By D. Mark Mitchell
The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board approved the 2018-19 and 2019-20 reclassifications, during last week’s meeting at the AHSAA headquarters in Montgomery.
Despite staying in Class 6A, Opelika will have new teams in their region.
Opelika will remain in Region 3, along with Wetumpka and Benjamin Russell.
The three news schools joining the region are Stanhope Elmore, Calera and Selma. Leaving the region are Pelham, Chelsea, Helena and Chilton County. Opelika’s Coach Caleb Ross will now face the challenge of scheduling five non-region games for each of the next two seasons.
Non-football sports including basketball, soccer, baseball, softball and volleyball will have a three-team area: Russell County and Benjamin Russell.
Wrestling, golf, track, tennis, cross country and swimming will continue to compete in sectionals, because of the number of teams in each sport. These changes will go into effect for the 2018-19 school year.
The Opelika Lady Bulldogs improved to 8-3 after thumping Lafayette 73-51 last Friday on the road.
Four players scored in double figures: Claire Worth led with 18 points, Alexis Browning had 17 points, Quala Walton 15 points and Anita Payne added 14 points.
The Opelika boys lost to Lafayette 84-71. The Bulldogs fell behind 23-8 after one quarter and could not overcome that deficit. Trey Boone led the Bulldogs with 18 points. Austin Pitts and Taye Fields added 15 and 11 points apiece. Both teams beat Valley Monday night, and travelled to Smiths Station Tuesday night. Those results were not available at press time.
The Opelika Middle School eighth-grade basketball team defeated Alex City 46-17 last week. Jarrell Stinson led the Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points, Tae Hardnett scored 10 points and Rashaad Frye added 8 points.
CONNER PRUITT WINS FOURTH-STRAIGHT TITLE
Opelika High senior Conner Pruitt won his fourth-straight state diving championship at the AHSAA State Swimming and Diving meet last Friday at the James Martin Aquatics Center.
Pruitt scored 510.95 points, 125 points better than the runner-up from Spain Park. Pruitt, an Auburn signee, tied Opelika’s Sam Kiefer’s record of four state championships.
LISTEN TO AHSAA SUPER 7 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Local high school football fans can listen to all seven AHSAA football Championship games this week on your iHeart Radio stations, WKKR, WTLM and WZMG.
The Super 7 starts Wednesday with the 7A Championship game, a rematch of last year’s match-up between Hoover and McGill- Toolen. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on WKKR 97.7 FM
3A Championship – 11 a.m. WTLM 1520 AM Hillcrest High School (Evergreen) v Randolph County;
1A Championship – 3 p.m. WZMG 910 AM Sweet Water v Pickens County
5A Championship – 7 p.m. WKKR 97.7 FM
St. Paul’s Episcopal v Briarwood Christian
4A State Championship – 11a.m. WTLM 1520 AM Fayette County v UMS-Wright
2A State Championship – 3 p.m. WZMG 910 AM Lanett v Leroy
6A State Championship – 7 p.m. WKKR 97.7 FM Wetumpka v Pinson Valley
D Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.