All in the Family: Petrey siblings earn Hitter of the Year honors

Davis Petrey hit .508 as a sophomore and earned AISA Hitter of the Year from the ASWA.

They apparently grow hitters in the Petrey household, at least, that’s the takeaway from the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State baseball and softball teams released over the weekend.

When the softball squad released Saturday morning, Marengo Academy shortstop Macey Petrey found her name listed right behind the words Hitter of the Year in the AISA classification. When the state’s scribes released their baseball team 24 hours later, it was Marengo Academy shortstop Davis Petrey who found his name emblazoned to the right of the same title.

“It surprised me at first. Usually, it seems like it’s a senior or junior or somebody that gets something like that. I just wasn’t expecting it really,” Davis said of his initial reaction to the honor.

The award was less than surprising for Macey, a Mississippi State signee who was also the MVP of the AISA Class A state tournament in May. Petrey, who also earned Super 10 from the ASWA Sunday evening, hit .543 with 10 home runs, 73 RBI, 61 runs scored, 29 doubles and 36 stolen bases as a senior.

“Definitely, having to step up and lead the team. In the past, we’ve had some really good seniors that just have always been our leaders. We were lucky enough to have those players,” Macey said of the most challenging part of her senior season. “I’ve never really had to be in that leadership role. That was definitely something different. And, my dad coaching, obviously he pushes me to be better every day.”

Macey Petrey hit .536 with 10 homers and 73 RBI during a senior campaign that saw her win AISA Hitter of the Year from the ASWA.

Celebrated as it was, Macey’s honor came as little surprise to the Petrey household or the Longhorn faithful. Davis, however, was less expecting when he saw his name attached to the award. By his own admission, the sophomore shortstop did not start the 2017 season the way he would have liked.

“At the beginning of the year, I just was trying to hit the ball too hard,” Davis recalled before explaining the process that settled him in for the stellar campaign he pieced together. “Just going in and hitting off the tee for a long time, every day before games. Then it was just trying to get on base. All I was trying to do was not strike out. Don’t be an easy out.”

“His mental game is really strong. You don’t see a lot of sophomores that can just out there and hit senior pitching or really good teams and always get on base,” Macey said of her younger brother’s poise and performance. “Every time I watched, I swear he always got on base. I’m so jealous. He’s just an athlete.”

Davis finished his season with a .508 batting average to highlight a resume that also included 34 RBI, 30 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

As honored as they were to receive their respective awards, the middle two Petrey children are the latest products of a household culture that is clearly passionate about baseball and softball. That household culture, they pointed out, is largely predicated upon the work of their patriarch, Chris.

“Probably my dad,” Macey said of the love that she and Davis have had for their respective sports. “He played until he couldn’t play anymore. It’s probably not more the love of the sport, but the work that’s put into the sport. From there, you learn to love and grow in the sport. It’s just really fun.”

“He just never really made it one of those things that wasn’t fun. You got to go out to the baseball field after school. You didn’t have to go home right after school. You get to have fun,” Davis explained.

As they reflected upon the individual numbers, personal accolades and team state championships that comprised the 2017 season for both the Longhorn baseball and softball teams, the duo acknowledged the important role their father has played in the process.

“A lot kids, to me, their parents push them so hard to the point that it’s not fun. Our dad has always tried to make us the best we can be, but he has never pushed us to a point where we don’t have fun and we don’t want to play. It has always been just fun,” she said.

Macey and Davis are the children of Chris and Ashley Petrey of Demopolis.

Smith earns Pitcher, Player of Year; 11 Marengo County players make All-State

Jonah Smith

Jonah Smith starred on the mound for Sweet Water continuously in 2017 before getting the extra-inning, walk-off hit that plated two runs to win the Class 1A state championship. Then, as a surprise to no one, he hoisted the Class 1A state finals MVP award. His storybook season weeks in his rearview mirror, Smith garnered more superlatives this weekend as he received considerable recognition from the Alabama Sports Writers Association.

The ASWA named Smith a First Team pitcher on its 2017 Class 1A All-State Baseball Team. Moreover, Smith took two of the classification’s three highest honors. The Bulldog ace took Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year honors after a stellar junior campaign that saw him go 14-2 on the mound with three saves while pitching to a 1.11 ERA with 123 strikeouts over 88 and a third innings of work. Smith allowed only 49 hits and just 14 earned runs all season to go along with a microscopic 0.78 WHIP. Smith also got it done at the plate, putting together a .372 average with 11 doubles, eight triples, 37 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 29 runs scored.

He was one of five Bulldogs to gain All-State recognition. Joining Smith on the First Team were freshman second baseman Braiden Broussard and senior designated hitter Hunter Mendenhall. A catalyst for the Sweet Water offense, Broussard scored 25 runs and stole 18 bases on the season. He also shad a strong year on the mound with a 5-1 record that also featured a save. He compiled a 2.42 ERA with 26 strikeouts over 34 and two-thirds innings of work.

Mendenhall went .396 at the plate with nine doubles and 29 RBIs. His lone home run of the season helped oust Ragland in the semifinals.

Coastal Alabama signee Will Huckabee made Second Team in the outfield while freshman hurler Sasha Smith took Second Team honors at pitcher. A defensive wizard, Huckabee hit .380 on the season with 17 stolen bases, 31 RBIs and 36 runs scored. While the younger of the Smith brothers stole 27 bases and scored 46 runs out of the leadoff spot, he worked to a 2.19 ERA on the mound while striking out 33 batters over 54 and a third innings of work.

Davis Petrey

In the AISA ranks, Davis Petrey led a quintet of Marengo Academy Longhorns to earn All-State distinction. Petrey was the AISA Hitter of the Year after a season in which the sophomore shortstop hit .508 with 34 RBIs, 30 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. He took First Team honors alongside a pair of teammates in David Dunn and Weldon Aydelott.

A Meridian Community College signee, Dunn earned his spot as a pitcher, going 10-2 with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.36 WHIP. He struck out 104 batters over 84 innings of work and recorded four shutouts on the year. Aydelott hit .440 with three homers, six double, four triples, 32 RBIs and 22 runs scored to go along with 16 stolen bases while catching nearly every inning.

The 2017 AISA Class A state champions also saw outfielder Jacob Beck take Second Team honors after a season in which he hit .416 with 26 RBIs, 26 stolen bases and 19 runs scored. Senior hurler Austen Day was Honorable Mention at pitcher. He finished the year with a 1.11 ERA and a 9-1 record, having struck out 84 batters over 63 innings of work.

Demopolis also got All-State recognition in Class 5A as senior pitcher Hunter Colyar was Second Team. He turned in an outstanding campaign with included a 0.99 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and a 7-4 record. He struck out 105 batters over 63 and two-thirds innings and limited opponents to just nine earned runs all season.

The 2017 ASWA All-State Baseball Teams appear in their entirety below.

 

2017 ASWA All-State BASEball Team

 

CLASS 7A

First Team

P – Brock Guffey, Hoover, Sr.

P – Chandler Best, McGill-Toolen, So.

P – Koty Fulton-Tice, Enterprise, Jr.

P – Christian MacLeod, Huntsville, Jr.

C – Santi Garcia, Enterprise, Sr.

1B – Eric Toth, McGill-Toolen, Jr.

2B – Casey Gattenio, Foley, Sr.

3B – Trevor Andrews, Theodore, Jr.

SS – Rowdey Jordan, Auburn, Sr.

OF – Bubba Thompson, McGill-Toolen, Sr.

OF – Ethan Holsombeck, Oak Mountain, Sr.

OF – Brandon Agsalud, Hoover, Sr.

DH – Jordan Henshaw, Buckhorn, Sr.

DH – Jonathon Cribb, Theodore, Sr.

UTL – Brooks Fuller, Auburn, Jr.

UTL – Carson Skipper, Hewitt-Trussville, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Brock Guffey, Hoover

Hitter of the Year: Jordan Henshaw, Buckhorn

Player of the Year: Bubba Thompson, McGill-Toolen

Coach of the Year: Adam Moseley, Hoover

 

Second team

P – Gene Hurst, Oak Mountain, Jr.

P – Evan Baber, Central-Phenix City, Sr.

P – Caden Lemons, Vestavia Hills, Sr.

P – Garrett Brown, James Clemens, Sr.

C – Reid Powers, Sparkman, Sr.

1B – Kendall Cribb, Theodore, Fr.

2B – Tanner Jones, Auburn, Jr.

3B – Trevor Shelton, Sparkman, Sr.

SS – Hudson James, Gadsden City, Jr.

OF – Grant Thornton, Enterprise, So.

OF – Jordan Anderson, James Clemens, Sr.

OF – Garrett Morris, Auburn, Jr.

DH – Sonny DiChiara, Hoover, Jr.

DH – Austin Thaxton, Smiths Station, Sr.

UTL – Dalton Rone, Theodore, Sr.

UTL – Ford Luttrell, Bob Jones, Sr.

Honorable Mention
Pitcher:  
Carter Vickers, Sparkman, Sr.; Jerry Dale Bowman, Smiths Station, Jr.
Catcher:  
Slade Gorman, Central-Phenix City, Jr.; Tommy Crider, James Clemens, Jr.
First base: Tyson Lee, Huntsville, Sr.; Chris Lewis, Thompson, Sr.
Second base: 
Javier Vaz, Huntsville, Jr.
Third base:  John McDonald, Oak Mountain, Sr.

Shortstop:  Chance Warren, Enterprise, Jr.; Garrett Farquhar, Hoover, Sr.
Outfield:  Nathan LaRue, McGill-Toolen, So.; Teddy Benda, Auburn, Jr.
Designated hitter:  
Justin Foscue, Grissom, Sr.; Ryan Sparks, Gadsden City, Jr.
Utility: Cullan O’Shea, Mary G. Montgomery, Sr.; Kyle Davis, Buckhorn, Sr.

 

CLASS 6A

First team

P – Jacob Heatherly, Cullman, Sr.

P – Troy Cordrey, Helena, Sr.

P – Garrett McMillian, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, So.

P – Dakota Bennett, Brewer, Sr.

C – Sam Praytor, Helena, Sr.

1B – Von Seibert, Spanish Fort, So.

2B – Jacob McNairy, Athens, Jr.

3B – Noah Fondren, Cullman, Sr.

SS – Tanner Burns, Decatur, Sr.

OF – Jackson Tate, Park Crossing, Sr.

OF – Owen Lovell, Cullman, Sr.

OF – Colby Smelley, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Jr.

DH – Jarred Howell, Decatur, Sr.

DH – Jordan Beck, Hazel Green, So.

UTL – Brody Syer, Oxford, Jr.

UTL – Dylan Watkins, Hueytown, Sr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Jacob Heatherly, Cullman

Hitter of the Year: Sam Praytor, Helena

Player of the Year: Tanner Burns, Decatur

Coach of the Year: PJ Guy, Helena

 

Second team

P – Will Morrison, Cullman, Jr.

P – Mitch Myers, Opelika, Sr.

P – Will Collins, Hueytown, Sr.

P – Landon Green, Helena, Jr.

C – Jacob Burback, Chelsea, Sr.

1B – Caleb Johnson, Hueytown, Sr.

2B – Tanner Anderson, Stanhope Elmore, Sr.

3B – Tanner Snow, Southside-Gadsden, Sr.

SS – Cole Frederick, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Sr.

OF – Tye Whatley, Northview, Sr.

OF – Will Canty, Hueytown, Sr.

OF – Nash Adams, Helena, Sr.

DH – Bryson Kirk, Athens, Jr.

DH – Tyler Miller, Spanish Fort, Jr.

UTL – Jay Bramblett, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, So.

UTL – Hunter Hudson, Carver-Montgomery, Sr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Levi Thomas, Cullman, Sr.; Blake Petty, Clay-Chalkville, Sr.

Catcher: Hunter Kamplain, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Sr.; Harrison Comerford, Daphne, Sr.

First Base: Logan Brooks, Southside-Gadsden, Jr.; Slade Harbin, Walker, So.

Second Base: Casey Page, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Sr.; Clay DeWeese, Chelsea, Jr.

Third Base: Mark McGowin, Stanhope Elmore, Sr.; Chase Howard, Brookwood, Sr.

Shortstop: Logan Thompson, Northview, Sr.

Outfield: TJ Reeves, Hueytown, Jr.; Nick Ragsdale, Helena, Jr.

Designated Hitter: D’aries Davis, Minor, Sr.

Utility: John Marc Mullins, Homewood, Sr.; Daylen McGhee, Shades Valley, Sr.

 

CLASS 5A

First team

P – Cody Greenhill, Russellville, Sr.

P – Jamison Morris, Faith Academy, Sr.

P – Jacob Smith, Calera, Jr.

P – Cade Runyan, Etowah, Sr.

C – Jacob Bisharat, Pleasant Grove, Sr.

1B – Tyler Samaniego, Lee-Huntsville, Sr.

2B – Cooper Self, Guntersville, Jr.

3B – Brooks Carlson, Faith Academy, Sr.

SS – Preston Moore, Fairview, Jr.

OF – Judd Ward, Russellville, Sr.

OF – Devne Daniel, Corner, Sr.

OF – Eli Dunn, Etowah, Sr.

DH – Blaine Murkerson, Rehobeth, Jr.

DH – Christian Waltman, Faith Academy, Sr.

UTL – Carson Eddy, Briarwood, Jr.

UTL – Tyler O’Clair, Calera, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year:  Cody Greenhill, Russellville

Hitter of the Year:  Brooks Carlson, Faith Academy

Player of the Year:  Cody Greenhill, Russellville

Coach of the Year:  Danny Powell, Jackson

 

Second team

P – Chad Wray, Russellville, Sr.

P – Hunter Colyar, Demopolis, Sr.

P – Sam Strickland, Briarwood, Sr.

P – Gabe Shepard, Faith Academy, Jr.

C – Jacob Bobo, Etowah, Sr.

1B – Jack Knight, Rehobeth, Sr.

2B – Nick Swisher, Moody, Sr.

3B – Tri Overby, Beauregard, Jr.

SS – Patrick Music, Ardmore, Sr.

OF – Jaichis Holmes, Beauregard, Jr.

OF – Cole Steadman, Briarwood, Sr.

OF – Jackson Bell, Faith Academy, Jr.

DH – Quin Darius Crew, Calera, Fr.

DH – Jeff Moore, Pleasant Grove, Sr.

UTL – Griffin Carroll, Alexandria, Jr.

UTL – Trever Williams, Beauregard, Sr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Caleb Lester, Dallas Co., Sr.; Herndon Akridge, St. Paul’s, Jr.

Catcher:  Chase Batchelor, Mortimer Jordan, Jr.

First base:  Hunter Reeves, Charles Henderson, Sr.; Chris Sargent, Faith Academy, Jr.

Second base:  Seth Dobbs, Marbury, Sr.; Jonathan Coleman, Brooks, Sr.

Shortstop: Chase Wilkerson, Headland, Jr.; Jarrett Eaton, St. Paul’s, Jr.

Third base: Ross Chandler, Guntersville, Sr.; Logan Michael, Brooks, Sr.

Outfield:  Tanner Eaves, Ardmore, Sr.; Gage Herring, Rehobeth, Sr.

Designated hitter:  Ethan Creel, Corner, Jr.

Utility:  Dalton Hall, Mortimer Jordan, Jr.; Skylar Holland, Russellville, Sr.

 

CLASS 4A

First team

P – Conner Jednat, UMS-Wright, Sr.

P – Will Peters, Tallassee, Sr.

P – Dylan Murphy, Madison Academy, Sr.

P – Colin Casey, Jacksonville, Sr.

C – Brady Sherrill, Haleyville, Sr.

1B – Sam Plash, UMS-Wright, Sr.

2B – Jaren Lockridge, Cherokee County, Sr.

3B – James Wilder, Trinity, Sr.

SS – Colin Edwards, Cherokee County, Sr.

OF – Ethan Wilson, Andalusia, Jr.

OF – Tanner Allen, UMS-Wright, Sr.

OF – Jaleel Anderson, Bibb County, Sr.

DH – Sam Kimel, Randolph, Jr.

DH – Colin Brewer, Cherokee County, Sr.

UTL – Carson Hall, Randolph, Sr.

UTL – Dee Williams, Tallassee, Sr.

 

Pitcher of the Year:  Conner Jednat, UMS-Wright

Hitter of the Year:  Brady Sherrill, Haleyville

Player of the Year:  Conner Jednat, UMS-Wright

Coach of the Year:  Chad Smith, LAMP

 

Second team

P – Winston Morgan, LAMP, Sr.

P – Blake Bennett, Haleyville, So.

P – Noah Ledbetter, Cherokee County, Jr.

P – Jake Christa, Madison Academy, Sr.

C – Jy Lockridge, Cherokee County, Jr.

1B – Jake Spivey, White Plains, So.

2B – Matt Hiott, Bibb County, Sr

3B – Reid Homan, Madison Academy, Sr.

SS – Weston Ball, Hokes Bluff, Jr.

OF – Josh Hall, Randolph, Jr.

OF – Parker Chavers, LAMP, Sr.

OF – J.D. White, Deshler, Sr.

DH – Cal Taylor, Haleyville, Jr.

DH – Wyatt Watson, Hokes Bluff, Sr.

UTL – Zach Roberts, Leeds, Jr.

UTL – Camden Lovrich, Trinity, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Dylan Teague, Hokes Bluff, Jr.; Hunter Rhodes, Wilson, Jr.

Catcher:  Harley Burgess, Saks, Jr.; Christian Cooper, UMS-Wright, Sr.

First base:  Will Clark, Andalusia, Jr.; Jake Glenn, Madison County, Sr.

Second base:  Jonathan Bostwick, Dale County, Sr.; Marshall Dean, Trinity, Sr.

Third base:  Casey Baynes, Tallassee, Jr.

Shortstop: Brody Moore, Oneonta, Jr.; Avery Moates, Wilson, Jr.

Outfield:  James Nix, Madison Academy, Sr.; Brady Greene, St. James, Sr.

Designated hitter:  Tyler Robertson, St. James, Jr.

Utility:  Andrew Norred, White Plains, Jr.; Landon Nance, Sipsey Valley, Sr.

 

CLASS 3A

First team

P – Thomas Langdon, Gordo, Sr.

P – Parker Henson, West Morgan, Sr.

P – Carson Crowe, American Christian, Jr.

P – JoJo Booker, T.R. Miller, Sr.

C – Easton Kirk, Piedmont, Sr.

1B – Jaylon Jenkins, Ohatchee, Sr.

2B – Trent Avery, Mobile Christian, Jr.

3B – Nick Pounders, Gordo, Jr.

SS – Koy Chapman, Gordo, Sr.

OF – Drew Williamson, T.R. Miller, Jr.

OF – Collin Herring, Gordo, Jr.

OF – Grayson Williams, Mobile Christian, Sr.

DH – Jacob Maples, New Hope, Sr.

DH – Sam Ladner, Mobile Christian, Jr.

UTL – Taylor Hayes, Piedmont, Sr.

UTL – Britt Sparks, American Christian, Sr.

 

Pitcher of the Year:  Thomas Langdon, Gordo

Hitter of the Year:  Drew Williamson, T.R. Miller

Player of the Year:  Taylor Hayes, Piedmont

Coach of the Year:  Jonathon Pate, Gordo

 

Second team

P – Thomas Boothe, Bayside Academy, Sr.

P – Dakota McCreless, Colbert Heights, Sr.

P – C.J. Hall, Oakman, Jr.

P – Bryson Hatcher, Mobile Christian, Sr.

C – Hunter Brittain, T.R. Miller, Sr.

1B – PJ Sledge, American Christian, Sr.

2B – Will Baker, Houston Academy, Sr.

3B – Tanner Jackson, Houston Academy, Jr.

SS – Taylor Morrow, Piedmont, Jr.

OF – Ethan Wells, Wicksburg, Jr.

OF – Connor Woods, Oakman, Jr.

OF – Shane Peters, West Morgan, Jr.

DH – Taylor Eubanks, Ohatchee, Sr.

DH – Connor Sirmon, Bayside Academy, Sr.

UTL – Hunter Nesmith, Carbon Hill, Sr.

UTL – Jeremiah Hixon, Excel, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Cade Willingham, Plainview, Jr.; Brady Gilbert, Geraldine, Sr.

Catcher:  Jon Avery, Oakman, Jr.; Jesse Sellers, Ohatchee, Jr.

First base:  Sloan Wilson, Lauderdale County, Sr.; Russell Smith, T.R. Miller, Jr.

Second base:  Brown Simmons, Montgomery Academy, Jr.; Cole Fendley, American Christian, Sr.

Third base:  Nolan Tilley, Excel, Jr.; Jackson Cook, Elkmont, Sr.

Shortstop:   Brantley Nelson, Slocomb, Sr.; Jake Maner, Lauderdale County, Sr.

Outfield:  Brendan Borden, Colbert Heights, Jr.; Hunter Dixon, Cottage Hill, So.

Designated hitter:  Kolton Farmer, Plainview, Sr.; Parker Griffin, Providence Christian, Sr.

Utility:  Spencer Andreades, Montgomery Academy, Sr.

 

CLASS 2A

First team

P – Collin Searcy, G.W. Long, Sr.

P – Daniel Waddill, Leroy, Jr.

P – Wells DeLoney, G.W. Long, Sr.

P – Tyler Self, Westbrook Christian, Sr.

C – Collin Huntley, Mars Hill, So.

1B – Dylan Davis, Section, Jr.

2B – Cole Hatcher, G.W. Long, Sr.

3B – Chase Butts, Leroy, Sr.

SS – Jeremiah Jackson, St. Luke’s, Jr.

OF – Grant Akridge, Elba, Sr.

OF – Seth Benefield, Fyffe, Jr.

OF – Bailey Deloach, Fayetteville, Sr.

DH – Payton McKee, Fayetteville, Sr.

DH – Ty Bolt, Section, Sr.

UTL – Peyton Thomas, Phil Campbell, Jr.

UTL – Sam Manning, Fayetteville, Sr.

 

Pitcher of the Year:  Collin Searcy, G.W. Long

Hitter of the Year:  Peyton Thomas, Phil Campbell

Player of the Year:  Jeremiah Jackson, St. Luke’s

Coach of the Year:  Morris Phillips, Fayetteville

 

Second team

P – Colton Linderman, Section, Sr.

P – Bailey Sellers, Thorsby, Sr.

P – Noah McDaniel, New Brockton, Sr.

P – Tyler Talton, Fayetteville, Jr.

C – Jon Karr, Leroy, Jr.

1B – Hayden Copeland, Phil Campbell, Sr.

2B – Cade Flanery, Samson, So.

3B – Dillan Baldwin, J.U. Blacksher, Jr.

SS – Andrew Redditt, J.U. Blacksher, Sr.

OF – Cory Peterson, Goshen, Jr.

OF – Ryan Tomlin, Ariton, Jr.

OF – Tanner Weaver, J.U. Blacksher, Jr.

DH – Kolby Bragwell, Red Bay, So.

DH – Peyton Higgins, Mars Hill, 8th

UTL – Cade Glass, Washington County, Jr.

UTL – Cooper Dean, J.U. Blacksher, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Solomon Foster, Leroy, Fr.; Chandler Allen, Red Bay, Sr.

Catcher:  Jase Jones, Fyffe, Sr.; Luke Murphy, Fayetteville, Sr.

First base:  Sam Abernathy, Mars Hill, Sr.; Landon Mura, J.U. Blacksher, So.

Second base:  Saylor Carroll, Vincent, Sr.

Third base:  Mackenzie Hicks, G.W. Long, Sr.; Cullen Stafford, Westbrook Christian, Jr.

Shortstop: Cal Burton, Reeltown, Sr.; Graham Blankenship, Thorsby, Fr.

Outfield:  Jordan Sellers, Leroy, Sr.; Trevor Gentry, Section, Jr.

Designated hitter:  Matthew Snell, G.W. Long, So.

Utility:  Dalton Adkison, New Brockton, Jr.; Cade Giddens, Reeltown, Sr.

 

Class 1A

First team

P – Jonah Smith, Sweet Water, Jr.

P – Kenneth Adams, Athens Bible, Jr.

P – Grayson Wakefield, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

P – Nathan Renfroe, Brantley, Jr.

C – Trace Lentz, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

1B – Carson Lindsey, South Lamar, Sr.

2B – Braiden Broussard, Sweet Water, Fr.

3B – Nate Scoggins, Highland Home, Sr.

SS – Jacob Free, Brantley, Sr.

OF – Albert Tinney, Southeastern, So.

OF – Daniel Phillips, Highland Home, So.

OF – Jeff Hunter, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

DH – Hunter Mendenhall, Sweet Water, Sr.

DH – Jeremy Burnham, Ragland, Sr.

UTL – Mitchell Etheridge, Athens Bible, Sr.

UTL – Noah Barnett, Hackleburg, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Jonah Smith, Sweet Water

Hitter of the Year: Jacob Free, Brantley

Player of the Year: Jonah Smith, Sweet Water

Coach of the Year: Bill Murrell, Athens Bible

 

Second team

P – Sasha Smith, Sweet Water, Fr.

P – Grant Shepherd, Sumiton Christian, Jr.

P – Chase Mansmann, Highland Home, Sr.

P – Walt Weaver, Pleasant Home, Sr.

C – Jeremy Boler, Holy Spirit, So.

1B – Dawson Broome, Spring Garden, Sr.

2B – David Smith, Victory Christian, Sr.

3B – Greyson Layton, Brantley, So.

SS – Caleb Headrick, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

OF – Will Huckabee, Sweet Water, Sr.

OF – Parker Odom, Brantley, So.

OF – Peyton Alexander, Sumiton Christian, Jr.

DH – Brynn McGuire, Hackleburg, Jr.

DH – Brayden Stordahl, Gaylesville, So.

UTL – Keaton Kilgro, Cedar Bluff, Jr.

UTL – Chase Gore, South Lamar, Sr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Tyler Lucas, South Lamar, Sr.

Catcher: Ross Johnson, Cedar Bluff, So.; Cameron Williams, Houston County, So.

First base: Ethan Teague, Cedar Bluff, So.; Kyler Weeks, Highland Home, Sr.

Second base: Sam Contorno, Holy Spirit, So.; Edge Branum, Brantley, Jr.

Third base: Jackson Justus, Coosa Christian, Jr.; Hayden Nix, Athens Bible, Sr.

Shortstop: Austin Stordahl, Gaylesville, Sr.; Joey Williams, Houston County, Sr.

Outfield: Caleb Garrett, Coosa Christian, Sr.; Garett Norton, Millry, Jr.

Designated Hitter: Harrison Cheatwood, Victory Christian, Sr.

Utility: Brandon Crane, Gaylesville, Sr.; Connor Fordham, Wadley, Jr.

 

AISA

First team

P – David Dunn, Marengo Academy, Sr.

P – Dillon Smith, Clarke Prep, Sr.

P – Daniel Holley, Glenwood, Sr.

P – Kohner Massey, Macon-East, Sr.

C – Weldon Aydelott, Marengo Academy, Sr.

1B – Jarrett Carter, Glenwood, Sr.

2B – Patrick Dunn, Clarke Prep, So.

SS – Davis Petrey, Marengo Academy, So.

3b – Seth Meadows, Macon-East, Sr.

CF – Carson Allison, Glenwood, Sr.

OF – Dalton McKenzie, Monroe Academy, Jr.

OF – Tanner Stinnett, Bessemer Academy, Sr.

DH – Cole Little, Crenshaw Christian, Sr.

DH – Nick Adams, Glenwood, Jr.

UTL – Andrew Lambert, Monroe Academy, Sr.

UTL – Connor Davis, Macon-East, Sr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Daniel Holley, Glenwood

Hitter of the Year: Davis Petrey, Marengo Academy

Player of the Year: Daniel Holley, Glenwood

Coach of the Year: Gary Johnson, Eastwood

 

Second team

P – Reece Burbage, Pike Liberal Arts, Sr.

P – Jerred Barnes, Autauga Academy, Jr.

P – Trace Holder, Monroe Academy, Sr.

P – Keagan Guthrie, Jackson Academy, Sr.

C – Drew Baker, Macon-East, Jr.

1B – Chandler Lunn, Macon-East, Sr.

2B – Andrew Hines, Eastwood, Jr.

SS – Austin Thrasher, Northside Methodist, Sr.

3B – John David Willis, Abbeville Christian, Sr.

OF – Jacob Beck, Marengo Academy, Jr

OF – Reed Jinright, Pike Liberal Arts, Jr.

OF – Brandon Reid, Lowndes Academy, Sr.

DH – Andrew Lyle, Lee-Scott, So.

DH – Brandon Moseley, Glenwood, Sr.

UTL – Mason Hand, Northside Methodist, Sr.

UTL – Gunnar Henderson, Morgan Academy, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Austen Day, Marengo Academy, Sr.; Slade James, Glenwood, Jr.

Catcher: Lane Powell, Monroe Academy, Sr.; Brayton Brown, Morgan Academy, So.

First base: Luke Lankford, Jackson Academy, Sr.; Wade Howard, Lowndes Academy, Sr.

Second base: Grey Humphries, Bessemer Academy, Sr.; Cole Roper, Crenshaw Christian, Sr.

Third base: Christian Beasley, Lakeside, So.; J.P. Sanders, Tuscaloosa Academy, Sr.

Shortstop: Hunter Davis, Chambers Academy, Jr.; Benjamin Johnson, Eastwood, So.

Designated Hitter: Blaine Smith, Bessemer Academy, Sr.; Brantley Ward, Patrician Academy, Sr.

Outfield: Jordan Brownlee, Patrician Academy, Sr.; Marcus Gray Norton, Clarke Prep, Jr.

Utility: Noah Wilder, Bessemer Academy, Sr.; Slade Ivey, Hooper, Sr.

Petrey, Latham take ASWA All-State superlatives

Abbey Latham was the Class 5A Player of the Year.

Macey Petrey earned AISA Hitter of the Year honors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marengo County’s top two softball performers earned high honors this season as the Alabama Sports Writers Association released its 2017 All-State Softball Teams. Demopolis catcher Abbey Latham and Marengo Academy shortstop Macey Petrey each snagged superlatives in addition to garnering First Team spots in their respective classes.

Latham

Latham, an Ole Miss signee, earned Class 5A Hitter of the Year recognition after a season that saw her hit .605 with 19 homeruns, 74 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 15 doubles and five triples. Latham also swiped 16 bases in a campaign that saw her propel her team to within a win of the Class 5A state tournament. She wrapped the year with a .639 on-base percentage after having finished as the 5A Hitter of the Year in 2016.

Petrey

Petrey, who drove the Longhorns to an AISA Class A state championship, took Hitter of the Year honors for the AISA. The Mississippi State signee hit .543 to go along with 10 homers, 73 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 29 doubles, three triples and 36 stolen bases. She is the first Longhorn to earn such an honor since Katie Tucker took the award in 2010.

Sweet Water pitcher Thea Luker, a Coastal Alabama signee, is the other First Team honoree from the county. She pitched the Bulldogs to a stellar season with a 14-13 record that also saw her record three saves. She finished with a 3.59 ERA, striking out 185 batters over 136 innings.

(photo by Johnny Autery)
Thea Luker earned Class 1A First Team All-State honors.

Demopolis saw a trio of players receive Honorable Mention nods amid a strong Class 5A group. Natalie Tatum was Honorable Mention at pitcher. She had a 1.90 ERA with 180 strikeouts over 147 innings of work. Elly Brown was Honorable Mention at second base after a season that saw her hit .407 with five homers and 46 RBIs. Brown also scored 51 runs and had 11 doubles.

Kendall Hannah took Honorable Mention at designated hitter with a sterling season that saw her hit .452 to go along with seven homers, 34 RBIs, 19 doubles and two triples.

Sweet Water placed two players on Second Team in Class 1A. Lara Little was Second Team at second base after hitting .461 with seven homers, 42 RBIs and 38 runs scored. Sara Irvin was Second Team at the utility spot after hitting .477 with four homers, 18 doubles, 30 RBIs and 43 runs scored.

Marengo Academy had a young trio also make the team. Seventh grader Trinity Wilkinson was Second Team at utility after hitting .424 with five homers and 57 RBIs. She also scored 41 runs and stole 28 bases. Mary Grace Sheffield, a ninth grader, was Honorable Mention at second base after a season that included a .392 average with 12 doubles, 37 stolen bases and 59 runs scored. Riley Newton, an eighth grader, received an Honorable Mention nod at designated hitter. She hit .451 with 15 doubles, 25 stolen bases, 28 RBIs, and 59 runs scored.

The ASWA teams for all classes appear in their entirety below.

2017 ASWA All-State Softball Team

CLASS 7A

First Team 

P – Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn, Sr.

P – Lauren Hayden, Buckhorn, Sr.

P – Kailey Stoker, Sparkman, Sr.

P – Annabelle Widra, Spain Park, 8th

C – Abby Tissier, Hoover, Sr.

1B – Victoria Ortiz, Baker, Jr.

2B – Delaney Thomas, Baker, Sr.

3B – Shelby Booker, James Clemens, Sr.

SS – Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park, Sr.

OF – Jaden Morace, Fairhope, Jr.

OF – Jenna Olszewski, Spain Park, Sr.

OF – Taylor Davis, Sparkman, Jr.

DH – Lauren Haskins, Thompson, So.

DH – Keaton Barnes, Huntsville, Jr.

UTL – Samantha Yarbrough, Fairhope, Jr.

UTL – Maddie Parks, Tuscaloosa County, So.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Zoie Emrick, Burkhorn

Hitter of the Year: Victoria Ortiz, Baker

Player of the Year: Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park

Coach of the Year: Alvin Rauls, Buckhorn

 

Second Team

P – Lily Calvert, Sparkman, So.

P – Abby Jones, Oak Mountain, Sr.

P – Emma Kropp, Fairhope, So.

P – Caitlin McRee, Baker, So.

C – Kaylee Combs, Buckhorn, Sr.

1B – Briana Chappell, Tuscaloosa County, Sr.

2B – Mackenzie Nutt, Sparkman, Sr.

3B – Lane Neumann, Huntsville, Sr.

SS – Merritt Cahoon, Vestavia Hills, Jr.

OF – Nicole Buccieri, Bob Jones, Sr.

OF – Sara Castillo, Central-Phenix City, Sr.

OF – Ellie Largen, Huntsville, Fr.

DH – Sidney Edwards, Buckhorn, Sr.

DH – O’Neil Roberson, Oak Mountain, Sr.

UTL – Gracie Deaton, Central-Phenix City, Jr.

UTL – Emma Hindi, Prattville, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Bailey Whitfield, Thompson, Jr.; Hannah Pitts, Auburn, 8th

Catcher: Hope Mynard, Enterprise, Jr.; Cassady Greenwood, Oak Mountain, Jr.

First base: Sarah Cain, Vestavia Hills, Jr.; Olivia Sinquefield, Smiths Station, Jr.

Second base: Shelby Kyser, Enterprise, Jr.; Kendall Johnson, Tuscaloosa County, Sr.

Third base: Quantorriya Jackson, Lee-Montgomery, Sr.; Shelby Newsome, Central-Phenix City, Fr.

Shortstop: Sara Chappell, Tuscaloosa County, Sr.; TJ Webster, Sparkman, So.

Outfield: Kindall Deramus, Thompson, So.; Kaitlynn Diaz, Baker, Jr.

Designated hitter: Caroline Parker, Spain Park, Sr.; Jessica Simmons, Huntsville, So.

Utility: Kennedy Foote, Thompson, Fr.

 

CLASS 6A

First Team

P – McKenzie Newcomb, Hazel Green, 8th

P – Makenna Pierce, Daphne, Jr.

P – Jaala Torrence, Northview, Fr.

P – JoJo Skinner, Oxford, Sr.

C – Sarah Howell, Oxford, Fr.

1B – Skylar Birdyshaw, Walker, Jr.

2B – Emilee Coker, Southside-Gadsden, Jr.

3B – Karsen Mosley, Saraland, Jr.

SS – Kennedy Cronan, Daphne, Jr.

OF – Katie Lively, Helena, Jr.

OF – Mia Griffin, Walker, So.

OF – Haley Lyner, Oxford, Sr.

DH – Aspyn Godwin, Daphne, Jr.

DH – Hannah Morton, Cullman, Sr.

UTL – Allie Miller, Chelsea, Jr.

UTL – Hannah Hayes, Hazel Green, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Makenna Pierce, Daphne

Hitter of the Year: Karsen Mosley, Saraland

Player of the Year: McKenzie Newcomb, Hazel Green

Coach of the Year: Mike Benson, Hazel Green

 

Second Team

P – Avery Barnett, Helena, So.

P – Sarah Cespedes, Chelsea, Jr.

P – Daizee Finley, Robertsdale, Jr.

P – Rylee Waldrep, Oxford, Sr.

C – Kelsie Cornelius, Wetumpka, Sr.

1B – Sherrell Matthews, Stanhope Elmore, Fr.

2B – Olivia Wilborn, Decatur, Fr.

3B – Olivia Coaker, Gulf Shores, So.

SS – Kaylynn Garrett, Oxford, Sr.

OF – Amber Dempsey, Oxford, Sr.

OF – Mary Greg Anderson, Athens, So.

OF – Sarah Wallace, Muscle Shoals, Sr.

DH – Brooke Lyles, Gardendale, Sr.

DH – Taylor McKinney, Park Crossing, 8th

UTL – Chaney Phillips, Gardendale, Jr.

UTL – Madisen Adams, Brewer, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Erin Claborn, Austin, Sr.; Olivia Schwaiger, Cullman, Sr.

Catcher: Ashton Hill, Austin, Sr.; Bailey Swann, Cullman, So.; Brooke Lyles, Gardendale, Sr.

First base: Camryn Smith, Chelsea, So.; Lauren Terrell, Robertsdale, Jr.

Second base: Tori Baker, Opelika, Jr.; Bree Gree, Saraland, Fr.; Carlee McCondichie, Gardendale, So.

Third base: Gracie Green, Athens, So.; Karsen Pierce, Daphne, Fr.

Shortstop: Bria Smiley, Austin, Sr.; Kahalley Brooks, Baldwin County, So.

Outfield: Caroline Pope, Southside-Gadsden, Sr.; Kylie Winton, Hartselle, So.

Designated hitter: Lauren Hunt, Southside-Gadsden, So.; Haven Hester, Hazel Green, Jr.

Utility: Jessie Lee, Fort Payne, Sr.; Katie Young, Opelika, Sr.; Brooke Burback, Chelsea, Fr.

 

CLASS 5A

First Team

P – Layton Murphy, Marbury, Sr.

P – Emmah Rolfe, Alexandria, 7th

P – Stephanie Schoonover, Rehobeth, Fr.

P – Abby Swaney, Springville, So.

C – Abbey Latham, Demopolis, Sr.

1B – Lindsey Richardson, Moody, Fr.

2B – Sidney Wagnon, Moody, Jr.

3B – Lauren Hopper, Lawrence County, Jr.

SS – Lacey Fincher, Faith Academy, Jr.

OF – Macy Kate Petriske, Scottsboro, Sr.

OF – Jessica Shaw, Alexandria, Sr.

OF – Talia Truitt, Rehobeth, Sr.

DH – Karla Hice, Ardmore, So.

DH – Morgan Maze, Mortimer Jordan, Jr.

UTL – Kiara Akles, Cleburne County, Sr.

UTL – Megan Hill, Lawrence County, Sr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Abby Swaney, Springville

Hitter of the Year: Lacey Fincher, Faith Academy

Player of the Year: Abbey Latham, Demopolis

Coach of the Year: Robyn Johnson, Scottsboro

 

Second Team

P – Lauren Rase, Rehobeth, Jr.

P – Shelby Waldrop, Scottsboro, Fr.

P – Meagan Schwieterman, Guntersville, Sr.

P – Katie Parrish, Etowah, Sr.

C – Chelsea Parker, Cleburne County, Jr.

1B – Gracie Benton, Hayden, Fr.

2B – Chloe Kirkland, Hayden, Sr.

3B – Tiffany York, Faith Academy, Sr.

SS – Savannah Woodard, Hayden, So.

OF – Cristavia Curry, Lincoln, So.

OF – Heaven Jackson, Moody, Jr.

OF – Piper Long, Springville, Jr.

DH – Blake Gibson, Rehobeth, So.

DH – Timberlyn Shurbutt, Alexandria, Sr.

UTL – Amber Parker, Cleburne County, Sr.

UTL – Kyndra Richard, Curry, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Maggie Caldwell, Eufaula, Jr.; Natalie Tatum, Demopolis, Jr.

Catcher: Brett Parker, Beauregard, Jr.; Loren Grider, Scottsboro, Jr.

First base: L.B. Smith, Ardmore, Fr.; Taylor Robinson, Faith Academy, Jr.

Second base: Lydia Coleman, Briarwood Christian, 8th; Elly Brown, Demopolis, So.

Third base: Brantly Bonds, Corner, So.; Carlee Mullinax, Lincoln, Sr.

Shortstop: Hannah Popwell, Headland, Jr.; Kaylee Chapman, Springville, Jr.

Outfield: Tatiana Ervin, Cleburne County, Jr.; Kylie Thackerson, Scottsboro, Sr.

Designated hitter: Sydnee Reaves, Central-Clay County, 7th; Kendall Hannah, Demopolis, Jr. 

Utility: Riley Coyne, Briarwood Christian, Jr.; Kaylyn Dunn, Guntersville, So.

 

CLASS 4A

First Team

P – Haley Pittman, Alabama Christian, Fr.

P – Lacy Spear, Alabama Christian, Jr.

P – Savannah Stamps, Northside, Jr.

P – Annie Willis, Westminster Christian, Sr.

C – Anna Blake Lowe, Haleyville, Jr.

1B – Allie Newberry, Thomasville, So.

2B – Brianna Crim, Thomasville, Fr.

3B – Breanna Tarpley, West Limestone, Sr.

SS – Riley Grace Honeycutt, Northside, Jr.

OF – Claire West, Madison Academy, So.

OF – Hannah Ingram, Cordova, Sr.

OF – Lauren McCoy, Westminster Christian, So.

DH – Harley Stokes, Hale County, Sr.

DH – Carley Wood, White Plains, Sr.

UTL – Kaylyn Dismukes, Holtville, So.

UTL – Chloe Deerman, West Blocton, Fr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Annie Willis, Westminster Christian

Hitter of the Year: Carley Wood, White Plains

Player of the Year: Annie Willis, Westminster Christian

Coach of the Year: Tommy Honeycutt, Northside

 

Second Team

P – Michaelyn Foster, Montgomery Catholic, Sr.

P – Laken DiStefano, Central-Florence, Sr.

P – Savanna Holmes, Hale County, Jr.

P – Maria Mask, Wilson, Sr.

C – Destiny Noble, Northside, Jr.

1B – Hannah Rogers, Dale County, Sr.

2B – Kelsie Gilliam, Hale County, Jr.

3B – Brianna Posey, Central-Florence, So.

SS – Olivia Aycock, Westminster Christian, Jr.

OF – Mattie Kerr, Hamilton, Jr.

OF – Schylur Edwards, Alabama Christian, Sr.

OF – Carson Beatty, Northside, Jr.

DH – Courtney Ellzey, Satsuma, Jr.

DH – Shelby Wood, White Plains, Sr.

UTL – Hannah Dailey, St. James, Sr.

UTL – Taylor Brown, Wilson, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Baily Browning, West Limestone, Jr.

Catcher: Madi Robertson, Satsuma, So.; Emily Peyton, Westminster Christian, Jr.; Emma Broadfoot, Danville, Fr.

First base: Emilie Brown, Handley, Sr.; Kelsie Gilliam, Hale County, Jr.

Second base: None.

Third base: Taylor Benton, DAR, Sr.; Addie Robinson, Handley, Jr.

Shortstop: Jaiden Farnetti, West Blocton, Fr.; Aleigha Walden, Montgomery Catholic, Jr.

Outfield: Isabella Pinto, White Plains, Jr.; Mary Kilpatrick, Cordova, Jr.

Designated hitter: Emma Hyche, Cordova, So.; Sam Sisco, Dale County, Sr.

Utility: Morgan Weatherwax, Danville, Sr.; Josie Thompson, North Jackson, So.

 

CLASS 3A

First Team

P – Chandler Wyatt, American Christian, Sr.

P – Kennedy Barron, Pisgah, 8th

P – Corinna Dodd, Locust Fork, Jr.

P – Amy Woodham, Slocomb, Sr.

C – Anna Hood, Locust Fork, Jr.

1B – Emily Boin, Wicksburg, So.

2B – Kate Grill, American Christian, Fr.

3B – McKinley Parris, Pleasant Valley, Jr.

SS – Anabelle Brown, Plainview, Sr.

OF – Hannah Sartain, American Christian, Jr.

OF – Anna Kate Segars, East Lawrence, Jr.

OF – Kaylee Vaught, Pisgah, So.

DH – Bailey Smart, Plainview, Jr.

DH – Kolby Holcombe, Holly Pond, Jr.

UTL – Kathryn Fallen, Prattville Christian, So.

UTL – Mikayla Kendrick, Pleasant Valley, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Corinna Dodd, Locust Fork

Hitter of the Year: Kaylee Vaught, Pisgah

Player of the Year: Amy Woodham, Slocomb

Coach of the Year: Greg Kosloff, Gordo

 

Second Team

P – Cierra Brown, Gordo, Sr.

P – Jaylee Stough, Geneva, So.

P – Hannah Brenton, Mobile Christian, Sr.

P – Katherine Thompson, Plainview, So.

C – Macy Anderson, Pisgah, So.

1B – Kylie Robinson, Colbert Heights, So.

2B – Camille Palmer, Providence Christian, 8th

3B – Morgan White, Lauderdale County, Fr.

SS – Janie Posey, Houston Academy, Jr.

OF – Jada Terry, West Morgan, Sr.

OF – Kaylee Raines, Geneva, Sr.

OF – Amara Myles, Slocomb, So.

DH – Mariah Thompson, Weaver, Jr.

DH – Peyton Willcutt, Oakman, Sr.

UTL – Brittany Todd, Beulah, Sr.

UTL – Alanna Goble, J.B. Pennington, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Paisley Wilson, Prattville Christian, So.; Briley Pitt, East Lawrence, Fr.

Catcher: Cassidy Hudson, Lauderdale County, So.; Halli Koon, Gordo, So.

First base: Lori Terry, East Lawrence, Jr.; Kenzi Traylor, Plainview, Fr.

Second base: Abby Craig, Clements, So.; Kennedi Traylor, Plainview, Jr.

Third base: Makindle McGough, Carbon Hill, Jr.; Ariyon Hightower, Opp, Sr.

Shortstop: Alysia Anderson, Clements, Sr.; Emma James, Colbert Heights, So.

Outfield: Madison Hanson, Prattville Christian, Fr.; Taylor Clegg, Gordo, 8th

Designated hitter: Lauren Trousdale, Lauderdale County, Sr.; Emma Houston, Providence Christian, Fr.

Utility: Ashton White, Wicksburg, 7th; Ashley Daffin, Clarke County, Jr.

 

CLASS 2A

First Team

P – Ashley Berryman, Hatton, Fr.

P – Kynsley Blasingame, Horseshoe Bend, Sr.

P – Harley Godwin, Fyffe, Sr.

P – Riley Vaughn, Mars Hill, 7th

C – Katelyn Williams, Hatton, Jr.

1B – Brooklyn Pennington, Lamar County, Fr.

2B – Sydney Smith, Leroy, Sr.

3B – Erika Mitchell, Mars Hill, Fr.

SS – Emma Latham, Hatton, So.

OF – Lanie Page, Leroy, Jr.

OF – Brylie St. Clair, Sand Rock, So.

OF – Brittany Rivera, Collinsville, Fr.

DH – Olivia Baker, G.W. Long, So.

DH – Aryelle Jones, Collinsville, Sr.

UTL – Josie Page, Washington County, Sr.

UTL – Crystal McElhaney, Ider, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: Kynsley Blasingame, Horseshoe Bend

Hitter of the Year: Emma Latham, Hatton

Player of the Year: Josie Page, Washington County

Coach of the Year: Nikki Long, G.W. Long

 

Second Team

P – Katlyn Childress, Billingsley, Sr.

P – Mollie Foster, Leroy, Sr.

P – Ayriana Stoneback, Reeltown, Jr.

P – Magen Rich, Sand Rock, Sr.

C – Morgan Long, G.W. Long, Sr.

1B – Kaitlyn Kleismit, Fyffe, Sr.

2B – Sophie Page, Washington County, 8th

3B – Kaylee Hassell, Lamar County, Fr.

SS – Savannah Sudduth, Lamar County, Jr.

OF – Natalie Richey, Fayetteville, So.

OF – Keeli Bobbitt, Lamar County, Sr.

OF – Morgan McGuire, Reeltown, So.

DH – Hayley Haggard, New Brockton, Sr.

DH – Paige Norris, Sand Rock, Jr.

UTL – Abigail Beech, Leroy, So.

UTL – Hannah Peters, Ariton, Sr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Hannah Calhoun, Goshen, So.; Emmie Coachman, Cottonwood, Sr.

Catcher: Annah Steadman, Mars Hill, Jr.; Lila Blackburn, Red Bay, 8th

First base: Casey Headley, Billingsley, So.; Lexus Collins, West End, 8th

Second base: Hannah Henry, Mars Hill, Fr.; Cambelle Bryant, Ider, Fr.

Third base: Sagen Thomas, Fyffe, Sr.; Carson Hussey, New Brockton, Sr.

Shortstop: Abby Land, Geneva County, Fr.

Outfield: Mallory Stiefel, Fyffe, Sr.; Ivey Amlong, Zion Chapel, Jr.

Designated hitter: Asia Jones, Cottonwood, Jr.

Utility: Caroline Brannon, Collinsville, 8th; Mary Patton, Collinsville, Sr.

 

CLASS 1A

First Team

P – Leanna Johnson, Brantley, Jr.

P – Kamree Lay, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

P – Brooke Webb, Marion County, Sr.

P – Thea Luker, Sweet Water, Sr. 

C – Alaina Hampton, Coosa Christian, Sr.

1B – Sydney Kirkland, Millry, Sr.

2B – Brianna Cagle, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

3B – Taylor Whisonant, Sumiton Christian, Fr.

SS – Payton McGinnis, Spring Garden, So.

OF – Savanah Langston, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

OF – Kendall Beth Sides, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

OF – Alex Wilcox, Brantley, Sr.

DH – Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

DH – Josie Lipsey, Marion County, So.

UTL – Oakley Ward, Brilliant, Sr.

UTL – Lainey Wells, Brantley, Jr. 

Pitcher of the Year: Kamree Lay, Sumiton Christian

Hitter of the Year: Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian

Player of the Year: Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian

Coach of the Year: Jessica Gibson, Pleasant Home

 

Second Team

P – Ava Bailey, Pleasant Home, 8th

C – Destinee Harrison, Kinston, Sr.

1B – Olivia Jones, Brantley, So.

2B – Lara Little, Sweet Water, Sr.

3B – Amy Kate Bulger, Pleasant Home, 8th

SS – Lexie Gann, Covenant Christian, Jr.

OF – Emory Bush, Brantley, Fr.

OF – Alexis Hines, Marion County, Sr.

OF – Kaylee Bain, Tharptown, Sr.

DH – Payton Traffanstedt, Spring Garden, Jr.

DH – Natalie Watkins, South Lamar, Jr.

UTL – Kerstin Bryant, Spring Garden, Jr.

UTL – Sara Irvin, Sweet Water, Jr. 

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: None

Catcher: Kassidy Wilcox, Brantley, So.; Caitlyn Jones, Marion County, So.

First base: Claire Stephens, Coosa Christian, Jr.; Baileigh Evans, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

Second base: Shaylee Wieting, Tharptown, Fr.; Sommer Bullard, Berry, Jr.

Third base: Aidan Bellomy, Skyline, 8th

Shortstop: Breeann Biddle, Kinston, Sr.

Outfield: Madison Allen, Cedar Bluff, Fr.; Madison Smith, Skyline, So.

Designated hitter: Mackenzie Hollinger, South Lamar, Fr.; Alexis Smith, Cedar Bluff, Fr.

Utility: Abby Walker, Pleasant Home, Sr.; Abby Hester, Vina, Jr.

 

AISA

First team

P – McKenna Gillespie, Glenwood, Sr.

P – Savanna Wood, Abbeville Christian, So.

P – Shelby Lowe, Pickens Academy, Fr.

P – Tyler Armistead, Patrician, Sr.

C – Hannah Killingsworth, Lakeside, Sr.

1B – Sydney Sessions, Wilcox Academy, Sr.

2B – Caity Joe Lee, Edgewood, Sr.

3B – Morgan Kramer, Northside Methodist, Jr.

SS – Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy, Sr.

OF – Allison Johnson, Clarke Prep, Sr.

OF – Hope Gullatt, Glenwood, Jr.

OF – Sommer Sears, Macon-East, Sr.

DH – Taylor Ammons, Autauga Academy, Sr.

DH – Madisyn Kennedy, Macon-East, So.

UTL – Kacy Noland, Pickens Academy, Sr.

UTL – Peyton Rodie, Edgewood, Jr.

 

Pitcher of the Year: McKenna Gillespie, Glenwood

Hitter of the Year: Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy

Player of the Year: McKenna Gillespie, Glenwood

Coach of the Year: Jeremy DeLoach, Autauga Academy

 

Second team

P – Bailee Dempsey, Northside Methodist, Sr.

P – Taylor Adams, Autauga Academy, Sr.

P – Hannah DeLoach, Autauga Academy, Jr.

P – Caroline Capps, Macon-East, Fr.

C – Dawn Johnson, Macon-East, So.

1B – Kelsey Lewis, Patrician, Sr.

2B – Kaylee Pullin, Macon-East, Sr.

3B – Kayleigh Carter, Abbeville Christian, Jr.

SS – Arianna Atchley, Autauga Academy, So.

OF – Bailey Welch, Bessemer Academy, Fr.

OF – Karsyn Kemsel, Autauga Academy, So.

OF – Charkecia Davis, Evangel Christian, Jr.

DH – Jonnah Rager, Clarke Prep, Jr.

DH – Shelby Wood, Abbeville Christian, Sr.

UTL – Trinity Wilkinson, Marengo Academy, 7th

UTL – Kirstin Reynolds, Glenwood, Sr.

Honorable mention:

Pitcher: Emily Phillips, South Choctaw Academy, So.; Lindsey Johnson, Macon-East, Sr.

Catcher: Kassidy Tyson, Patrician, Sr.; Ashlyn Watford, Abbeville Christian, Sr.

First base: Mary Baxley Smith, Lee-Scott, Fr.; Makenzie Whatley, Evangel Christian, Sr.

Second base: Mary Grace Sheffield, Marengo Academy, Fr.; Lydia Lewis, Patrician, Jr.

Third base: Haleigh Dewberry, Pike Liberal Arts, Jr.; Kayla Boroff, Macon-East, Fr.

Shortstop: Landon DeLamar, Lee-Scott, Jr.; Morgan Bundy, Pike Liberal Arts, 8th

Outfield: Sierra Myers, Clarke Prep, Fr.; Laiken Hussey, Lowndes Academy, So.

Designated hitter: Riley Newton, Marengo Academy, 8th; Sidney Lee, Lee-Scott, 8th

Utility: Tara Ammons, Autauga Academy, Sr.; Haley Brown, Edgewood, 8th

Kiser prepared to lead Demopolis Middle School

Brandon Kiser did not grow up with the intention of entering education but he has since done a lot of his growing up in education. The new Demopolis Middle School principal, Kiser has spent five years in administrative roles despite only being in his early 30s.

“Initially it was, there is a scholarship available,” Kiser, who is nearing his fourth degree in education, said of the decision to pursue the field. “In high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. There was a scholarship available for education at Auburn. I took it and went with it. I really enjoyed getting the know the students and developing those relationships. It really started to take off when I was getting my master’s. I was really enjoying what I was doing and making a difference in people’s lives.”

Kiser got his Bachelor’s in General Science Education from Auburn before obtaining a Master’s in Instructional Leadership from Troy-Phenix City. He went on to get his Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Auburn and is now only a dissertation away from completing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

He spent two years as an assistant principal at the middle school level in Russell County before working for two years as the principal at Oliver Elementary in Seale, Alabama. Kiser spent last year as a science teacher while also filling administrative duties at Eufaula.

“Any experience that you can get is going to help you regardless of the level. Definitely there were some things being a secondary teacher I didn’t have a lot of experience with. Some of those things at the elementary and middle school levels help you with the way you look at things,” Kiser said of his varied experiences. “I definitely saw those things that are unique things to the middle school, the challenges they face and the things they need.”

“Mr. Brandon Kiser will be a good fit for the students and staff at DMS as well as the Demopolis community,” Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said. “he has administrative experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels and understands the importance of instructional leadership.”

As he readies to take over his new post, Kiser is keenly aware of some of the interpersonal challenges that accompany the middle school level, particularly as they relate to students.

“Those interpersonal relationships. Students are learning how to interact with each other. I think that’s one of the things that’s important as a leader is to have things in place so that students can learn how to interact with each other,” Kiser said. “That’s definitely one of the things I noticed as an assistant principal is that it’s good to have something like that in place.”

Kiser takes over Demopolis Middle School after Rollie McCall served as interim principal during the spring semester. McCall, who was filling in after Blaine Hathcock departed the role for the same seat at Demopolis High School, will return to his assistant principal duties for the coming school year.

“He is inheriting a staff who are tight knit and will work hard to provide the best education possible for the 500 students we serve at the middle school,” Kallhoff said. “I look forward to great things that will take place at DMS under Mr. Kiser’s leadership.”

A native of Abilene, Texas, Kiser ultimately graduated from Athens High School and will relocate to Demopolis with his family, which includes his wife Lauren, daughter Ella Kate (7) and son Evan (3). A meet-and-greet with Kiser is set for Wednesday, June 14.

Compton admitted to Rhode Island School of Design

Toaster Tale, a stop-motion animation by Banks Compton. (WAW | Contributed)

Banks Compton is unshaken that he will not attend his senior year of high school. He is not bothered by the fact that the institutional doors he will darken in September are exactly 1,265 miles away from the halls of Demopolis High School. For Banks, all the reasons not to go pale in comparison to the one big reason to go.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision,” he said plainly of his choice. “I really just like art. It’s what I want to do. I’m not worried about leaving friends because we have such good relationships that when I come and see them, we’ll all be happy to see each other. And, again, this all would’ve happened a year later. It’s not a huge life-changing event by just leaving one year earlier. I’m very happy with the friends I’ve made so far, but I don’t think it has made a huge impact on my decision just because that’s what I want to do. That’s my vision.”

Compton will forego his senior year of high school and get his GED after having been accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design as a junior.

“When I saw on RISD’s website that they accept high school diplomas or GEDs, I’m like, ‘I could get a GED,” Compton exclaimed, still buzzing over the unexpected acceptance letter he received from the school.

“I didn’t think it would happen,” his mother, Lisa Compton, said of her son’s efforts to apply for the entrance into the school. “RISD is very competitive to get into and we knew that because we had done enough Googling about art schools thinking for next year. So, I didn’t think they would take someone so young since they have so many applicants. When he said he wanted to try, I thought it would be good practice for next year when it would be a real application. I never thought it would actually work.”

The application process proved an involved one for Banks as the he put together a pair of time-sensitive projects in addition to a portfolio of his work.

“I have to admit. I was surprised when he got in. We started Googling and seeing that RISD comes up on Top 5 lists of art schools. It was more than just filling out an application, he spent several weekends doing two art projects. He had to present new material as part of his application process along with the portfolio stuff. Everybody applying to RISD was doing the same project. It was something to directly compare students,” Hunter Compton, Banks’s father, said. “Being his parents, we’re extremely proud of him and all, but at the same time, I didn’t think he had a chance of getting in, so it was okay for him to apply.”

Banks was just as surprised as his parents when he learned he’d been admitted to the school.

“All of me was surprised. I didn’t think I was going to get in at all. It’s a very prestigious art school and you have to make two projects. I sewed my very first dress and covered the entire thing with puzzle pieces. I made it out of a curtain from Walmart and drop cloth canvas. Then I made my very first stop motion video, so it was just a lot of firsts. I think that showed the art school that I’m willing to take risks,” Banks said. “Also, with getting your GED, I’m willing to take the risk of leaving and leaving my senior year behind just to do what I love. I think that’s something that’s very valuable in the art world is to be able to take risks and not look back.”

Aside from the fact that Banks actually got accepted by RISD, just as impressive is the manner in which he completed his assigned application projects with such efficiency and elegance.

Puzzle dress, designed by Compton as part of the RISD admissions process. (WAW | Contributed)

“When you see how hard he worked to get in, that application process was not easy. And you weren’t going to make it through those projects. They assign a project on one day and everybody has two weeks to get it done,” Lisa said. “Part of what they’re wanting to see is, can you work under time pressure. Some people don’t make it through. He put in a lot of hours and was absolutely exhausted. Plus, on one of the assignments, I kept saying, ‘I don’t think you’re doing it right.’ So he had to stand up to his mother and defend his art choices. And it turns out, it was probably his best project. He was strong. He was determined. When someone has worked that hard for it and it was a real honor to get in, there was no way we could say ‘no’, so he’s going.”

Banks tested his acumen on the big stage last summer when he attended Parsons, a three-week summer program at Parsons in New York City.

“Banks wanted to see last year, ‘Am I any good?’ He went to Parsons in New York for three weeks,” Hunter noted.

“We told him to find a taxi, find your own way. He did, no trouble. He didn’t want to come home,” Lisa said.

Banks emerged from that program more determined than ever that he would ultimately pursue his dream. Little did anyone know how quickly he would actually catch up with that goal.

“It has kind of hit his mother, but I don’t know that it has fully hit her. We weren’t planning on him leaving for another year, emotionally or otherwise,” Hunter said. “But it’s really cool that he did get in.”

“We’ve all had to come to terms that we won’t see each other a lot. It won’t be like if he were at Alabama or UWA and could come home on weekends. He’s going to have to make it until Christmas, Spring Break, probably not even coming home at Thanksgiving,” Lisa said. “I have a flexible work schedule, so I’ll probably go up a couple of times a year. He’s going to have to get there and really make his world there. I think he can.”

While Banks will look to make his world at RISD beginning in the Fall and see exactly where his art will take him in the years to come, it is the tiny little corner of the world he calls home to which his parents point in explaining how he has gotten to where he is.

“We really did sit there and go, ‘Wow, out of the 4,000 applicants and only 300 got in, how was he picked?’ I think one of the things that probably showed through was how badly he wanted to go. In a way, being in Demopolis was one of his biggest strengths. He said, ‘We really haven’t had formal art programs when I’ve been here. To have said, ‘I taught myself off YouTube.’ To have shown that against all obstacles, he stuck with this and really pursued it. Yet, while you’re saying that Demopolis didn’t have the things that other kids had, they didn’t have AP art programs and AP teachers showing the kids, this school supported him so much,” Lisa said. “When he put on an art show at the hospital, all the faculty came. The superintendent came. The principal came. Whenever they’ve had productions here at the school, they’ve talked about him. They’ve displayed his art. I think, maybe being from a place that didn’t have everything, was the advantage.”

“He’s had a number of opportunities to show his art. He has been encouraged a lot, not just by us,” Hunter added.

While Banks found an affinity for art early, he looks to a middle school class for helping him to find passion and a high school teacher for helping put his talent to work.

“It started with the faculty here at Demopolis. Mrs. (Meggin) Mayben in middle school was very supportive. I liked art because of her. Actually, Mrs. (Connie) Davis for my business class told me that I should start selling my paintings, so she bought my first painting,” Banks said. “After that, I’ve been selling paintings around Demopolis, doing pet portraits, and I made money off of that. That money went to my first car. All of that was all good, but then I went to New York for three weeks, once I was there in that atmosphere with all those other kids who also appreciated art like I did and being able to learn so much there, I really knew that that’s what I wanted to do.”

“Mrs. Mayben did do some art in the middle school and she has been so supportive,” Lisa added. “I think the opportunities and support he got in middle school gave him the confidence to do that, to keep sticking with it and apply when everybody might’ve said, ‘That’ll never work.’”

From his elementary school doodles to the pet portraits that monetized his abilities, art has been a constant in Banks’s story. With his next move, he will look to add definitive and remarkable brushstrokes to a portrait that is far from complete.

“I’ve been doing art basically my entire life, just drawing or painting or something. It was really intensified after my first painting. I was like, ‘I can make money doing this.’ I was able to work out a system and start having extra spending money by using my talents,” Banks said. “I think it’s a great way of telling stories. By looking at other artists, you can see their life progress through their artwork. And I think that I have a story to tell, myself. I would like to share my story coming from a small town.”

Linden burst onto map at Class 1A state track meet

Tyroneisha Charleston sits back and relaxes after a day in which she won four medals at the Class 1A state track meet.

The Linden High track team is still riding high off a successful run at the Class 1A state meet earlier this month. The Patriot girls finished fourth out of 31 teams at the meet including five medals as a team.

Sophomore Tyroneisha Charleston starred at the meet, taking home four medals on the day. She took gold in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.57. Charleston also took bronze in the high jump with a mark of 4-10 and bronze in the long jump with a finish of 14-11.75.

The Linden girls 4×100 relay team of Tyroneisha Charleston, Tomysha Boykin, Tameria Aldridge and Jakaria Miller celebrate after winning gold at the Class 1A state track meet.

Charleston also won gold as part of the 4×100 relay team that included Tomysha Boykin, Tameria Aldridge and Jakaria Miller. The team had a time of 51.48 seconds, more than a second ahead of the silver medalists.

The Linden girls also won gold in the 4×400 relay team with a squad that included Aldridge, Boykin, Miller and Jakaria Miller who finished with a time of 4:23.04.

The Linden boys finished fourth out of 26 teams with a performance that included medals in three events Charles Blackmon took silver in the 110 meter hurdles. Kevin Green finished second in the long jump. Roderick Dansby, Jaevius Smith, Blackmon and Green combined to win gold in the 4×100.

 

Boone receives award in honor of Hope Vann

Demopolis High School Principal Blaine Hathcock and Barbara Hodge present the first Hope Vann Auxiliary Spirit Award to senior Lauren Boone. Hodge is the mother of the late Hope Vann, the beloved Demopolis High School student and auxiliary member who was killed in a car accident in December 2015.

Harris becomes first Demopolis Division I track signee

Darnesha Harris signs her National Letter of Intent to compete for the University of South Alabama track team as her mother, Katrina Chambers, and grandmother, Annie Harris, look on.

Darnesha Harris’s track coaches at Demopolis High School can barely contain their emotions when they talk about their senior standout.

“She’s one of a kind. You don’t come across an athlete like this every day,” Deborah Boykin, who has coached Harris in indoor and outdoor track events, said.

Harris has spent five years in the Demopolis High varsity track program but reached her greatest milestone to date Wednesday when she signed a National Letter of Intent and officially collected a track scholarship from the University of South Alabama.

“I was really excited about the opportunity for her. I’m really proud of her. No one in my family has complete college except for my sister got her two-year degree just last week. So it’s really exciting for me,” Katrina Chambers, Harris’s mother, said during a signing ceremony in the DHS library Wednesday morning. “She has been talented from day one. It’s like she breathes track. I try to talk to her about other things, but that’s what is really in her heart. She loves track.”

Darnesha Harris (center) is flanked by her mother Katrina Chambers and grandmother Annie Harris in addition to being joined by DHS track coaches Rodney Rowser and Deborah Boykin as well as athletic director Tony Pittman.

For Harris, the interest in track grew into a full-blown passion early in her Tiger career.

“It was kind of in the ninth grade when I made it to state in the 400 meter and I called my mom crying because I wasn’t able to run. My 10th grade year, I just wanted to come back. I came back my 10th grade year and I won third place in two events that I had just started,” Harris recalled. “About my 10th grade year, everything started to sink in. You don’t take things seriously when you first get to high school, but you keep practicing and practicing and you just realize, ‘Okay, I’m really good at that. I need to start taking it more serious because I can actually get somewhere.’”

A multi-sport athlete at Demopolis High School, Harris was a starter on the girls basketball team but knew what awaited her at the conclusion of the season. With strong interest already being shown by collegiate track programs, Harris committed herself to improving upon her time in a specific event with the goal of improving her options.

“I was like, ‘Okay. Okay. I’m going to set it down. I’m going to keep doing better. Maybe I can get better offers.’ Sometimes, I know if you keep getting your time down, they’ll start offering you more. So, each track meet, I tried to get a (personal record) and just tried to make myself better so I could get more offers,” Harris said of her mentality following the receipt of her first offer.

One offer already in hand, Harris set her sights on reaching a new personal best in one specific event. She needed a 44-second time in the 300 meter hurdles.

“It was our last home track meet and it was a 44.83,” Harris said of the day she reached her lofty goal. “Nobody else would probably understand because they think 45s and 46s are good, but the lower your time the better. That’s when more colleges want you. That’s when more offers start to come in.”

Offers followed rather quickly. Harris spent much of the past month deliberating between offers from Troy and South Alabama.

“I just felt that the coaches were more caring at South. They knew what they wanted me to do. They had everything together. They were more organized. They told me what they wanted to do. They gave me my offer. They didn’t waste any time trying to get to me,” Harris said of her decision.

In accepting the offer from South Alabama, Harris becomes the first Demopolis High School athlete to sign a Division I track scholarship.

“Everyday when she came to practice, you saw it in her. She was the first one out there and she was strong for the whole practice,” Boykin said. “When the weather wasn’t good or she wasn’t feeling well, she led the team. She’s just an all-around athlete.”

“Great, hard-working individual that can help any team. She will be truly missed here,” Rodney Rowser, who has coached Harris since the eighth grade, said of the Jaguars’ latest signee.

Harris’s career at Demopolis culminated May 7 at the state track meet, where she finished second among Class 5A girls in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.19, just one 100th of a second behind her state champion teammate Ashleigh Ivory. That race saw Harris get her cleat stuck in the starting block, resulting in her being the last competitor to get running. Still, perhaps more remarkable than getting stuck in the block and finishing second in the state is the story of her winning an indoor state championship earlier this year.

“She played a (basketball) game Thursday night. Friday morning, went to Birmingham. She came to me crying after her race. She said, ‘Coach Rod, I ran the worst race I ever ran.’ She came back home Friday and played another game. Came back to Birmingham Saturday morning. It was rough for me to tell her, ‘Darnesha, just go and compete.’ But that’s not her. She wants to go and win,” Rowser explained. “I told her, ‘Baby, look, we haven’t worked on hurdles all year. Let’s just go and get ready for outdoor season. But one thing I want you to do, when they call you over, I want you to keep moving. I went down to check on her after I told her to keep moving. I looked in her eyes and I said, ‘She’s not going just to compete. She’s going to win.’ She had the worst lane on the track.”

Harris went on to win the indoor state championship in the 60 meter hurdles despite not having practiced the event and having been in the middle of basketball season. But the feat came as no surprise to Rowser or Boykin, who each rave about the natural fluidity with which Harris has always competed.

“She came over in the eighth grade. I was sitting there watching her and I thought, ‘Who is this skinny girl?’ She was doing all these drills we do and so fluent. From that day, you could see it. It was just amazing,” Rowser said.

“She came out and did these hurdles with just incredible natural ability,” Boykin said. “She is amazing. When she is doing a 400 and she’s got someone in front of her, she’s like a predator. She keeps going and she’s so focused. It’s amazing to watch her.”

With the ink now dried on her letter of intent, Harris shifts her focus to readying for the next phase of her sprinting career.

“I have to be more serious about everything. I have to watch what I eat. I have to change my lifestyle, because if I want to be great, then I have to do what it takes to be great,” Harris said, noting that the impending challenge of extending the distance in her hurdles event dictates the need for improvements in her game. “Maybe just my strength in my arms and my legs. That would mainly just be trying to help me fight through the last 100 meters of my 400 hurdles. That’s what I need to work on.”

Boykin, Cox receive Student-Athlete of the Year honors

The West Alabama Watchman and the Marengo County Parks and Recreation Board hosted the second annual Marengo County Student-Athlete of the Year Banquet Monday night.

In a fun-filled evening that featured Eli Gold as the guest speaker, hundreds gathered in the fellowship hall of Linden Baptist Church to celebrate 12 award finalists from throughout the county.

The Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award went to Linden High School senior Tomysha Boykin. As a student, Boykin is unmatched in the halls of Linden High. She boasts a 4.0 GPA and a 25 ACT to go along with her valedictorian status and was the Class 1A, Region 2 winner of the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Achievement Award.

Her non-athletic extracurricular involvements have ranged from class president to vice president of the Beta Club to the LHS-UWA STEM Team.

At the top of her class is one thing, but the diminutive dynamo has excelled at three sports in her varsity career. A rotational player in both volleyball and basketball since the seventh grade, Boykin turned in her best seasons as a senior. She averaged five kills, six digs, six aces and a block per game in volleyball. In basketball, she helped her squad to a 22-5 season while averaging 16.1 points, 5.3 assists and 6.1 steals per contest. She also earned ASWA Third Team All-State honors as well as First Team All-County.

Yet, it may actually be track where the future UAB student shined the most as a senior. She was a state qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles. And she owns two state championships as part of the 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.

Other finalists for the award included Marengo Academy’s Macey Petrey, Marengo High’s LaVonyae Miller, A.L. Johnson’s Akayla McGhee, Sweet Water’s Lara Little and Demopolis High senior Abbey Latham.

The Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award went to Demopolis High School’s R.J. Cox. Cox will play his college baseball with MUW out of Columbus, Mississippi, allowing him the opportunity to help the school build its baseball program from the ground up. He finished his senior season with a .333 average and 22 RBIs as well as a 5-2 record on the mound to go along with a 2.42 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 43 innings.

Cox is also a three-year starter at linebacker for the Demopolis High football team and earned West Alabama Watchman All-County honors in both sports for three consecutive years.

But athletics come nowhere close to being the entirety of Cox’s resume. His tenure at DHS has included National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, DECA, Student Council, National Academy of Finance and Beta Club. He also earned the community service endorsement.

The Class 5A, Region 4 winner of the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Achievement Award, Cox finishes with a 4.2 GPA.

Other finalists included A.L. Johnson’s Deandre Croom, Linden’s C.J. Robinson, Marengo High’s Roosevelt Thompson, Marengo Academy’s Weldon Aydelott and Sweet Water standout Flynn Mabowitz.

The Marengo County Parks and Recreation Board awarded $500 each to the athletic departments of Linden High and Demopolis High as part of the prize package for the winners.

Petrey, Latham split Watchman Player of the Year honors

Macey Petrey

For only the second time, the West Alabama Watchman has co-players of the year in a sport as SEC signees Abbey Latham and Macey Petrey each posted career years in leading their teams to strong seasons.

Petrey, a Mississippi State signee, shined as Marengo Academy’s shortstop with a .940 fielding percentage to go along with the best offensive season of her career. She hit a robust .543 on the season to go along with 10 homers, 29 doubles, three triples, 73 RBIs, 36 stolen bases and 61 runs scored. Most importantly, she led her team on a remarkable run through the postseason that culminated in the Longhorns winning the AISA, Class A state championship.

Abbey Latham

Latham earns Player of the Year honors for the third consecutive season after propelling her team to a 36-13 season with a tremendous season that includes a .605 batting average, 19 homers, 15 doubles, five triples, 16 stolen bases and 61 runs scored. The Tiger catcher and Ole Miss signee also drove in 74 runs on the season.

Coach of the Year honors go to Marengo Academy’s Chris Petrey, who stunned the AISA by escorting the Longhorns to the state championship well before most around the circuit expected such a return to prominence. Petrey’s team finished 26-19 on the season and put it all together at the right time in the state tournament, including a victory over nemesis Patrician after having lost to the Saints seven times in 2017. Petrey navigated a squad that included a seventh grade catcher at the cleanup spot and a freshman second baseman and eighth grade leftfielder filling out the top two spots in the order.

During the Longhorns’ state tournament run, Petrey nearly pushed every button flawlessly all the down to winning the coin toss for the final game and choosing to be the visiting team. His squad scored three runs in the top of the first inning. Then he inserted a freshman in the pitcher’s circle with the bases loaded and nobody out despite her not having thrown a single warmup pitch the entire weekend. She went on to allow one hit over seven innings of work for the win.

The West Alabama Watchman 2017 All-County Softball Team consists of:

C – Abbey Latham, Demopolis

1B – Bria Brown, Demopolis

2B – Elly Brown, Demopolis

3B – Courtney Smith, Demopolis

SS – Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy

OF – Kayla Marshall, Sweet Water

OF – Lara Little, Sweet Water

OF – Riley Newton, Marengo Academy

OF – Hannah Freeman, Marengo Academy

P – Natalie Tatum, Demopolis

P – Thea Luker, Sweet Water

P – Kayla Montz, Demopolis

DP – Natalie Luker, Sweet Water

UTIL – Kora Myers, Sweet Water

UTIL – Sara Irvin, Sweet Water

UTIL – Kendall Hannah, Demopolis

UTIL – Mary Grace Sheffield, Marengo Academy

UTIL – Trinity Wilkinson, Marengo Academy