The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

June 2, 2013

Sweetland led ABS to 1st championship

— Smooth.

That’s how peers describe Cody Sweetland’s style of play on the basketball court.

Just ask them.

“He wasn’t flashy,” said Wayne Kuykendall, who coached Sweetland at Athens Bible School. “He was smooth. He would have 25 or 30 (points) and you wouldn’t know it. It was before the 3-point shot, so Cody would get open and flop around inside.”

Sweetland led Athens Bible’s basketball team to its first state championship in 1976 and was named MVP of the state tournament.  Nearly four decades later, Sweetland will be inducted next month into the Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame for his prowess on the court.

“That was the first time ABS had won anything,” said Sweetland about winning the state championship. “We were playing some good teams, so we would play in the (Huntsville) civic center a lot. I think that helped us when we got down to Tuscaloosa for the championship.”

Another thing that helped was how much the team scored that season. Sweetland and his teammates averaged 97 points per game on their way to a state title.

“It wasn’t that we were running up the score,” said Kuykendall. “We were playing good teams. For a 1A school to have those kinds of athletes on back-to-back teams is unusual. We should have won it in 1975. That team was even better.”

That ’75 team averaged more than 100 points per game, but was eliminated by Red Level at the regional tournament. ABS got revenge the next season when they beat Red Level at the state semifinals by one point on a put-back shot from Sweetland with eight seconds remaining.

“Cody turned 18 his senior year and blossomed,” said Kuykendall. “What really happened is he peaked at tournament time. He had been good for us the whole year, but from that point on, he just lit it up.

“He was named MVP of the state tournament and he deserved it, but there were a lot of other good players on that team. I’m not even sure who had the highest average that year.”

In an era before the three-point line, ABS dominated in the paint with most its starting lineup standing above 6-3. Kuykendall said as many as 10 players from that team could dunk.

Randy Price was a sophomore on that team and remembers watching Sweetland get better as the season progressed.

“He was smooth, the way he could make shots,” said Price. “He would score a lot and you would think, ‘those are easy shots.’ But they weren’t easy, he made them look easy.”

Sweetland parlayed a solid senior season into a basketball scholarship at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

“The traveling aspect of it I liked,” said Sweetland. “We would travel around the state. I remember coming back to play Athens (State). That made it a little more special. I still have a lot of friendships with those guys.”

Sweetland now lives in Niceville, Fla., but says he still calls Limestone County his home.

“I know so many people that have been inducted from teams I’ve played against,” said Sweetland. “It’s an honor to be able to accept it from my home county. I still call it my home.”

The Limestone County Sports Hall of Fame banquet will be held Saturday, June 15, at the Athens-Limestone Event Center. Tickets are available for $25 at the RSVP Center at 409 W. Washington Street.

 

1
Text Only
Local News 2
  • 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

  • Chris Seibert -1996.jpg Before politics, Seibert played for the Tide

    A standout on West Limestone’s football team, Seibert’s road to Tuscaloosa wasn’t an easy one. Determined to play at the highest level, he attempted to join the Tide as a walk-on in fall 1993.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • State softball tournament begins in Athens today

    The three-day, double-elimination event begins at 6 tonight at the Athens Sportsplex.

    July 11, 2014

  • Run with goats Saturday

    Belle Chevre Creamery will hosts the first annual ‘Running with the Goats’ Saturday in downtown Elkmont. The event will feature a 10K, 5K and fun run on the certified Rails to Trails course.

    July 10, 2014

  • Softball team.JPG Athens softball team wins state

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • American Outlaws1.jpg American Outlaws: Locals band together to support U.S. soccer team

    One of the newest official chapters is in North Alabama where U.S. supporters have banded together to form American Outlaws Huntsville.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
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