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Local Sports Stories Archives for 2023-07

Tim Tebow to Speak at N.E. Alabama FCA Power Leadership Training

Hi Friends of NE AL FCA!


Please DO NOT MISS hearing TIM TEBOW!  It’s one week from today and here are the facts ya need to know:


DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY and PLEASE pass this information on to your family and friends:


      ?     TIM TEBOW @ Propst Arena-Huntsville 


      ?     Friday, August 4th 

      ?     DOORS OPEN at 5:30 

      ?     Starts at 7:30 

      ?     General seating open until we fill to capacity then the doors will be closed

      ?     Plus, special concert with Northpoint Worship (from ATL, GA)

      ?     Concessions are open and available 

      ?     Attire-casual

      ?     NO TICKETS NEEDED, but get there as early as possible to assure you get in without issues.

      ?     Questions-256-509-3692 or reply to this email.


May HE > we (John 3:30)

We hope to see you there - 

I’m His Grip,


Proverbs 3:5-6


UNA Hits Practice Field for the First Time

FLORENCE, Ala. (July 28, 2023) – The University of North Alabama football team reported to campus on Thursday and completed its first practice of fall camp on Friday, marking the official start to the 2023 season.


This season marks a new era of UNA Football, as the Lions will enter their first season under head coach Brent Dearmon. 


“We’ve been through a lot to get to this moment,” said Dearmon. “We can finally put some of that stuff behind us and enjoy the moment.”


Fresh Faces


North Alabama ushers in the Brent Dearmon era with 19 transfers to go alongside an entirely new coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Brock Caraboa and offensive coordinator Kevin Wewers highlight the revamped UNA coaching staff. Five of the Lions incoming transfers come from Power Five programs while nine of them make the move to Florence from FBS programs.


“When I heard that Coach Dearmon got the job, that made me want to come here,” Alabama native and Kansas transfer Edwin White-Schultz said. “I love the coaching staff — four of our guys on the staff are from my hometown, so it helps a lot to know that they are here,” said White-Schultz.


Returning Offense


Amidst heavy turnover with both the roster and coaching staff, North Alabama returns leading passer Noah Walters and leading receiver Takairee Kenebrew for the 2023 season. Walters and Kenebrew connected for eight touchdowns and 635 yards during the 2022 campaign. The Lions return three offensive linemen from the 2022 team, including ASUN all-conference offensive linemen Fau Tai’vai, as well as Stevie Young and Will Derico. North Alabama all-purpose back Demarcus Lacey returns for his sophomore season after racking up eight total touchdowns. Lacey was second on the team in both rushing yards (215) and receiving yards (381). The Lions also return 2021 All-Big South second team running back Parker Driggers.


“We’re going to do great things,” said Walters. “We are excited to get that connection again, and I’m just truly excited for the season.”


Other Returners


On the other side of the football, North Alabama returns six starters, highlighted by defensive back K.J. Trujillo and defensive linemen Philip Ossai and Kam’ron Green. Trujillo led the Lions in the secondary with five pass breakups last season. Ossai led the 2022 Lions in tackles for a loss (7.5) while Green was atop the Lion leaderboard for sacks (4.0). The Lions also return kicker Sam Contorno, who was a perfect 38-38 on extra points and 6-7 on field goals. 


The Lions will continue fall camp through Sunday, August 20 in preparation for the upcoming season.


UNA opens the 2023 season in the ninth-annual FCS Kickoff game on Saturday, August 26 against Mercer at the historic Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. 


Both UNA and Mercer are first time participants in the FCS Kickoff game.


Huntsville City FC and Nick Law Mutually Agree to Part Ways

Huntsville, Ala. (July 27, 2023) – Huntsville City Football Club announced today it has mutually agreed to part ways with player/coach Nick Law, who joins Tampa Bay Rowdies in the USL Championship as the Head Coach of his former team.


Director of Soccer Operations Liam Doyle said: "Nicky has been fantastic in the first seven months of our club's history as a player, coach and leader. We are happy to support him in advancing his career and wish him well as he embarks on a new challenge."


In a coach/player role, Law served as the first captain in Huntsville City FC’s history, recording three assists in eleven matches and nearly 750 minutes played. 


The 35-year-old came up through the Sheffield United Academy, where he made his English Premier League debut in 2006. Before moving to the States, Law played for Rangers FC in the Scottish Premier League, scoring 20 goals in 86 appearances. The striker then appeared in 60 matches in the United States, including 12 matches with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2022.

Up next, Huntsville City FC travels to New York City FC II for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff on Sunday, July 30. Fans can watch the match together at the official watch party at Straight to Ale or on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.?


Alabama Men's Basketball Finalizes 2023 Signing Class

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Head coach Nate Oats announced six additions to the Alabama men's basketball program who have officially signed to continue their playing career with the Crimson Tide. The signees include four-star prospects Kris Parker and Jarin Stevenson and transfers Aaron Estrada, Grant Nelson, Mohamed Wague and Latrell Wrightsell Jr.

These six players join the early signing class that also includes four-star prospects Mouhamed Dioubate and Sam Walters, and Davin Cosby Jr., who early enrolled this past January.

2023 NLI Signing Class Notes

  • Ranked No. 10 overall signing class according to 247Sports and No. 12 by Rivals
  • Ranked No. 5 overall transfer signing class by 247Sports
  • Fourth consecutive top-15 signing class for head coach Nate Oats since arriving on campus
  • First time in program history Alabama has had four straight top-15 signing classes in the modern era
  • Signed four players ranked in the Top 100 according to On3

Nate Oats on 2023 Signing Class: "I am very proud of our coaching staff in being able to bring in not only high-quality players, but high character kids that will add value to our program. We put an emphasis on adding veteran leadership and both our incoming freshmen and transfers have all played in big and meaningful games. We are excited to welcome both them and their families to the Alabama basketball program.”

Aaron Estrada | GR | G | 6-3 | 195 | WOODBURY, N.J. (ST. BENEDICT’S PREPATORY/HOFSTRA)

  • Back-to-back CAA Player of the Year
  • Ranked as the No. 5 transfer according to On3 and No. 12 by ESPN.com
  • Enters the 2023-24 season as the No. 10 returning scorer in Division I
  • A 2023 NABC District 10 First Team honoree
  • Averaged a 20.2 points per game, which ranked No. 22 in Division I, along with 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists
  • Two-time First Team All-CAA honoree during his two seasons at Hofstra
  • A Lou Henson National Player of the Year finalist in the last two seasons
  • Scored double figures in 30 games last season and 57 throughout his collegiate career
  • Averaged 19.4 points per game in five tournament and postseason games while at Hofstra

Nate Oats on Aaron Estrada: “Aaron is an experienced, two-way lead guard that comes from a culture of winning at Hofstra. He has led his teams to multiple 20-win seasons and has been CAA Player of the Year in back-to-back years. He has great pace to his game and his ability to make open shots allows him to play multiple guard positions. His game will translate well to the SEC and we are excited about Aaron and his family choosing to come to Tuscaloosa for his final year.”


  • A Ranked as the No. 6 transfer by On3 and No. 17 according to ESPN.com
  • Enters the 2023-24 season as the No. 41 returning scorer in Division I
  • Earned First Team All-Summit honors in 2023
  • Became the second NDSU player to ever be selected as a USBWA All-District honoree (2023)
  • Averaged 19.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.1 steals per game last season, leading NDSU in every category
  • Scored 1,043 career points and grabbed 520 rebounds across three years for the Bison
  • Scored a career-high 36 points last season against North Dakota
  • Named Summit League Sixth Man of the Year in 2021 while earning a spot on the Summit League All-Newcomer Team during his freshman season

Nate Oats on Grant Nelson: “Grant is joining us after having a storied career at North Dakota State. He has an unbelievable skill set at 6-11, which allows him to play any position on the court and will allow us to be multidimensional on both ends of the floor. He is an extremely hard worker with a blue-collar mentality that fits perfectly with the culture we have here. We are thankful Grant and his family decided to join the Crimson Tide this season.”

Kris Parker | FR | F | 6-6 | 170 | TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (CROSSROAD ACADEMY)

  • A four-star prospect, rated as the No. 16 small forward and the No. 88 player in the country by Rivals
  • Rated as the No. 10 prospect from the state of Florida
  • Averaged 24.8 points, 14.2 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 2.4 blocks per game during his senior season at Crossroad Academy
  • Named the Florida Class 2A Player of the Year
  • Led Crossroad Academy to a 2A District 1 title in his final season
  • Chose Alabama over Missouri, Villanova and UCF

Nate Oats on Kris Parker: "Kris is a long, athletic and versatile wing and we anticipate him being a great two-way player for us. He has a great work ethic and is always in the gym and has great shooting ability for his size and we have had success in the past with players similar to his size. With his upside and his work ethic, we are excited to bring him into our program and work with him. On top of being a great player, he is a great kid who loves being a part of a community.” 

Jarin Stevenson | FR | F | 6-11 | 207 | CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (SEAFORTH HIGH SCHOOL)

  • Named the 2023 North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Ranked by ESPN as a five-star and the No. 1 power forward in the 2024 class before deciding to reclassify
  • Ranked No. 41 in the ESPN Top 100 in the 2023 class after reclassifying
  • Averaged 21.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game in his final season at Seaforth
  • Averaged 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 16 games playing for Team United on the Nike EYBL Circuit
  • His mother, Nicole (Walker) Stevenson played basketball at North Carolina where she won three ACC Championships from 1995-98 
  • Father, Jarod Stevenson, played at Richmond where he scored over 4,000 career points and played professionally for over a decade
  • Chose Alabama over North Carolina, Missouri and Virginia

Nate Oats on Jarin Stevenson: “We are thankful Jarin has trusted us with coming to Tuscaloosa early by reclassifying to the 2023 Class. Had Jarin stayed in the 2024 Class, he would have been a McDonald’s All-American candidate as one of the best high school players in the country. At his size, matched with his athleticism and elite shooting ability, Jarin is special. Most importantly he is an extremely hard worker. He comes from a basketball family, and we are grateful his parents have trusted us with helping him unlock his potential to become the best young man and player he can be.”

Mohamed Wague | JR | F | 6-10 | 225 | BRONX, N.Y. (SCOTLAND CAMPUS/ WEST VIRGINIA)

  • Played in 28 games before being sidelined with a foot injury on Feb. 25
  • Averaged 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for the Mountaineers
  • Shot 74.2 percent from the field last season
  • Scored a season-high 11 points in 14 minutes against Pitt
  • Recorded a double-double against Kansas State, scoring 10 pointsd and grabbing 10 rebounds
  • Named a 2022 NJCAA Division I First Team All-American at Hardum College
  • Led the NJCAA in total rebounds (470) and offensive rebounds (170) in 2022

Nate Oats on Mohamed Wague: "Mo is our latest addition and fills a huge need in the front court for us. He has competed at the highest level in the Big 12 and brings experience and toughness to our team. He was a junior college All-American and was an elite offensive rebounder and shot blocker at West Virginia. He has great timing and touch around the rim, and we are glad he is here with us. He has a great personality about him that adds to the culture we’re building here.”


Latrell Wrightsell Jr. | SR | G | 6-3 | 189 | OMAHA, Neb. (OMAHA CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL/CAL STATE FULLERTON)

  • A 2023 First Team All-Big West selection
  • Averaged a team-best 16.3 points per game, which ranked No. 6 in the Big West Conference
  • Shot 42.4 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from three-point range
  • Ranked No. 3 in the Big West, converting 2.4 three-pointers per game
  • Averaged 1.5 steals per game, which was fourth-best in the Big West
  • Led Cal State Fullerton to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2022 after winning the Big West Tournament and a 2023 Championship appearance

Nate Oats on Latrell Wrightsell Jr.: “We are excited that Latrell is joining our team. He is a tough, ultra-competitive, and a physical guard who has the ability to score at all three levels, and is ready for the challenges we face each night in the SEC. He has an infectious personality that his teammates love and is a joy to be around every day. We are glad he and his family are a part of ours here at Alabama.”

For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facer the book. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

– UA –



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