With so much emphasis on the lead-up to high school football in recent weeks, the opening of the volleyball season has been overshadowed a bit.
Arab’s new coach, Jamiee Moran, released her teams’ schedules recently, and all four teams – varsity, junior varsity and junior high seventh and eighth grade – open play on Thursday, the day before most high school football teams open their seasons.
The Arab varsity and JV teams play Geraldine and Fort Payne, at Geraldine. The varsity team will play in a tournament at Good Hope on Saturday.
The junior high teams will start out at home, against Jasper and Guntersville.
Also remember that Arab Junior High’s seventh and eighth grade football teams will host jamborees against Hartselle on Thursday. And Fairview plays at West Point on Thursday, too.
You can see all the listings in the local sports calendar every edition of The Arab Tribune. It’s on page 5 today.
• Speaking of Arab Junior High football, head coach Jason Guger told me Wednesday he’s no longer coaching girls soccer for Arab High School. The news has been released but few people have seen it, and that includes me.
Guger will still coach junior high basketball.
“I’m down to two (sports) now, so you won’t see me as much,” Guger joked.
Read about the Arab Junior High, Arab, Brindlee Mountain and Brewer football teams in our special section coming in Wednesday’s newspaper.
• Speaking of Arab soccer, last year’s boys coach, Chris Urquhart, will now coach the girls team, replacing Guger. He’ll be assisted by Abigail Carnley.
Chris Self, who assisted Urquhart with the boys team last season, has been promoted to head coach. He’ll be assisted by Richard Moser, the head coach of the Arab Riptide swim team who also will assist Arab High swim coach Melissa Kunze.
• Speaking of soccer again, opening day for the Arab AYSO-Region 778 fall season is quickly approaching. The season starts with the traditional parade of teams beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24.
Today is a work day at the soccer complex. From 7 a.m. until noon, volunteers will be painting fields and tightening nets to get ready for opening day.
“All help is appreciated,” said Chris Kirkland, regional commissioner of Arab AYSO.
• Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik has become quite the popular analyst on the SEC Network, which celebrated its fifth anniversary on Wednesday.
Chizik’s “Words of Chizdom” have become must-see TV for SEC football fans.
This week, he broke down the key matchup in Auburn’s upcoming game against Oregon.
“First of all, Oregon’s offensive line and Auburn’s defensive line – this is a matchup made in heaven,” Chizik said. “You look at three potential first rounders on Auburn’s defense line. Oregon’s got 153 starts under their belt collectively on the offensive line with a quarterback that could be taken first in the NFL Draft.
“So, for this game to unfold either for Oregon or for Auburn, it’s going to start in the trenches and who dominates that play down there.”
• I’m really looking forward to this. As part of the ESPN Films’ SEC Storied series and ESPN’s College Football 150 initiative, SEC Network will debut Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football over the course of eight consecutive Tuesdays at 8 p.m., beginning Sept. 3, 2019.
While college football may have first surfaced in New Jersey in 1869, it was perfected in the South, where the sport serves as the single strongest fiber in the region.
Featuring interviews with more than 100 SEC figures past and present such as Peyton Manning, Joe Namath, Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson, as well as Steve Spurrier, Vince Dooley, Les Miles and Nick Saban, the film will chronicle the progression of teams, heroes and traditions while examining a deeper narrative of the South and its history. The indelible moments of nearly 90 years of SEC football encompass the larger journey of the region and span across the evolution of America as well.
Saturdays in the South: A History of SEC Football is the second programming announcement surrounding ESPN’s College Football 150 project, with weekly series The American Game and The Greatest coming to ESPN next fall. In August 2017, ESPN originally announced its intentions to commemorate the 150th anniversary of college football. The College Football 150 initiative begins on January 2, 2020, primarily on ESPN’s digital and social platforms.
• As I was living in nearby Montgomery at the time, I remember this famous play in Troy football history quite well.
It was made by Junior Louissaint, who this week was named the Troy Sports Radio Network’s football sideline reporter.
Louissaint played on Troy’s 2003 and 2004 squads under head coach Larry Blakeney and was named to the All-Sun Belt First Team following his senior season. It was in that season that Louissaint, an offensive lineman, made national headlines when he returned a fumble 63 yards for a touchdown in Troy’s victory over No. 19 Missouri.
The play would go on to be a finalist for the Pontiac Game-Changing Performance of the Year.