Cahaba Sun January 2023

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Vol 8 | Issue 2 | January 2023 As Trussville As It Gets ALL-SOUTH METRO FOOTBALL 6 Huskies named to 1st team. 12 ‘Beautiful land’ may lead Trussville news in 2023. 10 SERVING TRUSSVILLE, THE 280 CORRIDOR, HOMEWOOD, HOOVER, MOUNTAIN BROOK AND VESTAVIA HILLS BROUGHT TO YOU BY Our Lifetime Smile Guarantee offers peace-of-mind. If you’re unsatisfied with your smile after treatment, we’ll fix it at a discounted price. Visit to schedule a free consultation. Let’s Face It: Your Smile is Yours Forever 2023 A LOOK AHEAD AT U.S. 11 WIDENING GLENDALE FARMS
Photos by Erin Nelson.


A new year is here?! Wow, that happened fast.

The old saying, “The days are long, but the years are short,” rings truer to me with each passing year.

It’s hard to believe that I just passed the seven-year mark in my tenure at Starnes Media as the sports editor (and in recent years, the editor of the Cahaba Sun). I have had the great pleasure to cover so many great athletes, teams and coaches in that amount of time. I look forward to another year of being able to do just that.

With the beginning of each year, we take stock of where we’re at in our lives and make goals for the upcoming year. I will do the same. This year, I want to be better at living in the moment, treating people well and working hard in a way that makes great use of my time.

I know those are a little different from the standard resolutions of losing weight and getting in shape, but I want to hear what you hope for in 2023. Share your thoughts with me at

Happy New Year!


Bedzzz Express (20)

Birmingham Orthodontics (1)

Bonnie Hicks ARC (6)

Bromberg’s (6)

Clearview Strategy Partners (15)

Deerfoot Memorial Funeral Home (11)

Enroll Alabama (2)

Lakeshore Foundation (5)

Lee Marlow, RealtySouth (7)

Legacy Ridge Assisted Living (19)

McWane Science Center (18)

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (11)

Trussville Gas and Water (2)

Vapor Ministries/Thrift Store (3)

Virginia Samford Theatre (7)

Window World of Central Alabama (3)

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Children hold hands as they make their way along Main Street in the 2022 Trussville Christmas Parade as thousands of people line the streets to watch on Dec. 10. Photo by Jon Anderson.
Contact Information: Cahaba Sun P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 Please submit all articles, information and photos to: P.O. Box
Birmingham, AL 35253 Published by: Cahaba Sun LLC Dan Starnes Kyle Parmley Jon Anderson Leah Ingram Eagle Neal Embry Kyle Parmley Erin Nelson Melanie Viering Ted Perry Simeon Delante Sean Dietrich Gary Lloyd Emily VanderMey Eric Richardson Warren Caldwell Don Harris Madison Gaines
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Business Happenings


Mike Perry has opened his law practice, Perry Injury Law. In addition to their specialty of personal injury law, they also work on workers comp and liability cases. 205-386-1111,

Eighteen South is now open in Trussville. Eighteen South is a clothing store geared toward men, who now have a place to find all their clothing needs and elevate their style, according to the store’s website. Styles fit men at the office, the gym, on the golf course, or during a night out with friends.

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Dog lover and former Deputy U.S. Marshal Gail Weiss has opened a new location for The Dog Stop. The Dog Stop, 3557 Mary Taylor Road, is an award-winning all-inclusive dog care franchise.

Peoples Bank of Alabama hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of one of its newest branch locations at 305 Main St. in Trussville. Peoples Bank of Alabama, headquartered in Cullman, Alabama, is a community bank dedicated to serving

Joseph Bolen is now serving as the practice manager at OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports at 1801 Gadsden Highway in Trussville and 118 Mars Hill Road in Hoover. Bolen joins the practice with over 15 years of diverse experience in healthcare administration in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Prior to joining OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports, Bolen spent a decade serving as an executive at area reproductive medicine clinics. His expertise is broad in scope, and he has served in multiple capacities in different areas of medicine throughout the region. Bolen brings with him a host of practical knowledge in administration to help OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports better serve its patients and community. Bolen received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance at the University of Alabama. He went on to earn his Master of Science in Health Administration at UAB. 205-228-7600,


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Teacher introduces new coffee company

Matt Yerby has been fly fishing since middle school.

“If I could quit work and fish all day, I would,” Yerby said. “Don’t tell my wife that.”

He wanted to open his own fishing service but he’s “not established enough for that,” Yerby said. Instead, he’s opening a coffee company.

Yerby fell in love with coffee when he was in college and has been a connoisseur since then, he said.

“I think that’s when everyone develops a love for coffee, when they’re in college,” Yerby said. “I took it a step further. When we travel to different cities and states, we’ll look for breweries for my wife and coffee shops for me.”

Yerby decided to combine both of his passions into the Trussville-based Fly Line Coffee Company in August and has been hard at work to grow the business, he said.

“I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to combine the two, I can’t just leave fly fishing out,’” Yerby said. “I think it’s a catchy name. I feel like everybody that fishes, they get up early and we love our coffee. I thought, ‘Why don’t I

combine the two and make it a brand that has a catchy name?’ That way I can target the fishing and fly fish community and my love for coffee.”

Yerby roasts his own micro-batch coffee in his garage, he said, one bag at a time. When someone orders a coffee roast via the website, Facebook or Instagram, he roasts the coffee that night and lets it rest for more flavor before it reaches the customer three days later, he said.

“I usually have a 48-hour turnaround time, so I let it rest and let it develop its flavor before it gets to you,” Yerby said. “It usually takes around three days, so that’s super-fresh coffee compared to what you may get in the store.”

He said he doesn’t want to compete with local coffee companies in the area, he just wants to make good coffee and “let people know, ‘Hey, there’s more to coffee than just waking up and opening a $7 cup of coffee in Publix.’”

Yerby took a hiatus from fly fishing when he was in college but started again when he went on a trip to Colorado with his wife, he said.

He and his wife visit Colorado every year, and he finally decided to bring his fly

fishing rod.

“I really got serious about it again this year when we went out to Colorado,” Yerby said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to go out there and fly fish.”

Yerby has been working on Fly Line’s

website as well as roasting his own coffee every day after he comes home from his job as a teacher.

“I started working on the website back in early August,” Yerby said. “It took me close to three weeks to get it done because I still teach. When I came home in the afternoons, I’d work on the website for two or three hours. I’d roast too, but when I wasn’t roasting, I was working on the website.”

He said he is currently working on getting the word out about his new business by giving out free samples to people in the community as well as trying to participate in local festivals.

Yerby said he hopes to one day have so much business that he's having trouble keeping up with orders as well as having his own coffee shop.

“I would love to have an opportunity to grow my online business but make a presence in the community first,” Yerby said. “In six months, I would like to have a name in Trussville and Birmingham, with Fly Line Coffee being known. In two years, I’d like to maybe have my own coffee shop where I can still roast my own coffee.”

For more information, visit flylinecoffee. com.

Broker 204
Suite 104 Trussville,
Bonnie Hicks,
Main St,
Matthew Yerby, owner of Fly Line Coffee Co., roasts coffee beans out of his garage. Photo courtesy of Matthew Yerby.

The Trussville City Council annually rotates its president and pro-tempore roles, and this cycle, for the first time in the city’s history, both roles are filled by women.

Councilwoman Lisa Bright and Councilwoman Jaime Melton Anderson have been serving in their respective roles since November 2022.

“We do take turns, and I think that is a testament to the quality of people we have on this council,” Anderson said. “I really enjoy working with everybody on this council because I think everyone is worthy of leading in the president and pro-tem role. I’m just happy to have the opportunity to do that. I consider it a privilege to serve this city and work with these council members. Each one brings a different perspective, and I believe Lisa and I bring a unique perspective as women. Not only in these roles, but to the council as a whole.”

Former Trussville City Clerk Lynn Porter said when the two were first elected in 2020 that Bright and Anderson were the first two

women to serve on the same Trussville City Council since Dee Dee Morris and Sally Payne did in the late 1980s. Both Porter and current City Clerk Dan Weinrib said Jane Bailey is the only other woman to serve as council president.

“I think it’s really unique that we have the

opportunity as females to serve in that role and it being possibly the first time to have a president and president pro-tem serving at the same time,” Bright said. “I think that that speaks a lot for leadership and women’s roles.”

Anderson, a 1994 Hewitt-Trussville High School graduate and 24-year Air Force

veteran, currently serves on the Trussville Park and Recreation Board and is a founding member of the Cahaba Dog Park in Trussville. Bright is the CEO of the Will Bright Foundation and also ran a drapery design business for 25 years.

Anderson is the city council’s liaison to the Trussville Cemetery Rehabilitation Authority, Trussville Veterans Committee, Trussville Library Board, ACTA Theatre, Trussville Historical Board and Trussville Beautification Committee. Bright serves as the council’s liaison to the Trussville City Schools Board of Education, Industrial Development Authority and Public Works.

“No matter what position I’m in on council, I want to do a good job,” Anderson said. “I’d like to think that Lisa feels the same way, that we feel like we bring a different perspective than a man would. But at the same time, we just want to do a quality job no matter what we’re asked to do. Just give Trussville our very best in whatever we’re asked to do and for this season, it’s president and pro-tem.”

Have a community announcement? Email Kyle Parmley at to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.
as Trussville’s first
Anderson, Bright appointed
female council president, pro-tempore
I am so thankful to work in a career that I truly love, and to have worked with these and many other wonderful clients this past year, who I also consider friends. If you’re thinking about buying or selling this year, call me! I would love to help you. Lee Marlow REALTOR® 205.913.9559
Left: Councilwoman Jaime Melton Anderson. Photo courtesy of Jaime Melton Anderson. Right: Lisa Bright. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Trussville man makes lifetime of artifact discovery

After an hour of looking through arrowheads under glass, sharks’ teeth in a wooden box and pottery pieces stacked on shelves in a south Trussville bedroom, Mike Roper wasn’t finished.

“We haven’t even scratched the surface,” he said.

After another hour, he said he had probably shown enough. When that statement was met with sustained enthusiasm to learn more, he was again not finished.

“Let me show you a few other things,” Roper said.

He could go all day.

Roper, 78, has been looking for historical artifacts in the dirt, grass and water for 70 years. Much of what fills a bedroom in his home — more like a small museum — has come from around Trussville. He’s gradually added to the room over 30 years.

“You have to know what you’re looking for,” Roper said. “There’s a world of stuff to know, and people walk over it every day and haven’t got a clue what was here before they were. They live in a place all their life and don’t know.”

Roper has collected artifacts in the Trussville area that he said were likely part of

Andrew Jackson’s camp during the Creek War of 1813-1814. Roper said he found a uniform button and arrowheads made of material that came from the Tennessee River, which makes sense because Jackson was appointed colonel of the Tennessee militia.

He has found locks and bullets from the area near the Trussville Industrial Park, likely from Confederate soldiers. He has found a Confederate States of America (CSA) belt buckle, a Yankee bugle in the Cahaba River, thousands of Native American arrowheads, some rusted pocket knives and even a button recognizing the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

In Eutaw, about 175 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico, not even as far south as Montgomery, he found sharks’ teeth. He believes they date back to biblical times, when God flooded the earth with rain for 40 days and 40 nights, as told in the book of Genesis. Roper said that, according to the Bible, everything in the dry land died, but it does not mention life in the ocean dying.

He tries to be a godly man, one who strives to “commit your way unto the Lord and He’ll give you the desires of your heart.”

Roper believes that factors into his ability

to discover historical artifacts.

“It just comes natural to me,” he said. “It’s unusual, and a lot of people probably aren’t going to believe it, but it’s true.”

He speaks eloquently of Native American ingenuity and Civil War history. The books stacked atop Roper’s shelves are well-worn and filled with orange sticky notes marking specific pages. He knows what page a particular piece of Civil War history is on. Painstakingly, he has studied.

It is hard to find artifacts during the summer, when grass is thick and tall. Roper, a longtime machinist at Southern Precision in Birmingham, used to hunt artifacts every

morning. He’d use a metal detector and dig until he couldn’t anymore.

If it isn’t clear, he is a history lover.

“I heard a fella once say, ‘If you don’t know where you’re coming from, chances are you don’t know where you’re going,’” Roper said. “These people were here ages before we got here, and I’m talking about all over Trussville, too. They left things, just like you and I [will]. They’re not going to take it with them. They left it, and if you know what they left and where they left it and why they left it in that particular place, then you know where to find it.”

It was just before lunchtime one day over the summer, and it wasn’t too hot yet. He took his wife’s van and headed southeast, toward the Cahaba River near the St. Clair County line. The grass was high, even momentarily hiding a deer that bounded across a dirt path in front of the van. Roper pushed through chest-high green just to get a better view of the Cahaba River, of areas he searched even as a young boy. In a small patch of dirt that is now being used to grow vegetables, Roper found a few chips of flint, used in the making of arrowheads.

“You never know what people leave behind,” he said. “Just like you and I, we’re going to leave it behind, too.”

Left: Mike Roper holds a handful arrowheads found in South Trussville near the St. Clair County line. Above: Mike Roper talks about the various arrowheads he’s found. Photos by Gary Lloyd.
There’s a world of stuff to know, and people walk over it every day and haven’t got a clue what was here before they were.

Ascension St. Vincent’s breaks ground on its first freestanding emergency department

The grounding breaking ceremony for the new Ascension St. Vincent’s East Freestanding Emergency Department was held October 13 at the site that will be home to the 16,800-square-foot facility in Trussville. “While it’s a very exciting time as we expand our footprint, this project is more than just a ‘bricks and mortar’ milestone — this new facility will fill the critical need for convenient access to life saving emergency services in Trussville,” said Jason Alexander, president and CEO, Ascension St. Vincent’s. “Because Trussville is growing at a rapid rate, we know the need for 24/7 emergency care close to where people live and work is paramount. It’s critical we establish another access point for those in need of emergency medical care, especially in this busy part of Trussville. As with all of our healthcare services, our mission is to provide our patients and the communities we serve with convenient access to high quality, compassionate care.”

Construction began in November 2022 for the freestanding emergency department in Trussville — the first of its kind built by the health system. The $20 million project will provide more convenient and easy access to 24/7 emergency care to residents in the area.

“We are always happy to welcome new healthcare services to our city,” Trussville

The Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club continued a tradition of decorating City Hall with ribbons for Veterans’ Day.

Mayor Buddy Choat said. “While Ascension St. Vincent’s already has a presence in Trussville, we all know the importance of making sure emergency services are available in our community. This new facility will help ensure our citizens have access to quality medical care close to home when they need it most.”

“Ascension St. Vincent’s and Trussville have a strong partnership and this new strategic investment in the city will help deepen

the hospital’s ties to the community even further,” Alexander added. “We are humbled and honored by the community’s response to our new facility and that so many leaders support our efforts to enhance our emergency services in this area.”

The facility will also feature 12 treatment rooms, decontamination treatment area, onsite lab and imaging, including x-ray and CT, and a helipad for air ambulance transfers.

Emergency care will be available to all ages, and the facility will be staffed by a physician, nurses, radiology and lab technicians. The Ascension St. Vincent’s East Freestanding Emergency Department will be easily accessible off I-59, Chalkville Road exit 141 at 6670 Green Drive, Trussville, AL 35173.

The site of the project sits on roughly nine acres that hospital leadership says can be further developed in the future to continue to meet the growing needs of the community.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital emergency departments became more essential than ever. While the ED at Ascension St. Vincent’s East has always played a vital community role, the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges,” said Suzannah Campbell, president, Ascension St. Vincent’s East. “More than two years later, those challenges continue, making it harder to serve our communities. It has been our goal to extend Ascension St. Vincent’s East ED services to deliver emergency care closer to our patients. We are grateful for our physicians and EMS teams' determination to see this project come to life and for the financial support from Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, our generous donors and grateful patients.”

– Submitted by Ascension St. Vincent’s.

Rotary adorns City Hall with ribbons

Since 2005, the Trussville Rotary Daybreak Club has held a tradition of decorating City Hall with ribbons for Veterans’ Day. For the past few years, the Club has partnered with the Trussville Fire Department on this patriotic project. A few years ago, the Club changed from yellow ribbons to red, white, and blue ribbons.

Rotarian Linda Burns, who came up with the idea, believes it is important to say “thank you” to our veterans. She says she borrowed

the idea from a community in Lake Jackson, Texas, after seeing its downtown area adorned with yellow bows for soldier support. Linda’s son, Justen, was in the Army, so service men and women hold a special place in her heart. Justen recently retired with 20 years of service.

“Our military and their families sacrifice so much for our country. The least we can do is to recognize them and to say ‘thank you for your service,’” she said.

– Submitted by Diane Poole.

City officials break ground on a freestanding emergency department for Ascension St. Vincent's East hospital in Trussville during a groundbreaking ceremony and blessing of the grounds Oct. 13. Photo by Meg McKinney. Photo courtesy of Diane Poole.
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Trussville will look to make hay while the sun shines in 2023.

That idiomatic saying, defined as taking advantage of a favorable situation while the chance is there, is connected to farming, and a farm might be a large focus for the city of Trussville in 2023.

The Trussville City Council in November approved a resolution for the purchase of 230 acres of Glendale Farms, where a development that would have included 419 homes and a fourth city elementary school was denied in August 2022. Paul Ott Carruth Jr. and Lindsey Bowers Carruth purchased the property but assigned their first right of refusal to the city for $10. According to the resolution, “the city believes that accepting the assignment purchasing the property will provide additional public space — a necessity due to the population growth Trussville has experienced in recent years and additional space for the construction of a public school by Trussville City Schools.”

Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat said a fourth elementary school is the top priority. Some industry and businesses could eventually be located on the 230 acres. There is a lake and two ponds on the property, so there are also recreational opportunities.

“There’s just some beautiful land there that, once we close on the property and get a chance to work with a team to lay out our wish list and see what’s available, we’ll be able to define more exactly what we’re going to be able to do out there,” Choat said. “To ride that piece of property and see how beautiful it was and see what the opportunities were, we were hoping that we would get an opportunity.”

Choat said the 230 acres do not include close to 75 acres that are closest to Carrington Drive.

Where will the school be located? How many students will it be constructed for? When will it be constructed? These are all questions to begin answering in 2023. Choat said no matter where the school is

located, greenspace will remain important.

“There will not be concrete and asphalt and buildings all over that property,” he said. “I can assure you that.”

Outside of Glendale Farms, infrastructure and construction projects appear ready to dominate the Trussville news cycle in 2023. The U.S. Highway 11 widening project from North Chalkville Road to Parkway Drive should finish in 2023, Choat said. It began in February 2022.

Trussville has secured bonds to pay for Trussville Fire Station No. 4 on Trussville-Clay Road. The to-be-constructed fire station, which will also house the city’s inspections department and fire administration officials, will likely go out to bid in early 2023, Choat said. It will likely take 12 to 18 months to build.

“That’s something that’s been a long time coming,” Choat said.

Choat said Jefferson County has been securing right-of-way for an eventual widening of North Chalkville Road from the Stonegate subdivision to Interstate 59.

Eight covered pickleball courts will be constructed in 2023 in the outfield area of the former 15- to 18-year-old baseball field at the Trussville Sports Complex. Choat said those should be ready for play by summer.

Various Trussville City Schools athletic fields soon will have artificial turf, and part of a field will be covered. The Trussville City Council on Sept. 27 authorized the release of up to $7 million from the city’s public school capital improvement trust fund for phase one of Trussville City Schools’ athletics master plan. Phase one includes turf fields for Goldie Paine Field for softball, Phil English Field for baseball, the competition soccer field and the field behind Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, as well as a half field covered beside the football fieldhouse on Husky Parkway.

Choat said the utilities portion of the downtown loop roads project should happen in 2023. He said civil engineers will be working to relocate utilities in preparation for the construction of two loop roads. The first road connection to be constructed

will begin at Talley Street and pass in front of where the Trussville Church of Christ building once was and behind Trussville First United Methodist Church. It will connect with Glenn Avenue, which ends at the intersection with Main Street by Marco’s Pizza, where there is now a traffic signal.

The second loop road will involve creating a road beside and around Trussville Pediatric Dentistry that connects with Vann Circle and ends at the intersection with Main Street by Edgar’s Bakery, where, Choat said, the Alabama Department of Transportation has indicated another traffic signal may be constructed. Choat has said that it will take 18 to 24 months to complete. He expects that project to go out to bid by early summer.

“I guess what I would look for in 2023 is to continue with our process of making Trussville better,” Choat said. “What we’re trying to do with everything we’re doing now is to try to make us be the best that we can for the people that live here and our business owners here.”

Top: Traffic travels along Main Street in Trussville as work continues on the addition of a southbound lane on Dec. 8. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2023. Above: The land at Glendale Farms in Trussville. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Cahaba Elementary gardens refreshed

The Cahaba Elementary kindergarten gardens are becoming the community garden they were created to be. Last school year, the Sorors of the Progressive Pearls of Trussville — a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.— adopted the gardens as one of their community service projects. The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha returned to the gardens this October to give of themselves once again to prep the gardens for fall planting. Weeds

were pulled and disposed of, fall flowers were planted, trees were trimmed, fresh soil and mulch were added, and an arbor was donated and erected to beautify the entrance.

The Sorority generously purchased and donated all the materials and supplies used. They have already started discussing what they will be able to donate to the garden next year.

– Submitted by Trussville City Schools.

From left: Chris Theriot, TCS Foundation president; Melissa Donaldson, TCS Foundation Vice president; Terrie Coggins, TCS child nutrition coordinator; Rachel Poovey, assistant superintendent of student support services.

TCSF helps cover school lunches for students in need

At the Trussville City Schools Foundation’s November Board Meeting, the foundation was able to give back. An anonymous donor and Trussville City Schools Foundation joined together to provide $5,000 to cover a need of 450 students in need of funding for school lunches in the

first semester of this school year.

Neighborhood Bridges is an organization that bridges the gap between the community and school system, making it possible for students in need to receive aid.

– Submitted by Trussville City Schools Foundation.

Alpha Kappa Alpha prepped the Cahaba Elementary kindergarten gardens for fall planting in October. Photo courtesy of Trussville City Schools. Photo courtesy of Leslie Armstrong.
Choose Quality. Choose Affordability. 205-655-3444 | 5360 Deerfoot Parkway - Trussville, AL | Offering Traditional Funeral & Cremation Services to fit your needs. Let us help spread the news! Email to submit your announcement. SCHOOLHOUSE Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Kyle Parmley at to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.


All-South Metro Football Team

6 Huskies named to 1st team

The 2022 high school football season featured plenty of standout moments and highlight reel performances. Now, it’s time to release the annual Starnes Media All-South Metro Football Team.

Homewood senior quarterback Woods Ray is this year’s overall Player of the Year, leading Homewood to a 10-win season and to the quarterfinals of the Class 6A playoffs. Mountain Brook running back Cole Gamble is this year’s Offensive Player of the Year, as he torched opposing defenses as the leader of the Spartans’ dominant rushing attack.

It was nearly impossible to name a singular Defensive Player of the Year, considering how dominant Hoover’s defense was much of the year. Linebackers Kaleb Jackson and Bradley Shaw and defensive back DJ Estes share the honor as the top defensive players this season.

Chris Yeager is named Coach of the Year, as he took the Spartans to the state championship game for the first time since 1996.

► Player of the Year: Woods Ray, Homewood

► Offensive Player of the Year: Cole Gamble, Mountain Brook

► Defensive Players of the Year: Kaleb Jackson, Bradley Shaw and DJ Estes, Hoover

► Coach of the Year: Chris Yeager, Mountain Brook


► QB: Woods Ray, Homewood – The Player of the Year put together a tremendous season, totaling 38 touchdowns (27 passing, 11 rushing). Ray threw for 2,677 yards and rushed for 812 yards, as the Patriots advanced to the Class 6A quarterfinals.

► QB: Peyton Floyd, Hewitt-Trussville –was one of the top passers in the state, throwing for 2,413 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 726 yards and 16 scores.

► RB: Cole Gamble, Mountain Brook –The Offensive Player of the Year ran for over 200 yards in three straight playoff games and finished the season with more than 1,900 yards and 35 touchdowns on the year.

► RB: Emerson Russell, Chelsea – was a major bright spot for the Hornets, rushing for

1,130 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year.

► WR: Jackson Parris, Homewood –served as Woods Ray’s top target, snagging 80 passes for 1,288 yards and 13 touchdowns.

► WR: Amare Thomas, Pinson Valley –played both ways for the Indians at times but caught 50 passes for 964 yards and 11 scores.

► WR: Keown Richardson, Vestavia Hills – led the Rebels’ prolific offense on the receiving end, grabbing 45 passes for 602 yards and 5 touchdowns.

► WR: Jadon Loving, Hewitt-Trussville – caught 54 passes for 613 yards and 5 touchdowns as the top receiver in the Huskies’ offense.

► TE: Tucker Smitha, Vestavia Hills –caught 44 passes from the tight end position after playing in the backfield much of his career.

► OL: Kade Martin, Hewitt-Trussville –The junior with SEC offers has started for three years along the Huskies line.

► OL: Walker Williams, Chelsea – only allowed 2 sacks the entire season, grading out at 88% while playing against many of the top defensive lineman in the state in Region 3.

► OL: Ethan Hubbard, Hoover – The Duke commit was a stalwart on the line for the Bucs.

► OL: Davis Peterson, Mountain Brook – finished the year with more than 60 knockdowns and 40 pancakes for a Spartans team that advanced to the state championship game.

► OL: Luke Oswalt, Oak Mountain – The senior was one of the leaders for the Eagles.

► ATH: Jaylen Mbakwe, Clay-Chalkville – The Alabama commit did a little bit of everything for the Cougars. He finished with 615 yards and nine receiving touchdowns and ran for two more scores.

► ATH: John Paul Head, Vestavia Hills –accounted for over 3,000 total yards and 38 touchdowns leading the Rebels offense.

► K/P: Peyton Argent, Hoover – connected on 34-of-35 extra points and 8-of-9 field goals, with a long of 47 yards. He also averaged 43.8 yards per punt.


► DL: Tyrell Averhart, Hewitt-Trussville – led his team with 80 total tackles and 23 tackles for loss. He also racked up 6 sacks and intercepted a pass.

Above: HewittTrussville defensive end Hunter Osborne (8) during a game between Hewitt-Trussville and Huffman on Sept. 22, at Viking Stadium. Photo by Shawn Bowles. HewittTrussville quarterback Peyton Floyd (7) passes the ball in a game at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on Oct. 7. Photo by Erin Nelson. Hewitt-Trussville defensive lineman Tyrell Averhart (92) pushes past Vestavia Hills offensive lineman Glen Porter (59) in a game at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on Oct. 7. Photo by Erin Nelson.


Jaylen Mbakwe (9) outruns the Briarwood defenders for a long touchdown run during a game between Briarwood and ClayChalkville on Aug. 19, at Jerry Hood Stadium in Clay. Photo by James Nicholas.

► DL: Jordan Ross, Vestavia Hills – scored a pair of defensive touchdowns and racked up 16 TFLs on the year.

► DL: Hunter Osborne, Hewitt-Trussville – The Alabama commit finished the year with 21 quarterback hurries and seven TFLs.

► DL: Jordan Norman, Hoover – The senior racked up 68 tackles and 10 sacks on the year.

► LB: Trent Wright, Mountain Brook –The senior accumulated over 140 tackles and 10 TFLs in a standout season.

► LB: DJ Barber, Clay-Chalkville – The junior has established himself as one of the top linebackers in the state, racking up 145 tackles and eight sacks on the year.

► LB: Kaleb Jackson, Hoover – finished a stellar year with 118 tackles, 10 TFLs and five sacks for the Bucs.

► LB: Bradley Shaw, Hoover – had a strong season, getting 106 tackles with 15 TFLs and five sacks.

► DB: Grant Downey, Vestavia Hills –intercepted eight passes and punted for the Rebels.

► DB: Parker Sansing, Homewood – As one of the top defensive backs in the area, he finished with 90 tackles on the year.

► DB: Rickey Gibson, Hewitt-Trussville –The Tennessee commit led the team with four interceptions, finished with 41 tackles and scored an offensive touchdown.

► DB: Jay Avery, Hoover – racked up six picks and made 52 tackles on the year.

► ATH: Garrett Murphy, Oak Mountain –made 166 total tackles and handled the kicking duties for the Eagles.

► ATH: DJ Estes, Hoover – racked up 71 tackles, 15 TFLs and six sacks playing multiple positions for the Bucs.


► QB: Christopher Vizzina, Briarwood –The Clemson commit threw for 1,828 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for 11 touchdowns to cap off a phenomenal high school career.

► QB: John Colvin, Mountain Brook –threw for over 2,000 yards, as the Spartans played in the state championship game.

► RB: Aaron Osley, Clay-Chalkville –picked up 773 yards and eight touchdowns as the Cougars’ primary back.

► RB: LaMarion McCammon, Hoover – The senior gained 858 yards and 11 touchdowns this year.

► WR: Jordan Woolen, Hoover – caught 43 passes for 736 yards and five touchdowns in a standout year.

► WR: MJ Conrad, Chelsea – A big target in the Hornets passing game, he racked up 621 yards and five scores on 44 grabs.

► WR: Charlie Reeves, Homewood –caught 51 passes for 685 yards and 11 scores for the explosive Patriots’ attack.

► WR: Clark Sanderson, Mountain Brook – came on strong down the stretch, piling up over 800 receiving yards on the year.

► TE: Donovan Price, Hewitt-Trussville –In addition to his blocking prowess, he caught 27 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

► OL: Mac Smith, Mountain Brook – finished the year with over 50 knockdowns and 30 pancakes.

► OL: Sawyer Hutto, Oak Mountain – a senior that has led the Eagles line for a few years.

► OL: AJ Franklin, Hoover – The Alabama all-star selection was a key factor to the Bucs’ offensive success.

► OL: Harrison Clemmer, Briarwood –the anchor to the Lions’ offensive line, known for his run blocking.

► OL: Henry Boehme, Mountain Brook – allowed no sacks all season at right tackle.

► ATH: Carson McFadden, John Carroll – accounted for over 2,300 total yards leading the Cavs offense from the quarterback position.

► ATH: Brady Waugh, Briarwood – The Lions’ top target snagged 53 passes, gaining 624 yards and eight touchdowns on the year.

► K/P: Jack Seymour, Chelsea – averaged 41.5 yards per punt and connected on all but one of his extra points.


► DL: Caldwell Bussey, Spain Park –racked up 5.5 sacks and 46 tackles to lead the Jags’ defense.

► DL: Jamon Smith, Clay-Chalkville – A North-South All-Star Game selection, he finished up with nine TFLs and eight sacks on the year.

► DL: Andrew Sykes, Vestavia Hills – The two-year starter had 42 tackles and five TFLs for the Rebels.

► DL: Chaleb Powell, Hoover – finished with 60 tackles and 10 TFLs to go along with six sacks.

► LB: Braylon Chatman, Hewitt-Trussville – racked up 119 tackles with 14 TFLs in a big season.

► LB: Hunter Jones, Hewitt-Trussville – racked up 124 tackles and nine TFLs in a strong season for the Huskies.

HewittTrussville wide receiver Jadon Loving (1) catches a touchdown pass during a game between HewittTrussville and Huffman on Sept. 22, at Viking Stadium. Photo by Shawn Bowles.

► LB: Vaughn Frost, Mountain Brook –accumulated over 100 tackles on the year.

► LB: Talton Thomas, Homewood – led the Patriots with 130 tackles with 16 TFLs on the year.

► DB: Keith Christein, Hoover – recorded two safeties, blocked four punts and returned an interception for a score.

► DB: Clay Burdeshaw, Homewood – finished up with 108 tackles on the year.

► DB: Mac Palmer, Mountain Brook – had over 60 tackles and two interceptions on the year.

► DB: Chris McNeill, Chelsea – covered the top receiver on each team and intercepted four passes.

► ATH: Grey Reebals, Briarwood – finished with 87 tackles and six TFLs as the key cog to the Lions’ defense.

► ATH: Jack Kendrick, Spain Park – had 69 tackles and seven TFLs for the Jags.


► QB: Will O’Dell, Oak Mountain; Carter Dotson, Chelsea; Evan Smallwood, Spain Park

► RB: Jaqson Melton, Hewitt-Trussville; Taurus Chambers, Pinson Valley

► WR: Jaxon Shuttlesworth, Chelsea; Jonathan Bibbs, Spain Park; Clark Sanderson, Mountain Brook; Fred Dunson, Hoover; KJ Law, Hoover; Sawyer Smith, Oak Mountain

► OL: Jaxon Brooks, Homewood; Walker Chambless, Briarwood

► ATH: Devan Moss, Oak Mountain; Zach Archer, John Carroll

► DL: Emmanuel Waller, Oak Mountain; Lane Whisenhunt, Vestavia Hills; Preston King, Briarwood; Brian Alston, Spain Park; Zi’Keith Springfield, Pinson Valley; Jevonta Williams, Pinson Valley; Parker Avery, Mountain Brook; Randall Cole, Clay-Chalkville; Luke Dickinson, Briarwood; Andrew Parrish, Hoover

► LB: Jonas Harrelson, Spain Park; Matthew Yafonda, Clay-Chalkville; Houston Owen, Vestavia Hills; Jack Cornish, Briarwood; Devin Finley, Clay-Chalkville

► DB: Riggs Dunn, Hewitt-Trussville; Braxton Urquhart, Hoover

► K/P: Riley Rigg, Hewitt-Trussville

Clay-Chalkville linebacker DJ Barber (6) tackles the Pinson Valley running back at a game between ClayChalkville and Pinson Valley on Sept. 9, at Willie Adams Stadium in Pinson. Photo by James Nicholas.

Huskies wrap up cross-country season at state meet, shift to indoor

The Hewitt-Trussville boys and girls cross-country teams competed in the Class 7A state meet Nov. 5 at Oakville Indian Mounds Park. Both teams placed seventh in the team competitions.

The boys team scored 177 points to beat Spain Park by seven points, while the girls scored 202 points to finish in a tie with James Clemens and six points ahead of St. Paul’s.

Tristan Teer ran a great race to lead the Hewitt-Trussville boys, as he finished fifth, running the 5K in 15 minutes, 19 seconds. Wes Ellison was 23rd with a time of 16:19 to give the Huskies another strong performance. Rush Lachina (55th, 16:56), Jacob Mullinax (64th, 17:05) and Garrett Yokeley (66th, 17:09) scored points for the team.

Brooks Maddox posted a time of 17:11, Oscar Spears ran the race in 17:17, Mason Lachina crossed the line in 17:21, Joel Himes finished in 17:37 and William Gallant ran his race in 18:16.

The girls team was led by Kinley Harris, who finished 14th overall with a time of 19:16. Avery Cahoon finished 29th by posting a time of 19:55, while Kylee Sisk was 44th in 20:14 and Sophia Knox was 62nd with a 20:53. Lauren Ruf (94th, 21:34),

Amberli Santiago (100th, 21:41), Bella Bales (121st, 22:17), Sophie Bryant (136th, 22:49) and Meah Goodell (145th, 23:05) all competed for the team as well.

Hewitt-Trussville qualified for the state meet by placing in the top four in the Section 3 meet the week prior at Veterans

Park in Hoover. The girls team finished third, just five points behind Vestavia Hills. The boys team was fourth in the section meet.

The indoor track and field season is underway now as well. The Huskies will compete in four meets in January, all

held at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The Ice Breaker Invitational is Jan. 7, the Hump Day Invitational is Jan. 11, the MLK Track Classic is Jan. 16 and the Last Chance Invitational is Jan. 28.

The indoor state meet is set for Feb. 4, also at the CrossPlex.

Varsity Sports Calendar


Jan. 3: vs. Fairview. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 6: vs. Chelsea. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 10: @ Oak Mountain. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 13: @ Spain Park. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 17: @ Central-Phenix City. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 20: @ Chelsea. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 24: vs. Oak Mountain. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 27: vs. Spain Park. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 31: Boys @ Mountain Brook. 7:30 p.m.


Jan. 5: @ Vestavia Hills. 3 p.m.

Jan. 10: Rebel Roll. Vestavia Bowl. All day.

Jan. 11: @ Southside-Gadsden. 4 p.m.

Jan. 19-20: Regional tournament. Tuscaloosa.

Jan. 26-27: State tournament. The Alley.


Jan. 7: Ice Breaker Invitational. Birmingham CrossPlex.

Jan. 11: Hump Day Invitational. Birmingham CrossPlex.

Jan. 16: MLK Track Classic. Birmingham CrossPlex.

Jan. 28: Last Chance Invitational. Birmingham CrossPlex.


Jan. 2: vs. Spain Park. 6 p.m.

Jan. 5: @ Vestavia Hills. 6 p.m.

Jan. 6-7: Region 3 Duals Cross Over Tournament. Hoover High School. 5 p.m.

Jan. 16: Dick Clem Invitational. Bob Jones High School. 9 a.m.

Jan. 19: vs. Jasper. 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 26: @ Arab. 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 31: Tri-match vs. Helena, Hartselle. Helena High School. 5:30 p.m.

HewittTrussville’s Kinley Harris, left, and Tristan Teer, right, cross the finish line during the AHSAA State Cross-Country Championships at Oakville Indian Mounds Park on Nov. 5. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Southern Musings

Traveling back in time or forward to the future

The man looked out over a twolane highway from four wheels, ready to roll.

I saw him on New Year’s Day 2022, a year ago now, and although I was passing by at 35 mph, I clearly saw his facial expression — a distant, northward gaze, maybe going somewhere in his mind, probably because his wheels were confined to the boundaries of a parking lot. The man was not idling behind the wheel of a Mustang or rumbling atop a Harley-Davidson, but resting on the cushioned seat of a rolling walker.

He just sat there on the edge of the parking lot, of some distant memory or long-postponed trip, and stared.

He was maybe 20 yards from the front doors of the assisted living facility, which I assumed to be his home. He was alone. Had his family visited and just left? Were they inside? Was someone coming to pick him up to go out to dinner? Was anyone coming at all? I wish I knew.

I’ve spent a decent amount of time in a couple assisted living facilities, and I know they are polarizing places for folks, but I’m sort of conflicted. The difficulties of that sort of living — the help required, the loss of complete independence, the confusion — are overcome in my mind by memories of the Hand-in-Paw nonprofit bringing therapy dogs inside for residents to pet, of watching birds flutter in a massive acrylic cage, of staff and residents applauding a man with severe dementia remembering how to play “It Had To Be You” on the piano.

Did I like having to see a grandmother there, and her brother, my great uncle, living on the second floor? Of course not. I don’t think anyone enjoys seeing a relative live somewhere other than where you visited as a kid, where you ate ham, turkey, green beans, macaroni and cheese and fudge every Christmas Eve.

I mentioned that I saw this man sitting on his walker on New Year’s Day last year, and that’s true. Perhaps he was staring off to somewhere physical, like Times Square in New York City, Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park or even the Jack’s restaurant a few miles down the highway.

The meaning of New Year’s Day is not lost on me, so maybe the man was finalizing his New Year’s resolutions for 2022. Maybe he was simply escaping a dining room full of buttered rolls because he swore off carbs. Maybe he was not going somewhere physical, but somewhere spiritual, praying about something, or someone. I wrote this column not long after seeing him sitting in the parking lot that day, and I suppose I saved these words for a year later because timeliness and anniversaries seem important.

Wherever that man was thinking of traveling to, in a vehicle down the highway or in his mind back in time, I hope he had a good trip. Whatever his New Year’s resolution may have been, I hope he followed through on it, and that he follows through this year, too.

Gary Lloyd is the author of six books and is a contributing writer for the Cahaba Sun.

Sean of the South

Stories I’ve Told

I am backstage, about to tell stories onstage. A man with a name tag and a clipboard announces, “Ten minutes to showtime.”

I am tuning my guitar, hoping I won’t stink tonight.

This is what all performers think about before they go onstage. They say silent prayers that all go, more or less, the same way.

“Dear God, don’t let me suck.”

It’s easy to stink at storytelling because there is no school for such things, so you don’t know if you’re getting it right. Which leads me to ask: “What am I doing with my life?”

I am still unclear on how I started telling stories for a living. The only education I have in storytelling came from elderly men who wore Velcro shoes and wore their slacks up to their armpits.

I have always had a soft spot for old men. From childhood, I believed that I was an old man trapped inside a kid’s body. I never fit in with peers, and I never wanted to. This was only made worse by the fact that I was raised as a tee-totalling fundamentalist who was forbidden from touching NyQuil.

As a young man, I would find myself in a crowd of teenagers who were smoking cigarettes, sipping longnecks, far from parental eyes, and for some reason, nobody ever offered me any real chances at sinning.

I would have appreciated the opportunity, but they viewed me as different. It was as though I were elderly.

Once, as a joke, my friend Jordan handed me a lit cigarette in front of everybody. I didn’t want anyone to think I was a wimp, so I took the biggest drag I could. I almost died from a coughing fit. My friends howled until they peed.

Thus, I was blacklisted from social situations. I was the old man of the group. During social scenarios, I would generally hang in the corner, drinking prune juice, adjusting my Velcro footwear, holding everyone’s car keys.

People called me “D.B.,” which was short for “Designated Baptist.”

Ah, but my truest friends were elderly men. What I liked about them most was that they had already gotten their petty teenage sins out of the way. They were more interested in major sins. For example, weekend trips to Biloxi. Or scratch-off lotto tickets.

After my father died, I looked for anyone with white hair to pay attention to me. I just wanted someone to be proud of me. I wanted to piece together a father figure. When I found the right person, I would follow him around like a Labrador until he took me home.

There was Ben. Bless him. He has Alzheimer’s now. He was a Mississippian who talked like Rhett Butler. We spent nearly every afternoon together.

He was retired and had nothing to do but tell stories. And he told some doozies. Some I can’t repeat here. Some I have told on stages.

When Ben came down with dementia, the world lost a library.

And there was the retired Auburn University professor. He was a man who chain-smoked Winstons and read Wordsworth. He would loan these books to me and encourage me to read them. He would ask me to summarize them.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read British Romantic poetry, but back in those days everybody was always saying things like “heretofore” and “whithersoever” to each other just for kicks. The poems were miles above me, but I loved them.

So the good professor would help me. In his ratty apartment, he taught a high-school dropout to appreciate literature.

Maybe this is how I started telling stories. Because my life has been spent in the company of old men who loved to tell them; who could not restrain themselves from telling stories.

Old men are not like boys. They don’t have big ambitions—if any. They’re past ambition, and they have only experience left. They are ready to integrate what they know into the world around them. And if you listen, they will help you.

After all, old men have seen their mistakes get worse over time, and watched their qualities get better with age. They’ve lost those they care about, and discovered that success is nothing.

Sometimes they are grumpy, sure. Sometimes their joints get stoved up. Sometimes they can’t help telling it like it is. But other times, they will say something so profound, so incredibly put, that you have to write it down.

They are filled to the hairline with stories. And if you listen to them carefully, they will tell you one while they whittle a stick on the porch.

And when they are gone, you will miss the sound of Rhett’s voice.

“Five more minutes,” the man with the clipboard says.

I hurry to the bathroom one last time. When I am at the sink, there is an old man beside me. White hair, thick glasses.

He dries his hands with paper towels and says, “You ever heard of this storyteller guy, Sean Dietrich?”

I keep my head down. “No sir. Can’t say that I have.”

“Me neither. My dang wife dragged me here tonight, I sure as heck didn’t wanna come. I ain’t never heard of this joker before, all I can say is, I hope this guy doesn’t stink.”

He tosses his paper towel into the garbage and leaves the bathroom.

He was wearing white Velcro shoes.

I sincerely hope I don’t let that old man down.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.

Dietrich Lloyd

Thursdays: Children’s storytime. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join Ms. Alicia for stories, songs, bubble time and lots of fun. Birth through pre-K.

Jan 3: Ukulele Club. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Interested in learning the ukulele or looking for somewhere to play? We have a professional ukulele player here to help you learn and perfect your skills. All ages.

Jan 4: Video Game – Free Play. 4-5:30 p.m. The first Wednesday of each month, the library will be hosting a free-play video game program. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. 6th-12th grades.

Jan 5 and 19: Dungeons & Dragons – Middle School. 4-5:30 p.m. D&D is a classic tabletop roleplaying game that encourages creativity and cooperation. Registration required. 6th-8th grades.

Jan 9: STEAM for Kids. 4-5 p.m. Join Ms. Jan, the science lady, of Dynamic Education Adventures in the library auditorium for a hands-on application of STEAM. 3rd-6th grades.

Jan 9: Books and Brews. 7:15-8:15 p.m. An evening adult book club meeting in the event room at Ferus Artisan Ales. January’s title is “End of Men” by Genevieve Gornichec. Ages 18 and older.

Jan 10: T.A.B. 4-5 p.m. Teen Advisory Board is a place for local teens to get involved with their library. 8th-12th grades.

Jan 12: Pokémon Club. 4-5 p.m. Spend time playing Pokémon or enjoy watching a classic Pokémon show and creating a craft. Kids are welcome to bring their own cards, but staff cannot supervise trading. Extra playing decks will be available for use during the program. K-6th grade.

Jan 17: Manga Club. 4-5 p.m. Teen book club for manga and anime fans. The book will change every month. 6th-12th grades.

Jan 18: Adult Book Club 2023. 2-3 p.m. Book club meets on the third Wednesday of each month. We will read a variety of selections, both fiction and nonfiction. See our website for this month’s title. Ages 18 and older.

Jan 18: Video Game Tournament. 4-5:30 p.m. Each month we will play a different competitive game. Prizes for the victors and refreshments for all. Registration required. 6th-12th grades.

Jan 21: Robotics Club. 11 a.m.-noon. This club will dive into the basics of coding and allow you to use those skills to program robots. Registration required. 6th-12th grades.

Jan 21 and 22: ACT Prep. The Trussville Public Library will be hosting a two-part ACT prep class on Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Jan. 22 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided on Saturday. The fee for both days of the class is $43.50. No refunds will be issued. Registration required.

Jan 23: Teen – Winter Craft. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Join us to paint a winter-themed door hanger. All supplies will be provided. Must register for this program as space is limited. 6th-12th grades.

Jan 23: Chess Club. 5-6 p.m. Learn the basics, cool tricks, strategy, opening and tactic in chess from a professional chess teacher. Registration encouraged. Parents are welcome to participate with their children. K-8th grade.

Jan 24: Let’s Duel. 4-5 p.m. We will be playing a variety of card games and board games, so feel free to bring your own cards or games from home. 6th-12th grades.

Jan 26: Middle Grade Book Club. 5-6 p.m. Read or listen to the selected chapter of “Mr. Popper's Penguins” before the club meeting. January will be chapters 1-10. 3rd-6th grades.

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