W.S. Neal coaches look back at contributions from Young, Godbolt
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
It was a week to mourn as well as remember the lives of Reshena Young and Chason Godbolt at W.S. Neal High School. Both seniors were killed in a car wreck in Florida on April 3.
Two individuals who spent considerable time with both were their respective coaches at the school.
Young was a two-year member of the Lady Blue Eagles volleyball program. W.S. Neal started the sport during her junior season.
This past season Young played outside hitter and was named her squad's most valuable player at the conclusion of the season.
"We played Reshena on the outside, but she had the skills to play just about anywhere on the court," W.S. Neal volleyball coach Kraig Rittenhouse said.
Rittenhouse said he will remember Young for her competitive spirit and leadership.
"It didn't matter what the situation was. Reshena wouldn't quit and she didn't like to come out of a game. I remember one incident where she hurt her knee and it started bleeding. She didn't want to come off the floor," Rittenhouse said. "Reshena was a good leader us. She would always take charge."
Godbolt was a wide receiver/defensive back on the Blue Eagles football squad that went 10-3 and reached the Class 3A state quarterfinals last season.
"Chason was such a fun person to be around. He was always smiling and he'd always try to do something to boost your spirits when you were down. His teammates really loved him. I'll miss him." W.S. Neal coach Shane Smothers said.
* * * * * * * * * *
One spot down, two more to go on W.S. Neal's football schedule for the 2004 season.
The Blue Eagles have signed a non-region home game against the Trinity Presbyterian Wildcats for the week five spot on September 24.
All Trinity Presbyterian did last season was go 15-0 and beat Deshler for the Class 4A state championship.
"It's obviously going to be a very difficult game. Trinity has an outstanding program," W.S. Neal coach/athleitc director Shane Smothers said.
Trinity Presbyterian is one of two defending state champions the Blue Eagles will face next season. W.S. Neal will travel to defending Class 3A state champ Pike County in week two on September 3 for a Region 1 game.
The Blue Eagles are still trying to fill non-region spots in week one and week 10.
"One good thing about the Trinity game is it is a home game. We are in desperate need of home games. The three non-region teams we lost off our schedule (Hillcrest, Escambia County and Geneva) were all scheduled to be home games this season," Smothers said. "We only had three home games for next season before we signed Trinity. Right now we're at four home and four away. The ideal thing would be to get it at five and five.
Last season W.S. Neal played four home games and six away games. All three of the Blue Eagles' non-region games were on the road last season.
The decision by Hillcrest to cancel the remainder of its softball season will give W.S. Neal two forfeit wins (last Tuesday and April 22).
However, that decision has taken two playing dates off what is already a limited playing schedule. The cancellation of Thursday's home game against Clarke County and the two Hillcrest games gives the Lady Blue Eagles just nine regular season playing dates.
It also gives W.S. Neal a 13-day gap until its next scheduled playing date on April 20 (at home against J.U. Blacksher).
"We're trying to reschedule the Clarke County home date as a doubleheader for this Saturday, but we're still trying to finalize that," Smothers said.
There is an Escambia County Tournament for baseball, an Escambia County Tournament for boys basketball and an Escambia County Tournament for girls basketball.
How about an Escambia Tournament for softball?
"It's fine by me. There was some talk about starting one a couple of years ago, but it fell through. Nobody has really brought up the idea since then," T.R. Miller athletic director and softball coach Jamie Riggs said.
Smothers is also in favor of the proposal.
"The four of us are all pretty close in distance and we currently don't have Flomaton and Escambia County on our schedule," Smothers said. "It would also give our girls a chance to get some tournament experience before they go into postseason play," Smothers said.
There you go. It's up to Flomaton and Escambia County now to make it happen.
College basketball's official signing period began last Thursday without any official activity at Jefferson Davis Community College.
"We've got a verbal commitment with one player, which I need to finish signing. It's going to be a busy offseason for us. We're looking at help for all five positions," Warhawks coach Allen Gainer said.
Due to graduation and other micellaneous reasons, JDCC expects to return only four players next season and only two of those four were active at the end of last season.
Guards Chris Owens and James Madison saw some minutes off the bench. Also back will be redshirt sophomore Jamal Carson and transfer Richard Ford. Carson missed all but one game this past season due to injury, while Ford transferred from a Texas college at Christmas and had to sit out the second semester.
"We're not going to have very many returning minutes back on our roster next year. It's going to be a key offseason for us," Gainer said.
JDCC sophomore Brandon Montgomery took
See BITS Page 7A
second place in Saturday's slam dunk competition at the Region 22 All-Star game.
Brewton resident Freddie McCall, Jr. held off a late charge from Danny Heaton to win the Hobby Feature Division at Flomaton Speedway Saturday.
It was the first win of the season for McCall, who also survived a clash with Ricky Haugen early in the race.
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor With the passing of each day, the completion of the R.T. Johnson Ball Park... read more