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AHSAA State Decathlon/Heptathlon Championships McGill-Toolen’s Spotswood, Homewood’s Lawrence Capture AHSAA State Titles

    TRUSSVILLE – McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Jake Spotswood cleared the pole vault with winning leap of 16 feet, 4 ¾ inches Tuesday to capture 910 events in his best event and the decathlete went on to win the AHSAA State Decathlon title with a winning score of 6,853 points.
    Spotswood also clocked 4:44.97 in the 1,500 meters and ran the 110-meter hurdles in 16.01 seconds to win the overall title by 743 points. His nearest challenger, teammate Graham Collins, finished second with 6,110 points, followed by James Clemens’ Eric Bradshaw (5,971), Scottsboro’s John Dalton (5,864) and Auburn’s Christian Brandt (5,769).
    Caroline Lawrence of Homewood won the heptathlon with 4,631 points. Her best event Tuesday was a her 2:24.83 time in the 8900-meter run. She also had a 17-06.25 leap in the long jump to win both events in the 36-girl field.
    Maddie Harrell of Walker finished second with 4,011 points. Jasmine Griffin of Homewood (4,002) was third, Darcy Sanford of Alabama Christian (3,964) was fourth and Isabell Cochran of Montgomery-Catholic (3,850) was fifth.
    A total of 40 particpants competed in the boys’ field.
    

CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Gordo Sweeps Piedmont with 9-2 Win

    MONTGOMERY – Gordo High School pitchers shut out Piedmont for 11 2/3 innings in the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship series, but needed a big rally to seal the Greenwave’s 9-2 win in Game 2 and sweep the series and state title at Riverwalk Stadium.
    Series MVP Thomas Langdon hurled a 1-hit shutout in Game 1 Monday night, and junior Nick Ponders shut out the Bulldogs (27-14) for 4 2/3 innings in game two before Coach Matt Deerman’s squad finally rallied for two runs to tie the contest at 2-2. Coach Jonathan Pate’s Greenwave (34-7) wasted little time responding. Gordo posted five runs in the bottom of the fifth – the big hit a bases-loaded triple by junior left fielder Davis Vails that played three of his team’s five runs in that frame. Two more runs in the sixth sealed the victory and the state title – the first baseball crown in school history.
    Pounders (6-0) finished with a six-hitter, allowed just one earned run, walked none and struck out three. Right fielder Collin Herring, another junior, was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Pounders was also 3-for-3 with two RBIs, senior shortstop and lead-off hitter Koy Chapman had three hits and scored twice. He had the game’s only double. Langdon also had a single and RBI. Center fielder Cabel Mullenix hauled in eight putouts in the contest including two sliding catches that robbed Piedmont of possible hits.
     Bailey Graves had two hits for Piedmont, coached by Mark Deerman. Michael Rogers added the big hit in the fifth for the Bulldogs, an RBI triple. Logan Pruitt, Taylor Morrow and senior hurler Taylor Hayes had the other hits. Hayes (10-5), the two-time Class 3A state football championship game MVP, pitched 5 1/3 innings. He allowed 13 hits had five strikeouts – finishing his senior year with 132 whiffs in 87 innings pitched.
    The 2017 Class 2A and Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series, which opened at Paterson Field Tuesday night, will play at Riverwalk Stadium Wednesday. The second game of the 2A series will be at 10 a.m., with the third game to follow 30 minutes later if needed. The Class 4A series resumes with game two at 4 p.m. The third game, if needed, will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 4 o’clock contest.
     All games will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network. Check it out at www.nfhsnetwork.com.

CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Sweet Water Wins Title with 8-7 Win in Game 3

    MONTGOMERY – Sweet Water High School junior Jonah Smith’s two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday lifted the Bulldogs (32-8) to a come-from-behind 8-7 win over defending state champion Decatur Heritage in game three to claim the 2017 AHSAA Class 1A state baseball championship at Riverwalk Stadium.
    Smith, named MVP of the series, pitched the game one victory Monday. He had a double and single in the final game and four in the series, none bigger than his one-out single to deliver the victory.
     Decatur Heritage (23-13) forced game three with a 2-1 win in the 10 a.m., game Tuesday. Grayson Wakefield (7-1) tossed a two-hitter with six strikeouts to keep the Eagles’ repeat hopes alive. Jackson Parker had two hits in the win for Coach Steve Meek’s team. Smith had a single and scored Sweet Water’s only run. Sasha Smith (4-3) hurled five strong innings, allowing three hits but got the loss.
    Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs took control of the third game early to build a 6-1 lead heading into the the top of the sixth. Things begin to unravel for starter Braiden Broussard, however, as the Eagles clawed back to tie the game with five runs. Garrett Buckner’s double plated two runs for the big hit of the inning.
    The game stayed tied until the top of the eighth when the Eagles played one run – and had an insurance run nullified when the runner on third was called out for leaving the base too soon on a fly out to left for the third out.
    Sweet Water loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning. Jonah Smith then drilled a single to left that plated pinch runner Trenton Sams and Shamar Lewis to end the game.
    Designated hitter Hunter Mendenhall was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI to pace the Bulldogs’ 12-hit attack in the final game. Chance Broussard also had three hits, including one to start the eighth-inning rally. Catcher Luke Davis also had an RBI double.
    Chase Joiner (3-0) got the final two out of the eighth inning to get the win for Sweet Water. Jeff Hunter (4-2) got the loss in relief. Dalton Davis also pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief allowing three hits, one run and striking out four for Decatur Heritage.

CLASS 3A CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – Game 1 Gordo 9, Piedmont 0

    MONTGOMERY – Gordo High School senior right-hander Thomas Langdon fired a  1-hitter blanking  Piedmont 9-0 in game one of the 2017 AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Monday night.
    Game two of the best two-of-three series continues at Riverwalk Stadium, home of the Southern League’s Montgomery Biscuits, Tuesday at 4 p.m., with game three to follow 30 minutes after completion if needed Tuesday night.
    Langdon (10-1) was masterful with his control, walking one and striking out four to notch his 10th win of the season. He got good offensive support from his teammates, especially lead-off hitter Koy Chapman and third hitter Collin Herring. Each had three hits. Chapman slugged a double and two singles and scored one run while Herring clubbed three singles, drove in three runs and scored twice.
    Nick Pounders also had a double and two RBIs and Cabel Mullenix had a single and RBI. Coach Jonathan Pate’s Green Wave (33-7), scheduled to be the home team in game two, pounded nine hits and plated four runs in the third and sixth innings to break the game open.
     Logan Pruitt (7-3), who came in 3-0 in the playoffs, pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing five hits and six runs. Four were earned. He also had two walks and struck out four. Easton Kirk got the only hit for the Bulldogs (27-13).
    The Class 2A Championship Series between Fayetteville and G.W. Long will play game one Tuesday at Paterson Field at 4 p.m., and the Class 4A Championship Series pairing Madison Academy and UMS-Wright, plays its first game at 7 Tuesday night, also at Paterson Field. Those series will conclude Wednesday at Riverwalk Stadium.
   All baseball games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network with Graham Dunn behind the mike. The week’s complete schedule can be found at www.ahsaa.com.



CLASS 1A CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES Sweet Water 4, Decatur Heritage 2

    MONTGOMERY – Sweet Water High School junior right-hander Jonah Smith hurled a four-hitter, walked none and struck out seven as the Bulldogs (31-7) beat defending Class 1A state champion Decatur Heritage 4-2 in game one of the 2017 AHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium Monday.
   Smith (14-2) saved his best for last after Coach Steve Meek’s Eagles (22-12) loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the seventh inning. Smith struck out the next batter, gave up a long fly out to right center that plated a run and then closed out the game with a short fly out to send Coach John Gluschick’s Bulldogs into game two at Riverwalk Stadium Tuesday leading the best 2-of-3 series 1-0. First pitch Tuesday will be at 10 a.m. The third game, if needed, will follow approximately 30 minutes after game two ends. All games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
    Decatur Heritage took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Grayson Wakefield got an infield single and scored on a double-play later in the inning. Sweet Water took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third, added one run in the fourth and another in the sixth.  Shamar Lewis had two hits and scored a run to lead the Bulldogs. Matthew Mendenhall had a single, sacrifice fly and RBI and Braiden Broussard had a double and scored a run.
    Jeff Hunter, Jackson Parke and Carter Sample also had hits for Decatur Heritage.  Walker Jones drilled a towering blast to right center with the bases loaded in the seventh that right fielder William Huckabee hauled in despite a collision with center fielder  Sasha Smith. Huckabee was able to get the ball back to the infield in time to limit the damage to one run and Jonah Smith got the next out to end the game.
    Piedmont and Gordo played game one of the Class 3A Championship Series Monday night at Riverwalk in a game that started at 7 p.m. 

Three Golfers Shot 6-under 66 to Lead Individual Play at 69th AHSAA State Golf Championships

OPELIKA – Fairhope High School senior Virginia Green and Park Crossing senior Brooke Sansom each carded a 6-under 66 Monday at the Auburn National Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Opelika to set the pace for the girls and UMS-Wright’s Andrew Graves fired a 66 to lead the boys’ field as the 69th AHSAA State Golf Championships got underway Monday.
   Mountain Brook High School’s duo of Ben Fuller and William Wann shot 3-under 69 and teammates Reynolds Lambert and Willis Hagan added 2-under 70 and 1-under 71, respectively, as the Spartans dominated the first day’s action in Class 7A.
   A quick look at each division:
Class 7A Boys
   
Mountain Brook’s 9-under 279 gave the Spartans a 14-stroke lead over Vestavia Hills, which shot a 293. Ryan Eshlerman and Chris Hughes each had 71s for the Rebels. Auburn was three strokes back at 296 and Fairhope had 319 for the first 18 holes.
Class 6A boys
    Homewood’s Jack Goldasich shot the second best boys’ score of the first day with a 5-under 67 as the defending state champion Patriots shot 2-over 290 to take a two-shot lead over Muscle Shoals (292). Thomas Regan fired 4-under 68 for the Trojans, Northridge’s Luke Shaw and Northview’s Christopher Owens each fired 2-under 70.
Class 5A Boys
   Jon Brady Sandlin’s even-par 70 led the individual leaders in Class 5A. Trey Moore of Guntersville and Will McFadden of first-day team leader St. Paul’s Episcopal each carded 76. The Saints shot 308 and held a 21-stroke lead over Guntersville (329) and Briarwood Christian after day one. 
Class 4A Boys
   
Andrew Graves’ 66 helped UMS-Wright built a strong 18-shot lead after day one. The Bulldogs had a 4-under par 284 team total and second-place Oneonta shot 304. Stewart Miller of the Redskins and J.P. Cave of UMS-Wright each trailed Graves by four strokes with 2-under 70 rounds. Delix Ronderos of the Bulldogs also shot even par 72.
Class 3A Boys
    Thomas Ponder of Providence Christian and Varun Yerramsetti of Indian Springs each carded 4-under 68 to tie for the 3A boys’ lead. B.J. Morrison of Providence and Dakota Terry of West Morgan was two shots back at 70.
   Providence shot a 1-over 289 to take a 21-stroke lead over West Morgan (310) and 26-stroke led over Houston Academy (315).
Class 1A /2A Boys
  
Westbrook Christian had a 307 after 18 holes and held a nine-stroke lead over Donoho (316). St. Luke’s Episcopal was third at 332 and Altamont, fourth at 392.  Westbrook’s John Hillard Catanzaro and Mars Hill Bible’s Ike Alexander each shot par 72 to tie for the first-day lead. Westbrook’s William Wethington and Jackson Bowman followed at 74 and 75.
Class 7A Girls
   
Fairhope’s Virginia Green held s 4-shot lead over Spain Park’s Jordan Susce, who shot a 2-under 70. Caroline Waldrop of Spain Park also shot even-par 72 as the Jaguars shot 218 to hold an 8-point lead over city rival Hoover (226). Auburn (232) and Fairhope (247) were 3-4 in the team standings.
Class 6A Girls
   
Park Crossing’s Brooke Sansom shot 6-under 66 as an individual qualifier for the Thunderbirds and built a 5-stroke lead over Athens’ Ally Williams, who was 1-under at 71.  Northridge’s Caroline and Kate MacVicar shot 77 and 79, respectively, to help their team  shoot 256 – tying with Muscle Shoals for the team lead. Spanish Fort was third at 284.
Class 4A/5A Girls
  
Sophie Burks’ 1-under 71 staked Trinity Presbyterian to a 1-stroke lead after day one as the Wildcats totaled 251 as a team. UMS-Wright shot 252, and defending state champion White Plains shot 261.  Karlee Allen’s 4-over 76 ranked the Northside golfer behind Burks individually.
Class 1A/3A Girls
  
Allison Howard’s 3-over 75 helped propel Providence Christian to the first-day lead at 242.  Defending champion Westbrook Christian shot 257 and Bayside Academy scored 265.  Stephanie Fowler of American Christian was 6-over 78 and was second after day one.

Caroline Lawrence, Jake Spotswood Lead AHSAA Heptathlon, Decathlon Competition after Day One

    TRUSSVILLE -- Homewood High School’s Caroline Lawrence and McGill-Toolen Catholic’s Jake Spotwood led after day one of the 2017 AHSAA State Heptathlon and Decathlon Championships at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium.
     Lawrence posted 2,719 points and held a 132-point lead over teammate Jasmine Griffin (2,587) as the 47th Heptathlon Championships head into Tuesday’s final day.   Alabama Christian’s Darcy Sanford (2,551) was third and Maddie Harrell of Walker was fourth at 2,534. Jade Johnson of Northridge was also over 2,500 points at 2,515.
     Boys’ first-day leader Spotwood, the Class 7A outdoor high jump and pole vault champion in 2017, posted 3,648 points to lead the 50th Decathlon heading into Tuesday. He cleared 6-06 in the high jump and ran the 100 meters in 11.68 seconds. He still has the pole vault competition Tuesday.
    John Dalton of Scottsboro was second with 3,412 points. Graham Collins of McGill-Toolen (3.386) was third, Christian Brandt of Auburn (3,291) was fourth and Eric Bradshaw of James Clemens (3,256) was third after five events Monday.
    The championships will conclude Tuesday at Trussville.

2017 CLASS 6A BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS

Pelham 2, Cullman 0

     HUNTSVILLE – Pelham won its first state boys’ soccer championship in school history Saturday beating defending Class 6A state champion Cullman 2-0 in the 2017 Class 6A state finals at John Hunt Park to close out the 27th annual AHSAA State Soccer Championships.
     Pelham (22-6-1), coached by Patrick McDonald, got a big effort from  6A Championships MVP Braxton Jeffcoat, who scored one goal in both the semi-finals, showed great leadership in sparking the Panthers in the final match to the state crown.
    Armando Valencia  scored on a miraculous free kick midfield moon shot that climbed in the wind just over the outreached arms of Cullman goalkeeper Jaron Potter at the 20:47 mark. Pelham’s defenders kept pressure on the Bearcats (16-7-1) the entire match – keeping the ball on their side of the field most of the contest.
   Jose Jimenez scored a late goal to seal the win. The Panthers out-shot Coach Casey Harbin’s Bearcats 16-6. Potter registered seven saves for Cullman, and Pelham keeper Seth Torman had two.
    Cullman has two state titles to its credit, winning in 2002 and 2016.

Jimmy Lay



2017 CLASS 7A GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS

McGill-Toolen Catholic 2, Vestavia Hills 0

     HUNTSVILLE – McGill-Toolen Catholic High school downed defending Class 7A girls’ state soccer champion Vestavia Hills Saturday at John Hunt Park to claim the Mobile school’s first state title in school history.
    Senior goalkeeper Eva Knapstein of McGill-Toolen (23-2), named the Class 7A State Championships MVP,  stopped six shots on goal to secure the shutout over the Lady Rebels (19-2-3). She allowed only one goal in the semifinals versus Fairhope.
     Vestavia (19-2-3), coached by Brigid Littleton, out-shot McGill-Toolen 11-8.
     The match was still tied at 0-0 at halftime, Sophomore Angelina Piccini’s goal at 47:33 McGill-Toolen a 1-0 lead and more importantly, gave Coach Cheryl Flores’ Jackets the momentum the rest of the way. McGill’s tough defense allowed Vestavia Hills only one shot on goal the rest of the match.
   Junior Chloe Martin scored an insurance goal in the final 10 minutes to seal the win.

Vestavia Hills’ sophomore goalkeeper Anna Woodson recorded three saves for the Rebels, who have four state titles to their credit including winning in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2016.
Jimmy Lay


2017 CLASS 6A GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS

Chelsea 2, Southside-Gadsden 0

     HUNTSVILLE – Chelsea High School goalkeeper Sabrina Lang stopped all four shots Southside-Gadsden could send her way Saturday and Lexie Duca anchored the Hornets’ strong defense in a 2-0 win over the Panthers in the Class 6A girls’ state soccer championship match Saturday at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park.
    Duca was named Class 6A State Championships MVP for Chelsea (17-6-2), coached by Jonathan Hammett. The sophomore scored one goal in the finals and turned in a strong defensive performance to help secure the shutout.
   Chelsea took a quick 1-0 lead on Duca’s goal 4:15 into the contest. She got an assist from Kailey Littleford at the 4:15 mark. Southside was able to force two corner kicks and 3 shots on goal down the stretch, but Lang, a senior, stymied the efforts with her play at the net.
    Chelsea was able to get off five shots on goal in the second half finally scored at the 76:54 mark when Madeline Gullien scored to give the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
     Southside head coach Tiffany Julien Cargill used two goalkeepers with Savanna Blackwell making two saves and Alley Rurgi notching four. Chelsea out-shot Southside 16-6 for the game.

      The win gave Chelsea its second state title and the first since 2012.