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Local Sports Stories Archives for 2022-12

Lane Named ASUN's Newcomer of the Week.

ATLANTA, Ga., – Officials with the ASUN Conference have named North Alabama’s Jacari Lane as the league’s Newcomer of the Week. The true freshman from Huntsville helped lead the Lions to a 2-0 record, including the program’s first-ever win over an SEC team when UNA defeated Ole Miss 66-65 on Dec. 20. 


Lane came off the bench to average 11.5 points per game as the Lions also recorded an 83-45 home win over Williams Baptist. He scored 19 points at Ole Miss, going 9-of-12 from the floor with five assists and two steals. 


The 6-0 guard picks up an ASUN weekly award for the first time in his career. He will enter conference play next week averaging 8.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is also second on the team with 39 assist on the year. 




So apparently the World Cup did NOT end last week when the US lost to
the Netherlands, but I guess it is over now, and even I will admit, they got
themselves a very good final.
Now, the score is a bit deceiving at 3-3, since one
goal for each team was on a Penalty kick, called after what seemed to be, from my
highly untrained eye, very questionable fouls…but still, 4 natural goals is a
venerable scorefest in soccer, although for the life of me, I don’t understand how it
wasn’t over when Argentina scored in OT. At least that would have prevented one
of the world’s most significant sporting event being decided, once again, on Free

Just imagine a Super Bowl being tied after an Overtime or 2, and then
being decided on a FG kicking contest.
And yes, I know to you purists, that
seems like too simple of a comparison, but tell be how I am wrong? The only other
sport in the world that is decided by a skills contest is the NHL, and even the NHL,
in the playoffs, is played to it’s end. Play it out already! And make it sudden
death, not in the way Iran interprets Sudden Death, as in, like, death, but in a
sports Sudden Death.

Once the game was over, ESPN.com ran a story asking whether or not
Lionel Messi is the best men’s athlete in any sport, ever.
OK, stop that.
Soccer involves occasional bursts of running, and tremendous Foot coordination.
Add hand coordination, plus a violent aspect, and football is much harder to master.

How about hockey? Skating, hand eye with a stick, and incredible toughness. More
difficult. Basketball? Come on, much more difficult. And then there is baseball…

Oh, I know, you don’t need the conditioning that you have in Soccer, but hitting a
round ball with a round bat, squarely? And then catching and throwing? Stop it!

North Alabama Adds Former NFL Wide Receiver to New Football Staff

FLORENCE, Ala. -- Former NFL receiver Samie Parker has joined Brent Dearmon's University of North Alabama football coaching staff as receivers coach.


Parker served as a quality control coach with the wide receivers at Rice University ion 2022.  He previously was at Washington State University, where he served as a recruiting assistant in 2021.


"Samie will be a huge asset to our program and wide receiver room," said Dearmon. "He is a former NFL player and is known for his wide receiver development."


Parker was a standout in both football and track at Oregon from 2000-03, earning All-American honors in track. He is the Ducks’ career leader in receiving yards (2,716) while sharing the career (178) and single-season (77) reception records.  He also set school bowl game records with 16 receptions for 200 yards against Minnesota to earn MVP honors in the 2003 Sun Bowl. That  followed a nine-catch, 162-yard effort one year earlier against Colorado in the Fiesta Bowl.


He was a fourth-round pick out of Oregon by Kansas City in 2004 and caught 110 passes for 1,529 yards and seven touchdowns in 47 games (31 starts) over four seasons, from 2004-07, with the Chiefs. He played with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL in 2009 and 2010.  He also played in the Arena Football League for three seasons, concluding his career in 2013 as a member of the Los Angeles Kiss.


He began his coaching career later in 2013 at MidAmerica Nazarene.  He was the assistant wide receivers coach at Long Beach Poly High School in 2015 where he coached Jack Jones (4th round pick by New England in 2022).   He worked as a coaching intern with the Chiefs in 2016 and 2018, helping develop Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson as rookies in 2016 and DeAnthony Thomas in 2018.


He coached for one season at Whittier College before moving to The Spring League beginning in 2018.  There, he sent five of his players on to the USFL (La'Michael Pettway, Michigan; Cam Echols-Luper and Woody Brandom, New Jersey; DelVon Hardaway & Isaiah Hennie, Pittsburgh) and saw two others make NFL practice squads: Blake Jackson (Cleveland 2018) Julian Williams (Atlanta 2019).


He has twice served on the staff of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. In 2015 he coached Jaydon Mickens (a member of Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl team) while in 2022 he mentored Braylon Sanders (FA Miami Dolphins) and Dai'Jean Dixon (FA New Orleans Saints).

Alabama Football's Will Anderson Jr. Wins Bednarik Award, Named First Team All-American

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football’s Will Anderson Jr. was selected as the 2022 winner of the Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Thursday evening on the ESPN College Football Awards Show. Anderson Jr. was also tabbed as a first team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation following the event.


The junior linebacker was one of three finalists for the Bednarik and beat out Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace Jr. and Tuli Tuipulotu of USC for this year’s honors. Anderson Jr. is now the third recipient of the Bednarik Award in Alabama history, joining Minkah Fitzpatrick (2017) and Jonathan Allen (2016). The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the top defensive player in college football as chosen by the Maxwell Football Club.a


Also announced on Thursday night was the first of five All-America teams, with the Walter Camp Football Foundation selecting Anderson Jr. as a first-team honoree on their annual list. He was also a first-teamer by the WCFF last season on his way to unanimous All-America honors.


Bednarik Award Winner | First Team All-American

Will Anderson Jr., Linebacker

  • Adds the Bednarik to his already impressive haul of awards after being named the Nagurski Trophy winner on Monday and the Lombardi Award recipient yesterday evening
  • The Tide’s first player to earn first team All-America honors in consecutive seasons since Alex Leatherwood (2019-20)
  • Also tabbed as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press and the league coaches
  • Recorded 51 tackles, including 17 for loss (-72 yards) and 10 sacks (-54 yards), during his junior season
  • Enters bowl season ranked sixth nationally in sacks and seventh in tackles for loss while leading the SEC in both categories


Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.


– UA –


2023 Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame Class Announced

HUNTSVILLE – Athletes representing nine different sports and who have etched their names in the history books locally, nationally and internationally comprise the Class of 2023 of the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Class of 2023

Adam Bass

Darrell Blackburn

David Cain

Kenyon Hambrick

Margaret Hoelzer

Turner Jackson

Holly Richards

Jared Ross

Marvin Stone

Dr. Warren Strickland

Jon Sumrall

Gary Wagner


Among the honorees are an Olympic medal winner, the first NHL player born in Alabama and the first Black athlete to play in the Alabama High School Athletic Association state championship.


The Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, presented by TOC, will be Monday, April 10, 2023 at the Von Braun Center’s South Hall. The class of 2023 was selected by a vote of the Hall of Fame board of directors after receiving nominations from the public.


The members of the Class of 2023 are: Adam Bass (baseball), Darrell Blackburn (football), David Cain (coaching/track and field), Kenyon Hambrick (football), Margaret Hoelzer (swimming), Turner Jackson (wrestling), Holly Richards (volleyball/coaching), Jared Ross (ice hockey), Marvin Stone (basketball), Dr. Warren Strickland (outdoors), Jon Sumrall (football) and Gary Wagner (football).


The Special Achievement Award will be presented to Danny Treadwell, who played one season at Butler High School and led the Rebels to the state championship, enduring the taunts of fans as he was the lone Black player on the floor at Tuscaloosa’s Foster Auditorium.


Adam Bass played for Madison Academy and UAH before pitching five years in the minors in the Arizona and San Diego systems, ending his career in Japan.


Darrell Blackburn, a Butler graduate, started at linebacker at Alabama as a freshman. However, his promising career was cut short by a degenerative kidney disease that ultimately necessitated a transplant.


David Cain, who participated in track and field and cross country at Grissom High and Mississippi State, has been the track and field and cross country coach, for both men’s and women’s teams, at the University of Alabama in Huntsville since 1998, He is an eight-time Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year and his teams have won a total of 15 GSC team titles, including the men’s track and field championship in 2022.


Kenyon Hambrick, a J.O. Johnson graduate, played wide receiver for Alabama A&M, where he caught 102 passes and scored 14 touchdowns in two seasons. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens and spent two years on their practice squad, and one season in Frankfurt in NFL Europe before returning home and starring for the Tennessee Valley Vipers.


Margaret Hoelzer, a Huntsville High and Auburn graduate, won three medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics at Beijing, and was also on the U.S. team in 2004. She set a world record in the 200 meter backstroke during the 2008 Olympic trials. She was a 22-time All-American and won six national titles at Auburn.


Turner Jackson, a two-time state champion at Butler High, was a two-time NCAA Division II champion at UT-Chattanooga, winning 55 consecutive matches during his final two years. He was named Tennessee’s 1976 Amateur Athlete of the Year and is in UTC’s Hall of Fame.


Holly Richards was a star volleyball player at Westminster Christian Academy and went on to become a second-team All-SEC choice at Alabama. She has coached for a quarter-century with club, college and high school teams, winning a state title at McGill-Toolen in 2004 and has won back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022 at Westminster.


Jared Ross, the son of the late UAH hockey coach Doug Ross, a 2008 Hall of Fame inductee, was signed by the Philadelphia Flyers after his UAH career and in 2008 became the first Alabama-born and raised player to appear in an NHL game. He wrapped up his pro career with five seasons in Germany.


Marvin Stone was a high school All-American at Grissom, which he led to the 1999 state championship. He signed with the University of Kentucky, then transferred to Louisville after 2 ½ years with the Wildcats, scoring 10.3 points per game for the Cardinals as a senior.


Dr. Warren Strickland, a widely respected cardiologist, has been a nationally renowned bowhunter and archer, producing a plethora of hunting-related videos and programs. He is also an active conservationist, with more than a dozen years as a member of the Alabama Conservation Advisory Board.


Jon Sumrall was a two-time All-State football selection at Grissom and lettered three years as a linebacker at the University of Kentucky. After serving as assistant coach at a number of schools, including Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tulane and San Diego, he was named head coach at Troy University last December. He led the Trojans to an 11-2 season and a Cure Bowl bid.


Gary Wagner was an All-State football player at Grissom and state wrestling championship finalist. He spent his freshman year in college at Wake Forest before transferring to Jacksonville State, where he was named All-Gulf South Conference and Little All-American.

Brent Dearmon Named Head Football Coach At North Alabama

FLORENCE, Ala. -- An Alabama native who has been a collegiate head coach and served as offensive coordinator at Arkansas Tech, Kansas, Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic, Brent Dearmon has been named as the 12th head football coach at the University of North Alabama. 


North Alabama Director of Athletics Dr. Josh Looney made the announcement Saturday, concluding a month-long national search.


UNA will officially introduce its new head football coach at a 2 p.m. press conference on Monday (December 5) in the Pierce Hospitality Suite in Flowers Hall on the UNA campus.


The public is invited.


Dearmon, a 37-year-old Saraland, Ala., native, comes to UNA after serving as offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic during the 2022 season. He was offensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State in 2021 and was offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and senior offensive consultant at the University of Kansas in 2019 and 2020.


“From the start to the end of our search process we never wavered in our expectations to hire someone who has demonstrated success as a head coach, possessed a high level of play-calling experience at the Division I level, and has displayed the ability to communicate effectively with student-athletes, the university, and the community,” said UNA Director Athletics Dr. Josh Looney. “Brent Dearmon comes from a championship football family in the state of Alabama, brings proven results in recruiting, and is regarded as an innovative offensive mind amongst his peers.


“Brent was not only on the top of our list when this search began, but he exceeds all the expectations we were seeking in the next leader of UNA Football. We are very excited to welcome Brent, Amanda (wife), Carter (11), Isabella (9), and Madden (3) to The Shoals. It’s a great day to Raise The Roar!”


"This is an exciting time for the University of North Alabama, with record enrollment, expanding academic programs and on-going facility projects," said UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts. "The success of our Division I athletic program is a key element of our strategic plan, and this hire is a big step in that direction. It says a lot about the success and stability of our program that Brent Dearmon will become just the 11th person to lead the Lion football program as head coach in its 74-year history. 


"I want to thank Athletic Director Dr. Josh Looney, our search committee and search firm for their diligent work to bring Brent to our campus and we look forward to a bright future for Lion football." 


Dearmon, who authored one of the leading books in RPO offensive strategy entitled "The Evolution of the RPO," said he is excited about the opportunity.


"My family and I are thrilled to lead such a decorated program and university into a new era," said Dearmon. "We are going to build men of toughness, with high character and give the Shoals community a product to be proud of, on and off the field. I'm excited about the vision that Dr. Kitts and Dr. Looney have for the UNA football program. It's time to Raise The Roar."


A graduate of Vigor High School, Dearmon was a four-year starting quarterback at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn. He then began his coaching career as a student coach at Bethel in 2007, before serving as the offensive coordinator at Vigor from 2008-10. The Wolves won the 2008 Alabama Class 5A State Championship. It was the fourth state title for the Dearmon family of coaches. His father Roger won two state titles at Vigor in 1987 and 1988 and his brother Matt helped Saraland claim a state title on Friday. 


His first head coaching experience came at B.C. Rain High School for two seasons, 2011-12, before being hired as an analyst at Auburn University for the 2013-14 seasons. He served as a running backs analyst in 2013 and a wide receivers analyst in 2014 under Gus Malzahn. While he was at Auburn, the Tigers posted a combined 20-7 record, including an 11-5 mark in SEC play. The 2013 Tigers captured the SEC title en route to an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game. 


He joined the staff at Arkansas Tech in 2015 as offensive coordinator under former UNA assistant coach Raymond Monica. After averaging 36.5 points in 2015 and 31.5 in 2016, Dearmon’s offense racked up 40 points per game to lead the Great American Conference. He also had a quarterback earn all-conference honors in each of his three seasons at Arkansas Tech. 


In his one season as head coach at Bethel in 2018, Dearmon guided the team to the best season in school history. BU posted a 10-0 regular season mark and a No. 3 ranking, while averaging 540.3 yards and the second-highest scoring average in the country at 55.0 points per game. He was named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year. 


Dearmon then made the rare jump from the NAIA to the FBS when he joined Les Miles staff at Kansas in 2019 as a senior offensive consultant. Mid-way through the 2019 season, Dearmon took over as the program's offensive coordinator and led the team to a 24.1 scoring average and more than 400 yards of total offense per game. His Jayhawk offense churned out 569 yards of offense at Texas, then followed up with 527 yards of offense in a win over Texas Tech. 

Dearmon is a 2008 Bethel graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics. 




• 2007: Bethel College (student assistant)

• 2008-10: Vigor HS (AL) (offensive coordinator)

• 2011-12: B.C. Rain HS (AL) (head coach)

• 2013-14: Auburn (analyst)

• 2015-17: Arkansas Tech (offensive coordinator)

• 2018: Bethel College (head coach)

• 2019: Kansas (senior offensive consultant)

• 2020: Kansas (offensive coordinator)

• 2021: Middle Tennessee (offensive coordinator)

• 2022: Florida Atlantic (offensive coordinator)



All-time North Alabama Head Football Coaches

Hal Self                                    1949-69

Durell Mock                  1970-72

Mickey Andrews                       1973-76

Wayne Grubb               1977-87

Bobby Wallace             1988-97

Bill Hyde                                  1998-2001

Mark Hudspeth            2002-08

Terry Bowden              2009-11

Bobby Wallace             2012-16

Chris Willis                   2017-22

Ryan Held (interim)      2022

Brent Dearmon            2023-









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