Category Archives: Sports

Brother and sister bond on the golf course


Homewood Middle School seventh grader Ben Harris and sister, Homewood High School senior Aubrey Harris, will golf together for Homewood schools this season. Photo courtesy of Paula Harris.

For Homewood Middle School seventh grader Ben Harris, sometimes it is more fun to golf with his older sister Aubrey than with his friends. This is the first and only season Ben and HHS senior Aubrey are both representing Homewood schools in golf. Ben made the middle school boys golf team of 10 players, and Aubrey helped make school history last season by going to sub-state with the golf team.

Aubrey learns from her brother, even though he is five years younger. “I helped him when he started to play, but now he helps me,” she said. “He is dedicated to going to the lessons, and he will teach me what he has learned after each one.”
Last year at sub-state, Aubrey was two strokes away from making it to state as an individual golfer, and she is determined to make it this season. Ben will start off his season as the number five golfer on the team. Aubrey and Ben signed a contract together that says they will try to practice every day and work hard during the season to accomplish their goals. Continue reading

D1 Birmingham: Business Spotlight

Geoffrey Connor, MD. Photos courtesy of KC Projects.

In his words, Dr. Geoffrey Connor enjoys being close to the action. And as a founder of Homewood’s D1 Sports Medicine; a physician at Alabama Orthopedic, Spine and Sports Medicine Associates at St. Vincent’s East; the team doctor for the HHS football team; not to mention a husband and father-of-two; it’s safe to say action is a part of his daily routine. He’s also extensively published, well traveled and fluent in Italian.

Connor landed in Homewood by way of his residency and internship at UAB, and more importantly, through meeting his wife, Tammy, who grew up here. They have settled in Hollywood, making his commute to D1 about a mile, and Tammy’s interior design business is just down the road on Oxmoor.

“My grocer, dry cleaner, pharmacy, and favorite places to eat are all basically on the same couple of streets,” said Connor. “My wife’s family lives right around the corner.  We are pretty much Everybody Loves Raymond come to life.”

The D1 sports training facility opened near Brookwood Medical Center in June of 2010 and is co-owned by former Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle and linebacker DeMeco Ryans along with UAB Olympian Vonetta Flowers. This location is the tenth opening of the nationwide D1 franchise, which was founded by Will Bartholomew in Franklin, Tenn. Continue reading

National Pioneer Classic basketball tournament returns to Lakeshore Foundation


Lakeshore's Paul Murrell reaches for victory against the Shepherd Steelers in last year's Pioneer Classic. Come out to the Lakeshore Foundation to watch teams from all over the country compete in wheelchair basketball Jan. 13-15. Photo courtesy of the Lakeshore Foundation.

Hands spin wheels at incredible speeds and shoot basketballs across the court.

At the Pioneer Classic at The Lakeshore Foundation, players race up and down the court and the crowd cheers like at any other basketball tournament, but for this one the athletes play in wheelchairs.

“Walking into Lakeshore Foundation’s field house can put anyone in sensory overload,” said Mary Allison Milford, recreation specialist and one of the coaches for the Lakeshore Sharks. “The smell of metal grinding against metal and burning rubber as tire treads screech to a halt upon the hardwood greet fans at the door.”

The Foundation will host its 25th Annual Pioneer Classic wheelchair basketball tournament the weekend of Jan. 13-15. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association Division III, Women’s Division and youth wheelchair basketball teams travel from across the country to participate in the annual tournament. Continue reading

Auburn and Alabama football season previews [Online Exclusive]


We sat down in the studio with WJOX’s Jay Barker and Al DelGreco to talk about the upcoming football season. You can hear their show weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m.

Auburn Tigers

Al DelGreco

What do you think about Barrett Trotter being selected as the starter?
It was a logical choice. He had more game experience and seems to know the offense pretty well. And Gus Malzahn has proven that he knows what it takes to be a successful quarterback, so I am ready to back him up with whatever he decides. Continue reading

Getting to know Pat Sullivan


Pat Sullivan Samford

Samford head football coach Pat Sullivan. Photo courtesy of Samford Athletics.

Samford head football coach Pat Sullivan is entering his fifth season of coaching the Bulldogs. The Heisman-winning quarterback at Auburn talked with us about his career and the upcoming football season.

How did you get in to coaching initially?
It is something that I always felt compelled to do. My wife, Jean, was a big part in that decision. She told me that I didn’t want to wake up at age 50 and not be doing what I wanted to be doing, which was coaching. It had to be a joint decision because of all the hours it takes. I had been coaching my son, Patrick, in soccer and doing Auburn radio while doing insurance. I had been successful in that, and Jean had been successful in real estate. But we gave it all up when I decided to coach. Continue reading

Dat Good Homewood-based barbecue sauce and rub


Dat Good Sauce

Martin Brooks displays his Dat Good barbecue sauce and rub. Photo by Madoline Markham.

When Martin Brooks first concocted his mustard-based barbecue sauce, so many people who tasted it said, “Ooo, dat’s good,” that the name stuck. Years later, the longtime Homewood resident and former restaurateur bottles and sells the all-natural sauce and a new seasoning and rub to sell in Homewood and beyond.

The spicy-sweet sauce is designed to be put on meat after cooking. As the sauce’s tag line suggests, you’ll want to sop up every last bit of it with bread.

“We recommend it for pork or ribs,” said Mike Barnett, owner of Alabama Gas Light and Grill, “but I like it on hot dogs more than on anything else because the bun sops it up.” Continue reading

Boot camp craze


Firm Body Bootcamp participants do push-ups on yoga mats in 30-second intervals. Photo by Mia Bass.

Boot camps are all over Homewood. Driving by Homewood Central Park before or after work, you can’t miss seeing them. We found out that they look intense because they are intense. We gave one a try ourselves.

Firm Body Bootcamp
Firm Body Bootcamp is just one of the fitness boot camps in Homewood Central Park. It blends cardio and strength training in sessions three days a week. Continue reading

Homewood’s Nored plays in Final Four Tournament for Butler


Ronald Nored

Tim Shepler (Head Coach, HHS), Ronald Nored, Rick Baguley (Asst. Coach, HHS)

Basketball is a sport for dreamers. Dreams of hitting buzzer-beaters. Dreams of soaring through the air like Michael Jordan. And dreams of playing for championships. Every kid in America dreams these things, and Ronald Nored was no different while growing up in Homewood.

“You dream of playing in the Final Four,” Nored said. “Everyone does.”

But there was a crucial difference between Nored’s dreams and everyone else’s. His became reality.

Merely three years ago, Nored was playing point guard for Homewood. Now, after playing for a Butler team that is responsible for the most improbable back-to-back seasons in basketball history, he is known as the best defender in all of college basketball.

Three years can be quite a journey. As a senior at Homewood, Nored was named first team All-State point guard after leading the Patriots to the 6A state finals. Varsity coach Tim Shepler described his impact on the team: “Because he was a leader and fearless as well as a hard worker his peers followed his lead and it raised the work ethic and belief throughout the program.”

Continue reading

Homewood’s Hubbard pitching in the pros

By Will Hightower

Austin Hubbard

Austin Hubbard pitched for the Hudson Valley Renegades in 2010. Photo courtesy Hudson Valley Renegades.

When the community of Homewood last saw Austin Hubbard, the athlete was headed to Auburn after an illustrious multi-sport career at Homewood High School. These days, the 23 year old is starting his second season in minor league baseball with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hubbard is a relief pitcher, a specialist called upon in the last few innings of games. In the 19 games he pitched for the Hudson Valley Renegades in Upstate New York, he allowed a mere two runs, making his ERA an unheard of 0.39 on the season.

These tremendous results on the mound earned Hubbard, only one year out of Auburn, a spot on the Class-A Short Season All-Star Team.

One of the most prolific athletes in Homewood High School history, Hubbard led the football team to back-to-back 5A state championships. He passed for 5,347 yards and 52 touchdowns in his career at Homewood, and was 5A Player of the Year as a senior.

Even though he broke multiple football records and had some of the best seasons of anyone in Alabama state history, it was not his top priority.

“I always thought of myself as a baseball player who played football,” Hubbard said. “Football was just something I played for fun. When colleges were recruiting me to play football, it was easy for me to say no because baseball was what I had always loved most. Baseball was truly my first love.”

Playing under the tutelage of Doug Gann and Keith Brown at Homewood, Hubbard pitched a school-record 99 strikeouts and was named All-State as a senior. Continue reading