By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika High School’s track and field team hosted the “Mike Spain Invitational” last Saturday at Sam Mason Track on campus. This was the Bulldogs’ final meet prior to the sectional meet this Friday and Saturday. Cross-town rival Auburn and Carver (Montgomery) joined the Bulldogs for the one-day meet.
The following girls finished in the top-3 in their respective events: Haley Sanders won the 200- meter dash and finished second in the 100-meter dash. Akishi Williams won the 400 meters, Brekin Gould won the 3,200-meter run.
Priscilla Perry won the discus, Ansley Jackson won the high jump and placed second in the triple jump and Trinity Love won the shot put. Zeriauna Jackson finished in third place in the 100 meters and 200 meters and Jasmine Murphy placed second in the 200 meters. Indiana Holloway placed second in the 400 meters and Jasmine Murphy placed third.
Breckin Gould placed third in the 1,600 meters, Cameron Nunn finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, Bailey Carlisle finished third in the long jump, Kyla Hogg finished second in the discus, Lauren White finished third in the javelin and Brianna Barnett and Perry finished second and third in shot put, respectively.
In the boys division, Jaylen Stinson finished first in the 100 meters, Cencale Thomas won the 200-meter dash, Brantan Barnett finished second in the 200-meter dash, Steven Harvey finished first in the 400 meters, Dalen Torbert finished third in the 400-meter dash, Daniel Kindred and Justin Shorter finished second and third in the 100-meter hurdles and first and second in the 300-meter hurdles.
In the high jump, LeDamian Rowel and Eric Watts finished second and third, Eric Watts finished first in the long jump, Roweel and Thomas finished first and third in the triple jump, Steven Harvey placed second in the pole vault, Justin Love finished in third in discus. Stinson finished in first in the javelin and Blake Landers and Trevon Moore finished second and third in the shot put, respectively.
The boys and girls teams should have a good sectional meet and advance to another state meet May 2 through 4 in Gulf Shores.
The Opelika girls Soccer team (9-5-1 overall, 3-1 in area play), tied LaGrange 2-2 and lost 10-3 to Northside last week. The Lady Bulldogs’ soccer team won the area title with a 3-1 record and will host a sub-state game on Friday at the W James Samford Soccer Complex.
The girls battled LaGrange High to a 2-2 tie. Estefany Alba and Amiya Brown scored goals with Assist from Erica Mathews and Megan Noon. Northside scored five goals in each half, while Opelika added one in the first half and two goals in the second half. Brown scored two goals and Mathews added a goal.
Opelika’s boys soccer team (10-5-4 overall, 3-1 in area play) beat LaGrange and Northside last week. The Grangers, ranked no. 2 in the 4A classification in Georgia, watched the Bulldogs break a 2-2 tie by penalty kick in the second half goal. Anthony Alba scored two goals and Yordy Chavez added a goal in the win. The Bulldogs beat Northridge 2-1 behind goals from Chavez and Charlie Garcia. Chavez converted a penalty kick for the win.
Opelika and Benjamin Russell finished 3-1 in the area, with the Wildcats winning the tie-breaker and having the rights to host a sub-state game. The Bulldogs will travel to Millbrook Friday for a sub-state game against Stanhope Elmore.
The Lady Bulldog softball team beat Beauregard, Beulah and Russell County last week.
Opelika beat Beauregard 4-2 behind a nice pitching performance from Makai Gagliano, who notched five strikeouts, allowing only five hits. Avery Davis and Chelsea Carr led the Lady Bulldogs at the plate with two hits each. Dreamer Denmark added a hit and scored two runs.
Opelika bested Beulah 5-3 behind Gagliano’s arm. The senior struck out five batters and only allowing two earned runs. Nylen Thomas went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs. McKay Yountz and Kaylen Gunn added hits for Opelika.
The Lady Bulldogs shutout Russell County 11-0 in a significant area game. Yountz, who joined the varsity after the Opelika MIddle School season ended, pitched six innings without allowing a run while striking out six to earn the win.
Opelika will play in the area tournament April 30 in Alexander City.
Congratulations to Beulah’s Cody Flournoy! The former Beulah coach accepted the head football coaching job and athletic director position at Jackson High School last week.
Flournoy spent two and half years at Beulah, quickly winning eight games and hosting the Bobcats’ first playoff game in more than 20 years last season.
It appears Jackson school officials targeted Flournoy after Danny Powell announced his retirement March 18. The Aggies, considered one of the best 5A programs in Alabama, knew what kind of person/coach the program wanted and moved quickly. He fit sthe description that included football knowledge and other important character traits.
Flournoy met with Jackson High officials and toured the city with his wife earlier this month. He knew the job would be difficult to say “no” if offered. A few days later, Jackson offered him the job and gave him adequate time to make a decision.
This is a major step for Flournoy and his family, as the Smiths Station graduate has spent his entire coaching career in East Alabama. I applaud Jackson High’s decision. As for the Bobcat Nation, Beulah high is a better job now than three years ago. The administration will hire a good man and coach!
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.