Thursday, December 8, 2016

Drew Skipper claims top honors in local college football pick 'em contest

If you take a close look at the Sparta Academy basketball results for this week, you might notice something unusual that doesn’t happen every day. In fact, I’ve been writing basketball stories for over 16 years, and I can’t ever remember seeing this exact situation arise before.

On Tuesday of last week, Sparta’s varsity and junior varsity teams traveled to Montgomery for four games against Eastwood Christian School. In three of those games, three siblings led Sparta in scoring, a rare situation to say the least.

Grayson Weaver, the youngest of the Weaver kids at Sparta, led Sparta’s JV boys against Eastwood with a team-high 13 points. In the varsity girls game that followed, Grayson’s older sister, Gaby Weaver, led the Lady Warriors in scoring with a team-best 25 total points. Later that night, in the varsity boys game against Eastwood, the oldest of the Weaver kids, Griffin Weaver, led the Warriors in scoring with a team-high 20 points.

It’s somewhat unusual to have three siblings on three different teams at the same time at Sparta, but it’s a rare day indeed when three siblings lead three different teams in scoring on the same night. I think it’s also worth pointing out that all three of the Weaver kids accounted for a combined 41 percent of the total scoring in all three of those games.

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Our annual ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest came to a close on Saturday, and we now officially have a new “Mr. Football.” When the dust settled after Saturday’s slate of games, the final standings showed that local football expert Drew Skipper was in sole possession of the No. 1 spot.

In all, Skipper bested 40 other local contestants by correctly picking the outcomes of 98 percent of the games over a 14-week period during the college football season. If you see Skipper out on the street this week be sure to congratulate him on his performance in the contest. He’s got bragging rights for one whole year, and I hope he decides to defend his title next season.

Steve Stacey finished in the second place, just seven points behind Skipper. Past Champion Ricky Taylor finished in third place, and Courant Publisher Robert Bozeman came in fourth.

Justin Chandler and Travis Presley tied for the fifth-place spot. Past Champion Hunter Norris finished in seventh place, and I came in eighth. Casey Grant finished in the No. 9 spot, and Eric Talbot rounded out the Top 10.

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Auburn fans in the reading audience will be interested to know that today – Dec. 8 – is the 31st birthday of Major League Baseball third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was born on this day in 1985 in Pensacola, Fla.

Donaldson graduated from Faith Academy in Mobile and went on to play baseball at Auburn University. As a Major Leaguer, he has played for the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays and was named the American League MVP in 2015.

I don’t know if it’ll ever happen, but I’d love to see Donaldson in a Braves uniform because after last season they need all the help they can get.

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