Count Em’ up, That’s 8 (and then some)
This is not meant to disrespect any other news outlet, but you missed one. Brooks High actually had claim to three team state championships this season. Baseball, Boys Golf, and Cheer. It’s okay though. We know what the Shoals has accomplished.
When you look back at the 2018-2019 athletic school year, cities that zip code starts with a 356 put on a show from start to finish. Mars Hill Football (led by HC Darrell Higgins) got things started with the school first football state championship just 5 years into the programs existence. The Panthers rode the Wing-T and a bunch of DAWGS past Linden in dominating fashion to the 1A football state championships. 53-26 and a number of google searches looking as follows: Who is Colt Smith? How do you stop the Wing T? Darrell Higgins Resume. Et al.
Following football season (to use a game of thrones reference) Winter came for the rest of the state. Brooks Cheer (led by HC Leigh Black) kept the blue maps coming. Brooks won the 4A traditional routing with an 88.85 score over North Jackson (87.45).
Not to be outdone by the orange and blue, the Rogers Lady Pirates won a blue map of the own. We knew preseason, that Rogers was going to be good. However, we did not know how good they were going to be. A group of young ladies in Greenhill Alabama (led by HC Blake Prestige) “shocked” the basketball world and brought the school more hardwood success than any of their predecessors. “Rogers has beaten Anniston 46-38 to win the 4A Girls Basketball State Championship. ”
The ownage did not stop in the winter. Spring brought about allergies and more winning. Golf got things started as the Muscle Shoals Boys (Led by HC Derrick Gargis) three-peated and the Brooks Lions (Led by HC Phillip Garrett) won their first team championship since 2000. Winning has become a habit for Trojan Golf and seems to be becoming one for the Lions.
Three teams from the Shoals brought state championships back from the diamond. Mars Hill baseball (led by HC Jay Mitchell) did what they do best, win. Boasting a team with many of the same guys we saw “ring grab” during football season, the Panthers were favorites to win the 1A state baseball championship from the get go; and they delivered. Mars Hill swept Brantley (and literally everyone else they played in the playoffs) 4-3 and 11-3. Starting just a couple days later, it was Brooks’ turn to bring out the brooms. The Lions (led by HC Jacob Fowler) rode good pitching and stellar defense to a 4-1/6-4 sweep of the Sipsey Valley Bears for the 4A Baseball State Championship. After numerous trips to Riverwalk, the Lions finally got their rings. As always, #Brooksby40.
The final Shoals team to take care of business was the Mars Hill Panthers softball team. Softball is a funny sport. Many times, one dominate pitcher can almost single handily bring your school diamond glory. For the first few games of the state tournament, that’s exactly what Riley Vaughn did. However, it was a total team effort in the final two games against Brantley. Falling 9-8 in game one, the Panthers(Led by HC Matt Burgess) rebounded to win the 1A State Softball Championship, 7-6.
What’s astonishing is that we had a number of individual state champions as well. Shoals Christian’s Lee Taylor Bishop is the reigning queen of 1A-3A number 1 singles girls tennis (6-0, 6-3.) Florence’s Isabel Mallette and Ruby Cunningham doubled up to win the 7A number 2 doubles state championship (6-1,6-1.)
In track, Brooks and Muscle Shoals ladies did very well. Olivia Whitehead won the 4A Girls Shot Put with a throw of 34-11. Jordan Tidwell won the 4A Girls Discus with a throw of 114-06. Nissi Clingan won the 4A Girls Javelin with a throw of 132. Muscle Shoals’ own Kaylie Wright win the 6A Girls Long Jump with a leap of 10 ft. 8 in.
Yup, it was quite a year for this little corner of Alabama. I could not be more proud to cover these athletes and revel in their successes. It’s going to be a hot summer, but what do you say we do this all again next year!
State Championship Tallies
Brooks- 3 Team (Cheer, Golf, Baseball) 3 Individual (Clingan, Tidwell, Whitehead)
Mars Hill- 3 Team (Football, Baseball, Softball)
Muscle Shoals-1 Team (Golf) 1 Individual (Wright)
Rogers-1 Team (Girls Basketball)
Florence-1 Individual (Cunningham & Mallette)
Shoals Christian 1 Individual (Bishop)