Tuscaloosa area 2022-23 high school sports rewind: The top moments, August through May
The 2022-23 Alabama high school sports season concluded with the softball and baseball state championships in Oxford and Jacksonville in mid-May.
The fall, winter and spring seasons each brought the Tuscaloosa area memories to last a lifetime. Here is a look back at the moments we'll remember until next season.
HISTORIC CAREER:Northside POY Becca Leigh Chadwick finishes AHSAA softball career high in the record books
Tuscaloosa Academy ends first AHSAA season with state championship
Longtime AISA member Tuscaloosa Academy made the jump to the AHSAA this school year. The Knights had many high points and ended its debut in May with its first AHSAA state championship.
The girls golf team, led by Anna Christian Beeker, Saxon Skinner and Anne Reaves Skinner, won the title by 100 strokes over second-place Houston Academy. The football team advanced to the third round of the playoffs, the girls and boys basketball teams experienced success, as well as the highly-ranked baseball team.
FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP:Tuscaloosa Academy girls golf wins by 100 strokes for first school AHSAA state championship
Paul Bryant boys state basketball run
Paul Bryant was the most consistent 6A team in Tuscaloosa but still surprised many when it made the Final Four. Division I recruit and second-team all-state guard Adrian Wooley guided the streaking Stampede.
Bryant's defense and 3-point shooting got hot down the stretch. Down 12 points against Mountain Brook in the semifinals, the Stampede nearly pulled off a comeback for the ages, but Wooley's game-winning 3-point attempt was blocked as time expired.
WOOLEY:Adrian Wooley leads Paul Bryant into AHSAA Final Four two years after his father's death
BRYANT:AHSAA basketball: Mountain Brook boys make 6A state final with defensive stand vs. Paul Bryant
Hillcrest football, girls basketball dominate competition
With zero seniors, Hillcrest girls basketball made the 6A Final Four, where it lost 56-50 to Huffman. The Patriots went undefeated in area play and owned an 18-game winning streak before Huffman rallied.
Freshman Blakeley Nixon and sophomore Jareah Branch made all-state as Hillcrest's future is as bright as any Tuscaloosa area team across all sports.
The football team had its second undefeated regular season in program history. Nine of the Patriots' 11 wins were by 10 points or more. Four players made all-state: quarterback Ethan Crawford, running back Jamarian Johnson, offensive lineman Jayden Hobson and linebacker Collin Dun.
Under second-year coach Jamie Mitchell, Hillcrest won its first area championship since 2017 and averaged 42.2 points, the most in program history. It lost 56-31 to 6A state champion Saraland in the second round.
HILLCREST BASKETBALL:Senior-less Hillcrest girls basketball hurts today, looks forward to another state run
ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM:Tuscaloosa News Class 7A-4A All-Area high school football team for 2022
Playoffs football walk-offs
Two teams kept the Tuscaloosa area buzzing with heart-stopping playoff finishes. Tuscaloosa Academy's Patton Turnipseed made a 51-yard field goal as time expired to give the Knights a 23-20 2A second-round win over Lexington.
Two Fridays later in the 1A state semifinals, Pickens County's Demarkus Giles scrambled to throw a game-winning touchdown against Coosa Christian. Kemaurion Plott, who ran towards the goal line to catch the ball, was actually brought down at the three-yard line. The play sparked a debate of whether it was a touchdown or not on social media.
TUSCALOOSA ACADEMY:Watch Tuscaloosa Academy kick 51-yard field goal at buzzer to beat Lexington in AHSAA playoff
PICKENS COUNTY:Was Pickens County football’s game-winning score really a TD? Watch here and decide yourself.
Aliceville wins state boys basketball championship, boys 4x100 at state track
The Yellow Jackets won the 2A boys basketball title with a clutch 44-43 win over St. Luke's. Ty'Jarian Williams made the game-winning free throw with 3.6 seconds left, while first-team all-state guard Jatavius Colvin was tournament MVP.
The boys 4x100 relay team won the 2A track and field championship with a 43.89 finish, edging second-place Goshen's 44.36.
ALICEVILLE BASKETBALL:AHSAA basketball: Aliceville boys win first state championship by beating St. Luke's
Track and field athletes shine at indoor, outdoor championships
Demopolis senior and Auburn signee Shonedra Richardson placed first in the 5A girls outdoor 100-meter (11.77), 200-meter (24.49) and triple jump (39 feet, five inches). In the indoor meet, she won the 4A-5A 60-meter dash (7.72), triple jump (36-4.25) and long jump (17-11).
Northridge's Harley McNeal set the indoor 6A 400-meter record at 55.78. Other indoor event winners were Northridge girls' Mary Mac Collins (6A 3,200) and Jada Connor (shot put), Fayette County's Seirra Johnson (2A girls 60-meter hurdles) and Ryder Black (boys high jump), Sulligent girls' Amiyah Johnson (2A 60-meter) and Bibb County's 4A-5A 4x400 relay team (Jordan Goode, Colby Collums, Jacob Simmons and Jarvis Cash).
There were 10 more outdoor winners: Northridge's Ella Crissey (6A girls javelin throw), William Numnum (boys pole vault) and Kilan Little (boys triple jump), Holy Spirit's Colby Phillips (1A boys 200-meter) and Charlotte Dickson (girls pole vault), Bibb County boys' Jordan Goode (4A 110 hurdles) and Jacob Simmons (300 hurdles), Sulligent girls' Amiyah Johnson (2A 100-meter) and Winfield boys' Adam Aldrige (3A javelin throw).
OUTDOOR TRACK:Eleven Tuscaloosa area athletes win state AHSAA track and field championships
INDOOR TRACK:AHSAA track and field: Northridge's Harley McNeal sets state record, wins indoor title
American Christian girls wins bowling title
The American Chistian girls bowling team was moved to 6A/7A by the AHSAA competitive balance factor and went undefeated to win a second straight state championship.
The Patriots (20-0) defeated two-time reigning 6A/7A champion Sparkman 4-2 behind sophomore standout Cate Olson, who had the second-highest individual score, 590.
ACA BOWLING:How ACA girls bowling won AHSAA state championship against one of state's largest schools
Tuscaloosa County softball wins area tournament as last seed
Tuscaloosa County experienced what Troy signee Alyssa Faircloth looks like in the postseason. One year after leading Holy Spirit to the 1A championship, the transfer led 4-seed TCHS to the 7A-Area 5 title with 48 strikeouts in three games. Faircloth allowed just 11 hits in the tournament.