Piedmont and Pleasant Valley were Class 3A, Area 10’s representatives in the AHSAA baseball playoffs last year with Piedmont the Area 10 champion and Pleasant Valley besting Glencoe for the runner-up spot. The Bulldogs and the Raiders are expected to battle one another for the area title aga…

Baseball at Spring Garden is off to a solid start. The Panthers were 5-2 entering Tuesday’s game at Sand Rock and held leads in their losses at Cherokee County on Mar. 2 and at Glencoe on Mar. 9. Early wins included an 11-4 victory over archrival Cedar Bluff, a 6-1 win against Sand Rock and a 16-6 win over Gaylesville to make the Panthers 3-1 against opponents from Cherokee County. Spring Garden opened with a 4-3 victory over Class 4A Saks on the road and followed that with a 10-0 shutout of Collinsville. 

At Sunday’s meeting to seed the annual Calhoun County baseball tournament, Piedmont got the coaches’ nod for No. 3. As one of the top four seeds, the Bulldogs get a bye into the quarterfinal round of tournament play. If weather permits, and that’s a big “if” at the moment, Piedmont will play Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of Friday’s game between No. 6 White Plains and No. 11 Donoho. The tournament is being played at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park.

Piedmont has 16 varsity players as Matt Deerman begins his second season as head baseball coach. The Bulldogs will have six seniors. Cole Chasteen will play third base, DH and pitch on occasion. Christian Doss is an outfielder. First baseman Drake Deerman returns to baseball after a two-year…

It’s on to Birmingham and the AHSAA state basketball tournament finals for the Spring Garden Panthers. Monday’s convincing 68-39 victory over Skyline in the Northeast Regional Class 1A girls championship game advanced Spring Garden (30-3) to the state semifinal round at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex’s Legacy Arena.

Rated No. 1 among Class 1A girls teams in last week’s final Alabama Sports Writers Association rankings, Spring Garden started Tuesday on the path supporters of the Panthers hope will lead them to the AHSAA state championship that eluded them so cruelly at the close of the 2017 title game.  

The Spring Garden girls picked up arguably their biggest win of the season to date Monday when they defeated reigning Calhoun County champion Anniston 52-39 at Spring Garden. The Panthers are now 23-2 and the victory over Anniston avenged one of their two losses.

About 20 Jacksonville State University students and area residents gathered at a committee meeting of the school’s board of trustees Monday to protest the acceptance of Landon Rice onto the football team.

Piedmont defeated host Cleburne County 52-39 on Friday in the girls’ bracket championship game of the Anniston Star Holiday Hoops Classic. The Bulldogs led throughout the contest but for a few minutes in second half they appeared to be in trouble.

Spring Garden is the host school for the annual Cherokee Invitational tournament this year and the 2017 tournament will be played at Spring Garden’s Dale Welsh Gymnasium starting Thursday.

Those who watched Randolph County’s 35-28 win over Piedmont on Friday night bought just one ticket but, in reality, saw two entirely different games. The first was the game in which Piedmont (12-2) exploded for three touchdowns in the first half and led 21-0 at halftime. The second was the contest in which Randolph County (13-1) scored five touchdowns in the second half – two in the final two minutes – to claim the Class 3A semifinal game. The loss ended the careers of seniors who won 49 games over four years, the most in any four-year span in Piedmont football history.

The AHSAA Class 3A football semifinal round playoff game for schools in the “north” half of the bracket will again be an all-Region 5 party. Region 5 champion Piedmont downed Colbert Heights 34-13 on the road last Friday while Region 5 runner-up Randolph County (12-1) bested Sylvania 55-24 at home.

In the game to decide the Class 1A, Region 6 championship, visiting Cedar Bluff rushed for more than 300 yards Friday and defeated Spring Garden 34-7. The Panthers limited Cedar Bluff to four pass completions and just 24 yards through the air but the Tigers ran for three touchdowns in the first half, building a 20-7 halftime advantage. Cedar Bluff added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on short runs.

By the luck of the draw, the biggest game on the Class 1A, Region 6 schedule comes Friday, the last date for region play, and it will be played at Spring Garden. Spring Garden, 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Region 6, entertains intra-county rival Cedar Bluff, 5-2 on the season and also 4-0 in the r…

Piedmont completes its Class 3A, Region 5 schedule Friday, hosting Ohatchee. If the Bulldogs win they will have run the table in Region 5 and will be region champion with a 6-0 region record. Should Ohatchee win, things are less certain for anyone so the best result to provide clarity will be for the Bulldogs (7-1) to beat the Indians for the fifth time in four seasons.

The good news from last Friday’s football game on the road against Weaver is that Piedmont won 33-27. The Bulldogs are now 6-1 overall and alone atop the Class 3A, Region 5 standings with a 4-0 region record. Victories at home over Wellborn this Friday and Ohatchee on Oct. 20 will earn Piedmont a perfect 6-0 Region 6 slate and its third consecutive region title.

Entering last Friday’s home game against Pleasant Valley, over many years of painstaking research Piedmont sports historian Mike Naugher had documented 499 football wins for the Bulldogs since the school’s first season in 1924. Piedmont’s 48-13 win over the Raiders became No. 500.