(Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a two-part series listing the honors and achievements of the members of the 2020 and 2021 Marion County Sports Hall of Fame classes. New inductees have been listed three schools at a time, alphabetically by last name.
By Luke Brantley
By Luke Brantley
By Scott Johnson
Fayette - Bevill State Baseball will be hosting an Unsigned Senior Baseball Workout on Tuesday, July 6, at the Bevill State Baseball Field located at 2631 Temple Avenue N., Fayette, AL 35555.
The workout will include batting practice, defensive work, 60 times and bullpens.
The workout is open to any unsigned high school graduate. The cost is $50, and registration will be at 9:30 a.m. Workouts begin at 10 a.m.
Participants must have a copy of an up-to-date physical.
By Scott Johnson
Four local baseball players were named to teams in this year’s sportswriters all-star team.
The Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) released its 2021 all-state teams on Sunday morning, June 13.
The All-State team is compiled through submissions from coaches to sportswriters in their area and voted on by the ASWA prep committee. A pitcher, hitter, player and coach of the year is then selected in each class.
OXFORD - The Hamilton Lady Aggies saw their season come to an end after suffering back-to-back losses in the Class 4A State Softball Tournament.
The Lady Aggies made it to the state tournament after going undefeated in the 4A West Regional Tournament, claiming the regional title.
The last time the Lady Aggies won the regional tournament and advanced to state competition was in 2009.
BEAR CREEK - The Phillips Bears may have won by the scoreboard, but Mother Nature dominated the game.
The Bears were declared the winners 41-12 over the Vina Red Devils, in a game called with 4:29 left in the third quarter due to intense lightning and a resulting severe thunderstorm that pelted the stadium with torrential rains and gusty winds.
As the storm bore down on the Phillips High School stadium, and fans cleared faster than any runner on the grid, Phillips Bears fans left satisfied, knowing they had the ultimate victory.
TRINITY - The Hackleburg Panthers suffered their fifth loss of the season on Friday night, Oct. 23, after falling to the Eagles of Decatur Heritage Christian Academy by a final score of 45-30 in a Class 1A, Region 8 matchup.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, scoring on runs of 53 and 67 yards in the opening period of the ballgame.
DHCA added two more scores to the board in the second frame before the Panthers could light the scoreboard for the first time of the night, building a 28-0 lead.
HAMILTON - On a cool Friday night, two teams squared up on the gridiron. Looking to sneak their way into the playoffs, the Hamilton Aggies hosted the Fayette County Tigers. A rather dry first half turned into a wet second half, but it was not enough to deter the Aggies from taking control of the game. Two rushing touchdowns were more than enough to propel Hamilton into the playoffs with a 14-2 win against the Tigers.
BRILLIANT - The Brilliant Tigers punched their ticket to the postseason on Friday night, Oct. 23, after claiming a hardfought 21-20 victory over the Red Raiders of Marion County High School in a pivotal Class 1A, Region 6 matchup.
Marion County was the first team to find the end zone, but Brilliant used three second quarter scores to gain a comfortable 21-6 lead before heading into the halftime break.
GUIN - The Marion County Red Raiders earned their second win in as many weeks on Friday, Oct. 2, as they throttled the Tigers of Meek High School in a 43-16 win on Don Jones Field at the Bill Rayburn Stadium.
Darese Smith got the scoring started for the Red Raiders in the Class 1A, Region 6 contest with a two-yard touchdown run at the 1:37 mark of the opening period. Raider quarterback Deuce Belk carried across the two-point conversion, putting the Raiders up 8-0 heading into the second frame.
BRILLIANT - The Brilliant Tigers dropped their second contest of the season on Friday night, Oct. 2, falling to the Tornadoes of Pickens County High School by a final score of 26-13.
The Tigers, who are now 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in Class 1A, Region 6 play, started the scoring for the game in the opening period when senior quarterback Kade Bryant connected with Braden Burelson for a 13-yard touchdown reception. Jacob Barnes was good on the PAT, putting the Tigers on top 7-0 with 6:23 left in the first quarter.
VINEMONT - The Winfield Pirates overcame a slow start offensively and held off a late rally from the Vinemont Eagles in the second half for a 28-18 win on Friday, Oct. 2, at Vinemont. The win improved Winfield to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in Class 3A, Region 6, and clinched a playoff berth in the process.
WINFIELD - Winfield senior Luke McKinney was added to the 61st Annual Alabama High School Athletic Association’s North-South All-Star Football Team on Thursday, April 2.
The 6’2, 275-pound defensive tackle will represent Winfield on the North squad. The game is scheduled to be played on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.
MARION COUNTY - Marion County had one last, good week of baseball action before the two and a half week school closure.
The Class 1A, eighth-ranked Hackleburg Panthers caught two big wins this week, bumping their current record to 9-3, while the Class 3A, fifth-ranked Winfield Pirates went 2-2 this week bringing their current record to 11-6.
HANCEVILLE - The defending 1A state champion Phillips She Bears saw their season come to an abrupt end on Monday, Feb. 17, after suffering a 56-33 loss to the Mars Hill Lady Panthers in the championship game of the Class 1A Northwest Regional basketball tournament that was held at Wallace State Community College.
The She Bears advanced to the regional championship game after defeating the Decatur Heritage Lady Eagles 50-46 in the regional semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 13.
HANCEVILLE - Both Pirate basketball squads saw their respective seasons come to an end on Saturday, Feb. 15, after falling in the semifinal rounds of the Class 3A Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Northwest Regional basketball tournament.
Both Winfield City High School teams were defeated by basketball squads from Lauderdale County High School.
The Lady Pirates lost their matchup 47-32 while the Pirates suffered a 58-42 loss, ending their respective seasons.
MARION COUNTY - The Hamilton Lady Aggies, Marion County Lady Red Raiders and the Brilliant Tigers saw their seasons come to an end in their respective sub-regional games last week.
The Lady Aggies, who finished as runner-up in the Class 5A, Area 14 basketball tournament, suffered a loss to Madison Academy in their sub-regional contest.
The Lady Red Raiders lost their sub-regional contest against the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy after finishing as runner-up in the Class 1A, Area 10 tournament.
GUIN - Former Marion County High School head football coach Doug Goodwin is joining Lane Kiffin’s coaching staff at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
Goodwin, who was the Red Raiders’ lead man from 1987-1992, is headed to Ole Miss to be a special teams analyst.
For the past six years, Goodwin has served on Gus Malzahn’s coaching staff at Auburn University, serving as an NFL liaison as well as handling the walk-on program and dealing with high school coaches.
GUIN - The Marion County Red Raiders lost a heartbreaker against the Lions of Hubbertville High School 34-32 on Friday, Oct. 4.
The Red Raiders took the lead late in the second quarter, but 14 unanswered points from the Lions allowed them to regain control of the game and build a lead late in the fourth quarter.
HAMILTON - After leading for most of the game, the scoreboard changed in visiting Cordova’s favor, 14-13, at the 4:48 mark of the fourth quarter.
The game had been a defensive struggle throughout, but homestanding Hamilton still had time and all the Aggies had to do was, find their way into the end zone--86 yards away.
Senior Aggie quarterback Jathan Jackson and his teammates went to work, sealing the victory with 55 seconds remaining in the game when Jackson connected with Bryant Loving from 10 yards out for the touchdown.
WINFIELD - Winfield took an early lead, but could not hold, as Fayette County reeled off three unanswered touchdowns to defeat the Pirates 21-7 on Friday, Aug. 30, in Winfield.
The Pirates scored with 3:39 left in first quarter to take the 7-0 lead, but a steady running game and some timely passes pushed the Tigers over the top.
Winfield head coach David McKinney, disappointed with the loss and missed opportunities, spoke about them in an interview following the game.
LYNN - The Lynn Bears used a stout defensive effort to secure a season-opening 26-14 win over Phillips High School.
Lynn put up the first score of the night and wouldn't trail for the remainder of the contest. Lynn found paydirt on its second drive of the night. After fielding a punt on their own 25, the Lynn Bears went to work on a 12-play drive that was capped by an 8-yard scamper by Brandon Hill around the right side. The two-point try was no good, leaving the score at 6-0 with just over four minutes left in the opening quarter.
HALEYVILLE - Winfield’s defense withstood a fourth-quarter rally and picked up a late touchdown run by Joseph Cox to seal a 19-13 season-opening win over the Haleyville Lions on Friday, Aug. 23, in Haleyville.
Leading 13-0 going into the fourth quarter, the Winfield Pirates’ defense found themselves on their heels as Haleyville scored on a four-yard run, and after a failed two-point conversion, Haleyville would tally on a 55-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 13-13 with 8:04 left in the game.
GUIN - Marion County toppled Vina 41-12 behind a 288 rushing yards on Friday, Aug. 23.
"I thought we played hard," Red Raider head coach Kyle Williams said following the game. “We made several mistakes, but now we know what we need to work on.
"We had several guys make plays in different situations, so we are excited to se what the year has in store for us as a team."
Vina received the opening kickoff and the Red Raider defense forced a punt.
HACKLEBURG - Hackleburg suffered a 44-16 loss to Class 2A Winston County on Friday, Aug. 23, at Ray Stadium in Hackleburg.
The Panthers trailed 14-8 at halftime before the Yellow Jackets outscored Hackleburg 30-8 in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets struck first with William Owens scoring from four yards out. A failed 2-point try gave Winston County a 6-0 advantage with 4:57 left in the first quarter.
BEAR CREEK - Phillips suffered a 48-7 loss to Decatur Heritage in the Bears' season-opener on Friday, Aug. 23.
"We were completely out-manned up front on both sides of the ball," head coach Adam Lawler said of his team's first game. "We need to be bigger and strong and that doesn't happen overnight.
"We are going to keep coaching and keep working because what we did Friday night is not acceptable."
The Hamilton Aggies began their 2019 football season with a fall jamboree game against the Oakman Wildcats on Thursday, Aug. 22.
After winning the coin toss, the Aggies chose to receive the kick and began an unsuccessful drive which ended in a punt by Hamilton’s Jathan Jackson.
In the Wildcats’ first offensive possession, Lucas Bridges’ pass was intercepted by Hamilton’s Robert Johnson who returned the ball from the 45-yard-line to the 5 with 9:57 remaining in the first quarter.
BRILLIANT - Brilliant lost to Lynn 50-6 in the Tigers' fall jamboree on Friday, Aug. 23.
The Tigers lost 28-6 in the first half with the two varsity teams playing and 22-0 in the second half with the junior varsity players taking the field.
"I was pleased with the efforts," Brilliant head coach Brian Gunnels said. "We kept it very vanilla on offense. I was pleased. We saw both good and bad spots."
HAMILTON - Gunner Strong, a mass prayer meeting and relay race for Gunner Pendley, is set for Saturday, Aug. 31, at Sargent Stadium.
The prayer meeting begins at 8 a.m. and the relay race follows at 8:30 a.m.
The entry fee is $10 and any donations are accepted. Everyone is invited to the prayer meeting prior to the race.
The event is on the same day as Hamilton Toy Bowl hosts a pre-season football tournament. Anyone running, praying or volunteering is not allowed to park in the new gym parking lot or on Aggie Avenue.
The 2019 Winfield cheerleaders are (front row, from left) Ana Beth Hawkins, MaKenna Tucker, Memory Clark, Melody Harrison, Ella Chaffin, Jaken Terrell, (middle row, same order) Brooklyn Bozeman, Addie Birmingham, Bailey Dodd, Tatum Franks, Macy Cummings, Abi Webb, Halie Lowry, Isabella Newman, Anna-Grace Sims, Chloe Graham, (back row, same order) Katilyn Gilbert, Jacie Cook, Lexi Welch, Karley Sullins, Madison Wennberg, Olivia Webster, Preslee Loring, Isabella Taylor, Reid Hollingsworth and Makenzie Nix. In the Wednesday, Aug.
Having been blessed to serve as House District 17 state representative for the last nine months, I have spent much time in Montgomery ever since.
But few moments have been as rewarding as the three hours I spent there among friends earlier this month.
Sitting with my wife at a banquet at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel, I watched six from our district earn recognition for outstanding achievement. Here I was having done nothing of my own, but yet I was blessed to witness several friends have their moment in the sun.