VINEMONT - Offseason training activity (also known as OTA) was held Tuesday morning at Mark Smothers Stadium between the Vinemont Eagles and the Southeastern Mustangs from Blount County.
The later part of June and the entire month of July is allowed by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for OTAs, as well as 7 on 7 passing camps.
Vinemont coach Stephen Robinson told Sportspage this was a relaxed atmosphere for two hours of work on the gridiron, dealing with sunny skies, temperature in the mid 80s and a heat index that made it feel like the low 90s.
The linemen worked around the North end zone of Smothers Stadium on blocking technique, while the backs and receivers got in 7 on 7 passing against linebackers and secondary.
The 7 on 7 was 40 yards from the South part of the stadium. Teams had to go 10 yards downfield for a first down in three plays or turn the ball over on downs.
Vinemont stopped Southeastern on its first series, then scored on the second play from scrimmage on a 40-yard TD pass by Jack Hill.
This was something new for the Eagles in Robinson's second year in command of the Vinemont program.
Vinemont posted two huge upset wins in 2017, edging Hanceville 21-20 September 15 and two weeks later, scoring on the final play to knock off 1A contender Addison 28-22.
Southeastern, located in the Remlap community of Blount County, enters its 7th season of AHSAA football in the fall.
The Mustangs are under the direction of new coach Kevin Byrd. Southeastern has only won twice in a regular season three times, including the previous two years.
After an OTA on Tuesday, Vinemont will head to Chorba-Lee Stadium for a 7 on 7 Thursday at Guntersville. The competition will get under at 9:00 a.m.
The Eagles also have 7 on 7 assignments scheduled in July at Fairview and Good Hope. Vinemont's 2018 season opens August 31 at Smothers Stadium vs. the Falkville Blue Devils.
Southeastern will get the Byrd era under way August 23 at Blount County rival Appalachian.
Photo 1: Vinemont Eagles getting loose prior to OTA Tuesday morning.
Photo 2: Vinemont QB Jack Hill going through a passing drill.
Photo 3: Vinemont lineman in drill with Southeastern lineman.
Photo 4: Eagles' QB Jack Hill looking to go deep in 7 on 7 drill vs. Southeastern.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Cullman County freshmen championship
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
# 1 Fairview 10 14 6 13 - 43
# 3 Vinemont 11 12 7 8 - 38
FAIRVIEW: Owen Yarbrough 18, Jack Brown 15, Peyton Bailey 2, Clayton Strane 4, Eli Speegle 4.
Team totals: 8-17 FGs, 6-12 3s, 9-11 FTs, 16 rebounds, 6 assists
VINEMONT: Collin Teichmiller 10, Bosten McDuffee 5, Austin Riddle 8, Will Rhodes 4, Curtis Kennedy 7, Caleb Sharpe 2.
Team totals: 13-26 FGs, 2-8 3s, 7-9 FTs, 17 rebounds.
STAR-STUDDED PERFORMER: Owen Yarbrough of Fairview - 18 points, 5-9 FGs, 4-7 treys, 4-4 FTs, 1 rebound, 1 assist.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: Owen Yarbrough, Jack Brown - Fairview, Collin Teichmiller, Curtis Kennedy - Vinemont, Carter Thornton, Brannon Bright - West Point, Michael Owens - Good Hope
Photo 1: Cullman County freshmen champion Fairview Aggies (Photo by Johnny Thornton)
Photo 2: Cullman County freshmen runner-up Vinemont Eagles (Photo by Johnny Thornton)
Photo 3: County freshmen all-tournament team (Photo by Johnny Thornton)
Cullman County freshmen semifinal
At Tom Drake Coliseum - Hanceville:
# 2 West Point 6 10 12 12 - 40
# 3 Vinemont 7 7 16 13 - 43
VINEMONT: Collin Teichmiller 15, Curtis Kennedy 11, Bosten McDuffee 2, Austin Riddle 6, Will Rhodes 3, Caleb Sharpe 5,
WEST POINT: Carter Thornton 13, Brennan Bright 12, Logan Selby 4, Andrew Williams 5, Cade Simmons 4, Jacob Dye 1, Johnathan Fell 1.
STAR-STUDDED PERFORMER: Collin Teichmiller of Vinemont - 15 points, 5-9 FGs, 1-3 treys, 4-4 FTs, 3 rebounds, 2 assists.
FLASH NOTES: Vinemont rallied from a 16-14 halftime deficit, jumping ahead 22-16 early in the third period. The Eagles held on to a 30-28 lead going to a dramatic final period as the game was tied in crunch time.
The difference late in the game was the Eagles' hitting five of six from the foul line while the Warriors managed just to connect on two of five.
Teichmiller was perfect with the game on the line and Austin Riddle dropped in a pair to keep the Eagles on top.
Vinemont finished 14 of 26 from the line after starting the game two of eight in the opening quarter. The Eagles were seven of 10 during the second half to offset seven of 16 through the opening half.
Up next for Vinemont: Vs. Fairview in championship Saturday 1:00 p.m.
At Vinemont Gymnasium:
St. Bernard 10 9 12 6 - 37 (2-10)
Vinemont 8 10 13 9 - 40 (2-13)
VINEMONT: Madysn Hacker 19, Bailey Preiss 12, Sadie Stanley 6, Valerie Stacks 3
ST. BERNARD: Emma Tafazoli 13, Claire Sanders 12, Ashley Duke 4, Macy Whaley 3, Jackelyn Artega 2, Claudia Fallin 2.
FLASH NOTES: A huge crowd thanks to it being Vinemont youth basketball recognition night gave the Lady Eagles a lift when they needed it.
Vinemont rallied from a 19-18 deficit at the break to take a 29-23 lead in the third quarter on a field goal in the paint by Madysn Hacker with 4:25 showing.
However, St. Bernard answered with a rally as a shot by Emma Tafazoli with 0:05 left in the third got the game even at 31-31, with a dramatic fourth quarter waiting for both teams.
Vinemont's offense sputtered to begin the period with St. Bernard getting field goals from Claire Sanders, Tafazoli and Ashley Duke, building up a 37-31 lead with 4:37 to go.
That would be the last time St. Bernard would produce a point in this contest.
What hurt the Lady Saints was losing Sanders, their point guard, to her fifth personal foul with 4:07 to go and her team ahead by six.
St. Bernard had some turnovers down the stretch and one less offensive weapon on the floor that proved to be fatal for the Lady Saints' chances of winning.
Vinemont tied the score at 37-37 on a free throw by Sadie Stanley at the 3:11 mark. The go ahead bucket was on a drive by Stanley to make it 39-37 with 2:53 remaining.
Both teams were unable to make a shot the rest of the way.
Vinemont overcome shooting woes from the foul line in which the Lady Eagles missed 10 attempts in the fourth quarter and 22 for the game.
Bailey Preiss dropped in one from the stripe at 0:21 to push the Vinemont margin to 40-37.
St. Bernard tried to tie with a three, but Ashley Duke's attempt under defensive pressure by Preiss and Valerie Stacks, never made it to the basket.
Lance Lay's squad had their first home win of the season and took the season series from Tiffany Hinkle-Pope's Lady Saints two games to one.
Up next for Vinemont: At Carbon Hill Friday.
Up next for St. Bernard: Vs. Whitesburg Christian Friday (weather permitting)
(Live on WKUL-FM).
Photo 1: Vinemont's varsity cheerleaders and youth cheerleaders join forces to perform at halftime of junior varsity game Thursday night.
Photo 2: St. Bernard's Macy Whaley (25) tries to set a screen on Vinemont's Sadie Stanley (22) while Lady Saints' Emma Tafazoli brings the ball up the floor.
Photo 3: Vinemont's Kanasta Daniel (32) and Bailey Preiss (4) try to get open on an inbounds pass vs. St. Bernard defenders Emily Sanders (11), Ashley Duke (22), Claudia Fallin (32) and Macy Whaley (25).
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
St. Bernard Christmas Tournament Girls semifinal # 2
At Fazi-Richard Athletic Center:
Vinemont 15 19 14 9 - 57 (1-9)
St. Bernard 11 8 4 16 - 39 (2-6)
VINEMONT: Sadie Stanley 23, Madysen Hacker 13, Valerie Stacks 6, Kortnee Chaffin 6, Bailey Preiss 7, Kanasta Daniel 2.
ST. BERNARD: Emma Tafazoli 23, Claire Sanders 5, Macy Whaley 5, Ashley Duke 6.
FLASH NOTES: It was a Christmas present for the Vinemont Lady Eagles. Their first win of the season and settling the score with St. Bernard after losing to the Lady Saints two weeks before at the Athletic Center in a 43-34 battle.
After a competitive first period, Vinemont got shots to fall during the second and held St. Bernard to eight points, extending the lead to 34-19 at the break.
The Lady Saints fell further behind with only four points coming in the third to trail 48-23.
Tiffany Hinkle-Pope's Lady Saints made up with a sound fourth quarter of scoring 16 points behind balance play, but Lance Lay's Lady Eagles had done enough through the first three quarters as Stanley was solid from the perimeter and Hacker scored from near the basket and at the foul line.
The reward for Vinemont is a berth into the championship game Friday at 3:30 p.m. vs. Cleveland. The game will be carried live on WKUL-FM (92.1).
Up next for St. Bernard: Vs. Southeastern for 3rd place Friday 1:00 p.m. at St. Bernard.
St. Bernard's Claire Sanders (11) takes a pass from Macy Whaley (25) and moves up the floor in semifinal game with Vinemont Thursday afternoon.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton.
Sportspage Thursday night special
At Burl Vest Stadium - Falkville
Vinemont 0 7 0 0 - 7 (2-8)
Falkville 7 20 12 6 - 47 (7-3)
Falk - Aaron Dove 2 pass to Noah Holmes (Marcus Klocek kick) 3:31 in 1st
VM - Jack Hill 31 pass to Dustin Moore (Austin Sparks kick) 9:00 in 2nd
Falk - Dove 34 pass to Christian Angulo (kick failed) 8:01 in 2nd
Falk - Dove 10 run (Klocek kick) 4:37 in 2nd
Falk - Dove 27 pass to Allen Vinson (Klocek kick) 0:00 in 2nd
Falk - Vinson 62 run (kick blocked) 11:38 in 3rd
Falk - Vinson 21 run (kick blocked) 8:09 in 3rd
Falk - Fred Walls 2 run (Dove run) 9:21 in 4th
FLASH NOTES: A Falkville turnover set up Vinemont to drive 60 yards early in the second quarter and tie the game on a 31-yard pass by Jack Hill to Dustin Moore who made a diving catch in the right side of the end zone. The kick by Sparks put it 7-7 with 9:00 left in the half.
Falkville then got good field position on a squib kick, going 52 yards in a minute as Dove threw a 34-yard TD to Angulo. Then after holding the Eagles to three and out, the Devils marched 48 yards with Dove taking it in from 10 yards out and it was 20-7.
An interception deep in Falkville gave the Devils the ball at their 21 with 2:04 left in the half. Good passing from Dove got them in scoring range and he dumped off a pass to Vinson on the final play of the quarter. Vinson broke tackles and went down the sidelines to put the Devils in front at the break 27-7.
A bizarre start was witnessed by the fans on the second half kickoff. The Devils used a reverse play with Walls coming to the left sidelines, scampering 45 yards to the Vinemont 35. When he took a toss from a teammate to begin the end around, the lights on the visiting side of the stadium went out.
A breaker blew according to announcement by the PA announcer. The game was delayed 12 minutes with a re-kick taking place at 8:37 p.m.
Vinson then broke free for a 62-yard TD on the first snap of the second half and Falkville was on its way to its sixth straight victory and finish the regular season at 7-3.
The Devils passed for 260 yards with Dove throwing for three touchdowns. They attacked Vinemont for 241 yards on the ground as Vinson rushed for 160 yards and scored twice. Vinson moved past the 1,000-yard mark on the season.
Vinemont had 163 yards in its final game for first year coach Stephen Robinson. The Eagles only gained 41 yards in the second half after netting 122 by the break. Vinemont threw two interceptions and fumbled once. The two interceptions set up scoring drives for the Devils in the first half.
The Eagles finish the season at 2-8 with a 5-game losing streak.
Falkville is probable the No. 2 seed out of 2A, Region 7 as Tarrant shut out Talladega County Central Thursday night 27-0. Falkville, Tarrant and Cleveland finished 5-1 in the region with this week's games factoring into who will be seeded 1st through 3rd.
The Blue Devils go into the postseason with a 6-game winning streak.
Photo 1: Vinemont's Dustin Moore (12) trying to get a first down in the 1st quarter.
Photo 2: Falkville QB Aaron Dove waiting to get the snap from the shotgun formation.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Friday, November 3
Burl Vest Stadium - Falkville
SERIES: Vinemont 23-17
2016: Falkville 53-34
LAST WEEK: Vinemont lost to Holly Pond 40-9
Fallville defeated Tanner 20-16
FLASH NOTES: Vinemont finds itself in a playoff implication game, even though they are not heading to the postseason.
The game looms large for Falkville. The Blue Devils are in a three-way tie for the lead in 2A, Region 7 at 5-1 with Tarrant and Cleveland. A win by the Blue Devils against Vinemont and a Tarrant victory over Talladega County Central would place Falkville as 2nd in the region and a playoff game next week on campus.
Vinemont has everything to gain and nothing to lose in completing its first season under Stephen Robinson. The Eagles have gone through some injures and playing young personnel in the skill positions.
Working hard to finish 2017 will be a positive standpoint for Vinemont with plenty of experience to return to the gridiron next season.
Friday, October 20
Larry Patterson Field - Susan Moore
3A, R 6
VINEMONT: 2-5, 1-3
SUSAN MOORE: 2-5, 1-3
SERIES: Susan Moore 12-5
2016: Susan Moore 35-21
REGION 6 STANDINGS: Fultondale 4-0, Pennington 4-1, Locust Fork 3-1, Holly Pond 2-2, Vinemont 1-3, Susan Moore 1-3, Hanceville 0-5.
FLASH NOTES: Both teams enter the third Friday in October with identical records overall and in the region.
This will cap off three consecutive weeks of travel time for Stephen Robinson's Eagles. They are back in Blount County for the second straight week, visiting Blountsville last Friday.
The winner stays in playoff contention. Vinemont will host Holly Pond the following week with Susan Moore getting an assignment against Pennington.
Friday, October 13
Sutton Memorial Stadium - Blountsville
3A, R 6
REGION 6 STANDINGS: Fultondale 3-0, Pennington 3-1, Locust Fork 3-1, Vinemont 1-2, Holly Pond 1-2, Susan Moore 1-2, Hanceville 0-4.
SERIES: Pennington 12-3
2016: Pennington 41-0
VINEMONT: 2-4, 1-3
PENNINGTON: 5-2, 3-1
LAST WEEK: Vinemont lost to Priceville 37-14
Pennington lost to Fultondale 56-8
FLASH NOTES: Vinemont makes the first of consecutive visits to Blount County the next two Fridays. The Eagles are in Blountsville this week, meeting a J.B. Pennington squad that was beaten in every way possible by Region 6 leader Fultondale at home last Friday.
Vinemont struggled in its game at Priceville, falling behind by two touchdowns and unable to adjust. The Eagles did get a pair of touchdown drives, but it was too little, too late and the chance to resume regional play with a 3-3 record was denied.
The Eagles will be a factor in determining the playoff positioning the next three weeks as Pennington, Susan Moore and Holly Pond are like Vinemont, contending for a ticket to the November schedule.
The Eagles are going for their first victory away from home for new coach Stephen Robinson. The Tigers are only 1-2 in games played this season in Blountsville.