E.A. Sports Today

Rivalry renewed

Wellborn brings back rivalry with Anniston to open 2020, 2021 football seasons; here’s a peek at Class 3A Region 5 schedules
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Ever since he came back to Wellborn, Jeff Smith has always tried to come up with an intriguing season opener for his football team. They were fun when he played and he wants his players to experience the same.

With that in mind, he may have succeeded in landing his most intriguing season opening matchup yet for the 2020 season.
As coaches across the state scramble to complete their schedules for the next two years after Tuesday’s reclassification announcement, Smith has succeeded in renewing a long dormant rivalry, putting together games with Anniston to open the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The teams will play at “The Hill” in Wellborn in Week Zero this coming season, then go to Lott/Mosby Memorial Stadium on the corresponding date in 2021.
“I just like it; I think it’s excitement,” Smith said. “We just enjoy starting off the season on a big note. When I was in high school we always opened with Anniston and closed with Oxford. I liked coming out of the gate and seeing what you got.
“This is a good thing for Calhoun County and it’s good for the two communities.”
Wellborn and Anniston last met on the football field in 1999, when they had played every year from 1978. They’ve met 33 times in total, with Anniston leading the series 17-15-1.
Smith figures the only reason the teams stopped playing was because Wellborn shrunk in its population while Anniston remained steady and the gap had grown too wide for the series to remain competitive. He declined to say if he had tried to get the Bulldogs on the schedule previously.
He’s just glad they were able to put it together now and hopes it could turn into another long-term arrangement.
“I just think it’s going to be exciting to have that old rivalry back, Anniston vs. Wellborn at the start of the year,” he said. “I just think it’s good for the county. Those games we used to have were something.”
Smith called the idea of returning completely to his roots in this wave of scheduling of opening with Anniston and ending with Oxford now “kind of unrealistic” because there’s “just too big a jump” between Class 6A and 3A schools.
Since returning to his alma mater in 2009, Smith has opened the season with Saks seven times before the Wildcats became a region opponent and, in 2017, he opened against North Jackson at Jacksonville State. The last two years the Panthers have opened the season against Oak Grove.
Wellborn and the five other Class 3A programs in Calhoun County will play in Region 5 for the next two years. The region was also going to include Childersburg, but due to a “miscalculation of data” after the initial announcement state officials had to adjust the alignment, impacting more than a dozen teams. 
As a result, Childersburg was moved out of the region and replaced by Glencoe and Hokes Bluff, which is coming down from Class 4A. The adjustment has created some schedule scrambles for teams.
“It helped us before; we just had those six region games and the shakeup gave us seven,” Smith said. “I like having those two (Glencoe and Hokes Bluff). I wish Childersburg was in it too, then I’d be done with scheduling.”
Here’s what the schedules in Class 3A Region 5 are shaping up to look like:
PIEDMONT – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: at Cherokee County; Week 2: Saks; Week 3: at Glencoe; Week 4: Weaver; Week 5: Jacksonville; Week 6: Ohatchee; Week 7: at Pleasant Valley; Week 8: Hokes Bluff; Week 9: at Wellborn; Week 10: at Alexandria.
SAKS – Week 0: Sylvania; Week 1: Talladega, TBA; Week 2: at Piedmont; Week 3: at Wellborn; Week 4: Ohatchee; Week 5: Geraldine, TBA; Week 6: at Pleasant Valley; Week 7: Weaver; Week 8: at Glencoe; Week 9: Hokes Bluff; Week 10: TBA.
PLEASANT VALLEY – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: at West End; Week 2: at Hokes Bluff; Week 3: at Weaver; Week 4: Wellborn; Week 5: Westbrook Christian; Week 6: Saks; Week 7: Piedmont; Week 8: at Ohatchee; Week 9: Glencoe; Week 10: at White Plains.
WEAVER – Week 0: Douglas, TBA; Week 1: OPEN; Week 2: at Glencoe; Week 3: Pleasant Valley; Week 4: at Piedmont; Week 5: at Amuchee (Ga.); Week 6: Hokes Bluff; Week 7: at Saks; Week 8: at Wellborn; Week 9: Hoatchee; Week 10: Ashville.
WELLBORN – Week 0: Anniston; Week 1: TBA; Week 2: at Ohatchee; Week 3: Saks; Week 4: at Pleasant Valley; Week 5: TBA; Week 6: Glencoe; Week 7: at Hokes Bluff; Week 8: Weaver; Week 9: Piedmont; Week 10: TBA.
OHATCHEE – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: TBA; Week 2: Wellborn; Week 3: Hokes Bluff; Week 4: at Saks; Week 5: TBA; Week 6: at Piedmont; Week 7: at Glencoe; Week 8: Pleasant Valley; Week 9: at Weaver; Week 10: TBA.
GLENCOE – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: Randolph, TBA; Week 2: Weaver; Week 3: Piedmont; Week 4: at Hokes Bluff; Week 5: Douglas, TBA; Week 6: at Wellborn; Week 7: Ohatchee; Week 8: Saks; Week 9: at Pleasant Valley; Week 10: Plainview, TBA.
HOKES BLUFF – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: at Southside; Week 2: Pleasant Valley; Week 3: at Ohatchee; Week 4: Glencoe; Week 5: Spring Garden, TBA; Week 6: at Weaver; Week 7: Wellborn; Week 8: at Piedmont; Week 9: at Saks; Week 10: Sardis.

Bonus coverage

Here are other schedules of note:

ALEXANDRIA – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: Jacksonville; Week 2: at Center Point; Week 3: at St. Clair County; Week 4: Corner; Week 5: at Cleburne County; Week 6: Hayden; Week 7: at Lincoln; Week 8: Moody; Week 9: at Leeds; Week 10: Piedmont.

DONOHO – Week 0: TBA; Week 1: White Plains; Week 2: at Victory Christian; Week 3: at Winterboro; Week 4: Woodland; Week 5: TBA; Week 6: Ragland; Week 7: Open; Week 8: at Wadley; Week 9: Talladega County Central; Week 10: Westbrook Christian, TBA

ANNISTON – Week 0: at Wellborn, Week 1: Open; Week 2: at Jacksonville; Week 3: Cherokee County; Week 4: TBA; Week 5: TBA; Week 6: at White Plains; Week 7: Munford; Week 8: at Handley; Week 9: Cleburne County; Week 10: TBA.

WHITE PLAINS – Week 0: Ranburne; Week 1: at Donoho; Week 2: at Cleburne County; Week 3: Jacksonville; Week 4: at Cherokee County; Week 5: at Elmore County; Week 6: Anniston; Week 7: Open; Week 8: at Munford; Week 9: Handley; Week 10: Pleasant Valley. 

MUNFORD — Week 0: Talladega, TBA; Week 1: Fultondale, TBA; Week 2: at Handley; Week 3: Cleburne County; Week 4: at Jacksonville; Week 5: Lincoln, TBA; Week 6: Cherokee County; Week 7: at Anniston; Week 8: White Plains; Week 9: TBA; Week 10: TBA.

(Region games only)
Week 2: Pell City at Southside; Scottsboro at Oxford; Fort Payne at Arab.
Week 3: Arab at Scottsboro; Springville at Fort Payne; Oxford at Southside.
Week 4: Oxford at Pell City; Scottsboro at Springville; Southside at Arab.
Week 6: Pell City at Arab; Fort Payne at Scottsboro; Springville at Southside.
Week 7: Pell City at Springville; Arab at Oxford; Southside at Fort Payne.
Week 8: Fort Payne at Pell City; Southside at Scottsboro; Springville at Oxford.
Week 9: Scottsboro at Pell Cioty; Arab at Springville; Oxford at Fort Payne.

(Region games only)
Week 2: Munford at Handley; White Plains at Cleburne County; Anniston at Jacksonville
Week 3: Jacksonville at White Plains; Cherokee County at Anniston; Cleburne County at Munford
Week 4: Handley at Cleburne County; White Plains at Cherokee County; Munford at Jacksonville
Week 6: Jacksonville at Handley; Anniston at White Plains; Cherokee County at Munford
Week 7: Handley at Cherokee County; Cleburne County at Jacksonville; Munford at Anniston
Week 8: Anniston at Handley; White Plains at Munford; Cherokee County at Cleburne County
Week 9: Handley at White Plains; Jacksonville at Cherokee County; Cleburne County at Anniston

(Region games only)
Week 2: Wadley at TCC; Donoho at Victory Christian; Ragland at Winterboro
Week 3: Donoho at Winterboro; Woodland at Ragland; Victory Christian at Wadley
Week 4: Woodland at Donoho; Victory at TCC; Winterboro at Wadley
Week 6: TCC at Winterboro; Wadley at Woodland; Ragland at Donoho
Week 7: TCC at Woodland; Wadley at Ragland; Winterboro at Victory Christian
Week 8: Donoho at Wadley; Woodland at Victory Christian; Ragland at TCC
Week 9: TCC at Donoho; Victory Christian at Ragland; Winterboro at Woodland

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