E.A. Sports Today

2020 vision

County baseball, softball finals heading to JSU this spring if the venue is available; PV taking over as county hosts
 
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
 
The new athletic year will bring a number of changes to the Calhoun County Tournament schedule, including several finals potentially moving to a new home.
 
Most notably, the finals of the 2020 county baseball and softball tournaments will be played at Jacksonville State next spring if the venues are available relative to the Gamecocks’ schedule. The volleyball finals also will return to JSU if the coliseum is available.
 
“It’s just to follow suit with what we’ve done with volleyball the last couple years,” said Pleasant Valley principal Mark Proper, incoming chairman of the county principals and coaches association and host principal for all county championship events next year. “We couldn’t do (volleyball) this year because of the (coliseum) construction, but we’re trying to do the same thing, give the kids the opportunity to play up there as a championship game.”
 
For the last three years the softball and baseball tournaments have been played in their entirety at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, with the championship games being played on the respective Signature Fields at the complex. While only the baseball title game will move to JSU if the ballpark is available, the entire final day of the softball tournament – a potential of three games – will be staged there.
 
“It’s all based upon the availability,” Proper said. “The majority of (JSU’s) schedule gets given to them so they have to wait and see how that turns out. JSU has been great with us to try to help us get it set up; they want us on their campus. Choccolocco Park fully understands and has booked us as of now and we’ll wait to see what comes about. Choccolocco Park has been great for us.”
 
Choccolocco Park will retain the county soccer tournament and track and field championship. JSU will host the basketball tournament, although it has yet to be determined if the first day’s games will be played at a campus site as it has the previous two years.
 
Pleasant Valley will host the wrestling tournament and the cross-country championship on its brand-new course, marking the first time in recent history it has been staged outside of Oxford. The Raiders’ course will feature a double grass-and-crushed gravel loop with elevation changes and starts and finishes inside the football stadium to allow for team and spectator staging areas and create an Olympic marathon feel to the finish.
 
The Raiders have invited teams from throughout the area to check out the course and nearly a dozen already have signed up for the inaugural race.
 
“I’m just excited it’s going to be somewhere different than Oxford for the first time in the history of the meet,” PV coach Brad Hood said. “The course is done, it’s runnable now, but it’s not up to where I want it to be. I want it to be an adventurous type trail, something that’s challenging, but it has features and is fun to run. Something spectator friendly, too.
 
“The sod farm, Choccolocco Park, was very spectator friendly, but the kids just didn’t enjoy it. They felt like they were just running on a track. This will have character. It’s going to be a great set up for teams.”
 
As for Pleasant Valley getting its turn to serve as county hosts, Proper said the Raiders “look forward to the challenge and hope we can keep it going.”
 
“Piedmont did an excellent job this year, Oxford did the year before and Ohatchee did the year before that,” Proper said. “Everybody seems to have laid out a plan for us to follow that’s been great.”
 
2019-20 Calhoun County Tournament Schedule
Sept. 26-28 – Junior High Volleyball Tournament, Alexandria
Oct. 5-7 – County Volleyball Tournament, Alexandria (finals JSU-x)
Oct. 24 – County Cross Country Meet, Pleasant Valley
Nov. 2 – County Swimming Championship, Anniston YMCA
Jan. 3 – County Wrestling Tournament, Pleasant Valley
Jan. 18-25 – County Basketball Tournament, Jacksonville State
Jan. 27-31 – Large School Junior High Basketball Tournament, White Plains
Jan. 27-31 – Small School Junior High Basketball Tournament, Pleasant Valley
Feb. 28-29 – County Tennis Championship, Oxford Lake
March 6-10 (11) – County Baseball Tournament, Choccolocco Park (finals JSU-x)
April 2-4 – County Soccer Tournament, Choccolocco Park
April 3-4 – County Golf Tournament, Pine Hill CC
April 7 – County Track & Field Meet, Choccolocco Park
April 7-10 – County Softball Tournament, Choccolocco Park (final day JSU-x)
x-if available

Cover photo by B.J. Franklin



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