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Finn Henderson
Photo courtesy of PureGame Sports Network

Special tie to Reeltown/BTW

By Michael Butler

A handful of local teams advanced to the AHSAA state semifinals last week. Two have a familiar connection with O'Neal family.

Booker T. Washington, led by L.A. O'Neal, reached the fourth round for the first time in school history with its win over Jackson 20-17 last week. O'Neal, a former Reeltown standout, is being helped by his father, longtime RHS coach Jackie O'Neal.

Jackie was a two-time state champion while the head coach of the Rebels. L.A. was on his dad's 2001 title team alongside teammate Matt Johnson. Johnson, O'Neal's successor at Reeltown, has the Rebs into the semis for the second time in his eight years at the helm.

The 2001 champs beat rival Notasulga 46-6 in Birmingham to win the 1A state title. All-state player L.A. O'Neal was the quarterback and Johnson was a starter on the offensive line.

Reeltown travels to Sylacauga on Friday for a rematch of last year's quarterfinal playoff game with B.B. Comer, who beat the Rebels 28-22. BTW will be in Montgomery to take on region foe Catholic, who beat the Golden Eagles 56-6 in September.