On the Mark
By D. Mark Mitchell
The unthinkable happened in the Main Street gym inside Opelika High School. An upset spectator, watching Opelika and Smiths Station play basketball, created a major issue by approaching the Bulldog bench during a timeout.
The gentleman, obviously upset, walked on the court yelling at the Opelika coaches during a timeout. He walked onto the court from the opposite end of the bench, stopping near the free throw line. After several seconds went by, two Opelika Police Officers approached the gentleman professionally.
This cannot happen at any event, let alone a high school basketball game. Many things come to mind: what was he doing? Why is he angry? I could go on and on. The answer does not matter. This behavior is unacceptable at a high school basketball game.
I did not reach out to Opelika High Principal Dr. Farrell Seymore for a statement, because I trust he will do the right thing. Seymore and the administration are faced with a tough task: making sure those in attendance stay off the court and act right. This should not have happened. The gentleman could have caused chaos if he had gone closer to the bench. Having security at basketball games is expensive.
The officers deserve extra pay for working these games on their off time. The Opelika police are the best around and can handle the job. At the same time, why do we need police patrolling high school basketball game? The answer: think what could have happened if the officers were not present. I imagine the situation would have turned ugly. The players for Smiths Station and Opelika deserve to play a game, emphasis on “game,” without issues with spectators.
I am proud the two Opelika police officers were in the gym and handled this ugly situation in a professional way.
Please think about how you are acting while watching our youth play sports. The game is for the student athletes and coaches, who are doing their best to win!
In other basketball news, the Opelika Girls Basketball team defeated Smiths Station 58-21 last week in Mainstreet Gym. Haley Sanders continued dominating the scoring with a game-high 17 points. Kaitlyn Bryant continued her steady play, adding 13 points. The 3-2 Lady Bulldogs played at LaFayette Tuesday night. Results were not available at print time. OHS hosts Pike Road Saturday, Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
The OHS Boys Team dropped to 0-3 under first-year head coach Emanuel Brown. The Bulldogs lost at home to Smiths Station 64-60.
The Boys host Pike Road Saturday, Dec. 12 at 4:45 p.m.
You can purchase tickets for Opelika basketball games at gofan.co
The OHS wrestling team traveled to Prattville and hosted Benjamin Russell last week.
OMS joined OHS for the trip to Prattville last Tuesday. The Bulldog grapplers won the match, 60-24. Prattville was not at full strength due to several Lion wrestlers being out due to COVID issues.
The following student athletes won matches: Derrick Hoyett (106 lbs.), Pedro Cabrera (113), Brayden Wilson (120), Trace Gaither (132), Adam Phillips (145), Keon Brazier (160), Ari Brogdon (182), Jack Pritchard (195), Zayne Lackey (220) and heavyweight Jaylin Thomas.
The OMS Wrestling Team slipped by the Lions 43-42. The following earned points for the middle school: Brodie White (75), Jake Campbell (95), Tyrese Pitts (130), Trell Anderson (135), Brady Campbell (145), Brandon Denson (165) and Mansa Seymour (175).
OMS wrestles Gardner-Newman and Calloway Middle School Thursday, Dec. 10 in OMS gym. Tickets can be purchased online at gofan.co
The Opelika varsity hosted Benjamin Russell last week in a dual match. The Widcats led by one point, 37-36, but received an unsportsmanlike penalty, costing the team a point. This made the score 36-36, but Opelika won the tie breakers resulting in one point, threfore giving the Bulldogs the win.
Adam Phillips started the scoring for Opelika after trailing 12-0. Phillips pinned his opponent while Logan Sheridan pinned his, making the score 12-12. Keon Brazier scored a pin, and Jack Prichard pinned a Wildcat wrestler. The toughest match of the night featured Opelika’s 106-pound freshman, Derrick Hoyett, who came back to win the match with a pin despite trailing 12-8 in points.
OHS wrestled Pike Road and Russell County Tuesday night in the Mainstreet Gym. The results were not available at print time.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association completed another successful Super 7. The three-day event drew 42,301 in attendance. The 7A game, Wednesday night, drew 13,583 fans. Thursday’s games, 3A, 1A and 5A, drew 13,061 people, and Friday’s 2A, 4A and 6A games drew 15,647 fans. The games were played in Bryant-Denny Stadium on the University of Alabama’s campus.
The following is each game’s result:
1A: Linden (15-0) defeated Pickens County (11-4) 31-8
2A: Mars Hill Bible (13-2) 56-14 over Abbeville (12-2)
3A: Fyffe (15-0) won 21-16 over Montgomery Catholic (12-3)
4A: Handle (12-1) beat Gordo (13-2) 35-20
5A: St Paul’s (15-0) 29-21 over Pleasent Grove (11-3)
6A: Pinson Valley (12-2) beat Spanish Fort (11-4) 23-14
7A: Thompson (14-0) beat Auburn (11-2) 29-28.
The Super 7 Championship returns to Birmingham in 2021. The seven championship games will be played in the brand new stadium being built next to the Civic Center, Protective Stadium.
Super 7 returns to Auburn-Opelika in 2022. The games are played in Jordan-Hare Stadium on the AU Campus.