E.A. Sports Today

Lady Cubs No. 1

Alexandria installed as No. 1 seed in next month’s Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament; the wealth is the experience

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The only undefeated record in the county, defending champion status and 23 overall wins on the season earned Alexandria its first No. 1 seed in the Calhoun County Volleyball Tournament in ages Wednesday.

It’s been at least since the turn of the century that the Lady Cubs were a No. 1 in the event.

While they don’t pay attention to such things, the Lady Cubs were the presumptive No. 1 entering the seeding meeting at Pleasant Valley High School meeting since they are 23-6, 8-0 within the county and have beaten all three of the other top four seeds.

“I think it’s right, but I don’t (pay attention to) rankings,” Alexandria coach Whitney Welch said. “It’s just a ranking. Obviously, now you have to take action to make it a reality.”

The Lady Cubs won the county tournament last year as the No. 2 seed. It is believed they hadn’t been a No. 1 seed since the mid/late 90s. Welch never remembered being a top seed in her years as an assistant or head coach.

The other top four seeds this year at Jacksonville, Donoho and Oxford.

Ohatchee (16-3), which has the best overall winning percentage in the county under second-year coach Rebecca Hughes, is No. 5, followed by White Plains, Weaver and Pleasant Valley.

The tournament is Oct. 5 at Alexandria with the championship match Oct. 7 at Jacksonville State.
David Clark, the coach of No. 2 seeded Jacksonville, thought the seedings shook out fairly. Head-to-head matchups offer no debate and Alexandria has beaten his Lady Golden Eagles twice.
“I’ve been pleased to an extent, but there’s a lot room to our ceiling still,” he said. “I like to be getting close about the time we play this tournament. Our problem has been consistency. It’s not skill … it’s just being consistent in what we’re doing and we’re starting to get there.”
Donoho coach Jamie Clendenin was pleasantly surprised with the results. He suggested to his players the Lady Falcons might be a fifth- or sixth-seed despite being the winningest team in the county (27-8, 13-4), but there was little debate on their placement at No. 3.

2018-19 County Tournaments Sports Share


The volleyball tournament traditionally kicks off the Calhoun County tournament schedule. Last year, the county’s 15 schools shared a revenue distribution of more than $42,000 from the 11 championship tournaments/events after costs, with payouts ranging from around 10 bucks (golf and wrestling) to $1,618 in the wildly popular basketball tournament.

By the end of the academic year, individual schools took in between $2,200 and $3,200 depending on how many tournaments they played, with most of the schools earmarking the funds for the program that generated it.
You won’t get rich by playing in the county tournament, the richness, administrators and athletes agree, comes from the experience of playing in it.
Calhoun County is one of the few counties where every school participates in its the county tournament if it has a program in that sport, which helps make the championship program the envy of the state.
“We’re unique in how good our athletics are in the county,” Oxford athletics director Larry Davidson said. “You’ve got 15 schools that are all right here together who normally don’t play each other because of classifications. It’s sort of like throwing everybody in to one big pot one time a year.
“It’s an event that’s unique to anywhere in the state. It doesn’t matter where I go in the state, at that time of year people are asking me how’s the county tournament going and those other schools gauge how people do in the county tournaments with what’s fixing to happen in the area. There’s been a lot of times the state champion wasn’t a Calhoun County champion, so it’s great competition, it’s unique.

“It’s the best county tournament there is and I hope we don’t get away from trying to change it too much. The schools were more the same size back then, but the competition hasn’t wavered one bit. This is bragging rights for around here. I think that’s what makes it special.”

2018-19 County Tournaments Team Share

Faith Chr.2949.37
White Pl.2901.33
Pl. Valley2657.71
S. Heart2224.87

At Alexandria H.S.
(records as of Wednesday, overall/county)
Oct. 5 matches
No. 13 Wellborn (4-11, 1-9) vs. No. 12 Piedmont (4-14, 1-8), 9 a.m. (C3)
No. 14 JCA (0-4, 0-1) vs. No. 11 Saks (3-14, 1-8), 9 a.m. (C2)
No. 8 Pleasant Valley (12-14, 5-4) vs. No. 9 Faith Christian (11-10, 2-4), 9 a.m. (C1)
No. 5 Ohatchee (16-3, 3-1) vs. Wellborn-Piedmont winner, 10:30 a.m. (C1)
No. 6 White Plains (13-12, 9-7) vs. JCA-Saks winner, 10:30 a.m. (C2)
No. 7 Weaver (14-12, 7-5) vs. No. 10 Sacred Heart (9-7, 3-3), 10:30 a.m. (C3)
No. 1 Alexandria (23-6, 8-0) vs. Pleasant Valley-Faith Christian winner, noon (C1)
No. 4 Oxford (14-9, 2-3) vs. Wellborn/Piedmont-Ohatchee winner, noon (C2)
No. 3 Donoho (27-8, 13-4) vs. JCA/Saks-White Plains winner, 1:30 p.m. (C1)
No. 2 Jacksonville (16-7, 3-2) vs. Sacred Heart/Anniston-Weaver winner, 1:30 p.m. (C2)
Semifinal No. 1, 3 p.m. (C1)
Semifinal No. 2, 3 p.m. (C2)
At Jacksonville State
Oct. 7 match
Championship match, 7 p.m.
At Alexandria HS
(Double-loss elimination)
(records as of Wednesday, overall/county)
Sept. 26 first matches
No. 8 Jacksonville (10-18, 8-16) vs. No. 9 Donoho (11-11, 2-10), 4 p.m. (C1)
No. 5 Pleasant Valley (14-6, 8-4) vs. No. 12 Sacred Heart, (1-9, 1-7) 5:15 p.m. (C1)
No. 4 White Plains (15-10, 14-5) vs. No. 13 Saks (3-14, 1-14), 5:15 p.m. (C2)
No. 3 Oxford (17-7, 12-5) vs. No. 14 JCA (0-2, 0-1), 4 p.m. (C2)
No. 6 Weaver (14-14, 11-11) vs. No. 11 Piedmont (5-4, 1-3), 5:15 p.m. (C3)
No. 7 Wellborn (9-14, 9-8) vs. No. 10 Faith Christian (5-13, 2-10), 4 p.m. (C3)
No. 1 Alexandria (28-5, 19-0) vs. Jacksonville-Donoho winner, 6:30 p.m. (C1)
No. 2 Ohatchee (23-2, 11-2) vs. Wellborn-Faith Christian winner, 6:30 p.m. (C2)
Championship match
Sept. 28, 4:30 p.m. (5:45 p.m. if necessary)

Cover photo by B.J. Franklin.

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