Prep notebook: Oxford’s Mahaffey picks Western Kentucky
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Jan 29, 2014 | 3020 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the second straight week, an Oxford High football player has committed to a college program.

This time, it’s Derek Mahaffey, who has announced he will sign with Western Kentucky on National Signing Day on Wednesday, choosing the Hilltoppers over Central Arkansas, Bethune-Cookman, Lincoln (Pa.) University and others.

“It’s the tradition and I feel at home there,” Mahaffey said. “The coaches are also really nice and make you feel at home there. That’s why I want to be there.”

The previous week, Oxford safety Tae Davis announced he has committed to Chattanooga.

Mahaffey has been recruited by Western Kentucky since Bobby Petrino was the coach last season. Petrino has left for Louisville, and while Mahaffey said he hasn’t a chance to talk much with new head coach Jeff Brohm, he said Brohm seems “really humble” and “like he’s going to be a great leader.”

Mahaffey said he will play a defensive end-outside linebacker hybrid, comparing the position to Denver Broncos star Von Miller.

ANNISTON CROWNS: Days after the Anniston boys and girls basketball teams swept the Calhoun County Tournament, they ended Class 4A, Area 10 play with another championship each, which is nothing new.

The Anniston boys have won their area championship every season since 2006 and also each year during 2000-04. The girls have won the area every year since Eddie Bullock took over as coach except for two — 2008 and 2011.

The Bulldogs — both girls and boys — haven’t lost an Area 10 game in the past two years. The area includes Cleburne County, Lincoln and Munford.

Anniston will move to Class 5A next season and be joined by Alexandria, Lincoln and St. Clair County in its new basketball area.

RING CEREMONY: The last page of the Jacksonville volleyball team’s state championship season was written Sunday when the Golden Eagles received their rings.

Head coach David Clark held the rings from Friday to Sunday before each player was presented a ring at a banquet Sunday night.

Junior outside hitter Blessing Dunn said players didn’t know what the rings would look like, adding, “I love them. They’re perfect.”

The face of the rings features Jacksonville’s old-English “J” over the stone, with a volleyball lightly carved into the stone. “State Championships” is engraved around the stone with 2013 splitting to the two words.

On one of side of the rings, each player’s last name is engraved above a volleyball. On the other side, Lady Eagles is engraved above an outline of the state of Alabama with the number one in the middle. The outline of the Alabama separates two banners, one having Jacksonville’s 38-14 record on it and the other having the abbreviation of the player’s position.

And, as would only be fitting, Dunn said the banquet ended with the Golden Eagles watching their Class 4A state championship match against Guntersville, in which the Golden Eagles won the final three sets after dropping the first two.

SUPER BOWL CONNECTION: This year’s Calhoun County Super Bowl connection is a bit of a stretch.

New Ohatchee athletics director and head football coach Scott Martin coached current New York Jets free safety Ed Reed at Destrehan (La.) High before Reed went on to play at Miami (Fla.) and become the 24th pick in the 2002 NFL draft.

While Reed, 35, has numerous awards and recognitions, including being a nine-time Pro Bowler and nine-time All-Pro performer, his biggest accomplishment might be helping the Baltimore Ravens win last season’s Super Bowl.

Reed recorded 83 tackles, seven interceptions, three forced fumbles and 12 pass deflections as a senior for Martin, while also seeing time at quarterback and running back.

In his 12-season NFL career, Reed has intercepted 64 passes, returning 13 for touchdowns.

He also has recorded 643 tackles and forced 11 fumbles.

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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