By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika High School’s baseball season came to an end last Friday night at Bulldog Park.
Helena beat Opelika in both games of the AHSAA 6A second-round matchup, winning the doubleheader 4-0 and 1-0. The Huskies eliminated the Bulldogs last year on their way to a state championship.
Nick Richardson’s Opelika team battled but could not find any offense. Despite not scoring in either game, pitchers Jackson Reynolds and Andrew Parr kept the games close. Reynolds pitched six innings in game one, allowing one earned run, four hits and striking out five. Parr threw six innings of shut-out baseball, allowing five hits and striking out five.
Richardson completed his second season as head baseball coach Friday night. The Bulldogs have advanced to the second round in both seasons,won back-to-back area championships and achieved 48 victories in his tenure.
Richardson understands the importance of local recreation baseball. He can be seen regularly at West Ridge watching his future players and getting to know parents. His energy and love of the game has been a blessing for Opelika baseball. The Opelika baseball program has a bright future.
The Opelika Lady Bulldog soccer team thumped Hillcrest 6-0 in a first-round matchup last Thursday at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex. The girls started fast, scoring a goal in the first minute and never looking back. Estaphany Alba pulled a “hat trick,” scoring three goals. Megan Noon added two goals, and Kayla Phatsadavong contributed the other.
Opelika, 9-5-2 overall this season, hosted Chelsea last night at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex. The results were not available at press time.
Hillcrest defeated the Opelika boys soccer team 2-1 Friday night in Tuscaloosa to end their season. Five Opelika players could not finish the match against the Jaguars because of injuries.
TRACK AND FIELD
The Opelika girls track and field team won their sectional meet last weekend in Mountain Brook.The girls were led by: Imani Debrow, first in the javelin and third in the high jump; Lazoria Yancey, first in shotput; Nikera Durr, second in the 200 meters and Anyiah Hughley, second in javelin.
The Opelika boys finished second, behind Homewood 205-132. The boys were led by: Jaylen Stinson, second in the 100 meters, third in the 200 meters and third in the long jump; Jarrell Stinson, second in the 400 meters; Jorden Heard, second in the high jump and C.J. Jordan, second in triple jump.
Both teams will advance to the state meet which will be held in Gulf Shores this weekend.
The Opelika Lady Bulldog softball team started the area tournament in Alexander City yesterday. Coach Tina Deese and her squad will attempt to make the state playoffs for the third-straight year.
Details were not available at press time.
Spring practice begins May 7. First-year Coach Erik Speakman will practice nine days in a row, excluding weekends. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play Niceville High School of Florida in a spring game May 19 at 2 p.m. at Troy University.
No announcement has been made by Opelika City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Neighbors or OHS Principal Dr. Farrell Seymore on who will become the school’s next athletic director. Speakman was named athletic director last year at the same time Caleb Ross was announced as head coach. He received a $20,000 supplement for the position.
Speakman will remain as athletic director until a new person is named. Neighbors said the position would remain part-time. It seems that someone already at the school will be named to the position, though nothing has been mentioned or confirmed publicly. Girls basketball Coach Devin Booth remains assistant athletic director in charge of female sports, a position she has held for several years.
Stay tuned for more information.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.