Latham earns Player of the Year honors; Dunson takes Coach award

Abbey Latham hit a pair of homers against Jackson Tuesday in a 10-3 Demopolis win.

Abbey Latham hit a pair of homers against Jackson in a contest earlier this season. She won West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year honors following a 12-homer season in which she hit .571.

In a season that saw her team come within one win of making the state tournament, Abbey Latham was the major offensive force the Demopolis Tigers. The junior backstop hit .571 with 12 homers, 20 doubles, three triples, 20 walks, 57 RBIs and a perfect 18 of 18 on stolen base attempts.

A North-South All-Star Game selection and a firm Ole Miss commit, Latham boasted a nearly flawless offensive and defensive game for the Tigers in 2016. Her efforts made her the clear choice for West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive year even amid a field that saw five other players hit .400 or better on the season.

Joining Latham on the list of honorees is Demopolis coach Brittany Dunson, who takes Coach of the Year recognition in her first season atop the Class 5A program. The Lady Tigers were one win away from the state tournament and lost two games in Troy, a 4-3 defeat to Marbury and a 3-1 setback at the hands of Helena. Marbury and Helena were the final two unbeaten standing in the Class 5A state tournament.

Beyond that fact, Dunson took her team to a 25-14 mark despite having only two seniors and two juniors on the roster and counting on eighth graders in key spots at first base and in left field.

Dunson worked her squad through a weather-frustrated season that saw numerous scheduled dates lost and managed to draw the best from her team at the most important moments.

The 2016 West Alabama Watchman All-County Softball Team is:

C – Abbey Latham, Demopolis

1B – Bria Brown, Demopolis

2B – Ryan Hale, Marengo Academy

3B – Courtney Smith, Demopolis

SS – Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy

OF – Jessica Adams, Demopolis

OF – Payton Stokes, Marengo Academy

OF – Charlie Sturdivant, Sweet Water

OF – Kayla Marshall, Sweet Water

P – Emily Black, Sweet Water

P – Natalie Tatum, Demopolis

DP – Baily Brunson, Sweet Water

UTIL – Lara Little, Sweet Water

UTIL – Taylor Smith, Demopolis

UTIL – Mary Grace Sheffield, Marengo Academy

UTIL – Kendall Hannah, Demopolis

UTIL – Kamae Retic, Sweet Water

UTIL – Sara Irvin, Sweet Water

Marengo Academy sweeps all four Watchman baseball, softball awards

Marengo Academy coach Danny Stenz hugs Andrea Edmonds after the Lady Longhorns finished as state runner-up in the 2014 season. Stenz is the West Alabama Watchman softball Coach of the Year while Edmonds won Player of the Year honors.

Marengo Academy coach Danny Stenz hugs Andrea Edmonds after the Lady Longhorns finished as state runner-up in the 2014 season. Stenz is the West Alabama Watchman softball Coach of the Year while Edmonds won Player of the Year honors.

State runner-up performances by the Marengo Academy softball and baseball teams in the 2014 season helped the Longhorns to sweep the West Alabama Watchman All-County awards.

Marengo Academy representatives took Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors in both sports this season.

Taking Player of the Year honors in softball was Lady Longhorn hurler Andrea Edmonds, who worked her way to a 21-6 record with a sterling 1.33 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 153 innings.

The junior pitcher walked only 16 batters on the season and really staked her claim to Player of the Year honors in the final weekend of the season when she pitched all 41 innings in two days during her team’s state tournament run.

Edmonds also did work at the plate with a .383 batting average and a .469 on-base percentage.

For the second straight season, Danny Stenz takes softball Coach of the Year honors, marking his fourth such award from The West Alabama Watchman. Stenz led his team to the state semi-finals and a 23-7 record during the 2014 season. The run came just months after Stenz led the Lady Longhorn basketball team to an unbeaten season and a state championship.

(Photo by Collin Sheffield) Kyle Friday won West Alabama Watchman Baseball Player of the Year honors in 2014.

(Photo by Collin Sheffield)
Kyle Friday won West Alabama Watchman Baseball Player of the Year honors in 2014.

Player of the Year honors in baseball go to Marengo Academy shortstop and No. 1 starting pitcher Kyle Friday. The junior batted in the three hole for the Longhorns this season, stroking his way to a robust .404 average to go along with seven homers and 42 RBIs, both of which were county highs.

Friday also led the way for MA on the mound, striking out 40 batters in 49 and a third innings while working himself to a 1.56 ERA.

Coach of the Year honors in baseball go to Eddie Edwards, who took his team to a state runner-up finish and a 23-10-2 record in one of the biggest turnaround seasons anywhere in the state during 2014.

Caldwell earns GSC Offensive Player of the Year

20131109 UWA vs Shorter-4044BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Year Kyle Caldwell highlights a school-record 20 University of West Alabama football players that were named to the 2013 first and second All-GSC teams.

The Tigers led the league with nine first team selections and 11 second team all-conference picks. The league’s head coaches selected the 2013 All-GSC Football Team and coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.

In addition to being voted by league coaches as the Offensive Player of the Year, Caldwell was also voted as the first-team All-GSC quarterback. The junior from Dadeville, Ala., is also a regional finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy and was the 2011 GSC offensive freshman of the year.

Caldwell led West Alabama’s offense, which finished the year ranked No. 1 in the GSC in scoring (49.5) and total offense (539.1). Caldwell was tops in the GSC in passing (206.5), passing touchdowns (28), total offense (245.7) and pass efficiency (184.2). He was also named the GSC Offensive Player of the Week on September 16 and October 28.

Caldwell is joined on the All-GSC first team by running back Javae Swindle, wide receiver Chad Toocheck, offensive tackle Taylor Burnett, defensive ends Mario Gainer and Ryan Jones, cornerback Malcolm Butler, safety Demetruce McNeal and kicker Mark Grant.

Tigers earning second team recognition are running back Kedrick Rhodes, wide receivers Seth Roberts and Malik Lofton, tight end Ty Morgan, all-purpose player Gary Johnston, center Skeeter Sellers, offensive tackle Ethan Corkren, linebacker Ricky Willis, safety Robert Jones, blocking team Tyler O’Neal and deep snapper Matthew Humphries.

The 20 all-conference selections caps off a season where West Alabama set 22 Gulf South Conference or school single game and season records. Following is a breakdown of those records:

Gulf South Conference Records

Team:

Yards per Rush – 6.5 (Tied)

Avg Pass Per Attempt – 9.82

Avg Yards per Play – 7.7

Most Points in a Game – 91

Most TD’s in Game – 13

Most PAT in Game – 13

Individual:

Yards per Carry – Javae Swindle 8.9

Lowest % of Passes Intercepted – Kyle Caldwell 0.017

PAT Attempted in a game – Mark Grant – 13

PAT Made in a game – Mark Grant – 13

UWA School Records

Team Season Records:

Passing Touchdowns – 33

Rushing TD’s – 36 (Tied)

Total TD’s – 75

Extra Points – 73

Total Points – 544

Total Yards – 5930

First Downs – 288

Team Game Records:

Total Points – 91

Extra Points – 13

Individual Season Records:

TD Passes – Kyle Caldwell – 28

Extra Points – Mark Grant – 72

Rushing Avg – Javae Swindle – 8.9

Charmey named GSC Player of the Year

rp_primary_Msoc_13-10-25_IMG_0025aLIVINGSTON — West Alabama men’s soccer sophomore Thibault Charmey was named the 2013 Gulf South Conference Player of the Year on Monday. Charmey, Evan Beutler and Clay Green each earned first team All-GSC honors while Lavares Stone, Alex Brown and Zach Traweek were listed as second team honorees.

Charmey, a native of Paris, France, is the first UWA men’s soccer player to earn the Player of the Year honor in the programs second year. The award adds to a lengthy list of credentials already earned by the midfielder this season. He was earned preseason All-GSC team honors and named GSC Player of the week on three occasions.

Charmey finished the regular season second in the conference in points (27), third in points per game (1.69), assists (7) and assists per game (.438). He is the career goal leader for the Tigers with 16 goals in his two seasons; 10 for the 2013 season. He leads the squad with three game-winning goals.

Beutler, a junior Enterprise, Ala. native, also adds to his list of honors this season, having already been named to the the Capital One Academic All-District Division II Men’ s Soccer First Team earlier in the week. The midfielder posted two goals and three assists in his 14 starts. He tallied the game winning goal in the teams 2-1 victory over Mississippi College in the season opener.

Green, a sophomore from Helena, Ala., was also a preseason All-GSC honoree. He was the Tigers third leading scorer with six goals, including the game winner against conference opponent Union. He ended with three assists and a .536 shot on-goal percentage.

Stone, a sophomore Birmingham, Ala. native, led the conference in saves (53) and saves per game (4.08). He was second in the league in goal against average (1.113) and shutouts (2).

Sophomores Brown and Traweek each led the Tiger defense that allowed only 23 goals all season (third in the conference).

Brown, a sophomore from Essex, England, was a pre-season All-GSC honoree. He posted two goals from the back line including a game-winner against defending conference tournament champions Christian Brothers.

The Tigers ended the regular season 10-6-1 overall; 7-6-1 in the conference to earn the No. 3 seed in the GSC tournament in Pensacola, Fla. They will face No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville in the semifinals on Nov. 8. The match is set for 11 a.m. at Ashton Brosnaham Park.

Gears named GSC Co-Player of the Year

rp_primary_Wsoc_13-10-11_IMG_0069aLIVINGSTON — West Alabama women’s soccer junior Nicki Gears was named 2013 Gulf South Conference Co-Player of the Year on Monday, tying with West Florida’s Chelsea Palmer. Gears and fellow junior Lydia Sutcliffe earned first team All-GSC honors while Brandi Neeley and Kirsten Reilly were listed to the second team.

Gears, a native of Ripon, England, is the first UWA women’s soccer player to earn the Player of the Year honor in the programs three year history.

During the regular season, the striker led the conference in shots (84), shots per game (4.94), goals (12), goals per game (.706) and game-winning goals (5). This season is the second consecutive year she has led the conference in shots and is second in the conference in points (29) and points per game (1.71).

Sutcliffe, a Brighouse, England native, tied with Rebekah Craig as the Tigers second leading scorer with seven goals. The midfielder posted multiple goals in two matches as well as two game-winners. She ended the regular season with four assists and a .615 shot percentage.

Neeley, the squad’s lone UWA senior from Helena, Ala., has led the UWA defense to holding opponents to 21 goals and 83 shots on-goal this season. Neeley has tallied three goals from the defender position with two against GSC opponents. She ended the regular season with the team’s best shot on-goal percentage with a .625.

Reilly, from Musselburgh, Scotland, saw 12 starts as a freshman. She ended the season with one goal and three assists, owning a .583 shot on-goal percentage.

The Tigers ended the regular season 10-7 overall; 5-6 in the conference to earn the No. 4 seed in the GSC tournament in Pensacola, Fla. They will face No. 5 North Alabama in the quarterfinals on Nov. 7. The match is set for 4:30 p.m. at Ashton Brosnaham Park.

Watchman names Rogers Player of the Year

Demopolis High senior Mason Rogers accepts the West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year plaque from WAW managing partner Jeremy D. Smith.

Demopolis High senior Mason Rogers accepts the West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year plaque from WAW managing partner Jeremy D. Smith.

Demopolis High catcher and LBW signee Mason Rogers was at or near the top of nearly every major statistical offensive category in the county this season, making him a clear choice for West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year honors.

Rogers led the county with a .465 batting average and a .707 slugging percentage. His four home runs also gave him the high mark in that category.

The Demopolis backstop went a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen bases on the year, a tally that easily led his team and placed him among the county leaders. Rogers totaled 37 runs scored and 32 RBIs, both numbers that left him near the top in the respective categories. Rogers also proved a high-contact hitter, striking out just nine times in 120 plate appearances.

Rogers also helped on the mound, acting as the team’s closer while 19 batters over 10 and two-thirds innings and recording six saves with a 0.66 ERA.

But, as good as Rogers was in those areas, he was probably at his best behind the plate. Despite an ailing arm, Rogers controlled opposing running games for the Tigers and managed a pitching staff that featured 10 different hurlers.

Linden’s Agee earns Watchman boys Player of the Year

Imoras Agee, pictured here with Linden High principal Dr. Timothy Thurman, received a plaque and commemorative T-shirt honoring him as The West Alabama Watchman Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the 2012-2013 season.

Imoras Agee, pictured here with Linden High principal Dr. Timothy Thurman, received a plaque and commemorative T-shirt honoring him as The West Alabama Watchman Boys Basketball Player of the Year for the 2012-2013 season.

Imoras Agee showed flashes of brilliance as far back as his freshman year. But injuries limited his late season contributions that season. And, despite a clean bill of health, Agee never really hit his stride during his sophomore campaign.

Junior year was something entirely different for the Linden Patriot swingman. Agee announced his presence from the outset and scarcely let up over the course of a 23-3 season that saw the Pats lose a trio of contests by a total of seven points.

Agee averaged 23 points and seven rebounds in the 2012-2013 season, a campaign that was highlighted by such dominant performances as a 37-point, seven-rebound effort against Sunshine for the Class 1A, Area 4 championship. incidentally, Agee won Most Valuable Player honors in that bracket.

Agee flashes a strong outside shooting game that is best when he predicates it off his ability to penetrate to the basket and finish with astounding regularity. When he gets both those facets working at the same time, he can scarcely be guarded.

Agee is active on defense, averaging three steals a game during his junior season. And while he can get down on the block and bang with just about anyone, his rebounding prowess is based largely on his often unrelenting effort as Agee crashes the boards with seemingly reckless abandon.

The most consistent player in the county this season, Agee is the West Alabama Watchman Boys Basketball Player of the Year. The only questions left to answer are what he will do as a senior and who will give him the opportunity to continue doing at the collegiate level.

 

Stenz earns Watchman girls Player of the Year

(Photo by Raycelia McIntyre) Marengo Academy junior guard Chandler Stenz receives the West Alabama Watchman Girls Basketball Player of the Year plaque from managing partner Jeremy Smith.

(Photo by Raycelia McIntyre)
Marengo Academy junior guard Chandler Stenz receives the West Alabama Watchman Girls Basketball Player of the Year plaque from managing partner Jeremy Smith.

Say what you will about the AISA and how it stacks up against AHSAA athletics. But make no mistake, Chandler Stenz can play for anybody. Heart and determination know no confinements and Stenz has exhibited a double portion of both during her tenure as the Lady Longhorns’ point guard.

Stenz proved the driving force of the Marengo Academy ladies in 2012-2013, acting as floor general on a nightly basis.

Her ability to handle and distribute the basketball makes her the perfect leader for the MA system. But the truth is that Stenz can take over a game on the offensive end should she need to do so.

She has proven consistently tenacious in getting to the basket, however she is also known for her ability to knock down the three-point shot with regularity. Add into the repertoire the midrange jumper she had on display late in the season and Stenz is an all-around threat from the point guard position.

While her quick hands help her to be a plus defender for the Lady Longhorns, Stenz really stepped into the spotlight during the state tournament run when she knocked down big shot after big shot for MA.

The catalyst of a team that went 25-3 and fell just shy of a state championship, Stenz more than earned her status as a First Team All-County performer. But her ability to keep her team afloat when seemingly everything else around her was falling apart separates her from the pack and make Chandler Stenz the West Alabama Watchman Girls Basketball Player of the Year for 2012-2013.