Prep notebook: Munford star confirms he is considering JSU
by Brandon Miller
Oct 30, 2013 | 2385 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Munford High standout Tavon Lawson has Jacksonville State in his top five of potential schools.

Lawson said he was offered a scholarship following Munford’s loss to Clay Central on Sept. 27.

While having interest from multiple schools — including Air Force, Memphis, Navy and Western Kentucky — Lawson listed Minnesota, Campbell, Jacksonville State, Chattanooga and Samford as the schools at the top of his list, adding what he likes about Jacksonville State is he feels he would fit in.

“When you go there it’s not just like you’re going to play football,” said Lawson, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds. “It’s more like a home away from home.”

Lawson said he plans to commit to a school after the 2012 season. He is being recruited as a defensive back/safety, as are Saks quarterback Tre Smith and Weaver quarterback Timothy Hawkins by the Gamecocks.

Lawson said he talked to Smith at JSU’s game against Murray State, at which both were official visitors. Lawson said he loved the experience at the game.

“They get pumped for games,” Lawson said. “I love the coaches and players. They stayed pumped during the whole game and for every moment.”

Munford coach Will Wagnon played wide receiver at Jacksonville State in the early 2000s.

REACHING HISTORY: Saks has had two undefeated regular seasons in school history, but the Wildcats have a chance Friday night to enter the playoffs with a 10-0 record for the first time.

In 1968, Saks finished the regular season 9-0, and the Wildcats were 8-0-1 after the 1971 regular season.

In 1996, when the Wildcats made the Class 5A state finals, Saks went 9-1 in the regular season before finishing with a school-high 13 wins.

Friday’s non-region game with Jacksonville takes on a bigger role than being the second edition of Jacksonville coach Clint Smith vs. his former team and former defensive coordinator Jonathan Miller.

If the Golden Eagles get the better of Saks, it’ll be the fourth time in school history the Wildcats have won nine games in the regular season. Saks did it in 1968, 1987 and 1996.

PLAYOFF REGULAR: Rebuilding year or not, it’s rare for Handley to miss the playoffs. The Tigers are in the postseason for the seventh straight season, despite sitting at 4-5. Handley finished fourth in Class 4A, Region 3 with a 4-3 mark.

Since 2007, Handley has made it to at least the second round of the postseason. The school won the 2011 Class 3A state championship.

Since Mike Battles took over in 2004, Handley has won three region titles and made the playoffs nine times. Handley has a 16-7 playoff record in those years.

CLOSE RIVALRY: Jacksonville doesn’t beat Alexandria often, but when it does, it’s normally in overtime.

As opposed to The World’s Most Extraordinary Man, this may be Calhoun County’s most extraordinary rivalry. Last Friday, Jacksonville not only defeated Alexandria in double overtime 24-23 to put the Valley Cubs out of the playoffs for the first time since 2002, but it was also Jacksonville’s second overtime win over Alexandria in five years.

Jacksonville won the 2009 game in overtime 21-20, which was the last time the Golden Eagles made the postseason before now. Before ’09, Jacksonville hadn’t beaten Alexandria since 2002. The 16-12 final didn’t come in overtime.

COUNTY SUCCESS: Both schools from Cleburne County are in the playoffs, and the last time that happened, the seniors from this year’s teams were in sixth grade. That was in 2007. Since then, Ranburne hasn’t been to the playoffs again until this year, while Cleburne County made it in 2010 and ’11.

Ranburne hasn’t made it to the second round since 1989. Cleburne County has had more success, winning 24 playoff games since then. The Tigers made the finals in 1994 and 2001.

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. Telephone: 256-235-3575, Twitter: @bmiller_star.
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