Gulf Seafood Summit celebrates Alabama seafood

It seems like eons ago when Alabama and the rest of the states on the Gulf of Mexico were collectively staring at a potential apocalypse that might eternally alter the way of life along the Gulf Coast.

The wellhead at the Macondo Prospect was uncontrollably spewing barrel after barrel of crude oil into the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig was destroyed, and our economy and culture were hanging by the thinnest of threads in the summer of 2010.

Residents along the coast didn’t know if they would enjoy Gulf shrimp or sautéed red snapper filets ever again.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017: Wild Gulf shrimp are plentiful, and the waters off the Alabama coast are teeming with red snapper.

As Jim Smith, the executive chef of the State of Alabama who makes sure Gov. Kay Ivey gets plenty of Alabama seafood, put it:

“The BP oil spill is so far behind us in the rearview mirror that it doesn’t even come up anymore,” said Smith last week at the Alabama Gulf Seafood Summit in Orange Beach, where he also served as one of the judges in the Alabama Seafood Cook-Off.

After the oil spill, the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission (ASMC) was formed in March 2011 to help guide consumers and the seafood industry through the uncertain recovery process.

“A big portion of what we did after the oil spill was to ensure our seafood was safe,” said Chris Blankenship, who was Alabama Marine Resources Division (MRD) Director during most of the recovery period and now serves as Acting Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “I will say that during the spill and after the spill we never had a seafood sample that was unsafe.”

Blankenship said the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and MRD combined forces to the test the seafood, which included finfish, oysters, shrimp and blue crabs.

“We started this (ASMC) from scratch,” Blankenship said. “I think with the website (www.eatalabamaseafood.com) and the impact that the program has had, it has been good for the industry. The thing that shows me that we have value as a seafood marketing commission is that people do want to put our logo on their doors, their businesses and their menus. To me, that is the biggest compliment for the work that has been done by the commission. We have built a value with people identifying with Alabama seafood.

“When I go to a restaurant and see our logo on there, I feel like we’ve had an impact on the industry. It has been a very productive five years, but we have more work to do.”

Blankenship did say that funding for the seafood commission is far from what it once was, and he has no idea what the future holds.

“I will say we’re operating on a shoestring budget compared to what it once was,” he said. “We had initial funding from BP that lasted for three years. We were able to obtain some additional funding from the Governor’s office that we stretched for two years. We also received a grant from the Deepwater Horizon Settlement Fund that really helped keep us going. Last year, out of the blue, I got a surprise letter from the Deepwater Settlement Fund. The letter said the work the commission had done was impressive and that we followed the grant agreement and all the reporting required was done on time. The letter said they had a little money left over and asked if we could use $100,000. I could not reply fast enough that, yes, we could use it. We currently have no funding to continue the valuable work of the ASMC after 2017.

“We hope that we will gain some long-term funding through the RESTORE Act. The language in the act specifically mentions seafood marketing. It’s just taking a little longer than we would like to get the funding.”

Now that the BP oil spill is behind us, the effects of Alabama’s weather on seafood production can control the availability of seafood, especially oysters.

Byron Webb of the ADPH’s shellfish office said recent rains from Tropical Storm Cindy have caused the harvestable oyster reefs to be shut down as a precaution. Several benchmarks are used to determine if an area will be closed.

“Right now, we’re under several closures,” Webb said. “If we get five inches of local rain, that closes an area until we get to test the water again. We got 5 inches of rain one night and another 5 inches the next day. We’re also closed because of river levels. When the Mobile River at Barry Steam Plant gets above 8 feet, we close it.

“When anything like that happens, it’s a 21-day closure. That gives it enough time for the components that would cause health issues to be flushed out. After that, we test again until we get a clean sample and can reopen the reefs.”

Blankenship said the closures are to ensure that the products the public gets are safe.

“It is an inconvenience for the oystermen and oyster growers, but it’s really a protection for those businesses and consumers to make sure that no products enter the marketplace that are not safe,” he said.

Blankenship said the demand for oysters produced through aquaculture operations on the Alabama coast is through the roof.

“We are able to sell a lot more oysters than we can produce,” he said. “One thing we’re trying to do is create an opportunity for people who want to get into the oyster aquaculture business. We’re putting together a one-stop-shop website so that investors big and small can use the tools. If a husband and wife want to start an oyster farm, they can go to the website to see what permitting is required and what capital is required to grow a million oysters. A company that might want to grow 10 million oysters can use the site, too.

“This year, we are on schedule to produce about five million oysters, but I think we have a demand for about 25 million oysters. There is real growth potential for the oyster aquaculture industry.”

On an oyster-related note, the Oyster Shell Recycling Program, which cranked up last year, has been an overwhelming success. The program collects oyster shells from Alabama Gulf Coast restaurants and takes the shells to the Alabama Marine Resources Division property in Gulf Shores. After six months of seasoning, the shells are used for oyster gardening programs and to refurbish public oyster reefs. The program set a goal of two million shells collected in its first two years but has already reached that goal in just six months.

Chef Gilstrap created Chef Olive’s “Fruitti di Alabama” recipe that featured an underutilized fish species in its dish of Pan Roasted Gulf Jolt Head Porgy that included Summer Squash Jumbo Lump Crab Caponata with a Crispy Rock Shrimp Piccatta topping (WAW | Contributed)

Blankenship said the blue crab industry is on the rebound but not where it should be. Proposed regulations on trap components allow small crabs to escape, and there is a nine-month closure on the harvest of egg-bearing female crabs.

As part of the seafood summit, the third annual Alabama Seafood Cook-Off was held at The Wharf, and the third time was the charm for Chef Brody Olive’s team. Although Chef Olive was out of town because of a death in the family, Chef Brad Gilstrap led the team to the championship with three Alabama seafood components. Chef Jason Ramirez of Villaggio Grille, located at The Wharf, was named runner-up.

Chef Gilstrap created Chef Olive’s “Fruitti di Alabama” recipe that featured an underutilized fish species in its dish of Pan Roasted Gulf Jolt Head Porgy that included Summer Squash Jumbo Lump Crab Caponata with a Crispy Rock Shrimp Piccatta topping.

Chef Olive and Chef Gilstrap are now set to represent Alabama at the upcoming Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans on August 6 as well as the World Food Championships at The Wharf November 8-14.

David Rainer is public information manager and outdoor columnist for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. His column appears weekly in The West Alabama Watchman. 

Demopolis hosting 7U state tournament this weekend

Demopolis is readying for the 2017 Cal Ripken 7U Alabama State Tournament set to take place at the Sports-Plex Friday through Sunday.

Opening ceremony for the eight-team tournament are set for 8:30 a.m. Friday. The Black Warrior Pool will feature Athens, Westside B of Mobile, Spanish Fort and Demopolis. The Tombigbee Pool includes Phenix City, Florence, Westside A of Mobile and Semmes. Each pool will feature four games on Friday and two more on Saturday morning before elimination play begins.

The Tombigbee Pool schedule is as follows:

FRIDAY (Field 6)

9 a.m. – Semmes vs. Phenix City

10 a.m. – Florence vs. Westside A

2:30 p.m. – Phenix City vs. Florence

4:30 p.m. – Westside A vs. Semmes

SATURDAY (New Era Field)

9 a.m. – Semmes vs. Florence

11 a.m. – Phenix City vs. Westside A

The Black Warrior Pool schedule is as follows:

FRIDAY (New Era Field)

9:30 a.m. – Demopolis vs. Athens

11:30 a.m. – Westside B vs. Spanish Fort

3 p.m. – Athens vs. Westside B

5 p.m. – Spanish Fort vs. Demopolis

SATURDAY (Field 6)

9:30 a.m. – Demopolis vs. Westside B

11:30 a.m. – Athens vs. Spanish Fort

First round bracket play begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. with four games. Second round bracket play is Sunday at 9 a.m. The championship game is set for 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Recreational snapper anglers get additional days

Fishing buddy Todd Kercher posted a video last weekend that many feel justifies the significant extension of the red snapper season for private recreational anglers in federal waters.

Todd took his family out in the Gulf of Mexico to catch a limit of snapper, two per person with a 16-inch minimum. What he captured on video was what many snapper anglers have been screaming for the past few years.

As Todd tells one family member that they have a limit in the boat, they start throwing the leftover bait into the water.

A red snapper feeding frenzy ensued with 10- to 15-pound red snapper attacking the bait with such fervor that they were coming completely out of the water, skying as Todd called it.

The reason Todd and his family were able to enjoy the phenomenal red snapper fishing was the result of a unified effort by a diverse group that included the affected anglers, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama Congressmen, city councils and mayors in Gulf Coast communities and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

When NOAA Fisheries announced earlier this year that the private recreational sector would only get a three-day season, the above groups were disgusted to the point of anger.

A little more than a month ago, the groups began to come together to encourage the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and subsequently NOAA Fisheries, to reconsider the season in federal waters.

Those efforts paid off last week when NOAA Fisheries and the Gulf states reached an agreement that if the states forego snapper seasons in state waters out to the 9-mile boundary Mondays through Thursdays, the federal private recreational season would be extended from three days for an additional 39 days. The season is set for each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day and includes July 3-4 and Labor Day. The charter-for-hire’s 49-day season, which runs through July 19, and the commercial sector’s IFQ (Individual Fishing Quota) system are not affected.

Chris Blankenship, who has gone from Alabama Marine Resources Director to DCNR Deputy Commissioner to Acting DCNR Commissioner this year, said the negotiations have been in progress for much longer than a month.

“We started trying to work with the new administration not long after (Commerce) Secretary (Wilbur) Ross was appointed,” Blankenship said. “That has been very beneficial. Congressman (Bradley) Byrne also lined up the help from other Gulf Coast Representatives, like Steve Scalise and Garrett Graves from Louisiana, Matt Gaetz from Florida and Steve Palazzo from Mississippi. They met with the Secretary’s staff to urge them to extend the red snapper days.

“Then Governor Ivey sent a letter to the White House and actually talked to President Trump about red snapper while she was in Washington for a meeting about infrastructure. Then we had resolutions from Orange Beach, Dauphin Island and the Baldwin County Commission, along with a letter from Senator (Luther) Strange. It was a very concerted effort to get this extra time.”

Blankenship believes the main reason the Commerce Department responded to the requests of such a diverse group was the unified message.

“We were all asking for the same thing,” he said. “We wanted weekends, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. All the resolutions and letters were very similar. I think having that good community effort and single message helped this to be a success.”

Orange Beach City Councilman Jeff Boyd echoed Blankenship’s assessment of the teamwork.

“I think this is the greatest indication that the average voice was heard,” Boyd said of the extension. “It was heard all the way to the White House and Department of Commerce across many states. It showed that a team effort can absolutely be successful.

“Congressman Byrne was just by here, and we were talking about the work done by Chris Blankenship, Governor Ivey, Senator Strange’s letter and Senator (Richard) Shelby in the budget hearings. With that, we were able to gain enough momentum and energy to make it happen. I think it was wonderful.”

Boyd’s constituency includes a great number of private recreational fishermen and one of the largest charter fleets on the Gulf Coast. He said some are extremely happy and some apprehensive.

“From the private rec guys, there’s nothing but ecstatic excitement,” Boyd said. “From the charter guys, they’re worried about what it might do to them next year.”

Boyd said Blankenship was a crucial coordinator to make the snapper season extension a reality.

“Chris can’t get enough kudos,” Boyd said. “He’s the quiet hero who brought other state commissioners to the table. It’s hard enough to get a family to agree on anything, much less four different commissioners from four other states with different agendas.”

Blankenship said negotiations for the extension included several options including Saturday and Sunday, plus the holidays, but the addition of Fridays to the season prevailed.

“In order to get Fridays, the five states had to agree that they would not open a season in the fall,” Blankenship said. “Alabama and Florida felt it was more important to get the 39 days and not have a fall season. Mississippi and Louisiana agreed to do the same thing. Texas catches a very small percentage, ½ of 1 percent, of the quota during their fall season. So we were able to work out the details for 39 days, primarily through the cooperation of Alabama and Florida, which account for the majority of the red snapper catch.

“We realize not everybody is happy about giving up some of the state days. But we surrendered 23 days in state waters, where we have hundreds of (artificial) reefs, to get 39 days in federal waters, where we have thousands and thousands of reefs. We thought that was a fair trade.”

Blankenship hopes this process will reset the way the Gulf states work with the Commerce Department and NOAA Fisheries.

“All the states felt like this was a new opportunity, not just for 2017 but the future, to work with Congress and the Department of Commerce to find long-term solutions,” he said.

Blankenship said Rep. Scalise, who is recovering from a serious gunshot wound in an assassination attempt last week, was at the forefront of the negotiations.

“We pray for his speedy recovery,” Blankenship said. “This is an important issue to him. We hope he will get back to work soon. We look forward to working with him, as the Majority Whip, to pass a long-term fix in Congress.”

Blankenship said without the data gathered through the Alabama Red Snapper Reporting System, known as Snapper Check, the argument for an extension would likely have not been considered by Commerce.

“To the Commerce Department’s credit, they gave states the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “They compared the data from Snapper Check and MRIP (Marine Recreational Information Program). They were open to looking at the data. They recognized the disparity in the data and decided the private recreational fishermen needed some relief. It was a bold move on their part and very appreciated by the recreational fishermen.”

One of those private recreational anglers is Marcus Kennedy of Mobile, who made it clear he felt the private rec guys were “getting the short end of the stick” in my column a little more than a month ago. When we talked last Friday, he had just returned from a quick trip into the Gulf to catch a limit of snapper.

“It looked like a normal weekend, which is good,” Kennedy said of the number of boats in the artificial reef zones. “When you’ve got the season spread out, you won’t have everybody trying to get out at the same time.

“I think this is the best we could have hoped for. We basically traded the remaining state days for 39 days in federal waters. I’ll take the federal season every time. That’s good for Alabama.”

Kennedy agrees that the Snapper Check data is far more accurate than the federal estimate.

“The state catch surveys have consistently been two to three times less than NOAA’s catch estimate,” he said. “Therefore, this season is more in line with what the actual catches are instead of the inflated numbers NOAA has been using. Everybody I fish with is glad we got the extension, but they know it’s not a long-term solution, and we’re probably going to have to go through the same fight next year.”

To be ready for further negotiations, Blankenship said it is crucial that Alabama anglers report all their catches through Snapper Check, which offers three ways to comply. The easiest way, by far, is to use the Outdoor Alabama app for smartphones. Online reporting is available at www.outdooralabama.com, and paper reporting slips are located at select boat ramps.

Major Scott Bannon, Acting Director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division, explains Snapper Check and its importance to red snapper management in the linked video here.

Kennedy said there is an abundance of large snapper, 25-plus-pounds, and plenty of 2- to 4-pound snapper on the reefs he’s fished lately. And he’s glad he doesn’t have to stay in state waters to fish for Alabama’s premier reef fish.

“It’s bad when you have to cram it all into one weekend, when the weather might be bad,” he said. “Now we can breathe a little easier and not be under the stress that you have to go. It’s supposed to be an enjoyable outing. You want to go when the weather is nice, not when the federal government says you have to go.”

David Rainer is public information manager and outdoor columnist for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. His column appears weekly in The West Alabama Watchman. 

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.

ASWA names Mr. Baseball/Mrs. Softball; Latham, Smith make Super 10

HOOVER – Decatur’s Tanner Burns and Westminster Christian’s Annie Willis were named Mr. Baseball and Miss Softball, respectively, by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Sunday night at the group’s 46th annual convention at the Hyatt-Wynfrey in Hoover.

In addition, Mobile Christian’s Ethan Hearn was named the recipient of the ASWA’s Jimmy Smothers Courage Award. Named after the long-time sports editor of the Gadsden Times and guiding force in the ASWA, it recognizes his commitment to local and high school sports coverage, and honors a high school athlete who has overcome adversity and shown immense courage.

Burns, expected to be a high choice in the Major League Baseball player draft this week, was selected the ASWA’s Class 6A first-team shortstop and the 6A Player of the Year when the group’s prep committee met last week to select its all-state team. Burns was also the 6A hitter of the year in 2016 as a utility player, a first-team pitcher in 2015 and first-team designated hitter as a freshman.

In 37 games for the 32-5 Red Raiders, the senior hit .467 with 18 homers, 46 RBI, 49 hits and 56 runs. He walked 29 times and struck out just six times. As a right-handed pitcher, Burns went 10-1 with a 0.88 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 22 walks, while allowing eight earned runs in 64 innings. The Auburn signee helped Decatur to the quarterfinals – where the team was ranked 32nd in the nation before its loss to Cullman.

Willis was the Pitcher and Player of the Year in Class 4A in helping her team to a runner-up finish and a 51-4-1 record. With 543 strikeouts this year, she finished her pitching career with 1,975. This year, she went 43-3-1 and had an ERA of 0.40. She pitched five no-hitters, three perfect games and 21 shutouts. Willis allowed 44 walks, 90 hits and 15 earned runs in 259 2/3 innings.

The senior hit .464 this year with 12 homers, 64 RBI, 70 hits, scored 40 runs, walked 23 times and struck out just nine times. She was a first-team all-state pitcher as a junior and sophomore and was honorable mention as a freshman. The Troy signee helped the Wildcats to a high-water mark of 14th in the country.

Hearn was honored for his courage in the face of tremendous adversity. The sophomore returned from football practice on a Thursday night last November to find his mother dead of an apparent suicide. Though his teammates and coaches rushed to his house to comfort him that night, few expected him to make the trip to Oakman early the next morning for the team’s Class 3A quarterfinal playoff game. Not only did Hearn make the trip, he made 8.5 tackles in a Mobile Christian victory and eventually helped power the Leopards to the title game.

ASWA SUPER 10 VOTING
(First place votes in parentheses)

BASEBALL
Tanner Burns, Decatur                                 (9) 117
Bubba Thompson, McGill-Toolen              (2)   87
Jacob Heatherly, Cullman                                    80
Cody Greenhill, Russellville                                 66
Sam Praytor, Helena                                             57
Connor Jednat, UMS-Wright                               39
Taylor Hayes, Piedmont                                      37
Jonah Smith, Sweet Water                                  17
Brock Guffey, Hoover                                           13
Drew Williamson, T.R. Miller                              11

  1. BASEBALL WINNERS
    2017: Tanner Burns, Decatur
    2016: Owen Lovell, Cullman
    2015: Brax Garrett, Florence
    2014: Cody Reed, Ardmore
    2013: Keegan Thompson, Cullman
    2012: Mikey White, Spain Park
    2011: Daniel Koger, Huntsville
    2010: Daryl Norris, Fairhope
    2009: Luke Bole, Hartselle
    2008: Tyler Stovall, Hokes Bluff
    2007: John David Smelser, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
    2006: Del Howell, American Chr.
    2005: Colby Rasmus, Russell Co.
    2004: Patrick White, Daphne
    2003: Joey Doan, Baker
    2002: Allen Ponder, Lee-Scott Acad.
    2001: Eric West, Southside-Gadsden
    2000: Wade Miller, G.W. Long
    1999: Matthew Maniscalco, Oxford

SOFTBALL
Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.                  (8) 115
Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Chr.                           (3) 105
Kendall Beth Sides, Sumiton Chr.                      73
Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park                  70
Abbey Latham, Demopolis                                  56
Josie Page, Washington Co.                                49
Lacey Fincher, Faith Acad.                                   39
Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn                                         24
Alex Wilcox, Brantley                                            23
Amy Woodham, Slocomb                                    17

MISS SOFTBALL WINNERS
2017: Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.
2016: Ashlee Swindle, Curry
2015: Lacey Sumerlin, Baker
2014: Madi Moore, Winfield
2013: Kasey Cooper, Dothan
2012: Haylie McCleney, Mortimer Jordan
2011: Shelby Holley, Pisgah
2010: Leigh Streetman, Hueytown
2009: Hilary Phillips, Ider
2008: Lindsey Dunlap, Hueytown
2007: Whitney Larsen, Vestavia Hills
2006: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2005: Tara Donaldson, Baker
2004: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2003: Holly Currie, Pisgah

JIMMY SMOTHERS COURAGE AWARD WINNERS
2017: Ethan Hearn, Mobile Chr.
2016: Alex Wilcox, Brantley

 

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

Registration for Alabama alligator season opens Friday

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) will open online registration for the state’s 12th annual regulated alligator hunts June 2, 2017, at 8 a.m. Registration must be completed by 8 a.m. July 11. A total of 260 Alligator Possession Tags will be distributed among four hunting zones. The administrative fee to apply for an Alligator Possession Tag is $22 and individuals may register one time per zone. While the tag is free, the selected hunters and their assistants are required to have valid hunting licenses in their possession while hunting.

Only Alabama residents and Alabama lifetime license holders ages 16 years or older may apply for tags. Alabama lifetime license holders may apply for an Alligator Possession Tag even if they have moved out of the state.

To register for the 2017 alligator hunts beginning June 2 at 8 a.m., visit www.outdooralabama.com/registration-instructions during the registration period.

Hunters will be randomly selected by computer to receive one Alligator Possession Tag each, and the tags are non-transferable. The random selection process will utilize a preference point system. The system increases the likelihood of repeat registrants being selected for a hunt as long as the applicant continues to apply. The more years an applicant participates in the registration, the higher the likelihood of being selected. If an applicant does not register for the hunt in a given year or is selected and accepts a tag for a hunt, the preference point status is forfeited.

Applicants should check their selection status on July 12 after 12 p.m. Those selected to receive a tag must confirm their acceptance online by 8 a.m. July 19. After that date, alternates will be notified to fill any vacancies. Applicants drawn for the hunt must attend a mandatory zone-specific Alligator Training Course provided by the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. If hunters have attended a previous training course, they may be exempted from this requirement.

If selected for an Alligator Possession Tag at two or more locations, hunters must choose which location they would like to hunt. The slot for locations not chosen will be filled from a list of randomly selected alternates.

Hunting zones, total tags issued per zone and hunt dates are as follows:

Southwest Alabama Zone – 150 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Baldwin and Mobile counties, and private and public waters in Washington, Clarke and Monroe counties that lie east of U.S. Highway 43 and south of U.S. Highway 84. 2017 Dates: 8 p.m. August 10 until 6 a.m. August 13, and 8 p.m. August 17 until 6 a.m. August 20 (nighttime only).

Southeast Alabama Zone – 40 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Russell counties (excluding public Alabama state waters in Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries). 2017 Dates: 8 p.m. August 12 until 6 a.m. September 4 (nighttime only).

West Central Alabama Zone – 50 Tags
Locations: Private and public waters in Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 84), Wilcox and Dallas counties. 2017 Dates: 8 p.m. August 10 until 6 a.m. August 13, and 8 p.m. August 17 until 6 a.m. August 20 (nighttime only).

Lake Eufaula Zone – 20 Tags
Location: Public state waters only in the Walter F. George Reservoir/Lake Eufaula and its navigable tributaries, south of Alabama Highway 208 at Omaha Bridge (excludes Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge). 2017 Dates: Sunset August 18 until sunrise October 2 (day and night).

An 8-foot minimum length requirement is in effect for alligators harvested in the Lake Eufaula Zone. There is no minimum length for hunts in the other zones.

Hunting hours are 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the Southwest, Southeast and West Central Zones. For the Lake Eufaula Zone, hunting is allowed both daytime and nighttime hours. All Alabama hunting and boating regulations must be followed.

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America and can exceed 14 feet in length and 1,000 pounds. Known for its prized meat and leather, the species was threatened with extinction due to unregulated harvest during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. No regulations existed in those days to limit the number of alligators harvested. In 1938, it is believed that Alabama was the first state to protect alligators by outlawing these unlimited harvests. Other states soon followed and in 1967, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the American alligator on the Endangered Species list. By 1987, the species was removed from the Endangered Species list and the alligator population has continued to expand. Its history illustrates an excellent conservation success story.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.

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.

 

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.”