Friday, September 29
Mark Smothers Stadium - Vinemont
SERIES: Addison 20-7
2016: Addison 43-36
LAST WEEK: Vinemont lost to Fultondale 48-6
Addison lost to Lynn 21-18
FLASH NOTES: It's the third straight game for the Eagles on the Vinemont campus. The last two opponents visiting Vinemont have combined for eight wins in nine games this season.
That's a challenging task for a team with a new coach and young in the skilled positions.
Addison has controlled the season with nine straight wins against the Eagles. The last time Vinemont took down Addison was a 14-8 final on September 3, 1993.
The last three games have been decided in the closing moments. Addison squeezed out a 26-20 victory in 2014, outscored the Eagles 42-33 to open the 2015 season and rallied in the final quarter at A.G. Hicks Stadium last season for a 43-36 thriller.
Addison is smarting after falling to county foe Lynn that ended a 14-game regular season winning streak and dropped them to 3rd in the 1A, Region 7 standings.
The Bulldogs will want to use the Eagles as a building tool before they get back into region play at Addison next Friday against Decatur Heritage. Decatur Heritage is tied for the region lead with Lynn at 3-0.
Heritage is undefeated at 4-0.
Vinemont will not be back back at home until October 27 when they finish regional play vs. Holly Pond. First-year coach Stephen Robinson will have his Eagles playing at Priceville, J.B. Pennington and Susan Moore to open the month of October.
Friday, September 22
Mark Smothers Stadium - Vinemont
3A, R 6
REGION STANDINGS: Fultondale 1-0, J.B. Pennington 2-0, Vinemont 1-1, Holly Pond 1-1, Locust Fork 1-1, Hanceville 0-2, Susan Moore 0-1.
SERIES: Fultondale 1-0
2016: Fultondale 55-14
VINEMONT: 1-2, 1-1
FULTONDALE: 3-0, 2-0
LAST WEEK: Vinemont defeated Hanceville 21-20
Fultondale defeated St. James 45-21
FLASH NOTES: Vinemont has something to build on in its come from behind thriller vs. Hanceville last Friday. This is the second of three consecutive games on the Vinemont campus with the defending Region 6 champion coming to town for the very first time.
Fultondale brings with it plenty of speed and a high scoring machine. The Wildcats have outscored Tarrant, Hanceville and St. James 140-33.
In three road games, the Wildcats have produced 140 points, allowing the opponent 33. They have not played on campus yet and will not until next week against Hale County.
Vinemont did some good things last week as net 251 yards in the Hanceville game, 11 first downs. Jack Hill completed two key passes in the game winning 83-yard drive that took just 1:05 off the clock. Teague Whatley caught a 63-yard pass that put the ball to the Hanceville 20 with Dustin Moore catching a 14-yard slant pass for the game winner with 35 seconds remaining. Austin Sparks drilled three extra point conversions, the difference in the contest on a humid night in North Cullman County.
A young team must deal with a veteran ball club that has put together the winning touch with 11 victories in their last 13 regular season games. Fultondale is 7-1 on the road dating back to the 2016 regular season.
Tri-match # 1 @ Jim Boyd Gymnasium - West Point
Vinemont 7 20
West Point 25 25
West Point (2-2) wins match 2-0
FLASH NOTES: West Point started the afternoon under a steamy Jim Boyd Gymnasium with outside temperature in the upper 80s, getting hot in the first set to handle Vinemont with no trouble.
Avery McClure was the standout in the opening set for the Lady Warriors, going to the service line with the score 12-7 and staying there for 13 consecutive points. McClure received help from Molly Pendley with a kill in the segment, a volley by Lexi Shadix and solid play up front from Mackenzie Carter, Selena Clark as the setter, Josie Huckaby and Meredith Calvert.
Vinemont settled down and played better in the second set with Rachel Hall scoring two service points and having two kills and a block, Cassidy Wright with three service points, a volley and a kill, Mikayla Golden a service point and a kill, Maddie Oliver a service point and Kortnee Chaffin a service point.
Alexis Boner converted an ace to pull the Lady Eagles to 24-20 then Vinemont served the ball out of bounds that allowed to complete sweeping the match in under one hour. Vinemont fell to 2-4 after a 3-1 record and 2nd place finish Saturday in the St. Bernard Invitational.
Tri-match # 2 @ Jim Boyd Gymnasium - West Point
Brewer 25 25
Vinemont 16 16
Brewer (4-5) wins match 2-0
FLASH NOTES: Brewer brought a solid service attack to Cullman County, gaining momentum early and using three service points by Carly Fairbanks and a series of kills by Brie Causey, Lesiha Steger and Shyan Flack to outdistance Vinemont in the first set.
The Lady Eagles had their moments with Golden getting a couple of kills, a service point, Hall two service points, a kill and two blocks.
In game two, Vinemont kept it close, trailing 12-8 on a service point from Hall. But Flack got a couple of kills the next two plays and Brewer moved the margin to 17-8. Chaffin served two in row to pull the Lady Eagles to 18-11, but could never get closer.
An unfortunate break happened at the end of the match when Wright turned her ankle and had to be assisted to the sideline. She was taken out of the gymnasium by a teammate and West Point trainer Donna Chamblee.
Her status was undetermined following the match.
UP NEXT: Vinemont @ Hanceville Tuesday 2:00 p.m. (Quad match)
Sportspage photo of Vinemont's Rachel Hall by Johnny Thornton
Vinemont enjoyed its best day of the young volleyball season, taking second place in the St. Bernard Invitational at the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center.
After going 2-0 in Pool A, the Lady Eagles performed well in sweeping neighboring rival Falkville 25-17, 25-17.
Then getting the top seed from Pool B in Lindsay Lane, the Lady Eagles fought hard with the school from Athens, but dropped two close games, 27-25 an 25-17.
Coming into the weekend at 0-2, Lance Lay's Lady Eagles started their busy day of the season, taking down St. Bernard in straight sets and winning a hard fought three-game set over East Lawrence.
Vinemont moved in front of Falkville in the first set of the semifinal when Kortnee Chaffin ripped off three straight on serve and a 13-10 advantage.
When Vinemont broke Falkville's serve, Maddie Oliver went to work. The junior started a string of seven straight points with an ace as the Lady Eagles moved the lead to 24-14. Falkville got a service break before Vinemont finished the second with a kill by Rachel Hall and a 25-15 triumph.
Five consecutive points from Oliver in the second game sparked Vinemont to an 11-7 lead after trailing 7-4. Chaffin came off the sidelines and again ignited a run with four service points to move the margin to 21-11. The match was completed by a kill from Hall of an assist by Oliver, sending the Lady Eagles on to the championship series.
Lindsay Lane advanced to the finals sweeping Cleveland 26-24 and 25-16. They were 9-3 with momentum like Vinemont had experienced throughout the day.
Game one was back and forth as Lindsay Lane led 18-14 with Vinemont taking advantage of mistakes by the Lady Lions and going on top 24-23 on back to back serves from Mikayla Golden.
However, Lindsay Lane answered, tieing the score at 25-25 when a block by Hall went out of bounds. Jamison Putman got two service points for the Lady Lions as the first set ended when a return ball by Vinemont hit the antenna.
An 8-1 lead was gained by Lindsay Lane in the second set with Vinemont determined to make a game of it. Golden responded with three service points down the stretch to pull her team within 23-17 and force the Lady Lions to call a time out.
But a point on a volley by Katelyn Ralls and a service winner from Mackenzie Perkins completed the sweep.
ALL-PERFORMANCE TEAM FROM ST. BERNARD INVITATIONAL:
Mackenzie Perkins (MVP), Madelyn Dizon, Bonnie Cudiff - Lindsay Lane
Maddie Oliver, Rachel Hall, Mikayla Golden - Vinemont
Avy Whaley, Ashley Duke, Macy Whaley - St. Bernard
Peyton Montgomery - Falkville
Photo 1: Maddie Oliver of Vinemont serves in semifinal vs. Falkville
Photo 2: Vinemont, Falkville in pregame shake prior to semifinal match.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
From the St. Bernard Invitational, Vinemont finishes 2-0 in Pool A, defeating St. Bernard 25-20, 25-13 and East Lawrence 25-14, 20-25 and 15-7.
Lance Lay Lady Eagles trailed St. Bernard 5-0 in the first set then got into rhythm, tieing the score at 7-7 on an ace from Mikayla Golden. Golden scored three in a row from the service line.
Maddie Oliver rolled off four straight to send Vinemont to a 13-9 advantage. An ace from Rachel Hall pushed the margin to 18-14.
St. Bernard could not get the lead to less than three points as Vinemont closed out the first set with a kill and a service point by Golden to highlight the finish.
In the second game, the Lady Eagles went up 5-0 behind strong serving from Cassidy Wright. Hall found her serve with three in a row, pushing the lead to 15-6. Wright converted two kills in the process.
The serving was consistent with the Lady Eagles using good plays on serve by Giolden, Oliver and a volley by Alexis Boner to sweep the match.
Wright was hot in the start of the East Lawrence match, serving six in a row to put Vinemont in an advantage. Golden tallied three straight with a kill by Hall assisting and a 10-3 cushion.
When Golden returned to the service area, she finished the first set with five points, converting an ace and four service winners.
East Lawrence went on a run and led Vinemont 13-4 in the second set. The Lady Eagles drew within five late in the set, but could not overcome some mistakes and the match was even at a victory apiece.
The tiebreaker was tight with Vinemont going on top at 5-4 by a service point from Oliver. Moments later, a kill by Golden off a serve from Kortnee Chaffin extended the lead to 11-5. Chaffin followed with two more service points, one an ace and the match ended on an ace from Wright to send the Lady Eagles into the tournament format as the No. 1 seed from their side of the round-robin schedule.
Photo 1: St. Bernard & Vinemont during a timeout in 1st set Saturday.
Photo 2: Cassidy Wright about to serve for Vinemont vs. St. Bernard.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton
Sportspage Game of the Week:
At Mark Smothers Stadium - Vinemont
Hanceville 0 12 8 0 - 20 (1-3, 0-2)
Vinemont 0 14 0 7 - 21 (1-2, 1-1)
VM - Carl Price 6 run (Austin Sparks kick) 8:28 in 2nd
HV - Romeal Simmons 3 run (kick failed) 5:39 in 2nd
VM - Price 6 run (Sparks kick) 1:28 in 2nd
HV - Alex Campbell 12 run (run failed) 0:16 in 2nd
HV - R.J. Evans 43 run (Campbell pass to Owen Harper) 9:07 in 3rd
VM - Jack Hill 14 pass to Dustin Moore (Sparks kick) 0:35 in 4th
FLASH NOTES: Vinemont stole victory from Hanceville in this 3A, Region 6 battle by getting the ball at its 17 with 1:35 left after Hanceville failed to convert on fourth down and one from the Eagles' 18-yard line.
Hill, who came into the game late in the final period, got a 63-yard completion to Teague Whatley, bringing the ball to the Hanceville 20 with less than a minute to play. Price picked up a first down inside the Hanceville 10 then the Eagles were penalized for delay of game, sending them back to the 14-yard line.
Hill hit Moore on a slant route that carried into the end zone and Sparks' conversion sent the Eagles back on top with Hanceville still in a position to win the game.
From their 42, the Bulldogs got a 36-yard completion from Campbell to Evans that placed the ball at the Vinemont 22 with time running out. Campbell tried to pass on the next snap, lost his footing and suffered a 20-yard loss as the clock hit zero.
Vinemont had a miracle victory, Hanceville a painful defeat.
The Bulldogs dominated the statistics, especially in the second half with 199 yards offense to 93 for the Eagles. Hanceville rushed for 160 in the second half, 132 coming during the third quarter that featured a 76-yard march to the end zone on the first series of the second half.
Hanceville started two drives late in the game deep in Vinemont territory and added no points on its side of the scoreboard. The Bulldogs gave up the football to the Eagles five times on fourth down snaps, three in the final quarter.
Vinemont had the total offense advantage in the opening half with 158 to 147. Running the ball for 77 yards in the second quarter boosted Stephen Robinson's squad. But in the second half, Hanceville's defense yielded Vinemont just 29 yards rushing, 11 coming in the third quarter.
Evans gained 166 yards on the ground as Hanceville accounted for 253 yards running the football. Simmons added 99 yards as both scored a touchdown for Craig Flanigan's team.
Price had 55 yards on the ground for the Eagles and two touchdowns. Hill was only four of 16 passing, but the 63-yard gain to Whatley and the 14-yard TD to Moore were the difference between victory and defeat.
UP NEXT: Hanceville @ J.B. Pennington September 22
Vinemont vs. Fultondale September 22
Vinemont coach Stephen Robinson (left) talks to Travis Hopper (2) and Braxton McDuffee (51) during a timeout.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton
Friday, September 15
Mark Smothers Stadium - Vinemont
3A, Region 6
RADIO: WKUL-FM (92.1)
SERIES: Hanceville 18-13
2016: Hanceville 28-22
LAST WEEK: Vinemont lost to Locust Fork 44-6
Hanceville lost to Fultondale 60-6
REGION STANDINGS: Fultondale 1-0, Locust Fork 1-0, J.B. Pennington 1-0, Susan Moore, Hanceville 0-1, Vinemont 0-1, Holly Pond 0-1.
FLASH NOTES: One of these county teams will have a region victory after Friday night, looking to build the momentum on to the following week.
Vinemont has had one score in two official games for new coach Stephen Robinson. The Eagles have been outscored in the first half 58-6, trailing Good Hope 28-0 and Locust Fork 30-6.
They have played hard in the second half, allowing the Raiders 13 points and the Hornets 14 last week.
Offense is a key for the Eagles to be successful with Hanceville. The Bulldogs used a ground game that moved for over 300 yards against Cold Springs and Vinemont needs to prevent long sustained drives and big time plays.
The offense needs to develop a run attack that will allow sophomore QB Jack Hill to look for his main receiver, Hudson Wood. They had some connections in the Good Hope, but not enough.
What is a challenge too this week is trying to get some good contact work that has hampered the early part of practice due to the effects of Hurricane Irma.
Cutting down on miscues, especially in the early part of the game will be something Vinemont will need to in order to present Robinson his first win against a Hanceville team that has gone 4-1 vs. county teams under 2nd year coach Craig Flanigan.
Friday, September 8
Pate Field - Locust Fork
3A, Region 6
SERIES: Locust Fork 2-1
2016: Locust Fork 35-20
LOCUST FORK: 0-2
LAST WEEK: Vinemont lost to Good Hope 41-0
Locust Fork lost to Pisgah 20-14
FLASH NOTES: Vinemont coach Stephen Robinson feels like his Eagles can bounce back after the season opener was a challenge following Good Hope getting on the scoreboard early and often at Mark Smothers Stadium.
Robinson believes the Eagles will address the issues that are needed and come focused when kickoff takes place Friday night in Blount County.
This will be the first time the Eagles have played at Tate Field since 2002. Chris Musso's Hornets have gone 3-3 in their last six home games, losing the 2017 opener to Carbon Hill in a shootout 46-35.
Playing at Locust Fork this week is Vinemont's only game away from campus for September. The Eagles will meet Hanceville, Fultondale and Addison, three strong opponents to close out the first half of the season.
Tuesday prep volleyball
At Vinemont Gymnasium
West Point 25 25 25
Vinemont 18 8 9
West Point (1-0) wins match 3-0.
TIME OF MATCH: 0:51
FLASH NOTES: West Point was tired of practice and ready to play after getting postponed last Thursday due to the threat of severe weather.
Vinemont started well for new coach Lance Lay, taking advantage of early miscues by West Point and leading 8-5. Mikayla Golden scored the first three points on serve and two serves from Alexis Boner, including an ace, was a highlight early for the home team.
But West Point broke service and used good serves from Lexi Shaddix to go in front. Shaddix converted six straight after she got a kill to take advantage at the service line.
Selena Clark stepped to the service line and reeled off four straight that extended the lead for West Point to 20-11. Vinemont had a brief rally, closing to 20-14 then Gracie Thompson and Clark converted four serves in five tries and finished off a close opening set.
In game two, Thompson gave West Point breathing room, scoring five in a row, with three being aces as Vinemont couldn't handle her accurate serving. That upped the lead to 9-2. A net serve resulted in a point for Vinemont to close to 11-5. That would be as close the Lady Eagles would stay in game two.
Five more points from Clark enabled the margin to grow to 17-5 as she had three aces in this segment.
Sarah Chapman chipped in with two points on serve while the second set was done with four service points by left-hander Avery McClure and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Coach Regina Jones was pleased no doubt in the execution of the service game. Clark opened the third set with four straight while later in the set, Gracie Thompson was hot with eight in a row and a 17-4 advantage.
She served long that broke the string, giving Vinemont a point to make it 17-5.
Chapman delivered three straight on serve with points being produced late by Happi Moore and Victoria Bell to end the match in under one hour.
Mackenzie Carter was a spark at the net for West Point with nine kills in the match to go with the quality serving by Clark, Thompson, McClure. Shadix contributed four kills with Molly Pendley providing some aggressive play on the front line in her rotation too.
Vinemont did get good efforts in the match by Maddie Oliver, the captain, plus Rachel Hall, Cassidy Wright and Golden.
But West Point was too superior with the serve, resulting in plenty of free balls Vinemont played over and West Point utilized to a full advantage.
UP NEXT: West Point vs. Hayden Thursday 5:30 p.m.
Vinemont @ Holly Pond Thursday 4:00 p.m. (tri-match)
Vinemont's Rachel Hall (11), Maddie Oliver go toward the net to play the ball Tuesday in match vs. West Point.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton