By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika’s girls and boys basketball teams each have two regular season games left, tonight at Valley and Saturday in Montgomery against Carver.
The girls won the right to host the Area tournament with a 6-0 Area regular season record. The Lady Dawgs are 19-4 overall. The Area tournament will be held in Opelika on Feb. 8 and Feb.12. Auburn will play Central at 5:30 p.m. while Opelika will host Smiths Station at 7 p.m.
The two winners will play for the Area tournament championship on Feb.12, at 6 p.m.
The two winners of game one will advance to the 6A State tournament. The tournament champion will host the first round playoff game while the runner-up goes on the road.
The Opelika boys basketball team 16-7, 4-2 in Area, tied with Central and Smiths Station for the regular season Area championship.
The three teams wound up having to flip a coin to determine the tournament host and which teams finished second and third.
Central won the coin toss, and will host the Area tournament on Feb. 9.
Opelika will play Smiths Station at 5:30 p.m. while Central will host Auburn at 7 p.m. in the second game.
The two winners will play on Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. for the Area championship.
The champion will host a first round playoff game while the runner up will travel for their first round playoff game.
Both OHS and Smiths Station teams have had great seasons. It’s obvious that winning the coin toss and playing at home would have helped our boys. They would have played AHS, 7-17, 0-6 in the Area. Instead,they have to play Smiths Station at 22-4 overall, quite a difference.
You can listen to every game starting with the Area tournament on 97.7 KICKER FM or www.kickerfm.com. We will broadcast both girls and boys games starting with the first girls Area tournament games on Feb. 8.
Head coaches Devin Booth and John Wadsworth have done outstanding jobs coaching their respective teams. Both should be commended for getting our teams in position to make the playoffs and go deep in the State tournament.
The OHS wrestling team participated in the “Mortimer Jordan Invitational” in Birmingham last weekend. The team finished seventh with a total of 101.5 points.
Laccarris Patrick won first place in the 132-pound weight class with a 4-0 record.
Jamal Vaughn finished second in the 152-pound weight class. Vaughn lost the championship match in four overtimes. Tyler Carter finished fifth at 113 pounds and Angelo Farrow placed fifth in the 115-pound class.
The following student athletes participated: Marquise Banks, Ethan Knight, Eric Jackson, Mark Preston, Octavious Byrd and Dalton Scoggins.
The team has finished the regular season schedule and will prepare for the Sectional meet Feb. 8-9 in Prattville.
Coach Jimmy Johnson took his track team to the “Last Chance Meet” in Birmingham last weekend. The OHS girls finished sixth while the boys placed 11th out of 89 teams in both groups.
The following is a list of athletes that scored points for the Bulldogs.
Jakayla Hand placed second in the long jump, seventh in the 60-meter dash and fifth in the triple jump; Kamala Thomas placed second in the high jump; Kala Spinks placed eighth in the high jump; B.J. Lockhart finished fifth in the high jump; Jaquavios Lockhart placed eighth in the high jump; Vontrell Hunter was second in the shot put; Stephen Roberts placed fifth in the long jump and Brandon Taylor was eighth in the long jump.
OHS head baseball coach Scott Sullivan released the 2012-13 team roster. The following players made the team: Doss Arnold, Jesse Baker, Garrett Brown, Kent Bugg, Lawson Butz, Ryan Carlisle, Mathew Christian, Nick Fields, Kyle Gothard, Jackson Grigsby, Ken Harris, Chase Hegwood, Tommie Jackson, Kyle Fourtenberry, Chris Manley, Will McKee, David Miller, Harrison Morris, Bryant Norrell, Joey Payne, Stephen Roberts, Casey Senn, Cullen Senn, Cody Sides, Sawyer Stephens, Hunter Swindell, Justin Traylor, BJ White, Bennet Whitman, Winston Smith T., Gage Young and Blake Yountz.
Coach Sullivan will use these players on the junior varsity and varsity squads. Sullivan considers all the players on the roster as a team.
OHS has released the 2013 football schedule (see below). We will have six home games including the season opener against Benjamin Russell. This will be the first game in Bulldog Stadium after renovations currently underway.
OHS juniors JaKell Mitchell and Stephen Roberts continue to draw the attention of college coaches. In the last two weeks several division I college coaches have been by OHS to visit with Coach Blackmon and our players, including Auburn head coach Gus Malzohn, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (two visits) and other coaches from Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Duke, Tulane and more.
Stephen Roberts was offered a scholarship by Alabama last weekend at “The Elite Junior Camp” at the University of Alabama.
Welcome Jonathan Chandler
Opelika High School has hired former Opelika graduate Jonathan Chandler to teach physical education. Chandler played football and baseball at OHS.
Chandler received a scholarship and played varsity football at Troy. He has been a graduate assistant at Troy.
The P.E. job became available after former OHS head baseball coach Barry Hightower was hired at Jackson High School as head baseball coach.
Chandler played quarterback and guided the Bulldogs to the Final Four his senior year. Coach Brian Blackmon was pleased to hire a former Bulldog.
“We are excited to hire one of our own. Jonathan played for us and I was his position coach. Its great to have a former player on staff,” said Blackmon.
I am not sure what position Chandler will be coaching. He began last Monday at OHS.
Best wishes coach Hightower and welcome home Jonathan Chandler!