On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell

Opelika’s girls and boys soccer team’s swept Valley and Russell County last week at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex.

Coach Jaclyn Button’s Lady Bulldog soccer team (5-1-2 , S 4-0) opened the week with a 10-0 shutout over the Rams. Amiya Brown continued to lead the offense, scoring three goals and recording two assists. Ashley Hilyer and Scarlet Pasada scored two goals apiece; Ana Garcia, Erica Mathews and Morgan Watts scored goals. Mathews (2), Hilyer and Phoebe Darcey added assists.

Next, the Lady Bulldogs beat Russell County 11-1 to end the week. Offensive leaders were Brown, who scored four goals and added an assist, and Mathews, who scored three goals and recorded two assists. The following players also scored goals: Hilyer, Abby Noon, Liseth Vera, Watts and Eleanor Wilson.

Darcey played great defensively as goalie as well, allowing one goal in two games.

While the OHS girls enjoyed much success, the OHS boys were not to be outdone, beating Valley, 7-1, in the first game of the week. Said Rujana led the team with two goals and two assists. The following scored single goals, Ethan Newman, George Meyers, Dexter Graham, Kason Short and Gamston Hudson. The following Dogs recorded assists: Nathan Faison, Graham, Luke Roberts and Harold Torres.

In  the next game, Opelika (6-2-1, S-1-1) blanked Russell County 7-0, to finish the week with two wins. Rujana led the on offense with two goals. Meyers scored a goal and added two assists. Faison, Michael Vail-Delgado, Landon Faison and Newman scored a goal apiece. Austin Roberts picked up two assists.


OHS softball head coach Randy Belyue was hired in 2019, however this is his first season on the field due to COVID-19. The Lady Bulldogs (3-12) finished the week with a 1-6 record.

The Lady Bulldogs beat Marbury 5-0 for their only win last week. McKay Yountz pitched five innings, allowing no runs on one hit. Offensively, Sani Stringer and Raelee Fenn recorded two hits apiece, while teammates, Nylen Thomas, Yountz, Ava Parker and Daysia Jones added hits.

OHS lost to Beulah 14-1, Marbury, 8-3, Eufaula 4-2, Elmore County 9-0, Montgomery Catholic 11-3 and Brewbaker Tech 8-0.


The Opelika Bulldog Varsity baseball team (4-11) lost five games last week including four in the East Alabama Classic. OHS lost to Smiths Station 11-5, Spanish Fort 11-5, Faith Academy 10-1, Saraland 8-5 and Sparkman 16-4.

The following players recorded one hit apiece against SSHS: Harrison Long, Brooks Bryan, Paul Goodman, Kydylan Ligon, Jacob Smith, Julian Duke and Xander Grilliot.

Smith led OHS with three hits against Spanish Fort and pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing one earned run. Brooks Bryan had three hits against Saraland and Smith added two hits. Smith also recorded three hits against Sparkman.


The OMS Lady Bulldog softball team finished the season with a 9-3-1 record and tournament record of 6-3. OMS split with Smiths Station, winning 3-1 and losing 4-2. Jade Jones led the offense with three hits; Stella George added two hits; Jasmine Smith, Kennedy Soltau and Emily Birminham recorded hits.

OMS beat Russell County 18-1, and then won 3-2, in Alex City. Opelika Middle School recorded 15 hits on the night. Jones led with five hits, followed by Katie Harrelson’s two hits. Soltau, George, Thompson, Foley and Holley had hits.

Floyd Magnet Middle school ended the winning streak with a 6-3 win. OMS will complete the season on March 27 in the Smiths Station Invitational.


The OHS girls tennis team improved their sectional record to 2-1 after the 9-0 win over Valley last week. Single winners included, Laney McTier, Laura Tyson Daffin, Allison Beardon, Vera Smith T, Luci Long and Emma Hankins. Doubles winners were Daffin/Beardon, McTier/Long and Hankins/ Leighanna Howell.

The OHS boys, did not play a match due to VHS not having a boys team. The Bulldog boys are 1-1 in the section.


Registration for Dixie Boys baseball, ages 13–15, begins March 22 at the Opelika Sportsplex. Anyone ages 13, 14 or 15 is eligible to register and will be placed on a team. Cost is $45 for those living in the city of Opelika and $50 for others. Games are played at West Ridge Park.

Opelika is hosting the State Tournament on July 9 at West Ridge, which gives Opelika All-Stars a spot in the 13U and 14U State Tournament.

For more info, contact D. Mark Mitchell at foxonthemark@yahoo.com or 334-787-1514.


Current Prattville head football coach and former Opelika and McGill-Toolen head coach Caleb Ross has taken a position on the Troy University football staff. Ross will be the High School liaison coach for the Trojans which includes coaching duties. Ross won a state championship in 2015 and posted an overall record of 74-31 in eight years of high school ball. Congratulations Caleb, Amy, Rebecca Claire and Jack.

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 coordinator.