Opelika High School wrestlers receive All-Area recognition during break


By D. Mark Mitchell

The Opelika City School System resumed classes this week, following their Christmas and New Years break.
Opelika’s wrestling team and girls and boys basketball teams stayed busy over the break, participating in matches and playing games.
The Bulldog’s wrestling team finished 1-3 at the Region 3 Duals Tournament during the break. Opelika beat Russell County 37-36 for the only team win of the tournament. Cloe Lazzari, 170 pounds, won his first match, giving the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead. Timmy Tolbert, Trint Vaughns, Cameron Reese, James Dawson and Jack Shoemaker pinned their opponents to earn the win.
Benjamin Russell defeated Opelika 57-21, with most of the Wildcat points coming on forfeits. Opelika does not have a wrestler at every weight class which results in points for the opposing team. Dawson, Reese, Tolbert and Vaughns won their matches. Pell City topped the Bulldogs 60-24 in the third dual of the day. Tolbert, Vaughns, Dawson, Reese all recorded wins.
Oxford ended the meet with a 54-27 win over the Bulldogs. The four wrestlers listed above won their matches to complete the day 4-0 individually. Four student-athletes earned All-Region recognitions, Timmy Tolbert, Cameron Reese, Trint Vaughns and James Dawson. Opelika is 12-8 overall.
Opelika’s basketball teams played games over the break, including a trip to Auburn last Friday.
Coach John Wadsworth’s team travelled to Eufaula and Auburn High during the break.
Eufaula beat Opelika 68-39 in a tough game. The Bulldogs played at Handley twice, took finals and were just not able to get anything going at Eufaula. They practiced for six days over the break, preparing for Auburn.
Opelika (10-8) beat Auburn 49-43 on its home court behind 17 points apiece from Taye Fields and Trey Boone. The win over Auburn stopped a four-game Tiger win streak. Opelika blasted Northview 76-53 last Saturday at the OHS Sports Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs, 15-5 overall, played four games since I wrote my last column. McGill-Toolen beat Opelika 54-48 in a close game at the “Ball ‘N Power” tournament. Kaitlyn Bryant scored 14 points and Ananda Hughley added 11 points.
Opelika beat Hillcrest Tuscaloosa 49-48 behind Bryant’s 17 points. Hughley added 10 points.
The Lady Bulldogs lost at Auburn last Friday 58-53. Bryant continued to lead Opelika with 13 points while Quala Walton added 10 points in the win.
Booth’s team capped off the week with a 67-39 blowout of Northview. Claire Worth scored 13 points and Bryant and Hughley added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
It may be January, but Opelika Dixie Youth will hold registration in the coming days. League president Ben Bugg said the board has a scheduled meeting Jan. 15 to set up the 2019 calendar. Online registration is scheduled to start Jan. 18, 2019, with forms available through www.opelikadixieyouth.com.
Opelika Dixie Youth offers baseball for 6-12 year olds. I will keep you updated.
The Opelika Dixie Boys Baseball league, ages 13-15, will hold registration in the spring. Registration takes place at the Opelika Sportsplex.
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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