Good Hope Raiders:
Coach: Alan Scott (5th year)
2018: 11-2, 6-1 in 4A, R 5
Record at Good Hope: 18-25, 7-18 in region games
Quotes: "We don't have a lot of game experience. We do have a lot of question marks. We plan to stay with it, do the right things on and off the field. We have had good numbers in summer workouts with 45 to 50 showing up each day. The older guys understand what it takes. We can't lead up.
"They know their job, play hard and never quit. Put in the time, put in the effort. I'm very excited of the season. This is a new year. We have young talent. We have to figure how they will mesh and jell as a team."
Coaching staff: Mitch Witcher, Taft Dillashaw, Patrick McDonald, Phillip Keef, Matthew McCullough, Justin Ray.
August 23 - Carbon Hill, August 30 - Priceville, September 6 - @ Cordova,
September 13 - @ Tanner, September 20 - @ Oak Grove, October 4 - Northside
October 11 - @ Haleyville, October 18 - Curry, October 25 - Fayette County,
November 1 - @ Hanceville.
Raiders news & notes:
Raiders completed first week of workouts with a controlled scrimmage Friday evening. Raiders had to deal with cloudy skies and humid conditions. Raiders worked on a variety of situations in front of fans.
Good Hope has won its last six games at James Shabel Stadium. Raiders look to extend the streak in season opener vs. Carbon Hill August 23.
Raiders' 9-1 regular season in 2018 was best in the school since a 9-1 record in 2006.
Raiders face 6 opponents with new head coaches; Carbon Hill, Priceville, Cordova, Haleyville, Curry and Fayette County.
Northside plays at Good Hope for the first time on October 4. Northside will come from Tuscaloosa County.
Raiders' schedule in September will be road games at Cordova (6th), Tanner (13th) and Oak Grove (20th).
Raiders are 34-60 between 2010 to 2018 season, 2 winning seasons.
Raiders and Hanceville end the regular season facing each other for the 6th consecutive year. Game will be November 1 at Hanceville.
Raiders hope home field advantage serves well in 4A, Region 5 in October. Three of the four games will be in Good Hope vs. Northside (4th), Curry (18th), Fayette Co (25th). Raiders were 6-1 in region play last season, with Northside and Fayette Co.
Good Hope will begin its 50th season playing AHSAA football August 23. The Raiders are 270-248-3 all time. The first team took to the field in 1970.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton.
August 22 - Volleyball at West Morgan
August 23 - Football vs. Carbon Hill 7:00
August 24 - Volleyball in Good Hope Invitational
August 29 - Volleyball at East Lawrence 4:00
August 30 - Football vs. Priceville 7:00
September 5 - Volleyball at Ashville 5:00
September 6 - Football at Cordova 7:00
September 13 - Football at Tanner 7:00
GOOD HOPE - Taking advantage of the opportunity to host a volleyball playday series, Good Hope did so earlier this week.
Varsity, junior varsity and middle school teams put in hard work for consecutive days as the 2019 AHSAA season approaches.
In less than two weeks, volleyball teams can begin fall workouts, with the official date of opening play for 2019 to be on Thursday, August 22.
A total of 12 teams were involved in the varsity segment of playdays. Good Hope was able to get Cold Springs, Cullman, Hanceville and Holly Pond from the county to come.
Outside the neighboring area, Cleveland, Carbon Hill, Paul Bryant, Gardendale, Mortimer Jordan, Locust Fork and West End participated.
Games took place on multiple courts inside Good Hope Gymnasium. The process was 20 minute segments, followed by 5:00 warmup prior to the next assignment.
Good Hope Gymnasium is currently not air conditioned. Tuesday was more pleasant with less humidity and temperature in the 80s throughout the day.
The school is scheduled to receive air conditioning through series of grants, with $50,000 provided by the Cullman County Community Development Council (CCCDC).
Coach Natasha Holcombe told Sportspage the unit should be installed in time for the start of the home schedule. Good Hope will have an invitational tournament on opening weekend, Saturday, August 24.
Playdays have been active for this week at Wallace State Community College and Lawrence County High School, according to information Sportspage was able to obtain.
Fairview has played all week at Wallace, with West Point taking part there Monday and traveling to Moulton on Tuesday.
Fairview is the defending Cullman County champion, with West Point expected to challenge while Good Hope has experience returning, but has to replace All-County performers in Skylar Tucker and Chrissi Smith. Both have graduated.
GOOD HOPE - Prep football teams were back at it Monday after having the previous week off due to AHSAA All-Star Sports Week.
A seven on seven series was held at Good Hope High School, with James Shabel Stadium and the practice field staying active from 9:00 a.m. until noon.
Good Hope was joined by county schools Cold Springs, Fairview, Hanceville, Vinemont and West Point, plus the Addison Bulldogs visiting from Winston County.
The 7 on 7 consists of passing offense vs. passing defense, featuring backs, receivers, linebackers and secondary.
Games were on a 40-yard field, with three plays to move the ball from the 40 to 25, the 25 to the 10 and on into the end zone.
Three plays without advancing would result in loss on downs.
The games were 20 minute segments.
Here are photos from Monday's 7 on 7 at Good Hope:
Photo 1: Good Hope coach Alan Scott on the sidelines in 7 on 7 vs. Fairview
Photo 2: West Point QB Whitt Laney gets the Warriors ready vs. Vinemont
Photo 3: Fairview Aggies attack the secondary of the Hanceville Bulldogs.
Photo 4: Vinemont Eagles wide receivers in formation vs. West Point
Photo 5: Good Hope QB Tanner Malin with offensive coordinator Mitch Witcher walking off the field in series vs. Fairview.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
AHSAA Basketball play day
At West Morgan High School - Trinity:
Good Hope 42 36 - 78
West Morgan 23 30 - 53
Good Hope 33 31 - 64
RA Hubbard 19 25 - 44
FLASH NOTES: Executing at its peak in the current summer season, Good Hope spent a second consecutive day inside Morgan County, scoring often in two good outings vs. West Morgan and RA Hubbard.
Scoring quickly is something the Raiders take pride in. After getting the tip against West Morgan, the Raiders needed just five seconds to take the lead as Michael Lowe drained a three from the right wing.
The Raiders were very efficient in the opening period with West Morgan, breaking 42 on the scoreboard and having a comfortable advantage at halftime.
Scoring from outside, plus taking the ball to the basket on numerous occasions, Drew Adams' Raiders earned their season best so far with 78 points in a game that is 20-minute running clocks per half for summer play.
Getting behind RA Hubbard 7-2 after a couple of minutes had elapsed, the Raiders never panicked. By the time the half reached four and a half minutes remaining, the Raiders had stormed their way to a 29-11 lead, blitzing the Chiefs on a 27-4 run.
A good second half in which 31 points were produced, enabled the Raiders to complete a 10-game assignment in a span of six days with a 7-3 record.
The day before going to West Morgan, the Raiders were in Hartselle and victorious in two of three decisions.
Good Hope turned back Ardmore 55-51, fell to Hartselle 57-48 and got past Vestavia 53-52, overcoming a 15-point second half disadvantage, winning the game on two free throws by Cole Maddox with 0:04 to play.
The Raiders will complete this week of hoops with two games Thursday in Guntersville. Good Hope meets Fyffe at 10:00 a.m. and deals with Wilson at 12:00 p.m.
A few days of rest will allow the Raiders to get their legs underneath them.
Good Hope will be at the Cullman playday Monday, taking on Haleyville at 12:55 p.m. and facing 1A state champion Decatur Heritage at 2:35 p.m.
The Raiders will look for revenge against Decatur Heritage. Heritage ran past Good Hope 71-53 on January 5 in the Wallace State New Year's Hoopfest.
With a ball club that has four starters returning in Cole Maddox, Drew Maddox, Lowe and Eli Phares, plus getting depth from several in a reserve role, the Raiders are peaking very well with approximately a week remaining in the summer season schedule.
Good Hope will close out the summer tour on the weekend of June 20 in a play day at Auburn University.
Junior varsity final at West Morgan:
Good Hope 33, West Morgan 32 (OT)
Photo 1: Eli Phares, Michael Lowe (center) and Dawson Turner defend for Good Hope.
Photo 2: Raider defense chases RA Hubbard ball handler. Cole Maddox in middle, Eli Phares at left, Tanner Malin at right and Drew Maddox on back row.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
AHSAA 4A State Softball Tournament
At Lagoon Park - Montgomery:
Alabama Christian 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 - 6 (35-13)
Good Hope 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 - 2 (32-10)
WP: Haley Pittman
LP: Sidnie English
TIME OF GAME: 2:02
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Haley Cassidy - Alabama Christian, 2-3, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, 2 runs
Good Hope 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 - 5 (33-10)
American Christian 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 (32-10)
WP: Sidnie English
LP: Emily Jones
TIME OF GAME: 1:43
SPORTSPAGE PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Skylar Tucker & Bailey Swann - Good Hope: Tucker 2-2, 2 runs scored, 2 assists, 1 putout. Swann 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 SBs.
FLASH NOTES: Appearing in the Elite Eight of the state tournament for the very first time, Good Hope shook off a loss to Alabama Christian Academy by eliminating American Christian Academy.
The victory over ACA from Tuscaloosa was what the Lady Raiders needed after three of the last four runs scored by Alabama Christian from Montgomery were by home runs.
English, who gave up two to Cassidy that were two-run blasts and a solo homer to Katie Chappell, was back in strong fashion against American Christian.
The junior gave up just five hits and had great help from her defense to prevent an 0-2 visit to the Capitol City.
After Good Hope took a 3-0 lead in the third when Swann doubled home Jacqueline Hays and Tucker and a single from English scoring Swann, English maintained her edge in the circle when the Lady Patriots tried to mount a comeback in the sixth.
With Kat Grill getting hit by a pitch and a single from Lauren Carroll, American Christian was on the verge of something good against English.
Then Hanna Hargrove lined toward Tucker at shortstop. Tucker let the ball drop and had a rare 6-5-4 double play to erase two runners.
A pop out by Marli White to Tucker ended the sixth with Good Hope ahead by a 5-0 margin.
Hanna Miles singled off English in starting the American seventh. English was able to retire Hannah Reid on a pop out to Swann in foul territory, get Emily Williams to ground to Bekah Norris at first and end the game at 7:24 p.m. on a Anna Barrett pop fly to Tucker.
Good Hope's eight hits, with two by Tucker, Swann, English and one from Hays and Angelina Flanagan was much better than the the four they generated in 24 at bats against left hander Haley Pittman of Alabama Christian.
Pittman struck out 11, keeping Good Hope hitless through the first four innings.
Good Hope was to play White Plains in the next round of the double elimination bracket. The game was postponed after 9:00 p.m. when lightning remained in the vicinity of the ball park.
The game has been rescheduled for Saturday at 9:00 a.m.
The game will be live on WKUL-FM (92.1).
GOOD HOPE - Before he graduates on May 25, Preston Bagwell has finalized his decision of what he will be doing when he says goodbye to Good Hope High School.
Bagwell has signed a letter of intent to play football at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia.
LaGrange is an NCAA Division III school, competing in the USA South Conference with 17 others schools, including Huntingdon College from Montgomery.
Bagwell was an impact player for the Raiders last fall as Good Hope enjoyed its best season since 2006, going 11-2 on the year, earning a berth to the quarterfinals in Class 4A. The Raiders shared the best record in 4A, Region 5 with Northside and Fayette County at 5-1.
Good Hope opened the first half of the regular season undefeated in wins against Carbon Hill, Priceville, Cordova, Tanner and Oak Grove.
After a regular season loss to begin October to Northside, the Raiders got back into victory mode, prevailing over Haleyville, Curry, Fayette County and Hanceville.
The 27-22 upset of Fayette County at Waldon Tucker Stadium was the first time the Raiders had defeated one of the toughest 4A teams out of West Central Alabama.
A memorable evening for Bagwell was at James Shabel Stadium October 12 vs. Haleyville.
In the Sportspage game of the week, Bagwell intercepted two passes and had a third taken away when officials ruled the ball hit the ground.
The Raiders scored a 23-7 victory, a week after the loss to Northside to stay near the top of Region 5.
It was a version of "Amen Corner" for Good Hope football. The Raiders followed it with a 27-0 shutout in Curry and then the upset of Fayette County to create a three-way tie for the regional lead. The Raiders lost out on a tiebreaker and had to travel in the playoffs with a first round assignment at legendary Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville.
Taking on St. John Paul Catholic, the Raiders were never denied of one of the greatest evenings in school playoff history. Good Hope rolled over SJP 62-28.
A week later on the home turf, the Raiders had another huge upset with No. 2 ranked Jacksonville going down by the score of 27-12.
Bagwell was All-Cullman County, All-Region and second team Alabama Sportswriters' Association 4A All-State.
Bagwell is the second Good Hope student-athlete to recently sign a collegiate letter of intent.
Classmate Bailey Swann signed a softball letter with Snead State Community College the week before.
From left front row, Kenny Bentley Preston Bagwell, Stefanie Bagwell.
Back, Good Hope assistant coach Mitch Witcher, Good Hope Principal John Hood, Paydon Bagwell, Landon Bagwell. Photo courtesy of Good Hope High School.
AHSAA 4A, Area 12 softball championship
At Greg Owen Field - Good Hope:
# 2 Ashville 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 - 3 (18-13)
# 1 Good Hope 2 0 5 1 1 0 X - 9 (29-9)
WP: Sidnie English
LP: Jada Wills
TIME OF GAME: 1:58
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Sidnie English - Good Hope 7 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Retired 15 of final 16 batters she faced.
FLASH NOTES: A little adversity did Good Hope some good. It was only a half inning in which they trailed for the first time in the 4A, Area 12 Tournament.
Ashville took a 3-2 lead on a two-run homer by Chamness off English in the third. English would give up a single to Turner two batters later. That was the last hit of the game for Ashville.
English retired the side in order in the third with runners at second and first. Then in the fourth, fifth and sixth, no runners reached base.
A two-out walk to Eastis broke the string of 14 consecutive batters to go down to the Lady Raider right hander.
Chamness faced English one final time. It was English to prevail as she got Chamness to ground out to her in the circle and the championship was claimed by the Lady Raiders at 6:33 p.m.
Down by a run in their half of the third, the Lady Raiders went to work vs. Jada Wills. After Morgan Goodwin lined to Wills for the first out, Jacqueline Hays singled, Skylar Tucker singled and both scored when Bailey Swann ripped a double off the third baseman's glove. That made it 4-3.
English was safe on an error as Swann scored. A dropped ball on Angelina Flanagan's pop to center got her into scoring position. A bases loaded to Bekah Norris forced home English and a sac fly by Kailee Shikle completed the five-run third inning rally.
Goodwin opened the Good Hope fourth with a single and moved to second on a throwing error. The lead off batter came in on Tucker's sac fly to right, extending the lead to 8-3.
The last run for the Lady Raiders was in the fifth with Flanagan getting a one out single and scoring on Goodwin's base hit. Goodwin was three of four in the lead off position with a triple, RBI and two runs scored.
Tucker, in her final appearance at Owen Field, was two of three with two runs driven in and scoring twice. Swann's two-run double turned out to be the game winner in her final time of playing on the Good Hope campus.
English reached down and began to pitch to her potential. Of the 14 she retired in a row, seven were ground outs, four were fly outs and three by strikeouts.
English, plus Tucker, Swann, Goodwin and Shikle were selected to the All-Area 12 team.
Good Hope, along with Ashville, will participate in the AHSAA West Regional next weekend in Tuscaloosa at Bowers Park. The schedule will be announced later.
Photo 1: 4A, Area 12 champion Good Hope Lady Raiders.
Photo 2: 4A, All-Area 12 team. Front - Skylar Tucker, Bailey Swann, Morgan Goodwin, Sidnie English, Kailee Shikle of Good Hope.
Photo 3: 4A, Area 12 runner-up Ashville Lady Bulldogs.
Photo 4: Sidnie English of Good Hope - Cullmansportspage.com championship player of the game and the sportspage MVP from the 4A, Area 12 Tournament. English 3-0 record, 4 runs allowed in 18 innings, with 19 strikeouts.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
AHSAA 4A, Area 12 Softball Tournament
Winner's bracket final
At Greg Owen Field - Good Hope:
# 1 Good Hope 3 3 1 1 8 - 16 (28-9)
# 2 Ashville 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 (17-12)
WP: Sidnie English
LP: Jada Wills
TIME OF GAME: 1:33
SPORTSPAGE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Morgan Goodwin - Good Hope 4-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs.
FLASH NOTES: Good Hope had a winning performance Monday to open the area tournament.
On Tuesday, it was total domination.
Ashville never really had a chance as the top seed of Area 12 scored each inning and finished off the Lady Bulldogs with an eight-run effort in the fifth.
Tim Tucker's Lady Raiders used hitting, plus taking advantage of five wild pitches by Ashville starter Jada Wills and four errors.
On average, Good Hope sent seven batters to the plate per inning and would account for 16 hits in this one-sided affair.
Runs driven in were by Jacqueline Hays and English in the first, Hays, Skylar Tucker and Bailey Swann in the second, Abi Hunt in the fourth and in the fifth, Tucker (2), Angelina Flanagan, Kailee Shikle, Goodwin, Hays and Tucker again.
The Lady Raiders had 13 to come to the plate in the final inning, going through a sequence of consecutive base hits by Bekah Norris, Shikle and Goodwin, then a walk to Hays with the bases loaded and Tucker with her third RBI in the inning.
A fielder's choice by Tucker in his first trip to the plate in the fifth scored Shikle from third and Goodwin, who hustled in from second base.
English threw four innings, allowing four hits with three strikeouts.
Hunt relieved her in the fifth as Ashville tried to get on the scoreboard. After a leadoff walk, Hunt got a pop out in foul territory to Tucker, then Dole was safe on a dropped grounder by Tucker.
But Tucker came back by snaring a line drive and threw to Goodwin at second, to double off Dole and end the game at 5:29 p.m.
The win qualified the Lady Raiders for the West Regional next week in Tuscaloosa.
Now the Lady Raiders want to be area champions. That can take place Wednesday at Owen Field with the championship scheduled at 4:30 against the winner of the Oneonta/Ashville game.
Photo 1: Good Hope's Morgan Goodwin leads off the game with a single vs. Ashville.
Photo 2: Good Hope's Sidnie English delivers to Ashville's Chloe Wills in 1st inning.
Photo 3: Good Hope batter Bailey Swann takes a pitch outside in Tuesday's game.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
GOOD HOPE - Bailey Swann remembers when she was a freshman student at Cullman High School and saw Claire Jenkins sign a softball scholarship with the University of Alabama.
That gave Swann inspiration to strive for excellence on the diamond with others to take interest in wanting the Good Hope senior to contribute to the collegiate ranks.
Swann signed a letter of intent to play with Snead State Community College Monday morning inside Good Hope Gymnasium.
Swann shared this moment with her parents, Jennifer and Russell Swann, her older sister Abbie, her softball teammates and others who have touched her life in a positive way.
Swann is the third Lady Raider to accept a scholarship with the Boaz-based school. Former Lady Raider Erika Woodall is in her freshman season with Snead, while current Lady Raider Skylar Tucker signed with the Lady Parsons in November.
Good Hope has enjoyed the 2019 season, going into the final week of regular season play 25-6. The Lady Raiders finished second to West Point in the recent Cullman County tournament and have clinched home field for the AHSAA 4A, Area 12 Tournament next week at Greg Owen Field.
Swann was pleased to put her name onto a scholarship in the Alabama Community College Conference as far as her future is concerned.
But the senior third baseman is looking to finish strong as the goal for her and her Lady Raider mates is to get to Montgomery for the AHSAA state tournament.
"I think we have a chance to go to the state," Swann said following the scholarship signing. "We have so much talent on this team. Everyone on this team has the determination to win. The next three weeks are our current focus."
Swann goes into the final week of the regular schedule with a .569 average, batting fourth in the lineup for first year coach Tim Tucker. Swann has six home runs, 33 runs batted in, scored 44 runs and a .707 on base percentage.
With Swann capable of getting extra base hits, she has been walked 27 times, with approximately half of those being intentional.
In the first game of the Cullman County Tournament, Swann kept Good Hope in the winner's bracket when she hit a walk off two-run homer to get by Cold Springs 7-5. Scoring ahead of Swann was Tucker. Tucker led off the final inning with a single that set the stage for Swann to deliver with one swing of the bat.
Swann's future squad, Snead, ends the regular season with division play at home vs. Bevill State Tuesday and travel to Chattanooga State in the finale on Wednesday.
For Swann, she and the other Lady Raiders will be recognized on Senior Day Tuesday at home against Arab at 4:00 p.m.
Then Swann and her mates will journey to Heritage Park to see the Clash in Cullman as Alabama takes on Belmont University at 6:00 p.m.
Good Hope plays at Holly Pond Thursday and is in the Cullman Pre-State Tournament this weekend.
The Lady Raiders open pool play against the Cullman Bearcats. The rest of the pool schedule is against Fort Payne and Russellville. The event goes from pool play to round robin on Saturday.
Good Hope will face Fairview in the first round of the Area 12 Tournament next Monday on campus. The tournament will go through Wednesday.
Front row, Abbie Swann, Jennifer Swann, Snead State coach Tracy Grindrod, Good Hope athlete Bailey Swann, Russell Swann.
Back row, Good Hope Principal John Hood, travel coach Eric Pendley, travel coach Mark Goodwin, Good Hope softball coach Tim Tucker, strength coach Steve Johnson.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton