Hank Steinberg and Billy Crystal wrote and directed the movie “61*,” the story of Mickey Mantle’s and Roger Maris’ chase of Babe Ruth’s single-season home-run record in baseball.
The title merged history and year. Maris broke the record with 61 home runs, and it happened in the 1961 season, and the movie gave viewers the feel of what it was like to follow a baseball season like no other.
Calhoun County football has its ’61, and it’s called ’19.
If you’ve followed high school football in the county, then you saw eight teams from the county make the playoffs, and all eight made the second round. You saw five get through to the quarterfinals, and two more came within eight total points of advancing.
Five teams got through to the semifinals in a county that never produced more than two semifinalists. Oxford, Jacksonville and Piedmont will play in next week’s Super 7.
What a ride it’s been, and what a day Friday was.
If you followed social media, you saw former Oxford standout Kwon Alexander send a video message to current Yellow Jacket players ahead of their 6A semifinal against Pinson Valley. Ex-Oxford player Trae Elston got “turnt” on a Facebook live.
Both played for the 2011 Oxford team, the last to make the semifinals before the ’19 Yellow Jackets made it.
Former Anniston All-State running back Troymaine Pope, now with the Los Angeles Chargers, tweeted out encouragement to his younger brother, Jacksonville offensive lineman Omarion Pope. Anniston played a 4A semifinal at Jacksonville on Friday.
Sacred Heart boys’ basketball coach Ralpheal Graves, who played for Anniston’s 2002 state-championship basketball team, posted to Facebook picture of his letterman’s jacket and rings.
“Rollin’ with the Anniston Bulldogs tonight!!” he said in the text above the pictures.
Social media was alive with school spirit, This ahead of a night like no other in Calhoun County.
We’ll long remember ’19 in Calhoun County high school football, and we still have another week of it.