On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell

The OHS Track and Field Team hosted the “Opelika Invitational” at Sam Mason Track on Saturday. The meet featured nine teams in the girls’ middle school division, five teams in the boys’ middle school division, nine varsity boys’ teams and five varsity girls’ teams.

The OMS girls team finished fourth, scoring 30 points. Tyra Pitts scored all 30 points by winning three events: the 100-meter dash, 200 and the 400. The OMS boys team placed third, thanks to Tyrese Pitts’ first place finishes in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run.

Opelika High’s varsity boys’ track team won the meet with 285 points, a whopping 147 points in front of second place Wetumpka.

The following won events:

Ben Royal, pole vault (9-6)

Jarell Stinson, javelin (143-3) and 100-meter dash (10.89)

Justin Short, 110 hurdles (16.50) and 300-meter hurdles (44.69)

Eric Watts, high jump (6-4)

Anthony Edwards, long jump (19-6)

Trevon Moore, shot put (46-3.75)

Second Place Finishes:

Caleb Phillips, 200-meter dash (23.34)

ANT McGuire, 400-meter dash (54.03)

Kyrian Moss, 800-meter run

LaJaden Tolbert, Javelin (140-3)

You can find all team and individual results by going to www.alabamarunners.com


The girls’ and boys’ soccer teams played Benjamin Russell and Smiths Station last week.

The OHS girls tied Benjamin Russell 0-0. Despite multiple shots on goal by Amiya Brown, Erica Mathews and Scarlet Posadas, the Lady Bulldogs could not manage a goal. Phoebe Darcey matched the defensive effort in goal, deterring all shots from entering her net to secure the tie.

Next, coach Button’s team tied SSHS 4-4 last Thursday at the W James Samford Soccer Complex. Amiya Brown scored all four goals with assists from Erica Mathews, Karley Phatsadavong and Fatima Santamaria.

The OHS boys lost to Beauregard 3-1 and tied Smiths Station 0-0.

Janathan Blanco scored the only goal of the Beauregard game off of an assist by Landon Faison. The Bulldogs missed several players due to COVID protocols relating to contract tracing.

OHS and Smiths Station played to a 0-0 tie at the Sportsplex. The match was very physical; Smiths Station received three yellow cards from the official due to rough play. The physicality of the match made things scrappy on the pitch, and despite some good looks at goal from the Panthers, OHS goalkeeper Miller Isaacson shut out Smiths Station.


The OHS Softball team lost 15-0 to Auburn High last week in a mercy-rule game. AHS scored 10 runs in the first inning, two runs in the second and third innings and added a run in the fourth inning, ending the game early. Opelika did not record a hit.

OMS Softball team finished second in the “MS Invitational” at West Ridge Park. OMS won three games, beating Floyd Magnet 6-5, Russell County 9-0 and Johnnie Car Middle School 15-2. The only loss was 3-2 to Sanford Middle School.

The Lady Bulldogs received solid pitching from Jade Jones, Katie Harrelson, Katelyn Foley and Emily Birminham. Offensively, Jasmine Smith, Kennedy Soltau, Emily Birmingham and Katie Harrelson recorded three hits apiece. Jade Jones and Stella George added two hits apiece. Jancyn Thompson, Cailey Morgan and Kaley Morgan recorded singles.

OMS beat Russell County 2-1 last week. Jade Jones struck out six Lady Warrior batters, and Katie Harrelson sat down five batters. Offensively, Jones, George and Harrelson added hits. OMS improved to 5-1-1.


The OHS Varsity Boys baseball team split games last week, losing 3-4 at Oxford and beating BRHS 4-1.

The Bulldogs lost a close 3-4 game to Oxford last Monday. Brantley Davis pitched five  innings, allowing one run on one hit while striking out six batters. J.T. McArdle relieved Davis, throwing one inning, allowing three runs on two hits. Offensively, Jackson Harris, Paul Goodman and Jacob Smith added hits.

The game ended on a very controversial call by the home plate umpire. OHS had runners at second and third in the last inning. Harris was at the plate with an 0-2 count. The next pitch was inside, hitting Harris. The umpire yelled “strike three,” saying Harris leaned into the pitch by stepping toward home plate. Instead of having bases loaded, the game was over.

The umpire made a judgement call, and the game was over. However, I watched video of the play, and Jackson Harris did NOT lean over the plate.

OHS beat Benjamin Russell 4-1 in the second game of the week. Jonathan Chase led the offense with two hits, followed by hits from Jackson Long, Harris, Luke Murry, Goodman and Smith. Harris earned the win, pitching six innings and allowing one run on two hits.


Registration for Dixie Boys Baseball begins March 22 at the Opelika Sportsplex. The baseball league is for 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds wanting to play baseball. The cost is $45, which includes a shirt and cap. All players will be placed on a team. All-Stars will play in the State Tournament on July 9 at West Ridge Park in Opelika. For more information, call D. Mark Mitchell at 334-787-1514 or email at foxonthemark@yahoo.com.


I told you last week, Auburn City Schools would be naming a football coach by the end of last week.

Thursday night, Oxford head coach Keith Etheredge accepted the offer to be the head football coach at Auburn High School. Etheredge emerged as the leading candidate after interviews were conducted.

Stay tuned for more coaching news. One or two schools are expected to make changes. The two schools are well known and have good football programs.


Listen to “On the Mark” sports radio show, weekdays 6 a.m.-9 a.m. on FOX sports the game 910-1310 AM.

Jeff Sasser and I host the guest-driven show concentrating on local sports and news. You can also listen online at foxsportsthegame.com on the Iheartradio app.

D. Mark Mitchell is the Sports Director at iHeartMedia, host of “On The Mark” on Fox Sports the Game 910-1310, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball State director.