Decatur High’s Mariah Mort signed to play soccer for West Alabama on Wednesday.
Mort said she chose West Alabama because of the small school environment.
“I’ve always wanted to play soccer in college, and it’s something I have always wanted to experience,” she said. “It means everything because it’s paying to some of my school, too, so i know it helps out my parents tremendously. I’m grateful for it.”
Last season, the forward scored 43 goals and 21 assists, despite playing through significant knee pain during most of the season. She played a big role in the Morgan County tournament championship match, scoring seven goals against Hartselle, and was selected to The Decatur Daily’s all-area girls soccer team.
The Red Raiders girls team competed in the second round of the state tournament in 2011, and fell in the first round in 2012.
Athens soccer duo signs with UAH: Two Golden Eagles girls soccer players signed with Alabama-Huntsville on Wednesday.
Klaire Phillips, the 5-foot-11 second-year captain, plays center midfielder with the Golden Eagles. At UAH, she plans to play center defender for the Chargers while pursuing a career in physical therapy. Grace Morgan stands at 5-foot-6 and will play forward at UAH and is undecided on a major.
Last season, Athens went as far as the state finals, falling to Chelsea 3-2, and made it as far as the semifinals in 2011.
Montgomery signs with North Alabama: Justus Montgomery signed with UNA cross country Wednesday.
Montgomery, who ran at Lawrence County, was selected to The Decatur Daily’s boys cross country all-area team after competing as the top runner in the Lawrence County’s state runner-up team. He also finished first at the Northwest Alabama Championships and was sixth at the Class 5A state meet.
Area basketball tournaments: Austin will host the Class 6A, Area 16 tournament, beginning with the girls teams today at 6 p.m. The host team will open against Decatur, followed by Florence and James Clemens at 7:30 p.m.
The Black Bears enter area tournament play after beating Decatur in both games this season, most recently winning 58-11 in January. Austin won four of its past five games, while Decatur won one of its past five, with its sole win coming against Hazel Green at home.
“I felt like we had a good regular season, but none of that really matters now. Basketball’s really a tournament sport,” Austin coach Bruce Hamilton said. “Everything starts over, and we’ve got to focus, play hard and execute what we’re doing. Everybody’s starting fresh in area tournament.”
The winners of tonight’s games will compete in the area finals at 6 p.m. Monday at Austin.
The Class 6A, Area 16 teams will play at the same time Friday.
A large crowd is expected is Friday and there is a possibility that gates will be closed if the gymnasium reaches maximum capacity.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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