By D. Mark Mitchell
Opelika High School freshman Breckin Gould finished ninth in the AHSAA State Cross Country Meet in Oakville’s Indian Mounds Park. Gould ran the 5,000 meters in 19:47.82 to lead all Opelika runners in the meet.
The remaining girls finished as follows, Paola Torres (51st), Jhenny Hoover (134th), Jul’ecia Beard (155th) and Susan Gaston (158th).
The boys were led by Chas Brewer’s 25th-place finish with a time of 17:13.64. The remaining team’s results were: Michael Hart (116th), Evan Goodman (138th), Alberto Cordova (141st), Winston Tufts (166th), Ben Estes (202nd), Jake Walters (209th), Kadiri Gates (218th) and Zalen Shaw finished (229th).
Congratulations to all participating in the State Meet.
BULLDOGS SMASH YELLOW JACKETS 48-20, ADVANCE IN PLAYOFFS
Opelika High football team defeated McAdory 48-20 last Friday in first round of the AHSAA football playoffs. The Bulldogs fell behind 14-0 with 11 minutes left in the first half before scoring 42-straight points to pull away. The Yellow Jackets took advantage of a few turnovers to score the game’s first two touchdowns. The Bulldogs settled down and dominated the remaining two and half quarters.
Erik Watts led the Bulldogs offensively, rushing for 198 yards and scoring four touchdowns. Will Beams caught a pass from Jamius Mitchell (his second TD pass in the game) for one yard and a TD. Stinson returned a fumble three yards for a score and Malik Finley ran two yards for the last score of the game. Baker Rowton made 7-of-8 PAT.
Opelika advances to the second of the AHSAA playoffs and will host St. Paul’s Friday night at Bulldog Stadium, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
OPELIKA v. ST PAUL’S
Opelika will host St. Paul’s High School Friday night in the second round of the AHSAA Class 6A State football playoffs. The Saints (8-3) defeated Sidney Lanier 20-6 last week, setting up a repeat of last year’s second-round game. The Bulldogs won 38-20 in the only meeting between the two schools.
The two teams have no common opponents, the Saints lost their opening of the season to UMS–Wright 18-13. Their other two losses were to Saraland (28-20) and Daphne (53-42). They have scored 341 points and allowed 250 points.
St. Paul’s is a 5A team playing in the 6A classification because of the implementation of the “competitive-balance factor.” This is a formula adopted by the AHSAA Board several years ago in an effort to balance the field with private schools playing in the AHSAA. If the Saints lose, they will return to the 5A classification next year.
St. Paul’s is coached by Steve Mask, who has compiled an incredible 87-20 record in eight years, including a state title in 2014.
Opelika appears to have the better team on paper and the schedules could be deemed equal except for Auburn and Central, two good 7A teams on the schedule.
Fans can buy tickets for $8 each at Bubba’s Medicine Shop and Victory Design until noon Friday. The OHS ticket office opens at 5 p.m. Fans can listen to the Opelika v. St. Paul’s game on 97.7 Kicker FM, online at kickerfm.com and on the iHeartRadio App.
GIRLS BASKETBALL OPENS 1-2
The OHS girls basketball team played in the Hazel Green “Tip-off classic” last weekend at Hazel Green. The Lady Bulldogs finished 1-2, beating Tuscaloosa County and losing to Hazel Green and G.W. Carver.
Opelika opened with a 90-77 loss to Carver. Claire Worth scored 28 points, LaDajah Hughley scored 16 points while Kaitlyn Bryant, Ananda Hughley and Haley Sanders added 11 points apiece.
The girls beat Tuscaloosa County 64-40 in the second game. Hughley scored 19 points to lead Opelika, La’Dajah added 14 points and Haley Sanders scored 11 points. Defending state champion Hazel Green beat OHS 45-26 in the final game. Hughley scored nine points to lead the team.
The OHS boys and girls basketball teams play at Beauregard on Nov. 7, with the girls starting play at 5 p.m.
The Opelika Freshman basketball team lost a 50-49 heartbreaker to Eufaula 50-49 last week. Isaiah Knight scored a game-high 22 points and teammate Jayvontay Conner and Ja Carr scored 14 and 12 points each, respectively.
AHSAA SUPER 7 NEWS
According to sources, the Alabama High School Athletic Association will make a major announcement concerning the future of the Super 7 Football Championship on Nov. 13. The Super 7 Championship has been rotating between Jordan-Hare Stadium and Bryant Denny Stadium for the last 10 years. The current contract expires after the 2020 Super 7 in Tuscaloosa. The AHSAA will announce a new agreement will include Birmingham’s Protective Stadium along with Bryant-Denny and Jordan-Hare stadiums.
The cities of Auburn and Opelika, Auburn University and Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau joined the City of Tuscaloosa, the Tuscaloosa Sports Council and the University of Alabama formed a team 12 years ago in an effort to lure the Super 6 championship to our stadiums. The AHSAA announced the change to leave Legion Field in 2009.
The new agreement will cover 12 years with an option after year six to re-evaluate cost and other unknowns at this time. The Super 7 will be at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2022, 2026, 2028 and 2032. Bryant-Denny will host 2023, 2025, 2029 and 2031. Birmingham will host 2021, 2024, 2027 and 2030. The Super 7 championship will not be hosted by the team hosting the Iron Bowl and this is two fewer rotations for Tuscaloosa and Auburn-Opelika.
This year’s Super 7 will be held in Jordan-Hare Stadium Dec. 4 to 6. The Unified Game will kick off the event at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 followed by the 7A championship game. On Dec. 5, the 3A championship game will be played at 11 a.m., 1A at 3 p.m. and 5A at 7 p.m. On Dec. 6, 4A will play at 11 a.m., 2A at 3 p.m. and 6A at 7 p.m.
D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.