The search for the 22nd head football coach at Opelika High School is in the final stages. OCS Superintendent Dr. Mark Neighbors, OHS Principal Dr. Farrell Seymore, OCS Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Burton and three community members conducted interviews last week and early this week.
Dr. Neighbors made it clear in the beginning that time is not a factor. He vowed to take the necessary time to hire the best person for the job, the school system and for Opelika.
A group of 70 plus applicants was narrowed down to a reasonable number to interview.
Neighbors could have an announcement at the end of this week or early next week.
Earlier in the process, Dr Neighbors made a few comments about some of the applicants. “We have coaches that have won state titles, coaches on the OHS staff, college coordinators and others with
plenty of experience” said Neighbors before interviews started.
The Opelika head football position is one of the top five coaching jobs in Alabama. There are many reasons for this, the Opelika school administration, facilities, support from the city administration and fan support. Mayor Gary Fuller and the entire City Council are strong supporters. The All-Sports Booster Club is an active supporter and fund-raiser and the many Bulldog fans who support the Bulldogs at home and on road. These are all examples of why Opelika is a top five coaching job.
Since 1982 Opelika has had only four head coaches: Joe Wilson 1982-89 (54-31) Doug Barfield 1990-94 (40-19), Spence McCracken 1995-2007 (135-35) and Brian Blackmon 2008-2016 (69-25).
Coaches Wilson, Barfield and McCracken all retired. Brian Blackmon left for a job on tha AU athletic staff. None of the these coaches were asked to resign or step down.
Opelika schools are observing spring break this week. All schools are closed for the week. Most spring sports are off for the entire week while others are off half the week.
The Opelika Baseball team is 8-8, after beating Calera and Prattville last week. Madison Academy defeated the Dawgs Saturday to end a three game win streak for the Bulldogs.
The Softball team continues to improve despite losing nine seniors from last year’s Area championship team. The Lady Bulldogs lost their number one pitcher, Meagan Cook.
Second year Head Coach Tina Deese has turned to younger players to fill the need in the circle. The team is 6-6-2 overall, 0-1 in Area play.
The OHS boys varsity soccer team is on a six game win streak including two Area wins. The Dawgs have clinched a playoff spot.
The girls and boys tennis teams played Dothan and Northview last week at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. The girls lost two matches while the boys swept both of theirs’.
The boys continue to play great tennis while the girls are improving from game to game.
The newly renovated OHS track is almost completed. The lanes need painting along with a new fence surrounding the track. The track will then have everything necessary to host an AHSAA track meet including Sectional meets.
However, the Track will probably not be completed for this season.
OPELIKA DIXIE BOYS BASEBALL REGISTRATION
The Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball League is holding registration at the Opelika Sportsplex.
The baseball league is for ages 12-15. All players will be on a team.
The cost is $45 which includes jersey and cap. Registration continues through April 5.
For more information or questions, call 334-705-5560 or email D.Mark Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.