E.A. Sports Today

Blonde ambition

Alexandria always comes up with something before the playoffs to keep them loose and together; the latest is bleaching their hair blonde

Several Alexandria players wait their turn in the batting cage Thursday having fully embraced the team’s bleached blonde look for the playoffs.

Thursday’s playoff scores
Bayshore Christian 10-17, Wadley 0-0
Ragland 14-10, Valley Head 2-0

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Every year before the start of the pressure cooker that’s the AHSAA playoffs, the Alexandria baseball team puts its collective head together to come up with some sort of bonding ritual to carry them through the next four weeks of the season.

In the past, they’ve devised all sorts of hair-raising mayhem, with hair being the operative word. This year, you might say they’ve literally gone over the top.

The team that has brought you the “Can’t Steal Home Without It” fundraising promo, the post-game dunking goal and the oppo-antlers for hits to the opposite field is turning into a bunch of blonde bombers.

Almost every player – there are a few reluctant holdouts – have hit the bottle and bleached their hair for hopefully a deep playoff run that, for the Valley Cubs, starts Friday at home against Fairview.

“I think it’s awesome, it’s fun,” pitcher-centerfielder Austin West said. “I think it brings a lot of dedication.”

“It’s brought us together,” shortstop Sam Wade observed. “I think it’s cool. It’s gives you something to win for.”

Nobody can say exactly who came up with the idea. Third baseman Ty Brown said he thought about it for several years, but didn’t think anyone would follow through with it. This year, Tripp Patterson pulled the trigger and it just started circulating through the team.

Some of the dye jobs came out better than others. The ones who had it professionally done looked the best. The ones who did it in the kitchen sink, well, let’s just say they weren’t as good. But it’s the effort that counts, right?

“They’re already talking about what they’re going to do next year,” West said.

Valley Cubs coach Andy Shaw is all for his players having fun as long as it’s within reason and doesn’t disrespect the game or their opponents. But he does have his limits.

He’s already told the players he won’t dye his hair blonde, but did make them a deal. He has promised if they reach the championship round he’d wear a Mohawk.

He made a similar promise in 2019 if the Cubs won the area championship. They did and he did – for all of one day. The players have no doubt he’ll live up to his end of the bargain this time, too.

“He’s a man of his word so I feel like if we make it I think he’ll definitely follow through with it,” Brown said.

(All games doubleheaders, “if” games Saturday)
Millry at Woodland
Skyline at Donoho
J.U. Blacksher at Ranburne
Addison at Westbrook Christian
Spring Garden at Falkville
Ohatchee at Plainview
Saks at Phil Campbell
Holly Pond at Hokes Bluff
Sylvania at Piedmont
Handley at Mobile Christian
St. Michael’s Catholic at Munford
Cherokee County at Brooks
West Limestone at Jacksonville
Fairview at Alexandria
Gardendale at Oxford

Cover photo: Alexandria seniors Sam Wade (L) and Austin West show off the bleached blonde locks virtually all of the Valley Cubs have embraced heading into the playoffs.

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