One day last fall, Charger coach Hunter Royer talked with Nelson about playing summer league ball. He arranged for Nelson to play with the Hopkinsville, Ky. Hoppers of the Ohio Valley Summer Collegiate Baseball League.
The Hoppers have just begun their season, and Nelson has already been paying dividends for the club. Through Sunday, Nelson was batting .286 with a home run, a single, a walk, two runs and three RBIs.
Nelson’s homer came against the Marion Bobcats on June 3, when he went 2 for 5 at the plate playing at catcher. Hopkinsville lost the game, 5-3.
The Hoppers are currently 5-2 and a half game up on Marion (5-3) in the division.
Nelson said he’s enjoying the experience.
“It’s nice here,” he said. “It’s not a big city, but it’s a bigger town than Cedar Bluff. Everybody’s been real nice and supportive of the team. I’ve been playing first base. I had to catch (against Marion on June 3) because our catcher hadn’t reported yet, but it was just a one-time thing. I love playing first. It’s a lot easier on the knees.”
Nelson said he can already tell playing with the Hoppers is “going to be a tremendous help” when he gets back playing with the Chargers in the fall.
“UAH redshirted me my first year, but this year, I got to start in 12 games, and it was a great experience. We made the conference championship game and had a regional game, so it was a pretty good year,” Nelson said. “I’m hoping this coming year they’ll count on me to step in and play more.”
Twenty-four teams competed in the inaugural Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame Golf Scramble on Friday afternoon at the Country Club in Centre.
Jake Minnix, Mark Jason Green and Lee Morgan tied the threesome of Terry Adams, Johnny Bentley and Bill Trammell for top honors at 18-under par. Minnix, Green and Morgan were declared the winners after the scorecard playoff. Tim Trammell, Nick Wheeler and Keith Atkinson were third.
Long drive winners included Minnix, Adams and Eva Trammell. Closest to the pin prizes were awarded to Adams, Kaleb Kines, Adam Cochran, and Keith Lambert.
Sand Rock’s Ethan Jimmerson and Dustin Chambers were recently selected by the Class 2A, Area 13 baseball coaches as part of their All-Area team.
Jimmerson batted .403 with 13 runs and six stolen bases. As a pitcher, he was 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA.
Chambers batted .304 with a pair of home runs, 19 RBIs and stole seven bases.
Westbrook Christian led the team with five selections. The Warriors were represented by John Mayfield, Matthew Reaves, Mikhail Cazenave, Jake Kilgo and Hayden Hendrick.
Pleasant Valley had four selections in Michael Roe, Brett Langston, Will Hamby and Dexter Vernon.
Caleb Mayo, Ryan Mashburn and Skylar McCright represent West End. Ohatchee is represented by Ryan Hopper.
Former Cherokee County and Jacksonville State football player Maurice Dupree increased his league-leading touchdown total to 36, but the Columbus (Ga.) Lions were edged by division-leading Albany (10-1) last Saturday evening, 57-54.
Dupree finished the game with three touchdown catches.
The Lions (5-6) will play their regular-season finale at home this Saturday against the Knoxville Nighthawks. The Lions’ postseason opponent in the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) has not been determined.
The 13th Annual Freddie Kitchens Football Camp will be held June 23 at Gadsden City High School. Registration for the free camp will begin at 8 a.m. on the day of the event. The camp will run from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Kitchens coaches tight ends for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix. He previously coached for the Dallas Cowboys, North Texas State and LSU.
To pre-register or for more details, call 256-399-3799.