Prep notebook: Oxford’s Hicks wins national Paralympics honor
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Oct 16, 2013 | 1871 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oxford’s Kayla Hicks was recognized nationally recently, by being named as a 2013 United States Paralympic High School Track and Field All-American by the U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee.

Hicks was one of only 55 athletes to receive the honor and one of only three from Alabama.

Hicks finished third in javelin and also competed in the 800-meter dash, the discus throw, and shot put. Hicks was recognized at last week’s Oxford High pep rally.

“Each year, we are seeing more and more talent rising out of the high school ranks,” Cathy Sellers, USOC high performance director for Paralympic track and field, said in a release. “Our 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field High School All-Americans are an exceptional group of athletes. They are showing the growth and development of Paralympic track and field in the United States. The progression of these athletes to the elite ranks is encouraging.”

PLAYOFF VETERANS: When Shannon Felder took over the Donoho football program in 2004, his first team went 0-10.

After the slow start,however, the Falcons are up and running under Felder. They won their region two years later and have become regulars in the state playoffs.

With last week’s 44-13 win over Cedar Bluff, Donoho clinched a spot in this year’s postseason. It marks the Falcons’ seventh playoff berth in the past nine seasons under Felder.

The Falcons sit in a tie for second place with Collinsville and Gaylesville at 5-1. Valley Head leads the region at 6-0. If Donoho beats Spring Garden this week and Gaylesville next week, the Falcons will finish second in the region and host a first-round playoff game.

CHEERING ONE OF ITS OWN: The Faith Christian volleyball team is raising money for one of its own.

After a player’s mother had breast cancer twice over the past few years, the volleyball team and community are rounding up money for the Side-Out Foundation.

Head coach Bradley Dawson said the school sold 208 “Think Pink” T-shirts, and the money made from the shirts will go to the organization. Anyone wearing the T-shirt to tonight’s match will receive free admission. Donations will also be accepted at the gym.

The team has also gotten new jerseys and socks that will be wore tonight.

THOUGHTS OF 1968: It’s been a while since Saks has been undefeated through its first seven games.

The last time the Wildcats were 7-0 was in 1971. Before that, Saks won its first seven games in 1968. That year was the first time Saks had gone undefeated in the regular season, won 10 games in a season and made a trip to the playoffs. The season also featured the only time Saks has ever been ranked No. 1 in the state.

Just how much has changed since 1968? Saks has had 10 different coaches, made the playoffs 11 times and been ranked in six different seasons, never higher than third. Also, the 1968 head coach, Jack Stewart, now has the stadium named after him.

One thing has not changed, however. Saks has played Piedmont nearly every season since 1961. That rivalry will continue Friday as Piedmont enters the contest ranked second in Class 3A, and Saks is ranked seventh.

And, for those wondering, Saks did defeat Piedmont in 1968. The final was 28-6.

MUNFORD MAGIC: *Munford’s magical season has another “it’s been a while” moment.

The Lions need to beat either Cherokee County or Anniston in the next two weeks to win Class 4A, Region 5. The last time Munford won a region was 1992.

Last year, head coach Will Wagnon led the Lions to their first postseason appearance since 2005 and second in 14 years. Earlier this season, Munford cracked the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A poll after not having been ranked since 1994.

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star
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