Defending 4A Champion Handley Headlines 2021 AHSAA Launch Classic
Reigning Class 4A State Champion Handley will headline the 2021 AHSAA Launch Classic next month in Montgomery.
The Tigers, who beat Gordo in the state title game last December in Tuscaloosa, will face Guntersville on August 19 at the Cramton Bowl. Dothan and Bob Jones will face off in a Class 7A clash on August 20.
Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be televised live by the AHSAA television network and broadcast live on the NFHS network. They will also be available via the AHSAA radio network.
RELATED: The Battle of Prichard headlining the Ladd-Peebles program
“We are grateful to these strong programs for their commitment to this year’s AHSAA Launch Classic,” said Brandon Dean, principal of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. “Each of these communities has very strong traditions. We can’t wait to see these two games kick off our season and look forward to seeing all of our AHSAA teams go head to head this fall as we prepare to get back to normal. “
Handley just finished a 12-1 season and a 35-20 win over Gordo. The Tigers are led by Georgia Southern commit Tae Meadows, who ran for 2,183 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2020. He recorded 38 carries for 264 yards and four touchdowns in the Super 7 final at Bryant-Denny Stadium to win the 4A MVP honors. Guntersville finished 10-1 last season, losing to Class 5A runner-up Pleasant Grove in the second round of the state playoffs. Junior quarterback Cole McCarty won All-State honors last season.
Dothan (2-7), which opened in 2019 after Dothan City High Schools merged Northview and Dothan High Schools into one mega school, finished 8-3 in its first year but struggled with COVID 19, resulting in a season-opening forfeit loss in 2020 Wolves lost their first five games before regrouping and ending the second half of the season with a 2-2 record.
Coach Smitty Grider, who has a career record of 121-59, has demonstrated a strong ability to create programs during his career. Wolves have shown a lot of promise in 2019 and closed last season averaging 30.3 points in the last four games. He guided Park Crossing to a 13-1 season in 2018.
Bob Jones (3-7), coached by former Dothan head coach Kelvis White (67-72), started off strong with two wins in the Patriots’ first three games. However, the COVID 19 issues led to two mid-season forfeits and Bob Jones never really made a full recovery in 2020.
Classic AHSAA Kick-Off Story
Pike Road 63, Montgomery Catholic 34
Prattville 40, Wetumpka 10
Hoover 17, Central-Phenix City 14
Carver-Montgomery 18, Jeff Davis 13
Clarke County 20, Freshwater 14
Thompson 38, James Clemens 7
Hewitt-Trussville 49, Pell City 10
Maplesville 20, Fyffe 7
Andalusia 34, Brooks 13
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 42, Demopolis 7
Hoover 23, Central-Phenix City 7
Bob Jones 37, Carver-Montgomery 30
Gordo 28, Glencoe 21
Madison Academy 19, Leeds 14
Spanish Fort 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
Opelika 20, Carver-Montgomery 16
Dadeville 14, Piedmont 8
Benjamin Russell 28 years old, Walker 14 years old
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Company 20
Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Clay County Center 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, freshwater 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Parc 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
TR Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27
Prattville vs Oxford, canceled due to bad weather
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Georgia 3
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6