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Hartselle Enquirer

A very special year

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
What a strange, yet wonderful, trip 2009 has been for local sports.
Two state championships. One state runnerup.
And a whole lot of college scholarships.
The year had plenty of successes and even a few disappointments. Not to mention a horrific accident that critically injured one of the county’s most beloved former coaches.
The year had a little bit of everything.
It started in January when Brewer swept the boys and girls’ varsity county tournament titles.
Not even a month later, Kyle Davis joined the long list of former Hartselle wrestlers to win state individual championships during the state tournament in February.
And while high school basketball teams were finishing up their seasons, Danville head basketball coach Robert Pope was finishing up his coaching career. The long-time coach retired at the end of the school year, completing an incredible coaching career.
Hartselle’s baseball team posted one of the finest seasons in state history, rolling to a seventh state championship in May.
The team’s success revived the tradition that past teams had built in Hartselle. The state championship was the first since Hartselle won its sixth title in 2000.
There was a whole list of local athletes who were finding success on the next level, including Auburn walk-on Chris Humphries, who battled to earn a spot on the Tigers’ special teams units.
And a couple of months later, three teams of young softball players captured the hearts of Hartselle and Morgan County when they advanced to the Dixie Softball World Series in Sumter, S.C.
The year didn’t bring all good news, however. Former Hartselle head football coach J.P. Cain was injured in a freak accident and lost part of his leg.
True to his fighter image, the legendary coach was quickly released from the hospital to return home to mend.
In the end, Cain proved that he has the same dedication and willpower that he had when he coached the Tigers.
That same spirit helped make 2009 a year to remember.
Sports editor Todd Thompson can be reached at 773-6566 or at todd.thompson@hartselleenquirer.com

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