Archives for September 2016

Linden pulls away from Sweet Water to stay unbeaten

By Johnny Autery A swarming Patriot defense smothers Bulldog RB Shamar Lewis.

By Johnny Autery
A swarming Patriot defense smothers Bulldog RB Shamar Lewis.

The renewal of one of Class 1A’s best rivalries saw Linden wrest away control of the Region 1 Friday night with a big second half that resulted in a 35-7 win over Sweet Water.

“It went like I thought it was going to go. The game is won up front. I knew that this team is known to sell a brand of football that’s fast and physical like we try to sell,” Linden coach Andro Williams said of his team’s win. “We needed somebody like that tonight. We needed somebody that was going to hit us in the face and keep fighting. What I saw tonight was a Sweet Water team that knew how to fight that has tradition. That didn’t surprise me. We needed that. We needed that fight.”

Photo by Johnny Autery Sweet Water quarterback Jonah Smith finds daylight and runs for a first down.

Photo by Johnny Autery
Sweet Water quarterback Jonah Smith finds daylight and runs for a first down.

Linden opened the scoring with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter when Xavier McIntosh scored on a 5-yard touchdown. Sweet Water answered with 9:24 left in the second when Shamar Lewis sprinted 21 yards for a touchdown. Jonah Smith tied with with the point-after kick.

Linden converted a pair of fourth and 10 situations before C.J. Robinson then hit Davontae Poole for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 6:40 left in the half for a 14-7 lead.

Robinson then found Isaiah Scott for a 38-yard touchdown strike with 6:45 left in the third quarter for the 21-7 advantage. After a couple of missed opportunities for Sweet Water, the Patriots put the game away with a 3-yard McIntosh touchdown run with 7:21 to play. Deauris Jones capped the scoring with a 1-yard plunge with 1:22 to go in the game.

Photo by Johnny Autery Linden running back Xavier McIntosh blasts through the Bulldog line. 

Photo by Johnny Autery
Linden running back Xavier McIntosh blasts through the Bulldog line.

The Patriots totaled 368 yards of offense while Sweet Water had 134. Linden did most of its damage on the ground, tallying 253 yards on 41 rushes. Sweet Water had 140 yards on 44 runs.

Robinson was 3 of 6 through the air for 115 yards and a pair of scores. Dequan Charleston led all rushers with 93 yards on nine carries. McIntosh added 65 yards and two scores on 10 attempts. DeAntonio Williams had 51 yards on 11 carries.

Lewis paced Sweet Water with 76 yards and a score on 13 carries. Jonathan Biggs and Dequan Charleston each intercepted a pass for Linden. Lewis picked one off for Sweet Water.

Linden (6-0, 4-0) remains in the county each of the next two weeks as it travels to Region 1 foe A.L. Johnson next week before hosting Marengo Oct. 14. Sweet Water (3-2, 3-1) hosts McIntosh next Friday night.

By Johnny Autery Isaiah Scott hauls in a touchdown pass from Christopher Robinson.

By Johnny Autery
Isaiah Scott hauls in a touchdown pass from Christopher Robinson.

Marengo Academy parlays early lead into 42-12 win over Sumter

Marengo Academy did most of its damage in the first half Friday night en route to a 42-12 win over Sumter Academy. The Longhorns scored 35 points in the first 24 minutes of play to distance themselves from the Eagles.

Weldon Aydelott opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 56-yard touchdown run. Jacob Beck followed with a 7-yard scoring sprint as the Longhorns led 14-6 after one quarter of play.

Robert Tutt went to the air in the second quarter, finding Landon Houlditch for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Gavin Bowden scored on a 5-yard run while Hayden Megginson scored on a 2-yard run and the Longhorns were up 35-6 at half.

Aydelott sprinted 52 yards for a score in the third quarter for the final Marengo touchdown of the game. The Longhorns amassed 388 yards of offense in the contest. Aydelott finished with 108 yards and two touchdowns on his only two carries of the game.

Demopolis sets aside miscues for 35-6 win

9-30-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Demopolis' Tyler Jones hauls in a touchdown pass from Logan McVay in the Tigers' win over Dallas County.

9-30-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Tyler Jones hauls in a touchdown pass from Logan McVay in the Tigers’ win over Dallas County.

9-30-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Demopolis' Dez Jackson carries the ball in the Tigers' win over Dallas County.

9-30-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Dez Jackson carries the ball in the Tigers’ win over Dallas County.

Demopolis overcame four turnovers and an uneven performance to beat Dallas County 35-6 Friday night and remain unbeaten in Class 5A, Region 3 play.

“Three turnovers on offense, one on special teams. We felt like the only way they were going to be able to score was on a big play. They got it. It was a win,” Demopolis coach Stacy Luker said. “It was a good win because we won, but we’ve got to be better.”

The Tigers took their first drive 55 yards on five plays and capped the possession with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Jones. After stoning Dallas County on the ensuing possession, the Tigers traveled 45 yards on six plays and stretched the lead to 14-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run by A.J. Jackson.

With all the momentum squarely behind the Tigers, miscues marred the second quarter. In addition to a muffed punt, the Tigers threw an interception and lost a fumble, limping into halftime with a 14-0 lead.

9-30-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Demopolis' Williams Wikins attempts to elude a defender in the Tigers' win over Dallas County.

9-30-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Williams Wikins attempts to elude a defender in the Tigers’ win over Dallas County.

“We started fast. We were 11 plays and two touchdowns in the first eight minutes. We started fast. Fast on defense. But from the four-minute mark of the first quarter on, it was just like pulling teeth,” Luker said. “Sometimes you have to grind through wins like that where you don’t play your best and you’re not your sharpest. I thought they played hard. I thought they played extremely hard.”

Demopolis came out firing in the third quarter with a seven-play drive that covered 53 yards and culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jackson to move it to 21-0.

On the next snap, Octavius Palmer hit Kedrick Wilson, who spun out of a tackle and beat a defender in a footrace to complete a 57-yard pitch-and-catch that cut the score to 21-6. Dez Jackson blocked the extra point.

Demopolis added a 13-yard touchdown pass from Logan McVay to Jones and then a 5-yard scoring run by William Wilkins to set the final tally.

9-30-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Demopolis' A.J. Jackson runs in the open field in the Tigers' win over Dallas County.

9-30-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson runs in the open field in the Tigers’ win over Dallas County.

The Tigers had 313 yards of offense while Dallas County finished with 148. Wilkins finished with 119 yards on 11 carries. Jackson had 85 yards on 19 rushes. Xavier McShan had seven total tackles and a sack. Khyrim Bryant finished with eight tackles and a fumble recovery.

“We won the game. We’re undefeated in this region and we’re going to keep moving forward,” Luker said. “ We’ll see what we’ve learned from it.”

Demopolis (5-1, 4-0) host Sumter Central next week for Homecoming.

9-30-16 -- Demopolis, Ala. -- Demopolis' Erin White (45) tries to give a little extra push to Khyrim Bryant as he advances a fumble toward the endzone in the Tigers' win over Dallas County.

9-30-16 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Erin White (45) tries to give a little extra push to Khyrim Bryant as he advances a fumble toward the endzone in the Tigers’ win over Dallas County.

Rooster Day provides needed repairs at Lyon Hall

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Thanks to proceeds from a successful Rooster Day in April, the Marengo County Historical Society has been able to make several much-needed repairs to Lyon Hall.

The inaugural 2016 Rooster Day enabled the MCHS to replace the roof of the concrete-block building on the grounds. The old roof was damaged beyond repair by strong winds, age and fallen tree-limbs and was at risk of more significant damage.

Other projects recently completed include repairs and painting to the decking of the back porch and ramp, as well as the nursery porch. The plaster ceiling of the east side porch also was repaired.

Shutter repair and painting on the east side of Lyon Hall, as well as repairs and painting to the east porch were also completed. Damaged shutters have been removed from Lyon Hall, and will be carefully restored.

Bluff Hall, another of the historic home owned and operated by the MCHS, soon will get much-needed repairs to its south side porch, the original porte cochere.

“It is sometimes difficult to show people all the work we are doing, because structural repairs are often not visible,” said MCHS president John Laney, “but they are critical for preserving these homes.”

Ronnie O’Neil, who chairs the MCHS building committee, said some immediate cosmetic repairs are being made so that Lyon Hall will be more attractive to rent out for events.

MCHS Operations Director Kirk Brooker added, “Lyon Hall is an amazing venue for weddings, receptions, and other gatherings not only because of its historical significance, but also because the layout flows well for entertaining large crowds.

“We hope to increase rental of Lyon Hall this year, which generates much-needed revenue for maintaining the house and introduces our historic homes to more people,” Brooker continued. “This is a target growth area for us.”

Much more remains to be done at both Lyon Hall and Bluff Hall. Those who would like to donate labor or funding may contact the MCHS (334) 289-0282 or get in touch by email at marengohistory@bellsouth.net. MCHS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

To learn more about volunteering or attending Rooster Day, a major fundraising event that supports these endeavors, please visit http://www.roosterdaydemopolis.com.

First Presbyterian to host special service Oct. 20

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. To commemorate this, First Presbyterian Church, Demopolis, located at 300 N. Strawberry St., will hold a special worship service of remembrance for families who have lost children to miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, accident, or illness on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary.

It is the hope of the church to reach out with the love of Jesus, as God’s people, to offer God’s love, grace, peace, and comfort to those who have endured unspeakable loss. All community members are welcome. Those who have not experienced loss personally are welcome to attend and help comfort those who have.

Photo of the Day

dhsstadium_andrewgwin

After a bye week last week, Demopolis (4-1, 3-0) returns home this week as the Tigers host Dallas County (2-3, 1-1). Linden (5-0, 3-0) hosts Sweet Water (3-1, 3-0) in what is not only a longstanding county rivalry, but a Class 1A Region 1 slugfest. The Longhorns of Marengo Academy (5-1, 3-0) travel to Sumter Academy (0-5, 0-2). A.L. Johnson (2-4, 1-2) will travel to J.F. Shields (0-6, 0-3) in another Class 1A Region 1 matchup. The Marengo Panthers (3-2, 2-1) will face Fruitdale (1-2, 1-2) on the road.

UWA introduces first cohort of Tutwiler Scholars

The first cohort of the Tutwiler Scholars Program at the University of West Alabama was introduced at the September Board of Trustees meeting. Pictured from left to right, UWA Board of Trustees President Jerry Smith, Sarah Miles, Destiny Langford, Kiersten Schellhammer, Sophia Thompson, Stephanie Metzler, UWA President Ken Tucker, Jade Montgomery, Emylee Tull, Caitlyn Muncher, Anna Holycross, and UWA Provost Tim Edwards. Not pictured: Jack Shiels. (WAW | Contributed)

The first cohort of the Tutwiler Scholars Program at the University of West Alabama was introduced at the September Board of Trustees meeting. Pictured from left to right, UWA Board of Trustees President Jerry Smith, Sarah Miles, Destiny Langford, Kiersten Schellhammer, Sophia Thompson, Stephanie Metzler, UWA President Ken Tucker, Jade Montgomery, Emylee Tull, Caitlyn Muncher, Anna Holycross, and UWA Provost Tim Edwards. Not pictured: Jack Shiels. (WAW | Contributed)

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama has announced the first cohort of its Tutwiler Scholars Program, the newest prestige scholarship program at UWA.

The first cohort of Tutwiler Scholars includes six sophomores and five freshmen.

“This program was created to attract, reward, and cultivate truly exceptional undergraduates”, said Dr. Lesa C. Shaul, director of the UWA Honors Program and professor of English. “This program features a 10 member cohort of high-achieving, high-potential students who have demonstrated initiative, creativity, intellectual passion and curiosity, and a commitment to making positive contributions to society.”

The benefits of the program include supplemental scholarships, renewable each fall semester with the maintenance of a 3.5 GPA; a travel stipend for study-abroad semesters; a technology allowance for computers; participation in enriching social, cultural, artistic, and scientific enterprises; and targeted mentoring by UWA professors.

Anna Holycross of Livingston, Ala., is a Tutwiler Scholar. A sophomore biology comprehensive major, Holycross plans to become a veterinarian.

Destiny Langford of Hamilton, Ala., is a Tutwiler Scholar. A sophomore general science education major, Langford plans to teach high school science and eventually become a college professor.

Stephanie Metzler of Oneonta, Ala., is a sophomore Tutwiler Scholar. Metzler, an elementary education major, plans to combine teaching with global outreach and mission work.

Sarah Miles of Irvine, Calif., is a Tutwiler Scholar. A sophomore integrated marketing communications major, Miles plans on using her degree to become a sportswriter.

Jade Montgomery of Livingston, Ala., is a Tutwiler Scholar. Montgomery, a junior majoring in biology comprehensive, plans to become a biomedical engineer.

Caitlyn Muncher of Jasper, Ala., is a freshman Tutwiler Scholar. Muncher, a biology comprehensive major, plans to go into pediatric dentistry.

Kiersten Schellhammmer of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is a sophomore Tutwiler Scholar. Majoring in biology comprehensive, Schellhammer plans to pursue a doctrine in molecular biology or genetics, with the ultimate goal of becoming an animal geneticist.

Jack Shiels of Cheshire, England, is a freshman Tutwiler Scholar. Shiels, interested in the social sciences and business, plans to become a sports psychologist or work in the corporate sector of sports management.

Sophia Thompson of Greenville, S.C., is a Tutwiler Scholar. Thompson, a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary arts, plans to become a children’s book illustrator.

Emylee Tull of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is a freshman majoring in athletic training. Tull plans to use her degree to become a physical therapist.

Marengo Academy Lady Longhorns volleyball vs Tuscaloosa Academy 9-27-16 (gallery)

Marengo Academy vs. Patrician Academy 9-22-16 (gallery)

Tears and Laughter: The answer remains the same

I like old churches for reasons I can’t even explain to myself. Not just the old well maintained majestic white churches with tall steeples reaching toward heaven, but the old ones with sagging roofs and broken beams no longer able to support weight.

Nothing distracts me on road trips like abandoned churches. The ones where it has been a long, long time since a congregation filled the pews.

I saw one last week that looked as if the whole structure had dropped to its knees and bowed its head. This one, I thought, as many of them often do, seemed to accurately capture the current condition of religion in America today.

I will pull over at these old church sites and take pictures much to my children’s amusement. I guess I stop mostly for the feeling I get standing in front of what used to be. The kids can’t see the attraction yet, but I assure them that one day they will.

Churches are still valued today, but it seems they once played a more important role in communities. It was where everyone gathered to pray and to praise, but it was more than that. It was all some areas had, it was a hearth of hope and comfort where everyone was welcomed, a meeting place and safe haven.

Churches, and the grounds that surround them, have witnessed many young people wander down paths they were thought never to return from, only to see them come back time after time – often during a revival. Young boys who once drove too fast and cussed too much would become God fearing men with secure jobs who married inside the church one Saturday afternoon and raised children, rarely missing a Sunday year after year until one day their eulogy was read.

There are no eulogies for old churches. They just stand there silently with their memories of baptisms and blushing brides dashing down the front steps in white amidst a shower of rice and a crowd of family and friends.

Standing before them, it is as if the celebrations just one day stopped. It is as if time itself ceased to be. One Sunday the doors failed to open. The gospel was silent. There were no more dinners on the ground. No gingham tablecloths spread with fried chicken or treasures from gardens, or pound cake or watermelon. No children chasing one another, and the latest baby no longer being passed around.

But even in a state of disrepair, there is something holy about old abandoned churches. They have an energy that surrounds them like a hymn. It is an everlasting spirit we are still just as in touch with today. It is not bound to a building that is vulnerable to time and decay.

Besides, churches don’t ever go away, they just rebuild bigger and stronger usually not too far from where they started. They still dot the rural south and beyond. Anywhere you go, you will find churches.

And for all of life’s trials and sufferings, church is there for you. For any soul seeking comfort, for anyone groping for answers to life’s endless problems too prevalent in our country today, for anybody who just wants the tools to be happy…the answer is given every Sunday morning, any week of the year.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.