Hannah Josey

Caleb Turrentine / The Herald Edgewood coach Hannah Josey motivates her team during the state championship match.

Editor’s Note: This is the final in a six-part series highlighting the biggest moments from sports in Elmore County during the 2019-20 academic year.

Late comeback seals perfect season for volleyball team

Thoughts of the 2018 state championship loss started to creep into the minds of Edgewood players and fans as the Wildcats dropped the first two sets of the AISA-AA state title match to Glenwood. However, Edgewood used a dominant third set to regain momentum and came all the way back to defeat the Gators, 19-25, 17-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-9.

The Wildcats (27-0) beat Glenwood for the fourth time in the season, including the third match in a 15-day span. Katie Roberts ended the match with her fourth block of the day as Edgewood claimed its second state championship in the last three seasons.

“It was just the fight they have,” Edgewood coach Hannah Josey said. “I just tried to motivate them as best as I can and let it ride. That’s a fantastic Glenwood team and they gave us everything they had to give. I just couldn’t ask for more out of my group.”

Wildcats come out on top in wild game at Macon-East

Edgewood already had 63 points on the scoreboard but after three hours of football, that was not going to be enough to get a victory at Macon-East. Facing a fourth down with the game on the line in the second overtime, Alex Johnson found Robert Stewart in the flat and Stewart made his way into the end zone to tie the game for the eighth time. 

This time it did not last very long as Stewart connected on his 10th extra point of the night to give the Wildcats a 70-69 victory over the No. 4 Knights.

“That game was a rollercoaster ride,” Wildcats coach Darryl Free said. “Both offenses put on a show (that night). Our defense did what it needed to do to give our offense a chance, and we hit on some big plays when we needed to.”

Johnson finished with 444 passing yards and five touchdowns. Stewart recorded 186 yards of offense and scored 16 points in the shootout. 

‘The Kick’ makes ESPN’s Top 10 plays

After dropping the first two sets of Thursday’s state championship match, Edgewood found itself on the back foot again, trailing Glenwood 3-2 to start the third. The Wildcats got a boost of energy from Madison White who made a last-ditch effort to kick the ball over the net and win the point.

“I knew we needed to do something after losing those first two sets,” White said. “I was going to get the ball over the net somehow, some way, even if it was coming right at my forehead.”

White’s play featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 plays, taking the No. 2 spot for the day. It also provided a momentum shift as the Wildcats didn’t drop another set on their way to the title.

“The kids were all pretty excited about it,” Edgewood headmaster Jay Adams said. “It’s cool to walk in the door and people are saying, ‘Hey, I saw you on ESPN.’”

Football team grabs highest ranking since 2015

Edgewood has not gotten back to the pinnacle of AISA football but it’s clear the Wildcats are heading in the right direction. They made a second consecutive appearance in the state semifinals and reached No. 4 in the AISA in the weekly Alabama Sports Writers Association rankings.

The ranking marked Edgewood’s highest ranking since Bobby Carr left prior to the 2016 season. It also marked the first time the Wildcats received a first-place vote in the poll since 2015. 

Lindsey Brown makes a name for herself on the court

She already made some noise on the volleyball court, helping the Wildcats to a state title but once basketball season arrived, Lindsey Brown knew it was her time to shine.

“At the beginning of the year, I knew it was going to be a good season,” Brown said. “There was a little bit of pressure because I knew I was the youngest but my teammates had my back and that helped to take some of that pressure off.”

Brown, just an eighth-grader, led the Wildcats back to the AISA-AA Elite Eight as she led the team with 14.1 points, 2.4 assists and 2.9 steals per game. Brown was named the Elmore County Player of the Year.

“I think I saw her mature as a basketball player,” Edgewood coach Darryl Free said. “Her physical ability was always there but she got to understand the varsity game more and more by the end of the year. She got to use that basketball knowledge with her talent.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.