Prep notebook: Weaver's English, Oxford's Jones make college choices known
by Brandon Miller
Jan 08, 2014 | 3413 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Weaver's Chris English goes up for a shot. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Weaver's Chris English goes up for a shot. (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Weaver’s Chris English and former Oxford star Ulric Jones decided their futures this week, both announcing the news on Twitter.

Jones, a freshman at Butler (Kansas) Community College, has another year of junior college to get through before he can transfer to a four-year school, but that didn’t stop him from committing to Alabama on Wednesday.

Jones tweeted under his handle @U_DaTruth5, “Roll Tide it is!”

Jones, who was a man amongst boys while playing for Oxford, finished last season with 19 tackles, including 15 solos, and a fumble recovery on the defensive line.

While Jones has excelled on the gridiron, English has made a name for himself over the past several seasons on the hardwood. After finishing his senior season at Weaver, English will stay local and play his next two years at Gadsden State.

“I like the way coach (Todd) Ginn coaches,” English said. “They play similar to us and play full-court man and like to run when they get the ball. I know a couple of the guys already because we’ve played in tournaments and stuff.”

English’s announcement tweet from @TheWill2Succeed read, “It feels so good to be verbally committed.” English later went into further details when curiosity was sparked throughout the area where he would be next season.

ALL-AMERICAN FINALIST: Anniston’s Quanetria Bolton is getting nation-wide attention, being named a finalists for the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday. The Alabama signee is joined by Sylacauga’s Shakayla Thomas as the only girls from Alabama to make the list.

The roster will be finalized on Jan. 29 and announced on ESPNU with the boys and girls teams consisting of 24 players each. The game is scheduled for April 2 in Chicago.

BRACKETS RELEASED: The Calhoun County basketball tournament brackets were formally released yesterday.

For the boys in the first round, Oxford and White Plains get things started at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 18. Jacksonville Christian-Pleasant Valley follow at 1:30 on the same day, Sacred Heart and Ohatchee play at 4:30 and Alexandria-Piedmont face off at 7:30.

The first round picks back up two days later with Jacksonville and Faith Christian playing at 6 p.m., and Saks-Donoho and Anniston-Wellborn playing at 4 p.m. and 7, respectively, on Tuesday. Top-seed Weaver has a bye and will play the winner of Oxford-White Plains on Wednesday at 5:30. Games continue each day of the week with the championship scheduled for 8 on Saturday.

On the girls side, Jacksonville Christian and Ohatchee get things started at noon on Jan. 18, followed by Alexandria-Piedmont (3:00) and White Plains-Donoho (6:00). The first round continues the following Monday with Jacksonville facing Wellborn at 4:30 and Sacred Heart playing Faith at 7:30. On Tuesday, Saks plays Pleasant Valley at 5:30 and Oxford faces Weaver at 8:30. Top-seed Anniston has a bye in the first round and will play the winner of JCA-Ohatchee on Wednesday at 4:00. The championship is scheduled for 6:30 on Saturday.

All games are played on the Jacksonville State campus at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

CAREER MILESTONE: It’s been two weeks since Twitter exploded following Woodland star Leah Strain scoring her 4,000th-career point. And, for those wondering, the eye-opening feat hasn’t changed anything in the senior’s game.

Since scoring 19 points in Woodland’s 71-44 win over Tharptown on Dec. 26 — exceeding the 4,000-point mark by six points — Strain scored 28 against Red Bay, 20 against Oneonta and 29 in a rare loss, coming to Lauderdale County.

Strain currently sits 423 points behind former West Morgan player Hayden Hamby for second on the all-time career points list. To little surprise, former Woodland star and Strain’s sister, Courtney, holds the record for most career points — along with several other state records — with 5,283.

If Woodland (14-1) makes a deep playoff push, look for Strain to push Hamby’s mark as the Lady Bobcats narrow their sights on back-to-back Class 2A state championships.

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star
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