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.

Piedmont’s boys were first and the girls second in the team standings at the Class 3A, Section 3 track meet at Scottsboro Friday and Saturday. The boys scored 179 points to outdistance second-place Weaver (152).  The girls recorded 121 points and trailed only Pleasant Valley (146).

It was a day for record-setting performances at the Calhoun County track meet Tuesday. Six records fell and Piedmont athletes set three of the six new marks. 

Alabama High School Athletic Association executive director Steve Savarese, his wife Beth, and AHSAA associate director Wanda Gilliland traveled to Spring Garden to formally present the Class 1A girls basketball state championship trophy to coach Ricky Austin and his players.

Piedmont swept three games against three pool-play winners Saturday to capture the championship of the White Plains Invitational softball tournament at Oxford Lake. Piedmont was 1-1 in pool play Friday, losing to Lincoln 6-3 after downing Jacksonville 11-1 in four innings, and finished second in its pool.

Ricky Austin’s 20th season as girls basketball coach at Spring Garden ended in the best way possible Thursday evening in Birmingham. His Panthers downed Linden 64-38 in the AHSAA Class 1A state championship game, putting the finishing touches on a 31-4 season. The state championship is the school’s fifth overall and fourth under Austin’s tutelage.

One down and one to go, that’s the current status of Spring Garden’s quest for the 2016 AHSAA Class 1A girls state basketball state championship. The Panthers downed 2015 state champion Keith of Orrville 50-34 Monday afternoon in Birmingham in the semifinal round.

In the postgame interviews following Spring Garden’s 47-35 win over Winterboro Monday, there was more talk of unfinished business in Birmingham than there was about the Panthers’ 10th Northeast Regional Class 1A girls championship. Keith High of Orrville defeated Spring Garden 38-25 in last year’s state title game. Spring Garden coach Ricky Austin said the game has haunted the Panthers for almost a full year now.

The Spring Garden girls continue their remarkable run of appearances in the AHSAA Northeast Regional basketball tournament Thursday at 3 p.m. at Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum.