For the second time in the last three seasons, the University of Mobile (UM) has won the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Cheer Championship.
The Rams’ final score was 86.32, enough to beat Point University of West Point, Georgia, which scored 81.57. Kami Whiteis, in her eighth season as head coach and her third year with a competitive team, was voted SSAC Cheer Coach of the Year.
“I am extremely proud of this young team,” Whiteis told Lagniappe. “We have just two returning from the 2017 championship team. Even with limited competitive experience, they have been successful. They have worked hard and pushed through countless injuries to win two early-season duals, the Wolfpack Invitational and the conference championship.
“Plus, the competition has never been tougher. Point University and Loyola University both put excellent routines on the mat. We will see both of those teams at regionals. Right now, we are focused on making some small improvements that will help give us the extra push we need to qualify for the NAIA [National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics] nationals.”
Four members of Mobile’s squad were named all-conference. Receiving the honor for a second time were juniors Cody Clifton of Satsuma and Colton Wells of Paradise, Texas. Also recognized were juniors Clydlette Jordan of Mobile and Alexandria Sutherland of Satsuma. Wells was named Musco Lighting Champion of Character while Clifton was on the all-academic team.
The victory qualified the Rams for the Northwest Regional hosted by Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska. Twelve teams will advance from the four regionals to the NAIA National Championship, hosted by St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, March 8-9.
Articles honor black athletes
Dr. Brandon Spradley, the United States Sports Academy’s (USSA) chair of sports management, is writing a series of historical pieces dedicated to former black athletes and coaches from Mobile in the institution’s daily sports blog, The Sport Digest. The work is taking place in recognition of Black History Month.
In 2013, Spradley partnered with the Mobile County Training School (MCTS) Alumni Association to capture the unsung stories of key figures from that school. In continuing his dedication to that project, Spradley has written a series of articles for The Sport Digest.
The articles highlight three key people who were represented in the project: Theodore Spradley III, Curtis Horton Sr. and Larry Shears. Spradley also wrote an article for The Sport Digest highlighting the academy’s previous connections to MCTS. They can be found at http://thesportdigest.com/?s=spradley.
“These pieces are very important to me,” Spradley said. “I know each person on a personal level, one being my father, who was the best coach I’ve ever had. There is a lot of great history at Mobile County Training School and my goal was to simply highlight some of that history and share it with the world.”
Spradley, who earned a doctorate in education at USSA, is a former sprinter at LeFlore High School. He went on to run track at The University of Alabama, where he completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees. He was a four-time NCAA regional qualifier and a two-time NCAA national qualifier in track and field, running on nationally ranked relay teams in 2009 and 2010.
Spradley has been a key member of a USSA faculty team working to encourage and implement concussion research and education programs across Mobile and Baldwin counties — including a program in concert with the University of South Alabama (USA) to mitigate the impact of concussion among football players in the Mobile County Public School System.
• USA has added a football game against Tulane to its 2023 schedule, with the Jaguars visiting the Green Wave Sept. 23. The Jags and Green Wave also have a two-game, home-and-home agreement in place, with USA scheduled to host Tulane on Sept. 6, 2025, before returning the trip to New Orleans Sept. 12, 2026. In the teams’ first meeting in 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, USA earned a 41-39 victory..
• A performance by Justin Allison of Spring Hill College (SHC) has caught widespread attention. The Jesuit Basketball Spotlight program selected the freshman guard as the National Jesuit Player of the Week. In a three-game stretch, Allison averaged 22.5 points and nine rebounds. The highlight was a career-high 35-point performance, accompanied by eight rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal, to lead SHC to a 97-79 victory over Central State University in a game shown on ESPN3. The performance also earned Allison his first Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week honor.
• USA junior Trhae Mitchell was voted the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) co-Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. In two games, Mitchell averaged 27.0 points and 9.5 rebounds. He recorded a career-high 31 points and added 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season at Louisiana.
• Antoinette Lewis, a sophomore forward for USA, has been named the SBC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. This marks the third time this season Lewis has been honored with the award, and fourth time in her career. In two wins, she put up back-to-back 20-point games, shooting 64.5 percent from the field and averaging 23 points and nine rebounds per game.
• Xavier University of New Orleans’ Jas Hill, who averaged a point per minute in two women’s basketball victories, was voted Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Player of the Week. A 5-foot-7 guard/forward who played at LeFlore High School, she produced 44 points in 44 minutes in GCAC victories against Tougaloo and Dillard. Hill scored 27 points in a 66-54 home victory against Dillard, the defending GCAC champion.
• Following an unbeaten start to her singles campaign, USA senior Alexandria Stiteler was voted the SBC Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week. It is her 10th career Athlete of the Week honor from the conference, the most in school history.
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