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Eric Greene of Mobile is the winner of this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a pair of wood ducks. The winning artwork will be used as the design on the 2019-20 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, required for licensed hunters when pursuing waterfowl in Alabama.

When Eric Greene of Mobile learned of the results for this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest, he had to be disappointed. A lifelong resident of Mobile, the original announcement named him as the runner-up, following other close finishes in the past (second in 2002 and third in 2017).

Then a call from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) changed everything. Now Greene’s artwork will be used as the design for the 2019-20 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required for licensed hunters when pursuing waterfowl in Alabama.

“I’m not sure why the decision was made for the change other than the [original named winner’s] artwork failed to meet the contest rules,” Greene, who has been painting as a hobby for about 30 years, told Lagniappe. “Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised when the contest coordinator contacted me to inform me of the decision.”

Making the win even more interesting for local hunters is that Greene’s painting of a pair of wood ducks was based on birds found here in Mobile County.

“I’ve had some wild wood ducks coming to my pond for about a year now, so I decided to paint a pair of ‘woodies’ for this contest since I had easy access to the subject matter, plus the fact that they’re the most colorful indigenous ducks anyway.

“In fact, the ducks featured in my painting are actual ducks residing in Mobile. I saw them this morning before I headed to work. This is probably a rare occurrence considering how skittish ‘woodies’ are. They’re very wild and usually stay hidden in wooded wetlands.”

Contest officials have only said that after careful examination of all rules pertaining to the contest, Greene’s artwork was chosen for first place. This also means Barbara Keel Lunsford of Auburn took second place with her painting of a pair of wood ducks, while third place went to Ralph Taylor of Phenix City, who also painted wood ducks.

Entries were judged on suitability for reproduction as a stamp, originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and general rendering. The designs were limited to living species of North American migratory ducks or geese. Winning species from the past three years — American wigeon, mallard and green-winged teal — were not eligible subjects for the contest this year.

Since 1978, the Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest has helped conserve waterfowl habitat and foster a connection with the outdoors. The annual contest is sponsored by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and is open to Alabama residents only.


SHC beach volleyball takes third place

The Spring Hill College Sandy Badgers beach volleyball team fell 3-2 to the top-seeded and eventual tournament champion Texas A&M-Kingsville in the semifinal round of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Small College Championships at Hickory Point Beach in Tavares, Florida.

The Sandy Badgers rallied to win the consolation bracket with a 3-2 score over the University of Tampa, securing a third-place finish at the program’s first national championship event.

“We missed our goal of coming back with a first-place trophy,” said SHC head coach Shawn Taylor. “But it’s nice to return home on a win. We are very appreciative that the AVCA is supporting the small schools with a championship, and the work that they put into helping things run smoothly over the weekend.”

The team closed out its regular season of play with a final record of 14-8.


Sailboats head to Mobile Bay

The Dauphin Island Race will mark its 60th anniversary this Saturday. Fairhope Yacht Club is serving as host this time, in a rotation that also involves the Buccaneer and Mobile yacht clubs.

The deadline for late registration is Thursday. April 26, at 5 p.m., while a skippers’ meeting is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, boats in Division I will get underway at 9:30 a.m., with Divisions 2 and 3 to follow 15 minutes later. The trophy presentation at the Dauphin Island Rodeo Site is set for 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Best known as the largest one-day point-to-point regatta in the United States, the approximately 17-mile course once featured more than 300 vessels plying across Mobile Bay. The numbers are closer to half that total now, which is still an impressive sight.

For more details, visit fairhopeyachtclub.com


Red snapper meetings

The Marine Resources Division of ADCNR is hosting several public meetings in Baldwin and Mobile counties about the 2018 red snapper season. The purpose of the meetings is to provide information about the dates of the red snapper fishing season and describe management measures that will be used to set and monitor the season as provided for in an Exempted Fishing Permit issued by NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Regional Administrator.

The ADCNR said these meetings will be of interest to recreational anglers who fish from private vessels and captains of state-licensed charter boat vessels who plan to take recreational anglers on red snapper fishing trips this year.   

The next two meetings are set for Monday, April 30, 6-7 p.m. at the Five Rivers Tensaw Theater (30945 Five Rivers Blvd. in Spanish Fort), and Tuesday, May 1, 6-7 p.m. at the Saraland Civic Center (716 Mae St.).

For those unable to attend any of the meetings, a Facebook Live session will take place Tuesday, May 8, 6-7 p.m. on the division’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AlabamaMarineResourcesDivision). After a short presentation, Marine Resources staff will answer questions submitted by viewers.


USA’s Sikes honored

University of South Alabama men’s basketball junior Rodrick Sikes has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches all-District 24 Team. Sikes adds to his trophy haul this year after earning Second Team all-Sun Belt Conference honors.

The Ocean Springs native averaged 18.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in his first season in a Jaguar uniform.