By D. Mark Mitchell
The Opelika Lady Bulldogs basketball team has raced to an impressive 17-5 record after 22 games. Coach Devin Booth, like boys coach John Wadsworth, made a very difficult schedule.
The girls played in three tournaments, including ‘‘The Hazel Green Tip-Off Classic” featuring four of the final eight teams from 2018’s state tournament. The teams in these tournaments are possible matchups in the 6A playoffs and will make noise in 7A.
The Lady Bulldogs won two area games last week, 63-42 over Benjamin Russell and 65-22 over Russell County.
Kaitlyn Bryant scored a game-high 20 points, leading Opelika to an easy 65-22 win over area foe Russell County at the Sports Arena. Quala Walton and Claire Worth added 11 points apiece in the win.
Two days later, Opelika won 63-42 over Benjamin Russell at home. Bryant led the team with 15 points, followed by Ananda Hughley’s 13 points, with Walton and Worth adding 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Opelika boys improved to 10-8 after beating Benjamin Russell, 79-65 at the OHS Sports Arena. Senior Trey Boone, who finished with 25 points, continued to lead the Bulldogs on defense and offense.
Three other Bulldogs scored double digits, Jared Willis scored 13 points, Taye Fields 13 points and Grady Bynum added 12 points.
Opelika and Russell County were scheduled to play an area game Jan. 8 at Opelika. Russell County Athletic Director DeMunn McCoy phoned Opelika administration to inform the game is a forfeit. McCoy explained that the boys basketball team could not play any games after an altercation in the prior game against Booker T. Washington. The incident involved multiple players on the Russell County’s basketball team.
Opelika learned last Thursday that Russell County was cleared to play. The makeup game, held last night, was not complete at press time.
Two games that fans would enjoy would be Opelika’s contests v. Pelham and Auburn Jan. 29 and Jan. 31. The junior varsity will start the action against Pelham at 4 p.m. Against Auburn, the junior varsity boys tip at 4:30 p.m., varsity girls at 6 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:30pm. All games are played in the Sports Arena at OHS. Wrestling
Opelika hosted Beauregard, Charles Henderson and Reeltown last week in the Mainstreet Gym. The Bulldog grapplers defeated Charles Henderson and Reeltown but lost to Beauregard.
The following are the “Top Performers “ for the three dual matches.
Four wrestlers were undefeated: James Dawson 3 wins, Trint Vaughns 3 wins, Zeak Jones 3 win and Jackson Shoemaker 3 wins.
Bevin Williams and Cole Lazzari finished 2-1. Ben Daughtry and Cameron Reese won one match each.
Opelika wrestling coach Jim Davis invites all fans to the “Bulldog Brawl” Wrestling Tournament Jan. 21 at the OMS gym, which will feature teams from across the state.
OPELIKA DIXIE YOUTH BASEBALL
Opelika Dixie Youth will be announcing registration dates in the coming days. The league offers competitive baseball for children ages 7-12. Anyone interested is urged to go online at opelikadixieyouth.com.
League president Ben Bugg said the online registration forms would be available prior to the end of January. The league requires a registration fee to help pay the expenses of running the league such as uniforms, equipment and umpires.
OPELIKA DIXIE BOYS
The Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball League for ages 13-15 will register in April at the Opelika Sportsplex. The league forms after the middle school and junior varsity baseball teams have completed their season.
WEST RIDGE PARK
West Ridge Park is the home of Opelika Dixie Youth, Opelika Dixie Boys, Opelika Softball, Opelika Middle and Opelika High schools softball teams and the Billy Hitchcock Miracle League. The city uses ESG to maintain the park.
ESG has employees stationed at the park year round. The crew maintains each baseball field and the entire complex including the park’s surrounding area. This staff keep the grass cut and trimmed, pick up litter and make sure all the facilities are shining. The citizens of Opelika are blessed to have a mayor that thinks recreation is important.
West Ridge is one of many examples where city leaders show support for the youth.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.