E.A. Sports Today

Machristie picks Campbell

UPDATE: Two-way Wellborn star makes college choice; also, Spring Jam matchups made and other notes/em>

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

After National Signing Day in February every day the next four or five years will be hump day for Landon Machristie.

That’s because the two-way Wellborn standout has committed to sign with the growing program at Campbell — the Fightin’ Camels.

Machristie disclosed his decision to East Alabama Sports Today on Tuesday and then announced it to the world via social media. He made his official visit there this past weekend and returned in time to play in the Panthers’ near-upset of White Plains in the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament.

“I feel great about my decision on committing to Campbell,” Machristie said. “I absolutely love everything about the university. They are really on the rise and we are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the D-I FCS level.

“I’m just really ready to get up there for training camp and prove myself to the team and coaching staff.”

Machristie chose the Camels over Southern Illinois and Jacksonville State largely because of their consistent contact and comfortable feel. He also was said to hold offers from Charlotte and Illinois State.

“They’ve been steadily recruiting me for over a year and a half now and have been straight up honest with me about everything during the process, which really attracted me,” he said. “But what really made me decide on Campbell being the one for me was the family-like atmosphere I felt while I was up there, and even back home with the calls from the coaches and texts from the players just checking on on me seeing how I’m doing.”

Machristie played quarterback and linebacker at Wellborn this past fall, but is expected to play defense for the Camels. The national recruiting services list him as a two-sport prospect.

This past season he had 112 tackles, an interception, caused five fumbles and recovered one for a touchdown. He finished fourth (with three first-place votes) in a tight race for the inaugural East Alabama Sports Today Calhoun County Defensive Player of the Year.

The Camels resumed playing football after a 58-year break in 2008 and compete in the Pioneer Football League. They were 5-7 last season. They play in a 5,000-seat stadium and earlier this month the school unveiled a state-of-the-art sports performance center in the stadium.

SPRING JAM SETUP: The matchups are set for this year’s fourth annual Calhoun County Spring Jam May 14-15 at JSU Stadium.

On Thursday, White Plains plays Wellborn at 4:30 p.m., with Alexandria playing Talladega at 7:30. On Friday, it’ll be Saks and Pleasant Valley (with a new coach) at 4:30 p.m. and Weaver against event host Ohatchee at 7:30.

The games will feature three full quarters of varsity action with the B teams playing a fourth quarter with no live kicking.

“I like the matchups,” Ohatchee coach Scott Martin said. “You hadn’t gotten stuck with the same teams playing the same teams.

“It doesn’t always have a lot of validity as to how good or bad your team’s going to be, but to me it’s a great way to end your 10 days of practice; sometimes there’s nothing at the end of that rainbow. It’s a great showcase for county football.”

Of course, this isn’t the only one. Donoho is said to be looking for a few more teams to its ambitious event that follows the County Spring Jam and Jacksonville coach Clint Smith said he’d like to put something together at his school.

Donoho coach Shannon Felder is in the market for upwards of a half-dozen more teams to get his event to 32 schools. He had 16 last year, up from four the inaugural year.

“The more teams, the more difficult it gets (to put it together),” Felder said. “If I just did 16 teams I’d have been done a month ago. Everybody I talked to thought it was so good (last year) some folks said they’d like to see us do more teams, if it’s possible. At the request of many people we’re looking for more (teams).”

He said he hoped to have it nailed down by the first week of February.

ON THE LIST: The numbers have been compiled on JCA quarterback Daylon Brackett’s career and they’ve landed him in the top 10 on some of the AHSAA’s all-time lists.

His 103 touchdowns are tied for ninth (with Jameis Winston), his 9,513 all-purpose yards tenth. For his career, he completed 256 of 507 passes for 4,387 yards and 39 touchdowns while rushing for 3,994 yards on 419 carries with 58 touchdowns. He had five touchdown receptions among his 22 career catches for 619 yards, and 553 yards in returns with one score.

Oh, he played a little defense, too, recording 155 tackles, five interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

AHSAA officials say the numbers will be recorded as soon as the school submits them.

SENIOR MOMENTS: The Oxford wrestling team will recognize its seniors tonight prior to hitting the mat against Thomson and Southside. The seniors are Hayden Carpenter (113), Mason Blakeney (120), Jacob Shake (160) and Hunter Lee (182). Lee is coming off a title in last weekend’s Ragsdale Invitational at St. Clair County.

ON TRACK (AND FIELD): Piedmont’s Kerri Green scored two top 10s in the MLK Indoor Classic at Birmingham’s Crossplex Monday. She was fourth in the girls 400 (59.86) and eighth in the 60 hurdles (9.43). Teammate Macy Hanson was 14th in the pole vault (8-0).

Sierra Davis led Oxford’s contingent with a seventh-place finish in the girls shot put (30-10 ½). Brianna Calhoun, one of the two Yellow Jacket mascots who’ll be cheering at the Calhoun County Tournament, was 12th at 29-11. Jamiria Bradford was 15th in the long jump (15-5 ¾) and the 4×800 relay team was 15th (11:31.23).

Among the Jackets’ boys, Kaylan Banks was 14th in the 400 (51.52).

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