By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika High School honored this year’s seniors that are members of the cheerleaders, band and football team prior to the 44-6 win over Vigor last Friday night at Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs (8-1) scored 44 straight points through three quarters before the Wolves scored their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Opelika used seven different players to score the 44 points. Eric Watts scored the first TD on a one-yard run with 7:39 left in the first quarter. Omar Holloway scored on a four-yard run, Marion Warner caught a 10-yard pass from Brody Davis for a TD, Jamius Mitchell ran eight yards for a score, JD Tolbert dashed 27 yards for a score, Kani Kellum plunged one yard for a score and defensive lineman Miles Magee recorded a safety with a sack. Baker Rowtan successfully booted all six PATs. The Bulldog defense dominated Vigor (4-5) the entire game, holding them in check until late in the game.
Opelika, off this week, will host McAdory (6-4) Nov. 8 in the first round of the AHSAA 6A playoffs. The Yellow Jackets coached by Bart Sessions, finished fourth in Region 4 behind Hueytown, Bessemer City and Paul Bryant.
Playoff tickets can be purchased online at gofan.co.
The Opelika volleyball team advanced to the AHSAA South Super Regional at the Multiplex in Montgomery last weekend. The Lady Bulldogs, area runner-up, opened with a 25-15, 25-21, 25-23 sweep of Dothan in the first round. Chelsea eliminated OHS (25-9, 25-14 and 25-20) in the second round.
This is the second-consecutive year Coach Robin Roberts guided Opelika to the Super Regional.
Opelika’s boys and girls cross country teams participate in the section meet Oct. 31 at Kiesel Park in Auburn. The top qualifiers advanced to the AHSAA State Meet in Moundville Nov. 8 and 9.
Opelika High School’s boys and girls basketball teams started the 2019 season last week. The girls are coming off a second-place finish in the state and back-to-back trips to the Final 56 in Birmingham. The boys were one shot away from advancing to the Final 56 last year. Both teams swept the area regular season and tournament championships.
Opelika coaches John Wadsworth (boys) and Devin Booth (girls) will play all games in the newly renovated Mainstreet Gym inside OHS. The gym was the original home for Opelika basketball when the school was built in the 70s.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller led the charge to renovate Mainstreet Gym. Several years ago, Opelika spent $40 million dollars to renovate the school and upgrade Bulldog Stadium, including the jumbotron and the new indoor practice facility. The administration did not include Mainstreet Gym in the renovation. Mayor Fuller and members of the City Council should be thanked for providing most of the money to renovate the gym.
Fans attending basketball games will be able to park in the front of OHS and enter through the front doors. This will be easier for fans, especially those with handicaps or have special needs.
I will provide more insight on both teams in next week’s column.
OPELIKA REC DEPARTMENT TRYING TO GROW BASEBALL FOR 13-15 YEAR OLDS
The Opelika Parks and Recreation Department is trying a new baseball format for ages 13 to 15 year olds in order to cut costs. Anyone interested can enter a team in the league with up to 13 players. The teams will be responsible for paying the entry fee to the recreation department. Those interested or who have questions can send email to email@example.com or call Melissa Martin at the Opelika Sportsplex. There will be an organizational meeting in January.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.