The search for a new Barbour County head football coach is in the final stages and could be finalized next week, said Superintendent Dr. Matthew Alexander on Thursday.

The program has been without a football coach for several weeks after previous coach Rodney Lewis was hired at Eufaula High School as the JROTC instructor, a girls basketball assistant coach and a junior varsity girls basketball coach.

“We know who the person is, but we will not reveal it until the board votes,” Alexander said of the new coach. “We plan to take a recommendation to the board next week.”

Alexander said a board meeting has not yet been set for next week, but expects sometime in the next few days to announce a special called one to go over several issues, including several hires as the start of schools approaches. Barbour County schools open Aug. 5, 10 days from Friday. He said he hoped to have the meeting on Tuesday morning.

Football preseason practices also start on Aug. 5, giving the new coach a quick turnaround to get organized. Barbour County has a jamboree game against Notasulga set for Aug. 23 and its first official game is just a little over a month away on Aug. 30 at home against Central of Hayneville.

In addition to the head football job, Barbour County also has to find a new girls basketball head coach, a role Lewis also held at the Clayton school. Alexander said that hire could also possibly come at next week’s meeting.

Lewis coached the final six football games last year at Barbour County, taking over following the departure of Harry Mose, who coached the program for only three games.

The program has lost 51 straight games with the last win coming in October of 2013.

Whoever the new coach is will be the fifth one in the last four years. Chris Reynolds guided Barbour County in the last game of the 2016 season. Steve Fryer coached all nine games of 2017 before Mose’s three games and Lewis’ six games last season.

Seven schools earn Sportsmanship honors: Seven Wiregrass high schools were honored as AHSAA Sportsmanship School winners for the 2018-19 school year during a luncheon last week in Montgomery.

The seven schools were Abbeville, Dale County, Elba, Goshen, Opp, Pike County and Rehobeth.

The schools were recognized for being ejection free and receiving no more than one non-sportsmanship school fine for the just completed school year.

Overall, 99 out of 416 schools in the state were recognized. The AHSAA noted there was a 4.1 percent reduction in total ejections and school fines from 2017-18.

Pike County’s Wright receives award: Pike County principal Willie Wright was recognized last week in Montgomery at the AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon as one of seven AHSAA Making a Difference Award winners.

Wright has been principal at Pike County since 2011 after serving several years as assistant principal. Prior to that, he was principal at Pike County Elementary School.

The award was established in 2011 by the AHSAA and AHSADCA and recognizes individuals who go beyond their normal duties as a coach, teacher or administrator to make a positive impact in their schools and communities.

Wright was recognized in Class 3A.

Other recipients were Hackleburg principal John Hardin (Class 1A), Sand Rock volleyball/basketball coach Lisa Bates (2A), Alabama Christian softball coach Chris Goodman (4A), Hamilton football coach Rush Holcomb (5A), radio personality D. Mark Mitchell of Opelika (6A) and Jefferson County Schools Athletic Director Ken Storie (7A).

Enterprise’s Weeks honored: Former Enterprise volleyball head coach Wanda Weeks, now a Wiregrass volleyball referee, was honored as the AHSAA State Official of the year in the sport during the AHSAA’s Officials Awards Luncheon this past Sunday in Montgomery.

The AHSAA honored district officials of the year in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, track, volleyball and wrestling. From those honorees, eight were selected as AHSAA State Officials of the Year for their respective sports.

Weeks was named the state volleyball honoree.

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