By Erik Harris
AUBURN – The campus of Auburn University has been invaded by the top athletes, coaches and football teams from across the state this week for the AHSAA Super 7.
Seven games will take place in Jordan-Hare Stadium to crown this season’s state champions from all classifications.
But another game was played; an eighth game that featured the bravest athletes to take Pat Dye Field in quite some time.
Prior to the Hoover-Pratville game Wednesday night, a Unified Flag Football game between Hewitt-Trussville and Lawrence County stole the show. The AHSAA partnered with the Alabama Special Olympics to put on the first such game in state history.
The teams, consisting of Special Olympic student-athletes and regular student peer “partners,” did battle on the same surface that, perhaps, the best athlete in modern sports history—Bo Jackson— once played for two 20-minute halves.
The Huskies didn’t lack in the big-play department. Trailing by six in the first half, Keith Bain sparked the offense with a 30-yard reception to put his team in striking distance.
Athlete Andrew White hauled in a 10-yard strike from partner Dylan McCormick on fourth-and-goal to even the score with 11:43 remaining in the half.
That duo was bad news for Lawrence County all day. White and McCormick swapped roles later on for a 7-yard touchdown pass from the arm of White this time.
Hewitt-Trussville athlete Tyler Ball later scampered in from 10 yards out on third down. Ball outran two defenders on his way to paydirt. He finished with 33 yards on five carries. White got involved from all offensive aspects. He finished with 29 yards on the ground, 18 receiving yards and the 7-yard touchdown pass.
Lawrence County eventually came away on top 26-18, but Huskies head coach Tim Meacham was pleased with his team’s effort.
“Our team played really well against a very athletic Lawrence County team,” he said. “I am excited about AHSAA pushing for more organized Unified Sports for these students.”
With Hewitt-Trussville High School teacher Carrie Jones consistently looking for similar opportunities for her students, this wont likely be the last time the Huskies play on this stage.
“Hewitt-Trussville High School is looking forward to what next year will bring,” Meacham said.
The Hewitt-Trussville team consisted of Ball, Bain, McCormick, Patrick DePew, Noah McGinty, Katie Lowrey, Joseph Garrett, Olivia White, Sacchi Patel, Mavanee Brown, Walker Chambers, Rebekah Dennis, Madison Blank, Ree Dorsett and Sam Partridge.