Top sports stories of 2013: Alexander CityPublished 10:42am Thursday, January 2, 2014
This is The Outlook’s special look back on the 10 biggest sports stories of the year.
With numerous and individual team successes, this was truly a year of championships for local area teams.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best sports stories of 2013.
10. Lee Williams returns to PGA tour
Alexander City native Lee Williams needed to sink a 50-foot putt on the final hole to reclaim his place on the PGA tour. It was the longest putt of his career, but Williams came through in the clutch, sinking the shot to end what he called a sub-par playing season on a high note. Williams called it one of the biggest accomplishments of his life.
9. Lady ‘Cats reel off 20 straight wins
One of the sports that Benjamin Russell really shines in is girls’ volleyball, as the team has been ranked among the best in the state of Alabama, let alone Class 5A. The Lady ‘Cats were absolutely dominant this year, going 41-9 and easily winning the area title. However, the team’s excellence really showed itself during a 20-game winning streak where programs of all classes tasted defeat at the hands of the Lady Wildcats.
8. Zac Rogers commits to Alabama
Benjamin Russell ace Zac Rogers is a nightmare for opposing hitters, and he has designs on sitting down batters in the SEC. The right-handed hurler is choosing to don the houndstooth, as he will continue his playing career for the University of Alabama. Rogers, who enters 2014 as a senior for the Wildcats, will be counted on to anchor the Benjamin Russell rotation.
7. Several athletes named All-State
Alexander City and the Lake Martin region are filled with exceptional athletes, and many of them were honored with All-State selections in basketball, baseball and football. Among the honorees were Tae Robinson (football), Blake McClellan (baseball), Cal Jones (baseball), Rae Williams (girls basketball), Terry Toler (basketball and football) and C.J. Tolbert (baseball and football).
6. Horn claims 250th win as coach
Benjamin Russell football coach Danny Horn is one of the greatest high school football coaches in the history of Alabama, and in the 2013 football season, he reached another milestone in his illustrious career. Horn won his 250th game as head coach when the Wildcats annihilated Russell County 42-13 on Oct. 4, 2013. Horn is one of 11 high school football coaches in the history of Alabama to reach 250 wins.
5. DHS girls hoops team goes to Final Four
Thanks to the inside-out game of dominant All-State center Rae Williams, forward Destiny Green and point guard Janeisha Moss, the Dadeville Lady Tigers completed a magical run to Birmingham.
Dadeville outlasted Calera and Childersburg in the Central Regional tournament to advance to the Class 4A Final Four. Moss, Williams and Green were named to the Regional all-tournament team.
4. Locals bring home state championships
Benjamin Russell and Dadeville had three athletes claim state supremacy on behalf of their teams this past season. For Dadeville, Latravious Glenn won the Class 4A State Championship in the Triple Jump. His title-winning leap was 1.5 feet better than the runner up. For BRHS, junior swimmer Robert Howard claimed two state championships, one in the 50-meter freestyle and one in the 100-meter freestyle. Earlier in 2013, Blake Chappell ran roughshod on the mat, claiming the 182-pound Class 5A state championship in wrestling.
3. Dadeville wins Class 4A-Region 3 title
In a dose of vengeance, the Dadeville Tigers shutout Central-Clay County 14-0 to win its second region title in three seasons. C.J. Tolbert scored from one yard out to give DHS the lead, and a pick-six by Roger Hicks sealed it. The Tigers eventually advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals.
2. ‘Cats win second straight region crown
The Benjamin Russell Wildcats proved that 2012 was no fluke, annihilating the Eufaula Tigers 42-6 to win consecutive Class 5A-Region 2 championships. Quarterback Bryant Horn accounted for three total touchdowns, and Eufaula fell victim to one of the Wildcats’ most dominant defensive performances of the season.
1. Trojans double up on national titles
The Central Alabama Community College men’s golf and baseball teams won NJCAA national titles in the same season. The golf team got the job done in historic fashion, overcoming a 20-shot deficit over the final two rounds to win it all. Paul Young and Darius Reese powered the baseball team to a 7-3 win over Palm Beach State to claim the title.