Cahaba Sun June 2024

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‘A walking miracle’ Vol 9 | Issue 7 | June 2024 As Trussville As It Gets FITNESS AND FAITH New ministry exercises mind, body, soul. 8 Right now, you can get your smile on with same day braces and flexible  financing. Schedule your free consultation at Put your best smile forward! Terms and Conditions apply. A year after accident, Grayson Pope continues push forward. 10 SERVING TRUSSVILLE, THE 280 CORRIDOR, HOMEWOOD, HOOVER, MOUNTAIN BROOK AND VESTAVIA HILLS BROUGHT TO YOU BY
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Editor’s Note By Kyle Parmley

Is it summer yet?

Almost, I suppose. The summer solstice is later this month, but the unofficial start to summer seems to be when the school year concludes.

I’ve spoken at length about this, but one of my favorite things about my job and about life in general is changing seasons. Sure, I love the spring time more than any other. But I also love the summer, and certain things about the fall and winter.

In my job, I’m never in a certain routine of things long enough to get tired of it. In life, even when things are monotonous, changes are often on the horizon. Look back a year ago and think about how your life and

routines were different.

What are you looking forward to most this summer? I’ll be enjoying the rest of the college softball season (maybe I can go to Oklahoma City again for the Women’s College World Series), and it won’t be long before we start gearing up for football season.

Can’t wait!

ON THE COVER: Hewitt-Trussville senior Grayson Pope, center, fist-bumps his teammates before the start of a game against Oak Mountain at Phil English Field. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

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Editor in Chief: Community Editors:

Sports Editor: Contributing Editor: Photo Editor:

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Tim Stephens

Kyle Parmley

Jon Anderson

Leah Ingram Eagle

Kyle Parmley

Lee Hurley

Erin Nelson Sweeney

Melanie Viering

Ted Perry

Simeon Delante

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Gary Lloyd

Blair Moore

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Overcoming fitness ‘hesitation’

Recharge Fitness focuses on women’s gym goals

Trussville resident Natalie Perkins, a certified personal trainer and former professional dancer, used to offer personal training at a commercial gym but noticed that many of her clients did not feel comfortable in that environment.

“I found that women were very apprehensive about training on the floor with a lot of people around,” she said. Some of her clients felt like men were watching them. Some felt intimidated by others’ fitness levels. “It sometimes became an issue even to get people to come into their sessions. They would sit in the parking lot, and I’d have to go get them. There was just a lot of hesitation.”

Perkins came up with the idea of a small fitness studio just for women, where her clients could feel more at ease. That idea became Recharge Fitness.

“As a personal trainer who is deeply passionate about empowering women through fitness, I saw a need for a space where women could feel safe, supported and empowered to achieve their health and wellness goals,” she said. “The studio offers a welcoming and inclusive environment, where women can focus on their fitness journey without any distractions or judgments.”

Perkins started training in her home basement last April, then opened her new Gadsden Highway studio on Jan. 1. She trains women of all ages and girls age 8 and up, both oneon-one and in groups of up to six.

At Recharge, Perkins said, the goal is an environment where women feel relaxed, without having to worry about how they look or sharing equipment.

“They are much more willing to come, and they enjoy their training experience,” she said.

Mary Roberts has been working with Perkins for over a year.

“I was very intimidated by the gym setting,” Roberts said. “I didn't know where to even begin. It was so crowded and other people seemed fitter and stronger than I am.”

But working with Perkins on a one-on-one basis gave Roberts more confidence, and she

now feels stronger and has more energy for activities like playing with her grandchildren.

“I’m 52, and she's worked with me in a way that I feel comfortable,” Roberts said. “I sat down with her and gave her my goals, and

she's worked very hard with me to help me achieve them.”

Perkins is a classically trained dancer who performed professionally, including seven years as a Las Vegas showgirl, and has taught

Left: Perkins does a backwards lunge at Recharge Fitness, where she provides one-on-one fitness sessions and small group classes geared toward women and girls as young as 8 years old. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

jazz and ballet in Atlanta, Miami and Las Vegas. Eventually, Perkins and her husband moved to Trussville to be closer to family while raising their own children.

Now in her 50s, Perkins continues to pursue new fitness goals of her own. She entered and won her first bodybuilding show at age 40. She's now a national-level competitor and two-time bikini division champion.

“I always tell ladies, ‘You're never too old, and it's not too late to reach your goals,’” she said.

Recharge Fitness is located at 7040 Gadsden Highway, Suite 100, and is open for personal training by appointment only and small group training throughout the week. To find out more, visit

Above: Natalie Perkins, founder and owner of Recharge Fitness in Trussville, is a personal trainer and former dancer.

Business Happenings


7 Brew will soon open its 10th Alabama location in Trussville at 5982 Chalkville Mountain Road. 7 Brew is a drive-thru coffee stand chain that offers coffee and other custom drinks such as smoothies, shakes, teas and energy drinks.


The Trussville Chick-fil-A, 5886 Trussville Crossings Parkway, is set to close June 12 for renovations. The project is expected to take approximately 11 weeks. The store posted on Facebook, “We had a remodel in 2019 that created temporary relief for some capacity challenges, but due to our incredible growth since then, it has created a need for more updates.” 205-661-0544,


Realtor Aishatu Ahmadu has joined RealtySouth's Trussville office at 183 Main St., Suite B. 713-281-1292,


The Trussville Whataburger location, 5931 Trussville Crossings Parkway, closed May 6.


If you have news to share with the community about a brick-and-mortar business in Trussville or the greater Birmingham area, let us know at

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Trechō builds community around fitness, faith

Participants on a

When people with extraordinary talent and passion are given the technology, the facilities, and the support, they achieve great things. The discoveries taking place today will help shape the future of treatments and lead to cures – benefitting not only our patients and families, but people across the country and around the world for years to come.

Every Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., people gather in the First Baptist Trussville parking lot to walk, jog or run around town. This new group, hosted by First Baptist Trussville’s sports and wellness ministry, is called Trechō — named for the Greek term in scripture that means “to move forward with a purpose.”

Attendees include everyone from seasoned runners to those who prefer a slower pace. Some bring stroller babies and pets.

“I wanted to build a community of people where there's no pressure to run at a certain pace,” said Adam Russell, who started the group in February. “We're all out here moving, to get healthier — or whatever our goal is.”

There are several pre-mapped-out routes from which to choose, ranging from 1 to 5 miles. Each Trechō meeting begins with a short devotional from Russell or a guest speaker to encourage attendees in their spiritual lives.

“I love that we can combine the spiritual with fitness to exercise our mind, body and soul,” said attendee Frankie Crumb. “We have a true sense of community and accountability.”

Trechō gives people the opportunity to connect with others

happens Amazing 1600 7TH AVENUE SOUTH | BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233 | 205-638-9100 Childrens AL •org
run with Trechō Ministry in Trussville. Trechō Ministry meets each Sunday morning at First Baptist Trussville to run or walk in the area. Photos courtesy of Adam Russell.

as they get active.

“I have enjoyed meeting new people who share a common interest,” said attendee Logan Pate. “I’ve made new connections that bring a social aspect to a hobby I had previously been enjoying alone.”

Trechō is for those of any fitness level. Attendee Brianna Page is a mom who was previously a college athlete. “I have always been fit, but after having a baby, I struggled to get back into shape,” she said. “Trechō helped me ease into starting back on my fitness journey.”

Russell is a runner who grew up in Trussville. He played youth soccer for nine years, then in middle school, a friend invited him to try a cross-country practice.

“To me at the time, it felt like the same exact thing as soccer, but I just didn’t have to worry about a ball,” he said.

Russell was hooked and ran cross-country throughout his time at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School. Later in high school, he began focusing more on track, excelling at pole vaulting and hurdling.

When he started college at Auburn University at Montgomery in 2011, there wasn’t a track team, but the cross-country coach asked him to come to a practice. That day, he went from a walk-on to a scholarship athlete.

Following college, Russell continued his involvement in athletics by volunteer coaching at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, then becoming the head cross-country and track coach at Pinson Valley High. Now married with two young daughters, Russell enjoys working with First Baptist Trussville’s growing sports and wellness ministry.

In April, Russell planned Trechō’s first “Coffee Run.” All routes led to and from Maple Avenue Coffee House, where free coffee with electrolytes was waiting for participants at the halfway point.

In May, Trechō held the Rain Down Ministries 5K trail race in Trussville’s sports complex. Russell said planning an event like this in his hometown is a longtime dream.

“Personally, hosting a long-distance trail race on these trails has been a bucket list item of mine since I began running on them in middle school,” he said. “I hiked on them prior to that, when I was in elementary school at the now Cherokee Fire Station, as well as when I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout.”

Months ahead of the Rain Down Ministries race, he planned out the loop, secured sponsors and promoted the event. “It takes a lot of preparation to plan a race like this, but I enjoy it,” he said.

The week of the race, he stayed busy making sure the brush on the trail was cut back and putting out signage. All proceeds from the race were donated to Rain Down Ministries, an organization that shares the gospel with kids through outdoor activities.

“Trechō is the kind of group you don't realize you need until you find it, and we are blessed to have it right here in our own community,” said participant Holly Smith. “Life will not get less busy, and there is no such thing as perfect timing — so just come as you are and start there.”

Jeremy Walker, another regular, emphasized the inclusive nature of the group. “We have the full spectrum of walkers and runners, from grandparents walking with their grandkids to elite runners training for the Boston Marathon. Everybody is welcome!” And it’s free to all.

“Just come walk a mile with us,” Russell said.

Trecho will meet on Maple Avenue at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and at First Baptist Trussville at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays in June. They will also coordinate runs through various local neighborhoods over the summer. Learn more at fbctrussville. org/events/trecho.

Trechō members during a recent trail run.

COVER STORY: A year after accident, Grayson Pope continues push forward ‘A walking miracle’

David Pope often had talks with his son, Grayson, as he grew up — the foundational discussions every respectable father has with his boy.

Do right. You must be willing to sacrifice to achieve something you want. Never give up. If your goals hold steady, the work should, too.

For four days while Grayson Pope was in the Shepherd Center in Atlanta — just four out of 67 days of grueling physical therapy, vocal cord work, game play and dozens of visits — he sulked. There to recover from a traumatic brain injury, fractured skull, bleeding and swelling on the brain, bruised lungs and other cuts from a June 6, 2023, freak accident at Trussville Country Club, Grayson Pope spent four days not wanting to get out of bed. He would write “Put Gray in bed” and “Gray wants to go to bed” on his whiteboard.

After four days, he was done with stillness.

“He was like, ‘Let’s go,’” David Pope said. “‘I don’t want to get back in that wheelchair. I want to walk.’ So, just grit and determination.”

David Pope wishes he knew what clicked for his son during those four days. Maybe it was the lessons learned growing up. Maybe it wasn’t. Either way, David Pope is thankful that something clicked.

That freak accident occurred last summer when a popup storm uprooted a tree near the 16th green. It crashed atop the golf cart Grayson Pope was driving. He was knocked unconscious, but four friends there, most of them Hewitt-Trussville baseball teammates, applied necessary pressure and used Siri to call 911 from a wet cell phone.

Hewitt-Trussville head baseball coach Jeff Mauldin was en route to Houston, Texas, when the accident happened.

“It’s got to be one of the toughest things coaches, players and our program has dealt with that I’ve been a part of in 25-plus years,” Mauldin said. “Again, he’s a walking miracle right now.”

Grayson Pope was transported to UAB Hospital, where he underwent a craniotomy to relieve the pressure on his brain. After one week, the ventilator he was on was replaced with a tracheostomy. After a month at UAB Hospital, he began to follow commands, albeit in a

It’s got to be one of the toughest things coaches, players and our program has dealt with that I’ve been a part of in 25-plus years. Again, he’s a walking miracle right now.

there to see a game.

“He is still obviously in the dugout and talking to the guys, and I think he gave a couple pregame speeches, trying to get them fired up,” David Pope said. “But I think on this side of it, he’s very grateful for everybody and everything they’ve done. You can see that difference in him.”

semi-conscious state. On July 11, 2023, he underwent a cranioplasty to replace the piece of skull that had been removed a couple days after the accident.

Next came the 67 days at the Shepherd Center, which provides rehabilitation for patients with brain and spinal injuries, from July 18 to Sept. 22, 2023. On the day he left, Grayson Pope walked out on his own. A walking miracle.

The Popes then moved into an Atlanta

apartment while Grayson Pope attended therapy at Pathways. On Nov. 18, the Popes returned to Trussville. Grayson Pope returned to school in January and attended every Hewitt-Trussville baseball game this spring.

David Pope and his wife, Jamie, felt a range of emotions as the 2024 baseball season began. It was heartbreaking to see their son unable to play, but at the same time, it was wonderful that he was even

A graphic was added to the left-field fence at Phil English Field this spring, a smiling face with “No Fly Zone” printed along with it. Grayson Pope had written that on his glove. You can see that bright pink graphic from Interstate 59.

Grayson Pope threw out first pitches at Alabama and Tennessee baseball games. The “Prayers for Grayson Pope #pray4gray” Facebook page boasts more than 8,700 followers. The Pray4Gray Foundation was founded, with plans to provide financial support for families who have gone through similar tragedies resulting in traumatic brain injuries.

“I think the biggest thing is no one

Hewitt-Trussville senior Grayson Pope, center, alongside head coach Jeff Mauldin, shakes hands with the umpires and Oak Mountain head coach Derek Irons before the start of a game at Phil English Field. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

really knows how hard it really was on us as a family,” David Pope said. “But then how extremely grateful we are as a family. So, both of those, and it gets easier every day, but it also gets harder every day. And

we’re in it for the long haul.”

Grayson Pope still goes to physical, occupational and speech therapy every week. As June 6 this year approaches, marking one year since the accident,

David Pope speculates on how he will feel.

“Man, I imagine it’s going to be pretty rough around my house for my wife and I, for sure,” he said. “But then also, it’s

going to be kind of a bittersweet thing because there’s also so much to be thankful for. I think if we focus on that, that could be a really happy day. He’s here and he’s overcome so much.”

11 June 2024 | CAHABA SUN | CAHABASun.COM
Above: Hewitt-Trussville senior Grayson Pope (3) watches from the dugout. Photo by Erin Nelson. Right: Pope is honored before a game against Thompson High School in October 2023 at Hewitt-Trussville’s football stadium. Photo by James Nicholas
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EVENTS Trussville Library events guide

Mondays and Thursdays: Yarn Manglers. Mondays 6-7:30 p.m., Thursdays 2-4 p.m. Knitters and crocheters, join for fellowship and creativity. Ages 18 and older.

June 1-2: ACT Prep. Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday 1:30-3:30 p.m. The Trussville Public Library will be hosting a two-day ACT prep class featuring an extensive review session, test-taking tips, practice essay and practice test. The cost is $43.50 for both days; advance registration is required. Lunch will be provided on Saturday. Bring pencil, paper and calculator.

June 1: Adult Book Club. 2-3 p.m. An Adult Book Club focusing on books from a variety of genres. This month’s title is “The Hurricane Wars” by Thea Guanzon. Ages 18 and older.

June 3: Crafty Collective: Suncatchers. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Come join us and other crafty friends as we use glass beads and glue to make a suncatcher for your window. Registration required. Ages 18 and older.

June 4: Zoo2Go. 10:30-11:30 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m. Learn about animal adaptations and their unique characteristics with live animals from the Montgomery Zoo. All ages.

June 4: Friends of the Trussville Library. 11 a.m. to noon. The Friends of the Trussville Library members support library staff by providing extra hands for special events and money for programs and prizes. Ages 18 and older.

June 5 and 19: Teen Dungeons and Dragons. 2-3:30 p.m., group 1; 4-5:30 p.m., group 2. Come join us for an exciting campaign with this classic tabletop role-playing game! Registration is required. Grades 6-12.

June 6: Didgeridoo Adventure Down Under. Grades 6-12 are invited to explore Australian music with an Aussie Funk Jam Workshop from 2-3 p.m. From 5:30-6:15 p.m., children grade 5 and younger can join for an energetic show full of Australian music, culture, puppetry, comedy, character building, storytelling and audience movement and participation.

June 6: Yoga in the Park with Brittney Lee. 5:306:30 p.m. Get ready for summer by taking a moment for yourself, and join us for a yoga session with Brittney Lee in Masonic Park behind the library. Ages 18 and older.

June 10 and 24: Teen Ceramics with Norma. 4-5 p.m. Two-part program making a ceramic fish craft. Registration is required. Grades 6-12.

June 10: Books and Brews. 7:15-8:30 p.m. An evening Adult Book Club meeting at Ferus Artisan Ales. This month’s title is “Hemlock Island” by Kelley Armstrong. Ages 18 and older.

June 11 and 13: Library 101. Tuesday 10-11 a.m., Thursday 6-7 p.m. Learn the basics of what the public library has to offer and how you can access it. Registration is required. All ages.

June 11: Mis-Adventures in Fun. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Mr. Barry is back with a full cast of adventurers. This show is a combination of comedy magic, puppets and unforgettably funny stuff. Birth to grade 5.

June 11: Cooking with K Marie. 6-7 p.m. Ages 18 and older.

June 12: Solar Bugs. 4-4:45 p.m. Create a solar powered insect that moves with this fun-filled STEM project. Registration is required. Grades K-5.

June 12: Teen Video Game Tournament. 4-5:30 p.m. Show off your skills at our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament. Registration required. Grades 6-12.

June 13 and 27: Summertime Stories. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Join Ms. Alicia for a summer-themed storytime in the library auditorium with stories, songs, bubble time and lots of fun. Birth through 4K.

June 13: Snakes for Teens. 2-3 p.m. Join us to learn all about snakes. Grades 6-12.

June 15: Urban Turtle Project with Dr. Andy Coleman. 10-11 a.m. Dr. Andy Coleman of the Urban Turtle Project will bring several species of Alabama native turtles for us to view up close. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and join us under the oak tree in front of the library. All ages.

June 17: String Art — Adult. 6-7:25 p.m. Create a string art masterpiece! Materials provided. Registration required. Ages 18 and older.

June 18: Read and Draw. 10:30-11:15 a.m. and noon to 12:45 p.m. Meet children's author and illustrator Ashley Belote as she reads her book, "Listen Up, Louella." She will share about how a book is created,and then teach us how to draw a character from the story. Registration is required. Birth through grade 5.

June 18: Jackie Robinson and the Story of MLB’s Integration. 6:30-7:30 p.m. As Birmingham welcomes MLB's Field of Dreams game, and as the country celebrates Juneteenth, Mark Everett Kelly examines the relationship between race and America's pastime. Registration is required. 6th grade and older.

June 19: STEAM Around the World. 4-6 p.m. Travel at your own pace during this drop-in event. Make crafts and participate in activities as you travel around the world with a special passport. Grades K-5.

June 20: Parachute Play Time. 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Join Ms. Alicia for a 30-minute preschool parachute time! Birth through pre-K.

June 21: Classic Cinema. 2-4 p.m. Come watch classic movies in the library auditorium. Popcorn and snacks will be provided. This month’s movie is “12 Angry Men.” Registration is required. Ages 18 and older.

June 22: Archery for Teens. 1-2 p.m. Three-part archery class for teens in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department of Trussville. Learn about bows, safety with bows, and firing bows with a professional archery instructor. The class will be held at the Cherokee Gym Registration is required, and please only sign up if you can make all three classes, as it is cumulative (the next classes will be July 13 and 20). Grades 6-12.

June 25: Great Adventures in Science. 10:30-11:15 a.m. The adventure begins. McWane Science Center invites readers of all ages to journey through the greatest stories of yesterday and today. Birth through grade 5.

June 26: Birdhouse Decorating. 4-5 p.m. Paint and decorate your own birdhouse for our feathered friends. Materials will be provided. Registration is required. Grades K-5.

For more information about the Trussville Public Library and any of the events listed here, go online to or call 205-655-2022.


Above: Hewitt-Trussville’s Madisyn Hawkins competes in the girls discus throw during the AHSAA Class 7A, Section 3 track and field sectionals at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on April 27. Right: Hewitt-Trussville’s Kinley Harris competes in the 3,200-meter race. Below: The HTHS boys 4x400-meter relay team. Photos by Richard Force.

Huskies girls post runner-up finish at state outdoor meet

The Hewitt-Trussville High School girls outdoor track and field team impressed in a runner-up finish at the Class 7A state meet, which was held May 2-4 in Gulf Shores.

No one was catching Hoover on the boys or girls side, as the Bucs swept both 7A titles. But Hewitt’s girls scored 71 points to beat Auburn by 11 points. Foley and Chelsea rounded out the top five.

Avery Cahoon won the 1,600-meter race, posting a personal best time of 4 minutes, 53 seconds. She also reached the podium by finishing third in the 800.

Madisyn Hawkins won an individual title of her own, winning the discus throw with a throw of 132 feet, 3 inches. She was also second in the shot put competition.

The 4x800-meter relay team won in 9:13. The 4x400 team had a solid race as well, finishing fourth.

Tori Mack was second in the 100-meter hurdles and Haven White was third in the pole vault to also reach the podium.

Kinley Harris had a strong day, finishing fourth in the 3,200 and seventh in the 1,600. Emmie Goodell finished eighth in the 400, Hadley Turner was seventh in the 3,200, Haley Melton grabbed sixth in the triple jump and Avery Franklin finished sixth in the discus throw to gain points for the Huskies.

Jayda Hammonds, Mary Durham, Jaliyah Edwards, Catherine Asbury and Julia Stalls also contributed to the team’s results.

For the boys team, the 4x100 relay finished second to reach the podium. Michael Igbinoghene also got to the podium by finishing third in long jump.

Chason Howard was sixth in the 100, Raphael Boakeye-Yiadom was eighth in the 110 hurdles and Jamal Hobbs was seventh in high jump. Shaw Helfrich finished fourth and Alex Jones was sixth in pole vault. The 4x400 relay team placed seventh to also gain points for Hewitt.

Jadon Loving, Colin Wadsworth, Demetri Hall, Noah Jordan, John Paul Amari, William Bozeman, Payne Stuart and Ben Reeves competed for the team as well.


Huskies repeat as state softball champs

AhKeela Honeycutt was ready for her moment.

Neither Daphne nor Hewitt-Trussville High School could scratch across a run in an epic pitchers’ duel during the state softball championship, but Honeycutt decided to put an end to it.

She laced a double to the left-center field gap, scoring Presley Hull and sending the Huskies to a walk-off 1-0 victory to win the game and the Class 7A state title on May 14 at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

“I just knew that I had to get on base, for real. I knew that my team had my back, no matter what,” Honeycutt said.

“She came out hot the first game and was a little cold the last couple, but what a time to come alive again,” Hewitt-Trussville head coach Taylor Burt said following the game. “She hit when it mattered and that’s all that mattered. It couldn’t have happened to a better kid.”

Honeycutt’s double sent Hewitt-Trussville

to its second straight state title and fourth state championship over the last six years.

That hit also ended a classic duel between Hewitt’s Sara Phillips and Daphne’s Vic Moten. Both pitchers matched zeroes on the scoreboard through the first eight innings, before the Huskies finally scored the decisive run in the bottom of the ninth.

Phillips hardly allowed a threat from Daphne, as she threw all nine innings, permitting only four hits and a single walk, while striking out 12 batters.

“We didn’t have to throw her a ton, she threw just over 100 pitches yesterday,” Burt said. “She was able to come out here fresh and get after it, and that’s a testament to all of our other pitchers and hitters. I’m proud of all of them, but especially Sara.”

Phillips said she was confident the whole way, believing in the defense behind her and the ability of Hewitt’s lineup to finally break through against Moten, who had an unbelievable tournament for Daphne. Moten pitched six games, winning four of them, including a no-hitter against Thompson.

Hewitt-Trussville’s Sara Phillips (22) pitches. The Huskies celebrate with the Class 7A state championship trophy following a 1-0 win over Daphne in nine innings at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on May 14. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Phillips was hoarse following the game.

“I didn’t have a voice, but I had confidence,” she said.

Hewitt-Trussville nearly ended the game in the seventh inning, after putting a runner on third with one out, but Moten got out of the jam. In the eighth, Peyton Hull began the inning with a hit down the left field line. Burt got aggressive and waved Hull to third, where she was thrown out on the play.

“I told them that’s my fault, to have my back and help me out and thankfully, they did,” Burt said.

This is the first time in Hewitt-Trussville’s recent reign on 7A that the Huskies went unbeaten in the postseason. They knocked off Dothan, Thompson and Hoover the first day of the tournament to advance to the championship game. The Huskies threw two shutouts at the regional tournament, beating Bob Jones and Austin, after three straight wins in the Area 6 tournament.

That’s certainly not been the case for the Huskies over the years, who have at times made a habit of charging back after the odds

were stacked against them.

“I have a little less gray hair than in years past. I’m incredibly proud we were able to get it done in four [games], I’m incredibly proud,” Burt said.

The Huskies began the state tournament with a 14-0 win over Dothan. Zaylen Tucker drove in four, while Makaila Hope and Lexie Kelly each had two hits and two RBIs. Tucker fired four shutout innings and Kinley Poe pitched an inning.

In a 4-2 win over Thompson, Hewitt scored single runs in the first three innings and never trailed. Phillips threw six innings, allowing two unearned runs. Kate Hicks threw a scoreless frame as well.

In the winner’s bracket final, a 5-4 win over Hoover, Olivia Faggard drove in a pair of runs and Tucker notched three hits in support of Hicks and Phillips in the circle.

Hewitt-Trussville finished the season with a record 37-6, winning its final 11 games.

The Huskies will graduate Amber Newman, Honeycutt, Hicks, Kelly, Sarah Beth Golden, Phillips, Chaney Peters and Faggard.

The Huskies celebrate their Class 7A state championship win in the lake at Choccolocco Park in Oxford. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney. AhKeela Honeycutt (1) hits a double to win the State championship game. Photo by Kyle Parmley. Hewitt-Trussville’s Sara Phillips (22) hugs Hewitt-Trussville’s AhKeela Honeycutt (1). Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney. Ryleigh Wood (2) catches a pop fly. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Recently sold homes in Trussville

► ADDRESS: 7250 Crown Ridge Drive

► BED/BATH: 6/4



► LIST PRICE: $750,000

► SALE PRICE: $735,000

► ADDRESS: 620 Mermont Drive

► BED/BATH: 5/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 4,150 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Trussville

► LIST PRICE: $484,000

► SALE PRICE: $484,000

► ADDRESS: 6701 Clear Creek Circle

► BED/BATH: 3/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,345 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Trussville

► LIST PRICE: $470,000

► SALE PRICE: $485,000

► ADDRESS: 112 Post Oak Drive

► BED/BATH: 3/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,248 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Sherman Oaks

► LIST PRICE: $374,900

► SALE PRICE: $400,000

► ADDRESS: 209 Oak Circle

► BED/BATH: 4/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,327 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Trussville

► LIST PRICE: $399,900

► SALE PRICE: $395,000

► ADDRESS: 258 Dawns Way

► BED/BATH: 3/2

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,037 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Hidden Trace

► LIST PRICE: $350,000

► SALE PRICE: $353,750



Sean of the South By Sean Dietrich

This Memorial Day

I am an imaginary old man. I am every World War II veteran you never knew. I am each faceless GI from the bygone European War. Or any other war, for that matter.

I am in my 90s and 100s now. Lots of young folks probably don’t even know I exist.

In my war, I was one of the hundreds of thousands of infantrymen, airmen, sailors, Marines, mess sergeants, Seabees, brass hats, engineers, doctors, medics, buck privates and rear-echelon potato-peelers.

We hopped islands in the Pacific. We served in the African war theater. We beat the devil, then we came home and became the old fart next door.

Wartime was one heck of an era to be young, let me tell ya. When we went overseas, we were still teenagers, smooth-skinned, scared spitless, with government haircuts, wearing brand-new wedding rings. We hadn’t seen action yet, so we were jittery and lots of us smoked through a week’s rations of Luckies in one day.

Then it happened. It was different for everyone, but it happened. Shells landed everywhere. People screamed. And in a moment, our fear melted away and we had war jobs to do. It didn’t matter who we were or which posts were ours. Everyone worked in the grand assembly line of battle.

When the smoke cleared and the action was over, we had new confidence in ourselves, and we were no longer boys.

And anyway, we weren’t just boys, we were girls, too. There were 350,000 women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II. People forget that.

Speaking of women, we guys were always talking about our sweethearts, wives and mothers. If you mentioned someone’s girl, a man was liable to talk for hours about her. And even if you’d already seen his wallet photos before, you never interrupted a guy talking about his gal. Because eventually you’d be talking about yours.

There were nights overseas when we would stare at the moon and wonder if our sweethearts were looking at the same moon. There were moments of indescribable loneliness.

Infantrymen had it the hardest. I don’t know how our doughboys did it. They lived like pack mules. Their boots got wet, their feet swelled and their flesh became waterlogged. Chunks of their heels would fall off: the dreaded “trench foot.”

The funny thing is, even though their feet were falling off, these men still didn’t want to leave their posts. Many had to be dragged away cussing. That’s how committed these guys were.

Oh, and the food was god awful. You learned to appreciate the rarity of a creative company cook.

In Italy, sometimes we could buy eggs from local merchants for outrageously inflated prices. One time, I knew a guy who ate 32 scrambled eggs in his tent one

night. I asked him why he did this, and he told me he didn’t want to die without tasting eggs one last time.

A lot of guys brought banjos, guitars and fiddles over there. They’d play music at night sometimes in the open Italian air. We’d square dance and laugh. Others would sit on their helmets, smoking, thinking of home, wiping their eyes.

The Germans had a local radio station that broadcasted American stuff like Bing and Frank. Then, between songs, a German gal talked propaganda over the airwaves to us American GIs in a sexy voice, trying to mess with our heads.

She would speak flawless English and say, “Give up, boys, there’s no point trying, you can’t win. Everyone hates you. Your girls are at home cheating on you, they don’t love you anymore. Give up. It’s over. You lost.”

This was supposed to discourage us, but it usually just made us laugh. Or cry. Sometimes both.

When the war ended, we felt too much joy at once. In fact, most weren’t totally sure they could trust good news. A lot of guys got like that.

So when we heard the official papers had been signed and the war was over, it was Christmas morning multiplied times a hundred. No — times a trillion.

Those of us overseas immediately wrote letters to family and told our wives we were coming home, told our kids to grease up their baseball gloves. Our letters were covered in little wet polka dots, if you get my drift. Stateside, there were huge celebrations happening. Sailors climbed lampposts to unfurl flags. Infantrymen stood on rooftops, toasting mugs of homebrew. Mothers were frying chickens out the wazoo.

People were partying everywhere from San Bernardino to Flatbush. Big cities, little towns and the rural parts between. There were ticker tape parades, auto processions and girls would kiss any guy in government clothes.

But on this important day, you know what I think about? I think about all the guys who never got kissed again. Our men in the soil.

They were those who evaporated like the early morning fog over Anzio or the thick mists of Normandy. They died young. And they died for a lot more than a three-day weekend of barbecues and Budweiser. These were men who fell upholding the mantle of our unalienable American spirit, the Blessings of our Liberty and the pride of their homeland. They were friends. They were the kids next door. They were children of God who once proved, beyond speculation, that even hellfire cannot kill the great idea that is America. I hope we never forget them. I know I never will.

Happy Memorial Day.

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.

Southern Musings By Gary Lloyd

A present ride into the past

I wasn’t driving 88 mph, but I did go back in time.

I suppose I’ve done it quite a few times. I’ve driven those Queenstown Road curves until I signal left onto Reid Drive, a spot where, if you are driving something smaller than a truck and don’t press the brake hard enough, you will bottom out. I promise.

To the immediate left is what appears to be the same slope of pine straw that a buddy and I hit at full speed on our Huffys and Haros, hoping for enough air to look cool. I’m not sure we ever cleared enough to jump over a three-ring binder.

One of my best childhood friends lived in a house on the right, and it’s still the same greenish-teal color, still the same chain-link fence that contained a dog that I loved as my own. Next door is a van in the driveway that seems as if it hasn’t moved in more than a decade, and beyond it a backyard where a block party culminated in a kid-friendly karaoke competition where I definitely did not lip-sync to a Destiny’s Child song in the early 2000s. Thank God that cell phones with super-high-resolution cameras didn’t exist back then.

A couple houses up sits a cracked-off chunk of concrete, resting slanted between the road and a driveway, that a friend and I often used as a ramp for our skateboards and BMX bikes, before we had Motorola Razrs and learner’s permits. The basketball goal atop a tall driveway a few hundred feet up the street on the left is somehow still there, an 11-foot goal — regulation in the NBA is 10 feet — that sent me home with sore arms several times per week in the summer.

Cars are still parked on the road, despite long driveways and double garages. Hardly any houses have been repainted, as best I can tell. None have been demolished or added onto. This street isn’t just still Reid Drive, but 2004 Reid Drive, for the most part, which amazes me, given the significant changes we’ve seen here in the last 20 years.

I drove Reid Drive one evening recently, after the sun had gone down. Daylight saving time forever, by the way. As I ascended the steep hill that I somehow could once pedal up in fewer than 15 seconds on my BMX bike, I came to my childhood home. The floodlight wasn’t on, but I didn’t need a burning bulb to remember every concrete crack I dribbled a Wilson basketball over in my youth. The brick mailbox was the same, and the front yard was somehow smaller than I remembered. The wooden privacy fence needed some posts replaced, and all needed a fresh coat of chestnut brown, but it strangely made me happy that they were just as they had been a decade ago.

Only one light in the street-facing portion of the home was on as far as I could tell, the bedroom that first was my brother’s but was ultimately mine in high school.

Maybe some teenager was inside, spending a Friday night watching NBA games and writing about sports.

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

Lloyd Dietrich

get awayFOR A DAY

Spend a day with American patriots in the 18th century

Enjoy red, white and blue all-American family fun this summer at the American Village. The “Hidden Heroes: Revolutionary Spy Adventure” offers something for patriots of all ages.

Learn to become a spy, outsmart the redcoat forces and join the Continental Army. Read the Village Gazette upon your arrival at the Visitors Center to find out each day’s revolutionary events. Food trucks will be onsite every Saturday.

Starting Friday, May 31, escape the heat at the cinema. The summer film series will run every other Friday evening in the West Wing of Independence Hall theatre. Beer, wine and food trucks will be available on Constitution Green to provide refreshments before the film.

Enjoy the American Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday, June 1. See painters, soap makers, potters, jewelry makers, wood workers and metal workers create and sell their works.

On July 4, join your family, friends and neighbors at the American Village to celebrate Independence Day 1776!

American Village

Where: 3727 Alabama 119, Montevallo

Summer hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday Call: 205-665-3535 Web:

Fun, food, fireworks… you’ll find it all, bigger and better than ever. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the family-friendly fun lasts through twilight’s last gleaming.

For a complete schedule of summer events, visit the American Village online at

Summer is the perfect time for families to enjoy the zoo

Summer, with long days and gorgeous weather, is the perfect time for families to enjoy outdoor attractions like the Birmingham Zoo.

Covering 122 acres, the zoo is home to 550 animals of 180 species from six continents, including zebras, orangutans, elephants and a jaguar

Visitors can see the Birmingham Zoo’s new baby giraffe, Mopane (pronounced Mo-Paw-Nee). The first giraffe born at the zoo since 2014, Mopane was born in April to mother Ruby and father Jalil, with the help of the zoo’s animal care team.

There are lots of animal experiences at the zoo, including goat walks and bird feedings, some at the Junior League of Birmingham Hugh Kaul Children’s Zoo. Visitors can also enjoy riding the Red Diamond Express Train and climbing the Full Moon Bar-B-Que Adventure Tower.

The zoo also hosts special summer events:

► June 8: Zoo Brews, with craft breweries and food trucks. 6-9 p.m. Ages 21 and older.

Birmingham Zoo

Where: 2630 Cahaba Road Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday-Sunday Call: 205-879-0409 Web:

► June 15: Pancakes and Princesses, an enchanted day in a magical court of characters during the Royal Pancakes and Princesses Breakfast. 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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