Opelika Sports | June 13, 2024



The Alabama High School Athletic Association made two major announcements in the last seven days, the hiring of a new executive director and announcing Super 7 changes.

Heath Harmon was introduced at a press conference last Thursday, June 6, at the Alabama High School Athletic Association headquarters in Montgomery.
The governing body of the AHSAA falls under the members of the Central Board of Control (CDC). Board President Mike Welsh introduced Harmon, the sixth full-time executive director, in the Steve Savarese Media Room. Harmon leaves Oxford High School after eight years as Principal and 26 years of experience in education as a teacher, coach and administrator. He coached at Codorva, Munford, Andalusia and at White Plains prior to moving into administration.
Harmon and wife Holley are the proud parents of Halaya and Hudson, both Oxford High graduates. Halaya graduated from Auburn University in 2023 and their son is a current Auburn student.
Harmon will follow former Executive Director Alvin Briggs who is retiring July 31.

The official announcement came from the AHSAA Wednesday: The cities of Auburn, Opelika and Tuscaloosa along with Auburn University and the University of Alabama asked the AHSAA if they could “pause” on hosting future Super 7 football championships because of changes to the College Football Playoffs (CFP).
The new CFP calls for four playoff games to be played on campus stadiums starting Dec. 20 of this year. This is two weeks after the AHSAA Super 7 football championship games. Neither university would know if they were hosting a CFP game until two days after the completion of Super 7.
Auburn Mayor Ron Anders and I serve as co-chairs of the Auburn-Opelika Super 7 committee. We had several conversations and meetings with some of the top brass of the Athletic Department and Auburn University trying to save the Super 7 but no solution would work.
We started working on hosting our first Super 6 Championship game in 2008, long before most folks knew the cities of Auburn and Opelika formed a partnership with the goal of hosting at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium held its first Super 6 championship in 2010.
Prior to the change, the existing contract runs through 2032 and includes Bryant-Denny Stadium, Jordan Hare Stadium and Protective Stadium in Birmingham.
The AHSAA will play future Super 7 championship games at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium.
In a press release given to The Observer, Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said the his city was glad to be a part of proving such life-long memories for the student-athletes, their schools and communities.
“The city of Opelika is honored to have been a part of the Super 7 for many years,” Fuller said. “The experiences had by the athletes, band members, students, cheerleaders, and fans are priceless. To be under the big lights in a grand stadium is something we all will remember for a lifetime. We are hopeful to one day be back at Jordan-Hare Stadium (for the Super 7).”

Opelika football coach Bryan Moore appeared on the radio version of “On the Mark” last week, updating fans on summer workouts, which started June 3. The players are conditioning and lifting weights four days a week, participating in 7 on 7 tournaments and team camps.
Moore talked about the importance of 7 on 7 tournaments although no one is “live” in pads.
“I know 7 on 7 games are not real games, but it is good for our quarterbacks to compete and work on routes and timing,” Moore said. “We have some sophomores and a junior that needs to develop as a quarterback. We want to win every game but let’s be real,” Moore said with a chuckle.
“The three quarterbacks are competing [and] each needs to learn how to go through five targets without holding the football,” Moore continued. “You must anticipate the receiver being open before he is open. If you wait for a receiver to be open, it is a pick (interception). We take our running backs but it is for receivers because we do not throw to our backs often although it is a part of the game.”
Most of the universities in Alabama host seven on seven camps/tournaments.

Opelika Athletics new strength and conditioning Kade Mcgee released a summer workout schedule for all sports. The schedule can be found in this week’s paper.
OHS Softball team is hosting a camp for kids six years old through 12 years old, July 8-10 at West Ridge Park in Opelika. Cost is $60 per camper, please contact Coach Thornton at (334)745-9715.

Auburn City Schools did not announce their new baseball coach during Tuesday’s regular scheduled meeting.
The head baseball coach at AHS is a very important hire for ACS. I have no doubt ACS Superintendent Dr. Cristen Herrin will make an excellent hire. Since becoming Auburn schools superintendent she has made several huge hires during her short tenure including football coach Keith Etheredge and renowned volleyball coach Brian Wheatley.
All of the Opelika Diamond Youth baseball All-star teams start tournaments this week. The All-star teams range from age 7 to 12.
The Opelika DBB all-star teams, 13U, 14U and 15U play their tournaments this month.
The Opelika 15U All-Star team plays in the state tournament in Eufaula, Alabama, Friday through Sunday. Opelika’s 13U and 14U all-stars play in the state tournament in Greenville, Alabama, June 27-29.

D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director at iHeartMedia, host of “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1319, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.