Waiting for football players to become available is a fact of life for boys’ high school basketball in Alabama, and a lot of schools are waiting.
Of 25 coverage-area schools, 22 play football, and 15 made the playoffs. Of the 15 that made the playoffs, 14 won first-round games last week, including all eight from Calhoun County.
That means a lot of crossover players remain in pads and could be for awhile. Several football teams look likely to last at least a couple of more weeks in the playoffs.
It’s situation normal at schools like Piedmont, where basketball standouts like Silas Thompson, Jakari Foster and Trey McFarland are busy trying to get a football team used to deep playoff runs as deep as it can go.
Oxford hoops coach Joel Van Meter will have to wait for Roc Taylor and Trequon Fegans, both football standouts.
Anniston’s basketball roster shows football’s A.J. Brown, Daveon Dukes, Khalil Peoples and Tyree Carmichael.
Jacksonville’s boys’ basketball roster reads like a football who’s who: Luke Jackson, Jaeden Barksdale, Kyre’ Maynor, Omarion Adams and Yessman Green all hope to be playing football into December.
Basketball standouts that don’t play football have hit the hardwood. Oxford’s Zondrick Garrett, Anniston’s Antonio Kite and Piedmont’s Alex Odam come to mind.
Calhoun County’s three religiously affiliated private schools don’t play football, so Sacred Heart, Faith Christian and Jacksonville Christian don’t have to play without key players.
The bottom line is, November records are what they are. Teams missing players might lose a few games they wouldn’t, otherwise. Teams with full rosters might have a few more wins, playing teams that are missing players.
Still, it’s good to hear the bounce of basketballs and squeaks of sneakers.
—Ohatchee running back Domonique Thomas entered this season as the preseason choice for The Star’s 1A-3A All-Calhoun County player of the year, and he just received another honor. He’s a Heisman High School Scholarship Competition school winner, the Heisman Trust announced Tuesday. He’s one of 3,600 school winners nationally, chosen from a pool of thousands of senior high school student-athletes. School winners will continue to compete for the chance to become state winners, national finalists or national winners. State winners receive a $500 college scholarship, national finalists $1,000 and the male and female national winners $5,000 and a trip to New York City to attend the 2019 Heisman Trophy Weekend events including the televised ESPN Heisman Trophy ceremony and 85th annual Heisman Dinner Gala.
Other school winners announced Tuesday include Oxford’s Shania Vincent, the reigning Calhoun County 4A-6A track athlete of the year; Ohatchee’s Autumn Widgeon; Jacksonville’s Sam Dingler; and Ranburne’s Caleb Hornsby and Jasey Langley.
—White Plains softball standout Emma Jones signed Wednesday to play collegiately at Appalachian State. The senior shortstop/pitcher moved from North Carolina and joined White Plains’ softball program last season, making first-team All-Calhoun County while helping the Wildcats finish fourth in 4A at the state tournament. She batted .500 with a .617 on-base percentage, 14 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 24 RBIs. She was 47-for-51 on stolen-base attempts. In the circle, she pitched 76⅓ innings, giving up 52 hits and nine earned runs with 69 strikeouts and 34 walks with an 8-4 record, 0.83 ERA, 1.13 WHIP.
—Oxford catcher Sarah Howell will sign with Clemson on Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. at Oxford High School. She’s the reigning Alabama Sports Writers Association 6A hitter of the year and 4A-6A All-Calhoun County player of the year. In 2019, she batted .553 with a .619 on-base percentage, 11 doubles, seven triples, 17 home runs, and 37 RBIs. She was 44-for-50 on stolen-base attempts.
—Ohatchee All-County shortstop Autumn Widgeon will sign with Bevill State Community College today at 1 p.m. Last spring, she batted .310 with a .355 on-base percentage, six doubles, four triples and 20 RBIs.
—Basketball season is near, and Jacksonville will hold Meet the Golden Eagles on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. Bring two canned-food items to be donated to the Anniston Soup Kitchen. For more information, contact Jacksonville boys’ coach Cordell Hunt.
—Just a reminder to all high school coaches in our coverage area, all sports. We want your scores and results, with top performers, as soon as possible after completion of events. It’s best not to wait until after the bus ride home, because that could push past our daily deadlines. The best way to report is through email. Please include ALL of the following, so that reports reach all possible handlers: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Our coverage area includes all 15 high schools in Calhoun County, Spring Garden, Cleburne County, Ranburne, Woodland, Randolph County, Handley, Wadley, Central-Clay, Lincoln and Munford. Thanks!
—Here’s the schedule for varsity Calhoun County championship events this season: Volleyball, Oct. 5-7: (champion: Alexandria); cross country, Oct. 24 (champions: White Plains boys and girls); wrestling, Jan. 3, Pleasant Valley; basketball, Jan. 17-24, Jacksonville State; baseball, March 6-10 (March 11 rain date), Choccolocco Park; soccer, April 2-4, Choccolocco Park; golf, April 3-4, Pine Hill; track & field, April 7, Choccolocco Park; softball, April 7-10, Choccolocco Park. Tennis is tentatively set for Feb. 28-29 at Oxford Lake.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Writer Joe Medley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @jmedley_star.