By D. Mark Mitchell
Due to the inclement weather last week, Opelika winter sports were not able to participate in any activities Tuesday-Friday.
The Opelika High School wrestling team hosted the fourth-annual ‘Bulldawg Brawl’ last Monday at Opelika Middle School.
Thirteen schools from around the state of Alabama and one from Georgia participated.
Opelika finished fifth with a 3-1 team record. Oxford, the 2017 champion, defended its crown by winning the Bulldawg Brawl title for the second-consecutive year.
The following rounded out the top 5:
Second place -Wetumpka
Third place – Benjamin Russell
Fourth place – Spanish Fort
Fifth place – Opelika.
Auburn finished sixth while Beauregard came in 10th place.
Opelika head wrestling coach Jim Davis expressed his gratitude to each person that volunteered their time to make the event successful.
The Bulldog grapplers host a quad match tomorrow.
Three schools, Holtville, Central and Beauregard, will join Opelika. The first scheduled match starts at 5:30 p.m. in Opelika’s mainstreet gym.
OHS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE UPDATE
The Opelika girls and boys basketball teams released an updated schedule Monday.
The following is the updated remaining schedule for girls and boys:
Jan. 23 – area match-up at Wetumpka. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. for junior varsity boys. Varsity girls and boys games will follow.
Jan. 24 – area home match-up v. Wetumpka. The junior varsity boys tip-off will be 4:30 p.m. Varsity girls and boys games will follow.
Jan. 26 – area match-up against Benjamin Russell in Alexander City. The junior varsity boys tip-off at 4:30 p.m. Varsity girls and boys games will follow.
Jan. 29 – at Pelham
JV Boys and Varsity Boys
Jan. 30 – v. Smiths
Station for Senior Night. The junior varsity boys tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. Varsity girls and boys games will follow.
Feb. 1 – last regular season games at Auburn High School. The area tournaments will begin the week of Feb. 5.
We may have snow, ice and cold weather, but spring sports will begin play at the end of February.
All the spring sports are beginning workouts in preparation for the season.
On Jan. 5, Auburn traveled to Opelika for girls and boys basketball games.
Everyone understands when Opelika and Auburn compete against each other, it is going to be a hard- fought contest.
This Friday would be no different.
The OHS Sports Arena was packed, standing room only.
The Opelika High School Pep band was in attendance, along with both teams’ cheerleaders.
The two programs put on a show for those lucky enough to be in attendance.
The Lady Bulldogs won their game by 16 points.
The boys game was closer. Auburn hit the go-ahead bucket with 2.3 seconds left in regulation, making it 53-51.
Opelika head coach John Wadsworth drew up a play after calling a timeout.
The play worked, setting up the Bulldogs with prime position under the Auburn basket and a chance to tie. As time expired and buzzer sounded, the shot rolled off the rim, preserving a two-point Tiger win.
As the public announcer for Opelika home games, I️ sat at mid-court and noticed how classy the two programs acted. Not one incident in the gym or on the court.
No one pointed fingers, made a bad gesture or got unruly.
It was an incredible night that is a reflection of the two schools and their administration, coaches, fans and players.
In the world we live in today, all the bad news, this is a great story and should not go unnoticed.
Congrats to Dr. Karen Delano and Dr. Mark Neighbors for leading by example.
I️ wanted to send Sympathies to the families of Mr. Roscoe Thomas, Mr. George Brandy and Mr H.S. Bence.
These three men were true Opelika Bulldogs and were all strong supporters of Opelika schools and athletics.
Rest in peace.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.