Demopolis schools to invest in new ID system

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education met in the newly-renovated Demopolis High School library Monday.

By the first of the new year all four Demopolis City schools will have a new identification system in place to better monitor visitors and volunteers.

The Board of Education approved the system Monday at its meeting held in the Demopolis High School library.

The initial cost of the scanning system from Alabama Card Systems, Inc., is $13,000. Thereafter, the school system will pay $250 annually to renew and update the federal sexual predator database.

Supt. Kyle Kallhoff said his office has been working for about six months on setting up a better way to supervise who will be working closely with individual students. Before the ID monitors are set up, he will meet with the schools’ principals to set up business rules and guidelines for those on campus.

Federal funding will be used to pay for the visitor management system.

Kallhoff said this is the first step in a more comprehensive monitoring system that he hopes to set up in the city’s schools.

The board gave approval to Kallhoff’s request that he and board attorney Alex Braswell continue “negotiations and execution” of the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights Resolution Agreement for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards at Demopolis Middle School.

The issue stems from a complaint filed with the school system in April of 2015.

Kallhoff said if the negotiations are not approved, it can jeopardize federal funding for Demopolis schools.

Along with the negotiation approval, the board gave the okay to hire Ward Scott Architecture to conduct an accessibility survey and plan and oversee bidding and construction work related to the ADA compliance at DMS.

The $50,000 cost for the work at DMS is included in the capital funding budget approved in September.

In other action, the board approved:

  • The Continuous Improvement Plans for all four schools and the school system.
  • Out-of-town travel for the DHS JROTC to Birmingham.
  • Second and final installment for A-Plus Software of $10,000. The initial $30,000 was paid in 2016. The school system now will only pay an annual licensing fee.
  • An agreement with the Blackbelt Community Foundation Head Start and U.S. Jones Elementary to prepare and provide lunches that Head Start will pay for.

Personnel action included:

  • Conditional employment of Major Walker as Transportation/Maintenance Assistant.
  • Madoline Huff and Geraldine Walker as substitutes, with Walker also as a nurse.
  • Transfer of Reginald Atkins from DMS to DHS.

Continuing the practice of recognizing outstanding teachers, students and support staff, the board honored from USJ: Anne Johnson, teacher; Sylvia Tate, support staff, and Fernando Mancilla-Otero, fifth grader.

Honored from DHS were Lisa Lawrence, teacher; Pam Morgan, support, and Xavier Jackson, senior.

The next meeting of the board will be held Nov. 13.

Sylvia Tate

U.S. Jones Elementary School fifth grader Fernando Mancilla-Otero

DHS librarian Lisa Lawrence

DHS paraprofessional Pam Morgan

Demopolis High senior Xavier Jackson

U.S. Jones Elementary Teacher Anne Jones

Demopolis clinches Region 3 crown with win over Sumter

LIVINGSTON – The playoff picture is starting to take shape in Class 5A and Demopolis will be a No. 1 seed. The Tigers guaranteed themselves as much Friday night with a 58-8 road victory over Region 3 foe Sumter Central.

“I felt like our guys kept their head the first half, did what we were supposed to do, took care of business. I’m proud of our kids. That wrapped up the region championship,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said.

Demopolis saw its offense start on short fields all night, taking advantage early with a 30-point first quarter before cruising to the win. A.J. Jackson score on touchdown runs of 5, 3 and 37 yards in the first quarter. Antonio Besteder had scoring runs of 3, 3 and 2 yards respectively in the game. Russ Logan had a 1-yard touchdown run while LaQuinton Wright scored from 7 yards out.

Sumter got its touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 13-yard pass from Duane Ruffin to Tamarius Kirksey.

Jackson ran for 105 yards on seven carries while Besteder added 90 yards on 19 rushes.

The Tigers forced three turnovers on the evening with K.D. Daniels and C.J. Williams each recovering a fumble and Alton Rowser intercepting a pass.

Demopolis (6-1, 5-0) will finish no worse than in a first-place tie with Calera in Region 3 and holds the tiebreaker over the Eagles by virtue of a head-to-head win. Demopolis will host the No. 4 seed from Class 5A, Region 1.

The Tigers step out of region to host Class 7A Enterprise next Friday night.

We’ve got a lot to look forward to. We’ve got some games coming up that are true measuring sticks of where we are as a program and how much better have we gotten. I’m looking forward to that,” Seymore said.

Demopolis steamrolls Dallas County for Region 3 victory

10-6-17 — Plantersville, Ala. — Demopolis’ Demetrius Davis hauls in a 15-yard TD reception from Andrew Patterson during the Tigers’ area win over the Dallas County Hornets.

PLANTERSVILLE – In a game that saw 29 points scored before Dallas County’s offense took the field for the very first time, Demopolis moved one step closer to a Class 5A, Region 3 title. The Tigers waxed the Hornets 59-6 Friday in a contest that ended with a running clock.

Demopolis opened the scoring on a 20-yard touchdown run by A.J. Jackson with 10:39 remaining on the first quarter clock. Jackson added the conversion run to push it to 8-0.

10-6-17 — Plantersville, Ala. — Demopolis’ Tavian Brown (25) and Fred Haywood bring down a Dallas County runner during the Tigers’ region win over the Hornets.

Undaunted, fleet-footed 5-6 senior Calvin Starks scooped the ensuing kickoff on the bounce and bolted 90 yards for a touchdown to cut it to 8-6. Alexander Besteder blocked the extra point attempt to preserve the lead.

“I was happy with the way our offense and the defense played. They played extremely well. I guess the biggest disappointment was probably kickoff,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “Tonight, we gave up a couple of returns that got over 50. (Starks) is a good little runner. We didn’t do a good job of tackling. We didn’t do a good job of staying in our lanes.”

All illusions of a competitive contest quickly dissipated thereafter. Demopolis hit a 55-yard pass to Tyquan Alston to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Antonio Besteder. Jackson’s conversion run made it 16-6.

Tyler Hale pounced on a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to put Demopolis in striking distance of an early blowout. Jackson later scored on a run from five yards out to move it to 23-6. Dallas County then sent its offense onto the field for the first time to little avail. Demopolis quickly shut down the Hornets and handed the ball back to Andrew Patterson, who found DeDe Davis in the end zone with 2:20 left in the opening frame to set it at 30-6.

10-6-17 — Plantersville, Ala. — Demopolis’ Alexander Besteder looks for running room during the Tigers’ area win over the Dallas County Hornets.

Things got no better for the Hornets as Alexander Besteder added a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter ahead of Antonio Besteder’s 80-yard scoring run. Antonio Besteder than scored on a 16-yard run in the third quarter before Peyton Stevenson punched it in from 10 yards out in the fourth.

“Having the week off to prepare, we added a few more wrinkles here. We’ve got some other stuff we’re working on. I felt like our kids came out of the locker room ready to play,” Seymore said.

Antonio Besteder paced the Tigers with 148 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Jackson finished with 86 yards and two scores on eight rushes. Alston caught two passes for 88 yards. Patterson was 8 for 12 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown.

Demopolis amassed 481 yards of total offense while allowing the Hornets to gain only 40 yards.

The Tigers (5-1, 4-0) can clinch the Class 5A, Region 3 title next Friday with a win over Sumter Central.

“We’re looking forward to it. Obviously we’ve got a storm coming in, but we’ll play that by ear,” Seymore said. “I think our kids will come with a workmanlike attitude and go to work, make sure we work on the little things, and try to get better each and every week.”

10-6-17 — Plantersville, Ala. — Demopolis’ Antonio Besteder breaks free on an 80-yard touchdown run during the Tigers’ area win over the Dallas County Hornets.

Demopolis High scholars bowl wins tournament

The Demopolis High School School teams won the Alabama Coastal Community College Scholars Bowl tournament Thursday in Livingston.

Attending the tournament for Demopolis were junior varsity competitors Jensen Hammons, Jim Lindsay, Olivia Lovette, Mussaraf Alnahan, Paul Frankowski, Tyree Tripop and Joseph Barnes. Varsity Tigers were Kyle Ruiz, Althea Yburan, Matt Dollar, Tristan Mullen, Emma Lewis, Sarah Margaret Veres and Luke Lindsay.

Demopolis had four individual players score in the top 10 including Tristan Mullen, Joseph Barnes, Luke Lindsay and Matt Dollar.

9-22-17 DHS vs. Calera Football (gallery)

Photo of the Day

2017 DHS Homecoming King and Queen

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Malik Moore and Ashleigh Ivory were named 2017 DHS Homecoming King and Queen during halftime of the Tigers’ football game against Calera.

2017 DHS Homecoming Court

The 2017 Homecoming Court was introduced at halftime of the Demopolis High School Tigers’ football game against Calera on September 22, 2017.

Last-second INT seals Demopolis win over Calera

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Aaron Collier (21) watches as C.J. Williams (26) concentrates on completing an interception in the end zone. Williams’ pick would would seal the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

Sophomore corner C.J. Williams watched the ball bounce around in his hands momentarily before clamping down on it as he fell to the ground in the end zone. The catch was the biggest of his young career and represented the interception that effectively handed Demopolis a 21-17 win over Calera with 1.4 seconds left on the clock.

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis’ Brandon Simmons runs in the open field during the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

“We put three guys deep, played man under. We told the safety to knock it down and he does,” Demopolis coach Brian Seymore said. “Fortunately, C.J. is laying on the ground. We’re blessed that he made the pick and we were able to go to victory.”

Demopolis clung to a 21-17 lead as Calera pushed the ball down the field after taking over at its own 24 with 59 seconds remaining in the contest. Eagle signal-caller Cornelius Brown hit William Ray for a 22-yard gain to move it to the Calera 46. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Brown found William Smith for 12 yards to get into Tiger territory at the 42.

Brown dropped back on the next snap but had little time to survey the field as Tavion Brown blew up the pocket and took down the Calera QB for the sack, forcing the final Eagle timeout.

Brown’s heave down the sideline on the next snap caromed off the hands of Dylan Killingsworth and appeared to fall harmlessly to the ground before a penalty flag quickly followed its descent. The pass interference call moved the ball to the Demopolis 30 with 16 seconds to play. Two snaps later, Brown chucked it to the back right corner of the end zone where Williams’s focused heroics nullified the threat and brought an uproar from the raucous homecoming crowd.

“Our kids showed a little character right there at the end. We needed a game like this to grow on. We needed to face adversity like this,” Seymore said. “I’m just proud that the community and the alumni that came back had a chance to see us win.”

Demopolis largely moved the ball at will in the first half but found itself plagued with turnovers. The Eagles proved ready to capitalize. Orlando Harris picked off a pass to end the first Demopolis possession before returning a Tiger fumble 63 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing drive.

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis RB Antonio Besteder gets loose on a good run during the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

“We moved the ball really good, just couldn’t finish some drives. The turnover bug got us again a little bit and put us in some tough situations,” Seymore said. “We felt like we had a pretty good call on the speed option and kind of got the pitch a little bit behind and they scooped and scored.”

Demopolis worked its way onto the scoreboard early in the second quarter when it capped a 16-play, 82-yard drive with a 13-yard scoring pass from Andrew Patterson to Jeremy Jackson on 4th and 5. The PAT attempt failed, leaving Calera up 7-6.

Demopolis took the lead with 4:50 to go before half when A.J. Jackson punched it in from 14 yards out. Antonio Besteder added the conversion run to set the advantage at 14-7.

Calera’s attempt to get points on the board before the half traversed 57 yards to the Demopolis 11 before the clock appeared to expire ahead of Brown’s attempt to spike the ball. A conference by the officials resulted in adding 0.9 seconds to the game clock, allowing Zachary Ford to connect on a 28-yard field goal to cut it to 14-10.

Demopolis made the most of its first possession of the third quarter when it covered 79 yards in 12 plays and watched A.J. Jackson scored on a 12-yard run for the 21-10 advantage. Demopolis snuffed the ensuing Calera drive and looked poised to take full control of the contest when a muffed punt bounced free at the Demopolis 16. Calera pounced on the opportunity. Three plays later, Brown hit DeCorean Mickens on a dump off and the Eagle tailback ran it 16 yards for the touchdown. Ford’s kick proved to set the final margin.

Demopolis amassed 338 yards of total offense, led by Besteder’s 19 rushes for 104 yards. A.J. Jackson added 97 yards on 28 totes. DeDe Davis caught nine passes for 65 yards. Russ Logan also intercepted a pass in the game for the Tigers.

With the win, Demopolis sits alone atop Class 5A, Region 3. Demopolis (4-1, 3-0) is off next week and returns to Class 5A, Region 3 Friday, Oct. 7 when it travels to Dallas County.

9-22-2017 — Demopolis, Ala. — Demopolis RB A.J. Jackson (4) runs between the blocks of Matt Dollar (62) and Chris Williams (right) during the Tigers’ Homecoming win over the Calera Eagles.

2017 DHS Homecoming Pep Rally (gallery)

Demopolis cross country competes at Clarkdale Invitational

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The Demopolis High School cross country team traveled to the Clarkdale High School Invitational in Meridian, Miss. Saturday. Top finishers for the event were Gracie Boykin (7th overall) and Jensen Hammons (12th overall). All Demopolis High runners completed the race and many of them had personal records.

The next meet is set for Saturday, Sept. 23 at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa.