By D Mark Mitchell
Opelika’s athletic department is in the midst of the busiest time of the year, spring sports season. The coaches of our spring sports — softball, baseball, soccer, golf, tennis and track — are working everyday to make sure our teams are the best they can be. It has been difficult due to the heavy rains we have had in the last two weeks. Most of the coaches are having to cancel games or reschedule games due to rain.
The baseball team is off to their best start since 2008 with a 7-2 record. Coach Scott Sullivan’s Dawgs have beaten Prattville, Sparkman, Baldwin County, Benjamin Russell, American Christian (ACA) and Eufaula (twice). The two losses were to Troup County, 5-3, and Prattville, by one run in eight innings.
Sullivan has the Bulldogs playing as a team and playing with confidence. OHS won only nine games last year. It’s early in the season but it appears that our team will have a great season this year.
Opelika has a mixture of seniors and underclassmen. The starting lineup includes one senior, four juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. Three senior pitchers are in the rotation along with several younger players.
The Dawgs will host a double header today with Gadsden and Valley starting at 4 p.m.
We travel to Wetumpka Saturday for a double header with the Indians and Beauregard starting at 11 a.m.
The Bulldogs host Prattville on March 11, at 4:30 p.m.
The junior varsity is undefeated at 6-0. They will play Prattville JVs Monday following the varsity game.
The OHS track teams opened the spring season in Auburn last weekend. The girls finished second while the boys finished third out of 25 teams competing in the meet.
See the results elsewhere in this section.
The girls and boys tennis teams are still undefeated. The girls defeated Wetumpka, 9-0.
Singles winners were Meg Larsen, April Wade, Ashley Robertson, Kelcie Carpenter, Kindle Wilkerson and Sam Herring. Doubles winners were Larsen/Wade, Robertson/Carpenter and Wilkerson/Herring.
The two teams will play at Trinity on March 13 and will host Smiths Station at the W. J. Calhoun Tennis Center on March 14, at 3 p.m.
The OHS softball team defeated Dadeville, 14-3, behind Kalee Bugg’s four hits including a home run. The girls will travel to Wetumpka this weekend for the Wetumpka Tournament.
Their first home game will be on March 13 against Valley at West Ridge Park at 4 p.m.
Construction crews are continuing to work on the OHS campus. Crews are constructing the first phase expansion on the back side of the school near the sports arena and green houses.
Bulldog stadium is in the middle of renovations. Workers are building the new athletic facility, ticket offices, restrooms and concession stands; the existing field house is being renovated, new seats have been added and, by the end of the week, the grass football field will be gone.
This will allow the installation of the new synthetic turf on the field. New concourses will make it easier to move around and adding aluminum seats on the home side will make it more comfortable than sitting on the hard concrete.
Dr. Mark Neighbors said the class of 2013 will graduate in the renovated stadium.
The new jumbo scoreboard has been erected and will be operable by April.
The new scoreboard will enhance your experience at the games. Three cameras are located inside Bulldog stadium to help us get the best shot to put on the screen.
The scoreboard will be used during graduation ceremonies; you will be able to see the seniors as they walk across the stage to get their diploma.
When the construction is complete, Opelika will have one of the nicest schools and athletic facilities in the south.
Keeping up with the Bulldogs
You can keep up with Opelika athletics by going to www.thedawgnetwork.com to find schedules, scores and the latest news concerning athletics.
You can also tune in to the “On The Mark” radio show weekdays 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on WTLM 1520 AM and on line at www.kicker.com/sports then click listen live to “On the Mark.”
Opelika Dixie Boys and Dixie Softball Registration
The Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball League (13 and 14-year-olds) is now taking registration Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sportsplex. The cost is $35 per player.
If you are 13 or 14 years old by May 1, you are eligible to play.
Every player will be placed on a team.
The Dixie Pony Tails (11 and 12-year-olds) and Dixie Belles (13 through 15 year-olds) are now taking softball registration Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Opelika Sportsplex.
Registration is $35 per person. Every person will be placed on a team. For more information, contact Missy Martin at the Sportsplex at (334) 705-5560.