Archives for November 2015

2015 DCS Band and Choir Concert

2015 DCS Band and Choir Concert Flyer

Photo of the Day

20151128 decorations-6682

Lane and Lori Eaves’ pup seems to have done a very good job decorating for the holiday season.

UPDATED: Overnight hit-and-run leaves one dead

Demopolis Chief of Police Tommie Reese confirmed Sunday afternoon that the victim of Sunday morning’s hit-and-run accident was William Christopher Reid, 24, of Demopolis. Reese said that the the DPD is still seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the person/vehicle responsible for the hit-and-run.


On Sunday morning Nov. 29, between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., a person was struck by an unknown vehicle while walking on Bell Grayson Road, according to Chief of Police Tommie Reese. This vehicle left the scene of the accident. The individual that was struck was pronounced deceased on the scene. Information and evidence is still being gathered from the scene. The victim’s name is being withheld pending family notification.

If you have any information or may have seen anything please contact the Demopolis Police Department at 334-289-3073 or the TIP LINE at 334-289-1475.

The West Alabama Watchman will update this story as it develops.

Morning wreck injures one

20151128 wreck on 80 west-6545

On November 28th around 8:30 Demopolis Officers arrived on a traffic accident that had occurred around 8:25am. Two vehicles were involved with one injury to occur from the accident. Both Amstar ambulance service and Demopolis Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. One person was transported to the hospital for his injuries that were not life threatening . It is believed that excessive speed was the main cause for the accident.

20151128 wreck on 80 west-6544


Linden falls in semifinals at Maplesville

MAPLESVILLE — Linden kept it manageable through three quarters Friday night before Maplesville’s overpowering offensive and defensive lines made the difference in the fourth quarter. The Red Devils hung 27 points on the board in the game’s final period for a 50-19 win in the Class 1A semifinal round.

“They beat us on the line of scrimmage. You lose the line of scrimmage, nine times out of 10 you lose the game. They had a good plan,” Linden coach Andro Williams said. “The turns of the game early on kind of dictated itself. It came down to the line of scrimmage at the end of the day and they won the line of scrimmage and beat us up front on both sides of the ball.” The Red Devils held the Patriots to just 32 yards on 24 carries, forcing Linden almost exclusively into a passing game in the second half. Maplesville countered with 486 yards on 49 carries, allowing junior tailback Terence Dunlap to run wild to the tune of 285 yards on 26 rushes.

“I was very proud of our kids. They came out and executed what we wanted them to do,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said. “Up front, the offensive line they made a statement the last three weeks and let’s hope they can continue it next week.”

Dunlap scored six touchdowns on the night, but none more pivotal than a third quarter run in which he scampered 62 yards on the only play of the drive after Linden’s own possession stalled at the Maplesville 38. The score put the Red Devils up 23-7.

In the fourth quarter, Dunlap wrote a similar tail, running 86 yards on the only play of the possession just seconds after Linden’s drive sputtered at the Maplesville 14. That run made it 37-13 in favor of the Red Devils.

Maplesville went on to add two more scores in the contest, besting an effort that saw Linden quarterback C.J. Robinson throw for 277 yards on the night. Linden’s inability to stop Maplesville also squandered a 113-yard receiving effort from tight end DeVonta Poole. Linden’s Dequan Charleston also turned in an impressive effort, recording 11 total tackles with an interception on defense while catching seven passes for 77 yards and scoring two touchdowns on offense.

Linden got its first touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Robinson to Charleston. The Patriots scored again on a bizarre play in which Robinson hit Poole for a 30-yard gain before the Red Devils stripped the ball out. The loose ball bounced into the end zone where Charleston dove on it for a touchdown. The final Linden touchdown came when Robinson hit Jaleel Jones for a 68-yard touchdown strike.

Kevin Greene had nine total tackles while James Jones had six tackles and an interception in Linden’s final game of the season.

Maplesville (12-1) advances to face Cedar Bluff (13-1) in the Class 1A state title game Thursday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Linden ends its season at 10-3.


LHS    7 0 6 6   19

MHS 14 2 7 27 50





MHS – 2ND – 3:15 – SAFETY – 7-16






MHS – 4TH – 2:45 – TERENCE DUNLAP 2 RUN (KICK FAIL) – 19-43





RUSHING – 24-32

PASSING – 29-14-277

TOTAL – 309


INTS – 2


PUNTS – 1/47



RUSHING – 49-486

PASSING – 5-1-23

TOAL – 509


INTS – 2


PUNTS – 2/32.0

Our view: Longhorns prove long on heart

Marengo Academy offensive coordinator Woodie Beck (center) celebrates after a Cason Cook touchdown in the second quarter of last Friday's AISA Class AA state championship game in Troy, Ala. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Marengo Academy offensive coordinator Woodie Beck (center) celebrates after a Cason Cook touchdown in the second quarter of last Friday’s AISA Class AA state championship game in Troy, Ala. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)


When I became part of The West Alabama Watchman in July, I knew that my role would lead to ultimately covering high school football for the teams south of Demopolis. Jeremy and Michael have always covered Demopolis games as a duo, so my covering of the schools in the south of the county just made sense.

Before I get too far down this path, let me be clear: I am a graduate of Demopolis High School. I attended Demopolis City Schools for my entire grade-school career. As such, my knowledge of high school football has always been of the AHSAA variety.

That all changed this season.

Sure I covered Linden High a good bit (they’re still in the playoffs and play Maplesville Friday night—go Patriots!), but it was on the Marengo Academy sidelines that I found myself becoming more and more intrigued with AISA football.

As I covered the Longhorns, the burnt orange greeted me each week, along with a couple of different fans who’d thank me for being there to cover “our little ol’ school,” as they’d call it.

Webb Tutt, who sort of fell back into the position of head coach this season after the school thought it’d been filled, is as good a head coach as you’ll find in the state as far as I’m concerned. Don’t get me wrong; I have the utmost respect for Andro Williams who habitually has a winning season and playoff run at Linden year after year, and Stacy Luker who decided to bring his Wing-T offense to 5A Demopolis this season. We’re really fortunate in this area to have such quality men coaching young guys and making lasting impressions on their lives.

But there’s something about Tutt’s devotion to excellence that has always impressed me. I first noticed it when he was a defensive assistant on Tom Causey’s staff in Demopolis a few years back, but when he took the reins as head coach at Marengo, the pursuit of perfection became more obvious.

His team found much success this season. Their only two losses came to a Bessemer Academy team that went on to win their Class AAA state championship last Friday, and then Edgewood Academy, who, according to the scoreboard, beat the ‘Horns for the Class AA state championship last Friday.

We’ll get to that game, but let’s go back to Tutt.

In postgame interviews all season, I’d ask about a pick-six, or bring up Hayden Huckabee’s insane amount of rushing yards in a game, but he’d always zone back in on what had to be improved.

“Yeah, Hayden had a heck of a game,” he’d say, “but man we’ve got to get better at tackling.”

In many ways, Tutt is the Nick Saban of AISA football, if you will…minus that whole hating the media part. Sure, we won the game by a sizeable margin, and yeah, we had some great plays, but we’ve got to get better.

Despite his constant attention to what needed improvement throughout the season, I saw a different Webb Tutt after last Friday’s game when his Longhorns came within six points and 30 seconds of knocking off an Edgewood team that hasn’t lost a game in seven seasons.

If you’re reading this and didn’t make it to the game, allow me a moment to set up the scene.

Edgewood scored first and Marengo had an answer for just about every touchdown they were able to put up. At the half, Marengo trailed Edgewood 27-20. Statistically, Marengo dominated nearly every category. Their time of possession was nearly double that of Edgewood’s. With 7:51 remaining in the game and trailing by six with the score 40-34, Marengo forced a turnover and Edgewood punted it down to Marengo’s own half-yard-line. Undaunted, the Longhorns set up shop and did just what they’d done all night: pounded it down the throats of a winded Edgewood defense.

“All I want is four yards per carry,” said Marengo offensive coordinator Woodie Beck earlier in the game. His game plan was working. They were keeping the ball out of Edgewood QB Nathan Rourke’s hands and keeping the Wildcat defense on the field.

As expected, the Longhorns had little trouble moving down the field and soon found themselves a mere 14 yards away from putting six on the board. Six would tie the game, and a PAT would almost certainly have secured the win. With under 10 seconds remaining, the ‘Horns took two stabs to the end zone, but time expired without them being able to capitalize.

Sure, there were tears. Tears from the players, the cheerleaders, the parents. I’m pretty sure I may have even caught a glimpse of a tear from a coach or two. There was disappointment. There were seniors ending their final season in a way that was not supposed to happen.

Tutt said it best after the game: “Man these boys knew they could beat this team. They knew all week that they were going to. Folks around town were asking about the game with some concern, but these boys never gave it any attention. They believed they’d win, and they expected to win. They never considered any other outcome.”

And he was exactly right. As I marched up and down the sidelines that afternoon, I saw something you rarely see these days in high school sports. I saw a Longhorn team who played from behind the entire game, but never lost faith in each other or sight of their goal. I saw a group of high school boys listen to all the trash talk that the opponent could throw their way across the line of scrimmage, and then turn it into fuel for the next play without once losing their cool or their character. I saw Cason Cook toss a six-foot five Division I hopeful Kelvin Lucky around like a rag doll. I saw Lawson Smyly and Weldon Aydelott sack Rourke for a total loss of 19 yards. I watched Andrew “Hawk” Martin reel in an interception that turned out to be only Rourke’s third interception of the year. And the ‘Horns did it all with homegrown, straight out of Marengo County players—no Canadian quarterbacks or Nigerian defensive ends here.

So what do you take from a game like this? As a senior, how do you walk away from a game that was so close but just not close enough?

It’s simple. You take your character. You pick it up off the field in Troy, you brush it off as it may have taken a little beating in Friday’s game as you chose to play with class and dignity, and you put it back on, ready for the next battle life throws your way.

I’m sure many of you felt defeated as you gathered on the field post-game and were met by family members, girlfriends, and classmates who told you that you played one heck of a game. Listen to those people. Find solace in their words, because they are exactly right.

You see, this game was tough. You were tried. You were tested. And how did you respond? Ask anyone who was there, even some in green, and they’ll tell you that you did it with class. You held your heads high, you never lowered your standards, and you made Marengo County proud. Seniors, you led your fellow Longhorns not by telling them what to do, but by demonstrating through your own actions and demanding that they measure up. You are leaders in every sense of the word.

So what next?

Seniors, take this one with you. As you head off to college or enter the workforce, you’ll have days where you feel like you’re being attacked from every angle. It’ll be so easy to lower your standards, to momentarily forget about your character that you’ve developed under your coaches’ leadership. Don’t do it. Remember this game and push through whatever situation you’re facing, keeping your head (and your standards) high.

Juniors, you’ve got big shoes to fill now. Step up to the plate ready to go. Maintain close friendships with the outgoing seniors and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to text or call them when you have a question—that’s what they’re there for and I can guarantee you they want to see the Longhorn tradition continue just as much as you want to win a state championship next year.

To the coaches and parents, keep doing what you’re doing in Linden. Parents, you have raised some of the most respectful, hardworking children I have ever had the honor of covering, and coaches, you’re doing an incredible job building on the foundations laid by these parents and developing respectful children into men of character.

In 2015, that is a feat in and of itself.

Finally, from a Demopolis Tiger and now Longhorn fan, I can’t wait to be on the sidelines again next season covering the team in orange. Hook ‘em!

Photo of the Day



Two hunters make their way through Daub’s Swamp on the Black Warrior River for a late afternoon hunt on Thanksgiving Day.

Letter to the Editor: Support local nonprofits in season of giving

This Thanksgiving, the Demopolis City Schools Foundation has much to be thankful for – another year of successful grants in the classrooms of Demopolis and the completion of our $1 Million “Hallelujah Goal” as a start to an Endowment Fund for perpetual funding.

None of this work would be possible without the support of our donors, large and small. I think it is critical to note that over 90% of the funding for our School Foundation comes from local individuals and businesses.

As we approach the Christmas season, I want to encourage all the citizens of the Demopolis area to support your local nonprofits first.  None of my fellow partners in charitable work in Demopolis have large staff or fancy advertising agencies to create elaborate mailings and TV advertisements. But locally, our nonprofits:

  • Feed the hungry at the Demopolis Food Pantry
  • Care for the elderly at Braxton Senior Day Care
  • Offer afterschool and summer resources at the Theo Ratliff Center
  • Provide learning resources for all ages at the Demopolis Public Library
  • Find homes for animals through the Bigbee Humane Society
  • Share and maintain our local history at the Marengo County History and Archives Museum, Marengo Historical Society, and Gaineswood Historic Site
  • Improve health care for our community through the Hospital Auxiliary
  • Create opportunities to experience a wide range of arts programs through the Canebrake Players and Two Rivers Arts Council
  • Provide scholarships for high school students through the Bargain Box
  • Ensure students are receiving the “extras” that make a good education great through the Demopolis City Schools Foundation

This list could go on and on, but all of this work is supported primarily at the local level and depends on our support of time, talent, and treasure to serve our fellow citizens. Whatever cause you are passionate about, there are ways to be involved right here on a local level.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday, a day where you may see a lot of social media posts asking for donations to charitable organizations. Before you send your check off to a national organization, or even one in Birmingham or Montgomery, consider your local nonprofits first and what Demopolis and West Alabama would be like without them.

In this season of giving, just as you need to shop local to support your neighborhood business owners, you need to give local to support charities who support your neighbors. With your continued support, we can truly live up to our name as a “City of The People.”


Amanda Barnes

Executive Director

Demopolis City Schools Foundation


Thanksgiving msg

Photo of the Day

100_7084Layne Etheridge, 3rd grade, and Landon Bedwell, 2nd grade, were the top sellers during the fruit and pecan fundraiser at Marengo Academy.  Each student received $75.00.  Layne is the daughter of Trey and Ruth Etheridge of Thomaston. Landon is the son of Wally and Angela Bedwell of Linden.