Local Athletes Ready For All-Star Week
MADISON- Summer vacation will be extra special next week for an assemblage of high school athletes from across Alabama in the annual AHSAA North-South All-Star Week. Each of the participating athletes are 2024 rising seniors and were selected to play in the nine-sport extravaganza by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. Both boys and girls competitions will be held in the Capitol City of Montgomery July 17-22. A ninth sport, football will hold its 65th annual North-South All-Star Football game in December.
The eight athletic endeavors in July include competitions in baseball, softball, volleyball and boys and girls basketball, soccer, cross country, tennis and golf.
“This is totally unexpected as I’ve never been chosen for anything like this,” said Bob Jones’ Janiyah Bone, who was selected to play for the North squad in girls basketball. “This is exciting and I’m happy to be chosen, as I get to play versus some really good opponents.” Bone, the 5-foot-8 guard, is a hard worker and leads by example on the court as she gets others involved. As team captain she leads by being unselfish in her play for the Lady Patriots.
Megan Jarrett will ride into her final year as a high school student-athlete this fall after experiencing her appearance in the All-Star Week as a member of the North All-Star volleyball team as a libero and defensive specialist. The 5-foot-8 Bob Jones Patriot earned numerous honors as her accolades included All-Area, All-State Tournament Team and All-State so named by the coach’s association.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and I feel I was chosen because I play for others on the team and I feel I’m a team leader,” said Jarrett. “I’m gritty and very competitive. That’s what drives me. I have what I call a whole heart on the floor.”
On the court Jarrett has 1,490 digs, 201 assists, 175 aces and has posted 233 kills in her high school volleyball play. She has verbally committed to play for UAB once graduating high school in 2024.
The selections for the cross country squads heavily feature local athletes including three from James Clemens. This is a first in All-Star Week history for three members for the same school to be selected.
For the Jets, the selections include Emma Bothern who has the fastest time of any girl on the North All-Star teams with a personal best time of 19:13. She was an All-State runner in her junior season. Also selected was Dylan Dryer who won the Adidas Indoor National Championship in the 800-meter. In the cross country race, he’s second ranked among the class of 2024 with a personal best time of 15:49.
Cole Robinson, ranked eighth in the U.S. in the two-mile race and fifth in Alabama in the cross country distance, is the third Jet selected for the Montgomery competition. Cole is a strong runner who will go out hard and use his speed in the last mile.
“I think it’s so cool to be chosen, especially with teammates,” said Robinson. “I had a cousin who was into cross country running and he suggested I try the sport. I tried out while attending Liberty Middle School.”
Besides Bothern, the North girl’s roster features Sparkman’s Samantha Menikheim. The 5-foot-5 talent scurries on training runs that total 55 miles a week. She can be seen on local Greenways, her local neighborhood and, on occasions, along the streets of old-town downtown Huntsville. “I’m really excited about the All-Star event as I love racing, especially knowing I can race during the summer,” said Menikheim, who, like the other All-Star athletes, will be facing the mid-July heat of South Alabama. “I do typically start fast in my races and usually have a strong finish.”
The North All-Star roster for basketball includes, Jamya Griffin of Sparkman and Janiyah Bone of Bob Jones in girls and Julius Wonston of Bob Jones on the boys team. In volleyball, the North roster features Megan Jarrett of Bob Jones. Cross Country athletes for the North include Emma Bothern of James Clemens of James Clemens and Samantha Menikheim in girls and Cole Robinson and Dylan Dryer of James Clemens for the boys. The baseball matchup between the North and South will feature one player from the local teams. Braden Booth (Jr., 6-0, 180, P/3B) of Bob Jones will travel to Montgomery. In the softball competition scheduled to be played at Lagoon Park, Natalia Kenyatta of Bob Jones, a 5-foot-5 3B/C will be the lone representative for the local schools. The 27th annual Soccer competition will be held at Emory Folmar Stadium on July 19. . Local schools have provided one boy and one girl to the All-Star lineup. In girls, Chelsey Curtis (5-4, MID/W) will represent the recent Class 7A State Champion Sparkman Senators. Owen Tarrer (5-11, 155, FOR) of Bob Jones will face the action for the boys.
Two rather new sports added to the All-Star lineup, tennis and golf, enter the fourth year of competition. The North girls squad feature Lauren Sheehy of Bob Jones and Clara Tran of Sparkman. Heading up the coaching staff for the North squad will be Corey Wright of Bob Jones. There’s plenty of good local tennis talent and two local players have made the All-Star squad for the North. Both talents arrive in the girls play as Bhavya Chalasani of James Clemens and Jaedyn Martin of Madison Academy will take to the courts representing the North half of the state.