Some things to keep an eye on in 2007
Published 2:14 am Monday, January 8, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
With 2006 now in the books, there are some key items to keep an eye on in 2007.
Reclassification: If it is an odd-numbered year, it must be reclassification year in the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
For a lot of schools, it's not that big a deal because their enrollment has them firmly entrenched in their current class. For schools that are on the fence between classes like T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal, it's an announcement that could have a big impact on where and how well they will perform for the next two years.
Golf or no golf: Both T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal face the same question this spring and both could be headed in opposite directions.
T.R. Miller has had golf for several years, but the Tigers graduated all five of their players last year and there may not be enough interest within the school to field a team this year.
W.S. Neal has not fielded a team since 2004, but athletic director Blaine Hathcock said there has been “considerable interest” from students to restart the program.
Realigned Alabama Community College Conference south division in baseball: Jefferson Davis and south division carryovers Alabama Southern, L.B. Wallace, Faulkner State, Bishop State, Enterprise and Wallace State-Dothan have some new roommates after the league dissolved the central division.
The south division absorbed former central division members Southern Union, Chattahoochee Valley, Central Alabama and Wallace State-Selma.
The south may be getting the tougher end of that deal, as those teams finished first (Southern Union), third (Central Alabama), fourth (Chattahoochee Valley) and sixth (Wallace State-Selma). Southern Union figures to be the toughest addition, as it went 50-12 last year.
Murder Creek streaks: Last year the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles football team ended a 10-year losing streak against T.R. Miller.
The Blue Eagles will get a chance to end two more streaks this year. W.S. Neal has not beaten T.R. Miller at home since a 6-3 victory in 1985 and the Blue Eagles have not beaten the Tigers in back-to-back years since they reeled in three straight wins from 1970-72.
Escambia County Tournament hosts: This year will be W.S. Neal's turn to host the Escambia County boys and girls basketball tournaments. W.S. Neal hasn't hosted the event since 2003.
The baseball county tournament will move down the road to Atmore and Escambia County High School.
No announcement has been made as to which school will host the county volleyball tournament. While the basketball
and baseball tournaments are on a rotating basis between the four participants (Escambia County, Flomaton, T.R. Miller and Flomaton), the volleyball tournament has pretty much gone to whichever school wants it since it started up in 2005. T.R. Miller hosted the inaugural event, while Flomaton took it last year.