The Bulldog baseball team is the latest to reap the championship rewards. They claimed the Class 3A, Area 9 championship with a doubleheader sweep at Weaver on April 5, their first area title in 21 years. The scores were 11-0 and 7-0.
The Bulldogs (20-9) will host a first-round playoff series against Area 10 runner-up Glencoe on Friday with a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. A third game, if necessary, will be played Saturday at 2 p.m.
“Winning breeds success, and our kids have won an area championship in football, basketball and now baseball in the same year,” Piedmont head coach James Blanchard said. “I took over four years ago when these seniors were freshmen and the juniors were eighth graders. I’ve watched their hard work build this baseball program. They’ve made the playoffs three out four years now with an area championship. That’s just a testament to their hard work.”
That hard work has been also getting attention from several colleges and universities around the nation.
The Bulldogs have several prospects in baseball, including junior pitcher Cade Bradley, senior pitcher/outfielder Joel Ray, senior catcher/third baseman/shortstop Landon Pruitt and senior second baseman Chris Strott.
Blanchard said Bradley has received interest from Alabama, Jacksonville State, Troy, Calhoun College (Cullman), Snead State, Southern Union and Young-Harris College in North Georgia. Ray has received interest from JSU, Calhoun College, Southern Union and Snead State. Pruitt and Strott have both been invited to visit Shorter College.
“Everybody’s noticed that we’ve played a tough schedule this season,” Blanchard said, noting teams such as Hokes Bluff, Hartselle, Etowah, Alexandria and Cedar Bluff. “We might have a better record right now if we hadn’t played so many tough teams at the beginning of the season, but we’re playing pretty good right now. We’ve really worked hard to build this thing up.”
And the future is just as bright. The junior high Bulldogs recently completed a 25-3 season, something Blanchard and the rest of Piedmont High School’s athletic supporters hope will continue to develop into even more success within the athletic program.
Cedar Bluff recently had two athletes selected for the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s All-Star Sports Week.
Junior basketball forward DeAngelo Hardy and junior baseball pitcher Curtis Abernathy will represent the school on the North squad. All-Star Sports Week is set for July 9-13 in Montgomery.
“DeAngelo has had a wonderful week,” Cedar Bluff basketball coach Joe Carpenter said, noting Hardy’s selection of Class 1A Boys Player of the Year by the Alabama Sportswriters Association last Wednesday. “I know he’s thrilled to receive that honor as well as we all are here at Cedar Bluff. He is not only a great basketball player but also a fantastic student-athlete and a super young man.”
Cedar Bluff baseball coach Taylor Talbot is also proud for Abernathy’s selection to the North-South baseball series.
“I think this is a testament to what hard work can do,” Talbot said. “Curtis has worked very hard for this, and its great to see it pay off for him in a big way. This will be something he will always remember. Very few players get to do something like this. I think Curtis will do an excellent job of representing Cedar Bluff and this area.”
Jake Minnix, Scott Hays, Lee Morgan and Bill Trammell defended their title at the Ridgeview Brotherhood Four Person Scramble in Mentone last Saturday.
The foursome toured the par 70 layout at Lil’ Mole Run with an 18 under par. Minnix collected a bonus in the Longest Drive contest. His booming tee shot was marked off at 335 yards on the 480 yard par 5 eighth hole.
Morgan garnered a closest to the pin prize with his wedge on the par 3 No. 15. Playing at 125 yards, Morgan’s shot came to rest five feet from the cup.
Qualifying for the Cherokee County Country Club Hole-In-One contest will begin on April 23 and continue through May 18. All qualifiers will return on May 19 at 1 p.m.
In order to qualify a player must hit their tee shot into a 16 foot circle with a pin setting between 100 to 125 yards. The qualifying cost is $10 for three chances. There are no prizes awarded for a hole-in-one during qualifying. The actual contest distance will be near 170 yards on May 19th.
For complete rules and information please contact the Cherokee County Club at (256) 927-5070.
Also, mark your calendars for June 8 when the Cherokee County Country Club will be the site of a 3-person scramble to benefit the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame.
At 11:30 a.m. there will be a VIP luncheon for sponsors honoring current Hall of Fame members and welcoming new inductees. Golf participants will tee up for a shotgun start at 1 p.m.
Cost for the event will only be $150 with the first 18 paid teams receiving a polo shirt. Prize money for a full field is set at $1,620 with first place netting $300.
Proceeds from the tournament are designated to display, exhibit and maintain memorabilia that has been donated or is on loan to the Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame.
For more details or an entry form, call (256) 927-7835 or visit www.museumatcentre.com.