By D. Mark Mitchell
MEET THE NEW OPELIKA FOOTBALL COACH AND HIS FAMILY
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club will host a “meet and greet” for new football coach Caleb Ross, wife, Amy, daughter, Rebecca Claire and son, Jack, April 17, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Opelika Indoor Athletic Building on the OHS campus.
The casual event, is open to all Opelika High School fans. The booster club will provide finger food and drinks.
As president of the Opelika All-Sports Booster Club, I am personally inviting each of you reading this article to attend. Opelika needs to roll out the red carpet for the Ross family.
Coach Ross and family will be permanently located in Opelika in the coming weeks. The family expects to be in their house before the end of April.
When Opelika High School announced the hiring of Nick Richardson as head baseball coach last summer, it was the program’s third head coach in three years, and fifth head coach in the last six years.
Coach Richardson left Bibb County High School after eight seasons and seven-straight Area titles. Seven straight playoff appearances and two trips to the final four, just before becoming the OHS head baseball coach.
A move that Coach Richardson called his last, “Good Lord willing” after accepting the job in July 2016.
Since then, the Opelika High baseball program started displaying signs of togetherness, pride and a sense of loyalty and kind of intensity to be a great baseball team and program.
The Bulldogs know how to win. In 2015 and 2016, the teams advanced to the quarterfinals, and second round in 2014.
The missing link: “consistency.”
Coach Richardson’s 2017 team is 16-13 overall, 2-2 in area competition and has clinched a playoff spot.The Dawgs can win the area title if Wetumpka and Benjamin Russell split their two games this week.
Opelika earned the playoff berth by sweeping the Benjamin Russell Wildcats of Alexander City, 12-2 and 14-7, last Thursday at Bulldog Park.
The Dawgs erupted for 26 runs for two games over 11 innings (the first game went four and one-half innings because of the mercy rule).
Jackson Reynolds and Jake Chase earned the wins for OHS.
Opelika hosted Auburn last night, Tuesday, but the results were not available at press time.
Both the Opelika girls and boys soccer teams saw their win streaks snapped by Auburn High School at Duck Samford last Thursday in the annual Soccer for a Cure game.
The boys lost 3-0 while the girls lost 8-0.
The OHS softball team (6-6) lost to area foe Benjamin Russell, 14-6, last week. The girls were coming off a 14-0 win over Russell County.
Coach Tina Deese and her staff continue to work despite the loss of the team’s top pitcher.
The Lady Bulldogs host their annual Opelika Invitational Friday and Saturday at West Ridge Park.
The OHS girls and boys tennis teams defeated Benjamin Russell last week.
The boys won 7-2 behind singles wins from Connor Pruitt, Henry Smith T and Wilson Hudson; and doubles wins from Huling/Smith T,Hudson/Crowley and Pruitt/Crowley.
The OHS girls triumphed 8-1. Sam Herring, Emma Grace Scullen, Sara Hollis Smith T, Mary Bentley Barfield , Marylyn Grouby and Blake Bell all won their singles matches. Doubles winners were Scullen/Smith T, Herring/Barfield and Bell/Grouby.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.