Being well known across the state is an accomplishment in and of itself. But throughout this week in history, locals were making names for themselves on national and even international levels.
This week in 1989, Central Alabama Community College then-athletic director and golf coach Maxie Boles expanded his knowledge as he attended the Sports Scholastic Foundation program in London.
Although he nearly didn’t go as the program was scheduled just before the NJCAA golf championships, Boles changed his mind and got a chance to see some of the best athletes in Europe on display.
At first I thought, ‘Wow, a free trip to London,’” Boles said at the time. “I’m extremely glad I did go.”
Boles wasn’t the only representative for CACC on an international level. Less than a decade later, former Central Alabama golfer Cole Willis competed in the 2008 British Amateur in Scotland.
“Overall, it was a good experience competing over here,” Willis said after his return. “The people were very nice and the Royal and Ancient Golf Association was very excited to have Americans in the field.”
Several others throughout history made a name for themselves in a national and regional sense. In 2003, Dadeville’s Preston Masters claimed eighth place in the 10K at the Senior Olympics, which took place in Virginia that year. Masters competed in four events while at the 2003 Summer National Senior Olympics, including the 5K and 10K and the 800- and 1,500-meter runs.
“There were some excellent runners there from across the country,” Masters said back in 2003. “The 5K race was won by a fellow in his 50s with a time of 17:20. Many high school coaches would love to have kids that could do that.”
Later that same week in 2003, a quartet of Dadeville runners were also on the national stage as they competed in the AAU Regional 3A Track and Field Championships in North Carolina. Those runners included Veronica Minnifield, Maurice Stroud, Josh Greathouse and Curtis Haddox.
Athletes from across a myriad of sports and age groups were on display this year as even 9-year-old Jody Marable, of Alexander City, was competing on a regional level as a veteran show horse rider. He showed his horse “Troubleshooter” in competitions across Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
On a state level, a pair of locals were highlights of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic back on June 18, 1994. Benjamin Russell’s Jason Powell and Dadeville’s Matt Harrison both played as offensive linemen in the all-star football game and were standouts in a loss to Mississippi.
The offensive line, led by the duo, allowed Alabama to gain 254 yards of offense.
“I think I did real good,” Powell said after the game. “The whole offensive line really had a good game. Both offenses had it set up where they could run. I thought we executed real well.”
Alabama coach Wayne Traywick, who was the Central Phenix City coach at the time, thought both locals were obvious standouts.
“Jason and Matt both did an excellent job,” Traywick said. “You can tell they both have outstanding high school coaches. They both happened to be in my group because I coached the offensive line, and their communities ought to be proud. They’re both fine players and fine young men.”
More locally, it was exactly 12 years ago Jason Johnson was named the head baseball coach at Horseshoe Bend. After graduating from Dadeville, Johnson became an assistant for the Generals and was promoted June 28, 2008. He is still the HBS baseball coach and is also a coordinator for the football team.