In tough area, Decatur No. 2 in state poll
With area play beginning for most high school baseball and softball teams this week, the wins become even more important for prep teams on the diamond.
In its first spring season since moving from Class 6A, Decatur High finds its area competition just as stiff in 5A, Area 16.
"Definitely our goal is to get out of area, and it's a very tough area," said first-year Decatur softball coach Ashley Mueller, following Decatur's 5A, Area 16 win over Athens on Tuesday night.
The Lady Red Raiders move up to No. 2 in this week's Alabama Sports Writers Association polls, and have faired well thus far. Decatur is 21-7 overall and the area leader after downing No. 5 Muscle Shoals 6-5 and beating an established Athens program 4-3.
The Red Raiders' baseball team faces a competitive area that includes 5A No. 8 Athens and No. 10 Russellville.
Decatur vs. Austin soccer: After the first boys soccer contest of the season between the city rivals was rained out March 1, the Red Raiders and the Black Bears will face off in the Bob Jones tournament Friday at 7:45 p.m. at Madison City Schools stadium. And the matchup will be a fierce one. Austin comes in with a 10-2-1 record and ranked No. 4 in the 6A state coaches polls, while Decatur is 5-0-2.
Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete finalists: Five local student-athletes have been named regional winners in the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program. Decatur's John Woller, Tanner's Hollye Keenum, Clements' Jeremy Craig, Lawrence County's Peyton Harris and Athens Bible's Ashlee Eaton were chosen regional winners in their respective classifications, making them eligible for scholarships. The program was created in 1986 by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Alabama High School Athletic Association to honor pupils who have excelled in academics and athletics.
The 96 regional winners will be honored, and 12 class winners and two state winners will be announced at the 22 nd annual banquet April 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel Ballroom.
Lawrence County boys all-county team: As voted on by boys' basketball coaches in the Lawrence County school district, all-county first-team selections included Lawrence County juniors Myles King and Matthew Pugh, Speake senior Jacob Moody, Hatton senior Darren Hand and Hazlewood junior Kerry Jones.
Named to the all-county second team were East Lawrence's Dakota Matthews, Speake's Juarez Fitzgerald, Hazlewood's Keginald Harris and R.A. Hubbard's Xavier Hampton and Quinn McGhee.
Third-team all-county selections included R.A. Hubbard's Darrius Grant, Hazlewood's D.J. Jones, East Lawrence's Russ Stephenson, and Lawrence County's Cody Harville and Will Inman.
Honorable mentions were Hazlewood's Ken Nance, R.A. Hubbard's Michael Ingram and LaBrandon Key, Speake's K.C. Orr and Cary Logan, Lawrence County's Durman Cunningham, East Lawrence's Jared Grimes, Roy Young and Kenneth Bolden, Mount Hope's Brad Little, Kirk Sparks, Tony Sims, Ben McGuire and Dustin Farmer, and Hatton's Chase Martin, Landon Campbell, Nathan Berryman and Tevin Terrell.
Brooke Milam's prep performances of note
Among the many top individual high school spring sports performances recently, here are a few that caught the eye of Daily Sports Writer Brooke Milam: Baseball
Russ Stephenson, East Lawrence, Sr.: The Eagles' big bat went 2-for-3 with a home run and five RBIs in an 11-10 win over Priceville on Tuesday. His three-run homer tied the score 10-10 in the middle of a seventh-inning rally for the Eagles en route to the win.
Aaron Sawyer, Priceville, Jr.: Was 3-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs on Tuesday, as the Bulldogs narrowly fell to East Lawrence 11-10.
Matthew Poole, West Morgan, So.: Had some fun at the plate Tuesday, going 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a solo home run in the Rebels' 13-0 win over Tanner.
Will Nichols, Hatton, Sr.: Struck out 11 batters in seven innings, allowing three hits, in Hatton's 9-0 shutout of Falkville on Monday. Also gave the Hornets a good performance at the plate recently, going 3-for-3 in Hatton's 7-4 win over Lawrence County High for the county title Saturday.
Jeremy Craig, Clements, Sr.: Broke a tie score with a solo home run for Clements in the seventh inning of an eventual 5-2 win over Athens. The Colts scored three times in the inning for the win.
Cliff Bunch, Tanner, Sr.: Came up big for the Rattlers on Friday, blasting a home run and hitting two doubles with three RBIs in Tanner's 12-11 win over Decatur Heritage.
Kristen Hill, Austin, Jr.: Tossed a one-hit shutout, on the mound for the Lady Black Bears' 4-0 win over Florence on Tuesday.
Sallie Beth Burch, Lawrence County, Sr.: Scored four times and knocked in another three runs in the Lady Red Devils' 15-0 win over Fairview on Tuesday. She finished the game 4-for-4 with three singles and a double. Also had a sacrifice fly Saturday, plating Lawrence County's winning run in a 2-1 county championship victory over Speake.
Abi Lott, Decatur, Jr.: Was on the mound for the Lady Red Raiders in a 12-1 over Brewer on Monday, striking out eight batters and allowing two hits in five innings. Also stepped to the plate and hit two singles with an RBI in the outing.
Kristy Pevahouse, Hartselle, Jr.: Hit a game-winning home run in the seventh inning of the Lady Tigers' 5-4 win over Oak Mountain on Monday. It was her lone hit of the day.
Madison Terry, Austin, Jr.: Shot a 75 for a fifth-place finish individually, leading the Black Bears to a second place as a team in the boys division of the Lawrence County Invitational at Deer Run Golf Course on Tuesday.
Tomo Matsuo, Austin, Sr.: Scored a pair of goals for Austin on Tuesday, pacing the Black Bears' 3-0 win over Sparkman.
Raul Alanis, Decatur, Jr.: Had a part in both scores for the Red Raiders' 2-0 win over Fort Payne on Monday. Scored one goal himself and assisted the other, helping Decatur remain undefeated.
Anthony Penick (Sr.) and Alex Brown (Jr.), Hartselle: Each picked up a singles win, Penick at No. 1 and Brown at No. 2, and then teamed up for the No. 1 doubles win as Hartselle took a 8-1 victory over Athens on Tuesday.