Bulldogs win big in wrestling

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By D. Mark Mitchell

Sports Columnist

WRESTLING
The Grapplin’ Dawgs traveled to Beauregard Monday night to do battle with the Hornets and the Russell County Warriors. In the first match Opelika squared off against the Warriors. Russell County took an early 30-6 lead, but the young Dawgs were able to pull off a 47-36 victory.
The Bulldogs squared off with the Hornets in the final match of the evening, Opelika  jumped ahead early and stayed out front, subduing the Hornets 60-18.
The following OHS wrestlers scored points in the tri-match:
Sr. Ethan Knight (145 lbs.) 2-0; 12 team points scored.
Sr. Ivan Ramos (132 lbs.)                    2-0; 12 team points scored.
So. Antanavious Butler(152 lbs.) 2-0; 12 team points scored.
So.  Davis Gafford (126 lbs.) 2-0; 12 team points scored.
Fr. Tory Birdsong (113 lbs.) 2-0; 12 team points scored.
BASKETBALL
The girls and boys basketball teams both picked up wins over Smiths Station at the Sports Arena on the OHS campus Tuesday night.
Girls Basketball:
The Lady Bulldogs (11-8, A 1-0) defeated Smiths Station 61-60.
Jaylen Snipes scored 19 points while teammate Alexis Sydnor added 15.
The win gives OHS momentum heading into tonight’s Area game against Benjamin Russell and tomorrow’s Area game with Russell County.
Boys Basketball:
Coach John Wadsworth knew his team needed to play a home game before the two Area games, Friday and Saturday.
The Dawgs blew out the Panthers 76-54 to improve to 11-3 overall.
All five starters scored. Pernell Vickerstaff led the team with 16 points.
Joey Payne scored 14, Kingston Frazier hit for 12, Jakory Love made 11 and AJ Butler added 9 points. All twelve Opelika players played, with ten of the 12 players scoring.
Like the girls, the boys will play Area games against Benjamin Russell tonight and Russell County Saturday night. These Area games will decide who will host the Area tournament.
Tonight’s game against Benjamin Russell starts with the JV boys at 4, Varsity girls at 5:30 and Varsity boys at 6:45.
Saturday afternoon, Opelika will host Russell County. The JV boys will start at 3:30, with Varsity girls and Varsity boys to follow.
CONNER PRUITT HONORED AT CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Opelika High Diving State Champion, Conner Pruitt, was honored by Mayor Gary Fuller and the City Council members Tuesday night during the regular scheduled Council meeting.
Pruitt won the AHSAA diving state championship last month at the state championship meet held at Martin Aquatics Complex on the AU campus. Connor, a freshman, is the first ever state diving champion at Opelika. Pruitt will continue to improve and could win several more state championships in the future.
Connor will receive a state championship ring soon. The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club and Athletic Department purchases
state championship rings for OHS individuals or teams that win state championships.
SPRING SPORTS
Opelika High and Middle Schools are preparing for spring sports.
Yes I know, it’s January and it’s been below freezing. Heck, we saw 16 degrees this week. Nonetheless, spring sports are preparing for the season. Most Spring Sports start when it’s cold and finish when it’s warm.
ON THE MARK ON THE RADIO
You can listen to the “On The Mark” radio show weekdays, Monday -Friday on WTLM 1520AM from 7-9 a.m.
You can keep up with Opelika athletics and hear interviews from Opelika coaches. The show is guest-driven but you can call with your questions or comments.
Jeff Sasser and I host the two-hour show with guest hosts Coach Dan Washburn (Monday and Wednesday), Coach Larry Gore (Tuesday) and Coach Joe Wilson (Thursday).
Former Auburn University Basketball Coach Sonny Smith is on every Wednesday at 8:30. Many other coaches and iguests are on the show.
You can listen online by going to kickerfm.com/sports then click “Listen Live to On The Mark.” You can also follow me on Twitter @voiceofdawgs.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.

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