5. Football team gets off to a hot start

Although the football season had a lot of disappointments for the Dadeville Tigers, there was one particular bright spot and that was their start.

Right out of the gate, Dadeville’s football team proved it could be methodical, it could force turnovers when needed and it could rely on quarterback Slade McCullers to get the job done. That was the recipe for success in the Tigers’ season-opening victory over Horseshoe Bend, 32-8.

From the get-go, the Tigers moved the ball downfield step by step, taking more than six minutes off the clock and scoring on their first drive of the night. From then on, the Generals could never catch up. And every time Horseshoe Bend seemed to get things moving, a penalty or fumble stopped any potential.

McCullers had a hand in four of the Tigers’ touchdowns, including runs of 5 and 3 yards and scoring passes to Cooper Childers and PJ Eason. Josh Taylor also scored on a 61-yard punt return.

“I thought (Slade) played well,” Dadeville coach Richard White said. “All I asked him to do was be efficient, lead the team and don’t try to win the game by himself and that’s what he did. I’m proud of our kids because they played hard.”

4. Ray, Burns win tourney on Lake Martin

Dadeville’s Alex Ray and Dillon Burns got off to a great start as the Alabama Student Anglers Bass Fishing Association began its spring season Saturday on Lake Martin. Ray and Burns collected 14.22 pounds of fish, which was nearly a half pound more than anyone else, and won the tournament.

Dadeville’s best finish after Ray and Burns was 45th but four of its next five boats were in the top 100. Taking 45th overall was Gauge Daniel and Luke Keel, who brought in 9.61 pounds worth of fish, and Hunter Ward and Eli Pritchard weren’t far behind with 9.18 pounds, good enough for 52nd. Buster Coker and Jordan Rambo earned 57th place with 9.10 pounds, and Sawyer Sapp and Madolyn Daniel also caught the limit and totaled 8.98 pounds, which earned them 61st place.

3. Tigers get back to baseball postseason

Despite a bitter end when Dadeville fell to Montgomery Academy in the first round of the baseball playoffs, there was still a lot for the Tigers to hang their hats on.

They made the postseason for the first time in three years and had several heavy hitters. Jake Outlaw led the way with a .495 batting average, and Slade McCullers was also over .400 at .432 on the season. Dadeville had five regular players bat above .300 including Cooper Childers (.378), Tripp McKinley (.356), Walker Spraggins (.354), Alex Walker (.308) and Ty Bell (.306).

They also did it all under a new coach, as Curtis Martin took over the varsity program this year.

“We won a lot of big games, and we won a lot of games against Class 4, 5 and 6A schools,” Martin said after the season-ending loss to MA. “We battled, and I’m proud of these guys. I wish we could’ve went a little deeper, which I felt like we could have. But offensively, these last couple days, we really struggled. But overall, I thought we had a decent year; it just wasn’t the results we wanted.”

2. Boys track team takes 3rd at state championships

Dadeville has been trying to once again make a name for itself on the state track and field scene, and that trend continued this year. The Tigers capped off the season with a third-place finish in the boys team standings at the AHSAA Class 3A Track and Field Championships in Cullman.

Relays were Dadeville’s biggest strengths this weekend, as it exceeded expectations and won gold in both the 4x100 and the 4x400.

In the 4x1, the Tigers were seeded just third and took fourth in the preliminaries. But after shaving nearly a second off their prelim time, Josh Taylor, Christian Nelson, Ladarrius Moore and Jamarion Wilkerson clocked in at 44.59 to take home the gold. Wilkerson then teamed up with AJ Williams, Kyle Vines and Cam Tai to earn first place in the 4x4 with a time of 3:29.92.

“It was just awesome for them and nice to get some team recognition,” Dadeville coach Chris Hand said. “It was a great meet for them. I think if we could have two or three more athletes there, we could have gotten first or second overall.”

Dadeville had several others who climbed the podium as well. Taylor was a big standout for the Tigers. In addition to his gold on the 4x1, Taylor also took second in the 300 hurdles (40.02). Wilkerson was third in the 400 (51.63).

In the field, Dadeville found a lot of success in the throws. Conner Fuller was the top finisher, taking the silver in the javelin (157-4). He hit a mark of 157-4. Jamauri Chislom took third in the shot put (44-8), and he just missed the podium in the discus (124-11).

1. Both hoops teams win area championships

On three separate occasions during the game, the clock was ticking down and Dadeville’s girls basketball team had the chance to claim the Class 3A Area 7 championship. But it took until the third time and double overtime for the Tigers to seal the deal.

After 40 total minutes of game clock and nearly 2 ½ hours of real time, the Tigers defeated Beulah, 65-58, to earn the area title.

“All of the above on the emotions, but it says a lot for them and how they worked this season,” Dadeville coach Pam Holloway said. “I’m just so proud of them. A lot of times teams had adversity that a lot of people don’t know about, and we had some even today — a day that you should be focused on the championship. But we worked through it as a team.”

After a thrilling victory for the girls team, the boys basketball squad gave the home crowd more to cheer about by overcoming an early deficit and defeating Randolph County to complete the area championship sweep.

“It feels great to take care of your home court,” Foster said with a grin. “We had the chance to do it last year, and Tallassee came in here and beat us. They cut our nets down, so this year we’re cutting the nets down.”

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.