On the Mark with D. Mark Mitchell (5/2/14)

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The Opelika Girls and Boys Track teams finished second behind AHS in the Sectional meet at Smiths Station. Both teams qualified for the State Meet in Gulf Shores May 2-3.

The following is a list of the top performers for the girls and boys team:

Jakayla Hand earned the Meet MVP honor by scoring 40 points. Hand had a day that she will remember for the rest of her life.

Sectional champions:

– Jakayla Hand in the long jump with a jump of 18 feet; triple jump with a jump of 38 feet 6.5 inches; 100-meter dash with a time of 12.32; and the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.67.

– Chase Baker in the shot put and the discus throw with a throw of 53 feet 3 inches.

– CJ Stephens in the triple jump with a jump of 43 feet 11.5 inches.

– Ben Bryant in the mile run with a time of 4:25.68.

– Nate Huggins in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.36.

– Jaquavious Tolbert in the high jump with a jump of 6 feet 5 inches.

– Malik Butler in the Javelin with a throw of 157 feet 7 inches.

– Kala Spinks in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 44.02.

– Anfernee Williams in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:58.76.

Top performers:

– Kala Spinks, third in the high jump with a jump of 5 feet; and second in the 400-meter run with a time of 58.60.

– Boys 4X800 relay team finished third with a time of 8:29.01; the team included Anfernee Williams, Ben Bryant, Jeremy Thomas and Hayden Washburn.

– CJ Stephens placed second in the high jump with a jump of 6 feet.

– Jasmine Preston placed second in the discus throw with a throw of 95 feet 6.5 inches.

– Stephen Roberts placed third in the long jump with a jump of 22 feet 2 inches.

– Tytiania Lockhart placed second in the javelin throw with a throw of 120 feet 6 inches.

– Ben Bryant placed second in the 3200 meter run with a time of 9:38.45.

– Girls 4X100 relay team finished 2nd with a time of 49.12 team included Diondra Larkin, Brittney Johnson, Ashayla Frazier and Kayla Adams.

– Boys 4X100 relay team finished third with a time of 42.96 team included Malcolm Buggs, Stephen Roberts, Aldreecous Wilson and Reggie Hall.

– Kala Spinks placed third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.46.

– Marquavious Swanson placed third in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.41.

– Brittney Johnson placed third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.43.

– Kacey Spinks placed second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.66.

– Nate Huggins placed third in the 200 meter run with a time of 22.17.

The State Track Meet will only allow an athlete to participate in two events. This hurts some teams that use a few great athletes for several events. The girls and boys could win a State Championship if things fall in place. Good luck track team!

TENNIS

The girls and boys tennis teams traveled to Mobile last week to play in the State Tennis Championships. OHS drew most of the top players in the state. The teams did not finish in the top two but represented Opelika with class. Congratulations to our tennis teams!

SOFTBALL

Coach Stephanie Brown and the Lady Bulldog softball team are playing in the Area Softball tournament at Central High in Phenix City.

The girls enter the Area tourney on a roll, beating Dadeville and rival Auburn back-to-back last week. The girls will need to finish in the top two to advance to the State Playoffs. The Area Tournament is a double elimination tourney which was moved back two days due to bad weather and rain.

SPRING FOOTBALL

Coach Brian Blackmon and staff are conducting spring training at OHS. The team has close to 100 players that went through three days in shorts and T-shirts last week. The coaches planned on putting on the pads this week as they start prepairing for the Spring game May 15 against Gadsden City at Bulldog Stadium.

OMS will play a spring game starting at 5 p.m. with the varsity to follow.

OMS COACHING UPDATE

Dr. Keith York, OMS Principal, has the task of filling the Athletic Director and head coach which is open due to the retirement of John Wilson. Wilson held both titles while teaching P.E. The school may hire two people instead of one. The AD duties and coaching duties are increasing, which is why the administration wants two people in these positions.

Stay tuned for details. I expect an announcement in the next week, if not sooner.

THE DAWGNETWORK and ON THE MARK

Opelika fans are encouraged to go to http://www.thedawgnetwork.com/ to keep up with Opelika athletics. This is the official site of Opelika athletics. You can access schedules, highlights and other up to the minute info.

You can also listen to my radio show “ON THE MARK” on WTLM 1520 am and at kickerfm.com 7-9 am weekdays. My partner Jeff Sasser and myself will bring you up to date on all Opelika athletic news.

You can follow me on twitter @Voiceofthedawgs.

CHEERLEADERS SELLING ADS

The OHS cheerleaders are selling ads for the Opelika football program. These young ladies will be visiting businesses to sell ads. If you are interested in buying an ad, please call OHS 334-745-9715 and leave your info; a cheerleader will visit you at your place of business.

SPECIAL INVITATION

Beauregard senior Ryan Johnson has been invited to play in the “Down Under Sports” football game in Australia. Ryan has been a two-year starter on the football team and started on the baseball team as well. He is the son of Michelle and Chris Johnson. The Johnsons are proud of Ryan and his accomplishments. As a senior he led the State of Alabama with seven interceptions as a defensive back.

Ryan’s dream was to take a trip to Australia one day; little did he know the dream would become a reality before he turned 19 years old.

Down Under Sports provides a venue for athletes all over the world to come together and play sports. Down Under Sports invites an athlete from every state in the U.S. The event is not just a football game. They have athletes to play in all sports.

The most important part of this honor – Ryan must pay his travel and expenses. The price tag is around $8,000. The Johnsons have been out raising money from people, businesses, etc., to raise the money needed for Ryan to go on this trip.

If you would like to help Ryan get to Australia, call Chris Johnson, 334-524-7032. You can make a donation at www.downundersports.com/ryanjohnson or fundme.com/ryanjohnson. All of these are great ways to help this fine young man make this trip.

All donations are tax deductable. The easiest way to make a donation is to call Chris Johnson, 334-524-7032.

D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for Qantum Radio, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.

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