Pope, Dent pick up more hardware
by Nick Birdsong
Jan 31, 2012 | 3060 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two weeks ago, the Alabama Sports Writers Association handed out its post-season awards. Former Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon, now at the University of Alabama, took home the biggest honor at the annual Players of the Year banquet when he was named Mr. Football.

Anniston’s Troymaine Pope was named the Class 4A Back of the Year and Handley junior Bradley Bozeman, an Alabama commit, was the 3A Lineman of the Year.

Bozeman’s teammate linebacker Chris Dillard, Clay County’s Shawncey Simmons and Oxford’s Trae Elston were also among those nominated.

However, local players weren’t done picking up hardware.

Last week, FOX6 named its 2011-2012 Sideline All-Stars.

Pope did even better at the event held at the downtown Marriot in Birmingham.

Pope, who rushed for 2,539 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior, was named the 4A Offensive Player of the Year and the Overall Offensive Player for all classifications.

Last week, he committed to Jacksonville State but also holds offers from Alabama A&M, Illinois St., Idaho State and recently picked up another from South Alabama.

Piedmont’s Clay Dent was named the Class 3A Defensive Player of the Year.

Dent led the Bulldogs this season with 164 tackles and nine sacks in his first year at the position after shining primarily as offensive lineman and on special teams early in his career.

• NEW FORMAT: Monday I asked a few local volleyball coaches to share their thoughts after the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s decision to restructure its playoff format.

Late last week, the association decided to streamline its post-season competition by going to a three-round bracket to determine its state champion. Beginning this fall, the volleyball playoffs will consist of a one-day area tournament followed by a new super regional round and the Elite Eight state tournament.

It was an effort by association officials to reduce travel costs by eliminating one round of competition.

The super regional round will consist of all area champions and runner-ups with one half of the bracket playing out of the south and the other the north in a two-day tournament.

The top four finishers in each classification from the super regional will move on to the state tournament.

“I’m OK with it,” Pleasant Valley coach Dana Bryant said. “The sub-state round did require a lot of teams to travel a good bit for one match. A lot of times, you wound up with one team missing school.”

Donoho coach Janice Slay said there’s been concern among some of her peers that the new format could force the best teams to face one another before they ever make it to the state tournament.

But that remains to be seen.

“I’m kind on the fence,” Slay said. “And I hate to be on the fence about things. I’d rather be for it or against it but with this super regional, none of us have gone through it before. Until we all do that, we’ll have to wait to see if there’s any fallout.”

Robin Coplin, whose Sacred Heart Lady Cardinals traveled all the way to Akron for their sub-state matchup before reaching the state tournament last season, said she’s just waiting for the all details to be ironed out.

“It’s hard to tell,” she said. “Somebody’s still going to have to travel and somebody more than likely is still going to have to stay overnight.”

Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.

Comments must be made through Facebook
No personal attacks
No name-calling
No offensive language
Comments must stay on topic
No infringement of copyrighted material

Friends to Follow

Today's Events

event calendar

post a new event

Wednesday, April 23, 2014