D. Mark Mitchell


The Opelika varsity football team scored 21 points in the first half and added 14 points in the third quarter to beat Valley High School, 35-0, on senior night at Bulldog Stadium. The Dogs claimed the region 2 championship with a 6-0 record, despite playing region foe Park Crossing at Crampton Bowl in Montgomery this week.

Opelika scored five touchdowns in the first three quarters: Jamori Thomas ran 5 yards for a TD; Javvontay Conner caught a 22-yard pass from Roman Gagliano for the second score; Shawn Jones scored on a pass from Gagliano, covering 92 yards; Kaden Cooper rushed 1 yard for a touchdown; and Tay Gibbs returned a fumble 25 yards for the last TD of the game. Charles Gagliano made all five PAT’s.

Offensively, Gagliano finished 8-of-11 for 166 yards and two TD’s, Kaden Cooper rushed for 50 yards on eight carries and Shawn Jones caught two passes for 94 yards and a TD. Taylor Love recorded six tackles, Bryce Speakman, Covington, Head, Gay and Hubbard recorded four tackles apiece.

Opelika travels to Montgomery for the last regular season game on Thursday to play Park Crossing at Crampton Bowl. The Thunderbirds are 0-8 overall, despite beating Russell County 23-21. PCHS played an ineligible player which resulted in a loss due to AHSAA rules. 

Park Crossing is coached by LC Cole, who has an impressive resume starting in 1984. Cole was an assistant at Ball State, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Toledo, Cincinnati, Texas Southern and was head coach at Tennessee State, Alabama State , Stillman, Fairfield, Loachapoka and Wilcox Central.

Park Crossing’s eight losses included: 45-0 to Auburn High School, 14-7 to Dothan, forfeit to RCHS, Carver 27-12, Sidney Lanier 43-0, Valley 12-7, RE Lee 33-6 and Eufaula in forfeit due to COVID.

Opelika is playing the last regular season game and will be open next week prior to the first round of the 6A State Playoffs. It appears OHS will play the loser of Friday’s region 4 game between McAdory and Northridge.

Fans can listen to OHS football on WKKR 97.7 Kicker FM, online at kickerfm.com or watch the live stream on www.nfhsnetwork.com.


Opelika’s cross country teams participated in the 25th annual “Tiger Classic” at Keisel Park in Auburn last Saturday.

The Dogs top runner were in the girls division. Breckin Gould finished second with a time of 20:12.46 over the 5K course. Remaining Lady Bulldog runners finishing in the top 25: Paola Torres, 17th; Mary Evans Cooper, 19th; Joanne Smith T, 20th; Margaret Bice, 22nd; and Violett Alcorn, 23rd.

In the boys division, Michael Hart finished 24th, Conner Mullins, 27th, Zane Sexton, 30th, Peyton Weston, 33rd, Sam Kemp, 38th; and Trey White placed 50th.

OMS girls and boys competed in the Junior High/Middle School division. Lady Bulldog Caroline Couey finished 6th; Lillie Flenniken, 7th; Jada Coleman, 18th; Pressly Mullins, 21st; and Mary Cara Montel placed 33rd. In the boys division, Brantley Turnham finished second, Colt Miller 22nd and Trip Campbell 32nd.

OHS will have an off week to prepare for the AHSAA 6A Section 2 Meet at Keisel Park in Auburn. Teams and individuals will attempt to qualify for the state meet in Oakville on November 4 through 6.


The AHSAA Central Board of Control (the governing body of the AHSAA) held its fall meeting last week in Montgomery. The highlight of the meeting was the announcement that Tuscaloosa Academy was approved to become a member of the AHSAA beginning with the 2022-23 school year.

The CBOC agreed to move the Softball East Regional Qualifier to Albertbville’s Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater, May 11 to 14 (2022).

Congratulations, Jarell Stinson and Taylor Love for being selected to play on “Team Alabama” in the annual Alabama vs Mississippi All-Star Football Game in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on December 11.

Former OHS girls basketball coach and assistant athletic director Devin Booth’s father passed away last Wednesday. My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to Booth and mother Marsha during this difficult time. 

D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director at iHeart-Media, host of “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1310, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.


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