E.A. Sports Today

‘A matter of time’

Pleasant Valley girls should head to sectionals No. 1 in Class 3A state cross country rankings; also, volleyball super regional pairings listed

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The Pleasant Valley girls finished a close second in the Calhoun County Cross County Championship on Tuesday, but instead of being bummed coach Brad Hood was excited about the Lady Raiders’ chances for a state championship.

He got even more excited Wednesday night daughter Emma discovered the Lady Raiders were elevated to No. 1 in the latest Class 3A girls cross country team rankings.

It’s not a voting poll; it’s actual performance-based with the best times of the season. In what amounts to a virtual projection of the Class 3A state championship meet Nov. 14 in the Oakville Indian Mounds Park, PV has four runners in the top 25 and 117 points, seven ahead of No. 2 Montgomery Academy and 14 in front of No. 3 American Christian.

“Nobody in the Northeast part of the state has ever been a favorite to win the state let alone win it,” Hood said. “Ever since everything’s been digital, where you could see what everyone has done — the last 10 or 12 years — we’ve never been No. 1 in anything as far as cross-country goes. Nobody in this part of the state has.

“I really knew it was coming; it’s not a surprise. It was just a matter of time. I thought it wouldn’t come until Scottsboro. All those times are PRs and I’d say 85 percent of the time they’re all in Moulton. What’s crazy is our girls’ time has us good enough to be in first by seven points, yet we haven’t been on a fast course yet; that’s what scary. Then, today, we practiced and had our best of the year.”

Perhaps the scariest thing for future opponents is the potential for the Lady Raiders’ staying power. The oldest of their current top five is a tenth grader. Two years ago, the “team” was only two runners – Juliana Ballew and Rachel Faucett.

“Target on our backs now,” Hood said.

Ohatchee’s girls are ranked ninth in the classification.

County champion Alexandria is ranked fourth in Class 5A girls, with Abby Nunnelly (No. 2) and county runner-up Chloe Brown (No. 6) both in the top 10.

Two-time reigning county girls champion Rebecca Hearn of Jacksonville has the sixth fastest time in Class 4A.

On the boys side, county champion PV and Ohatchee are ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in Class 3A. Alexandria and Anniston are ninth and 15th, respectively, in 5A with the Cubs’ Lane Trapp tenth individually and Anniston’s two-time reigning county champion Zebedee Lunsford 12th.

VonBraun Center, Huntsville

Friday’s Games
(Involving Calhoun County teams)

Class 1A: Faith Christian (24-17) vs. Decatur Heritage (36-10), 10:15 a.m.
Class 5A: Alexandria (23-16) vs. West Point (23-17), 10:15 a.m.
Class 3A: Pleasant Valley (34-11) vs. Pisgah (12-12), 10:15 a.m.
Class 3A: Ohatchee (24-12) vs. Geraldine (32-17), 11:30 a.m.
Class 1A: Donoho (40-8) vs. Athens Bible (16-23), 12:45 p.m.
Class 3A: Wellborn (10-18) vs. Plainview, 12:45 p.m.
Class 4A: Jacksonville (26-11) vs. Priceville (21-23), 3 p.m.
Class 4A: Saks (45-7) vs. DAR, 5:30 p.m.
Class 6A: Oxford (37-17) vs. Austin (33-26), 6:45 p.m.

Saturday’s Matchups
(Winners qualify for state tournament)

Donoho-Athens Bible winner vs. Covenant Christian (10-17)-Cedar Bluff (15-24) winner, 9 a.m.
Ohatchee-Geraldine winner vs. Winston County (20-17)-Colbert Heights (27-7) winner, 9 a.m.
Wellborn-Plainview winner vs. Holly Pond (17-13)-Madison Academy (29-21) winner, 9 a.m.
Faith Christian-Decatur Heritage winner vs. Spring Garden (33-18)-Belgreen (9-15) winner, 10:30 a.m.
Pleasant Valley-Pisgah winner vs. West Morgan-Susan Moore winner, 10:30 a.m.
Alexandria-West Point winner vs. Randolph (14-19)-Corner (14-17) winner, 10:30 a.m.
Oxford-Austin winner vs. Arab (47-2)-Shades Valley winner, noon
Saks-DAR winner vs. Carbon Hill (63-6)-Wilson (18-19) winner, noon
Jacksonville-Priceville winner vs. Deshler (26-17)-Cordova (29-22) winner, 1:30 p.m.

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