In & around the SEC - Football Coaching Rankings Part II

July 19, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent 7. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (last season’s rank: 8). Kentucky has been patient with Mark Stoops, and that patience paid off in Stoops’ sixth season. After back-to-back 7-6 campaigns, Stoops led the 2018 Wildcats to a 10-3 record, including their first win over Florida since 1986 and upsets over Mississippi State and
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Local athletes compete at North/South All-Star Week

July 19, 2019 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Several local rising high school seniors participated for the North in the North/South All-Star games earlier this week in Montgomery. Westbrook Christian’s Andrew Dutton was named North MVP in the baseball doubleheader at last Tuesday (July 16) at Riverwalk Stadium. The two teams set an all-star record for total runs scored (57)
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Westbrook’s Dutton named to USA Baseball 16U team

July 19, 2019 chris
Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy Westbrook Christian rising junior Samuel Dutton (pictured above) was one of 36 players across the country selected to the USA Baseball 16U National Team Development Program on July 31 to Aug. 5 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Dutton served as a key pitcher of
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In & around the SEC - Coaching Rankings Part I

July 12, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Clemson and Alabama have alternated the past four national championships and have been head and shoulders above the rest of college football the last four seasons. Despite losing several key pieces, both teams are expected to reach the College Football Playoffs again. Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are perhaps the two
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Local teams compete in summer basketball play dates

July 12, 2019 chris
Photo: Rising senior Ashley Morgan of Glencoe (left) and rising junior Sydney Yancey of Southside (right) participated in summer high school basketball play dates. (Gary Wells/Messenger file photo) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Although the high school football season is visible on the horizon, several local high school basketball teams participated in summer play dates over the
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Gadsden City removes Ali Smith’s interim tag

July 12, 2019 chris
Photo: Pictured is Gadsden City head football Ali Smith with (from left) daughter Kelis, wife Lamesha and son Khamari. (Not pictured: daughter Alicia) (Courtesy of GCHS) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor After 13 years and four head coaches, Gadsden City finally hired a local product to lead, guide and direct the school’s football program. Longtime GCHS assistant
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Gadsden State athletes earn academic honors

July 12, 2019 chris
Several Gadsden State student-athletes recently were named to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s 2019 Academic Awards with the qualifying grade-point average for each honor. Named to the first team with a 4.0 GPA were Alexis Rich (pictured above), Grace Nolen and Landry Bussey from women’s volleyball; Sloan Gartman and Stephen Walker from men’s tennis;
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Sardis hires Matt Lofthus as girls varsity basketball coach

July 12, 2019 chris
Photo: Pictured is new Sardis High School girls basketball coach Matt Lofthus with wife Jenna and son Isaac. (Courtesy of Sand Mountain Reporter) By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter Matt Lofthus has packed plenty of coaching assignments into his nine years on the Sardis High School faculty. “I’ve coached football, girls basketball and boys basketball,
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In & around the SEC - Year in Review

July 5, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent For years, teams from the Southeastern Conference have excelled in virtually every NCAA sport. While success in college football is typically the most recognizable because of its prominence throughout the country, the SEC has also competed for championships annually in various sports for both men and women. For 2018-19, however, the
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Several intra-county football games on tap for 2019 season

July 5, 2019 chris
Photo: Coosa Christian and Westbrook Christian kick off the local high school football season on Aug. 22 in Rainbow City. Pictured is action from the teams’ 2018 game in Gadsden. (Gary Wells)  By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor With the local high school football season on the horizon, it’s worth taking a look at games between Etowah County
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In & around SEC baseball - College World Series recap

June 28, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent College World Series recap For the second time in school history and second time since 2014, Vanderbilt is the college baseball national champion. The Commodores have experienced unprecedented success under head coach Tim Corbin and now have the best program in all of college baseball. Vanderbilt defeated Mi-chigan, 8-2, in the
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Veteran local coach moves to Coosa Christian

June 28, 2019 chris
Photo: Jim Bogle (pictured at center) speaks to members of the 2019 Coosa Christian volleyball team following a summer workout earlier this week. Bogle also will coach the school’s boys basketball and boys and girls track and field teams. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)  By Chris McCarthyPublisher/Editor A veteran local high school educator and coach has made his
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Sardis' Hopper commits to South Alabama

June 28, 2019 chris
Photo: Sardis High rising senior Jacob Hopper, pictured scoring a touchdown against Hokes Bluff last season, recently committed to play football for the University of South Alabama in Mobile. (Courtesy of Sand Mountain Reporter) By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter Sardis High School rising senior Jacob Hopper is 6-foot-6, 232 pounds, so you can’t miss
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In & around SEC baseball - College World Series Week 1 recap

June 21, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent The first six games of the College World Series all were decided by two runs or less. On the opening day of the tournament, Florida State stunned Arkansas, 1-0, while Michigan continued its magical run with a 5-3 win over Texas Tech in Bracket 1. In the elimination bracket, the Red
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Westbrook’s Dutton earns POY honors for All-Messenger baseball team

June 21, 2019 chris
Photo by Chris McCarthy/Messenger By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Saying that opposing hitters fared poorly against Westbrook Christian’s Samuel Dutton this past high school baseball season is putting it mildly. The rising junior moved with ease through most of lineups he faced, as teams batted a collective .121 average against the LSU commitment. In 63 and two-third
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Sardis’ Hill bashes her way to Player of the Year award for All-Messenger softball team

June 21, 2019 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Sardis High’s first trip to Lagoon Park in six years likely would not have occurred without the services of Hailey Hill. Game after game, the junior shortstop (pictured above) tore a gaping hole in opposing teams’ pitching staffs. Her .525 batting average, 63 hits, 48 runs scored, 15 RBI and 29 stolen
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Former Southside ace taken in major league baseball draft

June 21, 2019 chris
Photo courtesy of rolltide.com Brock Love might be spending quite a bit of time in South Florida in the future. The 2015 Southside High graduate and University of Alabama redshirt junior recently was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 34th round (the 1,011 players taken overall) in the 2019 Major League Baseball First-Year Player
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In & around SEC baseball - Super Regionals recap

June 13, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent For the first time in over two decades, Auburn is going to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series. The Tigers won their Super Regional matchup over North Carolina as they exploded for 25 runs in their two wins in Chapel Hill. Auburn won the series opener,11-7, after scoring nine runs
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Southside’s Thompson signs with Snead State

June 13, 2019 chris
Photo: 2019 Southside High School graduate Alexis Thompson recently signed a basketball scholarship with Snead State Community College in Boaz. Pictured, sitting from left: SSCC women’s head basketball coach Destinie Smith, Alexis, Alexis’ dad Terry. Standing: SHS girls basketball coach Kim Nails.  (Gary Wells) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Alexis Thompson will bring her cage skills at
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Former Gadsden City coach lands at McAdory

June 13, 2019 chris
Photo: Former Gadsden City High head football coach Bart Sessions recently was hired as coach at McAdory. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger file photo) By Ben Thomas/al.com Former Gadsden City High School head football coach Bart Sessions was approved as the new McAdory head football coach earlier this week by the Jefferson County Board of Education. Sessions replaces
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Southside soccer players recognized

June 13, 2019 chris
Southside High School rising seniors Isaac Franklin and Carlos Herrera were listed first and 15th, respectively, on MaxPreps.com for total points for the 2019 high school soccer season. Franklin (pictured above) finished with 30 goals and 33 assists this past season while helping the Panthers post a 16-2-1 record, win an area championship and make
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Local players make ASWA all-state baseball teams

June 10, 2019 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor The recently released 2019 Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State baseball teams confirmed that it most definitely was a banner year for several local high schools. Eight area players made the first team, including three each from Westbrook Christian and Hokes Bluff and one each from Southside and Etowah. Highlighting the list was
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Area players named to ASWA All-State softball teams

June 10, 2019 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Five area players recently were named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s All-State softball teams for the 2019 season. The lone first-teamer was Southside junior Kaylee Brown at Class 5A Designated Hitter. Playing primarily at catcher, Brown (pictured above) batted .423 with 55 hits, 44 RBI, 40 runs scored, 12 doubles, two home
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In & around SEC baseball - NCAA Regional recap

June 6, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent There was a heavy dosage of SEC teams in the NCAA Tournament, and that trend will continue into the Super Regionals. Ten teams from the SEC competed in the regionals, and six of those remain standing. Vanderbilt earned the No. 2 overall seed, and the Commodores flexed their muscle throughout the
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The heat is on for local pro soccer club

June 6, 2019 chris
Photo: The Alabama Heat’s Ben Clements (15) congratulates teammates during the team’s match against Talladega College on March 31 at Murphree Stadium in Gadsden. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Slowly but surely, the Alabama Heat Futbol Club is spreading its roots through the fertile soccer soil of Gadsden and Etowah County. Approximately halfway through the
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Local lifter inducted into state hall of fame

June 6, 2019 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Unlike most of us, Rick Hagedorn gets to view his recent weight gain in a positive light. The Gadsden resident recently was inducted as part of the inaugural class of the Alabama Powerlifting Hall of Fame on May 25 in Northport. “I never really thought of myself as a great lifter; I
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Area coach, players selected to Super All-State soccer teams

June 6, 2019 chris
Several area soccer players and one local coach recently were named to the Alabama High School Soccer Coaches Association’s Super All-State team for all classifications. On the girls’ side, Southside’s Tiffany Cargill (pictured above) was selected Small School Coach of the Year after guiding the Lady Panthers to a 21-3 record and the program’s third
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In & around SEC baseball - tournament recap

May 30, 2019 chris
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent Vanderbilt outlasted Ole Miss, 11-10, in an offensive outburst to win its third SEC Tournament championship in school history. Philip Clarke hit a single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth to score the winning run, and the Commodores overcame an eight-run deficit to win the title. The Commodores
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Southside duo highlights All-Etowah County soccer teams

May 30, 2019 chris
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor After a combined 37 victories, two area titles and state runner-up finish, the Southside High School soccer programs received a double dose of recognition this past week. The Panthers placed 11 players on the 2019 boys and girls All-Etowah County teams along with both Player of the Year awards and both Coach
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Etowah’s Howard signs with UAH

May 30, 2019 chris
Photo: 2019 Etowah High graduate Alex Howard (pictured, sitting) recently signed a track and field scholarship with the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Pictured with Howard are EHS Principal Steve Hall (left) and EHS track and field coach Blake Hudson. By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Alex Howard will hone his discus skills in the Rocket City for
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