Written by D. Mark Mitchell – Sports Editor
Emma Garner earned All-State honors by finishing seventh at the state cross country meet at Oakville Indian Mounds Park in Moulton, Alabama last weekend with a time of 19:21.78. Garner, a
sophomore, finished higher than any female in OHS history. Adrianna Anthony finished 122nd with a time of 22:45.72.
The Opelika boys cross country team finished ninth in the state at the 6A meet.
The Bulldog’s top runner, Cordaryl Whitehead, finished ninth out of the 200 runners who qualified for the meet. Whitehead ran a 16:24.95 over the 5K course and was 39 seconds behind the state champion, Brandon Hazouri of Spain Park High School. Smiths Station finished third and Auburn finished 14th; both schools are in the same section as OHS.
In addition to Whitehead, other Opelika runners to place were James Ray Thrash who finished 39th (17:12.50); Shakeil Parker was 50th (17:26.43); Kane Barret finished 65th (17:40.95); Ben Bryant placed 124th (18:29.89); Kevin Lazenby finished 146th (18:52.49); Kyr Gilock placed 152nd (18:52.05); Logan Pridgen 180th (19:52.29) and Andrew Bartlett 181st (19:54.17).
Opelika was able to finish in the top 10 because the team qualified nine runners which helped our chances score more points. This is proof that the cross country program is growing and coaches Jen Neighbors and Ben McIntosh have done an outstanding job of promoting the sport and continue to work hard to make our program one of the best in the area and state.
Congratulations OHS Cross Country team!
Coach Devin Booth’s basketball team won the St. James Invitational Tournament last weekend by defeating Enterprise and Alabama Christian Academy to advance to the finals against Prattville. The Lady Bulldogs beat the Lady Lions 64-35. Bethany Howard scored 16 points while Destiny Savage added 10. The girls play at Valley tonight at 6 p.m.
Coach John Wadsworth, starting his fifth season as head coach, opens up tonight against Valley at 7 p.m. after the girls’ game at VHS in Fairfax.
Coach Wadsworth won the area last year with a 6-0 record. The Bulldogs lost in the state playoffs. Coach Wadsworth’s teams have made the playoffs four straight years.
The Dawgs lost every starter from last year’s team. The team will be competitive primarily because younger players played last year. Wadsworth tries to play every player in every game thus assuring that he’ll always begin each season with at least some experience on his team.
The first home games for the junior varsity, girls varsity and boys varsity will be on Nov. 22, against Benjamin Russell. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. for the JV with the girls and boys varsity games to follow.
Coach Ryan Thompson’s team will open the season at home by hosting Central of Phenix City at 5:30 p.m. The OMS and OHS teams will wrestle back-to-back.
The Dawgs will participate in several tournaments this season including the Swede Umbach Tournament in Auburn, the Benjamin Russell Duals in Alexander City, the Hardaway Invitational Meet in Columbus, Ga., the Alabama Duals in Birmingham, the Hoover Invitational (Birmingham, also), the Grissom Duals in Huntsville and the Opelika Duals on Jan. 21 at OHS.
The sectional meet will be Feb. 10-11 and the state tournament will be Feb. 16-17 in Huntsville.
Keep up with Opelika Athletics on a daily basis
You can keep up with Opelika athletics everyday by listening to “ON THE MARK” on WTLM 1520 AM weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. You can also go to the official Opelika athletics website www.thedawgnetwork.com.