Opelika High Football Team completed their second week of “Phase one” summer workouts June 18. The Bulldogs started working out June 8, and they have one more week of workouts before taking a week off from June 29 to July 6.

Alabama High School Athletics Association’s Executive Director Steve Savarese, Alabama Department of Health Dr. Scott Harris and State Superintendent Erik Mackey developed these guidelines in an effort to help student athletes learn COVID-19 requirements and help them get in shape in preparation for the upcoming football season.

Teams begin fall practice July 27 and are not allowed to participate in camps and team competitions including 7 on 7.


Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, Council President Eddie Smith, Pro-Tem Patsy Jones, Tiffany Gibson-Pitts, David Cannon and Dozier Smith T. continue to support youth activities in Opelika. The City Council, along with Mayor Fuller, partnered with Opelika City School System to complete numerous projects for athletics. The most recent project was renovations of the Mainstreet Gym in OHS and the Sam Mason Track. Fuller appears on “On the Mark,” which airs 6 to 9 a.m. on Fox Sports the Game 910-1310, on the Wednesdays following the Tuesday night city council meetings. During the last several recaps of the council meetings, Fuller made statements supporting the start of youth sports after Alabama opened up after COVID-19. The entire city council understands the importance of youths having activities and the Opelika Parks and Recreation. The city supports all athletic activities for all ages, including tennis, disc golf, golf, basketball, bike riding and pickleball, to name a few. Opelika built a state of the art pickleball facility behind the Sportsplex last year. I am proud to live in a city where leaders understand the importance of having facilities that help citizens have a good quality of life. Not to mention concerts in the park, arts and crafts, senior activities and special events depending on the time of year.


West Ridge Park opened last week for Opelika Dixie Youth, Opelika Dixie Boys, Softball and T-Ball. Teams are in their second week of practice. Dixie Youth started games on June 15 and will play until July 23. Dixie Boys played practice games this week and will start games June 22. Softball started practicing June 8 with games starting June 18. Tee Ball started practice June 9 and will also start games June 18. Dixie Youth cancelled all all-star tournaments including Sub-District, District, State and World Series. Opelika Dixie Boys will host the State Tournament, starting July 17 at West Ridge Park. Opelika will have both a 13U and a 14U team participating the tournament. The winners of the two divisions advance to the World Series to be held on Aug. 1 in Sterlington, Louisiana. Those interested can find team rosters and schedules for Dixie Youth Baseball online at www.opelikadixieyouth.com.; Tee-Ball, Softball and Dixie Boys can be found at hwww.opelikasportsplex.com


Opelika’s West Ridge Park is looking good these days. As I wrote, baseball, T-ball and softball started practice last week with games this week. ESG Team-Opelika, under the leadership of ESG President Michael Hilyer, keeps the grounds and fields in top notch shape year-round. The complex has a full-time crew under ESG’s Bruce Boyd including Doug, Willie, Logan and other temporary help during the summer. These guys take pride in their work and go above and beyond to keep the Park clean.


D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.