By: Tim Lambert
Just as predicted in last month’s column, local spring sports got off to a slow start –thanks to the weather – but wrapped up in a flurry of action, with many county schools taking part in bonus postseason competition, including Ardmore, Athens Bible School, Athens High, Elkmont, James Clemens, and West Limestone. Honors were also bestowed on Athens Bible School’s Cade Abernathy, who was chosen for the North-South All Star Baseball Team, and Ardmore’s Karla Hice and James Clements’ Lila Young, who were picked for the North All-Star Softball Team.
In round one of the playoffs, Ardmore turned back Arab to advance, ABS won their series against Cedar Bluff, Athens was eliminated by Pell City, James Clemens knocked off Mountain Brook and West Limestone topped Randolph to move on. Round two saw ABS sweep Shoals Christian, but Ardmore lost to Brooks, James Clemens was taken out by Hewitt-Trussville and West Limestone was eliminated by Sardis. ABS fell to Spring Garden in round three.
ABS won their area softball tournament with a victory over Whitesburg Christian and followed that up with a couple of wins over host Decatur Heritage. Ardmore beat Lee twice to claim their area title. West Limestone fell to Danville, but won a rematch coming out of the losers’ bracket to finish as area runner-up. James Clemens was eliminated by Buckhorn, Athens lost to Hazel Green, Tanner was shut out by Hatton, and Clements had their season ended by West Morgan, who was defeated by area champ Elkmont. In regional tournament play, Ardmore dispatched Douglas and Lawrence County to punch their ticket to the state tournament. ABS lost to Tharptown, but came back to defeat Gaylesville before being eliminated by Covenant Christian. Athens topped Fort Payne, stumbled against Austin, bounced back against Albertville, and was finally knocked out by Hazel Green. Elkmont shut out New Hope in their regional opener, but was eliminated after losses to Lauderdale County and Colbert Heights. West Limestone fell to North Jackson and Central-Florence.
The James Clemens and East Limestone girls were the only local teams to make it out of the first round of state playoffs – the Lady Jets held off Huntsville while the Lady Indians turned back Priceville. East Limestone’s boys were taken out by St. John Paul II; the Jets were edged by Grissom. The Athens girls lost to Hartselle and Elkmont’s boys were topped by St. Bernard. In round two, the James Clemens girls thumped Spain Park, while the East Limestone girls came up short to Westminster. James Clemens was nipped in the state semi-finals by Vestavia Hills.
At sectional meets, James Clemens’ Vada Samuels won the Class 7A 400 meters, Sylvia Cortes finished first in the 800 meters, Shataeya Ligon was first in the 100 meter hurdles, Uriah James placed first in the 300 meter hurdles, Ashley Osaji took the long jump and triple jump and Zuri Falkner won the discus. On the boys’ side, Nolan Smith was first in the 400 meters and Miguel Cortes claimed the javelin. Both 4×400 meter relay teams won their events. In 6A, Athens High’s Micah Boles-White won the 100 and 200 meters and Caden Shoulders finished on top in the discus. In 4A, West Limestone’s Cassidy Winter won the 300 meter hurdles. Tanner’s Nautica Noble was first in the 2A triple jump; the girls’ 4×100 relay team was first. In 1A, Nicolas Ulrich of ABS won the 1600 meters. At state track meets, James Clemens’ Vada Samuels was third in the 400 meters, Shataeya Ligon finished third in the 100 meter hurdles, Ashlee Osaji came in second in the long jump and third in the triple jump, Zuri Falkner won the discus and was third in the shot put and the girls’ 4×400 relay team won their event. West Limestone’s Cassidy Winter placed third in the 800 meters. Elkmont’s Chase Prater was runner-up in the 3200 meters and third in the 1600 meters.
Clements won their sectional golf tournament. Matt Smith took medalist honors for the Colts while Makayla Browning and Nicole Towe led the girls’ team. Smith was also low medalist in the sub-state tournament while the Lady Colts golf team took first place. The Clements girls finished third in the state tournament, led by Abigail Baker’s two-day total of 171. The Colts’ Matt Smith competed as an individual, finishing with a total of 142, good for fourth place.
By: Tim Lambert
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