Prep notebook: Jacksonville's Thomas picks Tennessee State
by Brandon Miller
Jan 15, 2014 | 2630 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jacksonville's Dominique Thomas (5) rushed for 1,859 yards this season.
Jacksonville's Dominique Thomas (5) rushed for 1,859 yards this season.
The NCAA football recruiting dead period didn’t stop Jacksonville High standout Dominique Thomas from committing to Tennessee State, and once the period ends Friday, Thomas is heading to Nashville for a weekend at his future school.

Thomas committed Sunday, choosing the Tigers over Alabama A&M, Middle Tennessee State, Chattanooga and others. Tennessee State went 10-4 this past season and reached the second round of the FCS playoffs.

“Other teams came in and said they were interested and all that, but Tennessee State has been the program that has called me if not every night, then every other night,” Thomas said. “They’ve shown me true interest and put me as their No. 1 guy. That’s what I’ve been looking for.”

Thomas rushed for 1,859 yards, averaging 7.4 yards a carry, and 24 touchdowns his senior season. Thomas did not play basketball this season because of surgery shortly after football season to repair a torn labrum, but said he may run track in the spring.

Thomas added he is excited about heading to Tennessee State in the fall.

“I think it’ll be good,” he said. “I’m not too far from where family and friends can’t come see me play and I’m not too far from where I can’t come back and visit sometimes. But I am far enough away I can get away from here.”

COUNTY TOURNEY TOP SEEDS: The Weaver boys and Anniston girls enter the Calhoun County basketball tournaments as the top seeds, but they have different pasts.

The Weaver boys haven’t won the county tournament, which starts Saturday, and the only time the Bearcats have been in the finals was last year, which was a 74-40 loss to Oxford.

On the other hand, the Anniston girls have won 13 county championships dating back to 1979. The total is head and shoulders over any other school, with Oxford having the second most titles at six. Anniston has appeared in 19 championship games, including the last three, winning in 2011 and ’12.

The Anniston boys are seeded second, and if the Bulldogs are able to sweep the tournaments, it would be the first time it’s been done since Saks in 2010. Anniston is the only other school to have accomplish the feat, which it did in 1979, 1980, 2007, ’08 and ’09.

LOOKING FOR FOUR STRAIGHT: It’s rare for a team to win the Calhoun County basketball tournament four times in a row, but when it happens on the boys side, Oxford is the one to do it.

The Yellow Jackets have a chance to become the first boys team to complete the four-peat since Oxford did it from 1961-64. On the girls side, the only team to have won four in a row is Pleasant Valley (1987-90).

Two boys teams have won three championships in a row, not including Oxford’s current streak – Cobb High (1969-71) and Anniston (2007-09). The Anniston girls completed the three-peat from 2007-09, as well.

DOSS REACHES MILESTONE: Last week, Oxford native Jack Doss celebrated his 700th career victory, leading J.O. Johnson over Madison Academy, 68-58.

Since graduating from Oxford, Doss has coached at several schools, most notably Butler High, where he won five state championships. He also led Hayes of Birmingham to two titles as well. Two seasons ago, Doss led Butler to the Class 4A finals, but lost to Midfield on 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Doss, who is in his first season at J.O. Johnson, has his team 13-3 on the year entering this week and ranked No. 1 in Class 4A.

“Coaching basketball has been and still is a great job,” Doss told the Alabama High School Athletic Association. “I am looking forward to what we can accomplish at Johnson. I think we have a chance to be very good for the next several years.”

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star
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