I had such an opportunity recently to catch up with former Sand Rock and current Freed-Hardeman University centerfielder Justin Mackey.
Mackey said he’s been working out in the cages with former Cedar Bluff and current Alabama-Huntsville baseball player Jim Nelson to get into shape for their upcoming seasons.
Last season, Mackey batted .374 with 15 doubles, three home runs, two triples, 20 walks, 46 runs and 44 RBIs for the Lions (36-23), who are coming off their first TranSouth Conference championship in 15 years.
“Last year was one amazing season,” Mackey said. “We had 16 seniors last year, so we’ve got a lot to replace. Mostly, it’s pitching. Our lineup should be pretty legit. I hope we win 40 games this year and go for another conference championship.”
Mackey, now a senior, said Lion head coach Jonathan Estes expects to move him from the two-spot in the lineup to fourth.
“Being a senior and all, you’ve got a leadership role,” Mackey said. “You want to lead by example, and you know what to expect coming in. I’ve got three years under my belt, so I’ve just got to show the underclassmen how to do it.”
The Lions will open the 2013 season on Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. against St. Catharine (Ky.) College.
The golf team of Billy Mack Garrett, Stan McCarley, Bobby Russell and Jason Dawson carded a 13-under par 58 in the Toys for Tots golf tournament held Dec. 15 at the Cherokee County Country Club in Centre.
The foursome fired 7-under 28 on the front side with an eagle on No. 2. A bogey on the par 3 12th was the only blemish on the backside for the winning quartet.
Runner-up honors went to the team of Jeremy Rieger, Bill Trammell, Renae Coley and Larry Guffey. Their second-place finish featured a balanced scorecard. The group was 6-under on both ends of the course to finish a stroke behind the winners.
The 12th annual Youth Basketball Bash is set for Feb. 15-16 in Boaz. Age divisions are for boys 8-and-under, boys 10, 12-and-under, and girls 10, 12-and-under. The age cutoff date is Sept. 1, 2012, and proof of identification is required.
The entry fee is $90 per team. Checks need to be made payable to Boaz High School Softball and need to be sent to tournament director Jimmy Collins at 129 Pike Ave., Boaz, Ala., 35957.
Space may be limited due to the number of divisions. The entry deadline is Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per person per day.
For more information, contact Collins at (256) 302-4298 or (256) 593-9211. You can also email Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gridiron Alumni Football is planning several full contact alumni football games in the Cherokee County area.
Founded in 2010, Gridiron Alumni has raised over $150,000 for schools and charities using alumni football games as a fundraising vehicle. The organization travels the nation pitting old football rivals against each other one more time.
Players are needed to sign up, and the first 40 players on each team get to play. Teams from Cherokee County, Hokes Bluff, Piedmont, Gadsden City, as well as other area teams are forming now. Games are set for early spring.
If you or someone you know is interested, please go to http://www.gridironalumni.com to register. To learn more, please call Chris at (530) 410-6396 or go to the website.