By D. Mark Mitchell
Coach Caleb Ross will take the OHS football team to Stanhope Friday for a scrimmage with the Stanhope-Elmore Mustangs at 6 p.m.
Bulldog fans can listen to the spring game on WKKR 97.7 Kicker FM
2016 – 2017 OHS ATHLETICS COME TO THEIR END
Softball was the final OHS team to finish the 2016-2017 atheltic season. The Lady Dawgs finished with a win and two loses in the south central regionals. Coach Tina Deese did an extraordinary job with this very young team without really having a number one pitcher.
Although the Bulldog football team plays a spring scrimmage Friday at Stanhope, that goes toward the 2017-2018 season.
The @016-2017 OHS football team finished 13-2, region champions and runner-up in the state 6A division, The Bulldogs beat arch-rival Auburn High School and won a school record 13 wins.
Robyn Roberts took over as head volleyball coach. The girls made huge strides, improving their level of play and attracting record crowds for their games.
Coach Devin Booth and her Lady Bulldog basketball team won their third straight area regular season and tournament championships. The girls finished in the final eight, losing at the regionals in Montgomery.
The boys basketball team suffered their first losing season in Coach John Wadsworth’s 10 years as head coach. Nine eligble players did not play. Some decided not return, several transferred to other area schools and some were removed from the team for disciplinary reasons.Things should return to normal for OHS next season.
Wrestling sent four student-athletes to the state meet after a good regular season and sectional meet.
The OHS cross country team won the AHSAA 6A indoor championship for the second straight season.
The baseball team, under first year head coach Nick Richardson advanced to the second round of the playoffs. The team showed steady improvement all season.
The boys and girls tennis teams each finished first in the area and second at the sectional tournament. Both teams advanced to the state tournament in Decatur and finished in the top eight in the 6A division.
Opelika’s soccer programs are making huge strides.Boys coach Derick Hovell led the Dawgs to their third straight area championship, advancing to the elite eight and winning a school record 16 games.
Coach Kory Skinner guided the Lady Bulldogs to their third straight area championship. The girls also advanced to their elite eight.
The OHS boys won their third straight AHSAA 6A track and field state championship. Ben Garner won state titles in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs and CJ Jordan won the triple jump championship. This is the boys’ fifth straight state track championship if you include the last two indoor track championships.
The OHS girls finished a school best second place. Ghania Warren won the state long jump contest to lead the Lady Dawgs.
In late February, Opelika fans learned that Coach Brian Blackmon would be leaving Opelika High after 21 years to take a job on the AU coaching staff. For the last eight years, Blackmon had served as head football coach and athletic director.
Opelika hired Caleb Ross to be the next Opelika football coach.
Ross led the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets to their first state championship in 2015-16 and finished runner-up in 2016-17.
For the first time since at least the 1970s and possibly the history of Opelika HighSchool, the head football coach is not the athletic director.
Dr. Mark Neighbors and Dr Ferrol Seymore opted to make assistant football coach Erik Speakman the athletic director. Devin Booth will continue as assistant athletic director in charge of female athletics.
Coach Ross has full control over the football program and reports directly to OHS principal Dr. Seymore.
ALL-SPORTS BOOSTER CLUB
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club will mail out renewal forms for last year’s sponsors. The Corporate Sponsor packages have been tweaked to help both the sponsor and the booster club.
If you have any questions or you are interested in the Corporate Sponsor packages, please email D.Mark Mitchell, President All-Sports Booster Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.