An all-star free-for-all
Hartselle athletes shine at AHSAA All-Star Week
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
MONTGOMERY – Old and new came together in Montgomery last Friday night.
Former Hartselle head football coach Mike Smith and new coach Bob Godsey walked the same sidelines at the Alabama Sports Week All-Star Football game. A game Smith and Godsey's North team lost 17-10.
"We've known each other for eight years," Godsey said of Smith. "We have a good friendship and he is a great coach. It was a blast down here."
"It was a lot of fun," Godsey said. "We got along good, he's a good coach and a good guy."
Jwuan Ward and Ben Atchison, both Hartselle graduates, played in the game.
Hartselle also sent softball players to Montgomery for All-Star action. Pitcher/third baseman Sabrina Roberts and pitcher/first baseman Jessica Lyle, both seniors-to-be for Hartselle, both had impacts on a split with the South.
South 17, North 10
With the North's offense no where to be found in the first half, the South was able to leap ahead 10-0.
"It's tough to set up a whole defense in a week," Godsey said. "This All-Star game is really set up for an offensive style game, but I still had a lot of fun and it was an honor to coach these great young players."
Brian Jackson put the South ahead 3-0 with a 46-yard field goal. The North, who gained just one yard in the first quarter, could do nothing with the next possession and gave the South another chance.
Roderiguez Wright, a Jeff Davis graduate, may have earned the South's MVP honor on the team's next drive. Wright sprinted off tackle and left the entire North team grabbing at air, as the UT-Chattanooga signee broke several tackles en route to a 23-yard touchdown run.
The North pulled within 10-3 at halftime but fumbled away the second half kickoff. The South promptly marched 27 yards on four plays to score. Clay Harrelson ran in from 11-yard line on a quarterback keeper.
The North scored midway through the fourth quarter for the final time. Russellville's Jake Tompkins ran in from one yard out.
"It was good to get the blood boiling again," Smith said. "It was kind of a wake-up call for the season."
Atchison said reuniting with his old coach one last time was something he will remember.
"It was a lot of fun," he said. "He's (Smith) the man, I'm going to miss him.
"I just hate we lost (Friday) night. But, it was a good experience, and I actually made some Russellville friends."
Atchison had seven tackles, while Ward made six.
"Coming off the season we had last year, I really didn't want to lose this game," Ward said, who will be attending UT-Chattanooga. "I had fun except having to wake up at 7 a.m. and having to go practice before my food digested (laughing). Really, what this game was about for me was getting back in a game before next season. I will be able to start some for UTC and I think this helped me get ready."
Ward reports to UTC Aug. 1, while Atchison begins practice with Jacksonville State Aug. 5.
South (6-1, 0-4)
North (1-6, 4-0)
Sabrina Roberts did what she was supposed to – bottom line.
Roberts pitched three innings for the North's doubleheader with the South, faced nine batters and retired all, striking out four.
In the first game, the North lost 6-1, but no blood was left on Roberts' hands. Roberts closed out the final two innings and did not allow a base runner.
Jessica Lyle got a hit in the first game and entered later at first base.
Neither Lyle nor Roberts got a hit in the second game, but both saw action on the mound.
Roberts started the contest and pitched the first inning without allowing a run. Lyle preserved the win by pitching the final inning and retiring all three batters she faced.