On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell
The Opelika High School Varsity baseball team (14-14 / A 5-1) won the area championship after sweeping Valley in a three game series, 10-0, 4-1 and 11-3.
The Bulldogs won game one, 10-0, at Bulldog Park, behind a strong pitching effort from Brantley Davis. The sophomore pitched a complete game, allowing no runs on five hits and striking out eight Ram batters to earn the win. Offensively, Opelika had 14 hits including three from Brooks Bryan along with two hits from Jackson Harris, Xander Grilliot, Paul Goodman and Bryce Speakman. Other players adding singles were Jonathan Chase, Jacob Smith and Harrison Long.
OHS won games two and three in Valley, 4-1 and 11-3, to complete the sweep. Kydylan Ligon and Luke Murray combined on the mound to win game one of the doubleheader. Grilliot had two hits. Harris, Bryan, Goodman and Speakman added singles.
Four Dog pitchers, JT McArdle, Lawrence, Chase and Long, combined to win the last game of the series 11-3. Goodman’s three hits paced the offense along with hits from Grilliott, Bryan, Smith, Jake Cummings and Deandre Smith.
The Bulldogs host Spanish Fort (18-14) in the opening round of the AHSAA 6A State Playoffs, Friday at 4:30. The two teams play a best-of-three series, with two games Friday and the “IF ” necessary Saturday at noon.
Fans can listen to Opelika baseball on FOX Sports the Game 910-1310, online at foxsportsthegame.com and on the iHeartRadio app. Airtime is 4:15 from Bulldog Park.
The Lady Bulldog softball team won the area regular season title, winning at Eufaula 3-1. McKay Yountz pitched a complete game in the circle to earn the win. Yountz stuck out 14 batters, allowed one hit and one earned run.
Nylen Thomas led OHS at the plate with two hits while Yountz, Ava Parker and Sani Stringer added singles.
Opelika earned the right to host the double-elimination area tournament on May 3 and 4 at West Ridge Park.
Opelika girls’ and boys’ soccer teams played Auburn High School last Friday at Duck Samford Stadium in Auburn. The annual game between the two rivals is called “Soccer for Cure” night. Proceeds from the game are donated to EAMC cancer center to help local patients with expenses.
The Dogs lost both games against the Tigers, the girls losing 1-3 and the boys losing 0-3. The losses do not effect area standings. Both Opelika teams won the area championship and will host first round games at the W. James Samford Soccer Complex.
WESLEY BUTTON NAMED OHS BOYS BASKETBALL HEAD COACH
OHS interim head basketball coach, Wesley Button, was named head coach by principal Dr. Farrell Seymore last week. Button served as assistant basketball coach under former head coach John Wadsworth for five seasons. He was named interim coach in December after newly hired head coach, Emannual Brown resigned after an 0-6 start. The dogs improved under coach Button, earning a playoff bid after finishing second in the area.
Coach Button is married to Jaclyn Button who serves as head coach for the girls soccer team.
Congratulations Coach Button!
AHSAA CENTRAL BOARD MEETING
The Alabama High School Athletic Association held a Central Board meeting Wednesday at the AHSAA headquarters in Montgomery. Major news will be made at the meeting, including a new 12-year Super 7 contract. The Super 7 football championships will be held at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and Birmingham’s new Protective Stadium.
Auburn-Opelika will host the Super 7 in 2022, 2026, 2028 and 2032. Remaining details will be released after the meeting.
Listen to “On the Mark” radio show on FOX Sports the Game 910-1310, weekdays 6 to 9 a.m. Be sure to listen Thursday morning as AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese joins D.Mark Mitchell and Jeff Sasser for a major announcement. Savarese will follow former Alabama football coach Gene Stallings’s appearance at 7 a.m.
D. Mark Mitchell is the Sports Director at iHeartMedia, host of the “On the Mark” on 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.