Marengo basketball squads down Choctaw

The Marengo High varsity teams each moved to 2-0 Friday night with a pair of victories over Class 2A Choctaw County.

The Lady Panthers beat Choctaw 56-48. J’Mya Hall anchored the effort with 22 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three assists and five steals. Scottiana Harris added 12 points and 11 rebounds in addition to five steals and three blocks.

Verliyah Keeton paced Choctaw County with 17 points while Jasmine Cunningham added 11.

The Marengo varsity boys topped Choctaw County 53-38. Roosevelt Thompson headed the Panther effort with 18 points and nine rebounds. Dominique Harris added 14 points and nine rebounds. James Reed had 10 points to lead Choctaw.

Marengo is set to play again Thursday, Dec. 28 in the Clarke County Invitational.

Letter to the Editor: DCS superintendent thanks community

It is challenging to describe the amount of support the citizens of Demopolis have for their public school system. If it is a Friday night football game or Tuesday morning Christmas program, you will have parents and grandparents show up in bulk to support the students of the Demopolis City School System.

This overwhelming support was magnified on December 12th when the voters of Demopolis were asked to renew a 3 mill property tax that is earmarked specifically for the public school system in Demopolis. This property tax vote passed with a 76% approval.

The 5 person appointed board of education (Conrad Murdock, Carolyn Moore, Jim Stanford, Olen Kirby, and Floy Mayberry) would like to offer a huge thank you to the voting citizens for making it a point to vote in favor of this tax continuation.  On behalf of the school administrators, teachers, and staff, we too thank you for trusting us as good stewards with your hard earned money, but more importantly we thank you for giving us an opportunity to teach your children every day.

 

Kyle Kallhoff, Superintendent of Education

Demopolis City School System

Demopolis varsity teams sweep Thomasville

The Demopolis High varsity basketball teams swept a pair of games from Thomasville Friday, highlighted by a thrilling overtime victory in the boys game. On a night with Demopolis lacked its best stuff, the home team had to rally in the fourth quarter and overtime for a 50-46 victory over one of its chief rivals.

Demopolis carried a 23-19 lead into halftime but saw Thomasville pull to a 31-30 advantage after three quarters of play. The Tigers got their offensive output from five different players in the fourth quarter and found themselves standing at the free throw line frequently throughout the game’s final 12 minutes.

Nine of the Tigers’ 15 points in the fourth quarter came at the free throw line as they pulled the game to a 45-45 tie at the end of regulation. Melvin Childers went 3 of 4 from the stripe in the bonus period and Nelson Haskin made the game’s only field goal in overtime for the 50-46 final. Demopolis finished 12 of 17 from the line in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal the win.

Haskin topped Demopolis with 11 points. Childers and Shakari Williams each finished with eight.

Averian Malone lead Thomasville with 15 points. Braxton Williams added 12 while Michael Jones had 11.

Demopolis moves to 7-1 with the win ahead of a trip to Greensboro Saturday night.

The Demopolis girls used a 12-2 fourth quarter to win going away in a 44-32 rout of Thomasville earlier in the night. Demopolis led 32-30 through three quarters of play before McKenzie Phillips, KiKi Waller and Samia Jackson helped put the game away with strong offensive performances in the final frame.

Jackson led Demopolis with 11 points on the night. Waller added 10 while Shakesaney Bell had seven and Phillips finished with six. Tiyanna Blanks paced Thomasville with 14 points.

The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Demopolis (3-3), who travels to Greensboro Saturday night.

Brown receives Walmart Community Grant

DMS Prinicpal Brandon Kiser present DMS band director Adam Brown with a Walmart Community Grant check for $2500.

The Demopolis Middle School band room will see improvements after it received a $2500 grant from the Walmart Community Grant program. Grants from the program are between $250 and $2500 and given to companies and programs that benefit the community in which they serve. DMS Band Director Adam Brown applied for the grant because of the need for instruments and equipment at the Middle School band room. The check was presented to Mr. Brown on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

DECA drive contributes 300 coats

Pictured are Holiday Cleaners employees with DECA members, Courtney Roberts and Brionna Howerton.

Demopolis High School DECA launched their “DECA is Driven” Coat Drive Campaign during the month of November to help make this Christmas season warmer for children and families in Marengo County. Coats and monetary donations were collected from classes at Demopolis High School and U.S. Jones Elementary.

The classes held a friendly competition to see who could win a wing party catered by Batter Up! Several local businesses also had donation jars to help the cause. ​This year’s coat drive was a huge success with 303 coats, nine stuffed animal toys, and $225.82 in donations! Donations were delivered to Marengo County DHR. The donated jackets and stuffed animals were generously cleaned and mended by the staff at Holiday Cleaners.

Sweet As Ever: Bulldogs grab first state title since 2010

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jacory Brown cuts through a gaping hole in the Pickens County defense during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Tornadoes.

TUSCALOOSA – Sweet Water reclaimed its once-familiar place atop Class 1A Thursday night with a 20-6 state championship game win over Pickens County. The Bulldogs utilized their trademark bludgeoning ground game and ball-hawking defense to walk away with the 10th state championship in school history.

“It’s just a super effort on our guys’ part. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys that come to work every day. I’ve said the last couple weeks how resilient they are,” Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson said. “We’ve been behind in our last few playoff games. These guys just keep fighting and I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys.”

The pivotal moment of the contest came with a little more than eight minutes to play. Pickens appeared poised to tie the game, trailing 14-6 with 8:28 left and the ball at the Bulldog 23. AlJaron Edwards danced around and through the Sweet Water pass rush for a 25-yard completion to Jacaurian Washington earlier in the the drive. Edwards looked to recreate that magic when Jacory Brown popped him and jarred the ball free. Shamar Lewis fielded the bouncing oblong and returned it 64 yards for his second scoop-and-score in the last two rounds of the state playoffs.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jaylon Williamson races toward the end zone during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Pickens County Tornadoes.

“Nothing but green. Touchdown,” Lewis said of what he saw when he gained possession of the ball.

“That’s a huge play. I saw the ball come loose and it just so happened our best football player was waiting for it to bounce up to him so he could take it in. He’s been around the ball all year long,” Thompson said of Lewis, who has finishes the season with three defensive touchdowns. “We got great pressure.”

The play moved the Sweet Water lead to 20-6 with 7:55 to play.

Pickens backup quarterback Clifford Morton came off the bench after Edwards was injured on the previous snap. Morton quickly went 3 of 4 passing for 59 yards before Sweet Water jarred the ball loose from a Tornado receiver and it fortuitously bounced into the arms of Luke Davis for the fumble recovery to all but seal the game with just over five minutes to play.

Sweet Water moved the lead to 14-3 with 7:12 to go in the third quarter when Jaylon Williamson punched it in from three yards out to punctuate the 11-play, 68-yard march that opened the second half of play.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Chance Broussard (48), De’Shawnterion Blanks (52) and Kaleb Greene (13) take down Pickens County’s Ta’Darien McIntosh during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Tornadoes.

After pounding the ball deep into Tornado territory on each of its first half possessions, Sweet Water cashed in and wrested control of the game on a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Brown with two minutes remaining in the second quarter. The drive lasted 10 plays and covered 60 yards.

With the 7-3 lead, the Sweet Water defense held despite a flurry from Pickens as Jonah Smith intercepted a pass at the Bulldog 2 in the closing seconds of the second quarter to preserve the advantage.

“It’s just a super effort on our guys’ part. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys that come to work every day,” Thompson said. “I’ve said the last couple weeks how resilient they are. We’ve been behind in our last few playoff games. These guys just keep fighting and I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys.”

Pickens took a 3-0 lead with a 26-yard field goal from Jermaine Hill with 5:40 left in the half. The Tornadoes’ final points came on a Hill field goal from 28 yards out with 4:10 left in the third.

The state championship is the first for Sweet Water since 2010 when Thompson was the defensive coordinator. Thompson earned state titles as the Sweet Water DC in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Shamar Lewis runs in the open field during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Pickens County Tornadoes.

“It’s unreal to be the head coach of these guys. I’ve been in on three at Sweet Water,” Thompson said. “I never realized what (Coach Stacy) Luker went through getting us ready for that. It has been a crazy week. But these guys stayed focused”

Brown led all rushers with 103 yards on 25 carries. Williamson finished with 95 yards on 12 carries. Lewis had 95 yards 16 rushes. Jah’Darius McIntosh led the team with 10 tackles. Luke Davis recovered a fumble in the game.

The state championship is the second of the 2017 calendar year for Sweet Water, which saw its baseball team bring home the Class 1A crown in dramatic fashion in May. The two accomplishments were not disconnected according to Smith, the Bulldogs quarterback and MVP of the 1A baseball series.

“I think it had a ton (of impact). It helped us a lot,” Smith said. “It helped us know that it’s going to be a big stage, a lot of people are going to be there. Just stay calm.”

Lewis earned Most Valuable Player honors Thursday night with 95 yards rushing, a fumble return touchdown and an interception, the 28th Bulldog INT of the season. Sweet Water finished the year with 41 forced turnovers on defense.

12-7-17 — Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Sweet Water’s Jacory Brown strip sacks Pickens County’s AlJaron Edwards during the Bulldogs’ AHSAA Class 1A State Championship win over the Tornadoes. Shamar Lewis would pick up the fumble and run it in for the Bulldogs’ final touchdown of the game.

Demopolis Singers Present “Christmas In our Home Town”

The Demopolis Singers will present the “Christmas in our Home Town” on Thursday, Dec. 7 at First Baptist Church of Demopolis. The community is invited to attend.

Betsy Stephens named St. Nicholas for COTR 2017

Betsy Stephens was named St. Nicholas for Christmas on the River 2017 Thursday night. She is joined by her husband, Kirk, and children Bill, Molly and Ed.

When event organizer Jennifer Swims announced the name of St. Nicholas for Christmas on the River 2017 Thursday night, Betsy Stephens may well have been the only person in attendance that was surprised by the revelation. Just after the annual lighting of Public Square, Stephens stood on stage as one of the 10 nominees for the honor, confident she would soon be applauding one of her nine deserving neighbors as their name was called.

As Swims finished reading the impressive list of nominees and cited reasons for their inclusion in the festivities, she came to the announcement. “Betsy Stephens.” The name rolled off the evening emcee’s tongue with unmitigated ease and hung momentarily in the unseasonably warm, undeniably humid night air. Before Stephens could appropriately process the moment, an approving round of applause swelled up from the dozens in attendance.

“I was really, really surprised. When Jennifer told me that I was nominated, she didn’t tell me who else was nominated,” Stephens said of the moment she heard her name connected to the prestigious title. “And some years they don’t have many nominees. And I thought it was going to be one of those years and it is going to be quiet and I’m going to have to say something. Then, when I saw the list, I thought, ‘I’m good. I won’t have to say anything for sure.’”

Her surprise came as the logical culmination of a suddenly undermined temerity that she would not be named for the honor she has for decades seen go to some of the most deserving citizens. The honor seeks to recognize those who have functioned as a beacon through volunteerism and community service. The mantle, and the accompanying distinguishing garb, had now fallen to Stephens.

“I guess I was a little embarrassed because that’s not why I do anything,” Stephens, who instinctively ducks the spotlight, said. “I just think of other people as being worthy of this, the Cindy Hays. That’s who I think of when I think of St. Nick, the Jennifer Roemens. I’m honored.”

Stephens received the honor in front of a diverse crowd of onlookers that included her husband, her three children, and her mother and father. The heart to serve, evident to all who know her, is something Stephens intends to pass along to her children as she points to her mother as an influential presence in her own work.

“Just about service, I try to pass that on to them, try to make sure that they understand it,” Stephens said before sharing a value she has sought to impress upon her children. “I want to improve what you do. I don’t necessarily want to improve what you have.”

As the Christmas on the River festivities roll on, Stephens will now find herself near the middle of most of them. And as the day parade rolls through downtown Saturday, she’ll find herself in an unfamiliar position in the spotlight.

“I don’t know that I have every been on a Christmas on the River float. I don’t think I have. My children have been, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been on a float,” she said. “I’ve worked on floats and done other things with them, but I don’t think I’ve ever been on one. It’ll be fun.”

The list of nominees also included Mandy Fields, Richard Bryant, Jennifer Jordan, Kathleen Randall, David McGee, Amanda Hall, Sylvia Tate, Jennifer Thomason and Jim Stanford.

Mackey continues family COTR legacy

Sally Mackey displays a newspaper article with a photo of her aunt, Lynda Stapp, who was the first Miss Christmas on the River.

This year’s Miss Christmas on the River, Sally Mackey, has a voice and is delighted to share with everyone the excitement of Christmas on the River. She has been featured on various news stations to promote Christmas on the River 2017 and recently shared with the public her royal lineage.

Sally’s aunt, Lynda Stapp, was the very first Miss Christmas on the River crowned. “That was something Lynda was quick to remind us of,” Mackey said. She was very proud to be part of something so important to the city of Demopolis. Lynda was even in the COTR Day Parade last year.

Unfortunately, Lynda passed away last spring and left her family and friends way too soon. However, as her daughter, Annie Stapp Wells, recently reminded Sally and her mother, it is comforting knowing that her last act was one of giving and selflessness. Her organs extended the lives of two individuals in Tennessee. Last Friday, there was a fundraiser held in Lynda’s name, “Cheers to Lynda”.

Sally loved her aunt very much and wants to honor her name by spreading the word to be an organ donor. She is challenging everyone to become one. It doesn’t take much to make the choice, but it’s a choice that can do so much.

It seems this year’s Miss COTR not only has beauty and brains, but she also has a special heart.

AHSAA re-classification pits Demopolis against new set of foes

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

The Alabama High School Athletic Association released its latest round of re-classifications Thursday morning, setting the stage for its 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 competition years.

Among numerous other changes, the re-classification means a much different look for Demopolis’s region and area foes between August 2018 and May 2020.

The new look Class 5A, Region 3 football grouping sees Demopolis bid farewell to mainstays Sumter Central and Dallas County, both of which drop to Class 4A. Additionally, Calera jumps to Class 6A. Central-Tuscaloosa, Jemison and Marbury remain in Region 3 along with Demopolis. Joining that quartet are Shelby County, Chilton County (down from Class 6A) and Bibb County (up from Class 4A).

11-28-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Aniya Johnson brings the ball up the floor for Demopolis.

“The travel definitely,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said of the biggest change to his team’s region slate the next two seasons. “When we meet and draw for the schedule, you hope you get a good draw. You hope you don’t play a lot of these games on the road because that’s a lot more time on the bus. You’ve got to play the cards you’re dealt.”

In terms of driving distance, Demopolis loses its closest two region compatriots in Sumter-Central (30.3 miles) and Dallas County (67.1 miles). The Tigers also lose their second-farthest counterpart in Calera (89.8 miles). Replacing those schools will be Bibb County (66 miles), Chilton County (89.9 miles) and Shelby County (101.3 miles).

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the new region for Demopolis is the addition of Bibb County, a school whose head coach is former Demopolis defensive coordinator Matt Geohagan.

“I’m excited because of having Coach Geohagan there and that relationship. They have a very good program and are very consistent in what they do. They’re going to take the place of Calera as one of the top teams in our region,” Seymore said. “That’s definitely one you’ll have to circle as a huge region game and having a little more to it with Coach Geohagan being so familiar with some of our kids at Demopolis.”

The new-look region will also result in revamped areas for all of Demopolis athletics. The basketball, baseball and softball teams will now be part of a three-team Area 5 that includes Bibb County and Central-Tuscaloosa. Demopolis soccer moves to Area 5 and will compete against American Christian, Central-Tuscaloosa and Sipsey Valley. Girls soccer will be in Area 5 against ACA and Sipsey Valley.

Demopolis cross country is now a member of Section 1. That grouping includes Bibb County, Brewbaker Tech, Charles Henderson, Citronelle, Faith Academy, Jackson, LeFlore, Satsuma, Tallassee and Vigor. Demopolis track will also be part of Section 1. That grouping consists of Carroll-Ozark, Charles Henderson, Citronelle, Faith Academy, Greenville, LeFlore, Satsuma, UMS-Wright, Vigor and Wilcox-Central.

Other notable changes in 5A football include the move of St. Paul’s and Calera to Class 6A. Perhaps the biggest changes come in Region 4 where Briarwood, Fairfield, John Carroll Catholic, Parker, Pleasant Grove, Ramsay, Wenonah and Woodlawn all make up the group. Those teams, many of which competed in the northern part of the state for the last round of classification, will now be in the south.

The new Class 5A football region alignment appears below in its entirety.

 

REGION 1 REGION 2
Citronelle Beauregard
Faith Academy Caroll-Ozark
Jackson Charles Henderson
LeFlore Magnet Greenville
Satsuma Rehobeth
Vigor Tallassee
Wilcox Central Valley
REGION 3 REGION 4
Bibb County Briarwood Christian
Central-Tuscaloosa Fairfield
Chilton County John Carroll Catholic
Demopolis Parker
Jemison Pleasant Grove
Marbury Ramsay
Shelby County Wenonah
Woodlawn
REGION 5 REGION 6
Center Point Alexandria
Central-Clay Boaz
Moody Crossville
Mortimer Jordan Douglas
Munford Etowah
St. Clair County Sardis
Springville Southside-Gadsden
Sylacauga
REGION 7 REGION 8
Corner Arab
Dora Ardmore
Hamilton Brewer
Hayden East Limeston
Jasper Guntersville
Lawrence County Madison Academy
Russellville Madison County
West Point Scottsboro