Waldon Tucker returned to coaching Fayette football against Winfield last week, but the Pirates spoiled his return debut by defeating the Tigers 26-6. Fayette appeared to be hitting on all cylinders early, as they took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for the first touchdown of the 2020 season. However, Winfield shutout the Tigers for the remainder of the game to claim the victory.
Sometimes in football, the final score does not truly represent what happened in the game. The Wildcat faithful who saw Berry host the Northside Rams at Fred Webster Stadium would agree with this. The Rams and the Wildcats kicked off their 2020 campaigns by facing each other for the first time since 2015. The Wildcats led 7-6 at halftime, but three scores by the Rams in the second half proved to be the difference as Northside took the win 27-7.
Hubbertville traveled north to Franklin County to open its season with a fall jamboree against the Class 3A Phil Campbell Bobcats. Just as the coin toss ended, the rain began and umbrellas opened up throughout the stadium. Grayson Key advanced the opening kick to the Lions 40-yard line, setting up the Lions offense, led by senior quarterback Gage Key.
The only municipal election within the county this year will occur on Aug. 25 in the City of Fayette, with every position on the ballot being contested. Seeking the position of mayor, replacing retiring Mayor Ray Nelson, will be: Kevin Bass, Rod Northam, Max Weaver and current City Councilman Cedric Wilson. Vying for office in Ward One are Steve Herring, Kevin Rhudy and Virettia L. Whiteside. Ward One Councilwoman Linda McCraw is not seeking re-election. In Ward Two, incumbent Councilman Eddy D. Campbell will face challenger Floyd Rogers Jr. for the position.
The Fayette County Board of Education approved several personnel items and the much-discussed coaching supplements during its Aug. 13 meeting. After spending considerable time during the past two weeks discussing the supplements of coaches within the county, the board sought an opinion from the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts concerning the matter.
Despite the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, schools are opening for fall classes and with it comes the beginning of the high school football season. Berry and Fayette open their regular seasons this Thursday, while Hubbertville will play a jamboree game on Friday. In accordance with Governor Kay Ivey’s order, all fans are asked to wear facial coverings or masks to enter the games.
The Fayette County Commission voted unanimously at its Aug. 10 meeting to hire Preston Jones as the county’s new maintenance supervisor. All commissioners were present for the meeting, which was held at the Fayette Civic Center since the meeting was changed to morning from afternoon. Phillip Rushing had been temporarily hired to fill the vacancy as maintenance supervisor until a new employee was hired. Commissioner Barry Corkren made a motion that was seconded by Commissioner Billy Joe Rodgers to hire Jones as the new supervisor. The motion passed by unanimous consent.
The Fayette City Council approved the building of new airport hangers during its Aug. 11 meeting. Councilwoman Linda McCraw was absent from the meeting. A proposal from Northwest Bama Builders was submitted to the council to build the hangers at a cost of $20,650. This was the lowest estimate received for the project. Airport manager Kip Madison said that there is a waiting list for hangers at the airport, and said that this appears to be a good time to build the additional hangers.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold a firm grip on the state and nation as students return to classes for another school year. Fayette County had its largest one-day increase in new cases from Aug. 10 - 11, with 11 new cases of the coronavirus reported in one day. The county had a weekly increase of 34 new cases, down slightly from the 38 new cases reported the previous week.
Waldon Tucker retired from coaching following the 2010 season, having led the Fayette Tigers to an undefeated, state championship season in 1996, and to a 230 - 95 record in 27 seasons at the school. When he retired, Tucker had amassed a 309-126-3 overall record, which was a state record for an Alabama high school football coach at the time. His 1980 Gordo team also earned him another state championship title. His son Lance took over at Fayette after his retirement, and kept the winning tradition going before Bill Smith took the reins at Fayette for one year in 2019.
Coach Caleb Hynds enters his fourth season as head football coach at Berry, beginning this season with the momentum of making the first round of the playoffs in 2019. “I feel good about our team this year,” Hynds said. “We have 54 total players, with nine seniors and 16 returning starters on offense and defense. We have some potential, if we can stay healthy and get better each week.” Hynds said that Isaiah Kizzire returns at quarterback for the Wildcats, having finished the second half of the 2019 season at the position.
The 2020 football season is about to begin at Hubbertville and for the 44th consecutive season, Lamar Harris will be leading the team as head coach. Harris’ 44-year tenure leads current Vestavia Hills’ Coach Buddy Anderson by one year as the longest tenured football coach at any high school in Alabama football history. Although he has seen a lot in his 44 years at Hubbertville, Harris said that he has never seen anything like the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through the nation and world. “It’s so unpredictable,” Harris said. “The information is constantly changing.
Fayette Medical Center (FMC) was named earlier this year as one of the top hospitals in the nation by a national magazine publication. The hospital, which is part of the DCH Health System, was one of two hospitals in Alabama to be named to Newsweek Magazine’s “Best Hospitals for 2020,” with the other hospital being UAB in Birmingham. Hospitals were evaluated by the magazine in three areas: recommendation from peers, patient experience and key performance indicators.
The Fayette County Board of Education discussed coaching supplements for the upcoming school year during a work session prior to its Aug. 4 meeting. Prior to the work session and subsequent meeting, John Aaron took the oath of office as the board’s District 1 representative, replacing Waldon Tucker who resigned from the board earlier this year. The board tabled a motion at its last meeting to cut the coaching supplements by 50 percent if the teams did not play this year.
The Berry Town Council voted to certify the candidates for Berry mayor and council offices as elected to their respective positions during its Aug. 3 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. Since only one candidate qualified for each of the upcoming Berry mayor and city council positions, the sitting council declared the candidates elected to their respective positions. The officers will start their new terms on Nov. 2.
Fayette County saw its weekly total of new cases increase from 174 on Aug. 3 to 212 on Aug. 10. The 38-case increase is the largest seven-day increase yet for Fayette County. The county’s new cases of the coronavirus have more than doubled in less than a month. On July 13, the Alabama Department of Public Health showed only 90 cases of the virus reported within the county. Fayette County’s death toll from the COVID-19 virus remains at five.
The Fayette City Council held a special called meeting on Monday, Aug. 10 to appoint poll workers for the upcoming municipal election. Councilman Jason Cowart and Councilwoman Linda McCraw were absent from the meeting. The council had previously appointed poll workers at an earlier meeting, but replacement workers had to be selected to replace the ones that would no longer be serving. The poll workers approved for the Fayette municipal election are: Electronic Machine Coordinator, Billy Joe Howton; Chief Inspector, Barry Lowe; Inspector, Dottie Brasher; and Chief Clerk, Anita Morris.
The Glen Allen town council met on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the Glen Allen Community Center. All council members were in attendance for the monthly meeting. Addressing items of old business, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant announced that municipal elections would not be held during the upcoming municipal election cycle, as only one candidate had qualified for each position for the town’s governing body. He acknowledged that Joel Isham would be a newcomer to the town council, serving as councilman in Seat Two, as councilwoman Gail Bircheat decided not to seek re-election for that position.