Casting on the Coosa: Riding the struggle bus and an eyeful of lemon juice

July 2, 2020 chris
By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent It has been a couple of weeks since I last checked in, and I was not able to fish too much during the week before last. I did get to fish in the Gadsden Super Tournament. or at least I attempted to fish. I managed to fish for 12 hours without boating
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The hunting chronicles: there’s more than one way to bring down a deer

July 2, 2020 chris
By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff Correspondent I’ve enjoyed telling bear hunting stories over the past few weeks. I have a few more in the can, but as I’ve previously stated, I’m a deer hunter. It took years for me to kill a deer after I started hunting. I remember my very first bow kill in Lee
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Sardis football coach provides summer update, thoughts on 2020

July 2, 2020 chris
Photo courtesy of Bentley Gray Photography By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter Sardis head football coach Gene Hill (pictured above) recently said that his team would begin installing plays, running pass routes and conditioning following its current weight room sessions. Teams can start preseason practice July 27, instead of the traditional first Monday in August.
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Gadsden State student-athletes recognized by ACCC

July 2, 2020 chris
Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy Several Gadsden State student-athletes and two teams were recently recognized for academic achievement by the Alabama Community College Conference. Named to the 2020 Spring Semester Commissioner’s Honor Roll were Shelby Bates, China Lane, Joan Lang, Madelyn Massey (pictured above), Grace Nolen, Aubrey Pope, Leighanna Tralongo and Gracie West from
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The hunting chronicles: A holy antler and cooped up Hutterites

June 26, 2020 chris
By Bobby Dale Welch My first Canadian bear hunt was some kind of fun experience. My ferocious bear guide, Natalie, sure did a good job. One day while we were running bait sites, I yelled for her to stop the four-wheeler. Up in the trees, I saw it. I ran to it, picked it up,
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West End’s Pearce ready to put up big numbers in 2020

June 26, 2020 chris
Photo: Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy By Shannon J. Allen, Sand Mtn. Reporter West End High School head football coach Kyle Davis is excited about what the 2020 season holds, both for his team and its leader, senior quarterback Eli Pearce. Last year, Pearce finished with 3,154 yards and 43 touchdowns at the controls
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Ashville grad signs softball scholarship

June 26, 2020 chris
Photo: 2020 Ashville High Schol graduate Lexi Copeland signs a softball scholarship with Judson College on June 15. Pictured, sitting, from left: dad Chadd, Lexi, mom Sonya. Standing, from left: AHS softball coach Kristen Seals, Judson softball coach Tom Hannah. (Emma Kirkemier/Messenger) By Emma Kirkemier, Editorial Assistant Recent Ashville High School graduate Lexi Copeland signed a
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Southside duo sign soccer scholarships

June 26, 2020 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Two local student-athletes are gearing up for four more years of competitive soccer. Recent Southside High graduates Isaac Franklin (pictured left) and Kevin Laby (pictured right) signed scholarships with Shorter (Ga.) University and Talladega College, respectively. Southside boys soccer coach Randy Vice had high praise for his former players, who helped
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Westbrook’s Edwards signs with Huntingdon

June 26, 2020 chris
Photo: 2020 Westbrook Christian graduate Will Edwards signed a football scholarship with Huntington College on July 17 in Rainbow City. Pictured, sitting, from left: mom Jill, Edwards, dad Eddie. Standing, from left: sister Anna Cate, grandfather Mike Nunn, grandmother Betty Nunn, brother Jake. (Katie Bohannon/Messenger) By Katie Bohannon, News Editor and Chris McCarthy, Publisher Will
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Ashville High trio sign college athletic scholarships

June 19, 2020 chris
Photo: Ashville High graduate J’Brelin Cook (pictured seated at center) is joined by family members and coaches while signing a track scholarship with Montevallo University on June 12. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor A trio of recent Ashville High School graduates realized their dreams of playing sports at the next level. Tori Layfield, Ty
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Casting on the Coosa: Fishing with the Bass Whisperer

June 19, 2020 chris
By Marty Dixon I had a much better week than the previous two. The Bass Savage Aluminum Stump Jumper is back in service, thanks to Brown’s Outboard. I was unable to fish much after I got it back since I had to work the weekend at Silver Lakes for a golf tournament, but I managed to
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The hunting chronicles: A Canadian black bear hunt

June 19, 2020 chris
By Bobby Dale Welch Naptime was over for the day, and the truck, with me in it, was leaving for the first evening Canadian black bear hunt. A friend of mine from North Carolina was the first hunter on the board, and it was a real trophy. Getting a Boone and Crockett black bear is
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Area football teams getting the lead out

June 12, 2020 chris
Photo: West End football players Hunter Tucker (left) and Kaleb Pierce (right) listen as head coach Kyle Davis (center) gives instructions during a summer workout session last Monday (June 8) in Walnut Grove. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)  By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Slowly but surely, area student-athletes are shaking off several weeks’ worth of rust from the spring coronavirus
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Westbrook grad receives prestigious scholarship

June 12, 2020 chris
2020 Westbrook Christian graduate John Reese Bellew (pictured above) was one of 15 students to receive the Lutzie 43 Foundation’s Prepared for Life Scholarship, which is awarded to deserving students who show their commitment to being a good influence on their community through leadership and initiative. The scholarship winners also will serve as ambassadors for
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Casting on the Coosa: A friendly carp and a custom straitjacket

June 12, 2020 chris
By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent I’ve not much to report on fishing this past week since I‘ve been unable to get out on the river. The boat is still in the shop for repairs. In addition, I managed to tear up my pontoon, as it will not crank. In order to eat fish this past week,
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The hunting chronicles: Time out of mind in the wilds of Canada

June 12, 2020 chris
By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff Correspondent  My first hunting trip outside of the United States was in the town of Worsley in the province of Alberta in Canada. Some friends invited me to join them for a spring black bear hunt. I invited another friend, and we set off north. Customs was both nerve-wracking and interesting,
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Local schools kick off summer workout programs

June 5, 2020 chris
Photo: Gadsden City football coach Ali Smith instructs Shyem Wyatt (left) and Kelsey Smith during a summer workout last Tuesday (June 2). (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)  By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor The window to the fall high school sports season is officially open. Following the recent announcement by Alabama High School Athletic Association that member schools were allowed to
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Casting on the Coosa: Stumped on the Coosa and Fish Training 101

June 5, 2020 chris
By Marty Dixon/Staff Correspondent  This past week brought a mixed bag of fishing. Over the weekend I managed to catch a few flipping pocket grass with plastics. I was forced to fish in the pockets due to the large number of boats going up and down the river. I could not stay on the river
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The hunting chronicles: Campfire stories and hoofin’ it by the cooler

June 5, 2020 chris
By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff Correspondent  Hunting has allowed me to meet new people and cultivate friendships. As I reflect upon my experiences and attempt to put thoughts to words, I continue to be thankful for the relationships I have been blessed with. A lot can be learned when you spend hours looking for a wounded
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Westbrook ace named to North all-star baseball roster

May 28, 2020 chris
Messenger file photo By Chris McCarthy By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Add yet another bullet point to Samuel Dutton’s baseball resume. The Westbrook Christian rising senior recently was named to the 2020 AHSAA North-South All-Star Baseball roster. The all-star game, which normally is held each year in mid-July at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium, was recently cancelled due to
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Gadsden City player, coach named to North all-star soccer team

May 28, 2020 chris
Photo courtesy of GCHS By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Gadsden City High School is well represented on the AHSAA North-South All-Star boys soccer team. Rising senior and midfielder Jesse Kantzler (pictured, lower right) was one of 17 players selected to the North roster, while GCHS head coach Samantha Coker (pictured at right) was named a North boys
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AHSAA to allow team workouts starting June 1

May 28, 2020 chris
In accordance with a recent directive from Alabama State Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey, Alabama High School Athletic Association member schools may reopen June 1. The AHSAA and its Central Board of Control, along with the Alabama State Department of Education, have updated the guidelines regarding summer activities. “The biggest change is our
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Casting on the Coosa: Handy Hank and nut jobs in the rain

May 28, 2020 chris
By Marty Dixon/Staff correspondent It was an interesting week and weekend on the water with Memorial Day and the rain that followed. Memorial Day weekend saw the entire lake full of boats and jet skis. The lake did not have much room on it after lunch each day. Plenty of people were out pleasure boating,
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The hunting chronicles: a revelation on the outskirts of Loachapoka

May 28, 2020 chris
By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff correspondent I’ve had a lot of fun writing these stories. That’s what it’s all about – enjoying God’s grand creation! Putting these stories together has caused me to reflect on many good times. I used to work with a man who told me, “I don’t remember the good ole days being
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Shea Monroe looking to bridge the gaps at Ashville

May 21, 2020 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Although a degree in industrial engineering is not listed on his resume, Shea Monroe’s bridge-building skills will soon be put to the test. Monroe (pictured above), who was hired as Ashville High School head football coach and athletic director during the May 19 meeting of the St. Clair County School Board, realizes
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Westbrook player, Glencoe coach named to North all-star golf rosters

May 21, 2020 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor A local high school golf player and coach received a bit of bad news and good news earlier this week. Following the announcement that the AHSAA North/South All-Star Sports Week would be cancelled, Westbrook Christian rising senior Jackson Bowman was named to the North boys golf team roster and Glencoe High girls
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Locals make all-state girls soccer teams

May 21, 2020 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor One local girls high school soccer player made the first team and three others were named to the second team of the Alabama Soccer Coaches Association’s 2020 all-state girls soccer team. For the Lady Panthers, Makayla Moore (pictured above) was selected to the Class 4A/5A first team. She finished the abbreviated 2020
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Casting on the Coosa...with Marty Dixon

May 21, 2020 chris
A close call, flipping the grass and gone in 30 seconds It was an eventful week of fishing over the past seven days. Weather changes and boaters were major factors. We had two larger tournaments this past weekend, so it was take-a-number-and-wait-to-fish in most places during the day. Adding to that the Coosa River was
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The hunting chronicles...with Bobby Dale Welch

May 21, 2020 chris
Learning the hard way to be self-sufficient Although I have learned in life to ask questions, there occurred an early experience where I did not practice the art of asking enough significant questions. My dad often took me deer hunting, and we spent many days down at the Goodyear Hunting Club. I’d listen to stories of
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Gaston hires Matt Harris as football coach

May 14, 2020 chris
Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Matt Harris is leaving Sand Mountain for Shinbone Ridge. The Sardis High School assistant football coach recently was named head football coach at Gaston. Harris replaces Swane Morris, who resigned earlier this year to become an assistant coach at Pierce County High School in Blackshear, Ga.
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