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Russellville coaches lead All Star teams

By Brannon King / For the FCT

The 2018 All Star Sports Week recently took place in Montgomery, and a couple of Russellville High School head coaches were on hand to play key parts in the annual event.

RHS baseball coach Chris Heaps was named as a coach for the North baseball team, and fellow Golden Tiger Trey Stanford was a coach for the North girls’ soccer squad.

The North took one of two games from the South in baseball, while the North girls won the soccer match over the South.

After having the opportunity to speak at the baseball coaching clinic, Heaps made his way over to Riverwalk Stadium – familiar territory for the successful leader of the Russellville baseball program. Almost exactly two months after taking the Golden Tigers to their fourth-straight appearance in the 5A state championship series held each year at Riverwalk, Heaps teamed this time with Corner’s Josh Hoyle as the duo to lead the North All Stars.

In game one of the baseball double-header, the South scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 3-2 win. The South team took a 2-0 first inning lead before the North evened the score in the third. South pitchers held the North to only two hits, with Phillip Edwards and JD Tittle getting the North RBIs.

Jake Holifield had a hit and an RBI for the South squad, and the winning pitcher was Matthew Snell. Jackson Kimbrell started the game on the mound for the North, and Grayson Bray got the loss.

Baseball game two went the way of the North by a 6-2 score. The winning team outhit the opponent by a 6-3 margin, and six North batters had hits. Cade Abernathy scored twice for the North, and Zac Durham had two RBIs.

The North squad starting pitcher was Grayson Bray, and Jake Holifield got the start for the South. John Turner worked two innings and got the win, and Garrett McMillan pitched the final two frames for the save.

Holifield, of St. Paul’s in Mobile, took the loss but was named MVP of the South, while Deshler’s Mason McCormack was North MVP.

“It was good,” Heaps said of the experience. “We had kids from every district across the state, and we had kids from every classification from 1A to 7A. Every pitcher that we threw out there was 85 and above, and there was a lot of really good talent.”

Across town at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex, Stanford was also representing RHS well.

This was the second consecutive year for the Russellville boys and girls head coach to be involved with coaching the North. In 2017 Stanford was on the boys’ team staff, and this year, he was alongside Clif Naron of Helena for a 2-0 win in the girls’ game.

“It’s always an honor to get to go there and coach in the game. We haven’t had the chance to get any kids to make it yet, but we’re getting there,” Stanford said.

The match was tied at the half with both teams playing well on the defensive end. The first goal of the contest came early in the second half when Lexie Duca of Chelsea scored with an assist from Madison Academy’s Emery Mills. Mills later scored the game’s second goal and ended up being named North MVP.

Sarah Adair of Mountain Brook split time with Tanner’s Brianna Burroughs as North goal keepers, while South MVP Adriana Wright of Northview was her team’s goal keeper.

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