Nick Birdsong: We've got talent on the diamonds
May 26, 2009 | 1742 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After attending the Alabama Sports Writers Association voting meeting to determine the 2009 All-state baseball and softball teams this past Thursday in Montgomery, one thing rang more true than ever.

The talent on the diamonds in Calhoun, Talladega, Cleburne, Clay, Randolph, Cherokee and St. Clair counties is second to none. It just might be A-1. Oxford was the only baseball team to reach the state finals. Alexandria, Saks and Spring Garden reached the state softball tournament.

Looking at the quantity and quality of the nominees for the ASWA's highest awards, colleges would do well to make Northeast Alabama a primary point of destination when searching for talent.

If you weren't an avid fan this spring — even though I don't think there are any casual prep sports fans around here — you'll see what I mean when the teams are officially released in the coming week or so.

And yes, we'll have the all-county and all-area softball teams coming in the near future. We're working as hard as humanly possible over here. As soon as every player and coach of the year story is written and every mug shot is shot, we'll get them over to you ASAP.

• WEAVER'S TAYLOR RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP: Weaver High School's Misty Taylor was awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Scholarship Committee of the Alabama High School Directors and Coaches Association (AHSADCA). The scholarship recipients will be formally presented with the honor at the Championship Awards banquet on July 16, which will be part of All-Star Sports Week in Huntsville.

This is the second year the scholarships have been given to seniors heading into their freshman year of college whose parents are members in good standing with the association.

Taylor's father, legendary Weaver wrestling coach Gene Taylor, won six state championships while he was at the Bearcats' helm from 1989 to 2004. Misty's twin brother, Jake, also a senior at Weaver, won the Class 1A-4A state wrestling title in the 145-pound division this year.

"We continue to provide this service from our Association to our member coaches and athletic directors," said association director Steve Bailey. "We know a lot of them that work hard every day and we want to show our appreciation and help them out."

Also receiving $1,000 scholarships were: Elizabeth Clough, Murphy; Ryne Taylor, Straughn; Audrey Ainsworth, Alabama Christian Academy; Jeremiah Bryan, Valley; Darren Brown, Beauregard; Mary Hawk, Vestavia Hills; Peter Riddle, Hewitt-Trussville; Adam McCarley, Phillips and Katie Annerton, Falkville.

• WANNA GO CAMPIN?: University of Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy will be hosting the Crimson Tide's annual summer camp on June 21-24. The individual camp will cover the fundamentals of fast pitch softball. There will also be a team camp on July 21-23. For more information, visit or call the UA softball office at 205-348-0526.
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