Opelika Dixie Youth League teams conclude seasons


By D. Mark Mitchell

Opelika Dixie Youth and Dixie Boys completed the 2019 season after the state tournament All-Star teams were eliminated. The Opelika Minor All-Stars (9-10 year olds) finished in the top-5 at the state tournament in Priceville, finishing with a 3-2 record. The 9-10 year-old team earned the trip to state after winning the District 10 tournament with a 4-1 record, outscoring opponents 48-16.
Opelika opened the state tournament with a 6-4 loss to AUM. Coach Kurt Branch, assistants Tommy Prince and Adam Pilate guided the team to three straight wins, 15-0 over Morgan County, 8-7 win over Oxford and 12 -5 over Clanton. Montgomery American slipped by Opelika 9-7, the end of the season for the Minor League all-stars.
Team members were: Logan Childree, Landon Rudd, Troy Tidwell, Cam Pilate, John Sanders, Carter Neese, Will Brandon, Carson Holcey-Billingsley, Tyson Prince, Tre Stone, Jack Branch and Fuller Young.
The Opelika 13U Junior Dixie Boys finished with a 1-2 record at the state tournament last week in Dothan. The team won their opening game against Troy. The Opelika Junior Dixie Boys lost two straight against Dothan and Fairhope, ending their hopes of advancing to the World Series.
Team members were: Brody Craft, Jayden McKee, Colby Rathel, Davin Blackmon, Gavin Blackmon, Trey White, Carter Dees, Trent Moulton, Jordan Bond, Aaron Standridge and Pate Lovelace. They were led by Joel White and Assistant Coach Kenny Blackmon.
Opelika’s Sportsplex and Aquatics Center is Hosting the 2019 ARPA State Swim Meet, July 25 to 27. The three-day event is expected to draw more than 1,200 swimmers from the state.
The meet begins Thursday at 9 a.m. with diving at Samford Pool in Auburn. The Opelika Indoor Aquatics Center features eight 25-yard competition lanes and automatic timing by Colorado Timing System with HYTEK interface, the same technology used in the Olympics.
The swim meet will feature children from 6U to 18U and will feature all forms of competitive swimming. The attending swimmers qualified for the state meet at their respective District swim meet. Opelika will be represented by 43 swimmers that are a part of the Opelika swim team.
The event brings tourism dollars and people to Opelika and surrounding areas. The Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau calculated from lodging, transportation, retail, food and beverage, recreation and business services that the event helped generated nearly $2 million in economic impact last year, with even larger numbers expected in 2019.
According to Opelika Parks and Recreation’s Public Relations Director Laura Leigh Chesser, the entire facility will have an unusually large amount of people on its campus. She urges patrons to come prior to 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. on Friday. The schedule will be different during the weekend.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and MaxPreps announced a new partnership last week. MaxPreps and the AHSAA “will offer a publishing platform across desktop, table and mobile that will streamline the process of managing sports information from its member schools. The partnership enables all box score information published on Maxpreps.com to be automatically provided to the AHSAA for managing use,” said AHSAA Communications Director Ron Ingram.
The heads of both the AHSAA and MaxPreps shared their excitement for the news.
“This partnership with MaxPreps will be a big plus for our member schools. The state of the art services they can provide our schools when integrated with c2c schools will make MaxPreps the go-to source for high school sports stats as well as information regarding the NFHS Network,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “We are very excited for our member schools.”
MaxPreps president and founder Andy Beal said that “Alabama is one of the top state in the country for high school sports, and we are excited to partner with the AHSAA to share accomplishments of its student-athletes nationally.”
Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, the AHSAA will recommend coaches use the MaxPreps platform to submit statistics after each game to accurately track teams and student-athlete accomplishment’s and also use the app for communication tool. This will benefit the fans, media, players and anyone interested in a particular school.
You can keep up with local sports by listening to “On the Mark” radio show from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on 910 AM, online at foxsportsthegame.com or by searching “On the Mark” on the iHeartRadio app. Jeff Sasser and I host the show along with guest host Dan Washburn, Larry Gore, Derek Lee, James Cooper, Doug Barfield, Jeff Meyers and others. We talk to all the area coaches and speak with Coach Pat Dye on Mondays at 7:10 a.m. and Coach Gene Stallings each Thursday at 7:05 a.m. Fans can call the show at 334-745-5525.
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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