Volleyball is a family activity
When Danville High players talk about their volleyball “family,” they literally mean family. The Class 3A No. 2 Lady Hawks are a close-knit group with excellent chemistry on the court, but a lot of it comes from their family ties off the court.
Coach Holly Little said 12 of the 15 players on her varsity roster are related.
“We’ve got good gene pools around here,” Little said. “They are all great kids that come from great families. All the girls are really coachable, and it has a lot to do with their parents.”
There are three sets of sisters: Kirby and Kaitlin Wallace, Bethany and Lacey Evans, and Lauren and Lindsay Simmons. Then there are cousins Alaina and Cali Fitzgerald, and Nicole and Magen Linderman.
Chelsea Keenum is a cousin of the Fitzgeralds and the Evans’ sisters, while Jordan Spinks is a cousin of the Wallaces.
Sounds confusing? It makes for a solid fan base that is one of the area’s most spirited and vocal support groups.
Danville was one of the schools named “Best Fans” by The Birmingham News at last season’s state tournament, and Little, who also coaches softball, said it’s typical of other girls sports at Danville as well.
“We have a big support system,” Little said. “They’re coming to see family and people they go to church with.”
Danville will get home-court advantage hosting the 3A, Area 13 tournament Monday at 2 p.m.
All 1A-3A area tournaments will be Monday and 4A-6A tournaments will follow Tuesday.
Headed into the postseason, other ranked teams in the area include Class 6A No. 10 Austin, 5A No. 6 Hartselle, 3A No. 8 Elkmont, 2A No. 2 Addison and No. 5 Hatton, and 1A No. 3 Athens Bible and No. 8 Speake.
Decatur cross country hosts state’s best: Decatur High cross country coach Rick Doke expects fast times with the cooler weather as the Red Raiders host the 21st annual Dew It on the Trails meet Saturday morning.
The field will feature several of the state’s top female runners Austin’s Jennifer Dunn, Mountain Brook’s Madeline Morgan, Leslie Boozer and Brigid Carey, Huntsville’s Gwen Kyser and Khadiji Clay, Scottsboro’s Emily Thompson and Lacey Wright, and Oak Mountain’s Christi Gaskill — all finished in the top 25 at Saturday’s Jesse Owens Invitational.
On the boys’ side, Oak Mountain’s Ross Laporte and James Adair, Mountain Brook’s Bill Matthews, Scottsboro’s Cody Hood will all run after finishing in the top 25 a week ago.
Varsity girls will run at 10 a.m. followed by varsity boys at 10:30. The junior varsity girls and boys will run at 9 and 9:30 respectively. All of the small school divisions will run at 11.
In the girls’ race, 6A top-ranked Mountain Brook and No. 3 Huntsville, and No. 6 Oak Mountain; 5A top-ranked Scottsboro and No. 10 Shelby County; and 4A No. 3 Lawrence County will compete.
The boys’ division entrants include Class 6A No. 3 Mountain Brook, No. 5 Oak Mountain and No. 10 Huntsville; 5A No. 2 Scottsboro and No. 9 Shelby County; and 4A No. 2 Lawrence County.
West Morgan’s defensive duo: They’re close friends and teammates, but they’re also each others toughest competition and motivation.
West Morgan senior linebackers Andrew Elliott and David Allen are not only the Rebels’ leading tacklers, but their totals also put them among the area’s leaders.
Elliott and Allen help anchor a West Morgan defense that is surrendering an average of 14.2 points per game, and the two have said they are constantly pushing each other to improve.
Elliott leads the Rebels in tackles with 58 through five games, while Allen has 45. Allen leads the team in interceptions with three.