Archives for November 2017

Marengo upends Georgiana, sets third round rendezvous with Wadley

For the second time in as many weeks, Marengo shut down a powerful Class 1A offense and advanced in the state playoffs. Eight days after shutting out Highland Home, Marengo hit the road to beat Georgiana 18-0.

Georgiana entered the game with 517 points on the season and a perfect 11-0 record.

All of that amounted to very little for Georgiana, which proved unable to satisfactorily limit the Marengo rushing attack. Quarterback Quindaris Ausbon ran the ball eight times for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Alphonzo Lewis added 73 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Roosevelt Thompson added 56 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving in the effort. Calvin Ferguson contributed 48 yards on only eight rushes.

De’Angelos Crispin recorded six tackles and a sack to lead the Marengo defense. Thompson and Curtis Autery each also had eight tackles.

Johnny Kennedy and Ronald Bouler each had three tackles for loss and two sacks.

“Our defense really stepped up again tonight. Any time you are able to limit a good offense like Georgiana, that shows signs of a disciplined team,” Marengo coach Eberne Myrthil said. “Our offense did what we have been doing all year: run the ball and pass it when we want to. I am very proud of our overall team effort. Also, I must add the Panther faithful fans showed up in full force. It was like we were at home.”

Marengo (9-3) hosts Wadley next Friday night.

Sweet Water rolls over Brantley

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Junior Jah’Darius McIntosh drags down Brantley RB Michael Booker (25) for a loss.

Sweet Water had little trouble dispatching of Brantley Friday night on the way to a 41-13 victory in the second round of the AHSAA, Class 1A playoffs.

Shamar Lewis wasted no time announcing the Bulldogs’ intentions as he returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Purple Dawg Jaylon Williamson (44) splits two defenders and picks up a first down.

Jaylon Williamson scored the game’s first offensive touchdown when he punched it in from 15 yards out for a 14-0 lead.

Jacory Brown continued to pour it on with five seconds left in the first quarter as he scored on a 5-yard run to push the lead to 20-0.

Brantley looked to get off the deck with 10:22 remaining in the second quarter when Parker Driggers connected with Adrian Person for an 11-yard touchdown strike to narrow the gap to 20-7.

Jonah Smith followed with a touchdown toss of his own, hitting Chance Broussard for a 21-yard score to move the Sweet Water lead to 27-7.

Mack Wise broke a 27-yard touchdown run with 3:26 left in the opening half to narrow Brantley’s deficit to 27-13.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
SW WR Chastian Washington (22) cradles the ball and makes the catch despite the efforts Brantley DB Jacob Odom (9)

Just before intermission fell in Nolan Atkins Stadium, Smith hit his younger brother Sasha Smith for a 12-yard touchdown pass and the 34-13 lead. The Sweet Water signal caller found the end zone one more time when he connected with Trent Sams for a 12-yard passing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Smith finished 6 of 10 throwing for 90 yards and three touchdowns. Lewis led the ground game with 102 yards on 12 carries. Brown added 67 yards on 17 carries. Kaleb Greene intercepted a pass for the Sweet Water defense.

Sweet Water (10-1) hosts reigning state champion Maplesville next Friday night in the Class 1A quarterfinals.

Demopolis drops Central-Clay to move to quarterfinals

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Malaki Simpson hits a field goal from the hold of Andrew Patterson to give the Tigers their first points in their victory over Clay Central.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Demetrius Davis (1) celebrates with Malaki Simpson (89) after Simpson hit a field goal to give the Tigers their first points of the game in their victory over Clay Central.

Demopolis relied on its defense at virtually every turn Friday night to frustrate Central-Clay County and punch its ticket to the Class 5A quarterfinals. Demopolis downed the Volunteers 17-6 to set up a third round date with Vigor High next week.

The Tigers found themselves with their backs proverbially against the wall early as the Volunteers had the ball on the Demopolis 1. As Cameron Peoples went over the top for an attempted touchdown, the Tigers knocked the ball out and Derrick Birl pounced on it, staving the threat.

“It was huge. I think we lost our leverage a couple of times early. They got a big run early,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “Our kids got a little penetration right there. I think Fred actually got his hand on the ball and knocked it loose. We got a fumble recovery right there and that got our defense loosened up. Huge play. Probably the play of the game.”

The Volunteers scarcely threatened again. Demopolis found some offensive mojo in the second quarter when Andrew Patterson found Tyquan Alston for a 31-yard gain to help set up a 25-yard field goal by Malaki Simpson, the first of the freshman kicker’s career.

“I saw him in warmups and he was hitting the ball real well,” Seymore said. “For him to step up and knock that thing through showed a lot of character on his part. We needed some points.”

The Tigers found the end zone for the first time on a remarkable catch and run from A.J. Jackson with 2:10 remaining in the first half. The senior tailback hauled in a screen pass and reversed field multiple times to complete the 59-yard touchdown play and put the Tigers up 10-0.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ A.J. Jackson breaks free on a touchdown run in the first half of the Tigers’ victory over Clay Central.

“(Offensive coordinator Matt) Mellown and the offensive staff made a good call right there,” Seymore said. “When you get a good athlete like A.J. in the open field, he has the ability to make a lot of people miss and also has the ability to outrun people.”

Demopolis broke it open early in the fourth quarter when Patterson threw over the top down the left side and dropped it right into the arms of Alston, who sprinted the rest of the way to complete a 90-yard touchdown strike.

“I caught it. I almost went out of bounds. When I caught it, all I could remember was ‘Don’t get caught. Don’t get caught.’ It has happened every time,” Alston, who got his first career touchdown on the play, said in allusion to the multiple plays this season where he has been drug down just feet from the goal line. “I was looking back trying to make sure I didn’t get caught.”

“We give him a lot of crap about getting caught. We call him slow and everything,” Patterson joked. “But he was not getting caught tonight. He turned on those jets and he was gone.”

The play effectively put the game out of reach for Central-Clay.

“It started with the protection. Patty threw a strike. He hit him right in the numbers right there,” Seyomre said. “Tyquan looked it in. He just turned on the jets and tight-roped the sideline right there. That was probably the nail in the coffin right there.”

Alston finished with three receptions for 132 yards. Patterson finished 10 of 19 for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Tigers (10-2) travel to Prichard next week to face Vigor in the third round.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Keionte Whitfield (88) and Alexander Besteder (3) wrap up a Volunteer runner as Derrick Birl (24) closes in during the Tigers’ victory over Clay Central.

11-17-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Tyquan Alston secures a pass that he would turn into a touchdown during the Tigers’ victory over Clay Central.

DCS holds stakeholder luncheon

Demopolis City Schools honored its supporters Thursday at the second annual Stakeholder Luncheon held in the Demopolis High School library.

The event, explained Supt. Kyle Kallhoff, is a way of thanking all the people who support the school system and bring them up to date on its progress.

Each of the four Demopolis principals gave a brief overview of one thing the school was focusing on this year. Kallhoff stressed the upcoming 3-mil renewal vote on the Dec. 12 ballot in Demopolis and reported on enrollment and budget trends and the capital plan.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Kallhoff recognized two people who have worked tirelessly on behalf of the school system. Named 2017 Tiger Champions were J.R. Rivas and Jason Windham.

Kallhoff said the renewal of the 3-mil property tax is held every 10 years. It is limited to voters in District 2, who, 10 years ago, approved the renewal by 87 percent. The tax brings in up to $250,000 annually.

The financial support of the school system by local residents “is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the Black Belt,” said Kallhoff.

Enrollment in Demopolis schools is 2,331, the first time in five years it has gone over 2,300, he continued. The figures show a growth of 127 students since the 2013-2014 year, and this year’s totals do not include the pre-K enrollment of 51.

The school system must consider adding on to its campuses since they are reaching their capacity. “We need to accept growth or stop growth,” said Kallhoff.

One of the considerations is whether to accept students from outside the city limits. Demopolis has an open enrollment system, which means it welcomes students from Marengo and other counties and doesn’t charge tuition. Almost half the current enrollment – 1,067 – are from out of city.

Accepting those students greatly helps with state funding, said the superintendent, but local funding is not greatly impacted with higher out-of-system numbers.

Demopolis schools get 11 percent of its money from federal sources, 64 percent from the state and 22 percent from local funding. Another 3 percent come from school-based fees.

The local financial support is above average for the state, Kallhoff said. He also praised the Demopolis City Schools Foundation for, among other things, making it possible to purchase robots for coding and programming classes and for the broadcasting programs on the campuses.

He reviewed the nine Career Tech programs now offered at DHS, including the newest HVAC dual-enrollment curriculum with Shelton State. He said 68 percent of DHS students are involved in some career-based program.

Not included in the career tech curriculum is the broadcasting cluster. It is separate so that it can be more flexible and creative than what a state-sponsored curriculum would allow.

Kallhoff went over the Capital Plan Five-Year Plan submitted to the state every year. Of the eight priorities on the list, only the first two are being addressed with the funding available. They are adapting Demopolis Middle School to meet ADA requirements and remodeling all student restrooms in the schools.

Westside Elementary School principal Roshanda Jackson chose the Leader in Me process as her one area of focus to discuss. It is a whole school transformation that helps develop children to be competent individuals.

Both Leon Clark at USJ and Brandon Kiser at DMS spoke on the coding, programming and robotics courses at their schools. “We’re preparing our students for jobs that don’t exist yet,” said Kiser.

DHS principal Blaine Hathcock said he was disappointed that his school was not listed in among the top 50 in the state by ACT scores. “That’s not acceptable.”

DHS has instituted a school-wide effort focusing on ACT skills. While all the scores aren’t in yet, he said there has been remarkable progress among those that have been returned. Higher ACT scores can equate to thousands of dollars in scholarships for students.

“The bar is going to move,” he said. “We’re going to be in the top 50 or die trying.”

Arlington woman killed in car accident

A three-vehicle crash today, Nov. 16, claimed the life of an Arlington woman. Sonya Bradford Huckabee, 52, was killed when the 2012 Honda CRV she was driving was struck by a 2000 Ford F-350 driven by Russell Wayne McCray, 28, of Millbrook. Huckabee, who was not using a seatbelt, was pronounced dead at the scene.  A parked 2012 Freightliner tractor trailer was involved after the initial collision. The crash occurred at 7:34 a.m. on U.S. 43 near the 122 mile marker, one mile north of Linden. Nothing further is available as Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate.

DCS Board looks to expand ‘Leader in Me’ to second campus

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Pleased with the “Leader in Me” process now being implemented at Westside Elementary School, the Demopolis City Board of Education Monday approved funding to expand into U.S. Jones Elementary School beginning next fall.

The BOE meeting was held a week early because of the Thanksgiving holidays.

A part of the Franklin Covey series of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “Leader in Me” is designed for elementary-aged students. The three-year, $40,000 cost for USJ will be paid for with federal Title I funding, said Supt. Kyle Kallhoff.

Eventually, he hopes to include Demopolis Middle and Demopolis High schools with the process that is adapted for adolescents.

The first reading of federal Child Nutrition Policies – one new and changes to two others – was made. A public hearing on the policies will be held Dec. 12 at 4 p.m.

The two revisions involve meal patterns and wellness, and the new policy concerns price and payment.

The personnel report approved by the board saw the conditional employment of Donald Richardson as a DHS custodian, substitute licenses for Janice Coats and Victoria Gandy and medical leave of absence for Tammi Western-Scott, DMS teacher.

The board approved travel for a DHS teacher to attend the Association of Foreign Language Conference in Nashville, Tenn., paid for with state professional development money. It also okayed the disposition of equipment beyond repair.

Overnight and out-of-state trips approved included:

  • DHS Boys Basketball to Wallace Hanceville Community College Nov. 21 and Dec. 20.
  • DHS Girls Basketball to Alabaster Dec. 27-29.
  • DHS Boys Basketball to Corinth, Miss., Dec. 28-29.
  • USJ fifth-graders to Washington, D.C. in April.
  • DMS Honor Band students Dec. 7-9.

The board also accepted a volunteer staffing agreement between Compass Rose Events, sponsored by Georgia-Pacific, and the DHS Band. The band received $2,000 for its efforts.

Also approved were the Career Tech Education Work-Based Learning Manual, a sign at the DHS Spring Sports Complex, disposal of out-of-date textbooks at DMS and DHS and Kallhoff’s attendance at the 2017 Alabama Association of School Boards convention in Birmingham Dec. 7-9.

In his report, Kallhoff said student enrollment continues to grow, with 26 more students attending Demopolis schools this year over last.

He said the 3-mil property tax renewal is coming before voters in Demopolis, an issue that requires approval every 10 years. Kallhoff said Demopolis residents traditionally have shown support for their schools by endorsing the tax renewal when it comes up for vote.

Recognized for outstanding performance were teachers, staff and students from WES and DMS. From WES were Penny Stanford, teacher; Sherron Brown, staff, and Kameron Besteder, student. At DMS, the honorees were teacher Charlene Jackson, staff member Tracy Stein, and student Taliah Isaac.

The next meeting will be held Dec. 18.

Tears and Laughter: What Wilcox County can learn from the allegations against Roy Moore 

Well, I for one completely underestimated Roy Moore. I mean, I figured once he was elected Senator that he would keep Alabama in the headlines and popular with the late-night comedy circuit, but I never imagined it would begin so soon. 

I’m still not sure what to make of Brother Roy with his cowboy hat and his little .22 short he seems to like to showoff, riding to the polls on his horse…it was all a bit much for me, but I’m a fairly conservative girl. And honestly, I was put off by the Ten Commandment saga years ago. I’ve always been a Christian. I love Jesus. But Moses was able to carry the first copy of the Ten Commandments down the mountain. Roy Moore’s monument weighed over two tons. There may have potentially been a hint of overcompensation. He had it installed during the dark of night. A Christian television ministry videoed the entire event, but he failed to mention it to any of the eight associated justices. 

It all came down to the August deadline, and by late August it is very hot in downtown Montgomery – but there were men laid out on the hot asphalt in protest wearing suits and ties. Other men were up praying, women were standing around holding signs and sweating and fanning. Many of them had their children with them to witness this huge spectacle. 

I was watching from my kitchen on a TV on top of my refrigerator, and I just remember thinking how Chief Justice Moore was not being asked to destroy the monument. Nobody was telling him he had to go sink it in the river. There were no requests to make the words on it null and void. He was simply ordered by a federal judge to move it out of the state Supreme Court Building because it endorses religion in a government establishment which is not permissible. 

The monument now rests in a hallway of The Church at Wills Creek for the residents of Gadsden to visit and appreciate. Time will tell how the people of Alabama will judge the Judge in this most recent controversy involving allegations of inappropriate contact with underage girls back in the 70’s. But there is a lesson in this for Wilcox County. 

When the Washington Post article was first published there were immediate calls for Roy Moore to step down. Maybe some of the calls were too quick because there, of course, should be some form of investigation rather than a rush to judgment – especially taking into account the concerns of some regarding timing and the current political climate. Roy Moore continues to say he has no plans to quit. He claims he is an innocent man, and that he will be suing all of the women involved, including the latest who he denies even knowing.  

The calls for him to disqualify himself came because anyone who has had sexual involvement on any level with an underage girl is disqualified from serving in public office. In other words, if the chairman of your county commission was a teacher who had a relationship with a student – and after an investigation, his teaching certificate was revoked and he was fired – that simultaneously disqualified him to hold public office, even if his name stayed on the ballot. 

That kind of behavior says a lot about a man. It says a lot about the men who serve alongside him too. Their prior knowledge, their acceptance, and their silence speak for them. Only weak people follow a disqualified leader. Strong ones demand accountability. 

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with AL.com, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at walkerworld77@msn.com or athttps://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist

King crowned Miss UWA for 2018

Khadijah King (center) of Westbury, New York, was named Miss UWA 2018 during the Miss UWA scholarship pageant on Thursday, Nov. 9. Pictured after the crowning are, left to right, first runner up and lifestyle/fitness winner Bailey Anderson of Hurley, Miss.; Miss Alabama 2017 Jessica Procter; King; Miss UWA 2017 Summer Abston; and second runner up Kennedi Sanders of Columbus, Miss.
Individual stage photos of participants and winners are available upon request.

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—Khadijah King of Westbury, New York, is the new Miss University of West Alabama and will represent the University in the 2018 Miss Alabama Pageant, a Miss America preliminary held in Birmingham in June.

Miss UWA 2017 Summer Abston crowned King, joined by special guests University President Ken Tucker and SGA President Jonathan Knox. Miss Alabama 2017 Jessica Procter served as emcee for the evening.

Six ladies vying for the title competed in five categories, including private interview, an onstage question, lifestyle and fitness, talent, and evening wear.

A graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in student affairs for higher education, Miss UWA 2018 Khadijah King has chosen a platform that empowers females. “Damsel in Success” gives girls and women of all ages the tools to market their talents, skills and passions to create opportunities and succeed in any environment.

“When I heard my name called, my first thought was that ‘Damsel in Success’ is going to take flight,” King said. “My platform is focused on closing the pay gap for females, and this will be an opportunity to reach a plethora of women.”

King calls it a top honor to represent UWA for the year at various events and ultimately at the Miss Alabama pageant, and she hopes beyond.

“Being crowned Miss University of West Alabama is so surreal,” King explained. “You practice and practice to make sure everything is perfect, but you never know what the judges want to see. I am honored that they saw character and talent in me.”

King also won the talent portion of the evening with a jazz vocal performance of “Sway” by Michael Buble.

Bailey Anderson was named first runner up, and she also won the lifestyle and fitness portion of the evening. Anderson is a freshman from Hurley, Miss., majoring in nursing. Her talent was a vocal performance of “This Girl is on Fire” by Alicia Keys. Her platform, “Think Before You Speak” raises awareness for bullying and encourages positive peer-to-peer relationships.

Kennedi Sanders was named second runner up. She is a senior psychology major from Columbus, Miss. Her talent was a jazz dance to “Fearless” by Jasmine Murray.

The Miss America Organization is the nation’s leading advocate for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States, awarding millions of dollars annually. It is also dedicated to empowering young women to further their personal, professional and educational goals and instill a spirit of community service through a variety of unique, local and nationwide, community-based programs, including the annual Miss America Serves event sponsored by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. The Miss America Organization is the world’s largest scholarship assistance provider for young women.

For more on Miss UWA 2018 Khadijah King’s journey, follow Miss UWA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MissUWA.

To learn more about the Miss UWA scholarship pageant, contact Danielle Miller at dmiller@uwa.edu.

Sweet Water handles Notasulga for first round win

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
RB Jacory Brown finds a opening and breaks a long run against the Blue Devils.

It may be playoff time but it was certainly business as usual for Sweet Water Friday night as they ran over Notasulga 54-0 to advance to the AHSAA Class 1A second round. The Bulldogs rushed to a 34-0 lead by halftime and shifted into cruise control down the stretch to ice the win in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
A trio of Bulldog defenders lead by Jaylon Williamson halt the forward progress of the Blue Devils RB.

Shamar Lewis opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run with 6:34 remaining in the first quarter. Jacory Brown added a 13-yard run with 57 seconds remaining in the quarter to move the lead to 14-0. Lewis broke a 41-yard scoring run with 10:49 left in the second quarter to make it 20-0. JahDarius McIntosh then intercepted a pass and returned it for a score 14 seconds later to officially move the game into blowout territory. Brown added another touchdown run from a yard out with 4:13 left in the opening half.

Jaylon Williamson, Kaleb Greene and Jaylin Dixon each added a rushing touchdown in the second half to set the final margin.

Sweet Water totaled 386 yards of total offense on 58 plays with 371 of those yards coming on the ground. Conversely, the Bulldogs allowed only 48 yards of total offense to Notasulga.

Brown led the way with 102 yards rushing on 15 carries. Lewis added 97 yards on eight runs. McIntosh and Smith each intercepted a pass.

Sweet Water (9-1) is set to host Brantley (8-3) in the Class 1A second round next Friday.

(Photo by Johnny Autery)
Bulldog junior Chance Broussard runs for a first down after a pass reception.

Impenetrable Panthers ground Flying Squadron for playoff win

11-9-17 — Dixon Mills, Ala. — Marengo High QB Quandaris Ausbon (2) accounted for a total of four touchdowns on the night while rushing 154 yards and completing 5 of 7 pass attempts for 89 yards. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Marengo High School entered its first round Class 1A playoff matchup looking to do more than just win the game. The Panthers made an emphatic statement with a 50-0 shutout of Highland Home while completely dismantling a Flying Squadron offense that had accounted for 433 points through 10 games. Marengo piled up 412 yards while holding Highland Home to 67 yards and only three first downs.

“We wanted to make a statement,” Marengo coach Eberne Myrthil said. “We heard a lot about their offense and their ability to put up points. We challenged our defense to make this a statement game. I was very proud of our team in every facet of the game. We played a complete game.”

Ronald Bouler paced the defensive effort with eight tackles including three for loss and two sacks. Johnny Kennedy added eight tackles with two for loss and one sack. De’Angelos Crispin and Curtis Autery notched seven tackles apiece. KeShawn Fountain intercepted a pass for the Panther defense.

The offense saw its biggest contributions come from quarterback Quandaris Ausbon. The senior standout rushed nine times for 154 yards and two touchdowns while also completing 5 of 7 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Calvin Ferguson rushed eight times for 70 yards. Alphonzo Lewis had 12 carries for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Roosevelt Thompson had seven rushes for 42 yards.

Autery hauled in two passes for 30 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Crispin caught one pass for 38 yards.

Marengo (8-3) will face the winner of Georgiana and Winterboro next Friday night.