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Week ahead brings onset of fall sports for local high schools

Fall sports kick off in earnest this week, with football and volleyball teams across the county playing season openers.

First, here is the coming action for local volleyball teams:

Aug. 18

  • Belgreen hosts Shoals Christian
  • Phil Campbell hosts Tharptown/Russellville

Aug. 20

  • Belgreen hosts the Bulldog Bash
  • Phil Campbell and Red Bay will play in a tournament at Central, Florence

Aug. 22

  • Belgreen will travel to Marion County
  • Phil Campbell will host East Lawrence/Russellville
  • Red Bay will travel to Cherokee
  • Tharptown will host Mars Hill

Aug. 23

  • Phil Campbell will be at Cherokee
  • Tharptown will host Belgreen

In football Friday – Week Zero, according to the AHSAA – Red Bay and Tharptown will host season openers. Red Bay will host Hamilton, while Tharptown hosts Shoals Christian. Phil Campbell will travel to Hackleburg, and Russellville will travel to Grissom.

Here’s the breakdown:

Phil Campbell at Hackleburg

The Bobcats will open their season with the secondoldest rivalry and longest consecutive rivalry game in Franklin County when they travel to Hackleburg Aug. 19.

This game is usually in the middle or the end of the season, almost never at the beginning.

This series dates back to 1927. The two teams have played each other 86 times, with Hackleburg leading the series 49-36-1. The Bobcats and Panthers have played each other 73 straight years dating back to 1949, with the Panthers holding a slight edge in wins, 3835.

The Bobcats won this game this past year 31-8.

Red Bay hosts Hamilton

Red Bay will open the season Aug. 19 by hosting the Hamilton Aggies. This past year the two teams met on the field for the first time since 1983, with the Tigers losing 40-24. Red Bay is 1-18 historically against Hamilton. The one win was a COVID-19 forfeit.

Russellville at Grissom

The Russellville Golden Tigers will kick off the season Aug. 19 against a team they have never played before: the Grissom Tigers. The opposing Tigers are in the second year of Coach Rich Dutton’s tenure. This past year they finished the season 3-7 with wins over Lee-Huntsville, Austin and Hazel Green. Russellville will travel to Grissom.

Tharptown hosts Shoals Christian

The Wildcats open up at home Aug. 19 against the Shoals Christian Flame, a team THS beat this past year 22-6.  Tharptown is 5-8 against the Flame. This will be the head coaching debut for Tharptown’s Jacob Hamilton.