Despite South squads going winless, locals made mark in Huntsville
Monday, July 17, 2006
By MIKE HERNDON
The athletes who represented the southern half of the state in last week's Alabama All-Star Sports Week in Huntsville may not have claimed outright victories in any of the event's seven sports, but those from Baldwin County left their mark on the games nonetheless.
Overall, the South went 0-4-3 on the week, splitting the baseball and softball doubleheaders and earning a tie in girls soccer, while falling to the North in volleyball, boys soccer and both boys and girls basketball.
But several Baldwin County athletes were among the week's standouts.
In baseball, Gulf Shores' D.J. Jones was the South Most Valuable Player, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the two games and driving in the game-winning runs in the South's 6-3 opening-game victory with a two-run triple. Robertsdale's Logan Ramage and Travis Waddle also did their part, as Ramage was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the doubleheader and Waddle was 1-for-3 with one RBI and a run scored.
In girls soccer, Fairhope's Mandie Martin set up the South's only goal of the game, chipping the ball over a defender to Auburn's Sarah Schwartz for the score. Martin's Fairhope teammates, Baley Murphy and Sidney Morgan, also contributed to the South's first-ever non-losing effort in the girls soccer competition.
In boys soccer, Fairhope's Brian Keyser, Andrew Dolan and Steven Pearson helped the South play a tighter game than the final 3-0 score indicated, with Keyser firing two of the South's seven shots on goal.
In softball, Gulf Shores' Carolyn Manolakis went 1-for-4 at the plate in the South's doubleheader split.
In volleyball, Bayside Academy's Kersten Reed and Caroline Gill were standouts for the South as Reed led the South in assists with 17 and Gill made 10 kills and led the team in blocks with five. Robertsdale's Whitney Jones also played well, contributing one kill, two assists, two digs and a block.
And in boys basketball, Robertsdale's William Cowan was one of the South's top rebounders with seven boards. He also chipped in two points.
"It was a learning experience," Cowan said of the week. "I learned what I've got to do. It was an honor to be here."
Several Baldwin County coaches also participated in last week's games. Bayside Academy's Doug Leffard coached the South baseball team, Fairhope's Patty Etheridge coached her final volleyball game before retiring and Fairhope's Paul Stroud and newly hired Steve Morisani led the boys and girls soccer teams, respectively.
"It was a great experience for everyone -- for the players to the coaches to the families," Leffard said of the weeklong event. "Everybody enjoyed it."