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franklin county times

Looking back: Successes highlight spring sports 2021-22

While summer ball continues and student-athletes begin to look forward to their upcoming seasons, here are some reflections on the recent spring season:


The Russellville Golden Tigers capped off the spring by winning their second consecutive Class 5A state championship. Russellville compiled a record of 32-13.

After winning Class 5A, Area 15, the Golden Tigers rolled through the state playoffs, sweeping their first three opponents – Pleasant Grove, St. Clair County and Leeds. The Golden Tigers took their first loss in the semifinals to Madison Academy but won the series 2-1 to advance to the state championship game. Russellville beat Holtville in game one 2-0 and lost game two 3-2 before pummeling the Bulldogs 12-2 in game three to claim the Golden Tigers’ fifth state baseball title.

Russellville’s Canyon Pace was selected as the Class 5A Hitter of the Year. Banks Langston was selected as the Class 5A Pitcher of the Year.

Pace signed a scholarship with Union University in Tennessee. Eli Gipson, Samuel Pace, Grayson Thorpe, Emitt Green, Nathan Brockway and Ethan Oliver all signed with the restarted Northwest-Shoals Community College program.

Phil Campbell made a strong run in the playoffs, sweeping Saks in round one and Plainview in round two and beating Elkmont two games to one in the quarterfinals. The Bobcats fell to Piedmont two games to one in the semifinals.

It was the third straight season for the Bobcats to make it to the semifinals.

The Phil Campbell team won its sixth consecutive Franklin County Tournament and won Class 3A, Area 15.

Phil Campbell’s Mason Swinney landed on the list of the state’s top 10 high school baseball players for the second straight season. Swinney also was selected the Class 3A Hitter of the Year. Teammate Cam Habada was the Class 3A Pitcher of the Year. Swinney earned a scholarship to the University of Alabama.

Belgreen finished runner up in Class 1A, Area 13. The Bulldogs were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Appalachian.

In boys soccer, the Russellville Golden Tigers brought home the red map, finishing runner up in the state in Class 4A-5A.

The Golden Tigers went undefeated in Area 14. They beat Brewer 10-0 in the first round of the playoffs, Westminster Christian 4-1 in round two and West Morgan 10-0 in the semifinals before losing to Indian Springs in the state championship game 1-0.

The Tharptown Wildcats went undefeated in Class 1A-3A, Area 7, in the second year of the program. The Wildcats beat Tanner 4-3 in round one of the playoffs before losing to Collinsville 2-1 in the second round.

In girls soccer, Russellville went undefeated in area play. The Lady Golden Tigers beat West Morgan 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs before losing to St. John Paul II in the second round.

In softball, Red Bay won the Class 2A, Area 14, tournament. The Tigers beat Sulligent in the north region tournament but lost to Mars Hill and were eliminated by Colbert County.

Russellville’s Jenna Whitefield signed a softball scholarship with Itawamba Community College. Red Bay’s Annaliese Rogers signed with Northeast Mississippi Community College. Phil Campbell’s Kenner Scott signed with Southwest Tennessee Community College. Phil Campbell’s Jade Roberson and Belgreen’s Madison Vandiver signed softball scholarships with Northwest-Shoals Community College.

Belgreen won the Franklin County Tournament and finished runner up in Class 1A, Area 14. The Bulldogs lost to Skyline, beat Marion County and were eliminated by Athens Bible.

Russellville finished runner up in the Class 5A, Area 15, tournament. The Golden Tigers beat John Carroll Catholic, lost to Hayden and were eliminated by Ardmore.

Peyton Parrish advanced to the state semifinals in singles tennis. Madeline Cooper and Leah Rushing won the state in third court doubles.

Franklin County Times Boys Soccer Player of the Year: Orlando Jimenez, Russellville

Jimenez scored 30 goals and had eight assists. He helped Russellville to a 19-3-1 record and a Class 4A-5A runner-up finish for the second straight year.

Franklin County Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year: Ashly Garcia, Russellville

Garcia scored 38 goals and had nine assists during the 2022 season. The junior forward was named to the 4A-5A All-State first team and the Alabama North-South All-Star squad.

Franklin County Times Soccer Coach of the Year: Trey Stanford, Russellville

Stanford led the Golden Tigers boys soccer team to a 19-3-1 record and the Class 4A-5A state runner-up for the second straight year. Stanford also led the girls to an undefeated record in area play and the second round of the state playoffs.

Franklin County Times Softball Player of the Year: Jenna Whitfield, Russellville

Witfield batted .354 with 34 RBIs, 21 runs scored, 14 doubles and two triples to lead the Golden Tigers at the plate.

Also considered: Makayla Willingham, Belgreen; Jaycee Moore, Russellville; Taylor Cameron, Tharptown; Chloe Knoblock, Red Bay; Kenner Scott, Phil Campbell.

Franklin County Times Softball Coach of the Year: Susie Tverberg, Belgreen

Tverberg led the Bulldogs to their second straight Franklin County Championship. The Bulldogs lost the first game of the tournament to Red Bay before storming out of the loser’s bracket to win the title. Belgreen went 11-1 against county competition, losing only to Red Bay in the first round of the tournament.

Franklin County Times Baseball Player of the Year: Mason Swinney, Phil Campbell

Swinney was named one of the top 10 baseball players in the state for the second consecutive year. He also earned the Class 3A Hitter of the Year Award and first team All-State. Swinney has signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Alabama.

Also considered: Canyon Pace, Russellville; Banks Langston, Russellville; Cam Habada, Phil Campbell.

Franklin County Times Baseball Coach of the Year: Chris Heaps, Russellville

Heaps led the Golden Tigers to their second consecutive Class 5A state championship. The Golden Tigers finished the year 32-13 and were undefeated in area play.

Franklin County Times Tennis Player of the Year: Peyton Parrish, Russellville

Parrish finished 23-2 in singles. She was the only player to win a game off the eventual state champion, Alana Boyce of Randolph. Parrish has a career 63-12 singles record. She teamed with Sofia Tiffin for a 22-4 record and No. 1 doubles.

Franklin County Times Golf Player of the Year: Buck McRight, Red Bay

McRight finished sixth in the state in Class 1A-2A. At the state championship, he shot an 81 in round one and a 78 in round two for a total score of 159.

Franklin County Times Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Dallan Montgomery, Russellville

Montgomery had a strong showing in the Class 5A state track meet, finishing second in the state in the javelin, fourth in shot put and sixth in discus.

Also considered: Cayden Lawler, Vina.


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