Three area athletes and two head coaches headline the in-state all-star games in baseball, softball, volleyball, girls and boys basketball, football and soccer.
On Wednesday, Cherokee County softball coach Travis Barnes and senior shortstop Kaitlyn Griffith, along with Spring Garden senior right-handed pitcher Bree Blevins, will represent the North softball squad in the North-South Softball doubleheader. The games are slated for 6 p.m., at the Metro Kiwanis Sportsplex.
Barnes led Cherokee County to a record 40-11 season and its first state tournament appearance in Montgomery last season. A big part of the Lady Warriors’ offensive production came from Griffith. She batted .550 with 16 home runs, four triples, 23 doubles and 68 RBI. Griffith also scored 61 runs and swiped 20 bases.
Blevins led Spring Garden to the North Central Regional last season. She went 25-12 with a 1.22 ERA and 394 strikeouts. Blevins recorded 12 shutouts and a pair of no-hitters in 212 innings of work. She gave up 75 runs (37 earned) on 144 hits.
Blevins also led the Lady Panthers at the plate with a .540 batting average, including eight home runs, 24 doubles and 54 RBI.
On Thursday, the North-South boys and girls basketball squads will square off in a doubleheader. Tip off of the girls game is 5 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7 p.m. at the University of Alabama-Huntsville’s Scogin Hall.
Piedmont boys basketball coach Tommy Lewis will help guide the North team. Last year’s Class 3A Coach of the Year led the Bulldogs to a 23-8 record and Piedmont’s fifth state tournament appearance in school history.
The All-Star Sports Week festivities conclude with the North-South football game, which is set for 7 p.m. at Alabama A&M University.
Former Cherokee County linebacker Caleb Crane is among the North selections. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Crane posted over 150 tackles last season with three sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception.
In addition to the All-Star athletic events, clinics and sessions for coaches, athletic directors and administrators are held throughout the week. Nick Saban, coach of the 2009 National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide football team, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.
Former Gaylesville pitching standout Dustin Crane continues making an impact for the first-place Vermont Lake Monsters in the New York Penn Stedler Division.
The 6-foot-2 righthander had appeared in seven games through Sunday, compiling a 1-1 record with a pair of saves in 7 2/3 innings. Crane had given up six earned runs on six hits with six walks and six strikeouts for Vermont (17-6).
To find out more on Crane and the Lake Monsters, including game webcasts, visit www.vermontlakemonsters.com.