WEST ALABAMA HEROES: Sunseri has seven tackles against Texas A&M

Alabama defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) pushes Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) out of bounds during the second half of the Aggies 29-24 win Saturday. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter)

TUSCALOOSA | Here is how some former Tuscaloosa-area high school athletes now competing at the collegiate level fared last week:




Alabama sophomore defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (Northridge High School) recorded seven tackles, including one tackle for loss in the Crimson Tide’s 29-24 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama senior tight end Michael Williams (Pickens County High School) had a 20-yard reception in the Crimson Tide’s loss to Texas A&M.

Alabama State junior linebacker Maurice Tate (Linden High School) recorded two tackles in the Hornets’ 31-20 win at Southern University on Saturday. Alabama State (8-2, 7-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) closes the regular season hosting Tuskegee in the annual Turkey Day Classic. It will be the first game in ASU’s recently completed on-campus stadium.

Alabama State freshman defensive back Najee Bright (Linden High School) saw action on special teams in the Hornets’ 31-20 win at Southern.

Benedict freshman linebacker LaMarcus Hudson (Sumter Central High School) recorded 29 tackles in five games for the Tigers this season. Hudson also added 7½ tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Benedict finished 1-9.

Benedict freshman linebacker Kelvin McCollum (Sumter Central High School) was the Tigers second-leading tackler with 45 stops in only five games. He hadd 3½ tackles for loss and forced one fumble.

Benedict freshman linebacker Charles Powell (Greene County High School) played linebacker and running back this season. In eight games, he recorded 29 tackles, 3½ tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble retcoveries and one sack. He had three rushing attempts for zero yards.

Birmingham-Southern sophomore offensive lineman Michael Ferguson (Northside High School) started at guard in a 35-21 win over Milsaps on Saturday. BSC (6-3) earned a share of the Southern Athletic Association championship. The Panthers set the single-game school record with 426 rushing yards.

Birmingham-Southern sophomore defensive end Hunter Mims (Northside High School) recorded three tackles in three games this season for the Panthers.

Birmingham-Southern sophomore offensive lineman Allen Scogin (Tuscaloosa Academy) played in three games as the backup center.

Chattanooga sophomore defensive lineman Toyvain Brand (Hillcrest High School) recorded three solos tackles in the Mocs’ 16-13 overtime loss to Wofford on Saturday. Chattanooga (5-5, 4-3 Southern Conference) hosts Elon this Saturday.

Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College freshman defensive back JaMarcus Howard (Northridge High School) played in six games this season and recorded 32 tackles and three interceptions for the Ravens, who finished 6-4.

Delta State offensive lineman Andre Lucious (Tuscaloosa County High School) started at left guard in the Statesmen’s 32-21 season-ending loss to Shorter on Saturday. Lucious started all 10 games for the Statesmen (3-7).

Faulkner College freshman running back De’Marko Hall (Pickens County High School) saw action in the Eagles’ 18-15 loss to Kentucky Christian this past Saturday. He played in all 11 games this season and recorded 497 total yards and seven touchdowns. He had 45 rushing attempts for 224 yards and four touchdowns. He was second on the team in rushing touchdowns and fourth in rushing. He caught 26 passes for 242 yards and one touchdown. In addition, he threw a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Georgia Military Academy freshman linebacker Nate Carter (Central High School) recorded five tackles in the Bulldogs’ 43-25 win over Lackawanna College this past Saturday.

Iowa Wesleyan College freshman offensive lineman Ja’Korey Walker (Fayette County High School) started at right guard in the Tigers’ season-ending 41-7 win over Concordia College of Michigan this past Saturday. Walker started all 11 games for the Tigers (3-8).

Jackson State senior defensive lineman Jamal Carter (Livingston High School) recorded two tackles, including one tackle for loss in the Tigers’ 35-21 win over Alabama A&M this past Saturday. JSU (6-4, 6-2 SWAC) can clinch a berth in the SWAC championship game with a win over Alcorn State this Saturday.

Jackson State freshman tight end Jamal Jones (Livingston High School) saw action as the backup tight end in the Tigers’ win over Alabama A&M.

Jackson State sophomore offensive lineman Danny Williams (Tuscaloosa County High School) saw action as the backup left tackle in the Tigers’ win over Alabama A&M.

Jacksonville State sophomore offensive lineman Max Holcombe (Hillcrest High School) started at center for the 10th time this year in the Gamecocks’ 38-23 win over Austin Peay this past Saturday. JSU (6-4, 5-3 OVC) clinched is 10th straight winning season.

Jacksonville State sophomore running back DaMarcus James (Demopolis High School) ran 13 times for 149 yards and one touchdown in the Gamecocks’ 38-23 win over Austin Peay. He also caught one pass for 17 yards.

Jones County Community College receiver Roderick "Ike" Harris (Sumter Central High School) had eight receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown for the Bobcatsthis season.

Lane College freshman outside linebacker Gerald Gaines Jr. (Greene County High School) played in nine games and recorded five tackles for the Dragons (5-5).

Miles College junior defensive lineman James Gaines III (Greene County High School) started all 10 games at right defensive end for the Golden Bears. He recorded 45 tackles, 7½ tackles for loss, four sacks and four quarterback pressures. Miles (8-2) earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Division II Playoffs and will travel to Livingston on Saturday to take on No. 4 seed West Alabama in a first-round game.

Miles College junior linebacker Jeffrey Gordon (Central High School) played in four games this season and recorded three tackles.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College freshman nose tackle Damien Green (Greene County High School) saw action in a 41-37 loss to Copiah-Lincoln in the first round of the state playoffs this past Saturday. Gaines played in all 11 games and recorded 20 tackles for the Bulldogs (9-2).

Mississippi State tight end Malcolm Johnson (Northridge High School) caught two passes for 40 yards in the Bulldogs’ 37-17 loss at LSU this past Saturday night.

North Alabama freshman quarterback Luke Wingo (Hillcrest High School) managed just 40 total yards of offense in the Lions’ 42-27 loss at West Alabama last Thursday to conclude the regular season. Wingo completed 5 of 6 passes for 33 yards and added 7 rushing yards on two attempts.

South Alabama junior wide receiver Corey Waldon (Central High School) had a 14-yard catch in the Jaguars’ 28-14 loss at North Texas this past Saturday.

Stillman freshman defensive back Hudson Cain (American Christian Academy) saw action at safety and played on special teams in the Tigers’ 28-26 win over Concordia of Selma.

Stillman junior offensive lineman Charles Hope (Bibb County High School) was the starting left guard in the Tigers win over Concordia.

Tennessee-Martin senior defensive lineman Darrin Nalls (Fayette County High School) recorded four tackles in a 45-44 loss to Tennessee Tech this past Saturday.

Tuskegee sophomore wide receiver Larry Cobb (Demopolis High School) had two catches for 28 yards in the Golden Tigers’ 55-24 blowout win over Fort Valley State in the SIAC championship game this past Saturday in Atlanta. Tuskegee (9-1, 7-0 SIAC) closes out the season at Alabama State in the annual Turkey Day Classic.

Tuskegee sophomore linebacker El’ Malik Chinn (Tuscaloosa County High School) recorded a team-leading 11 tackles, including 1½ for loss, as the Tigers smothered Fort Valley State.

Alabama-Birmingham redshirt freshman linebacker Tevin Crews (Bibb County High School) posted three tackles in the Blazers’ 38-31 win over Marshall on Saturday.

UAB senior linebacker Greg Irvin (Demopolis High School) started at Jack linebacker and made six tackles, 2½ tackles for loss and one pass breakup in the Blazers’ win over Marshall.

UAB senior defensive back Cornelius Richards (Tuscaloosa County High School) started at cornerback and recorded six tackles, one interception and one sack in the win over Marshall.

Vanderbilt senior running back Zac Stacy (Bibb County High School) suffered an injury on his second carry of the game against Ole Miss and had to be helped off the field. He had two rushing attempts for 17 yards.

West Alabama linebacker Ben Brooks (Sumter County High School) posted seven tackles in the win over North Alabama as the Tigers captured the Gulf South Conference championship. West Alabama (8-3, 5-0 GSC) earned the No.4 seed in the NCAA Division II Playoffs and will host No. 5 seed Miles on Saturday in Livingston.

Western Kentucky junior linebacker Chuck Franks (Fayette County High School) saw action in the Hilltoppers’ 37-23 loss to Florida Atlantic on Saturday.


Men’s basketball


East Mississippi Community College sophomore TeJiminon Leatherwood (Tuscaloosa County High School) scored two points in Monday night’s loss to Holmes Community College.

East Mississippi Community College sophomore Keivondre Watford (Central High School) scored eight points in Monday night’s loss Holmes Community College.

Shelton State Community College sophomore guard Nick Browder (Hale County High School) has scored five points and added two rebounds and one assist in the Bucs first two games of the season. Shelton State (2-0) is averaging 101.5 points per game his first two games of the season.

Shelton State Community College sophomore guard Derek Hamner (Hillcrest High School) has dished out a team-leading eight assists in the first two games of the season.

Shelton State Community College sophomore forward Ladarius Tabb (Francis Marion High School) is averaging 19 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals.

Shelton State Community College sophomore forward Sean Tingle (Brookwood High School) has tallied six points and five rebounds this season.

Shelton State Community College freshman guard Dylan Wint (Tuscaloosa County High School) is averaging two minutes per game.

Sioux Falls senior guard A.J. Holland (Paul W. Bryant High School) tallied three points, eight rebounds, three assists and one steal in the Cougars’ 72-41 season-opening win over Mayville State on Saturday.


Women’s basketball


Alabama junior guard Shafontaye Myers (Sunshine High School) scored a game-high 19 points in 17 minutes as the Crimson Tide defeated Jacksonville State 80-43 in the season opener Sunday at Foster Auditorium. Myers added three rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Shelton State sophomore guard Juliser Harper (Livingston High School) recorded two rebounds, two blocked shots, one assist and one steal in her debut with the Lady Bucs.

Shelton State freshman guard Kaitlyn Taylor (Holy Spirit High School) is averaging eight points, 3.7 rebounds and two assists per game.

Shelton State freshman center Shadijah Moore (Demopolis High School) recorded six rebounds and three steals in the first three games.


The West Alabama Heroes notebook runs each Wednesday in The Tuscaloosa News. If you know of other Tuscaloosa-area athletes competing at the collegiate level, email westalheroes@yahoo.com