its last 13 games in front of partisan Bearcat fans since 2015.
Oxford travels to Albertville with Pell City at Brewer in the rest of this week's regional assignments. Southside-Gadsden is out of region play for Friday.
Friday, September 15
Lamar Field - Oxford
6A, Region 7
SERIES: Oxford 1-0
2016: Oxford 52-28
LAST WEEK: Cullman defeated Albertville 31-9
Oxford defeated Brewer 42-7
OXFORD: 3-0, 1-0
CULLMAN: 2-1, 1-0
REGION STANDINGS: Cullman 1-0, Fort Payne 1-0, Oxford 1-0, Pell City 0-0, Albertville 0-1, Brewer 0-1, Southside-Gadsden 0-1
FLASH NOTES: Defeating Albertville last Friday was huge for the Bearcats, now having to play defending region champion Oxford on the road with the Yellow Jackets on a roll after three good games, crushing Brewer last week to begin the region schedule.
The confidence Mark Britton's Bearcats picked up last week serves as a valuable tool for this week. Good execution for the Bearcats and very few mistakes, will give them a chance to attempt an upset at a squad that has won 13 of its last 14 decisions.
Oxford has outscored the opposition 104-20 while Cullman has produced 80 points in three games, allowing 55 points.
The Yellow Jackets came in 4th in the 6A state poll entering this week.
Cullman's Lady Bearcats controlled their 2-mile run Saturday morning, putting five runners in the Top 15 to claim the team title over Grissom High School.
The Lady 'Cats recorded 51 points to 59 for Grissom with Arab in third at 60, followed by St. Bernard with 89, Falkville 120, Fairview 127 and Hartselle 152.
Della Kelly had the best time for the Lady 'Cats at 13:19, finishing fourth. Janey McManus of Grissom won the two-mile with a time of 12:16, Megan Schwarze of Arab was the runner-up at 12:39 and Leahrose Mami from St. Bernard third, crossing the line at 13:10.
Alexandria Holt earned eighth place at 13:39 with Jennifer Aviles finishing 13th, Mattie Green 14th and Olivia Craft 15th. Aviles ended the run at 14:15, Green 14:17 and Craft 14:19.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
Friday, September 8
Oliver Woodard Stadium - Cullman
6A, Region 7
SERIES: Albertville 20-16-3
2016: Albertville 44-21
LAST WEEK: Cullman defeated North Jackson 24-15
Albertville defeated Arab 41-14
FLASH NOTES: An impact game to begin Region 7 in 6A this season with Albertville finishing 2nd in 2016 to Cullman taking 3rd. The difference was the Aggies' win in the third game.
Cullman had to rally in the fourth quarter last week to avoid an 0-2 start on the season with North Jackson. The Bearcats defense clamped down on the Chiefs in the final period while the offense was effective with a TD and a field goal to create breathing room.
Now comes Albertville to Woodard Stadium, looking to beat the Bearcats here for the first time since 1998 when they won 28-27 in overtime.
The Aggies have scored 97 points through two wins, allowing 27. Cullman has a 49-point total with the opposition scoring 46 thus far.
It's not an easy Region 7 to play from one game to the following. After this week's game, the Bearcats travel to defending champion Oxford and come home on the 22nd with a game against Fort Payne.
Determined to win this week, the Aggies will enjoy home games in the region the next two weeks against Brewer and Oxford. Bearcats out to break a 2-game losing streak at Woodard Stadium.
TRINITY - Cullman's Meagan Cagle got her first victory in her second assignment Saturday with her team participating in the West Morgan Invitational Saturday.
After a loss in the opener of Pool C to Deshler, the Lady 'Cats bounced back in good form, sweeping Russellville 25-15, 25-20.
The momentum the Lady 'Cats had from the Russellville match was stopped in a battle with No. 4 ranked Danville from Class 4A.
Cullman was defeated in straight sets 25-13, 25-14.
The Lady 'Cats came back to end the day with a hard fought triumph against Clements, taking the opener 25-17, losing the second set 25-18 and bouncing back by a 15-9 verdict in the tiebreaker.
Cullman got a team effort from Anna Evans, Emily Apel, Paden Adams, A.K. Eastman, Lauren Evans, Amanda Hill and Ashlen Heatherly to defeat Russellville.
Cullman rallied in both sets, using good serves from a group of players with solid effort at the front line, led by Anna Evans.
Adams anchored the sets, getting the team active in different locations on the floor when they received the ball.
Cagle took over the program after Michelle Greenlee retired following the 2016 season.
The team played hard with Cagle coaching with plenty of intensity. It will serve as a motivation with the team eager to step out on the floor and show a competitive side.
In the Clements match, after suffering a defeat in game two, the Lady 'Cats were able to get ahead and use the play of Anna Evans plus Adams, Eastman, Lauren Evans and good serving in crunch time by Hill to finish 2-2 on the tour into Morgan County.
The regular season starts for Cullman Tuesday in a trip to Albertville, another quality opponent, ranked in the Top 10 of Class 6A.
Photo 1: Cullman breaks huddle prior to the start of match with Russellville.
Photo 2: #5 Anna Evans, # 2 Emily Apel, #3 A.K. Eastman, # 11 Paden Adams and #13 Lauren Evans celebrate a point for the Lady Bearcats.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton