By Stan Veitch/Sports Correspondent
The 2015 version of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s North-South All-Star Week was formatted a bit differently than its predecessors.
Football, instead of wrapping up the week, was this year’s first event in Montgomery.
2015 Glencoe High graduate Thomas Ozmint played in the game, starting and playing almost every down at strong safety. He finished with three tackles and an interception.
“He was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to start on offense,” said his father and Glencoe head football coach Lee Ozmint.
Thomas said, “I wasn’t expecting it because I didn’t play defense at all this year (at Glencoe). I was hoping to run the ball a few times, too. But I had a good experience.”
On the first play of the game, Thomas almost had an interception.
“It was in the flats and I wasn’t really expecting it,” he said. “I let it drop. If I had caught it, I had only the running back and quarterback to beat (for a touchdown).”
The interception came late in the game, when the receiver tipped the ball and Thomas Ozmint dove for it.
This past season, Ozmint rushed for 2,347 yards while adding 450 yards in pass receiving and kickoff and punt returns. He helped the 2014 Yellow Jackets finish with a 13-1 record, post the school’s first undefeated regular season since 1979, win the Class 3A, Region 7 title and gain the program’s first berth in the state semifinals since the 1996 season.
Ozmint was named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State football first team and was a Class 3A Back of the Year finalist. He also was first team All-County and All-Region and was named Offensive MVP of the All-Messenger football team.
Ozmint signed a football scholarship with the University of West Alabama earlier this year as a running back.
As usual, baseball led off the rest of the events on Tuesday (July 21).
Chase Beggs represented Hokes Bluff and Etowah County in the doubleheader.
In Game 1, Beggs hit an RBI double and was hit by a pitch, playing in the designated hitter slot.
“I felt like I swung the bat pretty well,” he said.
In the second game, Beggs had a ground out and was again hit by a pitch. He pitched two and 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He struck out three and gave up one walk.
“I thought I did all right, considering I wasn’t feeling my best on the mound,” Beggs said. “My stuff wasn’t as sharp as what I like it to be.”
Eagles baseball coach Mike Robertson made the trek down to see the series.
“To have kids who are competitive at this level makes you feel good as a coach,” he said.
Beggs, a rising senior who is uncommitted for college, led Hokes Bluff with a .488 batting average. He also led in almost every offensive category, finishing with four home runs and 16 RBI, nine doubles and four triples.
On the mound, Beggs had a 5-1-1 record with an 0.86 ERA and 64 strikeouts while allowing only four earned runs and 13 hits. He was named team MVP and was co-MVP of the All-Etowah County team. Beggs’ production helped Hokes Bluff win the Class 4A, Area 12 title and make to the second round of the state playoffs
Gadsden City’s Lauren Roussell and Southside’s Mary Katherine Maudsley, both rising seniors, played extensive minutes in the girls soccer game on Tuesday.
Roussell was in goal for the entire second half of the 5-2 victory.
“They only got to take two shots on each of us (Miranda Schoening of Oxford tended goal in the first half),” said Roussell, who is the first Gadsden City soccer player to ever earn a Division I scholarship. “I allowed one goal and it was on a breakaway. It was really the only real shot they got – the defense blocked the other one. Our defense was so good that they hardly ever got close to the goals.”
With Roussell, an Auburn commit, playing Birmingham (BUSA) club soccer, she already knew most of the other players, so chemistry wasn’t a problem.
Likewise with Maudsley, who plays club ball for Vestavia.
“I had either played with or against almost every girl on the North team,” Maudsley said.
She played half of the game at midfield. Instead of playing an entire half at a time, the coaches substituted every 10 minutes, because of the heat.
“I must’ve done all right because if I don’t, my dad tells me,” the two-time Panthers Most Valuable Player said. “He only said of this game that I looked tired but I made some good passes.”