By D. Mark Mitchell
The OHS boys tennis team won the sectional meet last week to qualify for the state championship in Decatur this week.
Seniors Andrew Bizilia, Henry Smith T and Andy Huling along with underclassmen Wilson Hudson , Grayson Crowley and Connor Pruitt contributed wins for the Dawgs.
The OHS girls team finished a close second in the sectionals to also earn a trip to the playoffs.
Sam Herring, Emma Grace Scullen, Sara Hollis Smith T, Blake Bell and Martynn Grouby helped the Lady Bulldogs advance.
Both teams played in the state tournament yesterday (Tuesday) but results were not available at press time.
The OHS baseball team (21-13) beat Saraland two out of three games last weekend to advance to the second round of the AHSAA 6A playoffs.
The Dawgs won game one, 8-1, behind a stellar pitching performance by Mitch Myers. The Bama commit threw 69 pitches over seven innings and allowed no earned runs to earn the win.
Game two was all Saraland. The Spartans scored five runs in the first on their way to a 10-0 win to even the series at 1-1 and force game three on Saturday.
The Bulldogs won the final game of the series, 2-0, to advance to the second round. JR Reynolds pitched a complete game in earning the win. Catcher TJ Jones threw two runners out at third to help secure the win. Parker Goodman, Carter Milner and Myers helped the Bulldogs offensively.
Opelika will play Helena Friday at Bulldog Park on the OHS campus. The two teams will play a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. The third game of the series, if necessary, will be 1 p.m. on Saturday. The first team to win two games will advance to the quarterfinals.
The AHSAA sets all guidelines for state playoffs. Tickets are priced at $8 Friday and $6 Saturday. All fans must purchase a ticket to watch the game. The Opelika Booster Pass or season passes are not valid for playoff games.
ON THE RADIO
Opelika fans who cannot attend the OHS/Helena game can listen to the action on WZMG 910 AM and online at kickerfm.com/sports, then click listen live to Opelika Baseball.
Airtime for game one will be 4:50 p.m., first pitch at 5. All games will be aired on i- Heart Radio, your Home for Opelika Athletics.
Opelika soccer is making history! For the first time, both OHS girls and boys soccer teams will host first round matches in the AHSAA state playoffs. Both teams will host Hillcrest High of Tuscaloosa Thursday (April 27) at 5:30 p.m.
The girls will play on field three while the boys play on field four. Admission is $6.
The OHS girls and boys track teams compete in the sectional meet this weekend. The Dawgs are looking to repeat as 6A champions.
Each team is favored to win its state meet.
Coach Caleb Ross will begin his first spring practice at OHS on May 1. The Dawgs are coming off a 13-2 2016 season and a second place finish in the Super 7.
Coach Ross, hired a month ago to replace Brian Blackmon who resigned to take job on the AU staff, coached McGill-Toolen in the 7A Championship game the last two seasons.
Ross has named Jonathan Chandler as offensive coordinator and Erik Speakman as defensive coordinator. No other announcements have been made about other changes on the staff.
The team has one assistant coaching position open due to the departure of Bryan Moore three years ago. Moore served as Bulldog offensive coordinator before taking the head coaching position at Eufaula. Blackmon assumed the offensive coordinator duties and did not fill Coach Moore’s position.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.