2012: A year in reviewPublished 6:00am Wednesday, January 2, 2013
2012 was full of ups and downs for the athletics programs at the five county schools and one city school in Franklin County.
It all started off with the 2011-12 basketball season. Basketball has been the lead sport at Belgreen for several years now, and the performance put on by the Bulldogs’ basketball teams did not disappoint.
The boys’ varsity team had an amazing year with a 27-5 record. The team looked as if it would go deep into the playoffs, but a surprise loss to Decatur Heritage in the sub-regional halted the Bulldogs’ season.
Belgreen and Red Bay won their respective areas in boys’ basketball, and it was Tharptown and Red Bay that won the girls’ side.
Phil Campbell’s boys were defeated at the hands of American Christian Academy, also in the sub-regional.
Tharptown made the regional tournament in Hanceville but was put out early by Lynn.
The Russellville Lady Golden Tigers had a solid year with a 21-6 record but could not get past Athens to advance past the area tournament.
The biggest story of 2012 in Franklin County rests with the Red Bay Lady Tigers. After winning the county and area tournament they travelled to Hanceville and won the Northwest Regional tourney.
It would not be until the 2A Girls State Championship game that Red Bay would again taste defeat.
The Lady Tigers fell to the Section Lady Lions by five points in the final game of the season.
The Vina Red Devils, Tharptown Wildcats and Red Bay Tigers had the best baseball seasons in 2012.
Despite having a solid year the Red Devils were eliminated from playoff contention.
That left Tharptown and Red Bay to compete in the playoffs. Tharptown was defeated by Collinsville two games to one in the first round, but Red Bay defeated Oakman 2-1 in a hard-fought series.
Red Bay did not make it past the second round, so attention was turned over to the Franklin County softball teams.
Phil Campbell had a solid year but was unable to move past the area stage. The local area came down to Tharptown at Belgreen, and the Lady Wildcats had a few come-from-behind victories to win the area over a surging Lady Bulldogs.
Both teams travelled to Huntsville for the area tournament, but Belgreen would get knocked out before its conclusion.
The surprise team was Tharptown, who had never won a regional game before the 2012 season. The Lady Wildcats ended up going undefeated before being beaten twice by Athens Bible. This still gave them second place and the school’s first-ever spot at the state softball tournament in Montgomery.
Tharptown went 1-4 in that event, but that win (over South Lamar) was the school’s first-ever state level victory, a feat in itself.
Being situated in the state of Alabama, Franklin County then got to witness the biggest sport’s season every year: football.
Only two county teams had winning records in the 2012 football season: Red Bay and Russellville.
Russellville went a county-best 8-2 in the regular season. Red Bay, which had a slow start, tallied a 7-3 regular season mark.
Russellville soundly defeated Etowah in the first round of the playoffs before being put out by the eventual 5A state runner-up McAdory.
Red Bay beat Westbrook Christian in a defensive slugfest in round one but could not best undefeated Woodlawn in round two.
The 2012 sports season was a good one, and the 2012-2013 schedule is already well underway.