During every school year, there are a ton of great stories from the sports teams. Because it’s hard to narrow each school’s best moments and storylines down to just five, there’s also a list of honorable mentions. For Horseshoe Bend, those include the following.
First fishing team takes to the water
When Travis Spraggins first arrived at Horseshoe Bend last December, he noticed a bit of a void. All the other schools in Tallapoosa County, and Benjamin Russell, had started competitive fishing teams, but the Generals hadn’t gotten on board.
Immediately, Spraggins started digging into some research, asking people within the Reeltown and Dadeville communities to see what the process was like to start a team. He also got an overwhelming response from the HBS students, and Horseshoe Bend will have its first competitive fishing team this spring.
“I had a huge response from the kids for sure,” said Spraggins, who will be the Generals’ coach. “They were extremely excited about it. I had at one point in the neighborhood of 12 to 14 that were interested in joining the team. For the first year in starting a team up, that’s exciting. Most schools start out with one or two boats in their first tournament.”
Horseshoe Bend will compete alongside the Rebels, Tigers and Wildcats as a member of the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association.
Coach Bryan Yates remembered fondly by community
Although certainly not a feel-good story, coach Bryan Yates’ death was felt around the Horseshoe Bend and New Site community. Yates died Dec. 5, 2018 and prior to that dedicated 25 years of his life to coaching basketball in the Daviston and New Site communities.
He touched the lives of countless players and not just on the court.
“I had been to his house a lot of nights with my girlfriend,” said Sandford Meadows, who played for Yates when he took charge of the New Site Warriors. “We drank tea, played games and talked about life. He just encouraged us. He was the best man at my wedding. He was just that kind of guy.”
After playing college ball at Snead College, Yates returned to his hometown of Daviston where he coached for two years before taking up a spot at New Site, where he stayed for the remainder of his career. In a 25-year career Yates racked up 503 victories, 15 20-win seasons, five area championships and four appearances in the state tournament.
Football earns 1st win in defeat of Central Coosa
It wasn’t always pretty but when Horseshoe Bend’s football team gathered for its final huddle after a game midway through the football season, there was nothing but smiling faces.
After a sluggish and sometimes ugly start, the Generals managed to put together some of their best drives of the season and came away with a 35-12 victory over Central Coosa.
“It feels great to get the win,” then-HBS coach Josh Averett said. “The guys played great. Coosa is athletic and they made things tough at times, but we’re finally starting to figure some things out hopefully.”
In the game, freshman Holt Tidwell had a breakout game to earn Player of the Week honors.