Mr. Sports: History made for James Clemens Swim Team

By Bob Labbe

At approximately 7 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, a piece of athletic history at James Clemens High was made.

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Annabel King became the first individual to win an event for the Jets’ swim team and she qualified for the State Meet. Within two hours of King’s historic performance, teammate Andrea Shea swam to a victory in his event and also qualified for the State Meet.

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The Jets are competing with the top swim programs in North Alabama in this, the first ever season for the new high school. To kick off the regular season, James Clemens hosted its own individual swim meet at Dublin Memorial Park. Both Jets’ programs finished second to Bob Jones in team competition with Scottsboro, Sparkman, Grissom, Madison Academy, Hartselle and Hazel Green rounding out the remainder of the teams which competed.

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For James Clemens, under the direction of head coach Kate Wade, the program started off on a good foot with the eighth grade students, King and Shea, winning the school’s first events. King won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke events, while Shea was a winner in the 100-yard backstroke.
The Jets also provided several second and third places finishes to help propel the teams to second place finishes.

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Meanwhile, Bob Jones took top teams honors with the assistance of sophomore Zach Harting, who won two individual races and was part of two relay team victories, and Madeleine Reagan, who won one individual contest and was part of three relay race winners.

Bob Jones is led by head Mike Gunner who is in his 12th season at the Patriots’ helm.

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College Football
Lots of topsy-turvy in college football last week with several of the highly rated teams falling in the first weekend of October, which is known in college

football as the month that makes the difference. Even my predictions suffered as I was 2-2 on the week.

This week, the top games remain in the Southeastern Conference. The TV lineup for the SEC looks like this: Auburn-Ole Miss (11:20 a.m.-Channel 54), Alabama-Missouri (2:30 p.m.-Channel 19), Florida-Vanderbilt (5 p.m.-ESPNU), Kentucky-Arkansas (6 p.m.-FSN), South Carolina-LSU (7 p.m.-ESPN), Tennessee-Miss State (8 p.m.-ESPN2) and Texas A&M-Louisiana Tech (8:15 p.m.-ESPNU). The lone outstanding game outside the SEC will be Texas-Oklahoma (11 a.m.-Channel 31).

The best team to look as though they could stand up to top ranked Alabama is South Carolina. The Gamecocks moved up to the No. 3 national ranking and seem to have a defense that could spell trouble for any offense it faces. The squad was tremendous in its efforts against Georgia. South Carolina and Alabama could meet in the SEC Championship…but there’s a lot of football left.

Alabama Hammers Indoor Football
Huntsville’s indoor football team announced its new head coach. Dean Cokinos, who led the Tennessee Valley Vipers to the arena football2 championship in 2008, is back in Huntsville after a two-year absence from the Rocket City. Cokinos coached here for three years and posted a 32-21 overall record. He replaces Marty Hammond, who went 7-17 with the Hammers the past two seasons.

The Alabama Hammers spring/summer season begins March 8, 2013.

Huntsville Stars Baseball
Hunter Morris of our Huntsville Stars was named winner of the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards of Minor League Baseball. Morris earned his honor for a magnificent season of play at first base for the Stars. He is expected to be moved up, possibly to the Milwaukee Brewers, next season.

Overall, 17 players who donned the Huntsville Stars uniform during 2012 have been promoted to higher levels, including the Major Leagues. Six of those promoted from Huntsville played with the Brewers this season.

Major League Baseball Playoffs
I see a New York Yankees-Cincinnati Reds World Series match up as Major League Baseball continues in its post-season play. The World Series kicks off Oct. 24.

Before we get to the Fall Classic, the playoffs look to me as a Yankees-Tigers ALCS and a Reds-Cardinals NLCS. We’ll see.

This week’s predictions, I see Auburn defeating Ole Miss, Alabama jumping on Missouri, South Carolina edging LSU in the Tiger Den Saturday night, Tennessee upsetting Miss State and Texas edging Oklahoma.