SPORTS HEADLINES

Young Alvord squads find success; Only one team misses postseason

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, June 16, 2018
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The youth movement was in full swing at Alvord High School during the 2017-2018 school year.

With underclassmen taking leading roles throughout the athletic program, all but one Alvord team qualified for the postseason.

LEADING THE WAY – Christina Thomas takes a handoff during a track meet this spring. Thomas won two gold medals at district and advanced to state in the discus. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Football went 2-9, but finished third in District 5-2A Division I to secure a playoff berth. Volleyball took third in district as well, advancing to the bi-district round.

Boys basketball increased its win total by seven games, going 20-12 for a third-place finish in District 11-2A. Girls basketball and softball also made the postseason.

“Every team made the playoffs this year except baseball – and they suffered from the curse of starting a bunch of freshman,” athletic director Pete Hart said. “That’s pretty much the story of our year. We played a lot of freshmen and sophomores on all of our varsity programs. Even the ones that made the playoffs. The talent is there. Now, we have to elevate. Now that we’re getting in the playoffs, we need to start winning.”

Hart said he expects the freshmen and sophomores to work hard and grow over the summer and into next year. He believes fans and students should have plenty to look forward to over the next several seasons.

“Every one of our programs is competitive,” Hart said. “Our baseball team was right there in the hunt until the end of the season. The future looks good. We look for big things to come the next few years.”

BEST TEAM: TRACK

Christina Thomas paved the way for the Alvord girls track team, capturing two gold medals, a silver and bronze at the District 11-2A meet.

Thomas won the discus with a throw of 106-2.25, won the high jump with a leap of 5-0, finished second in the 100 hurdles and was on the 4×100 team that got third. Her efforts helped the Lady Bulldogs win the district title.

But Thomas wasn’t done.

The junior went on to win the area title in the discus and took second at regionals to qualify for state. She finished eighth in 2A at the state meet in May.

“Any time a school has a kid that gets to that level, it’s exciting,” Hart said. “We appreciate the effort they put into it because it’s not easy. With a girl like Christina qualifying as a junior with another year to come, that’s also exciting because it’s a great opportunity for her to go back and maybe get on the award stand.”

On the boys side, Tanner Richey guided the Bulldogs to a second-place finish with one gold and four silver medals.

Richey took silver in the high jump, long jump, 100 and 4×200. The 4×100 team he was on won the 11-2A title.

BEST SURPRISE: BASKETBALL

With a sophomore starting point guard and lineup consisting of mainly underclassmen, the Bulldogs increased their win total from 13 in 2016-2017 to 20 in 2017-2018.

Alvord coach Aaron Tefertiller was named District 11-2A Coach of the Year. Jayton Malone was a first-team selection for the Bulldogs, and freshman Hunter Richey earned Sixth Man of the Year Honors.

Malone was Alvord’s leading scorer, averaging 13.1 points. He also dished out 4.9 assists per night.

“A seven-win [increase] is quite a bit in the world of basketball,” Hart said. “Coach Tefertiller has done a good job of bringing that program along. His players bought in and they found a way to win.”

COACHING CHANGES:

Former Slidell and Paradise coach Todd McCormick will take over the Alvord boys cross country program in the fall. McCormick will also coach wide receivers in football and serve as an assistant coach in basketball.

McCormick was most recently the athletic director and head basketball coach at Slidell. He was with the Greyhounds from 2011 to 2017. He’s spent the last year out of coaching.

During his tenure at Slidell, the Greyhounds went to the playoffs in all but one season, produced five all-region and one all-state player, and won its first district title since 2008.

In 17 seasons as a head coach, McCormick won a total of 351 games.

“You just don’t get a coach like Todd McCormick applying for assistant jobs,” Hart said.

Elsewhere, Michael Thurman, who took over the golf program during the middle of last season, will remain in his role.

Hart said all the head coaches will stay the same.

ALVORD AT A GLANCE

Sport … ’16-17 record … ’17-18 record … Postseason

Football … 4-7 … 2-9 … Bi-district

Volleyball … 12-8 … 16-17 … Bi-district

Cross country … Boys 3rd in 11-2A. Girls 4th in 11-2A.

Boys basketball … 13-18 … 20-12 … Bi-district

Girls basketball … 23-9 … 13-16 … Bi-district

Baseball … 13-8 … 10-12 … Missed playoffs

Softball … 14-9 … 9-8-1 … Bi-district

Track … Boys 2nd in 11-2A. Girls 1st in 11-2A.

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