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Falcons have to lie in the bed they made with the Julio Jones debacle  

Falcons have to lie in the bed they made with the Julio Jones debacle  

Do you remember that proposed SEC nightmare receiving corps for the Atlanta Falcons in the upcoming 2021 NFL season? Well, you can officially take that thought, roll it into a ball and high-arch it into the nearest trash can like a John Petty Jr. 3-pointer. 

It’s over. 

During an impromptu appearance on FOX Sports’ Undisputed, via phone call from co-host Shannon Sharpe, the greatest receiver in Falcons franchise history, Julio Jones, finally broke his silence on the trade talk surrounding him. 

“I’m outta there,” said Jones, point blank. 

Those three words drove a stake through the hearts of Falcons fans all over the world. Seven Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro nods and recognition on the 2010s All-Decade Team—the dirty bird that soared highest at his position will be flying elsewhere. 

And for what reason?

The thought process behind trading Jones would have made sense if the Falcons drafted Justin Fields or Mac Jones with the fourth overall pick, but instead of a quarterback, they added another weapon for Matt Ryan with all-world tight end Kyle Pitts. 

Ryan’s time in Atlanta is souring like last month’s milk, but there was hope that a star-studded receiving corps featuring Jones, Pitts and Calvin Ridley could rekindle the championship magic that had the team in Super Bowl contention four years ago. One last run before the axe dropped on the Ryan and Falcons marriage made all of the sense in the world before hitting the reboot button. 

Well, it obviously didn’t make any sense to the Falcons, who have openly floated their legendary receiver on the trade block. 

Maybe they’re drinking the 2017 Kool-Aid and still believe Ryan can take them to the Promised Land. Perhaps newly-hired general manager Terry Fontenot has some genius master plan that has yet to be revealed. Or, maybe the Falcons are stillpunch-drunk from blowing a 25-point lead at Super Bowl LI. 

Jones, 32, isn’t getting any younger, but it’s ludicrous to act as if he’s a rapidly declining player. He made the Pro Bowl in 2019, and if not for an injury-plagued season, he might have made it again in 2020. Despite playing in only nine games, he still finished the year with 771 receiving yards and three touchdowns. 

So Atlanta is essentially subtracting one great player and adding another, assuming Pitts even lives up to his draft stock. Another season of mediocrity and disappointment on tap for the 2021 Falcons—check.

Running Jones out of town makes even less sense when considering the Falcons share the same division with a real-life Benjamin Button in quarterback Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Drew Brees might have rode off into the sunset for the New Orleans Saints, but old man Tom is still throwing Hall of Fame balls to arguably the most loaded offense in NFL history. 

Make it make sense, Atlanta. 

It’s important to note that NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that Jones requested to be traded a few months ago. But even if that was the case, why would the Falcons add another tight end when they have so many other areas on the field to address? If anything, you’d think Pitts would serve as a trump card for them to potentially convince Jones to stay.  

There’s no putting the toothpaste back into the tube with this mess. 

Jones made one thing clear in his public phone conversation with Sharpe: He wants to go to a place where he can compete for a championship. That obviously wasn’t the case with him over the last few years in Atlanta. 

And it certainly won’t be the case when he’s gone. 

Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall Of Fame Induction Rescheduled


Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall Of Fame Induction Rescheduled


Class of 2020 To Be Enshrined In September


HUNTSVILLE (April 21, 2021) – The Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame induction banquet, canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, has been re-scheduled for Monday, September 13, 2021 at the North Hall of the Von Braun Center.


The Class of 2020, which had been previously announced, will be enshrined. There will not be a new class of 2021 selected.


“We’re disappointed for our inductees that they weren’t able to be honored last year, but we’re glad we can gather in September and give them the recognition they deserve,” said Hall of Fame chairman Vann Pettaway. “Meanwhile, our board will soon begin the process of sifting through nominations and selecting our Class of 2022.”


Eleven new members of the Hall of Fame and one Special Achievement Award recipient will be officially inducted during the Hall of Fame's 28th induction ceremony in September. 


The class will include, in alphabetical order: former Huntsville High and Davidson College football player Mickey Dillon; ex-Lee High and Auburn baseball player Dwayne Friend; long-time swimming coach Michael Gunner; Arab High and Athens State basketball player and long-time coach Ron King; ex-Alabama A&M soccer star and high school coach Mike Latty; former Butler High and North Alabama basketball standout Tracy McCall-Gholston; ex-Johnson High and Mississippi State quarterback Wayne Madkin; eight-time AHSAA girls high school state championship coach Tim Miller; three-sports letter winner at Hazel Green and star volleyball player at Alabama A&M Robbin Pruitt; two-time All-City basketball player at Butler and captain of 1998-99 Auburn team Bryant Smith; and former Alabama A&M track standout Wayne Watson.


The Special Achievement winner is T. K. Bridges, a legend in the development of youth sports, especially minority youngsters, in Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley.


Information on nominating an individual for induction may be found at hmcahof.com. Inductees must be at least 40 years old at the time of the induction, must be a current or former resident of Madison County for five continuous years or must be a resident of Madison County for 10 continuous years if their athletic achievements were accomplished elsewhere.


For more information, contact Hall of Fame board members John Pruett (pruettjb@aol.com) or Mark McCarter (markfmccarter@gmail.com) and 256-508-1621.


Kyle Pitts, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley would create an SEC nightmare in Atlanta

Kyle Pitts, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley would create an SEC nightmare in Atlanta

The Atlanta Falcons could create a scarier nightmare than the one on Elm Street if they use the No. 7 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft to select Kyle Pitts. A pairing of the University of Florida tight end with former University of Alabama standout receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley would conjure up the sort of nightmares that would make Freddy Krueger look like a childhood bedtime story.

One, two, the SEC’s coming for you. 

The quarterback craze in this year’s draft lays it out perfectly for the Falcons to add another transcendent playmaker to an offense that clearly underachieved last season. Tight ends rarely make an impact at the professional level in their rookie year, but Pitts is the sort of unicorn that could turn that statement on its head. 

You want to match him up with a defensive back? Good luck finding someone physically gifted enough to win a jump-ball contest against the 6-foot-6, 245-pound giant. You want to try a linebacker? Okay, let’s see if you can find one with the speed and athleticism to keep up with one of the greatest science projects we’ve seen at the tight end position in years. 

The Falcons could certainly reach for one of the five quarterbacks expected to be taken in the first round of the draft, but it would make little sense to pass on a generational talent like Pitts when the window is still open to win now. They still have Matt Ryan under contract, even though he’s beginning to sour on some like last month’s milk. That need for change is strong for a team that hasn’t had a winning record in the last three seasons. 

But Dan Quinn is out as head coach, and Drew Brees is finally riding off into the sunset and leaving the New Orleans Saints to begin their rebuild with Taysom Hill at quarterback. Yes, the real-life Benjamin Button, Tom Brady, is still throwing golden footballs with his 43-year-old arm in Tampa Bay, but the end has to come at some point—right?

Jones, 32, isn’t getting any younger, and the wear and tear on his body is becoming more apparent. He was banged up for most of the 2020 season and turned in only 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns—a pedestrian year for a future Hall of Famer. Ridley is already taking off as the new No. 1 option at receiver for the Falcons. 

Pitts would fit right in as another potential elite option to aid Ridley and take even more pressure off Jones. Oh, and let’s not forget about Hayden Hurst. The SEC roots run even deeper with the former South Carolina Gamecock coming off a career year. 

Pairing him with Pitts could give the Falcons one of the best tight end tandems in football. 

Granted, the Falcons still have to hope legendary defensive coordinator Dean Pees can MacGyver the broken defense back into working order, and they’ll also have to address the ugly running back situation at some point in the draft. 

But in a league where guys like Darren Waller, Travis Kelce and George Kittle are dominating, the Falcons have a real shot at adding a foundational piece that changes the way people view their offense. Pitts, Jones and Ridley—it could be one of the most explosive offenses in franchise history.

That dirty bird the world assumed was roadkill could suddenly start flying again. 

Top Korn Ferry Tour players expected to visit Huntsville

Top Korn Ferry Tour players expected to be at 2021 Huntsville Championship

With the tournament quickly approaching, fans can expect to see these top professional golfers from the Korn Ferry Tour at the 2021 Huntsville Championship

HUNTSVILLE, ALA. – The inaugural Huntsville Championship is less than two weeks from players teeing off in the first round, and the field will feature many of the Korn Ferry Tour’s top players. Fans can expect to see the following talent vying for the championships at The Ledges, April 29 - May 2, 2021:

  • Taylor Pendrith: Pendrith is a Canadian-born golfer, and he has the fourth-best driver pinpoint on the Korn Ferry Tour. He will be looking to claim his first Korn Ferry Tour victory at this year’s event. 

  • Davis Riley: A University of Alabama alum, Riley will return to the state of Alabama during this year’s tournament. Riley has two previous Korn Ferry Tour wins and will look to claim his third at The Ledges. 

  • Lee Hodges: An Ardmore native, Hodges will return to his home turf for the Huntsville Championship. Hodges earned his first career Korn Ferry Tour title at 11-under 273 at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz.

  • Brandon Wu: Wu is the defending Korn Ferry Tour Champion heading into tournament weekend. This season, Wu held the 36-hole lead at the Puerto Rico Open before finishing T7, marking his first career top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR in his seventh professional start.

  • Greyson Sigg: Sigg is a native of Georgia. Sigg is sixth on the Korn Ferry Tour with 74 percent of greens hit in regulation. Sigg joined the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020. 

  • Jared Wolfe: Wolfe is looking to earn his third Korn Ferry Tour victory at The Ledges. He has secured five top-ten finishes in his career and turned pro in 2010. 

  • Stephan Jäger: Jäger was recently named the winner of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Emerald Coast Classic in Sandestin. This German golfer is looking to remain hot during the Huntsville Championship, fresh off his recent victory. 

  • Chad Ramey: This former Mississippi State alum has eight top-ten finishes and turned pro in 2014. His best result from the 2020 season was a tie for second at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz. 

  • Roberto Diaz: Diaz recently won the Chichimata Louisiana Open and is looking to make history by becoming the first two-time winner of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour. 

  • Max McGreevy: McGreevy has recently secured two top-three finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour. An Oklahoma native, McGreevy has one Korn Ferry Tour victory under his belt and finished first in the 2020 Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr. Pepper. 

  • Adam Svensson: Svensson is coming off a thrilling win at the Club Car Championship. This Canadian-born golfer has five top-ten finishes and a scoring average of 69.44 on the Korn Ferry Tour. 

  • David Lipskey: Lipskey is currently ranked eighth in the Korn Ferry Tour. He tied for first in the Emerald Coast Classic along with another top-ten golfer, Stephan Jäger. In 2019, Lipskey was tied for 71 at the PGA Championships. 

These top players will all be in the hunt for the trophy at this year’s Huntsville Championship. A variety of ticket types are available for purchase. Fans can purchase a good-any-day grounds admission ticket starting at $10, or weekly passes are available for fans who wish to experience the entire tournament weekend. Upgraded hospitality options are available as well. 

For additional questions or to schedule an interview with Huntsville Championship Tournament Director Penn Garvich, please reach out to Katie Stotts, media coordinator for Huntsville Championship, at stotts@knighteady.com

Tickets are available on the Huntsville Championship website, huntsvillechampionship.com


The Huntsville Championship is a professional golf tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour. The first edition of the Huntsville Championship will take place the week of April 26 - May 2, 2021, at The Ledges in Huntsville, Alabama. A five-year partnership is in place through 2024. The host course, The Ledges, opened in 2000 as an award-winning design by Hurdzan/Fry GCD, Inc., with designer Mike Hurdzan earning the “Designer of the Year” award by Golf Magazine in 2003 for his work on the course. The tournament is owned and operated by Birmingham-based sports marketing and event management firm Knight Eady. 


How Mac Jones' draft stock skyrocketed overnight

How Mac Jones’ draft stock skyrocketed overnight

Mac Jones scaled to the mountaintop in his first year as a full-fledged starting quarterback at the University of Alabama, only to devolve into one of the biggest conundrums heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. 

It’s as if the world caught amnesia and forgot he threw for 4,500 passing yards, 41 touchdowns and only four interceptions in 2020. 

‘Tis the season for coaches, scouts and armchair experts to overanalyze and still get it wrong. 

Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the NFL Draft, where there have been more swings and misses at the quarterback position than a batter on the wrong side of a Nolan Ryan fastball. A few weeks ago, Jones was pegged as the fourth or possibly even fifth-best option on the board. 

And then San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan made the blockbuster trade to acquire the No. 3 overall pick from the Miami Dolphins. That one move shook away the cobwebs for those that had hastily buried Jones. 

This is the same quarterback that didn’t lose a game last season. It’s the guy that helped lead Alabama to the Promised Land and capture the school’s 18th National Championship. It’s the same player coming off a year where he broke the single-season record for completion percentage. 

Imagine burying that guy and being wrong. 

Enter Shanahan. The hot-shot 41-year-old coach that led the 49ers to the Super Bowl over a year ago is seriously considering making a move for Jones with the third overall pick. He dumped a slew of assets to move up the draft board and traveled all the way to Alabama to attend a workout in person on Tuesday. Can it get any more obvious?

Of course, that doesn’t guarantee Jones as the option for the 49ers. Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance are also intriguing choices in their own right. In an era enamored with more athletic quarterbacks, a throwback pocket passer like Jones could easily get left in the rearview for flashier options.  

But Shanahan has always been a man that knows what he likes. It’s why the 49ers have constantly been linked to guys like Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins. Shanahan doesn’t need a savior as much as he needs someone efficient enough to run his offense. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is evidence enough that boring still works in the NFL. No, he isn’t scrambling around the field and throwing no-look passes across his body. He doesn’t need to when his pocket awareness and footwork is off the charts. His brain processes the information at the line of scrimmage, and he gets the ball out fast and accurately. Sure, there are far more gifted athletes than Brady on the football field. 

Guess how many of them have won seven Super Bowls. 

There’s a reason why Jones is drawing similar comparisons, and there’s also a reason why Shanahan felt the need to unload a bevy of assets this far out from the draft. He isn’t throwing away three first-round picks and a third-round compensatory pick for a roll of the dice. 

Jones, Fields or Lance—deep down, Shanahan knew exactly what he wanted when he made that deal. And to think, we’re less than four weeks away from the rest of the world knowing as well. 

Alabama Basketball: Hoops Recruiting Update

Alabama Basketball:

Hoops Recruiting Update


By: Drew DeArmond


What a run thus far in Year Two under Nate Oats & University of Alabama Men’s Basketball: 26 wins. First SEC Regular Season title since 2002. First SEC Tournament Title since 1991. First Sweet 16 since the Elite 8 run in 2004 & more to come. 


Sweet 16 Match-up vs UCLA 

When: tonight at 6:15 pm on TBS

Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse Butler University 

MVP: Jaden Shackelford 


It’s an exciting time and the future is very bright as well. The recruiting class is currently ranked 17th in the 24/7 composite & could move into the top 5 if another piece or two is added. Here are the three early signees:


Prospect: JD Davison 


Position: Point Guard


Rating: Consensus top 10 National Prospect as ranked by 24/7 Sports, Rivals and ESPN. Rated Five Stars in addition to the top point guard in the 2021 class and finished a strong senior season with a third straight 2A Final Four birth & MVP Performance in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game with 35 points, 12 rebounds & 8 assists. The 6-3 Uber athletic guard has also been named the MaxPreps Alabama Player of the Year after averaging 32.4 points, 10.9 rebounds along with 4.7 assists. Davison was also announced for the 2021 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championship roster recently. The 10th annual event features 24 high schoolers and will air April 4 on CBS at 12:30 p.m. CT from Franklin Central High in Indianapolis.




Prospect: Jusaun Holt


Position: Small Forward/Wing


Rating: Consensus 4-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. Holt was recently named the Class A Georgia High School Player of the Year by the GHSA.

The following was written by Hoopseen’s Brianna Patton after St. Francis, led by Holt, defeated Greenforest 65-63 in early March to reach the Class A Private School Final Four: “Jusaun Holt is Special. This was the first time I have seen Holt play since the HoopsGiving event in November and man was I impressed. The Alabama signee made a ton of huge plays for the Knights that led to their win, finishing with 29 points and 13 rebounds. At 6-foot-6, he has tremendous size that enables him to score in a plethora of ways. He is crafty off the dribble, can shoot it from deep range, and has a lot of bounce. The thing I like most about his game is the way he defends and crashes the boards. You do not see many "scorers" play both ways with a high motor. That activity level he plays with is going to help a lot as he transitions to the next level.”




Prospect: Langston Wilson


Position: Power Forward


Rating: Consensus 4-star prospect as rated by Rivals and 24/7 Sports, who has Wilson tabbed as one of the top TWO Juco prospects in the United States and #1 Power Forward in Junior College Basketball at Georgia Highlands College.

Wilson, whose senior season is still underway, has a very unique story as previously profiled on TI. Wilson was diagnosed with Marfane Syndrome, which is an inherited disorder that affects connective tissue-the fibers that support and anchor your organs and other structures in your body. It most commonly affects the heart, eyes, blood vessels and skeleton. His father, Ron, a former center at Villanova, was stricken with Marfane after the conclusion of his basketball career. Consequently, Langston, also diagnosed around age 12, was unable to compete in organized basketball during his high school career at Prendergast Catholic High School in Philadelphia. Upon being cleared shortly after graduation, Wilson was discovered and signed by Georgia Highlands located in Rome, Georgia, where he averaged 10.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in garnering GCAA All-Freshman and Honorable Mention All-Region honors.

The 6-9 215 pound power forward led his 

team to a 24-8 overall mark and a 13-3 conference finish in the Georgia Collegiate Athletics Association before reaching the conference title game.




Prospects to Watch in the Coming Weeks:


After talking to connected hoops sources in the last few days the two most likely additions to the Crimson Tide roster are:


Charles Bediako, 6-11 220 IMG Academy, who is a consensus 5-star top 30 player in the country. Before transferring state-side for his senior season Bediako prepped at Andrews Osborne Academy in Ontario, Canada, playing beside current Tide freshman big man Keon Ambrose-Hylton. He has been considered an Alabama lean for several months now and has cut his list to five schools: Bama, Michigan, Ohio State, Duke & Texas. With Shaka Smart leaving for Marquette, the Longhorns are likely out. Very likely the top two right now are the Crimson Tide & Wolverines, who could meet in the elite 8 on Tuesday. I would still give Nate Oats & staff an edge as of today, especially with how the season has unfolded in addition to having fellow Canadians Ambrose-Hylton & Josh Primo. This would vault the 2021 class into the top 5 nationally if/when Bediako signs in April.


Dave Briski, who coached Bediako at International Sports Academy at Andrews Osborne, on the big man’s upside and skill set:


“Charles is the ideal 5 in the modern-day game because of his length and athleticism and his continually improving ability to stretch the floor,” Briski said.

“His speed is what sets him apart from other guys at his position. Once he consistently uses it in transition and in two-man actions on the perimeter, he will be in a class of his own.”




Nimari Burnett, who entered the transfer portal in early January leaving Texas Tech, is a former five star guard & McDonald’s All-American. The 6-4 190-pound combo guard was a top 25 prospect in the 2020 class out of Prolific Prep & chose the Red Raiders over Alabama, Oregon, Michigan & others. Since entering the portal, the Illinois native has been linked to several schools, including the home state Illini, the previously mentioned Crimson Tide & Ducks, plus USC, Vanderbilt, Auburn, & recently added LSU. Right now the consensus top three according to sources are Alabama, LSU & Illinois. The debate seems to be whether the top two are the Crimson Tide and LSU or Illinois but the common denominator is Alabama, who seems to be the favorite right now. 


Alabama is losing four key seniors following this season in John Petty, Herbert Jones, Alex Reese & Jordan Bruner. Should Burnett commit/sign in early April along with Bediako, the Alabama roster would be one over scholarship-wise at 14 heading into next season with what would be a five-man group. This would mean attrition is likely either via turning pro (unlikely at this time but things can change) or someone entering the transfer portal, which is the most likely outcome.




What about Penn State Transfer Myreon Jones?


The 6-3 180 guard out of Huffman High School in Birmingham played for the Vikings & head coach Steve Ward before transferring to Lincoln Academy in Suwanee, Ga, for his senior season. He then signed with Penn State & has been a 3-year starter, named honorable mention All-Big Ten the last two years. During his junior season this year Jones averaged 15.3 points per game shooting nearly 40% from 3-point land. Since entering the portal in mid-March, the Birmingham native, who would have two years of eligibility remaining, has been in contact with Alabama & Auburn in addition to Ole Miss, Arkansas, TCU, and UCF among others. Unless something changes the word is Jones will not wind up at Alabama at this time according to a well-connected hoops recruiting source.

NCAA Sweet 16: UCLA vs Alabama preview

NCAA Sweet 16: UCLA vs Alabama preview

If the Alabama Crimson Tide has their way on Sunday, the clock will strike midnight, and the Cinderella story for the UCLA Bruins will come to a screeching halt. Bring some ear plugs, just in case. The screeching of tires is becoming a common theme for anyone unlucky enough to run into Alabama coach Nate Oats’ defense. 

But then again, the Bruins have been the punch-drunk team that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. They lost their five-star recruit, Daishen Nix, before the season even started, and then senior guard Chris Smith, arguably the team’s best player, went down with a torn ACL back in January. 


When it rained, it poured for UCLA coach Mick Cronin. 


And yet, the Bruins still won enough games to secure a play-in spot in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament. They now find themselves in a Sweet 16 matchup with Alabama and literally two wins away from a trip to the Final Four. The Bruins are broken, battered and vulnerable at this point, but they’re also very, very dangerous. 


They came out swinging against Michigan State, BYU and Abilene Christian. 

Alabama will come into this game as 5-point favorites after obliterating Maryland in the second round. Not even the world’s best meteorologist could have predicted the Crimson Tide raining 16 3-pointers from beyond the arc. The Alabama team that showed up to play against the Terrapins could have beaten any team in the country that night. 


They scored 96 points and shot 48.5 percent from long distance. What’s not to like after a performance like that?


This game could be won or lost on UCLA’s perimeter defense. Can they consistently contest shots and run Alabama’s snipers off the 3-point line? If the answer to that question is no, the Bruins can count on getting pounded like Maryland. The odds aren’t in their favor with the team allowing an average 35.1 percent shooting from deep when on the road. 


Speaking of defense, Alabama is putting opposing offenses in a phone booth. They are suffocating opponents and severely limiting the number of clean looks at the basket. It would help if Herbert Jones, a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, avoids early foul trouble and stays on the floor. He was limited to only 17 minutes against Maryland, and the Crimson Tide still rolled to a 96-77 victory. But they’re going to need him as a defensive enforcer if they hope to make a deep run in the tournament. 


UCLA isn’t shooting the ball nearly as well as Alabama, but Johnny Juzang is a particularly dangerous hot-hand playmaker that could buck the odds. The Pac-12 magic is alive and well for the Bruins, and it’s going to take a two-way effort for the favorited Crimson Tide to topple them, much less cover the spread. 


But it’s also hard to bet against Alabama at this point. 

Just by looking at them, you wouldn’t know it’s a program that hasn’t been to the Sweet 16 since 2004—smack-dab in the middle of the Mark Gottfried era. The unwavering confidence, streaky shooting and shutdown defense has this Alabama team looking like a championship contender. 


It’s a team hell-bent on snuffing out the Cinderella story and carving their own spot in NCAA history. 

Charles Barkley Final Pour Contest Presented by Redmont Distilling and Redstone Pawn


Welcome to the 97.7 ESPN The Zone Bracket Challenge for the 2021 Tournament, this year 97.7 ESPN The Zone has teamed up with Redmot Disitlling and Redstone Pawn to bring you a one of kind bracket challenge. 


Do you think you have what it takes to beat Charles Barkley, or how about anyone of the 97.7 ESPN The Zone personalities? Here is your chance to find out. Just Click here on the link to Regisiter your bracket. https://www.redmontdistilling.com/finalpour.  The brakcets will be out on March 14th and you will have until the first game starts to get your picks in. 


Make sure you selcet your favorite Sports Bar since this is where you will party with Charles Barkley if you win. We here at 97.7 ESPN The Zone invite to pick one of our great sponsors The Furniture Factory as your favorite Sports Bar. 


Plus one local listener will win a 50' T.V. courtsey of our friends at Redstone Pawn, so make sure and regirster now before the Madness begins! 


Skyline Captures Their First Ever Girls State Basketball Championship

Class 1A Girls’ State Championship: Skyline 54, Marion County 41
   BIRMINGHAM – Skyline High School jumped out to a quick lead in the first half and posted a 54-41 victory over Marion County Friday to claim the Vikings’ first state basketball title.
     The Class 1A girls’ state finals was one of  four champions being crowned at the 99th AHSAA State Basketball Championships  at Bill Harris Arena. The Class 3A champions were decided earlier in the day and the 1A boys’ finals were set to close out the day’s slate at 4:30 p.m.
     The Vikings (30-7), coached by Ronnie McCarter, led 17-10 after the first quarter and 36-20 at the half. However, Marion County (29-8), coached by Scott Veal, cut the lead to nine late in the third quarter but went on a scoring drought in the fourth quarter not making another bucket until 3:33 left in the game. By then, Skyline had built a 53-38 lead.
    Senior Gracie Stucky led the Vikings with 19 points, six rebounds and three assists to be named MVP of the 1A state tourney. Grace Rowell also had 17 points, nine rebounds, five steals, three blocked shots, two assists and was 7-of-7 at the free-throw line. Lexie Stucky contributed six points and seven rebounds.
    Pacing the Red Raiders was junior Trinity Metcalf with 18 points, 13 rebounds and two steals. Cara Sullivan had nine points and Serinity Metcalfe, Trinity’s younger sister, had five points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists.
      Unbeaten Autaugaville meets Belgreen in the last game of the day Friday in the Class 1A boys’ finals at 4:30. Class 2A girls’ and boys’ championship games will be held Saturday at 9 and 11:30 a.m., respectively, to close out the 2021 state basketball tourney.
    All championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network by AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV and broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network.
Class 1A Girls’ All-Tournament Team
Gracie Stucky, Skyline (MVP); Gracie Rowell, Skyline; Serinity Metcalfe, Marion County; Trinity Metcalfe, Marion County; Timya Thurman, Linden.


Fyffe Tops Montgomery Catholic for the 3A Boys Basketball Championship

Class 3A Boys’ State Championship: 
Fyffe 49, Montgomery Catholic 43

      BIRMINGHAM – Fyffe High school rode the inside-outside combination of Parker Godwin and Brody Dalton to the Red Devil’ first-ever AHSAA state basketball championship beating Montgomery Catholic 49-43 in the finals Friday at Bill Harris Arena.
    The victory capped an incredible season – that following Fyffe’s first Class 3A state football title December – over the same opponent. The Knights (21-6) and Red Devils (27-6) became the  first teams in AHSAA state history to play for the state titles in both sports in the same school year against each other.
    Godwin had a game-high 21 points, two assists, two steals and four rebounds to earn Class 3A state  tournament MVP honors for the Red Devils. His heroics also put him in some tall company. His mother (Jana Simmons) scored more than 3,000 points in her high school basketball career at Fyffe before moving the Jacksonville State where she played basketball and softball.
    Dalton, who played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic last December, muscled in 12 points in the win over Catholic and finished with a double-double hauling in 11 rebounds. He also blocked three shots. Micah Johnson also had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Michael Works scored only two points, but rebound and put-back basket at the end of the third quarter gave Fyffe a 31-27 lead heading into the fourth period.
     The Knights (21-6), coached Michael Curry, were paced by sophomore guard Johntarius Green. He scored 19 points, had five steals and two 3-pointers. T.J. Dudley and Myles Butler chipped in eight points each. Dudley also had six rebounds.
      Fyffe head coach Neal Thrash announced his retirement from coaching after the game. In 28  seasons, he has compiled a 559-261 overall head-coaching record. 
      The Class 3A girls’ and boys’ finals tipped off Friday’s slate of championship finals at the 99th AHSAA State Basketball Championships being held at the Birmingham CrossPlex’s Bill Harris Arena. Class 1A’s two championship games close our Friday’s games. Marion County faces Skyline in the girls’ title game at 2 p.m, and unbeaten Autaugaville meets Belgreen in the boys’ finals at 4:30. Class 2A girls’ and boys’  championship games will be held Saturday at 9 and 11:30 a.m., respectively, to close out the 2021 state basketball tourney.
    All championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network by AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV and broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network.
Class 1A Boys’ All-Tournament Team
Parker Godwin, Fyffe (MVP); Brody Dalton, Fyffe; T.J. Dudley, Montgomery Catholic; Johntarious Green, Montgomery Catholic; Logan Feltman, Winfield.

Lee Claims their First State Championship Since 2010

99th AHSAA State Basketball Championships

Class 5A Boys’ State Championship: Lee-Huntsville 47, Ramsay 29    BIRMINGHAM – Lee-Huntsville’s smothering defense reached an even higher level of perfection Thursday night in the 99th AHSAA State Basketball Championships Class 5A finals. The Generals downed Ramsay 47-29 to claim the school’s first state title since 2010.
     Lee shut down the Rams’ offense, limiting Ramsay to just 12 points in the second half. In the process, Ramsay shot just 27.5% from the field, lost the rebounding battle 31-29 and made only 1-of-10 tries from the 3-point line.
    Meanwhile, Lee (13-1), coached by Greg Brown, didn’t shoot much better (39.5%) but managed to take advantage of 15 Ramsay turnovers to seal the win.
     Senior Taye Fields scored nine points, had a game-high 10 rebounds, handed out three assists and blocked two shots to earn Class 5A state tourney MVP honors. Dexter Smith led all scorers with 15 points and Jacari Lane had 10 points, three assists and four steals.
     Ramsay (27-8), coached by Denton Johnson, was led by C.J. Burns’ and Kerrington Kiel with seven points each. KeShawn Murphy, the Rams’ 6-foot-11 senior center, had six points, three rebounds and one blocked short. Kamren Ivory had seven rebounds and three steals.
     The 2021 AHSAA State Basketball Championships continue Friday with the Class 3A girls’ and boys’ finals at 9 and 11:30 a.m., followed by the Class 1A championship games for girls and boys at 2 and 4:30 p.m. Class 2A girls’ and boys’ title games close out the 2021 championships at Bill Harris Arena Saturday with the finals set for 9 and 11:30 a.m.
    All championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network by AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV and broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network.
Class 5A Boys’ All-State Tournament Team
Taye Fields, Lee-Huntsville (MVP); Dexter Smith, Lee-Huntsville; DeShawn Murphy, Ramsay; C.J. Burns, Ramsay; Martaveous Russell, Sipsey Valley.


Hazel Green Captures 4th Straight State Championship

BIRMINGHAM – Hazel Green High School’s Lady Trojan basketball legacy reached another milestone Wednesday winning its fourth consecutive state championship with a hard-fought 49-41 victory over Carver-Montgomery at Bartow Arena.
    The Trojans (36-1) of Coach Tim Miller  became the first school in the AHSAAs highest classes (6A or 7A) to win four state titles in a row. The state championship was first in the AHSAA’s 99-year history of the state basketball championships to be crowned at UAB’s legendary Bartow Arena.
      Class 6A state tournament MVP Samiya Steele scored 18 points to led Hazel Green. The junior was 5-of-9 from the field with three 3-pointers and was 5-of-5 at the foul line to help the Trojans hold off a strong Wolverines comeback down the stretch. Leah Brooks added nine points, Grace Watson had eight and a gamer-high 11 rebounds. Her biggest play may have been taking a charge that resulted in the fourth fall for Carver’s scoring leader Breanna Rhodes. 
The 6-foot-1 senior finished with nine points, three rebounds and one steal but missed some valuable playing time in the second half. When she returned to the floor, however, she helped the Wolverines (16-5), coached by Adria Harris, close the gap to two points. Carver pulled to withing two at 43-41 but was unable get a shot to fall in the final minutes. Guards Trinity Thomas and Alliyaha Ellis finished with 12 and 10 points respectively, and senior Mya Barnes made several key plays to help keep the Wolverines close. She had five points, six rebounds, five blocked shots and three steals.
    The Class 6A girls’ state championship was the first to be completed at the 2021 AHSAA State Basketball State Championships being held in Birmingham at Bartow Arena and Bill Harris Arena. Mountain Brook meets Spanish Fort in the Class 6A boys’ title game at Bartow at 11:30 a.m., followed by Hoover and Hewitt-Trussville play in the 7A girls’ championship at 2 p.m., and Oak Mountain takes on Enterprise at 4:30 p.m., in the 7A boys’ finals. Bill Harris Arena is hosting the Class 2A semifinals today and will be the site of the remaining 10 championship games Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
       All semifinal and championship games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network by AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV. All semifinal games at Bartow Arena are also being televised live over the AHSAA TV Network and broadcast live over the AHSAA Radio Network.
Samiya Steele, Hazel Green MVP); Grace Watson, Hazel Green; Kyra Long, Hazel Green; Breanna Rhodes, Carver-Montgomery; Mya Barnes, Carver-Montgomery.



North Alabama to face off against Florida State

FLORENCE, Ala. -- The University of North Alabama has added a football game at Florida State to its 2023 schedule.

The Lions will face the Seminoles on November 18, 2023 at Doak Campbell Stadium. It will be UNA's first game against an ACC opponent in football and the first against a school from a Power Five Conference.

The meeting will mark the ninth game between a UNA football squad and an FBS program. The Lions had played four FBS programs prior to the 2020 season when they met Liberty, Southern Mississippi and BYU, all on the road. North Alabama already has a game scheduled at Memphis in 2022 and will face Florida State in 2023 and North Carolina in 2027.

Third Piece To The Puzzle: Langston Wilson Commits To Bama Basketball

Third Piece To The Puzzle: Langston Wilson Commits To Bama Basketball 


By: Drew DeArmond




Nate Oats and Alabama Men’s Basketball stayed red hot on the recruiting trail this afternoon with the commitment of the top junior college power forward in the country, Langston Wilson of Georgia Highlands Community College. The number two overall junior college prospect nationally has an amazing story chronicled below.


The diagnosis: Marfan syndrome.

A gift from God: Clean bill of health

Clearance to play basketball.


This has been the journey for Langston Wilson. From four years as a Basketball manager in his hometown of Philadelphia at Prendergast Catholic High School to one of the most highly-recruited junior college prospects in the 2021 cycle.


Marfan syndrome involves the connective tissue within the body and those who are stricken with the disorder also have abnormal heart valves, which could put someone like Langston Wilson at increased risk of heart failure that’s worsened by physical exertion.


First diagnosed around the age of 12, Wilson was told he shared the gene attached to Marfan syndrome with his father, Ron, who played center at Villanova, helping the Wildcats to the 1995 Big East Championship. The elder Wilson had four heart surgeries within 17 days around 2010.


Consequently, Langston Wilson was not cleared to play high school basketball for the Bonner-Prendie Friars during his four years of high school. It wasn’t until shortly before moving to Atlanta with his older sister, Maya, that Wilson received the news he had been praying for: medical clearance to begin playing organized basketball by his childhood cardiologist.




Following another clean bill of health after getting a second opinion following the move to the state of Georgia, Wilson got the break he needed: 


After eventually getting a job at an amusement park, while playing pickup basketball (had been about three months since moving to Atlanta) Jonathan Merritt, the head coach at Georgia Highlands College, a junior college in Rome, Ga., was texted video of a pickup game by a friend.


Merritt watched Wilson’s raw talent mixed with NBA-level athleticism and was immediately intrigued enough to contact the Philadelphia native. The rest is history.


Following a freshman season in which he averaged 10.1 points, 7.6 rebounds & 1.2 blocks, Wilson’s stock shot through the roof earning him 44 offers before cutting the list to a final 10 of Memphis, Alabama, Oregon, Iona, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Penn State, Cal State Bakersfield and Alcorn State.  


The 6-9 215-pounder ultimately chose Alabama due to style of play, Nate Oats’ history of success with Jucos & his relationship with Crimson Tide assistant Bryan Hodgson. Wilson joins 6-6 Georgia wing Jusaun Holt & the state of Alabama’s top prospect 6-3 point guard JD Davison to give Alabama Basketball 3 commitments with the early November signing period slated for November 11th.


Alabama has four seniors on the roster in John Petty, Herbert Jones & Alex Reese, along with graduate transfer Jordan Bruner. The Tide staff would like to sign 5 in the early signing period with two more names to watch being 5-stars center Charles Bediako & forward Caleb Houstan...stay tuned!





5-Star Guard JD Davison Commits to Alabama Basketball

5-Star Guard JD Davison Commits to Alabama Basketball 


By: Drew DeArmond




The recruiting roll continues for 2nd year University of Alabama Head Basketball Coach Nate Oats and his staff. The state’s top 2021 prospect five-star point guard JD Davison of Calhoun High School in Letohatchee, AL, has committed to the Crimson Tide over offers from Auburn, LSU, Kansas, Michigan & Memphis.



Mr. Basketball. A 2A State championship (3rd in school history: 2001, 2003) season for his Calhoun Tigers concluded his junior season on the hardwood after hitting the biggest shot of his basketball life. Davison’s stat line vs heavily favored Barbour County: 34 points, 10 rebounds & 6 assists. A legend was born. Watch it unfold here:






Gerald. Wallace. A name Alabama Basketball fans remember in the Yellowhammer State. Awarded Mr. Basketball out of Childersburg High School in addition to Naismith National Player of the Year after his senior season at Childersburg High School. 


In 2000-01 helped lead Mark Gottfried’s Crimson Tide during his only season in Tuscaloosa to 25 wins & the NIT Finals before embarking on a 15-year NBA Career following a first round selection (25th overall) by the Sacramento Kings. 


The late Robert “Rah Rah” Scott was instrumental in his recruitment, which led to a resurgence in Alabama Basketball. 

Nate Oats and Antione Pettway, a huge part of the Crimson Tide (Elite Eight 2004) since his playing days are on the cusp of leading the program in Tuscaloosa back among the elite in College Hoops.



Davison, 6-3 180, is the most athletic prospect this state has produced since 2000. That year arguably the nation’s top prospect inked with Alabama. And while the electric 6-7 Gerald Wallace left his mark on hoops in the Yellowhammer State, the Uber explosive rising senior from just outside Montgomery is more advanced skills-wise at the same stage with even bigger upside as a top 10 national talent.




Read his scouting report from the Director of the Nike Elite Stars Scott Whittle, who has seen him develop into a possible future NBA lottery pick:


“JD Davison is a Russell Westbrook in the making. A strong finisher at the rim who can score at a high level and make plays for others with his passing ability. Freakishly athletic lead guard who possesses a high basketball IQ and makes great pick & roll reads. As he continues to develop and improves on his perimeter shooting I would not at all be surprised to see him as an NBA lottery pick whenever he decides to enter the draft.”



Following a top-12 class in 2020, the Alabama staff has begun building what could be the start of a top 10 group with the commitment of state of Georgia wing Jusaun Holt last weekend & now THE TOP PROSPECT in the state of Alabama in point guard JD Davison of Calhoun High School. Going forward if Alabama can add 5-star Canadian center Charles Bediako, former HS teammate of current Crimson Tide freshman Keon Ambrose-Hylton now prepping at IMG, along with combo guard Wesley Cardet of Orlando, Florida, WATCH OUT....SEND IT IN: 







UNA Falls to Liberty in Season Opener

LYNCHBURG, Tenn.  – Liberty scored three touchdowns in the second half to break open a 7-0 game and go on to a 28-7 win over North Alabama at Williams Stadium.  


In the season-opening game for the Lions and UNA’s first game against an FBS opponent since 1997, the Flames sacked UNA quarterbacks six times and forced three turnovers on the way to the win.  


Liberty improved to 3-0 on the season, while UNA is 0-1.  


UNA’s lone score came with 5:40 left in the game as Parker Driggers scored on a five-yard run out of the wildcat formation. Sam Contorno’s PAT made it 28-7. The TD was setup by an interception by K.J. Smith that gave UNA the ball at the Liberty 12-yard line.  


UNA had three previous trips into the Redzone but had come away scoreless with a turnover and two missed field goals.  


The late UNA score helped the Lions avoid being shutout for the first time since 2010. UNA has now scored in its last 110 consecutive games and the Lions have not been shutout in their three seasons on the FCS level.  


UNA finished with 247 yards to 357 for the Flames. The Lions rushed for 63 yards and passed for 184.  


North Alabama quarterback Blake Dever was knocked out of the game in the first quarter after being hit on a targeting play against Liberty. He did not return.  


Rett Files went 15-of-24 for 156 yards in his first serious collegiate action. He was intercepted twice.  


“They came out in the second half and got after us a little bit,” said UNA head coach Chris Willis. “There were about five glaring plays, with turnovers and some crucial penalties that really hurt us. They wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game but it would have kept us in it.  


“The main thing is we have our first game under our belts and we can go back and break it down on film and go from there,” Willis added. “I was pleased in a lot of areas, but we’ve got to be able to put the ball in the end zone. I liked our team’s attitude, even in the fourth quarter. They were wanting to go down and get a touchdown and they were able to do it.  


“We also have to eliminate mistakes. You can’t play an FBS team, especially one of this quality, and help them with turnovers and have a chance,” Willis said.  


The game was scoreless midway through the second quarter when Liberty had its first scoring opportunity. With a third down call at the North Alabama nine, UNA’s Wallace Cowins broke through and tackled Liberty’s Demario Douglas for a three-yard loss, forcing a field goal attempt.  


LU’s Alex Barbir then had his 33-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright to keep the game scoreless at the 9:50 mark of the period.  


Liberty was back deep in UNA territory moments later following a turnover. With UNA facing third-and-three at its own 27, Parker Driggers gained first down yardage on a run from the wildcat formation but fumbled and the Flames recovered at the UNA 40. Six plays later, Douglas caught a seven-yard TD pass from Chris Ferguson for the game’s first score. Barbir added the PAT to make it 7-0 at 6:12 of the second quarter.  


On the following possession, a 47-yard pass from Rett Files to Andre Little put UNA at the Liberty seven-yard line, but on third down, Files was picked off in the end zone by Anthony Butler to end the threat with 3:57 left in the first half.  


UNA had another scoring opportunity before the half, but after moving the ball to the Liberty 30-yard line, Files was sacked on third down. The Lions managed a 51-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the half but Joe Gurley’s kick was wide left.  


Liberty scored on its opening possession of the second half to make it 14-0. A 46-yard Joshua Mack run moved the ball into UNA territory and Ferguson then hit D.J. Stubbs with a 12-yard scoring pass with 13:16 remaining in the third quarter. Barbir’s PAT made it 14-0.  


On the ensuing Liberty possession, the UNA defense had stopped the Flames back at their own 25, but a personal foul on a third down sack gave LU the ball back. The Flames then drove 51 yards on 13 plays for a touchdown. A 30-yard Sheldro Louis run moved the ball into UNA territory and the Flames eventually scored on a two-yard pass from Ferguson to Brody Brumm.  

Barbir’s PAT made it 21-0 at 5:37 of the third quarter.  


Liberty then made it 28-0 with 14:23 left in the game on a five-yard TD pass from Johnathan Bennett to Chris Barrett.  


Files led a 10-play, 62-yard drive to the Liberty 17-yard line but a 34-yard field goal attempt by Gurley was wide left with 7:26 left in the game.  





#2 Alabama Rolls to 52-24 win over #13 Texas A&M

Click on the Link To Hear Nick Saban: 


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide won its 19th-consecutive home opener with a 52-24 victory over No. 13 Texas A&M on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. UA moves to 2-0 on the season, while the Aggies dip to 1-1.


The Tide offense shined, collecting 544 total yards of offense in the win. Redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones finished 20-of-27 for a career-high 435 yards and four scores. Sophomore John Metchie III led the receivers with a career-best five catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Jaylen Waddle added another five receptions for 142 yards and a score. Senior running back Brian Robinson Jr. rushed for a game-high 60 yards on 10 carries, while fellow senior Najee Harris recorded two rushing touchdowns and 43 yards on the ground.


On defense, Alabama forced a pair of turnovers, which included a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown by redshirt junior Daniel Wright and another interception in the end zone for freshman Malachi Moore. Sophomore Christian Harris racked up 10 tackles and a quarterback hurry, while sophomore Jordan Battle added nine tackles and a pass breakup. 


How It Happened


·        09:19 – UA | Mac Jones connected with John Metchie III for a 78-yard yard touchdown to get the Crimson Tide on the board first. The drive lasted 1:18 and took three plays to go 80 yards following the missed field goal attempt from Texas A&M.

·        03:58 – UA | Najee Harris capped off a seven-play, 66-yard drive with a six-yard rush to give Alabama its second touchdown of the game. The drive lasted 3:14.

·        01:13 – TAMU | Ainias Smith caught a 47-yard pass from Kellen Mond late in the first for the Aggies. The drive consisted of five plays that went 75 yards over 2:45.



·        14:44 – TAMU | Texas A&M evened the score with a 17-yard touchdown reception from Mond to Ryan Renick. It was the first play of the drive following a 23-yard interception return from DeMarvin Leal. 

·        9:07 – UA | Alabama took the lead back as Harris carried the ball in for a two-yard score at the end of a seven-play, 66-yard drive that lasted 2:34.

·        6:19 – UA | Daniel Wright intercepted Mond and returned 47 yards for the score and Alabama’s first non-offensive touchdown of 2020.

·        0:22 – UA | The Tide’s fifth touchdown of the game was scored on a two-yard pass from Jones to DeVonta Smith. The drive was just shy of a minute, lasting 0:59, with eight plays for 64 yards. 



·        09:03 – TAMU | Seth Small’s 29-yard field goal completed the 12-play, 40-yard drive for the Aggies that lasted 4:59.

·        7:24 – UA | Jones tossed to Jaylen Waddle for 87 yards and Alabama’s third receiving touchdown of the day. The drive went for 1:39 and consisted of three plays for 75 yards. 



·        10:14 – UA | A 27-yard field goal from Will Reichard finished off the Tide’s first drive of the final quarter. The 10-play, 68-yard drive lasted 5:32.

·        07:25 – TAMU | For the second time in the game, Mond connected with Smith, this time for the 14-yard score to end a seven-play, 75-yard drive (2:49).

·        05:33 – UA | Jones once again found Metchie III down field, resulting in a 63-yard touchdown for the final score of the contest. The drive lasted 1:52 and went 75 yards across four plays. 


Up Next

Alabama takes to the road once again, this time traveling to Oxford to take on Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Crimson Tide and Rebels are scheduled for a 5 p.m. CT kickoff at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with the game airing live on ESPN. The matchup will be the 68th meeting between the two schools with UA holding a 55-10-2 (52-11-2 NCAA) all-time advantage in the series.


– UA –


AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 4

AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 4
Tallassee’s Jalyn Daniels Strikes Lightning-Fast with TD Runs of 99 and 89 yards in 49-21 Win






MONTGOMERY – Tallassee High School junior Jalyn Daniels had touchdown runs of 99 and 89 yards in the span of just over three minutes last week in the third quarter of the Tigers’ Class 5A, Region 4 high school football battle with Elmore County.
   Those two big plays stretch a precarious 21-14 lead to 35-14 and Tallassee rolled to its first victory of the season winning 49-21. Daniels also burst into the AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 4 of the 2020 season with his outstanding performance.
     The 5-foot-10, 160-pound junior finished with 349 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries. He dashed his way into the AHSAA Record Book with his 99-yard run with 6:51 left in the third quarter. He almost equaled that effort with 3:21 left in the period when he scored on his 89-yard run. His other TD runs covered 5, 27 and 37 yards.
      The 99-yard run from scrimmage, the maximum distance possible officially in a high school football game, made him the 17th player in AHSAA history since 1972 to accomplish that feat, according to the AHSAA Record Book, and the first since Geneva’s Kahari McReynolds ran 99 yards for a TD versus Samson and Emmanuel Henderson of Geneva County sped the same distance for a TD versus the same school in 2019. McReynolds also had a 99-yard interception return in the same game, a 40-28 win over Samson.
    Tallassee and Elmore County combined for 899 total yards, 524 by Tallassee and 375 by Elmore County. Coach Mike Battles’ Tigers averaged 13.4 yards on just 39 total plays. Payton Stephenson was 14-of-23 passing for 170 yards and rushed 24 times for 129 yards for the Wildcats.
    Daniels edged out three other record-book performances to earn this week’s AHSAA Spotlight.
Sastuma’s defense, led by 6-foot, 185-pound senior linebacker Billy Scott, limited LeFlore to minus-3 yards total offense, the fifth best defensive effort in AHSAA history, according to the AHSAA Record Book. He had 3.5 sacks among his eight tackles as the Gators beat LeFlore 21-2 in a game played Saturday night. Satsuma’s defense forced two turnovers. 
    The minus-3 total yards allowed was the best defensive effort reported since Corner limited Vincent to minus-47 total yards in a 63-6 win in 2015. Uniontown set the state mark (minus-67 yards) in a win over Greensboro in 1977. Charles Henderson limited Bullock County to minus-17 yards in a 57-0 win in 2013, and W.S. Neal downed Cottage Hill Christian 48-0 in 2012 allowing minus-7 total yards.
    Cherokee County’s Whit Johnson returned an interception 100 yards in the fourth quarter last week to lead the Warriors past Class 4A, Region 4 rival White Plains 48-12. He also snagged a 24-yard TD pass on offense. His 100-yard pick was the longest reported since J.U. Blacksher’s Jaiveyon Tucker sped 102 yards with an interception for a TD in a 53-0 win over McIntosh last year. The state record (108 yards) has been done twice, first by Demopolis DB Tommy Wilson in a 49-7 win over American Christian in 2012 and in again in 2018 by Notasulga’s Jimmy Pitts in a 52-0 victory over Autaugaville.
    Westminster Christian quarterback Brandon Musch completed 24-of-50 passes for 387 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for 121 yards and a TD on 12 carries in a 59-54 loss to DAR. He finished with 508 total yards. He became the 27th quarterback to throw for seven touchdowns in a single game and the first since Malik Inabinette of Montevallo and Aaron Dove of Falkville had seven or more TDs in a game in 2018. Both had eight TD passes in wins over Greensboro and Coosa Christian, respectively.
     The 508 total yards by Musch was the most this season by any player in the AHSAA. The 500-yard milestone was reach four times last year: by Seth Brown of St. John Paul II Catholic (614) versus West Morgan; by Logan West of Florala (568) versus Houston Academy; by Charlie Cater of Locust Fork (509) versus Cleveland; and by Maddux Herring of Ariton (501) versus Geneva County.
    Other top performances reported from last week’s AHSAA action included:



JOSH LUNDY, HOOVER: Completed 18-of-27 passes for 349 yards and five touchdowns — with three scoring tosses and 13 completions overall gaining 20-plus yards — in the Bucs’ 42-7 Class 7A, Region 3victory over previously unbeaten Oak Mountain.

HESS HORNE, EUFAULA: Was 17-of-27 for 281 passing yards and five touchdowns in a 33-7 Tigers win over Class 6A, Region 2 foe Park Crossing. His TD passes covered 58, 22, 4, 24 and 39 yards. He also completed a two-point conversion pass in the win.
ACE ASHLEY, SAND ROCK: Completed 19-of-32 pass attempts for 281 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown to Olin Pruitt, in a 20-7 loss at Southeastern.

ZACH PYRON, PINSON VALLEY: Was 21-of-26 passing for 280 yards and four touchdowns and had a rushing touchdown as the Indians beat Jackson-Olin 34-18 in Class 6A, Region 6.

DAMION KEMMERLIN, GENEVA: Totaled 277 yards passing on an 11-of-14 performance and had TD tosses of 76, 70 and 4 yards and also had 37 yards rushing for 314 total yards as the Panthers beat Ashford 41-8 in Class 4A, Region 2.
WILL NOLES, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Was 5-for-8 passing for 233 yards and three touchdowns in the Warriors’ 50-14 victory over Locust Fork.
MICHAEL RICH, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Was 15-of-21 in passing for 221 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 28-27 Class 5A, Region 7 loss to Arab. He also rushed for two scores.
TUCKER KILCREASE, BRANTLEY: Completed 11-of-14 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns as the unbeaten Bulldogs (4-0) downed Pleasant Home 54-0 Saturday in Class 1A, Region 1. Wesley Person had one TD reception and Dequan Pittman had the other TD. He also had two rushing touchdowns.
MARTVIOUS GLANTON, ABBEVILLE: Accounted for 244 yards rushing and passing and had one TD in the Yellow Jackets’ 42-30 Class 2A, Region 2 loss to Geneva County. He passed for 144 yards and a TD and rushed for 100 yards on 11 carries.
CONNER HARRELL, THOMPSON: The junior QB completed 17-of-23 passes for 235 yards and four touchdowns – mostly coming in the first half – as the Warriors downed Hewitt-Trussville 35-21 in a game televised nationally on ESPN U. Thompson lead 35-7 at intermission.
RYLEY KIRK, SPRING GARDEN: Completed 9-of-13 pass attempts for 140 yards and a 23-yard touchdown and rushed for 30 yards and a pair of scores to lead the unbeaten Panthers (4-0) to a 34-14 win over Cleveland in Class 2A, Region 6.


DREW PICKETT, HOLTVILLE: Ran for 291 yard and two touchdowns (8 and 11 yards) as Holtville beat Tallassee 28-14.
ADDISON HUDSON, KINSTON: Rushed for 256 yards and four touchdowns in a 36-26 Class 1A, Region 1 loss to Georgiana. Hudson had TD runs went for 3, 5, 5 and 17 yards.

CHANCE McCLENDON, SPARKMAN: Gained 245 yards and two touchdowns (55 and 86 yards) on 22 carries in a 21-14 Class 7A, Region 4 win over previously undefeated Austin.

TROY BRUCE, CENTER POINT: Totaled 227 yards rushing and three touchdowns (28, 60 and 6 yards) on 20 carries in the Eagles’ 56-14 Class 5A, Region 6 win over Moody.

TYCHIUS CAVES, JACKSON: Had 18 rush attempts for 218 yards and two touchdowns in the Aggies' 28-14 victory over Selma.

JOSEPH McKAY, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: Had 13 rush attempts for 208 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-28 Class 7A, Region 2 victory over Enterprise. The Red Devils piled up 382 rushing yards and 467 total with teammate Trey Miles adding 103 yards two TDs on six carries. 

MATHEW TURNAGE, ARAB: Rushed for 176 yards on 33 carries and scored four touchdowns as Arab held nipped Southside-Gadsden 28-27 in Class 6A, Region 7. Turnage 

scored on first-half runs of 1, 10 and 23 yards, then in the third quarter hauled in a perfectly executed screen pass from sophomore quarterback Aidan Cox on fourth-and-13 from the 28 to score what proved to be the winning TD.
JEREMY LAWSON, VINCENT: Piled up 202 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries as the Jackets beat Fayetteville 41-34.
JAYLEN NOBLES, SLOCOMB: Accounted for 241 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns in a 48-0 win over Houston Academy in Class 3A, Region 2. He rushed for 194 yards and three TDs (35. 59, 7) and caught three passes for 47 yards, including TD receptions of 30 and 7 yards.

C.J. MILLER, GADSDEN CITY: Rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans’ 31-17 win over Spain Park. 

TRENT DAVIS, ETOWAH: Had 162 total yards and two TDs in the Blue Devils’ 24-0 win over Ashville. He rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and caught three passes for 62 yards and a score.
QUEZ JACKSON, THOMASVILLE: Rushed for 163 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries in the Tigers' 49-18 win over Class Leroy. He also had one reception for 32 yards.

CAMERON LINDSEY, DAR: Rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and was 10-of-17 7 passing for 102 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 59-54 Class 4, Region 7 over Westminster Christian.
BRANDON ROBINSON, CARROLL: Led the Eagles with 155 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 24 carries and added two kick returns for 50 yards and two pass receptions for 14 yards in the Class 5A, Region 2 46-20 win over Headland.

MALACHI HOLT-BENNETT, FAIRFIELD: Rushed for 147 yards on 20 carries and accounted for both touchdowns in a 13-7 win over John Carroll Catholic in Class 5A, Region 5. He raced 60 yards for one of his scores and passed for the other. He also had five tackles and an interception on defense.
D.J. LEE, GAYLESVILLE: Rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries with three touchdowns and completed three passes for 82 yards and a 28-yard TD as Gaylesville fell to Valley Head 34-28. He also had nine tackles on defense.
LUKE WELSH, SPRING GARDEN: Gained 140 yards rushing on 18 carries and scored on a 22-yard touchdown run in a 34-14 victory over Cleveland.

KADIN BENNEFIELD, BOAZ: Had 110 yards rushing and first-half touchdowns of 14, 14 and 7 yards in a 38-0 win over Sardis.

FOX TINKER, PISGAH: Scored on a 10-yard run in the second overtime, then threw the winning 2-point pass in the Eagles’ 42-40 win over Whitesburg Christian.



RYAN SCOTT, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Caught three passes for 186 yards and two TDs in a 50-14 Class 2A, Region 6 win over Locust Fork.
RODARIUS THOMAS, EUFAULA: The Tigers’ wide receiver caught seven passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-7 Class 6A, Region 2 win over Park Crossing. His first two TDs covered 58 and 22 yards and gave Eufaula a 15-0 halftime lead His final TD covered 39 yards.
OLIN PRUITT, SAND ROCK: Pulled down eight pass receptions for 152 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown grab, in the Wildcats' Class 2A 20-7 loss at Southeastern.

TIMOTHY McREYNOLDS, GENEVA: Nabbed four passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns and added 85 yards on 11 carries in the Panthers’ 41-8 win over Ashford.
JOSH McCRAY, ENTERPRISE: Caught five passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns covering 64 and 29 yards and rushed 16 times for 79 yards and two more scores in the Wildcats’ 45-28 Class 7A, Region 2 loss to Central-Phenix City. McCray also had 146 yards on seven kick returns and threw one pass for 31 yards to finish with 395 all-purpose yards.
RYAN PEPPINS, THOMPSON: The junior had six catches for TDs covering 55 and 66 yards in a 35-21 win over Class 7A, Region 3 rival Hewitt-Trussville.
CODY ROBERTS, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Snagged four receptions for 134 yards in a 28-27 loss to Arab.
PEYTON ELLIS, OPP: Snagged three pass receptions for 130 yards with two touchdowns covering 66 and 42 yards in the Bobcats’ 54-6 Class 3A, Region 2 win over Daleville.
JAREL WILLIAMS, SARALAND: Caught four passes for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Spartans downed Class 6A, Region 1 foe Blount 35-13 on Saturday.

COOPER AUSTIN, SPRING GARDEN: Led the Panthers with five catches for 115 yards and a 23-yard touchdown in the Panthers' 34-14 win over Cleveland.

QUINDARRIUS MAYES, HUEYTOWN: Caught five passes for 111 yards, including the 22-yard game-winning reception, as the Gophers beat Class 6A, Region 4 rival Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 28-24.
MARQUARIUS WHITE, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Hauled in eight passes for 101 yards and three scores, including two touchdown receptions in the final quarter, to lead the Cougars to a 38-33 come-from-behind victory over Minor in Class 6A, Region 6.
COOPER DAVIDSON, GUNTERSVILLE: Scored touchdowns on all three of his receptions and returned a punt for a score in a 50-0 Class 5A, Region 7 win over Douglas.



MARIO BERRY McADORY: Was responsible for two safeties from his defensive position on defense, made nine tackles with two tackles-for-losses and three sacks and added two quarterback pressures in the Jackets’ 25-6 Class 6A, Region 4 win over Bessemer Academy.

BRADEN TURNER, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Scored a pair of touchdowns on defense to spark the Yellow Jackets’ 21-0 Class 6A, Region 1 win over Citronelle. He returned an interception for a TD in the second quarter and fell on a fumble caused by teammate Robert Greenwood for a score in the fourth period.
JAYVEN ANDERSON, ABBEVILLE: Made 18 tackles in the Yellow Jackets’ 42-30 loss to Geneva County.

CAMERON DUNKLIN, LEEDS: Led the Green Wave defense with 14 tackles, including two sacks and three other stops for losses, as Leeds beat Hayden 19-3.
TREVOR WILLETT, WEST END: Had 11 tackles, including five for a loss, and two sacks in the Patriots’ 54-20 win over Gaston. TeammateIsaiah Roberson also had 11 tackles and Hunter Tucker had 10.
JAX VAN ZANDT, THOMPSON: Led the Cass 7A Warriors’ defensive effort with 11 tackles as Thompson beat Hewitt-Trussville 35-21.

KEVIN MONTAGUE, MADISON COUNTY: Recorded eight tackles, six sacks and a blocked field goal in a 29-14 Class 4A, Region 7 win over Randolph.

EMMANUEL HENDERSON, GENEVA COUNTY: Forced a fumble and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 30-14 lead before the half on way to a 42-30 win over Abbeville in a battle of unbeaten in Class 2A, Region 2. He scored on touchdown runs of 23 and 4 yards on offense. Geneva County teammate J’Quan Broxson also eight tackles, including four for losses and two for quarterback sacks.
ETHAN CLANTON, SAND ROCK: Led the Wildcats’ defense with 12 stops in a 20-7 loss at Southeastern.

CHRYSTYILE CALDWELL, ELBA: Totaled 10 tackles, including two for losses, and added 77 yards rushing on two carries with a 66-yard TD run as the Tigers beat Cottonwood 56-6.
MICAIH MYERS, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN: Had two interceptions, including one returned

80 yards for a touchdown, in the Warriors’ 50-14 victory over Locust Fork.
HAYDEN O’DELL, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Had two interceptions as the Saints beat Class 5A, Region 1 foe Faith Academy 20-6.
JORDAN AUSTIN, COLBERT COUNTY: Intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in a 24-16 Colbert County Class 2A, Region 8 win over Hatton.

SETH LEE, GAYLESVILLE: Recovered a pair fumbles in the Trojans' 34-28 loss to Valley Head.



TREY STODDARD, MUSCLE SHOALS: Kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Trojans to a 31-29 win over Athens.
JALEN HOLMES, MADISON ACADEMY: Returned a kickoff 74 yards for a touchdown and an interception 55 yards for a score in a 36-32 win over North Jackson.

KADARIUS ZACKERY, LANETT: Scooted 91 yards for a touchdown on a punt return, had two interceptions on defense and scored on a 32-yard run as the Panthers beat LaFayette 26-0 in Class 2A, Region 4.
KENUWYN DIXION, BRANTLEY: Returned a kickoff 65 yards for a TD in a 54-0 Class 1A win over Pleasant Home.




97.7 ESPN The Zone Partners with Performance Vision

HUNTSVILLE, AL July 2020- Doctor Kenneth Winton at Performance Vision, located in Hampton Cove, is teaming up with local sports talk radio 97.7 The Zone to help spread information about his elite Sports Vision Training program.

One of only two providers in the state of Alabama, the other is in Tuscaloosa, Dr. Winton uses an instrument called the Senaptec Sensory Station which will test an athletes’ vision, hand-eye coordination, and more. Once the initial assessment is done his VisionPro training programs come with a variety of tools to improve those skills, which could lead to far better performance on the field, on the court, and potentially even in the classroom.

“I am excited to partner with The Zone to help get the word out about this training program,” Dr. Winton said. “Many young athletes want to find that next level of training that will get them to the next level, and this very well could be the answer for them.”

Dr. Winton will join The Zone’s Scott Theisen and Drew DeArmond the third Thursday of every month at 8:00am to discuss the world of sports, how vision affects a player’s performance, and how the tools he offers can help elevate a player’s skills. Listeners can call into the hotline at (256)382-0724 with questions or view the program as it is livestreamed on The Zone’s Facebook page.

“I am very excited about this partnership with 97.7 The Zone and look forward to the opportunity to answer questions about the training program, and maybe help some of our young athletes in the community take their skills to the next level,” Winton continued.

The training programs vary by athlete but most run from 8-10 weeks and are designed to be done at home. The Training kits can be purchased online by visiting
https://www.performancevisioninc.com/service/7/sports-vision-training-programs or by calling Performance Vision at 256-469-6427.

# # #

Performance Vision
Performance Vision is Optometrist Office located in Hampton Cove, AL offering both traditional eye-care services such as eye exams, ocular disease management, pre and post Lasik appointments, and more. Dr. Winton is also proud to offer Vision Pro, vision training for athletes to see their full potential. For more information about Dr. Winton, Performance Vision, or Vision Pro training please visit


97.7 ESPN The Zone Offers New Lineup August 17th

97.7 ESPN The Zone already your number one source for local sports talk in the Tennessee Valley is excited to announce our new lineup that will kickoff August 17th. 

ESPN's new morning show Keyshawn, Jay & Zubin start the morning each weekday from 5am-6:45am.

That will lead into 97.7 ESPN The Zone's brand show called Zone Center, which will be a fifteen minute score and reaction show from around the world of sports, and will be hosted by Scott Theisen and Drew DeArmond. 

Scott and Drew will then kickoff their popualr morning show Talkin Ball from 7am-9am as they continue to focus on the SEC, Local Sports and everything in between.

Making the big move will be the Thom Abraham Show as the "Big Dog" will move from 9am-11am as he will continue set the table for SEC Talk, NFL, NASCAR and everything from Bassmaster to the NBA. 

#ESPN Greeny will make it's debut from 11am-Noon as longtime ESPN Broadcaster Mike Greenberg makes his return to ESPN Radio airwaves. 

The "King of College Football" Chuck Oliver takes over each weekday from Noon-2pm as he will entertain the listeners with his thoughts around the SEC.

That will lead into the mouth of the South as the Paul Finebaum Show will hit the 97.7 ESPN The Zone Airwaves from 2pm-5pm as the longtime SEC Broadcaster shares his opinions each day. 

Wrapping up the local coverage will be The Drive with Wes Neighbors and Steve Moulton, as they entertain you on your drive home each night with the latest news and notes from the sports world.  

97.7 ESPN The Zone is home to the Crimson Tide Network, UAH Basketball, Madison Academy Football, High School Football Games of the Week and The Huntsville City Classic. 

ESPN The Zone offers new ESPN Morning Hour Starting August 17th

“Keyshawn, Jay and Zubin” airs weekdays on ESPN 97.7 The Zone from 6am-7am and features voices familiar to ESPN viewers: “NFL Live” analyst and Super Bowl Champion, Keyshawn Johnson, co-hosts alongside NBA and college basketball analyst, Jay Williams, and “SportsCenter” anchor, Zubin Mehenti.

The trio discusses the morning’s top stories and overnight developments with their own perspective and analysis. Johnson – who has headlined a morning show in Los Angeles since 2016 – will regularly appear on “Get Up” and “First Take.” Williams – who is regularly heard as a guest across ESPN Radio’s studio show lineup – will continue his role on “NBA Countdown” and appear across the network’s TV studio programming. Mehenti has been a consistent weekend voice on ESPN Radio in recent months and will also continue to host select editions of “SportsCenter” going forward.

UNA Lands a Pair on Big South Pre-Season Team

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- University of North Alabama senior punter Joe Gurley of Killen., is a pre-season first-team All-Big South Conference selection in voting by the league’s head football coaches and a media panel.


Gurley was also an honorable mention all-conference selection as place-kicker and was joined on the squad by senior defensive lineman Wallace Cowins, Jr., of Conyers, Ga.


They were the only two Lions named to the squad. 


A three-time Big South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week in 2019, Gurley ranked second in Big South in punting average at 42.4. He had 60 total punts for 2,545 yards, with 14 punts over 50 yards and a long of 61. He had 16 of his punts downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and was second in league for most punts over 50 yards. He was a third-team Phil Steele's All-Big South Conference pick as a punter last season. A three-year starting punter for the Lions, Gurley has 161 career punts for a 39.9-yard average and a long of 61 yards (twice).


Cowins was the leading tackler in the Big South among all defensive linemen last season with 66. He also led that position with 6.0 tackles per game. He ranked as the 15th leading tackler in the entire league regardless of position. He ranked third in the Big South in tackles for loss (12) with 1.09 per game and finished third on UNA team in tackles. He finished the season with 12.0 tackles for loss of 36 yards and two sacks for 10 yards. He added four pass breakups and one recovered fumble. He was a second-team Phil Steele's All-Big South Conference pick last season.


2020 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference Teams





QB    Hajj-Malik Williams, Soph., Campbell

RB    Isaac Foster, Jr., Kennesaw State

RB    Juwon Farri, R-Soph., Monmouth

WR   Izaiah Gathings, Jr., Gardner-Webb

WR   Jadakis Bonds, Jr., Hampton

WR   Lonnie Moore IV, R-Sr., Monmouth

WR   Terrance Greene Jr., R-Jr., Monmouth (tie)

WR   Caleb Snead, R-Jr., Campbell (tie)

TE    Gene Scott, Jr., Monmouth

OL    AJ Farris, R-Sr., Monmouth

OL    Chris Dye, Sr., Kennesaw State

OL    Jake Lassiter, Sr., Kennesaw State

OL    Justin Szuba, Jr., Monmouth

OL    William Nana-Fabu, Jr., Kennesaw State



DL    Shaundre Mims, R-Jr., Charleston Southern

DL    Brevin Allen, Jr., Campbell

DL    Nick Salley, R-Sr., Charleston Southern

DL    Anton Williams, R-Jr., Charleston Southern

LB    Bryson Armstrong, R-Sr., Kennesaw State

LB    Da’Quan Grimes, R-Sr., Monmouth

LB    Darien Reynolds, Sr., Gardner-Webb

LB    Justice Galloway-Velazquez, Jr., Campbell

DB    Anthony Budd, Sr., Monmouth

DB    Cody Cline, Soph., Charleston Southern

DB    Darion Slade, R-Sr., Campbell

DB    Justin Terry, Sr., Monmouth



PK    Alex Usry, R-Jr., Charleston Southern

P      Joe Gurley, Sr., North Alabama

KR    Lonnie Moore, R-Sr., Monmouth

PR    Devron Harper, Soph., Gardner-Webb

LS    Ethan Ray, R-Sr., Charleston Southern



QB    Jack Chambers, R-Jr., Charleston Southern

RB    Shaquil Terry, Sr., Kennesaw State

WR   Garris Schwarting, R-Sr., Charleston Southern

OL    Tyler McLellan, R-Jr., Campbell (tie)

OL    JT Melton, R-Jr., Charleston Southern (tie)

DL    Wallace Cowins Jr., Sr., North Alabama

LB    Cade Hamilton, Jr., Gardner-Webb

DB    Demetrius Pettway, Jr., Kennesaw State

PK    Joe Gurley, Sr., North Alabama

P      Nicholas Jones, Sr., Kennesaw State

KR    Devron Harper, Soph., Gardner-Webb (tie)

KR    Issac Foster, Jr., Kennesaw State (tie)

PR    Issac Foster, Jr., Kennesaw State

LS    Will Mullins, Sr., Gardner-Webb


SPHL Announces Target Date for 2020-2021 Season

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (July 28, 2020) – The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) today announced that it is targeting mid-to-late December for the start of the 2020-2021 regular season.

“With the continued spikes in COVID-19 throughout the country and the challenges other sports are facing in their attempts to resume play, delaying our start to December gives us the best chance of completing an entire season with all 10 teams,” stated Commissioner Doug Price. “In addition, various state restrictions on large gatherings and the economics surrounding the uncertainty of having fans in our arenas in October or November, even at reduced capacity, make it difficult for teams to guarantee the ability to generate the revenue needed to operate if we were to start any earlier.”

“After a healthy discussion among our Board of Governors, we just felt there are too many variables out of our control at this time to attempt starting on time,” added Price. “Delaying the season was a difficult decision, but I believe it was the responsible thing to do when taking everything into consideration.” The 2020-2021 regular season schedule and playoff format will be announced at a later date.

About Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL)

Now entering its 17th season, the Southern Professional Hockey League is comprised of 10 member teams located throughout the southeastern and midwestern United States. Headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, the mission of the SPHL is to provide a quality family-friendly entertainment product structured inside an economic model that is viable for small and mid-size markets and arenas. For more information about the SPHL, visit the league’s website at www.thesphl.com.

Central Board Approves AHSAA Return to Play

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved the AHSAA’s Return to Play ‘Best Practices’ recommended guidelines Wednesday and reaffirmed plans to start fall sports on time, The action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery.
      Fall sports teams have the option to begin fall workouts on July 27 with the first week used by football for acclimation purposes only with helmets and shorts only. The other fall sports – volleyball, cross country and swimming and diving – can use the first week for acclimation and tryouts. Schools not choosing that option may start fall practice on August 3.
The first contest can be August 20.
     AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese praised the Central Board for its leadership and commitment providing member schools the tools to return to play as safely as possible.
     “The purpose of the Return to Play document is to offer AHSAA member schools best practices in order to commence the 2020-21 school year athletic seasons as scheduled and as safely as possible,” said Savarese.

Woody Anderson Ford Poll Question

Will the expansion of the College Football playoffs create more parity in the game?
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