2011 was a big yearPublished 11:44am Thursday, December 29, 2011
It seems like my first year here at the Hartselle Enquirer has been an exciting year for many of our local teams.
My first day on the job here was Jan. 24, which was as the Morgan County Basketball Tournament was just beginning. That Saturday proved to be one of the more exciting days of the year as Danville overcame a huge lead to beat Brewer down the stretch.
That win helped propel Danville to the Class 3A State Championship game in girls basketball, but it also proved to be gut-check time for Brewer, which also went on a big run to the Class 5A Girls Final Four in Birmingham.
From there, it seemed like our teams just lived for the big stage. A couple of months later, Hartselle’s girls softball team wound up entering the Class 5A State Softball Tournament in Montgomery as the state’s top-ranked team.
However, the Lady Tigers lost an emotional 2-1 game to Moody and then fell to Mortimer Jordan the next day, but Hartselle still finished tied for fifth place.
Then, Hartselle’s girls golf team earned its third consecutive state championship. Heather Nail also captured an individual title with a 36-hole score of 152.
In track and field, Quanesha Burks won three state championships out of her four events, winning the 100 meters, 200 meters and the long jump. She also was second in the triple jump.
Ashton Pennington won a state championship in the javelin throw.
In cross country, Brewer’s Clay Oden and Hartselle’s Jonathan Duncan both received medals for placing high in Class 5A.
In volleyball, I made the trek to Pelham to see Brewer, Danville and Hartselle compete in the state tournament. Brewer and Hartselle fell victim to No. 1 and eventual state champion St. Paul’s.
In that tournament, Hartselle had a dramatic comeback to defeat Faith Academy in the semifinals, rallying from down two sets to win 3-2.
Danville had little returning this year, but wound up making the state semifinals with an almost entirely new team this year. They came within just three points of making the finals.
And then there’s football. Hartselle completed its second undefeated season to win its first state championship.
The Tigers have had more talented teams in the past, but this team just did their job week after week and found ways to win.
It’s been a fun year for sports here. Let’s see if we can do it again in 2012. If so, we’ll be right there to cover it for you.
Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.