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SPORTS YEAR IN REVIEW – January-April

As 2017 approaches, it’s a great time to reflect and celebrate again the many athletic victories Franklin County experienced this year.

 

JANUARY

 

BHS grad signs with Southwest Tennessee

After recovering from an injury prohibiting her from playing college softball, Laken Bragwell is finally going to be able to play for Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Bragwell, an all around softball player, was scouted by Keith Gentry from the college. Gentry was looking for a pitcher and was told to check out Bragwell. He said he quickly realized that Bragwell was injured from the way she was pitching. Gentry offered Bragwell a spot on the team after her injury was healed.

“He called me, and I had been wanting to play in college. Then I just kind of fell in love with the school,” said Bragwell.

While playing for Belgreen High School, Bragwell was part of the team when BHS won the area championship.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Golden Tiger Deyon Hill signs with University of West Alabama

It was a feeling of brotherhood that reminded him of home that drew RHS Golden Tiger Deyon Hill to the University of West Alabama.

“It was just a family thing, kind of like we have here,” he said. “It just felt comfortable.”

Hill said UWA, in Livingston, has been recruiting him as a player for some time, and – surrounded by family, teammates and coaches – he signed on National Signing Day to play football there in the fall.

 

RBHS golf standout signs with Meridian Community College

Red Bay High School senior Isaiah Jackson signed a golf scholarship with Meridian Community College in Meridian, Miss., Friday. Meridian is the top-ranked Junior College golf program in the nation.

“I just want to thank God for the blessing he has given to me, which is being able to play the sport I love after high school,” said Jackson. “It’s been a great journey, not only for me, but my family and my golf instructors, Mickey Smith in Birmingham and Jim Lovett. I’m so thankful for the scholarship I have received to help pay for education. I’m super excited to get down there and play golf and start my college career. Getting a golf scholarship has been a goal of mine since the seventh grade.”

 

MARCH

 

Wildcat signs for softball

Haley Malone just started her senior softball season last week, but there is one thing she will not have to worry about – whether she will get a scholarship.

Malone signed a scholarship last week the day before the Tharptown Wildcats played their opening game.  Malone will play for the Southwest Lady Saluquis in Memphis, Tenn.

“I am so happy,” said Malone, who will join former teammate Autumn Sutter at Southwest next fall. “This is what I have worked so hard for and spent so many hours playing this game. I am so fortunate to get my education paid for and continue to play softball.”

 

RHS baseball coach receives memorial award

Coach Chris Heaps from Russellville High School received the Sammy Dunn Memorial Award for the Coach of the Year in the state of Alabama.

Every year the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association selects a coach out of the seven state champions to receive this award. Heaps received the award at the 21st Annual Coaches Convention Award Banquet. Dunn’s son, Cassey Dunn, presented the award to Heaps.

“I’m very honored; it means we accomplish great things as a team,” Heaps said. “To have my name mentioned in the same sentence as (Dunn’s) is such an honor. I’ve been around some great people, with some great talent … It’s all about the players and the assistant coaches. I’m just lucky enough to receive it.”

 

APRIL

 

Golden Tiger Austin Bohannon signs to play at Shelton State

RHS’ Austin Bohannon made a decision for his future last week and signed to play baseball for Shelton State at Tuscaloosa.

Bohannon, pitcher and first baseman for the Golden Tigers, sees playing for Shelton State and Coach Bobby Sprowl as a good stepping stone for a future SEC athletic career. “He’s a good coach, and he’s known for sending a lot of player to really good schools,” Bohannon said.

RHS Coach Chris Heaps said Bohannon shows a lot of promise. “We’re real excited for Austin. Austin has a lot of potential,” Heaps said. “He’s been a very good pitcher for us.”

 

Two RHS seniors to play in AHSAA North-South All-Star football game

Cameron DeArman was playing a golf match when he found out – and not playing well, by his own standards. “Coach Heaton told my dad in the middle of it,” he said, “and my dad told me, and I started playing great just because my mood changed. I was so shocked.”

The shockingly exciting news was his selection to the AHSAA North-South All-Star football game. Coach Mark Heaton got word that both DeArman and Austin Bohannon have been selected to participate.

Bohannon was actually signing to continue his baseball career at Shelton State when Heaton passed the news along to him.

“I’m not going to play college football, so this is my last game I’ll ever play,” Bohannon said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

 

RHS’ Cameron DeArman signs for football

Birmingham Southern College gained a Golden Tiger Monday.

Cameron DeArman signed a scholarship to continue his football career at Birmingham Southern, surrounded by family, teammates and coaches.

“I’m really happy to be moving on and being able to play the sport I love,” DeArman said. “I love the place – beautiful campus, great football coach.”

Coach Mark Heaton said he was proud of DeArman, not only for continuing his athletic career but also for choosing a school that is academically-challenging.

“It’s been an honor to have coached him the last two years,” Heaton said. “I think his work ethic and his commitment to what he does has gotten him where he is today.”

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