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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Locals make all-state soccer teams

May 14, 2020 chris
Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Southside High’s Isaac Franklin and Westbrook Christian’s Jai’Shawn Cattling and Will Edwards recently were named to the Alabama Soccer Coaches Association’s 2020 all-state boys soccer team. Franklin was selected to the Class 4A/5A team, while Cattling and Edwards were named to the Class 1A-3A team. A
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Gadsden’s Walker to coach Decatur High boys basketball

May 14, 2020 chris
Photo courtesy of Gadsden State  Article courtesy of AL.com Gadsden State men’s basketball coach Deddrick Tarver has a significant hole to fill on his staff. This past week, Kory Walker, Tarver’s top assistant and a 1999 Gadsden High School graduate, was hired as boys head basketball coach at Class 6A Decatur High School. Gadsden State
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Area schools impacted by AHSAA re-classification

May 14, 2020 chris
Photo: Will Clemons and the 2021 Hokes Bluff baseball team will compete in Class 3A (Courtesy of Alex Chaney) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Some local high school sports teams found themselves in new area and region alignments, others stayed put and a few programs were discontinued following the release of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s
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Casting on the Coosa...with Marty Dixon

May 14, 2020 chris
Uncooperative fish and commiserating with The Bergens My brother and I fished a tournament this past Wed-nesday afternoon. Our efforts were to no avail, then than laughing at not getting bites and putting up with each other complaining about not getting any bites. We had a good turnout for the tournament, and, as always, Chief
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The hunting chronicles...with Bobby Dale Welch

May 14, 2020 chris
Tweety Birds and the East Gadsden National Forest I started hunting at a very young age. My dad took me squirrel, rabbit, dove, quail and deer hunting and he did a good job of making it fun for me. We lived in East Gadsden, so my early years were spent navigating The East Gadsden National
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It's Sweet Home Chicago for GCHS grad Darnell Mooney

May 7, 2020 chris
Photo: Pictured is 2016 Gadsden City graduate Darnell Mooney competing in a 2015 high school football game. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger) By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Darnell Mooney is taking his gridiron skills to the Windy City. The 2016 Gadsden City High School graduate recently was taken by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2020 National Football League
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Casting on the Coosa...with Marty Dixon

May 7, 2020 chris
Crowded Coosa, frog bites and one that got away This past weekend on the lake was interesting, for sure. We had two tournaments of over 100 boats each day as well as several smaller tournaments. It seemed as if the river was churning like a washing machine with all those boats, but it looked like
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The hunting chronicles...with Bobby Dale Welch

May 7, 2020 chris
True love and wild pigs in Marengo County Happy Mother’s Day! I am blessed with a wonderful mother who has always supported me, whether it be hunting, work or whatever. I love her and appreciate who she is and what she stands for. Thank you, God, for my mother! When our boys were too young
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Casting on the Coosa...with Marty Dixon

May 1, 2020 chris
Let’s 86 the Coosa River Cutoff I managed to get out on the river this week between working at Silver Lakes golf course and being a grandpa. As always, it is a privilege to be on Neely Henry Lake throwing a jig in shallow water and catching a few fish. While I was out fishing,
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The hunting chronicles ...with Bobby Dale Welch

May 1, 2020 chris
You can never have enough Ptarmigan buckets My name is Bobby Dale Welch. I was born and raised in East Gadsden by Bobby and Pat Welch and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1988. My sister, Deidra Holland, works for the Gadsden City Schools System. My wife Tracie and I live in Ashville with our
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Southside’s Franklin named POY for All-Etowah County boys soccer team

April 27, 2020 chris
Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Although this year’s spring sports season ended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, senior Isaac Franklin left an impression on various soccer fields in northeast Alabama. The Southside High senior striker recently was named Player of the Year for the 2020 All-Etowah County boys
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Glencoe’s Morgan highlights All-Etowah County girls soccer team

April 27, 2020 chris
Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor Ashley Morgan did not miss a beat after two full seasons away from competitive soccer. The Glencoe High senior forward recently was named Player of the Year for the 2020 All-Etowah County girls soccer team. Nominations were submitted by area coaches and the team was
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Casting on the Coosa...with Marty Dixon

April 23, 2020 chris
Allow me to preface this article with a disclaimer. I am no writer by any means, and only a fair fisherman. So obviously I am the first choice to come up with some sort of weekly fishing article for The Messenger. I truly believe I may be the only fisherman Chris knows, so here I
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