Brilliant, Hackleburg will open season in match up

Four Marion County schools will host home football games this Friday, Aug. 27.
Brilliant and Hackleburg will go head-to-head in an in-county rivalry.
This week all games continue to be non-regional match-ups. Region play will begin next week.
I’ve never made predictions before, but I’m happy I was able to follow these teams the first week before jumping into prognosticating.

Taylor signs with Southwest Tenn.

Torie Taylor (center) is shown signing with Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, Tenn., during a ceremony on Friday, July 23. Also shown are (seated, from left) father Steven Taylor, Torie, mother Rebecca Taylor, (standing, from left) Marion County High School softball coach Savannah Fox and Southwest coach Keith Gentry.[Deuce Belk Media]

By Scott Johnson
General Manager

Brody to the Bevill State Bears

Winfield pitcher Brody Cook (center) is shown signing with the Bevill State Bears on Sunday, July 25. Shown with him are (seated, from left) his mother, Tara Cook, and his father, Chris Cook and (standing, same order) coaches Jake Elkins, Tanner Smothers, Alan Smith and Derek Rhodes. [Contributed]

By Scott Johnson
General Manager

Hall of Fame set to welcome 27th, 28th class inductees during Aug. 7 ceremony

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a two-part series listing the honors and achievements of the members of the 2020 and 2021 Marion County Sports Hall of Fame classes. New inductees have been listed three schools at a time, alphabetically by last name.
The 2020 class was delayed until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s listing includes inductees from Hackleburg, Hamilton and Marion County High School (Guin).

Lady Aggies secure Section 3 Championship

The Hamilton High School girls outdoor track and field team were named the Class 4A, Section 3 Champions in Winfield on April 24, where they faced 14 other teams. Shown are (front row, from left) Myia Sizemore, Ashlyn Childers, Madelyn Hulsey, Brilyn Gilstrap, Ella Rose Bartlett, Kailee Wallace, Kira Casey, (back row, same order) Meg Wiginton, Gracie Sanderson, coach Mae Lynn Williams, Jordan Parker, Maya Jones, coach Steve Dudley Ella Cantrell, Chesney Rayburn, McKenna Taylor, Maleah Purser`er and Alice Loaterna. [Contributed]

Unsigned Senior Baseball Workout

Fayette - Bevill State Baseball will be hosting an Unsigned Senior Baseball Workout on Tuesday, July 6, at the Bevill State Baseball Field located at 2631 Temple Avenue N., Fayette, AL 35555.
The workout will include batting practice, defensive work, 60 times and bullpens.
The workout is open to any unsigned high school graduate. The cost is $50, and registration will be at 9:30 a.m. Workouts begin at 10 a.m.
Participants must have a copy of an up-to-date physical.

Four named to all-star team


By Scott Johnson
General Manager

Four local baseball players were named to teams in this year’s sportswriters all-star team.
The Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) released its 2021 all-state teams on Sunday morning, June 13.
The All-State team is compiled through submissions from coaches to sportswriters in their area and voted on by the ASWA prep committee. A pitcher, hitter, player and coach of the year is then selected in each class.

Brody Cook

NAC track Championship 2021

The Brilliant High School boys track team placed first in the 2021 North Alabama Conference (NAC) Track Championship which took place on March 10 in Winfield. Shown are (from left) Wes Woodard, Ty Avery (back), Braden Burleson, Pace Holt, Jarrett Henderson (back), Johnathon Tittle, Preston Conniff, Gavin Cummings, Gabe Durham, Kade Bryant, Mat Madden, Matthew Lothrop, Lane Stanford, Adan Aldridge, Jacob Barnes, Jerry Lothrop and Evan Smiley (kneeling). [Contributed]

NAC track Championship 2021

The Hackleburg High School girls track team placed first in the 2021 North Alabama Conference (NAC) Track Championship which took place on March 10 in Winfield. Shown are (from left) Angel Swann, Danielle Weekly, Courtney Posey, Grace Gallaway, Emma Murray, head coach Morgan McCarley, Makylah Blackburn, Maddie Burt, Ellie Nichols, Macy Moore, EmaLeigh Blackburn, Kinsley Conrad, and Madison Moore. Not shown are Madison Browning, Carson Browning and Hannah Riley. [Contributed]

Hackleburg All-Star 8U Boys Are State Bound

The Hackleburg 8U All-Star baseball team is has earned its place in the state playoffs this year. The Panthers will play on Friday, June 25, at Bowers Field in Tuscaloosa, at 3 p.m where 24 youth teams in the state will compete for the state title. The Hackleburg boys ended their regular season undefeated with a record of 21-0, two tournament championship titles, and named the mid-season District 11 Champs. Shown are (front row, from left) Braden Palmer, Kingston Ricketts, Brodie McDuffa-Liam Flanagan, Parker Rollins, (middle row, same order) Jaxsen Hudson, Hunter Pope, Top Oliver, Blake Randolph, Colton Oaks, Lucas Hudson, (back row, same order) coaches Jason Pope, Jonathon Oliver, Micheal Rollins and Chad Hudson.

Marion Co. Track Meet - April 7 Hosted by Winfield City High School

Hamilton Girls take 1st Place
The Hamilton Girls Track and Field Team finished first in the Marion County Track meet hosted at Winfield City High School on April 7. Shown are (front row, from left) Madelyn Hulsey, Brilyn Gilstrap, Jessica Shotts, Gracie Sanderson, Emily Jones, Alanna Fisher, (back row, same order) Ariel Lowe, Maya Jones, Myia Sizemore, Ashlyn Childers, KK Ables, Kylie Bell, Kyra Casey, Zaharea Woodson, Kailee Wallace, Alice Loaterna, Chesney Raburn, McKenna Taylor, Maleah Purser and Ella Cantrell. Not shown are Ella Rose Bartlett, Lizzie Boyett, Arianna Butler, Kylah Cochran, Morgan Cooper, Alee Ellis, Kati Lynn Frederick, Presley Godsey, Tristen Holliday, Mia Hollingsworth, Meghan Jones, Ansley Kerr, Olivia Martin, Bailey McCarley, Madison Metcalf, Jordan Parker, Lauren Pendley, Anna Price, Grace Sims, Aubrey Sorrells, Paisley Sorrells, Meg Wiginton and Naiia Woodson. [Contributed]

Marion Co. Track Meet - April 7 Hosted by Winfield City High School

Winfield Boys take 1st Place
The Winfield Boys Track and Field team placed first in the Marion County Track Tournament hosted at Winfield City High School. Shown are (front row, from left) Wes Estes, Mason Miller, Drew Klein, Devin Sargent, Delaney Porter, Kade Estill, Conner Cook, Pheonix Sandlin, (middle row, from left) Drew Estill, Colin Bradford, Seth Kemble, Ross Bozeman, Nick Nelson, Logan Weeks, Jack Williamson, Brock Cotton, Will May, Jake Ballard, Nicholas Haney, (back row, same order) Logan and Jaykob Savage. [Contributed]

Webb to Wallace State

Abigail Webb (center) is shown signing a full cheerleading scholarship with Wallace State Community College in Hanceville on Thursday, May 28. Shown are (from left) LaDawn Lawrence, Abigail, Adam Lawrence and (back) Sam Webb. [Contributed]

By Scott Johnson
General Manager

Bryant-Jordan Scholarship

Winfield City High School student athletes Andrew Stovall (left) and Ty Weeks are shown receiving plaques during an April 12 ceremony in Birmingham recognizing them as the 2021 Region 5 Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete scholarship award winners. [Contributed]

2,000-Point Milestone

Brilliant High School Senior Kade Bryant (11) receives a commemorative basketball from Brilliant Tigers Head Coach Ryan Sanderson (right) during a pre-game ceremony on Jan. 25, in honor of the Tigers’ guard crossing the 2,000-career-point threshold. Bryant, who has been playing varsity basketball since seventh grade, achieved the milestone during the Tigers’ game against St. Bernard Prep on Jan. 15, when Brilliant won 58-53. “I have coached Kade for five years at Brilliant High school,” said Sanderson. “He has achieved many great things during his time playing on the court. In eighth grade he scored more than 20 points in several games, and I knew at that time he was going to end up scoring a bunch of points at Brilliant. In tenth grade he averaged over 20 points a game and reached 1,000 career points. Kade worked very hard to reach this milestone and I was proud to see him accomplish this. Kade not only contributed by scoring during his time, but he also led the team in rebounds from ninth grade to 12th grade. Kade also helped lead the team to the playoffs during his junior year. Kade’s performance on the court has helped elevate the Brilliant Tiger basketball program.” [Contributed]

Lady Aggies’ historic season grounded out

Lexi Dobbins advances past a Cleburne defender as she fields a ground ball. [Lisa Dobbins/Contributed]

OXFORD - The Hamilton Lady Aggies saw their season come to an end after suffering back-to-back losses in the Class 4A State Softball Tournament.
The Lady Aggies made it to the state tournament after going undefeated in the 4A West Regional Tournament, claiming the regional title.
The last time the Lady Aggies won the regional tournament and advanced to state competition was in 2009.

Bears capture third win of season despite downpour

BEAR CREEK - The Phillips Bears may have won by the scoreboard, but Mother Nature dominated the game.
The Bears were declared the winners 41-12 over the Vina Red Devils, in a game called with 4:29 left in the third quarter due to intense lightning and a resulting severe thunderstorm that pelted the stadium with torrential rains and gusty winds.
As the storm bore down on the Phillips High School stadium, and fans cleared faster than any runner on the grid, Phillips Bears fans left satisfied, knowing they had the ultimate victory.

Panthers fall in region finale

TRINITY - The Hackleburg Panthers suffered their fifth loss of the season on Friday night, Oct. 23, after falling to the Eagles of Decatur Heritage Christian Academy by a final score of 45-30 in a Class 1A, Region 8 matchup.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, scoring on runs of 53 and 67 yards in the opening period of the ballgame.
DHCA added two more scores to the board in the second frame before the Panthers could light the scoreboard for the first time of the night, building a 28-0 lead.

Aggies punch ticket to postseason

Robert Johnson runs by Fayette County defenders.

HAMILTON - On a cool Friday night, two teams squared up on the gridiron. Looking to sneak their way into the playoffs, the Hamilton Aggies hosted the Fayette County Tigers. A rather dry first half turned into a wet second half, but it was not enough to deter the Aggies from taking control of the game. Two rushing touchdowns were more than enough to propel Hamilton into the playoffs with a 14-2 win against the Tigers.

Tigers secure playoff spot

Brilliant’s Kade Bryant (11) eyes his target as he releases a contested pass during the Tigers’ game against the Marion County Red Raiders. Also shown for Brilliant is Hunter Fosse (77) and Johnathan Tittle (60) blocking incoming Raider defenders.

BRILLIANT -  The Brilliant Tigers punched their ticket to the postseason on Friday night, Oct. 23, after claiming a hardfought 21-20 victory over the Red Raiders of Marion County High School in a pivotal Class 1A, Region 6 matchup.
Marion County was the first team to find the end zone, but Brilliant used three second quarter scores to gain a comfortable 21-6 lead before heading into the halftime break.

Pirates drop heartbreaker to Hayden in replacement game

Drew Cook (21) carries the ball up the field for the Pirates during their game against Hayden High School Also shown is Winfield’s Seth Kemble (4).

HAYDEN - The Winfield Pirates were all set to take on the Carbon Hill Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 23, but due to Covid-19 the Bulldogs had to forfeit the game to Winfield giving the Pirates their ninth win on the season and a perfect 7-0 in Class 3A, Region 6.

Red Raiders earn second region victory

GUIN - The Marion County Red Raiders earned their second win in as many weeks on Friday, Oct. 2, as they throttled the Tigers of Meek High School in a 43-16 win on Don Jones Field at the Bill Rayburn Stadium.
Darese Smith got the scoring started for the Red Raiders in the Class 1A, Region 6 contest with a two-yard touchdown run at the 1:37 mark of the opening period. Raider quarterback Deuce Belk carried across the two-point conversion, putting the Raiders up 8-0 heading into the second frame.

Tigers drop second in a row

BRILLIANT - The Brilliant Tigers dropped their second contest of the season on Friday night, Oct. 2, falling to the Tornadoes of Pickens County High School by a final score of 26-13.
The Tigers, who are now 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in Class 1A, Region 6 play, started the scoring for the game in the opening period when senior quarterback Kade Bryant connected with Braden Burelson for a 13-yard touchdown reception. Jacob Barnes was good on the PAT, putting the Tigers on top 7-0 with 6:23 left in the first quarter.

Pirates clinch playoff spot

VINEMONT - The Winfield Pirates overcame a slow start offensively and held off a late rally from the Vinemont Eagles in the second half for a 28-18 win on Friday, Oct. 2, at Vinemont. The win improved Winfield to 6-1 on the season and 4-0 in Class 3A, Region 6, and clinched a playoff berth in the process.

McKinney named to North Squad

LukeWINFIELD - Winfield senior Luke McKinney was added to the 61st Annual Alabama High School Athletic Association’s North-South All-Star Football Team on Thursday, April 2.
The 6’2, 275-pound defensive tackle will represent Winfield on the  North squad. The game is scheduled to be played on Thursday, July 16, 2020, at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

She Bears championship repeat hopes dashed after falling to Mars Hill Panthers

HANCEVILLE - The defending 1A state champion Phillips She Bears saw their season come to an abrupt end on Monday, Feb. 17, after suffering a 56-33 loss to the Mars Hill Lady Panthers in the championship game of the Class 1A Northwest Regional basketball tournament that was held at Wallace State Community College.
The She Bears advanced to the regional championship game after defeating the Decatur Heritage Lady Eagles 50-46 in the regional semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 13.

Pirates end seasons in regional semifinals

HANCEVILLE - Both Pirate basketball squads saw their respective seasons come to an end on Saturday, Feb. 15, after falling in the semifinal rounds of the Class 3A Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Northwest Regional basketball tournament.
Both Winfield City High School teams were defeated by basketball squads from Lauderdale County High School.
The Lady Pirates lost their matchup 47-32 while the Pirates suffered a 58-42 loss, ending their respective seasons.

Local teams end seasons in sub-regionals

MARION COUNTY - The Hamilton Lady Aggies, Marion County Lady Red Raiders and the Brilliant Tigers saw their seasons come to an end in their respective sub-regional games last week.
The Lady Aggies, who finished as  runner-up in the Class 5A, Area 14 basketball tournament, suffered a loss to Madison Academy in their sub-regional contest.
The Lady Red Raiders lost their sub-regional contest against the Decatur Heritage Christian Academy after finishing as runner-up in the Class 1A, Area 10 tournament.

Former MCHS lead man joining Ole Miss football coaching staff

GUIN - Former Marion County High School head football coach Doug Goodwin is joining Lane Kiffin’s coaching staff at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
Goodwin, who was the Red Raiders’ lead man from 1987-1992, is headed to Ole Miss to be a special teams analyst.
For the past six years, Goodwin has served on Gus Malzahn’s coaching staff at Auburn University, serving as an NFL liaison as well as handling the walk-on program and dealing with high school coaches.

Red Raiders fall short against Lions

Marion County’s Deuce Belk breaks through a tackle as he heads toward the end zone during the Red Raiders’ game against the Hubbertville Lions. Also shown is Red Raider Grant Beckon (65).

GUIN - The Marion County Red Raiders lost a heartbreaker against the Lions of Hubbertville High School 34-32 on Friday, Oct. 4.
 The Red Raiders took the lead late in the second quarter, but 14 unanswered points from the Lions allowed them to regain control of the game and build a lead late in the fourth quarter.

Jackson-to-Loving late pass gives Aggies comeback win

Hamilton’s Robert Johnson races down the sideline against Cordova as teammate Bryant Loving (7) blocks for him.

HAMILTON - After leading for most of the game, the scoreboard changed in visiting Cordova’s favor, 14-13, at the 4:48 mark of the fourth quarter.
The game had been a defensive struggle throughout, but homestanding Hamilton still had time and all the Aggies had to do was, find their way into the end zone--86 yards away.
Senior Aggie quarterback Jathan Jackson and his teammates went to work, sealing the victory with 55 seconds remaining in the game when Jackson connected with Bryant Loving from 10 yards out for the touchdown.

Pirates fall to Tigers 21-7

Winfield’s Logan Pollard (42) stretches to pick up more yardage as teammate Jake Farris (13) blocks for him against Fayette County.

WINFIELD - Winfield took an early lead, but could not hold, as Fayette County reeled off three unanswered touchdowns to defeat the Pirates 21-7 on Friday, Aug. 30, in Winfield.
The Pirates scored with 3:39 left in first quarter to take the 7-0 lead, but a steady running game and some timely passes pushed the Tigers over the top.
Winfield head coach David McKinney, disappointed with the loss and missed opportunities, spoke about them in an interview following the game.

Lynn opens season with win over Phillips

Phillips’ Hunter Lanford (21) races around the Lynn defender to get to the sideline in the Bears’ 12-point loss.

LYNN - The Lynn Bears used a stout defensive effort to secure a season-opening 26-14 win over Phillips High School.
Lynn put up the first score of the night and wouldn't trail for the remainder of the contest. Lynn found paydirt on its second drive of the night. After fielding a punt on their own 25, the Lynn Bears went to work on a 12-play drive that was capped by an 8-yard scamper by Brandon Hill around the right side. The two-point try was no good, leaving the score at 6-0 with just over four minutes left in the opening quarter.

Pirates defense holds off Lions late rally

Winfield quarterback Joseph Estes (19) leaps over a Haleyville defender to pick up extra yards in the Pirates’ 19-13 victory over the Lions.

HALEYVILLE - Winfield’s defense withstood a fourth-quarter rally and picked up a late touchdown run by Joseph Cox to seal a 19-13 season-opening win over the Haleyville Lions on Friday, Aug. 23, in Haleyville.
Leading 13-0 going into the fourth quarter, the Winfield Pirates’ defense found themselves on their heels as Haleyville scored on a four-yard run, and after a failed two-point conversion, Haleyville would tally on a 55-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 13-13 with 8:04 left in the game.

Red Raiders dominate for first win

Marion County quarterback Deuce Belk (2) stiff-arms a Vina defender. Belk amassed 200-plus rushing yards in the season-opening win.

GUIN - Marion County toppled Vina 41-12 behind a 288 rushing yards on Friday, Aug. 23.
"I thought we played hard," Red Raider head coach Kyle Williams said following the game. “We made several mistakes, but now we know what we need to work on.
"We had several guys make plays in different situations, so we are excited to se what the year has in store for us as a team."
Vina received the opening kickoff and the Red Raider defense forced a punt.