By Lee Davis
Journal Sports Writer
The Vestavia Hills boys’ soccer team climaxed possibly the biggest week in the program’s history with an important win Friday night.
Earlier in the week, the undefeated Rebels were chosen the nation’s boys’ high school soccer team in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s first poll of the season.
No team from Alabama has enjoyed the nation’s top ranking since Oak Mountain spent five weeks at the top of the national heap in 2005.
Vestavia coach Rick Grammer expressed pride in his team’s accomplishment but emphasized the importance of continued hard work.
“This is nice, but it doesn’t change anything,” said Grammer. “We’re going to keep practicing and playing like we always do.”
Ironically, the Rebels faced their first test since earning the lofty ranking against the last state team to hold the national top spot. Vestavia defeated Oak Mountain 1-0 in a shootout that took 12 shots to resolve.
Nathaniel Dauphin’s shot on goal gave the Rebels the win and raised their season record to 20-0.
Both goalies — the Rebels’ Marvin Castellanos and the Eagles’ Brenton Thompson — were outstanding in the game. Before the shootout period, Thompson earned three saves and Castellanos picked up one.
Vestavia is also ranked number one in Alabama by the Eurosport Scoreboard. The Rebels ran their record to 7-0 in Class 6A Section 5 competition. Oak Mountain fell to 11-4-1 overall and 4-2 in Class 6A Section 5.
In other boys’ games, Briarwood defeated Homewood 1-0. Jonathan Blackmon’s second half goal gave the Lions the win. Benson Mulvaney earned the assist.
Goalie Jordan Box had 10 saves for the winners, while Ellis Demuth had nine saves for the Patriots. Briarwood saw its record rise to 10-3-1 while Homewood fell to 10-7.
Shades Mountain Christian upended Chilton County 3-0. Nick Holt scored all of the Eagles’ goals, and Cody Wheeler had an assist. Shades Mountain goalie Tanner Holt earned the shutout.
John Carroll Catholic routed Demopolis 5-0. Reese Holcomb had three goals, and Trent Marshall added two to the winning cause. Goalie Chris Piola had one save for the Cavaliers.
Mountain Brook stopped Spain Park 2-0. Alec Bolton and Nathan Diehl each scored goals for the Spartans. Wilson Fisher had three saves on goal. Spencer Jack had three saves for the Jaguars. Mountain Brook moved its record to 11-6-3 overall and 3-3 in Class 6A Section 5 play. Spain Park fell to 10-5-1.
Altamont defeated Fultondale 3-0, as Chris Haberstroh scored all the goals. Brindon Sutton had two saves for the Knights.
In girls’ play, Indian Springs edged Holy Spirit 2-1. Dabney Hofamann and Laura McMullen scored for ISS. Temple Cox had four saves for the winning cause.
In baseball, Oak Mountain out-slugged Hoover 9-5. Jake Hubbard and Robby Clements each had two-run homers, and David Dahl chipped in a three-run double for the Eagles. Clements earned the win on the mound by striking out five Hoover batters. Adam Wilson scored two runs for the Bucs.
Oak Mountain raised its record to 13-9 for the year.
John Carroll bashed Parker 10-2, scoring eight runs in two innings for a come-from-behind victory. Daniel Bostick had three hits, two runs and five RBIs for the Cavs. Pitcher Will Martin got the win for the Cavaliers, yielding just three hits while striking out nine batters.
John Carroll ran its record to 12-4 for the year and 3-0 in Class 5A Area 9 play.
Briarwood lost to Gardendale 5-4. Matt Furuto had two doubles and a single for the Lions. Micah Cooper and Daniel Robert had two hits for Briarwood as the Lions fell to 11-6 for the season.
In softball, Spain Park earned a pair of victories. The Lady Jaguars defeated Hazel Green 2-1 as Channing Hayes pitched a three-hitter. April Scott slammed a solo home run for the winners.
Scott also hit a three-run homer in Spain Park’s 4-3 win over Scottsboro. Julie Knight earned the win by giving up just five hits. The Lady Jags ran their record to 18-8.
Hoover fell to Pisgah 5-1. Lady Buc pitcher Marcy Harper took the loss but struck out eight batters. She also had Hoover’s only RBI as her record fell to 12-5.
Sumiton Christian whipped Hoover 10-0, despite two hits from Jamie Baxley. The Lady Bucs fell to 18-10 for the year.
In Saturday boys’ soccer play, Hoover whipped Spain Park 4-1. Tapiwa Munesti, Daniel Meinhart, Chris Kovacs and Daniel Stavrsky scored goals for the Bucs. Jacob Taggart scored for the Jaguars.
In girls’ soccer, Hoover and Spain Park battled to a 1-1 deadlock. Dailey Wilson’s goal after an assist from Connie McKie gave the Lady Bucs a 1-0 lead, but Melissa Kolazky’s goal salvaged the tie for the Lady Jaguars.
In baseball, Vestavia defeated Hueytown 4-2. The Rebels’ Ben Gann had two hits and two runs and was walked twice, as Vestavia raised its record to 17-10. Trey Melazzo got the win for Vestavia; Andrew Mims earned a save.
Homewood took two victories, defeating Chelsea 4-3 in nine innings and Shades Valley 11-1. Against the Hornets, Spencer Smith had two hits, including a triple. He also drove in Ethan Lee for the game-winning run.
Against the Mounties, Phillip Flach homered and had three RBIs. Stephen Baggett and Jake Parsons each had an RBI for the Patriots. Heath Reid struck out seven in five innings to earn the victory.
Spain Park took a 10-7 win over Oxford and an 11-1 victory over Hewitt-Trussville. Against Oxford, Mikey White tripled in a run and scored on a wild pitch. Charlie McPherson had an RBI single as the Jags took an eighth inning victory.
Against the Huskies, Paul Angel led the attack with a grand slam in the fifth inning. Nick Mullins earned the win on the mound.
John Carroll edged Hueytown 9-8, as Trent Covington had two RBIs and Robert Burgess had three RBIs. The Cavs raised their record to 13-4.
Leeds swept Indian Springs 1-0 and 11-6 in a double header. Joseph Simonetti had three RBIS, including a homer, and scored two runs in the second game for ISS.
Pelham swept Briarwood 10-3 and 12-7 in a doubleheader.
In softball, Hoover took five victories in the Bob Jones Invitational in Huntsville. The Lady Bucs whipped Hartselle 4-1. Kalee Sparks drove in two runs in the winning cause, while Marcy Harper fanned 11 batters.
In Hoover’s 15-2 rout of Madison Academy, Kasey Weaver had four RBIs. Madison Dickey – the 2010 Over the Mountain girl Athlete of the Year – hit a two-run homer to help the Lady Bucs defeat Opelika 4-3. Harper struck out nine batters to earn the win.
Harper pitched a complete game in Hoover’s 2-1 win over Ballard of Kentucky, striking out 14 batters in the process. Weaver and Elissa Kelly had RBI singles to make the difference.
Harper also threw a one-hitter over six innings and had two hits as the Lady Bucs defeated Alexandra 4-0. The Hoover pitching ace ran her record to 17-5 for the year.
Spain Park whipped Brookwood 6-0, as Channing Hayes threw a four inning two-hitter. April Scott and Casey Craig each hit two-run homers. Caroline Holmes and Hannah Camp each had an RBI for the winners. The Lady Jags raised their record for the season to 20-8.