Welcome to the initial installment of PlayAction Sports. We’ll try to keep you up to date on school, youth and amateur sports every month from the Limestone County area (including Lauderdale County High School and James Clemens High School). We also invite you to visit our website online at www.pasnetwork.net and listen to our updates every weekday on the air at 1080 AM WKAC.
Local teams made deep runs into the postseason in the spring. Ardmore’s softball team got all the way to the state tournament before having their year ended at the hands of Moody. It was Stephen Baugh’s first year ever to coach the sport. The Tigers’ baseball team also had a good run, reaching the state semifinals where they lost to Russellville. Athens Bible School’s baseball team also made the semifinals before they were swept by Decatur Heritage. Elkmont’s baseball team got farther into the postseason than any other team in school history, falling in round three to Colbert Heights.
Congratulations go out to local athletes who earned postseason honors since the school year ended. The boys’ All-State soccer team included Tanner’s Jose Moreno on the first team. Fellow Rattler David Pizano and James Clemens’ Duncan Blair made second team. Athens Bible School's Vance Dutton was honorable mention along with Tanner's Tyler Keenum, James Clemens' Zachary Johnson and West Limestone's Tanner and Reed Walker. On the girls’ side, James Clemens' Kiersten Thorum and Aubrie McFall made first team of the 7A team. The Lady Jets’ Rachel Bradberry was second team and Nic Guay made honorable mention. East Limestone's Stefani Fleagle was added to the 4A-5A second team while fellow Lady Indians’ Emily Edelman and Ameleigh Bippen were honorable mention. In 1A-3A, Tanner's Gabby Torres made second team along with Athens Bible School's Carson Fielder. Honorable mention included Tanner's Areli Mendoza and Corina Martinez and Emily Watson of ABS.
James Clemens' Garrett Brown and Jordan Anderson were tapped for second team on the 7A All-State baseball team; Tommy Crider made honorable mention. Athens High's Jacob McNairy was on the 6A first team, Bryson Kirk was second team. Ardmore's Patrick Music was named to the 5A second team while Tanner Eaves received honorable mention. Lauderdale County's Sloan Wilson and Jake Maner were on the 3A honorable-mention list along with Elkmont’s Jackson Cook. Kenneth Adams and Mitchell Etheridge of ABS made the Class 1A first team, Hayden Nix was honorable mention while Coach of the Year went to Athens Bible School's Bill Murrell.
All-State softball teams were also announced. James Clemens' Shelby Booker was on the 7A first team. Athens High's Mary Greg Anderson made the 6A second team while teammate Gracie Green was honorable mention. Ardmore's Karla Hice was on the 5A first team and L.B. Smith earned honorable mention. West Limestone's Breanna Tarpley was named to the 4A first team and Baily Browning was honorable mention. The 3A second team included Lauderdale County's Morgan White, while Cassidy Hudson made honorable mention along with Clements' Abby Craig and Lele Anderson.
Elkmont and Tanner both have new football coaches going into next season. The Red Devils promoted Duane Wales, who was defensive coordinator at Clements for 10 years beginning in 1992 before serving at Ardmore from 2003-2008. He has been on the varsity staff at Elkmont since 2009 and was middle school coach the last two seasons. After the departure of Tanner head football coach Laron White to Sparkman, the school hired Maurice Belser to take over. Coach Belser and Coach White had been teammates on Alabama’s 1992 national championship team.
A few Limestone County coaches will be stepping down from their positions. Resignations include Chad Drake as head boys’ basketball coach at East Limestone and Ethan Whiteside as head softball coach at West Limestone. Ardmore also loses John South as girls’ golf coach, Sherri Graviet as assistant softball coach and Stephen Baugh as middle school girls’ basketball coach. West Limestone's Jordan Paul transferred to Tanner. Former Clemson player Spencer Region will also be joining Ardmore as a volunteer assistant football coach.
By: Tim Lambert
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