The Limestone County School Board approved the hiring of new football coaches. Oscar Bonds was chosen to lead at Tanner while Michael Parker will coach at Clements. Bonds was assistant coach at Piedmont while Parker was offensive coordinator at Hatton. They join P.J. Wright who was recently hired at Ardmore and Shelby Davis, who is the new West Limestone coach. Elkmont hired Eric Smith to helm the boys’ basketball team and Sam Wallace to lead the girls’ team. East Limestone assistant baseball coach Ryan Griffin transferred to West Limestone to become the Wildcats’ head man. James Clemens head girls’ basketball coach Amber Deline stepped down from her position and was replaced by Capriee Tucker, who was previously an assistant coach at Hazel Green. Deline will continue as a teacher at the school.
Area football players committed to continue their sport at the next level. James Clemens' Jamil Muhammad and Daevion Davis both gave the nod to Vanderbilt, while Athens High's Kannon Biggs picked Troy.
Local athletes made All-State baseball teams: James Clemens' Collin Brown made the Class 7A first team. Athens High's Jacob McNairy was a 6A first teamer. Nick Embrey of Ardmore was named to the 5A first team with fellow Tiger Jason Hogan making honorable mention. West Limestone's Drew Beddingfield was 4A honorable mention. Athens Bible School's Kenneth Adams and Cade Abernathy were tapped for the 1A first team. James Clemens' Lila Young was a 7A softball second team pick, while teammate Sarah Simon was honorable mention. Ardmore's Sydney Hall and Karla Hice were tapped for the 5A first team, with Bo Riley and L.B. Smith making honorable mention. West Limestone's Raegan Clem was named to the 4A first team. The 3A first team included Elkmont's Haven Kirby; the Lady Red Devils' Autumn Davis was placed on the second team. Tanner's Audrey Henderson was a 2A honorable mention selection. Tanner's David Pizano and Tyler Keenum were picked for the 1A-3A boys’ All-State soccer team. James Clemens' Nicole Guay and Kaley Arnett made first team of the 7A girls' All-State soccer team while teammates Lily Wright and Hannah Smid made second team and Rachel Bradberry was honorable mention. East Limestone's Stefani Fleagle made 4A-5A second team and Mariam Villamonte was honorable mention. Elkmont's Bailey Webb was tapped for 1A-3A first team and Claudia Allen made honorable mention. Tanner's Areli Mendoza was a second team member and Corina Martinez was honorable mention.
At the Alabama State Games, the Tanner varsity boys’ soccer team made it all the way to the finals where they fell to Guntersville 5-0 in the high school varsity division. The E3 Elite defeated Southern Tennessee United FC 2-1 in the finals of the Under 19 Girls Red division. The Rocket City United 01 beat Phantoms 01 Blue 3-0 in the Under 19 Boys White division. The Comets 03 took the silver in 16U softball, while the Madison Mayhem 01 finished 3rd in the 18-year-olds. James Clemens grads claimed gold at the games in swimming – Christina Tarsitano won the girls’ 15-18 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard breaststroke and 100-yard freestyle while Eric Messer was first in the boys ‘15-18 50-yard freestyle and butterfly and the 100-yard individual medley and freestyle. In track and field, Vada Samuels was first in the 17-18 girls’ 100-meter dash. Zach Meadows and Travis Pepper won the 35-39 Male division in the men's doubles pickleball competition.
The Athens Gators swim team started their season in June defeating Marshall County and followed that up with a victory over Lawrence County and a win against Shelbyville. The Gators fell short to Fayetteville, but beat Florence.
Former Athens High golfer Michaela Williams tied for third with an even-par 71 to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur. The upcoming junior at the University of Tennessee was one of seven that advanced to the championship scheduled for next month. Williams’ younger sister, Ally, a rising senior at Athens, wound up in a tie for second at the Alabama Girls State Junior Championship in Montgomery and made it as far as the semi-finals of the Alabama Women's State Amateur.
The 14-year-old Limestone Hammers beat Madison, Huffman and 78 West twice to win the Dizzy Dean state baseball championship. The Hammers advanced to the World Series in Southaven, Mississippi; look for results on our Facebook page and in next month’s column.
By: Tim Lambert
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