Central of Clay County to hire principal before head coach
by Nick Birdsong
nbirdsong@annistonstar.com
Mar 12, 2012 | 3744 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Those waiting for school administrators to announce who’ll be the head football coach at Central of Clay County next fall will have to wait until a principal is selected for the Class 4A school, the result of the merger of 2A Lineville and 3A Clay County.

According to Clay County Board of Education Superintendent Garey Reynolds, the decision on a principal won’t happen before March 22nd, the date of the board’s next scheduled meeting. Reynolds said the principal position has been open since February 23rd.

It only has to be open for two weeks, but Reynolds said he’d like the principal to be involved in the hiring process of the football coach and no definitive date has been set for either vacancy to be filled. One thing’s for certain: the principal of the new school and the football coach won’t be the same person, Reynolds said.

“It’s important to a lot of people,” Reynolds said. “(Lineville coach Steve) Giddens and (Clay County coach Kris) Herron have done an excellent job so far running the program. We’ve gotten uniforms and they’ve worked together.”

Herron has already expressed interest in the head coaching position but added that he’d be willing to assist another candidate if not chosen for the position. Giddens would also figure to be a person of interest.

Both led their teams to the state semifinals this past season.

The Volunteers, Central’s mascot, won’t waste anytime pitting their team against the state’s best. They’ll face Class 4A Beauregard (10-2) in the Champions Challenge at 5 p.m. on August 25th at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

• Open Sesame: This past football season, Piedmont unveiled a completely remodeled Field of Champions, replete with field turf and the whole nine. Last week, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs played their first games at their new baseball and softball fields.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to Jacksonville 7-5 in their first game on campus, but the baseball team brought in the school’s field with a victory, downing Wellborn 9-2 this past Thursday.

“It was great for our kids not only to have something of their own but to have a dressing room,” Piedmont athletics director Steve Smith said. “We built dressing rooms for those sports under the football stadium. They used to have to get dressed in a bathroom or in the field house or wherever they could.”

For years, prior to the building of the new fields, Piedmont played its home games on the fields at the city’s sports complex.

“I’m so appreciative of our city to allow us to play on those fields,” Smith added. “They’d have those fields dragged, the grass cut and ready to go. We were not disappointed with what we had.”

• Rest in Peace: The Star sports department sends its condolences to the family of the late Grover Whaley.

Assistant managing editor Bran Strickland remembered Whaley from his prowess in the weekly prep football picks contest. His name used to pop up quite frequently among those who had “beat Bran” when Strickland held down the post I occupy. It probably happened more times than Strickland would like to admit, too.

Whaley was no one’s armchair athlete. He was a starter at tackle at Randolph County from 1952-1954 where he earned Class 1A all-state honors before going on to become a three-year letterman at Jacksonville State. He was also the head football coach at Jacksonville from 1967 and 1968, and principal at Alexandria in the 1980s. Here’s to you and your’s sir. Gone but never forgotten.

• Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready: Fall is fun and filled with football and volleyball, but spring is home to so much more. Last week, Oxford reclaimed the Calhoun County baseball tournament. But don’t fret, there’s still loads of local sports action coming your way. The county track and field championships will be held April 2 at Jacksonville State University. The county girls golf tournament will be held at Pine Hill County Club April 6 and 7. The boys county golf tournament will be held at Pine Hill the following Friday and Saturday. The county softball tournament will take place April 12-14 at Woodland Park.

Nick Birdsong covers preps sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.