Cahaba Sun July 2024

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Editor’s Note By Kyle Parmley

The athletic facilities at Hewitt-Trussville High School are in a constant stage of improvement, which is a terrific thing for present and future students.

After construction last fall, the covered football practice pavilion is completed and ready for use — a big deal for the Huskies football program.

The baseball program continues to make its facility a premier one. Football and basketball recently added video boards to enhance their gameday atmospheres as well.

Ground was broken not too long ago on the new Hewitt-Trussville softball complex, which is set to be completed in 2025. Based on the renderings, the stadium — set to be named after former school board

member Bill Roberts — will rival any other high school venue in Alabama. What Taylor Burt has done as coach of the softball program has been nothing short of spectacular, as the Huskies won their fourth state title this spring.


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ON THE COVER: Jason Throneberry, with The Nature Conservancy, talks about some of the work being done by the Conservancy with rivers in Alabama, including the Cahaba River in Trussville. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Business Happenings

7 Brew will soon open its 10th Alabama location in Trussville at 5982 Chalkville Mountain Road. 7 Brew is a drive-through coffee stand that offers many types of custom drinks.

The Trussville Chick-fil-A, 5886 Trussville Crossings Parkway, temporarily closed 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,

When people with extraordinary talent and passion are given the technology, the facilities, and the

they achieve great

The discoveries taking place today will help shape the

and lead to cures – benefitting not only our


but people across the country and around the world for years to


Bojangles, which has a location in Trussville at 1880 Gadsden Highway, has started offering catering through a new partnership with ezCater. This is Bojangles’ first venture into catering as a company, though select franchises previously have offered the service. Bojangles has at least 20 locations in Alabama, including in Chelsea, Hoover, Fultondale and McCalla in Jefferson County. 205-655-8600,


The Trussville Whataburger location, 5931 Trussville Crossings Parkway, has closed.


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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By the numbers: May 2023 vs. 2024

Recently sold homes in Trussville

► ADDRESS: 5425 Carrington Circle

► BED/BATH: 5/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,533 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Carrington

► LIST PRICE: $600,000

► SALE PRICE: $595,000

► ADDRESS: 5859 Carrington Lane

► BED/BATH: 4/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,495 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Carrington

► LIST PRICE: $499,000

► SALE PRICE: $499,000

► ADDRESS: 265 Calumet Place

► BED/BATH: 3/2

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,332 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $290,000

► SALE PRICE: $290,000

► ADDRESS: 4882 Lynlee Pass

► BED/BATH: 5/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,938 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $530,000

► SALE PRICE: $535,000

► ADDRESS: 4130 Overlook Circle

► BED/BATH: 3/2.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,286 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Carrington Lakes

► LIST PRICE: $348,900

► SALE PRICE: $358,000

► ADDRESS: 6606 Memory Lane

► BED/BATH: 3/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,023 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Trussville

► LIST PRICE: $269,900

► SALE PRICE: $270,000

Trussville Public Library events guide

The library is closed Thursday, July 4, through Sunday, July 7, in observance of Independence Day.

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.

July 1: Garden Work Day. 9-10:30 a.m. Help keep our butterfly garden healthy and happy. Ages 18 and older.

July 1: Adult Book Club. 2-3 p.m. An Adult Book Club focusing on books from a variety of genres. From fantasy to contemporary fiction and everything in between, come join us at the library on the first Saturday of every month. This month’s title is “The Hurricane Wars” by Thea Guanzon. Ages 18 and older.

July 2: 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.

July 3: Family Movie Matinee. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Join us in the library auditorium to watch "Migration,” a story about a family of ducks that convince their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime. All ages.

July 8: Crafty Collective: Terracotta Coasters. 5:307:30 p.m. Come turn a terracotta saucer into a decorative coaster using paints and Mod Podge! The library will provide supplies. Registration required. Ages 18 and older.

July 8: Books and Brews. 7:15-8:30 p.m. An evening Adult Book Club meeting at Ferus Artisan Ales. This month’s title is “Everyone in my Family Has Killed Someone” by Benjamin Stevenson. Ages 18 and older.

July 9: Big Time Groove: Adventures in Rhythm & Rhyme! 10:30-11:15 a.m. Join us for a family-fun music

adventure with percussionist Dave Holland. This event is filled with storytelling, drum-along fun and the reading of Mr. Dave's new book, "Itsy Bitsy Blues.” Birth through grade 5.

July 9: Beatin’ Path. 2-3 p.m. Drum circle for teens. Registration required. Grades 6-12.

July 9: Puzzle Competition. 6-7 p.m. Do you think you can complete a puzzle in an hour and a half? Get a team together (up to five people) and compete against other teams for your chance to prove you are the ultimate puzzlers. A puzzle-themed prize will go to whoever completes their puzzle first (or whoever gets the closest in the timeframe). Ages 18 and older.

July 10 and 24: Nature Club. 4-5 p.m. In this two-part series, kids will learn how to plant and garden like a pro. Registration is required. Grades K-5.

July 10: Teen Video Game Tournament. 4-5:30 p.m. Show off your skills at our Mario Kart 8 tournament. Registration required. Grades 6-12.

July 11 and 25: 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.

July 11: Starch in Their Petticoats. 6:30-7:30 p.m. This program tells the true stories of five women of guts and gusto who were part of the Western Expansion in the 1800s. Registration is required. All ages.

July 13: 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 House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune. Ages 18 and older.

July 15: Henna Tattoo. 4-5 p.m. teens, 5:30-6:20 p.m. adults. Join September Reed to learn the ancient art of henna tattoos. You will learn how to create henna designs and receive a temporary henna stain. All supplies provided. The henna used during the program will be natural henna mixed fresh. Registration is required.

July 16: Travelin’ Tales. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Fasten those seatbelts and get ready to travel to lands both far and near! A uniquely enchanting performance that features a variety of creative puppet styles, audience interaction and lots of fun. Birth through grade 5.

July 16: Tabletop Miniature Workshop. 2-4 p.m. Interested in Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, tabletop games in general or art? The Trussville Public Library will be hosting a twohour miniature workshop. We will build and paint some models, learn some techniques and get to take some models home. This is a beginner-friendly class and no equipment or prior experience is needed. Grades 6-12.

July 17: S’mores and Stories. 4-5 p.m. Create your own s’mores oven! While we wait for our snack, we will go on a reading adventure with a pick-your-own-path book. Registration is required. Grades K-5.

July 18: Preschool Yoga. 9:30-10 a.m. and 10:30-10:55 a.m. Join Ms. Alicia for preschool yoga. Registration is required. Birth through 4K.

July 23: Summer Reading Finale Party. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Join us for a celebration of all your reading this summer. In this thrilling show, young scientists will embark on a STEM adventure, then the Summer Reading grand prize winners will be announced. Birth through grade 5.

July 23: Teen Summer Reading Finale. 2-4 p.m. Join the Teen Department for our finale, when grand prize winners will be announced and ice cream will be available. If you are unable to attend the finale and are chosen as a winner of one of the grand prizes, you will be contacted either via phone call or email. Registration is required. Grades 6-12.

July 25: “Parks and Rec” Trivia. 6-7:30 p.m. Do you think you know everything there is to know about Pawnee, Indiana, and its residents? Then get a team together and test your knowledge against other fans of the show. Prizes will be given away for the best team name, best costume and an overall grand prize for the trivia masters. Registration will open on June 21. Ages 18 and older.

July 26: Classic Cinema. 2-4 p.m. Come and watch classic movies in the library auditorium! On the third Friday of every month, we'll be showing a movie released before 1970. Popcorn and snacks will be provided. This month’s movie is “Pillow Talk.” Registration is required. Ages 18 and older.

COVER STORY: Trussville man working on ‘most significant ecological restoration in North America’


It was a sunny April day — Earth Day, to be exact — and Jason Throneberry, the director of freshwater programs for The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, was walking the greenway near the Trussville Senior Activity Center. He was talking about a blossoming interest in the environment and the work to build bypass channels around two dams on the Alabama River to allow various species to pass.

Throneberry, who moved to Trussville two years ago but has lived in Alabama for about eight years, grew up in Arkansas just south of Little Rock. He grew up hunting and fishing at the pinnacle of the outdoors. Accessible from his hometown were the Mississippi and Arkansas rivers and the Mississippi Delta.

“I just gained a love for it, doing that growing up,” Throneberry said.

He moved to Tennessee to earn his master’s degree, where he also served as a river raft guide. He studied fisheries and wildlife biology.

“That really opened my eyes to there being careers out here where you can do environmental work,” Throneberry said. “There are so many facets. You don’t have to manage a pond or grow trout. There are so many different facets to that. I really kind of grasped onto the native species, the rare species that people don’t think about.”

He returned to Arkansas to work for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission as an aquatic ecologist, then earned his role with The Nature Conservancy in Alabama. He focuses on river restoration, aquatic connectivity and urban environments.

Standing under the Rock Bridge on Cherokee Drive in Trussville, he described the Cahaba River as great recreationally.

“The opportunities are endless, and it’s still in really good shape, relatively speaking,” Throneberry said. “From a work standpoint, it is the most biologically diverse river in Alabama and one of the most diverse in all of North America. So, this is one of the hotspots of biodiversity.”

Throneberry is currently working on a handful of stream restorations across rural Alabama, none more key

than the lower Alabama River project, which is probably “the most pressing,” Throneberry said.

A $160 million program with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers focuses on building bypass channels around two dams on the Alabama River, channels that would allow sturgeon, paddlefish, mussels, mullet, skipjack herring and striped bass to migrate freely. Once upon a time, before dams, migratory fish runs included sturgeon making their way all the way to the Appalachian Mountains. That doesn’t happen anymore, due in large part to the construction of dams and the change of riverine ecosystems into a series of manmade reservoirs.

The project’s purpose is not only to allow fish to move around the dams, but also to reconnect the Gulf of Mexico to the Appalachian Mountains via the Alabama and Cahaba rivers. Ensuring that the historic habitat the fish need remains is key, so the goal is to work from top to bottom and bottom to top. In a nutshell, Throneberry is working all over Alabama.

In describing the project, putting a label on it, he was firm: “The most significant ecological restoration

Water flows in the Cahaba River in Trussville. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

“... [the Cahaba River] is the most biologically diverse river in Alabama and one of the most diverse in all of North America. So, this is one of the hotspots of biodiversity.


”in North America.”

According to The Nature Conservancy, the federal government will contribute $105 million, but the requirement of a non-federal sponsor to foot 35% of the total cost (or $56.4 million) has fallen on The Nature Conservancy.

“In this career path, you have to be willing to do whatever,” Throneberry said. “If you need to get out on a boat, you need to sample fish, or talk to people or just be a tour guide, that’s what you have to do. I now know more about policy than I ever cared, but it’s a part of it. I think I’m good at it. I seem to be pretty good at it, but it’s a whole new world for me.”

One of the species that Throneberry is working hard to save is the Alabama sturgeon, a fish he has never actually seen. He might never see one — few people have in the last couple decades.

His task is somewhat akin to the old aphorism, “Planting a tree you will never sit under.” He hopes Alabama

sturgeon are still in these waters, somewhere.

“We know they’re there,” he said. “The last one was collected years and years and years ago. I don’t know the exact date. I have never personally seen one. There

are still ecological DNA hits, where you just take a water sample, you have primers for this DNA, you run the sample and it says, ‘Hey, we got a hit for this fish’ because we have the genetic code. So, there is still hope.”

The Cahaba River behind Hewitt-Trussville High School. Photo by Gary Lloyd.
Jason Throneberry, with The Nature Conservancy, stands along the Cahaba River underneath the bridge on Cherokee Drive in Trussville. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


All-South Metro Softball

Sara Phillips named Player of Year

The 2024 Starnes Media All-South Metro Softball Team recognizes the top players in the area for their efforts throughout the high school softball season.

Hewitt-Trussville won its fourth state championship over the last six years, outlasting Daphne in a thrilling title game. Sara Phillips capped off her career in style, as the star pitcher threw nine shutout innings in that game and was masterful all season. She wins Player of the Year, the third year in a row that a Hewitt player has earned the title.

Taylor Burt of the Huskies is the Coach of the Year and Tait Davidson of Vestavia Hills is the Pitcher of the Year, each for the second consecutive season. Spain Park’s Maggie Daniel is the Hitter of the Year after another terrific season behind the plate for the Jags.

► Player of the Year: Sara Phillips, Hewitt-Trussville

► Hitter of the Year: Maggie Daniel, Spain Park

► Pitcher of the Year: Tait Davidson, Vestavia Hills

► Coach of the Year: Taylor Burt, Hewitt-Trussville


► Pitcher: Sara Phillips, Hewitt-Trussville; went 16-2 in the circle, posting a 1.35 earned run average with 175 strikeouts.

► Pitcher: Tait Davidson, Vestavia Hills: posted a 15-8 record with a 1.32 earned run average, with 217 strikeouts in another strong season.

► Pitcher: Olivia Christian, Hoover; led the area with 21 wins, putting forth a 1.91 ERA and 100 strikeouts.

► Catcher: Maggie Daniel, Spain Park; one of the most feared hitters in the area, hitting 14 home runs and getting on base at a .613 clip.

► First base: Corey Goguts, Hewitt-Trussville; burst onto the scene with a .462 average, 10 home runs and 45 runs batted in.

► Second base: Lucy Spisto, Vestavia Hills; hit .385 with 31 stolen bases.

► Third base: Alea Rye, Oak Mountain; drove in 37 runs in her senior campaign.

► Shortstop: Bella Foran, Hoover; a first-teamer for the third straight year, hitting .400 with 52 RBIs.

► Infield: Olivia Faggard, Hewitt-Trussville; capped off her career with 43 RBIs for the state champs.

► Infield: Charlee Bennett, Spain Park; hit seven home runs, stole 30 bases and got on base at a .583 clip.

► Outfield: Emma Hawkins, Oak Mountain; the catalyst for the offense, hitting .405 with 49 hits.

► Outfield: Hannah Christian, Hoover; had a phenomenal senior year, hitting .500 with 77 hits and 41 RBIs.

► Outfield: Ki Davis, Hoover; hit .413 with 62 hits and 29 stolen bases.

Hewitt-Trussville’s Sara Phillips (22) reacts as the Huskies secure a victory over Thompson during the AHSAA state softball tournament at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on May 13. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

► Designated hitter: Sydney Carroll, Chelsea; one of the top power hitters in the area, finishing with 11 homers.

► Designated hitter: Meredith Kellum, Briarwood; hit .485 with 10 homers.

► Utility: Zaylen Tucker, Hewitt-Trussville; a strong season at the plate and in the circle, swiping 36 bases and winning 10 games.

► Utility: Mallory Ogle, John Carroll; hit .418 and pitched for the Cavs.


► Pitcher: Kaitlyn Raines, Hoover; had a 14-6 record with a 1.34 ERA and 148 strikeouts.

► Pitcher: Ella Ussery, Spain Park; won 11 games and struck out 145 batters.

► Pitcher: Kate Hicks, Hewitt-Trussville; won eight games in her final season.

► Catcher: Anna DuBose, Oak Mountain; hit .423 and knocked in 28 runs.

► First base: Emma Stearns, Mountain Brook; drove in 30 runs in the middle of the order.

► Second base: Baylor McCluney, Chelsea; hit over .300 as a senior.

by Kyle Parmley. Above: Hewitt-Trussville’s Zaylen Tucker (14) catches a fly ball in left field in a game against Hoover during the AHSAA state softball tournament at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on May 13. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

► Third base: Teagan Huey, Spain Park; drove in 30 runs and walked 23 times.

► Shortstop: Madeline Epperson, Chelsea; finished her final season with a .406 OBP.

► Infield: Marrison Kearse, Mountain Brook; hit .362 with 26 RBIs in a versatile role.

► Infield: Chaney Peters, Hewitt-Trussville; drove in 33 runs.

► Outfield: Reagan Rape, Mountain Brook; knocked in 33 runs and stole 35 bases.

► Outfield: Sheridan Andrews, Oak Mountain; hit nearly .400, hit four homers and stole 20 bases as a sophomore.

► Outfield: Claire Robinett, Mountain Brook; an on-base machine (.530 OBP) and stolen base threat (29 steals).

► Designated hitter: Emily Williams, John Carroll; hit seven home runs with a .543 OBP.

► Designated hitter: AhKeela Honeycutt, Hewitt-Trussville; hit seven homers and had the walk-off hit at state

► Utility: Katie Hopson, Chelsea; sparked the Hornets with a .374 average and 28 RBIs.

► Utility: Mia Gonzalez, Homewood; the Patriots’ most versatile player, collecting 45 RBIs and pitching well.


► Pitcher: Reagan Stewart, Spain Park; Kelsey Crain, Oak Mountain; Sophia Williams, Oak Mountain; Annie Gregory, Mountain Brook; Grace Pilgrim, Homewood; Alaysha Crews, Chelsea; Jaley Young, Spain Park.

► Catcher: AT Goldman, Mountain Brook; Lindsey Westhoven, Hoover.

► Infield: Edith Kaplan, Mountain Brook; Mollie Hanson, Hoover; Kloeanne Smith, Homewood; Claire Purkey, Chelsea; Emma Parmley, Chelsea; Caroline Brown, Chelsea; Carolyn Graham, Oak Mountain.

► Outfield: Bella Williams, Oak Mountain; Caroline Charles, Spain Park; Tatum Lasseter, Spain Park; Lexie Kelly, Hewitt-Trussville; Madison Letson, Homewood.

► Designated hitter: Allie Whitaker, Spain Park; Makaila Hope, Hewitt-Trussville.

Starnes Media covers 10 schools across its six publications. The team is put together by the sports department in consultation with coaches.

Left: Hewitt-Trussville's Taylor Burt high-fives Olivia Faggard (28) during the Gulf Coast Classic on March 27, at Gulf Shores Sportsplex in Gulf Shores. Burt was named the 2024 Coach of the Year and Faggard was named to the All-South Metro first team.


All-South Metro Baseball


Huskies named to 1st team

High school baseball in the Birmingham area is always full of quality teams with rosters of talented players. The annual Starnes Media All-South Metro Baseball Team aims to recognize those players who had outstanding spring seasons.

Hoover’s Mason Blasche earns Player of the Year honors for leading the Bucs as a position player and pitcher. Mountain Brook’s Caleb Barnett is the Hitter of the Year after a spectacular season at the plate, in addition to being one of the area’s top arms. Bryson Morman from Oak Mountain was brilliant on the mound all season and is the Pitcher of the Year.

Mountain Brook’s Lee Gann and Spain Park’s Will Smith share Coach of the Year honors after each led their team to the postseason. The Spartans nearly advanced to the semifinals with a strong season, while the Jags replaced many starters and still found their way back to the playoffs.

► Player of the Year: Mason Blasche, Hoover

► Hitter of the Year: Caleb Barnett, Mountain Brook

► Pitcher of the Year: Bryson Morman, Oak Mountain

► Coaches of the Year: Lee Gann, Mountain Brook, and Will Smith, Spain Park


► Pitcher: Mason Blasche, Hoover; hit for a .398 average and drove in 33 runs, while pitching more than 54 innings against stout competition.

► Pitcher: Bryson Morman, Oak Mountain; posted a 1.23 ERA and threw 25 consecutive scoreless innings.

► Pitcher: Jack Ross, Homewood; posted an 8-2 record with a 1.88 earned run average.

► Pitcher: Dylan Lewkutz, Hewitt-Trussville; led the area with 70 innings and had a 1.68 ERA.

► Catcher: John Paul Head, Vestavia Hills; reached base at a .500 clip and drew 23 walks.

► First base: Will Adams, Hoover; another strong twoway player for the Bucs who won six games on the mound.

► Second base: James Graphos, Mountain Brook; stole 33 bases and knocked in 26 runs.

► Third base: Caleb Barnett, Mountain Brook; led the area with 8 home runs and was a perfect 7-0 pitching with a 1.04 ERA.

► Shortstop: Steele Hall, Hewitt-Trussville; hit .331 and stole 31 bases.

► Infield: James Battersby, Spain Park; drove in 26 runs and stole 22 bags.

► Infield: Jaxson Wood, Hoover; racked up 48 hits and 24 RBIs, while hitting .364.

► Outfield: Brett Moseley, Hewitt-Trussville; one of the top players in the area, hitting .404 with 34 RBIs.

► Outfield: Chapman Blevins, Spain Park; hit .326 and drove in 28 runs.

Hewitt-Trussville’s Dylan Lewkutz (17) pitches in game one of a Class 7A playoff series against Hoover at Phil English Field on April 26. Photo by Shawn Bowles.

► Outfield: Will Clark, Briarwood; drove in 23 runs with a .322 average.

► Designated hitter: Carson McFadden, John Carroll; had a big year with a .536 OBP and 31 RBIs.

► Designated hitter: Matthew Widra, Spain Park; belted four homers and drove in 36 runs.

► Utility: John Robicheaux, Mountain Brook; a tremendous two-way player, hitting .427 and winning seven games.

► Utility: Jake Souders, Briarwood; posted six wins on the mound and had a .546 OBP.


► Pitcher: Kenneth Diddell, Mountain Brook; set the state record for career saves by adding 11 this spring.

► Pitcher: CJ Gross, Spain Park; went 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA.

► Pitcher: Cooper Sain, Homewood; went a perfect 6-0 with a 1.34 ERA.

► Pitcher: Logan Moller, Chelsea; threw 53 2/3 innings and racked up an impressive 67 strikeouts.

► Catcher: Coleman Gray, Spain Park; drove in 29 runs and had a .496 OBP.

► First base: Carson Wideman, Hewitt-Trussville; hit .346 with 29 RBIs.

► Second base: Rob Wright, Hewitt-Trussville; came up clutch with 29 RBIs and a .522 OBP.

► Third base: Christian Helmers, Hewitt-Trussville; won seven games as a pitcher and was a strong two-way player.

► Shortstop: Nick McCord, Oak Mountain; racked up 32 hits and swiped 10 bases.

► Infield: Levi Nickoli, Homewood; hit five home runs and surrendered just a 1.59 ERA as a pitcher.

► Infield: Chase Lackey, Chelsea; had 33 hits and stole 19 bases.

► Outfield: Hunter Keller, Mountain Brook; hit .336, piling up 43 hits on the season.

► Outfield: William Tonsmeire, Vestavia Hills; hit .306 and stole 18 bases.

► Outfield: Aden Malpass, John Carroll; hit .391 and knocked in 26 runs.

HewittTrussville’s Steele Hall (19) dives back to first base as Hoover’s Will Adams (8) catches a pickoff throw in game three of a first-round Class 7A playoff series at Phil English Field on April 27.

► Designated hitter: Jackson Miller, John Carroll; drove in 30 runs.

► Designated hitter: Noah Smith, John Carroll; hit .435 with 31 RBIs.

► Utility: Jackson Barnes, Briarwood; hit .357 and won three games as a pitcher.

► Utility: Alex Harrison, Oak Mountain; hit .301 and held opponents to an 0.48 ERA in 29 innings pitched.


► Pitcher: William Andre, Hoover; Blake Patrick, Spain Park; Ty Shotts, Mountain Brook; John Littleton, Mountain Brook; Grant Hill, Chelsea; Cooper Huffman,

Hewitt-Trussville; Chase Rafferty, Vestavia Hills; Collin Jones, Vestavia Hills; Kevin Jasinski, Oak Mountain.

► Catcher: Peyton Parkinson, Oak Mountain.

► Infield: Aiden Berke, Spain Park; Rhys Jones, Spain Park.

► Outfield: Cam Simpson, Hewitt-Trussville; Colby Durden, Hewitt-Trussville; Hayden Greer, John Carroll; Jeremiah Gary, Homewood; Camdyn Teague, Hoover; Carter Jackman, Hoover.

Starnes Media covers 10 schools across its six publications. The team is put together by the sports department in consultation with coaches.

Hewitt-Trussville’s Brett Moseley (1) makes contact during an at-bat in game three of a Class 7A first-round playoff series against Hoover at Phil English Field on April 27.
Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


Spring sport athletes recognized on postseason lists

Several spring sport athletes from Hewitt-Trussville High School were recognized recently for their stellar 2024 seasons.

The Alabama Sports Writers Association in June released its all-state baseball and softball teams, which featured several Huskies.

On the softball side, in Class 7A, Hewitt-Trussville’s Sara Phillips was named the Pitcher of the Year after capping off her high school career by leading the Huskies to another state championship.

Phillips was fantastic this season, posting a record of 16-2 with a 1.35 earned run average. She struck out 175 batters in 98 2/3 innings, including emerging on top of a pitchers’ duel against Daphne and Vic Moten in the state championship game, which Hewitt won 1-0 in nine innings.

Taylor Burt was named Coach of the Year, leading the Huskies to a fourth state title in the last five seasons.

Corey Goguts made the first team in 7A as a utility player. In her sophomore campaign, Goguts hit for a .462 average with 10 home runs and 45 runs batted in.

On the second team, Olivia Faggard was selected as an infielder. Faggard hit for a .439 average and drove in 43 runs.

Zaylen Tucker made the second team as a utility player. She starred for the Huskies in center field and as a pitcher. As a hitter, she had an on-base percentage of .510 and stole 36 bases. As a pitcher, she won 10 games and had an ERA of 2.02.

In baseball, on the Class 7A first team, three players from Hewitt-Trussville made the list. Dylan Lewkutz was the ace of the staff for the Huskies this year, posting a record of 7-2 with a 1.68 earned run average. He struck out 60 batters in 70 2/3 innings of work.

Steele Hall, a University of Tennessee commit, was a firstteam infielder. He sparked the Huskies offense with a .331 batting average and .448 on-base percentage. He drove in 23 runs and stole 31 bases on the year as well.

Hewitt-Trussville’s Sara Phillips (22) pitches in a game against Thompson during the AHSAA state softball tournament at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on May

Brett Moseley was on the first team as an outfielder. He was the stat leader in many categories for Hewitt, posting a .404 average and .516 OBP, knocking in 34 runs and swiping 31 bases.

Christian Helmers made the second team as a pitcher. He was tremendous for the Huskies, going 7-2 with a 1.26 ERA for the year.

A few Hewitt-Trussville soccer players were recognized for their performances during the 2024 season as well.

Libby Armstrong, a junior defender, was named to the second team all-state and Class 7A all-state. She was also first team all-metro.

A couple of Huskies were on the second team, as midfielder Kate Willoughby and defender Addie Rutland made the squad. Defender Ellie Christian and goalkeeper Brecken Phillips were named honorable mention.

On the boys side, senior goalkeeper Michael Christopoulous, junior defender Brennan Greer and senior midfielder Carson Jackson were named honorable mention all-state. Greer and defender Asher Tharp were second team allmetro, while four Huskies were named honorable mention all-metro. Sophomore forward Jonathon Emmerich, Jackson, sophomore Jason Merriweather and junior midfielder Sam Sharp were among those selected.

Left: Hewitt-Trussville’s Brett Moseley (1) catches a fly ball in center field in game three of the series against Hoover during round one of the Class 7A playoffs at Phil English Field on April 27. Right: Hewitt-Trussville’s Libby Armstrong (2) in a game against Spain Park in March 2023. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


Trussville residents to vote on ad valorem increase Aug. 27

Trussville residents will take to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 27 to vote on whether to increase the city’s ad valorem property tax rate for school improvement projects.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at six polling locations across the city. The absentee ballot box will be located at the Trussville City Hall Annex on North Chalkville Road. All Trussville voters living in St. Clair County will vote at Faith Community Fellowship Church.

The Trussville City Council will meet at noon on Sept. 3 to canvass and declare the results of the vote.

The proposed increase of 12.9 mills equates to approximately $90 million in tax revenue, according to Trussville City Schools Superintendent Patrick Martin. That $90 million would be allocated for three projects across three of the city’s schools.

First, the construction of a fourth elementary school at the Glendale Farms property is projected to cost around $45 million. Paine Elementary School is the largest elementary school in Alabama by about 350 students, Martin said, so additional capacity is needed.

At Hewitt-Trussville Middle School, the construction of a new cafeteria, renovating the current cafeteria so that it can accommodate special needs classrooms and adding a second gymnasium will cost $20 million to $25 million. Half the

student body is currently eating lunch in classrooms, Martin said.

“That’s not ideal for teachers and faculty,” he said. “That’s not ideal for our students.”

The third project, the addition of another four-floor wing at Hewitt-Trussville High School, is projected to cost around $20 million. The addition would produce 22 new classrooms and additional storm shelter space. The addition would bring the school from roughly 105% capacity down to around 80%, Martin said.

An ad valorem increase of 12.9 mills equates to approximately $645 in additional property taxes on a home with an assessed value of $500,000. That breaks down to $12.40 per week. The increase on a home valued at $300,000 would mean an additional $387 in property taxes per year, a breakdown of $7.44 per week.

If the vote passes, money would start to flow in October 2025.

The average home sale price in Trussville in 2018 was $288,891. By 2023, that number increased to an average sale price of $445,986.

“A home purchased in Trussville has been a very good investment, and we like to think that the school system and its contribution to the community has helped somewhat to see that escalation,” Martin said.

In 2014, Trussville residents voted for a 7-mill increase that funded the renovation of what became Cahaba Elementary School and the construction of Magnolia Elementary School.

“It’s not ideal to be going out and asking folks to dig deeper into their pockets,” Martin said. “... This isn’t a want. This is a need for our schools. This is a need for our students. The community of Trussville steps up to support its kids. They did it when they set up this system in 2005. They did it in 2014 with the 7-mill ad valorem increase to create new elementary school spaces, and I think that if the community of Trussville feels that this is a need, they’ll do it again for their kids.”

Hewitt-Trussville High School. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


Summer fun in Trussville

Discover 10 ways to make the most of the season

Summer is finally here, and there are plenty of adventures waiting right in our own backyard.

Here are 10 ways to make lifetime memories close to home this summer:

1. Float the Cahaba River: Grab your inner tube, canoe or kayak and head to the Greenway for a lazy summer afternoon on the Cahaba. As you relax in this scenic area, you might spot local wildlife. Be sure to pack snacks so you can stay all day. The Greenway is filled with picnic spots. The best river entry points are marked with signs, with several across from the Senior Activity Center.

2. Dive into reading at the Trussville Public Library: Don’t miss out on the fun Trussville Public Library has planned this summer. Not only is there summer reading, there are also engaging educational programs for kids, teens and adults. With the Beanstack app, you can track weekly reading by number of books or minutes. Come to the library to cash in on weekly prizes. Check out the full calendar of events at

3. Discover new hiking or biking spots: Lace up your hiking boots or hop on your bike and head for the Sports Complex. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual cyclist, these 4 miles of trails have options for all skill levels. Once you arrive on site, keep an eye out for trailhead signs and directions to help you navigate. A full trail map is available at

4. Brighten a rainy day at Spare Time: Trussville’s Spare Time is again participating in the national “Kids Bowl Free” program, designed by bowling centers to give back to the community. Sign up online to receive weekly e-coupons for two free games per day from May 1 through Sept. 30. Shoe rental is not included, but you can bring your own bowling shoes. Tuesdays are half-off days at Spare Time, with discounted bowling, games and laser tag all day.

5. Experience the magic of live theater: Trussville’s charming community theater, ACTA, has been bringing live entertainment to the city since 1986. Upcoming summer

performances include “The Drowsy Chaperone” (described as a musical with a comedy) and two shows by ACTA Jr. students: “Descendants: The Musical”' and “Newsies.” Located in historic Heritage Hall, ACTA’s theater has just 89 seats, so grab your tickets fast at For more nearby on-stage entertainment, check what’s showing at Virginia Samford Theatre and Red Mountain Theatre.

6. Cool off at the pool or water park: When the heat gets to be too much, it’s the perfect time to visit one of the area’s water attractions, including the Trussville Community Pool and Splash Pad and the YMCA, where the summer swim team practices every weekday afternoon. To mix it up, check out splash pads in Springville, Moody and Pell City. The largest splash park in the

Birmingham area is located at the Hoover Met Complex. This 4,000-square-foot splash pad is fully inclusive and free. As for water parks, Alabama Splash Adventure, Wild Water Cullman and Spring Valley Beach are all close by, with attractions for all ages. For thrill seekers, Whitewater Montgomery is now open and has rafting for ages 8 and older and kayaking for 14 and older.

7. Express your creativity with an art class: Summer is the perfect time to explore creative outlets from painting to pottery. In Trussville, Wildgoose Garden + Pottery has ongoing classes and seasonal monthly workshops. First Baptist Trussville’s Conservatory offers fine art classes for children and adults. Hop over to Leeds to take a class on pottery or candle

Khalil Mitchell tracks a crawfish in the water of the Cahaba River. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
The Trussville Public Library offers a variety of engaging educational programs throughout the summer. Photo courtesy of Trussville Public Library.
The Trussville Sports Complex offers hiking and biking trails. Photo by Jon Anderson.
Grand River Drive-in at The Shops at Grand River. Photo courtesy of Grand River Drive-in.

making at Earthborn Studios. The summer workshop “How to Make a Fairy House Lantern” is happening June 8, July 20 and Aug. 3. At the Shops at Grand River, the new Southern Magnolia Gallery is hosting mini paint parties on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. in front of the shop.

8. Catch a movie at Grand River Drive-in: Also at the Shops at Grand River is a place to drive in and hang out: The Grand River Drive-in. Watch a movie under the stars with refreshments from The Snack Shack. Furry friends can enjoy the off-leash dog park and kids can play at the nearby playground. Movies start at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, rain or shine. More information and tickets available at

9. Tour a popular Birmingham attraction: Birmingham

is brimming with five-star tourist attractions that are worth a visit, even if you’re a lifelong native of the area. Tour favorites like Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute or Vulcan Park and Museum. Attend a movie or concert at the historic Alabama Theatre or take a self-guided tour of Sloss Furnaces, which offers metal arts workshops. There’s also the Southern Museum of Flight, where you can receive a free scavenger hunt activity sheet for the family by mentioning the Cahaba Sun.

10. Dine al fresco in the Entertainment District: If you haven’t walked through the Entertainment District lately, it’s time to revisit this quaint, lively community hub, which is also the new site of Trussville Saturday Fresh Farm Market. After shopping at one-of-a-kind local

shops like Sisters


grab a table at one of several local restaurants with outdoor seating. Enjoy a favorite dish — or try a new one — from spots like Umami,



Hattie’s Toyland,
Pinchgut Pies,
Mr. West’s Asian Kitchen.
The Backyard behind the Shops at Grand River in Leeds offers guests a variety of outdoor dining options, yard games, and more. Photo courtesy of The Backyard.
A pottery class at Wildgoose Garden + Pottery. Photo courtesy of Wildgoose Garden + Pottery.
Trussville Community Pool and Splash Pad. Photo courtesy of city of Trussville.
Trussville’s Spare Time. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
ACTA Theatre. Photo courtesy of ACTA Theatre.
Barber Motorcycle Museum is the home of the IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama and the American Porsche Driving School. Photo courtesy of Ben Padgett.

Southern Musings

Time to face the music

It’s time to face the music.


Before this spring, I hadn’t been to a live concert in five years. Had it really been that long? Wow. Well, when your first child is born and two months later the COVID-19 pandemic rears its ugly head, time tends to fly.

Anyway, my wife and I decided, after half a decade, to drink the 200-milligram caffeine drinks at 3 p.m., shake off their jitters, drive straight for downtown Birmingham traffic and get in the fray. Twice. In a week. So much for dipping our toes in the water.

First, we attended the March 16 concert at Legacy Arena that featured Dillon Carmichael, Justin Moore and Cody Johnson. Aside from a slowdown on Interstate 59, parking was a breeze. I was shocked by it. We found a restaurant to eat dinner and somehow were seated approximately 17 seconds before a wave of Carhartt-clad folks

came rushing in.

As for the concert, it was awesome. Carmichael sang about family and pickin’ up girls. Moore, who we had seen previously at Oak Mountain Amphitheater, rocked, as usual. The man is a storyteller at heart, and I think that’s why I like him so much. Johnson came on stage about the time that I brush my teeth before bed on Saturday night. After a song or two, he said something to the effect of “For the next 90 minutes, we’re going to play authentic country music.”

Authentic country music? Great. Ninety minutes? Come on, Cody, I’m in my mid-30s.

Six days later, we drove I-59 back to Legacy Arena, this time for Zach Bryan. No slowdowns this trip. Parking was easy. We

From dusty to digital.

had reservations for the meat sweats at Texas de Brazil. Salad bar? Fries? Rolls? No, no and no. Those appetizers and sides have no home in such a wondrous place.

I bought a beer and bottled water once inside Legacy Arena. I opted for the sixmonth, interest-free payment plan. By the time you read this, I’ll only have two months left on this payment plan, and I highly advise it.

Bryan, my favorite artist of the last five years, was fantastic. The stage for his concert was placed in the middle of Legacy Arena, and he paced from one corner of the black square to the other so that he sang facing each section of the crowd. Genius. I recorded him playing “Open the Gate,” my son’s favorite song and the second

of Bryan’s 25-song set. He played for just over two hours.

After the song “Quittin’ Time,” Bryan and the band exited the stage, disappearing into some dark tunnel. The crowd remained and cheered. It was deafening. A few minutes later, all the band members returned. An encore.

Everyone knew it was coming because Bryan always ends his concerts by playing the song “Revival” for about 12 minutes straight. The chorus is repeated a dozen times, and each band member is called by name and plays his instrument solo.

“We’re having an all-night revival!” Bryan belted, sometime after 11:15 p.m.

It’s an encore unique to Bryan, and I love it. Don’t get me wrong.

The crowd roared. I think I yawned.

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

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