Piedmont takes a break from Class 3A, Region 5 football action Friday night, if playing two-time defending Class 4A state champion Leeds can be considered a break. Leeds (4-1) opened the season with four consecutive wins, averaging more than 35 points a game, before falling to Handley 14-7 last week. 

Senior quarterback Taylor Hayes joined a short and distinguished list of Piedmont football players Friday night as the Bulldogs defeated visiting Randolph County 42-14. Hayes rushed for five touchdowns with scoring runs of 11 yards, one yard, one yard, four yards and 38 yards.

The inaugural Border Battle Friday night was quite a battle for Piedmont and visiting Cedartown (Ga.). Piedmont’s first victory over Cedartown – after losses in 1924, 1940 and 1941 – required a come-from-behind touchdown by senior quarterback Taylor Hayes for a 29-22 win.

Both major Football Championship Subdivision preseason polls were released on Monday, and both have Jacksonville State ranked No. 3 heading into the 2016 season.

James Blanchard is entering his eleventh season coaching high school football at Piedmont, all as defensive coordinator. For the past eight seasons, Blanchard has also served as the Bulldogs’ head baseball coach, a span has been the most successful in Piedmont’s baseball history.

It’s time for the event that traditionally marks the close of summer football activities and the beginning of pre-season practice. 

When the 2016 high school softball season ended, Kendall Pressley had given up on the possibility of playing softball past her years at Piedmont. Today, she’s a player for Southern Union Community College in Wadley.

Last fall, Pressley tried out at Gadsden State. Then in November, Gadsden State was forced to discontinue softball for financial reasons.

Jacksonville State University’s Marching Southerners will have the opportunity to perform at LSU’s Death Valley on Sept. 10 after all, according to the band’s director.

The Jacksonville State football program got another big addition on Monday, when running back Roc Thomas signed his financial aid agreement to join the Gamecocks.

When the 2016 volleyball season begins this fall, Spring Garden’s Madison Sides will be playing for the Faulkner University Eagles in Montgomery. Sides made her decision official last week, signing the paperwork necessary to make her a part of Faulkner head coach Tori Bartels’ 2016 team.

Eventual Class 1A state champion Brantley was Spring Garden’s nemesis at last week’s AHSAA state softball tournament in Montgomery. The Panthers lost to the Bulldogs in the winners’ bracket semifinals, won two more games in the elimination bracket then fell to Brantley again – one game short of the championship round. In both meetings with Spring Garden, Brantley won 10-0.

Their second consecutive appearance in the AHSAA Class 1A state softball tournament began for the Spring Garden Panthers this morning at 9 a.m. against Jefferson Christian of Irondale. The tournament is being played in Montgomery at Lagoon Park.

Two losses in the North Central Regional softball tournament in Tuscaloosa ended Piedmont’s season short of the goal of a state tournament appearance.

Their second consecutive appearance in the AHSAA Class 1A state softball tournament began for the Spring Garden Panthers this morning at 9 a.m. against Jefferson Christian of Irondale. The tournament is being played in Montgomery at Lagoon Park.

Jacksonville State will play in the Auburn Regional beginning Friday at Jane B. Moore Field, where the Gamecocks will face the No. 4 Tigers at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN3.

The Gamecocks held off Belmont for a 2-1 win that swept the series and the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference season, capping a 26-0 conference record and just the second unbeaten OVC season in league history. Tennessee Tech went 17-0 in 1994, nine games fewer than JSU’s unprecedented run.

The OVC’s regular-season champions, the Gamecocks (37-14, 26-0 OVC) wrapped up an historic weekend that started by giving head coach Jana McGinnis her 800th win with a doubleheader sweep of the Bruins (19-35, 11-16 OVC) on Saturday. They called on one of their two seniors on Senior Day Sunday, and she responded.