An open challenge to improve Selma

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sportsfans, Saturday afternoon I had the opportunity to get a first look at the Selma High Saints under their new coach Brian Montgomery.

While the offense sputtered and stammered, that was to be expected. The defense bent, but that was to be expected.

The bigger issue, however, was that the Saints had swagger. They are beginning to see confidence in themselves.

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That’s huge and a key to a team being successful.

Montgomery brings youth and enthusiasm back to the program.

For an example, while 105.3 had their DJ spinning records, Montgomery all of a sudden broke out into a Q-Dawg (Omega Psi Phi) step while his Saints were warming up before their first game of the jamboree against Greensboro.

Now Montgomery can keep that level of fun with an expectancy and urgency placed upon his Saints being successful, then I see them getting beyond the first round of the playoffs.

That brings me to a challenge.

Every football coach I have talked with in my coverage area has an expectation of making it to the first round of the playoffs.

That’s good and all, but the expectation should be to make it to Birmingham or Troy.

Morgan Academy fans and coaches consider a season to be less-than successful if they aren’t playing for a state title at the end of the season.

What would happen if say, Selma High or Central Christian inherited this mentality?

Dallas County has great athletes. Wilcox County, Perry and Lowndes are the same way. And, they aren’t only on the basketball court.

If the expectations that are placed on the basketball teams in this area were placed on the football, baseball and softball teams, then it would be interesting to see how far these teams would go and how much success they would gain.

Could I have &8220;Where’s the windmill&8221; for $300, Alex?

Three SEC schools have advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. Alabama, Tennessee and LSU all are one series away from a road trip to Oklahoma City.

In this region, if sportsfans want to go see college softball they either have to drive to Marion, Montgomery or Tuscaloosa.

That shouldn’t be the case.

Now, I have to admit that I’m spoiled.

I grew up in Alex City where Central Alabama Community College had a dominant softball program.

The same thing when I went to Troy.

The Lady Trojans were not as dominant as the CACC Lady Trojans, but they were successful nonetheless.

In Selma there are two colleges.

Concordia has a softball program, albeit an anemic one at best and Wallace-Selma, who hasn’t had a softball team since the late 1990s when the National Junior College Athletic Association dropped slowpitch and adopted fastpitch.

The work is being done to make the softball programs stronger in this town.

The Rec League has adopted a fastpitch league and it will allow the high schools to be successful.

But those dividends won’t be seen in full until years down the road.

A place where immediate dividends could be paid is in the college softball programs.

Coach Anthony Robinson at Concordia said that they are looking for pitchers and catchers.

Instead of going away to try to improve softball teams that are already successful or just stop playing, turn your attention homeward.

As a community, we could work to make Selma better and more successful.

It’s that simple.

Oh sportsfans, one more thing. There is only one more night of American Idol.

Thank Hannah. If I hear Taylor Hicks, Soul Patrol or watch another news broadcast where they spend more time talking about what Taylor Hicks had for dinner or debating just how foul his purple velour jacket was instead of you know, reporting news, I think that I am going to scream.

But I’m going against the grain here and pulling for Katharine McPhee.

Griffin Pritchard is the sports editor of the

Times-Journal. He can be reached by email at

or by phone at 334-410-1740.