By D. Mark Mitchell

The Opelika High School girls and boys tennis teams both defeated sectional rival Benjamin Russell in matches last week.
The girls beat Benjamin Russell 8-1. Singles match winners included: #1 Sara Hollis Smith T 8-5; #3 Martlynn Grouby 8-4; #4 Raeden Gagliano 8-5; #5 Blake Bell 8-4 and #6 Laney McTier 8-5. All three doubles teams won: #1 Smith T/ Bradfield; #2 Grouby/Gagliano and #3 Bell/ Victoria Tufts.
The boys swept all nine matches, winning 9-0. Singles winners included: #1 Conner Pruitt 8-3; #2 Wilson Hudson 8-1; #3 Grayson Crowley 8-3, #4 Austin Crowley 8-1; #5 Parker McKay 8-0 and #6 Benjamin Estes 8-0. Doubles winners were: #1 Pruitt/Hudson 8-0; #2 Crowley /McKay 8-6 and #3 A. Crowley/ Estes 8-0.
The Bulldog baseball team beat Benjamin Russell in one of its three games last week, dropping to 4-2 in the area. To win the area championship, Opelika needs Wetumpka to beat Benjamin Russell two out of three games. Otherwise, Opelika will travel in the first round of the 6A AHSAA Baseball playoffs.
Jackson Reynolds pitched eight innings last Tuesday, allowing no earned runs and striking out 10 to earn the win. Andrew Parr hit a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eight to win the game for the Bulldogs. Micah Christian and Jared Bartlett added the other two hits.
Opelika lost twice to Benjamin Russell last week in Alex City, 7-4 and 6-1.
Opelika hosted rival Auburn last night. The game was not completed at press time. The Bulldogs will hold their “Senior Day” ceremonies Saturday against Prattville.
The girls and boys soccer teams split matches last week. Both teams beat section foe Wetumpka and lost to Auburn.
The Lady Bulldogs beat Wetumpka 4-1. Amiya Brown scored two goals with assists from Meagan Noon and Kaitlyn Goodman. Estephany Alba and Kaitlyn Goodman scored one goal apiece. Kayla Phatsadavong and Eleanor Wilson each earned assists.
Opelika hosted Auburn last week for the annual “Soccer for a Cure” games. Auburn won both varsity matches, as the girls won 3-1 and boys 2-1. The is the first time Opelika has hosted these matches.
You can keep up with local sports by tuning into the “On the Mark” radio show on 1520 AM from 7-9 a.m., online at The local sports radio show features interviews from local coaches from different schools including Opelika High School. My co-host is Jeff Sasser, and we have guest appearances from former coaches like Dan Washburn and Larry Gore.
The Opelika Observer will print an insert highlighting Dixie Youth Baseball and the Billy Hitchcock Miracle League in the April 25 edition. The insert will feature team pictures from each league.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and the city council will honor the Opelika Lady Bulldog basketball team at their meeting next Tuesday. The girls won 22 games and advanced to their first-ever Final Four appearance. Coach Devin Booth earned the Area Coach of the Year Award, and key players like Anita Payne, Alexis Browning, Quala Walton and Claire Worth were named to the All-Area squad.
The Opelika Dixie Boys League has extended registration through April 16. Anyone between 13-15 years old wanting to play baseball can register at the Opelika Sportsplex. Cost is $45 per person, which includes jersey and cap. Players must furnish a glove, baseball pants and shoes. Everyone will be on a team. For more information, email
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council. He can be followed on Twitter at VOICEOFTHEDAWGS.