LaFayette girls track and field places second at State Meet

For the second straight season the LHS girls track and field team finished second in Class 2A. The team is, in front, from left, Nakia Blunt, Bianca Walker, Tanyka Huguley, Bertice Williams, Tyanna Askew and Kayla Watts. In back, from left, are Coach Corey Thornton, Ebony Fields, D’Essence Boyd, Laporche Shaver and Coach Don Turner. Not pictured are Daylan Wright, Skylar Hardnett and Shantaua Foster.

For the second straight season the LHS girls track and field team finished second in Class 2A. The team is, in front, from left, Nakia Blunt, Bianca Walker, Tanyka Huguley, Bertice Williams, Tyanna Askew and Kayla Watts. In back, from left, are Coach Corey Thornton, Ebony Fields, D’Essence Boyd, Laporche Shaver and Coach Don Turner. Not pictured are Daylan Wright, Skylar Hardnett and Shantaua Foster.

For the second consecutive season the LaFayette High girls track and field team has finished as runner-up in Class 2A. The Lady Bulldogs competed in the AHSAA State Meet this past weekend in Selma and equaled a school-best second place overall finish.

LaFayette fought hard throughout the two-day meet but couldn’t overcome a strong Montgomery Academy team to earn the state title. MA finished with a total of 148 points, while LaFayette totaled 90 points. Altamont High School finished in third place with 59 points.

“They definitely wanted it,” LHS Coach Don Turner. “It’s something they’ve talked about all year, but they came up just a little short. But to finish in second place for the second straight season is a big compliment to these girls.”

At the meet, the Lady Bulldogs totaled 14 top-five finishes and had seven podium finishes. They captured five silver medals and two bronze.

LaFayette had a number of outstanding individual performances over the weekend. Perhaps the most impressive came from Tyanna Askew, who picked up four medals, all silver. In the 100m dash, she just missed the gold, finishing two-tenths of a second behind the eventual winner. Askew also came up just short in the high jump. She cleared the 4’10” mark as did eventual winner Rachel Faucett of Pleasant Valley, but Askew was awarded second because she missed an earlier attempt. Her final individual silver medal came in the long jump where she had a mark of 16’5.75”.

Askew also got a silver medal as part of the 4x100m relay team along with Shantaua Foster, Bianca Walker and Bertice Williams.

Tanyka Huguley had a breakout performance for LHS, earning two medals in field events. She earned silver in the discus throw, missing the gold by just one inch. Huguley also earned the bronze medal in the shot put with a mark of 31’3.25”.

In addition to her silver medal with the relay team, Walker earned the bronze in the 100m hurdles with a time of 17.62 seconds.

Foster had two top-five finishes over the weekend; she was fifth in the 100m dash and long jump. Skylar Hardnett also had a pair of strong showings, placing fourth in both the long jump and in the 300m hurdles.

D’Essence Boyd earned points in three events for LHS. She was fourth in the javelin and discus throw and was sixth in the shot put. Sectional winner Nakia Blunt earned a fifth place finish in the shot put. LaFayette also got points from Kayla Watts, who placed sixth in the triple jump.

Despite coming up a little short this year, the future is bright for the LHS girls. They will lose just four seniors to graduation and have a wealth of upcoming talent. Turner and his athletes have good reason to believe that 2015 could be the Lady Bulldogs’ year to reach the top of the mountain.

 

May 7, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Still to attend Huntingdon for basketball

Chambers Academy senior Deven Still has chosen to continue her basketball career at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Still lettered for the Rebels in basketball, softball, volleyball and cheerleading, and has earned numerous honors in her time at CA. She will join Coach Buzz Phillips and the Lady Hawks basketball program this fall. A ceremony was held at Chambers last week in honor of Still. Pictured in front, from left, are grandmother Jan Still, Deven, mother Jenny Dukes. In back, from left, are grandfather Jerry Still, CA Athletic Director Jason Allen, former CA headmaster and basketball coach Jim Childers and former CA athletic director and basketball coach Don McGinty.

Chambers Academy senior Deven Still has chosen to continue her basketball career at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Still lettered for the Rebels in basketball, softball, volleyball and cheerleading, and has earned numerous honors in her time at CA. She will join Coach Buzz Phillips and the Lady Hawks basketball program this fall. A ceremony was held at Chambers last week in honor of Still. Pictured in front, from left, are grandmother Jan Still, Deven and mother Jenny Dukes. In back, from left, are grandfather Jerry Still, CA Athletic Director Jason Allen, former CA headmaster and basketball coach Jim Childers and former CA athletic director and basketball coach Don McGinty.

LaFayette track teams dominant at Sectional Meet

LaFayette once again proved that their track and field program is one of the top in the state after a dominant performance in the Class 2A Section 2 meet this past weekend.

The Bulldogs took home both girls and boys team titles at sectionals and will once again be favorites to compete for the state title this week. The two LHS teams earned a total of 14 wins and an impressive 42 top-three finishes.

One of Tyric Davis' three first place finishes came in the high jump. He also won the 800m dash and was part of the winning 4x400m relay team.

One of Tyric Davis’ three first place finishes came in the high jump. He also won the 800m dash and was part of the winning 4x400m relay team.

The Bulldog girls won the sectional championship for the fourth consecutive year, besting second place Lanett with a total of 203 points. The Panthers finished with 129.5 points. LaFayette had seven wins, 19 top-three and 27 top-five finishes.

The LaFayette boys outlasted second place Lanett with a total of 220 points compared to 186 for the Panthers. They racked up seven wins, 23 top-three and 31 top-five finishes.

The Bulldog girls had several strong showing in track events, but they were dominant in the field events, winning in the high jump, shot put, discus throw, and javelin throw. The trio of Nakia Blunt, Tanyka Huguley and D’Essence Boyd were especially impressive. Blunt took home the top spot in the shot put, and earned second place in both the discus and javelin. Boyd earned first in the javelin, was third in the discus and fourth in the shot put. Huguley completed a podium sweep for LHS in the discus by earning the win; she also placed fifth in the shot put.

Tyanna Askew had an outstanding meet, taking home three gold medals. She won two individual events and was part of LaFayette’s 4x100m relay win. Askew beat out her teammates to get two wins. She topped Shantaua Foster by .01 seconds to earn the gold in the 100m dash and bested Skylar Hardnett to win the high jump. She also placed second in the long jump.

Despite coming up short in the 100m dash, Foster got her gold by winning the 200m dash.

Foster and Askew, along with Bianca Walker and Bertice Williams, absolutely dominated the competition to win the 4x100m relay. They finished nearly a second and a half ahead of second place Lanett.

Bianca Walker (right) hands the baton off to anchor Bertice Williams in the 4x100m relay. The LHS girls easily won the relay, besting second place Lanett by nearly a second and a half.

Bianca Walker (right) hands the baton off to anchor Bertice Williams in the 4x100m relay. The LHS girls easily won the relay, besting second place Lanett by nearly a second and a half.

Hardnett didn’t get a win at the meet, but she was all over the leader boards. Along with second in the high jump, she was third in both the 100m and 300m hurdles. She was also part of the second place 4x400m relay team, along with Ebony Fields, Walker and Daylan Wright.

Kayla Watts had a standout performance with several impressive events. She earned second place in both the 300m hurdles and triple jump; she was fourth in the 400m dash. Walker had solid efforts throughout the weekend as well. She placed second in the 100m hurdles and fifth in the 300m hurdles.

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April 30, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

LaFayette softball gets first win of the season

The LaFayette High School Lady Bulldogs softball team accomplished a major goal last week. The team picked up their first win in four years, handily defeating Loachapoka 21-9. The Thursday win moved the girls to 1-5 on the season with just two games remaining.

The week wasn’t all great for LaFayette as they dropped both games of a doubleheader to Wadley on Tuesday. LHS was defeated by a score of 15-0 in both games.

It was a different story on Thursday. LaFayette had fallen to Loachapoka by a score of 19-1 in their first meeting earlier in the season, so their win was evidence as to how much they have improved over the season.

“I’m very proud of the way the girls played,” LaFayette coach Steven Miller said.

Pitcher Tamara Lyons was outstanding and she picked up her first ever high school win. Lyons tossed all five innings, striking out five batters and allowing seven hits. The LaFayette defense showed big improvement, committing just three errors and totaling 10 putouts.

On offense, Adriana Baker led the way for the Lady Bulldogs. She finished 4-for-4 with three RBI’s. Raven Vaughn finished 2-for-3 with an inside-the-park homerun and three RBI’s.

Lyons helped her own cause by totaling three hits in the win, while Kenya Gooden, Nykeria Barnes and Nakia Blunt each had two hits. Keiya Baker, Raven Floyd and Alexis Harris each had hits as well.

The final two games for the Lady Bulldogs are both area contests. They were scheduled to play Randolph County on the road on Tuesday, but no results from that game were available at press time. They will close out the regular season on April 29 when they travel to Horseshoe Bend.

April 16, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Holloway tosses no hitter against Loachapoka

LaFayette pitcher Kentrel Holloway threw a no hitter last week against Loachapoka.

LaFayette pitcher Kentrel Holloway threw a no hitter last week against Loachapoka.

LaFayette High School evened their record at 3-3 on the season after defeating Loachapoka at home on Thursday afternoon. Along with a solid offensive performance, the Bulldogs relied on the arm of Kentrel Holloway, who tossed his first high school no hitter against the Indians.

Holloway was simply dominant in the Bulldogs’ 13-1 win. He struck out 14 of the 15 batters he faced. The only baserunners Loachapoka had came on a fielding error and after a past ball on a strikeout in the top of the third inning. The Indians scored a run and actually led for a while.

In the bottom of the third, LaFayette’s offense finally caught fire and they scored all 13 of their runs. It was much more that Holloway needed, as he struck out the final six batters before the game was called in the fifth.

The Bulldogs totaled nine hits in the game, led by Malik Kyles performance that included two hits, two runs and an RBI. Quinton Ray had two RBI’s, scored twice and was 1-for-1 with two walks. Jemmerio Harrington drove in two runs, had one hit and scored once. Holloway scored twice and was 1-for-2 and Traco Heard was 1-for-2 with an RBI and run scored. Antoine Smith, LeCharles Turner and Deontavious Pittman each had hits as well.

LaFayette doesn’t have any games scheduled this week and is off for spring break next week, so their next game isn’t until April 9 when they travel to Horseshoe Bend for a very important region game. They will end the regular season on April 11 when they travel to Randolph County for a doubleheader. Both games against Randolph County will count toward the region standings and will likely determine if the Bulldogs make the playoffs.

March 26, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

LaFayette track and field opens 2014 season

LaFayette High’s track and field teams have gotten the season off to another strong start. They participated in the Smith Station Panther Relays on March 8 and took part in the Beauregard Relays this past weekend. 2013 was a banner year for the LHS track program, with the boys winning the school’s first ever state championship in track and field, and the girls finishing runner-up in Class 2A. With a lot of new faces this year, the Bulldogs are looking to continue to build on that success.

In the Beauregard Relays, the LHS girls finished in second place overall with 85 points. Host Beauregard placed first with 128 points. The boys totaled 74.50 points and placed fifth. They finished just behind fourth place Benjamin Russell (76 points) and third place Tallassee (79 points). Dadeville placed second with 102 points and Beauregard won the meet with 104.5 points.

Overall, the LHS girls totaled 14 top-five finishes through 13 scored events. They had eight top-threes and one win. The Bulldog boys won two events, had seven top-threes and 12 top-fives through 15 scored events.

The LaFayette girls teams had a lot of success in relays at the meet. The team placed second in four events, the 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay, 4x400m relay and 800m-sprint medley.

Tyanna Askew had an outstanding individual meet as well. She scored the team’s only win in the high jump and also placed third in the long jump.

The LHS boys also had success in the relays at the meet. The team of Kinjiro Brown, Maurice Foster, Wilvoski Pitts and Lamartrez Story won the 4x200m relay. LHS finished third in the 4x100m relay and the 4x400m team and 800m-sprint medley teams also earned third place finishes.

Brendan Tucker got the only individual win for the Bulldogs, taking first place in the 110m hurdles. Maurice Foster also had a strong individual meet, placing second in the long jump and third in the triple jump.

In the Smiths Station Relays, the LHS girls placed seventh overall with 33 points, while the boys were sixth with 39 points. Smiths Station placed first overall in the girl’s events with 107 points while Auburn High was first in the boys with 147 points.

Nakia Blunt scored a third place finish in the shot put at Smiths Station, Askew placed third in the high jump and the girls 4x200m relay team placed third as well.

LaFayette’s next scheduled meet is the Beauregard Speed Meet on April 3.

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

March 19, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Chambers softball picks up three wins

After a slow start to the season, the Chambers Lady Rebels’ softball team has gotten hot. They picked up their third win in a row by defeating Meadowview on Saturday and are now 3-2 heading into a very important week on the diamond.

Chambers started the week with a win over Abbeville on Monday and their second win of the season came on Thursday against Cornerstone, a team that has won six of the last seven Class 1A state championships. CA coach Matt Smith called it a “signature” win for the Rebels.

The victory didn’t come easy, though, as Chambers jumped out to a big lead, then lost it and finally got it back late in the game.

The Rebels led 19-18 heading to the seventh inning, but the Chargers tied it in the top of the inning. Chambers still had one last rally in their bag. With two outs and runners on second and third in the bottom of the seventh, senior Deven Still beat out a grounder to shortstop allowing McKensie Barnes to score the winning run in a 20-19 game.

“I’m really proud of how the ladies competed,” Smith said. “It can be tough mentally on a team when you surrender such a large lead but I kept telling the girls inning after inning that this was our kind of game and that we would find a way to win it in the end.”

The Rebels totaled 16 hits in the game, led by Tori Harmon who finished 3-for-4 with four RBI’s and four runs.

The girls kept the momentum going on Saturday when they defeated a good Meadowview team 6-4. CA totaled 10 hits in the game and Bre’Anna Hand once again went the distance on the mound to get the win.

“I was really proud of this victory on a number of different levels,” Smith said. “First off, we finished the week going 3-0. Secondly, we were playing a very strong Meadowview team that looks to be a contender in the west side of 1A without two of our key players Heather Blackburn and Nacole Adams. Finally, after winning our first two in last-to-hit wins fashion, I was really happy to see us come out and play strong defense and receive an excellent pitching performance from Bre’Anna Hand.”

The girls will host rival Springwood here in LaFayette on Thursday in the two teams’ first meeting of the year. That will be the Lady Rebels’ last game before their spring break. They are next scheduled to play Cornerstone on April 1 on the road.

*For full story, see this week’s edition of The Sun.

Three CA athletes earn All-State honors

Three Chambers Academy basketball players were selected as part of the annual Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State basketball team, which was announced over the weekend.

The AISA Class A boys state champion Rebels had two players named All-State. Senior point guard Quadarius Tinsley earned second team honors, and senior forward Demetrius Lemon was selected as an honorable mention. Tinsley helped lead the Rebels to their first ever basketball title by averaged 18.6 points per game, along with 7.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Tinsley’s buzzer beating three-pointer also gave CA the win over Marengo in the state title game and he was named the AISA Class 1A Final Four MVP.

Lemon was a dominant force under the basket all year for CA. He finished the year averaging 13.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team, even though he played the state championship game with a separated shoulder. Both Tinsley and Lemon were named to the AISA All-Star team as well.

For the Lady Rebels, senior forward Deven Still was named second team All-State. Still led CA in both points and rebounds, averaging 16.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, and leading the team to the Elite Eight. She was also named an AISA All-Star.

Chambers baseball and softball teams get first wins

Chambers Academy’s baseball and softball teams have picked up their first wins over the past week. The Lady Rebels defeated South Montgomery County Academy on Monday and are now 1-2 on the season. The Rebels baseball team defeated Lyman Ward last week for their first win and are 1-4 this season.

The Lady Rebels’ game against SMCA was a wild one that that ended with a 20-19 CA win.

The Raiders jumped on top with five runs in the first inning, but the Lady Rebels responded with three in the bottom of the inning. SMCA extended their lead to 7-3 in the second, but with two outs in the bottom of the second, CA scored seven runs to take their first lead.

Chambers added another run in the third inning, but the Raiders cut their deficit to one after three runs in the top of the fourth. Chambers would go on to score two in the bottom of the inning. By the end of the fifth inning, CA’s lead was 16-11.

After holding the Raiders scoreless in the top of the sixth, the Rebels added four more runs in the bottom frame to take a 20-11 lead to the seventh.

But the Raiders had one last chance and they made the most of it. They scored eight runs and had a runner on second with two outs. But Still made a game saving catch at the centerfield wall to preserve the CA win.

“I was really proud of how the Lady Rebels competed,” CA coach Matt Smith said. “We could have very easily just mailed it in after a far too familiar first inning, but instead we got up on our feet and hit SMCA back inning after inning. We had several players really step up and make some big plays both in the field and at the plate.”

Hand went the distance on the mound to earn the win. At the plate, the Lady Rebels were led by Barnes, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs. Adams was 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs and Blackburn was 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs. McKensie Barnes was 3-for-3 with three RBI and three runs and Hand had a hit and two RBI. Stewart had two hits and an RBI, and Slay had two hits and a run.

In the baseball win, the Rebels blasted past Lyman Ward 12-1 on Tuesday of last week. The Rangers had defeated Chambers just five days earlier 5-4.

Chambers got a masterful pitching performance by senior Zac Slay, who tossed five innings and allowed just one hit and struck out five.

The CA offense gave Slay a nice confidence boost after jumping on top with two runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a Lane Hodges two-run single. The Rangers scored one run in the bottom of the inning, but that was all they managed. The Rebels scored four more in the third inning and then five in the fourth. They sealed the deal with one more run in the fifth, and the game was called after the bottom half of the inning.

Dylan Moncus finished 3-for-4 in the game and Hodges had two hits. Slay and Corey Richardson each had big hits in the win and Kason Shaver scored three times.

March 12, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Lucas hired as new LaFayette head coach, AD

After a month of waiting, LaFayette High School finally has a new head football coach and athletic director. On Wednesday of last week, the Chambers County Board of Education unanimously chose James Lucas as he next leader of the Bulldogs.

Lucas has served as the head coach at Notasulga High School for four years since 2010. He had an overall 23-21 record with the Blue Devils and has a 1-3 record in the playoffs. Notasulga had gone 4-35 in the four seasons before Lucas’ arrival.

Lucas compiled a 19-9 region record, and led Notasulga to a region title in 2012, their first since 2001. He made the playoffs in three of his four seasons leading the Blue Devils.

Prior to accepting the Notasulga head coaching job, Lucas briefly served as interim head coach in 2010 at the school before permanently replacing the departing Roland Bell. The previous two years, he was the defensive coordinator on Bell’s staff. Lucas got his start in the coaching ranks as an assistant at Booker T. Washington, and he was a volunteer offensive line coach at Notasulga from 2004-08.

Lucas is a graduate of Billingsley High School and Troy University. He was a running back on Troy’s Division II national championship team in 1987. Before beginning his career in the education field, Lucas worked as operations manager at Waste Management Inc.

In addition to his duties on the football field, Lucas coached boys and girls track and field at Notasulga. He is a well respected member of the community and in 2013 was one of six individuals in the state selected by the Alabama High School Athletic Association and Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association for their Making A Difference Award. The award is given to a coach who goes beyond what is expected in teaching his athletes sportsmanship, leadership and personal growth skills only found on the playing courts and fields.

Lucas will take over a LaFayette program that finished with just two wins last season. He will replace Dialleo Burks, who announced he was leaving LHS in December after just one season to return to his alma mater LaGrange High School as the head coach. Lucas will be the Bulldogs third coach in three seasons. Former head coach Steve Coker was the last to lead the Bulldogs to a playoff berth in 2011.

“I want the opportunity to be able to restore the pride of football back to LaFayette,” Lucas said. “I felt that with the talent that they have and the type of community background and help and support system, it will be a good place to try to restore the tradition of football there.”

Lucas was selected out of a field of approximately 20 candidates for the job, according to Chambers County Schools Superintendent Kelli Hodge. He had applied last year and was one of two finalists for the job that ultimately went to Burks. Hodge said she was grateful that Lucas applied again this year.

Lucas will officially begin his duties at LaFayette on March 10, which, in addition to coaching and his role as athletic director, will include teaching yet-to-be-determined classes.

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

March 5, 2014 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

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