By Gene Phelps
The race for a postseason berth in Class I, Division 1 high school volley- ball is shaping up to be a war.
Belmont, Corinth, New Albany and Ripley would all have to be considered favorites for the division’s three playoff spots.
Belmont coach Reid Gann, whose Lady Cardinals were 13-2 overall and 4-0 in league play headed into Thursday night’s division match at New Albany, hopes his club makes the cut.
“We’re off to a good start,” said Gann, whose team finished an impressive 23-8 last season as an independent playing the sport for the first time. “Fundamental-wise, we’re a better team than we were last year. We have a lot of momentum going into the last half of the season.”
Setter Tori Powers and hitters Katelyn Nunley and Irene Oppi lead Belmont’s strong attack.
“We have some strong servers,” Gann said. “We’re aggressive at the net, which makes up for our lack of height. We don’t hurt ourselves. We wait on other teams to make a mistake.”
Belmont’s final division game is scheduled for Oct. 1 at Corinth. The two rivals meet earlier, Sept. 26, in a non-league match at Belmont.
Nettleton QB ranked No. 4 in state passing
Nettleton senior quarterback Dakota Cruber is ranked No. 4 in the state in passing according to MaxPreps.
Cruber has completed 70 of 123 passes for 1,071 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has two interceptions. He’s second in the state in total offense with 1,334 yards, thanks to 263 yards rushing.
His top receiver, Levert Jernigan, is No. 2 in the state with 34 catches for 481 yards and six TD.
Aberdeen QB Josh Williams is rated No. 11 having completed 59 of 98 for 846 yards and five TD. Mantachie’s Dustin Carrell is No. 16 having completed 48 of 75 for 774 yards and 12 TD.
The state’s No. 2 rusher is Saltillo junior Diamante Pounds, who has rushed for 699 yards and five TD.
Postseason dates for fall athletics
Here are some important dates to know as the postseason gets closer:
Slow Pitch Softball: Oct. 12, Regular season ends; Oct. 15, Playoffs begin; Oct. 22, North finals; Oct. 26, State championships; Nov. 2, MAC all-star games.
Volleyball: Oct. 17, Class I round 1; Oct. 26, Class II & III round 1, Class I round 2; Oct. 29, North finals; Nov. 2 State championships.
Swimming: Oct. 19, North meet; Oct. 26, State champion-ships.
Football: Nov. 1, Class 2A-3A-4A regular season ends; Nov. 8, Class 1A-6A regular season ends, 2A-3A-4A playoffs begin; Nov. 15, 22, playoffs continue; Nov. 29, North finals; Dec. 6, 1A-2A-6A State championships; Dec. 7, 3A-4A-5A State championships; Dec. 14, Alabama-Mississippi game; Dec. 21, Bernard Blackwell game.