2011 spring sports review

Published 8:34 pm Monday, December 26, 2011

The spring sports season was a successful one for teams in Pike County in 2011.

Pike Liberal Arts School's Aaron Milner releases a pitch during a baseball game against Emanuel Christian School in Troy, Ala., Thursday, March 31, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Pike Liberal Arts baseball team reached the Alabama Independent School Association State Championship Series for the second consecutive season while Goshen reached the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. Charles Henderson and Troy University also completed victorious seasons.

The Patriots set a new school record by compiling a record of 36-8. Pike had set the previous benchmark the season before. It was also the first time the Patriots won 30 games in back-to-back seasons. PLAS also advanced to the title series for second straight season and in the second straight season fell to Glenwood School. The Patriots earned a victory in game one of the best of three series but couldn’t earn the crucial second win to clinch the school’s first state championship in baseball. In contrast, it was Glenwood’s third consecutive state championship and 19th overall. The two rivals faced off three times in the regular season with Glenwood taking two of three. Pike swept Wilcox and Monroe in the playoffs to earn the championship berth.

Charles Henderson High School's Chase Connell (25) hits a grand slam during a baseball game against Brantley High School in Troy, Ala., Tuesday, March 8, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

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Charles Henderson once again earned a spot in the Alabama High School Athletic Association postseason with a 20-12 regular season record. The Trojans were swept by Russell County in the first round. Jalin Lawson was chosen to represent CHHS in the 15th annual AHSAA All-Star Sports Week in Montgomery. Head coach Derek Irons was selected to coach the South squad.

Lawson, now a senior a Charles Henderson, was one of eighteen players selected to the South squad. Lawson led the team in doubles (19), home runs (7), runs (51), and stolen bases (14).

In 2011, Goshen clinched its first playoff berth in eight seasons. The Eagles posted a 4-2 area record. The Goshen softball team also had a banner year finishing 29-9. The Eagles advanced to the AHSAA State Tournament before falling in three games. Goshen cruised through the Southeast Regional tournament by knocking off Reeltown (12-2), Choctaw County (11-0) and Horseshoe Bend (4-3, 7-0). Alli Warick was named 2A Tournament MVP. In the double-elimination state tournament, Goshen defeated Ranburne (11-7) before falling to Lexington (6-0) and Mobile Christian (5-0).

The Troy Trojans earned a top 25 ranking and an at-large bid into the NCAA Regional Tournament in Nashville. The Trojans won the Sun Belt Conference regular season title posting a 21-9 conference record.

Troy would finish 2-1 in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, which switched to pool play format, losing to Arkansas-Little Rock before beating both Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky. While the Trojans missed a shot and earning the conference’s automatic berth, Troy was selected as an at-large bid. Behind the solid pitching of All-American and Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year Tyler Ray, the Trojans knocked off Oklahoma State in the opening round, 9-2. The Trojans would run out of steam, however, falling to Vanderbilt and Stetson in their next two games. Ray, third baseman Tyler Hannah and shortstop Adam Bryant were all named to All-American teams giving the Trojans a school record of three in 2011.

If 2011 is any indication of the upcoming spring sports season, Pike County will have a lot to be excited about.