Mr. Sports: Football!

The football season is now officially upon us and will saturate our lives for the next six months. Ready or not, here it comes.

Professional teams hit their practice fields last month, while college teams did the same last week. Now, high school teams are strapping on their pads and knocking heads in preparation for the 2012 season, which officially has its games beginning Aug. 30.

For Bob Jones, the Class 6A Patriots will be coming off its greatest season ever, which included a second round playoff appearance, and the notion there is now the “other team” in town. Bob Jones is not the only game in town any longer.

The new kid on the block is James Clemens High, which will start up its first season in Class 6A. Carrying a school nickname of the Jets, Clemens will play at the large classification and will have a schedule that includes Johnson, Sparkman, Buckhorn, East Limestone, Florence, Austin, Hazel Green and Bob Jones. The new cross-town rival game against the Patriots is set for Sept. 7 at the Madison City Schools Stadium.

Meanwhile, nearby Madison Academy remains in 4A while Pope John Paul II takes the steps to be included in 4A action, as well. The Falcons will play in Region 7. Under the leadership of longtime coach Rick Daniel, the Catholic school is making the move into the play under the Alabama High School Athletic Association for the first time. The school will utilize Discovery Middle School as its home playing field.

Rick is an old friend of mine as I once played for his father, the late Abe Daniel, as a youngster and was a pallbearer at his father’s funeral many years ago. Rick has lots of coaching experience, including head coach status, and is a great leader of young athletes.

Another local private school that has Madison student/athletes on its roster is West Minster. That program is moving up to 3A this season and will tangle with Catholic High in the two schools’ season opener

Huntsville Quarterback Club

The 2012 season for the Huntsville Quarterback Club is set to begin Aug. 28 with former Clemson head football coach Danny Ford as guest speaker. The club meets at The Ledges with social hour beginning at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. with guest speaker immediately following.

The entire season schedule is yet to be released, but some of the highlights for the upcoming schedule include UNA football coach Bobby Wallace on Sept. 11, former Georgia head football coach Vince Dooley on Oct. 2, former SEC basketball coaches and current sports talk radio hosts Wimp Sanderson and Sonny Smith on Nov. 13 and a special Ladies Night in Oct.

Membership for this long standing organization is $350. Guests’ fee attending with a member is $40 per meeting. Additional information is available on the club’s website at

Hunter Morris MP- Again!

Hunter Morris, former Grissom High and Auburn University standout and current starting first baseman for the Huntsville Stars, has won his second consecutive Southern League Player of the Month Award. The left handed hitting slugger was named the MVP of the league for the month of July after he batted .340 with 36 hits, 20 of which were for extra bases with eight doubles and 10 home runs. He had 25 RBIs for the 28-game schedule for the month.

Going into this week’s play, Morris leads the Southern League in four categories including extra base hits (60), total bases (229), slugging percentage (.563) and doubles (36). He has 20 home runs on the 2012 season.

Morris is one of the brightest stars in minor league baseball and is certainly the brightest Star the team has had in some time. It makes it even more special for Hunter to be native of Huntsville and seeing his family out at the stadium watching him play.

Again, I urge you to attend a Stars game. It is great family entertainment.

Milton Frank Stadium continues to see improvements with new dressing and equipment rooms being installed. To go along with the artificial turf playing field, which was installed a few years ago, Milton Frank Stadium is again becoming one of the premier football stadiums in the area.

I attended numerous games in the old stadium through the years and even saw some rock concerts there many years ago. Matter of fact, the stadium is a perfect venue for outdoor concerts as it has plenty of parking and seating. I wish some promoters would realize what has been in that historic facility and how it could be best used for outdoor concerts.

By Bob Labbe