• 50°

31 area athletes named All-State Academic

REGION–Demopolis High School athletes had a banner year on the field, winning two state titles and coming close to two more. But 2004-2005 turned out to be a banner year in the classroom as well.

Demopolis was one of ten area schools to land an athlete on the Birmingham News All-State Academic Team, leading the way with 11 different athletes cited for their hard work in both athletics and academics. Linden, Sweet Water, Greene County, Sumter County, Francis Marion, and four area AISA schools–Southern, Marengo, Marion, and Sumter Academies–each had at least one player named. In all, 31 area athletes made the team.

DHS athletic director Doug Goodwin says Demopolis’s success in the classroom is a product of both a good foundation at home and encouragement from the DHS coaching staff.

“These are good kids with good parents that stress the importance of academics,” he says. “As coaches, we talk to them everyday about doing their homework, staying eligible, and getting their diploma.”

To be named to the All-State Academic Team, athletes must have just completed their junior or senior year, maintained a 3.7 grade-point average or better for the duration of their high school career, and, according to the News, “must have played an integral role on an athletic team.” Team success was not considered.

Players fulfilling these criteria were nominated by the individual schools, and each nominee whose grades were verified by the News were subsequently named All-State Academic. Overall, the News named 2,212 state athletes to the team.

The highest GPA for any athlete in the area was the 4.32 posted by Demopolis’s William Meador, a senior member of the DHS state title-winning baseball team. Meador was followed closely by DHS junior soccer player Rachel Tucker at 4.3 and senior girls’ basketball player Daphne Reid with a 4.29. Tucker also has the distinction of being the only area soccer player named to the All-State Academic Team.

Also notable are Sumter County’s Willie Watson, one of only 8 males (and 20 overall of the 2,212) on the Team to letter in four different sports; Sumter Academy’s Elyse Findley, Kristen Sturdivant, Megan Webb, and Katie DuBois, each of whom were also members of Sumter’s all-girls AISA state championship math team; and Demopolis’s Devin Goodwin (FB) and Seth Basinger (BB), Sweet Water’s Martina Landrum (SB), and Southern Academy’s Thomas Langham (BB), each of which were named to All-State athletic teams in their respective sports.

Members of 2005 All-State Academic Team(alphabetical by team with GPA, class, and sports. Key: FB=football, BB=baseball, BK=basketball, SC=soccer, TR=track, VB=volleyball, TE=tennis, SB=softball):

4A: Demopolis—Seth Basinger, 4.2, Sr., FB-BB; Chris Cupit, 3.95, Sr., FB; Devin Goodwin, 3.7, Sr., FB-BB; Darrell Kent, 3.92, Sr., BB; Clarke Kerby, 4.17, Sr., FB-BB; Brittany McGee, 4.14, Sr., SB; William Meador, 4.32, Sr., BB; Melanie Mock, 4.08, Jr., TE; Daphne Reid, 4.29, Sr., BK; Colby Roberts, 4.18, Sr., FB-BB; Rachel Tucker, 4.3, Jr, SC. Greene County—Michael Gibson, 3.77, Jr., FB.

3A: Sumter County—Kajosa Cunningham, 3.9, Sr., TR; Willie Watson, 3.7, Sr., FB-BK-BB-TR. Francis Marion—Angelica Trimble, 3.96, Sr., BK.

1A: Linden—Wesley Hodges, 3.94, Jr., BK; Patrick Sanders, 3.91, Sr., FB. Sweet Water—Martina Landrum, 3.85, Sr., BK-VB-SB.

AISA: Southern Academy—Elizabeth Acker, 3.95, Sr., BK; Andrew Hoggle, 4.0, Sr., FB-BB; Thomas Langham, 3.98, Sr., FB-BK-BB; Libba McClendon, 3.9, Jr., VB-BK-SB; Matthew Rutherford, 3.87, Jr., FB-BK; Andrea Weeks, 4.0, Jr., VB-BK. Sumter Academy—Katie DuBois, 3.94, Sr., VB; Elyse Findley, 3.86, Sr., SB; Kristen Sturdivant, 3.86, Sr., VB; Megan Webb, 4.0, Sr., BK. Marengo Academy—Robert Smith, 4.0, Sr., FB-BK-BB. Marion Academy—Kimberly Clements, 4.0, Jr., VB; Amy Stewart, 3.85, Jr., VB-BK.