Banner year for prep titles in area
by Joe Medley
Star sports columnist
May 17, 2010 | 5787 views |  0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Ragland softball team was one of four teams from The Star's coverage area to capture a state championship this season. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star/File)
The Ragland softball team was one of four teams from The Star's coverage area to capture a state championship this season. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star/File)
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The trophies, blue and red, keep coming for area high school teams.

The noteworthy showings keep coming, too.

Add Ragland’s blue state-champion’s trophy for softball to the latest school year’s cache.

Add Alabama School for the Deaf’s red runners-up trophy in boys’ track.

Add Alexandria’s red trophy in baseball.

Add Piedmont’s red trophy in girls’ golf and Cherokee County’s red trophy in girls’ tennis.

Why not note Montgomery runs for Saks and Cherokee County in softball?

How about deep playoff runs for White Plains in baseball and softball and a sectional title in track?

Same for Alexandria, Clay County, Cleburne County, Faith Christian, Handley, Ranburne, Spring Garden, Wadley and Woodland, who all made it to the second day of their softball regionals.

There were individual showings in other sports, but one gets the picture. The recently completed spring postseason kept alive the recent run of successes for area schools, and that should give us all pride.

No, it’s not the college sports.

It’s not Alabama, Auburn or Jacksonville State, but the high school kids are local. They’re our kin, friends and neighbors.

They’re the reasons a whole community of parents and interested folks get involved with a local school.

When our kids win, we should all feel we win with them.

They’ve been winning a lot lately. Just go back through the school year.

In winter sports, Wellborn took blue in wrestling.

We saw Anniston’s and Piedmont’s boys win Northeast Regional basketball titles in their classifications. Anniston survived a classic regional final with Jacksonville, a game that left anyone who saw it wanting more.

Spring Garden’s girls won their regional title, giving the area three teams in Birmingham for the Final 48.

Thanks for the ride.

In the fall, Piedmont and Cherokee County brought home blue trophies in football. Turns out their clash in the regular season opener was the real “champion’s challenge.”

Clay County brought home a red trophy in football.

The fall also saw Jacksonville win a red trophy in volleyball.

Go back through the prior school year’s trophies, and the long list includes Oxford baseball (red), Lincoln boys’ track (red), Anniston boys’ basketball (blue), Anniston girls’ basketball (red), Piedmont wrestling (blue), Wellborn wrestling (red), Jacksonville volleyball (blue) and boys’ soccer (red).

Those are two strong school years, and it’s fun to think of what could lie ahead.

Oxford’s football team has quite a class of rising juniors, and a one-time Class 6A coach of the year John Grass is approaching his third season there.

Anniston has steadily improved in football under Alex Wilson. The Bulldogs won seven games and made their second consecutive playoff appearance in the fall.

Alexandria — well, just keeps on being Alexandria.

Piedmont has become a major player on the sports scene in recent years.

Saks and White Plains look to be the next up-and-comers that way, especially with Saks bumping down to Class 3A.

Wellborn and Ohatchee have high hopes in football after hiring alums and proven winners to coach their teams. Jeff Smith got Wellborn to the playoffs this past fall, and Jason Howard just finished his first spring practice at Ohatchee after winning at Spring Garden.

Whatever the school colors, they’ve had a way of blending into blue and red lately. The area schools have quite a run going, a run worth applauding as another school year ends.
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Banner year for prep titles in area by Joe Medley
Star sports columnist

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