E.A. Sports Today

Spring seeds

Undefeated Saks boys, Sacred Heart girls pull down top soccer seeds; Alexandria, PV, White Plains grab top three softball seeds

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT — Dwight McDonald is so looking forward to his return to the Calhoun County Soccer Tournament.

Two years ago, coaching at another school in the county, he had the No. 1 seeded boys team in the tournament and lost in the finals due in part to some tactical miscalculations in the earlier rounds.
On Sunday, his undefeated new team, Saks, was installed as the No. 1 seed in this year’s boys tournament and he promised things would be different.

In addition to a smarter approach to personnel McDonald hinted at unveiling some new strategies for the second half of the season.
“There were some things I did wrong as a coach preparing them for the final game,” McDonald said. “There were a lot of things that I know I could have done differently and also some things the players can do different, so this year’s approach is going to be a whole lot different on how we approach the games leading up to going to the next round.”
The Wildcats (10-0) pulled down the top seed ahead of No. 2 Weaver and No. 3 Oxford, McDonald’s former team. The other seeds are Jacksonville, Faith Christian, White Plains, Sacred Heart and Anniston. 

Because there are nine teams in the field, Sacred Heart and Anniston will play into the eight-team bracket Wednesday at 4 p.m. The main event starts Thursday.
Saks was the surprise team of last year’s tournament, getting all the way to the finals before losing to Oxford 10-2. The core of that team remained intact, but McDonald has added six new starters. Among their top players are foundation Anthony Cornejo, 20-goal scorer Kori Watkins, defender Javier Castillo and new keeper Gashod Willis.
“Before the season started I told them they have a really good chance of really going undefeated through the whole season, to be honest,” McDonald said. “There’s great potential and they haven’t even reached the top yet. We’re getting better and better.
“This is probably, of all the teams I’ve coached, even at Oxford, the best finishing team that I’ve ever coached as far as scoring is concerned.”
Sacred Heart (5-1) pulled down the No. 1 seed in the girls tournament and because Anniston suspended its program has drawn a bye in Thursday’s opening round. The other seeds are Donoho, Jacksonville, Weaver, Oxford, Faith Christian and Saks.

The softball coaches also seeding their county tournament Sunday.

Alexandria (10-7), Pleasant Valley (16-6) and White Plains (17-4) drew the top three seeds and first-round byes. The Lady Cubs drew the nod for No. 1 by virtue of its victory over Pleasant Valley and PV drew the nod for the 2 by virtue of one victory over Oxford and two over White Plains.

The other seeds in the double-loss tournament are: Oxford, Piedmont, Ohatchee, Wellborn, Jacksonville, Weaver, Saks, JCA, Faith and Anniston. Sacred Heart and Donoho do not field teams.

The softball tournament starts April 9.

Choccolocco Park, April 3-6
(Records as of Sunday: overall, county)
Boys Bracket
Wednesday’s game
No. 8 Sacred Heart (0-6, 0-6) vs. No. 9 Anniston (0-3, 0-1), 4 p.m.
Thursday’s games
No. 4 Donoho (2-3, 1-2) vs. No. 5 Jacksonville (4-11, 2-2), 4:30 p.m. (F1)
No. 3 Oxford 2-7-1, 0-0) vs. No. 6 Faith Christian (4-4, 3-3), 4:30 p.m. (F2)
No. 1 Saks (10-0, 9-0) vs. Sacred Heart-Anniston winner, 6 p.m. (F1)
No. 2 Weaver (7-4, 3-1) vs. No. 7 White Plains (2-5, 0-3), 6 p.m. (F2)
Friday’s games
Saks/Sacred Heart/Anniston winner vs. Donoho-Jacksonville winner, 4:30 p.m. (F1)
x-Oxford-Faith winner vs. Weaver-White Plains winner, 4:30 p.m. (F2)
x-If Oxford boys and girls both win in first round, game will be 6 p.m.
Saturday’s game
Boys championship, 6 p.m. (F1)
Girls Bracket
Thursday’s games
No. 3 Jacksonville (4-4-1, 2-0) vs. No. 6 Faith Christian (3-4, 0-4), 4:30 p.m. (F3)
No. 4 Weaver (4-8. 3-2) vs. No. 5 Oxford (0-6, 0-0), 6 p.m. (F3)
No. 2 Donoho (4-1, 2-1) vs. No. 7 Saks (0-10, 0-9), 6 p.m. (F4)
Friday’s games
No. 1 Sacred Heart (5-1, 5-1) vs. Weaver-Oxford winner, 4:30 p.m. (F3)
Jacksonville-Faith winner vs. Donoho-Saks winner, 4:30 p.m. (F4)
Saturday’s game
Girls championship, 4:30 p.m. (F2)

Choccolocco Park, April 9-12
Double-loss elimination
(Records as of Sunday: overall, county)
Tuesday’s games
No. 7 Wellborn (9-11, 3-2) vs. No. 10 Saks (3-19-1, 0-7-1), 4:30 p.m. (F1)
No. 6 Ohatchee (10-8, 2-0) vs. No. 11 Jacksonville Christian (2-4, 0-0), 4:30 p.m. (F2)
No. 4 Oxford (11-7, 0-1) vs. No. 13 Anniston (0-4, 0-2), 4:30 p.m. (F3)
No. 5 Piedmont (11-8, 6-1) vs. No. 12 Faith Christian (1-6, 0-1), 4:30 p.m. (F4)
No. 8 Jacksonville (5-11-1, 2-1) vs. No. 9 Weaver (4-8, 2-4), 4:30 p.m. (F5)
Winner’s bracket
No. 2 Pleasant Valley (16-6, 6-1) vs. Wellborn-Saks winner, 6 p.m. (F1)
No. 3 White Plains (17-4, 2-2) vs. Ohatchee-JCA winner, 6 p.m. (F2)
Oxford-Anniston winner vs. Piedmont-Faith winner, 6 p.m. (F3)
No. 1 Alexandria (10-7, 1-0) vs. Jacksonville-Weaver winner, 6 p.m. (F4)
Loser’s bracket
Oxford-Anniston loser vs. Piedmont-Faith loser, 6 p.m. (F5)

Winner’s bracket road in the County Softball Tournament. (Graphics by John Bryan O’Connor)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login