Local athletes of the year fan vote to get underway Thursday
Dallas County is full of gifted male and female athletes that have shined in their respected sports this past year, but the Times-Journal needs some help to find out which two should be recognized as the athletes of the year.
The Times-Journal staff has nominated eight male and eight female athletes and slotted them into brackets.
The brackets, a schedule for each tournament, and the athletic accomplishments of each athlete are available at www.selmatimesjournal.com. To find the top male and female athlete, visitors are asked to log onto the Selma Times-Journal Facebook page and vote by liking the picture of the nominee they would like to see advance in the tournament.
Comments on the website and on the Facebook page will not count. Only likes on the picture of each candidate will be counted as vote totals.
“There are so many great athletes in Selma and Dallas County and this gives us another chance to honor the tremendous seasons they have had,” Times-Journal sports editor Daniel Evans said. “There were great athletes that didn’t make the bracket too. We had to make some tough decisions, but we are excited about allowing fans, alumni and classmates vote on who the county’s best male and female athletes are.”
The tournament will start Thursday at 8 a.m. and will run through Friday, May 23 at 5 p.m.
The athletes involved in the male tournament are William Lee from Dallas County, Davian Brantley from Selma, Dalton Lee and Harrison Watters from Morgan Academy, Maurice Crumpton and Anfernee Simmons from Keith, Carstella Hayes from Meadowview Christian and Jalen Furlow from Ellwood Christian.
The female tournament includes Harriet Winchester and Zyka Pettway from Keith, Lauren Rutherford from Morgan Academy, Amy Persinger from Dallas County, Areyanna Williams from Selma, Ki’Onna Likely and Calvondrea Blackmon from Southside, Claudia Kendrick from Meadowview.
William Lee (SR, Dallas County)
Lee was named Mr. Basketball by the Alabama Sports Writers Association after leading Dallas County to its first ever state basketball championship. Lee hit a game-tying three-pointer to send the state championship game to overtime and then hit three free throws to clinch the championship for the Hornets in overtime. Lee also won the Gatorade Alabama Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Lee was named the Times-Journal’s boys basketball player of the year. He has signed a letter of intent to play collegiate basketball at UAB in November.
Davian Brantley (SR, Selma)
Brantley helped lead Selma to its best football season since 1994. He scored in just about every way possible for the Saints — including a punt return, kickoff return, field goal block return and interception returns for a touchdown. Brantley was named the Times-Journal’s football player of the year. Brantley also helped lead the Saints’ baseball team to the playoffs this season. He has signed to play football with Alabama State.
Dalton Lee (SR, Morgan Academy)
Lee started at quarterback for Morgan Academy for two games before injuring his shoulder and missing the rest of the season. He returned in time for basketball season, where he led the Senators in scoring. Lee scored over 1,100 points in his basketball career and had over 500 rebounds. Lee also played on the Senators’ golf team. He was named to the Times-Journal’s all-county basketball team.
Maurice Crumpton (SR, Keith)
Crumpton’s career at Keith may be over, but the standard he helped start for the Bears’ football program figures to last for a lot longer. In four years as the starting quarterback for the Bears, Crumpton led the Bears to four playoff appearances. During his senior year, he helped the Bears to their fifth consecutive playoff appearance. In his five-year career, he scored 72 touchdowns. He was named to the Times-Journal’s all-county football team. Crumpton also played on the Bears varsity basketball team, which reached the Central Regional.
Anfernee Simmons (SR, Keith)
Simmons was the leading scorer for the Bears, who advanced to the Central Regional at Alabama State University. Simmons signed with Wallace Community College Selma to play collegiate basketball. He also named to the Times-Journal’s all-county basketball team. Simmons also shined on the track, finishing third in the Class 1A high jump in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s track and field championships. He jumped 6-foot-2, which was a career high.
Harrison Watters (SR, Morgan)
Watters led Morgan Academy’s football team in receiving with 61 catches for 1,059 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Watters made the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s all-state team and was named to the Times-Journal’s all-county football team. He also helped lead the Senators’ basketball team to the Alabama Independent School Association’s quarterfinals. He was one of the leading scorers on Morgan’s soccer team, which reached the AISA playoffs for the first time in school history.
Carstella Hayes (SR, Meadowview)
Hayes played everywhere for Meadowview Christian on the gridiron — quarterback, running back, or anywhere else he was needed. He played point guard for the Trojans’ basketball team, leading the Trojans to the AISA quarterfinals. Hayes also pitched for the Meadowview baseball team. Hayes made the Times-Journal’s all-county football and basketball teams.
Jalen Furlow (JR, Ellwood)
Furlow played quarterback for Ellwood Christian’s football team, leading the Eagles to within a win of their second consecutive playoff appearance. Furlow led Ellwood to one of the biggest wins in school history, beating rival Keith on the road, in only its second year in AHSAA. Furlow had 112 yards rushing and a touchdown, while also tossing a passing touchdown in the game against Keith. He made the Times-Journal’s all-county football team. Furlow also led Ellwood’s basketball team in scoring and pitched on the Eagles’ baseball team.
Harriet Winchester (SO, Keith)
Winchester led the Bears to the Class 1A Central Regional one year after leading Keith to the state championship game. She was named the Times-Journal’s girls basketball player of the year for the second consecutive season.
Lauren Rutherford (SR, Morgan Academy)
Rutherford’s cemented herself in Morgan Academy athletics history by becoming the first female to play football for the Senators. She became the only female to ever score for the Senators when she hit a field goal against Wilcox Academy last season. Rutherford also played on Morgan’s volleyball team during the fall. She stayed busy during the spring, finishing fourth in the 300-meter hurdles in the Alabama Independent School Association’s state track championship. Rutherford also led the Morgan Academy soccer team to its first ever playoff appearance. Rutherford, who helped petition school leaders to start the soccer program, led the Senators in scoring this year.
Amy Persinger (SR, Dallas County)
Persinger starred on Dallas County’s volleyball team in the fall, but she did her real damage on the softball diamond. Persinger had a hit in thirteen straight at-bats to begin the softball season, coming one hit short of tying the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s state record. Persinger signed to play softball with Auburn University Montgomery collegiately.
Areyanna Williams (FR, Selma)
Williams led the Lady Saints varsity basketball team to a 24-5 record and a home sub-regional playoff game. She led the Saints in scoring and rebounding this season. She was named to the Times-Journal’s all-county basketball team.
Ki’Onna Likely (SR, Southside)
Likely led the Lady Panthers’ varsity basketball team in scoring this season. She has signed to play college basketball Wallace Community College Selma. Likely was also named to the Times-Journal’s all-county basketball team.
Claudia Kendrick (JR, Meadowview Christian)
Kendrick led Meadowview Christian’s volleyball and basketball teams to the quarterfinal rounds of the Alabama Independent School Association playoffs this season. She also led the Trojans to the AISA state championship tournament.
Zykia Pettway (SO, Keith)
Pettway was the second leading scorer for the Lady Bears varsity basketball team, who reached the Central Regional after making the state championship game last season. She was named to the Times-Journal’s all-county basketball team.
Fan Vote Brackets:
(NOTE: Click on the brackets below for a better view. The brackets list the schedule for each vote.)
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