Opelika All-stars defeat Beulah


By D. Mark Mitchell

sports columnist

Opelika High football team competed in the Auburn University Team Camp last weekend. “Team Camps” are camps held at universities across the United States. They are normally designed for teams to play 7 on 7 games. This is like a touch or flag football game. The quarterbacks and receivers are the main focus of the game.
On offense teams use a center, receivers, quarterback and a running back. The defensive team uses defensive backs, safety and linebackers. The offense scores points by completing passes, picking up first downs, scoring touchdowns and going for two. Defenses score points for stopping first downs, interceptions and holding the offensive team out of the end zone.
Seven on Seven is a way for quarterbacks, receivers and running backs to work on timing and just getting to know each other better. The defensive backs and safeties work on covering the receivers, improving their foot work and understanding the way things work on defense.
Some team camps consist of offensive and defensive line work. The teams get together and work on agility drills and team work.
The University of South Alabama hosted a camp at Opelika High this week. Players from any school can attend by paying a fee. The coaches from South Alabama run the camp. This is a way for players to get exposure and foe universities to see more players, including players that may not be on their recruiting list. These camps can be used to earn a scholarship or get the attention of the coaches so they can watch how the player performs during the football season.
Opelika will take two weeks off and return for the fall practice period. Coach Blackmon generally allows the players to step away from workouts for a short period to rest and get re-energized.
Four Opelika High track athletes qualified for the New Balance Nationals:
Ghania Warren (Long Jump), Imani Debrow (Triple Jump), Kacey Spinks (Hurdles) and Nate Huggins (100 meter dash).
Huggins finished second in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.38 which moved him up to number seven in the nation in this event. Huggins also finished sixth in the 400 meter dash placing him number 20 in the nation in the 400 meter.
Opelika High will sell season tickets for current season ticket holders August 10-14, 3:45-6 pm in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center. Current season ticket holders can try to improve seating Monday, August 17, 3:45-5:30 pm in the Performing Arts Center.
New season tickets will be sold on August 18, 3:45-5:30pm in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center.
Cost is $7.00 per game x 5 home games which equals $35.00.
Season ticket holders who mail their money to the school can pick up tickets up at OHS during school hours.
Corporate Sponsor tickets can be picked up at the Corporate Sponsor dinner or at OHS. Remaining tickets will be mailed or delivered.
If you are interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor or purchasing season tickets, contact me at www.foxonthemark@yahoo.com
The first round of All-Star tournaments are almost completed.
Opelika Ponytails finished third in the tournament  to end their all-star season. Smiths Station won the Sub-District and advanced to the District at Auburn today.
The Opelika Pee-Wee teams were eliminated in the District along with the Dixie Youth Minors. The Ozone All-Stars (11 & 12 year olds) played Auburn for the District Championship and a trip to the State tournament. The results were not available at press time.
The Opelika Junior Dixie Boys (13 year olds) will travel to East Montgomery Saturday for the District. Opelika will play East Montgomery at 6:15pm.
The Opelika Dixie Boys (14 year old) will host the ten team District tournament at Harrelson Field (West Ridge) June 27-July1. Opelika will play at 7:30 pm tomorrow in the double elimination tournament.
The winners of the Junior and Boys tournaments will advance to the State Tournament July 17 in Troy.  I encourage all baseball fans to come watch the Dixie Boys District Tournament at  West Ridge Park. The ten team tourney will start Saturday and continue through Wednesday. Opelika, Auburn, Smiths Station, Phenix City will join six teams from Montgomery for the District Tournament.
The annual ‘Back to the Dawg House’ football camp will be held tomorrow, Saturday, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the OHS football field and is free for 4-7th grade students.  The football camp was started by Will Herring and Sajason Finley as a means to give back to the community.  They get current and former college and NFL football players to assist with the camp. A free lunch and inspirational message is provided. Signup forms are available by visiting the “Back to the Dawghouse” Facebook page or at the Opelika Sportplex or Carver Recreation Center in Opelika. The camp is open to all surrounding communities. To introduce the festivities surrounding the camp, there will be an OHS alumnifootball game tonight. Any alumni who wants to play can show up at 5:30 p.m. with a $5 donation to the camp.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.


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