The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

February 6, 2013

State champion Tanner sends four players to next level

TANNER — TANNER — The sheer numbers are staggering.

A Class 2A state championship, two Super Six appearances, four region championships, four straight playoff trips, 49 victories and a trophy case brimming with awards.

After countless hours of film study, weightlifting, sprints and drills, Tanner seniors Tray Fletcher, Greg Maclin, Fred Rich and Kyle Shoulders are hoping to parlay their hard work and triumphs within the cozy confines of Rip Swanner Field into gridiron success at sprawling college stadiums across the state.

The four Rattlers became a Lion, a Tiger and a Golden Bear — plus a Blazer — by signing national letters of intent during a Wednesday morning ceremony in the Tanner High School media resource center.

The tight-knit quartet grinned for television cameras in a straightforward ceremony that barely resembled the flashy National Signing Day press conferences being broadcast throughout the day.

Instead of donning three-piece suits and pulling out a hat to reveal their college choices, the players wore crisp blue jeans and collared shirts as they mingled with teammates and family members.

Then they headed outside to toss around a football near the field house as they debated who would win their college showdowns, traded friendly trash talk and swapped stories.

College choices

Both Fletcher, a 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pound lineman, and Fred Rich, a 6-foot-3-inch, 190-pound linebacker, will play in the Division II Gulf South Conference this fall.

Fletcher will play for West Alabama in Livingston, and he will likely redshirt his freshman year for the Tigers, who are coached by Harlon Hill Trophy winner and former North Alabama quarterback Will Hall.

“I’m going to redshirt because I want to get everything right,” Fletcher said.

Rich, who wants to play immediately but is willing to redshirt, will join former Tanner teammates Landon Stephens and Javin Thatch at North Alabama.

The Lions are led by Bobby Wallace, the only coach in NCAA history to win three consecutive national championships in football.

Shoulders, a 5-foot-11-inch, 255-pound fullback and defensive end, is headed to Birmingham-area Fairfield to play for Miles College, which is coached by former UNA star Reginald Ruffin.

Shoulders, whom teammates refer to as “The Terminator,” said he plans to earn playing time this fall for the Golden Bears, a member of the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Maclin, a 6-foot-2 1/2-inch, 190-pound all-purpose back, had already verbally committed to UAB last year. He will play for the Blazers, who are coached by former Oklahoma quarterback Garrick McGee. UAB plays its home games at Legion Field in Birmingham and will play LSU in Baton Rouge and Vanderbilt in Nashville this fall.

Maclin has the opportunity to play immediately, and he also plans to play basketball for UAB, which competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision’s Conference-USA.

Maclin, Fletcher and Rich play for the top-ranked Tanner basketball team, which is favored to win its second state title in three seasons.

Rich and Shoulders might line up against each other in seven months because Miles will open its season against UNA at Braly Stadium in Florence on Sept. 7. Fletcher’s UWA and Rich’s UNA traditionally play each other in their teams’ regular-season finale, and UWA eliminated Miles in the first round of the D-II playoffs in 2012.

Text Only
Local News 2
  • Prep Football Preview: Clements

    The school turned to 28-year-old Cody McCain to turn around the program that made four straight playoff appearances from 2006-2009. McCain will become the Colts’ third head coach in as many years and the youngest varsity head coach in Limestone County.

    August 1, 2014

  • Prep Football Preview: Elkmont

    The Red Devils return 15 starters with more than two-dozen juniors and seniors who have played significant minutes on the depth chart.

    July 31, 2014

  • West Limestone’s Siniard picks Southern Miss

    Siniard committed to the Golden Eagles Saturday after visiting the campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound offensive and defensive tackle has started for the varsity since he was a freshman.

    July 30, 2014

  • tractor*pull!2!.jpg TRACTOR PULL: A new generation takes over in Tanner

    One of the first families of the Tanner pull is the Haneys. Horace Haney, along with brother, Shirley, co-founded the event in 1976 that draws thousands to the county each year. The sons of those pulling pioneers now run the show.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay! Haney!.jpg Clay Haney follows in father’s footsteps

    After watching his dad pull for the past 20 years, Clay finally got his chance. Although he has pulled multiple times over the years, this will be the first year to compete for points in the Mid-South Pullers Association.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • North win streak improves to 12

    The South last won 85-76 in in 2002.

    July 24, 2014

  • Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep

    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

  • Davidson helps North tie

    She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game

    Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
    Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

    Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.

    July 19, 2014

Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee