BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — As far as January weeks go, this one is chock-full of marquee events for high school fans to pay attention to. That’s because there’s a little bit more high school football news to cover before we close the book on last season.
The week offers a few tasty news items to pay attention to this week and we won’t even mention the dreaded R-word that’s coming up on Jan. 22 yet.
1) The Alabama Sports Writers Association will name its 2013 Mr. Football on Wednesday in Montgomery. The state’s media will hand out the high school version of the Heisman Trophy before a packed banquet hall.
Who’s going to win it? A parlay that includes the names Jermarcus Brown (Pickens County), Ronnie Clark (Calera), Kendrick Doss (Florence), Rashaan Evans (Auburn), Keith Mixon (Shades Valley), Roc Thomas (Oxford) and Tre’ Williams (St. Paul’s) would likely have the field covered.
There are 42 finalists for the award and the ASWA’s will hand out seven distinctive Back and Lineman of the Year awards for each classification before handing out Alabama high school football’s highest honor.
Clark and Mixon are joined by Pinson Valley’s Nick Gibson, Fultondale lineman Kadarrius Lawrence, Homewood’s Jordan Sims, Leeds two-way terror Tyler Wright and AISA standout Cortney Wilbanks as finalists for each of those respective Back and Lineman of the Year honors.
2) The recruiting dead period ends on Jan. 15. That means two things: 1) Face-to-face contact between prospective recruit and coaching staff is allowed again after a Dec. 15 roadblock set up between that type of communication. 2) Official visits galore start up this weekend.
If you’re planning to go to a big school and have official visits left, then the whole country will be taking those across the next few weekends. Recruiting season will dominate the AL.com headlines for the next 25 days or so.
3)Big time high school hoops: Who’s really the best team in Birmingham right now?
Is it three-time defending champion Wenonah? Or is it a Jekyll-and-Hyde Parker team that can look like a 1988 model Mike Tyson taking on all comers and whipping the field at the Steel City Invitational? Or is it the squad that lost to two Class 4A teams this month after that impressive performance?
The teams match up Friday night at Parker. The game should start at 7:30 p.m. and it will be another fire marshall special. Get there by 5:45 P.M. with a ticket in hand or get left out in the cold.
Wenonah did beat Parker in the area meeting earlier this season and has had Parker’s number over the last several seasons. Alabama signee Justin Coleman’s late trey with 10 seconds to go allowed the Dragons to beat Parker in the first meeting.
That’s the Game of the Week this week by a large margin. Parker was No. 1 in last week’s Metro Top 10 followed by Wenonah. The Dragons were still rated No. 1 in Class 5A in the ASWA Top 10 polls for last week.
Big time high school wrestling: Three-time defending Class 6A champion Thompson goes on the road to take on perennial Birmingham 6A juggernaut Vestavia Hills.
Has Thompson peaked? Are the Rebels right with them this year? We’ll find out on Thursday night.