Archive - 2012 - Sports Article
By Bryan Davis
Daily Times Leader
The last time the Oak Hill Academy Raiders won in their opening week was in 2006, a 19-0 win over Lamar.
Six years and a number of head coaches later, and the Raiders 1-0 once again.
More important to the Raiders, Friday nightâs 13-6 non-conference win over Newton County Academy put them back in the win column for the first time since 2010. The Raiders did not win a game in 2011.
For head coach Daniel Merchant, this makes him 1-0 as a skipper.
By Bryan Davis
Daily Times Leader
The Oak Hill Academy Raiders (1-0) put on a display of good old fashioned football fundamentals on Friday night.
Hitting harder and running better than ever, the Raider defense and special teams kept the Newton County Academy Generals penned back for most of the night in a 13-6 week-one win over NCA.
âThis team deserves it,â Merchant said. âThey have worked hard everyday in practice.â
The 2002 Bryan Packers got together one last time as a team. âšIn October of that year, the Packers were invited as guests of the American Legion to watch the first two games of the Major League World Series at International Field of Anaheim in California. âšCharlie Sheen, Danny Devito, Denise Richards and Kobe Bryant were also in the stands in Anaheim.
At 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002, the Bryan Packers pulled out ofthe West Point High School parking lot.
The team was without All-Area Player of the Year, starting first baseman Lance Martin and starting third baseman âHotâ Rod Williams.
Martin and Williams had accepted scholarships to play football and practice had begun. The pair would miss the trip to Kansas City, Mo.for the American Legion Mid-South Regional.
The bus made it to the windmill on Highway 50, headed toward the Birmingham Airport when a car pulled up behind, flashing its lights.
On Monday, the Oak Hill Lady Raiders kick off their season with a trip to Starkville Academy.
The Lady Raiders share a conference with Winston, Manchester, Canton and Leake Academies.
Leake Academy begins the season on the heels of a 70-game winning streak and back-to-back state championships.
âEverybody in our conference is playing for second,â Oak Hill coach Marion Bratton said. âTheir pitcher is one of the top ranked pitchers in the state and sheâs a good hitter and an excellent runner, too. It seems like it takes her about three steps to get to first out of the box.â
By the time the Bryan Packers played Tuscaloosaâs Hillcrest on June 11, the season was almost two weeks old.
The Packers took a pair of games, winning 9-7 and 7-5. It was their first wins on the season.
âSome couldnât come at the beginning,â Packers coach Frank Portera said. âThey came on a little later in the year. Youâve got graduation stuff, youâve got senior trips, youâve all this stuff. Thereâs a couple of weeks in there before you can get everybody together where so much is going on that we didnât get together until a week or two until after the season had started.â
It would be known in the baseball history books as the year there was no World Series. The Major League Baseball season was in trouble as early as June, 1994, with tensions between players and owners building before erupting with a strike in August, leaving thousands of angry fans in its wake.
That spring, someone approached Frank Portera about starting an American Legion baseball program in West Point.
It started as a suggestion.
âWe put up a suggestion box months ago,â West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley. âItâs for officers who have ideas or suggestions about how we could run the department better or how we could better contact the community.â
Detective Sgt. Albert Lee suggested a charity softball tournament.
âWe have all kinds of things for kids,â Lee said. âBut I thought it would be good to go forward with all the departments in the city. Itâs a healthy thing, a good way to get exercise for city employees.â
The two teams representing West Point in the eight and under Dizzy Dean South State Tournament completed play in Louisville on Saturday.
The West Point Nationals dropped their first round contest to host Louisville 25-2, lost to Starkville 22-4 and Grenada 18-6.
The Nastionals took home the Sportmanship Award, for showing the best sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
The West Point Americans lost their first game to eventual champions Grenada Youth 11-6, defeated Hamilton 22-0, defeated Union 18-2, and lost to Columbus 9-8.
Gray Berry and Jaden Craven catch a Columbus Nationals runner in the base paths during the 10 and under Dizzy Dean South State Tournament on Saturday. West Point won the contest 13-8.