In & around SEC football - Week 3 review, Week 4 previews and predictions

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Alabama Week 3 Review After Ole Miss scored on its first play from scrimmage, it appeared Alabama would be in for a shootout against the Rebels. However, the Crimson Tide scored the next 62 points and did not allow another point. The Alabama offense was unstoppable, regardless of whether Tua Tagovailoa
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Hokes Bluff, Etowah remain at No. 2 in Sept. 19 ASWA football poll

Class 7A Rank Record Points 1. Central-Phenix City 4-0 339 2. Hewitt-Trussville 3-1 276 3. Thompson 3-1 218 4. Auburn 4-0 214 5. Hoover 2-2 195 6. McGill-Toolen 3-1 162 7. Mountain Brook 4-0 111 8. Vestavia Hills 3-0 80 9. Lee-Montgomery 3-1 53 10. Austin 3-1 28 Others receiving votes: Sparkman (3-0) 15, Theodore
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Local players featured in Week 3 Prep Spotlight

Photo by Travis Greene Several area football players were recognized in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Prep Spotlight for Week 3 of the 2018 season. Etowah junior DeRickey Wright (pictured above at left) accounted for 26 points and four touchdowns in the Blue Devils’ 36-0 win over Sardis. Wright returned an interception 32 yards
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Titans’ winless streak at four games after loss to Austin

Photo: Gadsden City’s Calvin Wilson (23) pursues Austin’s Javon Jackson during the Titans’ 31-10 loss on Sept. 14 at GCHS. (Mike Goodson/Messenger) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent Gadsden City fell to 0-4, 0-2 on the season following a 31-10 loss to Austin High last Friday (Sept. 14) at GCHS. Although the Titans out-gained the Black Bears
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Second-ranked Hokes Bluff thumps Oneonta

Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Will Clemons (7) runs into Oneonta’s Andrew McAlpine during the Eagles’ 49-7 victory in high school football on Sept. 14. (Alex Chaney) Darrian Meads rushed for 204 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries in No. 2 Hokes Bluff’s 49-7 victory over Oneonta in Class 4A, Region 6 action on Sept. 14
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Westbrook shoots past West End, 62-35

Photo: West End’s Eli Pearce catches pass in front of Westbrook Christian’s Jai’Shawn Cattling during the Warriors’ 62-35 victory in high school football on Set. 14 in Walnut Grove. (Sherry Abercrombie) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor In a shootout of O.K Corral proportions, West End and Westbrook Christian combined for 97 points and 1,037 yards on Friday
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Blue Devils have the Wright stuff against Sardis

Photo: Etowah High’s Trent Davis (3) tries to break free from Sardis’ Michael Turner during the Blue Devils’ 36-0 victory last Friday (Sept. 14) in Attalla. (Travis Greene) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Derickey Wright made his presence known early and often as he led Class 5A, No. 2 Etowah to a 36-0 victory over Sardis
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In & around SEC football - Week 3 previews, predictions

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Alabama Week 2 Review Alabama’s offense picked up right where it left off last week as the Crimson Tide torpedoed Arkansas State by a score of 57-7. Tua Tagovailoa was sharp in his se-cond career start in throwing for 228 yards and four touchdowns while completing 13-of-19 passes. Jalen Hurts was
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Etowah, Hokes Bluff ranked in Sept. 12 ASWA football poll

Class 7A Rank Record Points 1. Hoover 2-1 351 2. Central-Phenix City 3-0 268 3. Thompson 2-1 229 4. Auburn 3-0 202 5. Hewitt-Trussville 2-1 168 6. McGill-Toolen 2-1 164 7. Lee-Montgomery 3-0 124 8. Mountain Brook 3-0 87 9. Bob Jones 2-1 41 10. Vestavia Hills 2-0 31 Others receiving votes: Prattville (2-0) 20,
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Local players recognized by AHSAA

  Several area players were recognized in AHSAA prep football spotlight for the week of Sept. 7. Etowah senior receiver Emil Smith returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown and caught touchdowns passes of 3 and 21 yards in the Blue Devils’ 52-7 win over Crossville. West End senior quarterback Jacob Jones (pictured above)
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Gamecocks hang 71 points on Mississippi Valley State

Photo: Jacksonville State’s Zerrick Cooper attempts a pass during the Gamecocks’ 71-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State last Saturday (Sept. 8). at Burgess-Snow Field. (Mike Goodson/Messenger) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent Jacksonville State rebounded from a tough season-opening loss to North Carolina A&T to thrash the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils, 71-0 on Saturday, Sept. 8
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Top-ranked Tigers dispatch Glencoe

Photo: Glencoe High’s Andrew Massaro (left) runs into Randolph County’s Dante Jordan (10) as Daniel Maye provides blocking during the Yellow Jackets’ 41-0 loss to Randolph County last Friday (Sept. 7). (Gary Wells) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent Most people say that in order to improve in sports, you must play the best competition possible. If
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Blue Devils stomp Crossville, 52-7

  Emil Smith (pictured above) caught touchdown passes of 3 and 21 yards and ran back a punt 48 yards for another score in the No. 2 Blue Devils’ 52-7 win over Crossville in the Blue Devils’ Class 5A, Region 6 opener last Friday (Sept. 7) at Crossville. In two quarters of action, Brady Troup
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Hokes Bluff dismantles White Plains

Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Austin Gulledge (left) fights off a White Plains defender during the Eagles’ 34-8 victory last Friday (Sept. 14). (Alex Chaney) Hokes Bluff opened its Class 4A, Region 6 schedule last Friday (Sept. 14) with a 34-8 victory over White Plains. Darrian Meads rushed 16 times for 227 yards and two touchdowns for
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Conquerors, Patriots, Warriors, Bulldogs come up short

Coosa Christian lost to R.A. Hubbard, 40-7, in the Conquerors’ Class 1A, Region opener last Friday (Sept. 7). Coosa’s lone score came on Caiden Lipscomb’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Horne in the third quarter. Lipscomb completed 9 of 31 passes for 114 yards, while Carston Lipscomb had three receptions for 37 yards. Dartavious Britton
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Late touchdown pulls Southside past Sardis

Sardis High’s Trent Presley (left) gets pushed out of bounds by Southside’s Ryan Martin during the Panthers’ 14-10 victory in high school football on Sept. 7 in Sardis City. By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Southside High finished what it started against Sardis last Friday (Sept. 7). The Panthers (1-2, 1-0) scored on their first and last possessions
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Titans come up short in region opener

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Gadsden City stumbled to a 2 1-9 loss to Sparkman in its Class 7A, Region 4 opener on Friday (Sept. 7) at Titan Stadium. The Titans’ offensive woes from a week ago carried over into the matchup with the Senators, as the Titans only mustered 32 yards of offense and one first down
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In & around SEC football - Week 2 previews, predictions

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Auburn Week 1 Review Auburn knocked off Washington, 21-16, in a showdown between two top 10 teams last Saturday in Atlanta. The Tigers forced two Washington turnovers and submitted a terrific performance defensively. The Huskies made several trips into the red zone but Auburn allowed only one touchdown on the afternoon.
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Blue Devils, Eagles ranked in Sept. 5 ASWA football poll

Class 7A Rank Record Points 1. Thompson 2-0 326 2. Hoover 1-1 269 3. Central-Phenix City 2-0 252 4. McGill-Toolen 2-0 224 5. Bob Jones 2-0 169 6. Auburn 2-0 148 7. Hewitt-Trussville 1-1 134 8. Lee-Montgomery 2-0 88 9. Mountain Brook 2-0 37 10. Spain Park 1-1 20 Others receiving votes: Enterprise (2-0) 14,
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Area players recognized in AHSAA prep football spotlight

Photo: Coosa Christian’s Dartavious Britton (center) finished with over 400 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns in the Conquerors’ 45-22 win over Appalachian. (Courtesy of Gary Wells) Several local players were recognized in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Football Spotlight for Week 1 of the 2018 football season. Coosa Christian junior running back Dartavious
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Westbrook scores early and often against Ragland

Photo: Westbrook Christian quarterback Jackson Cox looks (left) for an open receiver as Derek Graham provides blocking during the Warriors’ 28-6 victory over Ragland last Friday (Aug. 31) Rainbow City. (Mike Goodson/Messenger) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent Westbrook Christian played as close to a perfect half of football that can be played in a 28-6 victory
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No. 2 Blue Devils shut out Moody

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Class 5A, No. 2 Etowah head football coach Drew Noles knew his team might have a letdown after such an emotional season-opening win over Gadsden City on Aug. 23. Luckily for Noles, the Blue Devil defense came ready to play, as Etowah pitched a shutout en route to a 19-0 victory
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Titans can’t get into gear against Oxford

Photo: Gadsden City’s Jamontez Woods runs past Oxford’s Jonovan Carlisle during the Titans’ 35-6 loss on Friday, Aug. 31. (Gary Wells) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Missed opportunities and inconsistency on offense doomed Gadsden City in its home opener against Oxford on Friday, Aug. 31. The Titans mustered only 120 total yards on the way to a
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Sardis opens with road win at Sylvania

Courtesy of Fort Payne Times Journal The Sardis High football team kicked off its inaugural Class 5A season by beating Class 3A Sylvania, 27-3, on Friday, Aug. 31, at Sylvania. The Rams, who advanced to the 3A state playoff quarterfinals a year ago, had won two straight games against Sardis. Both teams were scoreless through
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Britton’s huge game propels Conquerors past Appalachian

  Dartavious finished with over 400 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns in the Conquerors’ 45-22 win over Appalachian. The junior halfback rushed for 262 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries, caught four passes for 104 yards and two TDs and returned a kickoff for 40 yards. Caiden Lipscomb was 16 of 31 in
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Gaston can’t hold off Sand Rock in second half

By Roy Mitchell/for Cherokee County Herald Sand Rock overcame a two-touchdown deficit to defeat Gaston, 21-12, last Friday (Aug. 31) at Sand Rock. Tanner Clanton’s barreling runs, Samuel Alexander’s big plays and second-half offensive line play led the Wildcats (1-0) to the comeback win. Sloppy football plagued both teams in the first half. Gaston (0-1)
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Hokes Bluff makes it two straight over Southside

Photo: Southside’s Kenneth Bothwell (3) follows the blocking of Andrew Dunston (30) as Hokes Bluff’s Houston Edwards (56) and Ashton Gulledge (2) pursue during the Eagles’ 42-13 victory in high school football on Thursday (Aug. 30) at Southside. (Photo by Gary Wells) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent It took Class 4A, No. 3 Hokes Bluff just
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In & around SEC football - Week 1 previews, predictions

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent SEC Football Rankings 1. Alabama 2. Georgia 3. Auburn 4. Mississippi State 5. Florida 6. South Carolina 7. Texas A&M 8. LSU 9. Missouri 10. Kentucky 11. Arkansas 12. Ole Miss 13. Vanderbilt 14. Tennessee Week 1 Previews and Predictions Game of the Week: Washington vs. Auburn (-2). Both the Huskies and
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Etowah, Hokes Bluff ranked in first ASWA football poll

Released August 29 Class 7A Rank Record Points 1. Hoover 1-0 360 2. Thompson 1-0 274 3. Central-Phenix City 1-0 243 4. McGill-Toolen 1-0 228 5. Bob Jones 1-0 161 6. Auburn 1-0 142 7. Hewitt-Trussville 0-1 129 8. Spain Park 1-0 120 9. Lee-Montgomery 1-0 47 10. James Clemens 0-1 11 Others receiving votes:
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Etowah’s Graham named AHSAA Prep Spotlight Player of the Week

From AHSAA Etowah High School head football coach Drew Noles said that 6-foot-6, 240-pound senior defensive end Jamin Graham is not committed to any college as of yet. Noles added that he never has seen a player more committed to his team and to his grandfather. Graham turned that commitment into two defensive touchdowns in
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Miscues haunt Gamecocks in season-opening loss

Photo: JSU’s Michael Matthews (21) gains yardage as North Carolina A&T’s Deion James (34) and Antoine Walker (9) close in during the Gamecocks’ 20-17 loss last Saturday (Aug. 25) in Montgomery. (Mike Goodson/Messenger) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent Four turnovers and 14 penalties proved to be too much for Jacksonville State last Saturday (Aug. 25) in
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Late TDs pulls Westbrook past Coosa Christian

Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Jackson Cox (11) avoids Coosa Christian’s Jackson Tidmore (5) during the Warriors’ 35-6 victory in high school football on Friday, Aug. 24, in Gadsden. (Gary Wells) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Westbrook Christian scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 16-second span to pull away for a 35-6 victory over Coosa Christian on
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Penalties trip up Southside against Lincoln

Photo: Matthew Rich (left), Andrew Dunston and the Southside High football team lost to Lincoln, 19-8, in the Panthers’ season opener Friday, Aug. 24. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger file photo) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Costly penalties and overall lack of experience ultimately doomed Southside High in a 19-8 loss in the Panthers’ season opener at Lincoln on
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Blue Devils hold off Gadsden City

Photo: Gadsden City’s Donnie Ryan (left) pursues Etowah’s Reggie Phillips during the Blue Devils’ 32-23 victory in high school football on Thursday (Aug. 23) in Attalla. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor The overflow crowd at James Glover Field certainly got its money’s worth on Thursday. The latest meeting between the Gadsden City and Etowah High
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Patriots drop season opener to Susan Moore

Photo: West End’s Kaleb Arledge catches a pass during the Patriots’ 42-12 loss to Susan Moore in high school football last Thursday (Aug. 23) in Walnut Grove. (Photo by Sherry Abercrombie) By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter West End entered last Thursday’s football season opener against Susan Moore riding a three-game winning streak in the
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In & around SEC football - West Division predictions

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Alabama (12-0, 8-0) over/under 11 Projected wins: Louisville, Arkansas State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State, The Citadel, Auburn Projected losses: None Alabama will be inexperienced in parts of the defense – especially the secondary – but the overall talent on the roster will be able
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Freshman-heavy Lady Cardinals ready for season

Photo: Gadsden State’s Sierra Stone passes the ball as Mikayla Kendrick, Alex Rich, Grace Nolen and Abbie Chambless look on during a recent Gadsden State volleyball team practice. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor With 12 freshmen on her 2018 roaster, Gadsden State head volleyball coach Connie Clark expects a good deal of baptism by fire
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Westbrook ace helps Team USA Baseball win U15 World Confederation Cup

Westbrook Christian so-phomore Samuel Dutton of Westbrook Christian and his USA Baseball 15U team won the World Baseball and Softball Confederation U15 World Cup in David, Panama, with a 7-1 victory over Panama last Sunday (Aug. 19). Dutton pitched 8.1 innings total for the tournament without allowing a run. He allowed only four hits while
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In & around SEC football - East Division predictions

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Georgia (11-1, 7-1); over/under 10.5 Projected wins: Austin Peay, South Carolina, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Te-nnessee, Vanderbilt, LSU, Kentucky, Auburn, UMass, Georgia Tech Projected losses: Florida The Bulldogs were seconds away from winning a national championship a season ago and return a very talented team this fall. While the defense carried the team
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No instant replay for area football teams in 2018

Pictured is Gadsden City’s Jamontez Woods running back a kickoff during the 2017 football season. None of the 10 varsity high school football teams in Etowah County will participate in the Alabama High School Athletic Associations’ experimental instant replay program for the 2018 season. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)  By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Instant replay is making its
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Local Pony League team finished as 1964 World Series runner-up

Photo: The 1964 Gadsden Pony League All-Stars gather for a photo prior to competing in the Pony League World Series in San Diego, Calif. Pictured, kneeling, from left: Mike Johnson, Jimmy Black, Bill Brooks, Bruce Hill, Elwin Martin, Gary Osborn, Eddie Roberts, Mike Davidson. Standing, from left: manager E.S. Black, Craig Edge, Mike Kirby, Benny
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In & around SEC football - West Division preview

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Alabama Coach: Nick Saban 12th season; 132-20 at Alabama, 218-62 overall 2017 Record: 13-1 The 2017 season was bu-siness as usual for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Despite not winning the SEC championship – or even the SEC West Division – Alabama still won the national title. It was Saban’s
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NEO hosts annual coaches symposium

Photo: Northeast Orthopedics Physical Therapy Administrator Chris Russell and assistant Kelsey Patterson demonstrate how to use resistance bands to strengthen the shoulder during the 4th Annual NEO Coaches Symposium on Aug. 3 at Southside High School. (Kaitlin Fleming/Messenger) By Kaitlin Fleming/Staff Correspondent With just a few weeks to go before the Friday night lights are
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Etowah, Hokes Bluff ranked in ASWA preseason football poll

Listed below is the Alabama Sports Writers Association 2018 preseason high school football rankings including first place votes, 2016 record and total poll points.  Class 7A 1. Hoover (27); 11-3; 358 2. Thompson (3); 12-1; 258 3. Central-Phenix City (1); 11-1; 241 4. McGill-Toolen; 13-1; 219 5. Hewitt-Trussville; 11-1; 214 6. Bob Jones; 7-4; 124
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In & around SEC football - East Division preview

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Florida Coach: Dan Mullen First season at Florida; 69-46 overall 2017 record: 4-7 Mullen left Mississippi State after nine seasons, and he’s returning to Gainesville after several succession seasons as the offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. Florida fired Jim McElwain halfway through last season, and the Gators suffered one of the
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Soccer tournaments slated to kick off local sports complex

Photo: Pictured is an artist’s rendering of the soccer portion of the proposed Etowah County Mega Sports Complex to be located in Rainbow City and Gadsden. By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor It appears that local youth soccer teams will have the honor of officially christening the Eto-wah County Mega Sports Complex in Rainbow City and Gadsden sometime
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Local cyclist wins fourth straight national championship

Photo: Gadsden resident and competitive cyclist Randy Kerr recently won a fourth straight national championship at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia. By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Randy Kerr’s latest national title did not come without a few tense moments. The Gadsden resident and longtime off-road cyclist overcame an early fall to capture his fourth straight USA
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In & around SEC football

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Alabama and Auburn at SEC Media Days Each summer, SEC Media Days serves as the unofficial kickoff to college football season in the South. For the first time since 1985, Media Days took place outside of Birmingham. This year, the College Football Hall of Fame hosted SEC Media Days from July
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Westbrook ace commits to LSU

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Although he won’t graduate high school until 2021, Sam Dutton (pictured above) already knows where he will spend his collegiate baseball career. The Westbrook Christian rising sophomore pitcher/outfielder committed to Louisiana State University on July 19. “Getting a baseball scholarship has been a great goal of mine, and now that I’ve reached
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Etowah’s Harris commits to Vanderbilt

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Justin Harris put an end to the speculation as to where he will be playing football next fall. The Etowah High School rising senior and All-Region cornerback recently committed to SEC member Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Harris sifted through approximately 30 scholarship offers, including ones from Virginia, Florida Atlantic, Purdue, Wake
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Westbrook grad enjoys all-star football week

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Court Coley (pictured above) recently capped his high school football career on a winning note. Participating in the annual North-South All-Star Football Game, the 2018 Westbrook Christian graduate finished with seven solo tackles, three assists and an interception at linebacker in the North’s 27-14 victory at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. The North scored
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In & around SEC football

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Coach Rankings Part II 7. Ed Orgeron, LSU. Orgeron is 15-6 in just under two seasons in Baton Rouge, but it’s tough to say whether or not he’s actually done a good job. LSU isn’t any closer to competing with Alabama than they were in the last few years under Les
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Southside's Smith shines at all-star soccer game

Photo: Southside High School rising senior Hallie Kate Smith participated in the AHSAA North-South All-Star girls soccer game earlier this week in Montgomery. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger file photo) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Hallie-Kate Smith represented Etowah County well this past week in Montgomery. The Southside High rising senior was a starter for the North team in the AHHSA North/South
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Rainbow City angler wins local BFL Tournament

Adam Brown of Rainbow City brought five bass to the scale weighing 17 pounds even to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division tournament last Saturday (July 14) on Lake Neely Henry. Brown, who earned $3,917 for the tournament, spent the day fishing the backs of three creeks in the mid-river
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In & around SEC football

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent SEC Coach Rankings Part 1 During the SEC’s dominant run in college football from 2006 through 2012, the league boasted the best coaches of any conference from top to bottom. While Alabama and Nick Saban have won two championships in the last five seasons, the rest of the league has not
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Former Gadsden State basketball coach heading back to the Valley of the Cubs

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor A longtime local college basketball coach will try his hand on the high school gridiron this fall. Todd Ginn (pictured above), who coached the Gadsden State men’s basketball team from 2006 to 2016, was hired as head football coach at Alexandria High School this past May. “It’s where I’m from, and I
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Local youths compete in Etowah County Junior Golf Tournament

Lauren Cole (pictured above), Brock McNeely, Justin Lovoy, Cove McHugh, Drew Clark and Mallory Brooks all won individual championships at the Etowah County Junior Golf Tournament held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Gadsden Country Club, Twin Bridges, Silver Lakes, Briarmeade and Wills Creek courses. Competing in the girls age 13-18 division, Cole finished
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Westbrook ace picked for Team USA baseball

  Westbrook Christian rising sophomore pitcher/outfielder Sam Dutton (pictured above) was one of 54 baseball players across the county invited to participate in Phase 1 of the 15U Team USA National Team Trials beginning July 29 in Cary, N.C., at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. As the ace of the Warrior pitching staff this past
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In & around the SEC

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent SEC Year in Review The 2017-18 college athletic season wrapped up after Oregon State defeated Arkansas in the College World Series. The Razorbacks won the opening game of the best-of-three series, 4-1, and had a lead over the Beavers in the ninth inning of the second game. With two outs, however,
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Longtime Gadsden State announcer gearing up for another year

Photo: Bobby Cooper will be entering his 38th year as the voice of Gadsden State athletics. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor The “Voice of the Cardinals” is warming up for yet another season of junior college athletics. When the 2018 Gadsden State volleyball team kicks off its home opener on Sept. 5 against Wallace State-Hanceville,
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Cardinal student-athletes garner national recognition

Photo: Southside High graduate Kelsey Patterson (left) was one of several Gadsden State student-athletes who recently received NJCCA Academic Student-Athlete awards. (Gary Wells) Several Gadsden State student-athletes were part of a record number 287 players from the Alabama Community College Conference re-cently selected to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Academic Student-Athlete Awards. Five Cardinals
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent NCAA College World Series Recap For the first time in nearly 40 years, Arkansas reached the finals of the College World Series. The Razorbacks defeated Texas and Texas Tech in their first two games. In the third game, the Hogs eliminated No. 1 overall seed Florida, 5-2. The Gators fell just
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Larry Foster steps down as Etowah High baseball coach

Photo: Larry Foster recently stepped down as Etowah High baseball coach. (Mike Goodson/Messenger)  By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Larry Foster recently retired as Etowah High baseball coach for a second time. The hall of fame coach submitted his resignation at the June 26 meeting of the Attalla City School Board. After becoming head baseball coach in May
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All-Etowah County boys soccer team announced

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Photo: Southside High incoming senior Logan Shelnutt was named Player of the Year for the 2018 All-Etowah County boys soccer team. (Courtesy of Randy Vice) According to head coach Randy Vice, Logan Shelnutt was the swiftest of the swift this past season for the Southside High boys soccer team. The junior forward’s
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Baseball Giants had short-lived history in Gadsden

Photo: Pictured is the old Gadsden City Park baseball field located on the approximate site of the Gadsden Sports Complex on Meighan Boulevard. (Courtesy of Mike Goodson) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent People living in Etowah County and its surroundings areas always have had a strong love for the game of baseball. While Gadsden has never
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent NCAA College World Series Recap Of the 10 SEC teams that made the NCAA Tournament, Mississippi State probably had the longest odds to reach the College World Series. Former head coach Andy Cannizaro was fired just three games into the season for an off-the-field scandal. Assistant Gary Henderson took over, but
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All-Etowah County girls soccer team announced

Photo: Glencoe High’s Katie Smith (pictured above), Westbrook’s Kylee Berndt and Southside’s Lauren Brewer shared Player of the Year honors for the 2018 All-Etowah County girls soccer team. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor A trio of recent local high school graduates shared the spotlight for the inaugural All-Etowah County girls soccer team. Glencoe’s Katie Smith,
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Sanderson sees bright future for GCHS softball program

Photo: Gadsden City High School softball coach Shane Sanderson addresses attendees of a meet and greet session on June 14 at the GCHS library. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Gadsden City High School has turned to a former Rebel to kick-start its girls softball program. Shane Sanderson, who recently retired after six years as an
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent NCAA Super Regionals Review Six teams from the Southeastern Conference made the NCAA Super Regionals, and three of those teams were guaranteed to advance. Three Super Regionals were all-SEC battles, and it the path to Omaha included several riveting games between the conference rivals. Auburn reached its first Super Regional since
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Bone outlines vision for Gadsden City baseball

Photo: Blake Bone speaks at a meet and greet session at the Gadsden City High School library earlier this week after being introduced as GCHS baseball coach. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Blake Bone is back where it all began for him with regard to his coaching career. The former longtime Southside High School baseball
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Faucett speaks at Blue Devil gathering

Photo: Neill Faucett addresses attendees at the annual Blue Devil Banquet on June 7 at the Attalla Community Center. (Mike Goodson/Messenger) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent Local Attalla product Neill B. Faucett always seemed to have a way of succeeding in life. Faucett was honored at the annual Etowah Blue Devil Banquet on June 7 at
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Local players made ASWA All-State baseball, softball teams

Hokes Bluff’’s Dylan Teague was one of four area players named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s 2018 All-State baseball first team. (Photo by Alex Chaney) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Several area high school baseball players were named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s 2018 All-State teams. Four area players made the first team –
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In & around SEC baseball

NCAA Regional Tournament Review Ten schools from the Southeastern Conference made it to the NCAA Tournament, with four hosting in the regional round. Top-seeded Florida defeated Columbia and Jacksonville but lost the third game to Florida Atlantic. That loss set up a winner-take-all finale between the Gators and the Owls, and Florida knocked off FAU, 5-2,
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Hokes Bluff’s Edwards highlights All-Messenger baseball team

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor It’s safe to say that the Hokes Bluff High School baseball team’s season would not have lasted as long as it did if not for the contributions of the Eagles’ junior catcher. On a team stacked with a number of standout players, Houston Edwards stood out while thriving in the clean-up spot
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Southside’s Coker leads off All-Messenger softball team

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor When Emilee Coker reached first base this past softball season, she did not remain there for too long. The Southside High senior second baseman stole 70 bases out of 74 attempts in 2018, in the process giving the Lady Panthers an almost automatic runner in scoring position after reaching base. With 84
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Westbrook trio sign college baseball scholarships

Three 2018 Westbrook Christian graduates recently committed to play college baseball. Third baseman Cullen Stafford (pictured above) committed to Huntingdon University in Montgomery, shortstop/pitcher Garret Kennedy committed to Wallace State Community College in Hanceville and pitcher Jordan Reynolds committed to Lawson State Community College in Birmingham. Safford finished with.444 batting avg., 48 hits, 16 doubles,
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent SEC Tournament Review For the third time in school history, the Ole Miss Rebels won the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament championship. After losing to Auburn in their opening game, the Rebels bounced back to win four straight to capture their first championship since 2006. After sneaking by Georgia, 5-4, Ole Miss
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Southside High grad riding high at JSU

Photo: Pictured is Southside High graduate and Jacksonville State University assistant baseball coach Evan Bush during a game this past season. By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor If the old saying “You are what your record says you are” is true, then a former Panther is making a name for himself in Gamecock country. 2002 Southside High graduate
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GSCC tennis player wins state and national awards

Photo: 2018 Gadsden State graduate Alexander Boozer (center) was recently announced as the regional and national winner of the 2018 Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. Pictured with Boozer are GSCC men’s tennis coach Buster Stewart (left) and GSCC athletic director Mike Cancilla. (Courtesy of Gadsden State) The Intercollegiate Tennis Association recently presented a prestigious
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Area soccer players make all-state teams

Photo: Pictured is Westbrook Christian’s Kylee Berndt during the 2018 postseason. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) Several local players were named to the Alabama High School Soccer Coaches Association’s all-state teams earlier this week. Westbrook Christian senior forward Kylee Berndt was the area’s lone first teamer, making the Class 1A-2A-3A first team at forward. A starter since the seventh
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Auburn Week 10 Review The Tigers took two out of three games from LSU to finish the regular season, including a 14-5 victory in the series finale this past weekend. Auburn finished 15-15 in league play and earned the No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament. In the opening round against
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Cardinal cager named NJCAA All-American

Photo: Gadsden State sophomore Diamond Jolly, pictured during a pre-game introduction earlier this season, recently was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s 2017-18 All-America women’s basketball team. By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Diamond Jolly capped her junior college basketball career in historic fashion. The Gadsden State sophomore forward was recently named to the National Junior
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Area gridders compete in spring scrimmages

Photo: Gaston High’s Malikah Warren (15) and Mason Reeves (22) tackle Sardis’ Mason Golden during a spring football jamboree on May 18 at Gaston. (Cole Frederick/Messenger) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Four teams from Etowah County finished spring football with a jamboree at Gaston High on May 18. The Bulldogs hosted Sardis, West End, Coosa Christian
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Auburn Week 9 Review The Tigers had been playing as well as anyone in the league outside of Florida, but last weekend’s series at Ole Miss was a reality check for Butch Thompson’s team. Auburn was swept by the Rebels, including 8-3 and 10-3 losses in the final two games. Auburn
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Eagles come up short in state baseball finals

Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Houston Edwards (left) prepares to tag out Andalusia’s Will Clark during the Eagle’s 2-1 loss in the Class 4A state baseball championship series on Wednesday, May 16, in Montgomery. (Mark Almond/preps@al.com) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Hokes Bluff’s quest for a 10th state championship ended in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday (May 15) at
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Westbrook finishes runner-up, Glencoe third at state golf tournament

Photo: Glencoe High’s Lauren Cole displays the ball she shot for a hole-in-one during the Class 1A-2A-3A girls state golf tournament on Tuesday (May 15) in Muscle Shoals. (Submitted photo) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor The Westbrook Christian boys golf team finished 36 strokes short of a fourth straight state championship at the Class 1A/2A state tournament
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Teague tosses six-hitter as Hokes Bluff takes opener in state finals

Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Dylan Teague delivers a pitch during the Eagles’ 6-3 win over Andalusia in Game 1 of the Class 4A state baseball championship series on Tuesday (May 15) in Montgomery. (Courtesy of al.com) Dylan Teague hurled a six-hitter and struck out five to lead Hokes Bluff to a 6-3 win over Andalusia in
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State bound: Eagles squeak past Oneonta in Class 4A semifinals

Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Koby Addison rounds second base after hitting a two-run homer against Oneonta in Game 2 of the Class 4A state baseball state semifinals on May 10. (Courtesy of Alex Chaney) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Class 4A, No. 4 Hokes Bluff displayed a flair for the dramatic in its semifinal series over No.
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Lady Panthers fall in shootout in Class 6A state soccer semifinals

Photo: Southside High’s Lauren Brewer advances the ball as teammate Savannah Knighten looks on during the Lady Panthers’ 2-1 shootout loss to Gardendale in the Class 6A girls’ soccer semifinals on Friday, May 11, at Huntsville’s John Hunt Soccer Complex. (Mike Goodson/Messenger) By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent The Southside girls soccer team fell short in its
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In & around SEC baseball

By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Auburn Week 8 Review For the first tie since 2002, Auburn swept Vanderbilt in a baseball series. It was also the first time the Tigers had won a series over the Commodores since 2009, and they did so in resounding fashion. Casey Mize struck out 15 batters in Auburn’s 4-1 win
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Mars Hill squeaks by Westbrook in 2A state quarterfinals

Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Greysen Robinson delivers a pitch during the Warriors 9-3 loss to Mars Hill Bible in the Class 2A state baseball quarterfinals on May 4 in Florence. (Matt McKean/Florence Times-Daily) By Jeff McIntyre/Florence Times-Daily With the bases loaded and the scored tied 3-3 in last Monday’s deciding game of the Westbrook Christian/Mars Hill
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Local athletes medal at state track and field meets

Photo: Etowah High’s Alex Howard displays his first-place gold medal in the discus event at the Class 5A state track and field meet last Saturday (May 5) in Gulf Shores. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Several area athletes earned medals and a number of others received points at the Alabama High School Athletic Association state
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Eagles headed to state baseball semifinals

Photo: Hokes Bluff’s Carson Eubanks hustles around the bases during the Eagles’ sweep over Wilson in the Class 4A baseball state quarterfinals on May 4. (Courtesy of Alex Chaney) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent For the first time since 2008, the Hokes Bluff High School baseball team is advancing to the semifinal round of the state
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Sardis falls to Oneonta in state baseball quarterfinals

Photo: Sardis High shortstop Blake Wright throws out a base runner during the Lion’s loss to Oneonta in the Class 4A state baseball quarterfinals on May 4 at Oneonta. (Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter) By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter The Sardis High School baseball team made its final season in Class 4A the program’s
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Lady Panthers headed back to Final Four

Photo: Southside High’s Savannah Knighten (white jersey 3), Hallie Kate Smith (7), Anna Motley (15), Rebecca Johnson (9) and Decatur’s Sara Burgreen (black jersey 3) watch the ball during the Lady Panthers 2-1 win in the second round of the Class 6A girls state soccer playoffs on May 1 at Barney Hood Stadium. (Mike Goodson/Messenger)
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Lady Warriors edge Glencoe, fall to West Morgan in state soccer playoffs

Photo: Glencoe High’s Katie Smith (2) protects the ball from Westbrook’s Hilary Tran (11) and Kylee Berndt during the Lady Warriors’ 2-1 victory in the first round of the Class 1A-3A girls state soccer playoffs last Tuesday (May 1) at Glencoe. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor A pair of Etowah County girls soccer teams fought
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Area athletes qualify for state track meets

Photo: Southside High’s Taylor Nails set a sectional meet record last week at Fort Payne. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy/Publisher, Editor At various section meets this past weekend, a number of area high school athletes qualified for the state track and field meets. The Class 1A-2A-3A meets will be held in Cullman this Friday and
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Sardis goes 2-1 against West Limestone in second round

Photo: Sardis High’s Jake Ross steals home plate ahead of the tag of West Limestone catcher Alec Braugher in the bottom of the third inning of the Lions’ 9-3 win over West Limestone in the second round of the Class 2A state baseball playoff series on Apr. 27 in Lester. (Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter)
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Westbrook steamrolls Vincent in 2A second round

Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Andrew Dutton jumps back to first base as Vincent’s D.J. Ayala awaits the pickoff throw during the Warriors’ doubleheader sweep in the second round of the Class 2A state baseball playoffs last Saturday (Apr. 28) in Rainbow City. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy Publisher/Editor At this rate, the 2018 Westbrook Christian baseball
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Johnson’s clutch RBI sends Hokes Bluff to state quarterfinals

Photo: Hokes Bluff senior Landon Johnson had the series-winning hit in the Eagles’ sweep over Winfield in the second round of the Class 4A state baseball playoffs on April 27. (Alex Chaney/Messenger file photo) By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent A walk-off base hit from senior Landon Johnson in the bottom of the ninth inning propelled Hokes Bluff
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