By D. Mark Mitchell
The coaching search at Opelika High is in the early stages. The head football coaching job was posted Feb. 24, one day after Brian Blackmon resigned. After eight seasons with OHS, Blackmon took a job with the Auburn University Athletic Department.
The job announcement will remain open until March 10, two weeks after it was posted. OCS Superintendent Dr. Mark D. Neighbors, aided by Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Burton and Opelika High Principal Dr. Farrell Seymore, will lead the search for the new coach. Dr. Neighbors asked three prominent Opelika citizens, Ronnie Ware, Jesse Seroyer and Dozier Smith T, to participate in the interview process which is expected to start next week.
Dr. Neighbors has not mentioned a deadline for the position to be filled. I expect the administration to conduct a thorough search and take the necessary time to find the right person to lead the Opelika High School football program.
One side note: spring practice starts in late April, with a spring game scheduled May 9 at Stanhope Elmore.
The OHS baseball team won four games last week, improving to 5-5 overall. The Dawgs beat Valley and Beauregard twice each.
Opelika travelled to Fairfax and beat Valley, 6-0 and 11-8 at Crestview Field. Jared Bartlett earned his first win of the season in the first game, pitching five innings of shutout baseball. Micah Christian pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Christian led the Bulldogs at the plate with two hits. Carter Milner, Jarred Bartlett, Mitch Myers, Tekeal Demunn, Taylor Jones and Kolby Lee all added hits.
Game 2 of the double-header was closer, as Opelika won an 11-8 slugfest. The Rams scored five runs in the first inning, but Opelika answered with six runs in the top of the second to take the lead. Andrew Parr, a freshman, earned his first win on the varsity, allowing two runs in four innings on the mound.
Opelika exploded for 13 hits in the game. JD Worth led OHS with four hits, Micah Christian added three and Tekeal Demunn recorded two hits. Carter Milner, Mitch Myers, Taylor Jones and Kolby Lee all added singles.
The Bulldogs swept a two-game series with Beauregard Saturday at Bulldog Park, 2-1 and 12-10.
OHS beat the Hornets 2-1 behind a strong pitching performance from Mitch Myers who threw a complete game, allowing four hits, no earned runs and striking out 11 batters.
Jackson Craft led the Bulldogs with two hits.
The Bulldogs won the high-scoring second game, 12-10, behind Teakeal Demunn’s three hits including a three-run home run. Carter Milner, Jarred Bartlett and Kolby Lee added two hits apiece. Jace Rhodes, JD Worth and Mitch Myers added singles.
The OHS softball team is 3-3 after losing to Beauregard 15-3 at West Ridge. The Lady Bulldog softball team is young, with only two seniors on the team. They will travel to Russell County Thursday.
The OHS boys soccer team won the Dawg Pound Classic with a 3-0 record. Coach Derek Hovell’s soccer team defeated Park Crossing 1-0, Stanhope Elmore 2-0 and Troup County 1-0.
The team continues to improve as the season progresses. Opelika is trying to win its second straight area championship.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.