Area players to compete in all-stars
Outstanding junior basketball players from across the state have been named to the North-South teams for the 10th annual Alabama All-Star Sports Week competition in Huntsville on July 10-14, and the area will be generously represented in the summer's spotlight prep event.
The North girls roster will include Hartselle High's Lauren Drake, Hazlewood's Chasitey Garner and Tanner's Whitley Mayberry, while Hazlewood's Darin Liles will serve as one of the North's squad coaches. Former Athens coach Randy White is the administrative coach for the North girls and boys teams.
The North boys coaching staff will include Brewer coach Sam Brown, while Decatur's Rico Pickett, Austin's Jay Sears, Priceville's Josh Bedwell and Decatur Heritage's Drew Holmes will all play for the North.
Danville's Lauren Simmons will be the area's only athlete participating in volleyball, playing for the North squad.
Baseball, softball and soccer teams have not been announced. Austin's Weatherby signs with Shorter College: Austin High guard Tamara Weatherby signed a basketball scholarship to Shorter College (Rome, Ga.) this week.
Austin coach Bruce Hamilton coached Weatherby as a senior in his first season as the Lady Black Bears coach but said he's known her since teaching her in elementary physical education before she started her prep career.
"I knew she had a lot of experience, and it was obvious she would be a leader for us this year," Hamilton said. "She wanted to win, and that was evident in her play. She's very competitive."
That competitive drive earned Weatherby a full scholarship to the four-year NAIA school. She averaged 13 points, four rebounds and two assists, while shooting 70 percent from the free-throw line as a senior for the Lady Black Bears.
Weatherby also earned all-state honorable mention this season and was selected to THE DAILY's all-area team in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Speake's Sterling signs in cross country: Speake High senior cross country runner Rebecca Sterling signed a scholarship with Bevill State-Hamilton after a prep career full of awards.
A five-year member of Speake's varsity cross country team, Sterling was a member of the 2001 and 2002 state championship teams. Her personal best in the three-mile cross-country run is 21.36. "I'd like to get it 18 or better," she said.
Speake coach Debbie Ament called Sterling a "hard working and dependable athlete" and the proof is in Sterling's all-county and all-section honors from 2001 to 2004, as well as being selected all-state in 2001 and 2004. Sterling is the daughter of Larry and Vicky Sterling of Speake. She said she plans to study elementary physical education in college. Round two of city-rival softball: City rivals Austin and Decatur High will face off tonight at 6 at Austin.
Austin won the first meeting this season 9-4 March 17 on Decatur's home field.
Since then, both teams have experienced some highs and lows, and they enter the matchup with almost identical records.
Austin High's softball team is 14-24 and has faced adversity. Senior catcher/designated hitter Brittany Baker's prep career ended when she separated her right shoulder at Cullman in midseason.
Decatur is at 13-21-2 and has worked through growing pains with a young lineup to recently place third out of an 18-team field in last weekend's Madison County Border Battle. Final prep poll of spring: The Alabama Sports Writers Association released its final prep poll of the season today. Tanner softball remains the highest ranked team among the area's spring sports for any classification, coming in No. 2 in Class 2A, while Priceville comes in at No 5 in the 2A field.
Athens softball is No. 3 in 5A after earning its 40th win of the season this week, and Hartselle follows at No. 7 in 5A.
East Limestone is No. 4 in 4A softball, and West Morgan, no stranger to the rankings, breaks in after several unranked weeks at 3A No. 9.
In 1A softball, Athens Bible is No.4, ahead of No. 5 Addison and No. 10 Speake.
In baseball, Hartselle reaches its highest rank of the year at 5A No. 5, and Addison is No. 9 in 1A.
The coaches soccer poll puts Athens boys team at No. 7 in Class 5A and Priceville boys at No. 10 among 1A-4A schools.
Class 1A-4A No. 8 East
Limestone is the only girls soccer team among the final rankings.