If WSN and TRM schools combined…Published 9:51am Friday, February 22, 2013
I am sure most of you have heard by now the rumors going around in East Brewton about a meeting to combine the East Brewton Police Department and the Brewton Police Departments.
While these are just rumors, it is uncertain if this will happen.
These rumors got me to thinking about what would happen if the two towns combined into one—which could mean that there would be one school.
As of the last AHSAA reclassification numbers, W.S. Neal had a total of 292.70 students, which ranked as the 16th biggest 3A school out of 67 total. T.R. Miller’s count was 256.15, which put them as the 40th biggest school.
If the two schools were combined, their count would be 548.85. This count would put the combined T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal as the 32nd biggest 5A school out of the current 65.
Current 5A schools that are close to Brewton and East Brewton are: Spanish Fort, LeFlore, Gulf Shores, Williamson, Vigor, Faith Academy, B.C. Rain and Saint Paul’s in region one. In region two is Russell County, Benjamin Russell, Valley, Carroll, Eufaula, B.T. Washington, Rehobeth and Marbury.
In region 3—which is the region I think we would fall in—consists of Selma, Citronelle, Sumter Count, Demopolis, Satsuma, Saraland, Greenville and Jackson.
In the recent years, two rivals—Clay County and Lineville—merged into one school. The new school was called Central of Clay County and the mascot was the Volunteers. How unique! No more Panthers (Clay County) and Aggies (Lineville), just Volunteers.
According to a story in the Anniston Star newspaper, starting in 1922, Clay County and Lineville built one of the state’s top rivalries. It grew to draw coverage from statewide media and was easily the biggest annual happening in the county.
Lineville won 54 games to Clay County’s 43, but Clay County won the emotional series finale on the very same field where Clay-Central now practices.
I recently did a story about youth sports in the area and I talked to Babe Ruth president David Jennings. He talked about the 2001 season when the Brewton and East Brewton Babe Ruth league’s combined.
“We did have a transition during the 2001 season on the Babe Ruth level when we merged the Brewton and East Brewton leagues together,” he said. “We did that for a couple of reasons. One was a numbers standpoint so we were not playing the same teams over and over again. Also, we wanted to do it for a competitive reason. We would go to these all-star tournaments and, for example, you had South Monroe who would pull teams from Excel, Frisco City and Uriah and do it as a single entity. We had a hard time competing in those days. Of the three tournaments held each year—13s, 14s, and 15s—we would win one every seven or eight years. Since the merger, I would say we win it once in every year in every league. One year, Joey Shell was my counterpart in East Brewton and he and myself and Doug Agerton kind of headed that thing up. It was a slippery slope somewhat. The Battle of Murder Creek kinds of showed its head a little bit there. You kind of expected that, but once we got through that first year, I think people from both leagues agreed it was for the best.”
If the two schools combined—and this even goes for the police departments and towns, which would have to happen first before the schools combined—I am sure you would have your opposition and the Battle of Murder Creek would rear its head. But I think it would all be for the better.
Just think of how good the teams are now and how much better they would be if they were together.
Sure, there would no longer be the Battle of Murder Creek rivalry game, but we could find someone else to rival against.
Sure, there are several things that would have to be worked out—where would the school be built? Would it be a city school or county school? The name?
I don’t know the first two answers to those questions, but I have an idea on the name of the school?
Remember back in 2010 when the two schools lost their principals in a matter of months? Remember the outpouring of love that was shared to each other from both school’s and communities? How about naming the school after Mr. Ellis and Coach Rotch?
While we are still years away from this ever happening, if it even does happen, this was just something to look at today of what it would be like if it did—don’t throw any stones at me.
W.S. Neal fans, continue to wear your blue and gold and T.R. Miller fans wear your red, white and black.
Get out and support your favorite school, team and player. Just one day, possibly, we all might be cheering for the same team.
Until then, have a great Friday and a great weekend and until we meet again here or out in the world of sports, God bless.