C-Spire/Troy Cable Spring Classic set for this weekend

Published 11:46 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

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The 2023 C-Spire/Troy Cable Spring Football Classic will take place this weekend with a number of football games at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.

The weekend will kickoff with the Pike County Bulldogs facing off against the Selma Saints at 7 p.m. on May 12. The Bulldogs and Saints have never met in the regular season.

Pike County is coming off a 2022 season that saw the Dawgs from Brundidge return to form, going 8-4 and advancing to the third round of the Class 3A State Playoffs in year one under Head Coach Mark Hurt. The 2021 season was the first time in nearly a decade that PCHS didn’t qualify for the playoffs.

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The 2023 Bulldogs return a number of veteran players, including running back/linebacker Markelis Hobdy (104 TKL, 19 TFL, 3 INT), quarterback Omari Barrow and linebacker/running back Nemo Williams (908 yards, 7 TD; 52 TKL, 18 TFL, 8 sacks). Pike County, though, will have to replace the staggering production – in all three phases of the game – of Marshall signee Ian Foster.

Meanwhile, Selma went 7-4 last season before losing to Tallassee in the first round of the 5A State Playoffs. Selma is currently on a streak of four straight years of making the playoffs under head coach Willie Gandy. The Saints have to replace the production of Penn State signee DaKaari Nelson, who played safety and running back for Selma, along with both of Selma’s top two quarterbacks.

Returning for Selma is leading receiver Omari Smith (18 catches, 275 yards, 1 TD) and edge rusher Kristan Moore (100 tackles, 15 TFL, 11.5 sacks). All-County linebacker Jason Rogers (88 tackles, 2 FF) is also back for the Saints.

The action in “The Vet” continues on May 13 with the Sidney Lanier Poets out of Montgomery facing off against the Loachapoka Indians at 1 p.m. Lanier and Loachapoka have never met in the regular season.

The Poets are coming off a 5-5 season in 2022 and a first round exit in the Class 6A State Playoffs in Derone Fagan’s first season as head coach. Lanier will have to replace All-State running back Tacaris Bozeman – who is now an Alabama State Yellow Jacket – and All-State defensive back Zariah Marks. Quarterback Cordez Arrington and linebacker Jawan McBride (10 TFL, 4 sacks) return from 2022.

Loachapoka is coming off a 9-2 season in 2022 and a second round appearance in the Class 1A State Playoffs. It was the Indians’ third straight playoff appearance and first time Loachapoka has made it past the first round since 2013.

While the Indians have to replace All-State defensive back JC Hart, who is now playing at Auburn, Loachapoka returns All-State defensive lineman Jamari Payne. The 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pounder holds offers from schools like Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Indiana, Troy, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

Next up, the Luverne Tigers, Carver-Birmingham Rams and Monroe County Tigers will meet in a three-way spring game that will see Carver and Monroe play a half of football at 3 p.m. Carver and Luverne will then play a half at 4 p.m. followed by Luverne and Monroe County playing for a half at 5 p.m. Neither team has ever met in the regular season.

Luverne is coming off a 6-5 season in 2022 and first round appearance in the 2A State Playoffs. The Tigers are on an eye-popping 39-year streak of consecutive playoff appearances. Those 39 playoff appearances include two state titles, two state runners-up and 14 region championships.

Monroe County is coming off a 2-8 season under first-year coach Shannon Felder. Class 3A’s Monroe County has not made the playoffs since 2003.

Carver is also coming off a 3-7 season and a playoff drought that dates back to 2017. The Class 5A school is led by second-year coach Rod Carson and must replace All-State athlete Cornelius Jones.

The Spring Classic closes up with a matchup between the Charles Henderson Trojans and Class 7A’s Hewitt-Trussville Huskies at 6 p.m. The Trojans finished 2022 as Class 5A’s state runner-up, while Hewitt earned a second round exit in Class 7A after an 8-4 season. The Huskies have made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons.

The Huskies return All-State offensive lineman Donovan Price and 7A Back of the Year Peyton Floyd at quarterback. Floyd threw for 2,413 yards and 25 touchdowns, while also rushing for 726 yards and 16 touchdowns. Running back Jaqson Melton (778 yards, 3 TD) and receivers Jadon Loving (613 yards, 5 TDs), Kadarius Barnes (500 yards, 6 TD) and Brett Moseley (471 yards, 7 TD) are all back on offense. While the Huskies have to replace a number of starters on defense, All-State defensive end Tyrell Averhart (85 TKL, 22.5 TFL, 6 sacks) returns.

The Trojans return the majority of their starters from last year, including quarterback Parker Adams (2,580 yards, 28 TD), running back Zach Coleman (834 yards, 10 TD), and 5A Lineman of the Year Zion Grady (106 TKL, 35 TFL, 22 sacks).

CHHS also returns its “do-it-all” athlete Jywon Boyd, who totaled 89 yards and one touchdown passing, 342 yards and two touchdowns rushing and 1,218 yards and 20 touchdowns receiving as he earned All-Messenger Offensive Player of the Year in 2022. Boyd also returned three kicks for touchdowns and returned a fumble for a score. On defense, he tallied 71 tackles, two tackles-for-loss, one sack, and six interceptions.