2002 in Review

Editor’s note: July through October was published in last week’s Reporter.

NOVEMBER

The Pelham Panthers will try to regroup following a 41-14 loss to No. 3-ranked Mountain Brook (10-0) last Friday night as they prepare for the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.

The Panthers accumulated 273 yards on the night – 133 on the ground and 140 in the air. Two Pelham quarterbacks combined for 5-of-16 passing with 3 interceptions.

With a pregame visit by former University of Alabama and Green Bay Packer quarterback Bart Starr, the Coosa Valley Academy Rebels of Harpersville and the Cornerstone Christian Chargers of Columbiana staged their first annual &uot;Cotton Cup&uot; football game last Friday night.

Following the initial excitement of the Starr visit, the visiting Rebels went on to win what proved to be an exciting contest 21-12 and to lay claim to the first Cotton Cup trophy.

The top rusher for CVA was Casey Hall, who gained 183 yards on 26 attempts and scored three touchdowns.

Vincent High School’s retiring athletic director Harold Garrett was honored last Friday night with the naming of the VHS football field in his honor. From here on, the field will be known as &uot;Garrett Field.&uot;

&uot;I don’t know what to say. It is a great honor. I’m very thankful. I guess it’s a testament to being able to hang around a long time. I just always tried to do what I was supposed to do,&uot; Garrett said.

Last Friday was actually Garrett’s last official day as an employee of the school and marked the end of a 28-year career at VHS.

The Calera Eagles fell 33-21 to an undefeated Isabella team last Friday night in Calera.

Isabella was ranked No. 5 in Class 1A coming into the contest.

The Eagles will now try to regroup heading into the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs.

Briarwood (9-1) defeated Valley 35-6 and will travel to St. Paul’s (7-4) of Mobile in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Tim Castille set another state record in the win &045; most yards receiving in a career with 4,042.

In Class 4A, the Chelsea Hornets (8-3) defeated the defending Class 3A champion Hokes Bluff 26-21 to advance to round two.

Emmett Sills ran wild in the Hornets’ win, rushing 33 times for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Shelby Academy, after a poor first half, put 20 points on the board in the second half en route to a 20-0 shutout of Lakeside Academy in round one of the Alabama Independent School Association playoffs.

Twin brothers Ryan and Andrew Elm accounted for all of the scoring for the Raiders. Ryan scored two touchdowns while Andrews scored one.

The Raiders (8-2) will travel to Jackson Academy (8-2) for the second round.

In Class 6A, Tuscaloosa County was too strong for the Pelham Panthers despite a stellar performance by Panther quarterback Chris Vines. Vines was 19-of-28 for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns.

The Panthers lost 40-18.

The Thompson Warriors came within six points of defeating the defending Class 5A state champion Benjamin Russell Wildcats, 35-29, last Friday night in the opening round of the playoffs.

Warrior quarterback Brett Rushing led Thompson throughout the game, but tailback Tony Bell was the difference-maker in the Warrior comeback. He entered in the second half and rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

After trailing 7-0 at the half, Cherokee County exploded for 31 points in the second half to eliminate the Shelby County Wildcats from the Class 4A playoffs 31-14 last Friday night.

The Wildcats end the season at 8-3.

The Calera Eagles fell in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs last Friday night to defending state champion Gordo, 48-22.

The Eagles end the season at 7-4 with a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

The Third-ranked Briarwood Lions (11-1), after falling behind 17-7 late in the second quarter, came from behind to beat St. Paul’s (7-5) and advance to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Junior defensive back and wide receiver Simeon Castille got redemption after being beat deep twice for two St. Paul’s scores in the first half.

The younger Castille scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:52 left in the game to send the Saints packing 24-17.

The end of the 2002 football season may not have come the way the Chelsea Hornets had hoped, a 14-0 loss at the hands of now 12-0 North Jackson High School on the road last Friday night.

But the second round state playoff appearance and 8-4 overall final record by Watt Parker’s squad marked a tremendous positive turnaround from a year ago when Chelsea was 0-10.

After scoring on their first two possessions, the Shelby Academy Raiders found the going tough on the road against Jackson Academy last Friday night, losing 28-12 in the second round of the AISA playoffs.

A Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament was held at Oak Mountain High School Nov. 13 featuring teams from Thompson, Oak Mountain, Shelby County, Jemison and Decatur high schools, as well as Thompson, Riverchase, Vincent, Columbiana and Vincent middle schools.

Coby Carden, a resident of Shelby, led wire-to-wire to win the Citgo Bassmaster Open Trail at Lake Martin in Alexander City. Carden caught a total weight of 36 pounds, 7 ounces during the 3-day event to claim the title.

He also caught the big fish on the first and second day &045; 5 pounds, 4 ounces on Thursday and 4 pounds, 9 ounces on Friday.

DECEMBER

Three turnovers spelled disaster for the Briarwood Christian Lions last Friday night as the Homewood Patriots exacted revenge to eliminate BCS from the Class 5A playoffs 35-25.

The Lions had delivered the Patriots’ only loss during the regular season in late October.

Briarwood threw two interceptions and fumbled once in the loss.

Briarwood senior and future Alabama Crimson Tider Tim Castille rushed 21 times for 121 yards and a 24-yard touchdown in the Lions’ loss.

Four Shelby County football players were recently named to the Alabama Independent School Association all-star team.

Casey Hall, a linebacker and running back at Coosa Valley Academy, was selected after rushing for 1300 yards and 16 touchdowns.

The senior also recorded more than 130 tackles for the Rebels.

Hall’s teammate Bryan Guy was selected as an alternate for the all-star team. Guy had 50 tackles and two sacks as a noseguard.

Shelby Academy senior Michael Childress made the AISA all-star team despite missing three games with an injured knee. Childress managed to compile 495 yards and four touchdowns on 71 carries for the Raiders.

He also recorded 61 tackles (41 solo, 16 assists).

Micah Whitson will represent Cornerstone Christian School on the AISA all-star team. The senior offensive guard also played basketball and baseball for the Chargers.

Whitson and the other selected players will compete in an all-star game Dec. 6 at Shug Jordan Memorial Stadium in Selma.

The Montevallo High School Bulldog basketball squad swept a three-game series of county rivalries last week, knocking off Pelham, Shelby County, and Vincent to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Led by junior Anthony Purnell’s 22 points and 11 rebounds per game, the ‘Dogs are off to a solid start with five wins over five quality opponents.

Micah Whitson, a senior at Cornerstone Christian School, has been named as a 2003 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, one of only 16,000 students across the nation to be so recognized.

As a semifinalist, he is competing for one of 8,000 Merit Scholarships to be awarded this year.

At Cornerstone, Whitson participates in football, basketball and baseball