Just as the state’s hunting seasons for ducks and geese begin to come to an end, a new competition is opening for Alabama’s wildlife artists. Entries for the 2016 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp art contest are being accepted through Feb. 15.

The winning artwork will appear on the 2017-18 state stamp, which is required with the federal stamp when hunting migratory waterfowl in Alabama. The competition is open to state residents only.

“Like the Federal Waterfowl Stamp, revenues from the sale of Alabama stamps are used to purchase, establish or improve migratory waterfowl habitat,” Chris Smith, the contest coordinator for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, said. “We encourage all Alabama artists to participate in this unique contest.”

(Photo/Courtesy of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) Jim Denney of Alexander City won last year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with this painting of an American Wigeon. The artwork will appear during the 2016-17 season.

(Photo/Courtesy of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) Jim Denney of Alexander City won last year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with this painting of an American Wigeon. The artwork will appear during the 2016-17 season.


Only original, horizontal artwork depicting a species of North American migratory duck or goose is eligible. The subjects of the last three winners — the Pintail, Mallard and American Wigeon — are not eligible for this contest. Entries cannot exceed 9 inches by 12 inches, or 15 inches by 18 inches matted.

All eligible entries will be displayed Feb. 26 at the Richard Beard Building in Montgomery. After the showing, three judges from the fields of art, ornithology and wildlife conservation will pick the winning piece.

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the judging will “emphasize uncluttered design suitable for printing as a stamp, anatomical accuracy of the illustrated species and artistic rendering.”

For more information, call Smith at 334-242-3859 or visit OutdoorAlabama.com. From the “program” menu, follow the “contests” link.

BayBears not hibernating
Despite the fact that the Southern League baseball season does not open for four months, the Mobile team has been quite busy over the winter. The squad has announced the promotion of two current staff members and the addition of two other workers.

Justin Gunsaulus, who served as director of concessions last season, will be moving to the position of assistant general manager of food and beverage. Matt Baranofsky has been promoted to the position of director of ticket operations and will oversee ticket and box office operations.

“The promotions of Justin and Matt are well earned, as both worked tirelessly this past season to enhance their areas of responsibility,” General Manager Chris Morgan said. “Going into this past season, improvements in our food and beverage operation was a huge point of emphasis and Justin wasted no time in making positive changes that were noticed by our fans. Matt was asked to oversee our box office operation during the middle of the season and worked to make improvements that we will carry into 2016.”

New faces around the clubhouse belong to Jackson Hamilton and Mike Murtha, coming to the BayBears from the Daytona Tortugas. They will serve as account executives focusing on selling ticket and group packages.

The BayBears will open their 20th season April 7 at the Tennessee Smokies. The first action at Hank Aaron Stadium will be April 14 when the Biloxi Shuckers come to town.

The team is currently interviewing to hire seasonal game-day staff members. Individuals who are at least 16 years old can apply Monday through Friday at The Hank (755 Bolling Brothers Blvd.) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Applications must be made in person by Jan. 22.

For more information on which jobs are available, call 251-479-2327.

College briefs
● Four University of Mobile volleyball players were recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, and head coach Jon Campbell was named Region Coach of the Year.

Named to the All-Region team were senior Bailey Nations (honorable mention NAIA All-American who led the team with 428 kills), senior Taylor Harper (first-team all-conference pick who led with 1,040 assists) and sophomore Hannah Wentland (first-team all-conference who was second with 338 kills). Making the honorable mention list was junior Jessica Bagwell (first-team all-conference who set a single-season school record with 557 digs).

Campbell directed the Lady Rams to a 32-6 record and a runner-up finish in the Southern States Athletic Conference. He picked up his 400th career coaching win during the season and now stands at 411-195.

● Allison Whitworth has been named the women’s soccer coach at Spring Hill College. The Auburn alumna joins the Lady Badgers after three years as an assistant at Ohio University.

“I am excited to join the Spring Hill College Badgers and for the opportunity to lead the soccer team,” she said. “I am thankful to Athletic Director Jim Hall and President Dr. Christopher Puto for entrusting the team to me as we complete the transition to NCAA Division II in the Gulf South Conference.”

The Birmingham native spent three seasons in the Women’s Professional Soccer League. At Auburn, she set the school record of 356 saves and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference pick as a senior.

● The University of South Alabama’s Keyton Wheelock has been named the South Region Senior College Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America presented the award.

In her third year at USA, Wheelock coached her unit to averages of 0.92 goals against and 0.43 shutouts per game. The Lady Jags blanked three straight Sun Belt Conference opponents, and then posted back-to-back shutouts in the SBC tournament final and the first round of the NCAA playoffs.

“I am so happy for Keyton to receive this prestigious award,” head coach Graham Winkworth said. “Sometimes the work an assistant coach does is not valued enough in public. The work that Keyton and Jo [Chubb] do is vitally important to our success.”