Sports Year in Review, Part 3By Staff Reports Published 1:35pm Friday, December 30, 2011
Editor’s note: This is the final installment as The Clanton Advertiser revisited some of the top sports stories of 2011. Below are memorable stories from September through December.
CCA Patriots pick up first-ever win
Chilton Christian Academy’s 6-man football team christened its field with a 58-12 win against Faith Christian in the Patriots’ first-ever home game on Sept. 2.
Isabella volleyball coach earns career win No. 350
Isabella volleyball coach Glen Graham won his 350th match of his career in Isabella’s first contest of a tournament on Sept. 10.
The Mustangs beat Billingsley, 2-0, and would also defeat Dadeville, 2-0, before falling to tournament champion McAdory, 2-0.
Mustangs are county champs again
Isabella won its second consecutive Chilton County Volleyball Tournament—this time on its home court—but Thorsby made the Mustangs work for it.
IHS won the championship match on Oct. 1, 2-1 (25-22, 18-25, 19-17), marking the first time the program has won two consecutive county titles and the first time it has won one in its own gymnasium.
Walmart fishing tournament weighs in
The Walmart Bass Fishing League Bama Division Tournament culminated on Oct. 2 with the final weigh-in at the Clanton Walmart parking lot.
Eighty boaters and 80 co-anglers competed in the tournament, catching a combined more than 650 bass in two days of fishing.
Former Red Devil holds three major records at ASU
Nick Andrews, a senior from Maplesville, set the Alabama State University football record for career receiving touchdowns in a win over Alcorn State on Oct. 1, and he set the record for career receptions in a win over Prairie View A&M on Oct. 15.
Andrews completed the trifecta by setting the mark for career receiving yards in the Magic City Classic against rival Alabama A&M.
Isabella falls in state volleyball tournament
Isabella’s volleyball team lost to Lexington on Oct. 26 in the first round of the Class 2A state tournament.
Coach Glen Graham said he congratulated the team on a successful season and for making it back to the state tournament. The Mustangs have been the last three years.
Verbena athletics has new booster club
A new Verbena athletic booster club decided on its bylaws and officers and hopes to attract new members and begin supporting the school.
The V-Club held its third and most recent meeting on Nov. 3, when Mike Cleckler, pastor of Zion Ridge Church of God, was elected president.
Patriots win first-ever six-man state championship
On Nov. 4, the Chilton Christian Academy Patriots walked off R. Jerry Morris Memorial Ball Field in Hueytown as state champions.
Chilton Christian beat Marion Academy, 58-50, in the inaugural Christian Football Association championship game—in a thrilling contest that set the bar high for future title games.
Linden stops Devils in third round
Maplesville’s season slipped away like the seconds on the clock.
The Red Devils knew what was coming—Linden running back Julian Little—but couldn’t stop it as Linden ran out 7 of the last 8 minutes of the third-round playoff game on Nov. 18 and Little punched the ball in from 2 yards out for a 21-7 win.
The result ended Class 1A second-ranked Maplesville’s season in the quarterfinals.
Graham’s historic run comes to end
Glen Graham’s Isabella volleyball teams won a lot of games—364 of them in 14 seasons, to be exact.
But Graham said his focus was always on how he could use his role as coach to help people improve their lives. It is that desire that allowed Graham to leave a program he built and took to great heights.
Graham, the Clanton Advertiser’s 2011 Coach of the Year, resigned to take a job as a physical education instructor at Jacksonville State University, where he attended college.
Isabella senior libero Allison Mims was named the Advertiser’s Player of the Year after setting an Isabella record with 466 digs in a season.
Bears open new gymnasium
Billingsley School opened its new gymnasium Saturday, the latest step toward locating all of the athletic facilities at the site of the new school, which was opened in 1999.
Junior varsity player Megan Barrett scored the first basket in the new gym, minutes after a dedication ceremony in which BHS Principal Van Smith thanked the Autauga County Board of Education for making the gym a reality.
The Bears boys beat Verbena, 75-54, while the girls lost, 49-31.
Swindle, Hubbert receive top football honors
Jemison senior running back Javae Swindle was named The Clanton Advertiser’s Football Player of the Year after a season in which he rushed for 1,443 yards and 19 touchdowns in nine games, bringing his three-year total to 4,503 yards and 57 touchdowns.
Maplesville’s Brent Hubbert was named Coach of the Year after leading the Red Devils to a 12-1 record and a berth in the state playoff quarterfinals.
Hubbert has been on the MHS sidelines for 77 wins in eight seasons.