SPORTS YEAR IN REVIEW: CCHS enjoys historic seasons

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dugout delight: Craig Headley and his Chilton County baseball teammates rush out of the dugout to celebrate a home run off the bat of Sawyer Cahalane during a Class 5A state playoff semifinal series at Spanish Fort in May 2012. The two-time defending champion Toros knocked the Tigers out of the playoffs on their way to their third-straight championship, but the run was Chilton’s deepest in 21 years.

Editor’s note: Below is a look back at the top Chilton County sports stories of 2012.


Jemison dance team performs at Sugar Bowl

Members of the Jemison High School Dance Team were among about 300 young people to perform Jan. 3 during the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s halftime show in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

JHS Dance Team adviser Tiffany Gillespie said her team received the invitation to perform at the game after acquiring numerous accolades at regional band competitions, including Best in Class 2A Division and Best in Show Silver Division at the BBVA Compass Bowl Competition in Homewood.

Jemison boys, Verbena girls take county basketball titles

The championship round of the Chilton County Basketball Tournament featured the end of two long streaks.

Jemison’s boys team snapped host Chilton County’s run of nine consecutive county titles, while Verbena’s girls won their first ever county tournament championship.


Legendary coach Polk speaks at Thorsby

Legendary baseball coach Ron Polk was the guest speaker at a Thorsby baseball banquet on Feb. 7.

Polk—who was inducted to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009 after a career in which he won 1,373 games in 35 seasons as a head coach at Georgia Southern, Mississippi State and Georgia—kept the audience entertained with jokes and funny stories but also had an important message for the youth in attendance.

Season begins with special first pitch

The beginning of baseball season in Chilton County was even more special than usual on Feb. 20.

The seasons for local teams began when former Jemison player Donny Eslinger threw out the first pitch before the JHS junior varsity home game against LAMP.

Eslinger was seriously injured in September 2011 when rocket-propelled grenades were dropped on his military base in Afghanistan. He recently returned home to Jemison as he continues to recover.

“We were able to get the uniforms, and with it being Presidents’ Day—it was perfect,” JHS Principal Alan Thompson said.


Rebels win more weightlifting titles

Thorsby’s weightlifting teams have become state powerhouses.

The THS boys team won their third consecutive Class 2A state championship on April 14 at the 2012 Alabama State High School Powerlifting Championships at Enterprise High School, while the girls team won their second in a row.