Opelika Football Continues Fall Preparations

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D. Mark Mitchell

On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell

The Opelika High School football team continues to workout Monday through Thursday, preparing for the upcoming season. Head coach Erik Speakman, appearing “On the Mark”, said over 100 players, including upcoming ninth graders, are gathering for conditioning during June. This is done in light of the AHSAA allowing teams to participate in “7 on 7” competitions at college campuses during June. The Bulldogs traveled to Troy University, earlier in June, for a 7 on 7 competition.

Speakman mentioned the following during the interview on “On the Mark” radio show on Fox Sports the Game 910-1310. The quarterback position continues with four players vying for the starting job. JT Arnald, Jackson Bates, Bryce Speakman and Roman Gagliano are all in the running for the No. 1 spot. The four quarterbacks rotate equally during workouts and will follow the pattern at Tuesday’s 7 on 7  competition in Gadsden. Speakman said he would probably wait until fall practice is over before naming a starting QB. He mentioned the first two games, home games against Calloway and Auburn, would go a long way determining who will be the starter for the remaining games. Furthermore, Speakman said the secondary looks good but offensive line is unsettled. Coaches are trying to find the best five lineman after losing last season’s group to graduation. It may take a game or two before the offensive line is set.

The team will be off, Thursday (July 1) for a week. When the team returns, July 12, the focus will be on special teams. The Bulldogs have been working on offense and defense since summer workouts started.

Additionally in his interview, Speakman announced three new coaches who recently joined the program. Adam Clayton and William Kayhill will work with the ninth graders, while Jamel Smith moves from ninth grade to the varsity to coach the secondary. Speakman said he will name a ninth grade head coach in July.

Opelika begins the 2021 season Aug. 20 against Calloway at Bulldog Stadium.

OPELIKA DBB ALL-STARS

Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball League (13U and 14U) will host the State Tournaments, July 9 at West Ridge Park. The Alabama Junior DBB State Tournament consist of Dothan and Opelika. The two teams will play a best of three-game series to determine who advances to the DBB World Series. The Alabama DBB State Tournament features seven teams from across Alabama, Dothan, Troy, metro Montgomery, Southern League (Montgomery), Lee County, Auburn and Opelika.

Opelika’s 13U all-star team plays the Dothan all-star team, Friday, July 9 at 4 p.m. on field 2. The two teams will play Saturday (July 10) 4:40 p.m. on Harrelson Field. The “if necessary” game will be Sunday (July 11) at 12:30 p.m. on Harrelson Field.

The 14U all-stars open their tournament, Friday (July 9), against Auburn at 6:30 p.m. on field 2.  The winner of the Auburn/Opelika game will play Metro at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 10. The loser plays at 10 a.m. against the loser of Lee County and Troy.

The complete bracket is listed on B5.

Opelika’s 13U all-star team: Sye Siggers, Wes Grant, Seth Hammock, Jadin Hancock, Brayden Tapley, Rooty Ward, Sam Smith, JJ Hood, Brady Blackstone, Levi Berry, Tyler-Mark Bullock, Hunter Duval and Trent Tidwell. Coaches: Jay Siggers and Mark Micheal.

Opelika’s 14U all-star team: Jonathan Caufield, Noah Childree, Hunter Crews, Camden Dunson, Chris Floyd, Jaxson Gaither, Carter Green, Jackson Lee, Warner McDonald, Allen Owen, Bennett Young, TJ Arnold and Landon Childree. Coaches: Derek Lee, Michael McDonald, Allen Owens and Adam Crews. 

D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director of iHeartMedia, the 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.

D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director of iHeartMedia, the 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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