The Homewood Star
B18 • May 2015
Cook signs with UAH, track stars headed to Alabama, elsewhere By DAVID KNOX Homewood High basketball standout Malik Cook signed with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and four other top athletes also announced their college destinations on April 15, the beginning of the spring signing period. Cook, who led the Patriots to the Class 6A state semifinals, was named to the Class 6A second-team all-state team by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. The 6-foot guard will take his playmaking and scoring skills to UAH of the Gulf South Conference. The Division II Chargers won the Gulf South Conference tournament and made their fifth NCAA appearance in the past six years. “This is a great fit and a win-win for both Malik and UAH,” Homewood coach Tim Shepler said. “Coach Acuff is a longtime friend, and he does a tremendous job coaching and really cares for the players there. And Malik
brings some special talents to UAH that will be a huge asset in taking UAH to even greater success.” The Homewood track and field program had four athletes sign their National Letters of Intent. According to coach Tom Esslinger, there will be others to sign later. Esslinger sized up the four signees. Sarah Blake (Kentucky) – “Sarah is one of the best throwers in Alabama’s history and ranks 13th on the all-time list for the state; she is Homewood’s school record holder. She earned All-State honors last year in both javelin and discus and helped lead the girls team to an outdoor championship. This year, Sarah has the best javelin throw in any classification.” Sarah Crocker (Montevallo) – “Sarah is second on Homewood’s all-time list for javelin and is one of the best throwers in the state this year. She was fourth in the event last year
and helped lead the girls to the outdoor state championship.” Alazae Hester-Taylor (Coffeyville, Kansas, Community College) – “Alazae won an individual state championship in triple jump last indoor season and has earned individual All-State honors six times over the course of his career. Alazae has led the Patriots to three straight indoor championships and an outdoor championship last year.” Kiara Williams (Alabama) – “Kiara is one of the top track and field athletes in the U.S. and has won eight individual state championships in hurdles, long jump, triple jump and sprints. Kiara has earned individual All-State honors 12 times and been on two state championship relay teams. She was the leader on the team that won the outdoor championship last year and also led the team to three indoor state runner-up trophies.”
Basketball player Malik Cook signed with UAH on April 15. Photo by Scott Butler.
Patriots boys win Homewood Invitational track meet, Homewood girls finish second By DAVID KNOX The Homewood High boys took first place and the Lady Patriots grabbed second in the prestigious Homewood Invitational track meet March 20-21. The Homewood Invitational has become one of the premier track events in the state and is the largest meet in Alabama so far this year. There were 42 schools from three states and over 1,400 high school athletes in attendance. There were numerous marks set that are ranked nationally. The Homewood boys barely edged Opelika and Hoover. Hoover topped the runner-up Homewood girls.
“We feel really good about where both teams are at this point in the season, but we know we will have a lot of competition in both the boys and girls to win state,” said Homewood coach Tom Esslinger. “Opelika in the boys and Pelham in the girls are both amazing teams, so we will have to be at our best to win. Our staff was really excited about our performances this weekend, and we had a lot of season bests and personal records.” On the boys side, the Patriots totaled 96.50 points to Opelika’s 94 and Hoover’s 93. Alazae Hester-Taylor led the boys team by winning both the triple jump (45-8) and the 110-meter hurdles (15.19). He was also second in the high jump (6-4) and second in the 300-meter hurdles
(39.70). Andy Smith had an outstanding race, winning the 1600-meters with a personal record of 4:23, and he was second in the 3200 as well (9:53). Logan Sadler ran his personal best in the 800 and placed second with a 1:56.52. Lawton Dorough won the long jump with a jump of 21-8. The Homewood girls team ended up second behind Hoover. The Lady Bucs amassed 152 points while the Lady Patriots came in at 82.75. Kiara Williams had an outstanding meet. She led the Lady Pats with a first in long jump (18-8), first in triple jump (38-4), first in the 300-meter hurdles (school record of 45.22) and third in the 100 hurdles (PR of 14.56). Elysa Griffin also had a great meet and was
second in the 200 (25.60) and second in long jump (17-11). Sarah Blake finished second in the javelin (118-3). “It is always good to have a big meet with a lot of quality teams, and we feel like it a great thing for the community of Homewood,” Esslinger said. “It is fun to see big performances and good team competitions at our own place. One performance that stood out was Shelby McEwen from Oxford, Mississippi, who high jumped 6-8.” Homewood has its eyes on the Class 6A state championship. The boys and girls swept the 5A titles last year. The sectionals were scheduled for April 24-25 with the State Championships to be held April 30-May 2 in Gulf Shores.
news, sports and community news source for Homewood Alabama