Local coaches selected Jacksonville, which has reached the state final in each of the past four seasons, to lead the field of 15 teams at the one-day tournament scheduled for Saturday, October 2nd.
Coincidentally, the Lady Golden Eagles (20-4, 10-2 against county schools) will host the tournament set to begin at 9 a.m. at Van Deerman Gymnasium.
The Lady Golden Eagles are coming off a loss to Class 6A Oxford, the No. 2 seed, in the final of the first annual Sandy Hunter Invitational at Pleasant Valley this past Saturday.
The Lady Yellow Jackets (19-5, 10-4) downed Jacksonville 2-1 to garner their first victory over the Lady Golden Eagles in three meetings this season.
“They’re ahead of where I thought they’d be at this point in the season,” Jacksonville coach David Clark said. “But they’ve got a long way to go to get to where we’ve been the past three or four years. We talk about it a lot. We talk about their shortcomings and things they’re doing well. If they’re not doing something well. I tell them that too.”
Jacksonville has a bye in the first-round.
They’ll face the winner of the 9 a.m. matchup between No. 8 Wellborn (10-17, 4-13) and No. 9 Ohatchee (6-13, 3-4), who reached the Elite Eight state tournament in 2009, in the second round.
Oxford will square off with No. 15 Anniston (0-8) at 10:30 a.m. in the best three of five games, single-elimination tournament.
No. 3 Donoho (20-6, 10-3) and No. 4 Pleasant Valley (19-7, 10-5), who also reached the state tournament last year, will match up with No. 14 Weaver (7-12, 0-4) and No. 12 Faith Christian (1-10, 0-6) in the opening round at 10:30 a.m.
“There are some teams in 1A that are just as good as the teams we’ll play against in the county,” Donoho coach Janice Slay said of the field. “But we’re up to the challenge. We know that if we can play well against 2A, 3A, 4A and a 6A team here it’ll be great preparation for the playoffs which is two weeks after the county tournament.”
Admission to the tournament will be $5 and the final is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Here are the rest of the first-round matchups:
No. 5 Alexandria (18-8, 8-6) vs. No. 12 Jacksonville Christian Academy (8-6, 1-3) 9 a.m.
No. 6 Saks (16-8, 7-6) vs. No. 11 White Plains (6-24, 5-16) noon
No. 7 Piedmont (8-14, 5-4) vs. No. 10 Sacred Heart (10-4, 4-2) 9 a.m.
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter at