Archives for November 2017

DMS’s Harrison represents Varsity Spirit in Disney

Molly Katherine Harrison of Demopolis Middle School is one of more than 500 elementary, junior high and high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the country that represented Varsity Spirit in the 2017 Thanksgiving Tour at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The individuals invited to perform in the parade are part of a select group of cheerleaders and dancers chosen as All-Americans during Varsity Spirit summer camps across the country.  All-Americans are selected via tryout based on either superior cheerleading or dance skills at camps operated by Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), Universal Dance Association (UDA), National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), or National Dance Alliance (NDA).  Only the top 10% of the cheerleaders and dancers from Varsity Spirit camps earn the chance to march in a holiday parade of this caliber.

Harrison will perform with the Varsity Spirit All-Americans in an one-of-a-kind pre-parade performance through Disney’s Magic Kingdom® Park on Thanksgiving Day.  Besides enjoying a sunny trip to Orlando, All-Americans will have the opportunity to meet cheerleaders and dancers from across the nation and enjoy a magical holiday season at Walt Disney World® Resort parks.

“I can’t wait to get to travel to Disney with my family and enjoy the parks and especially performing in the parade with other cheerleaders from all over the USA,” Harrison said of the opportunity.

Memphis-based Varsity Spirit has been a driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, and the leading global source for all things cheerleading and dance. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation and educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting nearly a million athletes each year. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s 5,000 employees have been helping raise cheerleading’s influence and profile since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit www.varsity.com or www.varsitybrands.com.

UWA drops Delta State to move on in D2 playoffs

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – West Alabama fell behind early and then rallied back to take care of business and defeat Delta State, 27-20, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

The win advances West Alabama into the third round of the playoffs against yet another Gulf South Conference opponent. The Tigers will host West Florida (9-3) next Saturday at noon. The Argonauts eliminated West Georgia, 17-14, in the second round. Delta State ends its season 9-4.

The Tigers improved to 10-2 with the win, making this UWA team the first to notch 10 victories since the 1975 team finished 10-3 and lost in the Division II Semi-finals to Northern Michigan.

“Coach (Todd) Cooley runs a great program and Delta State is a heck of a football team,” UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge and we definitely didn’t come out firing on all cylinders, but we buckled down in the second quarter.”

Delta State jumped to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Breck Ruddick and a 36-yard field goal by Vince Sciorrotta. The Statesmen outgained the Tigers 167 to 27 yard in the first 15 minutes of the game.

West Alabama returned the favor in the second period, putting up 20 points and 182 yards while limiting Delta State to just 35 yards and no points to take a 20-10 lead into the half.

“That was two good football teams. That second quarter felt like it lasted forever,” Delta State head coach Todd Cooley said. “I am so proud of the fight in our kids. We lost to a good football team today. They deserved it.”

Harry Satterwhite and Donta Armstrong hooked up for the first of two touchdown passes, this one a 27-yarder. Tyler Rogers and Lakenderic Thomas tacked on 1-yard TD runs for the Tigers, who scored three times in the last 7:32 of the first half.

“That was a big play to get us on the board and get us rolling,” Satterwhite said. “Once we get rolling we can be hard to stop, but Delta State is a really good football team and you are not going to score every time you get the ball against them.”

Satterwhite and Armstrong connected again from 15 yards out with 11:05 left in the third quarter to stretch the UWA lead to 27-10.

A 6-yard completion to Corey Davis late in the first quarter made Satterwhite the West Alabama single-season record holder for completions. Finishing the day 25-of-37 for 275 yards and two TDs gives the junior from Mobile 303 completions this season, shattering his head coaches’ record from 2002 when Gilliland completed 280.

Satterwhite needs just 117 yards passing against West Florida next week to pass current UWA running backs coach Deon Williams for the single season passing yards record. Williams passed for 3,392 yards in 2010.

“I’m not sure about the receivers that Coach G had, but the ones I have are great,” Satterwhite said. “When I throw a 50-50 ball I know they are going to go get it, and of course what a job by our offensive line every week. I didn’t sacked at all today.”

Delta State scored the final 10 points of the game. Chris Robinson had a 5-yard touchdown run and Sciorrotta nailed a 30-yard field goal with 8:41 left to end all scoring.

West Alabama knelt on the ball twice from the DSU 8-yard line to run out the clock and end the game.

UWA finished with 406 total yards and allowed Delta State 371, outgaining the Statesmen 379-204 over the final three quarters of the game. The Statesmen had 276 yards rushing and the Tigers 275 passing.

Ruddick was 17-of-27 passing for 95 yards, but rushed 16 times for 71 yards. Robinson led all ball carriers with 105 yards on 23 carries. LeDarion Peterson carried eight times for 82 yards. Kam Mayers caught eight passes for 30 yards.

Thomas led West Alabama ball carriers with 95 yards on 20 carries, with 33 of those coming on third-and-10 with less than a minute to play to ice the game away. He moved past Tony Truelove (1982-85) into eighth all-time at UWA with 1,732.

Armstrong and Barnard McGhee had six receptions each, Armstrong for 71 yards and McGhee for 45. Corey Davis caught four balls for 72 yards. And Broc Malcom four for 43.

Armstrong now has 172 career receptions, tied for second on the UWA all-time list with Matt Carman (1990-93). Gerald Worsham holds that record with 241 receptions from 2008-11.

“Their quarterback makes the throws and they have two of the best receivers in the nation, and I’m talking about all of Division I and II,” Delta State linebacker Landry Tullo said. “They are a great football team. If they don’t win the national championship I will be surprised.”

Taderion Myhand led West Alabama with 12 total tackles and a forced fumble that led to Tiger points. Jordan Jones racked up 10 stops, Devante Davis nine and Khalia Hackett eight tackles plus three quarterback hurries. Terrence Jones recorded a sack.

Tevin Madison, Nico Peterson and Robert Myers each recovered a fumble, while Madison also forced one and broke up a pass.

Johnquavious McBride had 10 tackles to lead Delta State and Chandler Ector added eight.

Turnovers, big plays push Sweet Water past Maplesville

Bulldog QB Jonah Smith (9) breaks through the middle of the Red Devil’s line and races for a key 2nd half TD. (WAW | Johnny Autery)

The state’s longest win streak is over and Sweet Water is headed to the Class 1A semifinals because of it. Pat Thompson’s Bulldogs beat Maplesville 26-21 Friday night, ending a 34-game Red Devil win streak and guaranteeing a new state champion for the first time since 2013.

For their part, the Bulldogs were able to draw upon a 2016 quarterfinal loss to Maplesville that saw Sweet Water tied with the Red Devils late in the fourth quarter only to lose 60-34.

“We knew we could play with them. We went down 14-0 early tonight and just stayed the course, kept plugging along,” Thompson said. “We didn’t get in any funk or anything. We just kept preaching to them on the sideline, ‘We’re going to be alright. We’re going to be alright.’ We came back and tied it at the half.”

Maplesville struck quickly when Ryan Morrow ran for an 89-yard touchdown with 11:31 left in the opening quarter for the 7-0 lead. Thomas Schoener later hit Nathaniel Watson for a 6-yard touchdown and the 14-0 lead and Maplesville was rolling.

Momentum for the Bulldogs came in the form of a spectacular play by Sasha Smith that amounted to a 27-yard catch and a significant turning point in the game.

“Sasha made a great one-handed catch on our first touchdown drive and that changed everybody’s demeanor,” Thompson said. “It just kind of turned from there, that one big play.”

That big play helped set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Jacory Brown with 8:01 left in the second quarter. Sweet Water then battled the game to dead even with 1:01 left in the frame when Shamar Lewis punched it in from five yards out.

The Bulldogs stayed on the attack in the third quarter as Jonah Smith ran for a 58-yard touchdown with 10:12 left in the period. Lewis then struck again with a 7-yard run in the closing seconds of the quarter to move it to 26-14.

Maplesville got back in it with 10:46 to play when Schoener hit Michael Harris for a 20-yard score.

Morrow ran for 141 yards and Watson ran for 120 but the Red Devils could not overcome interceptions made by the Sweet Water defense.

“We came up a big interception right before the half. We got another one later on,” Thompson, whose team has intercepted 25 passes this season, said. “Any time you’re playing a team like Maplesville and you get turnovers, that’s big for you.”

Jonah Smith, Sasha Smith and Kaleb Greene each picked off a pass in the quarterfinal victory. Lewis ran for 106 yards on 17 carries. Jonah Smith had 69 yards on seven carries. Brown had 42 yards on 15 carries. Sweet Water notched the win despite being outgained 395-311.

The Bulldogs are set to travel to Wadley next Friday night for the Class 1A state semifinals.

“They’re going to be real good. They’re averaging 50 points a game, I believe it is. They’re giving up just about five or six points a game defensively,” Thompson, whose team survived Wadley 21-20 in the second round in 2016, said. “We’ve got our hands full this week.”

Demopolis stymies Vigor to move to semifinals

11-24-17 — Prichard, Ala. — Demopolis’ C.J. Williams picks off a pass on Vigor’s first play from scrimmage. Williams would return the interception for a touchdown for the first points of the game of the Tigers’ win over the Wolves.

PRICHARD, Ala. – Sophomore C.J. Williams gave his team the lead before the offense ever took the field Friday night and Demopolis never squandered it. The Tigers used a suffocating defense and an effective passing game to beat Vigor 35-14 in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs Friday night.

“It’s a total team effort. It has been that way all year,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “It’s a credit to our kids and our coaches. They really do a tremendous job.”

Williams picked off a ball on a double-reverse pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 Demopolis lead.

“We knew they’d come out early with some kind of gadget play. We had them ready,” Seymore said. “He set the tone. That was big for us to start the game.”

11-24-17 — Prichard, Ala. — Demopolis’ Antonio Besteder outruns a Vigor defender to the edge during the Tigers’ win over the Wolves.

Vigor fought right back in it when Artel Howell returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards for a touchdown to cut it to 7-6.

Vigor appeared poised to take the lead in the second quarter when it drove the ball to the Demopolis 25. A blitzing Tavion Brown offered the solution to that problem two plays later when he dragged the Wolves’ QB down for a 13-yard sack and nullified the threat.

The Tigers proceeded to march the ensuing possession 86 yards on 11 plays, culminating the march with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Patterson to Tyler Jones for the 14-6 lead.

Vigor fought back in it again with the aid of a fake punt and a 35-yard strike over the top to Howell, setting up a 1st and Goal at the Demopolis 5. The Tigers dug in, allowing just one yard over the next four snaps to hold the lead going into half.

Antonio Besteder helped his team add to the margin with 5:07 left in the third quarter when he punched it in from a yard out. Besteder later added the game’s final touchdown on a 16-yard sprint.

The backbreaking score came with 2:10 to play in the third when Patterson dropped a dime to Tyquan Alston, who ran it the rest of the way for a 69-yard touchdown.

“Consistency. I know where he is going to be at all times. I just throw it to that spot and I know he’s going to catch it,” Patterson said of his developing connection with Alston, which included a 90-yard touchdown pass in last week’s win over Central-Clay County.

“I was looking back again, trying to make sure I didn’t get caught,” Alston joked.

11-24-17 — Prichard, Ala. — Demopolis’ Tavian Brown sacks Vigor’s quarterback during the Tigers’ win over the Wolves.

Demopolis finished with 325 yards of offense, highlighted by Patterson throwing for 208 yards on 15 of 21 passing. Besteder ran for 115 yards on 27 carries. Alston paced the receivers with 92 yards on two catches. DeDe Davis added 74 yards on seven receptions. Brown had two sacks in the contest. Williams and Roderick Gaines each had an interception.

Demopolis allowed only 144 yards of total offense and just six first downs. The Tigers move to 11-2 with the win and ready to host St. Paul’s next Friday night in the state semifinals.

“We know what kind of caliber team St. Paul’s is. Coach (Steve) Mask does a tremendous job there,” Seymore said.

Demopolis moves to the semifinal round for the first time since 2009.

“It’s indescribable,” Patterson said. “We’ve been working hard all summer for this and the hard work is finally paying off.”

11-24-17 — Prichard, Ala. — Demopolis’ Russ Logan hangs on for a tackle, despite the efforts of a Vigor ball carrier, during the Tigers’ win over the Wolves. Tavian Brown (25) would assist on the tackle.

Demopolis basketball plucks Falcons for tournament title

Demopolis brought home its first trophy of the Norvie Womack era Wednesday night with a 61-31 thrashing of Class 5 St. John Paull II Catholic. The Tigers are champions of the Hamptonality Bracket in the Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Bash played at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.

Demopolis allowed 12 points in the first quarter and never let the Falcons reach double digits in any period for the remainder of the contest. The Tigers were up 22-12 after one quarter and ballooned the lead to 33-17 by half time. Demopolis continued to pour it on, allowing only 14 points the entire second half.

Melvin Childers took home tournament MVP honors after his second consecutive night as the team’s leading scorer. Childers finished with 22 points, four rebounds and four steals. Joining him on the all-tournament team was Shakari Williams, who had 11 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Taylor Herelle added eight points, four rebounds and four steals. Nelson Haskin finished with eight points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Demopolis (2-0) is set to take the court again Tuesday night in its home opener against Keith.

Below is a closer look at the Demopolis High boys basketball team courtesy DCS Tiger TV.

Demopolis Rotary raises more than $2,000 and 1,800 cans of food

In spite of the chilly temperatures Wednesday morning, a dozen members of the Demopolis Rotary Club met at the Demopolis Food Bank to deliver a record-breaking number of non-perishable items donated during its annual food drive.
Hunter Compton, co-chairman of the drive, said Rotarians and their partners collected 1,868 items of food and $2,000.16 during November.
“This should be the most canned goods AND money that we have raised in any one year to date,” he said.
The donations came from a Westside Elementary School competition among classes; DHS JROTC cadets helping Rotarians to encourage DHS football fans and shoppers at Vowell’s Fresh Market to donate, and generous contributions from St. Leo’s Catholic Church, First United Methodist Church, Bible Chapel, Parr’s Chevron, Malone’s Texaco, Langley Shell and Foster Farms.
Compton also thanked Batter Up for donating four wing parties for the winning classrooms at WES.
Through the first four years of Thanksgiving food collections, the Rotary Club has raised 7,368 canned goods and $6,500 to benefit the Food Bank.

Demopolis to vote on three-mill property tax Dec. 12

When the polls open Dec. 12 for the special election to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat, voters in Demopolis will have another issue on the ballot to vote on.

A three-mill property tax is up for renewal this year to benefit Demopolis schools.

The last time the tax came up for renewal in the summer of 2007, Demopolis voters approved it by a whopping 87 percent.

Community support for Demopolis schools is one reason Supt. Kyle Kallhoff believes the school system will attain its vision of being in the top ten percentage of the school systems in the state.

“This is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the Black Belt,” he said.

Since a mill is valued at approximately $75,000, three mills will bring in about $250,000 of the $20 million budget of the Demopolis City School System. Under the tax levy, property owners pay 30 cents on each $100 of the assessed value of taxable property.

Kallhoff said that in the past the funds raised from the tax have been used primarily for personnel expenses such as teacher salaries not covered by the state reimbursement, aides and adjunct teachers, employee incentives, School Resource Officers, professional development and maintenance employees.

The money also has paid for SmartBoards at the middle and high schools, buses, bleachers at the high school and fencing around the middle school football field.

The three-mill tax issue will be only on the ballot in the city of Demopolis and will continue for another 10 years beginning in October 2018.

Tigers open Womack era with win over Randolph School

The Demopolis varsity basketball team started off the new season with a win Tuesday evening. In the first game under coach Norvie Womack, the Tigers downed The Randolph School 58-37.

Demopolis led throughout Tuesday, allowing the Raiders only single digit point outputs in each of the game’s first two quarters. The Tigers opened up a 26-12 lead by halftime and continued to stretch the advantage in the second half.

The balanced effort saw Melvin Childers lead the way with 17 points, four rebounds and two assists. Shakari Williams added 13 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Nelson Haskin finished with nine points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. Keyjun Gracie contributed 11 points and vie assists. Rounding out the scoring were Maurice Jones with four points and four rebounds and Taylor Herelle with two points, four rebounds and three steals.

The win came in the first round of the Hamptonality Bracket at the Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Bash at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. The Tigers are set to play again in the bracket championship at 6 p.m. Wednesday against the winner of St. John Paul II Catholic and Douglas.

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.