On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell

The Opelika High Wrestling team hosted Pike Road and Russell County in the Mainstreet Gym inside OHS last week before traveling to Auburn for the Suede Umbach Invitational.

The Bulldogs beat Pike Road 42-30 in the first match. The Opelika grapplers started the night with Zayne Lackey earning a 6-0 win in the 220-lb. weight class. Heavyweight Jaylin Thomas won his match 6-0, and Derrick Hoyett pinned his opponent in the 106-lb. weight class. Freshman Pedro Cabrera lost a close match in the 113-lb. class, while Brayden Wilson (126-lb. class) won his match 6-3. Trace Gaither (132 lbs.) and Adam Phillips (138 lbs.) both pinned their opponents. Sophomore Keon Brazier won 9-4, increasing the lead to 33-24. Jack Pritchard, at 195 lbs., finished his match to seal the win for OHS.

In the second match of the night, Opelika beat the Warriors 41-30. The following grapplers won matches to secure the victory. Derrick Hoyett (106 lbs.), Brayden Wilson (120 lbs.), Trace Gaither (132 lbs.), Jacob Williams (138 lbs.), Calvin Fenn (195 lbs.) and Keon Brazier, who won by forfeit.

The Bulldogs participated in the Suede Umbach Invitational at AHS Friday and Saturday. Opelika’s grapplers finished 5-1 as a team in the highly competitive meet. The Dogs beat Spanish Fort 39-36, Wetumpka 61-12, Spain Park 66-15, Smiths Station 65-12 and Benjamin Russell 42-39.

The following are individual winners in each match.

Against Spanish Fort: Derick Hoyett (106 lbs.), Pedro Cabrera (113 lbs.), Brayden Wilson (120 lbs.), Keon Frazier (160 lbs.), T’harra Brunson (182 lbs.), Jack Pritchard (195 lbs.) and Jaylin Thomas (220 lbs.).

Against Wetumpka: Trace Gaither (132 lbs.) and Teotl Heredia (182 lbs.)

Against Spain Park: Pedro Cabrera, Brayden Wilson, Granger Scarborough (126 lbs.) and Robert Adam Phillips (138 lbs.).

Against Smiths Station: Pedro Cabrea and Brayden Wilson.

Against Benjamin Russell: Robert Adam Phillips, T’harra Brunson, Landon Willis (182 lbs.), Jack Pritchard, Maleik Simpson (220 lbs.) and Derrick Hoyett.


Opelika’s Basketball teams, girls and boys, have had to miss several games due to COVID-19. The boys, 0-3, stooped playing games for several days due to COVID-related issues. The Lady Bulldogs beat Lafayette 65-32 last Tuesday in Lafayette. Kaitlyn Bryant scored a team-high 21 points. LaDajah Huguley and Haley Sanders each scored 19 points. The win improved their record to 5-2.

Stay tuned for basketball details.


The Alabama High School All-Star Football Team stopped a three-game losing streak, beating rival Mississippi in the 34th annual meeting at Montgomery’s Crampton Bowl. Team Alabama’s head coach, Steve Mask, had four practices to prepare for the game. The offense gained 357 yards while the defense yielded only 133 yards.

The Alabama All-Stars intercepted five passes, causing Mississippi to doubt their game plan. The MVP, Ga Quincy McKinstry, showed why he is the state’s top player, intercepting two passes and catching three passes on offense for 74 yards and a touchdown. AHS senior Noah Warren intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards, setting up a 15-yard field goal.

The win was important for the Alabama High School Athletic Association, one of the sponsors of the game.