A breather is something taken by those who can't take the heat. The games that determine championships may have come to an end when the Alabama High School Athletic Association's baseball and softball tournaments came to a conclusion. But the real don't rest.
The picture at Oxford's last baseball practice a week ago before heading over to Montgomery for the state finals was worth a thousand words.
As the baseball team fine-tuned its game in anticipation of the season-ending, high-stakes match with Auburn, the football team was less than a 100 feet away, grinding away with mid-season passion for a season that doesn't start for another three months.
Be ready. In season, and out of season.
I present to you this week's notes.
• GAINES GOING TO MOBILE: White Plains senior Zach Gaines will sign a cross-country scholarship offer from the University of Mobile at a ceremony held at the high school. Gaines was a gritty guard for White Plains' basketball team, which finished as runners-up to Piedmont in Class 3A, Area 10. He'll also play hoops for the Rams.
• THAT'S WAUGH!: That's more of a Black Rob "Whoa!," reminiscent of the 2000 Bad Boy Records jam of the same name. It is in no way a reference to the expression commonly made by actor Joey Lawrence's character in that wack 1990s sitcom Blossom.
But I digress.
Jono Waugh, a 2005 graduate of Oxford High School, will be playing in the 2009 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division 1 World Series, which begins Friday. Waugh starts at shortstop for the Hornets. The Southern State Athletic Conference champions are ranked No. 5 in the nation in the NAIA. They boast a 51-8 record heading into tournament in Lewiston, Idaho. It concludes next Friday.
Waugh was a first team all-conference selection after batting .406 with a .716 slugging percentage. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder belted 14 home runs and knocked in 58 home runs go along with 14 doubles, two triples and 22 stolen bases this season. He also holds three school records.
He also plays wood bat ball with the East Alabama Big Train.
• 2009-10 COUNTY TOURNAMENT DATES SET: This one's fresh off the e-mail. I thought it'd be nice to include in the notes column so you all can begin to set your calendars ...
Cross country, TBA; jr. high volleyball, Sept. 26; varsity volleyball, Oct. 3; varsity basketball, Jan. 9, 11-16; varsity wrestling, Jan. 22; jr. high basketball, Jan. 25-30; varsity baseball, March 12-13, 15-16; varsity track and field, March 23; varsity softball, April 8-10; varsity girls golf, April 2-3; varsity boys golf, April 9-10.
Alexandria will be the host school for each tournament next season.
• HONORING THE CHAMPS: Alexandria will pay homage to its 1985, 1995 and 1997 state football championship teams at halftime of its spring jamboree game at Lou Scales Stadium Thursday afternoon. The 2009 Valley Cubs will take on Weaver in the exhibition game.