22nd AHSAA All-Star Sports Week
FLASH NOTES: In reviewing the 22nd Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) All-Star Sports Week, the North and South played to very much a draw in the team competition.
The North was successful in soccer and football with the South sweeping cross country and taking volleyball. Baseball, softball and basketball was a split between the two squads.
In the all time series;
BASEBALL: North leads 23-12-1
SOFTBALL: North leads 25-21-3
BASKETBALL: North leads 19-3 (G)
North leads 48-28
FOOTBALL: South leads 30-27-2
VOLLEYBALL: North leads 14-7
SOCCER: North leads 15-2-1 (G)
North leads 11-4-1
CROSS COUNTRY: Series tied 1-1
Football has been played 59 times in the history of the all star game. Basketball's best have gone to the hardwood 66 times.
All-Star Sports Week began in 1996 with all star games in girls basketball being added, followed by softball, baseball, volleyball and soccer.
Replay comes into effect in football:
Instant replay is the new item the AHSAA has employed for the sport of football.
It got a good test Thursday night in the all-star game at the Cramton Bowl.
The South challenged two plays in the game, but did not get either reversed. Both were pass plays, with one a South pass play in the second quarter and on the defensive side in the third period.
The South catch was ruled out of bounds, with the North reception being ruled a completion. South coach Aubrey Blackwell of Catholic Montgomery dropped the red flag to inform the officials he was challenging the calls.
The referee and umpire went to a tent on the South side to view the plays with it being handled by DVSport out of Pittsburgh.
After two minutes, the referee returned to the field and said the call stands. The South could not challenge any call for the remainder of the game.
Positive has been the conversation of instant replay since it was announced by AHSAA Executive Director Steve Saverese April 12.
DVSport had a presentation Thursday during the coaching conference to provide proof and answer questions on instant replay to be in AHSAA football for a 3-year experimental contract.
Providing assistance when needed:
Besides covering for Sportspage, yours truly has been doing public address for sports since the age of 15.
His assistance was needed when the AHSAA was without a P.A. announcer for the 2nd straight year in the volleyball series.
Arriving Thursday at Auburn University Montgomery, yours truly was contacted by Ron Ingram from the AHSAA to handle the public address duties, in which I responded to the request.
With a good crowd attending the series, yours truly went over the airwaves in the arena as the South topped the North three games to one in four hotly contested assignments.
This could develop into a future agreement between yours truly and the AHSAA when the volleyball series returns to all star sports week in 2019.
Outstanding performers in All-Star Sports Week:
The following put together great performances in their respective sport to earn MVP honors during the 22nd All-Star Sports Week.
SOCCER (G): Emery Mills - North, Adriana Wright - South.
SOCCER: Price Leonard - North, Joseph Quinn - South.
BASKETBALL (G): Annie Hughes - North, River Baldwin - South.
BASKETBALL: Malik Tyson - North, Jaykwon Walton - South.
VOLLEYBALL: Breylee Linder - North, Kenya McQuirter - South.
FOOTBALL: Keaton Wilson - North, Davede Herron - South.
Locals receive sportsmanship award:
Seventy five schools were recognized Friday during an awards banquet for going through the 2017-18 season without an ejection or fine.
Four schools were from the Sportspage coverage area in Hanceville, Holly Pond, Vinemont and West Point.
Schools who violate sportsmanship rules are subject to fines and required to take a sportsmanship quiz on line. Other infractions include failure to appear at clinics, auditing and eligibility.
This is the most schools from the area in recent years to display sportsmanship the way the AHSAA is looking for.
Local official involved in basketball game:
Aside from players being selected to participate in AHSAA All-Star Sports Week, officials earn a selection as well.
One local official, Scott Rutherford, worked the varsity basketball game on Wednesday night at Alabama State University.
Rutherford is a member of the Tri-County Association and has progressed in his time on the hardwood, getting invited to be in the all star game. The game Rutherford worked was a tight one with the South coming from an 8-point halftime deficit to edge the North 61-57.
Potential athletes from the area for future all star games:
Athletes are nominated by their respective coach in order to be considered to play in the AHSAA All-Star Sports Week.
The athletes for all sports expect football are entering their senior year in high school. The football game consists of players who have graduated, with some on their way to collegiate programs.
Without any doubt, there is several athletes in the Sportspage coverage area that could be a future all star. It will be based on their ability during that athletic season, plus academics and good sportsmanship to play a role too.
Some that are certain to be in the position for an invite from the analysis of Sportspage are the following:
R.J. Evans of Hanceville - football or basketball
Ezra Burks of Cullman - football
Elizabeth Hill of Cold Springs - basketball
Kelly Pickett of Hanceville - basketball
Miriam Oldacre of West Point - basketball
Lexi Shadix of West Point - volleyball
Faith Guest of Cullman - softball
Alex Stansell of Cullman - softball
Hunter Persall of West Point - football
Rylan Jones of West Point - baseball
Cole Maddox of Good Hope - basketball
Johnathan Collett of Cold Springs - cross country
Ava Akridge of Cold Springs - cross country
Katie Ball of Fairview - softball
Fall sports are waiting to get on to the practice field and start the 2018-19 season. Football, volleyball, cross country, swimming and diving can begin practice on August 6.
Football season opens the weekend of August 23, with the other fall sports to begin competition the following weekend.
Photo of instant replay at work in AHSAA all star football game July 19.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
59th AHSAA Football All-Star Game
At Cramton Bowl - Montgomery:
North 0 6 15 6 - 27
South 0 7 0 7 - 14
North - Keaton Wilson 1 run (kick failed) 8:35 in 2nd
South - Davede Herron 8 run (Cole Deeds kick) 3:26 in 2nd
North - Wilson 3 run (Wilson run) 2:35 in 3rd
North - Quenton Young 11 run (Greg Dawkins kick) 0:02 in 3rd
South - Herron 1 run (Deeds kick) 6:26 in 4th
North - Perry Kirby recovers fumble in end zone (no conversion) 0:00 in 4th
MVPs: Wilson - North, Herron - South.
FLASH NOTES: All four touchdowns for the North came due to South miscues.
Two interceptions in the third quarter enabled the North to move ahead and stay there for the rest of the evening.
The first interception by Court Coley of Westbrook Christian gave the North the ball at the South 40. A 20-yard pass by Wilson from Sylacauga to Carson Bobo of Oak Mountain moved the ball deeper into South territor
Wilson finished the series with a run from the three and added a two-point conversion that put the North in front 14-7.
The South then threw another interception, with the North setting up shop on its 31. West Morgan's Gabe Peluso tossed a pass 26 yards to Bobo, with the ball reaching the 11. On the next play, Quenton Young from Clay Chalkville went around left end and the North took a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
An impressive drive by the South got them in striking distance. Moving the ball 65 yards in 13 plays, the South consumed half of the fourth quarter and trailed 21-14. Herron had his second TD of the night, this one from a yard out.
Back up at its seven, the North was able to chew up most of the time remaining and take the ball down to the South seven, where they gave it up on downs.
The South desperately tried a pass then at least seven laterals, with the ball moving past the 20, then going in the opposition direction, trying to keep it alive. The ball was muffed in the end zone and recovered by Kirby, a linebacker from Athens.
Team North dominated the second half with 201 yards total offense to 103 for the South, outgaining them 125-28 in the third quarter.
Wilson threw for 55 yards and ran for 20 in the third period and gained 34 yards on four runs in the final quarter that propelled him to the MVP award.
The North had 13 first downs in the second half, 17 for the game and finished with 282 yards of offense, 210 on an effective running attack. They were penalized five times for 50 yards and punted three times for a 37.0 average.
For the South, they gained 224 yards total offense, 12 first downs, but threw three interceptions, lost a fumble, had eight penalties for 85 yards and averaged 34.2 yards on four punts.
Team North was coached by Chris Musso of Locust Fork High School. The North has won four in a row, with the South leading the all time series 30-27-2.
Photo 1: North RB Lee Stanley of Piedmont attacks the South defense.
Photo 2: North QB Keaton Wilson of Sylacauga looks to turn the corner.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Decision making. It's a process we deal with day after day. Decisions we have to choose, whether it's something related with work, or a personal matter.
This one was rather easy for yours truly to decide.
Yours truly will endure activities next week in Montgomery for the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) All-Star Sports Week.
I take this over the task of the Southeastern Conference football media days, that will be in Atlanta for the first time, ending over three decades of being held somewhere inside Birmingham.
Very plain for my reason to be in Montgomery. I am committed to cover the AHSAA, basically with my local teams and then spread my coverage.
The AHSAA is also looking for as much as media coverage it can receive next week, knowing a majority of reporters in print, plus television and radio will invade the College Football Hall of Fame, the site of the 2018 Football Media Days.
Then you can add another event that will be fighting for plenty of media attention, the Major League Baseball All-Star game on Tuesday in Washington, DC.
The timing is slightly off balance. SEC Media Days is a week later this time than it was in 2017.
Last year I was in Hoover for one week of media days, then the preceding week, down in Montgomery for all-star games.
The AHSAA understands how the media will flock to Atlanta for the football convention, but this has been something of a treasure with sports week about to celebrate 22 years of existence in the capitol city, which is also where the AHSAA office is located.
All-Star Sports Week consists of coaches attending sessions in their respective sport. It is mandatory, or the other option is to take a test from the clinic online.
Games are setup in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball and now, cross country in its second year.
Players are selected from various locations across Alabama, with all sports expect football consisting of athletes entering their senior year in high school.
Collegiate programs can use this time to look at incoming seniors and try to beat a path to their door with scholarship offers.
What the AHSAA is hoping for, is to see media in attendance, that are just not from the Montgomery area.
They will be able to say hello to yours truly as I will report on the games for the three days they are taking place from such venues as Riverwalk Stadium for baseball, Lagoon Park for softball, Emory Folmar complex for soccer, Alabama State University for basketball, Auburn University Montgomery for cross country and volleyball and the Cramton Bowl for the football game.
Not many from my area made it to the 2018 all star series as it was in 2017. But I have seen a percentage of these athletes in a variety of sports perform and they deserve recognition for being an AHSAA All-Star.
SEC Football is secondary to me. I have nine high schools I focus on, beginning in late August and concluding in May, prior to their graduations.
Not a lot of locals are currently playing SEC football. Also, a small market media type, which I am classified as, is just in a group of so many.
SEC Football gets the royal treatment from media in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, Huntsville, Montgomery. Print, television and radio eat this up in more ways than we all know.
High schools can appreciate organizations such as Sportspage and others that are from smaller towns like Jasper, Decatur, Arab, Oneonta, Hartselle, Moulton.
I look forward to my week of game coverage and other stories that are probable from AHSAA All-Star Sports Week, plus a variety of photos.
My commitment is giving a constant variety of high school sports that surrounds me. Mission accomplished.
As we celebrate Independence Day, the 2018 Alabama High School Athletic Association football season continues to draw closer.
In one month, teams will be able to get on to the field and start practice August 6.
The first week of the new season will be August 23 & 24, with three games on tap for a Thursday night and three for the first Friday night of 2018 play.
New coaches will lead the Cullman Bearcats and Hanceville Bulldogs, while George Redding of Fairview has the longest tenure of active coaches, 12 seasons, with Rod Elliott of Cold Springs a year behind with 11.
This is a new season for realignment with Fairview dropping down to Class 4A. Everybody gets a percentage of new opponents for regional play, plus some foes they have faced in the same region in the past two years.
Instant replay will also be implemented with Good Hope the first school from the county to sign a 3-year contract with DVSport, that will provide them with the software. Cullman is currently considering it, with no commitments from the other schools in the county at the present time.
Schedules from reclassification have changed, including non regional matchups. The first week of 2018 football will be totally different than in 2017.
Here is the week by week 2018 local high school football schedule:
Aug. 23 - Fairview @ West Point, Jasper @ Cullman, Meek @ Cold Springs.
Aug. 24 - Sumiton Chr @ Hanceville, New Hope @ Holly Pond, Good Hope @ Carbon Hill
Aug. 31 - Arab @ West Point, Falkville @ Vinemont, Mortimer Jordan @ Cullman, Hanceville @ Fairview, Good Hope @ Priceville, Berry @ Cold Springs.
Sept. 7 - Pennington @ Hanceville, Cold Springs @ Southeastern, Cullman @ Decatur, Cordova @ Good Hope, Westbrook Chr @ Vinemont, Hamilton @ West Point, Midfield @ Holly Pond, DAR @ Fairview.
Sept. 14 - Tanner @ Good Hope, Sumiton Chr @ Cold Springs, Columbia @ Cullman, Fairview @ St. John Paul, Holly Pond @ Hanceville, Vinemont @ Midfield, West Point @ Lawrence Co.
Sept. 21 - Hanceville @ Vinemont, Russellville @ West Point, Oak Grove @ Good Hope, Priceville @ Fairview, Cullman @ Albertville, Cold Springs @ Aliceville, Holly Pond @ Fultondale.
Sept. 28 - Vinemont @ Addison, Cold Springs @ Appalachian, Cullman @ Hueytown,
Curry @ Hanceville, Danville @ Holly Pond.
Oct. 5 - Fultondale @ Vinemont, Athens @ Cullman, Fairview @ No. Jackson,
Good Hope @ Northside, Hanceville @ Midfield, Locust Fork @ Holly Pond,
West Point @ Jasper.
Oct. 12 - Muscle Shoals @ Cullman, Haleyville @ Good Hope, Dora @ West Point,
Winston Co @ Cold Springs, Holly Pond @ Pennington, Fairview @ West Morgan
Vinemont @ Locust Fork.
Oct. 19 - Pennington @ Vinemont, Cullman @ Hartselle, Cold Springs @ Tarrant,
Randolph @ Fairview, Good Hope @ Curry, Fultondale @ Hanceville,
West Point @ Corner.
Oct. 26 - Vinemont @ Holly Pond, Fairview @ Danville, West Point @ Hayden,
Sulligent @ Cold Springs, Cullman @ Fort Payne, Good Hope @ Fayette Co,
Hanceville @ Locust Fork.
Nov. 1 - Cold Springs @ Vinemont
Nov. 2 - Hanceville @ Good Hope, Holly Pond @ Fairview, Cordova @ West Point.
Previews of the local teams will be featured once preseason practice starts.
Sportspage will present coverage of the game of the week and will also have two Thursday night games in Fairview-West Point (Aug. 23) and Cold Springs-Vinemont (Nov. 1). We look forward to another good season of providing coverage of local high school football.
AHSAA Basketball officials camp
Thursday games covered by Sportspage
At Wallace State Community College:
Rogers 38, South Lamar 36 (OT)
Pleasant Grove 30, Hartselle 29 (G) (OT)
Rogers 33, Good Hope 32
Hartselle 54, Brilliant 14 (G)
South Lamar 56, Hayden 44
Hartselle 47, Jacksonville 38
Cullman 42, Austin 28
Hartselle 64, Fayette County 30
A great relationship for 25 years between the Alabama High School Athletic Association and Wallace State Community College, got an addition when the basketball officials state camp came to the junior college and also at Hanceville High School and Middle School for the second weekend in June.
Wallace State men's coach John Meeks, with assistance from Athletic Director Paul Bailey, got the bid to host this year evaluation series. The camp was held in 2017 at Carl Cannon Coliseum on the campus of new Jasper High School.
The camp evaluates officials, who have a goal in mind of working on their skills and also improving their chances as far as postseason assignments are concerned.
Officials receive points for attending the state clinic, with officials representing all districts by the AHSAA, including Northwest and Northeast Alabama, East and West Central Alabama, Southeast and Southwest Alabama.
Sportspage was told officials traveled to Hanceville for this three-day procedure from as far as Mobile and Enterprise, to officials from Cullman County and across the Tennessee Valley too.
The officials will receive classroom training from retired officials and the AHSAA camp staff, then head on to the hardwood for games.
Varsity, girls, junior varsity and freshmen teams from all across the state are here to face opponents they don't play regularly in the winter.
The games are 20-minute halves, with a running clock, that stops automatically in the final 2:00 of the game.
Officials are being graded for their work on the court, such as positioning, mechanics and coordinating as a unit.
Calls that are made do factor, but the key is how they apply themselves in treating these summer games like they would be working during the winter time.
Coming up Friday for Sportspage:
More from the AHSAA Officials Camp in Hanceville, with coverage to be focused from Wallace State, with games at Tom Drake Coliseum and two gymnasiums inside the Wellness Center.
Impact games Sportspage is looking at include Albertville vs. Good Hope and Cullman vs. Tanner at 8:30 in the Wellness Center, Deshler vs. Mae Jemison 9:30 in the Coliseum, Cullman vs. Fayette County 10:30 in the Coliseum, Deshler vs. Spain Park 11:30 in the Coliseum, Oak Mountain vs. Hartselle 1:00 in the Wellness Center, Good Hope vs. Deshler 2:00 in the Wellness Center, Wilson vs. Lee-Huntsville girls 3:00 in the Coliseum, Haleyville vs. Cleveland girls 4:00 in the Wellness Center, West End vs. Falkville 5:00 in the Wellness Center, Lee-Huntsville girls vs. Haleyville 6:00 in the Wellness Center, Vincent vs. Falkville 7:30 in the Coliseum,Hanceville girls vs. Wilson 7:30 in the Wellness Center, Hanceville girls vs. Haleyville 8:30 in the Coliseum.
Photo 1: Game officials with AHSAA official staff at halftime of Good Hope-Rogers game Thursday inside the Wallace State Wellness Center.
Photo 2: Good Hope guard Cole Maddox trying to drive on the Rogers defense.
Photo 3: Cullman Bearcats shoot a free throw while coach Bobby Meyer tries to block the sunlight out of his face in a game with Austin at the Wellness Center.
Photo 4: Hartselle PG Moriah Taylor looking for her team to move vs. Pleasant Grove.
Photo 5: Hartselle G Kenodree Swoopes shielding himself from the late afternoon sun Thursday in the Wallace Wellness Center vs. Jacksonville.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Photo 1: Tribute board to the late SEC Commissioner Mike Slive during baseball tournament. Yours truly was among those who signed it in honoring Slive.
Photo 2: Plenty of major league scouts looking at SEC talent. This was during the Florida-Arkansas game Friday at the Hoover Met.
Photo 3: Ground crew rolling up the tarp prior to conclusion of LSU-Florida game Saturday.
Photo 4: Scoreboard report on Saturday morning at the Hoover Met.
Photo 5: SEC Network reporter Laura Rutledge speaking to someone in 1st base dugout Saturday. For those who don't know, Rutledge is the wife of former Cullman Bearcat and Alabama baseball player Josh Rutledge, who is now with the San Francisco Giants.
Photo 6: LSU's Austin Bain heading toward the dugout, greeted by young Tiger fans Saturday morning.
Photo 7: LSU 1st baseman Austin Bain, Florida runner Deacon Liput in 7th inning of Saturday's game at the Hoover Met.
Photo 8: Majority of LSU fans enjoying recliners at the Finley Center after their Tigers defeated Florida in completion of suspended game Saturday morning.
Photo 9: Huge TV screen inside the Finley Center at SEC Fanfest Saturday. Taken during the Ole Miss-Texas A&M semifinal game Saturday afternoon.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Photo 1: 1st base umpire signals safe after call in 8th inning of LSU/South Carolina was reversed from an out to a run scored.
Photo 2: South Carolina coach Mark Kingston in discussion with 1st base umpire right after the call in the 8th inning was reversed, giving LSU a run.
Photo 3: A South Carolina fan not happy in the 8th inning of the Gamecocks' 6-4 loss to LSU at the Hoover Met.
Photo 4: South Carolina's Jacob Olson (7) after he singled in the tieing run in the 9th of Thursday's game vs. LSU.
Photo 5: Wallace State student Dawson Boyd (left) working in the SEC Tournament as a volunteer in the media staff. Boyd is seen with an assistant during Thursday's game between LSU and South Carolina in extra innings at the Hoover Met.
Photo 6: The scoreboard gives the story as LSU defeats South Carolina 6-4 in 12 innings Thursday. The game ended at 7:25 p.m.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
JACKSONVILLE - A new gadget for the Alabama High School Athletic Association has been used the past two weekends during spring football jamboree games being played at Jacksonville State's Burgess/Snow Stadium.
Instant replay has debut with the Good Hope Raiders being the first county team to experience it.
Good Hope was in the first game of five assigned on Saturday and got to use it during the second quarter in the Raiders' 21-0 victory over Cleburne County.
Raider coach Alan Scott questioned the spot on a fourth down play in which the referee gave Cleburne County a first down at its 45-yard line.
Scott thought the run never reached the yardage for a first down and dropped his red challenge flag on to the field.
The referee, at first, told Scott, the ball had reached the 45, from starting at the 35. Scott was given permission to challenge the call as the referee and umpire went to the sideline to look at a monitor stationed on Good Hope's side, at the 20-yard line in the East end zone.
With DVsport providing video for the play to be seen from two different angles, it was determined the runner did not reach the 45 and Good Hope was given possession with Cleburne County turning it over on downs.
DVsport is providing software for teams sanctioned by the AHSAA to use for instant replay, beginning in the fall.
The software company, based out of Pittsburgh, has set up cameras in the press box and in the end zone in these jamboree games to allow teams and officials to get more accumulated with the system.
Scott told Sportspage the Raiders are planning to purchase the equipment and be the first in the county to use it in games in the fall at James Shabel Stadium.
Scott, who is also the school's athletic director, told representatives from DVsport, he and principal John Hood, would get together immediately and fill out the necessary paperwork to have the system ordered to put it to work when the Raiders play at home for the first time on September 7 vs. Cordova.
Executive Operations Assistant Danny Vliet showed Sportspage how the system is set up in working with a team's video camera.
An outlet is plugged into the camera that can provide video, with a monitor to be a tablet or other computerized device.
The system goes through the following. A coach must drop his red flag to challenge a call on the field.
The referee will indicate this is a challenge and will be joined by the umpire in going to the sideline to look at a monitor. Once the referee arrives, he will have 2 minutes to take a look, being able to slow it down and replay it, with no complications.
Then after 2 minutes are up, the referee will return to the field and determined if the call stands or the call will be reversed.
According to DVsport, this was the first call overturned after it was challenged by Good Hope, enabling the Raiders to stop a Cleburne County drive and take over at the Tigers' 44-yard line with 7:49 showing in the second quarter.
Good Hope was given an additional challenge for winning the appeal. If the call was not reversed, the Raiders would have been charged with the loss of a time out.
Schools will take software for a cost of $3,000 to $3,500. The price of the software was announced by AHSAA Executive Director Steve Saverese in his monthly newsletter last week.
Saverese broke the news in a press conference April 12 that football teams will be given the option to get the equipment, if the choose too.
Media reports have it that 25 percent of the schools sanctioned by the AHSAA, will use instant replay, starting with games the weekend of August 23.
Most believe that the large classifications will be involved with the software, while the smaller schools may not, due to cost and other potential situations, such as press box space and how many cameras can be used.
Scott insured Sportspage video replay will not effect electronic media such as WKUL-FM when the station comes to broadcast the Raiders, in which they plan to for three times at Good Hope in the upcoming season.
In seeing the equipment from DVsport for the first time, I was impressed with how the company is trying to use something in the latest advancement of technology.
My question is on the officials. Understanding what plays can be challenged, such as spotting the football, as seen in Saturday's Good Hope jamboree game.
The referee was trying to be bold in saying to Scott, the line to gain was correct on the spot. It turned out to be incorrect, with the referee's boldness having him to eat his words and change his aggressive attitude.
DVsport representatives told me, it's not perfect, but this does allow for plays, such as the spot of the ball can be replayed and in today's case, the call was reversed after the runner was short of the line to gain.
DVsport also informed me that the AHSAA was not accurate in saying that games could be extended from 20 to 30 minutes. I was told, each replay is 2:00 max. Four challenges are what are allowed, two for both teams. That's 8:00 for maximum time. An additional 10 minutes is what could come out if all challenges are used and no additional replays awarded.
Judgement calls at certain situations can effect the outcome of games, especially close ones. This system is to provide assistance in case it comes to that point.
I got a good impression from it Saturday in Jacksonville, but i still have some questions that I will look into at a later time.
Photo 1: Officials look at the DVsystem setup with DVsport Executive Danny Vliet prior to Saturday's Good Hope-Cleburne Co game at Jacksonville State University.
Photo 2: Good Hope coach Alan Scott visits with DVsystem representatives to understand the use of the software prior to the Raiders playing Cleburne County Saturday.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton.
Spring football will conclude this week for teams covered regularly by Sportspage.
Seven of the eight schools in Cullman County will have a jamboree assignment on the third weekend of May.
Four games will be on tap for Friday.
The Fairview Aggies will host the Arab Arabian Knights, the West Point Warriors entertain the Holly Pond Broncos, the Hanceville Bulldogs play at the Cold Springs Eagles, the Vinemont Eagles visit the Brindlee Mountain Lions.
Neighboring schools, the Addison Bulldogs and the Falkville Blue Devils meet at Burl Vest Stadium.
All games are anticipated to be 7:00 kickoffs.
On Saturday, the Good Hope Raiders get on the bus for a trip to Jacksonville State's Paul Snow Stadium and play the Cleburne County Tigers at 11:00 a.m.
Cullman Bearcats are the only team that does not have a jamboree game scheduled. The Bearcats are reported to conclude the final week of spring workouts with a controlled scrimmage at Oliver Woodard Stadium Thursday.
Changes have taken place on the sidelines of Cullman and Hanceville for the spring.
Matt Plunkett replaces Mark Britton at Cullman, who retired after 17 seasons directing the Bearcats to 134 wins and 15 playoff appearances in 17 years.
Cody McCain comes to Hanceville following three years at Clements High School. McCain is a 2003 graduate of West Point High School.
All other head coaches remain in tact. Rod Elliott at Cold Springs, George Redding at Fairview, Alan Scott at Good Hope, Mike Bates at Holly Pond, Stephen Robinson at Vinemont and Don Farley at West Point.
David Smothers remains at Addison with the Bulldogs back in Class 2A after the previous two years playing in 1A.
Fairview went from 5A to 4A in the reclassification setup in January. The Aggies are back to the 4A level for the first time since the 2013 season.
Fairview's jamboree has plenty of interest for the Aggies take on an Arab team that has a new leader in Oscar Glasscock. Glasscock is a Cullman graduate and coached for the Bearcats during the Mark Britton area before moving on to other locations.
Glasscock was defensive coordinator at Mountain Brook in the Birmingham area last year.
With reclassification, schedules took a change from regional play to non regional games.
The first weekend of the 2018 season will have a tripleheader on August 23 (a Thursday) and the rest to be played on Friday, the 24th.
Cullman and Jasper (formerly known as Walker) get together at Oliver Woodard Stadium August 23 as does Fairview at West Point and Cold Springs playing host to the Meek Tigers.
The first Friday of regular season play will present Hanceville in a game at Ray Talley Stadium vs. Sumiton Christian, Good Hope going to Carbon Hill, Holly Pond at home vs. New Hope and Addison playing at Curry. The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets meet for the first time since 1979.
Vinemont is idle for opening weekend. The Eagles swing into action on August 31 at Mark Smothers Stadium against Falkville.
All games are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. kickoffs, set by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for Thursday and Friday contests.
Photo 1: Holly Pond coach Mike Bates gives pointers during a drill during May 10 practice.
Photo 2: Cullman coach Matt Plunkett speaks with Bearcats prior to controlled scrimmage May 10 at Oliver Woodard Stadium.
Photo 3: West Point Warriors in 5A playoff vs. Brooks Nov. 9, 2017.
Photo 4: Addison Bulldogs in 1A playoff at Hackleburg Nov. 17, 2017.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
AHSAA 1A/3A State Track & Field Meet (Saturday)
At Oliver Woodard Stadium - Cullman HS:
2A G: 3,200: Leahrose Mami of St. Bernard 12:14.97 (1st)
2A G: 3,200: Ava Akridge of Cold Springs 12:53.31 (5th)
2A 3,200: Andrew Sweeney of St. Bernard 10:18.18 (1st)
3A 3,200: Aaron Brown of Hanceville 10:42.23 (5th)
2A G 100 hurdles: Gracie Loyd of St. Bernard 17.40 (3rd)
2A 110 hurdles: Mason Harris of Cold Springs 16.38 (3rd)
2A 300 hurdles: Mason Harris of Cold Springs 43.53 (5th)
2A G 200: Gracie Loyd of St. Bernard 27.39 (5th)
2A G 800: Leahrose Mami of St. Bernard 2:29.24 (1st)
2A G 800: Claire Sanders of St. Bernard 2:35.26 (3rd)
2A 800: Andrew Sweeney of St. Bernard 2:03.41 (3rd)
2A 800: Trentan Williams of Cold Springs 2:04.39 (4th)
2A 800: Caleb Guthrey of St. Bernard 2:07.73 (5th)
2A 4 X 400 relay: Cold Springs 3:36.75 (4th)
2A G Discus: Grace Chambers of Cold Springs 100-97 (1st)
2A G Discus: Kinley Campbell of Cold Springs 91-06 (4th)
2A G Discus: Aubrey Negron of Cold Springs 88-07 (5th)
2A G Long Jump: Gracie Loyd of St. Bernard 14-10.50 (4th)
2A G High Jump: Lilly McSpadden of Cold Springs 4-06.00 (4th)
2A High Jump: Elijah Price of St. Bernard 6-02.00 (1st)
2A G through 18 events:
1. Altamont 109.33, 2. St. Bernard 79, 3. Lafayette 67, 4. Falkville 64, 5. Cold Springs 54.33
2A through 18 events:
1. Falkville 108, 2. Altamont 84, 3. Lanett 59, 4. Lafayette 54, 5. St. Bernard 53, 6. Cold Springs 44
1A G through 17 events:
1. Whitesburg 136, 2. Westminster Oak Mountain 116, 3. Loachapoka 49, 4. Holy Spirit 38, 5. Addison 34.
FLASH NOTES: Five individual titles were claimed by local athletes on Day 2 Saturday as the meet did everything possible to beat showers that were scheduled to come into the Cullman area in the afternoon.
St. Bernard's Leahrose Mami closed out her career in impressive fashion, winning the 3,200, then the 800 meter to give her four championships for the 2018 event and 21 state medals she has received during her prep career.
Mami was ready after winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 last weekend in the sectional meet in Corner.
In the 800, Mami was passed briefly by Kaylen Horn of St. Luke's on the 1st lap. Then on the start of the second lap, Mami went back in front and created distance between her and Horn in beating her to the finish line by 16 seconds.
Andrew Sweeney, Mami's teammate, matched her with victory in the 3,200 meter, but was unable to pull it off in the 800, taking home third place.
Sweeney got two championships, a third place finish and a group title (4 X 800) as he said goodbye in his final time running for William Calvert's Saints.
Calvert called this day very emotional for what Mami and Sweeney have meant to the St. Bernard program for a very long time.
Both started their senior season winning the 2A Cross Country meet last November in Lawrence County and continued to be superior on outdoor track with tremendous performances that puts these two in an elite group by themselves.
Elijah Price of St. Bernard presented the Saints with their fourth title on Saturday, winning the high jump at 6-02.
Cold Springs got an individual title when Grace Chambers clobbered the 2A competition by a distance of 100-07 in the discus. Keyanda Walker of Aliceville claimed a distant second at 94-00. Lady Eagle teammates Kinley Campbell and Aubrey Negron were 4th and 5th overall to give the team 19 total points for the discus.
Photo of 2A discus champion Grace Chambers of Cold Springs.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton.