Archives for April 2016

4-30-2016 DHS soccer vs Holtville (gallery)

Demopolis soccer downs Holtville for playoff win

4-30-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Cristian Velez loads up for a goal scoring shot against Holtville.

4-30-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Cristian Velez loads up for a goal scoring shot against Holtville.

Demopolis (13-2) advanced to the second round of the Class 4A-5A state soccer playoffs Saturday with a 10-0 defeat of Holtville.

The final goal of the contest came with 1:12 left on the clock when eighth grader Joseph Barnes collected the rebound off a Zachary Chu shot as it caromed off the cross bar. Barnes planted it in the net to end the match.

“Joseph Barnes scoring that goal made my day. We’ve got a lot of really good young players and when we can get them on the field, you don’t see much of a step back from our starting guys,” Demopolis coach Bert Rice said. “So I’m real excited to see what these young guys can do moving forward.”

Demopolis scored six goals in the first half to take a commanding lead. Adam Brooker opened the scoring with an unassisted effort before Chu made good on a Cristian Velez pass for the 2-0 lead. Velez then connected with an unassisted goal for the 3-0 lead.

4-30-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Zach Chu launches a goal scoring shot against Holtville.

4-30-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Zach Chu launches a goal scoring shot against Holtville.

Chu made good on a Velez assist for the 4-0 lead before cashing in another shot for the 5-0 advantage. Velez hit his second shot with 21.7 seconds left in the first half for a 6-0 lead.

Alex Maravilla opened the second half scoring with an unassisted goal with 28:34 left for the 7-0 lead. Brooker scored his second goal at the 17:05 mark. Maravilla dished off to Smit Patel for the 9-0 lead with 13:02 to play.

“We hadn’t played an entire game in a long time with our ones, so we were a little inconsistent at times,” Rice said. “I think, when we had to show up, we did. Overall, I think it was a pretty good effort and a pretty good performance.”

Demopolis moves on to the second round Tuesday to face the winner of Marbury and Holt.

“Let them rest. Let them rest. Go over the game plan and show up and play. That’s kind of been my thing since day one,” Rice said. “I told these guys it doesn’t matter who we play, it doesn’t matter where we play. Just pull the ball down and let’s go.”

4-30-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Alex Maravilla splits a defender's legs to score a goal against Holtville.

4-30-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Alex Maravilla splits a defender’s legs to score a goal against Holtville.


Adam Brooker – 39

Cristian Velez – 23

Zachary Chu – 16

Clay McVay – 6

Alex Maravilla – 6

Smit Patel – 3

Patrick Rosales – 2

Tyler Pipkins – 2

Joseph Barnes – 2

Ashley Dunn – 1

J.C. McVay – 1

Hugo Galvan – 1

Jaylen Wilson – 1

Matt Beckum – 1

Nick Helms – 1

James Woods – 1

Demopolis sweeps Marbury to move to quarterfinals

4-23-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Luke Yelverton drives in a run in game one against Marbury.

4-23-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Luke Yelverton drives in a run in game one against Marbury.

Demopolis (18-8) is headed to the quarterfinals of the state baseball playoffs for the first time since 2005 after sweeping Marbury 7-6, 2-0 Friday night.

“It’s very humbling to me to be a part of that. It’s all about the kids. The kids play the game. The kids win the game. It’s a credit to a lot of teams in the past that were close and didn’t get over that hump,” Demopolis coach James Moody said. “I think the thing about his bunch is that nobody much gave them a chance. I’ll be honest with you. We had a freshman and a sophomore in that game and everybody is just stepping up. It’s huge for our program. It’s big for our school and our community. It really is.”

4-23-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Chandler Barton attempts to snag a high throw in game one against Marbury. Jamacus Ezell would catch the ball on the tip.

4-23-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Chandler Barton attempts to snag a high throw in game one against Marbury. Jamacus Ezell would catch the ball on the tip.

The Tigers clinched the series on the strength of a strong pitching performance from senior Luke Yelverton. The Spring Hill signee tossed seven shutout innings in game two, striking out nine batters and scattering three hits in the 2-0 win. Yelverton also ignited the two-run rally that proved the difference in the contest when he singled to start the fifth inning before giving way to courtesy runner Wesley Allgood.

As Jamarcus Ezell dropped a sacrifice bunt and hustled down the line, Marbury threw the ball into foul territory to advance Allgood to third base. As Marbury threw to third to try to nail Allgood, the throw sailed into foul territory again, allowing him to score. After a Demetrius Davis sacrifice bunt, Chandler Barton skied a fly ball to left to plate Ezell for the 2-0 lead.

“We kind of started this one just like we did last week game two. We just kind of got up there and we really weren’t focusing on our (at-bats) and, next thing you know, it’s fourth or fifth inning,” Moody said of his team, which had only five hits in the contest. “You kind of got to reel them back in. It’s always something small. It’s something small like a bunt that makes a difference.”

4-23-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Ryan Morrison came on in relief in game one against Marbury.

4-23-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Ryan Morrison came on in relief in game one against Marbury.

The win brought a measure of vindication for the Tigers, who felt embarrassed a season ago when they traveled to Marbury and were swept in the second round of a series that included a 12-2 rout.

“We actually put a picture up in the locker room that a girl from Marbury had posted (on social media). It’s a picture that said, ‘Did the Tigers even show up?’ Every day when we headed out to practice, it was a picture that we saw,” Yelverton said. “Of course we want to go past this, but that’s what we were building up to was this game right here and it couldn’t be bigger.”

The Tigers opened the night flat, falling to a 6-1 deficit in game one before rallying back for a 7-6 win. Yelverton gave his team a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when he doubled in Jonathon Lewis.

“He has done a great job for us all year. He has really worked hard on shortening his swing and just letting the barrel to the work for him. When he does that, he does things like he did tonight,” Moody said of Yelverton.

Yelverton, who had four hits in the series, drew a pair of intentional walks for Marbury on the night, signaling a considerable change from a season ago when the Tigers often pinch-hit for him.

“Big progress on the mound and, obviously, the progress at the plate that he demands that attention,” Moody said of Yelverton. “He’s hitting in the seventh hole. My high school coach talked to me about eight or 10 years ago. He said, ‘Coach, go back through your book at the end of the year and look at your seven hole hitter and how many times he comes up with runners in scoring position. It’s a crucial spot in the lineup. And it’s proving true right now.”

“It meant a lot. I’m finally starting to hit the ball a little bit, which all the credit goes to the coaches,” Yelverton said. “They’ve changed a lot of stuff with me. They’ve got me seeing the ball a little bit better and I couldn’t do it without them.”

4-23-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Luke Yelverton strikes out a batter in game two against Marbury.

4-23-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Luke Yelverton strikes out a batter in game two against Marbury.

The Tigers’ 1-0 lead proved short-lived as Marbury scored four runs in the third and one in the fourth to take a 5-1 advantage. The Bulldogs added another in the fifth inning for the 6-1 advantage before the Tigers brought in junior hurler Ryan Morrison. Facing a bases-loaded situation with one out in the inning, Morrison induced a fly ball and struck out another batter to hold the game there.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers scratched out a pair of runs when Davis stroked a single through the right side to plate Yelverton and Wesley Holemon, cutting the deficit to 6-3.

The Tigers scored three runs with one out in the bottom of the seventh to extend the game. R.J. Cox reached on an error to start the rally and gave way to courtesy runner Andrew Patterson. Jacob Rodrigues then singled and gave way to pinch runner Charles Casper. Lewis singled to load the bases. Morrison then stroked a fly ball to center that likely would have been deep enough to score Patterson from third before it caromed off the glove of the Marbury defender. Patterson and Casper scored on the play to cut it to 6-5. Yelverton tied the game by singling to right to plate Lewis.

Demopolis used a pair of errors to get runners on in the ninth before Marbury intentionally walked Yelverton to load the bases and pitch to Ezell. The Tiger senior stroked the walk-off single up the middle to plate Lewis and win the game.

“We just kept competing and putting the ball in play. We got some big hits in some big situations. There’s no quit in them against a very good baseball team,” Moody said.

4-23-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - Luke Yelverton (22) watches as Jamarcus Ezell dives back to tag out a runner in game two against Marbury.

4-23-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – Luke Yelverton (22) watches as Jamarcus Ezell dives back to tag out a runner in game two against Marbury.

Morrison worked four and two-thirds innings of one-hit baseball in relief, picking up the win while facing the minimum amount of batters.

“Outstanding job. Unbelievable. He treated the game as if it was 0-0,” Moody said of Morrison. “I talk to our guys about the importance of people that don’t start the game coming in and making a difference in the game. He took that to heart, I believe. That’s as fine a job in a pressure situation as I can ask for.”

For Moody, the comeback signals a significant maturation for his team only a season after it finished 13-15.

“I think it’s a tribute to them and the focus that they brought to the park and that they’ve thought about all year long. I think what happened to us last year in a losing effort really benefited us. I think it showed tonight,” Moody said. “Even when we got down 6-1, I don’t know if anybody thinks we come back, especially when they put their one on the hill. But they never panicked. As long as you’ve got kids battling like that, the sky’s the limit what you can do.”

Demopolis is set to face the winner of the Rehobeth and Charles Henderson series in the quarterfinals. The Tigers would travel to Charles Henderson but would host Rehobeth.

4-23-2016 - Demopolis, Ala. - R.J. Cox gets a base hit in game two against Marbury.

4-23-2016 – Demopolis, Ala. – R.J. Cox gets a base hit in game two against Marbury.

Demopolis Arrest Reports: Apr. 29, 2016

Apr. 26 – Willie C. Batch, 22, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, Highway 80 W

Apr. 26 – Christopher D. Taylor, 27, Domestic Violence III, DPD

Apr. 26 – Monnikesha R. Edwards, 25, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, Contempt of Court, Front Row Store

Apr. 26 – Amber R. Walker, 26, Contempt of Court, Walmart

Apr. 27 – Charles P. Simmons, 62, Alias (two counts), South Walnut

Apr. 28 – Howard C. Tate, 25, Alias, Jackson St

Demopolis soccer hosts Holtville Saturday in playoff opener

The Demopolis High School soccer team will host Holtville Saturday at 1 p.m. in the first round of the Class 4A-5A state playoffs. The Tigers closed the regular season Monday night with an 11-1 win over Sipsey Valley.

In that contest, UAB signee Adam Brooker led the way with six goals. Zachary Chu added three goals while James Woods and Smit Patel scored one goal each.


Adam Brooker – 37

Cristian Velez – 21

Zachary Chu – 13

Clay McVay – 6

Alex Maravilla – 5

Patrick Rosales – 2

Tyler Pipkins – 2

Smit Patel – 2

Ashley Dunn – 1

J.C. McVay – 1

Hugo Galvan – 1

Jaylen Wilson – 1

Joseph Barnes – 1

Matt Beckum – 1

Nick Helms – 1

James Woods – 1

Demopolis High to hold Special Olympics

Special Olympians in the Demopolis area will compete in a one-day Special Olympics/Field Day event May 12.

Hosted by the Demopolis City School System, it will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Demopolis High School track. Students with special needs will compete in a variety of track and field events.

Sponsors for the Special Olympics include Parr’s Inc., Langley Shell Stations, Robertson Banking Co., Soggy Bottom Lodge, Sweet Water State Bank, Naheola Credit Union and Trustmark Bank.

For more information or to sign up to help, contact Lisa McHugh at

Demopolis BOE holds short meeting

In a short called meeting Tuesday, the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education rescinded an earlier approval of Julie Harrison as Gifted Specialist.

Named as Gifted Specialist was Dana Hill, effective Aug. 9.

Harrison’s hiring had been approved in April. No reason was given for the change.

The only other actions were approval for the Demopolis Middle School to attend a Math Problem Solving Tournament in Columbus, Miss., May 7, and a 21st Century Community Learning Center.

The Learning Center is a partnership with West Mid-Alabama Community Development Corp., Inc., for a $150,000 grant to serve 70 students in grades 9-12 at Demopolis High School.

The program will offer an after-school and summer enrichment program using an array of activities that reinforce and complement the regular academic program.

The partnership has a four-fold goal:

  • Assist students to meet and/or exceed core subject standards.
  • Increase regular school attendance.
  • Increase family and parental involvement.
  • Improve behavior in the regular school program.

Marengo Academy season ends in semifinals (with gallery)

IMG_6117ELMORE — Marengo Academy’s tremendous season came to a halt in the Class AA semifinals Wednesday as the Longhorns were swept by Edgewood.

Marengo lost the opener 10-0, surrendering eight runs during a fourth inning that was delayed more than two hours by thunderstorms. The Longhorns mustered a single hit in the game on a first inning double by Hayden Huckabee.

The Longhorns committed five errors in the game while walking four batters and plunking two. Edgewood needed only five hits to complete the skunking.

Marengo battled back from an early 4-0 deficit in the second game to briefly take a lead before falling 12-8.

“Hats off to Marengo too. With the way lost the first game and they battled back and fought the way they did,” Edgewood coach Bobby Carr said. “Especially when they went down 4-0, they could have easily kicked their lip, walked around and finished the game, but it says a lot about their program and the character of their kids and their coaching staff.”

Weldon Aydelott drove in Caleb Broadhead in the third inning to get the first run on the board. David Dunn then drew a walk to push Huckabee home and cut the deficit to 4-2.

After Edgewood added a run in the top of the fourth, the Longhorns posted a five-run, two-out rally to take a 7-5 lead. Aydelott singled in Huckabee and Robert Tutt. Cody Cobb and Daniel Pritchett scored on an error off the bat of Brad Collins to put Marengo on top. Collins then scored on a throwing error to add to the lead.

“They’ve been that way all year. Same way in football. They battle, battle, battle. I can’t ask for more out of them,” Marengo coach Woddie Beck said. “They did everything I asked them to do. They just come up short. I hate it for these guys Great group of guys and I hate it for them. I really do.”

The excitement proved short lived for the Longhorns as Edgewood used three errors, three walks and one hit to score five runs and take command in the fifth.

Andrew Martin scored the final Longhorn run of the season in the bottom of the fifth when he stroked the first pitch he saw for a triple and scored as an errant throw went into the Edgewood dugout.

“This has been a very fun group to coach. They’ve battled tooth and nail. I hate it for these seniors. Best group of kids I’ve ever coached. Heart. Desire. You couldn’t ask for more,” Beck said. “Again, I hate for it to end this way for the seniors, but we did have a good year. We finished the year at 25-3 and that’s a tribute to them.”

Edgewood (35-7) will seek its eighth straight state championship next week. The win would give the Wildcats the state record for most consecutive state titles at any level, a record currently held by Vestavia Hills. The Wildcats have been to the state finals 13 of the 15 seasons of Carr’s tenure.

Linden Arrest Reports: Apr. 26, 2016

Apr. 11 – Artis G. Williams, 27, Fail to Appear in Court

Apr. 16 – Marion L. Adams, 26, Disorderly Conduct

Apr. 16 – Michael C. Biggs, 39, DUI

Apr. 20 – Chaka K. Moore, 21, Harassment

Apr. 20 – Tabitha C. Moore, Assault III

Apr. 21 – Scott E. Wingate, 41, Harassment

Apr. 23 – Laprecious Hackworth, 19, Contempt of Court

Apr. 23 – Roderick O. Hill, 31, Disorderly Conduct

Tears and Laughter: Iron skillets…

She held it like she would have held a baby before she handed it to me. The handle rested in her left hand and her right hand supported its bottom.

She explained that no matter what, I should never submerge it in water adding, “It’ll stick forever if you do.”

She said, “All you have to do is just wiped it out with a little oil every time you use it, to keep it seasoned.”

This was not the first skillet she had given as a gift. She gave them to all of her granddaughters, and a couple of grandsons too.

She placed value on them.

Anytime she noticed that a new bride received an iron skillet as a shower gift she would nod in satisfaction saying, “Well, at least we know they will never starve.”

There are functional reasons why we use iron skillets, like how they clean easy and last a lifetime, and how they distribute heat evenly. But mostly, it is because we remember our mothers and our grandmothers using them.

Southern cooks tend to believe that the best iron skillets are the old ones because they think the old ones absorbed some of the love from the hands that held the hot handle day after day, meal after meal.

Sometimes when I am cooking I think about what it would be like if our great-grandmothers could share a meal with us today. What it would be like to show them all of the modern appliances that would have made their often difficult domestic lives so simple.

Southern cooks used to place more importance on midday meal. It was not just about the food. It wasn’t just lunch.

It was a reprieve from the day.

It was about having a wide selection of cookbooks to flip through. And it was as much about meaningful conversation and interesting gossip as it was eating.

They also knew there is no reason to even heat the oil to fry catfish if they weren’t going to take the time to make homemade hushpuppies. And they knew one iron skillet is not enough for any kitchen.

Even the occasional cook needs a minimum of two – a big one that is multi-functional and used frying chicken or salmon patties or okra while the other, a smaller one, is used just for baking cornbread.

I don’t think without a pone of cornbread resting to the side on its own plate that anyone would have ever bothered to shell butterbeans. It just wouldn’t have been worth the effort.

But once you have cornbread alongside boiled corn and sliced tomatoes and young turnips, cooked tender with onions and seasoned bacon, you enter a whole new realm of dining.

If we could somehow meet somewhere in the space between spirit and reality to have dinner with our great-grandmothers, I guess cornbread would have to be on the menu as well as fried chicken, butterbeans, sweet tea, and pound cake.

We could sift through the years like flour, tossing around memories, celebrating the latest babies and accomplishments.

They just wouldn’t believe this digital, instant age we live in that has simplified our lives in so many ways and helps keep us connected.

But then again…they probably wouldn’t believe how tightly we still hold on to their old iron skillets either.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman,, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at